Thursday 3 October 2013
At 07:35 it is dull and misty. Rain is forecast for later today.
A minute or two before 08:10 the minibus is parked alongside the driveways of the Thornboroughs’ house and Vinnie’s house. Mr Kaufman descends, backwards, from his front door towards the minibus, holding both of Master Kaufman’s hands. After the minibus departs, Mr Kaufman returns to his front door, alone. (The bus-driver has remained at the wheel throughout.)
Mrs Oldgreen’s car approaches from the direction of George Street, and passes the Old Man’s house.
The Kulaks’ car parks alongside number 35. Max and Master Kulak cross the street towards a narrow gap between two cars.
Mrs Daniels parks her car by the right-hand side of the Old Man’s front lawn, with the nearside rear wheel a long way from the kerb.
As the time approaches 08:55, Max drives off past the Old Man’s house. Then a green car, probably Mrs Fern’s, descends towards George Street.
Mrs Daniels returns to her car, a minute or so before 09:00.
I now see that Mrs Pavane has parked opposite the school, not far short of George Street.
The mist has cleared to some extent.
Towards the end of the late morning school-run, an old man in a flat cap takes a little boy across the street to where their car is parked; it is the little red VW with the black tailgate. At George Street the VW turns left.
Shortly after 11:50 I see number 6’s green bin — which has been standing with its hinges towards the front-garden wall — being emptied by the garden waste collectors.
Mrs Port comes out to her car, alone, and drives off. At George Street she turns left.
At 14:30 it has started raining. A woman with red-brown dyed hair descends past the Old Man’s house, carrying a little, light-coloured package in front of her. She makes for the Kingdoms’ house.
Five minutes later, Esmé parks opposite the middle entrance of the school. The car’s rear lights stay on.
The black Edial is parked alongside number 31.
Mrs Fern parks her car nose-to-tail with Esmé’s car.
Mrs FW parks alongside the upper part of the school-house garden.
The Wormwoods’ white Ultra rolls downhill past Vinnie’s long hedge, part-way onto the pavement, and parks alongside the junction-box.
Vinnie’s partner exits the garden-gates with the family dog on a lead, and walks off downhill.
The Ojays’ car drives past the Old Man’s house and parks alongside the Ports’ house.
The Tanbrits’ black Ultra has parked, nose uphill, by the middle of the Old Man’s front lawn. A grey Media is immediately uphill of it. Mrs Tanbrit is at the ord of her car. She is wearing a white long-sleeve crew-neck top, and denims of medium-to-pale blue. She has a black umbrella, which looks too small and a bit ruinous. Mrs Tanbrit and Thomas walk towards Vinnie’s short hedge. Thomas is wearing a multicoloured hoodie or lightweight anorak. On the pavement alongside the short hedge, Mrs Tanbrit bends forward in rear right-hand profile, and gives Thomas’s face — especially his mouth and cheeks — a good scrub. Thomas is in front left-hand profile. He looks up at his mother, asking her something. She puts his hood up (in one movement, with one hand), hoists him onto her right hip (more to the front of her hip than to the rear), and carries him downhill. They reach a point beyond the nose of the Wormwoods’ car, and and cross towards the lower part of the Ports’ driveway.
The rain is heavier now. By about 15:05, the raindrops are quite noisy.
A woman with a big “Legal & General”-style segmented umbrella, and a child inboard of her who has a little translucent umbrella, walk uphill past Vinnie’s house.
Between 15:11 and 15:12, I notice that the Tanbrits’ Ultra has its lights on, and the wipers are in action. After a pause, the car drives off up Acacia Grove.
Mrs Fern’s car departs in the direction of George Street, and another car plugs the gap it leaves. Esmé’s car has already gone, unseen.
Mrs FW’s car has the driver’s door open; then I see the driver’s door has closed. The car is stationary, but with its lights and wipers on. It performs a three-point turn, and heads towards George Street.
Towards 15:19 Vinnie’s partner and the dog — both of them wet — enter the garden-gates.
By about 15:25 the rain has eased. Five or six minutes later the rain is getting a bit noisy again.
Three young teenage boys descend past Vinnie’s house. The one at the front has the hood of his anorak up; the two at the rear, a couple of paces behind him, are bare-headed and are in the uniform blazer of Coasting Comprehensive.
At 15:37 the rain is quiet once more.
Shortly after 16:30 a black 51-registration Ultra descends past the Old Man’s house, and turns left at George Street. I can’t tell whether it is the Tanbrits’ car.
At 16:55 or so, in the living-room, I can hear the rain beating against the sun-lounge window.
A few minutes after 17:00 the rain gets heavier. Mr CJ, with Amos inboard, ascends the far pavement. He is wearing dark trousers and a yellow (hi-vis?) anorak.
Shortly after 21:00, a big Audi estate car is parked nose uphill alongside the Trimots’ house, with its interior light on. A young woman (or so I think!) is at the wheel, and a thirtyish man is the front passenger. She is talking a lot, and makes numerous hand-gestures, but she doesn’t wave her arms. She seems to want to persuade him of something. He is largely impassive, sometimes looking forward rather than at her. She doesn’t always look at him. At 21:13 the conversation is continuing, but at 21:15 the car is in darkness — then the interior light comes on again and the two people get out of the car. The person who gets out via the driver’s door is a man — I can hardly believe it, as the gestures of the person at the wheel were so feminine. The two of them start chatting with the two men who currently live at the house adjoining the Trimots’ house. Then those two men disappear, and the people from the Audi chat with a third young man who has something of the salesman about him. He is standing with his back to the house. The driver of the Audi has a big bag slung over his right shoulder.
At 21:23 the conversation is continuing, but at 21:29 the Audi and all the people have gone.