Tuesday 4 June 2013
Early in the morning, the sunlight is streaming through the bathroom and onto the landing, as it was at about this time yesterday.
Mrs Wheeler seems about to park alongside the lower precinct of the school, but doesn’t — she parks alongside number 35, with the nose of her car near number 35’s blue bin. Mrs Wheeler is dressed the same as yesterday; today I notce that she is wearing dark court shoes. Josh is wearing a white baseball cap, a blue shirt with elbow-length sleeves, and dark-grey shorts. He looks gleeful. There is no sign of Maud. After Mrs Wheeler and Josh cross the street, to just above the tail of Mrs Port’s car, they spend a long time stationary, alongside the Efords’ hedge and then again outboard of the Efords’ blue bin. Mrs Wheeler is bent forward, first in left profile and then in right rear profile. She seems to be doing something with Josh’s shirt-buttons, or his waistband (or his fly?). Josh’s backpack is lying flat on the pavement. They set off again, and as always they make for the upper entrance of the school.
The blonde schoolgirl and the brunette schoolgirl, both of whom I saw on the morning of 22 May 2013, walk downhill towards and past the school-house garden. The blonde is inboard.
Mrs FW has parked by the Old Man’s garden-gate and the left-hand side of his front lawn. At the rear of the roof of her car, there is an aerial with a white bobble at its tip. When Mrs FW returns, I see that she is wearing a matt-green sleeveless top, the same shade of green as one of the Old Man’s shirts.
Shortly after 08:40 I hear the recycling lorry somewhere in the vicinity. Esmé has parked alongside the Old Man’s front side lawn.
Vanessa crosses Acacia Grove towards the Old Man’s house.
Scarlett and the boys are walking towards the school, past a jeep parked with its nose alongside the junction-box. They cross the street with Scarlett holding Small Boy’s left hand and Tiny Boy’s right hand. On the far pavement, the boys are half-running, but are also practising martial arts moves — which is something I’ve seen Small Boy do before, but not Tiny Boy. Both of them look quite proficient: especially memorable is Tiny Boy in rear left profile, striking a pose with his right arm raised, bent at the elbow, and his left leg bent at the knee. Scarlett brings up the rear, at a walking pace. They reach the lower entrance, Small Boy first and Scarlett last.
When Scarlett is ascending the far pavement alongside the school-house garden, she is outboard of a rather overweight young woman with neck-length brown hair — very probably dyed. They are chatting, and halt alongside the Efords’ driveway to continue their chat.
When the conversation comes to an end, Scarlett crosses the road and walks to her car, which is parked alongside the hedge of number 8. She is wearing a grey cardigan, and under it a loose-fitting light-colour patterned dress with a lower hemline than the orange dress she wore yesterday — it is very much preferable to that dress. She looks calm but thoughtful.
Scarlett drives off in the direction of George Street, but the recycling lorry is blocking her path, so she performs a three-point turn and heads off in the opposite direction, past the Old Man’s house.
Mrs Pavane’s car has been parked nose uphill alongside the Efords’ house and the house next door, but by the time of the late morning school-run it has gone. Shortly before 11:15 Mrs Fern’s Ultra parks opposite the school, between the upper entrance and the middle entrance.
The brown Origami parks nose downhill where Mrs Pavane’s car was, and just below the nose of Mrs Port’s car.
Vinnie and his partner are on their front garden, crouching down, no doubt doing some gardening. It has been sunny all day, but the sun is now very bright.
Zara parks alongside the house above the Kingdoms’ house, with the tail of her car overlapping the latter. She has departed by about 11:35.
At 12:05, a white minibus departs from alongside the Thornboroughs’ house. There is now a second woman on Vinnie’s front garden — she is a brunette in her forties, who is wearing a pink-patterned top with green straps.
By about 12:43 there is nobody on Vinnie’s front garden. A dark cat lopes across the street, from the lower part of the grass verge alongside the Efords’ house, towards the house opposite.
Number 35’s blue bin is still out on the pavement. Mrs CJ is sitting on her back garden.
Towards 14:20, the Pigeon Lad is descending the pavement opposite the Old Man’s house, with two blue carrier-bags dangling from his right hand. He is wearing a greenish-brown sweatshirt, dark trousers, and shades, but no hat. Then he stops to chat with someone in a gold-coloured Rubin which, on its way up Acacia Grove, has halted by the Old Man’s front side lawn.
I have a brief chat with Mr & Mrs CJ and their grandsons, over the back hedge. Only afterwards do I wonder why the boys aren’t at school.
A black Pantech ascends past the school, turns, and descends to George Street where it turns right after quite a wait. It is Esmé’s car, which unexpectedly bears a personal registration-number.
The sun is still shining brightly, but it has been breezy since late morning.
A brown-and-white cat crosses the street, at a slow trot, towards the upper entrance of the school.
Shortly after 15:00, Scarlett approaches from the direction of George Street, and parks alongside number 33. She makes for the lower entrance, alone.
The Ojays’ car parks alongside the Old Man’s front lawn, part-way onto the pavement. Mrs Oldgreen’s car departs, from a space not far beyond Scarlett’s car.
Scarlett and the boys return to their car, from the direction of the upper entrance of the park, not long before 15:35. The boys, who are a couple of paces behind Scarlett, are wearing white polo-shirts with elbow-length sleeves, but are bare-headed.
Once they are all in the car, Scarlett performs a three-point turn, and drives off towards George Street where she turns right.
I mow the front three lawns. Number 35’s blue bin is where it was earlier, and the blue crate is on the pavement beyond it. By about 18:00, the sky has clouded over but the light is still clear.
At 20:15 or so, Mrs Port has parked her car outside the family’s house. She and Laura are heading indoors. Laura is wearing a light-colour patterned dress; her blonde hair is of neck length. Mrs Port has one or two carrier-bags, which could contain either shopping, or paraphernalia related to a day or an afternoon out.