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Culture vulture

Whether it's monochrome or colour, Bec Bayliss is a big fan

Best book ever

Fungus the Bogeyman by Raymond Briggs was one of the books I always grabbed when I went to the library with my mum as a child. I loved the humour of it; I still do. I love escaping into different worlds, as with Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. I'm with Lyra every step of the way.

Best film ever

I particularly like older black and white films and anything with James Dean in it. My favourite has to be Breakfast at Tiffany's; Audrey Hepburn at her best.

Inspiration on stage

I saw Eve Ensler (below) perform The Vagina Monologues at the Midlands Art Centre in Birmingham three years ago, and found myself on a rollercoaster of emotions. It was so dark, and yet joyous; everything it means to be a woman was in there. It's coming back this month, and Birmingham Women's Aid is using the event to raise funds.

Great resources

The Anti-Colouring Book by Susan Striker (Scholastic), because although children can colour it in, it's also about being given time and space to express thoughts and feelings. I've also used it with adults in self-esteem classes. It's a joy to go to the library with a group of children and read the tales of Anansi the Spider aloud, just like my mother used to do for me. We all need to be transported by that mythical world of wonderful trickery.

Treat in store

Events to celebrate 25 years of Birmingham Women's Aid. We're planning an open day with a "talking heads" event (women talking about the early days of the refuge), a photography exhibition and much else. Every step of the way for the past 25 years has been about women and children and their safety and I'm proud to be part of the celebrations.

Bec Bayliss, 28, is one of three refuge managers at Birmingham Women's Aid and is in charge of children's services. She was talking to Elaine Williams. Performances of The Vagina Monologues in support of Birmingham Women's Aid, February 20 and March 1, 7.30pm, at the Midlands Arts Centre.

Tickets pound;8. Tel: 0121 440 3838. Other birthday celebrations: 0121 622 6767. See also www.freefrom

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