Tab Cribs: Corpus Christi

RUTH MARINER has always been an enigma. BEN DALTON and SEBASTIAN SALEK jump at the chance to step into her room, and into the unknown…

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This week we catch up with Corpus postgrad, Ruth Mariner, and see what awaits us in her rather uniquely decorated abode. Ever the enigma, we cannot wait to see where she hides her dirty socks…

Doesn’t get quainter than that….

Sebastian & Ben: How did you get the room?

Ruth Mariner: Through the Cambridge Accommodation Service. I loved the house and took it immediately.

S&B: Who else do you live with?

RM: Two German girls, a Polish girl and an English girl. One of them doesn’t have a college. We think she is just pretending.

S&B: What’s your favourite item in the room that you’ve brought with you?

RM: I really like the fake laptop from Hong Kong. When you die there they burn effigies of laptops and iPhones and money for you to take to the afterlife. All the essentials, really.

Laptop on a trip

S&B: Are you going to burn this when you die?

RM: I’ll have to get someone else to do it for me. Maybe then I can be The Tab‘s afterlife correspondent.

S&B: What do you like most about your room?

RM: I’ve got a nine-month lease, which makes a change from last year when I lived in about 13 different places. I lived with friend for a bit but I got chucked out, then I went to China for a bit, then I lived with a boy until he jilted me. Then I lived in another house, then another… (She counts them up on her fingers) I don’t think that’s is quite 13 but it’s still quite a lot.

The perfect hostess

S&B: How does this room lend itself to gatherings?

RM: Pretty well. I have to move my bed out, though. I’m going to have a tea party, would you both like to come?

S&B: Yes, please. If I gave you £2000 and you had to spend it on one item for this room or use it to do up the room, what would you do?

RM: I would quite like to buy a massive, massive fishbowl, and put the bed in the corner for a bit, and get in it. It would have water in it. I wouldn’t under any circumstances let anyone watch me doing this. Please don’t publish that. Just put that I’d have a massive party.

S&B: What would you buy as entertainment?

RM: Lots and lots of Coke. Maybe also a balloon man.

S&B: You have loads of clocks – why the temporal obsession?

RM: None of them actually work, but when I was in Israel I bought an alarm clock that wakes me up with a call to prayer.

The gold clock of religion

S&B: You only have small mirrors in here…

RM: That’s the worst feature of the room! I have to guess what I look like every morning. Most days I just look at separate parts of myself individually.

S&B: How has living here influenced where you would live in the future?

RM: I’d definitely go for something bigger next time. Maybe also a little less twee.

Would you be able to sleep with that strange man above your head?

S&B: Do you want children?

RM: Yeah, lots of them. I would be happy for them to live in a room like this.

S&B: Where would you keep them?

RM: I’d possibly get some kind of cage somewhere. Or maybe a filing cabinet.

Cheers Ruth. Now that we’ve finished our teacups of diet cola and curiously thumbed at our knitted cupcakes, I think we’d better be off. We leave with the impression one can never really ‘know’ Ruth Mariner’s room. Dirty socks aside, it is impossible to predict what goes on behind her lovely, whitewash door.