Laid low this week with what the villagers call ‘appelkoossiekte‘ or ‘green apricot sickness’ along with spring hay fever. Sneezing and streaming and feverish, crawling in and out of bed and blankheaded as a sheet of paper.
[Sits and looks at desktop page for 20 minutes.]
Tonight we are giving a dinner party for a Sotho friend about to leave for Gauteng and I am hoping I can get through that without dissolving into a small puddle of wet tissues and delirium.
Outside the walls of my sickroom, the trees are fuzzing up green, the ditches white with arum lilies, lambs cavorting in the fields. New baby barn owls have been spotted in a gnarly crevice of the old oak down the road. The verges of the road are brilliant with tiny wild flowers, scarlet, blue and yellow, Nemesias, daisies, arctotis, the mauve wild garlic Tulbaghia.
In between making endless pots of tea, I am dipping into the Confessions of the wonderful St Augustine on his Feast Day, feeling about as unsaintly as you can get. A bit martyrish maybe.
“And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, yet pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.”