I clumsily stumbled off the train into the frosty, crispy air of Glasgow Central Station after my gruelling nightshift. My feet ached, my eyes were stinging and I was yawing with practically every breath. I couldn’t wait to cut through Thomson Street alley, to avoid the Christmas shopping hysteria in the city centre, get back to my flat, make some hot chocolate and climb into my lumpy old bed.
After buying a black coffee and a new pack of cigarettes, I eventually managed to squirm out of the crowded buzzing station and took the shortcut home. Thomson Street alley was quite wide and cobbled with a few charity shops and a crumbling old café that was in dire need of a facelift. I pulled on my woolly gloves and hugged my arms to my shivering body as I paced down the alley with fresh snow crunching under my warm boots. As I turned at the bend later in the alley, I stopped short to see a brand new shop. I had walked through the winding path only the day before and in the spot where the new shop now stood, there was merely a brick wall. I couldn’t understand how an entire shop could have been built and ready for business overnight. Had I just never noticed it before?
It was a small bookshop, decorated with pale blue paint that was peeling around the edges of the roughcast walls. Vines of flowers crawled up the structure into the guttering, strangling the little cottage. A sign above the glass door in an Old English script read: Ivy Moon Bookshop.