On the topic of lightbulbs: Germany is hoarding 100-watt bulbs, united in a silent, completely uncoordinated protest. The bulbous item is about to be outlawed as too energy-consuming! Never mind the computers every household is encouraged to stack up, the gigantic plasma TV sets one of which needs a whole power station to keep it going. The innocent, beautifully named lightbulb (glow-pear in German, a language that is never less than literal) has to bite the dust. And yet, they last forever: the 150 watt bulb in this snail-shaped lampshade has accompanied me for 15 years, from London to Munich and out to the country, where it is mildly illuminating the bedroom.