With isinglass curtains y’ can roll right down,
In case there’s a change in the weather.
(The Surrey With The Fringe On Top – Oklahoma 1955)
To get a glimpse at what is happening outside our small country, I sometimes turn over to the UK’s Sky News. No matter when I tune in, at any time of day, I find myself watching the weather forecast.
It is interesting to see how little change there has been in the weather over Saint Kitts from 09:05 to the next forecast at 09:15. (As most readers will know, Saint Kitts, also known as Saint Christopher Island, is an island in the West Indies.)
Even the United Kingdom’s notoriously changeable weather is unable to surprise me in the ten minutes I take to eat my breakfast. Perhaps if I were to eat a full English breakfast, with bacon, fried, poached or scrambled eggs, fried or grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, fried bread or buttered toast, and sausages, London might go from heavy rain to sunny intervals with winds light to moderate. But my usual roll and a cup of coffee, and most certainly no bacon, is not long enough for a noticeable change.
These pointless weather breaks are clearly intended to give the staff a chance to drink some tea, smoke a cigarette or catch up with the news from a real news channel. I could recommend i24NEWS if they really want to know what is going on here in Israel without Sky’s usual lies, omissions and unpleasant comments. They have never forgiven us for kicking out the British occupation forces back in 1948.
A long time ago, before the coronavirus, we would be shown any number of reports of supposedly grown men chasing a children’s ball. For reasons that are not clear to most of us, other supposedly grown men would turn out in their thousands to watch this absurd spectacle. But now all these over-crowded activities are off the table. Even the largest of families would find it difficult to keep to the government’s recommendations, or are they guidelines, or possibly regulations; they seem to change faster than the weather. Who can find the 22 people needed to chase one miserable ball from pillar to post. By the way, the post in this expression is not a goal post but, in the Middle Ages, a post to which a person being punished was tied and whipped before being moved to the pillory where passers-by could laugh at them. Perhaps we should adopt this for those caught without a mask.
And to end on an educational note – Isinglass is a semi-transparent material made by cleaning and drying the air bladders of fish such as sturgeon and cod. Sturgeon is, of course, not kosher so if you happen to be be riding in a surrey with a fringe on top, keep well away from the curtains.