Remarkable stories from an extraordinary year

I was there... at a very special Diamond Jubilee street party

When I was a young girl, I remember the Silver Jubilee being a massive occasion. Somewhere buried at the back of the wardrobe at my Mum and Dad's house is a big scrapbook of news cuttings, stickers and the like that I had collected.

But when it was the Diamond Jubilee, I had very little interest. I didn't really follow what was going on and had no plans. The Queen visited an airbase near us, but I didn't apply for tickets.

So when our neighbours suggested a street party, I wasn't really bothered. I thought I would go along with it for a bit of fun but I wasn't really into it. However, when the weekend of the Jubilee came along, I was proved wrong and I was proud to be British.

I watched the crowds in London and was amazed that there were so many people. Watching them throng into the Mall was wonderful and seeing the whole Royal Family on the balcony took me back to being a little girl once again.

I watched all the boats in the pouring rain. The choir getting battered by the wind but still continuing in the great British spirit. I felt for the Queen as she stood there freezing for the duration of the flotilla - she really should have been inside, for it couldn't have been enjoyable for her.

So when the day of our street party came, I was in a much better mood. We each took a themed dish. I bought Kir Royale, Phil's Royal Greek Salad and Charles' Chocolate Brownie. We had Pippa's Pasta Salad, Queen's Quiche and many more delights.

The weather was awful; although it wasn't cold, it was wet. We sat wrapped up in raincoats under the gazebo eating and drinking. But what a neighbourhood spirit it brought out.

Life is so busy on our little block of houses for we all work. We rarely have time to see each other to even say hello, but on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee we had the best time. We each found out about one another's families, each other's lives and life before we moved into our little cul-de-sac.

The wine was flowing all afternoon and it was only when the rain and wind starting dribbling down the backs of our necks through the gaps in the gazebo that we called it a day.

I think that our Diamond Jubilee street party will become an annual tradition. An occasion when busy lives stop to catch up and enjoy each other's company.

For that one day our happiness, friendship and lives intertwined, if only for a moment. And I will remember it for just as long as I remembered the Silver Jubilee.

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