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”

Oh, I’m glad you have good weather for your visit, Anna. The way things are going these days, the parts of the country that should be having warm sunny weather are experiencing winter storms, snow and flood-bringing rain, so you lucked out! Have a great visit.

You are a brave girl Millie. Changing routines after so long is very difficult. I have been trying to get used to new multi focal X and the iPad looks like it bends in the middle!
Good news, I survived the flight. I even managed to sleep so no writing was done. I am not sure I will get any done here as I am focused on time with my sister so there is a hiatus in the story people.
Sun is shining and weather is clear in Texas. Hope everyone has blue skies today!

Millie – I’m just thrilled for you that all is well with your eyes – did you have both eyes done at once? For some reason, I’ve been envisioning that they’ll do them one at a time… Don’t answer til you’re better!

Adding the e at the end of her first name won’t help, I’m afraid. These were never the big selling books that might get turned into audio, and they’ve not been needed to turn into Kindle, either. You’ll just have to get your hubby to read them to you!

Left eye done first, Julie. That lens is for midrange sight. May 5 they do the right eye with a lens corrected for far range sight. Till then I wear my glasses with left lens popped off so I start getting my brain used to which eye to use to focus on. Yesterday I couldn’t do it and was having mini panic attacks. For 50 years the first thing I’d do was put on my glasses and all was right with the world. Today I kept trying till something clicked and it finally worked. 😀
It’s tiring, though. But I’m no longer panicking.
As for Mike reading to me… Ahhh, I don’t see that happening – ever! ROFLOL. He wouldn’t even read to our sons when they were little, though he was willing to do all the other baby care things. Says he reads all day and the last thing he wants to do at home is read more. I’ve seen his reading stack when he brings work home. Can’t say I blame him. Holy Moly! The equivalent of 4 or 5 novels per day! (Yes, he’s learned to speed read) Then he has to look for errors in the material, and prepare a report which is equally long for disemination up the chain. He gets a pass in my opinion.
He’s been great through this entire surgery time, taking days off to make sure I was OK, driving me around, cooking, the works. I’m a lucky gal indeed, even if he won’t read to me. LOL
OK, that’s about all I can manage today.
Any suggestions for a book to listen to while we wait for August? Preferably not part of a series…

Hello Three Piners. Please scroll up the page in a bit to see a few comments. I echo Anna’s gratitude for your support and add my gratitude for your patience. I’ve gotten used to midrange on left eye and far range on right eye with that trifocal lens on my glasses. But close up reading or typing is already a challenge so I’m not sure how it is going to go after the other eye gets its new lens. (Sorry Julie, right eye surgery is MARCH 7th – today, the 5th I’ve started the pre-op eye drops. I have no idea why I wrote May other than I’m more than a wee bit of overwhelmed. Life sure gets interesting when one wants down time.) I just need to practice patience till it’s all sorted out. I trust my ophthalmologist so I’m not in panic mode about my vision. Not yet, lol… I can’t do much about Mike’s terrible cold except pray I don’t get it. I suspect sneezing in the middle of surgery would not be ideal. 🙂 Add to that some interesting “family” drama going on in several fronts, I’m extremely grateful they aren’t Mike’s or my problem and I’ve learned to say “NO, sorry, but your plans don’t work for us right now.” That was harder than I thought it would be but I may be getting a stronger character along with my increasing years. That or I’m tired of drama. LOL

Sending wishes of DRAMA FREE calm and peace to all.

Sneaking in another thanks for positive thoughts while Mike is in his man cave. I’ve been forbidden to read or type for at least a week. Gasp, gag! So far so good. I can’t see clearly with both eyes open but I could make out the letters on the chart with a funny patch with holes. Gues I need to give my eye time to heal.

