Operation Oysterhood: 15 July

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

— @HaggardHawks

Die Vyfde mevrou Brink is hier! Uit die Engels vertaal deur Erika Viljoen. My memoir is now finally complete as it exists in the language that was the language of André’s heart and soul. Protea Boekhuis are making literary dreams come true, again. It is our fourth book together and I hope for many, many more. Dankie, Erika, Danél en Protea Boekhuis!

The book arriving by courier this morning brought so much joy and energy that I just got on with my work with a spring in my step. Yet, I was so cold inside the house, and the stoep has sunlight only from mid-afternoon, that I just took out a small desk and my laptop and placed it next to the pool in the sun to work.


Garden office.

I could supervise the creepy-crawly at the same time. It had a hard time cleaning up after the storm. Eventually, I was actually too hot! So, I moved into the shade and was promptly joined by Mozart who supervised my editing for the rest of the afternoon, even when we moved to the stoep again for the late afternoon sun.

I am still simultaneously working on three manuscripts, each with its own challenges and pleasures. Today, everything felt right and fell into place. It makes such a huge difference when one can work with kind, generous people.

But I read a few news articles about the pandemic today that made me think of that bathtub scene in Pretty Woman when he tells her that it took him years of therapy to be able to say the words, ‘I am angry with my father.’ (I know, weird, but I often think of this scene when I am angry.) I am not angry with my father (well, not most of the time, not anymore), but I am angry with the state of affairs around the world, and I use the words ‘state’ and ‘affairs’ very consciously. The sheer enormity of the greed, corruption, incompetence and evilness in politics and business is always beyond me, but mostly I just feel helpless. On some days, I feel rage. Today was one of these days. And I have nothing constructive to say about any of it – one can’t when one is just enraged; I would just like every corrupt and/or incompetent person in power to go and rot in hell. Power is rotten, as one of my friends once said. The lack of integrity and empathy of so many of those in power is killing people. Maybe not directly, but indirectly. Killing people! These are not trivial consequences.

Those psychopaths in power are so much more dangerous than a pandemic. No amount of physical distancing will save us as long as they remain in their positions.

I AM ANGRY WITH POWER. There, I said it. And I did not need years of therapy to say it. But we all need years of therapy to survive the blatant misuse of power all around us.

I want kindness, empathy and integrity to serve the world and the people who call it their home.

Sorry for this naive venting.

I will tell you the greatest news of today: a friend was declared “cancer free” by her doctor. She writes about her journey here: “Home Stretch!” 

Reading this made me happy.

Be kind. Stay at home. Wear a mask everywhere else.

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



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