Welcome to the latest instalment of Wonderful Women, featuring the wonderful pop-icon that is Cerys Matthews MBE.
We adore Beningbrough Hall, just outside of York, a short drive from where we live-it's one of those majestic baroque mansions with grounds that prides itself on being warm and child-friendly-and it is that. It also makes you feel utterly serene the moment you enter. An ideal antidote to Christmas mania.
The latest interview within my Wonderful Women series is Jenni Smith, a contemporary quilt artist producing unique pictures, prints and stationery, many of them for children. She also runs a successful sewing school in Ilkley in Yorskhire and works with expert tailor Ann Ladbury, author of 40 books on dressmaking.
If there is one thing Patience Brewster is, it is an honest mum. Motherhood always came first, now and back in the late 70’s early 80’s, what she refers to as the dark ages, at a time when it was not so easy to work at home. No daycare at first, no computers. But it provided the best of both worlds as she illustrated children’s books with babies on her desk, and as her children got older, painted for galleries and for stationery companies and then designs for a huge international gift company.
Boys, as with girls, are individuals, their personalities and interests vary from child to child based on character, along with socio-economic and cultural influences- yet both sexes are frustratingly so often confined and limited, made to conform to stereotypical gender-specific notions (many archaic and not relevant to today) with children being defined by their sex, homogenised by assumptions and labels.