Nancy & Catheryn, so very nice to hear from you. I knew I was surrounded by caring souls. Catheryn, and Barbara, The Storied life… Starts a bit slow, but it picks up quickly. Don’t give up on it too soon. I looked for Helene Hanff on audio and no luck. 🙁 Maybe I should try adding the e at the end of her first name?
Best of best thoughts to all. More as I can. Oh, Barbara, Downtown Abby is great this season!
How I wish I could write more…
(((((Hugs)))))

Anna – a “quick” trip to Texas? I’m not sure you could get to anywhere in the US, including Hawaii on anything you could call a “quick” trip, hahaha. But I know what you mean. Hope the mum and dad fires stay put out for a bit… it can be wearying. I feel like almost everyone here in the Bistro is going through some of the same things except me. On the one hand, that’s good, but of course, it’s mostly because both parents are gone, and I have no children or close siblings to worry about, hahaha. I get my worrying in second-hand with my step-daughter and her son and his son. But they are fairly far away and we only hear about the big things, and they’re all doing very well, so that’s a good thing, too. Well, I won’t laugh the face of the gods too long – they’ll find a way to bring me up short, I’m sure! ;->

Cathryine, I think of you often, and hope you are doing well. And Barbara, I meant to say that I was so happy your sister has been doing a little better – I think I ended up talking about me instead (so typical!). May everyone have a little bit easier time of things even just for a day or two…

Hello Dear Cathryne, how wonderful to hear from you. I think of you all the time. I know exactly what you mean about Mum fires! Everyday brings a fresh challenge. Had one of those today but with dad.
So glad you are getting to read and how lovely of you to reread The Cove. Book 2 is done but I need to tidy and I keep thinking I will get there but gosh, life gets in the way. Soon I hope. I will try and finish short story….maybe when I am at the airport or on the plane.
Stay calm and well Cathryne and thank you for letting us know you are ok!

So glad you let the Bistro friends know that things went well, Millie. I’ve been sending good thoughts your way today and before. I’ve been following you all, wishing you well, and mentally speaking to you through days and nights!

Still many Mom fires to put out and I find it hard to find words when I get to my iPad, but I have felt your presence and support. Thank you.

My husband, sons, daughters-in-laws, grandchildren are fine; that keeps me constantly grateful.

I loved rereading the three Helene Hanff books I own and just received Q’s Legacy and The Storied Life of A. J. Fiery, on your recommendations. Listening to Louise Penny’s books for the _____th time and loving them. So much to think about, such good laughs, such human understanding. And I feel like I see the character development more clearly and more as a continuum each time I listen to them, book to book to book, the long house, as Gamache says, I think.

Oh, and Anna, I reread The Cove and enjoyed it even more on second reading, more relaxed. Hoping that you will publish your second book soon. Hint! I’m having fun reading your short story too, keep it coming!

Best thought to you all.

Thanks Barbara. Eye issues plague almost everyone in some form or another. Working today but hopefully some more story before I make a quick trip to Texas tomorrow to see my sister. Be gone a few days but might not get much story done.

Its good to hear Carol has made progress Barbara. Good on you for staying positive when you are frustrated. I know how that can be!
Cataract surgery has comeca long long way even in the last ten years. Takes but minutes and I know Millie will be fine but understand her anxiety. Like me with planes.

Thanks, Anna. Yes I’m sure you do. You mentioned that the big 3 eye diseases are in your family.
Maybe by the time they are a threat to you, treatment will be much better. It is very frustrating to be told new glasses won’t help. I seem to have smudges on my glasses all the time. Trying to see through all that doesn’t help. In March, I think, I see the Dr and will get new glasses. Same prescription but lenses that are suppose to be smudge proof. Really ?
Whoops! Not Australian First People but African. The name was so strange to me I made the assumption. Which reminds me how limited my knowledge of Australia’s population of today is. Another gap in my knowledge. One of the many subjects this group has inspired me to learn about.
Looking forward to the next installment of your short story. Reminds me of the days when Magazines carried serializations. I was always anxious for the next installment

Julie, I do enjoy hearing about your Jane Austen Society as it sounds like they are loads of fun. The Mice are just too cute.

