As a child I loved Woolworths.
I confess to wandering around and around the pick and mix island scouring the wooden parquet floor for fallen booty, which I would quickly and joyfully snaffle up as I threaded my small frame between adult legs. I loved equally the thrill of legitimately choosing a bag of your own sweets. The power, choice, influence and sheer excitement was palpable. I had a number of toys from Woolworths, including a favourite teddy bear, called Button Nose; I recall he cost sixpence (old money).
Once I became a teenager and adult I never shopped there. Their stores became more modern, but somehow drab, soulless sheds with a random array of merchandise, hard to locate and often cheap and tacky. Woolworths closed subsequently.
The news today that BHS is closing reminded me of the loss of Woolworths.
It reminds me too of mourning the loss of a capability, a passion, a dream.
In a coaching session today, my client said several times ‘in my youth I used to do that…’, ‘when I was younger I would have…’. I noticed how they were reflecting on a loss of a way of being. A freedom and spirit once enjoyed had been lost to the drudgery of work and earning an income. Mourning the loss of an unused love, perhaps?
Where was the excitement of a pick and mix visit?
Where is the love of a childhood teddy bear?