Operation Oysterhood: 18 January

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

— @HaggardHawks

Anxiety levels through the roof. My cheeks hurt for the first time in weeks. I can’t pin down the cause, but the horrible visit to the bank and the fact that I have to abandon any hopes for the planned January rest might be contributing factors.

And the bank visit had almost nothing to do with me. It was in connection with an account that I administer on behalf of an independent entity. We had to complete an administrative change to the account, and emails and phone calls to the bank had proven fruitless in the past, so I went into a branch. There were people going in and out all the time while I had to wait for the changes to be made in a small cubicle with people assisting me who were only wearing face shields and no proper masks – partly hovering over me and breathing all over the place – and I was too desperate for their assistance and too meek to protest. I just wanted the task to be completed and to run. At home, I felt small and useless, because I knew that I should have had the guts to call the branch manager and tell them to do everything in their power to make me feel safe. I was helped in the end, but at a great cost to my sanity.

The rest of the day was about comfort eating (double portion of dim sum for lunch and a braai for dinner) and drinking (I tried out something totally new tonight) and attending to all the planned tasks for today and, sadly, realising that with the additional jobs I have taken on to pay for the accumulated bills, there will be no proper rest for me for quite a while. And, of course, all of it comes with feelings of guilt – because I should not be complaining about having paid work to do. Especially not when that work is as rewarding in so many other ways as mine usually is.

Anxiety, sore cheeks, prayers that I did not endanger myself in that bank … When I manage to calm down and feel a little bit stronger, I will try to write to the branch manager. I hope. Something has to be done – I just hate the fact that I have to be the one to do it. As if I wasn’t busy enough. Other people not doing their jobs properly is a large part of my work burden as it is. Anyway …

I had no time for a swim today :(

Good news of the day: positive report from the ICU, my latest batch of kombucha is beyond delicious (it hasn’t tasted that good for a while), the successful submission of a story for the Caine Prize for African Writing (fingers crossed that the judges will love it as much as I did), some good editing done, and I taught myself to make margaritas! My margarita tonight was as divine as the best I have ever had.

I saw this at EB Cavendish: Buy A Local Corker & Support a South African Indie Press

And this appeared on the blog of The Global Literature in Libraries Initiative, curated this month by Jen Thorpe:

SA Womxn Writers – Day 12: A Reflection on Publishing by Karina Szczurek of Karavan Press

Be kind. Wear a mask (properly!!!). Support local by buying a corker (at Karavan Press, we only have those) from a South African Indie Press.

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


Note to self: tomorrow is another day and you will get through it; the night, too (at least there will be no bloody loadshedding between ten and midnight! – the small mercies …).

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