Monday 9 December 2013
At 07:01 all the windows of the upper storey of the school are brightly lit. The BE is in darkness. Mrs Trimot’s car is reversing off the driveway; Mr Trimot’s car has already gone. Mrs Trimot departs in the direction of Cypress Crescent.
Very late, at 08:11, Mrs Wheeler’s car has parked alongside the upper part of the school-house garden. It departs one minute later. I haven’t seen Mrs Wheeler, Josh or Maud.
Mrs Pavane arrives just before 08:20, and reverses in to park by the uphill end of the Old Man’s front side lawn. The car is tail-to-nose with a black Ultra which has been there for quite a while.
Three minutes later Mrs Oldgreen has parked nose downhill in the space usually occupied by Mrs Port’s car — which was still here when Mrs Wheeler arrived. There is a “Child on Board” sign at the nearside of the rear window of Mrs Oldgreen’s car. A gaggle of parents and children walk past the car; they are on their way to the school. One of the children is a blonde girl whose hair descends to below her shoulder-blades. She is wearing a white woollen coat. When she is by the offside of Mrs Oldgreen’s car, she turns, prancing around, moving her arms like a 1920s flapper. Then she walks on downhill.
The silver-blue Compass parks with its ord and boot alongside the junction-box. A girl and a boy get out via the ord. The girl is wearing a dark-pink anorak and a fluffy black-and-white hat with side-flaps. She is hopping up and down a bit. The family reaches the upper entrance of the school; I glimpse them on the walkway.
A white 63-registration Zero parks nose-to-nose with the Compass. Mrs Wormwood and Miss Wormwood get out of the nearside. (It is a 5-door car.)
Esmé’s car is part-way onto the pavement, alongside number 12.
Not long after 08:45 Mrs FW’s car drives past the Old Man’s house, ascending Acacia Grove. A couple of minutes later, Mrs Daniels’ jeep-MPV also ascends Acacia Grove. Then Vanessa crosses the street towards the Old Man’s house, no doubt on her way back from the school. She looks slim today, in a dark hip-length coat and dark leggings or close-fitting trousers.
A small black-and-white cat ambles uphill, just above the Efords’ driveway.
As the time approaches 08:55 the reversing light of Mrs Oldgreen’s car comes on. The car reverses and departs. Seconds later, the the Wormwoods’ car moves to occupy that space. Then I see Mrs Oldgreen’s car turn right at George Street. After two minutes in its new location, the Wormwoods’ car departs; it turns left at George Street.
The Kulaks’ car is parked about three foot uphill of Vinnie’s garden-gates. At 09:02 Mabel is ascending, alone, past the short hedge. Her hair is dark, or perhaps black, arranged in a bun at the upper rear of her head. She is wearing a dark jacket, part-open, and under it a dark top with a design on the front: a dull-red semicircle above an off-white semicircle. Mabel gets into the car via the driver’s door. A couple of minutes elapse before she departs.
At 09:10 the silver-blue Compass is still here.
While I am loading items into the boot of my car, before driving back to Suburbia Somnolenta, a red car stops alongside the JGs’ house. A blonde woman in her 50s gets out. I don’t recognise her, but I nod a greeting as she heads towards the JGs’ garden-gate. Perhaps she is Mrs JG’s sister?
When I next look, from the kitchen, the red car has gone.