Category Archives: Memories

Operation Oysterhood: 3 April

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

— @HaggardHawks

The surest sign of autumn: The Cats are – reluctantly – sharing my bed again. And Glinka always wants to be as close to me as possible. I like our double chins (although, officially, she isn’t allowed even one) in the selfie.

We had a leisurely morning in bed, with coffee and books, and then I cooked for my friends. All these amazing, talented, kind, lovely people around my table and my heart swelled with happiness. I am grateful. I know we have been living in lockdown for over two years, so I should be used to this reality, but I cannot help feeling estranged, and I often have moments of awe that I have survived, that I am now as safe as one can be, and that we can have Sunday afternoons like today. I am deeply grateful for all these possibilities.

Good night.

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

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

— NICD

Operation Oysterhood: 2 April

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

— @HaggardHawks

Any excuse to go to Elgin will do, but when there are great wine and food and Liberty Books on the menu, there is basically no stopping me.

We went to The Melting Pot at Oak Valley for lunch today. Our first visit, but certainly not the last. The food was exquisite, and they make the only Pinot Noir that I will open with gusto. I am usually not a fan; to me, Pinot Noir tastes like a wannabe red, and I like my reds properly red, but I had my first taste of the Oak Valley Pinot Noir during lockdown and I have loved it ever since. To top it all, there were oysters. Fresh and simply divine. A different kind of oysterhood :)

And then, just as we were about to leave, someone from another table, where he was celebrating his birthday, approached us and said hello, recognising my love and asking whether we would perhaps join the party for a glass of something to toast the occasion. The young man was so charming that we agreed, and the rest of the party turned out to be as fascinating. Going home we felt like we’d met new friends. The fact that the young man is an oysters purveyor was a truly happy coincidence. And they deliver oysters to one’s door … No need to tell you what I’ll be ordering in the next few days :)

No visit to the area is complete without a stop at Liberty Books, where Cleo was on duty again and sold us a book.

Iga Świątek is not only going to be world number one on Monday, but she actually won the Miami Open today, her third 1000 Masters event win of the season – impressive. Tomorrow, another fascinating final. I hope to watch. But first, I am cooking Sunday lunch for friends. And I can’t wait.

A real weekend, and it feels good.

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

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

— NICD

Operation Oysterhood: 1 April

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

— @HaggardHawks

I had every intention of writing last night, but then I fell asleep watching TV … When I woke up Carlos Alcaraz Garfia was about to get into the Miami Open final. Exciting to watch this young star rising.

Yesterday began with a fashion show. My Mom’s language of love are gifts, and she particularly loves giving me clothes. When I now saw her, she gave me a suitcase full of new things. They had accumulated over two years of me not visiting her. In the morning, I finally had time to go through it all to see what fits and what doesn’t. I have permission to give away what doesn’t to charity. I put on a fashion show for Salieri and, as you can see, she had her definite favourites. I doubt I will get to wear this evening gown any time soon, but among my new clothes is a beautiful dress that I can wear at a friend’s wedding next year. And there are a few warm garments for the upcoming SA winter (always a challenge). I hardly ever buy clothes for myself, but my Mom continues to take care of me :)

Afterwards, I got through some heavy-duty admin and some lighter, more rewarding, work. And the pool needed cleaning and I had to visit the local printer. Another day that just somehow disappeared into the past. But it did end in style on the rooftop of The Silo Hotel, where my lovely houseguest invited us for drinks, sunset and a light supper to say goodbye before she leaves for distant shores again. Good news is that she will be back soon.

She is going back to a country where every tenth person is sick with COVID-19 at the moment. We are no longer dying from it like flies, but this virus is not done with us yet. And judging by the increase in infections locally, I suppose our fifth wave is in the making …

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

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

— NICD

Operation Oysterhood: 31 March

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

— @HaggardHawks

It was just me and The Cats waking up this morning in our old brass bed. My love’s houseguests have left and he could return to his own home again. I went to visit his house today to do my washing. He has a brand new, state of the art machine that I had no clue how to operate despite very careful instructions. My visit did not result in much laundry being washed, but I did have a great time reconnecting with my love’s feline family member. On Skype, my brother diagnosed that my washing machine’s pump must have given up its ghost – I have a feeling that there is a transcontinental Skype washing machine pump replacement session coming up … Watch this space …

In the evening, my love and I went to the Vineyard Hotel for Bon Appétit!

Bon Appétit!, a captivating pairing of music and food, is brought to you from the Vineyard Hotel show kitchen. The flavours of Bernstein’s “La Bonne Cuisine: Four Recipes for Voice and Piano”, Bach’s unique secular Coffee Cantata Schweigt stilleplaudert nicht (“be still, stop chattering”) and others will serve as hors d’oeuvres and main course. Dessert is Julia Child’s “deliciously decadent” chocolate cake recipe, reincarnated as a musical monologue by American Composer Lee Hoiby from a transcript of an episode of “The French Chef”. Join Chef Mike Basset and Cape Town Opera on this exciting culinary journey with musical direction from José Dias.

Book on Quicket

Superb voices, captivating performances, delicious food and ‘John Wick’ on the piano:

Loved it. I will be serenading my coffee tomorrow morning!

But first: sleep. Good night.

