Member of the Month - December 2017

Jenny A

What made you join Cam City WI?

Mel and Lisa 😛 plus hanging out more with people I liked seemed like a good idea!

Who inspires you and why?

The worthy answer is people like the Women's Aid staff and the ladies who run the Freedom Programme (www.freedomprogramme.co.uk) - they deal with all sorts of awfulness every day and have so much compassion and resilience, and I know first-hand the difference they can make. It's why they're always my first choice for charity fundraising.

On a sillier note, thinking "What Would Steve Rogers Do?" has become my mantra lately - I'm a huge MCU fan and trying to do the right thing all the time is hard, but it's helped me feel so much better about myself.

What's your philosophy in life? 

Urgh. Realistically, it's hard to have any outlook, living with chronic depression. I've been unable to work for 3 years now and it's horrible. I guess I'm just keeping on keeping on, hoping things will get better eventually (and I'll save you the political rant, beyond saying that Brexit made me ashamed to be English).

Secret skills / Guilty Pleasure / what's your poison? 

IDK if anyone doesn't know I knit, sing and do maths for fun! I guess my weirdest talents are being able to chew my toenails (if I wanted to), touch my nose with my tongue, and give pills to cats without injury!  My guilty pleasure is currently playing Dragon Age - I never thought I'd ever be a computer gamer, but that's sucked me in with simple game play and adorable characters 😊

 

I don't drink much, but I do like a good gooey porter or stout - though I'd almost always choose tap water or Starbucks over booze. Alas, I can't drink gin at all (is this where you kick me out of the WI?), because the mornings after are more like a day of abject terror and despair.

What would you do with/for a million?  

Well, I wouldn't hurt anyone for it, however tempted I might be. Maybe kiss Nigel Farage? Ugh, I feel sick just thinking about it 😞  But not having to worry about money again would be worth it, I think - I could do a self-funded PhD (funded places are like hens' teeth thanks to Brexit) and lots of charity work without needing to sell my soul to pay the bills. Buying a safe house for Women's Aid would be a nice start, or maybe invest in some woodland to help with rare species conservation.  I know money can't buy happiness, but it can remove a whole lot of stress and worry, which would have a knock on effect on my mental health. Sigh. Bring on Nigel!

Top three bucket list items? 

Unusually, not travel: I get twitchy if I'm away from home and the cats for too long. Having said that, a friend keeps offering (threatening?) to take me to Russia & show me Moscow & Siberia, so I'd love to do that and be fluent enough to get by.  Checking my "50 before 50" list, I apparently have to recreate THAT scene from Ghost with Margot and let Mel film it, and if my knees (and, y'know, fitness!) ever permit it I'd like to run a half marathon.

What would be the perfect day for you? 

Ooh, tricky, what with my energy issues. I reckon one where I Get Shit Done - so some singing, knitting, maths, and then maybe dinner & a couple of drinks out with friends. Part of dealing with depression is trying to make sure I do things I get some pleasure from, so I do those quite a lot anyway, but managing them without feeling guilty for being a lazy scruff who lives in a pigsty and is making it all up (thanks, brain...) would be a lovely change. I haven't been out at night for far too long!

More about our awesome Jen: 

It'll be pretty obvious to everyone that I like playing with hair dye! In the past I've had blue-black, fire engine red, proper ginger, and blonde highlights, but after having my head shaved I'm enjoying having short enough hair to play with bleach and crazy colours. I tried going back to natural a few years ago & just didn't feel like myself!  

Also tattoos - I have a couple of visible ones, but I'm working on getting both legs covered, partly to hide self-harm scars and partly because I've managed to find artists whose work I love so much I needed some 😀 

And of course cats - I have three currently. There's Elsa, a half-Siamese ginger tabby who's a total drama queen, Ripley who's long haired and black, dim as they come but named for Ellen Ripley because she'd absolutely take on an Alien (and win), and Gambit, a cowprint boy who answers to "Monkey" and shreds cardboard boxes for fun. When they all get the hurtles at the same time it's like having a herd of pygmy hippos 🙂

I also sing with www.cambridgeharmony.org.uk and we're looking for new members!

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