Operation Oysterhood: 5 June

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

— @HaggardHawks

In the end it was popcorn and cheap red Spanish wine, and Sarah Moss’s Summerwater in the hot bathtub. One-and-a-half hours in the bath, and the little bit of loadshedding darkness that was left afterwards we spent in bed. We slept well for the rest of the night.

Saturday morning continued in bed with the Cat Ladies and another manuscript submitted to Karavan Press. As always, Salieri eventually fell asleep on the job. But it wasn’t because of the manuscript, which is tense and harrowing reading because of the traumatic story it tells. We hope to finish reading it tomorrow.

We spent the early afternoon in the garden, mowing grass, weeding, cleaning the pool, chopping wood and sweeping. This time Mr Mozart and the Prince Frog (camera-shy as always) joined the party.

Then it was time for a late leftover lunch and some tennis before I made my way to my love’s house for more tennis and a simple, delicious dinner and more laziness in front of the TV.

Sad literary news: the Woordfees was cancelled yesterday. Two of Karavan Press authors were supposed to feature on the programme. Bummer. But I think I have an idea, or two. I am starved for bookish conversations that do not involve computer screens.

Jeanette Winterson – whose work I treasure – burned the latest editions of her novels because she did not like their new blurbs. Her actions are difficult to understand or defend, especially in the context of the history of book burning, but we might not know all the essential details of the story, so maybe our stones have been cast too soon. The reports about the book burning made me remember the only time I burned a book. A combination of utter helplessness and rage led me to it. The act itself felt sacrilegious and incredibly empowering at the same time, and I would do it again any day, but only to this one author and this one book. Fortunately, it is out of print anyway, so it won’t be necessary.

Sometime you actually have to be a witch to survive.

Be kind. Wear a mask. Support local.

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


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