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Bookstores, Evil Ingredients, Cocktails, and Red Ribbons
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Sadly, I couldn't participate in yesterday's "Support your local indie bookstore" day (or whatever the official internet title was), because as far as I've been able to discover, Leeds has no local independent bookstores. Sigh. If I had been in East Lansing, I would have gone to Schuler Books, my favorite independent general bookstore, and if I had been in Toronto, I would have gone to Bakka-Phoenix Science Fiction Bookstore, my favorite specialist bookstore ever. Since I was in Leeds, though, and couldn't do either of those things, I did at least buy 4 novels in Borders this week, in place of my usual monthly Amazon order. So I felt I had at least done my bit for supporting physical bookstores, if nothing else. Plus, it was great to be able to spend a whole afternoon hanging out in the Borders cafe with MrD, browsing through a whole shopping basket full of books for me and him, and eating a bar of good dark chocolate.

(I also had an egg salad sandwich, but it was made much less exciting by the fact I had to scrape the filling out and just eat that with a spoon, since the bread turned out to have soy in it. Why is there soy in everything????? Sigh. Until MrD was diagnosed with his dairy AND soy allergies, I had no idea how hard it is for people with allergies to eat anything in cafes and restaurants. Did you know that even the pizza dough in Italian restaurants has soy in it? Never mind, I'll stop ranting now. But I will say that the one shining advantage of Starbucks, for all its Evil International Conglomerate status, is that they keep a book of ingredients listings for all their food, with tick boxes showing exactly which potential allergens are in each of them, and the Starbucks staff acts like it's perfectly normal and OK to ask to see that list. This makes such a difference to my whole experience, and it's a particularly strong contrast to the attitude at the one independent cafe in downtown Leeds, where the waitresses heave great sighs of irritation and impatience and roll their eyes at each other pointedly whenever I ask if they could please, if they wouldn't mind too much, take the trouble to find out whether their food has any ingredients that could cause internal bleeding in my son...yeah. So I am becoming an unashamed fan of Starbucks after all.)

And then yesterday I completed my round of decadent pleasure by going with a friend (and both our babies) to the Harvey Nicks cafe, drinking lovely nonalcoholic cocktails, eating luscious chips (french fries), and gossiping about all sorts of things. On the way home, MrD and I bought fun colored pens for Patrick and me to use in writing/revising, and apple-cinnamon hot cross buns for today's breakfast...and then I came home to the very cool news that my vampiresses-in-revolutionary-Paris story, "Red Ribbons", had sold to the British dark fantasy/horror magazine Black Static (formerly known as The Third Alternative). Woot! It's going to be published in the next issue, and I can't wait.

So it's been a week full of lovely things, and I loved it. :) Hope everyone has a great weekend!

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