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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.

3,656 replies on “The Bistro”

Nice you could see some of the coverage Barbara. Yes, terrorism free thank goodness. There was concern, especially in Melbourne, as a plot was foiled earlier in the week. The response was for more people than ever to attend services! Of course, as it was the centenary, there was going to be more people but most places reached capacity. I don’t know if it is on YouTube but there was a great service at Currumbin in Queensland on the beach.
The important thing about war is to remember that the act of war is a political one while fighting it is left to others.

Big day has ended with massive storm and huge hail. My sister was under tornado watch in Dallas and I see there have been a number of storms and tornados in Southern Us. Hope you are all safe.
We had a lovely time as Guests of Honour. Lots of nice people.
I will read everything Millie and Barbara have written. Nice to see everyone chatting.

Our local paper covered some of the Anzac Day programs yesterday and today (Sat. and Sun.). Thanks to the internet I was able to see many more. Thankfully, as far as I know, all the observances were free of terrorism.
The link to The Band Played Waltzing Matilda started me on a nostalgic journey. Hubby and I really liked the version by Pough (?). I can’t look up the spelling or I’ll loose this post. I just had to listen to Joan Baez’s rendition which sent me to may of her other songs. As I have mentioned, I was opposed to the Vietnam War but would not demonstrate because our flag was often desecrated by protestors. I played records of protest music every night after work so I was taken back to those days for a while.

Barbara, Cosmos… Incredible show. My neighbor and I can grasp the general concepts of physics but not the mathematics so we make a perfect pair. It seems he has another show! It’s on the National Geographic channel, of all places. It’s called Star Talk. She saw a write up about the show in The New York Times and invited me over to watch with her. If you have ‘on Demand’ look for it. It came on here on Monday at 11pm. But she found it’s available to watch at any time. She’s going to save them to watch together when I return. If you like him, you may like this show too. I hope you can find it. Good memories indeed.

Oh, did I mention I’m off again to CA next week? Going to celebrate my Godmother’s 90th Birthday with as many family members as can go. A happy trip rather than yet another funeral! I’m in constant awe of my husband’s graciousness in facilitating my travel. Every once in a while I sing to him a few lines from The Sound of Music; “Sometime when I was little, I must have done something good.” He just smiles and says I’m still little. 😀

Star Talk comes on at 11PM here too. I’ll record it on Mon. On Demand on WOW ( our cable) doesn’t carry Star Time. I’ll try Comcast at my Sister’s tomorrow. Tyson is correct that Star Trek was a catalyst for discoveries. We saw a program on that also. Your post on the cost to build an Enterprise was on point. Even the waste in our nation could probably supply enough money.
All of the post-apocalyptic TV shows as well as movies and books mystify me. I find the idea repulsive and disrespectful of our deceased loved ones. The Dead definitely do not RIP on those programs. I have always enjoyed vampire lore however. Buffy The Vampire Slayer was a favorite program.

Buffy was a favorite for me, too, Barbara! I think it’s because the show really did tackle the bigger question of good and evil, though in a thoroughly entertaining way. These new shows “The Walking Dead”, etc. are just depressing, if you ask me.

Loving the Star Trek talk and the idea that the imagination of someone who was “just” writing fiction dreamed up so many things that have come to pass. Reminds me of my favorite TV show right now – “The Big Bang Theory” – there was one show where the guys all got together to try to invent Marty’s Hoverboard from “Back to the Future”. I think there must be rooms full of nerds everywhere doing such things, and how interesting it would be to be a part of that. I often watch that show and think what fun they have because they still play so many games and take so much fiction seriously. I think it makes them very interesting people. WAY more credit given to a little TV show, I guess, but I often think that they’re doing a good thing for young people.

I remember Tang and Sputnik and Tel-Star very fondly. It seemed a much more hopeful time. Just a few years later, the Vietnam war seemed to be all the news talked about, and I feel like that was the beginning of a long, slow decline…

We watch Big Bang Theory every week and the nightly reruns sometimes. We are always sure to set the recorder if we will be out during the new shows. Scientists arguing about fictional Super Heroes is a welcome relief from the daily headlines.

It is, isn’t it? Neil deGrasse Tyson was on Jon Stewart the other day to plug Star Talk (which I found on my On Demand, yay!) and they were talking about whether or not Superman would kick Batman’s butt! Maybe that’s really what they talk about, hahaha.

