Thanks to everybody who came out to Brent Cross today to meet me and get a Jimmy Coates book signed. I was amazed that so many peolpe came - and it was also a great opportunity to introduce the series to some newcomers.
(And a massive thank you to the staff at WHSmiths as well - great support, much appreciated.)
Brent Cross is an odd shopping centre. I used to go there all the time, but I realised I hadn't been for over a year. The roster of stores stays pretty stable, with a few changes here and there. But the strangest thing is that no matter which shops open up, they're all too small, under-staffed and under-stocked. It's as if the Brent Cross building demands that of every store. I have a lot of sympathy for the staff (especially as I briefly worked at the HMV in Brent Cross - my last 'proper' job: October-December, 1998. I still have the Santa hat. And the nightmares about Mariah Carey and U2.)
Since I saw the Trafford Centre up in Manchester, Brent Cross has appeared more and more like a shrivelled old gnome with liver failure and temporary blindness, who accidentally gave birth to a noble unicorn, which rode up North and founded Paradise.
There'll always be a place in my heart for the old gnome. (But I know where I'd rather shop.)