Readers of my blog or social feeds will know that I am a huge fan of Antonella’s book, ‘Motherhood, Love and Revolution’. Doesn’t the name alone make you love it too? I first heard about it through Motherland and knew that I needed to get my hands on a copy ASAP. The book, as I had expected and hoped from the excerpts I had read, was mind-blowingly beautiful and informative, and touched me deep inside. It seemed to give voice to thoughts throbbing within me with science, psychotherapy, nutrition, family relations and whole lot more thrown in. Anyway, I won’t review the book here (I’ve done that here) but instead I want to introduce you to the woman behind the words for it was she that so fascinated me. Who was it that was bold enough to give voice to these now somewhat controversial thoughts? Here Antonella answers a few of my questions:

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

The alarm clock – I like the ticking ones with big faces and those relentless tiny hammers that demand attention. Digital clocks just don’t do it for me.

What’s the first thing you do once you are up?

Stagger about blindly in my camisole and oversized pyjama bottoms as I open all the doors and windows, yawning.

Tea or coffee?

Dandelion tea, which is the food of the gods. Ridiculously yummy, and so good for you, too. I stopped drinking caffeine five years ago, and the weight – and stress – fell away, as if by magic.

Fry up or healthy?

When I was breastfeeding, I had vast organic-egg-and-brown-rice fry-ups every morning; now I just have a big plate of rice noodles with soy sauce, egg or chicken and shallots. I have no Asian blood, but do love Asian food. Practitioners of Traditional Chinese Medicine put an intense emphasis on a warm, sustaining breakfast, and who am I to disagree?

What is your biggest guilty pleasure?

Family-sized Milky Bars with Crispies. Portion control? Bwahahaha!

When are you happiest?

Strolling about London with Bethesda. The museums in particular are outrageously beautiful, and I love the architectural clashes on the banks of the Thames.

What makes you angry?

Pollution. Insincerity. Manipulation. And the deliberate inculcation of dysfunction drives me up the wall.

Becoming a mother has made you…

Happier than I ever thought it was possible to be.

if you can pass one piece of advice on to Bethesda, what would it be?

Love is truth.


Antonella Gambotto-Burke is the author of The Eclipse: A Memoir of Suicide and Mama: Love, Motherhood and Revolution. Read an excerpt from Mama in The Guardian.

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