Operation Oysterhood: 16 August

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

— @HaggardHawks

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Small, gigantic steps. First meal in a restaurant in five months: at CREATION’s Tasting Room. On arrival, they took down our details, measured our temperatures, led us to a table that was quite a distance away from other patrons. Everyone wore masks apart from the guests (once seated). It felt so normal, and yet it was one of the most extraordinary experiences of the lockdown for me: just eating food in a restaurant overlooking a dam, happily overflowing with water on a beautiful wine farm.

The starter – steamed bao bun with confit duck, beetroot, rhubarb, cucumber and coriander was divine – and the classic pork belly for mains simply delicious. I chose chocolate macarons for dessert. There was tea. And because this is a mini-holiday, we did not have to drive back home, but simply up a hill opposite the restaurant to the magnificent Voormanshuis, with Strijdom van der Merwe’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ on the doorstep and, out the window, a view that said, ‘You can relax now, welcome to paradise on earth.’

The Voormanshuis has a beautiful bathroom with an irresistible bathtub. The water-sinner that I am, I just could not say no.

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The dam is overflowing, I promise! (She says, in her defence.)

And now, the frogs outside and the fire inside are singing, and we will call it an early night. They say that the dreams one dreams in a new bed come true, so let me dream of something calm and beautiful and smiling.

I am happy that there are ways of coming out of one’s oystershell that feel non-threatening, that in a way one can even carry one’s oystershell on one’s back around our gorgeous Province and feel safe. And I am grateful to all the people who care and work hard at making this possible. And I am grateful to my love for understanding my need to feel safe, even if I am over-cautious at times. We all need to adjust to the reality of the pandemic at our own pace. Mine is oystersnailslow, but that’s a good thing, me thinks.

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Salieri, this morning.

Be kind. Wear a mask. Support local.

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

— NICD

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