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Inspirational Women - Mary Rhind

Inspirational Women - Mary Rhind Inspirational interview - Mary Rhind (Jan 2013)

Name    Mary Rhind
Job title   Adult Literacies Coordinator for Highland with High Life Highland  
Tell us a bit about your role      I coordinate and promote partnership working between organisations to deliver literacy and numeracy to adults in Highland who may have missed out at school in gaining some of the basic skills that many of us take for granted.  I also manage English for Speakers of Other Languages for High Life Highland, again in partnership with many other organisations.  

Relationship to W@W e.g. Advisory group member, Network work member I work closely with the WEA staff on many things.  

Hobbies are reading, writing, spinning (wool), walking, gardening  

1.    What would you tell your 16 year old self? Always trust your instincts - and don't dither with decisions that aren't life threatening.  Just make them and move on.    

2.    What was your first Job? First real job, not counting hotel work as a student or the craft work I did and sold to make ends meet when the children were young, was as a Gaelic Development Officer with Comunn na Gaidhlig.  I was your truly green and petrified woman "returner" to the workforce with zero confidence though it was astounding to be paid good money to have such an enjoyable job.  Still winging it today!    

3.    What Woman/Women have inspired you? Freya Stark who was born in 1893.  Often ill as a child she did a lot of reading and became fascinated with the Middle East through reading One Thousand and One Nights.  At the age of 13 she has an accident in a factory where her hair got stuck in a machine requiring lots of skin grafts and leaving her permanently disfigured.  Despite this, after a spell as a nurse in World War 1, she went on as an adult to trek widely in Iran and Arabia in dangerous and remote places where very few Westerners had ever been and certainly no Western women. She wrote extensively about her travels.  Her last major trek was to Afghanistan when she was in her seventies.  She went on to live till she was 100.    

4.    What one change do you believe would make the biggest difference to the life of women? To be given the spirit of confidence in themselves.    

5.    Who would be your ideal dinner guests?   I would love to have Freya Stark (see above), also Beatrix Potter who in her own way became her own woman and went on to preserve farming life in the Lake District and Mary of Guise, mother of Mary Queen of Scots, who, a French widow in a Scottish male dominated society in the 16th century held the Regency of Scotland until her daughter was old enough to become Queen, sacrificing almost all the time she might have spent with her daughter.  

6.    What is the best advice you have been given? Always make time for your passions.  The rest of your life (and those around you) will benefit from it.  

7.    Favourite holiday spot? Crail in Fife.  All my childhood holidays were spent there and, although it is now taking on some of the trappings of the modern world, it is still a place apart with natural coves and beaches where you can relax and totally forget everything.

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