Siop Shop and catch-ups

unfold-the-day-siop-shop-manchester-artsynibs
unfold-the-day-siop-shop-manchester
unfold-the-day-siop-shop-manchester
unfold-the-day-siop-shop-manchester-artsynibs
unfold-the-day-siop-shop-manchester-artsynibs

There’s something a bit snake-charmer irresistible about a bright set-up (all stark white, and n’er an exposed brick in sight!) that oft proves oh-so-popular in the ‘most instagrammable’ cafe of nowadays ways (either that or it’s because we all live in junk-filled hell holes and being somewhere light and airy makes us feel clean once more…), and Siop Shop does that and then some in its pride-of-place spot on Tib Street, its walls dotted with bold-hue prints and lettering, set off beautifully by laid-back vibes and constant-murmur-of chatter. Purveyors of the Blawd doughnut, Siop Shop are a welcome addition to this ‘new end’ of the city, set up in neighbour to Ezra & Gil’s second offering, round the corner from Mackie Mayor, and up the road from looks-a-bit-like-your-Nan’s-house stalwart Sugar Junction.

With hot and cold food offerings, sweet treats (including the aforementioned, and much lauded, doughnuts), and builder’s brew on the board, Siop Shop has proven itself a most perfect of backdrops for a tete-a-tete between looking-for-a-catch-up friends (time and let’s-go-for-the-bacon-sarnie time again). Pulling up an end-of-a-shared-table-pew, Joyce and I breezed over to order (builder’s for me, coffee and a smoked tofu sarnie for thee) before settling selves in for the long haul, chatting up a storm over all things now-we’re-taking-different-creative-steps.


So many (/pretty much all) of the conversations I’ve had over the past few months with friends I know who have built a community on instagram have left us with a bitter ‘is this it?’ taste in our mouths, the recognition of things being not as they were, but as of yet not having got themselves to a point where any of us can see around the corner. With the turning of year from old to new, however, I’ve found many of us have a something of a new-found (or found once again) vigour for creative living, acknowledging the need to build outside of the space to be able to once more share within in it.

That is the point where I am at. One month into a three month work project, I’m beginning to appreciate the need to build a creative life away from the office that doesn’t drain but, instead, uplifts and motivates in a way that creating purely with insta in mind hasn’t done for months. Honeymoon period I may be in (that is, at the start of it all with a vested enthusiasm in what is to come), but I’ve an awareness of a shift in tone - my own, and of others - that feels important, nourishing, and inspiring... and is one I’m going to wholeheartedly, get-my-bum-in-gear embrace!

To 2018, to friends who stir the embers, and to yellow cups that gift sunshine.