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”

I am waiting to hear you’ve made your first apple pie in your new home, Anna. You’ve been very busy, but one dark, cold day this winter an apple pie would be fun and smell wonderful!

I am quite the nester too Julie which I have been spending quite a bit of time doing to make the apartment feel homey. Still holidays are fun too, just a bit tiring.
You will be pleased to know Barbara, we did another museum today. Rather we did the annex of the Air and Space museum out near Dulles airport. It is actually better, I think, than the main section in town. They have the Discovery space shuttle, a Blackbird, the Enola Gay and a Concorde among a huge selection of craft. I really enjoyed it.
Happy New Year everyone.

Haha – if it was me, Anna, I’d be definitely for pottering and making a nest. To me, home is always a “safe harbor” from the harshness of the world, and I can imagine that this is more needed these days than ever before! I’ve always done whatever I could to make sure that it felt like “home” when you came in and shut the door, whether that meant painting everything in shades that calm and cajole me, or just making sure that each person is celebrated when walking through the door. It’s so important to me, and has never let me down, even when I lived alone. It makes life so much happier and easier.

At the same time, planning a trip and poring over maps and restaurant guides, etc., also makes me very happy. Lots of things in this world to see and do… I hope each of us has the chance to have both in plenty of quantity in the coming year.

Hi Barbara. We have been to the Natural History Museum and Air and Space and wandered the Mall. I will make sure to do some more with Erin.
Like you I plan many trips. I have been very fortunate to make a great number of them but many more like the train journey have yet to happen. Mind you, after the last couple of weeks I am looking forward to pottering and making home a home. First things first…piles of washing!

Julie, your post about Canada reminded me of many years ago when I wanted to take a train across Canada. I think it would be thrilling. Of course, I never got to take the trip. I studied about the towns and areas along the way. I had planned to keep a detailed journal and later write about the places I saw and the people I met.

A Christmas day posting on the AGR discussion page. Just checked and found it.
Glad you are back, Anna. What a wonderful time you must have had.
Take time to catch your breath then go for the adventure in DC. I have often thought of how great it would be to just decide to go to one of the Museums, Memorials, etc. any day just because you can.
I hope you enjoy the events and activities that are coming up.

We didn’t get to our hotel until 930 pm and raced to the restaurant for food. Then it was straight to bed. I wish we had more time Nancy as seeing you would have made the delay a joy!!

Anna, I’m sorry we missed you. Maybe next time we can get together for a visit. I used to fly from Sudbury (Northern Ontario) to Pittsburgh to visit my parents in the winter. I always stayed overnight in Toronto so I could see friends for a few hours. It also kept me from missing the next connection if there was a storm. (But really, I loved being able to see my friends.)

I was very sad the opportunity was missed Nancy but the timeline was tight. Catching up with friends is a good reason to stopover and avoiding missed connections is another. We nearly missed the plane home again. Lots of snow in Toronto delayed our flight. Never mind. Home now and very tired.
Thinking of you Nancy and will try to get that way again.

Thanks for the lovely long informative post Julie. I do wNt to do the train trip across Canada. It is on my very long wish list.
Tonight we are spending the evening in Montreal having missed our connection. Hopefully our bags will show up and we can go to our hotel and triple hope there is a food option. Staying calm.

Oh Anna, where are you? Will you have time in the morning before going to airport? We are only about 2 miles from the city center and I’d love to meet you. Is your hotel near the airport (that’s not far from us either)?

Have an uneventful trip, Anna. Are you going to be in DC on January 17th? You’ll have to tell us what it’s like. I imagine just being in the city will be quite strange – lots of protests expected, I think, and lots and lots and lots of security, which I’m afraid will all be needed.

Sharon, welcome to our little corner of the Bistro – we hope you like it, and we haven’t hogged all of the chairs by the fire. Since it’s in our imaginations, we always think that we can ALL have a coveted seat by the fire… Do tell us what it was like growing up in Paris – if there’s ever a city that captures people’s imaginations, that’s it!

Anna – Canada is very large and you’ll never see it all, hahaha – the area Nancy is talking about is often called “The Canadian Shield” and is marked by wild outcroppings of stone that is not seen anywhere else in North America. http://tinyurl.com/hbmp5xn

If you have the time, and feel like it – a great way to “see Canada” is to take the train across the country – it takes 2 weeks, but could be amazing, and will definitely give you the idea of immensity of the country. Canada is the second largest country in the world, second only to Russia (even after the breakup of the USSR). Lake Superior, which we’ve been talking about, is the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. The largest and most westerly of the Great Lakes (all of which have been very unimaginatively named), it really is a “great” lake – holding 10% of all the fresh water on earth. It was a really interesting place to grow up. There is still quite a bit of “wilderness” there, as 90% of Canada’s population is strung along the US border, leaving millions of square miles empty and wild and very beautiful. I often used to shake my head at whatever people would have traveled across the sea, and then across the land to come to a place like Winnipeg, and decide “yep – this is the place we’re going to stay”. I just KNOW it was summer when they did, because if it had been winter, they’d have kept on going. By the time you get to Winnipeg, heading west from Ontario, you have left the Canadian Shield right behind you. You are getting to the prairies, which have their own bleak beauty. They continue unimpeded for three large provinces, before you come to the Rocky Mountains, which are very large. Just the other side of that, you have the west coast, which has its own microclimate, and is Canada’s California! There is a lot to see.

