Friday 20 July 2012
At 14:29 the sun is threatening to come out.
At 14:44 the black 02-registration Umbria parks alongside number 31. The driver, a slim dark-haired woman in trousers, gets out, opens the tailgate, and takes out of the boot a big orange plastic bag with something in it. She closes the tailgate, opens the offside rear door, and leans in with the bag — it is not clear why. A minute later she closes that door, and — carrying the bag — walks to the kerb, at which point I lose sight of her. Then I see the driver’s door being closed. There is no-one in sight at the car, which stays where it is.
A dark 53-registration Okra is parked alongside number 33. For some time, a little car of yellowish colour has been parked beyond the 12-registration silver Ultra. A grey 05-registration Boxcar parks alongside the sapling, with its offside rear wheel on the kerb, and its nose a few foot from the nose of the 12-registration Ultra.
A black, T-registration Ultra is parked right against the kerb alongside the Efords’ grass verge. The driver, a blonde with a short ponytail, wearing red trousers and a long red coat that is flapping open, walks off towards the school. The time is now 14:56.
Esmé walks down the far pavement with a tiny girl at her right hand.
At a couple of minutes before 15:00, Partner has parked half-way onto the pavement, about two foot further along than where he parked for the late morning school-run, and parallel to the kerb rather than angled slightly in. He gets out of the car about two minutes later. I notice that his jacket has no hood, and that the back of its collar readily turns up. When he gets out of the driver’s door, he lifts Tiny Boy out with him. Tiny Boy is wearing a dark coat or anorak, light-brown trousers, and white lace-up trainers. He looks sleepy, so perhaps his nap has been interrupted again. (Is he really old enough to be at school even part-time?) His legs aren’t dangling, they are tucked up against his body. Partner carries Tiny Boy against the front of his right shoulder; Tiny Boy’s right hand is resting against Partner’s left shoulder or the left side of his neck. They cross the road, probably towards the Efords’ drive. Still carrying Tiny Boy, Partner descends the far pavement. He veers towards the grass verge alongside the school, and stays near to it. Is he heading for the middle entrance or the lower entrance?
A light-coloured car is parked at the kerb to the rear of the Okra — is it a pale blue Boxcar?
Shortly after 15:07 I see Partner, Small Boy and Tiny Boy approaching the nearside front of the Okra. As when Partner and Tiny Boy leave the car just before 15:00, I don’t see the flashers flash. Small Boy is wearing a red pullover with a black anorak over it. Small Boy gets in at the nearside front, probably opening and certainly closing the door by himself. Partner gets Tiny Boy in at the nearside rear, and closes the door. He goes round the tail of the car, to the driver’s door, gets in, and closes the door. The time is now 15:08. At woman is putting a baby-in-arms in at the offside rear of the silver Ultra.
Only one minute later do the car’s brake-lights come on. They briefly go off after half a minute, then they come on again. Partner drives off without reversing from the tree. He bumps down the kerb with the brake-lights on, and they stay on for a couple of seconds thereafter. He drives at no great pace — a rather Scarlett-like pace, in fact. His positioning on the roadway is very similar to what it was at the end of the late morning school-run. The car ahead of him has to wait before it can turn in to George Street. As that car is on the point of moving, I see that the offside rear indicator of Partner’s car is flashing. After a wait on his own account of 15 seconds or so, Partner turns right, but the car has not quite straightened up from the turn when it halts for some reason. Then the car moves off again, and disappears from view not long before 15:11.
At 15:15, a somewhat chubby woman, with neck-length hair dyed a colour that I don’t know whether to call purple, red or brown, is ascending the far pavement with three young girls ahead of her. Tucked under the woman’s right arm is an off-white (or grubby?) fluffy stuffed toy, probably a bear, which is at least a foot tall.
The silver Ultra has gone at 15:26, and its place has been taken by a silver new-type Mégane which now reverses (from a vehicle downhill of it?), and departs in the direction of George Street.
There was nothing explicitly end-of-termish about today. Certainly no dressing-up AFAICS.
Not long after 16:04 a cat, whose fur is mainly black but which has some white fur on its legs, crosses the road at a fast walk from the Efords’ drive towards the house opposite.
Shortly before 16:45 a quad-bike burbles its way past the school. It has come from the direction of Cypress Crescent.
A final thought occurs to me this evening: could Scarlett, or Partner, or some of the other parents, be former pupils of Acacia Primary?