Possibly the strangest thing for me on going back to Birmingham for the first time since we moved away to Yorkshire in October 2006 was setting foot in Nostalgia & Comics again.
I walked into the place on Saturday not knowing what to expect. But I really shouldn't have worried, it genuinely felt like I hadn't been away. Which in itself was a strange feeling, somewhat disconcerting really. I knew that I no longer really had a place in the shop but it's almost as if my mind isn't fully prepared to give it up completely. Maybe I'll be better to just think of the shop in itself as an old friend that deserves a visit every time I'm around?
But everything was how I remembered it. Indeed it was hard sometimes as I walked round the shopfloor to avoid starting to tidy the shelves and make sure all the books I thought should be on display had proper prominence like I used to.
It was nice to have a good look along the shelves again and pick up a few things while I was there. And bless them all - Rich, Tara and Dave had spent a while getting a care package together of things for me to have a look at:
Pride of Baghdad, Spirit, Newuniversal, the new Shazam by Jeff Smith, Criminal and more.
(Reviews are coming eventually, give me time to read them!)
Of course, no trip to Nostalgia & Comics would really be complete for me without a trip to the basement. Of course this time I'd had the foresight to bring a camera down to actually illustrate some of the things I'd talked about on the blog. A tiny bit of me was quite put out by how tidy and organised the place was. I suppose deep down I thought only I could sort the damn place out properly. Still, I can always hold onto the idea that I'd done all the hard work and set the place up properly so it's not that difficult to keep it looking good! (Yeah sure, whatever makes it easier to let go - you sad, sad man!)
And Molly came down as well, just to be nosey as always. She's perfectly at home in Nostalgia & Comics and has enjoyed coming in for years. In fact she's still slightly ticked off that her Saturday job that we've all been promising her for as long as she's been coming into the shop is looking a bit unlikely now.
In the first picture you came see the long aisles of dexion full of overflowing toys that just wont fit into comic boxes properly (Thanks Todd bloody McFarlane)
And in the second picture, with Molly carefully providing a sense of scale you see what we came up with for all those toys and dolls that just refused to go in any size of box.
So not as difficult as I thought it might be to return. But still sad to think that one day I might actually not feel at home in the old place.
Later on that day Louise and I stopped off to have a last look at our old road and our old house in Birmingham. I'm not quite sure what it means apart from the obvious fact that I have a strange set of values but I felt less sadness and loss over our old house than I did when I stood on the shopfloor at Nostalgia & Comics with the realisation that it wasn't an integral part of my life anymore.
Strange. And possibly a little sad as well.