Operation Oysterhood: 29 May

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

— @HaggardHawks

Birthdays, anniversaries and all other occasions which are loaded with memories, no matter how beautiful – or rather, because they are beautiful – are never easy when the person you used to share them with is no longer there to celebrate them with you. Time passes and mends you, you carry on, build a new life for yourself, but loss lurks in unexpected corners and the past continues to shape your life. Today would have been André’s 86th birthday. I always feel unsettled on such days. There does not seem to be a right, comfortable, way to approach them. In that sense, I was grateful to have Jo-ann from Radio KC interview me to mark this year’s occasion, to remember, to share my memories: “Celebrating the life and times of André P. Brink”.

And it was good to have lovely things planned for the day that were not connected to the past, but firmly rooted in my new reality. I was mostly lazy, but did some work and finished reading a manuscript and began another (both amazing in their own right) for Karavan Press. I spent some time in a hot tub before the rain chased me indoors. We managed to walk twice between the rain showers, soaking in the astounding views of Franschhoek in her autumn finery. Before lunch, we visited La Cotte wine and cheese shop – my love buying wine and I indulging in buying some wine labels. The prices were amazing, all much lower in comparison to the shops in Cape Town.

THREE MEN IN A TUB WITH A RUBBER DUCK & Miss Molly’s IN MY BED – who could resist? I can see the following in my near future: a late morning in bed with Miss Molly red, a late afternoon in the tub with three men and a rubber duck, and an evening with dear friends and Miss Molly pink bubbles. Something to look forward to.

Franschhoek means great wine and great food: Ōku Eatery for lunch and Chef’s Warehouse for dinner (our first visit to the restaurant, recommended by a friend who joined us for the meal). And, of course, I had Eggs Benedict for breakfast, but I might be less predictable tomorrow morning.

Franschhoek is also the FLF, dormant for another year. But the dates for next year’s festival have been confirmed (13 to 15 May). There is hope.

The fire is still burning in our weekend cottage. There is a smooth brandy to enjoy, old and new memories to hold, dreams to dream.

Be kind. Wear a mask. Support local.

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

— NICD

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