Operation Oysterhood: 4 March

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

— @HaggardHawks

Oysterhood oysters

For someone who has loved eating oysters for fifteen years and has devoted nearly a year to writing Oysterhood diaries in lockdown, it is quite something that I only bought fresh oysters from a fishmonger for the first time – ever – earlier today. I wanted fresh fish from The Little Fisherman for dinner and spontaneously decided to try having oysters at home instead of ordering them at a restaurant. I asked the fishmonger to open them for me and he did, putting them on ice and instructing me how to transport them. I did not plan this, so I had no lemon juice or tabasco sauce etc. ready at home. I had them just like that, fresh without any trimmings – they were DELICIOUS.

I got my latest author royalties statement today: the returns outweighed the sales of two of my books, so no book sales and no royalties for me. You can imagine how that makes me feel. Worthless.

When I was a teenager living in the States, I occasionally cleaned other people’s houses for $25. It was great pocket money at the time and my employers were really nice and appreciative of my work. I spent the money I earned mostly on books. Now, I am in my 40s, I have a PhD and an impressive publishing record to my name, but in half a year, as an author, I don’t even manage to earn $25 on my book sales. No wonder I struggle to open my eyes on most mornings.

But, I am still healthy, and I ate delicious, fresh oysters today. I do count my blessings. And I am deeply grateful. I won’t be walking into rivers or cutting off my ears anytime soon.

Be kind. Wear a mask. Support local.

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


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