Saturday 7 December 2013
Mr Port’s van has remained by the left-hand side of the Old Man’s front lawn overnight. I notice that it again bears the usual company logo — or perhaps it is a different van from the one he’s been driving recently.
It is a dull, damp morning. Dark-grey cloud-cover is interspersed with lighter cloud. There is no blue sky, and no sunshine.
At 08:36 the sun is glowing beyond two layers of dark cloud, one above the other, to the right of number 35. There is now plenty of blue sky. The sun then comes out properly; but a few minutes later, although the sun is shining, it is raining moderately. For a while afterwards, both the sunshine and the rain are intermittent.
Not long before 11:00 Mr Kaufman’s car exits his driveway and departs up Acacia Grove. Then a white Luton van, which has been parked alongside the Thornboroughs’ house and the house next door, reverses into the same driveway with its hazard flashers flashing. It goes in as far as it can, then comes back out a little, ending up with its bonnet protruding onto the pavement.
It is about 14:00 when I arrive at cousin Naomi’s house. She has recently experienced a series of mishaps, such as forgetting her account number at the newsagent’s, and buying some stamps then leaving them behind and having to be called back for them. The Asian couple who have run the newsagent’s for the past five years are very good; their predecessor was nice, but useless.
Naomi spills her tea laughing at my still being able to remember Mrs Xerxes’ account number at the Co-op.
She tells me that her friend Jen had a husband prior to Davey; he was ill when she married him, and he eventually died.
I give Naomi another massage on her back.
When Naomi and her best friend Jane were girls, Jane wanted to take up dancing, but her parents (especially her father, I think) would not give their permission.
Jane heard about the assassination of President Kennedy when she and a friend were heading uphill to Jane’s house — not from school but from someone else’s house. Naomi now thinks that she also may have been with Jane. The friend that Jane was with was a girl whose surname was Peel; Jane has forgotten the girl’s first name.
Naomi and I discuss films, including The Truman Show and Boudu Sauvé Des Eaux, which we’ve both seen, and one of Busby Berkeley’s films which neither of us has seen.