Anne Bonson-Johnson, from Siouxsie Sioux to Working Mum
I’ve known Anne for over 30 years - we first met in London in the heady 80s. By coincidence we share the same home town and university (both studied an art inspired degree) but had never met before London.
When I first saw Anne, I remember thinking how stunning she was (and still is) - a Siouxsie Sioux of the Banshees but without the hard edges. I was somewhat intimidated…. she’s tall and I’m tiny, I was loud, Anne reserved. Roll on a few years and we are sharing a house in Golders Green, I have a vivid memory of the day we bonded. Imagine two unemployed young women, with only a little money to buy food or drink - do you cook dinner for your working man or get drunk? …well we did both and Anne burnt the food. To say we were in hysterics at the absurdity of it is an understatement - we were young, fiercely independent women of the 80’s and this was our first high-five to feminism.
Going our separate ways for work reasons, Anne had a highly successful career, working first for Which? magazine as a researcher and then at the Cabinet Office PM’s Strategy Unit for Tony Blair and Gordon Brown (yeah, I know!). Anne is an avid reader and her love of the written word is the reason she is a talented writer with an sharp wit.
...I have a vivid memory of the day we bonded. Imagine two unemployed young women, with only a little money to buy food or drink - do you cook dinner for your working man or get drunk? …well we did both and Anne burnt the food
Getting back to her artistic roots, Anne retrained as a designer when still at the Cabinet Office and now has a second successful career as a graphic designer and illustrator. Anne is inspired - she designed our branding and created our icon, Flamin Nora - when I saw Nora, I knew Anne had her spot on.
Most of all, I admire Anne’s tenacity, her ability to redevelop herself in a Madonna-esque way, balancing a demanding career with motherhood. I’m very happy she’s my friend, glad we bonded on that day, and grateful for the time we are now spending together, working on a project we both feel passionate about.