Friday 20 July 2012
At 07:30 Mr Port’s van is on the drive, stationary but with the reversing lights on, for at least a minute. The van reverses off the drive, past the nose of Mrs Port’s silver Ultra which is parked at the kerb, and heads towards George Street.
At 07:40 a Mercedes C-class approaches, and parks at the boundary between the school-house garden and the precinct of the school. There is a big splash of water as it moves from the roadway onto the pavement; it ends up with the inboard sidewall of the offside front tyre almost touching the kerbstone. Two minutes later the Mercedes departs, but before it does so, a black Zero parks above it. After a couple of minutes, the Zero has gone. Minutes later another black Zero parks in much the same position as the first one; by 07:58 it too has gone.
The rain is now quite heavy, as I realise when I look at the flat roof of the JGs’ garage.
At 08:18 a pale blue Peugeot and a black (57-registration?) Media approach; they both perform a U-turn and park — the Peugeot opposite the school, behind a Mini which arrived from the direction of Cypress Crescent and still has its tail-lights on — the Mini is angled out and seems ready to depart. There are some vacant spaces uphill of the Mini and Peugeot, and above those spaces there is a black Ultra alongside number 29 or number 27. The Mini now departs, allowing the Peugeot to move forward and take its place. The Media at first halts below the sapling, but when the Peugeot takes the place of the Mini, the Media moves to where the Peugeot was. At 08:21, a silver Boxcar, whose lights are off, has parked half-way onto the pavement alongside the lower part of the school-house garden. The Media’s tail-lights are still on.
At 08:24 I espy Partner’s car half-way onto the pavement beyond the sapling. Then I see Scarlett’s car nose-to-sapling. His car is half-way onto the pavement, and hers a little further on. After a short pause, Scarlett gets out of her car; she is wearing a light-coloured jacket (perhaps off-white), but despite the rain she doesn’t have an umbrella. She goes to the offside rear door of Partner’s car, and gets in.
It is not until a minute or two after 08:30 that anyone gets out of Partner’s car. Partner gets out of the driver’s door, and other people get out of the offside rear — including a medium-size person (probably female, too short to be Scarlett) in a white top or jacket who could be Scarlett’s friend seen on Wednesday 18 July. Visibility is so bad that I cannot identify Scarlett or the boys. No-one seems to get out of the nearside of the car. Partner is wearing a dark coat or anorak; neither he nor anyone else from his car seems to have an umbrella.
There is a tremendous crowd of people waiting at and above the middle entrance. I see in the crowd an umbrella with alternate blue and white segments. Shortly after 08:35 the crowd stirs, and then I see people passing along the walkway, and the segmented umbrella doing likewise. At the far right of the walkway I glimpse someone in a white upper garment, who could be the person who got out of Partner’s car.
Mrs Parker’s car is occupying one of the spaces that Scarlett often uses, alongside number 35.
Shortly after 08:40 Mr & Mrs Ojay’s pale blue 03-registration Escargot passes the Old Man’s house for the third time this school-run! The driver still can’t find a parking-space.
A little before 08:42 Scarlett is walking up the far pavement towards her car. She unlocks the driver’s door, and gets in. The car reverses briefly from the sapling; but Scarlett cannot go anywhere, owing to horrendous traffic congestion — the worst I have ever seen hereabouts. One small light-coloured hatchback has to reverse a long way, from just uphill of Scarlett’s car, so as to resolve an impasse. It is not clear why so many cars and MPVs, some of them big, should be driving past the school from the direction of George Street. Perhaps there is a blockage elsewhere? Scarlett’s car stays where it is, reversing light off but brake-lights on, for some while.
At 08:44+, Scarlett’s car reverses again — it is not clear why. She doesn’t depart at once, but is soon heading towards George Street where after a very brief wait she turns left at 08:45.
At 08:50 or so, Partner’s car has gone.
By a little after 08:54 the rain has eased off, but is still falling steadily.