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”

Cathryne, I didn’t realize you are in San Diego . The climate is supposed to be ideal from what I read. Of course, San Diego means the Zoo to me. The Johnny Carson show often featured animals from the Zoo. To hold a baby tiger in your arms would be fantastic. I know they are wild animals and not pets, but just for those few weeks…….
I hope things are better for you. Remember to take care of yourself…..we care.

Glad you had a good visit with your mother on Christmas, Anna. We don’t ask for much do we ? Hope your Dad is enjoying the Cricket Matches. We saw a team practice in Bermuda and we’ve watched a few matches on TV but that’s all.
I’ve read a few books recently too. Cussler’s Solomon was a good read as I enjoy the Sam and Remi Fargo series.
Louise recently mentioned her friend Rhys Bowen again. I have read all in the series of Lady Georgianna Rannoch (broke of course) who is 35th in line for the British Throne. The most recent, Malice at the Palace, had a bit of the paranormal in it.
I also read Laura Childs’ Book, 13th in the Scrapbooking Mystery Series, Parchment and Old Lace. I just love to read how they crate the beautiful scrapbooks, memory boxes, invitations and posters. The characters are fun and New Orleans is such a fascinating city. A friend of Sam’s grew up in the Garden District and used to tell us great stories. Here again, no Louise Penny but good reads. Thank goodness, the Library has started buying books again.
Saw the snow in Dallas on News. What next ? At least snow is seasonal while here we have turned air conditioning on for the 4th day. Heavy overcast with humidity in high 90’s. Sun peeps out for a few minutes and then is gone again.

Just saw the Anne Perry post Julie. Glad you are finding interest in the back story. I think it adds an extra layer of depth to reading her work.

Anna, it really does. Now that I know it, it’s hard to reconcile with a modern writer, but it certainly does add something to her “mystique”. hahaha

Love your post Barbara and hearing that you had happy Christmas thoughts. I hope Petey continues to improve. Your sisters gift was similar to my mum’s. A good visit with her made my day.

Everyone’s ideas for the laundry are great and I did think about including the vase Barbara, I just worried about sharp bits if it broke! Bourbon and branch in a hip flask anyone…

Having a quiet day hear. Going to watch some Endeavour DVDs and drink tea. Enjoying the latest Lee Child novel as light reading. He isn’t Louise but not everyone can be.

My sister says they have had snow in Dallas now. Wild weather everywhere. Stay safe all.

What a lovely post, Barbara! I can just see you in the laundry room with the special vase! The Christmases you describe are just what Christmas ought to be, and I’m so happy you have had some wonderful times. I have always loved Christmas. Unfortunately, neither of my husbands has. I shocked my friend Becky once when I just burst out one year – “I’m never getting married again, but if I were to, I’d check to see how the person handles Christmas!” I was so frustrated, as Vern is the kind of person who gives to me every day, but can’t serve it up “on demand” for Christmas, and he always says that he is not going to waste money on buying a present just to have something under the tree… Which I find very frustrating, because I want to do the whole thing where you find just the right thing, and shop all year, but I’ve come to terms with that now, hahaha. I have my friends who love Christmas, and we celebrate in our own ways, and it all works out.

Hi, to all. What a week for everyone.

Julie, Julie, Julie. What a Christmas! So glad you got to the ER and help. Take care dear Friend.

Oh Anna. The TV news is reporting the devastation in Texas. How odd. To be texting your sister while she shelters from the tornado. safe. What to have in the Laundry room to wait out the storm. Oh, yes, Soft cushions for sure. Dark chocolate, coffee and vase ( the special one.) I have fallen asleep on the concrete floor in my laundry room while caring for a Mother dog and her litter. She had shown up at the house about midway through her pregnancy. She was in bad physical condition and I had to feed her during the night and give the pups extra milk by bottle.

When I was remembering the Christmases Past on Christmas Eve, I was remembering the wonderful celebrations that were a part of my life for so many years. The excitement, happiness, anticipation and complete joyfulness. So many events and activities. I loved shopping for the perfect gift for everyone. Beautiful and adored services at Church, parties with different groups and organizations, the quiet moments with relatives as I reveled in the sense of belonging.

This Christmas was good. My sister gave me a gift that only she could give me. She put on a smile and let me have a Christmas without her weeping. I thanked her this morning before I came home. Thank you Millie for your kind and caring words.

Thanks to all of you for keeping up with Petey and me. He is feeling much better. He is still quieter than usual because of medication. I’m very much better too.


As the year draws to a close, I send warm thoughts filled with love and caring and wishing happiness, joy and contentment for each of you,

Keep relaxing Julie. You will feel a bit wiped out for a little while so don’t feel you have to do anything….although those presents wouldn’t take too much energy to open!
Weather keeps being bizarre the world over. Texas is freezing and due snow I believe!
Hang in there everyone!

