Walford, Wendy Anne Interview

The date today is 5th October 2020. I’m interviewing today Wendy Anne Walford for Covid-19.

My name is Wendy Anne Walford. I enjoyed Level 4 of Covid; because of my health issues I was the one that stayed at home and my husband went shopping for Erica [Tenquist], and my dad, Peter Buckingham, and somebody else here …

Yes, Sheila.

Sheila, that’s it. So he did all the shopping for you girls, and he’d bring it back to our house, so I’d sort through the lists and see who got what, and then I noticed that Erica had a pineapple, so I peeled that and cut it all up for her.

But, yeah with Covid, because I’ve got no immunity system, both Dad, Peter, and myself, we locked down about two weeks before the country locked down, so we stayed away from everybody … well I did. And then we went into Level 4 so I’d already locked down, so I didn’t see anybody for a long time. But I enjoyed it, because Richard was working from home … teaching from home … so I had somebody in the house. And I enjoy cooking, so I did the meals.

Did you do the gardening too?

No – I can’t get down onto the ground, so Richard was doing the gardens as well. But … yeah.

Did you talk on the phone more?

Yeah I did; I talked to Dad and my grandchildren; I’ve got fourteen grandchildren, so because we couldn’t see them physically, I’d ring them or Skype them, because [of] the ones that are out of town. Yeah, I think the grandchildren out of town who were older, you know, ten and eleven, were more affected not being able to actually come and see me.

Do they live out in the country?

In town. They do live in town. Yeah, I don’t know how the young ones got on during Covid. I know my grandson, Kyon, is from Taupo. He sort-of had to do school work from home, and he didn’t think his mother was a very good teacher.

Oh, didn’t he? Did he tell you that? [Chuckle]

Yeah. He told me that. [Chuckles] He said, “Mum, I love you, but I don’t want you as my teacher.” [Chuckles]

But, no, with being at home and not having cars on the road … it was just lovely to go out walking, there was nobody about; so I found it relaxing actually, yeah.

Would you have watched TV a lot more?

Yeah. Not so much TV – I read a lot of books, and once I physically ran out of books to read, I then went online to the Hastings Library, and I’ve read probably over ninety books online.

During that time?

During Covid, yeah. And I’m still doing it.

How do you do that?

You download the Hastings Library app on your phone, and then you just type in an author you like or a series that you want to read or whatever; and they just download. And it’s like … I borrow it for twenty-one days, and then if I finish it early I can return it to the library early, or if I don’t finish it it will disappear, and I’ve got to borrow it again. Yeah – there’s no fees, there’s no muckin’ around, there’s no getting in the car; it’s really cool.

I never knew you could do that.


And you’d listen to it on your ..?

No, I can physically read it on my iPad, ’cause the book would download onto my iPad. Or there’s another app called Kindle.

Yes. I’m familiar with Kindle.

Yeah, so I’ve downloaded a lot of books off Kindle to read as well, to read in isolation. Yeah. So I read lots of books. And I watch the cooking show[s] a lot. [Chuckles]

And when you talk to the family, the grandchildren’s parents, were they mostly working from home, or are they at work?

Now my daughter was working from home …

And what does she do?

She is a Programme Tutor for creators in home care for children. So she has got mums who look after other people’s children in their own homes. Sarah goes round checking on everybody; but because of Covid, she would ring them on Skype. And she would have to physically see the children if they’re in care, so she still had to care for those children basically, yeah.

Does she live here?

She’s in Taupo. She used to be here, but she’s in Taupo now.

And what about the other one?

Both my sons – one’s a roofer, so he could still work as he didn’t have a lot of contact with people; but he would have to work on his own. And the other son is a car painter, and what his situation was, having two little children at home – his partner was working from home during the day, so he would have the children because they couldn’t go to daycare, so he would entertain the children. And then once Siran had finished her computer work, she would then take over looking after the children and Brad would go to work at night; and his boss would’ve left him instructions on what needed to be done. So he would just spray and do whatever at night. And it worked really well for them, that situation – they could both still work, still earn an income. Yeah.

Which was very necessary.

Which was very scary. Because Brad’s second job is working in a gym. But he couldn’t, that was shut; so financially … it was tight, but they got through. Yeah.

