Marie D - MCS Secretary

What do you do for fun?/Hobbies and interests?

Crafting, cinema, reading, theatre, socialising. The usual stuff.


How did you get involved in the WI?

In 2015 my husband Kevin and I were fortunate enough to take a three month sabbatical from work; half spent travelling Asia and the rest volunteering at a wildlife rescue centre in Malawi. Quite brave for 40-something’s we felt! 

Being away from the everyday routine gave us time to evaluate our lives and consider what we wanted for our ‘middle-age’ stage. One thing we decided we definitely wanted was to broaden our social circles. Friends are really important to us but we were seeing ‘our group’ less frequently as they raised their families. Opportunities for meeting new people decline as you get a bit older and not having any kids we lacked that ready-made parents network. So we decided we’d make a conscious effort to try new things and meet new people. The WI seemed a perfect choice for me; I love crafting and adore cake so I thought I met the base criteria for membership. In early 2016 I joined the Cambridge Ladybirds WI, followed by dual membership of CamCity WI the year after.


Why did you join the committee?

Good question! The last year has been rather emotionally challenging, adapting to being a part-time carer for my father-in-law who has quite advanced dementia, and supporting my step-Dad through cancer treatment. I’m on top of that now and have a bit more head space. I’m a born organiser and a bit of a joiner, you needed Committee members - the two just matched.


What is your favourite thing about the WI?

I love the people I’ve met, the variety of activities, and the opportunity to switch off from the outside world for a couple of hours. I always leave feeling energised and positive.


What is your worst habit?

There are quite a few that you certainly wouldn’t print! I consulted with Kevin on this one and apparently it’s talking to myself and assuming he has been following my internal dialogue when I ask him a question. I can think of far worse things that I do though.


Who would you most like to meet and why?

I thI have surprisingly little ambition in that department. I’m happy to chat to anyone who’ll listen. Saying that, I turned into a babbling star-struck mess when I met Deborah Meaden so probably best I avoid anyone too famous or I might really make a fool of myself.


What is your craft? 

I flit between entry-level cake decorating, basic knitting and more recently a bit of crochet amagurumi


What is/are your guilty pleasure(s)?

I’m partial to busting some moves to cheesy 80's music but refuse to feel guilty about that 😊. So that would leave us with all the other guilt in my life (self-recrimination is an issue): crackers dipped in mayonnaise; jigsaw puzzles on bank holidays; eating a slice out the middle of a cake/tart/pizza before ‘halving’ it to share with Kevin; languishing in bed when I should be gardening; eating a whole box of Ferrero Rocher in one sitting; disaster movies ideally involving dinosaurs/sharks/piranhas/killer bees; swashbuckling novels about sea journeys especially if there is a monster lurking in it; cold pizza for breakfast. I could go on but I see most of those a food-based. I sense a theme. 


What are your committee responsibilities?

I've now become the MCS representative for Cam City WI, looking after the official data for Cam City WI members that goes into the National WI database.  


What do you do?

I’m an administrator at the University of Cambridge. My role is to support six departments in the School of Physical Sciences with the journeys of their graduate students (helping support students in difficulty, finding solutions when there are issues, developing local policies, managing the exam process, awarding/recommending degrees). I do that 4 days a week with the Friday spent helping my in-laws.


What is your poison?


I’m an all or nothing kind of girl so generally I stay away from the booze because it never ends well. I do like a cocktail though. Mostly my go-to drug of choice would be cake.