Tuesday 16 April 2013
Shortly after 04:00, the upper storey of the school is still faintly illuminated as per yesterday evening.
It is a damp start to the day.
Scarlett parks this side of a Nova which is alongside number 35. When she and the boys cross the road, Small Boy is holding Tiny Boy’s right hand in his own left hand — have I ever seen them hand-in-hand before? Scarlett is holding Small Boy’s right hand in her left hand.
Just before 08:40, Vanessa crosses the road and heads off in the direction of Cypress Crescent. Then the Wormwoods’ car parks this side of Scarlett’s car.
A black bin that is alongside the school-house has toppled over, revealing a dark bin-bag resting on the inner surface of the lid, with a darker bag beyond it in the bin. Today is collection-day.
By the start of the late morning school-run, the bin-men have not yet arrived. The brown Origami arrives, and parks with its nose where the sapling used to be. The driver, a man with grey-white hair and of stocky build, rights the bin and pushes it no more than a foot inboard, onto the school-house garden. Then he picks up the dark bin-bag which has fallen out, and puts it into the bin.
Mabel Kulak, carrying her baby daughter, crosses the road towards the school. Her car is parked alongside number 24.
Mrs TR ascends past Vinnie’s house. Her tiny blonde daughter, who is wearing a red cardigan, is outboard of her. They are walking slowly, but not holding hands.
A cushioned woman, with purple-red dyed hair whose natural black colour is clear to see, ascends past number 35. (I saw her descending earlier.) She is dressed in a plain grey T-shirt and dark trousers. At each side she has a tiny girl hand-in-hand with her. The outboard girl is wearing a backpack, but the woman is carrying the blue-fronted backpack of the inboard girl. They all walk off in the direction of Cypress Crescent.
After the school-run is over, I first hear and then see the bin-lorry.
From about noon, for a couple of hours at least, a car-alarm or house-alarm has been screeching. Is it somewhere beyond the CJs’ house?
At 14:20 or so, a woman comes out of number 12 (or 10?). Her blonde hair is arranged in a ponytail, and she is wearing a tight strappy top of patterned light-brown material. She retrieves her black bin.
A blue Rubin drives past the Old Man’s house. There is nowhere for it to park, so it goes round the block. When it returns, there is still nowhere to park. It moves away in the direction of Cypress Crescent.
The gusty wind continues to make quite a noise, but the weather is still sunny.
Scarlett’s car does the same as the blue Rubin, but when it returns from its trip round the block, it parks alongside the Thornboroughs’ hedge. Scarlett and Tiny Boy walk from there to the school.
As Scarlett and Tiny Boy pass Vinnie’s long hedge and garden-gates, I notice that Tiny Boy’s hair is rather spiky, and that he looks a bit miffed. I reflect on how much he has grown and matured. Not long ago, I was surprised he was at school; now I’m surprised he’s not yet full-time.
When Scarlett and the boys return, Small Boy is in the lead as they reach Vinnie’s garden-gates. It might be a bit unkind to say that on this occasion Small Boy’s facial expression looks “well ‘ard” — but there is nothing soft or gentle about it. How old is he? Seven? Seven-and-a-half? His olive anorak, open at the front, is hanging half off his shoulders, especially the left shoulder, thus revealing his blue pullover. Tiny Boy then says something to Scarlett, who (in response, it seems — perhaps Tiny Boy has made a complaint against his brother) reaches out and puts her hand onto Small Boy’s right shoulder.
Tonight, the upper storey of the school is in darkness.