A Hope Injection – Last week I was feeling very end-of-tetherish. It started with me having the stomach flu for five days, and of course work doesn’t let up and the deadlines kept coming so I had to keep writing even though I was about to keel over. The gastro was going on a bit and the husband was starting to get a leetle concerned and popped off down to May’s Chemist to get some cement to set my stomach.
The pharmacist told him if I didn’t feel better, I should go get a Covid test, because diarrhoea can be a symptom of our dear Auntie Ro, which I wasn’t thrilled about (neither was the 20 year old. “Mom, you cannot have Covid, I have exams.” Well, thank you for your empathy, darling). All-in-all it was a SHIT week (pun intended.)
Then Biden-Harris won the election and I felt the first glimmer of hope I’ve felt in ages.
And please don’t @ me about all the stuff they’ve done wrong, that Joe is ancient (don’t be so bloody ageist) and that Harris is transphobic etc…etc…the fact that Joe is old gives me hope, I often feel like a has been and I get called a TERF by the offspring on a weekly basis because I don’t enjoy Ru Paul’s drag race or think that JK Rowling should be burnt at the stake along with all her books and here’s the thing, when did we start expecting leaders (who are goddamn POLITICIANS) to be perfect?
At this point, I would settle for one who doesn’t want to grab me by my nether regions and who doesn’t think he looks awesome in a thick coating of orange base. Both Biden’s and Harris’s speeches were SENSIBLE and KIND and that made me really happy. Although the thing that made me most happy was the press conference the Trump’s peeps held in the Four Seasons Landscaping parking lot. #NotTheFourSeasonsHotel. Every time I think of it, it makes me giggle, like something out of a Steve Martin/Eddie Murphy movie.
After that happy news over the weekend, Pfizer announced that it was all systems go for their vaccine and I began to feel like there might be an end to this nightmare sometime soon. Then the twenty year old got exemption for one of his tough exams which means he’s now done with that subject and as the twenty year old is very dramatic about exams (and everything else), this was a Very Good Thing.
Next we heard about an arrest warrant being issued for Ace so it felt like there might be some justice in the world and finally during the Family Meeting on Wednesday night, Oom Cyril announced that we would be opening up for international travel which is a HUGE relief for those of us in the travel industry. I also felt better emotionally once I started feeling better physically.
You see as soon as the pharmacist mentioned the C word my brain immediately jumped from having Covid to our entire family dying out and the kids having to fend for themselves.
I don’t think we realise how much this has been playing on our minds. Will we get it? How badly? Will it kill us or someone close to us? We call it Auntie Rona and try and joke about it, but those thoughts are never very far away.
I was trying to explain it to the kids (who promptly glazed over) that my first thought about having Covid was that I wouldn’t be able to work and if I don’t work, I don’t earn, then my next thought was that my kids are too young for me to die, then ‘what if I gave it to someone else and they died?’ or what if I was one of the longhaulers who was so sick I was unable to work – and on and on – ending with me going through my single friends to think about who I could marry my husband off to (in the event of my sad demise) so that there’s someone to look after my kids (and my cats) and make sure they eat organic food and wear sunblock and I really would like a helluva party for my funeral so we would need to delay it until Covid is over and I don’t think I can donate my body to science in case the twenty year old lands up dissecting it in dissection class which would be A BIT UPSETTING but can you have one of those fancy burials where a tree grows out of your dead body or is that not allowed if you died of Covid?
These are the thoughts that plague me at three in the morning when my insomnia is served with a large side helping of paranoia.
- Me: *getting up noisily so the husband wakes up too*: what’s the time?
- Husband: one o’clock
- Me: bloody hell, I thought it was four.
- Husband starts to drift off.
- Me: I think we should get Covid tests.
- Husband *wearily*: why? Are you feeling sick again?
- Me: No. My mouth is dry. I’m sure that’s a symptom of Rona.
- Husband: It’s a dry cough.
- Me: Maybe a dry mouth is one of the new symptoms.
- Husband: I forgot to put water next to the bed, that’s why your mouth is dry. Go to sleep.
And I did go to sleep EVENTUALLY after three wees and lying awake for four bloody hours and obvs woke up feeling like death warmed up.
But then I opened the curtains and the sun was shining and the air felt clear after the rain and the jacarandas were beautiful and there was coffee and books and the husband and my gorgeous kids (and cats) and words – always words – and I felt a glimmer of hope.
Recommendations for this week: Dawson’s Creek is on Netflix. It’s super cheesy and stilted but it’s a fabulous trip down memory lane. Plus the CD played on repeat while I was in labour with the twenty year old so I have a real soft spot for it. I also had to watch Love Actually again.
- Me: I just watched Love Actually.
- Husband: How many times have you watched that movie?
- Me: Erm…twice.
- Husband: What? Today?
And if a hope injection is what you’re after, do watch Chasing the Sun on DSTV. It’s ostensibly about the Springboks journey to winning the RWC in 2019, but what it’s really about is a group of young South Africans overcoming the most terrible odds to achieve greatness. The players are adorable and I have to admit I’m a teeny bit in love with Rassie Erasmus. A man that likes saying ‘fuck’ that much has to be a good bloke. Just make sure you have the tissues handy, it’s a complete blub-fest (but in a good way).
Book recommendations: The Survivors by Jane Harper. I adore this writer and the way she writes about Australia where the landscape very much becomes another character in the narrative, and I aspire to write about my home country like that. This one is set in Tasmania and it’s as fabulous as all her other books. If you haven’t discovered her novels yet and you like psychological thrillers, you’re in for a treat.
I also read author Jennifer Weiner’s memoir which I found interesting because I really enjoy her novels, but she doesn’t come across as being very likeable. Perhaps she’s better in person, but the way she dissed British author, Jane Green’s work instantly put me off her.
Oh and those pumpkins (that are actually Red Kuri Squash) that we bought for Halloween are DELICIOUS and easy to carve so look out for them next year for Halloween.
It’s downhill to Christmas and yes, I don’t care how much it irritates my family, I have started listening to Christmas music.
- Me: I am SO ready to listen to Christmas music.
- Husband: Go to the Mall.
If you have any suggestions for Best Ever Christmas albums, I’d love to hear them.
“Mary’s Boy Child, Jesus Christ was born on Christmas Daaaay…and man shall live forever more because of Christmas Daaaaay!”
Finally, it is the one year anniversary of this blog. I can’t help looking back at those first posts thinking ‘My God, we had no idea what 2020 had in store for us.” To celebrate the one year anniversary, I’m doing a *giveaway of my book Ms Conception.
The first three people to email Kirsten at firstname.lastname@example.org and sign up to our newsletter will receive a signed copy of Ms C AND a surprise book.
*T&Cs apply. Only available to people residing in South Africa.