Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Not very young...

brilliant sunshine, glorious day, temps 23

We're back in Sutton. How wonderful this feels. The windows are wide open, doors to the screen porch wide open. Sat outside looking at the garden and pool and pond for half an hour. Just decompressing, and saying my quiet thanks, and letting all the great good fortune sink in. And eat fig newtons.

Had fun last night. Michael and I went to a lecture put on by the Council on Palliative Care at McGill - organized by our friend Kappy Flanders. The speaker was Dr. Kathleen Foley, who specializes in the care of the dying. The issue was fascinating - something that's being hotly debated in Quebec right now, and that's physician assisted suicide. Very emotional, of course.

Then, after the lecture Kappy held a private buffet dinner at a local club. Very fun - but the most wonderful, and humorous part was when a young a capella group from the McGill music faculty. The student introduced them by saying how much they enjoying singing for people 'Not very young.' There was a long pause and then the place cracked up. She was right, we weren't very young. But we were mighty happy. As were they - the group. Fabulous.

Oddly, one of the songs I've been listening to a lot as I write this book is Alicia Keys, 'Falling'. The a capella group sang three songs and one was 'Falling'. They did a great job too.

Then home. Past crowds of disappointed Montreal Canadiens fans...we lost 2 to 0 against Pittsburgh. The city is Habs mad. People driving around with flags attached to their cars. Even Kappy - who at the lecture was wearing a lovely dress, changed into a Mtl Canadian captains jersey! At our apartment building on the notice board there is only one notice - a large sign that says, Go Habs Go.

Up early today...Michael had an 8am dentist appointment. I packed up, loaded the car then drove to the dentist to pick him up. off to Nicks for breakfast - then to the UPS office to mail a box to the US publisher. Then home (stopping for Trudy's food on the way).

Got home by 11:30. Annick, from the Quebec magazine Vita, was coming at noon for lunch and to do an interview. Michael hopped off to the store, while I unpacked. The tulips are up in the cutting garden and divine, so I cut a few vases full. How gorgeous they are. All different varieties and colours.

Michael cooked burgers on the barbeque and we ate burgers, salad and sugar pie on the porch. Such a beautiful day. And thrilling to do my first interview for a french magazine, in anticipation of the books coming out in french this summer.

After Annick left I had a 4pm interview with Chateleine. They're putting together an article on great summer reads. They wanted to know which mystery I'd recommend. I don't want to ruin the surprise so I'll only say this - my recommendation is Josephine Tey's The Franchise Affair.

Have to set the alarm early tomorrow - up by 6am and writing by 8. Then off to Knowlton to Nancy's place. doing a book club in texas by skype at 1pm and Nancy's going to help set us up. Then lunch with Cotton at 1:30.

And Friday??? Ahhh - empty. Nothing. Just us, quiet. Writing. And fig newtons.


Shelagh, from Michigan said...

Oh good grief! You are going to love this...our neighbors have a male yellow lab.called Kappy, so I had this male vision in mind for your friend Kappy, which became very interesting when you described "your" Kappy wearing a lovely dress!

What a very, very busy lady you are. So glad you have Friday "empty" for your writing and fig newtons! Whatever happened to gummy bears????

Loved your "surprise" recommendation of Josephine Tey's "The Franchise Affair". I own a collection called "A Cup of Tey" but "Franchise..." is not part of it. Off to the Library.

Hugs, Shelagh

Maureen Harrington-Carter said...

Have a good break- and pass the fig newtons, please!

whalewatcher said...

Aahh....fig newtons. My grandma always considered that she'd had her fruit for the day when she'd had her 3 fig newtons and a cup of tea. And as we know
grandmas are just about the final authority on everything ; ) so I say enjoy those fig newtons along w/the quiet and the writing. And when I read your next book I shall do the same.

Anonymous said...

Sugar Pie, do you mean Burnt Sugar Pie. Had some many, many years ago and would love a recipe. Didn't know at the time that it was not an easy recipe to find. Most folks I've talked to have never heard of it and yours is one of very few references to it.

