Thursday 6 December 2012
A clear, cold morning. First thing, there is a big MPV (a Volvo?) with frost on its roof, parked to the left of the Old Man’s garden-gate.
At 08:24, Mrs Pavane’s car is parked alongside the Old Man’s front lawn, its nose just overlapping the garden-gate. To its right, there is a grey Media.
Between 08:30 and 08:35, a silver Okra parks alongside number 35, fully on the pavement; then Mrs Cantor’s car parks at the kerb to this side of the Okra.
A couple of minutes later, Scarlett’s car parks with its nose close to the tail of Mrs Cantor’s car.
On my way back from shopping at TeraGroce, I see on the pavement of Metroland Avenue an A3 sheet of white paper, with a line-drawing printed on it (a princess, and other outlines), no doubt intended for colouring-in.
When I arrive at the Old Man’s house, there is no noise of children in the school playground. I imagine that the children are kept indoors during cold weather such as we have today, even though it is dry and there is no wind.
The Kulaks’ car is the first car that I notice on the late morning school-run, at just after 11:08. It is parked nose-to-sapling. Mabel Kulak carries Miss Kulak down to the school.
Scarlett parks alongside number 35. She crosses the road, unhurriedly, to the grass verge alongside the Efords’ house. She keeps her distance from the wall of the school until she is nearly at the middle entrance, then she veers inboard and enters. On the walkway, there are two people ahead of her; all three of them are stationary. She seems to have a brief chat with an adult (Mabel Kulak?) who is exiting. Soon she disappears from view.
When she exits the school, Tiny Boy is at her left hand. As usual, he looks content. Scarlett passes by the Kulaks’ car and quickly chats with Mabel (both she and the woman exiting on the walkway are wearing a red upper garment). Scarlett has in her hand what appears to be two sheets of paper (one large, one small) stapled together, like the “All about your child” document.
She and Tiny Boy cross the road, to their car, from just uphill of the tail of the Kulaks’ car. Tiny Boy gets in at the driver’s door. In the car, mother and son seem to be holding a conversation. Tiny Boy puts the stapled-together papers onto the top of the dashboard in front of him. Then the papers have vanished from there.
At 14:33 the sky is overcast, the light is dull, and there is the odd spot of sleet on the window. Mrs Pavane’s car is still where it was at 08:24 — I can see stuffed toys on the middle of the back seat.
Several minutes later, Esmé’s Pantech is parked at the kerb alongside the Efords’ house. Then the Wormwoods’ car parks in its usual spot.
It has suddenly become quite breezy.
A silver 53-registration Compass, which I often see on the school-run, parks beyond the Wormwoods’ car.
A grey Okra estate attempts to reverse into a parking-space opposite the lower entrance of the school — but the space isn’t quite big enough. The Okra turns left at George Street, and it must then go round the block; it parks to the rear of the Wormwoods’ car, but a few minutes later it has moved to alongside the Trimots’ house and the house next door. (Another car, after the Okra, tries and fails to park in the space opposite the middle entrance.)
Esmé returns to the Pantech, with her son. Less than a minute afterwards, I see that the Wormwoods’ car has gone.
Not long after 15:15, the Kellners’ car is parked at the kerb, about four foot to the rear of Mrs Pavane’s Escargot. It has its headlamps on, and its wipers are on intermittent. The weather is now wet, cold and windy. A few minutes later, the Kellners’ car drives off up Acacia Grove. I haven’t seen anyone get into the car.
When the school-run is just about over, Mrs Daniels’ MPV passes the Old Man’s house and parks at the kerb alongside the Efords’ house. The MPV has gone a little after 15:55, as has Mrs Pavane’s car.