Tuesday, 29 June 2010


heavy rains, sunny breaks, torrential rains, clear blue - temps 15

Rreally a very cool (and not in a retro chic way) day. I, of course, am in shorts and sandals.

Doug and Mapy and Dennis (two of dougs friends) and every child in the world, left. But between the time we arrived home yesterday about noon and when they left this morning - the beetle broke down on the highway, young Gordie dove into the pool and hit his face on the bottom (diving into the slope where shallow becomes deep - but not quickly enough apparently). We were SO lucky _ though it took some doing to convince Gordie he was lucky - since all that happened was he broke a tooth. A front tooth. In half. And adult front tooth. In half. What luck.

But clearly it could have been worse. Tragic even.

A little later there was a kid meltdown involving fists and a drink.

Uncle Michael, while playing a role in Gordie's tooth, decided to sit out the slugging. And pretend it wasn 't happening.

But despite all this, it was fun. The worst day with doug and the kids is still better than the best day without them in our lives could ever be. It would be horrible if the kids, or their parents, decided they didn't want to come visit. We're really more like grandparents to the kids than Aunt and Uncle. Very fun. And we've learned over the course of many, many years, that upsets come and go. Such is life in a family.

By 7 this morning they'd all left and we were also on the road, to VW in Sherbrooke, to take the car in. We'd just returned home (a 1 hour drive) when they called to say come pick it up, it needs two parts they don't have...so we'll need to take it back next week.

So today we've taken the car there and back - twice - and done endless loads of laundry.

On the bright side, our wonderful friend Susan, on hearing the stresses suggested a rain check. She was going to come tomorrow and stay through the weekend. As she said, her gift to me was alone time. How perfect to have a friend who knows me so well...and would give up a vacation so I can stare at a wall.

Tomorrow morning I said I'd meet a good neighbour's granddaughter in Sutton. She's an aspiring novelist. And then hoping to come home and finally, finally, do nothing. But that was the plan for today. Oh well...

Absolutely ADORE your thoughts on who should play Gamache in a movie/TV series. I remember one producer explaining that leads in TV series are generally unknown...the series makes their careers. And I suspect that's true. I also know that John Thaw was not how Colin Dexter described Morse, but he was perfect for the role.

So many of you got it absolutely right...the physical appearance is far less important than the sense of the man on screen.

I'd also encourage you, though, to rent Miss Pettigrew lives for a Day. That's where I discovered Ciaran Hinds. since saw him in a few things, to see what I thought, and didn't see him as Gamache in anything else. But he made a perfect Gamache in his role in Miss Pettigrew. I guess that's why they call it acting.

And - to refresh your memories...Gamache is mid-fifties, solidly built, and speaks French, of course...but when he speaks English it's with a slight British accent, since that's where he learned the lnguage.

But again, not of that is as important as a commanding, kindly, warm, strong presence. Please keep the suggestions coming...


Susan Fish said...

Since they call it acting and since after a frightening day like this you may need a laugh, may I humbly suggest Sandra Bullock as Gamache.

Happy staring at the wall.

Diane said...

How about Tom Selleck? He has aged gracefully since he was in "Magnum, P.I." and is still attractive; he also has the commanding presence someone mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes! Tom Selleck would be perfect!

Susan Fish said...

If Tom Selleck could do the voice and have elegant gestures, he might just work. Surprisingly good suggestion.

Ruthie from NH said...

Oooooh, love the idea of Tom Selleck as Gamache.

Ruthie from NH said...

Cybil Shepherd or Kathleen Turner (made up to look older of course) would be my choices to play Ruth.

Marjorie said...

I posted this on Louise's FB page already, but here is Ciaran Hinds speaking as himself (for those of you who might not know him):

Cut and paste:


--Marjorie from CT

lil Gluckstern said...

I love George Clooney, but I fear his stardom would overwhelm the character which is what matters. So many choices, I love the image of a youngish mid-Fifties Gamache On another topic, I;m glad the family is okay, and your home and personalities sound so warm and welcoming. Good luck with the car, and hope you get some "me" time!

Margaret J. McMaster said...

Thanks for the cut and paste, Marjorie. Now I know who Ciaran Hinds is. He played Helen Mirren's husband in Calendar Girls.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link.. changed my mind from Tom Selleck to Ciaran Hinds.. all he needs is the mustache and the tweeds to convince the world that he's Gamache.

Reen said...

I wonder if any readers ever envision a character the way the author does. When I read Still Life the first time, and heard Ralph Cosham speak, I thought he was brilliant as Gamache-- my perfect Gamache. Then I read one of your blog posts where you said that when you listened to him read Gamache, he didn't sound at all like the Gamache you knew. You know that I am a shameless fan. I have unrestrained admiration for your - sort of - epistomological theology. Sorry-- can't think up a better term. Anyway... what I am trying to say is, there I was thinking Mr. Cosham is perfect as he expresses Gamache's world view, and there you were saying, huh?

PS: You can change my vote to CiarĂ¡n Hinds, too.

Diane said...

I'm going to watch Miss Pettigrew...and see this Ciaran Hinds. Knowing a bit of your taste from the books you write, I'm sure I won't be disappointed.

I'm haunted by Gamache -- who wouldn't be. The actor has to be perfect - G's only weakness is his kindness. Oh well,...

Now Ruth, that's fun, can imagine quite a few testy, fiesty, etc. etc. actors - oh, if only, Kathryn Hepburn, hair shaved of course!

Hope you catch your rest.

Jodi Kaplan said...

OOh yes, Ciaran Hinds (I just saw Calendar Girls)!

Louise Penny Author said...

Hi all,

LOVE your suggestions...and I agree about Selleck - has aged very well. He might just be a little too classically handsome...but you never know. Given me a new idea...though Hinds is still in the lead (so to speak). And Reen - quite right about Ralph in terms of my initial response...and I haven't revisited listening...no advantage for me. But from what I understand from my UK agent to US editors to all sort of reviews and reader response, Ralph is fabulous...and a perfect Gamache. How lucky I am!!

And fun to consider Ruth! Whoever plays it some older actress is going to have fun...

Susie Sharp Librarian said...

I looked up Ciaran Hinds and in a year he will have a massive following as he is playing Aberforth Dumbledore in Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
Shirley McLain as Ruth thats brilliant!

I just hope whoever it is that plays Gamache will be wonderful!

Candy said...

Ciaran Hinds really seems like a good choice to play Gamache. He's handsome, but not too handsome. He's strong. He's charming and intelligent.

I love Tom Selleck, but I think he might be too handsome. (Wouldn't we all love to have such a problem?)

syaprods said...

I don't think Selleck is up to Gamache's Brit/ French. I love him, and have worked with him in the past. But I don't think he's Gamache, sadly.

Since someone mentioned Ruth, how about Elaine Stritch? BTW, she's going into A Little Night Music on Broadway (with Bernadette Peters) in July. Ruth would not be a stretch for her. At all.

Oooh....just thought of something (it was writing Bernadette's name that did it..for those who might know a bit of romantic trivia)...he's a big star but he most certainly has the chops, the eyes and the dialects...Steve Martin. A bit too old, perhaps, but he could be surprising and good.

Also, Hugh Laurie is a possibility. He is a brit and is a dialect wizard.

Will come back later and add more ideas.

This is fun!

syaprods said...

Also, Ciaran Hinds - yes! My goodness...he seems to be so on-the-money! Impressive find, Louise!

-Suzanne (again)