Guys, I’m not going to blow smoke up your collective asses by pretending that things are great at the moment (even though some of you might enjoy the sensation. No judgies.) You know that point where you get dumped by a wave and you feel like you’re in a washing machine, and you can’t breathe and you wonder if you’ll ever come up and you know that IF you do come up, your bikini top will have gone one way and your boobs the other, plus you will have enough sand in your bikini bottoms to make you look like you took a crap in your cozzie?
Ja, well, that’s where we are now. Getting royally dumped by the Third Wave.
Every day on Facebook there is news of someone else who has succumbed to Covid. I’ve had messages from so many friends saying they have it or their loved ones have it, and I feel this little knot of anxiety as the days go by and they hit the dreaded eighth day when research shows that people either start to get better or take a turn for the worse and I keep hoping they’re going to be okay even though logically I know that not everyone is going to be okay and we are going to lose people that we know, people that we love and I think please, God not her, not their dad, not him, he’s got small kids, noooo, not them, they’ve already lost so much…
But I’m not here to talk about that.
We know how utterly shite everything is, I don’t need to remind anyone.
What I want to talk about this week is finding things that spark joy. I never got into the whole Marie Kondo thing – probably after she said you should keep less than 30 books, I was like “Hau, Marie, don’t fuck with me, ghel.” I will accept that I must have less than 3000 books but that’s as low as I’m prepared to go.
So, what sparks joy for me? I’m slightly embarrassed to admit this but I have been listening to Christmas music. As I said in my one tweet, I am desperate for keDezemba vibes (as opposed to Digital Vibes which don’t spark joy as much as sheer rage.) There is something about listening to O Holy Night in June that makes me smell the mince pies and think about lying on the beach somewhere warm. The lovely Gillian Godsell (find her on Twitter @gilliangodsell) assured me that because Christmas is celebrated elsewhere during the winter solstice, this is not completely mad, but logical.
Just listening to music in general cheers me up, so I dug out my ancient ipod shuffle – which sparked a lot of hilarity for my children as they fell about laughing at how old it is – and I listened to music, and while I listened to music, I also had a little weep. That’s next on my list – a good cry. We have plenty to weep about at the moment, so go ahead and have a good blub, and I’m not talking about a pretty, cry-a-few-tears-over-a-sad-movie weep that doesn’t mess up your mascara, I’m talking about an ugly cry with snot flying. V cathartic, I highly recommend it.
My daily walks with the husband spark joy. My cousin, (and fantastic actor) Michael Richard, lives a few blocks away from me and saw us walking in the middle of the day. He leaned out his car window and shouted “Why are you walking now? Your blog says you walk in the morning”. (Note to self, be more careful what you say in your blog. Big brother is watching.) So let me set the record straight, the daughter has reverted to online school so there’s no need to get up in the mornings, also it’s now cool enough to walk in the middle of the day which is why I am not walking at 5.30, Michael!!
Other things that spark joy:
A decent cappuccino. I get mine from Croft & Co or from VidaE.
My cats. In this highveld winter, they also just spark because of the static electricity.
Listening to my kids singing and playing their guitars (don’t tell them, I am not supposed to be listening).
Putting on warm leggings that have been hanging over the heater (I have now been wearing leggings for a solid year. Jeans? What jeans?)
Listening to the daughter laugh at my husband’s dad jokes.
Catching up with friends.
Getting into a scalding hot, lavender scented bath with a good book.
Piles of leaves.
Pictures and videos of my great nieces and nephews on the family whatsapp group. Hint, hint, HINT.
Kindness. Somebody being kind to me/Me being kind to somebody/Watching other people being kind on the socials. It all gives me the warm fuzzies.
Pictures of people getting vaccinated and the thought that this nightmare might one day be over.
And in the meantime we always have books. A truly fabulous book sparks a lot of joy.
This week I gobbled up Greenwich Park by Katherine Faulkner. Thank you to Helen Holyoake and Exclusive Books for my copy. It’s an intelligent psych thriller set between Greenwich and Cambridge that deals with the yummy mummy set – an antenatal class is a crucial meeting point (which I naturally adored). It has really satisfying plot twists, just as you think it’s over, she hits you with another zinger.
Lovely Helen also sent me The Dictionary of Lost Words by Aussie writer, Pip Williams to read. In 1901 the word ‘bondmaid’ was discovered to be missing from the Oxford Dictionary and this book tells the story of the girl called Esme who stole it. It is the most amazingly original story that’s just gorgeously written, I am LOVING it.
On the #ReadSA front, When Secrets Become Stories, Women Speak Out is a collection of narrative non-fiction by women who talk candidly about the abuse they’ve suffered. Not an easy read, but SO DAMN compelling, and edited by the fabulous Sue Nyathi who celebrated a birthday this week. Happiest of days, Sue! I think this is the perfect read for Women’s Month, it will be out in the first week of July so why not pre-order it now?
Movie recommendation: I watched Fatherhood with Kevin Hart last weekend on Father’s Day which I thought was appropriate although it did make the husband blub like a three year old. Based on a true story, Two Kisses for Maddy: A Memoir of Loss and Love by Matt Logelin, I found this movie incredibly moving and I enjoyed Hart’s performance very much. I highly recommend it, just remember to have a few tissues handy.
We have passed the longest night of the year, which means spring is on its way. On my walk last week, I saw my first jasmine blossom which filled me with hope. Sending you love and all things that spark joy. Happy reading! xxx