Operation Oysterhood: Day Sixty-Two

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

— @HaggardHawks

Woke up under a cat blanket. We are all searching for warmth. The time has come when we basically move into the bedroom for the winter and only venture outside to prepare food in the freezing kitchen. Sheltering in place of a completely different kind. I left the house to sweep the stoep and get the wood for the fireplace this morning. Otherwise, read in bed, made the fire, moved to the chaise lounge in front of the fire, read, worked on my laptop, made food and a huge discovery…


This house has always been a place of stories, ghosts and treasures, and I have always loved discovering them all. Today, I discovered something completely different. A kind of treasure, under current circumstances: a bottle of whiskey. Yep, there was one hiding under a pile of ‘stuff’! A gift I have completely forgotten about. The only time I buy whiskey is during the Open Book Festival at the Fugard – daily, gladly. It has become a tradition. That is where I first discovered my love for it quite a while ago and from the start I knew that it would not be, shall we say, wise for me to have a bottle in the house… How I could have forgotten about the gift shall remain a mystery. But now, it is here. Pray for me! (At home, please. No need to gather; I am quite sure that cash donations to the relevant places of worship can be made online, too – your physical presence at the potentially lethal mass gathering will not be required.)

Forgive the sarcasm, but I have lost my faith.

Medieval feline proofreader

Good literary news of the day (apart from a fireplace and a bottle of whiskey in the house): my brother said that my copy of Medieval Monster Hunter by Damien Kempf has arrived. I wanted to have the book, but knew that having it posted to SA right now would be impossible, so I had it sent to my Mom in Austria. Krystian, who is visiting her at the moment, loved it so much that he asked whether he could take it with him home and show to his partner. When we briefly met on Skype, he said he couldn’t stop laughing while turning the pages. The best kind of book review, me thinks.

Nowadays, laughter is a huge treasure, so I am very happy that this book is making my brother happy and I can’t wait to pick up my copy when I visit Austria again.

And talking about Austria, earlier this evening, I saw this when I went on Twitter:

Van der Bellen

I can only hope that during this discussion, my other President, Van der Bellen, shared a lot of his insights on the effects of Covid-19 on Austria with our President Ramaphosa. After all, as an Austrian citizen, I could have been on a repatriation flight this weekend, but I know where my home is, and in my secular way I pray that my home will listen to insights from countries that have managed the pandemic exceptionally well, so that we can all enjoy the Austrian Alps and the Kruger as soon as possible without killing each other while at it…

Polish by birth, Austrian by citizenship, South African by heart. Love, Karina

Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Stay at home. Stay tuned for a report on whiskey-fuelled dreams.

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


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