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.

3,650 replies on “The Bistro”

Thank you, Julie. You got something done about our problem of the “disappearing posts” and then the “come and go” Bistro. I tried to find a way to get help but completely failed. Cudos and flowers to you. I was in a panic when I thought everyone was gone. It is hard to realize it has been years since this all started. But on the other hand Three Piners feel like lifelong friends. As Anna said The re-read and then the Bistro were ways of publicizing LP’s books. What came to be is nothing short of amazing.
Julie, you mentioned entering the discussion fearfully. I could hardly type the first few times. I read and reread each word I wrote. I just knew I was going to say something and someone was going to suggest that I go and read my Fuzzy Duck book. Some may have thought that but everyone was so kind and didn’t say so.
When I realized how thoroughly everyone seemed to read, I was astounded. Truthfully there was a time I wondered if I had the same edition or what. Yes the title and the names of the characters were the same, but others seemed to be reading a book with more meaning. I have learned to sit back, relax and read all the words… not just rush for the end.

Thought I had better post before I made what I had written go “Poof” off into never, never land.
Anna, I am certain that your choice of apartment over free standing house and land was the better one. I see so many advantages. I hope Peter is adjusting to his new home, new job and your absence. A lot at one time I know. I just can not even imagine what you are dealing with. The actual moving, the living in a new and unfortunately odd country. I thought for a long time to find a word to describe the current USA. Most of us feel much the same…..when will we awake from this nightmare. We don’t appear very warm or welcoming I am sure. All those
years ago when we thought of moving to Australia, I never even thought of not being welcome.
Maybe youth or maybe just another time.

So many posts I want to comment on. Julie, your dream about the apartment sounds just wonderful. Maybe you can use some of the ideas, if not now in the future. Although I, too, think making a move sooner rather than later is a good idea. Good luck. I have had no luck getting Sam to even discuss moving.
Some time back, I mentioned I wanted to have a yard sale but didn’t feel up to it. One of our Senior groups had one in May. Members paid $20 for a table and what ever they sold was theirs to keep. The group ad 4 tables and many members donated items. Sam made more money than even they did. Down side is that we gathered up far too many items. I had moved the boxes into a “junk” room that is getting really crowded.
Sam says he wants to have a sale here at the house. I have thought of putting ads in the Maybe tomorrow or at least this week.

I was just sitting here reading Louise’s posts about the passing the f her sister in law. Of course I am having a cry now. I love the picture of Carol and Michael together having high tea in London. We must savour every moment. Love to you Louise and Michael and Carol’s family.

Years! Oh my – it DOES seem like just yesterday – and I can’t believe how perfectly you’ve captured the feelings I had when we first started. I felt like I was the only one who wasn’t A SERIOUS READER WITH SOMETHING VALUABLE TO SAY! Thankfully, you all humored me and let me stay…

I somehow managed to miss Louise’s FB posts, too – no wonder I felt like I was in limbo. I see she’s now home from London, where, unfortunately, she had the terrible job of saying goodbye to Michael’s sister for the both of them. I’m sure they were all thankful that in the past couple of years, there had been several visits when everyone was at least well enough to enjoy the time together.

And there’s a new Nature of the Feast entry, which I’d missed. I adore Shrimp, but really, I need to explain to Louise that it’s okay to leave all the Brie, red meat and wine just as it is – if I can’t eat vicariously through Three Piners, then how will I live? I love that they will not have to worry about their cholesterol unless it becomes a major plot point.

So happy to be back!

