At the risk of being a nosy neighbor or a voyeur…
8:00 am on a Friday:
mom with 4 kids walking toward town center – 6 year old in school uniform leading the group, followed by mom pushing a stroller with an infant AND carrying a 3 year old on her shoulders, with a 4 year old trailing behind
man heading away from town with his beer in hand – a bit early or maybe late?
painter – based on the paint on his clothing and backpack – heading to work
So many!!!! All the uniformed students heading to the school near the abbey – girls in plaid pleated skirts, white shirts with the school crest, many girls with skirts rolled up at the waist to shorten them (but not all), many wearing dark tights or white socks, some with navy blue blazers, boys in navy slacks, white shirts and ties, some with blazers, with school crests on the pocket, most with white socks and some sort of loafer or sneaker, traveling in small groups, a few walking individually with earpods, all with heavy backpacks/bookbags, some with lunch bags, lots of phones in hand, a few riding or pushing bikes
An aside – “public” school means something different here – it means that anyone can attend…if they can afford the tuition. The “ruling” class comes through the public school system here which as David says, contributes to the continued class-based, closed society. He offers that England’s ruling class has little connection to the majority of the people of England because they don’t ever interact or engage with them. There are also tuition-free schools termed “state” schools which receive funding from the government and follow national curriculum. Within the “state” schools there are a variety of other names, formats or focus.
younger children heading to school toward town center – they are wearing blue shorts or pants and white or light blue polo shirts – they are all with an adult
group of 8 men heading toward the carpark or bus with their weekend duffle bags (two with rollers)
family of four heading to the carpark or bus with their massive suitcases
father and young son with a suitcase and an ice chest heading to the carpark or bus
lots of city workers, shopkeepers, etc. carrying plastic shopping bags – maybe with lunch? heading into town
plenty of tourists heading to town center – not sure why so early – coffee?
modes of transportation – foot, scooter, electric scooter, skateboard, bike, car (though there’s no where for the cars to go so I’m not sure where they end up. There is a hotel with a small parking lot and business office at the end of the street. And to clarify – our street is a dead end. It stops where the pedestrian tunnels to go under the roundabout road and into the town center which is why we have so much foot traffic.
David dressed in his navy slacks (patched on the bum), brown loafers, textured navy blue sweater, maroon scarf, cap and maybe no hearing aid as he didn’t hear me call out to him and only a few short minutes later he came back the same way
older man (white hair) wearing shorts walking his two large dogs – or being walked by his two large dogs
group of four 15 year old boys (dressed in gym shorts so not heading to school) standing at the Love Lane sign (with the gin sign) for a selfie
pub owners taking their 3 young girls out the door (they must live above the pub) – at least one to school based on how she was dressed – they just came back. Mom ran upstairs and came back down with a tiny pair of crocs and her car keys in hand. Dad starting the work day putting out the sandwich board adverts (“gin” with an arrow pointing to the pub sign is a favorite) and washing the window sills (he even came and washed our sill which is right above one of his signs. Mom just returned and parked the “Two Sawyers” family car on the sidewalk next to the pub door. Cleaning out the car in preparation for…? They seem to have a coordinated work day. Oooh…delivery of supplies coming in on a pushcart. Dad jumped in the car and is heading out…more supplies? Yesterday there must have been a “Costco” run in the morning because they came home and unloaded a car full of restaurant supplies (food, paper products, cleaning products, etc.)
Those are a few highlights from my hour or window watching. Time to head out for my walk and become a part of the flow!