We watch deGrass Tyson on Cosmos. He is awesome. Great program.
Star Trek and Tang. Good memories.

I used to love Tang! 🙂
This is why an astrophysicist was talking about an old science FICTION show: He is of the belief that good fiction spurs the imagination of the scientists and engineers to manifest into our reality what was dreamt of by good writers. He believes we now have things like doors that open automatically when you stand in front of them, tiny cell phones which morphed into smart phones and hand held tablets and that man did indeed walk on the moon and so much more because shows like Star Trek, which was ahead of its time, existed. Furthermore, in all its iterations, that show, in which the writers drew upon great works of fiction, showed an Earth which had become united as a planet and had solved all of mankind’s basic needs of shelter, food, etc.

He also was saddened that the most popular science fiction today is post-apocalyptic, and encouraged writers to believe and write about a better world. I immediately thought of what we love about Louise’s books. Sure, there’s a murder to be solved, but that’s not the core of what we love. The Villagers are good to each other, they set the bar higher for us to emulate. I may only have walked across the street, not a Village Green, but I described my neighbor as ‘my Ruth’! Only she has cats, not a duck, and she doesn’t drink. But she leaves food out for the neighborhood raccoon! I may not own a bookstore but I shared a book. Would I have thought of doing that without the Three Pines example of what’s it like to be a good neighbor? I doubt it…

The same holds true for Anna’s book. Thank you both for such uplifting examples to emulate.

I watched a show called Star Talk with my 96 year old neighbor hosted by astrophysicist deGrass Tyson the other day. He asked a think tank to calculate how much $ would it take to create a ‘Starship Enterprise’ (the first starship in the 1960’s short lived series Star Trek) with today’s technology. Their answer was “what is spent in only a year and a half in only the United States’ annual military budget.

That made me angry, because the budget NASA and therefor Boeing receives is a pittance. The needs of space program produced microwave ovans, Velcro, dehydrated drinks and food ( I’m old enough to remember the TV ads for “Tang, the drink of astronauts”… There are so many examples it boggles the mind.

Anna, Chill bumps………how wonderful. I was reared in a patriotic family. After Mother died, I found letters where wives and mothers wrote her to tell of their sons and daughters in the military. Some are tear stained as mother learned of injuries and deaths. I remember the news broadcasts during WWII and watching Mother cry as she prayed for those in danger. What would mankind have accomplished by now if there had been no war in the 20th or 21st centuries.

Really interesting question Barbara. I am going to ponder that one as I get ready for the next service. War is never wanted but it is interesting that a lot of medical and technological advancements that have been beneficial to all were born out of necessity in war. That is a paradox indeed.

OMG! Aren’t we the chatty bunch! If any deserves to wave the flag it is you, Anna! You’ve kept the fires burning at the Bistro.
Thank you again, Paul, for opening the Bistro for us.

The stained glass made me think of the one at Three Pines…
ANZAC day is ‘tomorrow’ for the Americas…
I have a friend who has been busily crocheting red poppies for her local historical society’s celebration in New York.
I pray that someday the entire world can sing as one, “He/She is one of them. He/She is one of us.”
Just beautiful, Anna. Thank you.

Thank you Millie and Barbara. I hope so too. It is a must to attend a service today as it is the hundredth anniversary. My family is thawing after the Dawn Service. There were around 2000 people at the local one. The town population is only ten thousand. The services are outdoors at local war memorials. Check you tube later as there will undoubtably be footage from the Gallipoli service. It doesn’t take place for another five hours but the crowd of ten thousand is already there having walked three kilometers in to the site. There are war widows there who were married to original Anzacs. Obviously they married younger women!

Joan Baez did one too. They are both on you tube. This is a link to the originL song but the accompanying video montage was produced by a Canadian teacher for a school presentation. Nice link to Canada! Ignore the statistics at the bottom of the you tube link as they aren’t quite accurate.

If the link doesn’t work just google the song!

This is the Benediction read at the end of each service.

Go out into the world in peace. Be brave; keep hold of what is good. Never pay back wrong for wrong; encourage the faint hearted; Support the weak and distressed; give due honour to everyone. Be always joyful and give thanks whatever happens for this is what God wills for you. Amen.