I have gone back and read through the posts to catch up. Such fun.
I totally empathise about your computer Barbara. As I recall it has been an ongoing issue. Is there a place you could buy a refurbished or second hand one?
I found the above site that list a few. I know it is an expense you probably don’t need but have a look and see whether it is cheaper than constant repairs. We would miss you if your computer died…argh! Even my dad loves his computer and iPad. We all are very fortunate to have our own devices and we would be lost without them.
Julie….the apartment sounds perfect. I think with everything that has happened and your eyes that you are being very sensible to consider the downsizing. When Peter and I were looking at places to live in DC we oscillated between a home on land and a townhouse or apartment. It can be very hard to get your head around the apartment idea if you are independent and know the value of land but as we all get older simplicity trumps all. Right up until we signed the lease on the Penthouse we were still looking at homes…online for me directing Peter to look in person. Now that we have signed the lease I feel very relieved we didn’t get a house despite the space and storage we would have had. In the apartment we have security, we don’t have to manage the yard (which is taking so much time and effort in our Australian house), we don’t have to take out the garbage, there are no stairs, there is always someone at the desk to receive parcels, etc etc. You are quite right that the fees you pay are the same if you have to pay landscapers etc. Perhaps you could go over the money you spend maintaining the place you are in…everything you spend on it and compare that to the HOA fees. Also you could explain that with your eyesight, it would be better to make any moves now rather than when it becomes desperate or when you would struggle to make the transition. Don’t give up on the idea.
Millie…I giggled when I read that you thought you had been banned. Honestly woman! Glad to say nope…your seditious posts must have passed unnoticed thank goodness.
So much has happened to all of us in the last few years. Yes people we have been in the Bistro for years even though it feels like only yesterday we made our first tentative forays through the door…eyes wide, heads down, wondering if we would be welcome and if anyone would talk to us. Would we say something stupid and be ignored? We took such a chance on something new. But look how well it turned out. I hope you remember to be brave the next time an opportunity presents itself because I know you were all brave to post and keep coming back. Revealing yourself to new people is not easy but every risk has its rewards and life is really deciding to step up to each new challenge hoping for something good despite our fears.

Thank you Paul. It seems to be working. Some of my posts originally disappeared and now they are back but some also worked because I had a couple of emails. We are incredibly grateful that you have created and maintain the Bistro for us. I am sure you have many other things that are very important to do. Perhaps you never envisaged what you would create when you opened the doors to our cosy retreat for the first time. Although only a few of us post regularly I am sure there are many who pop in and out and enjoy the space equally as much even if they are relatively quiet in their passing through. I know it started as a sideline to promoting Louise’s books and never fear we all still do in our real world lives. I have put many people onto the series. Interestingly the Bistro really does feel like an extension of Three Pines where care and comfort are a priority of life.

(((((((Barbara)))))))))) I had a feeling you were needing some cyber-hugs as well. We all do at one time or another… I missed everyone so much when I couldn’t get in – I was starting to panic! My only solace was the hope that some others WERE able to get in and talk to each other. Now that I’m back, I can’t tell if people could see each other’s posts or not, or if we were all just posting “blind”, hahahaha.

Barbara, your computer woes sound awful – I hate when I can’t find any of my “stuff” – Vern and I stopped sharing the same computer when he had one given to him by his work. After he retired, they let him keep it because now it was out of date, of course, but it’s perfect for what he does now that there’s no work to be done on it. He surfs the web, reads newspaper sites, etc., and listens to music. Now that I’m not doing much for our company, that’s about all I do, too. Now it’s like a little old lady who only goes out to the grocery store driving a Mack truck to do the weekly shopping, hahahaha. This big, powerful computer was needed to run my design software, but now, of course, I mostly surf the web, read Jane Austen fan fiction and talk on FB. Ah well – hopefully, it will stand me in good stead for some time yet, as my next jump will be to a laptop that the keyboard comes off of so I can use it as a tablet as well. I won’t need a lot of memory, but I will want SOME…

It’s terrible what repair people want for computers – it means so many more computers get junked instead of fixed, which is a shame.

