It’s the final day of this huge celebration in the UK. I know that one is supposed to go to street parties at Jubbly. The streets in my area, either the residents are absolutely terrified of each other or the houses are completely empty most of the year. Lockdown here was so peaceful. Everybody was in their house in the country.
But the best we do for community in his patch of Chelsea is to have a vague idea of the names of our neighbours. Occasionally it goes beyond that… I know I’m not alone in having paid off the taxi for one elderly resident a few years ago. I helped him home that night. He was mostly screaming “never get old!”. That was his way. He had drunk so much he had made a mess of himself. The taxi driver was ready to punch him so I solved that first. Then I got him sorted. If we had put a gazebo in the street with bunting, he would have had none of it.
Who else is there? Over the years, few of particular interest. Mostly lizards. The utterly pedantic air steward, who lived in the entrance and knew more about us all than we did. Massive busybody. Apparently he made somebody replace their new windows because they were “wrong”. The biggest monsters are the ones who align with the law. Then on the opposite side Andrew the angry Scotsman, and my dear friend who spent the whole time tangled up with lies and pimps. He will forever owe me £300 and I’m one of the lucky ones.
Then there’s a young female instagrammer who locked herself out and caused me endless suspicion when I used logic to break into her flat with a coathanger to hook the ground floor window. A tall Polish geezer opposite my flat caused me even more suspicion when he started to flood the whole block with a plugged sink left on, and I opened his Yale with a bit of semi-rigid plastic and turned the tap off. “I called a locksmith.” “We should pay you back.” “I didn’t get a receipt.”
Anyway, the point is that there’s not gonna be a street party on my crescent. We don’t communicate. So I went to Waterloo.
Terrifyingly, ten years ago I did something similar, and ran into all these humans and got even drunker. This is Pearman Street. The photographer asked me to credit her. My friend and her mom are in the front. It’s in Waterloo and was bought up by actors who wanted easy access to the theatres for work. Most of it property has ceded and split, and the value has done that frustrating thing where the numbers stop making sense. My friends are still living there, much as I’m still living here. So I went to their party again.
I was recognised for Dilly Knox! Lovely when the weird jobs land. We all had much jubilee fun, and then I went home. England won the cricket, the Queen probably isn’t dead yet, we all had fun. Tomorrow I’m off to Banbury for one more hit on the Engineering training pipe before I go help out on an electric car race in Sardinia.