An open letter to my friends, from Mona Clenlow


How are you? Like how are you really?

I’ve been thinking about you. I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch. I don’t know what to say really. I haven’t been doing anything much. Probably the same as you.

I’m ok. Not great. Sometimes crap but mostly just ok. It’s hard, isn’t it? This pause. It’s frustrating. And lonely. And boring. And busy. All at once.

The not knowing is hard too. Not knowing when life will get back to some sort of normal. Not knowing when we’ll see friends and family interstate or overseas again.

Sometimes I mourn. For my old life. For simple pleasures. For what my kids are missing out on. For grandparents who can’t see my kids grow up.

Covid cooking potato coconut sesame balls Malaysian style
Simple pleasures: making Malaysian kuih, or sweet potato-coconut-sesame balls

Sometimes I’m angry. At hotel security guards. At people who spread it while knowing they have it or have symptoms. At whoever the media suggests I should be. At the universe. I know it’s misplaced. I know it’s no one’s fault.. and sometimes that’s harder.

Sometimes I’m grumpy. At the boys for being too loud. At hubby for not doing the dishes. At the toddler for whinging. Sometimes I have a short temper. Sometimes I focus on the small things too much. Because there are no big things at the moment.

Making covid masks
Focusing on the small things, progressing the sewing skills in search of the perfect mask

I’m trying to be thankful. For our health. For my beautiful children who keep me on my toes. For hubby still having work even if I don’t. For a safe four walls.

I’m trying to keep busy. You’ve probably seen my adventures in cooking and sewing. It’s good to do something different, but it’s not the same without you.

Leftover egg-whites transformed into Spanish meringues (top row) and rose meringues (bottom row)
What do you do with leftover egg-whites? Top row: Spanish meringues. Bottom row: Rose meringues

I’m trying to look after myself but it’s hard. To find the motivation, the time and the energy. I do local walks a couple of times a week. It helps clear my head, but it’s not the same.

I miss you. I miss our catch ups. I miss seeing your kids grow up. The little ones grow so fast, don’t they? I miss enjoying a drink together. I miss sharing a meal and a laugh. I miss our chats at the school gate, cups of tea and cafe hangs. I miss playing sport with you and playgroup. I miss all of it.

But I’m ok. I know it won’t be forever even if somedays it feels like it. I know we’re lucky in many ways. I can’t wait to see you when we can. And I really hope I never take you and normal life for granted again.

All my love xx


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