Anna – I have now finished the book I was reading about Anne Perry as Juliet Hulme and watched Heavenly Creatures. I think I have a very good idea of what most people thought happened, given that the girls never really gave much of an accounting that made any sense to anyone. I have both felt horror at what they did, and some sympathy toward them in their sense of helplessness to just be able to remain with the person they loved the most. Given that it was a very destructive relationship, it is, of course, probably best that they weren’t allowed to be together, but I can imagine after a childhood spent in long bouts of illness in hospitals, removed from their families, and in Juliet’s case, never having been on the receiving end of any kind of parental love, that it would be difficult to the extreme to be told you can’t stay with the one other person in the world who understands you. I wonder what might have happened if the girls had never found an obstacle in their way. Maybe their infatuation with each other would have run its course and dissipated as they matured… After all, most people don’t move anywhere near as often as Juliet’s parents did, and they sent her away or left her places way more than anyone else I can imagine. If she’d just always been in the same place and allowed to have a very close friend, even to the extent that it was probably unhealthy, but leaving it be and letting it run out it’s fascination for her, maybe all would have turned out well…

It certainly brings a perspective to Anne Perry’s work – she seems to be constantly battling between forces of good and evil in her work, but she’s also thrown herself into research to get the Victorian setting so right. She was right in one thing – she is a brilliant writer. I think she’s in complete denial now that any such thing happened, or that she had much to do with it, but I’m sure that’s a kind of self-preservation reflex. I can’t imagine living with myself if I’d done something so horrible, and I think she is just hanging on to whatever semblance of peace she can.

A fascinating story – thank you for telling me about it.

Thank you to all who worried about me – I’m doing really well. I had planned to go to the theatre this afternoon with my Jane Austen group – but just didn’t feel up to it. I’m having a nice calm day at home, after a long lie-in this morning. Presents are still under the tree, but not for long now, hahaha. I had finished my baking, so cookies and mince tarts are at hand.

Anna – some terrible things have been happening all over from weather here, but I think Texas has had the worst of it lately. For my laundry room, I’d want the soft cushions, my Kindle, so I could at least read (as I assume the internet would be down under tornado conditions), and lots of hot cocoa and cookies…

Cathryne – I think of you, too, as San Diego is one of my favorite cities. I think the weather there is as perfect as weather ever gets… have lots of fond memories of my times there, even though they were with my first husband…

Barbara, I hope all is well with you and Petey is back home and living in the lap of luxury… I felt a kinship with him this week!

Have a wonderful “after Christmas week” everyone.

Thanks Cathryne. My sister definitely wanted soft cushions but she requested a glass of wine instead of the pipes! I would think glass would be dangerous so maybe a thermos instead. Personally I would want Earl Grey tea, fine chocolates and licorice pipes. Definitely cushions and the latest Louise Penny.

I just lost a post, but glad to hear that your sister is ok, Anna. I’ve been thinking about you both. I wonder what we each would want to put into the laundry room to outfit it for a possible tornado watch? Soft cushions and licorice pipes, for sure.
Deep breaths, everyone, and back to comfort and joy.

The tornados were huge in Texas and narrowly missed my sister’s suburb. Much destruction and unfortunately deaths. Very scary. My thoughts got to those affected. It happens so quickly.

I hope everyone is safe. Julie, I hope you are recovering well.
Barbara, I hope all are safe where you are and that Petey is better.
Millie, sending cool breezes and relaxing money’s to you.
Cathryn, loads of hugs and soothing thoughts.
Nancy, hope all is well with you.

Take care everyone.

Oh dear Julie….you could have done without that but hopefully all is settled now and with a sigh of relief you can have Christmas a little late. I believe in Birthday weeks and Christmas weeks anyway. Too important for just one day. Sending you healthy thoughts and hope you have a better New Year.

I am texting back and forth with my sister under tornado watch in Dallas. Apparently hanging put in the laundry just isn’t a fun way to pass the time!

Julie, Julie, Julie, that’s quite a kerfuffle! I’m so very glad that you are happy and contented back home. I wish you a peaceful day and evening and lots of rest in the next days. And, fun presents to enjoy now! You and I are in the same time zone as I am in San Diego and I often think of you north of me, cooler and rainier, but the same time. Hope you have sugar cookies left and lots of hot tea and cocoa. Sending best thoughts!

Sounds like Christmas has been a success! I am happy and contented, though I had a BIT of a kerfuffle. Went by ambulance to the emergency room and spent the night in the hospital. I started a brand new prescription and it didn’t agree with me – chest pains and racing heart beat – at 5 a.m. on Christmas morning, we were off to the emergency room, and have just now come home on Boxing Day. Given that they have all had to work on Christmas – the doctors and nurses are amazingly cheerful and friendly, and I was in very good hands. Now we still have presents under the tree to open – bonus! 😀

They have figured out what went wrong, and sent me home with a new prescription and instructions (and have had a trial run in the hospital with no ill effects), so all is good…

Rest ye merry….

Wishing you a gentle breeze Millie. Cool and cloudy here.
Cathryne, hugs and hand holding whenever you need them. My dad had a good day yesterday and has cricket to watch and a new scrabble set to cheer him. I hope you have gummy bears and real arms to hold you but we are here when you need us keeping a seat warm by the fire. Xxxxx

Merry Christmas to all and thank you for the warmth, comfort and joy, more than I can say.
Barbara, hope you have been able to feel some pleasure in memories and very glad you have been safe from the storms. Is Petey reveling in being home?
Julie, the video Christmas card is brilliant, I love it.
Anna, thinking about your dad and wishing him cheer and pleasure in the moment.
Friends, you have provided some needed handholding lately, thanks! And Louise and Michael. I often remember Michael reaching out to try to button Louise’s sweater, as she buttoned his. It makes me smile and reminds me to be open to being surprised by joy.

Saw the video, Julie. Lovely.
Not even a cool breeze in Florida, Anna. Happy Boxing Day, Anna and to all who celebrate it. Happy whatever you celebrate. It’s all love and kindness… Cheers 🙂

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