A sad moment yesterday. While shopping in Brighton with Mrs Mabbsonsea, we noticed that one of my favourite shops, the Animal House, is closing down this weekend.
The Animal House was like going into a zoo. It was stuffed full of toy animals, plus masks, puppets and other animal-related goodies. It was a great source of props for children’s talks and services. Now where will I find a donkey mask to disguise a monkey puppet on Palm Sunday? I don’t like internet shopping – I like going into a shop and browsing and dealing with a real person at the till.
There’s also nostalgia in my sadness. My younger son has loved stuffed toy animals since he was a baby, and the Animal House was like Aladin’s Cave to him. I remember bringing him there on day trips to Brighton when we lived in London. Even as recently as last summer, we had a good long browse in the shop together and then had a milk shake from Shake-away next door. Happy days, no longer available.
There’s some moral point lurking here somewhere, I’m sure. I asked the tiger puppet I bought yesterday at a huge discount if she had any wisdom to share, but she just kept the silence – one reason why stuffed toy animals are such wise, good companions, especially when you’re feeling a bit sad.