Operation Oysterhood: 21 April

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

— @HaggardHawks

We launched a book today: at a real bookshop, with real people and books, and a live conversation and reading! It felt like a miracle.

The bookshop was Wordsworth Books at the Gardens Centre. They have an authors’ door. Stephen signed it in 2018. Today, I was asked to ‘join’ the illustrious door and was very happy to pick a spot near one of my all-time favourite poets whose work I have the honour to publish at Karavan Press.

A friend sent me pictures of the Jaffer Library after the fire. I cried. The official preliminary statement about the losses suffered was devastating. I continue crying just thinking about it. Finuala Dowling posted this beautiful poem on IG today:

This is a stunning reminder of what poetry can do for us. It can make us ache. It can enlighten, comfort and heal. I cannot imagine my life without it.

A woman wrote to me today: ‘I long for precedented times’. It made me think of my wish to experience boredom (no matter how unlikely in my case).

What we did experience in the last twenty-four hours was a confirmation of reality: a murder is a murder, a jury said. No gaslighting, no impunity. A man died at the hands, or rather a knee, of another, and the perpetrator is not going to get away with it. What makes my heart sore, apart from the tragedy of the lost life, is the relief we all felt when the verdict was finally pronounced. The fact that it had been unpredictable, that we were prepared to be gaslighted again, is another tragedy.

‘Justice’ is one of the most elusive words.

Good night.

Be kind. Wear a mask. Support local.

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


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