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.

3,649 replies on “The Bistro”

Darn. I did want to blow Paul a kiss but I didn’t get that far downtown today. The girls snd Pete have great photos of the sunset from the top of the Empire State today. We go home tomorrow but we will be back. I still have half the Met to see and a lot else besides!
I did know better about the boots but they are good for my feet apart from one little toe so I took a gamble! At least my arches are happy.

Back at ya Paul. Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays as you say here. Next time I get to NY I will definitely do a run past and blow kisses. Xxx

Ok. Made it to Montreal Airport. Deaf in one ear but otherwise ok. Very pretty with snow all around. Do you live here Nancy?
The day has not been without more travel drama. Peter will join us late tonight after staying behind to take care of Erin’s friend who has only just left DC. She should have been home by now. Long story. Fingers crossed she makes it for Christmas Day ok.

Ouch – Anna, I could have told you not to wear new boots in NYC. I did the same thing when we went to visit, and I had no idea the amount of walking there is to do. The first day, when I got home, I had the largest blister I’d ever seen on my heel, and it took a lot of wrapping and taking it easy for the rest of the vacation. We’d had reservations to have dinner and dance at the Rainbow Room, and we had to put that off until our last day in hopes that the blister would be better by then (it was). I loved, loved, loved my time in NYC (I’m sure I’ve told you all that before, hahaha). Have a great time – take the bus downtown to pass by the flat-iron building and blow a kiss to Paul at Minotaur! (at least, I hope you get to work in that iconic building, Paul – I remember Louise saying her publishers’ offices are there).

Thanks Cathryne. I will have a look at the book. You could stay at the Wellington Hotel. Its only two blocks from the Park. We went to MOMA this morning which is a short walk away. I must say I prefer the Met but there is a lot of iconic art at MOMA. Love Starry Night and Erin has been a Warhol fan since first grade. After lunch Pete took the girls to the Bryant Park Christmas Village and they are up the Empre State. I have had a rest this afternoon. New boots have rubbed one toe and even blister bandages haven’t helped. Small price for all the fun.

Anna, how wonderful! Two places I would love to visit; I have fantasized through the years about staying in New York City, next to Central Park, and spending at least 2 weeks walking in the park and visiting the Met daily, interspersed with Moma. And then, more park and the library!

A YA book you and the girls might enjoy is Voices After Midnight by Richard Peck. Set in N. Y.C. with some time shifts. I think about it every time I see Central Park in the snow.

Hope you are still in N. Y., have fun!

Hi Cathryne. Hi Julie. The snood got a big workout today in NY. We walked through Central Park to the Met which I loved. Only saw half of it if that as I was taking my time. The Christmas ornaments in the shop looked great but I didn’t. Just back from Kinky Boots which was fabulous.
I think you are being sensible Julie. Our tree is only small but its nice to have Christmas is some form or another. Love to see the Village set.

Anna, you’ll be very glad you did get a tree, I think. You don’t want TOO many alien things for your first season away from home… I’ve seen lots of little things I’d love, but I have so many things I already love, too, so I need to do another judicious culling of Christmas ornaments. I have two small (less than 2′) bits that I use to display home-made ornaments now (I have a lot of stitched ornaments that friends have made for me). When I went down to look, I’d already taken everything off the tree last year because I had some lights that weren’t working, and I needed to figure out which ones. So, I’ve decided that this is the year for no tree – After I’m all set up with everything else, I will take the lights that are working off the tree and put them in a glass bowl. The good news is that this leaves room for my Christmas village set, and I can start to make my Three Pines set now, and then perhaps add to it as years go on…

What fun! You’ll enjoy it all week and next, just the way to bring Christmas into your new home.

I had no idea the word snood was still useful! I googled it, saw the old fashioned version and the wonderful updated versions. They will be a great help for warmth and pretty too.

We weren’t going to do a tree but I saw table top pines, real ones, at Whole Foods. Erin has always wanted a real tree and has wanted to decorate one here so Pete went out and got one this morning despite the icy roads. The girls have gone shopping for ornaments which is a great way to spend a very gloomy icy morning.

Millie – I’m with you on the decluttering, and what does that mean for the after-Christmas sales? hahaha – I know I don’t want to be lugging that tree up and down the stairs anymore, but I also don’t want to have NO Christmas decorations. I think I’ll probably do the tree this one last time, and after it’s over, take everything off of it (I’ve been leaving unbreakable ornaments on it) and find a place to take the tree, so I can do some other planning…

Thank you everyone. The gap year/holiday has definitely begun with strangely a lot of shopping! Mind you, the temperatures have required it. We stayed home Thursday when the wind was blowing. Still chilly today but with our new coats we braved the day and visited the Natural History museum. The girls were very happy and enjoyed the rocks and gems! We decided we definitely need snoods though, scarfs you can wrap around your head for those in impossibly warm climates, and the girls have trotted off to get those. We are navigating the metro like pros and I am loving walking around rather than using a car. You see so much more. My only caution is that cross walks don’t seem to mean much to cars around here!!
Be calm your beating heart Barbara but yes it is exciting.

How wonderful, Anna! Congratulations to Anna! (secretly, I KNEW she would do well!). Millie – LOVED the picture of Knowlton, and just for a nano-second, I thought about leaving Seattle and taking over the store there, hahahahahahaha. I really don’t want to work that hard, but I still harbor a little bit of “I’m not sure I want to be here for a Trump presidency” in my heart. I have to admit that I am very, VERY worried about what kind of mess he and his cabinet picks are going to get us into that we can’t get out of! I’m amazed at those who feel we can “wait and see”, but of course, I don’t know what else we can do. Everything else is being done – which is mostly, write to congressmen, protest, fund the organizations that will fight against any big changes in legislation… I feel very helpless some days. Other days, I think that once he’s really trying to do any of these things, he’ll find out fast that it’s not going to work.

Congrats to Erin ! Also to her Mother. Now you both can join in the holiday fun. This is such an exciting time for your family. Enjoy, Enjoy and Enjoy !
My heart is racing at the thought of all that is ahead.

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:


or this:


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.

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