Monday 9 July 2012
At 08:25, Mrs Pavane’s car approaches, attempts a U-turn — but it has to reverse from the kerb at Vinnie’s house — and parks alongside number 33.
Six or seven minutes later, Mrs Parker’s green Escargot is half-way onto the pavement with its nose right up against the sapling. Mrs Parker gets the push-chair out of the boot, the baby out of the nearside rear, and a small boy out of (I think) the offside rear.
The Kulaks’ silver car parks part-way onto the pavement alongside number 35.
Just after 08:35, Scarlett’s car passes the Old Man’s house. Scarlett cannot park in any of her more usual spots (Vinnie’s, number 35, nose-to-sapling) and so she parks close to the kerb — there is a grass verge, onto which she doesn’t encroach — alongside the Efords’ house. The paintwork of the car’s tailgate and nearside flank looks even grimier than usual.
Scarlett gets out, dressed in a denim jacket, a short black skirt, and black leggings. Tiny Boy gets out of the offside rear, and, after quite a delay, Small Boy also gets out of the offside rear. I notice that the car’s nearside rear window is open an inch or two. While Scarlett and Tiny Boy are waiting for Small Boy to get out, Tiny Boy stands on the pavement beyond the ofc of the car, outboard of the Efords’ drive. He looks cheerful. Tiny Boy is dressed in a light-coloured anorak which is fastened, and pale blue denims. Small Boy is dressed in dark clothes, and he is carrying his blue book-bag. All three of them set off for the school. At one point, below the upper entrance, the boys are falling behind their mother but they are all moving briskly. They all turn sharp right into the middle entrance.
Scarlett returns not long after 08:50. She ascends the far pavement, with her phone held in her right hand against her right ear, hair swept aside, and her head inclined slightly forward as though she is trying to absorb some unexpected information. She gets into her car. There is a pause; no doubt she is finishing her phone-call. Then she moves off slowly in reverse, straightening up the front wheels which were pointing towards the kerb when the car was parked; she stops, and waits to let a car go downhill past her; reverses further, so that her offside rear wheel encroaches about a foot onto the pavement outboard of the driveway of the neighbouring house. I am expecting her to depart in the direction from which she came, but instead she turns, and heads off towards Cypress Crescent. Her manoeuvring has taken about a minute.
While Scarlett is at the school, Mrs Parker’s car departs and is replaced by a maroon-bronze Ultra.
On the school-run this morning there are half-a-dozen people with umbrellas up; Scarlett doesn’t deploy one, and she and her boys are all bare-headed.