Thursday 7 May 2015
As the time approaches 07:50, Mrs Maroon parks her MPV alongside the upper part of the school-house garden. Her two daughters get out via the ord, both wearing red anoraks. The younger girl, who is perhaps six or seven years old, is munching on a white-bread sandwich. She turns clockwise, and walks downhill with the others to the upper entrance of the school.
Thirty-five minutes later, Mrs Oldgreen has parked her car alongside number 35.
Mr Tanbrit descends past Vinnie’s house, with Tessa and Thomas. Tessa, who is about eight years old, looks purposeful and mature. She is wearing medium-grey trousers, and with her right hand she is holding the handle of a schoolbag. When they have crossed to the far pavement, Mr Tanbrit keeps hold of Thomas’s left hand, but Tessa walks free behind her father and brother. Mr Tanbrit is also walking, but Thomas is half-running so as to keep pace with him.
When Mrs Oldgreen drives off towards George Street, Mrs CM has just crossed the street towards her car, which is parked approximately opposite the lower entrance of the school. Facing uphill, she takes a step outboard from her car, then quickly steps back — with a smile — as the Oldgreen car approaches. Mrs Oldgreen, who is travelling at a moderate pace, or a little faster than that, momentarily brakes but then continues towards George Street.
At 14:31 it is sunny. Mrs Pointer’s car has parked alongside number 35; then I see that Mrs Oldgreen’s car has parked just this side of it.
The tree in the Old Man’s garden is swaying gently in the breeze.
At 14:45, Mrs Vest has parked just this side of Mrs Oldgreen. The driver’s door of her car is open a couple of inches.
Mr Lurch, and Mrs PP outboard of him, descend past the Vest, Oldgreen and Pointer cars. Miss PP is wearing a red anorak; with her right hand she is holding a pink-and-white cloth somewhat smaller than a hand-towel but of lightweight material like a woman ‘s scarf. The cloth is blowing in the breeze like a streamer, at the level of Miss PP’s torso.
Belle has parked her Escargot part-way onto the pavement alongside the downhill end of Vinnie’s long hedge. She is behind the wheel, looking at her phone which she is holding in her right hand.
Belle and Blanche walk off towards the school. After waiting a long time for traffic to pass by, they cross the street towards the Efords’ driveway, accompanied by a brunette whom I haven’t previously seen this afternoon — she has with her a pale-complexioned black girl who may well be of the same age as Blanche. On the far side of the street, the girls run ahead with Blanche in the lead on the outboard half of the pavement; she is wearing a mottled-grey anorak, a grey skirt, and knee-length black boots. The black girl turns, to show her mother the green drink-carton that she is holding. She re-ascends a few yards, with a beaming smile as she approaches her mother and then looks up at her.
Blanche is first into the lower entrance of the school; the black girl is second.
Mr Tanbrit carries Thomas across the street towards the Efords’ driveway, holding him at his own left side. Thomas is wearing white-soled trainers with black-and-dark-green uppers.
Mrs PP, and Mr Lurch outboard of her, are returning above the lower entrance of the school. Miss PP is ahead of them. When they pass Vinnie’s house, I notice that Mrs PP looks a bit concerned about something — I don’t think it’s related to Mr Lurch or Master Lurch.
Mrs Fremer, her blonde hair swept back, ascends past the school precinct and the school-house garden. She doesn’t seem to have a child with her, and seems to be talking with a woman near her. Mrs Fremer is perhaps the youngest woman on the school-run. Her compexion is smooth. She looks very cheerful, but rather full of herself.
Then Belle and the brunette are ascending from the school; I now see that the brunette has the same complexion as her daughter. Belle is wearing her “greyback” coat, open at the front to reveal a crew-neck top with a slender white collar and a pattern of broad horizontal stripes coloured very pale brown, and white or pale-yellow — it makes me think of a rugby shirt.
Mrs Oldgreen, and Minnie outboard of her, ascend past the “gap”; they are talking. Then Belle and the other woman do likewise.
Mrs Vest, who is wearing a black jacket (or is it a hip-length coat?) and deep-blue denims, is bringing the children round the nose of her car, to the ord. She is holding Rufus’s left hand and Leah’s right hand. Mrs Vest does not look best pleased. Leah is wearing her usual anorak, plus a pink-and-white knitted bonnet with long tails; she also does not look best pleased.
The Peppers and the black mother and daughter are approaching the Peppers’ Escargot. Sim is wearing the hood of his anorak over his head, with the rest of it hanging down his back. Blanche is wearing her mottled grey anorak. The black family continue past the Escargot. Blanche, with a beaming smile, joyfully runs after the black girl — in fact she does this twice. The second time, I hear Belle call to her: “[Blanche!]”; she calls her daughter’s name twice, plus other words that I can’t catch. Belle is standing in left profile, facing upslope. Sim is already in the offside rear of the car. Blanche returns, and I think she gets into the car via the nrd.
Belle gets behind the wheel. Sim is looking out via the closed offside rear window; at first his gaze is directed outboard, and then directed 45 degrees forward. Throughout, his head is inclined towards his right shoulder. He looks thoroughly bored. His mouth is closed. Belle is looking at her smartphone, using her left thumb to swipe downwards twice, then upwards once.
When I next look, the Peppers’ car has departed. At George Street it turns left.
Mrs Cantor’s car is parked at the boundary of the Old Man’s property and the CJs’ property. The time is now 15:18.
At 16:40 it is still sunny. I go out to trim the grass at the borders of the rockery, and at the base of the wall of the sun-lounge. While outside, I have a chat with Mrs CJ; Mr CJ joins us, Amos also. Mr CJ has had a painful hip for the past year. He is due to have a hospital appointment on 8 June, which should pave the way for a hip replacement operation.
Mr CJ tells me that rain is forecast for 17:00 on Friday.
As the time approaches 19:30 it is still sunny, but some of the clouds — especially those that I can see from the kitchen — are quite dark.