I used to wonder how the streetlights would all light up at around the same time, and seemingly without any warning or human intervention.
It had to be magic.
The only explanation I could come up with was streetlight gnomes. Little men who were small enough to be settled in the base of the light, where it is slightly wider, and who had long poles that they would use to switch on the light at the top of the column when a pre-set alarm went off.
There would be a little community of streetlight gnomes, all using their poles to light up the country at the same time. In all likelihood there would be walkie-talkie system going on.
People often say that they would love to be a cat as it is such an easy life just to laze around all day, occasionly stretching and being stroked. But surely it would get a bit dull, not being able to read, converse etc (though I'm sure our cats do watch the t.v when it's on; nothing can resist or fail to understand Neighbours). No, I would much rather be a streetlight gnome. They have big squashy duvet covers in which they are swaddled cosily in, piles of books around them (both classics and lighter froth), the occasional glossy magazine, endless period drama dvds, hot fresh coffee on tap, with a thick and clunky mug to drink it out of comfortingly. And the only responsibilty they have is to twiddle their pole to activate light at a particular time.
Sometimes a streetlight is on in the middle of the day. Just the one, and for no reason. That's when I imagine the little gnome inhabiting that particular streetlight was so engrossed in his novel, all cosy and sleepy, he failed to hear the tuneful alarm alerting him to the time when his one job must be done.
And I sigh and think of how lovely it would be to be a streetlight gnome.