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”

Hi Nancy. Always lovely to see you.
Sorry you were feeling off Julie. Hope all is well now.
I always feel lovely when I see any sort of kindness. It is a light in the darkness.
Erin is doing well. Just a few more results to change me in and then we will know how she is placed. School ranking affects how they go in the external exams!

Anna – such a nice story about the electrician – what a lovely person! Yes, that’s just the kind of thing that can totally make someone’s day! And great news about Erin and the results she has had so far! I am so very happy to be home. I got sick last night with a kind of flu feeling, though I’m better this morning. It meant that a bunch of things I meant to do yesterday didn’t get done, and we have the cleaning people arriving today, so this morning I was running around doing things – if we have the house nice and tidy, they can do the deep cleaning that we need done for us, and after cleaning day, I am always so happy. It’s nice to have the house all clean for the next little while… about halfway through the two weeks between appointments, we start getting careless again, but not so bad that it’s a huge chore to tidy up again. This morning was a little worse than normal, as hubby was home alone for 4 days, and you know men – they live like bears with furniture if women are not around. (I love that line – I can’t take credit for it, though – Rita Rudner said it first).

So glad you had a good time Julie even if it sounds as though there were some dramas. It is always good to be appreciated for making an effort but sad they are disbanding. I do like your gift. I think we should all have handlers or butlers! Someone dedicated to ensuring we get through the day unscathed.
I had a good day today because people were kind. It is amazing how powerful a small kindness can be, really uplifting. The electrician came to help me with my lights and the insinkerator. I needed a new sensor for the outdoor sensor light and the ones his film carried were four times the cost of the ones at the store but I had a friend coming by with a sore back and ai was reluctant to leave so I was going to bite the bullet and pay the extra. He wouldn’t hear of it and went to the store and bought it. It made my day that he would be so helpful. My friend arrived with her shoe laces undone because she couldn’t bend down to do them up. Fixed that, gave her a hot pack and a TENS machine and two cups of tea and she was much better. Turns out the electrician served on a ship with my husband and he was a butler for a while!!
The day continued well. Mum was teary at first and then became quite funny. That was lovely. The lady in the grocery store was kind and Erin was second in physics and one of her maths classes. She passed the first English paper but apparently many didn’t so we are happy with that. Fingers crossed for the rest. Hopefully the world will continue to shine happily this week.

Anna, it was so nice to read about your good day. It’s so important to dwell on the good things and keep that focus when the other threatens to overwhelm us. Thank you!

Hi, all – Anna, I’m so glad Erin survived! Sounds like you both did – though you will need to start training now for the October exams! Chocolate and pie will both help! Utah was fun, but a trip also to be just barely survived! I’m lucky I got there at all, and again, lucky I got home. Two long stories that make me look like a complete idiot, and not to be let out on my own, without a handler… Suffice to say that air conditioning was the least of my worries, and all’s well that ends well, hahaha. In fact, Linda was very considerate of my needs, and I was very comfortable. Phew!

We were doing classes, which were fun, and my part went very well. The guild is disbanded now – this was their very last event, so it was bittersweet. Wonderful to see everyone, and sad to know that I won’t be back for more. They gifted me, and the two other teachers for the weekend with lovely “scissors frogs” – they take the old glass flower frogs you can find in most antique stores, and put them in another vintage piece of glassware (in my case a shallow parfait cup of pink depression glass). The idea is you put your embroidery scissors in the holes to display them. Here is a picture of what I mean:
I felt very honored to be considered part of the teaching group, as my presentation was more something that would be offered at a regular meeting as just a program, not a bespoke class for embroidery. But it made me feel so nice to be appreciated by the group for coming.

My next little while is pretty quiet, and I’m glad, as I need a bit of time to recover now that I’m home again, home again, jiggety-jig.

Any thoughts about a new computer for you Barbara? With the new LP available in a just a couple of weeks you will need to have one so we can all chat! Erin and I still recovering slowly. Wow, the last few weeks have really taken it out of us. Are we wimps! I am in training for the really big exams in October. These were called trials, they count towards the final marks but the real ones are worth 50%. Back on my bike to get in shape.

Ah, Anna, my younger son enjoys Haruki Murakami. I’ve enjoyed the surprising titles and buying the books for him over the years. Who can resist Kafka on the Shore? I haven’t read it, mind you, I just like the title!

Thank you Peg and Cathryne! You are both so lovely. There was definitely chocolate so we must have picked up that vibe quite clearly. I wanted to take her for lunch after the last exam but she was so tired we came home to veg out. Interestingly she hasn’t been reading much for a long while and she has gotten back into it. Japanese author called Murakami.
Hope everyone is well and surviving the heat.

Yes, Peg, you made me smile, “Thanks for sharing her [Erin] with us.”
I, too, sent powerful best thought across the sky and water during her exams, with just a tinge of chocolate for inspiration!

Anna, Erin’s results should be fantastic. She must have prepared very thoroughly. Too bad about the lurgy though, really bad timing on its part. Thank you for sharing her with us!

Yeah – I’ve used ready-made pastry for years and always had that soggy bottom, which is why I was interested in the claims that recipe made. I thought I didn’t like pies – turns out I just don’t like bad pies, hahaha. I’m learning a lot from the GBBS – I had no idea there were so many different KINDS of pastry.

I tried an experiment. I used ready made pastry for my apple pie. Yuk and soggy bottom too. The recipe you shared is infinitely better Julie!

Well done dodging that disaster Julie. Pays to keep protective software up to date. Browsing the Internet can be like wandering around the city and suddenly finding yourself in a bad part of town!
Trying to decide whether to invest money I the house before selling. It needs reprinting but that is not cheap.

Yikes – I came so close to getting my computer locked by ransom ware yesterday! I’ve become addicted to the Great British Bake Off – and wanting to see all the earlier seasons, I went looking for them online. Found quite a lot on YouTube, which was great, but by the 4th season, there were only a few, so went looking further afield for the full season – found a site that said they had it available for streaming, went there, and got that message come up that they had locked my computer and I should call this number. Luckily, I knew what it was, and very quickly turned the switch off on the computer. I rebooted and then thoroughly scanned and scrubbed my computer. Between my quick action and the firewall, I must have dodged it, because after that, I rebooted again, and all was normal. Phew! I had just renewed my anti-virus software, and upgraded to a higher protection level. Am I glad I did! So… season 4 will remain a mystery to me. Ah well. We are on our local PBS station, just about half way through season 6, and I’ve seen seasons 1 through 3 and all of 5, so I guess I can put up with the rest, hahaha.

My renewed interest in baking and cooking has me very jealous of all the gadgets they use – the special pans that come away from the cakes, etc. – it all makes me want them all. I’m trying very hard to remember that those things aren’t really necessary, and never has anyone told me my cakes are underbaked, hahahaha.

It’s becoming a common thing – at my HMO it’s one of the first things they ask – first, for your membership number (luckily, mine is easy to remember), and then, to confirm that they have the right person’s file pulled up on the computer they usually say something like “and I just need your date of birth”. I’d have been really angry, too, if the first time I’d encountered this, they said it like they thought I wouldn’t know my own birth date! Once you think you’re addressing someone approaching senior citizenship, you should tread very carefully. One day it will be you – if you’re lucky. I’ve always thought that people really condescend to older people, and when they say things like how “cute” they are, or “so-and-so is 86 years young!” I find that so very demeaning – I know they are trying to be complimentary, but it comes off like you think the person is losing their marbles. Just treat everyone the same, for goodness sakes!

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