Absolutely beautiful. I just did a screen capture and ongoing to print it out and frame it!
Thank you for sharing the Benediction, Anna. Feel better wishes going your way and may you enjoy the March and luncheon by your husband’s side. Deep calming breaths. Just imagine you are surrounded by all the love of the Three Piners. 🙂

Anna, what a meaningful and lovely benediction. My English friend and I were talking about ANZAC Day on Monday. Tears filled her eyes as she told me how people from all over the Commonwealth joined in the war. She said the Australians and New Zealanders were so brave to enter the fray.
I looked up a bit about today’s observance.
Hope you feel better soon.

Love Random Acts of Kindness. At my daughter’s school they have weeks where the students are secretly allocated another pupil and sometime during the week they perform an act of kindness for them.

Up early watching ANZAC Dawn Services around the country. Very moving in the pre dawn darkness. My husband and daughter have gone to the local service where husband is guest of honour. I was not very well overnight so I am resting in the warm. We are attending the March and service later in the morning too so I will go to that.

My Grandfather lost a foot at Gallipoli so thinking of him very much this morning.

Thank you Millie. It was a close run thing. He lay for three days on the battlefield because they thought he was dead.

Jan, how wonderfully kind of you. The fact you thought of me and tried, means just as much to me as if the link had worked.

I was the recipient and giver of a random act of kindness this week. My ‘handyman’ called Tuesday afternoon. He was in the area and was there anything he could help me with. I laughed and told him to come over.

Cathryne, I took your advice! He hauled my book boxes out of hiding in the guest room and since they are marked by bookcase section and shelf, put them in front of the appropriate section. He got the all the books marked ‘top’ and up they went. He’s 6′ 3″ and didn’t need a step stool. I laughed and said, “Show off.” He laughed and said he liked I treated him like a son. He didn’t even charge me and told me he has down time when a job needs something to dry before continuing or waiting for others to finish their work before he can continue so he’d call when that happened and help me finish. I just gave him a hug! He really is a kind soul that is part of the team that works for the house restoration contractor who put my house in order after the flooding which started in the kitchen. So I’ve known him for years.

Then, in one of the boxes I found another copy of a book I adore. It’s called, “The Thirteenth Tale” and thought of my 96 year old neighbor who loves to read and who was a bit rattled because a recently moved to the street neighbor more than 20 years younger than her had passed away the day before. So I called her up, asked if she had ever read it, took it over and spent a delightful hour with her.

Told her not to be fearful but expect the best for herself. She’s healthy, has all her mental faculties and had Mike and me right across the street who cared about her… She has no family left and she knows hubby travels a lot so we watch out for each other. She’s my Ruth, without the foul (pun intended) language.

The Thirteenth Tale is one of those rare books that leave one not wanting it to end because the characters and their complexity just grab one’s heart. Although it’s a stand alone, not a series, it is so engaging. It too has acts of kindness interspersed within a grand mystery and leaves one with a sense of hope at the end. First published in 2006, by Diane Setterfield. This is the prologue:

“All children mythologize their birth. It is a universal trait. You want to know someone? Heart, mind and soul? Ask him to tell you about when he was born. What you get won’t be the truth; it will be a story. And nothing is more telling than a story.”

Mille, There is a stack of books on a table across from me. The Thirteenth Tale is one of them. I read it last week after it was in a list I saw. I am speechless. What are the odds ? I don’t consider myself to be superstitious but events like this have occurred all of my life. I do take it to be a sign. Thank You.

Hi Barbara! Must have been typing at the same time! Don’t think superstition, think synchronicity. Hugs Barbara!!

Oh Barbara, I’m so very glad you returned to the Bistro. I missed you. Like Anna, I believe in synchronicity also.

Here’s another one. That term was coined in 1950 by Carl Jung. JAN was quoting him on the previous page.

Did you like the story? I got all choked up at the end and (without giving away too much) I too ‘missed Ms Winters’ when the story ended.

Yes, I liked the book too. Like you said hated to see it end.
I have been following the postings with great interest. Intriguing lines of thought. I did not know that Jung had coined “synchronicity”, although I studied his works, too.

Forgot to give you a big, if virtual, hug, Barbara. And BTW, that kind of ‘out of no where but with perfect timing’ kind of thing happens to me a lot, too.

The Thirteenth Tale spoke to me because all the major characters feel so alone at the start of the book. Yet they come to find out they aren’t!

