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Here's what Volunteer Patsy Wooles is up to

1. How are you spending your time during lock-down?

I’m enjoying knitting for my little grandson, Solomon, and I’m looking forward to catching up with all the kids and grandkids.

We’ve been playing scrabble every day and watching too much Netflix.

And I’ve been spending hours preparing online lessons for my Friday class of five- and six-year olds. It’s been a very steep learning curve to manage the technology, but I have really enjoyed the challenge. Thankfully, my daughter, Lucy, has been incredibly patient with me as she’s taught me how to upload pictures and set up lessons. We now pre-record our lessons so that children can watch them on “Google Classroom” in their own time. Every child has or has been given a device so that they can learn from home.

2. Have you read any good books lately?

I have been reading books about trees which is why I’ve been thinking about gardening rather than doing it. I’ve delved in and out of The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben and Sophie Cunningham’s book City of Trees. Sophie came to a Featherston Booktown event last year and I’m still enjoying thinking about her visit and reading her book.

3. Have you listened to any good podcasts or music?

Geoff and I have spent time listening to music together, sourcing tunes from Spotify or YouTube. Right now, my favourite piece of music is sung by my daughter, Anna, with her group Ida Lune backing her. It’s called: The Well and last week it was released on Radio NZ. The Well

4. 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’d like to invite the young, Maori poet, Te Kahu Rolleston and Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits would be playing loudly in the background. Fiona Kidman, Brian Turner (the poet from Central Otago) and Peter Biggs would be there (Biggsy knows everything you need to know about books 😉). Geoffy and my friend, Mary Biggs, would be there too, listening to the chat. We’d eat Wendy Campbell’s cheese scones and my orange cake, with a good cup of coffee.

5. Do you have a favourite author or genre at the moment?

Generally, I like to read non-fiction – autobiographies and biographies - about people I admire and their resilience. But during this lockdown, I feel like I’ve only been reading English subtitles on the Nordic Noir movies we are watching on Netflix.

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

Desmond Tutu. I like that he starts with the premise that we are good people… we’d have a good question and answer session at the end of his talk, and we’d learn a lot from him.

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