Three Escargots

Wednesday 18 July 2012

At 08:08, the cat crosses the road, from the middle entrance this time. It goes straight across, at a loping run.
The sky is overcast.
A few minutes later, a black Escargot parks alongside number 29. At the offside of the rear screen, there is a green-on-white probationer-plate.

Several minutes after that, the familiar three boys walk down the far pavement, in the same positions as yesterday. The inboard boy has a black duffel-bag on his back, with the strap over one shoulder.
At 08:22 or so, a boy and his younger sister (inboard of him) are descending the far pavement. The boy’s dark anorak is hanging off his right shoulder, revealing his red pullover. The girl is wearing a pink-and-white gingham dress, whose short sleeves have white cuffs; a dark anorak is slung over her right shoulder. It is clear that the boy is teasing or insulting her.
At 08:25, Mrs Pavane’s car approaches, performs a U-turn, and parks outside number 33. Meanwhile, a mother and child have crossed the road towards the school, from the black Escargot.
At 08:31 or so, Mrs Parker’s green Escargot has already mounted the pavement alongside Vinnie’s house; it finishes its manoeuvre with its rear half alongside the junction-box. When the Parker family heads off to the school, I see that Master Parker is carrying a red stuffed toy under his right arm. It looks like an anthropomorphic animal — perhaps a bear, perhaps a rabbit. Then, shortly before 08:35, a van bearing the logo of RunFlat Remoulds — a local tyre-depot — parks to the rear of the green Escargot. (Is this the “tyre-van” that I saw on 16 July, during the early morning school-run?)
The sky is still dull, but the temperature is mild.
At 08:35 Scarlett’s car passes the Old Man’s house, parks beyond the sapling (ascending the high kerb at roughly a 45-degree angle), then goes further forward and straightens up. The vehicle parked ahead moves off, and Scarlett finishes alongside the lower part of the school-house garden, well onto the pavement. Both boys get out of the offside rear — Tiny Boy enthusiastically jumps out. Small Boy is wearing a red long-sleeve top or pullover, and Tiny Boy a light-coloured top or anorak.
Small Boy is the first one through the middle entrance of the school, and Tiny Boy is, I think, the last. I glimpse Scarlett on the walkway. There is quite a gaggle of children on the pavement outside the middle entrance.
It is nearly fifteen minutes later that I see Scarlett walking up the pavement towards her car. She is dressed in a denim jacket, a black skirt that is short but not tight, and black leggings. As often, she has a couple of papers in her left hand; she unlocks the driver’s door with the key in her right hand.
When Scarlett departs, she descends the kerb with a bump, moves forward, then has to reverse (still at an angle) to let a silver car pass in the opposite direction. As she approaches George Street, she shapes up as though to turn left — but then she indicates right and turns right.
Between 09:35 and 10:10 I mow the back lawn. The rain holds off.

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