I think everyone feels they are the only ones experiencing their own sense of ‘aloneness’ or their particular experiences. But then magic happens (a synchronistic event) and we find out we aren’t ‘the only ones’ after all! Love you!

Millie – how great that you remembered your books when the handyman called. Sometimes, I get such tunnelvision, that I wouldn’t think of that kind of “job” when someone like that called. I’d think, “nothing’s broken” and say there was nothing for him to do. I’m so happy you are that much closer to having your books back where you want them and can find them.

And what a sweet gesture was taking the much-loved book to your neighbor. I love that quote at the beginning of the book, and thought to myself, that I don’t know what day of the week, etc. that I was born, nor the time of day, but then, as I thought – the story came to me… My older brother was 6 years old when I was born, and when my parents went to the hospital to have me, I guess my brother was left with my aunt, who has always been the very sould of kindness. She asked Jimmy what he wanted for lunch, and he said he wanted peanut butter and jam (what we call PB and J in Canada), but this time, he wanted the jam on first! She laughed and told that story for years, so of course, that has become MY story… brilliant!

Oops, my apologies Millie. j Just received feedback from my daughter that the link to Random Acts of Kindness video would not transfer for her. So goes the pitfall of being an Internet novice! Really sorry about this as I thought it would give you a lift of some sort. The gratitude is still there, however! 🙂

There are lots of Youtube videos under the search “Random Acts of Kindness” – each and every one is uplifting to watch! 😀

I love the paint in her hair… and from several “throw-away” comments Louise has mentioned on Facebook, I think that’s one of Louise’s traits that has been given to Claire as her alter-ego. Maybe that means that Louise’s stories come to her in pictures, too?

There is controversy about whether “learning styles” exist and if there is a benefit to teaching to those styles. Schools tend to operate on auditory lines although that is changing in some places. I thought there might be a few who would relate to the work of Linda Silverman.

Imposter syndrome is a whole other area.
Have a look at Valerie Young’s “The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women”
It doesn’t just affect women by the way, but it has probably had a greater adverse impact on women for a variety of reasons.

Jan! Read this from one of the subpages of Anna’s link. It speaks so eloquently to what you were saying: finding kinder ways of being! Even ‘balm’ and ‘nature’ are used!

Leonard Shlain suggests that humanity has had an unhealthy domination of left hemispheric values for the last 5,000 years, which has left in its wake the subjugation of the feminine to the masculine. But he sees us moving toward greater appreciation of right hemispheric values, greater collaboration between our right and left hemispheres, egalitarianism, and celebration of the wonderful diversity in the world.

“I am convinced we are entering a new Golden Age—one in which the right-hemispheric values of tolerance, caring, and respect for nature will begin to ameliorate the conditions that have prevailed for the too-long period during which left-hemispheric values were dominant. Images, of any kind, are the balm bringing about this worldwide healing. (Shlain, 1998, p. 432)

From Silverman, L. K. (2002). Upside-Down Brilliance: The Visual-Spatial Learner. Denver: DeLeon.

Anna, finally had time to really look at the site on visual-spacial you recommended on the previous page.
Why is this still controversial when 60% of students learn better through V/S? I think I learned to spell because my daily homework as a child included writing out the new words X number of times and then use those words in a sentence. I couldn’t take that single word and compose a sentence. My mom could instantly come up with one. But I learned if I wanted to remember something I had to write it out. Once I ‘saw it’, wrote it, no problem.

When I took the quiz, my jaw dropped. My elder son and I are 100% V/S learners. Even down to no concept of time! But then I went rooting around the other links and saw an article about “women who feel like imposters”… For me, not so much with relationships but the other way around. “Who am I to think I could… just name it. I don’t have a degree in…” I don’t know how many times I actually even used that phrase when talking with my husband, “I feel like an imposter…” Especially when someone would say, “What would you know, your just a housewife…” I’d try to make light of it by telling myself, my husband and sons that I wasn’t ‘just’ a housewife, I was a fountain of useless information. About 10 years ago, while our sons were still living at home, they were watching me intently as I opened one of my Christmas gifts. It was a book titled “The Book of Totally Useless Information”. They all let out their breath when I held it up roaring with laughter and they hugged me and said how relieved they were I took it as intended and not a put-down…
Again, this speaks so strongly to ‘sense of identity’. Thank you! Like Julie, I too seem I find out so much about myself at The Bistro.

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