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 to all! The Literary and Historical Society from BYD is featured today! As I have said it is my favorite place. Let’s see what you think. Meantime, I think I’ll have a seat and read a while, or maybe just sit and think. See you there.

Hello to all at the Bistro! Am sending good thoughts and prayers for peace and healing! I took a hike on a great bike trail in PA today and thought of you all as I passed a field filled with clover and honeysuckle! It was quite intoxicating! I half expected Chef Ve’ronique to come out in her beekeeping gear! I too am rereading TBT; gearing up for TNOTB! Joy and safety to all!

Good to see you all here again. Anna – so happy your Dad is home and happy. I’m sure it must be a lot of work for you, and worry, but wonderful that you can do this for him. I think it’s hilarious that you know Rita Moreno from a children’t show – I knew that lots of big stars did those muppet shows, but forgot that whole generations of people would have been introduced to such talent that way. Rita Moreno is a member of a very small club – people with an EGOT (Emmy – for either Sesame Street or Electric Company, Grammy, Oscar and Tony)

Barbara, I don’t envy you those southern summers! We are having warmer temperatures, but we don’t have the humidity with it (funny, isn’t it, as it’s so wet all the rest of the year – but we basically have a drought every summer). Hot and humid is enough to make a person crazy, I think.

I am feeling all better – maybe a little residual tiredness, but nothing like the fatigue I’d been having. Had a really nice day with girlfriends on Wednesday – stitching and laughing and visiting… those days are wonderful to have.

I’ve made online friends with a writer – she writes what everyone calls “fan fiction” in the Jane Austen vein – she reimagines the stories – if one or more details were different, and writes wonderful stories about the characters. I kind of fell in love with the stories, but in the online venue where they were being published, I could see that nobody was proof-reading her work, so I took a big breath and offered my services. I was worried she’d be insulted, but instead she jumped at the chance. She said she had someone who was proofing, but that they missed most things until after they appeared online, which of course, didn’t do her much good, haha. So I now do quite a bit of proof-reading for her. She has a self-published book coming out soon, and another in the pipeline, being debuted a chapter at a time online, and I am proofing both of those. Lots of fun, though I do feel quite a bit of responsibility now that I’ve put myself forth as someone competent to do this, hahaha. Hopefully, I’ll catch most – I’ve gotten a little used to her consistent errors now – people’s names are never spelled the same way twice, and a few words like “discreet” always spelled “discrete” which of course, is a word, but the wrong one, so auto-correct is no help. A cute meme I saw yesterday was “auto correct has become my number one enema.” At any rate, it’s quite interesting, and keeps me out of mischief.

In the meantime, my business partner and I have come up with a plan to sell the last of our books – we are going to put on a needlework seminar somewhere on the east coast, probably in the fall of 2016. So far, we’ve done nothing but make the decision – there’s lots to do and get organized, so will soon be up to our armpits in that! I feel like I am gaining back some energy to do all these things, and it feels pretty good!

Julie, Rita Moreno is a long time fav of mine. I don’t remember her from Sesame Street since we had no children and I didn’t see it too often.
You have volunteered for an interesting job. I’m sure someone with your needlework and making pattern books experience has a keen eye good for proofreading.
I love the “consistent errors”.
I’m glad you are getting some energy back……sounds like you have lots of projects.

Nancy, The Clef Argente is beautiful. I noticed the lovely tiles around the fireplaces. The house I grew up in had wonderful tiles around the living room fireplace. Many of the local Victorian houses have breath taking tiles fireplaces.
Our Anniversaries are family dinners. My sister gave us a grand celebration for our 25th, however.

How funny, I do know Rita Moreno but not her name. I looked her up and her face was familiar. She was on The Electric Company which I watched when I was a child and I so remember her performance on The Muppets. Such a great voice and a sassy personality! I see she is an amazing entertainer but how cute that I knew her from her children show performances!


Life has been a bit on the busy side for me and I suspect everyone. We bought dad home from hospital a week ago but he needs 24 hour care and supervision. He is loving being home though!

I finished The Brutal Telling and thought similar things. Lying had become such a habit for Olivier that he couldn’t stop. Strange though as it wasn’t evident in our previous encounters with him was it?

Gabri is wonderful and not bitter but just persistent in his belief. Yes, we should all have friends like Gabri. And Gamache. Despite everything he is prepared to right a wrong and reexamine his own case so that speaks absolute volumes.

