Operation Oysterhood: 20 July

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

— @HaggardHawks


To see a Karavan Press book in a bookshop, especially now, is magic. This was my first bookshop sighting of Sue Brown’s Earth to Mom: Personal Essays on Loss & Love. I went to pick up two books I had ordered and also briefly waved hello to Mervyn. He reaffirmed the Book Lounge’s continued commitment to delivering books to readers, but I told him that I just needed to walk into a bookshop again. And I did. Just to remind myself that if we all commit to sustaining such places as the Book Lounge and all other wonderful bookshops out there which used to be such integral parts of our lives, they will continue existing and waiting for us all to come back and browse without risks and perhaps even to enjoy a totally crowded book launch again. I refuse to give up hope.

These are the two new books I picked up and Mozart came to inspect them with me while I was having coffee on the stoep before picking up my work for the rest of the day. So much happened again today that I don’t even want to attempt to summarise the wonderful literary roller-coaster I had been on – emotionally exhilarating and draining at the same time. There are good things happening. Dreams are being born. I spoke to a dear friend on Skype for nearly two hours and we are going to work on a project together. Announcements soon, and if all goes well, a book, or two, or three (!) in April next year … Both of us know how to dream big, because … why not?

It might all be insane, but these are not sane times.


I was so exhausted at the end of the day that I got into a bath with my dinner and a glass of pink wine and watched two episodes of John Oliver on my laptop. Then, Glinka and I watched a bit of TV, and now I am in bed, ready for sleep.

And the pandemic continues spreading all around us, the numbers rising, often in an unexplained manner. New phrases like ‘excess deaths’, ‘long tail of Covid-19’ and ‘breakthrough protein treatment’ are making the rounds. Hope. Despair. And the future constantly shifting, unpredictable – more than ever.

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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