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

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

— NICD

Operation Oysterhood: 30 March

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

— @HaggardHawks

I suppose it would have been difficult, if not impossible, to fit over three hundred people into a room during the pandemic, but we did manage to fit into a webinar. Thank you to all at All About Writing, to the inspiring Cathy Park Kelly and all who attended our webinar tonight. It was great fun, and it reminded me again: read, read, read, and be kind. The rest will follow.

I also saw my counsellor earlier today and spoke to her about the difficulties of writing my memoir, and I introduced her to Bobik and Rudolf and told her their stories. It fascinates me how all of these things are connected. How crucial it is to be seen, and to see; and, how sometimes you do not have to explain anything and yet those who love you understand.

At lunchtime, I was back at the Alma Café – they now offer Eggs Benedict. And they are really good. With the coffee Jono serves, the perfect treat. I walked home in the rain and remembered my grandfather always reminding me: ‘Karina, you are sweet, but not made out of sugar; you won’t melt in the rain.’

I didn’t.

Good night :)

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

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

— NICD

Operation Oysterhood: 29 March

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

— @HaggardHawks

This week is turning out to be an almost accidental tour of the Cape’s beaches. Fish Hoek today. I met a future Karavan Press author there for coffee.

Cold, rainy day. True autumn. I got into a hot bath in the evening.

The state of disaster is ending, and my Oysterhood Diary will be ready for printing. I never expected it to be sooooooooooo long. I might have to divide it into volumes, or waves.

This is happening tomorrow night:

Live Zoom Webinar
30 March 2022
17:00
UK time
18:00
South Africa Time

Click here to register: ALL ABOUT WRITING

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

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

— NICD

Operation Oysterhood: 28 March

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

— @HaggardHawks

I promised my counsellor that before seeing her again I would do this for myself: a walk on my favourite beach – Noordhoek. I added the bucket of Kristen’s Kick Ass Ice Cream to the deal of my own accord.

Great writing session with my lovely writing group this morning, but confronting the material I am mining for my book is highly triggering for me.

The walk did me a world of good. The beach was nearly empty, the wind merciless, the ice-cold water froze my veins, but I loved every second of it. Even all the sand that I now have in my hair.

One can feel autumn in the air. The afternoon light is gorgeous this time of the year. And tomorrow it might rain …

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

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

— NICD

Operation Oysterhood: Open Book Festival weekend

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

— @HaggardHawks

In the audience at Open Book Festival 2022! How good to be able to attend a live festival again, with all that it entails. I had quite a lot of work to get through this weekend, so could only attend a few events, but I loved it – all of it. And despite all the busyness, there was time for a fabulous dinner with lovely friends on Saturday evening (I cooked Scandinavian dishes from Andreas Viestad’s cookbook and my love served a few divine wines with them), a swim and some sunbathing, leisure reading and TV watching. All in all, a really satisfying weekend.

But no matter how intense, demanding and amazing our everydays are, somewhere in the background I cannot stop thinking about a drone video I saw on the BBC website – the cold-blooded murder of a Ukrainian civilian by Russian soldiers. The man was not armed and had his hands up in surrender when he was shot. Under other circumstances – i.e. during peace times, those times when a madman does not decide to destroy an entire nation because of some insane vision of his – with such clear evidence of what happened captured on video, the people who fired at the innocent man would be in prison, awaiting trail.

War is a crime against humanity. It is ungraspable.

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

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

— NICD

Operation Oysterhood: 25 March

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

— @HaggardHawks

Joy Watson and Frankie Murrey at the Opening Bash of #OBF2022

Friday, but not the end of the working week. I met with Catrina, Karavan Press’s literary agent, for coffee this morning, and we discussed future plans and possibilities.

Some admin, many emails, eBook formatting and a short chat with Mom and Krystian followed. In the late afternoon, it was time for the Opening Bash of the 2022 Open Book Festival!

The Fugard Theatre is no more and so much else belongs to a distant, pre-pandemic past, but – somehow, against all the odds – here we are, having another Open Book Festival. Although almost everything about it feels different this time, I am sure that it will be as thought-provoking and inspiring as always. It is simply miraculous to see it back on Cape Town’s events calendar. And I love the new venue: Bertha House. Only five minutes away from home :)

In the evening, my love and I had dinner with his family at The Hoghouse. Delicious as ever!

Beauty sleep, here I come!

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

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

— NICD

Operation Oysterhood: 24 March

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

— @HaggardHawks

A month since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Every day, I read the reports and look at the images and I still cannot grasp how this has become reality, how millions of people have to go through hell because of the insane visions of a psychopath. It makes me realise, not for the first time, that we need to learn how to prevent these people from accessing that kind of power. We need to learn from history, we also need to learn from our personal experiences. The one will follow from the other – the connection is obvious. I am writing about it.

We launched An Island at EB Cavendish tonight. I had the pleasure of interviewing Karen at the event. A wonderful evening of celebration.

Quite a few of Karavan Press titles were on display and it was a joy to see, to know that we made these beauties happen.

I delivered the author copies of our latest – The Other Me by Joy Watson – to Joy in the afternoon. Always a magical moment.

Karavan’s next stop: Open Book Festival :)

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

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

— NICD