WE had a neighbourhood gathering at the weekend - one we’d been planning since before Covid poleaxed all our social lives.

The wheeze, dreamt up by a couple of my neighbours, was that since a lot of new folks had moved in, but never actually had a chance to do more than offer a socially distanced wave to each other, we could have a get together out of doors.

Early on we determined to make everything as Covid compliant as possible. Everyone would bring some food and their own glass/cup. Outdoor chairs would be available. Paper disposable plates would be provided. And, said the main mover and shaker, let’s just make it finger food that could be picked up and easily consumed.

Hah! Clearly we all had our (late) mammies sitting on our shoulders. “Finger food – and you just meeting some new folk for the first time. What will the neighbours say?” Thing is Ma, these ARE the neighbours. In the event, the “finger food” brought along would have fed half an army for half a week.

Home baking. Savoury snacks. Sandwiches. Sausages. You name it, we ate it. And there were liquid delights on hand too, from wine and soft drinks to an amazing non-alcoholic Indonesian punch, which was something of an artwork in its own right.

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Which brings me to another revelation. What a cosmopolitan wee street we now have. Folk from Scotland, India, Italy, Indonesia, Ireland, England, not even to mention the people’s republic of Cornwall.

It was a grand afternoon, showing us what we’d all been missing these many months, and the bonus of nobody needing to drive home anywhere. We were home.

And when rain threatened to dampen play, some folks unpacked a gazebo and a posse erected it just in time for sun to come out.

The day gave us the incomparable bonus of new neighbours becoming new friends, and I’ve a notion it won’t be terribly long until this team group holds another event.

PS: Our village has had quite a turnover of late – sold signs going up two minutes after the for sale ones. Or so it feels like. Signs of the times.