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”

Oh, how exciting – recipes! As much as I love The Night is a Strawberry blog, I just KNOW I’m going to appreciate these special recipes, too! By the way, did you see the wonderful French Onion Soup they made on TNIAS? Made my mouth water! Yipee!

I think you guys have way more interesting genealogy than me. Basically English, Cornish and maybe a splash of Irish. Although apparently we track back to Spanish royalty on mum’s side…….
Still writing. I am trying to have a productive week.

Wow ! I call that very interesting….Spanish was totally unexpected by me. Sounds like a book might be there. Oh, Oh Spanish from the destruction of the Armada? My guessing again.

Good thinking, Barbara – I wouldn’t have thought about the Armada. Still – very interesting indeed… I never knew either set of grandparents, even though they were all alive when I was born, and apparently, my mother’s parents were in the same city for awhile. But my parents moved away when I was just a baby and travel was a big deal in those days, so I guess they held me as a baby, but I don’t have any memories at all of them. I’d know them from pictures, of course, and I have to think my grandmother on my mother’s side was as Irish as Irish could be, and her father was dark (and always tanned). He apparently spoke with a very broad Cockney accent and yet, they say his family came from France. Looking at him, I’d have guessed Italy (and there’s a huge Italian population in Toronto, where they lived by then), but I sometimes wonder. I’ll be very interested to see how the testing goes, Barbara. Very good of you to test the waters for the rest of us, hahaha.

Julie, I have dabbled in genealogy on and off for many years. I keep terrible records and am very easily distracted by names of neighbors in census records and so I am off and running once again on a track that will not help me trace my people. I have learned that my paternal line arrived in VA and not SC as I had always thought I “knew”.
I won’t be upset by whatever is revealed. I’m very excited and my sister and I talked about it yesterday and last night. We will probably have the most boring report ever. All English or British at least.
When a friend and her husband saw theirs, it was only a confirmation of what they already knew from genealogical research. They are both from families that have kept family history alive for many generations.
When I began, I thought I was Scots, Irish and English only. Then a G-G-Grandfather was listed in a census as having been born in Germany. I fought that by insisting that Germany was probably the name of a no longer existing small town. I was assured that there was never a
place in SC named Germany. I checked with the State archives and the head of the History Dept. of USC. All said no such town or village existed. I finally accepted the truth when his immigration records were found years later. I had assumed he came later than he did. I am such an example of what not to do. Always keep an open mind and never say impossible when the records show it is possible.
I hope the kits arrive in tomorrow’s mail.

Anna, I’m just loving this – I love how the old case and new one are getting discussed together…

Barbara, I’m intrigued that you are testing your DNA – have you done any other genealogical discovery? Do you kind of know what you think the DNA will show? Or will it be a big surprise? My mother always said we had some native American blood – and I guess it would be Cree, considering where in Canada we lived, but I have never actually figured out how that happened. She said her father’s mother was native American, but he was born in England, not Canada… so I think there’s a secret in there somewhere…. You could certainly believe it if you saw him (though I’ve only seen photographs). Her last name was French, which makes me think that there’s some possibility that her father’s father could have been descended from an actual Frenchman who married a native woman, then took the baby back to Europe. When they moved to England, who knows? It’s interesting – my mother didn’t have details, and of course, we all wait too long to ask these questions… one of these days I will start to look into this sort of thing on Ancestry.com – once my eyes are a little worse, I’m lining up other things to do, hahaha.

Do let us know what you find out (if it’s not too personal).

Anna, Thanks for the next installment. This is really fun. Well at least for us . I think you do enjoy writing though. We are glad you do.

Glad the Dr agrees about surgery. It seems so often now that there is a delay between being told a procedure will be one and the date being scheduled and then what seems like a long wait. I’m so impatient. A friend was complaining recently that once she decided to have something done, she wanted it the next day or so. She and I remember when that was the usual thing. As children and young adults the Dr saw you in at least 1 or 2 days if not the same day. I think that was because the Medical School of Ga was here in Augusta. Still is…..new name. Our ever increasing population and the fact that local people do not start their practice here as often as before has changed everything. New Drs must wonder about us elderly people who find things so odd.
Wishing the best possible outcome for you. Let us know when surgery is scheduled.

Julie, I did it again. was reading previous page (went to it from favorites list) and posted. Surprise! New page had started.
Won’t let that stop me.

Sorry it’s been a while. You may need to go back to the last installment to get back into the swing. I know I did!
This short story is heading towards the 4000 words!

“Where did this mysterious toxin come from?”
Robbie could almost hear Morgan shaking his head over the phone.

