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”

We have a gas fire but no mantle. The TV is above so hanging our stockings probably won’t work.
Erin got into her first choice Uni course but she can change if she wishes. The Uni offers aren’t made until January. I think everyone is pleased but exhausted by the whole process! Thank you all for your positive thoughts. They worked!

That sort of system is present in a lot of European countries Julie and I think some Asian countries in that you have to get into the right high schools to get into University. At home when I was going through only those who wanted a higher education really went to year 11 and 12. Everyone else left at year 10 to get a job or an apprenticeship or trade school. Only 25% of kids at my school went on to year 12. Now all kids have to stay in fulltime education or work until age 17 and there are trade subjects they can do but system isn’t really working. Lots of kids at school who don’t really wantvto be there and kids going to Uni for whom it is not the best option. Anyway only about 20 more minutes until we know.

Anna, you have a fireplace? I so miss the large mantelpiece we had in CA more than the fireplace itself. Great space to decorate with garland and other goodies.
Less than an hour before Erin gets her ranking. Keeping my fingers crossed she is rewarded for all her hard work.

Julie, after Christmas sales sound like a good idea for the first time in my life! Still think I’ll wait a few years. No basements here so close to sea level and my knees can’t do the ladder to the attic space anymore. Besides, I’m supposed to be decluttering, right? Louise herself commented to please share pictures. I’ll see if I can find the link and try to post it here. It might be on her web page. It was during a midnight madness in Knowlton when stores are open till midnight. Lovely story.

Anna, the system for Erin’s Uni placement sparked an interesting discussion here with my hubby. I came out of a system in Ontario where in grade 9 (age 13), you had to decide if you were going to be in the University stream, or the Trades stream of high school. If University, you did 5 years of high school, to grade 13, and if not, then just four. If you were in the University stream and decided not to do grade 13, you’d still graduate at grade 12, but you wouldn’t have taken any trades type classes, so it would be harder to find a job.

Millie, thanks for the visual of Billy Williams – one of my favorite characters – far under-used! Of course, it would be hard for Louise to write in his vernacular for any length of time, not to mention for us to understand him! 😀 Welcome into the Bistro – draw up a chair to the fire, and relax for a bit… I love the ceramic village idea – and totally want to run with it! After Christmas sales, here I come, hahaha. I’m pretty much ready to get rid of my tree – the idea of hauling it upstairs and setting it up again seems exhausting! I may do a bunch of little ornament display systems, like this:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/46/5e/74/465e748ff743984593c1ca05dd82eb9f.gif

or this:

http://cf.remodelaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/ornament-display-tree-from-crate-and-barrel.jpg

and then things like villages and a grouping of Santas, etc., as bringing up boxes seems a lot easier than the tree!

Welcome Home to the Bistro Millie! Don’t you hate it when life gets all pesky and demanding and sucks time from the important things like a coffee by the fire?
We are doing hot drinks by the fire as the wind is howling….angrily the girls said…around our building. The sun is shining so it is tempting to go out but the girls decided binge watching Stranger Things on Netflix had higher appeal. I keep thinking I need to take them out for cultural experiences rather than a tour of the shopping malls but they are so happy just being girls.
Erin got her results yesterday and she did pretty well. We have our fingers crossed as 5 pm our time she gets her Uni admission rank which will determine what course she can do. It’s very different to how college places are determined over here. All the students get a ranking against the other students. If you are number one, and there are a few in that position, you can do whatever you want wherever you want and so on down the list. Erin needs at least a 92 ranking, top is 99.95, so we are anxiously waiting. She will hopefully get a couple of bonus points as well for subject performance. It is a tense time.
Otherwise life is kicking along in DC. It will be different once her friend goes and we are living not holidaying! Mind you not a lot wrong with holidaying in your own house.
I hope all are well and happy.

