Last weekend was our first trip to Birmingham in 2008. Essentially it was all about a family party we had to get to, but we did spend a little time around the city.
I've written about going back to Birmingham before and how it seems strange to return to the city we called home for many, many years.
In fact, looking over the previous posts, I've realised it's all still relevant; go to the Birmingham category first and then back to here.
This time, on returning to it, it was everything we'd felt before but more so. Bigger, noisier, too many people and not very much like home at all. Which is exactly how it should be. After all, Pocklington is our home now and has been for nearly 2 years now. But it's still slightly sad to lose touch with the city you called home for much of your life.
Even worse, for me at least, is the feeling I get when going into Nostalgia & Comics. You have to remember that this place was part of my life for over 20 years. Whether it was as a young child shopping there or growing up whilst working there, it was very important to me all the same. Yet I go into it now and every time it seems like there are fewer and fewer staff I really know working there. Of course, the staff are all very nice but they're not the staff I knew, not my friends, not very much like family, which is what I felt about a lot of previous staff members.
It was still nice to see Dave and everyone, but it's not the same. It's not my Nostalgia & Comics. Not in the same way that it used to be. Even the layout and the stock mix has changed. It's in little things like not really knowing what is on the shelves anymore that really hits hard. Makes me realise I'm not part of it anymore.
There used to be a time when I worked there that I knew 90% or more of everything we had in stock. That was because a big part of my day's work involved sorting the shelves of comics and graphic novels out and making sure we had everything in stock that we needed to. Now I stare at the shelves in blank dismay. There's too much stock available now and it's all stuff that I don't recognise. So each time I go in there I find myself browsing just a small section of the shelves and looking at my small list of things I'm after.
But it's not the same as really being part of the furniture.
Of course, as I sit here enjoying the Pocklington sunshine, looking around outside my window at the quiet surroundings and contemplating going to pick Molly up from Pickering and the prospect of an enjoyable evening ahead of me, none of the above makes me in any way want to live anywhere else.