Tanbrit Ultra

Friday 20 July 2012

At 12:31 Mrs Oldgreen’s car is parked at the kerb alongside the JGs’ house. On the roof-rack of the car, positioned longitudinally, there is a clamshell-type case. Other cars have gathered — for instance the Wormwoods’ estate car, which is half-way onto the pavement with its bonnet alongside the junction-box. It departs about three minutes later.
Somewhere by the school, perhaps near the middle entrance, a tiny tot runs onto the roadway and is snatched back by a young woman, no doubt its mother.
At 12:40 a man is ascending the far pavement. He is wearing glasses; his hair is close-cropped, dark but greying, and it is receding at the temples; his long-sleeve pullover is red, and his trousers are light brown. With him is a girl wearing a purple-pink anorak, hood down, and open at the front to reveal a patterned or polka-dot dress. She is aged perhaps 15 or 18 months. When they reach the Efords’ house, they pause, facing outboard. With thumb and forefinger he picks something up from the grass verge alongside the house. He shows the girl whatever it is that he has picked up — is it a snail?
The silver Fuji is still parked alongside number 33.
At 12:58 Mrs Oldgreen’s car has gone. A black 51-registration Ultra is parked at the kerb alongside number 8 and number 10.

Two women walk up the road. One of them is on the far pavement; she has brown hair, and is pushing a push-chair. The other is ascending past number 35; she has dark hair, she is the better-looking of the two, and she is carrying a baby against the front of her left shoulder. They speak, across the road. The woman with the push-chair crosses to join the other woman. Together they walk towards the Ultra — it becomes clear that the woman who is carrying the baby is the driver. At the car, the woman with the push-chair seems to be trying to fold it, and not to be succeeding. Or is she not trying to fold the push-chair, but rather doing something to the push-chair or to its occupant? Bending forward and crouching down, she shows a little of her bare back, but not as much as Partner did of his, earlier.
At 13:05, the woman with the push-chair is standing on the pavement to the offside of the black Ultra, talking with the other woman who is in the driver’s seat of the car. The driver’s door is open. I don’t see any clear sign that the woman with the push-chair is about to get into the car.
By 13:18 the Ultra has gone, as has the silver Fuji. Whether the woman with the push-chair was eventually given a lift in the black Ultra, I don’t know.
The other black Ultra, which has been alongside number 29 or number 27 since before 08:18, is still there; beyond it are five or six free spaces.
At 13:56 or so, the 12-registration silver Ultra is parked a third of the way onto the pavement, about four foot below the sapling.
I wonder whether Tiny Boy is now at the home of one set of his grandparents, to keep him out of Scarlett’s hair while she packs for the family’s summer holiday.

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