Operation Oysterhood: 4 August

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

— @HaggardHawks


Not sure whether the above poster is to be found in all EB bookshops; I saw it in Cavendish today. I was strangely moved by it. It was also good to see people reading at the large desk inside the shop again, physical distancing and all.

Even more heartening today was the news that the CNA shops are recommitting to selling books on a mass scale again and they are planning to offer at least fifty per cent of their bookshelf space to local and African books. I can’t wait to see these plans in action, especially since they are also going to open more shops across the country. More outlets where authors and their books can reach readers. This gives me hope.

What was less heartening – actually devastating – was watching the Jonathan Swan interview with the Tangerine Troll. I am in awe of what psychopaths can get away with. I wouldn’t put that creature in charge of anything (and I really mean ‘anything’ – tried to think of something one could safely entrust him with and I just could not find a single thing) and he is the President of the USA. And I have this horrifying feeling that he is going to be around for another four years. I truly trust Americans to reelect him. The rest of us will have to go into an extreme state of oysterhood/hibernation until 2024 to survive.

A rainy, cold day of mostly working in bed with Salieri catssisting, also accidentally deleting some of my writing (thankfully it was saved and could be retrieved again). A long work Zoom meeting after dinner. I am tired now, but it is good to see things developing in interesting directions.

Dinner included pistachio ice-cream for dessert. About twenty years ago, I developed the Ice-cream Flavour Theory of Men. Basically, it compared men to ice-cream. (Hey, I was young!) It explained, in the most non-scientific way, that you should never settle for your second-favourite flavour, even if your favourite was unavailable or difficult to obtain. In the last while, I have realised that my favourite (ice-cream!) is no longer chocolate, but pistachio. When I bought it today, the pistachio ice-cream made me think about love – how it grows and transforms with time. And if you are lucky, it tastes like your favourite pistachio ice-cream.

In the morning, my publisher, Protea Book House, asked me for an inspirational quote for a campaign they are running for Women’s Month. I said: “Be kind. All else will follow.”

Wear a mask, too. Please.

And if you are allowed to vote in the USA this November, please save the world!

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


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