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Here's what Volunteer Wendy Campbell is up to during lockdown

1. How are you spending your time at the moment?

There’s a lot of fluffing around happening…. Have been cooking and the freezer’s now full, so I’ve moved onto the garden, talking to the odd person over the fence, reading, and some music. Beginning to feel a bit low on CDds now. FM can be ok but often too discordant for my liking. I like to listen to Sharon Van Etten. Watched ‘Shistel’ on Netflix and now watching ‘My Brilliant Friend’ on TVNZ on Demand. Am thinking I should get into podcasts – if I ever stopped fluffing around!

2. Read any good books lately?

I’m reading Ashley Young’s essays Can you Tolerate This? at the moment and loving them. She’s a stunning writer – gorgeous, funny and very very clever. Two other stories I have on the go are Pig Iron by Benjamin Myers and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles - also particularly beautifully written and strangely appropriate in our current world! The Inspector Bruno series set in France with Martin Walker books are also fun reading with good cooking imagery.

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 like to have to eat?

My favourite meal in recent times was supper at Te Puhi with five of my best friends – Mary Biggs, Anne Hannah, Kathryn Seagrave, Patsy Wooles and Angie Smith. Anne made wonderful meringues for us, big as soup plates! Mary made a glorious risotto - and for risotto nutters like me there are few finer foods to enjoy. It was made with mushrooms and coriander. Who knew those two different flavours could come together so happily? I forget what I made – wasn’t so good.

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

Ashley Young – ideally in conversation with my son John Campbell.

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