Operation Oysterhood: Day Fourteen

OYSTERHOOD is reclusiveness or solitude, or an overwhelming desire to stay at home.


All seemed to be going in the right direction. I slept. Had no nightmares that I could recall. Went on the morning safari with Wild Earth while having a cup of coffee. My own wildlife came to visit once I moved to the bed in the bedroom. Mozart is hanging around a lot more nowadays and has become his old affectionate self. Has there ever been a life without Cats? I realised recently that I have never lived longer with anyone outside my closest family than with Glinka, Salieri and Mozart. Twelve, thirteen and fourteen years respectively. And they still love me, unconditionally. How lucky can one be?

Today’s rather unconventional breakfast.


By now, anything goes when it comes to food.

But then the bell rang and it was my Dairy Doorman delivery, just in time for Easter. Fresh milk, honey, pies, and, most importantly: EGGS!


Free and happy as a bird indeed. My last two onions had to take off their clothes, because I immediately started colouring my Easter eggs in onion peels (an old family tradition).

Don’t they just look lovely?

I cooked, read, sunbathed, wrote, paid all my municipal and Telkom bills online (I usually take them to a shop to pay at a counter, so I had to figure this out for the first time ever), replied to emails, listened to the radio, and towards the end of the afternoon found a jar of Karoo peaches at the back of my kitchen cupboard. Now, one needs to understand: I and peaches have a long history of dislike. It’s a weird story from our refugee days. I can eat a fresh fruit but, processed in any way, it is not my jar of peach and hasn’t been for thirty-three years.


Yet, this afternoon I had been in such a positive mood that I even wanted to have peaches for dessert after dinner, and attempt sleeping in my bedroom, not in front of the TV.

But. The evening came. I ate dinner and my peaches. I looked at my beautifully coloured eggs. I looked at the bed in my bedroom and I thought of the days ahead, my uncle’s Easter wishes for the family spelled across my computer screen: ŻYCZĘ ŻYCIA! (Wishing you life!)

And just like that solitude changed to loneliness. From bitter experience, I understand that Easter and loneliness are going to take a lot of effort to survive. There was no point in trying to fool myself otherwise.

My Mom is phoning later tonight. This will be good. But I will sleep in front of the TV again and hope not to wake up to the ghastly emptiness of the small hours. I don’t want to feel that small.

Luckily, I am good at surviving. I even enjoyed those peaches tonight.

Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Stay at home.

PS My Mom phoned. My love phoned. The President spoke. “We dare not fail.”

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