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Here's what Volunteer Ron Ainsbury has been up to in lockdown

How are you spending your time during lock-down?

Oddly enough, I’m busier now than I’ve ever been since I came to live in Martinborough two years ago. I’m about to start remote teaching a BA course in Management and Entrepreneurship for a university in Vietnam (in past years I’ve been on the spot with the group for the semester – it’s going to be interesting to learn how well we all adapt), I’m writing a proposal for investment funding from the Aga Khan’s Education Foundation for a start-up company I’ve had the huge fun of becoming involved with in recent months, I’m attempting to grow a whole pile of winter veges from seeds and cuttings, I’m avoiding mowing the lawn since the rain came and I’ve taken up bread-making after attending an inspirational class run by Jo Crabb of the Careme Cooking School. Then there’s crossword puzzles, crap telly (‘Midsomer Murder’ Easter Fest here I come!), exchanging bad C-19 jokes with mates around the world and idly wondering how ‘professorial’ my hair will be by the time this period of social distancing is over.

Have you read any good books lately?

I have a few books ‘on the go’ …

· What the Dog Saw by Malcom Gladwell. A collection of stories he wrote as columns for the New Yorker

· The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz. Sometimes it costs us to have too wide a range of options from which to choose

· The Excellence Dividend by Tom Peters – the latest from this management ‘guru’ essentially business should focus on delivering excellence for the customer, period!

· Rebel Ideas by Matthew Syed – looking at the power of diverse thinking and just what diversity means.

Have you listened to any good podcasts or music?

I follow several podcasts … mostly from the BBC:

· In our Time (weekly update – with a summer break) – discussion topics range from art and literature to history and science

· Friday Night Comedy (weekly update)

· More or Less – a programme that looks at statistics in the news

· Inside Health – what’s new in the world of medicine

· Law in Action – occasional series looking at legal issues

· BBC Inside Science

· Today in Parliament (when UK Parliament is in session)

· Page 99 – an occasional podcast from Private Eye

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

I’d really like to listen to Malcolm Gladwell speaking about how he comes up with the topics he writes about in such fresh and interesting ways.



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