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.
Scarlett’s car drives past the Old Man’s house, and parks with its nose to the sapling, also half-way onto the pavement. She gets out, and looks over towards the Okra as she makes her way to the nearside rear door of her car. Scarlett leans in at the nearside rear, and gets Tiny Boy out. He is wearing a cowboy outfit, including a little hat which is on his head — it may not be a cowboy hat. Most of the outfit is red with yellow flashes, but the shins of the trousers are of a light, perhaps silvery, colour. Is the cowboy outfit what he was wearing this morning? If so, I didn’t notice the yellow or silver features.
The man crosses the road, towards Scarlett’s car. He picks Tiny Boy up — Tiny Boy stretches out his arms and puts them round the man’s neck — and carries him to the school, supported on the man’s left arm and resting against the left side of his chest. They are accompanied by Scarlett, who walks inboard of the man and probably a pace or two behind him. Tiny Boy and the man are face-to-face at first, but then Tiny Boy turns so that he can see where they are going.
They walk past two parked cars which have just arrived. The nearer of the cars, three-quarters onto the pavement, is the late-1990s Plum that belongs to Mrs Oldgreen; the other car is a silver Rubin. Parents are entering the school via the middle entrance, and then others are leaving via that entrance.
The silver Media that belongs to the Kulak family parks, half-way on, to the rear of the Okra. Max Kulak gets out, with Master Kulak who is wearing what must be a superhero costume — it is mainly bright blue, but the sleeves are red, as are the trousers below the knee.
At 14:42, Mrs Oldgreen’s Plum has gone; the silver Rubin reverses in to the upper entrance of the school, and departs in the direction from which it came. Three minutes later, the driver of the Okra returns. He is wearing a black T-shirt. He puts something (an item of clothing?) into the car, at the driver’s door, before he gets in. At George Street, the Okra turns right.
A very small boy wearing a Superman costume, accompanied by two women and another child, is walking up the far pavement.
At 14:50 Scarlett returns, with the boys trailing behind her. Tiny Boy (inboard) is still wearing the cowboy outfit, while Small Boy (outboard) is wearing a blue pullover and charcoal-grey trousers. There is no sign of his camouflage-jacket. Scarlett opens only the offside rear door; Tiny Boy gets in first, and no doubt clambers across to the nearside; Small Boy follows him in.
Before Scarlett gets into the car, she exchanges a few words with two adults; both are probably women, one of them with a tot on foot and the other with a tinier tot or baby in a push-chair. Then she gets in, reverses further onto the pavement, turns towards the drive of number 35, reverses towards the sapling (quite accurately, if that is what she is aiming for), and drives off past the Old Man’s house.
The school-run has not yet ended. Various cars are parked nearby: a pale blue Escargot to the right of our garden-gate, a black 56-registration Gold Star with its tail to the sapling, a lime-green Mégane which before 14:15 parks to the rear of the Kulaks’ car and later moves further downhill to a spot that is rather inconvenient for other road-users, a black Media that is just uphill of the Mégane’s later position (the Mégane has gone by 15:00), and a silver Bonsai of the original type which is parked alongside the Kingdoms’ house and the house beyond. A young man in a grey hoodie puts a child-seat onto the front passenger seat of the pale blue Escargot; a girl aged about 7, wearing a blue top with sleeves to just above her elbows, sits down on the child-seat. The Escargot departs at 15:12, passing the Old Man’s house; a minute later, the Bonsai departs, and also drives past the Old Man’s house. The black Gold Star departs two minutes after that — its occupants are a man of about 35 with dark, cropped hair, and a small child dressed partly in red. The Gold Star turns right at George Street.
Not long after 20:20, a silver Ultra is parked at the kerb alongside a house on the far side of the road. A man and a woman and a girl who may have reached her second birthday have got out of the Ultra and are heading towards that house; the adults, who are walkng slowly, are carrying unidentifiable items. On the drive of the house, the man is one step behind the girl, who is going even more slowly than he is. The family must be returning from a day out; and they must be Mr & Mrs Port and their daughter Laura.
A few minutes later, a small boy in a red pullover or sweatshirt and dark trousers is heading up the far pavement on his microscooter. Alongside the house below the Kingdoms’ house he stops, and talks with two other boys, one of them in a blue pullover or sweatshirt. Unaccompanied children out playing at this time of day! Call the police!