Operation Oysterhood: Day Forty-Eight

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



Mozart came to visit late last night, but did not want to stay after Salieri hissed at him from the other side of our TV bed. Sleep came eventually, but not for long. Yet the gap sometime after midnight wasn’t as bad as the previous one. I just listened to the voices on the TV and enjoyed the warmth of my duvet and thought of very little until Morpheus welcomed me in his arms again.

By the time I woke up, the light was bright outside and even though my motivation was not exactly soaring, I got up, made coffee and treated myself to yoghurt and honey in my bedroom bed where a novel I had to abandon for a manuscript (report written and sent today) was still waiting patiently with some beautiful lines:

If their hands should touch as they walked, their fingers brushing as if seeking the heat and scent of each other still on their skin, well – who was to know? Only those two – a secret shared.

I had known her. But that didn’t matter. What was between us wasn’t silence. It was speaking without words. It was breathing without breath.

It was us. It was we. And on we went, together…

I suppose that depends on your point of view… If the truth brings opportunity or merely pain.

This is what happens when a poet writes prose. Thank you, Katherine Stansfield.

I wish I could have continued reading, but a lot of work was waiting today and I had to get going.

At lunchtime, I skyped briefly with Mom and Krystian. He is visiting again and Mom asked him to cut her hair. He did a brilliant job – she looks stunning! Some of us will discover hidden talents in this Covid-19 chaos. Then, I braved the outside world and got into Topolino for a ride around the neighbourhood and food shopping again. The ride was wonderful, the food shopping just depressing. I need to find a less crowded shop next time. It was horrible where I went.

The experience made me think of the latest clothes shopping regulations. I understand that some people need new clothes right now, but I will knit, crochet or darn before I enter a shop without a good reason. I am still wearing some of the clothes I wore when I was a teenager, so I will be fine for a while yet.


I am most excited about all the lovely magazines I bought today. FAIRLADY has an article by Cathy Park Kelly that I have been looking forward to reading, and COUNTRY LIFE includes a Nancy Richards interview with my dear friend Helen – always a treat! And GETAWAY features an article about Poland. Yay! I just need more time for leisure reading again…

After all the hand disinfecting and washing today, I realised how much I enjoy simply washing my hands for a few seconds when it is just me in the house and a piece of chocolate melts in my fingers and I can lick them and then wash them without thinking of life-saving, hand-washing techniques…

The proofs of the next Karavan Press book arrived today, but there was so much other work to complete first that I will only get to look at them properly tomorrow morning. Ooooh, but the book looks lovely at first glance!


A few days ago, I registered for a UCT webinar in the ‘Unlocking COVID-19: Current Realities, Future Opportunities? series with Dr Iraj Abedian and Professor Alan Hirsch that took place today. A strange experience again, but I was interested in the topic, “The economics of pandemics”. Glinka, of course, wanted to be part of the conversation. Professor Hirsch emphasised trust and cooperation in the process moving forward and the phasing out of the lockdown. It all made a lot of sense.

Upcoming UCT online conversations also sound fascinating:

  • Wednesday, 27 May: ‘Ethical reporting during times of crisis’
  • Wednesday, 10 June: ‘What is the new normal? Future scenarios’
  • Wednesday, 24 June: ‘Community leadership in times of crisis’
  • Wednesday, 8 July: ‘The role of young, African entrepreneurs during COVID-19’

But now, it is time for another address by the President, and I have my G&T and tissues ready.

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

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


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