Growing maturity

Tuesday 2 October 2012

This morning, I see the Explorer and his father (but not his mother) setting off from home for the day. The Explorer is on his microscooter. Presumably he can now be trusted not to zoom off.

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Four or five children

Sunday 30 September 2012

Mrs Scalene introduces me to her grandchildren Mark and Claire. Although Claire is 3 and Mark is 5, she is almost as tall as he is. Mark recently lost a front tooth when he knocked it or fell on it. Mrs Scalene confirms that Claire enjoys watching Peppa Pig. “It’s rubbish,” she comments.
I get to know Kelvin, who has three sons: Robbie aged about 7, Luca who is 5, and Angus whom I don’t meet.

[Original posting 30 September 2013]

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Sirius, sandwiches, smartphone

Saturday 29 September 2012

At about 05:20 the sky is clear. Sirius and Orion are visible.
Ten minutes later, I draw my bedroom curtains. Mr JG is in his kitchen, standing near the window and leaning forward slightly in front right profile — so more likely to be doing something at the work-top than at the sink. I suppose he is preparing breakfast or a packed lunch.

When I get back to Suburbia Somnolenta, the Explorer and his mother are outdoors. She is helping him to take a photo using her smartphone.

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Colours in the rain

Friday 28 September 2012

The black coupé has arrived outside the upper entrance before 07:30. I reflect that 07:30 to 17:30 is a long day for small children.
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TV, teapot, tablets and bananas

Wednesday 26 September 2012

In line with what we have arranged, I call on cousin Naomi this afternoon. On arrival, I tell her that I’ve just heard on the car radio that Andy Williams has died.
I have been expecting to do a bit of hedge-clipping, but that job has already been done by Davey, the husband of Naomi’s friend Jen. He has been having problems with his hip.
Naomi’s TV has still not been repaired. The importer has not yet decided whether it will repair the set free of charge — it was just a couple of days out of guarantee.
Recently, Naomi scalded her hand when making a pot of tea — the shock made her drop the teapot onto the floor, and it broke.
She is taking tablets to deal with her potassium deficiency, and for the same reason she has also started eating bananas. I expected the tablets to be little ones in a blister-pack, but she shows me a cardboard box containing several plastic tubes of big tablets (think of Steradent) that have to be dissolved in water. The result is a fizzy drink that she doesn’t like, but nonetheless does manage to swallow.
Again she tells me that the “Earl of Oxford” theory is complete nonsense.

When I return from Naomi’s, the traffic-lights are on red at the crossroads where I turn left into George Street. While I wait for the lights to turn to green, the Kulaks’ car approaches on Club Court Avenue, and turns left, to head in the direction from which I have come. I don’t see who is in the car.

[Original posting 26 September 2013]

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Fern Honda

Wednesday 26 September 2012

It is a dull and damp morning. At 06:51, some of the left-hand set of windows in the upper storey of the school are lit up, as though by a lamp set low in the room.
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It might as well rain, this is September

Monday 24 September 2012

It is raining when the cars begin to arrive for the early morning school-run.
Mr JG’s van drives off not long before 08:00.

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Boldness pays off

Sunday 23 September 2012

I arrive at the Old Man’s house earlier than I originally planned, in the hope of mowing the lawns before it starts to rain.
While I am unloading the car, a man on a mobility-scooter passes by, on the near pavement.
About half-way through mowing the big front lawn, I feel a droplet or two on my skin. I take the risk of continuing, and the rain holds off.
While I am mowing the side lawn, nearer to the garage than to the house, Scarlett’s car drives past, in the direction of the corner shop. Mr JG’s van is parked alongside the front side lawn, so I see the car first to the right of the van and then to its left. As soon as I see the car, I am in no doubt that it is hers, but I look at the registration-number to confirm the car’s identity. The time is just approaching 14:00. I don’t know whether Scarlett has driven past the school; nor do I see who is in the car.
The hydrangea-bush in the school-house garden is now about four foot across. It seems untended; but someone has mown the school-house lawn. On that lawn, nearer to the pavement than to the hydrangea-bush, there is a black rubbish-bin.
While mowing the back lawn, I breathe in the fresh clean smell of the CJs’ bedsheets and of the other items that are hanging from the CJs’ washing-lines.
Later that afternoon, from about 17:15, it begins to rain. By 18:00, the rain is only light.

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Conversation, 1967

Shortly after the pound sterling was devalued in 1967, the Old Man said to the Deceased Lady and myself:
“In this country, we’re enjoying a standard of living that we’re not earning.”

Some things have changed, but…

[Original posting 20 September 2013]

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Two generations

Saturday 15 September 2012

When I return from shopping this morning, outside Mr & Mrs CH’s house I see first a woman I take to be the Explorer’s grandmother, and shortly after that the Explorer himself. The grandmother is talking on her mobile phone, in Italian. She is a little stooped. The Explorer is on his bike, wearing a helmet. Afterwards they play together with a toy train that they pull along with a string.

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