Friday 1 February 2013
At 07:15 the minibus arrives. It cannot park alongside the Thornboroughs’ house, as the silver Smaragd is parked there, so it parks alongside Vinnie’s garden-gates, then reverses a little way. It departs three minutes later.
The sun is hidden by medium-grey clouds, but there is some blue sky overhead.
At 08:21 Mrs Pavane’s car parks at the kerb alongside the Efords’ house. Mrs Pavane gets out, dressed in a red coat and black trousers. She enters the school via the lower entrance.
A few minutes later, Esmé parks alongside the Old Man’s garden-gate and the left-hand side of the front lawn. She takes Master Essex’s left hand in her right hand, and they walk to the school. Unusually, Esmé’s platinum-blonde hair is loose today, rather than arranged in a ponytail.
Shortly before 08:35, Partner’s Okra parks alongside the junction-box, where Mrs Cantor’s car has been until a minute or so earlier. When he gets out, I see he is dressed in black trousers and a zip-front top — this may be a track-suit. He goes round the tail of the car to the fpd, opens it (eventually with a firm tug to get it fully open), leans in, and lifts Tiny Boy out. Then Partner helps Small Boy out, also via the fpd. I presume that one of the boys must have clambered through from the rear of the passenger compartment to the front.
As they cross the road, Partner is holding Tiny Boy’s left hand in his own right hand. Tiny Boy is nonetheless a step behind Partner, and he is wheeling his right arm round and round — not quite as though bowling; the motion is rather ragged, but continuous, and if it were a bowling action it would be considered fairly round-arm. Tiny Boy is toddle-running, as I think he was when the three of them set off from the car. Partner keeps hold of Tiny Boy’s left hand until they arrive at the middle entrance.
When Partner departs, he heads towards George Street where, just before 08:55, he turns right.
There has been intermittent sun since the early morning school-run. Now, at almost 11:00, the sun comes out and stays out for a quarter of an hour.
The Kulaks’ car has parked with its nose where the sapling used to be. Four minutes later, Mabel Kulak lifts Miss Kulak — a baby in arms, dressed in red — out of the offside rear, and carries her to the school. Mabel returns to the car just before 11:30, with both her children.
Two minutes later, Partner’s Okra approaches quite quickly from the direction of George Street, and parks opposite the middle entrance of the school. After he enters, the sun comes out again. When he and Tiny Boy cross the road to return to the car, Partner is holding Tiny Boy’s right hand in his own left hand. Tiny Boy has a sheet of artwork in his left hand. As earlier this morning he is lagging behind his father, though now by only a foot or so. Both of them go to the offside of the car, and get in — it isn’t clear whether Tiny Boy gets in via the driver’s door or the ord. After they have got in, it is a couple of minutes before the car departs, in the direction of Cypress Crescent.
Towards 14:45 it is fairly bright but not sunny. Esmé has parked alongside numbers 33 and 31. A quarter of an hour later, an 08-registration silver Okra has parked alongside the right-hand side of the Old Man’s front lawn, part-way onto the pavement.
At 15:03 or so, the maroon Multipla arrives from the direction of George Street, and reverses into a parking-space opposite the school. Not long after that, I see a police van has parked nose-to-nose with Mrs Pavane’s car. A few minutes later the police van departs towards George Street, but it soon returns, and parks alongside number 35.
The sun goes in.
Partner’s car noses in to a parking-space some way beyond the Multipla. It subsequently moves off uphill, turns clockwise, and reverses onto the pavement to park alongside the upper entrance of the school. The car departs in the direction of George Street.
At about 15:25 Mrs Oldgreen’s car is half-way onto the pavement alongside the junction-box. I don’t remember seeing it parked there lately. There are still plenty of school-run cars present, and plenty of children making their way up the far pavement, but Mrs Oldgreen’s car is in splendid isolation. After a couple of minutes, Mrs Oldgreen approaches the car; she is wearing a grey thigh-length coat, denims of medium blue, and a hat — not her usual substantial knitted woollen hat, I think, but one somewhat similar. Then her daughter Minnie comes into view. She is wearing a bonnet of some kind, and tights that look to be knitted. Minnie is walking slowly, with an exaggeratedly knock-kneed gait. She gets into the nearside rear of the car.
As the car heads towards George Street, it is fourth in a line of five cars.