Operation Oysterhood: 19 November

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

— @HaggardHawks

The festival is officially open and my love is here. Before the opening ceremony and my love’s arrival, I spent the day being lazy – reading and eating and drinking coffee and nice wines. I had a few ‘within’ moments in the garden at Temenos and the first few proper conversations since my arrival. I also moved to a different place, because the cottage I was staying at was not available for the festival weekend. Before I left, though, my landlady told me that we had actually met before: she had attended my launch of The Fifth Mrs Brink at the Book Lounge in 2017. Her South African father was in exile when he met her Dutch mother and she grew up reading local literature, so she knew André’s work well even before moving to Cape Town roughly at the same time I did. Small world.

Now, we are on a beautiful wine farm for the weekend. It is even more quiet here, and remote and just what is needed. Gatherings of people are wonderful, but exhausting for introverts at the best of time. And the times are not the best. Yet, I am just delighted that we can have a real festival again and celebrate poetry – food for the soul.

Be kind. Wear a mask. Support local. Get vaccinated, please.

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


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