Rolling dereliction

Just as the bus gets to the outskirts of town there is a short row of buildings, some of which are shops. In the 23 years I’ve been in this city one has not changed (amazingly), one of the others has changed twice and the other 5 or 6 seem to change almost yearly. I noticed that on the way in so while wandering I looked a bit more closely at shops. Apart from obvious rebuilding and what I think would be normal ‘turnover’ of premises there was nothing odd. I went down another street (I wasn’t exploring – there was a shop I wanted to check anyway) and again I saw the same effect – shops that just can’t seem to keep an identity.
Behind each one of course is the ‘human story’ but what puzzled me was the optimism. Someone buying a business you would think will have checked the property, seen it’s history, checked the businesses close by, looked at shopping patterns, talked to owners about passing trade – in other words they’ll have done their homework. But they haven’t. It cannot be the same reason for all the same businesses to fold can it? Do estate agents see these people coming? I suppose they do – their ‘lies’ + the optimism of the ‘soon to be a business owner’ must equate to a guaranteed commission – and do they mentally note the next commission for the very same sale?
There’s a difference between “Come on, let me have a go” when you are talking about wiring something or doing a crossword and the “I’ll be a millionaire this time next year”. Optimism.. it’s a wonderful thing. Shame reality pops that bubble though …..

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