Wednesday 4 September 2013
Since I arrived at Peakville on Monday, Mrs JG has been driving her father’s car. However, there is no sign of that car first thing today.
It is a warm and sunny morning. As the time approaches 07:55, Mrs Wheeler’s car is parked alongside the lower part of the school-house garden. The nose of the car is close up against a red-and-white traffic-cone. Josh and Maud are approaching the nrd of the car — I imagine that they have wandered off towards the upper entrance of the school, and their mother has called them back. I don’t see any of the Wheelers finally enter the school.
Mrs Wheeler gets back into her car about five minutes later.
Not long after 08:10, a woman is descending the far pavement, accompanied by a girl aged nine or ten with medium-blonde shoulder-length hair, and by a younger boy. The children are wearing dark long trousers, and yellow short-sleeve polo-shirts. There must have been a change to the school uniform for the new school year.
Five or six minutes later, a bulldozer heads towards Cypress Crescent. Was it parked, overnight, opposite the middle entrance of the school?
At 08:39 a woman in a long-sleeve orange top is descending past Vinnie’s house with two boys who are wearing the new uniform. Her hair is quite short, and is dyed red. A minute or so later, Esmé’s car drives past the Old Man’s house and parks alongside the Trimots’ wall. Soon after that, I see Esmé at the nrd. Her older son is nearby, as is the push-chair. Esmé’s hair is now a darkish grey-blonde; she has it arranged in a pony-tail. She is wearing a salmon-pink vest, and denims.
A green Rover parks nose downhill alongside Vinnie’s short hedge, and Mrs Wormwood gets out. Then Vanessa crosses the road, from just beyond the nose of the Rover.
There is a car parked just this side of the upper entrance of the school. It could be the Kulaks’ car. A man who could be Max Kulak gets out via the driver’s door, and opens the ord to let a woman out. I don’t see any children — perhaps because the nearside of the car is hidden from view.
A girl aged about five is skipping (without a rope!) down the pavement opposite the Old Man’s house, with two smaller children behind her. Bringing up the rear are two women side-by-side; the inboard one has a push-chair.
At a few minutes to 09:00 Mrs Wormwood reaches the fpd of the Rover, and gets in. The car departs. The car soon halts at the kerb by number 33, to let a car come uphill. Then Mrs Port’s car departs, and it halts at much the same place to let a different car come uphill.
The driver of the car that I thought might be the Kulaks’ car has just got behind the wheel. When the car departs, I see that it is indeed the Kulaks’ car. It drives past the Old Man’s house. Its engine sounds like a diesel. The car uphill of where the Kulaks’ car was parked is Mrs Daniels’ jeep-MPV. It comes uphill, does a three-point turn, and heads off in the direction of George Street.
At 09:12 Mrs FW parks alongside the lowest part of the school-house garden, then moves to alongside the middle of Vinnie’s long hedge. Miss FW, a little blonde girl, is in the fps. Just downhill of Mrs FW’s car is a silver Compass which has been there for a long time. Its nose just overlaps Vinnie’s garden-gates. The driver of the Compass returns to her car, gazing at her phone. She is dressed in a white vest with horizontal pinstripes, and her black hair is arranged in a pigtail that is loose near the back of the head. Her face suggests that she is Japanese.
At 09:20 a lorry speeds past the school-house garden and sends the red-and-white traffic-cone flying. The cone lands on the pavement alongside the lower part of the school-house garden, with its apex pointing towards the school-house. I think it was sent flying by the slipstream of the lorry, not by an impact.
A black Edial has parked at the kerb alongside the Efords’ house. A mother and two daughters get out; the older girl is on foot, but the younger is carried by her mother. The woman is wearing a loose, white or cream short-sleeve V-neck blouse. The three of them head for the lower entrance of the school, with the older girl inboard of her mother.
Shortly before 09:35 Mrs FW has reached George Street, where she turns right.
The driver of the Edial returns to her car, with the younger girl. The woman is holding the girl’s right hand in her own left hand, while with her right hand she is holding her phone in front of her. She picks the girl up, and lifts her into the car via the ord. When the Edial departs, it turns slowly and it heads slowly towards George Street, where it slowly turns right.
At 09:41 this protracted school-run is over.
The warm, sunny weather continues. Later this morning I see Mrs Pavane’s car opposite the school, more-or-less opposite the lower entrance.
Not long after 11:15, Mr CJ and Amos ascend past the school-house garden. Mr CJ picks up the red-and-white traffic-cone from the pavement, and places it upright on the roadway, hard against the kerb, alongside the school-house path.
Mr OS is walking uphill past the driveway of number 35. He is wearing a red polo-shirt whose sleeves reach almost to his elbows. There is a double white stripe down the outside of each sleeve. With his left hand he carries a black shopping-bag that bears an abstract pattern of white stripes near the top.
Mrs Quirk’s car drives past the school, in the direction of George Street.
Towards 12:25 the minibus is parked on the roadway alongside the hedge of the Thornboroughs’ house. Mrs Kaufman, who is clearly pregnant, gets onto the minibus, then after a short while she gets off with Master Kaufman at her side. She is wearing a white long-sleeve top with horizontal pinstripes, and black leggings. He is wearing a black cycling-helmet, and he is clearly limping. (Does he have to guard against knocks to the head?) Several seconds after mother and son have entered the house via the front door, the minibus departs.
Mrs Kingdom is outside her house, talking with a woman who is on the opposite side of the street from her.
The afternoon school-run begins early: Mrs FW drives up Acacia Grove. A few minutes later I see that she has parked just downhill of Vinnie’s garden-gates. She must have turned, somewhere out of view.
The Kulaks’ car is parking alongside the Efords’ house. As it does so, two women in black strappy tops descend together past the car, accompanied by a little girl.
The Wormwoods’ green Rover parks in their usual spot.
Mabel has got Miss Kulak out via the nrd. She carries the child first at her right front, then at her left front, and finally she hitches the child up. Throughout, Miss Kulak is facing rearward.
Mrs Fern parks her car alongside numbers 29 and 27.
The Ojays’ car parks with its nose to the tail of the Wormwoods’ car — it mounts the kerb quite clumsily. The driver turns out to be Mrs Ojay. She is wearing a white vest-like garment with long tails at the rear, and with a closer-fitting garment underneath. Her trousers are black. She gets the baby out via the nrd, and kisses him.
At 14:58, a blue Ultra has parked alongside number 16. The driver, a blond man aged probably no more than 30, in a yellow hi-vis vest open at the front, is walking towards the school.
Mrs Wormwood returns to her car at about 15:05. Then Mrs Ojay crosses the road, from just downhill of the middle entrance of the school. She is carrying Master Ojay, and Miss Ojay is a few foot behind her.
The driver of the blue Ultra returns to the car with his daughter. She is wearing a yellow blouse and a dark-grey skirt. Her hair seems to be honey-blonde.
Mrs Daniels’ jeep-MPV is parked alongside the house next to the Trimots’ house, with its nose overlapping the Trimots’ wall.
A girl in a yellow blouse or top, and a dark-grey skirt, is ascending the far pavement, trailing behind a woman with grey or white hair who is probably her grandmother.
Between 15:15 and 15:20 Mrs Fern’s car departs downhill. Mrs FW’s car is still here — she doesn’t drive off until 15:22. I don’t see the FWs return to their car.
After the school-run the weather turns intermittently overcast, which is no bad thing given that I want to mow the lawns. I mow all four, finishing before 17:50.