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Here's what our volunteers are up to during COVID-19: Patron Joy Cowley

How are you spending your time during lock-down?

Terry and I have had our own lock-down for more than a year. This lovely man needs care 24/7 and that fills our days. Far from being hardship, it is a new kind of intimacy and right now, there is nothing else I want to do. When Terry is sleeping during the day, I listen to talking books or the Concert programme.

Have you read any good books lately?

I can’t read. Advanced macular degeneration is a nuisance, especially for a book lover who spent much of her life writing books to help give children a love of reading. But the blind Foundation do send me excellent talking books. I’ve chosen non-fiction because I’ve written fiction most of my life and now, I want some brain food. I am currently enjoying Maori legends edited by Witi Ihimaera.

Have you listened to any good podcasts or music?

As well as the RNZ Concert Programme, I have a good collection of CDs and have recently been returning to Beethoven. He didn’t follow the musical trends of his day but found inspiration in the depths of his being - which is why we receive it as such.

If you could have your own Mad Hatters tea party, catered for by the Featherston Booktown Country Tea and Cakes volunteers, which writers would you invite and what would you most like to eat?

I would invite writers in whom the child is still alive and well. We would have bread with hundreds and thousands, pineapple and cheese on sticks, little sausages and cream buns. But because we would also be adults, we would not bother with the tea. We would have wine.

In a perfect world who would you most like to hear speak at the next Featherston Booktown?

Our Governor General. She has a home in the Wairarapa and is one of us.

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