Have you ever read a book that mentions a specific place or had a conversation and this place or word or name would pop up and a day or two later, that same place or word or name would pop up again and again? Well, it happens to me. . .a lot.
The other day I was half listening to the radio and the morning DJ mentioned the word obsequious in describing something. Words are wonderful and this one didn’t sound complimentary. Since I wasn’t familiar with obsequious, I looked it up in my heavy Webster’s. To simplify, it meant grovelling, smarmy and toadying. Boy, I knew a few people like that in my working days, but that’s another story for another time. “Obsequious” popped up several times over the next few days and trust me, this is not a common word. It was used to describe an unsavory character in a short story I was reading. It was used in a food review to describe an annoying waitperson in a trendy eatery. It was used to describe a poofy chair but I’m not sure if the writer used the right adjective. Who would have thought “obsequious” was so popular?
The name “Hermione” conjures up the “Harry Potter” stories. This is not a name a person in my hometown encounters very often, if at all. But I remember that after reading the first two books of the series, “Hermione” began popping up. The lady in charge of the local garden tours had the first name “Hermione.” My regular insurance agent was on holidays but the temporary replacement was named “Hermione.” My neighbour had always wanted a Mini-Cooper and finally got her little car. She promptly named it,—yep, you guessed it–“Hermione.”
During the summer months—beginning with June—the main street by my home is blocked off for cars. For the next 3-4 blocks, the street becomes a “Summer Market” once a month. Vendors come from all over Vancouver Island to set up their tents or tables for their produce, baked goods and crafted products. This Summer Market is accessible to foot-traffic only and open to both locals and visitors. One of my favourite vendors are the chocolatiers with their hand-crafted chocolates. One of the chocolatiers working his table, shaded by an awning, was a tall tan male named Julian. The local gin, whisky and crafted cottage beers were offering free samples at their tables, but seeing that I had refused, Julian enticed me over with a free sample of his chocolate. It was delicious and made from cacao beans grown in Ghana. Ghana? What happened to Belgium? Apparently, Ghana is considered the #2 country for growing and exporting the cacao beans to other places like Belgium, that converts the cacao beans to giant slabs of chocolate and sold to chocolatiers all over the world. Julian did his magic and crafted a rich, dark chocolate with a creamy fudgy filling. He had many others, but by this time, I had earned my freebie chocolate as a few visitors wandered over to peruse his fabulous chocolate display. I wandered off to check out Julian’s competitors. For $2, I bought a piece of apricot, dipped in dark chocolate and named the “Julien.” Spelled slightly different but pronounced the same. And, you know what else? Further down the street, there was a local farmer displaying his bunches of radishes, baby carrots, green onions and parsley. Bags of new nugget potatoes, baskets of local blueberries, strawberries and raspberries were also on his table. As I paid for the bunch of new baby carrots, I was told it was their newest produce, the “Julienne.” Again. it’s spelled differently but pronounced the same. How many times would you have encountered this name?
I can hardly wait to see what new treasures and/or trivia I will find at the next Summer Market. Now I’ll ask you again, have you ever. . . ?