So would you have cooked at home more than what you usually would? Or would you go out more?

No. I did a lot of cooking. I learnt a lot of new recipes, watching the cooking shows and that. We got in Hello Fresh. Sarah, my daughter from Taupo, ordered us a couple of Hello Fresh boxes.

That’s vegetables and everything, isn’t it, and fruit?

Yeah. It’s all a meal though; it’s a meal for four days, and you have your recipes and you have the meat and fruit and veges for those particular meals. And they’re only half-hour meals to prepare, and I enjoyed that. But then being at home I could still do what I wanted to do and didn’t have to pay out that big money for those.

Did you have much to do with your neighbours?

Yes, yeah. I checked on my neighbours all the time. On a Friday … there’s four of us, you know, right on the corner there; we were right together, so on a Friday afternoon we had ‘foursies’, which was – you’d bring your chair and your wine and you sat on your lawn, and we all chatted. Yeah. So we caught up with the rest of the week; so that was every Friday, just to make sure everybody was all good.

So Richard didn’t have to do shopping for them or anything?

No, no, he didn’t shop for them. They had their own shoppers.

Did he have to queue do you remember?

Yeah. He shopped at New World through Covid, and some of the lines were really, really long. Sometimes he’d go down … like if he was shopping for three or four people he’d drive down, and if the lines were too long then he’d come home and he’d wait, and then go back down. If it was a bit shorter then he’d stand in line. Yeah. But he enjoyed it; he enjoyed the shopping.

What about when you got down to Level two, did you feel relaxed about that, that you could go out more?

It took me a while, because I’d been locked down for so long. It took me a long time to go out. Richard took me out in the car for a drive and I was so excited; I was like a toddler. [Chuckle] Oh! It was so funny; but, yeah, when I finally did go to the supermarket, it was a worry. I was really concerned, yeah. But now …

Did you go back to the library itself?

No. I haven’t been back, no. No, I haven’t been back. I think I’m just finding that it’s easier just to download a book.

I had no idea that the library did that.

Yeah, they do … thousands of books online, and it’s really, really interesting, yeah.

Now we’re in Level 1, do you feel safer now?

No, no … I feel good. I would be concerned if Jacinda Ardern opens the country[‘s] borders. I wish she had opened the … you know, I would like the borders opened to the Islands, just … people will start having a little bit of a holiday and moving, and supporting the Islands, because they really do need it. I mean it’s really good that New Zealanders are supporting New Zealanders, but New Zealand businesses and tourists and that still don’t make it cheap enough for us all, you know – they’re still wanting their pound of flesh. I’m concerned if the border’s opened to Australia at the moment.

Too early?

I think it will be. Yeah.

That’s supposed to be Friday week.

I know. I know, but then it’s only just certain States over in Australia, but we can only wait and see.

Did you go travelling much in normal times?

Overseas? No, it’s really only been in the last ten years that Richard and I’ve actually – we’ve been to the Cook Islands three times. I love it over there. We went to China just prior to lockdown, so we were very lucky we didn’t get caught. But no, we don’t travel out … don’t normally. I’d like to go down South; I’ve never been down South, so I think we need to look at our own country first.

Oh, definitely. [Laughter] You have never been to the South Island?

No. Never been to the South Island. I said to Richard, “We really do need to go.”

You’ll find it fascinating, because it is totally different.

Yes, so I’ve been told.

So with Covid still hanging over us, how long do you think we’ll still be under its influence?

Oh, I think we’ll be under it for a long time.

Years or months?

No – years. Years – we’re just going to have to live with it. Yeah.

And if we can get a vaccine, would you have the vaccine?

No. Because, I mean, Covid is like the ‘flu; it changes with every person it hits, so to me, honestly, they’re not going to get a vaccine that is going to cover it.

They can’t get a vaccine for the flu.

Do you have the ‘flu injection?

Yes … yeah. Yeah I have a ‘flu injection every year, and it’s good; I haven’t been sick.

Well, thank you.

That’s all right.

If you think of anything more pertinent, or have any photos or anything that you think are applicable, then we’d like them.

Okay, I will. Lovely – thank you, Erica.

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Interviewer:  Erica Tenquist

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