Thursday 28 June 2012
When I get back from shopping at AltGroce, it is pouring with rain, and I find that 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.
Just after 11:00 it is still raining quite hard. Then there is a flash of lightning, followed by a rumble of thunder. Ten minutes later the rain is very heavy. Towards 11:20, the black Umbria is parked alongside the Efords’ house; its lights are on, and the wipers are on intermittent. The Kulaks’ car parks alongside the junction-box; its wipers stop mid-windscreen. Mabel Kulak gets out; her dark hair is tied up at the back; she is wearing ankle-boots, denims, and a fawn fleecy jacket. She lifts her baby daughter out of the nearside rear, and makes her way to the school.
At 11:23, the rain is again heavier. Two minutes later, a 53-registration Compass parks nose-to-sapling. Scarlett drives past the Compass and the Kulaks’ car, and parks alongside the Old Man’s front lawn, somewhat to the right of centre. Her car’s sidelamps are on, but the wipers are off. I don’t see her leave her car, or return to it.
Mabel Kulak returns to her own car — I don’t notice Master Kulak. With reasonable speed, but not hurrying, she gets ready to depart. The car’s wipers restart, and Mabel drives off — as she does so, either she or Scarlett acknowledges the other with a beep of the horn. Mabel heads past the Old Man’s house, and so does Scarlett shortly thereafter.
At 12:20 the rain is heavy, but it is no longer a downpour. On the far pavement, a woman with a push-chair is heading towards the school. She has a translucent umbrella up, and so does the tiny tot who is inboard and to the rear of her. The tot is wearing a fawn anorak with the hood down, and black leggings.
For a little while, a black 51-registration Okra has been parked alongside the Efords’ house. The female driver gets out, and so does a small boy. She puts the hood of her purple anorak up; he keeps his hood down. She opens the tailgate and takes out a push-chair, then takes a baby out of the offside rear, putting up the baby’s hood as soon as it’s out of the car. (Why doesn’t she put up her own hood while she’s still at the wheel, and the baby’s hood before taking the child out of the car?) Meanwhile, the boy is standing on the pavement, to the nearside of the car. They all head towards the school.
A silver Peugeot parks alongside number 35. The driver gets two children out of the car: a little boy, and a tiny tot who unsurprisingly seems to have no road sense. She takes the tiny tot’s hand and ushers him firmly across the road.
Not long before 12:30, Mrs Oldgreen’s Plum approaches, and parks alongside the Old Man’s garden-gate. The car rolls backwards a little, to reach its final position with the tail overlapping the right-hand pillar of the gate. I notice that the car has a roofrack. Mrs Oldgreen gets out, with her hood down, giving a view of her reddish-brown hair. Her small daughter, also bare-headed, has very curly gold-blonde hair and is wearing a pink coat or anorak. Mother and daughter are both wearing denims. They set off towards the school.
Within five minutes it has stopped raining.
The Okra driver returns with the baby, which she puts in at the offside rear; and the Peugeot driver returns with the tiny tot.