I did really enjoy re reading TBT. I think I missed out on it the last time. It has so many links to the next few books.

How is everyone? Are you all better Julie? How is your mum Cathryne? Hope the recent storms haven’t caused anyone any trouble. I saw some massive tornados on the TV and the rain in Florida. You ok Barbara? Millie?

Hi, Anna, So glad your Dad came home. I have been wondering if he had been able to. I drop by the Bistro everyday but just hadn’t posted. temperatures We have been spared storms tat much of the country has had. Today is to start a week or more of temperatures in the high 90s which the high humidity makes more unpleasant.
I haven’t been able to find anything I can read for more than a few minutes without becoming bored.
Good thoughts to you and your Dad. I still miss mine so much.
We all need someone like Gabri in our lives. What a caring person.

Wow – very quiet here lately – it’s been a few days since any comments have been left.

When I finished The Brutal Telling, and knowing what I know about the next one – I’m still kind of amazed at Olivier – that he just kept lying – even after it became clear that Gamache et al knew so much of what had happened, and knew he was lying to them. And again, I’m so crazy about Gabri – he is such a sweet and loving man. His standing by Olivier no matter what speaks volumes… and his doggedness through the next book will as well. That we could all have a partner like Gabri!

Rats! I was excited to see that Louise was speaking here and was happily clicking over to the bookstore to get my reservation in and realized – the date overlaps with a trip I have and I won’t be here in town! So sad…. I was getting so excited! Ah well – since I can’t see her, I went over to Amazon and pre-ordered the book so I can begin reading at midnight on the 24th! (Okay, 12:01 a.m. on the 25th!)

I wondered if it was Rita Moreno! She’s a wonderful entertainer. So gracious. The only time I was at the Royal York was special for me. I was able to take my favorite Aunt out (she lived there – I lived in Winnipeg at the time) to see Mel Torme with George Shearing. Beautiful music and something you’d never be able to do now… it brings back lovely memories….

Now I remember ! It was Rita Moreno at the Royal York. She even invited people backstage after the show. She was very gracious.

I think it is lovely that you can celebrate even low key. I am not sure we have ever managed a celebration as such as we are rarely together on our anniversary! Maybe one day in the Eastern Townships!

I looked up the Cerf Argente Nancy, and the it looks lovely. Very Three Pines. Which room did you have? They all look very cosy.

We all stayed two nights (except for one couple who were leaving for California two days later and needed to go home to pack!). We were in the Spring room but got a chance to peek at all of them as we filled four of the five room (the last was empty). We had the place to ourselves the first night which made it very special. We were told that one of the former owners was an artist and he was responsible for all the tile work. It was gorgeous! It was all I could have hoped for as a celebration of our 50th. We don’t normally do big celebrations. On the 14th we were living in Toronto and went to the Royal York to see a woman who played in West Side Story…of course I can’t remember her name…just because I want to. And our 25th was out of this world. The church put on a fabulous celebration complete with mock wedding (we were moving and they wanted to give us a farewell). Nothing could ever compare with that. And one year here in Montreal we went to see Tina Turner. So we mostly do “low key” but this year was very special and our celebration was just right.

Hi All,
We just got back from two nights in the Eastern Townships (Three Pines Country). We took some friends along and celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. Even though the weather was rainy the company made it a wonderful experience. We stayed at a lovely B&B called Cerf Argente and couldn’t have asked for a better place or more lovely people. My friend had to “tweet” a picture of the breakfast because she thought it was so beautiful. (The owners were involved in the radio play of on of Louise’s books in April.) We were four couples and I asked them to each bring a picture from their wedding as well as at least one story. That made for an interesting evening. On the way home we stopped at Brome Lake Books and had our picture taken in the corner that is “Myrna’s Bookstore”. It was such a wonderful anniversary being surrounded by warm and loving friends…and then our daughter had made a lovely celebration dinner to greet us when we returned.

Congratulations on your Golden Anniversary Nancy. What a lovely way to celebrate! Did you go into Brome Lake Books? I was wondering if Danny had his Guest book operational?

Yes Anna, we went into Brome Lake Books and it’s a lovely store. Lots of books with covers facing outward so temptation is on every side. I didn’t see a guest book but then I wasn’t looking for it. Too busy trying to look at books. There was a new Anne Hillerman (she’s continuing in her father’s series) that I knew nothing about. Was thrilled. Lucy (I assume it was Lucy but I confess I didn’t ask her name) was very warm and welcoming. She gave us a Three Pines Inspiration map for the next time we visit the area.