Gentle snow is swirling and twirling beyond the airport windows in Quebec. We are about to start heading ‘home’. Haven’t quite spent enough time in the apartment for it to feel completely like home yet but it will. Thinking of you all

How are you managing Nancy? Cleaning out Jason’s apartment can not have been easy. I am keeping you in my thoughts. I am also very grateful that you are sharing this time with us.
I have added the north shore of Lake Superior to my try and see list. Wuite frankly, I could spend months up here in Canada trying to see it all.

Nancy, I am so sorry to hear of your son’s passing. How very difficult it must be. The way you and your husband wrote about him was beautiful and touching, and I felt as though I knew him a little. I grew up on the north shore of Lake Superior (in Thunder Bay, which was then, Port Arthur and Fort William – the town changed names when the two cities joined together). It was always known as “The Lakehead” and why they didn’t name it that, I’ll never know.

Thank you Julie. We just finished cleaning out Jason’s apartment today.

In regard to “Thunder Bay”, didn’t they have a vote to choose the name and “The Lakehead” lost? Seems to me that I heard something like that. We drove through there in 1966. I think that was before the name change.

Nancy – you are right. On both counts – in 1966 it was still the two cities – and there were several “names” we went by – as you might guess,”The Twin Cities” as well as “The Lakehead”. I’m not sure if “Thunder Bay” was the name of the bay we were sitting on or not. I never heard of it before the vote. I was a teenager coming up to the vote, and wasn’t old enough to vote when it came up. What the powers that be did was put both “Lakehead” and “The Lakehead” on the ballot, so they split that vote and got the one they wanted. Certainly, now that we’ve all gotten used to it, “Thunder Bay” sounds more dramatic.

Anna, Thank you so much for sharing your time in Quebec with us. It is fun to think of you seeing the places and doing things we have all thought about.
What a good idea to buy Enterrez vos Morts as a reminder of your visit. Maybe a chance to brush up on French too.
Just the thought of the river churning with ice floes makes me cold, but it must be exciting to see.

I was thinking of all Three Piners in the Bistro as I walked around today, especially you Nancy. It was a little melancholy I must admit.
There was a lot of snow last night and it is slushy today. But the town is pretty as always and I saw some lovely little buildings and could see the town as it might have been in a world before cars and modern things.
We had another maple taffy at the Chateau after I plucked the sheets of ice from a seat so I could sit. The river looks so powerful as it flows by churning with ice. I have seen small ponds with icy coatings but not such a big mass of water freezing. I am fascinated.
I did buy some new boots as my après boots are old and don’t grip so well. I slipped in Whistler last year and cracked my arm and I don’t want to do that again.
I also bought Enterrez vos Morts, Bury Your Dead in French. It seemed the best way to remember my visit.

Oh, Nancy, my heart aches for you and your family. Wisconsin is on the south shore of wild and beautiful Lake Superior, so I understand your son Jason’s wish to rest there forever. Thank you for sharing with us in the Bistro.

Hello Sharon and welcome to the Bistro. I was just looking at Bury Your Dead in French. I read French poorly but I am curious.
Growing up in Paris sounds wonderful. Please tell us a little about it!
Happy New Year

I too started with The Beautiful Mystery which propelled me all the way back to the first book. I purchased all of them and am about to finish How The Light Gets In. Sorry to learn of Peter’s death a bit early! I am totally in love with every character and cannot wait to read all of the books. I am bi-lingual in French and English so the French words are a balm to my soul which misses Paris every day. I grew up there. Thank you LP for your beautiful words. They and you are totally amazing. I’ll look forward to reading all of you Three Piners posts. Thank you very much. And a Happy New Year to all.

Hi, Sharon and welcome as Anna said. In the first few years after college graduation, I read many books and magazines in French. Unfortunately, I got busy with life and dropped them. Now so many decades later I can not read French.
Our posts are about many things and we would love to hear about you growing up in Paris. One wonderful thing about this group, we have very different backgrounds and interests. I think it is proof that LP is an excellent writer, because her writing appeals to such a varied group.

Hi, Sharon, welcome to the Bistro! I’m glad you found us.

I too started with The Beautiful Mystery, as read on the air on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Chapter A Day several years ago. I’m sure they chose it because of the Gregorian chant theme. Our local library had Bury Your Dead so that was next. I loved it, especially the thread about Champlain’s missing grave site, and was able to get the rest in order from Still Life onward. Been doing a re-read now and am up to The Brutal Telling.

This comfy Bistro has been a great place to relax with friends from all over the world.

Nancy, I’m sending you hugs and deep sympathy. Two of my aunts outlived their only children. Hard to deal with. It is comforting to know that Jason lived his life as he wanted and died peacefully.
I wish I knew the words to say to ease the sense of loss and grief you feel, but we both know there are no such words.

It happens a lot that a post appears after I have written which I didn’t see. You are right Millie, a difficult year for so many. But then, I am starting to wonder what an easy year would look like. I think there are few easy times but even in the darkest hours we have to grab moments of peace and pleasure where ever they appear. So hard to do but maybe simplicity and kindness are the best kind of peace and we can be surprised by Joy.

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