Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Take a Leap!

Take a great leap forward this February 29th, you won't get another chance for four years!  Here's some SHOP suggestions to get you going:

A cat, leaping, earlier

1. Pretend to be someone else for the day, it isn't a real day afterall.  Remember though, that the laws of quantum physics dictate that every action has a reaction, so if you're pretending to be someone else, there may be someone else somewhere else, pretending to be you.

2.Start that thing you've been meaning to do, that you've been putting off.  If it doesn't work out, you haven't wasted anytime, cus this day is out of time!

3. Look up that bully from school and give them a massive wedgie.  Or find someone that looks a bit like them and give them a massive wedgie. Or, just give someone, anyone, a massive wedgie.

4. Give yourself a wedgie (just in case you once bullied someone).

5. You know that girl/boy that serves you your coffee every morning at the cafe near to where you work?  Ask them to marry you, it works in the films*
(*in real life this may lead to a restraining order, in the event that this leads to a restraining order SHOP CIC accepts no responsibility)

6. Don't be restrained by restraining orders and the like, this isn't a real day so all the police officers and judges and things aren't at work, they're all having a nice picnic together.

7. Don't waste this once-in-every-four-years-day reading this blog!  Skip to idea number eight...

8. Stroke some kittens (obligatory entry on any list, no matter what the purpose).

9. Don't put too much pressure on today, it's only really a day like any other, and all days are special if you make them!  Awwwwwwwwww!

10. Set up a blog and fill it with nonsense like this.

Bill says: 'Remember this ain't no Groundhog Day!''

Monday, 27 February 2012

New Week - New Stock!

You remember what your granny used to say - a new week should always begin with a tantilising blog about all the things you *could* own if you pop into SHOP this week! We're nothing if not observers of tradition, so here is a blog belonging to such of the aforementioned ilk (here's some new stuff):

Pretty side plates, perfect for CAKE! The glass bowl has some lovely raised hearts on the outside. Just £3 and £6 respectively.

We thought this was funny, and strange, and a little bit rude.
A mexican, gun-toting ... erm, puppet! Hours of entertainment for just £5

Lovely women's dog tooth blazer £15!
Get ready for the termperate months with a lovely summery cardie!

Just a tenner to you laarrve!


Thursday, 23 February 2012

Arts Space: Expanded Time

MA Fine Art student Caro Bacon and Seila Fernandez Arconada have taken over the Arts Space with their show 'Expanded Time'.  It's very much an immersive experience and doesn't really come out well in pictures, especially the slides on the backwall, so we recommend a visit in person!

'Split' by Caro Bacon
'Fold' by Caro Bacon (R) and unseen on the back wall, projections by Seila Fernandez Arconada, 'Oasis'

'Fold' by Caro Bacon

Monday, 20 February 2012

New stock!

Stock updates alert!

There's still a few weeks of winter left, so say those non-gender specific meteorologists, so get yourselve a nice knitted-by-a-granny-from-the-70s WOOLY HAT from SHOP for JUST A FIVER to see you through.  Come summer you can turn them upside down and use them as bunting instead!

We also have a few other bits and pieces, here some pics:

Lovely doilies

Grandmum's have all the best clothes!

Star-spangled top!
The famous wooly hats (they're not really all that famous)

Wooly-hat suspect line-up

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Pop-Up Cafe Pics!

This Saturday, Cathy and Lynda's pop-up veggie cafe took up residence for a day in SHOP's arts space, offering veggie burgers, pasties, salad, cakes and drinks - all homemade, with love.  They battled rain and a very noisy and insistent fire alarm to make it a really lovely day.  If you don't mind though, we'll make this paragraph quite short because pheweeee, we're full!

Cafe a-board braving the rain, what a brave little a-board!

Cathy and Lynda, the hands behind the treats!

Cabinet of cakes

Cosy lower seating area
'Oooooh, look a cafe!'  That's what I would have thought if I had been passing and had looked through this window

Ready for bidnis

A song with your supper?  Some super banjo music from Cathy's friends

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Easter Artisan Market - Book Now!

The next Christmas Steps Artisan Market will take place at Easter!

For full information about the market and to book an Easter pitch for just £5 - download an application form HERE.

It will take place on the 7th April (Easter Saturday) from 11am - 4pm and will be super-fun as befits our wonderful location!  Ssssssh, rumour has it there's even going to be a Easter egg rolling competition!

See the Artisan Market blog HERE for some lovely pictures of former markets on The Christmas Steps.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Happy Valentine's Day, SHOPlettes!

The End of the Affair, by David Sedaris

Last night, Hugh and I went around the corner to see The End of the Affair, a Neil Jordan adaptation of the Graham Greene novel. He sobbed from beginning to end. And by the time we left the theater, the poor thing was completely dehydrated.

I asked if he always cried during comedies, and he accused me of being grossly insensitive, a charge I'm trying to plea bargain down to a simple obnoxious. Looking back, I should've known better than to accompany Hugh to a love story. Such movies are always a danger as, unlike battling aliens or going undercover to track a serial killer, falling in love is something most adults have actually experienced at some point in their lives.

