FRANK M A G A Z I N E
Issue 05 Dec - Jan 2020
FRANK by name FRANK by nature
P R O D U C T T H E
M O N T H
RUBY HAMMER NAIL KIT
With a career in the beauty industry spanning over 25 years, Ruby has become one of the best-known, loved and respected makeup artists in the business. Strongly believing that make up shouldn’t have to be a mask, she urges people to use make up to emphasise their best features and to embrace what is unique about their face.
Glass file and cuticle pushy in a neon travel pouch. “Effective and gentle tools to keep your nails healthy… in a neon pink pouch so you can spot them in your handbag." Glass file length 90mm www.rubyhammer.com
E D I T O R ' S N O T E
''Frank is for adult women who want to be informed, inspired, amused, look good and be healthy.'' Here is our Christmas/New year issue packed with festive fashion and luxurious beauty products to give you a holiday glow. We have interviews with fabulous FRANK MEN, first up we get up close and personal with the brilliant comedian Alan Carr and we catch up with actor Sam Heughan talking work, whisky and his brilliant series ‘Outlander’ Along with our book review by Eleanor Tattersfield we talk to the giants of the literary world, Jenny Eclair, Jojo Moyes and Dorothy Koonsman about their lives, books and inspirations. This issue Frank has lots of ideas on how to survive the festive season intact and start the new year with a healthy and positive frame of mind from our wonderful health professionals. Also its competition time! Turn the pages for your chance to win three bottles of alcohol free fizz and some fabulous herbal Pukka teas to kick start that Healthy New Year.
I wish you all a happy holiday and here’s is to a peaceful 2020 Melanie Sykes
From the top: Sam Heughan Ruby Hammer MBE Dorothy Koomson Jenny Eclair www.thefrankmagazine.com
Fashion illustration by Jacqueline Bissett
CONTENTS Cover Model Interview Hella Lund p10 FASHION ‘Investment Pieces’ with Annabel Kerman p16 Cover shoot ‘Fine & Dandy’ p20 Jacqueline Bissett Illustrates Retrofête p30 Wardrobe details with Annabel Kerman p32 BEAUTY ‘Getting the Glow’ with Beauty Editor Fiona Eustace p36 Make up artist Ruby Hammer MBE p40 Balm Essentials p42 Beauty Box TOYL READER OFFER p46
Getting personal with Alan Carr p54 Interview with Jenny Eclair p58 Interview with JoJo Moyes p62 Interview with Dorothy Koomson p66 Interview with Sam Heughan p70
PUKKA COMPETITION p76 PUKKA Teas p78 Dr Louise Wiseman Loving your life p88 January Cleanse with Gabriela Peacock p92 Kate Tilston Surviving & Thriving in January p94 Sandie Fredriksson How to have a healthy Christmas p98 The womb the space of creation Michelle Adams BSc (Hons) MBAcC LicAc MSc p102 The Dry Drinker COMPETITION p106 ARTICLES Meaningful Connections by Danielle Dodo p110 Charisse Glenn - “Equality does n not mean we are the same” p114 TOYL Time of your life book and package offer. Karen Davis p116 Portrait of an Icon Demi Moore p124
WHAT TO…BUY, SEE, READ & WATCH
Why Not Try….? Sam Baines p130 The Curry Queen Sarah Ali Choudry Indian recipes p134 Book Reviews Eleanor Tattersfeild p140
AND MUCH MORE......... www.thefrankmagazine.com
NEVER MISS AN ISSUE
FRANK M A G A Z I N E
Issue 04 Oct - Nov 2019
FRANK by name FRANK by nature
Want to receive FRANK Magazine online for free or treat a friend to a subscription? visit our website www.thefrankmagazine.com
T E A M F R A N K
MELANIE Editor-in-Chief Melanie Sykes Design Director Millie Cooper Beauty Editor Fiona Eustace Fashion Editor Annabel Kerman Photo by Sam Hemsley
Contributors Dr Louise Wiseman - Medical Gabriela Peacock - Health Kate Tilston - Life Coach Abigail O'Neil - Food Recipes Shaima Al- Obaidi - Portrait of an Icon Emma Harrison - Travel Lara Platman- Motoring Eleanor Tattersfield - Book Review Samantha Baines- Film Review Tamsin Flower - Theatre Review
''Melanie Sykes was a fashion model before moving into hosting TV and Radio shows. Alongside her presenting work, she is now Editor in chief of FRANK magazine. As a woman in her late forties, she felt there was a gap in the magazine market for women her age and wanted to rectify that. “I believe it is never too late to try something new and creating and editing FRANK is the perfect project at this stage in my life and something I am relishing."
MILLIE ''After 15 years in the tech world,Millie now has successful businesses in publishing and social media, delivering original content and design. She says she is excited about helping FRANK to be the magazine of choice for women over 40.''
Photo by Alan Strutt
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FRANK M A G A Z I N E
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Issue 04 Oct - Nov 2019
Copyright © 2019 The Frank Magazine. FRANK by name FRANK by nature
@thefrank_mag Nothing from this or any other publications of The FRANK Magazine may be reproduced by letterpress, photo-offset, photocopying, microfilm or any other method whatsoever without the express written consent of the publisher or of the holders of the copyright of the author in question. This publication has been compiled with the greatest care. However, the publishers do not in any way hold themselves liable for any errors that may have arisen. www.thefrankmagazine.com 2019
HAIR SHERMAN HAWTHORNE AT MANDY COAKLEY USING PAUL MITCHELL HAIRCARE MAKEUP RUBY HAMMER @ ANGELI & CO USING RUBYHAMMER.COM PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANT BERIT VON ENOCH STYLING ASSISTANT SIAN WILKINSON MODEL HELLA LUND AT MRS ROBINSON WITH THANKS TO STRAWBERRY HILL HOUSE & GARDEN WWW. STRAWBERRYHILLHOUSE.ORG.UK
C O V E R M O D E L www.thefrankmagazine.com
HELLA LUND HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF? I am a 44 year old yoga teacher and model who live with the two loves of my life, my daughters Stella 7 years and Freya 4 years. Having been through divorce learning how to stand up for myself financially, emotionally, socially and spiritually has given me life lessons I am very grateful for. Learning to love and care for yourself and know yourself deeply is worth more than money in the bank. Connecting with your loved ones on a deeper,spiritual level comes from those moments when life crashed in front of you and you pick yourself up, bit by bit. You become stronger, wilder, more authentic and more interesting, I think,as you connect with people on a different level,more from the heart than from your head.
top of a mountain with the production team in a tent sending photos back to Milan for Mrs Prada to accept. For two weeks. We traveled to the most remote part of the mountains and rivers in vans. We had bodyguards and trainers with us. That scope and budget is long gone. What I see now,is that the fashion industry is very celebrity and social media driven, it is not enough anymore to have an interesting face or personality, often you need to bring more to the table based on your accounts and your followers. WHAT ARE THE PERKS OF THE JOB? I LOVE the dynamic energy on a shoot,meeting fantastic, creative and highly skilled people and sharing stories.
WHEN DID YOU START MODELLING? I started modelling in Oslo, Norway, when I was 16. I met Eileen Ford and her husband and they invited me to come to Paris that summer.I said no.I wanted to be the bookish, smart girl instead,and started studying psychology,social anthropology and philosophy after finishing high school. I was scouted again in London at Covent Garden station in my early 20s by Chrissie Castagnetti who ran Select Models and did a story with The Telegraph on scouting new faces.I started working straight away and a few weeks later I was photographed by Juergen Teller in his living room with a bathtub on Ladbroke Grove. I remember thinking that was pretty cool. HOW HAS THE BUSINESS CHANGED SINCE YOU BEGAN? Back in the early 2000’s I was booked for a Prada Sport campaign shot by Phil Poynter for two whole weeks with a team of 20 models from all around the world in South Africa.We were based in a beautiful hotel on the waterfront in Cape Town, worked all day and partied after.We would be on the
“Having been through divorce learning how to stand up for myself financially, emotionally, socially and spiritually has given me life lessons I am very grateful for. Learning to love and care for yourself and know yourself deeply is worth more than money in the bank.”
WHAT OTHER WORK DO YOU DO? I teach yoga and meditation at Bamford’s spa Haybarn in London, such a beautiful studio and a very authentic, spiritual hub. I have been teaching for 15 years, and keep doing new teacher trainings to evolve my practice. I love travelling and did my Yin yoga training in Sayulita in Mexico a few years ago, the most magical place. Last Christmas I went to Bali to practice yoga and explore Ubud and Canggu. Incredible.When I get to combine my love for yoga and travelling, I am a very happy girl indeed. HOW DID YOU GET INTO THAT? I got into yoga when I felt worn down with travelling and modelling in 2003. I started doing classes at Triyoga in Primrose Hill and felt so elevated and happy after each class that I felt it was the best thing I could do living in London as a way to keep myself balanced and spiritually nourished. Having grown up in Norway with fjords and mountains and lots of space, yoga filled the gap of my longing for nature and my home country in London and during my travelling. WHAT ARE YOU OTHER PASSIONS? I love visiting museums and galleries. I love art.Wherever I travel I have to check the local art scene. I arrived in London the year Sensations was put on, all the contemporary, rebellious British artists like Tracey Emin, Damian Hirst and the Chapman brothers were out in force and it blew my mind. Many of my friends are artists and I love being around creative, independent thinkers. My kids come along to the Frieze sculpture park every year and I take them to see everything from Vincent Van Gogh’s famous“Sunflowers”painting to the graffitied walls of Leake Street in South London. Music is another big love and I have a thing for making play lists for my friends and my yoga classes. WHAT DO YOUR CHILDREN THINK OF YOUR MODELLING? My kids usually see me in jeans, a t shirt and Converse shoes...nothing special...and they DO NOT approve of my short hair. They tell me:“We wish you would grow your hair so you could be beautiful again!” WHAT IS YOUR ATTITUDE TO GETTING OLDER? I want to grow older gracefully. I am wiser, life has taught me many lessons, I wish to go with the flow and be as healthy, happy and energetic as possible and accept this journey. I have not “done” anything and am more interested in spiritual depth and peace of mind through a daily mediation or yoga practice than Botox or a juice cleanse. I guess I am more interested in a person’s inner life and energy than the surface.
â€œI want to grow older gracefully. I am wiser. Life has taught me many lessons. I wish to go with the flow and be as healthy, happy and energetic as possible and accept this journey.â€?
INVESTMENT PIECES FOR 2020 p16
In this issue’s ‘Fine and Dandy’ cover story we get festive, mixing masculine tailoring with sparkles and glamour for a grown up take on take on party season style, plus look ahead to 2020 with the top twenty fashion pieces we won’t be living without. (Yes they make great Christmas wish list items too)
A C C E S S O R I E S &
S T Y L E
INVESTMENT PIECES FOR 2020 By Fashion Editor Annabel Kerman Start the new year with a hit list of the pieces you shouldn’t be without in your wardrobe, whether you like your fashion high end, high street or independent. (And no it doesn’t do any harm that they neatly double up as killer last minute Christmas present ideas.)
1. A piece of personalised luggage by OOKONN round case with initials £306 www. ookonn.com 2. Some sustainable PJ’s DESMOND AND DEMPSEY Chango monkey print pyjamas £120 www.desmondanddempsey.com 3. A classic mans watch MICHAEL KORS Oversized Bradshaw Gold Tone Watch £249 www.michaelkors.co.uk 4. A go with anything cashmere jumper BELLA FREUD 1970 striped jumper £335 www.bellafreud.com 5. Some statement party shoes ZARA Metallic platform block heel sandals £49.99 www.zara.com
4 2 1. The forever bag CHANEL lambskin flap bag £3650 www.chanel.com 2. A fine gold necklace you will never take off LAURA GRAVESTOCK gold lucky number necklace £250 www.lauragravestock.com 3. A classic camel coat JOSEPH cape compact felt coat www.joseph-fashion.com 4. Good socks SOCK SHOP cashmere bed socks £22.99 www.sockshop.co.uk 5. Wear anywhere tuxedo ME + EM Metallic brocade jacket £299/Trousers £199 www. meandem.com
3 4 1 1. A grown up hair clip ACCESSORIZE gold bead hair clips £6 (uk.accessorize.com) 2. The knee length boots of dreams JIMMY CHOO Mahesa 100 calf leather boot £1295 (jimmychoo.com) 3. An authentic French breton tee MON BRETON unisex tshirt £59 (monbreton.com) 4. Some cult brand high tops GOLDEN GOOSE Deluxe Brand at Farfetch mid star sneakers £345 (farfetch.com) 5. Cashmere lounge wearWYSE LONDON Rainbow lightning top £195/ Rainbow lounger bottoms £210 (wyselondon.co.uk)
3 1. A diary to organise your year in style SMYTHSON limited edition hand painted Soho diary £495 (smythson.com) 2. A modern inheritance piece of jewellery AZZA FAHMY greek coin stud earrings £605 (azzafahmy.com) 3. The perfect wallet A.P.C. at Matches Fashion half moon leather wallet £240 (matchesfashion.com) 4. A sequin dress you can dance on tables in RIXO Tyra sequin stripe dress £385 (rixo. co.uk) 5. An essential white shirt with a twist SARK LONDON Fake nail blouse £295 (sarklondon.com)
BROGGER at Harvey Nichols Bessie pussy bow blouse REDVALENTINO double breasted tuxedo jacket and RAEY sequinned trousers both at Matches Fashion GINA Curlew feather satin shoes
FINE & DANDY Photography Chris Floyd Styling Annabel Kerman
HEREâ€™S NO BETTER TIME THAN PARTY SEASON TO BLUR THE LINES BETWEEN MASCULINITY AND FEMININITY.
