Operation Oysterhood: 2 February

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

— @HaggardHawks

Captain Sir Tom Moore passed away today and the world feels emptier. He was a complete stranger and yet I cried when I heard the news. I know he was over a hundred years old and that time was not on his side, but there is something ungraspable about the fact that, of all people, he died because of Covid-19. As Elleke Boehmer wrote: ‘It is inconceivable and very sad.’

This news came at the end of a long, long day and just before a Zoom board meeting at seven that still had to be attended. Luckily, the meeting was inspiring. Working with kind people makes such a difference.

But then, just when I thought that the day would end on the positive note of the meeting, I received an abusive email about something that was not my fault, but I still had to deal with, forcing me to apologise on behalf of others to a person who decided to be unkind instead of giving their fellow pandemic-survivors the benefit of the doubt. We are all going through terrible times and yet there are people who will still strike first and only consider circumstances later. I despair whenever entitlement trumps kindness.

My friend Erika once send me the above to cheer me up. It always does. It did today.

One thing happened today just after my short swim in the late afternoon that allows me to say “Foff!” (my late friend Marina’s version of the above) to all the unpleasantness of today:

I saw a White-backed Mousebird (!!!) IN MY GARDEN for the first time ever! And, unusually, the beloved creature hung around the trees next to the pool for quite a while, so that I could enjoy a proper look. I am over the moon with joy whenever I think of the avian visitor. I love Mousebirds, they are this szczurek’s favourite birds. To see one in my very own garden was an unforgettable treat. A good omen, me thinks.

Be kind. Wear a mask. Support local.

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


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