Enough is enough
I thought it would be interesting to live through a pandemic. Spoiler alert: it’s not. I thought we’d get it under control QUICKLY, that it would last a few months and that would be it.
Here we are paddling furiously, trying to get to the shore, but knowing that it’s futile as we inexorably get pulled into the horrible third wave, waiting to see how big it is and how badly we’re going to be dumped and who this one’s going to take from us, how many more businesses will close, how many more people will be out of work while the government dithers over vaccines, and keeps going on about vaccine nationalism which doesn’t really explain why dirt poor countries have vaccinated more people than us.
Don’t know about all of you, but there’s just something really soul crushing about having to face our second winter STILL in lockdown with people getting vaccinated so damn slowly that we’ll have herd immunity or even herd mentality looooooong before we get jabbed.
Yes, I am not in a good space. And I think that’s okay.
I’ve been doing a bit of wallowing lately, NOT getting up at 5.30 every morning to walk, NOT doing any work on my novels, NOT working on a Sunday (okay, one Sunday) but spending the day in bed watching trashy TV and eating junk food and wallowing and it’s been FAB.
Well, not fab exactly but perhaps it’s been what I’ve needed to do. To acknowledge that things are not great, that people’s mental health has collectively taken a bit of a knock and that it’s okay to not be okay. I’ve been in mourning. For the life we had and the people we’ve lost. I have to write my dead colleague’s name into the scripts I’m editing every day and I would be lying if I said it didn’t get to me. He was so damn young. Why him and not me? And please don’t tell me it’s god’s will, I can’t bear that nonsonso.
But I do need to find some meaning in all of this and currently it’s escaping me. I guess it’s just a huge lesson in how not in control we are, how short life actually is. Like with the waves in the sea, we have to surrender, not fight it. Wear our masks, sanitize, practice social distancing and GET VACCINATED as soon as we can. You can read about my experience with Covid here. Believe me, you don’t want it.
The good thing about all of this is that you may as well shoot your shot. Tell that person that you love them, ask your crush out, write that book, make that movie, move to the beach, travel as soon as is humanly possible. Things are so messed up, that who cares if you get rejected, or if you fail, you can just blame the pandemic or your covid brain. This is your chance to do something completely crazy, to reimagine your life and how you want it to be.
See, I can’t help myself, optimism always wins. There’s always a silver lining, even though sometimes it’s only a little shimmer.
Film recommendations: NOT The Woman In The Window on Netflix. I found it sooooooo disappointing perhaps because I’m such a huge fan of the book. It felt like a filmed stage play, the way it was stylized didn’t feel interesting and arty, it just felt cheap plus it lacked suspense, and as for the wide shots of Amy – no, just no. Having said that, there were some very fine individual performances – Julianne Moore was STUNNING.
And yes, there was all that drama about the author making up porky pies and leaving cups of pee around (Netflix are doing a series about it) and whether the novel was copied from Sarah A. Denzil’s book Saving April (check out this article about it.) What I can say is that I have literally had to change the ending of a novel that was identical to the novel a friend wrote, so I would prefer to give A.J. Finn the benefit of the doubt. And for those on the socials beefing with Sarah Denzil about her copying A.J. Finn, don’t be a stupid arse, her book was published first. Also, her book is jolly good. Go forth and read it. Which brings me to…
Book recommendations: Exit by Belinda Bauer. Belinda grew up in SA and I claim her for us. I ADORE her writing and I loved this one. It reminded me of Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club – only better. I think Richard’s book suffered from being over-hyped, plus he is lovely, so I couldn’t wait to buy it but when I read it, I felt rather let down (this is a lesson to all authors about marketing – that is what actually sells books). Belinda’s book felt like a cozy mystery with police constable Calvin Bridge, DCI King and even Donald Moon from The Facts About Life and Death all making an appearance. It was SO DAMN FUNNY, it had me laughing out loud. Perfect for those winter blues.
I also started tucking into Sweet Songs of Summer, a collection of romantic short stories that includes a story about a sexy pool guy from fave, Melissa A. Volker. Lord, but this book was just what I needed this week. Reminds me of those short stories we used to read in women’s mags. Pure Jilly Cooper vibes and as comforting as a cup of sweet hot chocolate.
That’s it for this week. Thanks for listening to me moan. I will be more cheery next week, promise! Don’t forget it’s the Kingsmead Book Fair tomorrow and it’s not too late to buy tickets. You can do that HERE and if you want to buy the books of the authors participating, go HERE.
A big thank you to Pan Macmillan SA, Penguin Random House SA, Jonathan Ball, Jacana, Modjaji, Karavan Press and the fabulous Helen Holyoake and Exclusive Books for ALL the review copies they’ve sent me, along with books for the Go-See-Do Christmas Tree which we have FINALLY been able to pass on to KBF for their book drive.
Happy Reading. May we all be jabbed SOON! xxx