I hope your weather is pleasant, Barbara – I know it gets hot and sticky there, but I hope it’s not too bad yet. We’re still pretty cool, but lately, they’ve told us the forecast is for showers that don’t seem to appear, so we’ve got cool temps but sunny skies, which is my favorite! Come back in to the Bistro for a little “pick-me-up” whenever you feel like it. We’ve got a vase just waiting for the scotch…

Hi, to all. What a wonderful surprise to have the lovely emails this AM. This computer is giving me big trouble. The hinge is broken and the screen comes and goes. I’m going to try to post anyway. What happened? To be honest I have always been a clumsy person, a real klutz. Back when the weather was cold, I closed the laptop on the sash of the very heavy robe Sam gave me for Christmas. Then I did it again. The only way it can be repaired is to ship it to HP and repair it for what would almost pay for a new one. Sam had a fit. He had taken I to the Geek Squad. They did manage to clear out a great deal of malware which did improve the speed. Only I recognized nothing when I turned it on. Sam and I share the computer. I call my site or what ever is the correct word my side. I had to keep trying until I was able to locate the tools, sites and everything else. I am still trying. This came after they had it for almost a week. I think I can make a workable fix with Duct Tape. I am lolrof that I just said such a thing. Duct Tape and “me repair” in the same sentence.
I have been off the radar here at home too. I haven’t attended anything in months. I do still keep Dr.’s appointments and sometimes go to the grocery and Carol’s 6 0r 7 days a week. Lots of ongoing things that just pile up and make me go to ground. Feeling better today. More later and good thoughts to all.

Phew! We’re back. And I see that all my posts that “disappeared” are back, so I’m sorry for the one double-post. Paul – thank you so very much!

Julie tells me Paul is aware so if these posts can be read then hang in there people. Still feel free to drop a line. There is a new Fox and Collie story on the boil. I might actually write it if there are people to read it so happy to email it if the Bistro is stalled.

I had lots of trouble, Paul. The first sign was a message popping up saying it had to be moderated. I thought it odd, there were no links but it showed up for a day or two before vanishing. Then no others would stick.

Every day for awhile now, I try to post something. I don’t know if my posts are getting through and only I can’t see them, or if somehow, it doesn’t like me and Millie. But I know our old posts haven’t shown up that I can see at least. Anyway – Anna, how exciting for your hubby – I’m so glad he’ll get a chance to see Louise and be able to extend your greetings!

Thanks for the article on kind words – I’ve noticed this phenomena myself, mostly in the negative. I see people who only speak negatively about things – who are pessimistic, cynical, and unhappy. Those are the kinds of words that come from them, which perpetuates the unhappiness, I believe. And I’ve noticed in myself that calming, kind words coming from me goes a long way toward making me feel better about something. I’d never thought of this specifically, but now that I’ve read this article, I see exactly what is going on inside me as well as around me, and I intend to act on it. It’s so easy to get caught up in the distress and anger being expressed everywhere. I really ought not go on Facebook, except that I have a small cadre of friends who used to “meet” in an email group and now want to use FB, because it’s easier. What I’ve noticed, of course, is that the messages are all much shorter, and we don’t get the same sense of community and support that we used to get. Now it feels so much more like lip service, or superficial “nothings” that we express. Face book is well-named – you get the sur-face, but not the deep connection. Well, wherever that came from, it’s probably time to stop this post, as I’m pretty sure nobody will get to read it anyway.

My husband is going to Louise’s book launch in DC. While I am envious I am also very pleased for him. Such fun he deserves!.
Not sure if the Bistro is working or not. Last night I couldn’t even access the site.
Sending my thoughts to all after yet another tragedy.

Hello! Are the Bistro’s doors open again? I do hope so. It’s ironic that I hadn’t posted in ages but when I couldn’t I felt a tremendous loss.

Catheryne, thanks for the welcome back. I shook my head when you mentioned you enjoyed Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. I had been avoiding it also because my mom read it and said she didn’t like it. I shouldn’t be surprised. We rarely like the same books. Adding it to my reading list. And a book that always makes you smile when you think of it is a must. Sometimes an internal smile is just what I need.