GALVIN LONDON blouse, Winter Jungle sequin jacket and satin trousers GINA Aimee python boots BEGUM KHAN Dino Ramses crystal pave gold plated earrings
MULBERRY Emmeline blouse and Autumn jumper both at Zalando DOLCE & GABBANA Sequin skirt at Matches Fashion GINA Aimee python boots BEGUM KHAN Princess Leila opal gold plated earrings
EDELTRUD HOFMANN silk blouse, DOLCE & GABBANA sequin skirt, both at Matches Fashion BEGUM KHAN Princess Leila opal gold plated earrings
BERTA CABESTANY Miranda ruffled shirt CAROLINA HERRERA Crystal embellished silk maxi skirt at Matches Fashion GIANVITO ROSSI 105 point toe patent pumps
OLIVIA RUBIN Amelie sequin dress MICHAEL MICHAEL KORS Faux fur coat MALONE SOULIERS Satin boot
ELZINGA Balloon sleeve silk dress at Matches Fashion MARY KATRANTZOU poly embroidered jazz trousers
Hair Sherman Hawthorne at Mandy Coakley using Paul Mitchell Haircare Makeup Ruby Hammer @ Angeli & Co using rubyhammer.com Photography Assistant Berit von Enoch Styling Assistant Sian Wilkinson Model Hella Lund at Mrs Robinson With thanks to Strawberry Hill House & Garden (http://www.strawberryhillhouse. org.uk)
STOCKISTS begumkhan.com bertacabestany.com galvanlondon.com gianvitorossi.com gina.com michaelkors.co.uk malonesouliers.com marykatrantzou.com matchesfashion.com oliviarubinlondon.com zalando.com
B E A U T I F U L A C C E S S O R I E S
For this coming season's partying it HAS to be sequins I have gone for a beautifully, stylish silhouette which will work as well at a smart cocktail party or getting down on the dance floor. Beige chiffon sequin wide pants and camisole by New York designers RetrofĂŞte (they also do sleeved dresses!) at Net-A-Porter worn with gold sandals and THE most amazing gold St Laurent clutch case with diagonal gold chains- expensive but a lifetime purchase. (Matches Fashion)
Jacqueline Bissett Fashion Illustrator
Stockists; www.net-a-porter.com www.matchesfashion.com www.thefrankmagazine.com
Illustration by Jacqueline Bissett www.jacquelinebissett.com www.thefrankmagazine.com www.thefrankmagazine.com
A C C E S S O R I E S &
S T Y L E
FINE AND DANDY Wardrobe Details By Fashion Editor Annabel Kerman Navigating the avoidance of clothing wearing us rather than the other way round is never more of a minefield than during party season. The key to up tempo style is balance: if you want to wear pink sequins and feathers, then juxtaposing with something more masculine will achieve that holy grail: an effortless (and ageless) party look. Plus the dandy female style of high necked blouses, ruffles and androgynous tailoring is just plain cool.
1. ISABEL MARANT rhodonite ring (at Net-a-portercom) 2. ZARA Dress £59.99 (zara.com) 3. ASPINAL LONDON neck scarf £80 (aspinaloflondon.com) 4. JIGSAW trousers £150 (jigsaw-online.com) 5. HOBBS Anika fedora £45 (hobbs.com) 6. BIMBA Y LOLA earrings from a selection (bimbaylola.com) 7. MARKS & SPENCER pussy bow shirt £25 (marksandspencer.com) 8. PENELOPE CHILVERS Dandy Palm Tree slipper £259 (penelopechilvers.com) 9. ZARA feather shoes £69.99 (zara.com) 10.ME + EM tux blazer £299 (meandem.co) 11. RIXO Amelie pouch £210 (rixo.co.uk)
BEAUTY This month Beauty editor Fiona Eustace tackles ‘getting the glow’ with her favourite treatment devices Make up artist Ruby Hammer MBE tells us about her inspirations, products and career & we’ve got it covered with our top balm essentials
B E A U T Y
E D I T
Getting the Glow By Beauty Editor Fiona Eustace @fionaeustace
We all know that seeing a facialist on a regular basis will help benefit our skin and give us the glow that we can lose over time. But! can we get the same results at home using one of the many treatment devices that are on the market today. There are three main types of devices: 1. Microcurrent 2. Light 3. Manual Microcurrent devices will send low level electrical currents into your skin that give your facial muscles a work out, stimulate collagen and tighten your skins appearance. This is a pain free experience which takes about 10 minutes per session. So, make a nice cup of tea and have some well deserved YOU time. www.thefrankmagazine.com
NUFace mini facial Toner £237.00 The NuFACE Mini uses low-level Microcurrent to give ageing skin the boost it needs.The current used is similar to the one naturally produced by the body to energize facial muscles, which in turn gives the face a lifted appearance. It also helps boost the production of elastin and collagen, the two things responsible for plumping out and firming the skin. www.currentbody.com
Ziip Beauty £425.00 Ziip Beauty's ground breaking facial device and 'Golden Conductive Gel',when used together, deliver small electrical currents to stimulate cell regeneration and collagen production,leaving you with a more youthful-looking glow.WOO HOO!!! Light Treatment devices Light therapy or LED treatments (light emitting diode) originally developed for Astronauts to help with tissue healing and repair. They help target acne and inflammation whilst also boosting collagen, elastin, minimising redness and improving circulation. As the light used does not include UV there’s no risk of damage LED therapy uses light in the visible spectrum, including blue,yellow,amber and red. Each colour stimulates a different response in the skin. www.net-a-porter.com
MANLI 5 in 1 Tightening facial massager £39.59 LED optical skin uses a specific wavelength, high output LED lamp to illuminate the skin. When the skin absorbs a specific light signal, it will be converted into a chemical signal to promote cell metabolism. Red light for wrinkles and anti-aging, blue light for acne and antiinflammatory whilst yellow/green light is for lighitening dark spots. www.amazon.co.uk
MZ Skin Light-Therapy Golden Treatment Device £385.00 This device has five coloured light settings that each promote different benefits for an overall radiant complexion.Adjust the comfortable strap to hold it securely in place,leaving your hands free to send out a few early morning emails. Manual devices are as they sound. Hand held devices that are held against the skin whilst they emit a pulse or vibration.This will help to deep clean the skin in just under 30 seconds. So, a perfect way to get the glow you need every day. www.net-a-porter.com
Foreo Luna 3 Mini £139 LUNA mini 3 is an upgraded T-Sonic™ facial cleansing massager with twelve adjustable massage intensities and a dual cleansing surface for a fully customizable skincare experience. The new Swedish design features brand new Glow Boost mode, a larger brush head, app connectivity and softer, longer touchpoints. Add them up and you get one thing: a way better and way deeper cleanse. www.curentbody.com
Foreo UFO Smart mask £249.00 If you’re looking for a more advanced smart treatment device then look no further than the Foroeo UFO smart mask. Combining, heating, cooling and T sonic pulsations as well as LED therapy for a more professional treatment at home www.currentbody.com
Nikoro 24k Golden Beauty Bar £10.39 This little gem vibrates 6000 rotations per minute, giving the facial muscles stimulation to achieve a firming effect The facial roller can also reduce wrinkles around eyes, lips, forehead and neck, instantly reshape the face contour to reveal your youthful look and energy! Easily get the firm and beautiful skin you always dream of. www.amazon.com www.thefrankmagazine.com
I N T E R V I E W
Ruby Hammer Make Up Artist Creator of the looks in our FINE & DANDY fashion spread this month.
Thank you for your amazing work for a fashion spread this month. Did you enjoy coming up with the look? YES I DID ....ITS ALWAYS A COLLABORATION WHEN DOING A SHOOT...SO WE ALL HAD A DISCUSSION AND I THOUGHT IT BEST TO GIVE HER A STRONG EYE ...A LITTLE BIT UNDONE ...NOT TOO PERFECT ...NOT TOO COLOURFUL BUT STILL STRONG WITH A GREAT SKIN AND NUDE MOUTH. You are always such an enthusiastic addition to any shoot. You obviously love what you do. What keeps you inspired? ITâ€™S TRUE I DO LOVE WHAT I DO AND MEETING PEOPLE AND COMING UP WITH IDEAS...ITS A CREATIVE PROCESS...BUT I AM ALSO EXPERIENCED SO I CAN EXECUTE THINGS FAST AND BRING SOMETHING TO THE TABLE.....KEEPING AN OPEN MIND AND NOT HAVING AN AGENDA KEEPS ME INSPIRED AS DOES BEING UP TO DATE WITH TRENDS IN FASHION AND SOCIAL MEDIA ...FILMS ... BOOKS OR JUST INTERESTING PEOPLE AROUND YOU. www.thefrankmagazine.com
Tell us about your latest products you have released? AFTER A HIATUS OF A FEW YEARS ....I FEEL EXCITED TO LAUNCH A SMALL CAPSULE COLLECTION STARING WITH A MAGNETIC BRUSH IN MY SIGNATURE RED....WHICH IS IDEAL FOR TRAVEL ..TOUCH UPS AND FULL APPLICATION IN A HYGIENIC AND PRACTICAL WAY....NEXT MY NAIL KIT CONSISTS OF A CRYSTAL LEAD FREE NAIL FILE AND A CUTICLE PUSHY TO KERP YOUR HANDS AND CUTICLES IN GREAT SHAPE..... GENTLE TOOLS YET STILL VERY EFFECTIVE.... LASTLY MY NEON BRUSH POTS THAT WOULD BRING JOY TO ANY ONE ....UNLESS YOU CANT STAND NEON. GREAT TO STORE YOUR RUBY HAMMER ITEMS BUT ALSO TO DO WHAT YOU SEE FIT ...AS A DECORATION...ON YOYR DESK TOP OR TO KEEP JEWELLERY OR TEA LIGHTS ETC......GREAT STOCKING FILLER FOR THE COMING FESTIVE SEASON. What inspires the designs? I DIDN'T WANT A HUGE RANGE LIKE I CREATED FOR RUBY & MILLIE YEARS AGO ....I REALLY DID THIS TO PLEASE MYSELF ... I ALWAYS WANT SOMETHING THAT LOOKS GREAT BUT IS ALSO FUNCTIONAL - AN ELEMENT OF FUN AND STYLE ... I LIKE AFFORDABLE LUXURY TOO... KEEP AN EYE FOR THE OTHER ITEMS COSMECTICS ETC THAT WILL BE COMING SHORTLY. How has the fashion industry changed over the years? IT HAS TOTALLY CHANGED WITH THE RISE AND RISE OF SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE DIGITAL AGE ... MAGAZINES HAVE SHUT DOWN AND GONE DIGITAL... PEOPLE BUYING ON LINE..... OUR SKILLS BEING JUDGED ON HOW MANY FOLLOWERS YOU HAVE AS OPPOSED TO YOUR TECHNICAL VALUE...... THERE GOOD THINGS TOO WITH THE AWARENESS FOR RECYCLING AND SUSTAINABILITY IN FASHION AND BEAUTY.... WE HAVE SOOOOOO MUCH KNOWLEDGE OUT THERE...YOU CAN GOOGLE ANY AND EVERYTHING.... SHOWS ARE STREAMING LIVE ...SO NO NEED TO WAIT 6 MONTHS TO SEE THE LOOKS. And how have you changed within it ? I MOVE WITH THE TIMES ...SO I TRY TO ADAPT WITHOUT LOSING MY INTEGRITY OR IDENTITY .... NO ONE LIVES IN A VACCUM AND ONE SHOULDNâ€™T EITHER .... WE ALL NEED TO EVOLVE AND WITHOUT BEING TUNNEL VISIONED ABOUT ANYTHING ... LOTS TO LEARN AND TEACH ....AS ONE GETS ON IN YEARS !
B E A U T Y
E S S E N T I A L S
With these beautiful BALMS you only ever need to use a small amount with each application to your hair, face or body, you can also warm it in your hands before applying. As well as your body and face, you can sometimes use BALMS on your hair to combat frizz, or on lips. Pick the right balm and it really can be multifunctional. Here FRANK's beauty team have compiled a palm full of the ones that we have tried, tested and absolutely love. KORA ORGANICS Noni Glow Face Balm £21
DRUNK ELEPHANT Lippe Balm £15
FRANK BODY Lip Balm £7 KEVYN AUCOIN Foundation Balm £42 www.thefrankmagazine.com
Face Balm Lip Balm Sleep Balm Hair Balm DARPHIN Aromatic Cleansing Balm £35
NEOM Organics London Perfect Night's Sleep Cleansing Balm £32
IGK Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm 5oz Leave in conditioning balm. Hydrates hair while calming frizz. Adds shine and restores softness. Detangles and smooths. Paraben Free & Sulfate Free.
RODIN Luxury Lip Balm £25
IGK HAIR Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm £25
R E A D E R O F F E R
THE BEAUTY BOX DESIGNED FOR WOMEN OVER 40
Time of Your Life, or TOYL as we call it, is THE Beauty Box designed by and created specifically for women over 40 who want beauty confidence from the products they buy. There's no question that skin changes over time and skin over forty faces it's own specific challenges. We lose moisture so fine lines can appear, skin drops a little with gravity creating new contours on our face, sun damage plays its part and the menopause kicks in to alter our hormone balance. Products that might have worked in our twenties may not be quite so suitable now and that's where TOYL comes in. With the TOYL beauty subscription box all products are chosen by me, Karen Davis. I've been a beauty PR and also created some of the most iconic beauty boxes sold by the UK national press, including their advent calendars. Now, I'm bringing my expertise to TOYL, to ensure that women over forty get products that work, that are made for our skin, that address the issues we have and that meet our sustainability and ingredient criteria. TOYL is a great opportunity to test amazing, inspirational and advanced products for women over forty, each month at a very affordable price. There are No Post & Packaging costs,we send a Free Sample in every box and we use the latest SSL encryption technology to provide a 100% Secure Checkout experience. Each month, you'll receive a themed box products which could be relevant to the time of year, a look at new trends or a brand takeover box where we get a full range of products from an amazing brand. From a shake up of skincare in the Autumn, to travel products in May, glamour in November and home spa for January. TOYL brings you both classic and discovery beauty products every month, that are relevant to you.
FRANK Reader OFFER Go to www.toyl.co.uk Use the code ''FRANK'' which will give you 50% off your first box, (usual price £35), making it just £17.50 with FREE P&P (You can pause or cancel the subscription any time). This beautiful beauty box is worth £100 and includes Ila Spa Inner Peace Bath Salts Jasmine Silk Eye Mask Gatineau Body Buffing Cloth Life Armour Super Me Food Supplements Heyland & Whittle Clementine & Prosecco Votive Temple Spa Duvet Body Lotion
S P O T L I G H T O N B E A U T Y
NEOM Perfect Night's Sleep Cleansing Balm & Cloth
our skin needs to be super clean and deeply nourished at night, but to look its very best, it also needs great sleep. We can help with both. The award winning Perfect Night's Sleep Cleansing Balm & Cloth is the 100% natural way to cleanse your skin, remove all traces of makeup and daily grime and prepare your skin for night-time. Packed with Almond oil, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Rose, Cherry blossom, Elderflower extract and oils rich in vitamins A, B, C, E and F. Natural rice powder gently exfoliates your skin while cleansing. Comes with 100% cotton dual sided cleansing cloth
WELLBEING BENEFITS You can't look good if you don't feel good. Nothing affects how you look or feel as much as sleep, or lack of it. With this in mind, the NEOM Scent To Sleep Rangeâ„˘ has been specially formulated with natural fragrance which not only smells wonderful but also has a relaxing effect on the mind and body. Perfect Night's Sleep Cleansing Balm contains our 100% Natural NEOM Tranquillityâ„˘ fragrance, a complex blend of 14 of the purest possible essential oils including English lavender, chamomile & patchouli which expertly blended to help you relax and prepare for sleep.
F R A N K
I N T E R V I E W
GETTING PERSONAL WITH...
