Operation Oysterhood: 2 September (one day late due to loadshedding)

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

— @HaggardHawks

Dr M’s birthday! The Witches gathered in Noordhoek for a delicious, physically distanced lunch and literary gossip galore. My first social encounter with girlfriends in months. The bubbly was flowing like the torrential rains. There was a chocolate brownie birthday cake to die for and a gorgeous ginger-rose infusion for afterwards. And throughout, tons and tons of laughter. So much to be grateful for and celebrate. So much love.

In general, a great day on the literary front. I wrote a review, we finalised a cover, texts are going off to typesetting, announcements will be made.

The day started with a visit to my oral hygienist. She looked like an astronaut, but all the protective gear made me feel safe – not only for myself, but especially for her. I asked her since when she’d been working. May, she said. But! She only saw her own kids last week, first time in five months. We mustn’t become complacent, she warned. Indeed.

I enjoy doing more and more ordinary things like celebrating a dear friend’s birthday or catching up on my regular medical appointments or going out to dinner with my love (another treat tonight – there were oysters!), but there are places – private and public – where the safety protocols are clear and make me feel safe, and there are places where I don’t want to spend a second longer than necessary. And a lot of it comes down to the fact whether you can instinctively feel that someone has not only their own, but also your interest at heart. A lot of it is about transparency and consent. Like safe sex.

I am writing this on my laptop, in bed, surrounded by Cats (although they arrived reluctantly tonight – there was some hissing and fighting beforehand) and candles. Loadshedding. No internet. But fortunately, my garage, alarm and laptop batteries are working. And Harry is waiting between the covers of a book.

Dear Eskom, please, please get your act together. It’s high time.

Be kind. Wear a mask. Support local.

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

— NICD

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