Wednesday 18 July 2012
At 12:22 the burglar alarm somewhere on Acacia Grove has gone off again. It stops ringing at 12:40, but goes off again at 14:07.
At 14:20 an obese woman wearing a pink blouse and black knee-length trousers, and with a black shoulder-bag hanging from her right shoulder, walks past Vinnie’s house and the Thornboroughs’ house. There are two cars parked outside the Old Man’s house: a blue new-model Oignon to the left of the garden-gate, and an orange-red new-model Compass immediately to the right of the gate.
There is a V-registration silver estate car parked alongside number 35. Is it a Mazda? — I’m not sure. A woman crosses the road from the Efords’ drive, gets into the estate car, and departs.
The red Modulo is nose-to-sapling. To the other side of the sapling, facing in the opposite direction, is a grey Okra. The tall man and obese woman exit the Efords’ drive, and get into the Modulo. An older woman wearing a mottled short-sleeve top and blue-grey trousers is at the offside of the car. The man puts an arm round her shoulder, clearly bidding her goodbye. There is no goodbye kiss. The man drives off with the obese woman as the front passenger. At George Street the car turns right.
Sometime after 14:20 the burglar-alarm stops ringing, but goes off again after a few seconds.
At 14:33 a woman with red-gold hair crosses the road from alongside Vinnie’s house, gets into the Compass and drives off. (Her face is slim, and she looks a bit conceited. Her hair is very short at the back but longer at the sides, descending to a point at the front of each side, and with a centre parting.)
A family of three walks past the Old Man’ house and the CJs’ house. They are: a brunette woman of rounded build, quite attractive, wearing a dark dress or top with broad shoulder-straps that leave her shoulders mainly bare, but with a white cotton garment (vest?) underneath that also does not cover her shoulders. Her skin is slightly tanned. The man is wearing a grey top, and his hair is short. He may be younger than the woman. With them is a girl perhaps two years old, wearing a top or dress of pink-and-white-check pattern.
At 14:45 the alarm stops ringing.
It has been a sunny afternoon so far.
Juat after 14:50 a woman is outside the middle entrance, carrying a tiny child against the front of her shoulder. She crosses the road, and puts the child into the nearside rear of a car parked at the kerb. A minute or so later the car departs; it is a silver Rubin, of recent manufacture.
Just before 14:59, Scarlett’s car passes the Old Man’s house. The logical place for her to park is nose-to-sapling, but that stretch of pavement is occupied by a woman aged 35-40, who has two medium-size dogs on leads; one of the dogs, a russet-brown one, is leaping up. Scarlett waits nearby for about 30 seconds — her indicators are not flashing — until the woman and the dogs cross the road. She parks nose-to-sapling, but with her offside rear tyre only just inboard of the kerbstone. She gets out of the car, and Tiny Boy gets out of the offside rear. He is wearing medium-blue denims and a coat or anorak that is dark but not black. Scarlett puts the strap of her handbag over her right shoulder, and lets the bag settle into position. She again seems not to lock the car, even though there is apparently no-one left inside.
While Scarlett is in the school, there is again a gaggle of children and parents alongside the middle entrance. It all somehow has an end-of-term feeling.
At 15:13, the pale blue car reverses out of the Efords’ drive; it has adequate clearance to do so, but not generous clearance. One minute later, Scarlett returns in the company of three boys and a brunette woman who is probably the woman I saw in the front passenger seat of Scarlett’s car at the end of today’s late morning school-run. One of the boys is wearing a long-sleeve blue pullover and dark trousers; his hair is blond. When he reaches a point by the nearside of Scarlett’s car, he jumps up and down excitedly, facing the car. He must be the woman’s son. (Are the woman and her son the same people to whom Scarlett gave a lift months ago? I don’t know.)
Dangling from Scarlett’s left hand is a white plastic carrier-bag with some kind of pattern on it — it isn’t from any well-known supermarket. She briefly rummages in the bag.
All three boys enter the car at the offside rear, Tiny Boy first. I’m not sure whether Small Boy or the other boy gets in next. The offside rear door is closed at 15:15. Then the woman goes round the tail of the car and gets in at the nearside front.
The car reverses a little from the sapling, then departs in the direction of George Street. Just before the car reaches George Street, it noses in to a vacant space on the left, approximately level with the start of the broken white line in the centre of the roadway, close to the kerb and parallel with it. At first I think Scarlett has halted to allow a car to pass in the opposite direction, but when that car has passed by, Scarlett’s car does not move. Its brake-lights are on at first, but when they go off, the car stays put for another 10 seconds at least — and for about 30 seconds in total.
Scarlett’s car moves off again, and at George Street it turns left. The time is now 15:16+. Probably the reason for the unexpected halt was to calm the boys down and get them under control?
The 12-registration silver Ultra has been parked alongside the school-house garden, three-quarters onto the pavement, since early this afternoon. At 17:57, two people walk through the schoolyard to the upper entrance. When they are on the pavement, approaching the nearside of the car, I see that they are women aged 35+. One of them is blonde, with fairly short hair. They get into the driving-seat and front passenger seat, then the car departs, passing the Old Man’s house.