So this is Christmas, and what have we done? 2017 has been a rollercoaster, filled with extreme highs and a few lows. This time last year I was finishing for Christmas, thinking how I could make 2017 a better year. I had a dream vision that I cannot believe, 12 months later, is a reality and as the saying goes, I really am living the dream.
Loafers is only 5 months old, but through ambition, drive, hard work and a passion for music and coffee, I have seen my vision come to life in such an amazing way. I know many of you reading this are friends or customers of Loafers and I cannot thank you enough for your help and support since the shop opened its doors on 1 August. I believe Loafers has become a destination, an experience, a meeting place and a haven for music and coffee lovers. I have so many more plans for 2018 but for now, I just want to thank Matt Grainger for his incredible artwork, Linda Melzani for her brand design and Sarah for her encouragement, love and support. My kids have been awesome, parents incredible and the values that were instilled in me by my grand parents, have made me work hard and believe in myself.
Last month we hosted a poetry evening in Loafers and I read out my little story to open the evening. I've included the words below, which sum up my 'Life in Loafers.'
''I'm standing here, proud in my own place. Smiling, humble, over the moon with the reality of my vision. In this beautiful building, The Piece Hall, I have created a haven. Vinyl, coffee, art, people, atmosphere. Sounds, smells of fresh ground coffee, nostalgia, memories, conversations and emotions, created by beautiful music.
I hear so many voices. 'I had that on record, I've got that in my loft. OOOOh, play that again Mark. I'll have a coffee whilst I'm here.'
Lennon, Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Dylan, Oasis and Pink Floyd. 'I love your shop.'
Vinyl is back, it's in demand. The classics, the obscure, the old and the new. The world is a giant turntable of music to explore.
Theres something wonderful about playing a record. Removing it from the sleeve, placing it on the turntable, and watching the needle hit the groove. It's an experience. Playing a record takes you somewhere, back to a memory, a moment, a lost and beautiful time. Time we won't get back but a time we won't forget. A moment in time, generated by a lyric, a note or a harmony.
As I look back on the last few months, I'm so proud of what has become of a felt tip drawing I did with my daughter Nell. We now have Loafers. Where people meet, to drink coffee, browse the vinyl, listen to records and enjoy the ambience in beautiful surroundings. People, poets, writers, tourists, celebrities, family, friends have all been here and I continue to make new friends and memories. Music is power!
Thank you to you all. Play your music loud, it makes you a better person. ''
Look out for our next poetry evening on 25 January in Loafers from 7pm.
As you know, George will be joining us (17 of us in fact) for Christmas dinner. I'll post a couple of pictures. George, like many other lovely people has become a regular customer of Loafers. He loves the coffee and the conversation. I have several other people who love the choice of records and always come back. If they can't find a record they want, I do my best to find it for them. Many other people just love the atmosphere. If you haven't already, please visit The Piece Hall and call into Loafers.
I'd like to wish you all a brilliant Christmas and look forward to seeing you in a happy and prosperous 2018.
One love xxxx