How are you spending your time during lock-down?
I’m still running my law firm from the kitchen table. The workload remains about the same but it’s slightly more complex due to working remotely. It’s a much more pleasant location!
Have you read any good books lately?
Yes! Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes – about the Royal Society in the 19th Century and the people who wrote about their scientific and geographical discoveries - men like Joseph Banks, Mungo Park and William Herschel. My other favourite book, which I bought at Lincoln’s (Messines Bookshop: Military History), is by Sir Max Hastings. It’s his account of the Dam Busters raid – it’s perfectly researched, the facts of the raid are almost unbelievably breath-taking and the story of what was achieved, how they achieved it and the short time frame they took to achieve it was incredible. Biggsy is borrowing it next.
Have you listened to any good podcasts or music?
My wife, Kate, and I have had a couple of bouts on YouTube Frenzy where we share our favourite pop songs mostly from the 70’s and 80’s. We occasionally dip into classical music, but it’s mostly popular music from the not too distant past.
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?
The writers I would like to invite would be PG Wodhouse, Tom Sharpe and John Mortimer – they’re all excellent satirical humourists and I like a good laugh. We would eat Wendy Campbell’s cheese scones and cheerios with tomato sauce.
Do you have a favourite author or genre at the moment?
I don’t read many novels, but I do like well researched general history books and well written travel books. My favourite book of that genre would be Eric Newby The Last Grain Race. It’s a story about the early 20th Century grain schooners that left the UK loaded with ballast, went around the Horn of Africa, arrived in Adelaide where they loaded up with grain and then headed back to the UK. The race was to see which schooner was fastest.
In a perfect world who would you most like to hear speak at the next Featherston Booktown?
Sir Max Hastings – he would need to be flown out from the UK – perhaps we could get the Chair of Featherston Booktown (Biggsy) on to it 😉