It was fireworks night last week. I love a bit of fizz, bang, pop myself but couldn't find a decent display on anywhere. There's a local park that does it but I have distinct memories last year of being made to file to the viewing site via a narrow path with chicken wire high on either side and a general nervousness that someone was going to put a catherine wheel in my pocket.
Anyway, as luck would have it I was told at the last minute about the show at Cleveland Square. "It's not a football scrum like the local park one," said my informer. "You only see one sort of person there - it's all Notting Hill blondes and their spoilt children." PLU, in other words.
So off we trotted and it was simply lovely. Bought the tickets – £8 for a green wristband – from the pub round the corner then, along with about 2,000 others, we piled into the private, communal gardens. Open for one night only, if not exactly to the masses then to the posh massive (massif?). Toff music pumped on the system - 90s hits with anthemic choruses, like Blur's 'Parklife' – a huge bonfire warmed our faces, and mulled wine was on sale for a couple of quid a plastic-cup-pop. All around us the tall, grand stucco'ed white houses looked down on us smugly, as the light show danced on their facades. There were private parties on the balconies and some of them even had small back gardens that led directly into the square; so the guests could be part of the Cleveland Square event without having to actually get into the scrum.
There were indeed hordes of blondes with caramel highlights and lots of children dressed in yummy Boden outfits. Everyone smiled, oohed and aahed at the fireworks ("the sparkliest you'll ever see", I was promised - and they were right). We bumped into some people we knew - of course. PLU, you see.
And then we went home. But this is the worst bit. Now that I've been introduced to this snippet of posh insider knowledge, I won't be able to help myself in future: I'll pretend, just like all the other Snotty Hillers, that I *always* knew about it and will be slightly shocked at anyone who doesn't. Come Nov 5 2010, you'll hear me: "Aren't you going to Cleveland Square? Don't you know you that one? Oh. [Pause] I thought you would. Well, you really must try it. It's such fun."