Operation Oysterhood: 27-28 November

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

— @HaggardHawks

With Salieri in the audience at one of the events of the Karavan Press Literary Festival

The inaugural – it seems – Karavan Press Literary Festival took place yesterday and was a success beyond my wildest dreams. I created the festival to give us an opportunity to celebrate authors and books in real life again, despite the lockdown. I did not think of it as an annual event, but a temporary solution. Yet, who knows? It might happen again. It certainly provided us with so much food for the soul and mind that it would be wonderful to do it again. Last night, I went to bed absolutely exhausted, but very happy. I love working with the people who are the backbone of Karavan Press and our readers are a great bunch, too. Thank you to all my lucky stars for bringing these amazing people into my life, personal and professional.

Today, I woke up feeling like a zombie. I had two glasses of pink bubbly to celebrate at the end of the day, but I felt as if I’d had two bottles. Maybe an exhaustion hangover? Also, I think the stress went straight into my stomach this time. The morning was spent in bed, nursing my hangover body and catching up on emails and social media posts. Driving to Buitenverwachting to have lunch with my love and friends, all I could think of was a Virgin Mary. Sometimes your body just tells you what is needed. And that is how I started my meal and the non-alcoholic cocktail and everything that followed was wonderful. Beyond is a special restaurant and Buitenverwachting is one of my favourite places in Cape Town.

I was on Skype with my family while the President addressed the nation tonight. Omicron. Another new word in our vocabularies. Vaccine mandate – a phrase that I hope will become reality. We need to live with this virus and at the moment the vaccines offer us the most viable way forward. The Greek alphabet might run out of letters otherwise.

We live in an era of mass gaslighting with dire consequences. I doubt that reason will prevail anytime soon, but I live in hope.

The Sunday Times ran an article today about the GBAS Book Cover Design Awards. If you are on FB (which I am not), you can vote for your favourite covers in the readers’ choice award.

Karavan Press’s Stephen Symons is nominated for his cover of Beat Routes by Justin Fox. Please go and judge a book by its cover!

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

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

— NICD

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