LOUISE PENNY’S

The Bistro

The Bistro

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Join us here in The Bistro for a discussion on the entire Gamache series. Feel free to ask or answer any questions about any of the books or the series as a whole.

Discussion on “The Bistro”

Ah, but you can find yourself fireside even outdoors, Anna! How I envy you your adventures in a strange, while still familiar, land! Having read Bury Your Dead for the Manyeth time (thank you, Cathryne), I know it must seem familiar even though it’s your first time there. Cathryne – I’m so sorry your mother is having a hard time. I hope it’s “just the holidays”, as that’s soon got over when you get to the January usualness… (I must admit, to me, they’ve always been the “January Blah’s”, though not as bad as the dark days of February. I always think that after January, you should really start to see some movement toward spring, and of course, in Winnipeg, that just doesn’t happen. I realized one year that every time I’ve ever left a job, it was in February – I just get antsy for things to change, I guess! And if the weather won’t, then I will! Luckily, it’s not so bad and February seems much less dark and dreary here in Seattle, so it’s a feeling I haven’t had for quite some time. But I will always conjure it up in my mind a bit, as February looms… It seems the darkest and longest month, though it’s neither.

Visiting the cold and snow is a very different prospect to living it every day. I am not surprised you sought spring by Feburary!

Hello all. So good to hear from you Cathryne but I am sorry about your mum. I know the stress it creates when mothers in care are being difficult. The worry is great.
I shall try and bring you little stories to lighten your day. I am typing this from an Adirondack chairbeside an outdoor fire on Rue Du Le Petit Champlain near La Petite Cabane a Sucre. Julie is right a little bit of cold stops no one and its a bonny -12 C. A creeping cold….insidious. It feels fine till you realise you cant feel your face!

Merry Christmas to you all. I have been enjoying your posts very much and they have all brought Christmas joy when I most looked for it. There is much, much to be grateful for in my life, as always, but I’ve been up and down and somewhat vulnerable lately. My mom has been quite hostile to the caregivers where she lives, angry and hostile with many relatives and some friends too. It’s not a new thing, but seems worse. So hard to know if it’s the holidays or signs of things to come. My sons and their families and my husband have been a great help and my mom’s friends and sister have been amazingly kind.

Anna, your description of “standing in the hotel window watching the snow bluster by while all sleep” was lovely and I have enjoyed it in my mind many times. Also your pleasure in looking out over the ice flows and the old town, while “sticky with Taffy.” Ahhhh, I was there with you, warm new coat and all. I have to reread, for the manyeth time, Bury Your Dead.

Julie, I can see myself having a particular meal in order to make a dish from the leftovers! It sounds so good!

Barbara, relatives who knew us “when,” yes. I’m so glad you embraced the experience and allowed the shared memories to give you pleasure. “Beautiful memories,” indeed. The holidays bring these opportunities to us sometimes.

Nancy, I hope your Christmas that was “not the usual one” was …what? Better now, more usual now? I send good thoughts. By the way, I’m with you on F. and C.

I have, for many years, liked January, for its day after dayness, its sameness, no holidays, a river flowing with stability and predictability. I guess I like its usualness!

Millie, I hope you are well and that you have had many joyful times with your granddaughters over the holidays. I had a very happy time playing with modeling clay today with two grandsons.

Warmest wishes.

Merry Christmas, all. Our day starts slowly here, so I feel very virtuous that I was up and out of bed before noon, hahaha. Our Christmas feast this year will be roast beef instead of turkey, but I’ve also been spellbound by a recipe for Christmas “leftovers” – a pie of dressing, turkey and cranberries that I must try, too, so I’ve been figuring on a small chicken tomorrow. Topsy-turvy world for me when I plan a meal around the leftovers I’ll get from it, hahaha. I hope everyone is where they want to be, surrounded by loving family, warm and happy.

Merry Christmas to all. I wish happiness and joy to each of you. Carol and I spent a lovely few hours with a 2nd cousin and her husband, son and daughter. Her Mother and my Daddy were 1st cousins. The two cousins were always close and her family a part of our Harley Christmas Celebration. It was nice to remember those wonderful Christmases and Linda when she was a little girl. I miss all of those loved ones so much but am warmed with beautiful memories.
Again Merry Christmas !