ALAN CARR Photography Andy Hollingworth
Since winning the BBC New Comedy Award for Stand-up as well as CityLife Best Newcomer of the Year in 2001,Alan Carr has become one of the hottest comedy stars in Britain.Alan’s latest shows include There’s Something About Movies for Sky and the up-coming Alan Carr’s Epic Game Show as well as Ru Paul’s Drag Race UK, where Alan will be a judge. Here FRANK gets up close and personal with the man himself... WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST SURPRISE IN YOUR LIFE THAT YOU COULD NEVER HAVE PREDICTED? This! Basically, this! My life. I can’t believe it sometimes. From going from years of mundane jobs like call centre work, packing shampoo and making boxes for video recorders to TV presenting, chat show host, Radio 2 presenter and now, judging the best UK Drag Queens with RuPaul herself I genuinely cannot believe my luck.This is without even mentioning my stand up which takes me all over the world. I am actually answering this question in a tiny, beautiful village called Achiltibuie on the North West of Scotland looking out over Seal Island after performing last night to 200 people in a fishing port.Bizarre but I wouldn’t change it for the world. WHO WAS YOUR VERY FIRST PIN UP AND WHY? ‘Face’from A- Team - do I need to say why? He was delish! Now my tastes have changed I'm more of a BA Baracus kind of guy. WHAT TYPE OF DRIVER ARE YOU? Erratic.Paul my partner says I am the worst driver and hates it when I drive.We only ever row when I’m driving,although to be fair I did nearly kill him by driving us off Big Sur once. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED AND WHY? I was sitting on the sofa and I just looked over at Bev, my Irish Setter who is turning 10 this year, and she’s going grey and she often doesn’t want to go for that second walk anymore and you inevitably start thinking of the future and a time when she won’t be around and I burst into tears. I’m actually welling up now writing this. HOW DO YOU SLEEP? Well it depends, after a show I often struggle to sleep as my mind is buzzing, if I drink a LOT of alcohol I will often sleepwalk - last year after recording ‘8 out of 10 Cats’up in Manchester I ended up walking around the neighbouring car park, I faintly remember someone asking very politely ‘was I alright?’Its funny how quickly hotel staff check you back in when you are standing in their foyer in your pants?! WHAT MAKES YOUR BLOOD BOIL? Top of the list is Trophy hunting, in fact any cruelty to animals make some want to rip their heads off and shit down their necks. Sometimes something as small as littering will get me going - I will sit there watching the news and so feel helpless about a lot of the reports thinking sadly ’there's nothing I can do’Not making your own town look like shit is something in every ones reach - it baffles me that people don’t see it like that.
“People equate success with fame and that’s the problem. I’ve never been a red carpet kind of person, I will go to support a good friend but standing there grinning inanely at a premiere fills me with genuine dread and I hate it.” Live, and my one was from Proust to his friend about how much sex his neighbours were having and how the noise was making him exhausted just listening to it. It's a really funny letter and very insightful. WHEN DID YOU LAST HAVE PROPER BELLY LAUGHS?
WHATS THE BEST GIG YOU HAVE BEEN TO. ( NOT YOURS ) Prince at Koko in Camden, a year before he died. I couldn’t believe that this man so full of energy, dancing around the stage in those heels, singing, moving effortlessly from one instrument to the next, piano, guitar, bass could the next year be dead. I will treasure that night.Adele once invited me to see him soundcheck at Ronnie Scotts but I had a gig in Crewe and couldn’t go.Possibly one of my biggest regrets but you can’t knock my professionalism. WHAT GIVES YOU THE MOST PLEASURE? Reading probably,my Paul who hates reading can’t believe my excitement at starting a new book. Opening a book at the first page to me is like having a bungee jump. WHAT WASYOUR LAST HAND WRITTEN NOTE OR LETTER AND WHO RECEIVED IT? It was a letter from Proust. Ok, let me explain, I sometimes perform at Letters Live, it's a fantastic charity night where famous people read letters of note, some sad, some funny, some of national importance in really special locations. So last week at The Royal Albert Hall along with Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, and Jude Law (I know, I was so out of my depth) we all had to read,you guessed it a Letter
Probably this tour of the Highlands, I have a wonderful new comedian called Kelly Convey who does the first section of the show and we’ve spent the last week hopping from island to island,Skye one day,Isle of Harris the next,car ferry after car ferry, zigzagging across the highlands and although I can’t name specifics we have been laughing a lot. Some of these places that I’m performing in are just a tiny hut and a couple of sheep - when I normally tour its basically just up and down the M6, this is proper 'out there' and I’m loving the madness of it. WHO OR WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST LOVE? Wonder Woman - when I found out that the actress was called Linda Carter (my mothers maiden name) I thought that we might be related and would always hope that she would turn up to a family do - but alas she never did. ARE YOU A NIGHT OWL OR UP WITH THE LARKS? Nightowl - definitely,I’ll be up till all hours reading and now I’ve recently got into podcasts I’ll just lay there with my headphones on till the early hours. WHAT IS THE WEIRDEST QUESTION PEOPLE/ FANS HAVE ASKED YOU? Are you gay in real life? I don’t know what’s the weirdest bit - that they think I put it on and that this isn’t real life.
“I tentatively stepped on stage up in Manchester in there year 2000 to do my first stand up gig and here we are in year 2020 so I guess still the fact that I’m still working and enjoying what I’m doing in one of of the most fickle, competitive and sometimes, lets face it, meanest ind“I tentatively stepped on stage up in Manchester in there year 2000 to do my first stand up gig and here we are in year 2020 so I guess still the fact that I’m still working and enjoying what I’m doing in one of of the most fickle, competitive and sometimes, lets face it, meanest industries going. Thanks for having me!!” WHO ARE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT FEMALE ROLE MODELS YOU HAVE HAD IN YOUR LIFE, PERSONALLY OR PROFESSIONALLY OR BOTH? Apart from you Mel!!!! You have to say your mum, not out of courtesy, but because they inevitably will play a part in your evolution as a person. My Dad when he was a football manager would often be away a lot, most nights training and sometimes all day Saturday coming back in the early hours so me and Mum would spend a lot of time together and dear reader we are talking Division 4 football, where there was no money at all, yes, my mum was a WAG but she was more Bejam than Bond Street. On very little money me and mum would just laugh and try and entertain each other most nights - 80’s style - no Netflix. No internet.That’s why I love spoiling her now, now that I have some money. Also I’ll just add this as well, although I do not know her from Adam - I recently watched a wonderful documentary called ‘Jane Fonda in Five Acts’and was so impressed with her activism, and her protests that made her so unpopular with the American people - her belief in doing the greater good is truly inspiring. And of course this was compounded only the other day when I saw her getting arrested on Capitol Hill whilst campaigning about Climate Change. I just thought ‘What a woman’. Sadly I don’t think I could be that brave. WHAT ARE THE PERKS OF YOUR SUCCESS? Well, I think success is the perk. People equate success with fame and that’s the problem. I’ve never been a red carpet kind of person, I will go to support a good friend but standing there grinning inanely at a premiere fills me with genuine dread and I hate it. I feel successful when people enjoy what I do, now I know Chattyman wasn’t the most high brow show ever made but it did make a lot of viewers happy including myself. I was gigging in Montreal and a woman at the stage door said she worked for 'Medecins Sans Frontier’ and had just come back from Afghanistan and she said watching clips of Chattyman helped her get through it all.That to me defines success,having a positive effect on a stranger albeit a few chuckles in a war zone,we’ve got into a habit of over-analysing comedy too much.Sometimes its ok just to laugh. WHAT HAVE YOU DONE THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF? Well, I tentatively stepped on stage up in Manchester in there year 2000 to do my first stand up gig and here we are in year 2020 so I guess still the fact that I’m still working and enjoying what I’m doing in one of of the most fickle, competitive and sometimes, lets face it, meanest industries going.Thanks for having me!! www.thefrankmagazine.com
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Loss, Blood & Belonging
enny Eclair has been tickling our funny bone for many a year. Her books make us both laugh and cry. Here Frank catches up with her to talk about her latest novel â€˜Inheritanceâ€™,her love of art and her future plans.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW BOOK ‘INHERITANCE’ Inheritance is a family saga, set in Cornwall and London, it follows the fortunes of a family and their seaside home, Kittiwake House. It’s about how the tragedy of a teenage boys death triggers a series of consequences, but it’s also about love and loss and blood and belonging. There’s a fair amount of toxic parenting in it, plus a wallop of class and how the 1960’s were riddled with appalling behaviour from people who were educated to believe they knew best. It begins in 1950 and ends on the August Bank holiday weekend in 2018. IT’S AN ABSOLUTE MASTERPIECE. WHAT WAS THE CATALYST FOR THIS STORY COMING INTO BEING? Thank you. I use houses as an inspiration for stories and Kittiwake really dictated the plot from the word go.
“I love writing because I love words, weirdly I love stand up for the same reason, I love the way words can form jokes, Im also a terrible show off and there is something very liberating about being ridiculous in front of people, it takes me back to the playground.”
WHEN IS THE MOVIE/TV SERIES COMING OUT? IT'S STORY BEGGING TO BE MADE! I wish, personally I do think this is the most visual of all the novels I’ve written but although two other novels were optioned as movies in the past nothing ever happened with either of them YOU GET RIGHT UNDER THE SKIN OF RELATIONSHIPS AND HOW PEOPLE OF ALL AGES INTERACT. WHERE DOES THAT INSIGHT COME FROM? I'm very nosey and I’ve been a stand up for a very long time, you cant make people laugh without knowing how they tick. ARE YOU ALWAYS LISTENING, READING AND THINKING OF THINGS AS POTENTIAL MATERIAL FOR YOUR NEXT ONE? No, I like to let go completely and hope that divine inspiration will hit me when Im least expecting it, if i try to hard- I seize up.
“I’m bendy but lazy, I’m forcing myself to do a 30 min cardio class once a week plus two yoga sessions. I much prefer the yoga to the cardio, but I know the cardio is vital, I come from a family where heart disease is the killer. I need to lose about a stone and a half, but unfortunately I eat a great deal of cheese.”
WHAT IS YOU ROUTINE AROUND WRITING? I come to my study every day and I sit there and just have a bash. I've always denied being able to write anywhere else, but I managed to write a big chunk of ‘Inheritance’ whilst I was on holiday in Greece last year, I used to come indoors for two hours in the afternoon and just crack on, I don't go brown so I'm pretty useless on a beach. YOU ARE SUCH A CREATIVE PERSON. I LOVE YOUR PAINTINGS ! HOW MUCH DOES TAKING TIME FOR THESE KIND OF PURSUITS ENHANCE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE? I love painting, as you get older I think having hobbies is terribly important, they help with anxiety and you’ve always got something to give a mate or a family member for Xmas, which really upsets my brother as he loathes my stuff WHAT IS YOUR ATTITUDE TO YOUR HEALTH AND FITNESS?
“I think the trouble with being a middle aged female author is that there are thousands of you and it’s tricky competing with hugely established names. All authors feel like this, not just me, its a huge business and it’s quite easy to feel a bit small and insignificant inside it.”
I’m bendy but lazy, I’m forcing myself to do a 30 min cardio class once a week plus two yoga sessions. I much prefer the yoga to the cardio, but I know the cardio is vital, I come from a family where heart disease is the killer. I need to lose about a stone and a half, but unfortunately I eat a great deal of cheese. www.thefrankmagazine.com
“I love painting, as you get older I think having hobbies is terribly important, they help with anxiety and you’ve always got something to give a mate or a family member for Xmas, which really upsets my brother as he loathes my stuff.” HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE ESTABLISHED IN THE LITERARY WORLD VERSUS THE MORE CUT THROAT WORLD OF SHOW BUSINESS? I don’t feel established in the literary world, I don’t think they entirely trust me, there is a huge amount of suspicion it seems for stand ups who write books. This can get me down and I start craving stand up, at the moment I'm desperate to write a new touring show. I think the trouble with being a middle aged female author is that there are thousands of you and it’s tricky competing with hugely established names. All authors feel like this, not just me, its a huge business and it’s quite easy to feel a bit small and insignificant inside it. As a stand up I was very lucky in some respects, because there were so few women doing it, I always felt a bit special, I'm spoilt really. Ideally Id like to be best at both, I'm horribly competitive and I've yet to learn that not everyone is as interested in me
YOU HAVE BEEN ARE A TRAIL BLAZER FOR WOMEN FROM THE GET GO. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT HOW THINGS ARE CHANGING AND AT LEAST AN ATTEMPT IN EQUALITY? I think the stand up world has changed hugely for the better, there are so many new female voices finally being heard and I think the standard of women in comedy is incredible WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE SHIFT TO THE BAN ON ALL MALE WRITING ROOMS FOR SOME TV CHANNELS? I agree with it, I don’ t think all male writing rooms are healthy, if there are women in the script then you need women in the writing room, writing rooms need to to be truly ethnically and gender diverse , we also need to make more room for disabled writers. JENNY I’VE JUST WATCHED YOU ON THE AUSTRALIAN ALL STARS NIGHT WHEN YOU WENT ON STAGE IN YOUR UNDERWEAR. WHAT AN OPENER! Best opening gag I never had to even write, i just did it, it was my tour managers idea. I loved performing 'How to be a middle aged woman ( without going insane)’ and taking it to Oz was the cherry on the cake. I love the Melbourne comedy festival, I love stand up, but now and again I need to sit down and listen to the fiction voices in my head. HOW MUCH DO YOU LOVE BEING ON STAGE ? WHEN IS YOUR NEXT TOUR ? I love writing because I love words, weirdly I love stand up for the same reason, I love the way words can form jokes, I'm also a terrible show off and there is something very liberating about being ridiculous in front of people, it takes me back to the playground. Stand ups have a massive streak of ‘child' in them and when you're on tour you get to indulge that side of you, all the grown up stuff and all that boring brown envelope business gets left behind. I’m hoping to get a new tour off the ground next year, I've just started thinking about titles and content, I also have a non fiction comedy guide to the menopause coming out next September, it’s called ‘Older and Wider’ which is a spin off from the podcast I do with my mate Judith Holder. Judith and I have also been commissioned to write on a hush-hush project, which would be terribly exciting if we can pull it off! But i’ll have to leave you guessing as to what it might be! www.jennyeclair.com
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Jojo Moyes Best selling author Jojo Moyes talks to Frank about her latest Novel “ Giver of Stars’ and why it’s important to tell womens' stories. www.thefrankmagazine.com
TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEW BOOK. HOW DID YOU DISCOVER THE STORY ? I was wasting time on the internet one morning, as writers tend to before starting work, when I came across an article in an American online magazine called The Smithsonian, about the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.These were women who were employed by President Roosevelt’s WPA scheme after the Depression to take books into remote, mountainous areas to to try and encourage people to read. He was worried that people had struggled so hard just to stay alive that they had forgotten to ‘feed their minds’. I read the story and looked at the black and white pictures of young women on horses and mules, their bags filled with books, ready to ride up to 140 miles a week across wild country, and I knew immediately I had to write about them. THE RIGHTS HAVE ALREADY BEEN BOUGHT FOR THE MOVIE. THERE IS A THIRST FOR STRONG FEMALE LEAD FILMS. DO YOU HAVE THAT IN MIND WHEN LOOKING FOR MATERIAL? I think there is definitely a thirst for strong female-led projects, especially from organizations like Netflix.We sold the rights to Giver of Stars before it had even gone in to be edited, which is unusual. I’m very excited to see it on screen - but I think all my projects to a greater or lesser extent,have strong women leads.I like to write about women I’d like to be like! THE DIRECTOR OL PARKER (MAMMA MIA, THE MARIGOLD HOTEL MOVIES) IS MARKED FOR THE FILM. HAVE YOU ALREADY STARTED TALKS WITH HIM? Yes, he read it in its earliest stages and I’ve been working with him on the script, which he is writing. His writing ‘voice’ is not dissimilar to mine, and we’ve known each other a long time, so it’s a very easy working relationship. I”m not sure there are many people I would trust this book with, but he’s one of them. ME BEFORE YOU’ WAS A HUGE HIT. DID YOU HAVE TO FIGHT WRITE THAT MOVIE? WERE YOU INVOLVED IN CASTING? I didn’t have to fight it - to my astonishment MGM asked me to write the first draft. I think they felt that it had a very particular ‘voice’ and they wanted to make sure the film kept that. So I was lucky (also probably quite cheap!). I worked really closely with them for two years and I was asked my opinion on casting. Luckily we all wanted Sam (Claflin) and Emilia (Clarke) so that was easy. HOW UNUSUAL IS IT FOR WRITERS OF NOVELS TO BE INVOLVED IN THE WRITING OF THE FILMS MADE OF THEIR WORK? It’s not very usual, but I think that’s because a lot of writers go into film without good advice. The best advice I got was that the writer is pretty much the lowest rung on the ladder in film (it’s different in tv) so you can’t go in trying to talk over the director, or impose your point of view. You also have to accept to some extent that once you sell the rights it’s the director’s vision. Once I understood the hierarchy of a film set I was able to just sit and work quietly and in ‘Me Before You’ I was on set every day helping the director. So I think it can work, but you have to understand the dynamic and not make life more difficult for everyone.