Hello everyone. I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth. Just sometimes ‘life’ gets in the way of living. Just know I think of you all often with warmth and affection. I saw a post by Louise on Facebook the other day with a picture of Klidsdale horses pulling a long wagon in Knowlton. Made me think of Billy Williams. One of the comments was a lady deciding to replicate ‘Three Pines’ with the ceramic cottages, trees and such available around Christmas time. What a great idea. I think I’ll wait till the grands are older before attempting that. They still think everything in Nana’s house is a toy. Not Three Pines! Hehehe
Hope you are all well and sending merry wishes to all.

Thanks for the tip on the Container Store Cathryne. Erin now has her laundry hamper and coat hangers and bin. I have to go back as we walked and couldn’t carry much more. I loved the containers all the storage ideas.

A parmesan cheese for my pasta Peg.
William Sonoma was visited this morning and everything ooooed over. Having lunch then back to the Container Store. Shopping area is 10 min walk from home….that may not be a good thing!

Ah – great idea, bringing Erin’s friend to help her acclimatize! I’m sure there’s so much to explore! DC is one of those places I really want to go but haven’t yet.

Yay for Wisconsin cheese! What kind? We make a LOT of different varieties here. Mozzarella is the most popular but most of it goes on pizzas of course.

Glad you all made it safe and sound, if not together.

The other thing I have is my signed copy of A Great Reckoning. Pete has been keeping it for me. So very cool. Thank you Louise

Hi Julie! Erin has a friend staying for a couple of weeks. Thought it would give her the confidence to explore a bit on her own this week. Pete is showing them the Metro system and I can cut them loose. They are at the Air and Space museum having lunch.
You are so right and cookware is high on the list of must do shopping. Have William Sonoma nearby and online shopping options which I have been browsing. There is a nearby bakery which Pete found so our priority lists do coincide. Oh and a Container Store really close Cathryne. It is like Howards Storage World which we have back in Aust. Love storage!!
So far so good!

I missed something. What girls? Is there more than Erin? Have I been living under a rock? Who are you people and how did you get into my dreams, hahahaha. I’m so glad you’re here and warm and have the wherewithal to look for hampers. (I have to admit, that this would be very far down on my “to do” list, as I’m sure you need spatulas, a good frying pan, and the knowledge of where is the best bakery. (You can see where my thoughts go when I think of the “necessities” of life, hahaha. Welcome, welcome, welcome!

Hi Cathryne. Thank you for the warm thoughts…most welcome as it is about 30 F and we just went to do the grocery shopping. Lucky I have a nice new sweater to stay warm. I could have worn my new coat but I only had to go from the car to the store. Enjoyed pottering around Whole Foods for some dinner items. Still need to get to somewhere for the hampers. I will look up Container Store!
The Christmas lights I saw on the way from the airport were pretty but I think we need to go for a drive around and have a look. Too tired to do that on the way back from the Outlet mall yesterday.
I think I will hang in the Bistro today and stay warm. Pete and the girls are going to the Smithsonian I think but I need a rest! I want Erin to explore and then take me when she knows the best bits.

Yes, Anna, and hampers are important, visually as well as practically. This way you can choose. Is there a Container Store in the area? I Love Container Store.
Barbara, I hope that in the midst of your Christmas shopping you’ve found some pretty, fun things for your new bathrooms.

Upon rereading I realize that it sounds like Erin and I ran for the flight and left Peter behind. He was on a totally separate flight from Sydney to LA and was delayed in Sydney. So we’re we but only by an hour. For Pete is was several hours. Anyway we are all together now as I make lists for what we need to buy to get the apartment more homey. Some things boys don’t think about like laundry hampers…..

Anna, welcome! So glad you are all here, safe and sound. I hope Washington D. C. looks especially beautiful with all the holiday decorations.
You’ve been in my thoughts as you’ve said goodbye to family and friends and country. I hope that your dad is getting pleasure from imagining you on this wonderful adventure. And, knowing that you and your sister are closer together now!
Luckily, you have the stability of the bistro to visit whenever you need a familiar retreat in the midst of new experiences. A cup of tea, a licorice pipe, muffins, a warm fire, and a duck or a lion dog or a weasel dog for undemanding company.
Love and best thoughts. It sounds like you’ve made a great start already!

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