Are you local?

It is a news update on keithlard’s local shopping efforts!

As you know I have resolved to support my local shops this year instead of Tescos and Amazon ekcetera, and it is going quite well. I have asked in the little shop if they can get Leffe and it looks like they might do! So that is the immediate medical needs sorted out.

I have been getting meat from the little wrinkly faced organic butcher at Mill Hill and it turns out they also deliver and have an online shop! (OrganicButcher.net and it is even powered by an open-source shopping engine!). It is proving somewhat problematic though as everything in there looks really nice including home made sossidges, organic eggs, delicious plump chicken ekcetera, and I keep coming home laden with armfuls of meat. I have started drinking meat coffee and making stylish yet comfortable furniture out of meat, and wearing a necklace made of bacon, in a vain attempt to use it up.

There is a jolly good fruiterers and vegertablers, Ellingham’s, in the high street, and I can get most everything there except I wish they would label what things are like Tescos do, as I stood worriedly contemplating some type of vegertable that looked like transplant organs, until Jane told me it was fennel.

Goodeats the Indian shop is really good as they have all such as chillies and coriander and onions and garlic and whole turmeric, and there is a friendly man there that advises you about them, and they have about ten yards of floor-to-ceiling spices and all manner of intresting snacks and chutneys. Basically that takes care of most of my curry cooking requiremints.

As far as housewares go eg washing powder and toilet roll and such like, there is the inexpensive housewares shop which sells those type of quotidian necessities as well as, for some reason, about fourteen different kinds of imitation stuffed tiger.

Really the only things I still need to go to Tescos for are nice beer (hopefully soon to be fixed) and bread. Nowhere else in the area that I know of has whole crusty bread especially granary, or the nice little cheesy rolls. There is not even a proper bakery, as there is Greggs but if you can believe it they do not actually sell bread. It is just for selling overpriced sandwidges to office workers crazed with corporate lunch stress.

As you know it is deeply distressing news in the book arena as my local independent bookshop (The Finchley Bookshop) has closed down, which is a shame as I used to love going in there and chatting to the owner about books and which books we liked and why it is impossible to make any money running a bookshop. I used to research the books I wanted on Amazon and then just phone up Mike at the bookshop and order them, then he would phone me when they came in and I would go and pick them up! Now I think the nearest one is Josephs in Temple Fortune which is not so convenient!

However I did find a super web site today which is LocalBookshops.co.uk. It has two great features! You can type in your postcode and it will find the nearest independent cheerful bookshop to you which is run by an eccentric man with a reindeer jumper. Alternatively you can search for a book, and it will then find the nearest bookshop to you that has that book! And it automatically transfers you to the bookshop’s web site if it has one, with your book already in the shopping basket ready to buy! I tried it with The Viper of Milan which I am dying to read, and it said I can get it from Archway Books which is quite near by!

It does not get any better than that in my view.

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