Edition #16
June 26th 2021
On my mind this week:
Hello! So nice to be back writing to you. Melbourne has come inching out of lockdown this week with lots of restrictions easing and we had friends and their kids spontaneously over last night for pizza. Being able to pick up your kids from school without a mask and casually invite people round for dinner and a play seems small but felt huge and joyful and almost normal. So much of our lives now that we did without blinking tends to feel monumental and strangely precarious. Wondering whether we are allowed to do everyday things, policing our own lives and carefully considering trips to the supermarket is becoming second nature. A weird acceptance of this new normal has fallen over me this week. After not getting to my friend's wedding and watching her walk down the aisle over zoom I spent a week hitting rock bottom, feeling all the feelings and coming out the other side resigned to the fact that at this time in our lives and possibly for the next few years at least, things will be markedly different and when we can do things and are allowed to do things we need to really lean in and make the most of it. So that being said this week I escaped to the beach for a few days with my baby and my sister. When planning things long term is not a safe option I think the only way through is to do the things when and while you can so booking an Airbnb, throwing some clothes and food in the car and heading away to see the sea to go for long walks was magic. New normal. New ways of doing things. New approach. I sometimes wonder if this was how it felt during wartime. When people were separated from loved ones and plans were precarious you needed to just snatch the joy when and where you could find it. My other thought was that I really hope we are heading for a resurgence of the roaring 20s when this is all over. 
I want to tell you a story. Walking along the beach with my baby in her carrier I sat to have a little rest on a bench over looking the ocean. A woman in a bright red jumper, wrapped in a woollen scarf with tiny gold crescent moons in her ears gave me a grin as she walked past and told me about the locals who swim everyday at dusk all through winter. She said that any minute they would be scurrying onto the beach like little crabs popping out of their homes to shriek with laughter and leap into the icy water. After a stroll along the sand I looked back to see that exact sight. Grey haired locals in bathers and wetsuits with their dogs jumping into the cold, grey sea. Above them the sky had turned, the deep pink and blue hues of sunset clung to the sky and in between a huge full moon hung over the water. With baby snuggly in her carrier, my woollen clad friend and the brave swimmers, I watched the sky in awe thinking how lucky I was to be there. Rosa in her red jumper asked if she could take our photo and so some beautiful photos of me and Baby Sunday arrived the next day on my phone. Sometimes when the best laid plans can no longer be, life can surprise you with tiny moments of treasure.  
Something to listen to:
These past two Tuesdays I've started releasing my new podcast
TONTS. the big sister to this newsletter. The show is about feeling all of it. About emotional resilience, our inner critic, and the stories we tell ourselves. Hosted by me it's a weekly conversation with an interesting human who has done a thing, or made a thing or been through a thing that I think will help us to understand and navigate life a little better. The first episode is a whole hearted chat with my wonderful pal Jamila Rizvi an all round whizz of a human. We talk about coming of age and the narratives we were told or that we consumed as kids in the form of Disney films and musicals that gave us a pretty problematic blue print for womanhood. Jam shares openly about her brain tumour diagnosis and also about the complexity of new motherhood. I had a blast talking to her about nineties nostalgia and reminiscing about our love of the sound of music and how problematic it was. 
The second episode is an interview with a journalist and podcaster called
Jessie Stephens who has recently written a book on heartbreak. I wanted to pick her brain about what she learnt about the grief of love ending and the complexity inherent in romantic relationships in researching her book. We also take a look at her writing process, her inner critic and reminisce about Sex and the City.

Something to watch:
This week I've been watching a show on Netflix called Hilda. It's an animation made for children but is just so gorgeous and intricate. I've found myself watching it by myself after the kids have gone to bed. Hilda is a British children's graphic novel series written and illustrated by Luke Pearson and published by Nobrow Press. It has been adapted into an animated show for Netflix and is just jam packed with whimsical creatures, magic adventures and stunning art style. The music is created by the musician Grimes (Claire Boucher) who adds her on fizzing pop and vocals to create the mood and theme. Hilda herself is a fearless, curious and empathetic blue haired hero who encounters strange monsters, often embarking on mythic quests. The comic book and the animation are both inspired by Scandinavian folklore and tales and it definitely embodies that wintery, magical feel. I love the show for all of that, but also for the relationship between Hilda and her mother. The storytelling and characterisations feel so true to life (despite the elven sidekicks, slow moving giants and whistling wooden men) and I think create a great blue print for parenthood.

Something to cook:
While I was squirreled away at the beach my sister made this frankly spectacular salad by the wonder that is the chef Ottolenghi. It includes boiled eggs and cauliflower with an incredibly delicious yogurt dressing. It sounds weird but trust me it is delicious, filling and great for vegetarians
Yotam Ottolenghi's Curried egg and Cauliflower Salad

1 medium cauliflower, trimmed and broken into 3-4cm florets (discard any tough outer leaves, but leave young pale ones attached)
1 onion, peeled and cut into 1cm-thick wedges
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp mild curry powder
Salt and black pepper
9 eggs
100g Greek-style yoghurt
50g mayonnaise
1 tsp aleppo chilli flakes (or ½ tsp if using a hotter chilli flake)
1 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and roughly crushed
2 lemons, 1 juiced, to get 1 tbsp, the other cut into 6 wedges
10g tarragon, roughly chopped (or just use fresh parsley)

Turn the oven to its highest setting. Mix the cauliflower in a large bowl with the onion, oil, two teaspoons of curry powder, three-quarters of a teaspoon of salt and plenty of pepper. Spread out on a 30cm x 40cm baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and roast for 10-12 minutes, until soft and golden brown, but still with some bite. Remove and leave to cool.

Bring a medium pan of water to a boil, then turn down the heat to medium-high, carefully lower in the eggs and boil gently for 10 minutes, until hard-boiled. Drain, then return the eggs to the same pan and fill with cold water to stop them cooking. Once cool, peel the eggs, put them in a large bowl and break roughly into large chunks with the back of a fork.

In a small bowl, mix the yoghurt, mayo, remaining curry powder, half the chilli, half the cumin, the lemon juice and a quarter-teaspoon of salt. Add this to the eggs, then stir in the cauliflower, onion and three-quarters of the tarragon, until everything is well coated. Spoon out on to a platter, sprinkle over the remaining tarragon, chilli and cumin, and serve with the lemon wedges.

And there we are for another week. I hope you are really well wherever you are in the world. 
Sending lots of love from rainy old Melbourne.
Tonts x

I would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which I write today, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, and pay my respect to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Copyright © 2021 Tonts, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
20 Ovens Street Brunswick

Add us to your address book

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp