Sad times. The local toy shop is closing. 10 minutes walk away, in the heart of a small community town, the two-room towering shelves of near-fictional childish delight are to be no more. Buildings and landlords be what they may, change has many forms and we must accept the fortune we have enjoyed so far.
I wonder how my kids will remember this place. Kneeling down to their height, the piles of entertainment feel so much more magical. All the events and play tables that they have visited here. The pocket money converted into distractions effortlessly. The sheer menu of games, forming a bond between myself and them. How can I explain changes brought on by economics to them? They don't care about that.
I think back to toy shops of my youth which no longer exist. Toy Knight Rider cars. Playmobil sets. Everything larger than life. I saved up pennies to get a car which flipped over to perform stunts. Got bigger boxes when I reached the right hand edge of a reward chart. Gazed at Matchbox cars through the windowed desk of a newsagent.
Will the toy shop exist for the same way in my sons' minds? Will those memories be more real than the dilapidated building that remains in its place?