Tell us your origin story: where are you from and what made you the person you are today?
Okay so first things first for those who don’t know me: my name is Ruth, I also go by Rufus, Ruthio, The Pan (I don’t remember the exact origin of that one!) and Ruthie to close friends. I am 33 years young and I have a husband Neil and a feisty 5 year old daughter called Abigail.
I am Cambridge born and bred, one of the last babies to be born at the old Mill Road maternity hospital. I grew up in Cherry Hinton where I lived with my mum, dad and brother. I went to the local comprehensive school and had my fair share of the usual highs and lows.
I decided I wanted to study fine art at degree level which I achieved (much to the surprise of some of my tutors!) studying for 3 years at Brighton Uni. My focus was printmaking where I got to play with sharp things and acid!
I haven’t had an easy ride. I come from a hard-working family and understand the importance of putting in the work to get where you want to be in life. I had emergency back surgery nearly 4 years ago; that knocked my confidence (which is shaky at the best of times) to an all time low. It’s been a long road back to happiness but I’m getting there.
How long have you been a Cambridge Ladybird and what brought you here?
I joined Cambridge Ladybirds last January as a dual member, having already been a member of Cam City WI for 2 years. I went to a stargazing evening hosted by the Ladybirds and enjoyed myself so much I went along to the next meeting and joined. I love the WI and what it stands for; each group has a different personality. I love the community work and fundraising that the Ladybirds get involved with. I joined the WI in search of new friends and women who share my outlook on life and I found it here in spades!
What’s a typical day in your life lately?
A typical day, hmmmm usually this involves starting with a huge cup of tea. I am not a morning person! After wrestling Abi into her uniform and off to school with her dad, I make the arduous, long and difficult journey upstairs to my office, aka Arty Farty HQ. Fellow Ladybird Jo Beale with whom I run Arty Farty usually arrives after the school run and after a quick gossip and obviously more tea we get down to work.
We spend time updating our new website artyfartyteaparty.co.uk so we will see what needs doing there and on our Etsy store, and then check our Facebook and Ravelry pages too. We answer email enquires or run through plans for the next event or party.
Afternoons can be spent designing our craft or crochet kits. 3pm comes around very quickly and that means school pick up when it will invariably rain! If it’s a WI night I usually grab a quick bite before heading out, but most evenings are spent with my husband, crocheting, connecting with friends via social media or reading. I am so rock and roll.
Someone gives you a million pounds to spend on yourself. You can’t give it to charity or spend it on friends or family; it all has to be for you. What do you do with it?
I would inject most of it into my business. We eventually want to run workshops so having a base to do that would be brilliant. I’d buy a retreat in Norfolk somewhere – probably on the broads – that I could run away to whenever I wanted. If I had any left after that I would buy a mint condition Clarice Cliff tea set because I have always wanted one, I recently saw one on a trip to Holt in Norfolk, best part of £4000 should see me right.
What are your most passionate community or activist goals?
I like to be involved anyway I can, and the WI has allowed me to do this. I suppose my most passionate community goal is to make as many women as possible know how awesome the WI can be. The strength I have gained from this organisation is amazing.
In a thousand years when future generations unearth your tomb, what are the wise words you have left behind to inspire them?
My words for the future….Be kind, as much as you can, even if you dislike the person you need to be kind to (believe me its a struggle, I am no saint). The world needs a little more kindness in it.
Ruth, May 2016
Our member for this month is Ruth!