Tuesday 17 July 2012
At 14:27 the silver 12-registration Ultra is parked with its nose about three foot below the sapling. Over twenty minutes later, someone is getting something out of the boot. Several minutes after that, a shaven-headed young man cycles past Vinnie’s house, on the pavement.
At about 15:00 a black 53-registration Escargot approaches, and parks with its nearside rear close to the sapling, and with its tail not far from the nose of the Ultra. The car is just a little way onto the pavement.
A minute later, Scarlett’s car ascends the low kerb and parks alongside number 35. She goes round the tail of the car to the nearside rear, opens the door, guides the seatbelt back into the retracted position, lifts Tiny Boy out of the car and carries him resting against her right shoulder — but only for a few seconds, then she lowers him to the pavement. She hitches up the bodice of the dress with horizontal stripes that, as earlier, she is wearing under a pale denim jacket — the jacket is now open, so I can see that the striped garment is a dress rather than a skirt. They cross the road, towards the Efords’ drive. The black Escargot is just downhill of them. While they cross, Scarlett is (unusually) holding Tiny Boy’s right hand in her left hand, but on the far pavement she releases her hold. They descend past the middle entrance — but before they get there, I see some interaction between Scarlett and another woman who is inboard of her. The woman is slim, with a dyed blonde ponytail; she is wearing black trousers and a light-brown jacket.
Then I see the same woman standing at the tail of Scarlett’s car. She opens the tailgate, revealing four or five GigaGroce bags that appear to be full of shopping. The blonde puts something into the offside of the load area, then lowers the tailgate, applying firm downward pressure as it closes. She stands at the offside of the tail of the car, facing the other side of the road, lights a cigarette and smokes it for a while. At 15:07 she puts the cigarette out, and goes round the tail of the car to the front passenger door.
Very soon after that, Scarlett and the boys are on the far pavement. I don’t see the three of them cross the road, but I see them reach the car. Small Boy passes along the nearside of the car and gets in at the nearside rear, while Tiny Boy gets in at the offside rear. Small Boy is wearing a red pullover. He is carrying his blue book-bag (which doesn’t seem to contain much) on his back, held by shoulder-straps. I don’t know what has become of his black anorak.
Scarlett drives off less than a minute after they reach the car, bumping down the kerb. At George Street she turns left after waiting ten seconds or so for the traffic to clear.
I mow three of the four lawns before drizzle sets in — it wasn’t forecast! Mr JG arrives, in the rusty van, while I am mowing the front side lawn. I call “Hello!” to him.
At 17:10 the 12-registration Ultra is still there.