Saturday 30th April

Having managed to stay away from home until 7.30pm last night, I thought it would be safe to sneak into the house as I figured, wrongly as it turns out, that the road based merry-making would be all over and done with.

Since the revelry had started at 4pm, I was pretty confident as I tippy-toed towards my close that, royal wedding or no, most people only have about 45 good minutes of schmoozing in them when it comes to actually having to speak to people that they live next door to.

According to my calculations, the crazy-kooks should have run out of  ideas for small talk at around 4.35pm at which point people would slowly (and totally unexpectedly of course) start developing nasty migraines and backaches.

 Realising that their social-networking eyes were bigger than their social-networking bellies, appendixes would start perforating left right and centre and they would melt away, clutching their boo-boos whilst loudly assuring each other that they definitely must ‘do this again sometime’.

I remember going to an in-the-street firework party with Friend-Kate a couple of years ago where she had spent hours, lovingly preparing a huge vat of chilli for all of her community minded neighbours to enjoy.

They snatched the chilli as we arrived and, thrusting their snouts directly into the bowl, they snarfed it down with a voracity and speed that would have offended the table manners of a baby-stealing dingo.

None of them actually bothered to either acknowledge or thank Friend-Kate, they simply inserted their noses into the trough and let their curly pink tails do the talking.

I can’t swear that when Alex, her son, started wailing about his leg hurting and that he wanted to go home” right now, this very minute”, that it wasn’t entirely natural causes. I am however, pretty sure that I heard him ask her why she’d kicked him.

I dunno, call me unsociable but when it gets to the stage that you’d rather kick your own kid than have to stay for one second longer with your ‘nayburs’, it’s got to be a situation for us all to remember to give a very determined swerve to.

Certainly my disturbing recollections of that evening were contributing to my terror about becoming involved in my own neighbourhood shindig and, sure that I didn’t want to waste 45 minutes of my life that I would be unable, ever afterwards to get back, I was forced into the unfortunate position of having to creep-creep-creepy-creep around, in the gathering gloom, like a bloody rapist.

As it turned out, the party was still energetically swinging with, to my absolute horror, the Teenager smack in the middle doing what looked like a Michael Jackson style dance-off with Mrs Plants-A-Lot from number 18.

All three parts in the bag, my entire community were giggling, slurring and falling off chairs like college frat-boys. There was an amusing ‘swing-ball-athon’ going on between Her-Poshliness and Boiler-Man-Neighbour. Hysterical sniggering kept erupting from their direction as they were both so pissed that neither of them could see the ball.

Let alone hit it.

I stood in the middle of this chaos, piously surveying the destruction and bedlam that was going on around me.

Then I did what any other sensible person would do. I grabbed a can of Red-Stripe and a swing-ball bat.

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.