Operation Oysterhood: 11 July

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

— @HaggardHawks

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An early, but lazy start to the day. Coffee, books, electric blanket until nine a.m. when the loadshedding began. I was ready and this time it was right on the hour when it was supposed to happen.

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I missed most of the exciting Crusaders vs. Blues game because of it, but the tense ending was great to watch once the power was back on.

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More coffee, more books, more electric blanket. I finished reading Malose Langa’s Becoming Men: Black Masculinities in a South African Township. A sobering read. Not much that one would not have been able to imagine or feel intuitively, but difficult to read anyway. Langa captures the insecurities and anxieties that drive many boys towards behaviours that are toxic. He presents the horrific odds that the kids have against them. But he also reveals that simply offering spaces for listening and discussion can make a huge – sometimes life-saving – difference (I had the impression that the fact that these particular boys had taken part in Langa’s study and had him as a sounding board in their lives for many years probably saved or drastically changed a few of these lives). But: how much is destroyed through anxiety-fuelled physical and emotional violence and how often the lack of financial means kills young dreams are staggering. And yet, there are stories of perseverance and hope and professional and personal success. An important read.

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Eventually, it was time to get up and do some work. I also spoke to Mom and showed her a petshop-bought cat nest I got for Mozart. He has been sleeping in the house for a while now and I just wanted to make his life more cosy. The Ladies sleep on the bed with me. But he usually does his own thing. I just hope that he will warm to the gift. I will try to photograph him in the nest if he makes it his own. For now, I can only present Glinka turning my lap into her nest.

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Working with Glinka.

While eating lunch, I watched some of the news channels on TV. They are still debating whether to wear or not to wear the bloody masks! Really? Why is this such a problem for so many people? If there is even the slightest chance that they might prevent infection, just wear them. And if not, so what? You have got nothing to lose by wearing a mask, but potentially you can save your own or someone else’s life. It. Is. Just. A. Mask. Just wear it. It’s not a witch’s hat that we are being asked to wear in public.

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The situation in the US is shocking on so many different fronts that in a strange – and admittedly, very twisted way – it makes one feel slightly less despairing about our own pandemic response, and the moral and political corruption that goes with it (and at all other times). Yesterday, I heard Mike Wills discuss the up-to-date costs of the Zondo commission on the radio. My jaw dropped. If I think how many houses could be built for that kind of money. Or clinics. Or schools. But that is not the way the world works.

Watching the TV reports on the reopening of economies today, I also despaired. Our global economy is built on consumption. And it will consume everything standing in its way no matter what the consequences, it seems. Not even the pandemic has shaken us enough from this stupor of always wanting more, more, more.

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I know that we needed these rains for our dams, but sjoe: I have had enough now. I did not feel like walking a lot today, but I had to photograph the Rondebosch Common after the heavy rainfalls.

And now, there is a fire singing in my bedroom and I still have that bottle of red opened since yesterday, and the bed awaits.

My wild Saturday nights in lockdown.

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

— NICD

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