Thursday 18 April 2013
At 05:40 it is even windier than it was yesterday evening. The national and regional weather forecasts on TV predict a windy day.
Mrs Wheeler’s car has parked alongside number 35. Mrs Wheeler and Josh cross the road from the car; there is no sign of Maud. Josh is wearing a dark grey or black anorak, and Mrs Wheeler a two-tone purple anorak. The car departs a few minutes later, just before 07:45.
Scarlett parks in the same spot where Mrs Wheeler parked almost an hour earlier. She gives Tiny Boy a shove between the shoulder-blades, to propel him across the road; her facial expression suggests that she is none too pleased with him. Small Boy starts to cross after Scarlett, but overtakes her just as she is about to reach the far side.
When Mabel arrives for the late morning school-run, she is wearing a grey woollen poncho and dark trousers. As yesterday, once she has put the children into the car and got in herself, some time elapses before she drives off — but not much more than five minutes today.
Shortly after 12:30, several school-run cars are parked in the vicinity. One of them, its midsection where the sapling used to be, is Mrs FW’s car. Another is Mrs Daniels’ car, alongside the centre-left of the Old Man’s front lawn. Dangling from the driver’s mirror is a tiny doll or gnome, dressed in red.
Twenty minutes later, Mrs Daniels’ car is long gone, but Mrs FW and three other women are talking on the pavement by the nearside of Mrs FW’s car. Mrs FW has her back to the car; another woman is facing her from a few foot away. The third and fourth women are a little uphill of the other two, and mostly facing each other — but all four seem to be conversing together. The third woman, who has dark hair of at least shoulder length (slightly straggly at the ends, like Mabel’s hair today) and is wearing black trousers or leggings, is Mrs Tanbrit. She is accompanied by her tiny son Thomas, who keeps trying to escape uphill. Standing by the nfc of the car, three times she blocks his path. (The first time, she simply shoos him away, and he turns 180 degrees and heads back downhill — at this juncture I wonder whether one of the other women is his mother. Then he tries to get past inboard of her right leg, and finally between her left leg and Mrs FW’s car.) At one point I think she fondles the top of his head with her right hand. Eventually she picks him up, and the fourth woman picks up a tiny girl. Mrs Tanbrit puts Thomas into the nearside rear of the black Ultra which is parked nose downhill alongside the Efords’ house.
Mrs FW’s car departs in the direction of George Street.
That car-alarm or house-alarm has been screeching for an hour or more.
At about 14:30, Mr CJ and Amos are on their back garden, near the open door of the shed.
A little after 14:45, the Wormwoods’ car has parked with its nose alongside the junction-box. Mrs Wormwood returns with Miss Wormwood who is wearing a red top and a grey pinafore-dress. Miss Wormwood has her usual anorak, but her mother is carrying it.
When the Wormwoods’ car departs, the maroon Maladroit seems about to replace it, but doesn’t. The car moves off, then stops in the middle of the roadway alongside the school — and that’s the last I see of it.
Scarlett and the boys return from the school, walking past Vinnie’s house towards their car which is parked alongside number 6. Small Boy is in the lead by a few paces — he seems more energetic than Tiny Boy who brings up the rear, a pace or two behind his mother, and is silent. Small Boy’s olive anorak is open at the front and is hanging off both shoulders.
I mow the three front lawns, and while I am doing the front side lawn (second of the three) I have a brief chat with Harry who is passing by — probably on his way to the corner shop.
By 17:30, after I finish mowing, it is raining. It is still rather wet fifty minutes or so later, but at 19:30 the sky is largely clear and the roadway and pavements are becoming dry.