Sunday, 30 October 2011

First Snow!

mix of sun and cloud. temps 3.

We woke up to snow on the ground. the forecast earlier in the week had called for it, then said we wouldn't get any, but New England would get hammered. I was sorry to hear both. I love the first snow, and the first snow long as we don't have to travel. So it was great to get back to Sutton from Quebec City in beautiful sunshine - then wake up to a little bit of snow. you can see by the photos, it's not much...more a suggestion, really. But pretty. The photos were taken this morning when Trudy and I were out for our walk.

Then Michael and I headed into Sutton for breakfast at Le St-Patrick. He had it with three other guys...Jack, Peter and Chris. And I have breakfast with Cheryl. Oh, how it filled my heart to be with a close hear about her life. And to tell her about mine. Not so much our external lives (though there's a bit of that, of course), but the invisible life....that is so real....the emotional life. Our interiors. Being on tour is a funny sort of thing. Never lonely because there are always so many people around - and that's wonderful and exciting and stimulating. But, of course, they're not friends. And while I do a lot of talking - it's not about my deepest thoughts.

Lovely to be home with Michael - and with friends. And feel that embrace.

What I consider the last event of the tour happened Friday night in Quebec City. But first, the Ikea kitchen arrived 7:30 Friday morning....and with it, four men, who burst out of two trucks and barely said hello. Within minutes they'd set up a sort of command post, with our plans - and benches....and off they went.

I was terrified that I'd mis-measured and nothing would fit. As it turns out, I had mis-measured....but apparently that happens all the time...and they just adjusted to it. I had to leave about 11am for the drive to Quebec City, which takes about 3 and a half hours. By then we'd discovered most of the problems and come up with solutuons.

Such a relief when there's no drama. I love being around people who say, 'No problem. We'll fix it.' I try to be like that too.... calm, constructive, positive. Because I know how much it means to me when others are like that. I'm running short of patience with people who make heavy weather of everything.

Ikea - at least these installation guys - worked like Trojans, and were cheery and adaptable and never tired of saying, 'pas de probleme madame.' It's not a problem.

Though I did get a mnessage from Michael when I arrived in Quebec City asking why I'd ordered a dark wood cabinet in the middle of a white kitchen. I blanched. And explained that I hadn't. And took a deep breath, repeating to myself, 'pas de probleme, madame....pas de probleme.' And sure enough, when it was explained, the Ikea people realized it was the company mistake - they installed it just to make sure the measurements were right, but said they'd be back next week to do an exchange.


QuebeCrime on Friday was a blast. Stayed in a fun little hotel in downtown Quebec City - the old city. Hotel du vieux quebec. One of the terrific 'real' quebecois restaurants - a real bistro - is on the main floor, but not part of the hotel...les freres du cote.

I immediately went to the Literary and Historical Society - to just sit there and gather my thoughts....and who should come through the door but many of the other writers on the agenda for that night. Here's the worst photo ever taken, of the library of the literary and historical society. You see, from left to right - Guy Dubois, who owns La Maison Anglaise - the english bookstore in Quebec and who helped create QuebeCrime, Ian Rankin, me, Simon Jacobs, the exec director of the Morrin Centre which houses the Lit and His, Anne Emery, a crime writer from Halifax and Denise Mina, a crime writer from Scotland.

After this Anne and Ian and I went off for drinks and french onion soup to the Maritime bar of the Chateau Frontenac. I have to say, it was a wonderful experience, to sit there, in that company.

One of the many unexpected events in an unexpected and very blessed life.

The readings that night, Friday, at St Andrew's Presbyterian church (right beside the Lit and His) were wonderful. So in awe of the other writers. Brilliant and funny and searing. And such great company.

And then...headed home. tomorrow I'm meeting a fellow crime writer and neighbor for coffee and conflab. And on Tuesday Propane de L'estrie shows up to hook up the new gas stove. I, of course, am worried that they won't be able to do it. There is no reason I should feel like that....(c'est pas un problem, madame, I need to tell myself) - but seems the worry factory is still in operation.

