News to tell Mabel

Tuesday 26 February 2013

The Kulaks’ car parks alongside number 35. Less than a minute after it departs, Scarlett’s car takes the vacated parking-space.

After Scarlett has returned to her car and got in, the driver of the silver Peugeot seen yesterday afternoon crosses the road and (in passing) says a few reasonably friendly words to Scarlett. Then the Peugeot driver heads for her own car, which is alongside the middle part of the Old Man’s front lawn.
As Scarlett’s car drives past the school, it seems only about six inches from the right-hand kerb. It moves nearer to the middle of the road, then veers to the left. The offside rear flasher comes on, then goes off. At George Street, apparently without either of the rear flashers coming on, the car turns left.

Towards 09:45, Mrs Pavane’s car is parked at the kerb alongside the Efords’ house, with its nose overlapping the house next door. The car has gone by just after 10:50.

In the late morning school-run, Mrs Fern’s car parks alongside number 31, and Myra parks her car alongside the Old Man’s garden-gate and front side lawn.
The Kulaks’ car parks alongside the junction-box, then Scarlett parks her car at the kerb by the right-hand side of the Old Man’s front lawn. Carrying a grey handbag in one hand, she half-runs across the road to the Kulaks’ car as though she has news to tell, and gets in via the fpd; after some seconds she closes the door from inside. A minute or two later, Scarlett gets out of fpd, and Mabel Kulak gets out of the driver’s door. I hear the women’s voices but cannot make out any of their words. Mabel opens the ord and lifts out Miss Kulak who is dressed in red. Mabel carries her daughter thereafter.
They cross the road, to just downhill of the nose of a black Audi convertible which is alongside the Ports’ house and the house next to the Ports’. Scarlett is to the left of Mabel as they cross the road, but as they walk down to the school she is to Mabel’s right. Mabel is carrying her daughter against her right front. Quite a lot of people are coming and going around the middle entrance. I see Scarlett on the walkway, three or four foot ahead of Mabel.
When they return with the boys, they all cross the road together. I see both boys at the nearside of the Kulaks’ car; the taller boy, in a dark anorak, is Master Kulak. Tiny Boy is wearing a blue-grey bobble-hat with side-flaps each of which has a tie-cord. Then Scarlett and Tiny Boy move on towards Scarlett’s car. In one hand, Scarlett is carrying a sheet of artwork that I haven’t noticed until now.
I hear the burbling of the engine as the car drives off past the Old Man’s house. The Kulaks’ car departs in the direction of George Street.

At about 14:20 the Pigeon Lad, wearing a dark coat and a flat cap of a lighter shade, walks down the pavement opposite the Old Man’s house. He has a blue plastic carrier-bag dangling from each hand; the left-hand bag seems to be full of big boxy items and is not swinging much, whereas the right-hand bag seems to contain smaller, non-boxy items and it is swinging more.

The first car I see on the afternoon school-run is the Wormwoods’. It is parked alongside the Ports’ house. Scarlett parks part-way onto the pavement, alongside Vinnie’s garden-gates and the downhill end of his long hedge. As she makes her way from the car towards the school, there is a woman a couple of paces to the rear of her who bears some resemblance to the driver of the silver Peugeot — but I don’t think it’s her. When Scarlett and the boys return from the school, they cross the road at the Ports’ drive. As they cross, Scarlett is holding Small Boy’s left hand and Tiny Boy’s right hand. Small Boy has the hood of his dark anorak up, but Tiny Boy is bare-headed — his blond hair is bristly. He is smiling. I reflect that he has grown up a lot in 365 days. As they pass by the orc of the white Zero which is parked alongside the junction-box, Small Boy stumbles; he doesn’t fall, but perhaps he would have if Scarlett wasn’t still holding his hand. There are potholes in the roadway, but I don’t think there is one at the spot where Small Boy stumbles.

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