I’m glad you’re getting some snow, Anna. I’ve been thinking of you and wishing for a Snowy Christmas. Yes, I do live in Montreal ( the borough called N.D.G) and in Fahrenheit it’s been up to 39 degrees with melting snow everywhere. My children are fine with C. but I still haven’t figured it out except that 30 C is hot (about 90 F. ??) and O C. is 32 F.

I wish you all a very Merry and peaceful Christmas. Ours has not been the usual one but I will tell you about that another time.

Dear Nancy, whatever is going on for you This Christmas I am sending warm peaceful Three Pines kind of thoughts. Its lovely to think you are just up the road. I shall wave at you in Montreal when we fly back on Wednesday. Wish we had longer to explore but need time to build a home in DC too.
Its snowing and its just turned to Christmas. Joyeux Noel to everyone. Find peace and joy in whatever small way you can. Like standing in a hotel window watching the snow bluster by while all sleep. Blessings upon you each and everyone.

Happy Christmas Eve, all… may the world rejoice in peace and tranquility for at least this full day… Glad you are enjoying Quebec City’s Old Town, Anna.

Happy Christmas Eve to you and yours, Anna !
I’m leaving the house in a few minutes in short sleeves. No snow for us.
Merry Christmas Eve to everyone. Hanukkah begins at sundown also. The story of Hanukkah is one of my favorite Old Testament stories.
Peace to our world.

But Barbara, I’m scared whatever mangled words I produce will be less benign that calling the night a fruit.
Guess what I am doing….sitting outside the Chateau looking out over the ice flows in the river about to taste maple taffy!
The old town is gorgeous and just as wonderful as you imagine and Louise described. I am a little overwhelmed to take it all in and sticky with taffy!

I know what you mean about the clothing Julie. Pete is sweltering at Montreal airport in a Tshirt. I was hot there too. Made it to Quebec and Pete will be along in a couple of hours. It was interesting watching Erin’s reaction to landing in a Francophone territory. Canada is bilingual but the difference is French being the main language. It is different when the conversation begins in French before the speaker quickly realises you are hopeless at French and switches gears smoothly to English. I am glad there are so many different languages in the world and different cultures. Makes life interesting if occasionally challenging. I am trying to speak French garbled though it is. I am just too slow.
The other thing that makes me laugh is that of course Quebec City is a city, not just the Old town world of Bury Your Dead. But driving through the ‘regular’ town makes the world Louise created seem like a movie set. See how I feel when I have actually been to the Old part of town!

I’d missed Paul’s post and yours. Thanks for sending me to look for it. Paul – I am very envious, even though I know that sometimes, old buildings are not the most comfortable, but it’s such an icon. I’d feel special every day!

Hahaha – you’ll be surprised, Anna! People in Canada have very warm coats and boots, etc. – but they go out in -15 without a second thought. When I lived in Winnipeg, it wasn’t unusual to have a lot of late December and January temperatures be -40 through the morning commute. You might warm up to -30 by 4 p.m., when the sun went down and the temps plummeted again. But it didn’t keep anyone home. You will find some funny anomalies – inside places are over-heated to the extent that most people think that in winter, you ought to be able to wear just a short-sleeved t-shirt inside, so most houses are heated to about 75 degrees. So the difference between indoors and outdoors is phenomenal, and I’ve never noticed people “layering” their clothing in Canada – it’s always light indoor clothing and then a heavy, heavy coat. It took me awhile to get used to indoor temps here in the US. I hope you have a great time, no matter the temperature.

No snow in DC at the moment. If you look online temps seem quite mild but chilly when the wind blows. Still is a far cry from the predicted temps in Quebec on Christmas day. What does one do when it is -15 C. Stay indoors and hit the spa I am guessing.

There’s no snow in DC? I’m surprised, because of all they said was going on on the East coast! I think of DC as in the “thick” of all that. Though it’s also REALLY kind of in Virginia, which is kind of southern. Quebec City will be wonderful. Lots of Louise Penny things to do there! If you get to the His and Lit, let us know…

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