Dorcas and Henry

Friday 19 April 2013

Not long after 16:00 I drive to cousin Naomi’s house, and start sawing up the lopped-off section of tree that has fallen onto her front garden. While I am working, I hear (but cannot see) two people beyond the tall, thick front hedge. One of them, a man, asks: “What’s going on here? Is that you, Naomi?”
“No, I’m her cousin,” I reply.
They enter the garden path.
“Where’ve you gone?” the same man asks.
“I haven’t gone anywhere, I’m behind the hedge.”
We meet on the path, at the end of the hedge that runs alongside it, and I shake hands with both the passers-by. They are Dorcas and Henry, the stepmother and father of Naomi’s old friend Jane. AFAIK this is the first time that I have met either of them.

Naomi has been feeling vertiginous lately — especially on a visit to the post office. She perks up a lot after chatting with me for a while. I agree to look up some information for her on the internet.

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Partner plus three

Friday 19 April 2013

At 07:24, the minibus arrives to pick up Master Kaufman.
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Thomas Tanbrit tries three times

Thursday 18 April 2013

At 05:40 it is even windier than it was yesterday evening. The national and regional weather forecasts on TV predict a windy day.
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The driver of a black Merkur saloon

Wednesday 17 April 2013

At 05:50 or so, there are little grey clouds beyond the far side of Acacia Grove, their undersides reflecting pink light from the sun which is still below the horizon.
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Unprepossessing expression

Tuesday 16 April 2013

Shortly after 04:00, the upper storey of the school is still faintly illuminated as per yesterday evening.
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Esmé, Vanessa, Small Boy’s impatience

Monday 15 April 2013

Esmé’s car descends Acacia Grove on the wrong side of the road, briefly parks by the right-hand side of the Old Man’s front lawn, then moves to park at the kerb alongside Vinnie’s short hedge and garden-gates. Esmé shakes her head as she puts a blue-and-white blanket over the baby in the push-chair. She looks slightly flustered. I don’t see her school-age son.
A woman aged 35 or so, with straw-blonde shoulder-length hair, crosses the road towards the boundary of the Old Man’s front lawn and the CJs’ property, then walks off in the direction of Cypress Crescent. She is wearing tight, royal-blue trousers — possibly made of denim.
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Extended family

Sunday 14 April 2013

At 10:05, from my bedroom, I see Mr CJ outside his garden shed with the CJs’ new dog Amos. To judge by the amount of tail-wagging, Amos is very happy in his new home.
After a dull, rather damp start, the weather is sunny but there is a strong gusty wind. I move the black bin to a sheltered spot at the far end of the rear path.
At about 13:45 I hear Charlie and Karl next door. A quarter of an hour later, their voices have become loud. Eventually the dog barks a few times. “Sit! Sit!” says one of the boys. A couple of minutes later there is more barking. The same boy tries again, several times: “Amos, sit!”
The sky is now overcast.

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Potholes, pond-life, politics

Saturday 13 April 2013

The pothole alongside the first pillar of the CJs’ fence is now big and deep. Next to it, by the right-hand side of the Old Man’s front lawn, is a bigger, shallower, two-part pothole.
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At a very civilised hour

Wednesday 10 April 2013

The Explorer and his father do not set off from home until 09:15. It is clearer than ever that the Explorer has been growing rapidly. He is walking at his father’s right hand, but independently.

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Lion and lamb

It must have been towards the end of March in 1957 or 1958 that I heard Mr Xerxes, the Deceased Lady’s father, say: “March comes in like a lion, and goes out like a lamb.” It was the first time I’d heard that saying.
Mr Xerxes didn’t foresee the weather of March 2013.

[Original posting 31 March 2013]

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