“When I’m not writing I do read a lot. But I probably only read about 1/10th of what I’m sent, and then only if the cover blurb appeals. I go a lot on personal recommendations and I like to champion debuts whenever possible, as I remember how hard it was to get published myself.” www.thefrankmagazine.com
“The best advice I got was that the writer is pretty much the lowest rung on the ladder in film so you can’t go in trying to talk over the director, or impose your point of view. You also have to accept to some extent that once you sell the rights it’s the director’s vision. “
WHEN YOU STARTED WRITING DID YOU EVER IMAGINE THAT YOU WOULD SO INVOLVED WITH MOVIES AND THAT BUSINESS OR WAS IT ALL PART OF THE MASTER PLAN? Never! I’m always a bit nervous of saying this because I know how many people are struggling to get into screenwriting. But I fell into it almost by accident because of MBY and now it’s basically my second career. I love it because it’s so collaborative - writing a book can be quite a lonely process so it’s nice to have a change. I also love being on set, watching characters come alive, listening to the gossip, and hanging out by the food truck…! WHAT IS YOUR WRITING PROCESS, WITH WRITING COMES AN AWFUL LOT OF READING DOESN’T IT? I think to be a good writer you have to read. How else do you pull apart what works and what doesn’t? I think it’s harder and harder to find time to read though, but I’m increasingly conscious of how good it is for you mentally, not just as entertainment. I wrote three books before I got one published and I think it was as a result of reading Behind The Scenes At The Museum by Kate Atkinson and suddenly understanding about a novel having a ‘voice’. Every book I wrote after that had a voice, and book 4 was published… When I’m not writing I do read a lot. But I probably only read about 1/10th of what I’m sent, and then only if the cover blurb appeals. I go a lot on personal recommendations and I like to champion debuts whenever possible, as I remember how hard it was to get published myself. My favorite books so far this year have all been debuts - Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women, Candice Carty Wiliams’ Queenie, and Kate Weinberg’s The Truants. As for my process, the most work I do goes into creating character. I think you can have the best plot in the world but if you don’t care about the characters, or find them compelling, or identify with them, then you won’t really care one way or another. HOW DO YOU WRITE ON A PRACTICAL LEVEL? AT A SPECIFIC LOCATION OR WHEREVER IT TAKES YOUR FANCY? I’m an ex-news reporter which has left me with the ability to write anywhere (I’m writing this on a train as we speak). I have three kids and a lot of animals so if I waited for the perfect conditions they would never come. I really just scrape by day to day like most working parents. Clearing enough space in my brain to really get into it is my biggest issue most days. HOW DISCIPLINED DO YOU HAVE TO BE WITH YOURSELF? I’m very disciplined. I feel like I’m so lucky to be doing this that if I fail I don’t want it to be because I didn’t try hard enough. So when I’m writing I write every day. I am always punctual and I always deliver things on deadline. I don’t however have much of a social life!
‘‘I’m an ex-news reporter which has left me with the ability to write anywhere. I have three kids and a lot of animals so if I waited for the perfect conditions they would never come.” www.jojomoyes.com www.thefrankmagazine.com
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Tell Me Your Secret DOROTHY KOOMSON talks to Frank about how her childhood passion for telling stories that has turned into a lifelong careerâ€Ś. www.thefrankmagazine.com
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR LATEST. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE STORY? Thank you. ‘Tell Me Your Secret’ is my 15th novel and it is about a woman called Pieta who had a very close encounter with a serial killer called The Blindfolder but manages to survive. She tries to move on with her life and never tells anyone what happened. Ten years later another woman comes forward who says she was held by The Blindfolder and not only that, she believes the serial killer is going back and murdering his previous victims. Pieta is now faced with a decision – tell the police what happened to her or keep quiet in the hopes that she can stay safe. The other main character is called Jody. She is a police officer who, 15 years earlier, made a mistake that allowed The Blindfolder to escape justice. She’s now desperate to correct that mistake before he strikes again. THERE HAS BEEN A WAVE OF INTEREST IN CRIME WRITING? I think there has always been a lot of interest in telling crime stories – they’ve been around for centuries, but I think what seems to be fuelling the number of them being published now is that different types of people are writing them. There are so many crime shows on television and so many on the shelves. People are fascinated by thrillers and what criminals get up to, and that’s reflected on what books end up being published. HOW MUCH RESEARCH GOES INTO TACKLING CRIME STORIES, UNDERSTANDING THE POLICE PROCESS? ‘Tell Me Your Secret’ is my first book that has a police officer as a main character, so I had to talk to a couple of advisors to make sure I got the police procedure aspect right. I spoke to two police officers and they told me all the aspects of investigating a crime that you can’t get from internet searches and watching telly. I obviously then had to tweak some bits of what they told me to make my story work. I think it’s important to get as much accurate as you can when writing any book. I often will find people to talk to no matter what the book is about so I can get things as authentic as possible. THERE IS A WHOLE BANK OF DOCS BEING MADE FOR TV ABOUT CRIME AND THE MINDS OF CRIMINALS. WHAT MAKES US SO INTERESTED IN THEM? I think we’re fascinated by the more sinister side to human nature and one way to safely explore and find out about criminals’ behaviour and actions is by watching and reading thriller TV shows and books..
“When I’m not writing I do read a lot. But I probably only read about 1/10th of what I’m sent, and then only if the cover blurb appeals. I go a lot on personal recommendations and I like to champion debuts whenever possible, as I remember how hard it was to get published myself.” www.thefrankmagazine.com
“I always end up with the book plotted out on sticky notes stuck on the wall and at some point during the process wonder if I’ve chosen the right book to write. (I always have chosen the correct story to tell, but it feels like part of the writing routine to doubt myself along the way.)’
WHEN DID YOU REALISE YOU HAD WRITING TALENT? I knew I liked writing and I was good at it from quite a young age, mainly because I enjoyed it so much. I wrote my first book, called ‘There’s A Thin Line Between Love and Hate’ when I was 13. I used to write a chapter a night and then pass it around my school friends the next morning. It was completely driven by my over-active imagination and love of reading books and watching drama stories on television. I also read so much and was so inspired by the way people could tell stories and make up whole worlds. I don’t remember a time I wasn’t reading. One set of books that inspired me was a series called the Garden Gang, about a group of talking fruit and vegetables. The books were created by a 9-year-old girl called Jayne Fisher. I thought if she could do it, so could I. www.thefrankmagazine.com
HOW MANY BOOKS HAD YOU WRITTEN BEFORE YOU GOT SOMETHING PUBLISHED?
(I always have chosen the correct story to tell, but it feels like part of the writing routine to doubt myself along the way.)
I had written two books as a child and then wrote one HOW HAS YOUR WRITING CHANGED AND adult book and countless short stories before I was published. I was actually writing the book that became my DEVELOPED AS YOU HAVE ACHIEVED second novel, ‘The Chocolate Run’, when I had the idea for SUCCESS? my first book, ‘The Cupid Effect’. I think my writing has changed as I’ve got older and I learn more about the world. I have got a bit quicker at writing HOW OLD WERE YOU & WHAT WERE THE so books don’t take a year to complete any more. I also CIRCUMSTANCES? write more emotional thrillers nowadays, compared to the weepies and romantic comedies I used to write. But I like I was in my thirties when I finally got published. After to think I can go back to romantic comedies if I want to. writing the first 3 chapters of ‘The Cupid Effect’, I was Not much has else has changed, I hope. I like to think my rejected by pretty much all the agents in the Writer’s plots, characters and endings are still good! Handbook. I finished the book and tried again. I was rejected by pretty much all of those agents again, so I WHAT HOBBIES DO YOU HAVE THAT KEEP YOU decided to send it to a publisher directly. Two months later, when I’d given up hope of hearing back from them, I SANE? received a letter offering me a two-book deal. When I’m writing a book, to write authentically about the hobby that a character has, I often take it up. For ‘Tell Me HOW DO YOU DISCIPLINE YOURSELF TO GET Your Secret’ I took up pottery making, in the past I’ve THE WRITING DONE? taken up knitting, cocktail making, jewellery making and running.Those things often become my pastimes and what I treat my writing as the job that it is. Some days I don’t I do to relax and recharge long after that particular book want to write or don’t feel like it, just like when I used to is finished. I also really enjoy reading and watching get the train to London every day for work I wouldn’t television, going to the cinema. want to but had to. Being an author pays my bills so I have to make sure I show up, do my job and do it to the YOUR FAMILY MUST BE VERY PROUD OF YOUR best of my abilities. ACHIEVEMENTS. IN WHAT WAYS DO THEY SUPPORT YOUR WORK? WHAT IS YOUR WRITING ROUTINE IF ANY? It really varies according to the book. Some books are written where I do a bit every day, but some come in huge spurts where I have to work late into the night or even all night to get it done. I always end up with the book plotted out on sticky notes stuck on the wall and at some point during the process wonder if I’ve chosen the right book to write.
I’m very fortunate to have very supportive people around me. They keep me grounded as well as celebrating all the good things that come my way. They are very understanding if I have to go off and write or if I can’t do something because of having a deadline. Like I said, I’m very fortunate. www.dorothykoomson.co.uk
“I treat my writing as the job that it is. Some days I don’t want to write or don’t feel like it, just like when I used to get the train to London every day for work I wouldn’t want to but had to.”
TELL ME YOUR SECRET BY DOROTHY KOOMSON IS PUBLISHED BY HEADLINE REVIEW IN PAPERBACK ON 9TH JANUARY 2020.
(This book is also reviewed on page 142) www.thefrankmagazine.com
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Sam Heughan star of the sensational hit show ‘Outlander’ talks to Frank about childhood aspirations, life as an actor, fitness and whisky! WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE YOUNGER? I wanted to be a magician, or a knight. I grew up in rural Scotland on ruined castle grounds. I spent a lot of time playing ‘outdoors and I think this is where I fell in love with pretending, learning and imagining. WHEN DID ACTING COME INTO THE MIX? I was always interested in acting but didn’t know I could have a career in it. I applied to university to do English but knew my real passion was in the theatre. Luckily I deferred for two years and went travelling. I realised at that time I wanted to pursue a career in acting and applied for drama school. ARE THERE ANY MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY IN THE INDUSTRY? My mother is an artist, so I guess I have her to thank for the creative side. WHAT DID SHE THINK ABOUT YOUR DESIRE TO ACT? She encouraged me to pursue my dreams and also advised me that it would be hard and may not always be successful. This all the while working a regular jobs while pursuing my passion...acting. WHO WERE YOUR MENTORS?
WHERE DID YOU STUDY AND WHAT WAS THAT WHOLE EXPERIENCE LIKE? I was lucky to gain a place at the current Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. It was a three year Classical Acting course. It wasn’t until my 2nd year that I got cast as Romeo in a production that I really “got it”. Then I was very fortunate to get cast in a production for the Edinburgh festival fringe. ‘Outlying Islands’‘was a terrific play by David Grieg and we transferred to London in the Royal Court theatre. The show then toured for a year, around the UK and highlands and islands of Scotland. It was such a terrific show and I really learnt a lot about exploring a part and allowing anything to happen, sometimes it really did... WHEN DID YOU FIRST START GOING FOR AUDITIONS AND GET AN AGENT? At this time I was nominated for a Laurence Olivier award and gained my current agent. She started putting me up for parts, it was a learning curve with a little success and a ton of failure. WHAT IS THE AUDITION PROCESS LIKE? I HAVE HEARD THAT SOME ACTORS JUST AREN’T GOOD AT AUDITIONS. WHAT IS THE EXPERIENCE LIKE FOR YOU?
I joined the Lyceum Theatre and that’s where I fell in It takes years to understand the process and become love with the stage. It seemed such a liberating, scary more familiar with it. I still get nervous and dislike and deeply passionate place. Where one could bare auditioning. Some casting directors are great though and one's soul, share with an audience a truly personal put you at ease. The industry has changed a lot over the story. I was lucky to be included in some of the main last 10 years, actors are now expected to put themselves stage productions as small characters and extras, it’s on tape, which in itself is a craft. It’s fun though, you find there that I studied the actors as I watched them on you’re auditioning for more varied roles and in different stage. I remember standing in the wings every night, countries. listening to the silence of the audience “listening”. It’s electric. www.thefrankmagazine.com
YOU HAVE DONE PLENTY OF STAGE WORK INCLUDING SHAKESPEARE. DID YOU RELISH THOSE OPPORTUNITIES? My passion has always been theatre. I look forward to doing some again though it’s hard to find time in the schedule. The rehearsal process is the most fun but takes time. WHAT IS THE APPEAL OF PERFORMING IN FRONT OF AUDIENCES? DOES THE FEAR FACTOR IF ANY ADD TO THE EXPERIENCE. IS IT REALLY DO OR DIE! Absolutely. It’s like jumping in the deep end. It’s exhilarating, DO YOU THINK TREADING THE BOARDS IS A GOOD BASIS FOR GETTING INTO FILMING TV AND MOVIES? IS FILMING A WALK IN THE PARK IN COMPARISON? Filming is long and rather tedious. Haha, you spend very little time acting. There are always so many other factors. The days are long and it feels like quite a marathon. It’s very detailed, you end up maybe performing the same thing 10-20 times but each time maybe slightly different. Like playing music from a song sheet, it’s the same tune each time but you can add an “accent”. TELL US ABOUT YOUR FEATURE FILM ‘EMULSION’? HOW DID IT FEEL TO LAND THE ROLE? That was a small but fun experimental movie. The cast was collaborative and it felt like there was very little pressure. My first TV job out of drama school was a big ITV drama. We shot on the Isle of Man for 3 months. I remember the first time I was on camera and a big scene. I had read that you shouldn’t blink. I had no idea. So after the first take and nearly going blind with no blinking, the director came over and said, “if you blink, it lets me into your soul”... the first lesson learnt! IN ‘FIRST LIGHT” YOU PLAY GEOFFREY WELLUM A HERO OF THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN, HOW DOES IT FEEL TO PLAY A REAL PERSON? DID YOU MEET HIM?