But I have to say - the kitchen is lookign great. yesterday, when I arrived home and Michael took me right over to show me, we spent a good half hour just opening and closing drawers....and marveling at the design. Honestly, PVR is lost on us. Give us a good drawer to open and close and we're happy for hours.

Speak soon - I hope. Sorry it's been so long between posts....but I do think of you, you know. And carry you with me, when I think of how lucky I am.


vbnbvn said...

We, your readers, are also very lucky that you share parts of your life with us. You are a very generous person, and Michael is a lucky man.

Mary said...

I love it when you lapse into French - it fills a need I have to enjoy the language vicariously. I find so few opportunities to use what I learned. Please continue to scatter it amidst your writings.

Susan said...

Wonderful to hear that the kitchen is coming together.....just love your blogs, and I too, enjoy your French....that's my background and now that my grandmere is gone,I rarely speak it!

Nancy said...

Bring on the snow, the sooner the ski hills will open!! Looking forward to our ski holiday once again in Sutton!!

Judy W said...

we were at QuebeCrime on Friday night and you were wonderful, as always. Thanks for a great evening and for letting us know about the event! We stayed and also enjoyed Saturday's authors/events, then drove home on Sunday to SW New Hampshire and 26" of snow! I'm afraid we did not find it quite as enjoyable as your lovely photos . . .

debsutton said...

I just finished Bury Your Dead a few moments ago. I've read them all from Still Life on and feel that I've been so lucky to stumble upon you. So I did a search for a Louise Penny fan club and found your blog. I'm not one for gushing over celebrities, so this feels weird. Imagine my surprise when I saw that you live in a place called Sutton. That's my husband's name.

Just wanting to let you know that I want to read everything you write. I love the delicious combination of mystery, honest and lovely characters, travel journal, and historical fiction. And of course your insight into the inner life is brilliant. I can't wait to get to Canada and especially Quebec and Quebec City.

Miche said...

I am happy to have found your books. I loaded my Kindle with your first novel for a holiday and found myself frustrated that I couldn't download any more. Since returning home I have rectified that and am slowly working through them all.

I enjoy your characters and the settings. I have only travelled to the west coast of Canada. I can see I will have to get to the east coast to experience the cities and country your describe.

Anonymous said...

Hi Louise
I'm sure you'll love your IKEA kitchen. We had one installed here in the townships about 20 years ago and it still looks like new. Never had a "problème"
with it. They are responsible people. In Montreal right now. Going back to the cottage in a few days. Hope there will be some snow left. None in Montreal.

H. L. Banks said...

Enjoyed your post so much. Don't know what I'm more envious of - your new kitchen and time spent with all those wonderful writers.
And I don't believe your life has too much to do with luck - it's your gigantic talent!

Anonymous said...

Hi Louise,
I just discovered your wonderful books! Must confess I have quite a crush on Insp. Gamache. I fall off to sleep with him every night now.
Thank you for that.

JeffB said...

Enjoyed the photo of Ian enjoying his Clamato Caesar; I remember a trip up to Canada to do both a late-year regatta in Leamington and a Curling bonspiel; I stopped at a café and was asked if I would like a pitcher of Caesars - it was 9 in the morning and I wasn't quite ready for alcohol at that time; though trips back to Canada are NVER complete with a Caesar!

JeffB said...

...make that "trips back to Canada are NEVER complete wthout a Caesar."

Famille Gerdel said...


Un plaisir de savoir que la Veille Capitale te plaît. Y'a tellement de beaux recoins à découvrir dans ce coin de pays.

Dire que j'ai vécu la tempête de neige et de verglas à New-York City, le 29 octobre dernier. Pas drôle du tout... La ville de Québec a eu droit à sa première chute de neige pas plus tard qu'hier. Si, si. Les gros flocons de neige était féérique à voir.