Operation Oysterhood: Day Fifty-Four

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



A whole, uninterrupted night in my bedroom bed. Amazing.

Wild Earth live safari also delivered the goods today, not only in wildlife terms. My love, when reading this, please skip the next image and paragraph. It’s girl talk.


[I haven’t been able to watch Wild Earth much in the last few days, so I do not know whether David is a new guide etc., but he, his jawline and The Hat made me sorry that I wasn’t a romance writer, because otherwise he would have been written into a safari romance by the end of this week… Melissa, I hope you are reading this and still watching Wild Earth! I am counting on you!]


To return to wildlife observations: hippos are still shy about wearing their masks in public.

And on a much more sombre note: recently, I heard from two friends living overseas who have family in South Africa – both lost loved ones in Cape Town in the last few days. It wasn’t Covid-19, but because of the pandemic my friends could not be here to say goodbye in person. I cannot imagine the additional pain this must bring. I don’t know how one copes under such circumstances.

Shaken by the latest news, I stayed in bed longer than usual during the last two working weeks and just read for a while. I am reading about the flu of 1918 and, bizarrely perhaps (it is a strange combination), the latest Joanna Trollope, Mum & Dad. I love the descriptions of Spain in the novel. They make me want to put on a summer dress, stroll through vineyards, eat courgettes and drink two bottles of wine for lunch with a loved person… Day-dreaming is allowed.

By the time I got up and got organised, it was time to meet with my Mom and Krystian on Skype.

Skype with Mom and Krystian

It was good to see them and to talk about gardening, an old freezer that Mom needs to get rid of and, most joyously, Krystian’s first outing with his partner to a restaurant since the reopening of the gastronomy sector in Austria. It is reassuring to see that a life post-lockdown is possible.

Before starting work in the afternoon, I checked on the Frog Prince (I haven’t eaten him, but I can’t prove it, because he was very photo-shy today), cleaned the pool, swept the stoep and sat in the sun with Joanna for a little while to soak up some vitamin D. Mozart is sheltering in place in his nest, but he came to cuddle while I was in the garden.

The afternoon was work-related reading, editing, emails and a Skype call with Lester Walbrugh, to catch up and update our plans for his debut short story collection, Let It Fall Where It Will. I have had so much literary joy working on this book. Lester is a brilliant, versatile writer with an incredibly distinct voice. It is an honour to work with him and to be able to share his book with readers in the next few months. We were hoping for an autumn launch, but because it is a debut, we want to be able to celebrate it with all the fanfare it deserves. We have a few great ideas, but they will have to wait for obvious reasons…

Not a very long working day today, but a rewarding one.

In their testimonies, survivors of the influenza pandemic of 1918 in South Africa often mention three things that either helped them to stay healthy or helped them in their recovery: garlic, buchu and brandy.

*She opens the liqueur cabinet in the hope that a gin will do…

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

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


2 thoughts on “Operation Oysterhood: Day Fifty-Four

  1. missmelissawrites

    The girls in this house got up early again this morning to make an assessment of the research you brought to our attention (we’ve missed a few days of safari, so many new things to see!).


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