15th March 2020

Awoke unusually early and with a pressing desire to bask under any UV rays the gold orb in the sky might present,. Thankfully the gods answered my request and but a few hours later, mainly due to the kindness of a passing driver and passenger with a most appreciated lift, I was ensconced upon the veranda of the brown bear bakery as near to the town center of Eastsound as can be imagined. I had previously girded my loins to the probability of being served my beverage in a paper cup rather than the usual china, this simple substitution somehow being considered a highly suitable defense against the spread of airborne virus, but much to my delight my usual sixteen ounce cup of Joe was presented in my preferred manner. 

My phobia surrounding paper drinking cups is one that I personally confer completely normal but is found by a majority of the peeps this side of the Atlantic as both peculiar and somewhat perverse. My only excuse for the bias, perhaps a rather mild expression of my actual horror, is my complete disassociation with any form of fast food, beyond the de rigour newspaper wrapped fish and chips of my youth, until my mid-forties when such establishments first spread to the Western European high street.

I had of course many an intimate encounter with that backbone of British casual catering, the roadside motorized snack bar, a common fixture in virtually every layby from Lands End to John O’Groats. However even in such casual eateries the production of beverage or food in or on anything other than china or porcelain would have been considered quite passé. I was thankfully born into an age of wicker picnic baskets, with pristine rose-colored tea sets and solid silver cutlery ever included.

It is quite possible that my opinions are shaded more by habit or convention than any real disapproval. Eating or drinking on the street were in my youth extremely rare, except in the particular case of say vender provided ice cream. The reasoning behind the disparity betwixt one side of the pond and the other I have no real logic for, unless just simply the diversion of new world informality from the old world formal. I well remember the sudden explosion in smaller familial eateries, kebab establishments, Indian and Asian takeaways in the late seventies and early eighties, presumably as a result of the sudden increases in immigration from specific areas through Empiric administrative restructuring, particularly affecting transient populations settled in Hong Kong, Rhodesia and  Southern Africa. 

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