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Mid Canterbury Federation of Women's Institutes president Mavis Wilkins has been baking during lockdown.

Bike riding, monarch butterfly watching, taming wild kittens and household chores are keeping Mavis Wilkins, and husband Bryan, occupied during lockdown.

Mavis who has been involved in Women’s Institute for more than 50 years and is the Mid Canterbury Federation of WI president, has been married to Bryan for 46 years.

“It has been very quiet with only Bryan (and I) in our bubble. We have been married for 46 years so we know each other very well.”

The couple have resurrected an old jigsaw puzzle which they work on each day and go for regular outings.

“Most days we go for a bike ride, it is great to not have traffic flying past. We have had about 30 Monarch butterflies hatch, so that is great to see happening,” she said.

Home is a farmlet so the couple have their own spaces where they can retreat.

“Bryan has his toy box where he spends a lot of time and I can go and hide in the garden,” she said.

“I have managed to clean all the windows inside and out between going to push-in brake pedals to bleed brakes on Bryan’s toys.”

There have also been quite a few cupboards cleaned out and items found that have been missing for some time, and plenty of baking being done in the kitchen.

The garden has received some attention and Bryan has been trying to tame two wild kittens.

“Just when he thinks he can handle them, out comes the claws and teeth sometimes, so that doesn’t go down too well,” she said.

Mavis is also keeping in touch with WI members through email and by telephone.

There is planning under way for the Federation’s 85th anniversary event, meant to take place this month but now deferred until later in the year and the upcoming mid-year Federation Cup Day schedule which has been sent out.

She said any past members wanting to register their interest in attending the 85th celebration can make contact with any member. More information will be sent out once details are confirmed.

Aside from missing her hairdresser, Mavis is gutted to have missed out on a visit from her daughter and three grandchildren who were due to visit from Perth during the school holidays.

“That was a real disappointment for us, and also for them,” she said.

However she is looking forward to the restrictions lifting and making contact with people in person again.

“I am looking forward to a lovely family dinner with our (other) children and grandchildren. A gathering of WI ladies will (also) be top of the list when we can.”