“There the mystery deepens but the thinking of the experts is that he made it himself. The suicide victim was a bloke called Brendan Whitmore, a chemical engineer by trade who made a fortune manufacturing insecticides and pesticides in developing countries. His company ran a small research unit locally where he had a development team tinkering with better and safer agents. Strangely that team had no knowledge of the toxin that killed Whitmore and there were no records that one had been produced, but the general supposition was that he probably made the stuff himself.”
It seemed like a lot of trouble to go to in order to commit suicide mused Fox. Morgan agreed and if it was the same agent, how on earth did it end up on a tour bus?
It was late in the evening when Fox and Collie shared a meal in the now deserted dining room. The tour guests were ensconced in cosy accommodations upstairs with a constable guarding the exit, just in case.
“If it was the same weird nerve agent Whitmore used, then the killer had to be on the bus,” Collie announced. She was flicking through the report on Whitmore’s death which Morgan had sent over. “It kills within seconds so it had to have been ingested right before she died.”
Fox nodded as he swallowed the last mouthful of a delicious lamb pie. “In which case the likely repository for said toxin was Ms Purdue’s water bottle but she had been sipping from it all morning as was her want apparently, with no ill effects. Well, no prior ill effects. And she was seated alone. In all my interviews I could not identify anyone with access to the bottle. How about you?”
Collie shook her head and sipped from a bottle of beer, grateful that the Inn was licensed.
“Therese Longley moved from the seat Evangeline was in but that didn’t give her access to the water bottle. Could the toxin have been administered in another way?”
“Are you having James Bond thoughts?”
“Why not? We have seen stranger…ricin pellets delivered by umbrella, Polonium in tea…”
“It’s not impossible. Nerve agents can be absorbed across the skin Morgan tells me. I daresay injection would work quickly as well. I didn’t see anything of that ilk but we will see what Morgan and the SOCO team turn up. If it is murder we are dealing with, any likely suspects among the crowd you spoke to?”

Shredder still working over time!
Sorry about the wait gor an op date Julie but at least the process is in train.
Wow Barbara. How interesting to have the DNA tested. That will be fascinating.

Good news and bad news from my eye doctor. The good news is he concurs that I ought to have at least the right eye done (we’ll see how my vision is after that – it is by FAR the worst eye). The bad news is the scheduler was sick yesterday so I can’t find out when the surgery will be for a few more days yet. I’ll call on Monday and see when I can get in. He thought it would be about a month.

So glad a bit of calm has returned to your life. Enjoy it.
Thursday I did something I have wanted to do for years but just had not. I ordered DNA testing kits from Ancestry for Carol, Sam and myself. I can’t wait to see the results and the kits have not even arrived yet. Like many people I have certain results I hope show up even if only 1 %. I don’t want to say but I might if the results are positive. I’m interested to see Sam’s results too. We think there may be a tiny bit (one ancestor) of Native American.
Sam wants to have Petey’s DNA checked to see what breeds comprise his make up. I don’t anticipate any large breeds. Now I have to find a company.
Belated Happy Birthday to Erin.
Sending calm and peaceful thoughts your way.

Thank you everyone. Your support is amazing and sooooo appreciated. I really can’t tell you what it means.
Phone calls and emails procured legal documents. Tick.
Lovely dental prosthesist who saw mum on Easter Sunday three years ago, also amazing, made a house call and has just left. He was so good with mum and so caring. A real Three Piner. There are some fabulous people in this world.
Pete has taken Dad for coffee and a haircut and Dad is feeling better.
How the wheel turns.
Thank you for the filing stories. Surely there is an app to help? Gave Erin a decluttering book for her birthday. Bet there are ideas in there. Have made a commitment to shredding a lot this weekend. I will use it to mulch the roses.

Great idea for the decluttering and what to do with the shredded pile. Of course, it’s also good for what to do with the body, as we all know, tee hee. My poor husband sometimes looks at me with horror when I can explain to him what lividity is and such, while we’re watching tv. I’m sure he sleeps with one eye open ever since I told him I KNOW what to do with the body, hahaha.

So glad things have gone well for your mum and dad, Anna – that’s got to be comforting that people are willing to come out and help – a house call by a specialist dentist MUST be something special!

I think there are several programs for such tidiness of files, etc., but it seems to me that everything still must be ENTERED, which is the hard part, hahaha. I’m amazed when I see people keep their computer files all willy-nilly. It’s odd, because paper files have always been a bear for me – I hate to do the filing and I hate putting things back into files, but on my computer, everything has always been very orderly. I can find anything in a few seconds, and I look at other people’s systems and realize that they seem to keep everything just either on their desktop, or in one file, which is akin to opening the file room door and throwing things in! Funny old ways we have…

Oh my. I can identify with the terrible filing system and the over-thorough one, too, Barbara. My parents never saved anything. I don’t know what they thought they’d do if they ever needed their insurance policies. Luckily, when my Dad died, he was still in his right mind and was able to tell my brother the names of the insurance companies, and where all pension money came from, etc., so they got everything changed to his control before Dad was gone. Otherwise, I can’t imagine. We were always sending off for birth certificates in my family because we’d lost them. And my hubby must be like yours, Barbara – we have the warranties for any appliance he’s bought since the 1950’s, but of course, finding one for the tv we bought last week is another story, hahaha. I’ve started putting everything in electronic files on my computer before I let him put them into the dreaded filing system. Between us, we can usually come up with things.

