This afternoon I locked the door to Chumley and Pepys Secondhand Books at 48 Albert Street, Stratford, for the last time. I put two garbage bags out and handed the keys in to the owners of the building. It was a good feeling. We were ready to move on.
After two months of wretched weather, it was a glorious day. We finally had a taste of Indian summer with the sun shining benignly and the temperature reaching 14 degrees. Cats were enjoying the warmth and squirrels were nervously busy but with a lighter bounce to their hops. The river Avon's water level had been lowered for the winter and the flocks of Canada Geese looked rather perplexed. Yes, it was a good day for closure.
Last Friday, stressed and exhausted, my wife and I were busy with last minute packing of odds and ends. We were removing the contents of an old wooden filing cabinet I had brought with us from Montreal, business files, christmas decorations, old audio cassettes, and junk, when upon opening the second drawer we looked down to see two large wooden numbers, a 4 and an 8, which I had bought long ago and painted the store colours, blue and gold, but had never used on the exterior signage. Last Friday was my 48th birthday. We both smiled at each other and remarked on the coincidence of closing the 48 Albert Street Bookshop on my 48th birthday. We had been so busy, we never thought about it until those wooden numbers played their part. It was a deftly cut jig saw piece that fit right in place.