Operation Oysterhood: 14 January

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

— @HaggardHawks

Sjoe, it was hot today!

Cathy Kelly interviewed a few authors (moi included) about diary writing during lockdown and wrote a wonderful article about the topic: “How writers make sense of a world in lockdown” (LitNet).

I seem to be sleeping, which is a huge blessing. I also have intense dreams that feel like real memories in the morning when I wake up. But there is no way that I will be able to sleep and dream beyond 8.30am tomorrow morning – that is only when electricity returns after loadshedding at stage two in my area. Which means waking up without the possibility of making coffee. I am not sure I am ready for any morning without coffee, facing it on the 294th morning of lockdown feels too much to ask. But: I have an idea! (My love will laugh when he reads this! :))

This morning, I had lots of coffee and cookies and great books to read. Then it was time for an early swim to kick of the working day. I had the great pleasure of informing this year’s Philida Literary Award winner that they have been chosen by the judges. The official announcement will follow on 6 February.

I also wrote to an author I am about to edit and misspelled her name … Not exactly the best start to a working relationship between writer and editor! Luckily, I realised almost immediately and could apologise before she despaired. She was lovely about it.

Shortly before six p.m., I made a fire and braaied steaks for dinner with my love. And I found the last Hoghouse beer in my fridge! I forgot it was there. Joy on a hot day like today. And, fortunately for me, my love is doing dry January and could not be tempted, so even tough I was prepared to share, I did not have to :)

There was no news from the hospital yesterday because the general situation on site was too hectic for calls to families of patients who are stable. No news is good news, but …

Today, I spoke to an author about a book she is planning and she told me that her mother had Covid-19 and recovered without any problems. Another author I work with wrote to say that he still can’t taste or smell much but is on the mend. And I heard the story of a man who passed away not because of Covid-19, but because he had another condition that needed ICU attention and no bed could be found for him in time. This death won’t be even recorded as Covid-19 related. The official numbers – local and worldwide – have been beyond comprehension for a long time now. Two millions are simply ungraspable. And the real number is so much greater …

This year is only two weeks old and it feels like a decade had been packed into it already. I am celebrating my 44th birthday in another decade … There will be no birthday party, but I have an idea what to do on my birthday to mark the occasion :) I have only one wish: health. All else will follow from there.

Be kind. Wear a mask. Support local.

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


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