Awkward gait

Tuesday 17 July 2012

At 07:53 the sun comes out.
Just after 08:15 Mr Kaufman’s cabriolet exits his drivway. At George Street it turns right. A minute later, three boys walk down the far pavement. All of them are wearing blue tops that most likely are pullovers — the outboard boy has the sleeves of his top furled up. The middle boy has a black backpack.
Mrs Parker’s Escargot is nose-to-sapling, two-thirds of the way onto the pavement, shortly after 08:30. Her son is wearing a blue pullover and a red polo-shirt.
Then Scarlett’s car passes the Old Man’s house and parks alongside number 35. The car’s offside rear tyre is almost touching the kerb, and the nearside rear tyre is almost at the inboard edge of one of the inspection-hatches. The Kulaks’ car parks to the rear of Scarlett’s car.

When Scarlett gets out of the car at 08:35, she has her phone to her left ear, and clearly is conducting a conversation. Small Boy gets out of the offside rear; Scarlett opens the nearside rear door and lets Tiny Boy out. Tiny Boy is wearing his light-coloured anorak, open at the front to reveal a pale blue pullover and possibly a white shirt (or is the white in the pattern of his pullover?). They all cross the road, reaching the far side just downhill of Mrs Parker’s car and of the sapling. I now notice that Small Boy is wearing his dark anorak with the hood up, even though it isn’t raining.
Scarlett’s ankle-length skirt, white with slender horizontal dark stripes, restricts the length of her stride as she walks down the far pavement. At first, Small Boy is in the lead, running with a hip-rotating gait that I’ve seen other children adopt — is this something they are imitating from a children’s TV programme? — and Tiny Boy is at the rear. But by the time they reach the middle entrance, Tiny Boy is in the lead, and he darts off — sharp right — into the entrance. Small Boy enters last.
When I see Scarlett above the middle entrance, heading back to her car — she has been in the school for not far short of fifteen minutes — her facial expression bespeaks quite a contented mood. She crosses the road below number 35, and walks up to her car. While she has been away, the silver 03-registration Media has parked to the rear of her, where the Kulaks’ similar car was earlier but leaving a gap that is a good deal more generous. Once she is in her car, there is a pause for a minute or so. Then her brake-lights come on, and perhaps twenty seconds later her reversing-light. She reverses from the tree, then moves forward to descend the kerb. At George Street she turns left.

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