Obituary: Ruth Picardie

Ruth Picardie, journalist: born Reading 1 May 1964; married 1994 Matt Seaton (one son, one daughter); died London 22 September 1997.

In 1993 I began to notice the byline of a young freelance writer called Ruth Picardie, writes Hilly Janes. Her pieces were stylish, cultured, knowing and very witty - just what we wanted on the feature pages of the Independent.

In October that year both colleagues and readers started to enjoy her presence on the paper on a very regular basis. She wrote funny self-deprecating first-person pieces; acerbic but never vitriolic commentary on the lastest fashion fads and cultural trends; interviews with writers, film and book reviews. When she became a mother, pregnancy, childbirth, parenthood all became the raw material that Ruth could hone into pieces that made you laugh, weep, groan and rage. And almost invariably to impossibly tight deadlines.

Not long after Ruth arrived she was asked at very short notice to stand in for Miles Kington - a challenge that even the most experienced journalists might shy away from. But Ruth, still only 29, faced the task with aplomb and enthusiasm - producing a series of brilliantly funny sketches on the mixed pleasures of a family Christmas.

By November 1994 she was on the staff as an assistant features editor, while continuing to write. She left the paper in July 1995 to have her twins, but a few months later was writing again, as a freelance, and in summer 1996 she again became a regular contributor until this summer she became to ill to write.

Her last piece was to be about Daisy and Tom, the new children's store recently opened by Tim Waterstone. She would interview Waterstone and then visit the shop to do some fly-on-the-wall colour writing. The interview she managed, but she never made it to the shop.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Home Care / Support Workers

£7 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This care provider is looking for Home ...

Recruitment Genius: Web Team Leader

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading web des...

Recruitment Genius: Client Manager

£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A growing, successful, friendly...

Recruitment Genius: Property Negotiator - OTE £20,000+

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This family owned, independent ...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate