Operation Oysterhood: Day Forty-Three

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



A TV night with a short gap, but no nightmares. In the morning, Salieri and I watched CNN’s Town Hall with Laurie Garrett, among others, but she was most impressive (I need to read her books!). She spoke about the best case scenarios for our future and the CDC guidelines and I looked them up after the interview. This particular point struck a chord:

Emphasize individual responsibility. Based on emphasizing individual responsibility for implementing recommended personal-level actions, empowering businesses, schools, and community organizations to implement recommended actions, particularly in ways that protect persons at increased risk of severe illness, focusing on settings that provide critical infrastructure or services to individuals at increased risk of severe illness, and minimizing disruptions to daily life to the extent possible.

Watching hippos in the morning was also a good idea. And coffee – always the best idea.


And I have completely fallen in love with Lauren Arthur’s (of Wild Earth) accent (it took me a looooong time to figure out where she comes from – I am hopeless with accents). She used her porcupointer (what a wonderful word!) to explain animal tracks today.

Then it was time for more work, but getting up properly this morning was nearly impossible, so I just worked in my PJs and unwashed/uncombed hair until I finished the tasks set for the morning.

Showered around noon. The day outside was begging to be acknowledged, so I went on one of my garden loop walks to dry my hair and listened to the radio. Mozart and Salieri accompanied me.

For the last few days, I have been smelling something wonderful in the garden and today I identified where the scent comes from. I have no idea what the little tree is called but it smells divine. Mozart obviously also thought so, because he sat among the fallen petals and did not want to come out.


The rest of the afternoon was work apart from a friend testing the safety features of the delivery system for her restaurant and bringing a surprise to my gate. This was so lovely and so delicious that it completely made my day.


When the deliveries are up and running on a full scale, I will write about the restaurant. There are great stories to tell. Hopefully soon! They are also busy organising a soup kitchen in their area. The generosity and kindness of people during this trying time is inspiring.

Another beautiful act of generosity was Nancy Richards’s email today, announcing that the interview she did with me about letter writing a while back was finally available online as a podcast. I listened to it again and wanted to write paper and pen letters immediately, but… One day again!

I don’t mention them by name during the interview, but the friend who sends me postcards is Robert. I wrote to him today via email and sent him the podcast link and warned him not to send postcards for the time being. The other person I mention, the man I worked with, who used to sign his emails with ‘Fond regards’ passed away almost one and a half years ago: Stephen Johnson. I miss corresponding with him – his emails, even the purely professional ones, were a thing of beauty. He was a publisher who knew and loved language.

I have received a few beautiful and moving emails during the lockdown, people taking care to communicate through typed words what cannot be articulated over a cup of coffee or a glass of pink bubbly, or just sharing thoughts and feelings and dreams and fears across space because words have that unbelievable power to bring us closer and to make us feel less alone.

The moment the post office is up and running again, I will write real paper and pen letters again and send them out into the world. It is always such great joy to receive a postcard or a letter in the postbox… The good old days when dinosaurs roamed the world.

Just in case you were wondering: the amphibians are still roaming the earth, or our tiny patch of it. I said hello to the Frog Prince in the pool weir today. He looked at me for a few seconds and dived into the pool. Playing hard to get!

Shortly before the sun went down, I sat next to the pool and read for a while, with Mozart and Glinka next to me. Two doves were parading right in front of us to Glinka’s great interest and Mozart’s non-interest because he couldn’t see them.

Time for bed and Carter. I have recorded the latest episode and will watch before falling asleep. The show is so silly, but it makes me laugh out loud all the time. And I am always grateful for laughter. It makes almost everything bearable. Even this:

“The virus will continue to circulate in the world regardless of whether or not there’s a vaccine unless we’re committed to a strategic goal of really getting rid of the virus from the planet,” says Laurie Garrett, the author of The Coming Plague (1994).

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

“Physical distancing remains one of the key strategies to curb this pandemic.”


(But it is totally allowed to dream of kisses. Always.)

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