This weekend, it is our neighbourhood garden party. Every year, our street and the two on either side of us all get together in the locked, private communal garden that we all have access to at the end of our road. It’s a bit like the one in the film "Notting Hill" and there’s something about it being there just for us which makes an annual party quite a natural thing to have.
See, now I’ve started thinking about Matt again at the mention of "Notting Hill". He once told me that when he had watched it late one night, he was struck by how Elvis Costello’s "She" seemed to sum up how he felt about me and the next day he emailed me the lyrics that had struck him the most:
Who always seems so happy in a crowd
Whose eyes can be so private and so proud
No one's allowed to see them when they cry
May be the love that cannot hope to last
May come to me from shadows of the past
That I'll remember till the day I die
I'll take her laughter and her tears
And make them all my souvenirs
For where she goes I've got to be
The meaning of my life is
I remember my heart jumping when he sent me that email. Stupid git! He’s clearly not thinking that about me now, given that I haven’t heard from him since I sent that email ending things. That’s good and that’s right but it doesn’t mean I’m finding it easy. No, I need to put him out of my mind – I don’t want to start dwelling on him again.
So, back to the party. It really is a lovely way to catch up with everyone and meet new people who have moved in over the year. Everyone brings food and drink and there’s lots of local talent. We have a couple of bands and Sasha and myself even did a set one year. Plus there’s a stiltwaker, magician, juggler and face painter that entertains the kids which makes it a great family event and we’re usually blessed with great weather. The fact that most people pitch up each year show that it is a good event.
The thing is……last year I embarrassed myself a little!
You see, we have an actor who lives at the end of our road – just opposite the gardens in fact. He’s not a famous name, more a "I know the face" and he often plays corrupt police chiefs or the criminal Mr. Big. He’s got that kind of hangdog face that seems to work very well in those roles.
Anyway, I’ve always been most fascinated by him - I’ve got a real thing for actors – but he’s hardly acknowledged my existence even though our daughters go to the same school. Over the years, I’ve had the odd nod from him and very occasionally a smile and once he did actually say hello, I think. And I always giggle and generally go a bit silly so he passes by pretty quickly. I have to say that in the workplace I am not at all fazed by celebrity and never behave like this so I don’t know why I have never been able to string two words together in his company. Ewan thinks he’s a miserable sod who’s not worth the time of day and Sasha hates his daughter and so can’t understand why I’m so besotted with him and Kyle just thinks I’m weird, but then, he does anyway.
So, last year !
It was one of the only sunny days we had and so it’s fair to say that along with the sunbathing, a fair amount of Pimms had been consumed beforehand. I was probably already a bit merry by the time we arrived at the gardens! A little alcohol helps me lose my inhibitions and whereas some people don't like that, I don't mind giving up a certain level of self control.
Still more alcohol was then downed as I flitted from neighbour to neighbour chatting and laughing. And then, while I was with old Mr Evans from down the road who used to be a film cameraman in the old days and was regaling me with tales of how he used to regularly beat Omar Shariff at cards and what they used to get up to, The Actor joined us. I couldn’t believe it! And we all had a laugh and he seemed generally entertained by me and it was all going so well. And then we all wandered over to the drinks table with me now assured of my place as his "friend" until obviously, I ruined it all!
It wasn’t my fault! I reached for the red wine but somehow I missed, and knocked the bottle over and then watched in horror as a big crimson patch crept over the crotch of his cream chinos. And yes, I did that thing of trying to mop it up while he desperately tried to fend me off and away from his private area! It was awful. I couldn’t apologise enough but he stalked off back to his house as Mr Evans roared with laughter and I was as red as that spilt wine.
I haven’t even had a smile from him whenever I’ve seen him since. He hates me and now I’ve got to face him again tomorrow!
Needless to say, I won’t be drinking !!