Yes, that’s that then.
After over three year the Odd Glass Shop at the Emporium on the
Downs (formerly Trader's Outlet or No 16 or Waterloo Mill) is no more. The corner where I
painted my glass (surrounded by all manner of mess) is empty, my shelves are
broken down and stored in my dining room, my remaining stock boxed and stacked
in the lounge upstairs.
It’s a strange feeling not turning up for glass painting business each morning; I’d often do six days a week. I wasn’t busy, except at Christmas, but it was a way to pass the time and of course I am nothing without my routine.
I've no idea how many businesses set up and closed down over the three years I was there, but it must have been hundreds. Bike shops, jewellers, hairdressers, gifts, interior designers, pet supplies, ladies fashions, gents accessories, a florist, beauticians, vintage this and vintage that, bric-a-brac, cup cakes, artists, craft supplies, even a masseuse (wink, wink).
The traders themselves were a strange mixture of dreamers, entrepreneurs, rogues, lazy good-for-nothings, and talented creatives with a smattering of egotistical maniacs and the odd nutter or two. I’ll leave you to decide which pigeonhole I fit into.
The owners were of course a different kettle of fish altogether and a little fishy to boot. They were capable of some of the most incompetent and bad businesslike actions I've ever witnessed. Still, it takes all sorts and ultimately they gave me a place to develop my funny little business so (in true Bob Cratchit fashion) I thank them for that.
I shall miss my shop, I think I was there longer than any of the others in the end, but as the saying goes – as one door closes another door opens and I’m off to new premises next month to do it all again.