Friday was an early start, but one that got going with another super yummy breakfast of oats, dates, bananas and soymilk.....I just can't get enough.
We went into the city with Dr and Dr, who were kind and cool enough to show me around the university. This little mini-side trip actually afforded me one of the coolest moments in my life: I got to handle a prehistoric (mesolithic) spear. It was incredibly gob stopping to hold something in my 29 year old hand that had been hanging around for tens of thousands of years. I had to have a think on that one.
A quick pit stop into The Eighth Day, where I held off on shopping and just enjoyed a quick boo around. I really, really suggest this cafe and grocery shop for any vegans/veggers that are coming out to Manchester. The selection of dried goods/household items and the cafe downstairs make this place a heaven for anyone who might be in need of a good veg fill up. It is really easily accesible by any one of the many privatized bus services that head out towards the university. It gets my vote FOR SURE.
Continuing our walk on a super beautiful Friday, we ended up in the more commercial part of Manchester, and proceeded to pop in for a quick look at the reconfigured Cotton Exchange, which is now a theatre in the round, and had a quick tea in Starbucks...sorry, I needed some chai with soy milk...Waterstones made quite a hefty amount on us (though nothing compared to Pic's take a couple of days before). I bought a gift-book (How it All Vegan) and a book for my kiddies - Egyptoplogy. K bought a bunch of Physics books and a little treat for his favourite vegan: The Cranks' Bible (more on the new books I discovered...I promise). We also bought each other these wicked geek mugs - I got K: Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep and he picked me out Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own. We also stopped for some vegan-friendly deoderant and soap at LUSH. I found myself thinking mostly of my mommy who adores the smells and fizzies of this usually pretty good shop. I also bought the all time shitiest lip blam ever: EGGSNOG. You would be better to snog sans lip jelly, than get it on with this stuff. Any boy who gets a taste of your lips in this gunk is bound to hit the road. Yuck.
I made friends in the BEST vegan restaurant I have eaten in since I left the land of Fresh and Live - Earth Cafe is amazing! Totally amazing - and I ate way too much, but with zero regret - ZERO. The cafe is in the basement of the Buddhist Centre, and I am able to look past the way too hippie-stereotype-vegan-buffet style they have going, in pursuit of being able to praise the buddah out of this place. Here was my meal: 1 Transcendental juice (carrot, apple, ginger and orange), 1 bowl of green pea soup, 1 nut burger (hold the mushroom gravey and bread please), 1 side of roasted potato...and...oh my....1 really really really amazingly good BANANA, DATE and CASHEW CRUMBLE....I am going to work on trying this recipe out in my new kitchen...and will get back to you on it. All you need to know for now is that you MUST go to Manchester JUST to eat this bloody desert....maybe it is my deprevation of vegan deserts, but oh my was it good. The odd couple next to us, who were jointly from Toronto and Brussels, enjoyed their meal as much as we did - so that's four out of four....take the risk.
We totally needed a walk after that festival of food delights, but decided to hop on a bus to Chorlton where I was in search of The Unicorn. Not the mythical creature...the vegetarian grocery store. We did manage to find it, but I was a bit disapointed, and much more impressed with the Eighth Day. Ahhh well.....I did manage to get a really cool pink turnip bag (because I don't have enough bags) a really wicked Fair Trade apron, a cool 100% cotton tea towel and a couple of posters for my kiddlets. I also found Sumac, which is an essential ingredient in Fatoush Salad.....and some flax powder which will allow me to whip up some vegan chocolate chip cookies.
We arrived back at the University in time to meet up with K's parents, where we began our evening adventures that included: a good meal of Chinese food (complete with do-it-yourself lettuce wraps) and a concert put on by the BBC Philharmonic. They were recording for Radio 3 - so if you are interested in hearing a rather good piano concerto, and an amazing symphony (no.5 by Nielsen) then check out BBC Radio 3 on Thursday November 29th. Great Sound.
I feel asleep, like a little girl, in the car to the sounds of the 10 30 news........and only just managed to make it up to bed.