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Here's what Volunteer Zoya Huxford is up to during lockdown

How are you spending your time during lock-down?

I’m working from my home in Featherston, where I live with my two brothers Heath and William and Irish Setter Chester. I also go for regular walks, am learning new crochet stitches, and discovering new recipes to try in the kitchen. With Easter coming up I am looking at giving hot cross buns a go!

Read any good books lately?

I’m currently re-reading a book called 1st to Die that I read a couple of years ago by James Patterson. It’s the first book in a series called The Women’s Murder Club, based on the lives of four women who use their individual skills to crack San Francisco’s toughest murder cases. Each one has a different role to play - homicide inspector, medical examiner, Assistant D.A and reporter.

Recently I completed my Diploma in Information and Library studies and love using the skills I gained to learn about local history of the area that I have always been proud to call my home. I’m using this lockdown period to have a better look at a local history book called Memories of South Wairarapa which was compiled by Coraline A. Price. Her aim was to record memories to give younger generations a clearer understanding of the area in earlier times and to bring back memories for older individuals. This book has a broad range of information on our three towns Featherston, Greytown and Martinborough and I’m learning more about our district every day!

Listened to any good podcasts or music, or programmes on telly?

I’ve recently started listening to a podcast on Spotify called ‘Casefile True Crime’ - an Australian crime podcast which tells the stories of solved or cold cases and often relates to well-known murderers or serial crimes. I find this podcast a great way to pass the time or to unwind after a long day in lockdown.

Locally I tune in everyday to listen to Penny Griffin from the Featherston Library reading for children on Facebook. Listening to Penny gives me nostalgic memories of when I was a child and would visit the library with Mum and listen to Penny read. I think we are lucky living in the South Wairarapa where we have so many creative locals that find ways of making difficult challenging times fun and enjoyable especially for young children and families in our community.

If you could have your own mad hatters tea party, catered for by our Featherston Country Tea and Cakes volunteers, which writers would you invite and what would you be most likely to eat?

It’s a fictional tea party because some of the people I’d like to come aren’t able to attend in reality. Because family is so important to me it would only be right to make sure some of their interests are covered as well as my own. Danielle Steel for my Mum – because some of my best memories are of Mum telling me about the latest Danielle Steel book she was reading. Carrie Fisher would have to be in attendance for my brother Heath (he would kill me if she wasn’t invited) and she had amazing life experiences to share, Lee Child for William, because every Christmas without fail there is always a Lee Child book for William from me, Joy Cowley because she is our amazing local treasure and Featherston Booktown patron. To cover my baking interests I would invite Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver, Mary Berry, and Nadia Lim. I’d ask David Walliams along for my inner child, and lastly you couldn’t have a mad hatters tea party without some comedy from the amazing Miranda Hart.

For food I would look at a cross between the traditional English high tea and the good old kiwi tearoom treats.

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

By now you might have guessed I like thrillers! Especially ones that are hard to put down, have a good plot twist, and can easily be adapted into a movie or short television series. To name a few of my favourites I would say Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins and The Cry by Helen Fitzgerald.

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

My chosen speakers are Rachel Hunter, Nigella Lawson, Nadia Lim, Jacinda Ardern, Helen Clark, and the Topp Twins. It’s quite hard to just pick one person! All these people are leaders and the example they provide to our communities nationwide and globally gives people hope that they can conquer their dreams.

I hope you enjoyed reading my Featherston Booktown Volunteer profile and I hope to see you at any of the events that I may help with in 2021. Until then enjoy your time with your family during this lockdown period stay safe and be kind.

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