…and receiving! A very interesting find is the essay The Psychology of Gift Exchange by Mayet, C. & Pine, K. J., published as a University of Hertfordshire Internal Report in 2010. The article can be downloaded in full as a PDF if you search the internet. We found it to be very concise and enlightening when it comes to gift giving, and you will see that most probably the way you think or feel about a gift, or the receiver of the gift, will fit into the descriptions below.

After reading this, don’t think too much and just act as you would naturally do and treat somebody you like with a very digandgift delight.

We won’t go for a full academic analysis of the text, and for the quotes below, we give all credits to the authors. The essay sums up different theories, behaviours and typologies of gift exchange, and starts with a most brilliant definition of what gift giving is: “a social, cultural and economic experience; a material and social communication exchange that is inherent across human societies and instrumental in maintaining social relationships and expressing feelings (Camerer, 1988, Joy 2001)”. We are especially fond of the later part.


As we go on reading we discover something that is at the core of our own gift shop: “gift giving is not a one way exchange, as there are accumulated benefits for the giver too”. That is at the core of the reason why we opened this shop… it gives us joy to assemble the gifts and like to believe that they will reach your loved ones, and you feel in return their appreciation and excitement of discovery.

And what does a giver require in order to impress (and we like to think our gifts help achieve this): “Wooten (2000) describes the qualities and attributes a giver requires in order to succeed as a giver: creativity, recipient empathy, and the intuitive use of money, time and effort”. In close relation with these, the article identifies the following attributes related to gift giving: “appropriateness, empathy, and effort”. For sure we can take care of the effort, what is up to you is that special connection you might have with the recipient of the gift. And that’s because “Gifts symbolise more than material attributes; to give something is to give a part of oneself (Mauss, 1954). Gifts are considered extremely representational and emotional, allowing givers to communicate without the use of language (Belk, 1996)”.

When can you actually give a gift? Basically anytime you feel like, of course, but you can also guide yourself on these four categories of symbols advocated by Wolfinbarger’s (1990):

Gifts which are symbolic of the self and of the giver;

Gifts which are symbolic of the giver’s knowledge of the receiver;

Gifts which are symbolic of the occasion;

Gifts which are expressive and contain an array of significant meanings.

To conclude, all gift givers should “exploit information about their own preferences and experiences to enable them to generate successful gifts relations”. And never forget “to use personal insight to mediate successful gift choices”.

Happy gift giving!


Just because it is Manchester related, and we love to dance to it, and also because Peter Hook And The Light are keeping the flame alive and will have a full New Order’s Low Life and Brotherhood gig at the Ritz in their home town, we want to share this classic with you..and just a hint of the lyrics:

Hello, everyone, it’s nice to be here
I’ve come so far to see you all…

Check out Hooky’s website for next gigs: http://www.peterhook.co.uk/#/events,  and see you at the Ritz! We’ve seen them at Barrow in Furness playing both Joy Division’s albums in full, and they are brilliant..old school type of concert with hours of great music. Two photos below from the gig, and we’ll leave you with the song.

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The bass line can still deliver with joy and sweat.

Here we go. A little display shop of things that caught our eyes in car boot sales, or other sorts of used, second-hand, retro or vintage markets. Things that we admire and love, and that we think would be great to be given as gifts.

We are based in Manchester, an amazing city, just perfectly scaled to be liveable and to be enjoyed, and filled with great and creative people.

We have a few favourite places that we cannot recommend enough, and we want to share them here. For those of you that live in Manchester, probably the Northern Quarter, which represents the city centre, and Chorlton, a charming village/suburb, need no further introduction. These areas are full of quirky independent shops, carefully thought cafes and pubs, and tasty restaurants. For NQ there is even a dedicated website: http://northernquartermanchester.com/  Among our favourites in NQ are Matt and Phreds, for jazz and good-feeling, Marble pub&brewery, for meeting friends, Piccadilly Records, for the latest records, Incognito, for Impossible instant films compatible with classic Polaroid cameras, and Al-Faisal Indian takeaway, for a quick and spicy bite on the green plastic eatery style seats, and Mr. Scruff’s own Teacup Kitchen. For tasty grease food, in a true American cafeteria inspired design, try the Koffee Pot. A true island in NQ, but not in the sun, is the most often live singing pub called the Millstone, populated by an interesting mix of veterans and other types of happy and social people. Has to be experienced to be believed.

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Friends at Marble                                                                                 Koffee Pot diner

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Scenes and details from NQ

Close to NQ, for walk in an area with rich industrial history and ambitious regeneration plans, you can explore Ancoats. Famous for cotton factories, tower blocks, and Sankeys, which is a worthy successor to legendary Hacienda.


View over Ancoats

As you will leave NQ to cross Oldham Road and go into Ancoats, don’t forget to check the big equalizer on Band on the Wall, live venue and Manchester institution. It definitely uplifts your spirit and will always match the music in your headphones.

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Band on the Wall equalizer

Also, a much loved place is the Cornerhouse, right in front of Oxford Road train station, great for independent films, contemporary art and for socializing. Also for admiring the neon lighted panel for displaying movie title, which has a charmingly retro look. Great places to take your loved one, and why not, to share gifts.

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Night and day at Cornerhouse, featuring the retro cinema panel

Countless other great places are to be found in Manchester, but about those, in a future post.