Old neighbours

Tuesday 17 July 2012

I walk to TeraGroce, and do some shopping. On the way there, I encounter Harry who is heading in the opposite direction. We chat for a few minutes. On the way back, I pass Mr & Mrs Jethro’s car parked at the kerb outside their house.
At 10:30 when I am approaching the Old Man’s house, a roofer’s van is parked outside number 21, and there is a strong smell of tar.

At 10:58, a man who is well into middle-age is conversing with a younger woman just outside the back door of the Goldsteins’ house. The man is bearded; he is more-or-less bald, but what hair he has is grey. It is the Goldsteins’ younger son Milton — Gerry’s younger brother. I haven’t seen him for many years. Could the woman be his daughter?
Mrs Pavane’s car is parked opposite the school, just uphill of the upper entrance. Ahead of the car, in the direction of George Street, is a long stretch of vacant kerb. At 11:08+, a black Ultra parks in the middle of that stretch.
At 11:19 or so, Mrs Parker’s green Escargot approaches, stops alongside the Efords’ grass verge and their drive; then it reverses, mounts the kerb, and finishes tail-to-sapling, three-quarters onto the pavement. A cat, probably the same one as on Monday morning, crosses the road at a moderate pace, with a loping gait, from a little above the upper entrance.
A couple of minutes later, the Efords’ pale blue car has just enough clearance to reverse out of the drive past the nose of the green Escargot. The Efords’ car heads towards George Street.
As the Efords’ car reverses out, Scarlett drives past first the Old Man’s house, then the Escargot, and parks on the far side of the sapling — she doesn’t reverse towards it, and so she leaves a gap to the rear of her car, which is angled in slightly. Beyond Scarlett is a bronze car which has been there for a while.
Scarlett walks towards the middle entrance, while adjusting the position of her handbag and its shoulder-strap. At the entrance, she does not turn in sharply. After she enters, I see her on the walkway. A large number of children and parents are making their way to and from the school.
I see Scarlett returning from the school, but at first don’t see Tiny Boy — perhaps he is behind her. Then I see him walking in front of her. He is wearing his light-coloured anorak, which again is unfastened. She opens the offside rear door of the car to let him in. When he has entered and she leans a little way in, I notice her usual gesture of sweeping her hair back with her left hand. She closes that door, then goes round the tail of the car, opens the nearside rear door and leans in. Perhaps Tiny Boy’s child-seat is at the nearside rear, and she is fastening his straps; or perhaps she is doing something else. Whatever she is doing, it doesn’t take long.
Scarlett departs fairly promptly, at about 11:28. The bronze car is still there, but she does not need to reverse from it. As often, when Scarlett departs she at first goes slowly. She soon tucks in to the left, near Mrs Pavane’s Escargot, to let a car pass in the opposite direction. At George Street she turns left.

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