Thursday 6 September 2012
At 06:53, all four windows in the BE are still shut.
At 07:42, a grey Bonsai has parked four or five foot below the sapling. An electric blue Ultra now parks below the Bonsai; the tails of the two cars are not far apart. Shortly after 07:55, both cars have gone.
The Kulaks’ car parks three-quarters onto the pavement alongside number 35. The time is now 08:15. A couple of minutes later, Mrs Pavane’s Escargot turns left out of George Street, and parks opposite the middle entrance. A woman crosses the road towards the school, from near the Escargot — I can’t be certain that she is Mrs Pavane.
So far, it has been a quiet day. A few pedestrians have descended the far pavement towards the school, and three children have descended the near pavement.
At 08:27, the nearside front door of the Kulaks’ car is open; then I see it has closed again, but the nearside front window is open and a small boy in a blue pullover is leaning out of it. I suppose he’s just testing the boundaries.
A red 61-registration Peugeot MPV parks ineptly at the kerb, with its nose alongside the junction-box. The driver, a black man, gets out and inspects the nearside rear wheel for any damage. Then he ushers a small black girl out of the nearside of the car, and they walk off towards the school. Scarlett parks to the rear of the Peugeot, part-way onto the pavement, with the tail of her car just overlapping Vinnie’s garden-gates. The time is shortly after 08:35.
Scarlett is wearing a white strappy top, and darkish blue close-fitting denims. As she gets out of the driver’s door, a silver Media (the Kulaks’?) is ascending past. Scarlett waves to the driver in a slightly exaggerated way, and tells the boys (Tiny Boy at least must still be in the car) to wave also.
Both nearside doors of Scarlett’s car are now open. Small Boy has got out of the front, and Tiny Boy out of the rear — he is a bit slow making his exit, but I don’t see Scarlett help him out.
They all set off for school, with Scarlett and Tiny Boy in the lead, and Small Boy at the rear. Small Boy is carrying his blue book-bag and translucent red sandwich-box. When they cross the road towards the Efords’ drive, I think Scarlett is holding Tiny Boy’s left hand in her right hand; Small Boy is still slightly behind them. On the far pavement, Tiny Boy is let loose: he darts round the back of his mother, to be outboard of her, and then he runs ahead. Both boys are wearing blue pullovers and dark trousers; Small Boy’s trousers are baggy, just like Tiny Boy’s. Small Boy is running less quickly than his brother.
Tiny Boy enters the lower entrance first, at a run. Scarlett, as she often does, maintains a little distance between herself and the wall of the school as she walks down to the lower entrance; she enters second. Small Boy has halted at or near the middle entrance; he is facing the gate and seems to be looking at it — I don’t know why. Then he runs off downhill, a couple of seconds before Scarlett enters the lower entrance. He enters third. Both boys turn in sharply as they enter.
The Wormwoods’ estate car approaches from the direction of George Street, and ascends to just past Scarlett’s car. It then bumps up the kerb on that side of the road, and reverses towards Scarlett’s car.
At 08:55 Scarlett is stepping off the pavement just beyond the nose of her car, about to get in at the driver’s door. When she drives off, she has to stop almost immediately, as a black MPV is in her way — the MPV is waiting to let another car pass in the opposite direction. It is shortly after 08:56 when Scarlett turns right at George Street.
Shortly before 11:18, the Kulaks’ car parks at the kerb alongside number 35. Mabel Kulak, dressed in a long dark jacket and pale-blue denims, lifts the baby out of the nearside rear. The baby is dressed in a green top and pink tights. Mabel then opens the fpd and puts something (a child-seat?) into the car. With the baby in her arms, Mabel sets off for the school.
Three or four minutes later, Scarlett has parked just onto the grass verge alongside the Efords’ house. She must have come from the direction of George Street. I don’t see her leave the car.
By 11:25 or so, there is a gaggle of adults waiting outside the lower entrance. A couple of minutes later, Scarlett and two boys are approaching Scarlett’s car. The boys are wearing blue pullovers. It soon becomes clear that one of the boys must be with some other adult — Scarlett is now with Tiny Boy only. Tiny Boy is at Scarlett’s left hand, walking. In her right hand Scarlett has an A4 sheet of white paper, no doubt artwork. She opens the car’s offside rear door (not, as I am expecting, the nearside rear door) to let Tiny Boy in. I now see that she is wearing shades. She is talking with Mabel Kulak who has also returned from the school, and seems already to have put Master Kulak and Miss Kulak (the baby) into her car. Scarlett waves to Mabel with her right hand — not the windscreen-wiper-wave of earlier this morning, but a gentle flapping up and down — and then closes the offside rear door. She gets in via the driver’s door, still holding Tiny Boy’s artwork in her hand.
Scarlett drives off past the Old Man’s house, disappearing from view just after 11:29. The car’s nearside rear seat is vacant.
At 14:19, the 12-registration silver Ultra is parked a few foot downhill of the sapling.
At 14:46, cars are gathering for the afternoon school-run. The Wormwoods’ estate car is one-third onto the pavement, its nose level with the junction-box. A quarter of an hour later, Scarlett’s car is parked immediately beyond the Wormwoods’. Scarlett gets out, and opens the offside rear door to let Tiny Boy out. She lifts him out (Tiny Boy is facing towards the Old Man’s house; I now see that he is wearing white trainers; he still has his blue pullover on) and carries him across the road, supported on the crook of her right arm. It appears from her gait that she finds him to be quite a weight, though I wouldn’t say she was struggling. They cross towards the Efords’ drive. Scarlett lowers Tiny Boy to the pavement, and they walk down to the school. Tiny Boy is lagging a bit, and Scarlett turns anticlockwise about 120 degrees to look back at him. When they reach the lower entrance, they wait outside for a few minutes, in a small group of people.
At 15:06, Mrs Wormwood who is wearing a pale-blue top and black trousers, and Miss Wormwood who is wearing a red cardigan, have reached their car. Mrs Wormwood is obese, though her daughter is not. Mr Wormwood, as far as I know, has stayed in the driving-seat throughout. The car departs in the direction of George Street.
At 15:13, Scarlett is ascending the far pavement with Small Boy at her right hand and Tiny Boy at her left hand. They cross towards their car from the Efords’ drive. At the car, Scarlett spends a few seconds saying something, cheerfully, to a rather plump young woman with purple-brown hair who is passing by on the pavement, heading away from the school and pushing a push-chair. The other woman seems to be on good terms with Scarlett, but does not pause. At least two children are accompanying her on foot.
Small Boy has taken off his pullover, to reveal a white short-sleeve polo-shirt. Tiny Boy has kept his pullover on. Small Boy is still at Scarlett’s right hand and Tiny Boy at her left. Scarlett ushers both boys (Tiny Boy first; I see Small Boy’s blue book-bag and translucent red sandwich-box) into the car, via the nearside rear door. Then she opens the offside rear door and leans in, presumably to fasten Tiny Boy’s straps. She returns to the nearside, then walks round the tail of the car and gets in at the driver’s door. There is a short pause, then the reversing light comes on. The car reverses a short distance, then moves forward. At George Street it turns left, disappearing soon after 15:15.
At 16:10, Mrs Pavane’s Escargot has gone, unseen.
I mow the back lawn later in the afternoon, having mown the front three lawns on Monday.
[Original posting 6 September 2013]