Diane said...

Do enjoy your Friday, I'm sure they are few and far between. Josephine Tey - wonderful writer; I will pick up on your recommendation.

Admire how you keep your head on straight in the face of all the adulation. Kudos.

Jodi Kaplan said...

A lazy Friday sounds lovely.

Oh, and when you (or anyone else) is in New York, check out the Shake Shake in Madison Park (23rd and Madison). It's run by the same people who own the upscale Union Square cafe. The milk shakes are divine!!

@whalewatcher, fig newtons and tea sounds like the perfect breakfast to me; second only to cheesecake!

Marjorie said...


I am sure that you meant to say the Shake Shack. The only problem is the very long lines because it is so wildly popular.

Louise, since you will be in Union Square for your NYC visit, for an upscale place with the best of reputations, I would send you and Michael to Grammercy Tavern. You should get a reservation (have the concierge at the W do it for you!) unless you eat in the bar section and not the restaurant section. They each have different menus. Here is the website:

And I will re-recommend my favorite breakfast/brunch spot (which you would need to take a cab to, but it's so worth it) the Popover Cafe at Amsterdam and 86th.

Start with a basket of piping hot popover (that come with strawberry butter) and you will be in paradise. Ask for a window booth.

--Marjorie from CT

Jeanine said...

Louise, would love to know what Sugap Pie is -- also, I have never been able to find out what are "Flaming Mice"?

Have a wonderful time!

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

Hilarious what you all comment on - and your own lives and perceptions! Kappy as a drag queen is delicious,.,as are fig newtons. Grandmothers are always right, as you say. And wise. Back to FNs!

Thanks too for the Shake Shack recommendation. Though I love that you called it Shake Shake! I'm all for that. I could live on milkshakes. Yum.

And the Gramercy Tavern. And the Popover Cafe.

And the sugar pie - not sure it's a burnt sugar pie, I'm afraid. It's made mostly with brown sugar and heavy cream. It's delicious, and about as deadly as you believe it is.

Jodi Kaplan said...

@Marjorie: OOPS! You're right, I meant Shake Shack. My blood sugar must have been too low when I wrote that! Luckily, they're going to open up a new Shack near my apartment soon. :-)

The lines weren't too bad though (we must have gotten there just in time).

Marjorie said...


Like Louise, I kinda like the name "Shake Shake" more! Maybe we should go into business and start a place that sells just creamy milk shakes, like the place in NYC that sells just rice pudding or the place that sells just light bulbs! How I love NYC!!

--Marjorie from CT

Jodi Kaplan said...

@Marjorie, sounds like a plan. I haven't heard of the rice pudding place, but I know about the light bulbs and the olive oil place.

Oh, have you tried the Michel Cluizel chocolate at ABC Carpet? OH MY GAWD!!

Marjorie said...


To see the rice pudding place, cut and paste this:

And I have walked past the chocolates in ABC, but the per pound price was, as I recall, astronomical and I just couldn't splurge that day. However, I do recommend the chocolate fondue (as well as the hot chocolate) at Max Brenner's (cut and paste this):

which is also in Union Square where Louise and Michael will be staying. It's chocloate heaven.

--Marjorie from CT

Jodi Kaplan said...


Yes, the chocolate prices are stratospheric, but it's soooo good. I had some at a chocolate tasting event several years ago, which was fairly reasonable at the time.

I haven't been to Max Brenner's, but I have heard of it.

How about Jacques Torres?

(Oh dear, by the time we're finished, Louise and Michael will be wobbling back to Canada with a whole new xx-large wardrobe)

Marjorie said...

I have been to Jacques Torres' shop, just over the Brooklyn Bridge, to have a very rich and tasty cup of his hot cocoa. They offer it in a spicy version, but I got the regular. It was pretty darn wonderful.

--Marjorie from Connecticut