Geoffrey was a wonderful man. The youngest Spitfire pilot to fly in the Battle of Britain. He wrote this terrific book. He had so much energy and humour. It was a great honour to play him and go up in a plane. They believed they were just doing a job and he didn’t consider himself a hero but what they did, the lives they gave to fight fascism and racism was heroic. We must never forget. WHAT WAS THE AUDITION PROCESS FOR OUTLANDER? I had just returned from LA, I had got close on a few roles but not landed any. I was back in London and looking for a bar job and signing on the dole. It was so depressing and I was considering if I could continue to keep acting. I was 33 and had nothing to show for the last 13 years. I guess it was the right place, right time. DID YOU READ THE DIANA GABALDON OUTLANDER BOOKS? WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THE STORY? WAS SHE PART OF THE CASTING PROCESS? Diana is a wonderful, intelligent and hard-working woman. She has had so much well-deserved success. We have to credit the success of the show to her. We talk still via email or private message on twitter. She still has a say and I know we all respect her opinion greatly. I’ve read each book for each
DID YOU HAVE TO BEEF UP PHYSICALLY FOR THE ROLE? Yes, I put on quite a bit of muscle. It’s something I have to maintain. Luckily there were no gyms in the 1700s so the character doesn’t have to be ripped but I do want him to look capable and strong. I like to train now and have a health and fitness charity fundraiser programme called My Peak Challenge.We have over 12000 members and have raised over 4 Million Dollars for charity so far. DID YOU JUST KNOW IN YOUR GUT YOU COULD PLAY THIS PART? I think that exactly the right word. I felt I “knew”this guy. Instinctually Jamie was familiar. But I also like it when the character surprises me. WHEN WERE FIRST PUT TOGETHER WITH YOUR CO-STAR CATRIONA BALFE? DID YOU DO A CHEMISTRY TEST? I was cast early in the process. I was then lucky to read in with potential “Clare’s”. It’s funny because as an actor in the scene, you don’t feel “chemistry’ but I hint it’s more about trust. We trust each other, respect and challenge each other. Caitriona is a remarkably strong and intelligent woman. I’m lucky to have her as a friend too.
TELL USABOUTYOUR FITNESS REGIME.WHAT DO YOU DO? HOW MUCH DO YOU DO? Last year I ran two marathons in a month and tried to beat my PB. Edinburgh marathon I achieved 3 hours 11 min.I’m thinking about doing a 40 mile race for my 40th birthday next year. It’s hard though as I also had to put on weight and muscle for Bloodshot (movie with Vin Diesel). So I do fluctuate weight a bit. WHEN WILL THE NEXT SEASON BE OUT? Season 5 of Outlander will be out on 16th February. Bloodshot will be out on 21st February 2020. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
As well as Outlander and Bloodshot, I am working on a movie called SAS Red Notice,based on the novel byAndy McNab, one of the UK's most decorated special forces ex-servicemen. I’m excited, it looks good and should be The cast is incredible and we do get close. I think season 1 was out in the new year. I developed, produced and directed the strongest bond. We were all new to the show and to the a TV show called Clanlands, a road trip around Scotland process and spent a lot of time together.We remain friends and with my friend and co-star Graham McTavish.It’s a taste it’s great to see old castmates doing well. of Scotland,the culture and history,all fuelled by copious amounts of Scottish air (and whisky).Which leads me to HOW ARE THE FILMING DAYS? IS IT RELENTLESS? my whisky, launching this holiday season, called The Sassenach. It’s a special edition blended Scotch whisky How do you upset an Actor? Give them a job... having said inspired by my love of Scotland. It was a really fun that, yes, we shoot 10 months a year, most days are around experience designing the bottle, logo and taste! I also 14 hours with travel. Sometimes longer. Then if you try to fit have a line of Scottish clothing, we developed a tartan in gym time or learning lines etc, the days are just filled. By that is made in Inverness by the traditional method and the end of a season, I’m pretty exhausted. We shoot a lot I think looks and feels authentic. outside, in the rain, cold of the Scottish highlands, so it can be intense. But I love those days, the landscape never fails to Follow Sam on Twitter @SamHeughan inspire. HOW FANTASTIC. HOW CLOSE DO YOU GET EMOTIONALLY WITH EVERYONE?
C O M P E T I T I O N
Cut the coffee and give your mind and body a healthy boost this January with PUKKA HERBS Organic herbs and spices are excellent for your health and brimming with vital antioxidants. Spices and herbs such as turmeric, cinnamon, fennel and mint work to promote digestive wellbeing, freshen up your liver and provide your body healthy herbal hydration that help you to feel your best everyday. Get your January good habits off to a great start by WINNING a hamper of Pukka teas, limited edition Pukka mug, Pukka travel tin and Pukka tea caddy - worth approx ÂŁ50.00
For a chance to WIN subscribe at www.thefrankmagazine.com/contact/ and send us this message ''I LOVE PUKKA'' A winner will be picked on the 1st January 2020 (UK residents only)
We pick our favorite drinks from PUKKA Herb's book...
Cleanse Nurture Restore
with Herbal Tea Sebastian Pole
This tea reaches deep into the reproductive system, nourishing our procreative and sexual energy. Use it when preparing for a family or for nurturing your love life. For men and women, this elixir feeds sex hormone release, improves egg/sperm quality and enhances orgasmic experiences.
, Aphrodite s aphrodisiac Shatavari root 4g Ashwagandha root 2g Licorice root 2g Cinnamon bark 2g Milk (any type) 250ml/9fl oz Damiana leaf 2g Cacao powder 1 tsp per cup Maca root 1 tsp per cup Flower pollen ½ tsp per cup Vanilla essence a dash per cup Honey (or Amaretto) a drop per cup
These herbs are rejuvenating tonics: they are sweet in taste, build your strength and replenish your sexual appetite. They specifically nourish fertility, enhance libido and strengthen your sexual organs.
Shatavari root In India, shatavari colloquially means ‘she who has 100 husbands’, referring to its ability to help a woman have an active sexual and reproductive life. It’s traditionally used to increase breast size, enhance lubrication and optimise libido. Use it whenever there is a lack in desire, delayed orgasm or dryness. Or just for fun. As herbs are not sexist, it’s also an effective male tonic where it performs similar strengthening stunts, increasing sperm count and quality. Ashwagandha root Said to bring you the ‘essence of a stallion’, ashwagandha has legendary powers, enhancing stamina, erectile strength and libido. It brings grace, beauty and emotional sensitivity to both men and women. However, it’s no herbal ‘viagra’. Sexual nourishment is not a one-pill wonder. It’s something that needs to be addressed in all aspects of your life: ashwagandha is only one part of that plan. Damiana leaf This South American herb is used when loss of libido leads to feeling low. As a valuable restorative to the nervous system, it helps you relax into the moment. Maca root Growing high in the Andes, maca root improves mental acuity, physical endurance, vitality and stamina. It’s also a well known Peruvian aphrodisiac tonic for both men and women: it is used to increase libido as well improve sperm and egg health. Flower pollen Flower pollen is a renowned energy nutrient, high in essential proteins and amino acids. Gathered by bees from fertile flowers, pollen is the source of life itself and represents all of nature’s procreative potential. Cinnamon, licorice, cacao and vanilla These aphrodisiacs invigorate circulation, strengthen your adrenals and evoke your erotic side. Honey and amaretto add a special touch of the taste of love: sweetness.
Man, Woman & Child
Makes 2 cups of the most amorous elixir. Put the shatavari, ashwagandha, licorice and cinnamon in a saucepan with the milk and 250ml/9fl oz cold filtered water. Cover, bring to the boil and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. Take off the heat and add the damiana leaf. Leave to steep for 10 minutes, then strain. To each cup, add the cacao, maca, flower pollen, vanilla essence and honey. Then top with the tea and stir.
A special drink for special occasions. Whenever we have a party at Pukka I have the pleasurable responsibility of making this cocktail. An original that I made to celebrate our 10th birthday back in 2011, itâ€™s since become a classic.
Pukkalini Love Tea by Pukka 3 teabags Pomegranate juice 50ml/2 shots per glass Rose water (optional) 1 tsp per glass Fresh rose petal (optional) 1 per glass Champagne (enough to top each glass) This will serve 3 cups of celebratory fizz. Cover the teabags with 150ml/51/4fl oz boiling water. Leave to infuse for 30 minutes in a covered container. Strain, then leave to cool in the fridge for 2 hours. When ready to serve, add to a glass 2 shots of Love Tea, 2 shots of pomegranate juice and then top up with champagne. Add some rose water if you would like. Decorate with a fresh rose petal.
The herbs in this blend help you find balance during menopausal change by regulating fluctuating hormones, reducing hot flushes and helping you find your new centre. Yes, a tea can cool you down, and this one can definitely ease you through this time of transition.
Cool lady Sage leaf 3g Shatavari root 2g Red clover 2g Passion flower 2g Chamomile flower 2g Fennel seed 1g Licorice root 1g This will serve 2–3 cups of cool tea. Put all of the ingredients in a pot. Add 500ml/18fl oz freshly boiled filtered water. Leave to steep for 10–15 minutes, then strain. Drink it when it’s reasonably cool.
Sage leaf A naturally supportive herb, in the sense that it ‘holds’ things in place. It helps to centre your awareness in the heart, subtly recalibrating your focus until it is one-pointed. This holding effect is what helps sage stop you sweating and keep you grounded during hot flushes and night sweats. It also holds memory in place and is taken by our elders to sustain and support their ‘sage-ness’. Shatavari root A cooling, lubricating and strengthening root, which helps to balance the hot, dry and draining symptoms that can appear at this time of life. It powerfully protects the deeper tissues, bones, nerves and libido. Red clover As its folklore name ‘bee bread’ implies, red clover is a life-sustaining food. Its pink clusters of beauty support the hormonal shift by bringing cooling sustenance to your cells. A respected protector of breast and ovarian health, red clover has a special affinity for clearing inflammation from the blood and lymphatic system. Passion flower Nothing to do with amorous desire, its name dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries when missionaries adopted this resplendent flower as a symbol of the Passion of Christ. It’s a climber plant, and this nature is reflected in its journey through the body’s nervous system to the crown of the head. On arrival it quickly calms the mind, stills all thoughts and puts your brain in crystal-clear mode. It’s in this tea because it’s especially useful for menopausal anxiety and insomnia. Chamomile flower Chamomile works in harmony with the passion flower, helping to manage mood swings and a busy brain. Its eye-like delicate flowers help us to ‘see’ life through a new lens, one that is much calmer as though our peripheral vision has just widened.
Man, Woman & Child
This drink lets the wild ones sparkle. Enjoy it with friends.
A supremely wild sparkler Supreme Matcha Green by Pukka 3 teabags Three Licorice by Pukka 1 teabag Fresh mint leaves 1 bunch Brown sugar 1/2 tsp per glass White rum 25ml/1 shot per glass Prosecco (enough to top each glass) Serves 15 small glasses of sparkle. Cover the tea bags with 750ml boiled filtered water. Leave to infuse for 20 minutes in a covered container. Strain and cool. Muddle the mint leaves in brown sugar and add one or two leaves to each glass. Fill half of the glass with the tea, add a shot of rum to each glass, then top up with prosecco.
LOVING YOUR LIFE - WHEN TO FOLLOW THE RULES THIS HOLIDAY SEASON AND WHEN TO THROW THE RULE BOOK OUT OF THE WINDOW Dr Louise Wiseman A glittery celebration of festive cheer and a shiny new decade are beckoning.How do you want to approach 2020 and make it your best year ever? Can you make the emotional clutter dissolve and what can you add to enrich your happiness? Which ‘rules of life’ should you embrace and which ones should you ditch for a sparkly year ahead? FOLLOWING THE HEALTH RULES Get your checks New year is the traditional time for resolutions but right now, in the early yuletide glow, get some things sorted to give January a lighter feel. As women we curate other people’s lives but let’s tick off some ‘rule box lists’ of our own. Make sure you attend your medical checks. In the UK we are privileged to have health screening for free.
visceral fat around our organs. If waist is more than half height this could be an early indicator of your risk of heart disease, diabetes and so on. If so, look at your nutrition and exercise now.
