Monday 17 December 2012
At 08:14 the sun is rising behind the crest of the roof of number 35.
Shortly afterwards, Mrs Port spends a long time leaning in at the open nrd of her Ultra. Laura, dressed in a red anorak and pink tights, is to the right of her mother, close to the trailing edge of the door-aperture and facing the car. In Laura’s right hand is a doll or small soft toy, which she is waving to and fro. Then Mrs Port lifts Laura into the nearside rear of the car. Soon she gets behind the wheel, performs a three-point turn, and drives off past the Old Man’s house.
Two 5-door Novas are parked alongside the front lawn of the Old Man’s house, a red one to the left which has been there since 08:02, and a grey one to the right which has just arrived. From the grey Nova, a mother and daughter cross the road towards the house below the Kingdoms’ house. The mother is wearing a dark anorak; the girl, who is aged 4 or 5, is wearing a red anorak. Both of them have the anorak-hood up, and the girl is additionally sheltering under a pink umbrella.
Al and Myra’s green car parks with its nose about five foot below the sapling. Eight minutes later it departs, passing the Old Man’s house.
The driver of the grey Nova crosses Acacia Grove to reach her car. In one hand she is carrying a furled pink umbrella. It is now 08:35.
There are not many cars on the school-run this morning.
Scarlett drives past the Old Man’s house. She seems to be in a hurry, and veers to the right at some pace, to park nose-to-sapling. Small Boy gets out of the ord, followed by a boy of much the same size who is wearing a glossy, bright-yellow anorak. (I’ve seen him before, and have speculated that he may be a cousin of the boys.) Small Boy is wearing a floppy Santa hat. Finally Tiny Boy gets out, with his customary air of slight bemusement. Small Boy and Other Boy have marshalled themselves alongside the nose of the car, with Small Boy outboard. They now run off towards the school. Tiny Boy runs after them; Scarlett brings up the rear, trotting. They all descend to the lower entrance, where Other Boy enters first, then Small Boy. Tiny Boy twice veers outboard while running, and then returns to mid-pavement. He enters third, and Scarlett last.
The wire fence is illuminated by the sun; but not long after that, I see raindrops on the window. A car is parked alongside the junction-box, with a boy standing to the nearside of it. He wipes his hands over his hair, and grimaces as though his hair is wet.
When Scarlett has returned to her car, she talks briefly but amicably with a woman whom I recognise, thanks to her short dark hair, as someone I have seen on previous school-runs.
In the late morning school-run, Al and Myra’s car parks a little further below the sapling than it did in the earlier school-run. Al gets out of the driver’s door, and Myra out of the fpd. By the look of them, Al is approaching 35 and Myra is about 30. Scarlett’s car parks with its tail to the nose of their car, i.e. alongside the sapling.
After Scarlett and Tiny Boy have returned to their car and got in, the Kulaks’ car approaches, heading towards George Street. It pauses alongside Scarlett’s car. Scarlett and whoever is driving the Kulaks’ car must be having a brief chat — when the Kulaks’ car moves off, I see that the driver’s window of Scarlett’s car is fully open and Scarlett is waving to the other driver in a “Tiny Boy, let’s wave” style. She then drives off past the Old Man’s house.
Just before 14:40 a fire-engine is heading in the direction of George Street, unhurriedly. A few minutes later, the Wormwoods’ car reaches in its usual parking-spot. Ten minutes after that, the Ojays’ car first parks to the rear of the Wormwoods’ car, then moves to park alongside the middle part of the Old Man’s front lawn. Mr Ojay is the driver. Scarlett’s car parks tail-to-tail with the Wormwoods’ car. Mrs Wormwood returns, with Miss Wormwood who is wearing a bright-green anorak.
When Scarlett returns with her boys, Small Boy is no longer wearing his Santa hat. Other Boy is not with them. A mother and son walk past Scarlett’s car, and Scarlett briefly chats with them.