We had the street party today. Everybody from almost all of the houses came out and lots of people had family and friends with them so there were people that I didn’t know as well as all the ones that I do. Everybody joined in and Dad said that’s what community spirit is all about. He said it was just like the old times. It was a great day. We all wore Union Jack hats and I had a glittery heart in red, white and blue on my cheek. Everybody had big flags out of their windows and Mr Jones and Mr Backhouse strung bunting right across the road, from one side to the other. Everybody watched when Miss Sterling and Mrs Brown came out. Mrs Brown is called Sheryl. Sheryl and Miss Sterling have had this feud going on, like forever. Sheryl has a dog called Jake and he barks when she goes to work. Jake’s awesome and Sheryl looks after him really well, he came from a neglected home before and he doesn’t like being left on his own, but her and Mr Brown have to go to work. Jackie and Dave Callow, who live next door to Sheryl and Ian, say that it’s not a problem, but Miss Sterling, who lives all the way across the street, says that it is. She thinks she owns the street and isn’t very nice to anybody. She has this swing and sits in her front garden watching everybody and complaining. She complains a lot about parking. Nobody’s allowed to park outside her house, but no one takes any notice of her. She doesn’t even have a car, and she’s not that old, either. I think she needs a boyfriend to stop her being so crabby.
We all didn’t think that she’d come out and that she’d call the police about the noise, but she did come. She baked a cake and brought out some sweets for the kids. Mum said that was big of her. Her and Sheryl just kept out of each other’s way. Sheryl says that if she keeps writing letters to the council about Jake, she might lose him. My dog died of old age last year, so I know how she’d feel if she had to get rid of him. She says she’d sell her house first. I would sell my house if I could have Kali back.
Mum was kind of okay today. She only looped out a bit. She kept calling it the Silver Jubilee, but anybody could mix that up, eh? But then she was talking to Dad and she said that it’s about time that Prince Charles got married. I wasn’t really listening and wouldn’t have thought anything of it, but Dad had a funny voice when he told her that, Prince Charles had been married, and divorced, ‘Don’t you remember Princess Diana, sweetheart?’
Mum laughed and had that, oops I did it again, face on, ‘Of course I do, silly. And you know she’s a wonderful mother to those two boys.’ Dad and I just looked at each other; it was like Mum didn’t know that she was dead.
Oh my God, there was tons to eat. I ate, like a hundred cakes. Sal and Jenny and me are going for a run tomorrow to burn some of it off—maybe. There were a load of games and Mum and Dad entered Mr And Mrs, but they didn’t win. Susan and Kyle Chapman did and they’ve only been married for one year, how can they know more about being married than my Mum and Dad? At eight o’clock Mr Jones set up a disco in the gazebo. Mr Jones played I Believe by Fankie Laine. It was Number One when the Coronation was on. It was a really good song, and I couldn’t believe that I actually knew it. Well, I didn’t know it, exactly, but I’d heard it before. Mum asked me if I wanted a small glass of Pomagne, when we toasted the Queen, and I told her, ‘Not Likely, thank you. Not after what happened to Mel.’
‘Very wise,’ Dad said, and he gave me a hug.
We stayed out until midnight and it was pouring with rain nearly all day. Nobody minded though. We did a huge conga right down the street and Mrs Backhouse fell over, I think she was a bit drunk, not like Mel-drunk though. It was a brilliant day. Dad grabbed Mum and they had a smoochie dance. He went all mushy and that was so embarrassing. If I ever do that in public when I’m their age, please shoot me.
But that wasn’t the worst embarrassment. Jason Goddard, from number Thirty one made me dance with him. He’s twenty. Can you imagine that, twenty! He’s got a motor bike and everything. Oh God, I’ve fancied him forever. I was sitting on this plastic chair and he came over and got both of my hands. He didn’t even ask, just grabbed my hands and tried to pull me up to dance. I kept saying, no, but he kept on pulling. I bet my face was as red as a radish. He wouldn’t let me sit down and I was going to run away, but that would have been really childish and I’d have looked even more stupid and he’d have thought that I was just a baby. He was only dancing with me because he thinks I’m a little girl and he can tell that I fancy him. I blush every time he walks past me. I got up and put my arms around his waist, and then, I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me, because that was wrong. He took hold of my hands and put them around his neck. ‘No see, like this,’ he said. ‘The girl’s arms go around the boy’s neck and the boy’s arms go down here, like this. And you know why that is, Kate? It’s so that the boy can grab a hold of the girl’s bum while they’re dancing. But don’t worry kid, I’m a gentleman and I won’t be grabbing your bum. Never mind that you’re only a kid, your dad’d kill me.’ He laughed, but I was mortified. There were only two choices, up or down and I had to go and pick the wrong one. We started dancing and he said that I was good. I’ve never danced with a boy before, but it’s not something that somebody has to teach you, it’s easy, it just sort of happens, as long as you get the arm thing right to start with. He asked me if I had a boyfriend and for one stupid, silly, ridiculous, moment, I thought that he was going to ask me to go with him. But I’m just a kid and he was only dancing with me to be nice. His girlfriend came to the party when she’d finished her shift at McDonalds. They spent the rest of the night snogging and I was so jealous. He’d be an even better boyfriend than Jason Parks. I imagined what it’d be like to go for a ride on the back of his bike, but knowing me; I’d only get it wrong again and try to put my arms around his neck instead of his waist.
After the last song on the Disco we all stood up and sang God Save Our Gracious Queen. I got a big lump in my throat. It could only have been wackier if Sheryl and Miss Sterling had held hands when we all got in a circle and Ian, who must be religious, said a prayer about the queen and community.
I wonder if we’ll have a Platinum Jubilee. I might be married by then. I might even have kids of my own. Wow.