Tuesday 26 March 2013
At 02:16 there is snow on the roadway by the Old Man’s house, and on parked cars. There doesn’t seem to have been any further snowfall by 05:12.
When I open the kitchen curtains shortly before 06:30, light snow is falling. An hour later the snow is very light, but within a few minutes it is speeding up and is falling at a 45-degree angle. Then only two or three minutes later the sun is trying to come out, although light snow is stlll falling.
On the roadway by Vinnie’s house, there is a patch that is clear of snow; but in the middle of the roadway, and on this side, there is a light covering of snow criss-crossed by tyre-tracks.
At 08:15 the snow has stopped.
Ten minutes later, the Troika Boys descend the far pavement. The middle boy is wearing a blue anorak, and he has a pale-blue bag at his left hip, on a broad pale-blue strap that runs over his right shoulder. The other two boys have smaller, darker bags — at the left hip of the outboard boy and at the right hip of the inboard boy.
The Kulaks’ car parks by the right-hand side of the Old Man’s front lawn. Mabel and Master Kulak get out of the car, and cross towards the Trimots’ driveway. Mabel’s dark hair is arranged in a bun at the upper rear of her head. Master Kulak’s hair seems darker than I remember it.
Mrs Cantor’s car is reversing into a space opposite the school.
Mabel drives off up Acacia Grove.
Scarlett drives past the Old Man’s house and parks alongside number 35. She gets out of the car, wearing a black leather jacket with silvery studs from shoulder to shoulder across the back, and under it a top with horizontal red-and-white stripes. Small Boy gets out of the fpd, and Tiny Boy out of the offside rear. The boys are wearing dark anoraks; Tiny Boy is wearing a bobble-hat, but Scarlett and Small Boy are bare-headed. Tiny Boy is wearing a backpack — I can’t remember ever seeing him with luggage before. The three of them assemble at the car’s offside, and cross the road towards the Efords’ drive. In his right hand, Small Boy is holding both his book-bag and his sandwich-box. On the far pavement — on the ice — they descend to the lower entrance of the school; Scarlett is still holding Tiny Boy’s right hand, as she is when they cross the road.
Esmé parks alongside the left-hand side of the Old Man’s front lawn, overlapping the piller of the garden-gate. There is thick snow on the roof of her Pantech, from the B-post rearwards.
The recycling lorry ascends Acacia Grove with two men in attendance, each equipped with a black bin.
The Wormwoods’ car approaches from the direction of Cypress Crescent, and briefly parks alongside the Efords’ house, but soon departs.
Scarlett returns to her car, in the company of two or three other women. She and two of them halt at the nrc of the car, and chat for half a minute.
She departs, bumping down the kerb, and then driving along the clear tracks on the roadway. At George Street she turns right.
Very shortly after 11:20 the brown Origami parks just this side of the junction-box. A burly man. wearing a multicoloured jacket and a dark woolly hat with a very small bobble, gets out via the driver’s door. He returns from the school with a tiny child — a girl, I think — in a blue anorak and a woollen bonnet with side-strings. In her left hand she has an A3 sheet of white paper with no visible marks on it. She looks excited and delighted. The man ushers her into the offside rear of the car.
Al has parked by the Old Man’s garden-gate and the left-hand side of the front lawn. He is now returning from the school, on the icy pavement alongside the school-house garden, carrying his tiny son against his front; but when they cross the road, the boy is on foot. He hardly seems to be three years old — history repeats itself.
The boy looks very pleased with himself as they finally approach the car. He stands facing the nearside rear; he kicks or flings a little snow against the car, then when his father has opened the nrd, he throws a little snowball against the inside of the window. Al kicks some snow off his own shoe (or boot), against the sidewall of the nearside rear tyre. Then he helps or lifts his son into the car.
Sometime after 14:40, Esmé has parked her car alongside the Old Man’s garden-gate and front side lawn. A few minutes later I see her with the push-chair, walking on the roadway alongside the school-house garden. She moves onto the pavement when she has got approximately as far as the upper entrance of the school.
The Ojays’ car has parked alongside the junction-box. Mr Ojay gets out, wearing a crimson hoodie with the hood up, and over it a quilted black gilet. He lifts a carrycot out of the offside rear of the car.
The driveway and the paved front garden of the Ports’ house are covered with undisturbed snow.
The silver Compass parks with its nose to the tail of the Ojays’ car.
Scarlett’s car approaches from the direction of George Street, pauses, then reverses a couple of yards and mounts the kerb to park nose-to-nose with the Ojays’ car. Scarlett doesn’t get out of the car for another few minutes. Like Esmé, she walks downhill on the far side of the roadway, but she doesn’t move onto the far pavement until she is downhill of the middle entrance.
Meanwhile, Mr Ojay has returned to his car, with his hood down.
When Scarlett returns from the school, alongside the upper part of the school-house garden, she is carrying Tiny Boy. Small Boy is not far behind. When she gets as far as the Efords’ driveway, Scarlett puts Tiny Boy down. They all cross towards the car. Small Boy gets in via the fpd; Tiny Boy stands for a few moments at the nfc of the car. His bobble-hat is mainly black, with white lettering on the front — it’s not the one seen recently. He is wearing his backpack, which is red and blue; it isn’t tall, or especially wide, but it is deep from front to back. He doesn’t seem tired, nor is he being clingy, so I imagine that he wanted to be carried simply because he was worried about slipping on the icy pavement. He walks round the nose of the car, to the driver’s door which Scarlett has just opened. With her right arm she points into the offside rear of the car, indicating to Tiny Boy that he should get in — but she is not gesturing so imperiously as she was on 27 February 2012.
Scarlett departs in the direction of Cypress Crescent.