Hey, I'm in China! When I woke up it had been snowing during the night. Outside my window, a woman has put a bright orange umbrella down at the foot of a tree and is taking photos of it. My hotel room is a functionalist dream with no visible drawers or cabinets. I spent an hour in the supermarket just looking at things (this is my favourite pastime when in another country: slowly wandering through supermarkets, looking at stuff. My husband thinks I'm crazy. I see it as an anthropological field study).

The Bookworm is an absolutely lovely place: it has that slightly shabby, lived-in and cosy feel that makes you want to stay forever, just sit there and read books. The organizers are just a lovely bunch of people; you can tell this is really a labor of love. Tonight at 8PM I'll be chatting with two other writers about short stories. Given the atmosphere of the Bookworm, this will be a great couple of days.

Also: dumpling timer starts now.