Thursday 5 September 2013
First thing, Mrs Trimot’s little red hatchback is parked by the garden-gate and front side lawn of the Old Man’s house. The Trimots’ drive is vacant; Miss Trimot’s car is absent, and Mr Trimot has presumably set off for work already.
Esmé parks alongside the Old Man’s garden-gate.
The Wormwoods’ car arrives as usual, but performs a three-point turn before parking two or three foot downhill of Vinnie’s driveway. Some time later I see Mrs Wormwood on the pavement, chatting with a couple whose silver Media is parked alongside the Old Man’s front side lawn. Mrs Wormwood is smiling!! — this must be unprecedented.
A couple I recall from last term (a man with grey hair, dressed in a white T-shirt, and a slim younger woman with a light-brown pony-tail, dressed in what is probably a nurse’s green uniform) collect their daughter from school during the late morning school-run. Daughter is wearing a pale anorak or hoodie (hood up, but the garment is unfastened at the front, so that it resembles a cloak), and a grey skirt. The man carries the girl from the time they are about to cross the street, until they are about level with the boundary between the JGs’ house and the GS family’s house. I get to glimpse the sheet of artwork that the girl has produced: it is on a sheet of paper A4 size or larger, and consists of a few big squares of blue and red. If she did it all herself, I’m very impressed.
At 14:32 Mabel Kulak drives past the Old Man’s house. She is pulling a face, as though peering forward to see whether the resurfacing has really been completed. She parks alongside numbers 31 and 29. It is another ten minutes before she crosses the street, towards the school. Miss Kulak, dressed in pink, is toddling one step in front of and just to the right of her mother, who is wearing a white sleeveless top and black trousers. Mabel’s hair is tied up.
A previously-unseen black Citroën van, bearing on its tail-doors the contact details for the Wormwoods’ business, parks in their usual spot. Mr Wormwood, dressed in a red T-shirt and dark trousers, gets out and heads towards the school. There is no sign of Mrs Wormwood.
Mrs Ojay parks her car alongside the Ports’ paved front garden and driveway.
I don’t see the Ojays or the Wormwoods return from the school. The Wormwoods’ van departs seconds after the Ojays’ car.
Several minutes later, I see Mabel Kulak get into her car. A minute or so after that, the black Edial turns, and heads off towards George Street.
It is a little after 15:40 when an older woman in a short-sleeve white blouse walks downhill past the Old Man’s house, accompanied by a boy and a girl. The children’s hair is very blond. The girl, whose hair is in a plait at each side and tied up, is wearing a blue gingham dress. She is scowling — perhaps the sun is in her eyes. The boy, who is wearing a white polo-shirt and black trousers, is carrying a blue football. He trips, but manages to steady himself rather than fall down. They walk on, in the direction of Cypress Crescent.
After the school-run, I clear some undergrowth to the rear of the Old Man’s garage. This includes chopping down some saplings. Also, I pick some blackberries.