Monday 28 January 2013
At 07:15 the pavement that leads down to the school seems to be covered with frost. Half an hour later I see frost in some dark potholes in the roadway, and on the front lawn and front side lawn of the Old Man’s house.
At 08:12 there is frost on the pavement alongside Vinnie’s long hedge and his garden-gates. Another two minutes, and the sun is peeking out to the left of Vinnie’s chimney-stack. Several minutes after that, Mrs Pavane’s car parks at the kerb alongside the Old Man’s garden-gate and front side lawn.
Scarlett and Tiny Boy have crossed the road, walking over the grass verge on the far side. Once they are on the pavement, after a few steps she lets go of his hand. He pauses briefly, then runs forward with arms wide, towards the third of the concrete fence-posts that demarcate the boundary of the school-house garden. I think he is going to embrace the fence-post, but he doesn’t, he just gets very close to it. He turns to face Scarlett, who bends forward towards him, probably to have a word with him.
Small Boy meanwhile has run on ahead. Tiny Boy starts to run after him. Scarlett never exceeds walking pace. The boys wait outside the lower entrance until Scarlett arrives, then they all enter — Tiny Boy first, Small Boy second, Scarlett last.
There are still accumulations of snow: on the pavement alongside the school, to just below the upper entrance; on the grass verge alongside the Efords’ house; on the paved front garden of the Ports’ house; and on the pavement alongside the Trimots’ house, the Kingdoms’ house and (here just a narrow strip of snow) the house above. In the front garden of number 33, there is an estate agent’s board.
Not long before 11:20, the Kulaks’ car arrives, and parks alongside number 27 or number 25. The silver Stetech parks two spaces further downhill, and the brown Origami parks with its nose just above where sapling used to be. Mrs Cantor’s car is parked alongside the downhill end of the school-house garden.
Al’s green car is parked at the kerb, partly alongside the Efords’ house and partly alongside the house above. When he returns to the car, he has with him a teeny boy in a blue anorak.
The afternoon school-run starts windy and rather wet.
Scarlett’s car approaches from the direction of George Street, and parks alongside number 35, its nose some way from the nose of a blue-black 52-registration Media. The rain is becoming heavier. Tiny Boy, when he gets out of the car, seems subdued — perhaps an effect of the rain. He and Scarlett walk steadily to the lower entrance of the school.
When Small Boy returns to the car, he is wearing the same pale-yellow wellies that he was wearing this morning, and he is carrying his blue book-bag in his left hand.
There are still some accumulations of snow that haven’t yet been washed away: a little one against the wall of the school, and two little heaps to the left of the CJs’ garden-gate. The latter are the remnants of the big heap that was there.