Operation Oysterhood: 16 May

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

— @HaggardHawks

Spring in Janice

The copper pipes were stolen from my friend’s property during the weekend. She was clearly upset. I asked whether there was something I could do. She suggested a visit, so today, mid-afternoon, I grabbed a bottle of pink bubbly from a store and was on my way to see her. About two kilometres away from her house, my cellphone rang: alarm activation, ADT on their way to my house. I alerted my friend, made a U-turn and rushed back home. Three of the outside alarm beams on the property were triggered, but the security guards arrived too late to catch the wannabee thief. I checked on The Cats, took a deep breath, reactivated the alarm and set out again to meet my friend.

I was halfway through my glass of pink bubbly and a conversation about how everything feels “just too much to handle” right now – because of the stolen pipes, my friend was left without running water for the entire weekend – when ADT phoned again. Another alarm activation, security guards on their way to my house. Again.

I left my friend, my glass and a second slice of carrot cake behind, took another deep breath, and made my way back home, stopping at my love’s house for a minute to explain why I would not be able to cook dinner at his place as planned. He told me about impending loadshedding. We hugged and I returned home. My love said that he would follow shorty just to check on me. I was relived because I wanted to cook a nice stew for dinner and did not feel like eating it alone, especially not after all of that …

Cape Town is my home. I want to spend the rest of my life here. But …

ADT phoned back and assured me that no one had gained entry to my house. When I got home, I saw that this time three different outside beams had been activated. Someone was really trying their luck around the house. Not succeeding! – thank all the goddesses, the alarm worked – but still.

What upset me the most was finding Mozart obviously distressed meowing in the garden. He is blind and alarms going off and strangers running around the property scare him. The other two Furry Ones can simply run away and hide, but he does not cope well with moving around when he is frightened. When he can’t take his time, he bumps into things and falls off stairs, etc. He is so dapper, but this is too much for him to handle. My poor baby.

I got the stew going, reassured the Furry Ones, gave them all some nice food, poured myself a pink double G&T and sat down to examine my loadshedding schedule and then to – finally! – try to enjoy the Italian Open final.

My love arrived halfway through the second set. All Cats came to sit with us in front of the TV and demanded TLC. It was very comforting, to felines and humans alike. When the stew was ready, we had dinner. I was tempted to have another G&T, but the last thing I need is for our dire reality to drive me to drink.

And the day started off so well. Long, lazy morning in bed with Cats, coffee, pastéis de nata and books. I met Mom and Krystian for lunch on Skype. My Mom is getting her vaccine this week. Driving back and forth around the peninsula today, I heard on the radio that we here might not have all the promised necessary vaccinations sites ready for the second phase of the rollout starting tomorrow. Pandemic, corruption, thievery, incompetence, loadshedding … and these are the general, grand woes we all experience – the list of my own personal woes that are not making my life exactly easy right now is also crushingly long.

Ericka Waller asked on Twitter today: “Ever want to just give up?” And Fiona Melrose replied: “Yes. But I have dogs so I can’t.”

My love loves me and is recovering. My feline family needs me, too. Giving up is not an option, but just a few truly boring days would be really lovely. I long for calm, rest.

Luckily, on a day like today, the Emperor of Clay prevailed – tenth Italian Open title, thirty-sixth Masters 1000. As someone commented on Twitter, we are running out of words to describe Rafa’s achievements. But not out of celebratory smiles.

And my Aunt Zosia sent me a stunning picture of the landscape near her home, one of my favourite places in the world, the region I originally come from. It is spring there …

Be kind. Wear a mask. Support local.

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


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