Burdens of motherhood

Thursday 28 June 2012

It is a sticky afternoon; the sun shines briefly, early on, but then it goes in.
Not long before 14:55, the black Umbria parks alongside the Old Man’s front lawn, with its nose just overlapping the right-hand pillar of the garden-gate, then moves to where its nose is alongside the left-hand pillar. A black car that I think is an Ultra parks nose-to-nose with the Umbria. When the Umbria driver gets out, I see that she is wearing denims. Another woman gets out of the same car: she is young, slightly taller than the driver, and has red hair tied up at the back. She is carrying a baby, and with her is the blond boy seen earlier today, who is smiling.
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Mrs Kulak, Mrs Oldgreen, and their daughters

Thursday 28 June 2012

When I get back from shopping at AltGroce, it is pouring with rain, and I find the big white van is blocking the drive of the Old Man’s house. I park alongside Vinnie’s hedge. Within two minutes, Mr JG moves the van. I perform a U-turn, and park on the Old Man’s drive. In passing, I see that there is a section of low kerb near the junction-box — I’m sure I have seen this before, but have forgotten about it until now.
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Unprecedented reluctance

Thursday 28 June 2012

After overnight rain, it is a damp and dull start to the day. A big white van has been parked since yesterday evening, partly on the pavement, alongside the JGs’ house rather than, as usual, alongside the Old Man’s house. The van departs at 07:53, does a U-turn, and drives away.
At about 08:20, a boy and girl aged perhaps 8 or 9 are walking down the far pavement. The girl, inboard, is swinging something like a yoyo from her right hand. Neither child seems to be wearing school uniform: the girl is wearing a dun-coloured jacket and a salmon-coloured loosely-pleated skirt of mid-calf length.
Several minutes later, a black 3-door Nova drives past the Old Man’s house, and parks outside the Trimots’ house but pointing away from the school. About three minutes later, the driver gets out; she is wearing a sleeveless black top and medium-blue denims; she is not slim, but she is not obese; her hair is very short and is dyed blonde. She lifts a wailing tiny boy out of the nearside, and carries him to school. This is the only time I’ve ever seen a child apparently reluctant to go to Acacia Primary. Of course, as I’ve said previously, I don’t see what happens at the classroom door.
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Partner, Oldgreen, Kulak, Port

Wednesday 27 June 2012

At 13:18 or so, a black Okra is parked half-way onto the pavement alongside number 35, its nearside front level with the second junction-box. A man has been sitting in the front passenger seat of the Okra, but with the door open and his left foot on the pavement; he has been reading some documents, and looking at his phone. I take him to be the salesman who has called at the Old Man’s house at about 13:10.
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The school-run that never was

Wednesday 27 June 2012

At 11:02 the silver Escargot is still where it was at 08:22.
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Unscheduled day off, or…?

Wednesday 27 June 2012

The sky is overcast; it is not raining, but the roadway is damp. At 08:22 a silver (53-registration?) Escargot is parked alongside number 33, its nose facing towards George Street.
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Football in the back yard

Tuesday 26 June 2012 (evening)

Not long after 17:35, I see a man (presumably Mr GS) get into the front passenger seat of the GS family’s little black hatchback which is parked at the kerb alongside their house. The car drives off past the Old Man’s house; this allows me to see that Mrs GS is in the driving seat. I haven’t seen her for a long time; I notice how fat her face is. The family’s silver estate car is on their drive.
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Risk pays off

Tuesday 26 June 2012

I take a calculated risk, and at about 11:45 I start mowing the lawns although rain is threatening. I manage to finish all four at about 13:15, before the rain starts.
For the rest of my stay, it is too wet to mow the lawns.
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Insect day

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Shortly before 11:00, a big white BT van is parked alongside number 35, but a few minutes later it has gone. Not long after 11:15, a cat crosses the road towards the Efords’ drive, and walks past the fence of light-brown-creosoted wooden panels that separates the drive from the school-house garden.
There is a Peugeot 406 parked with its nose just uphill of the sapling; Scarlett parks immediately downhill of there, the base of her car’s windscreen level with the sapling. (She has arrived from the direction of George Street.) Once out of the car, she looks across the road — and then I see two women crossing towards her, one of whom is carrying a baby. These women may have come from the silver 53-registration Media which is parked alongside number 33, and the bronze Japanese hatchback which is behind it.
The driver of the 406 returns: it is an older man, accompanied by a small boy in a blue pullover who gets into the offside rear. Then Scarlett returns, with Tiny Boy who is also wearing a blue pullover. He waits near the front passenger door, but at some point in the proceedings he is let in at the nearside rear. The other two women have also returned from the school.
There follows a bizarre pantomime, with (from Scarlett) some high-pitched squealing, and jumping up and down. The front passenger door of Scarlett’s car is opened, and left open — I think one of the women peers in; the offside rear door is opened — probably twice. I wonder whether another child is going to be put into the car, but none is. Tiny Boy does not reappear, but I think the nearside rear door is reopened. One of the women (probably the dark-haired one with the baby) joins Scarlett on the pavement at the nearside of the car when she is “losing it”; Scarlett is then facing outboard, and the other woman is facing her. Someone, Scarlett I think, then stands on the roadway and peers into the driver’s footwell. The driver’s door is closed again, and reopened.
The best explanation I can come up with is that there is a bee or wasp in the car. Scarlett’s behaviour is perhaps over-the-top — unless she is allergic to stings?
Meanwhile, the cat crosses the road, back to where it came from.
The woman with the baby has a deeper voice (deeper than Scarlett’s squeals, anyway), and a strong local accent. At one point I think she is about to sit down on the front passenger seat, and perhaps be given a lift by Scarlett.
A few minutes after 11:30, Scarlett drives off, past the CJs’ house.

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Dog and phone

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Scarlett parks with the tail of her car level with the uphill side of the junction-box. Ahead of her is an MPV with a spare-wheel-carrier on the tailgate — the MPV has been there for some minutes. Scarlett is wearing a light-coloured vest, denims, and flat-heeled sandals; her handbag is pinkish-brown. Small Boy is in a dark coat, and Tiny Boy in the same pale anorak as yesterday, with the hood down. The boys set off for school, from the nearside of the car; Scarlett locks the front passenger door with a key — I’ve never seen her do this before. They all cross towards the Efords’ drive. On the far pavement, Small Boy starts to jog ahead of the others; Tiny Boy is at first a couple of paces behind Scarlett, but hurries to catch up. The boys seem livelier today than they were yesterday, but not as lively as usual.
Towards 08:45, a silver 60-registration Media parks half-way onto the pavement, to the rear of Scarlett’s car. The small boy who gets out is wearing a blue T-shirt. With his right arm, he is clutching a stuffed toy (probably a dog) against his chest. When his mother returns to the car, alone, she is holding her phone to her left ear.
When Scarlett returns, she crosses the road from the Efords’ drive, but then is out-of-sight for a couple of minutes, presumably talking with someone. With her right hand she is carrying a blue book-bag with a handle. At the car, she chats briefly with a young woman who is pushing a pram or pushchair uphill. As they talk, the young woman keeps her hands on the pushchair, whereas Scarlett gesticulates in an animated but amicable way.

I go to TeraGroce, on foot. Mrs AD’s mother’s house has been sold, according to one of the estate agents’ boards; according to the other, it is still for sale.

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