Anna, please don’t worry about the story – we’ll be ready whenever you are, but you have to take care of yourself. Who else is going to care where your mother’s dentures are? If you get sick, it won’t do anyone any good!

Good luck at the doctors Julie! And the dress sounds lovely. You are so creative.
Bit worried about the blurred vision Barbara. Do be careful.
Rough day here. On top of everything else mum’s denture is missing and dads eyes are bad. Excuse me while I run screaming around the room……right. Feeling better. I have spent the rest of the day hunting though files and emailing to get needed documents. I should have been a lawyer, that’s where the money is. So I need to get back to the story. Sorry only one line has been written……where did I leave off!

So that was the noise I heard……you screaming in frustration. I have actually hit that place myself. I felt much better afterwards. My family just stuck things in drawers in envelopes that where mismatched to what was inside. In the 2000s I found receipts for utility bills from the 1940s. But could I find Insurance policies? No Way. Sam keeps meticulous records in file folders in a cabinet. Sounds great! His filing system is from another planet. I spent hours looking for a serial # for the TV we bought recently. I couldn’t get in a position to read the back of the set. While searching, I came across a 15 year old folder with tentative plans for a trip to England. He was on a day trip to Charleston. It seems he had a wonderful time with a group of ladies who asked him to sit with them on the bus.
Hope you find your mother’s denture. Another patient had Aunt Charlcie’s once.
We will still be here when you get back to the story. Remember to take care of yourself. Sending calm, caring thoughts your way.

Hi everyone. Sister time was good. Few life complications since I have been home sorting some legal stuff for mum and dad. Naturally their nonexistent filing system….throwing paperwork in a box….doesn’t really help. On phone to lawyers as we speak and so complicated!

Hi Anna. Hope you had a great time with your sister. It sounded lie you two were having some good “sister time”. I vote for that. I realize that I am fortunate to have my sister only 15 minutes away. It is wonderful that you are able to visit.
Hope Erin enjoyed the ribs. I am cooking a large pork roast today. I should have had it cut in two at the grocery. I’ll just freeze some of it.

Welcome home, Anna! Glad you had fun – you will definitely need to rest, though, as the jet lag MUST be noticeable, even for you! I’m doing well – have just been to see my dressmaker about another piece for my Jane Austen wardrobe. I found some beautiful eyelet fabric a few years ago and bought it with an eye to doing something “summery” with it for my regular day dress. She and I conferred, and we are going to do a knee-length half robe with no sleeves – so kind of like a longish vest that will just add a summery touch to the colors of the dress, so I’m very happy about that!

Otherwise, I have several things that NEED to be done, but I keep procrastinating and not doing anything, hahaha. My first appointment with the eye surgeon is this Friday, so hopefully, by then, I’ll know the schedule for my cataract surgery. I can’t wait to have it behind me, and see what kind of difference it will make.

Julie, so glad you will see Dr. tomorrow. I will be thinking of you. I wish your other vision problems could be cured. Last week, I had to drive Sam to a Dr. whose office is I the next county out a very heavily travelled road with lots of construction being done. Of course the double vision problem made it very difficult. I would have surgery to correct it but the Dr. thinks it best not to since I only have it occasionally and I can always close one eye to compensate. LOL. I may as well laugh…..crying only makes sinuses hurt.
The idea of an eyelet overdress sounds just the thing to add a touch of summer. Eyelet was often used for summer fashions when I was young and I always thought it was so pretty.
I love hearing about your Jane Austen activities. What fun it must be.

Barbara – I’m so sorry to hear that you are having double vision! I get that occasionally, too, and have only just realized what it was – I always just kind of thought of it as a dizzy spell. As it only happens once in a blue moon and then for only a few minutes, I’ve never thought about doing anything for it… I probably ought to mention it to my doctor, though, now that I know what it is, haha. Driving with it must have been scary!

I’m always cooking roasts that are really too large for just the two of us, too, Barbara. Pork roast sandwiches are a real fave of mine, though, so I probably would eat it all, hahaha. Freezing some after it’s cooked is a great idea – then you can pull it out sometime in the summer for a nice cold supper!

Well I am back home and the sun is shining. First day of autumn here as we change seasons with with the calendar not the solstice. I was quite shocked to see the leaves on the trees were changing though. It would feel more autumnal if it wasn’t so warm and steamy. I love the fall…my favourite season of all I think. Its pretty, its cosy and I can whip up my favourite comfort foods. Having said that its Texan ribs tonight in honour of my recent expedition and they are for Erin as she loves ribs. We have to do the Southern BBQ tour next year and try the best.
Sorry there has been a mid story hiatus. Hopefully it just whets the appetite. If I can fight off the jet lag it is my first priority after lunch today.
Are you all well? Hoping Millie can see and you are all enjoying life to the full!

It is gorgeous. Put in the country tonight at a beautiful place called High Hill Farm which has bungalows and a restaurant. My sisters friends own it. So relaxing and peaceful. Hope everyone is ok. My wifi very patchy for posting

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