Operation Oysterhood: 16 July

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

— @HaggardHawks


Broken. A tree in my neighbourhood, after the storm.

This time it caught me in the middle of an email I was writing on my desktop computer. Puff, it all disappeared. Loadshedding. I did not look at the schedule properly. Thank goodness the laptop’s battery was full, so here I am typing this on my laptop at just after two in the afternoon. I should be working, but writing therapy first (will post later). My cheeks are sore again, first time in weeks, and it’s not even the end of the day yet.


Cat therapy.

The Fugard Theatre is closing. Not permanently, but for a long time. Most of the staff have been retrenched. I know that in the larger scheme of things, this is not the end of the world. But, in the smaller, personal scheme of things it is heart-breaking. Something else is breaking, beyond my heart, and it is gigantic. Or maybe it has been broken for as long as memory, history and archaeology can reach, but the cracks are showing on a scale that is too enormous to comprehend.

There are hungry people begging on every street corner. The latest crime stats for our area are frightening. Forget the inconvenience of two-hour-long loadshedding; people have to survive without power in this freezing winter for days (if they have electricity in the first place). People are dying. And what are we doing? Bailing out an airline that has proven to be a bottomless pit of corruption and mismanagement. Did I hear ten billion rand?

I want to know why anyone in power can still sleep, eat. Why their cheeks aren’t so sore that to relieve the pain they do the right thing, even if it is politically inconvenient.

I look all around how people who do not have much, nowhere near ten billion rand, distribute, help, share, organise and they make me still believe in kindness. I have just lost all my faith in power.

There are days when one can’t help feeling so small that it is completely overwhelming. Thank god, good things are also happening.

Desiree-Anne Martin was announced the winner of the Art24/Kwela Corona Fiction Competition. I love her writing. This is the best news of the day.

And a stranger read my memoir and wrote a really kind comment about it on Twitter.


I am still healthy, can feed myself and my family. But my heart and my cheeks are sore when I see so many dreams shattering all around us.

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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