Set some rules for the holiday period Look at your commitments to making this period magical for others and build in some rest time. Check on your neighbours and reconnect with friends abroad. Connecting with others is linked to longevity. If you live alone, caring Value it and attend. If your smear, mammogram or blood for those around you will give you purpose and this is one pressure check is overdue, book it in. If you have never had thing that gives all of us a good shot at living a longer life. a cholesterol test, book one (but maybe not for the week You may be coming home to a silent house and that may after a Christmas of indulgence as your results might be suit you just fine. We all need peace, the JOMO can be as temporarily skewed). You might prefer to procrastinate potent as the FOMO at Christmas. Plan now how you will around medical appointments but they can alert you to socialise and how you will rest. serious action if needed. Tick them off your present list like Use this as a prototype to balance your socialising for next a gift to yourself. You thought 3 for 2 was a good deal but year. Friends keep us happy and give us fresh ideas. it doesn’t really compare to the value of looking after you. Conversely, you might be needed by so many you crave isolation. Set rules and boundaries and gain back control. Check yourself Be proactive-donate, volunteer, feel gratitude for life. Be aware of what is normal for your own body.Your breasts, Winter exercise your vulva, your bathroom habits. If things change, don’t feel embarrassed to approach your doctor and discuss this. Whether you are a fair or an all weather runner just do what works for you. You might rather be glamming up for Aunty Build in a personal check to your new year routine. Vi’s Christmas karaoke night,not schlepping out to the gym. Dust off your home weights and do some stretches and a tenMeasuring with tape There are complicated ways of calculating ideal weight- minute routine in the warmth of your sitting room. something you may contemplate in January. Simple A ‘little movement’on the days you would normally be sofa measurement of your height and your weight in the same bound may reduce the post Christmas bloat. A brisk walk units with a traditional tape measure isn’t rocket science. with the family cheers your soul, your heart and your leg Scientists have known that excess inches carried around our muscles. Grab the last of the vitamin d in the low light and middle is the least favourable- it can be an indicator of the feel alive. www.thefrankmagazine.com
Ditching rules Look at your circle Are you stuck in a rut socialising through guilt, habit or shyness, without the tenacity to detach from those that bring you down? Outside work, spend time with those who make you happy. Simple as. In a stagnant relationship? Is it both of you, your partner or is it you? Is it worth carving out couple time now to reignite your passion for a shared hobby or literally for each other? How can you carry this past the festive season into the new year? Plan what is achievable and what you both honestly need to change. We often reflect at Christmas on our lot and many couples break up in the first month of a new year. Is this really your choice or is there something in your control that can turn it around? Honesty can be the new ‘mistletoe kiss’ to move forward. Makeover night Use your friends and let them use you. Have a fashion aficionado bestie who always looks fab? Get her to throw her clever eye over your wardrobe. Your hair and makeup never need to stay the same- learn some new skills, let the young ones show you their lash and shadow game- you might like it and sashay into January with that ‘know you have done something but not able to place exactly what’ look. Fabulous. Look at your skin care and make sure your cleansing, moisturisation and eye care is up to festive speed. Less hours sleep and more partying means that with the heating full blast your skincare needs to up the ante. Excess moisturiser and party makeup might mean you need to think about gentle exfoliation/pampering face packs to keep clear glowing skin. Clear out the junk before the new year. Never mind your BFF raved about that mauve lipstick if you hate it on you.
Learn new skills The bravery you might need to take on something new will reward you in brain action. Our cognition and processing capacity may be preserved if we do new stuff not just the same old. Look up what is on near you and grab a friend. If the class sucks it will be a shared laugh and anecdote, but if it’s fabulous you might be gifting everyone homemade gifts next year- they have been warned! We live in a photographic world. Up your photo game. Go on a course. Capture the world the way you see it. Want to write? Everyone of you has a story. It might be yours,it might be the children’s book you mentally designed while up with your kids. Get it down and get it out there. Reassess the way you see ageing I asked my dear friend Psychologist Dr Louise Pendry;
“Ageism is everywhere, but much of the time we don’t even realise it. It’s present every time we pick up a greetings card that jokes about a particular milestone birthday. We see it in the anti-ageing language that permeates advertising of beauty products, or in the way older people are often represented in TV and film: invisible, frail and somehow mattering less, their intellectual and physical capabilities compromised by the inevitable ravages of time. Psychological research repeatedly shows that we internalise all of this from a young age, and grow up fearing ageing. Allied to this, there are clear expectations about how we ought to look and behave as we age. We often judge those who don’t conform to this narrative, who defy the rule book. And we are ourselves influenced by diktats about “What not to wear” after a certain age, fearing ridicule for being “mutton dressed as lamb”. We are complicit in the ageism narrative and we need to wake up to this. Age need not define us, and rules are meant to be broken. Only by challenging norms around ageing will we break its hold over us.”
Ditch slapdash eating If you are lucky enough to have company sit around the table. If you are on a meal deal alone, turn off the TV and enjoy the food, maybe some music. Let the food be your visual stimuli and you will be mindfully eating. Follow the Japanese‘Hara Hachi Bu’so prior to eating remind yourself to eat to 80 per cent full not until you feel‘stuffed’. It works. It works for Christmas and Thanksgiving but it will work every day for 2020 and beyond. Respect the luxury of choosing the nutrition for your plate. Drinks all round Teetotal or life and soul. Realise you can do one, both or neither. Letting your hair down with all ages of company is the best remedy for happiness,whether it’s with fizz or water. Prehydrate and rehydrate if you know you will indulge,stay safe and happy with healthy soft drinks alongside. Prepare indulgent mocktails – you will get dehydrated just from talking. We are a nation that joins together for a cuppa or champagne. Work out which days you will imbibe and be the driver for the others and feel sparkly the next day..
Be yourself, dress how you like, try something new and only follow the rules that matter. Happy Holidays, Lou XX
Dr. Louise Wiseman MBBS BSc(Hons) DRCOG MRCGP
My writing does not constitute medical advice or replace any consultation with your own doctor who knows you, can examine you and understands your medical and family history. Always seek the opinion of your health care professional if you have a question about your health or changing your lifestyle.
Louise is a former GP, who worked for 15 years in the NHS. She is now using her medical and life experience to write a book about women’s health over 40.
www.drlouisewriting.co.uk Instagram @drlouisewrites Twitter @drlouisewriting
J nuary Cleanse
By Gabriela Peacock Nutritionist
By the time January 1st comes around, the idea of a cleanse appeals to many of us. We often enter the New Year feeling as stuffed as the turkey from Christmas Day, and nothing seems to hold such promise as the dawn of a new year. The rationale behind doing a detox seems logical; we are eating ‘clean’ foods therefore we are ‘cleaning’ out our insides. However, this happens every day. Our digestive tract, liver and kidneys are very capable at doing it on their own. What we can do, is provide them with the nutrients and support they need to make the process more efficient. Consider it more of a cleanse of your diet and lifestyle to counteract the daily exposure to toxins in our environment, plus the excess of Christmas. Things like pollution, UV rays, cigarette smoke and alcohol all count as toxins, plus some of the pesticides and processed food products we consume can put an extra challenge on our digestive system and liver. The liver is crucial for digesting food, detoxifying and balancing hormones. We’re all aware of the link between alcohol and liver disease - and giving our liver a break from the booze has become a regular fixture for many people. Research shows that abstaining from alcohol for a month can reduce liver fat, cholesterol and blood glucose.
antioxidant potential, which may limit the damaging effects of toxins on cells. Berries contain anthocyanins. They provide some of the colouring of plants, flowers and fruits with a typical red to blue colour. They are very potent antioxidants; free radical scavengers and they up-regulate liver function. Look out for blueberry blackberry raspberry blackcurrant bilberry cherry and red grape. Pomegranate naturally contains ellagic acid which modulates the transformation of toxins and enhances their elimination. In addition, ellagic acid has been shown to scavenge free radicals, therefore reducing the damaging effect of those substances. The sulphuric compound allicin, found in garlic, leeks and onions is an important inducer of second phase detoxification, a process of making toxic elements ready While a balanced and varied diet is key, there are few for elimination. specific foods that might be worth including as you kick ‘Live Cultures’ are not to be scared of! Found in yoghurts start the new year. and fermented foods, these healthy bacteria can help the For example: gut. Yoghurt and kefir contain probiotics which protect Green tea is a source of catechins that have been shown to the gut and intestinal tract from pathogenic bacteria. induce performance of detoxification enzymes in the liver. The polyphenols in green tea have exceptional In order for the liver to function at its best, it can also help to consider the following: *Choose organic meats, dairy, fruit and vegetables as standard to avoid pesticides and hormones- all juicing products should be organic. *Increase the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet and focus on plant based proteins and fat. For example: Make a lentil dhal, and add avocado and olives to salads. *Limit fried foods, animal products and refined carbohydrates in favour of wholegrains such as rye, oats and brown rice. *Cut back on caffeine and alcohol and swerve the sugar added to drinks.
There are a number of small changes we can make at home that will have an impact too. After all, it’s not just what you put in your body, but the environment we live in. Start by considering the amount of plastic you are exposed to. Certain types of plastic and packaging contains BPA. This is a chemical that has the potential to disrupt hormones and mimic oestrogen in the body. Given the lack of transparency in the food industry, it’s nearly impossible to know which BPA replacements are being used and where. Here’s how you can try to reduce your exposure to these chemicals: * Skip fresh items wrapped in plastic. Instead go to a butcher, greengrocer, get milk delivered in glass bottles, and consider an organic veg box delivery scheme. Once you push beyond the convenience and realise your choices are having a beneficial impact to both people and planet you will feel a warming sense of pride. * Never heat food in the can. Transfer it to a stainless-steel pot or pan for stove-top cooking or a glass container for microwaving. * Avoid Teflon plans and cling film. Swap to beeswax or silicone wrap and refill glass bottles.
Take home message: 1. Some people might find a short 3-day cleanse appealing but it’s not essential. Instead eat 3-5 smaller meals based on fresh, organic fruit and vegetables, vegetarian sources of protein and healthy fats. 2. After a period of indulging, the liver struggles to keep up and the lymphatic system has to work harder too. Preservatives, chemicals, additives, alcohol and caffeine all challenge your liver and lymphatic system so cut back on them as much as possible. 3. A supplement can support you in getting your diet back on track. Look out for one containing B vitamins which are important co-factors that are integral to many enzyme systems (Phase 1 and Phase 2) in the liver and Vitamin C is critical to immune function and is a very important nutritional antioxidant. GP GOLD 4. Stay well hydrated with flitered water and herbal teas such as green tea, fresh lemon and ginger, fennel and chamomile. Gabriela Peacock @gp_nutrition
Surviving & thriving in January By Kate Tilston
Kate Tilston has been working as a Life Coach for 12 years now. She specialises in practical coaching methods, encouraging and enabling her clients to find solutions to various challenges they have in their lives. Kate is known for her ability to see things with immense clarity and non-judgmentally.
t’s that time of year where most of us are going to work in the dark and leaving work in the dark. Many of my friends hate this time of year but for me, it can be wonderful (perhaps it’s because I was a December baby?) but when it comes to January, well,
I want to do is hibernate and wake up again around the end of March! Having practiced as a coach for over 14 years now, I have experienced and witnessed 14 hideous New Years. Now that doesn’t mean all my New years are horrible, on the whole I have had many wonderful moments at New Year but I have also witnessed my clients, my friends and most of the UK population tie themselves up in knots over those dreaded “ New Year Resolutions!” www.thefrankmagazine.com
We have all seen it haven’t we?“NewYear NewYou”“How to be fitter and fabulous this year”“Start the year as you mean to go on”“Be the person you want to be”and every other cliché that is trotted out by the media every January. No wonder we all put ourselves under such HUGE pressure. But think about it, is this a good time for you to change (if you so choose to do so?) For me and many others,just coping with after Christmas blues, dark nights (and days) little money to spend and a VERY long month ahead is NOT the time to be making significant changes. Creating change in your life takes energy and hard work and considerable determination, especially if you want to make significant changes.When I work with my clients, we talk about their own personal timeline, what happens during their year that they need to consider.Do they have children? Do they have a certain time at work that is more pressured than others? Is there a time in their year they feel more relaxed and able to cope with change? All of these things are considered before we decide how and when to make the changes. Obviously, this is down to the individual. There are some people that relish getting back into the gym in January following the Christmas break, it makes perfect sense to them and they thrive.Those who perhaps haven’t tried the gym before,that are nervous of going,find it nerve wracking attending in January when the gym is historically busier than other times of the year and they join,go for a few weeks and then fall by the wayside. Setting ourselves up for failure is NOT a great way to start the year. As you can imagine, Life Coaches are often presented with lists of “things I wish to achieve this year” lists or “these are my goals for this year, my New Year’s resolutions and I want you to help me achieve them.”My role as a coach is to support my clients through change BUT it’s also my role to help them set realistic goals and then to create the action plans to reach them.
“Creating change in your life takes energy and hard work and considerable determination, especially if you want to make significant changes. When I work with my clients, we talk about their own personal timeline, what happens during their year that they need to consider. ”
SO HOW DO WE DO THAT? Firstly, it is identifying the right time for the changes to occur. Once we’ve done that, it’s breaking that change down into manageable bite size chunks so that we are not so overwhelmed that we falter. One of my clients came to me because her youngest child had just left for University and although she thought she was well prepared for him leaving, it suddenly hit her like a ton of bricks! Her reaction to this life change was to throw herself into making other big changes in her life. She decided that she’d like to change her job role, that she’d like to start taking more care of herself both fitness wise and healthy eating.She also decided that she now had room in her life for a hobby……. She also decided that she would start tackling all of this after Christmas in the New Year. Guess what? 4 weeks in and I had a tearful skype session where she was feeling totally overwhelmed, had managed 3 sessions at the gym, had fallen out with her husband who didn’t want to eat salad in the cold miserable month of January and she didn’t even have the energy to look at how to change her job role. We decided that we needed a plan.We scrapped the“diet”but agreed to cut down on certain food stuffs and this included the evening glass of wine during the week,we put together a fitness plan that fitted in with her existing lifestyle incorporating gym and a Zumba class for a bit of fun and we put the job role change on hold until the Spring when we felt she would be feeling more optimistic and more in control of her new way of living. My client then set up weekly skype sessions with me so that I was able to support her whilst she made the changes and so that she was accountable for the actions we had agreed. Instead of purely surviving January, she started the year as she meant to go on and thrived. As I mentioned before, this doesn’t suit everyone, in order to thrive, some of us just need to survive those first couple of months of the year. I used to feel guilty that I wasn’t embracing the“New year, New You”movement but now I use this time to hunker down, to enjoy my home, to do some of those more creative jobs like updating photos, planning for the year ahead, using January sales to buy some birthday presents for the next few months, batch cooking to make my week easier and getting outdoors whenever I can just to have a good stomp if that’s all I can manage. I no longer beat myself up for not dancing to someone else’s drum, I have my own rhythm and I dance to my own beat and that is how I thrive. KATE’S SUGGESTIONS 1. Have a really good think about the time of year that works for you to make the changes you want to make. For me it’s traditionally September, a time when I feel positive and rested after the summer. 2. Social media and some publications will really push “the need to change”in January – if this doesn’t suit you, avoid them for a month or so where you can. You don’t need to put extra pressure on yourself. 3. If there are changes you wish to make, if there are goals you want to reach, ask yourself – “where am I now? How big is this change? What do I need to put in place to make it happen?”if you prepare to make changes, put things in place to support you i.e. clearing out all the unhealthy snacks from the house BEFORE you start the healthy eating regime, you are more likely to succeed. 4. If January is a tough month for you, rather than dread it, think of it as a time to get things done that maybe require you to be indoors, therefore you are less likely to feel guilty for indulging in them. Plan for the month ahead so that you feel you have achieved something whatever that achievement might be. Maybe this is the year to change how you view New Year’s resolutions and that is a change in itself. Give yourself a break, don’t beat yourself up – work out what’s best for you and when and then see how much easier it is to reach those goals and thrive! For more information on how I coach, please feel free to email me Kate@katetilston.co.uk You will also find me on Facebook, Instagram @katetlifecoach Twitter KateTlifecoach www.thefrankmagazine.com
How to have a healthy Christmas (without ruining it)
By Sandie Fredriksson
SANDIE FREDRIKSSON is a highly sought-after health coach, teaching women over 40 her unique roadmap for more energy, glowing confidence and a healthy body. She pays particular attention to reducing her client's risk of lifestyle disease after her own breast cancer journey age 44. Sandie is also a certified expert on how to eat to support and promote health.
