Cynthia: Hello Marina, please tell us about yourself.
Marina: My name is Mermaid Marina and I live in Devon, UK. I have spent a lot of time researching mermaids and making my mermaid tails and would love to do more mermaiding from now on. I am a secondary school teacher by day and love working with young people. I have a passion for mermaids and have been inspired by so many mermaids from all over the world.
|Marina - Susan Knight Studios|
Marina: I have always been fascinated by mythical creatures, in particular mermaids, for as long as I can remember. I think my imagination as a child was always ‘not of this earth’ and I would play with flower fairies, unicorns and mermaids for hours – I was never into Barbies or make-up, but any toy with a link to the mythical world and I was there! My most significant memory, when I really truly found my mermaid soul, was when Disney’s The Little Mermaid was released. I went to Australia when I was 10 and it was given to me as a birthday gift – I watched that video so many times I knew all the words to the songs before my holiday was over! Having bright ginger hair as a child was difficult as I often got bullied, but seeing Ariel, a Disney Princess, with red hair, I felt a connection and that for me, as a child, was enough to set my passion with mermaids for the rest of my life. It was when my husband took me to Hawaii for our honeymoon and booked me to go on a mermaid swimming session with Dana Mermaid, that spurred my passion to entering the real world of mermaids. She is truly an inspiration to all mermaids in her work protecting the oceans and helping people to realize their dreams.
Cynthia: You do children's birthday parties. Any special stories to share?
Marina: Oh wow – it is amazing to see the looks on children’s faces when they first see mermaids! Entertaining at children’s parties holds many special moments for me and I love sharing the magic of mermaids with them. They get to see me swim in the pool, share my stories with them and receive a special mermaid necklace to remind them how magical mermaids are. The best thing is their curiosity – asking me so many questions such as ‘What does your toothpaste taste like?’ and ‘Do you and Ariel go on adventures together?’ – they do come up with some classics! One of the most special things was when a little girl took a little purple flower clip from her hair and said she wanted me to have it as I was her best mermaid friend and she wanted to be a mermaid too – that almost made me cry – children are so special and I love this part of my mermaiding life.
Cynthia: Have you been able to connect with other merfolk in your area?
Marina: Yes, I met a very special mermaid friend recently at a Pirates Festival in Brixham, who also lives in Devon. She is called Mermaid Melody and has just released a children’s book called ‘A Mermaid’s Melody’ about a lost oyster and the mermaid who rescues him. We are hoping to work together for charity and bring some mermaid magic to children and other mermaid fans.
Cynthia: Are you active in environmental work?
Marina: Not yet although this is something I would like to be involved in. Living by the sea, I feel it is important to do what we can to protect it and I think this is something Mermaid Melody and I will be doing more of in the future with our work together. There are some wonderful mermaids out there like Mermaid Melissa and Dana Mermaid who are keen activists in keeping our ocean life safe and I aim to follow in their footsteps in protecting our oceans.
|Mermaid Marina - Photo by Susan Knight Studios|
Marina: I haven’t as yet but this is something I would love to do! I don’t think there are many mermaids in the UK and it would be wonderful to bring some mermaid passion and meet mermaid friends through promotional and corporate events.
Cynthia: How did friends and family react to you being a mermaid?
Marina: They love it! They know what I’m like when it comes to mermaids and faeries so I don’t think it came as a shock when I announced I was making my own tail and entering into the mermaiding world! They are really supportive, especially my mom who helps me to do the children’s parties and create a magical mermaid experience for them. My husband also doesn't mind all my mermaid and faerie pictures and statues all over the house... which is a good thing!
Cynthia: What other activities outside of mermaiding are you into?
Marina: I am a teacher by day so I enjoy planning lessons to find fun ways to teach the youngsters ICT (Information and Communications Technology) but apart from that I have many other hobbies – mermaiding is, of course, my main one, but I also make jewellery (crystal tiaras and shell jewellery), oil painting and drawing, sewing and collecting 1980’s films and memorabilia.
Cynthia: Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Marina: I am keen to connect with other mermaids from all over the world. I believe there is so much magic we can spread to people especially encouraging children to look after our oceans and believe in their dreams. It’s about living our dreams and keeping hold of our fantasies.
Cynthia: Thank you very much for chatting with us today, Marina. Those wanting to connect with Mermaid Marina can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Swim on by and say hello!