Operation Oysterhood: 24 December

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

— @HaggardHawks

Alice Toich, fragment

Out of nowhere, a domestic demon arrived on my doorstep and took over my body. For a few hours this morning, I was all over the place and cleaned nearly the entire house, getting it ready for … myself. I felt that, on Christmas Day, I wanted to wake up to a clean bathroom and kitchen etc. Mission accomplished.

In the late morning, I went to the small shopping centre nearby to wish my favourite flower vendor and bead artist a merry Christmas and to buy flowers and bead ornaments for Christmas from them. She was there and I bought a gorgeous bunch of the reddest of roses, but he wasn’t, and when I inquired about him, it turned out that he hadn’t showed up for work for the second day in a row and was quite ill, getting tested for you know what. I tried to message him, but there was no reply. He might be one of the over fourteen thousand new cases in SA …

I skyped with Mom and Krystian and told them about the situation, because they also met this talented man who has always been incredibly kind to me and them.

Deep sigh, another prayer …

After all these years in South Africa, Christmas in the sun still feels weird. I added some artificial snow to my pool picture. The cats joined me for the shade-bathing after the swim. They love being in the garden with me.

In the afternoon, it was time to put on my party dress and head over to my love’s garden where we had a socially-distanced Christmas Eve braai with my love’s son and his partner. First ever braai and first ever outside dinner on Christmas Eve for me. But the weather was pitch-perfect: warm, wind-still; it almost felt as if the weather was begging us to behave wisely and provided the ideal conditions for it.

My love doesn’t do small fires, even when he is braaing only for two, or four in this case.

Our guests brought the most delicious Christmas cake and ice cream for dessert and one of my presents was wrapped in the coolest gift wrapping one can imagine for 2020. The gift itself is something I fell in love with a few weeks ago. Tonight, we were reunited to my utter delight :)

The Austrian volunteer firefighters go around their neighbourhoods and spread the Light of Peace, originating from Bethlehem, to households. They also visited my family today.

I wish everyone health for the festive season! And those who are fighting to regain it during this time, I wish strength and miracles and other – merrier – Christmas celebrations for many years to come.

The most unusual of Christmas Eves – with pandemic-related loss, sadness and fear woven into its fabric – but it is ending with a delicious cup of Lady Grey, a gift from a dear friend. And a huddle of trees, a reminder of love and care and taking note – manifestations of true togetherness and interconnectedness.

Be kind. Wear a mask. Support local.

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


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