Excited about festive indulgence but dreading the January regret? Health coach Sandie Fredriksson shares her tips to help you keep your body and mind healthy, without missing out on the fun. Time off work to spend with our families,an array of parties, treats everywhere - Christmas really should be the most wonderful time of the year. But it can also turn into a cycle of guilt, anxiety and regret. It certainly used to for me. I felt obliged to accept every invitation offered without scheduling in time to take care of myself. Pedalling hard just to stay in the game - it’s no wonder I felt fragile, moody and exhausted.
I also had the one goal I tell my clients no woman should ever have:the goal of perfection.I put pressure on myself to make Christmas perfect.I took on too much,refusing offers of help and never prioritising my own health or happiness. All this meant in the end,was that I couldn’t wait for it to all be over. It’s only through letting go of some of the control, setting boundaries and creating space for joy and gratitude that I’ve genuinely started to enjoy this time of year. I know you are about to be bombarded with an endless stream of perfect Christmas Instagram posts. But don’t be fooled! They only exist amongst a truckload of real-life chaotic moments that never get documented.
I also know how tempting it can be to write off December as far as your health goals are concerned, telling yourself you’ll get to that in January. But does that really make sense? Imagine starting the new year on a high from already having healthy habits in place and feeling fully charged to start the new decade. It’s not about saying no to all the parties; it’s about saying yes to the best and no to the rest. Because let’s face it, after forty we don’t bounce back from a party quite like we used to (three-day hangover, anyone?). It’s about indulging in the parts of Christmas that bring you joy, without sacrificing the habits that keep you strong. I’m not telling you to swerve all the chocolates, only drink soda water and be in bed by 10pm.That’s just not realistic, and we all deserve to wind down at this time of year. But here’s how to avoid the physical and mental stress that can really ruin a good Christmas.
RIGHT NOW The first habit you need to adopt is planning. And I mean, make planning your superpower. It will massively up your chances of conserving your energy throughout the festive season. Start with some serious scheduling. How many nights out can you actually enjoy without ruining your week, tired or hungover? Then decide what events you really want to be at. Remember - just because you’re free, doesn’t mean you have to say yes. Avoid accepting last-minute invitations unless it’s something you’re really keen to do, in which case swap it for another night out on your calendar. Also, make sure you schedule in your workouts. But be realistic: adapt your regular training routine if it’s unlikely you can keep it up. Just don’t abandon it entirely. Plan your meals in advance around parties.When cooking dinners this month, make an extra batch to freeze: cook once, eat twice (or even thrice). Having back-up meals in your freezer will help you avoid the temptation of a takeaway when you’re tired or hungover. Just don’t forget to put a reminder in your calendar to defrost it! Hot tip: To keep a steady flow of healthy food arriving at your door, secure all your online delivery slots for the month now. Use your regular weekly purchases to hold the dates and adjust each shop the day before it’s due. Another thing worth planning is your wardrobe.‘What to wear’anxiety can spoil a night out, and give your confidence a wobble if you don’t feel like you’re looking your best. Put together some ideas now to help avoid the stress of lastminute panic.
''Start with some serious scheduling. How many nights out can you actually enjoy without ruining your week, tired or hungover? Then decide what events you really want to be at. Remember - just because you’re free, doesn’t mean you have to say yes. Avoid accepting lastminute invitations unless it’s something you’re really keen to do, in which case swap it for another night out on your calendar.''
THROUGHOUT DECEMBER Everyone thinks of January as the time to start a new healthy habit, but why wait until then? Starting that habit today will give you a powerful sense of achievement.Want to start meditation? Download an app and start now.Don’t drink enough water? This is the time to change that… Hydrating is vital, whether it’s a new habit or something you’re already good at. Buy a water bottle you love and ditch the little crossbody bag in favour of something big enough to hold it,so you can take it everywhere.Set yourself a daily target of at least two litres a day (more if you’re planning on drinking alcohol). It’s fine to up your indulgence quota at Christmas but use it wisely. Don’t waste it on a buffet of fried food, grim canapes and cheap prosecco just because it’s there.Get clear in advance which events in your diary will have delicious quality food on offer and make those your nights to indulge (guilt-free). Hot tip:Never arrive hungry at a party.Eat a healthy meal before you go, or if it’s an event where you plan to take advantage of the food then maybe have a little snack beforehand, so you’re still not tempted to overindulge. If there’s a steady flow of cakes and treats in the office, give yourself a better chance of resisting by keeping healthy snacks in your drawer or handbag.Would a nut, raisin and chocolate chip mix hit the spot while everyone else tucks into another round of mince pies? If there’s something you really can’t resist, then mark it down as a guilt-free indulgence. If someone gifts you food, don’t do that thing where you convince yourself the only way to get it out of the house is to eat it.There’s nothing wrong with regifting to someone else, or take it to your office and share it around. Get plenty of sleep! You won’t enjoy anything if you’re constantly drained of energy. Keep a good supply of fruit and vegetables in your diet and take aVitamin C supplement for an extra boost. All of this will support your immune system, which means more energy. Move your body, and I mean every single day. Even if it’s not your usual gym session, being consistent will help keep you on track and stop you from getting into too much of a slump. It might help to book some workouts with a friend or trainer so they can hold you accountable.
Hot tip: Create a ‘movement menu’- write down a list of all the ways you like to move your body (and yes, between the sheets counts). Having a variety of go-to options, like spending twenty minutes practicing yoga, a short HiiT session or even just taking a walk should be easy to squeeze into your day. Make sure your ‘movement menu’ includes choices you can do from home,for those days you don’t want to leave the house.
MANAGING THE ‘PARTY’ SEASON December throws us more opportunities to drink than any other time of year but the first thing to remember is, you don’t have to take them.Attitudes have changed. Sobriety and mindful drinking are the new sexy. And if you’re thinking it,you can bet others are too.Sober curious? Check out all the delicious alcohol-free spirits out there - it could be a game-changer. If and when you do drink, choose your drinks wisely.Avoid sugar-laden cocktails and stick to clear spirits if weight loss is your goal. Don’t let yourself be talked into the afterparty at the last minute. Book your taxi home in advance, and have a response ready for why you can’t stay out late when that usual someone (because we’ve all got that friend) tries to talk you into it. Stay away from them if you doubt your will power! State your boundaries ahead of time. Tell whoever you’re out with if you’re only planning on having one or two drinks, and stay firm if anyone tries to talk you into more. If you’re there with a partner, make sure they know your plans from the start so they’re not caught off guard when you decide it’s time to leave. If you know you’re likely to have a hangover don’t berate yourself.Instead,do your best to clear your calendar for the next morning so that you can sleep it off guilt-free. Hot tip:Obviously the best way to avoid the head-pounding misery of a hangover is to drink moderately - or not at all. But,along with sleep,there are a few other ways to minimise the damage after a big night. My clients swear by my lemon and ginger water (lemon, grated ginger, apple cider vinegar and pepper with warm water).Also, consider including a B vitamin complex into your supplement regime (alcohol can deplete your body’s B vitamins) and try coconut water for electrolytes and potassium.
once you start eating, so leave an opportunity for that feedback loop to work. Don’t carry on eating once you’ve stopped actually appreciating it. Stress less.The important thing is being with the people we love - it really doesn’t matter if the potatoes are burnt or someone smashes a plate. Don’t let others stress you out, either.You may be forced to spend time with people that don’t make you feel good about yourself - this is where boundaries come into play again. If you know you can only cope with a few hours of your overly-critical family member, decide your limits in advance and make them known to your close family. And in the meantime, if they comment on what your teenager is wearing or the way you set the table, breathe through it. It won’t be for long.
''Resist the idea that new year’s eve has to be ‘the best night out of the year’. It’s a widely accepted anti-climax. It can be so much more satisfying to dress up and go nowhere with your partner or host an intimate dinner for a small group of friends. I’m scheduling in some low-key fun at home, with the goal of waking up on new year’s day full of energy.''
Hot tip:If you are spending the day with someone who causes you angst, have a strategy in place for when you need a break. Take the dog for a walk, or say there’s a friend you want to call and wish Merry Christmas to, and take a stroll around the block. Or grab ten minutes to escape to a room to meditate - it will go a long way in terms of reducing your stress levels.
AFTER CHRISTMAS Counter your Christmas Day indulgences by make Boxing Day healthier. Add a nutrition-packed salad to the remaining turkey rather than sticking them in a sandwich, and turn the leftover veg into a delicious soup. Resist the idea that new year’s eve has to be ‘the best night out of the year’. It’s a widely accepted anti-climax. It can be so much more satisfying to dress up and go nowhere with your partner or host an intimate dinner for a small group of friends. I’m scheduling in some low-key fun at home, with the goal of waking up on new year’s day full of energy.
Hot tip: Make the most of that dead period between Christmas and New Year. If your commitments are out of CHRISTMAS DAY the way now and you have a few days for yourself, don’t waste them lounging around in your pyjamas eating Introduce a family walk as part of your Christmas Day chocolate truffles.Why not print out some healthy recipes, habit. Decide the time and route in advance and get try a new yoga class or even detox your kitchen? Or book a everyone excited about it. It will re-energise you all, and session with a health coach to help you get a plan in place make you feel better about indulging throughout the day. for more energy,glowing confidence and a healthy body you love in 2020. Enjoy your food! Don’t be too strict on yourself, or beat yourself up if you are eating things you usually avoid. But don’t overindulge for the sake of it. Eat slowly. It can take To find out more about health coaching with Sandie 20 minutes for your gut to tell your brain that you are full Fredriksson, visit sandiefredriksson.com www.thefrankmagazine.com
The womb The space of creation Michelle Adams BSc (Hons) MBAcC LicAc MSc Traditional Chinese and Five Element Acupuncturist, Nutritionist
Michelle Adams is an experienced naturopathic nutritionist and practitioner of Chinese Medicine, with a focus of Five Element and Traditional Chinese Acupuncture. Michelle is extremly passionate about exploring the limitless potential of the human bodies self healing capabilities, and our connection to creation.
Photo by Simone Hastings
There is something rather magically about being a woman wouldn’t you say. The human body is a cavern of mystery and mesmerizing gifts if navigated with awe and wonder. The holistic body is a beautifully architected piece of art. From the muscular skeletal system, to the organs and fluids, and the emotions and subtle body. This spaceship we call our body, is pretty impressive when explored at full capacity. There is one particular aspect of the body that could never fail to impress with its biological prowess. The womb. This void space of creation comes not only with its physical purpose work, but the energetics of a deep work, that when understood and implemented, could heighten this magical experience of the feminine to the extraordinary. This involves an adventure into the dimensions of the menstrual cycle and its endocrinology. A woman’s body is a whole entire galaxy. An intricate universe of ebbs and flows of shifting energy, emotion and creation. Through the wisdom of the menstrual cycle we can explore the depth or our sacredness as life givers. This is not limited to the physical act of birthing life, but the birthing, and bringing forth of ideas and other creative landscapes. Is it important to note that women who have entered their menopausal or wise woman stage in their journey, or those who battle with the pain of womb, infertility and menstrual issues still hold the potency of women’s wisdom within, the cyclical nature of the seasons and the sacred feminine. Moving through the flow of wants, moods and pleasures with understanding of our internal landscapes, provides a foundation of feeling more in control of the slips and slides of life. The knowing of self. Without this, we can feel like we are being sucked into a portal of unpredictable weather. Sometimes rain, sometimes sun, sometimes high winds or even a snowstorm. Laying some underlay of self-understanding can support these internal climate changes, giving us better footing to root. The pressures of being a functioning human being in society can come with the unfortunate risk of not being embodied. Creating structure, control and organised ritual in our daily lives, with no opportunity to just listen in. Listen into the subtle messages and whispers from a body, that is very much in communication and conversation with us, and us with it. Let’s explore both the scientific and the sacred feminine aspects of the menstrual cycle, whilst surfing waves of wellbeing tips to keep us in optimum functionality and grace. Phase 1 – Menstruation Day 1 of bleeding is considered the first day of your menstrual cycle. On this glorious, or not so glorious day, progesterone descends, causing the shedding of the lining of the uterus.This stage can last 3- 7 days in what would be considered a ‘’ healthy’’ period. The process of eliminating the lining of the womb is serious business.Whilst progesterone descends, oestrogen goes on a roller coaster ride of peaking and then also dropping.The menstruation stage is a perfect time to give back to our bodies and bring a focus on replenishment by exploring blood building foods. Foods that boost a low glycaemic index and are rich in iron, zinc, and iodine are a wonderful source of nourishment in this time and can feel like a hug to the body.Adzuki and kidney beans, kale, kelp, wakame are wonderful, along with lovely soups. Berry smoothies also give an antioxidant increase. Sacred Feminine Season: Winter Archetype: Crone Phase: Menstruation As the season of Winter is reflected in the natural world, so it is in our internal worlds. Hibernation and nesting should be the qualities we adopt in this phase. In ancient traditions, this phase is an opportunity to access the power of inner wisdom, receiving messages through the silencing of the world around us. When in our winter phase, though daily life must continue, it is a time to be kind to yourself. Allow for more self-exploration than social aptitude. Allow demands on you to fall by the wayside by making time for yourself through peace and quiet. With or without a physical bleed, this season can be felt through a heavy tiredness and need to hibernate. I need for silence in the portal of the month. www.thefrankmagazine.com
Phase 2- The Follicular The follicular phase follows lovingly after menstruation. This phase is named solely after the hormone called FSH (Follicle stimulating Hormone). This is released by the pituitary gland and enhances maturity of ovarian follicles by stimulation. Mood lifts in this phase by the gifting of an injection of energy by rising testosterone and oestrogen along with a rise in energy. Supporting the boost of energy in this phase should be the focus, as well as an increase in iron rich foods and b vitamins, particularly B12. Dark leafy greens are a great option. Light meals are preferred at this time after the density of the previous phase. Sacred Feminine Season: Spring Archetype: Maiden Phase: Follicular Like the fresh rebirthing energy of Spring, this phase comes with strong energic of re-emergence. Re-entering the world with this new found kindness aides in creating opportunity in your month, like protruding dandelions and nettles through the quiet soils of winter. This is a great phase for planning the month ahead and goal setting. There is a new found productivity that can be used to navigate challenges. If you have entered the wise women initiation of your journey, the menopause, or as above are not experiencing a physical bleed, this phase can still be felt through a feeling of rising within. A glow that cannot be denied. An energy rising. Utilise this is planning for the unfolding month. Phase 3 â€” The Ovulatory Phase This is one of my favourite phases. This is the phase where you wake up to your internal power. Walking past yourself in the bathroom mirror in the morning, doing a double take at your feminine opulence. The ovary begins to release it egg, where it begins travel to the sacred valley of the fallopian tubes to await fertilisation. Libido and sexual tenacity surges at this time with the peak of oestrogen and testosterone. With these glorious rises, come an awakening of confidence and the need for connection. In order to support detoxifying the liver of the increase in hormones, the body will naturally crave fibre rich foods in this phase. Antioxidant fruits help further support the liver at this time. This phase can absolutely be felt with or without the physical aspects of this stage, through the season below. Sacred Feminine Season: Summer Archetype: Mother Phase: Ovulation Isnâ€™t Summer beautiful? The bursting energy of abundance. The rising temperatures. This is a time of nourishing relationships and tribe. There is a feeling of wishing to nurture self and others. Be it in a social environment, cooking in your home or making use of rising sexual energy by self or shared pleasure. Enjoy this phase by allowing your inner abundance to spill forth into a wonderful flow of creation. The wise woman (menopausal) or woman not experiencing physical ovulation, still experiences the upward flow of Qi in this season. An opening in the month like a blossom, an embodied sense of rising.