Millie, my thoughts and prayers are with you. I’ll think of you often tomorrow. It is wonderful that cataract surgery has improved since I was a child. The patient had o remain flat on the bed with Blocks on either side of the head to keep it immobile. I couldn’t have had the surgery under those restrictions. Panic would have over taken me at the mere thought. Almost easy peasey now.
Hugs and calm thoughts to you.

Nerve gas, the G series, was developed by the Germans in WW2 although mustard gas had been around since the 1800s and was used in WW1. Not a nerve gas but chemical warfare.

Thanks for the info, Anna. Now, I better read your short story from the beginning because unlike Julie, I’ve NO idea who could have ‘done it’. I’ve an hour and a half to indulge in reading before Downton Abby.

Downton Abbey is really great this year I think. The costumes are as wonderful as ever and I’m enjoying the way the story is going except for Carson’s and Barrow’s. If I were Mrs Hughes-Carson, I think I would have to stand up to Mr. Carson and explain the difference from our jobs and our home life. I hope Barrow doesn’t become a suicide. I want everyone to have a good life.
Just watched the recording of last night’s Rosemary and Thyme. Saw series a few years ago and just loved it. Carol and I watched it last night but I didn’t mind watching it again just now.
Yes. Last week Carol, my sister, suggested we watch it. I told her we could change channels if she felt she needed to. She liked it and we watched last night too. It’s been over 4 years since she could watch anything where someone died. Since her husband’s death. Maybe she can make some progress towards a normal life still. I’ve never given up hope. Though sometimes it is very hard not to just scream.

I know just what you mean, Barbara – I could slap Mr. Carson, but a few people seem to be setting him straight, including the Earl last night! Good for him, and good for him for caring at least a little about Edith’s feelings. If you haven’t watched the latest episode yet – SPOILER ALERT. You wouldn’t BELIEVE the things I called Mary last night after she ruined her sister’s chances for happiness (for the third time, I believe – she has ruined every single one of Edith’s chances to marry)! I know Edith ought to have told her fella, but for heavens’ sakes – I think she would have soon enough on her own.

But I do love this show and will miss it terribly when it’s gone. Thank heavens we will have a new Gamache this year – when these things stop, I take it all too much to heart, hahaha.

Julie, I thought nerve gas was used during the Vietnam war, not WWII… But my knowledge of ‘wars’ is very poor, by necessity. Seeing violence or massive deaths on a screen equals nausea and panic attacks. Reading about it is not much easier. But if it was a gas used during or after Vietnam then one of the characters might know about it?

Well, of course, my knowledge is spotty at best and of course, half the time what I know for sure is wrong. Doesn’t stop me from being sure, though, hahaha. Nerve gas, mustard gas, it’s all the same to me.

I’m pretty okay about seeing the bloody, gory things, but I still can’t see something that has someone being unfaithful. It still brings up all my feelings from my first marriage. I can’t imagine how long it might be before I could watch something in which somebody dies if that had happened to me. That said, I love Rosemary and Thyme – they’re such lovely, light stories. I especially liked the last year, when they must have had a bigger budget, and all the gardens seemed to be in Europe. Just to see the gardens was reason enough to watch. And now I’m immersed in the latest episodes of Miss Fisher.

Millie – the lemon meringue pie on the Night is a Strawberry blog looks intriguing. I’m surprised at the shortcut she takes with the lime curd, though – I’ve only once followed along with people to use condensed milk to make caramel, and it was so awful I threw it all out. But I AM going to try her trick of using brown sugar in the meringue.

Hmmmm – I have more clues in my mind… but I’ll be a good girl and set it in my list rather than ask here now… Now that I’ve read it, though, it’s clear it wasn’t nerve gas from WWII but something quite new… So interesting – I wonder who’s on the cutting edge?

I was heartened to hear the obituary of Harper Lee on TV that spent very little time on Go Set a Watchman and didn’t talk at all about the controversy surrounding it’s being published. I was so worried that after all her deserving life, she’d be remembered for being a foolish old woman who was talked into something by her publicist. So glad she got the respect she deserved. At least on our TV – haven’t read anything that’s been written, and don’t think I will. I prefer to remember her as a giant among writers.

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