Operation Oysterhood: Day Twenty-Three

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



A relatively good night, a very slow wake-up, coffee, lazy morning with Wild Earth and reading. But then the sun began to rise, bringing with it a balmy warmth, and I needed to be outside. Quite a lot of leaves and fruit had fallen from my trees on the path to the front door and on the stoep in the last few days, so I took out a broom and started sweeping in my PJs and my polar bear suit. The lovely neighbour heard me and peeked over the wall, calling out, “Good morning!” I replied and waved, and he said, “I see you are working in your day PJs.” We had a great chat over the wall and decided to meet for a glass of wine later in the day (on both sides of the dividing wall, of course). I continued with my garden work, then had a brunch on the stoep (the last slices of my stale bread, toasted; ham and egg; and peppadews, of course), and then got into my swimming gear and while waiting for the midday sun to pass, I read in the shade of a tree in the garden.


It has only been a few days since my last swim. Despite the gorgeous heat of the afternoon, it was not easy to get into the ice-cold water, but I did, and it was amazing.


In my element.

I have just looked up today’s horoscope for my sign, Aquarius:

Apr 18, 2020 – Today you could feel overwhelmed with obligations and commitments to others. There isn’t a moment free for yourself, not even for a bathroom break! Clearly, something’s out of balance, Aquarius. It’s time to take charge of your life. It’s wonderful that you have such a giving, generous spirit, but you do no one any favors if you burn out from exhaustion. Take some time to refill the well of your soul.”

Fake news for today, but nearly spot on earlier in the week. I am on Fukitol since yesterday, refilling the well of my soul… Big time lazy.

After my swim, Glinka joined me on my towel for some sunbathing and reading.

It was a slothful afternoon. Because of my wine date with the neighbours at 5pm, I eventually did put on a nice dress and settled back into my reading chairs with a glass of rosé (last bottle, but I thought that this was the day to open it) and the last of my chicken soup for a late lunch. Mozart came to say hello and got interested in the smell of my food, so I shared the last bit with him.

I read and just sat in the garden, staring into the green ahead and the blue above, the soul well brimming with indolent waters. I spotted the place in the grass where my rescue mole disappeared yesterday.


Unfortunately, just before my swim, I had to bury another mole that ended up in the pool last night and did not make it. I think the cats chased it into the water and he/she did not know how to get out. I have seen it happen once before a few years ago and could save the poor thing back then, but it was too late for this particular mole.

When it was time for my rendez-vous with the neighbours, I set up the ladder, and prepared the second glass of rosé (a generous one!) and a book I promised to lend them, and phoned that I was ready.

I sat on the ladder, they on a crate and a car in their driveway and we chatted for almost an hour. Physical distancing at its finest. Some people have neighbours from hell; I have neighbours from heaven, and as long as they are next door, I never feel truly alone.

They gave me a bird nest they found outside my property. It fell off my tree. A work of art, if there ever was one. I can recognise some of the material used coming directly from my garden. Such a lovely thing of wonder. I am sorry it fell to the ground and can no longer be a bird’s home.


In the evening, I had a Skype date with my love. He sent me pictures of the beaver in Berlin, practicing social distancing and being escorted by the police to the nearest dam, where the beaver could go for a recreational swim, as is allowed under the lockdown regulations in Germany. And earlier in the day, we had a good laugh over the penguins in Simonstown. Thinking of these curious animals and the sleeping lions on the now empty road in the Kruger, I love the idea of animals taking over our urban spaces. We shouldn’t go back, let them roam.

Not Eggs, though! If you haven’t seen The Great Egg-Scape by Gary Naidoo, you must!

The Great Egg-Scape

I love the way creative people are dealing with the pandemic.

And talking about creative people…

I present: actor, director, writer & musician, Roland du Preez:


Today was Roland’s birthday and he celebrated in style with his family in Somerset West. I have known Roland for as long as I have been in South Africa. I have seen him grow up from a wonderful child, through a brave teenager, to a stunning young adult. Fiercely intelligent, curious, funny, loving, he was great to share a house with when he started studying drama at UCT four years ago and came to live with me for a few months. I love the fact that he wears dresses and pearls with pride, and I am jealous that he can walk in high-heel shoes better than I. His creativity knows no bounds, and now that he has graduated with flying colours, and has his first real theatre gig behind him (at the Woordfees just before the lockdown), anyone will be lucky to work with him in the future, once the theatre world returns to our stages, and we can all sit in the audiences and marvel at the magic of it all. If young people like Roland are our future, we are going to be in the safest, most caring, kind hands. This was the drawing that came to me when I thought of Roland this morning: he is the gold at the end of the best of rainbows.


Sorry Roland, but I am not as good at portraits as your Dad. I am so grateful that you and your Family are my Family. I love you all! Thank you for being part of my life.

Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others.

“Stay indoor and follow the rules.”

— Pakora, The Great Egg-Scape

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