Anna, I thought I had been banned until I saw that your and Julie’s posts disappeared too. So here’s a replacement virtual (((hug))). Though no one can replace Julie herself.

And speaking of irreplaceable, here’s a big hello to Barbara. Hope all is well with you and yours.

Long live the Bistro!

Hi Cathryne,
I was so pleased to see Millie too and then it all disappeared and I thought I was going a little mad when I popped back and they were gone!
Life has been hectic so I haven’t had a lot of time or energy to write.
I do hope all is well with everyone.

Trying again – I’ve posted a few times, but my messages all disappear. I still think this site doesn’t want us to have more than 86 pages, hahaha.

Yes, it’s been very disconcerting – glad to see new posts at any rate. I’ve asked Paul to look into it, so at least he will be able to either stop it or get us a new Bistro page or something.

I had done one message to Millie, which disappeared, and then, right after that, Millie’s disappeared, and I think one of Anna’s. Don’t know how much else I might have missed… Anyway – it’s encouraging that Anna’s and Cathryne’s last messages are here. Maybe it’s already fixed – if so, thank you, Paul!

As part of my message to Millie I had talked about what has fired my imagination a bit lately – you will remember that we talked (at least a year ago, probably more – time means nothing to me, hahaha) about “dream houses” – places we built as our “castles in the air”, where everything is as we would want it to be. I had said I wanted a pretty condo with a lovely view, that I would decorate in Art Deco. Well – I found it! It exists, it’s no more than three miles away from me, and it’s affordable! There are actually about 100 condos in a development – they’ve been around since 1974 and still look great – so they’re well built. The rooms are large and every one of them has a spectacular view of Lake Washington. They’re on a hillside, have lovely grounds and public places, and I’ve seen photos of quite a few of the interiors and they are so lovely! Most have chosen to decorate in all white, and photos taken on a sunny day featuring the view are absolutely stunning. They all have either 2 or 3 bedrooms, the rooms are very large, for condos. That’s amazing in Seattle, as downtown, all the condos that I could afford are teeny-tiny! I mean, if I were to spend $10 million, then, yes, I could get large rooms, and three bedrooms and a wonderful view of Puget Sound, but really…. the thing about these others is that I know that if we sold our house, we’d have money left over after we moved in. Of course, Vern won’t even think about it – he thinks there’s no value in a condo – here at our house we have land, and the fact that we’re not able to properly take care of it anymore doesn’t seem to enter into it for him. He doesn’t want to pay condo fees that will “always go up and never go away”, whereas I think that’s just akin to paying a landscape company to keep our yard in good shape, and a handyman to keep the house in good shape, which I’d have to do if I were in the house alone. Ah well – daydreams… I go and look at the pics from time to time and plan my renovations – “this one is nice, but I don’t want the washer/dryer in the kitchen – at least not where you can see them from the dining room”, “that one has so much balcony space, but if I could enclose most it, it would make the living room huge and still leave room for a little table and chairs outside,” “I love the fireplace in this one, but I’d change the flooring” – so fun to dream and doodle with the imaginary plans in my head, hahahaha.

Yes, Anna, including Millie’s.
Very glad to hear from you, Millie, I looked up the books that you mentioned and I want to ask my younger son if he has heard of them. They sound right up his alley.
I, too, have enjoyed reading and talking about books with my sons over the years. It’s a great way to connect and has certainly led me places I had never been and might never have gone. My older son got me started on Gabriel Garcia Marquez, someone I might have continued to avoid. (Really? Magical Realism???). One Hundred Years of Solitude is one of my favorite books now.
My younger son introduced me to Christopher Moore, a writer I would have missed. Thinking about The Stupidest Angel always makes me laugh. Another book I read on his recommendation was about computers, snow, dreams of unicorns… I don’t remember the name of the book or the author and I didn’t really understand what was going on, but that was useful too because it helped me to see how and why we are on different wave lengths sometimes!
I hope no more posts disappear!

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