We live in Dalgety Bay, just over the Forth Bridge. I met my husband in Edinburgh on my OE. He came to NZ for a year in 2003; I came back in 2004 to get married. I didn’t expect to stay this long, now we have a house, a job and kids – we even have guinea pigs. The boys are ten-and-a-half and nine.

I work with a small team who coordinate conferences for an international legal organisation. They have all been cancelled or postponed. Now I’m doing a crash course in design software so I can do their brochures.

In Scotland the message has been to stay at home. We only go out for food and exercise, we are allowed to exercise twice a day now. Schools won’t go back till the next academic year in August.

My eldest does competitive acrobatic gymnastics, last weekend he was supposed to be representing Scotland at the UK Championships. He’s been training on Zoom for up to 3 hours a day, 4 days a week – as well as doing home schooling. I join in when my other son does karate on Zoom.

Mum and Dad are still in Churton Park, I have one brother in London and one in Auckland.  I grew up next door to Onslow College but I went to Wellington Girls. I was in the Victoria Uni tramping club for several years. On my farewell trip I managed to get blown over on Mount Holdsworth in the Tararuas, so I started my OE on a crutch.

I’m an assistant cub leader, we have Zoom meetings, at the last one we had everyone sewing buttons on paper flowers to decorate windows for VE Day. We camp in the back garden too. My husband just lets us get on with it.

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Image supplied by interviewee

This interview and the others in the series are an extension of my new book “This Is Us” that will be published by Exisle and released on the 1st of June 2020. These interviews are slightly different from the ones in the book as they focus on New Zealanders living abroad in this time of isolation. If you can think of suitable interview subjects please let me know via pete@petecarter.nz .

Exisle have now released This Is Us as an e-book you can buy it here.

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Pete Carter is the author of This is Us. Due out in June 2020 it will be published by Exisle and tells the story of more than 200 New Zealanders in words and pictures. The book is really a portrait of the nation and how it is made up. Pete wrote Our Dog Benji a children’s book illustrated by his nephew, published by EK in 2017. He is also the author of two books of poetry. He has had magazine articles published and poetry in anthologies. As a photographer he has had two solo exhibitions and work included in group exhibitions in NZ and overseas and has sold work to and been commissioned by corporate clients.

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