Thursday 12 March 2015
In the morning, I drive to Peakville.
Around 13:00, Mrs CM’s car is parked nose uphill at the kerb by the Old Man’s front side lawn, at the mid-point of the wall.
I take in a long, surprisingly lightweight, parcel for Mr & Mrs CJ.
“There’s only the dog in,” says the delivery man.
“He’s very friendly really,” I reply.
I lean the parcel against the wall, by the kitchen doorway.
Later, I take the parcel round to the CJs. I apologise for not bringing any daffodils from the border: “There aren’t enough.” (Only a few are in full bloom.)
Mrs CJ tells me Vinnie “has passed away”. He died in late February or early March.
We discuss Vinnie’s two long-term relationships, and his children. Mrs CJ tells me that when Vinnie’s wife left him, his mother was sitting outside the house, complaining about it all.
Vinnie must have been about 56.
I notice that Mrs CJ has a new car, a Modulo, but we don’t mention it in our conversation.
At the start of the afternoon school-run, Mrs CM’s car is still where it was at lunchtime.
During the school-run, I see Mrs Tanbrit ascending past the school-house garden, with two other women near her but not close to her. Mrs Tanbrit is smiling. Tessa is inboard of her; there is no sign of Thomas.
At the end of the school-run — just after 15:30 — Vanessa and Virginia ascend past the upper part of the school-house garden. Virginia, inboard of Vanessa, is wearing a white furry bonnet (no bobble) with black dots. She looks to be 10 or 11 years of age. Vanessa is wearing a dark jacket and dark trousers, with a light-blue scarf.
Later I drive to Naomi’s house. Mrs Port’s car is at an angle in the exit of the petrol station, waiting to turn left onto the roadway.
Naomi has managed to solve the problem she was having with the remote control for her TV. It was simply a case of her not pressing the right button.
When I return to the Old Man’s house not long after 16:45, Mrs Port’s car has also returned home; and Mr Briggs’ car is still here.
About twenty-five minutes later, I see Mrs Mustard’s car alongside the upper part of the school-house garden, with its nearside front wheel on the rough pavement uphill of where the sapling used to be.
Soon after that I see Mrs Mustard, carrying the baby who is wearing a white top, at the open nrd. I don’t see a push-chair.
Miss Mustard is also by the nearside of the car; she looks a bit bored. In her left hand she is holding white headphones (at first I take them to be ear-muffs); a red wire is draped round her neck, and hangs at the left and right of her chest. Her blonde hair is arranged in a fringe.
Mrs Mustard puts the baby into the car. She speaks to Miss Mustard, as though to tell her to get a move on. They both go round the tail of the car to the ord, where Mrs Mustard ushers the girl in.
After Mrs Mustard gets behind the wheel, there is a pause for one minute, then she drives off past the Old Man’s house. The time is a little after 17:15.
Why is Mrs Mustard so late today? Perhaps she has taken a job?