Helen Huntly: I have a studio at the back of my house. I found when I really worked at making time for myself, I lost track of time and got into that lovely place of creating, which is a place of comfort and peace.
Annette Witherow: I really missed our weekly Parkes Painters gatherings, as that is what inspires me to pick up my paint brushes. We also missed out on our annual exhibition to put our work on show. So, I’ve not been painting much at all, but I did spend a lot of time in my garden.
Margaret Marshall: It did 100%! I completed six paintings. I have really enjoyed total isolation as I could spend time on my art every day without any interruptions. I was able to give it my full concentration and enjoy doing it guilt free.
How long have you lived in Parkes and what do you like most about living here? I was born in Parkes and lived and farmed at Alectown until moving into Parkes 23 years ago and starting the first Bed & Breakfast in Parkes on 8th May 1998. Parkes is a very friendly and progressive town and it is easy to be part of this community.
Where do you work or what do you do currently and what do you enjoy about it? I am very fortunate to still work with my nephew in his farming operation, and find it very satisfying. Helen and I have also enjoyed our years of running the B & B and meeting amazing people.
What is your favourite thing to do when you have free time? Visiting our two sons and their families, watching the grandchildren develop. We like to travel and look forward to being able to do that again. I remember my father saying ‘you don’t learn unless you travel’.
What makes you proud? Family and their achievements. I had great times with the M&D, and have been a member of about four choral groups and have really enjoyed these experiences.
If you could be an animal which one would you choose, and why? I have known a couple of dogs in my life time and they have wormed their way into my heart so I would hope if I was a dog my owner would spoil me and I could return the favour.
What is your all-time favourite movie, song and/or book, and why? If I start reading a Wilbur Smith book, I can’t put it down until it is finished. He is an amazing author. I also like Tom Clancy.
Tell us about your best holiday. We went to Japan recently and met up with two young ladies we hosted in the B&B and had the privilege of having them guide us around their country.
Evie Brown (Kindy): I enjoyed doing the dance moves for the number counting song and showing my mum my work. I missed my teachers Mrs Harrison, Mrs Melhuish and Mrs Richards.
Joshua King (Year 7): The best thing was sleeping in and having nice lunches (not just the same old sandwich). The worst was not being able to see friends and to learn face to face.
Ally Francis (Year 12): The benefits were being able to do things on my own timetable and not having to wear a uniform. It was hard not having one on one teaching, being able to ask questions and receive answers straight away and not seeing friends.
How long have you lived in Parkes and what do you like most about living here? Two years. Country life and the friendly and caring community!
Where do you work or what do you do currently and what do you enjoy about it? I’m a qualified high school teacher, but just working casual at the moment to give me more flexibility with my kids. I enjoy being able to spend more time with my kids.
What is your favourite thing to do when you have free time? Go for a run and catching up on my favourite TV series.
What makes you proud? To see how far we have come (we had many obstacles to overcome); being able to do something for the community; and to be a mum to my amazing kids.
If you could be an animal which one would you choose, and why? Wolf – for the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.
What is your all-time favourite movie, song and/or book, and why? Dirty Dancing – I am a sucker for classic love stories!
Tell us about your best holiday. I don’t have a best. Given the opportunity to spend it with my family makes every holiday one to cherish and remember.
What is on your bucket list? To travel around the world, to go to the Greek islands, and participate in UTA (Ultra Trail Australia) in the Blue Mountains, but only the 22km!
How long have you lived in Parkes and what do you like most about living here? I was born in Parkes and have lived here all my life. Having grown up in the town you get to know a lot of people. Everything you need is here.
Where do you work or what do you do currently and what do you enjoy about it? I am retired and have been for 12 years from the DMR, RTA. I love to get in the shed and do woodworking and furniture restoration.
What is your favourite thing to do when you have free time? I am a bit of an artist and every Wednesday I enjoy going to art group and doing some landscape painting. And I enjoy doing cryptic crosswords.
What makes you proud? My family – my children and grandchildren all live in Parkes and I am very proud of them all.
If you could be an animal which one would you choose, and why? A bird, I’d like to fly.
What is your all-time favourite movie, song and/or book, and why? I like the old movies: The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Sting; any Elvis music, I like to read paperback westerns.
Tell us about your best holiday. My best recent holiday was driving the Great Ocean Road and traveling through central Victoria.
What is on your bucket list? I would like to drive the Eyre Highway along the Nullabor and play the Nullabor Links (world’s longest golf course).
Kerryn Jones: Here We Are by Graham Swift. A magical story of three vaudeville performers at the Brighton Pier.
Dan Fredericks: Teacher, Teacher! By Jack Sheffield. Imagine James Herriot as a teacher in a classroom.
Gillian Hunt: The Land Before Avocado by Richard Glover. It’s amazing how food and life have changed since the 60s and 70s.
How long have you lived in Parkes and what do you like most about living here? 18+7+16 years… Moved away twice but came back. The thing I love the most about Parkes is the sense of community here.
Where do you work or what do you do currently and what do you enjoy about it? I own and operate Musica Arioso, a private music studio located in Parkes, but servicing up to 100km away. Since COVID-19 I can offer lessons to everyone who has access to the internet. I enjoy watching my kids and adult students achieve success, in competition or personal, because everyone deserves a little music in their life.
What is your favourite thing to do when you have free time? I love to cook for family and friends. If I didn’t have my music, I believe I would have pursued a career as a caterer.
What makes you proud? Lots of things, but although it’s rather cliché, I would have to say watching my three grown children reach their goals in life.
If you could be an animal which one would you choose, and why? A cat! Simply because they have the life.
What is your all-time favourite movie, song and/or book, and why? I enjoy a wide range of movies, music and books, which is ironic considering as a music teacher I listen to a variety of styles and artists. It’s too hard to choose, but Barbara Streisand is my favourite artist because she is so versatile.
Tell us about your best holiday. Rennes, France… I was fortunate to spend six weeks with the family of an exchange student who lived with me for 10 months, so managed to see this beautiful country as a local. Even got to practice my school girl French when buying groceries. Was a bit of a laugh.
What is on your bucket list? The list keeps changing and life keeps evolving. As long as I have my health, family and good friends, what else matters.