This was Manchester almost a week ago. Lucas refereed a volleyball game in Salford and we browsed to the Northern Quarter, in all its independent store glory. It was a strange, aimless trip for us (a first), as we normally have a museum or gallery to go to but this time, nada. Just a neighbourhood with lots of shops to explore.
A bead store, charity shops, lots of vintage clothing stores, surprise street art, cool objects in cool stores. Lots of things I’d love to have but really don’t need. Raspberry’s in a materialistic “I want this. Can you get me this?” stage and it’s starting to wear thin. Note to self — stop window shopping.
The Manchester Craft and Design Centre was quiet because it was Sunday, a far cry from how busy it was the last time I was there on my own in October 2013. But we got to browse some open studios and chat with a couple of artists, including a ceramic artist got Raspberry’s opinion about some bowls he had on display, and the paintings of his studio-mate. I wasn’t that interested in the art although Raspberry was, and I had to keep reminding myself that we needn’t rush and things often go better at a child’s pace.
We spent way too much time in a shop selling tons of awesome kitschy stuff, where Raspberry marvelled and manipulated everything she could. I surreptitiously nursed Ares in the cafe and he tried to snoop in stranger’s bag of shopping. Raspberry sent a series of 1950s tin toys across the floor while I painstakingly tapped out a couple of texts to Lucas to figure out where we were going to meet.
There was the requisite photobooth picture at Fred Aldous, because it’s a must every time we go. Lucas didn’t want to be included, so it was the three of us squished into the black-and-white photobooth. Ares was more interested in the fact that I fed coins into the machine than the blinding flash going off every few seconds, so our pictures didn’t turn out quite how I expected, with him looking away and me trying to get him to look into the lens. Oh well, it was fun anyway.
I was relieved to head home soon after that, as it’d just been an okay trip. I don’t think any of us had really been feeling it and Raspberry was having the kind of day that involved too much adult yelling. Our next trip to Manchester — definitely soon — will be to a museum and I’m certain it’ll turn out a lot better than us wandering around from shop to shop.Advertisements