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.