Congratulations, Nancy! What a wonderful way to celebrate – I’m very jealous! It sounds like you had such a marvelous time!

I’ve been MIA lately – so sorry. I’ve been down with pneumonia, and not turned on my computer for about a week. I HAD to get on today to register for an upcoming seminar before all the good “extra events” were booked, so thought I’d drop in and say hello. I was stunned by Louise’s last newsletter – so sad for her and Michael, and was especially feeling so when she said she had promised Michael that they wouldn’t leave their beloved home, but now they had to. I can imagine the agony that caused her, and I’m so glad that they found someplace in a little bit larger of a village with more society and amenities close by. At first, I thought she was going to say they had to move to Montreal, and while I’m sure there are lots of wonderful places to live there, I can still see how much her heart is in those villages in Quebec.

Love the discussion about the General Store in the “Places” section – I remember those stores when they all had the post office in them – I can imagine they were places of a real feeling of community. Kind of like the Bistro…

I am so sorry to hear you have been ill Julie. I hope you are feeling better. Be kind to yourself as it takes time to fully recover. Thinking of you from across the water!

Julie, Hope you are much improved. A friend was released from the hospital Tues. after 13 days of treatment for Pneumonia. Her dog was thrilled. They always do make such a to do when we’ve been away don’t they.
The next quote is on LP’s Facebook. Is Gamache sitting on a stage or is it someone else ? Do actors have a role in NOTB ? Interesting.
I hope everyone is doing well today.
We were at a brunch and bingo with a group yesterday and had croissants. Of course, I though of the Bistro.
Warm and caring thoughts to all.

Thank you all for your kind thoughts. I am, indeed, very much improved, and feel almost completely well except that I’m still so fatigued. Hopefully, that will pass soon. I have so many plans that have been put on hold – very unfair! hahaha

I normally gobble up Louise’s books but of course circumstances have slowed my reread of The Brutal Telling significantly and I have only just reached the part where Clara meets Therese Brunel by the statue of Emily Carr and Therese looks through Clara’s portfolio. Clara has painted herself as The Fall, The Fall from Grace. When Therese asks what she is afraid of, Clara replies that she is afraid she won’t recognise Paradise.

This has all been so resonant with the little we know of TNOTB. It also made me think of Louise’s newsletter and reading between the lines I sense how perhaps her house was Paradise, but then so was Jamaica and so is Knowlton and the people in it. I suspect Paradise is not a place but a feeling. In turn that feeling imbues houses and spaces with the sense of place and so our idea of Paradise. But Paradise is always within us.

Anna, Good news that your Dad may come home this weekend. I decided to try to change some things about me that would help with the stress. Walking some in the early AM while it is still cool, even if only in the back yard. The idea of being outdoors seems very appealing to me. I find nature very calming. I’ve made a list of parks and walking trails nearby (only 5 or 6 miles from the house at the most). I’ll drive to them and then walk some. There are two music series (outdoors and at night) and I hope to attend some of the performances. Reading novels is just not interesting right now so I’m going to try poetry and maybe some plays.
Please take care of yourself as I told Catheryne. I have been where both of you are now and I trust both of you as well as anyone else dealing with parental care will be smarter than I was. Take care of your own emotional and physical health, please. I know I sound like an old woman giving advice and I am. I hope a little hard learned wisdom can help others.
Good thoughts.

Thank u for the advice Barbara. I will try but it’s not easy. I am glad to hear you are getting early sun and gentle exercise. These are good things for the restoration of equilibrium. However, it is not good that you are feeling stressed. Must be the trend at the moment. Sending you calming thoughts and lots of praise for proactively managing your distress.

I wish I could say I have been equally proactive. I did more of a meltdown tantrum thing. I will endeavour to do better. I did relate heavily to Louise’s latest newsletter. I felt her dismay at realising they would have to move and her relief when the decision was made. I am so glad they have a supportive community around them and they can move closer to that community.

When we moved to our current home it was a displacement for Mum and dad. They really know no-one here at all. I know only a handful after four and a half years. The people component of our sense of place has been disrupted.

Cathryne, I hope your Mother is recovering. I can identify with you. The description of looking out the window at the lights was lovely. I know well what you were feeling and am very thankful for The Bistro and all of you. I would have never thought that the caring, concern and warmth we share could be felt through a computer screen. Remember to take care of yourself too. Good thoughts to you.

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