Operation Oysterhood: 12 July

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

— @HaggardHawks

Another lazy morning. I didn’t even have the energy to get up and watch the rugby and felt strangely guilty about it. If anything, the lockdown has taught us that we really need to appreciate the little and big pleasures in life because there is no way of knowing how long they or we will last …

Last night, I introduced Mozart to his new nest and he immediately settled in it. Cat love at first feel (he has no sight). I was thrilled. Even more so when I discovered him still deeply asleep in his new nest this morning. The joys of a cat mother.

I dared to open the dream manuscript this morning. I shouldn’t be reading it because I don’t know whether there is anything I can do about it, and yet … Ooooh, it has so much potential. I can already feel what I would do with it if I were allowed to edit it … One can read, dream. And be pragmatic – later.


I stayed in bed with books until lunchtime. Stellenbosch was on my linguistic route around the world in eighty days today. Another homecoming. I lived there for a few weeks when I first came to do research in South Africa.

And then it was time to devote some attention to pure pampering. Melissa A. Volker, the author and beautician par excellence, has a DIY facial at her Sunrise Beauty Studio. The package was delivered to my door quite a while ago, but the last two weeks or so have been so busy and tense that I just did not know how to fit in a facial and enjoy it fully. Well! I am so glad that I waited. Today was the day. I had time, inclination, and my skin was starving for TLC. The instructions were easy to follow. Everything smelled like heaven (and it is so reassuring to be able to smell things nowadays) and I just had the best forty-five minutes of me-time. When you go to Melissa’s studio, which is closed for the time being, the levels of pampering and attention you receive are phenomenal. My skin misses her magic touch. But since it is not safe for her to return to full-time work yet, this DIY facial is a great way to pamper oneself. I loved every second of it, and I love the way my skin feels its best now, even if nothing else does. Thank you, Melissa!


After the facial, my energy levels were high and loadshedding was still a while away, so I just made myself a quick pasta  for lunch, got to work and managed quite a lot before it was time to switch off the desktop computer, hang out the laundry (the washing machine finished just in time), witness all the power disappearing, go for a walk in the late afternoon sun, do some gardening, prepare the bin for tomorrow’s collection and then sit on the stoep with a nice Hoghouse beer, thinking of great friends and working on my laptop (a little).

On my walk, I got myself today’s Rapport. Erika told me that a friend from McGregor spotted an announcement of our book in today’s edition. I haven’t been excited like this about my own work for quite a while now. It wasn’t as surreal as spotting one’s book in the wild for the first time, but wonderful nevertheless. It exists somewhere – my memoir, in Afrikaans. Translated by one of the most important women in my life. And a Sunday newspaper is writing about it. This is sheer literary delight.


Another fire, the rest of the three-day-old red wine with dinner and a quiet Sunday evening chez moi awaits.

Yet, when I think of the Eastern Cape and Gauteng, my heart stops. I know we have been dealing with similar infections numbers in the Western Cape for a long time now, but we seemed to have been well-better?-prepared in comparison and were ready to deal with the onslaught. I fear for the other provinces. The President is supposed to speak tonight. I wonder what he is going to tell us now … It is impossible to keep the faith.

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


1 thought on “Operation Oysterhood: 12 July

  1. missmelissawrites

    Ooh la la look at you! Glowing with Vitamin C! So glad you enjoyed it and I am so looking forward to when the world is a healthy enough place again to do these treatments in person.


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