Between the Tick and the Tock
The city of Gloucester, is an old city and a dirty city. Even its most modern buildings are old and dirty. It is a neglected city; neglected by its council, neglected by its citizens who prefer the bright clean streets of Cheltenham. Even the railways and main roads prefer to pass the city by. It is a city built on a river but it is a city which turns its back on its river, preferring instead to focus upon its canal; an old stretch of once busy but now stagnant water.
In the city, there is a street which exists in the shadow the cathedral. It is a side street, not a busy street and not many people know about it. It is, however, a street filled with shops, unusual shops, shops in which you can buy almost anything you might need.
There is a shoe shop, in fact there are two shoe shops. One at either end of the street. The strange thing is, you can buy a pair of shoes at one shop and later return them to the other shop. The two shops are run by different people but the arrangement works well, for people will often buy their shoes in one shop only to return them when no longer needed at the other.
There is a cake shop where you can buy a cake to celebrate almost any occasion. The people of Gloucester who frequent this street, feel that celebrating occasions is important in life and they will visit the cake shop regularly to buy cake to celebrate birthdays, weddings, funerals, retirement, coming of age, religious dates and, even, the odd ‘end of week do’… not necessarily in that order, of course.
The strangest shop in the street is the watch shop. It is strange because it is never open. Or that is how it seems to the passer-by but, in fact, the door will always be opened to anyone who rings its bell. You just have to call at the right time; the time you need a watch.