Currant Affairs

No, that’s not a spelling mistake. I do mean “currant” with an “a.”

Here’s what happened.

First thing in the morning I go into the kitchen to put the coffee on.

Hmph! No coffee ground.

Get the beans and pour them into the grinder. I have dark roast and medium roast. These look like … can’t really tell …should have labeled the jar.

Oh well,  here goes. Put the cap on the grinder and … wait a minute! These look like awfully small beans ….

WHAAAAT? That’s not coffee! I taste a “bean” to be sure. They’re currants!

I’m struggling to wake up. My eyes are only half open. And as you can see in the photo below, one of the pot lights has a burned out bulb. They are connected three to a switch and only two of this set are on.

I made scones the other day and put currants in them. I always put away the ingredients when I finish baking, but I hadn’t put away the jar with currants in them. As you can see below, they look very much like the coffee beans that I keep on the counter because I’m always needing to grind more coffee.

With the poor lighting from the burnt out bulb, I couldn’t see that one jar had something other than coffee beans in it.  So maybe there are two dimbulbs around here.

Of course, I can forgive myself for almost making pureed currants.

I hadn’t had my first cup of coffee yet.

Victoria’s Tea Grannies and their Modern Counterparts

In Victoria, B.C., everyone who’s anyone goes to Murchie’s for a cup of tea or coffee. Some go  once in a while. Some, nearly every day! They meet their friends and keep their brains alive by getting out into the world and finding out what’s happening.

Seems this has been going on for many years. Murchie’s has been around since 1894. The note on the display says, “This display, hand made in the Black Forest, 120 years ago and has 800 parts.


Across the street, the people in that building are very interested in what’s going on at Murchie’s.



“Look at them over there,” the little boy says. “I bet they think we’re just paintings on the wall.”DSCN3880a

“I see a woman with a camera over at the tea shop.”DSCN3881a

“Hey! Look at all those people having a good time over at Murchie’s. I think we need to go over for a cup of tea.”


I’ve removed some people from the images, rather than put the black tab across the eyes they way they do in some of the cheap news magazines. This 1977 trip is not meant to show how we “looked” when we were young, but rather what we “saw” back then.

The morning after sleeping in the “closed for the season” campsite at Leibnitz (our first Austrian stop after Yugoslavia), we wandered through town looking for a place to have breakfast.


After driving and camping for days as we traveled from southern Greece towards our eventual destination of London, we welcomed something more civilized. A restaurant that was probably part of a small hotel looked promising. It felt so strange to sit at a table with fine cutlery and a white tablecloth.

A quick trip to the washroom was also a treat: clean sinks and real toilets (not the two feet around a hole in the floor that they have in countries where water is scarce), aromatic soaps, and paper towels. We were enthralled by all these modern conveniences that we had learned not to take for granted.

While we waited for our breakfast, we ogled the basket of buns in the center of the table.

“And look at this,” I whispered. “It’s real butter!”

“Help yourself,” my husband said.

With huge smiles, we tucked into the bakery fresh crusty rolls. After two months of camping, I enjoyed the buns as if they were a steak dinner in a fancy restaurant.

The ham and eggs arrived along with frankfurters and excellent strong coffee. I was in heaven.

When it came time to pay, we knew roughly what the price would be and that was no problem, but the cashier said, “And how many buns did you eat?”

“Oh, quite a few.” I was embarrassed to think she’d been watching as I made a pig of myself.

“I need to know how much to charge you.”

“OH!” Many thoughts raced through my mind. How much would each one cost? If I’d known they weren’t free I wouldn’t have eaten so many. Darn! Why did I fill my boots like that? “I think …  three … each….”

She added the price of the six buns to the price of the breakfast.

I’m sure she thought that for two skinny people we had huge appetites. Probably thought we had tapeworms.