What a great and late night it was, who knew how much fun it could be hanging out with just your neighbours? Not only did we sit, dance, sing, drink and eat in the street till 4.30am but it was a clear stary night and the air only added a little chill in the wee hours of the morning.
At first it looked as if people had forgotten and while a few of use tidied up the street, picking up wandering plastic bags, rolling tins and just your general street-weeds we discovered that the guy with the grill had gone on holiday and left us without the fire. But luck was on our side and another neighbour had a grill just waiting be fired up and used. We then set up some chairs and small tables, had a buffet groaning under the weight of numerous salads, breads, a gorgeous cake and many, many bottles of wine beer and some aquavit.
Jazz was turned on as the neighbours turned up and as the meat sizzled on the grill words and laughter mingled with the music. While we ate and drank, we chatted and got to know each other and a few musical inhabitants of the street pulled out their fiddles and guitars and suddenly Irish song filled the air. After a little while others got up and started to dance to the tunes, Irish legs kicking high into the air.
As I watched, listened, chatted, laughed, ate and drank I could not help but be amazed at how multicultural our little cul-de-sac is and how everyone brought something of their own country to the party. We had German bread and sausages, Polish shashliks, cake and beer, Scottish fish and a jig, Irish music, Guinness and coleslaw and as very special treat a traditional Swiss folk song. All they needed was a special pottery bowl in which a Swiss coin was spun and a high pitched ringing called out over the street, clear like a bell yet very different. Accompanied by a yodel like song we could have been sitting in the Alps waiting for Heidi to arrive.
As the shadow grew longer and the sun set behind the roof tops we sat and talked till it started to rise again. A complete success we all agreed and we really have to it all again, maybe next month.