Operation Oysterhood: Day Eighty-Three

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

— @HaggardHawks

A bad night. Woke up sometime after midnight and just could not go back to sleep. So, the Ladies and I migrated to the couch in front of the TV and made ourselves as warm and comfortable as possible (but only two of us succeeded…) until sleep did return sometime in the early hours. I was back awake by six, though. Returned to bed for some coffee- and catpulmonary resuscitation.

I couldn’t really open my eyes for a long time and listened to the radio. I was tired and depressed (probably because of the tiredness, but also in general). It is strange how I can get excited about being out there in the world, but being there also means being constantly confronted with the fact that we live in a pandemic. When I am alone at home with the Cats, I often forget about it. Here in our happy, safe bubble, life mostly feels ordinary – ordinary and simple. Outside the home, everything reminds us that we have a pandemic raging all around.

Eventually, I opened my eyes and read another manuscript submitted to Karavan Press, because the author needed feedback as soon as possible for a very specific reason. After the reading, it was time to shower, get dressed and go for a walk close to home to dry my hair. The day was beautiful, but there were only a few people out walking or exercising.

The rest of the afternoon was devoted to admin, emails and one wonderful phone call. I usually find talking to strangers on the phone torture, but this time there was a fantastic literary initiative to be discussed and I gladly assisted.

Good news from my friend whose husband is in a hospital. Small steps in the right direction and a small sigh of relief.

Steroids are getting great PR and bringing hope.

The Premier League is back tonight. I will have to declare my colours soon. There are certain expectations of me to turn all devilish red and, in principle, I am definitely considering, but it is hard to switch one’s loyalty in things like these, so I have to choose wisely.

And then: the President will be doing his “Fellow South Africans” thing again later tonight. But do I want to hear about “advanced level three”? Allowing such close personal contact will probably only “advance” the pandemic. I would LOVE to see my beautician again – my skin is suffering (badly), but… I will find another way of supporting her business. I think I need to order a DIY kit! The lovely things I got from her at the beginning of the lockdown have kept me going so far, but they are everyday basics. A more serious intervention is needed, me thinks.

According to these two experts I happen to know, Covid-19, in an advanced stage of the infection, can really damage your brain functions. When I think of what this could potentially mean for creativity, I shrivel inside.

Imagine a life when, as a writer, you can no longer be creative or smell and taste coffee. Pure hell, and not the pretty one I imagine for myself for when the time comes to go in, hopefully, very old age. Not at forty-three because of a @#$%& pandemic.


Glinka ready for her catssistant duties.

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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