The theme is universal and encourages the viewer to make a number of unhealthy comparisons, leading to the question, "Why can't our lives be like that?" It's a box best left unopened. And its avoidance explains the continued popularity of vampire epics and martial arts extravaganzas.

The End of the Affair made me look like an absolute toad. The movie's voracious couple was played by Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore, who did everything but eat one another. Their love was doomed and clandestine, and even when the bombs were falling, they looked radiant. Something about Julianne Moore and Ralph Fiennes put me on the defensive.

I'm not as unfeeling as Hugh accuses me of being, but things change once you've been together for 10 years. They rarely make movies about long-term couples and for good reason. Our lives are boring.

The courtship had its moments, but now we've become the predictable part two no one in his right mind would ever pay to see. Hugh and I have been together for so long that in order to arouse extraordinary passion, we need to engage in actual physical combat. Once, he hit me on the back of the head with a broken wine glass, and I fell to the floor, pretending to be unconscious. That was romantic, or would have been had he rushed to my side, rather than stepping over my body to fetch the dustpan.

Call me unimaginative, but I still can't think of anyone else I'd rather be with. On our worst days, I figure things will work themselves out. Otherwise, I really don't give it much thought.

Neither of us would ever publicly display affection. We're just not that type. We can't profess love without talking through hand puppets, and we'd never consciously sit down to discuss our relationship. These, to me, are good things. They were fine with Hugh as well until he saw that damn movie and was reminded that he has other options.

The picture ended at around 10:00. And afterwards, we went for coffees at a little place across the street from the Luxembourg Gardens. I was ready to wipe the movie out of my mind, but Hugh was still under its spell. He looked as though his life had not only passed him by, but paused along the way to spit in his face.

Our coffees arrived, and as he blew his nose into a napkin, I encouraged him to look on the bright side. "Listen," I said, "We maybe don't live in wartime London, but in terms of the occasional bomb scare, Paris is a pretty close second. We both love taxidermy. We take vacations to fun places like Croatia. What more could you possibly want?"

What more could he want? It was an incredibly stupid question. And when he failed to answer, I was reminded of just how lucky I truly am.

Movie characters might chase one another through the fog, or race down the stairs of burning buildings, but that's just for beginners. Real love amounts to withholding the truth, even when you're offered the perfect opportunity to hurt somebody's feelings. I wanted to say something to this effect, but my hand puppets were back home in their drawer. Instead, I pulled my chair a few inches closer, and we sat silently at our little table on the square, looking for all the world like two people in love.

Monday, 13 February 2012


We got stock!  There is new homeware, women's skirts, blouses, tops and jumpers and some bits and pieces like suitcases and doilies (of course!).  Here's a selection of a few of the pieces:

Party plates!

Handbags at dawn...


Slightly less spangles...

Nice cardie... Must not take home, must not take home...

Verynice Jaegar blouse... Must not take home either, must not take home either...

Blouse and jacket in one!
Skirt of spring colours

Skirt of sailing colours
Skirt of erm... with buttons!

Easter colours!
Nice yoke (that's not an Easter pun)

Jumper with pretty tie.
Lovely ladies suitcases!

Monday, 6 February 2012

Alisdair Gray

We live and have lived
And die and will die in this city
And millions have been,
And will be forgotten,
Each with a backbone and heart
We struggle to keep,
Before we are folded in sleep
And go rotten.
And most, before dieing, give blood
to a son or daughter
And when the bones of these children
crumble, remain as words in a document
Names cut on stones, otherwise we
are all a procession as featureless as water
And some sit late filling books
With tall words 'til the birds whistle,
Trying to see what we are and what we wanted to be.

The Big Refurb!

It was a week of freezing conditions, general grafting, lugging stuff, whacking stuff, cutting lino - oh, and a lot of painting!  BUT, it is finished and we are really, really happy with the results. 

SHOP is now clean, fresh and light and can remain that way for a long time to come!  Hopefully it is a happier place to shop and to hang-out in.

Here's some pics!

Moving stuff!

Stuff moved.

Look how disgusting that floor is!
Flattening the lino (with other lino) before it is fitted.
Jumping on the lino to get it flat (more of this later).
Painting gold gloss on the window frames.
Painting more gold gloss on the window frames!
Trying not to paint the Steps...
One window down, three to go.

The gold step is back!
Putting things in their new homes.

Shady Tunnockses waiting to be scoffed

Jumping on the new rugs to flatten them out.

New fresh lounge!!!


Light and lovely.

New arrangement of the homeware section.

New arrangement of the Whoaman's section.

A view from within, with sneaky little birdie.

Check out that lino, phwoarrrr!  We fitted that, you know.

Outside! New white and gold exterior and new a-board.

The window of number 18 is now dedicated arts space, space.

New look a-board!

But, of course the pictures don't do the reality justice - the best thing is to come and see it for yourself :-D