Operation Oysterhood: 18 July

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

— @HaggardHawks

“Sex is everywhere … It’s in your morning coffee,” writes Tiffany Kagure Mugo in her Quirky Quick Guide to Having Great Sex (just out from Kwela). So now you know. About coffee, I mean.

Tiffany contributed a great story to our HAIR: Weaving and Unpicking Stories of Identity last year and, in this book, she once again showcases not only her storytelling skills, but her amazing insights and empathy. I am only a few chapters into the Quirky Quick Guide, but already not only feel enlightened, but also empowered. And Efemia Chela, the multi-talented, super-creative writer/editor, has edited the book. What a great team – I can imagine the fun they had working on this book. I met Efemia through Rachel Zadok and SSDA. It has been one of the greatest pleasures to witness Efemia soar from her first published story to many other amazing projects. The literary world won’t know what hit us when she publishes her first novel. Exciting literary debut to look forward to.

Another highlight of the day: Natalie of the Hoghouse Bakery delivered some more of these to my gate today. I have not been very disciplined about resisting the temptation since their arrival … The best chocolate chip cookies in the world – I promise!

Hoghouse bakery treats

The Cookie Monster Box.

There was reading, proofreading work, a beautiful walk in the sun, some admin and now a quiet evening at home. I have a new obsession: John Oliver. Did you ever watch his Edward Snowden interview? Classic! I love the combination of being entertained while being taught a lot of stuff at the same time. I am also watching our Trevor Noah religiously.

One of the things I have stopped keeping properly during the lockdown is an appointment diary. The few appointments that I still do have are easily remembered. But last night, I had a look at the past week in the diary and discovered that I had missed three friends’ birthdays. I felt terrible and had to write a few belated happy birthdays this morning.

And it was Nelson Mandela’s birthday today. I remember how his kindness and generosity made me glow with happiness and inspiration long after I’d had the privilege of meeting him. One of the most amazing encounters of my life.

And now, the week ahead …


I now have two entries for Monday which came up in the course of today, but otherwise nothing. That’s a first in years. It used to happen only if I blocked off time for holidays. Another lockdown transformation.

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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