''Moving through the flow of wants, moods and pleasures with understanding of our internal landscapes, provides a foundation of feeling more in control of the slips and slides of life. The knowing of self. Without this, we can feel like we are being sucked into a portal of unpredictable weather. Sometimes rain, sometimes sun, sometimes high winds or even a snowstorm. Laying some underlay of selfunderstanding can support these internal climate changes, giving us better footing to root''
Phase 4 â€” The Luteal Phase Still riding the waves of ovulation as we enter this stage, soon moves into another season, as oestrogen and testosterone decline, and progesterone begins to rebirth. This is the glorious time when PMS can rear its ugly head, and craving consume us. Food can play a vital part in this phase. If one chooses to eat too little, it can aid in undesirable shifts in mood. Be sure to eat at regular intervals in this phase. Bloating and water retention is a natural side effect of progesterone rising rapidly. Magnesium, calcium and fibre rich foods can help in the supporting of sugar cravings. Root vegetables are a good addition to this phase. Wise women, and women experiencing the lack of, or decreasing flow of hormonal involvement, can feel into the season through the scared feminine aspects below. Sacred Feminine Season: Autumn Archetype: Enchantress Phase: Lute Autumn can be a beautiful season if one can appreciate its soft change from extrovert into introvert. Leaf and blossom in unison, evolve colour and texture, releasing to the ground in submission to the changing season. You will notice the change in your inner ecology at this time. A yearning to move inward and reject demands. PMS can often arise at this time when the change in our season is not honoured, and the need for space not explored. Honouring this phase is an acknowledgement of self-love, and an act of embodiment. The use of this phase in creative endeavours, inspired by the need for decline, can support this. Journaling, writing and stepping into the grace of letting go, can clear the way for the coming winter. The season of the enchantress still flows without hormonal influence. Feel into the decline of this phase by embodied commune with the needs and flows of body. We experience four seasons of creation in just one month! This is inspiration to acknowledge the many gifts and blessings that can be explored through our inner rhythm. No matter where you are at in the journey of womanhood. Adventure into the magic that you are. www.thecloudgate.co.uk
C O M P E T I T I O N
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THE DRY DRINKER Alcohol Free Drinks WIN! The Big Celebration Sparkling Wine pack of three
Competition question: What is the nationality of the sparkling wine expert, Richard Juhlin? For a chance to WIN subscribe at www.thefrankmagazine.com/contact/ and send us your answer. A winner will be picked on the 1st January 2020 www.thefrankmagazine.com
Richard Juhlin Blanc de Blancs Alcohol-Free Sparkling wine 750ml £15.99 The Blanc de Blancs alcohol free sparkling wine is an elegant French sparkling Chardonnay backed by the know-how of Champagne expert Richard Juhlin. Aged carefully for a short time in oak battles, this non-alcoholic wine preserves the natural aromas and characters of the grapes. Tasting notes Boasting a crisp acidity, balanced freshness and subtle notes of lime and green apples. Serving suggestions – Serve as an aperitif, and pair with seafood or salad dishes. Serve at around 8°C
Richard Juhlin Alcohol-Free Sparkling Rosé 750ml £15.99 An elegant sparkling wine from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape, which has by careful aging in oak barrels a mild flavor. Tasting notes A semi-dry wine of silky texture with subtle notes of sweet berry, citrus and apple owes its name to the world-renowned Richard Juhlin Champagne Taster. Serving suggestions – Pairs perfectly with seafood dishes Serve at around 7°C
Sinzero Sparkling White Wine Low Alcohol 0.5% – 75cl £9.40 Sinzero Sparkling White Wine is a new alcohol free wine from Chile. The grapes comes from Santiago, surrounded by the snow-capped Andes. A delicate process separates the alcohol from the rest of the wine, preserving the most important characters: colour, texture, aromas, flavors and antioxidant properties. Tasting notes Enjoy light bubbles which gives aromas of pineapple, bananas, lemon and lime. Crisp acidity in the mouth. Serving suggestions - perfect pairing for seafood, Japanese food, salads and appetizers. Serve it cold, at 8–10 °C www.drydrinker.com www.thefrankmagazine.com
Articles CONNECTIONS EQUALITY LIVING ICON
A R T I C L E
Master the art of meaningful human connections By Danielle Dodoo
We have been interacting with other humans our whole lives. But that doesn’t mean we are any good at it. Engaging people and building meaningful relationships can be hard work and the relentless distractions of social media only reinforces our inability to emotionally connect with new people and create authentic connections. So often we fail to give the best first impressions in our professional encounters and we fail to create deeper connections with our friends and family. By continuously exchanging the few meaningful relationships we have, with a lot of meaningless ones and by unconsciously replacing depth of connection with breadth, we are feeling lonelier than ever. Social media encourages us to broadcast and advertise ourselves rather than talk and communicate on an individual basis and this has led to many of us feeling disconnected. If you’ve ever felt empty or alone when you leave a social engagement or networking event, then it’s likely that you failed to see and be seen by others.When we feel invisible it can lead to a sense of being unimportant and invalidated. But when you become present you will be aware of how you are being perceived and then its easier to recognise when you are being seen as disengaged. You can then reengage and become more interested, and interesting. Brene Brown describes it beautifully:
“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.” Whilst there are times when you don’t care to engage on a more authentic, personal level (school gates, anyone?), having the tools will give you the power to choose when to use them. And remember, even if you think you know someone well, you may not even be aware of the tell-tale signs that they are totally disinterested in you. On the flip side, you yourself might not want to come across as disengaged, but your body language and behaviour can give off all the wrong signals. So, let’s start with some basics.
Be intentful Assuming you haven’t been accosted on the train, bus or office canteen, imagine you are in a social gathering where you had planned to engage with other humans. Ask yourself what you want to get from the conversation with this person right now, and also in the future. When the conversation starts going off topic or feels lost, have your anchor so you can bring it back on track. Build rapport Easier said than done, so what is rapport and how do you get it? Well, you know that feeling where the other person’s attention just feels concentrated on you and the feeling is mutual? We have all seen two people in full rapport, where all their interactions feel synchronised and their bodies look like they have been choreographed. This is called non-verbal synchrony. It feels good and leaves you in a pleasant joyous state. It’s easy to give the feeling of rapport even if you are not in an intimate relationship with the other person. www.thefrankmagazine.com
Step one. You must be present. Presence is tantamount if we want to connect with people. Attention is a rarer and rarer commodity. But it’s a precious commodity. When you are present the other person will feel it, feel valued and open up to you. This should start with eye contact. Maintaining eye contact is a skill that can often feel uncomfortable, but if you are able to it, it will pay dividends. Practice.You can also bring someone’s attention back to you and the present moment by touching them lightly (touch, not grope, ladies). It’s a fact that waiters who touch patrons on the arm get bigger tips. Touching someone does not mean you are attracted to them (unless you are actually in a flirtatious encounter), but it does help the person to remember you.Try lightly touching their shoulder or arm; and if you don’t think they will like it, don't do it. Respect their boundaries. Step two. Listen attentively.
"When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new" Dalai Lama. You have two ears and one mouth for a reason.Listen and then speak.People are begging you to make them feel important. When we listen attentively, we will always leave a good impression and make the other person feel valued. Ask them to tell you about themselves,and show (rather than feign) interest.The Royal Family are genius at this and at making people feel special. Just watch the Queen in action. I’ll try not to pass judgement on whether she actually cares but the gift of appearing interested, is a great tool. Focus on making the other person feel important. Step three. Watch your (and their) body language. When someone is bored you'll notice their shoulders will start turning towards the door as well as their hips, knees and feet. And when you are bored you will also do that. Keep your shoulders, hips and feet towards them. People naturally reveal micro messages when they engage with each other, so keeping an eye out for some of these small signals can help you read their non-verbal cues and act accordingly. Micro negatives can indicate that the other person is feeling uncomfortable or anxious.Any kind of self-touch, especially if it’s consistent and repeated can be an indication of low confidence in that situation. Self-touch e.g. rubbing our arms or hands, releases oxytocin and its self-soothing technique used to keep ourselves calm. When you see this or if you feel yourself doing it, take a deep breath and try and figure out what is making you or them anxious. Micro positives are what we want to be seeing.The other person gently leaning towards us (reciprocated, of course) as well as nods and half smiles,which are all signs of being engaged.The more open you keep your body language,the more relaxed you will be and will appear. Keep your shoulders back and put more space between you and the table. Step four. Add value to the conversation. This is a whole topic in itself but, you need to find your voice. The biggest detriment and barrier to human connection is social anxiety.Social anxiety can be defined as a fear of negative judgement. 60% of all people identify as being shy or as currently dealing with social anxiety or shyness. If we have an internal negative dialogue or if we are worried about what people think of us, we aren't present. If we're not present, we won't fully listen and connect. Unfortunately, our brains priority is not to connect but to keep us safe and so it tells us why everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Our dialogue becomes unhelpful:“This person won't like me; this person won't invest in me.”If you let your mind wander, you won't be able to fully articulate yourself and you won't be able to hear the other person speak. Come back to being present and when they ask you about you, don't race through a garbled monologue because you are worried they will be bored.You are interesting. Focus on talking about what you care about. What’s important to you right now? What’s your dream? What are you excited about or struggling with?You don’t have to give your life story but be honest and don't rush. You can always say enough about me, what about you? www.thefrankmagazine.com
Step five. Ask better questions. Questions are the quickest path to learning and growing and it’s a fact that If you appear to be interested you will be perceived to be interesting. Whenever you go into the next meeting, social situation or phone call, ask yourself "what am I most excited to learn about this person(s)?" Take 60 seconds to identify what you are most curious about. When you establish that foundation before any social interaction, it will lead you to more virtuous connections. Have a default understanding about what’s important for you to find out. Develop your GO-TO questions.These can be the same questions you ask yourself: what are you most excited about? What's challenging you right now? This will open up the opportunity to support the person and be supported.What’s your focus at the moment? If you could do anything, what would you do? Answering this question for yourself and the other person could lead to finding synergies in both energy and passion, and being able to identify what you both care about, will allow you to connect on a much deeper level. Lastly, be authentic and vulnerable. We all go through our struggles and silent battles, and no one expects us to be stoic. Anybody who is really into wine knows that the best wines come from very steep hill sides, made of limestone soil.The grapes that are stressed are said to have more character.This is also true with humans. It’s important that you share your stories of struggle and your journey of triumph over adversity.We are hard wired to find meaning in that struggle and hearing these kinds of stories inspires us. It also draws the other person in to be more trusting of you, so show your human side. When it comes to building and maintaining longer term and deeper relationships, it’s always important to take stock of how you feel about those connections. After all, time is precious. You can use the following construct to evaluate whether a true connection exists between you and the other person and then decide whether you want to keep investing in that relationship. A – Appreciation. Do you feel like there is a feeling of mutual recognition with the other person? Do you see them? Do they see you? V – Vulnerability. Can you be honest and truthful with this person? Can you be yourself? S – Support. Do you feel a natural call to support and be supported by this person?
So, now that you’ve mastered the art of building meaningful connections, continue to lead with curiosity and give in to the process! Remember, our relationships are one of the greatest investments we can make, so keep investing and keep practicing the skills to gift yourself and others with amazing interactions. And don’t forget - use your powers for good, not evil. 12 Danielle is a technologist with a passion for human connection and personal development. She is the founder of a social networking app and her projects can be followed at www.danielledodoo.com
A R T I C L E
Equality does not Mean we are the Same By Charisse Glenn
”A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” ~gloria steinem
world. Men need Women and Women need Men.We are two halves to the whole. Possessing a different operating system each gender processes information differently. Here are some of the key differences between men and women:
* Women process details while Men process solutions. * Women can bounce between ideas quickly, while Men are more single thought, single-action. *Women’s brains are geared towards intuition and emotion, whereas Men’s lean towards facts and logic. The strength of a woman comes in many forms. *Women have a larger Anterior Cortex in their brains which Women have been entering the workforce for decades now, is also called the Worrywart center. It may heighten with their power suits and “I can elbow my way into a man’s sensitivity and awareness and yet may cloud decisive thinking. world” attitude. We have succeeded in acquiring the CEO, CFO, and COO * Women’s brains even at rest are more active than Men’s. statuses. By doing so, we have become tougher and more That is why at the end of a stressful day a Woman wants to ruthless than many of the men, learning to play their game rehash the days’ events while a man will want to have his solitude. as well or better than they can. * Men need testosterone for fuel and each setback they Yet, in some ways, we have lost. We have lost the knowledge a woman brings to the table. encounter depletes it. That is why Men may be accused of retreating or shutting down.They need time to recoup their The strengths men do not possess. So focused on proving we can be a better man than a man testosterone. we have lost those innate qualities which set us apart from * Women have a tendency towards introspection while Men them. Women are not here to do what men can do better focus more outwardly. She focuses on intimacy while he than them, which in many cases we can.We are here to do focuses on action. * Women use words to communicate feelings while Men use what men cannot do. By honoring and embracing our strengths we, in fact, can words to communicate information. rise up and contribute in ways which surpass our ability to * Women are wired to connect with others while men are comfortable going solo. Maybe this is a throwback to our be a better man. Personally, I do not want to see an androgynous society. hunter/gatherer ancestors. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for equal pay and equal rights. But, I like the difference between the genders, it creates a While not all differences are set in stone, the generalities are sexual tension which if handled with integrity can stimulate enough to give us pause looking at where we can bring harmony to the partnership of sexes. creativity. It is by joining together these differences true success and Being open to the others’ strength, expands our unity in power can be found.Why bring to the table what a understanding, exposing us to a new way of seeing. Acknowledging another point of view does not imply one is man can figure out on his own when we can bring into the better than the other,it is just different and different is good. equation a completely new and powerful alternative. Polarities and differences add depth and strength to life. It is what gives us the Je n’sais quoi of a delicious meal. It is Originally published: the uniqueness of a piece of art.It is the spark when we meet www.elephantjournal.com /2019/08/the-strength-of-a-woman that someone special. We need differences to keep us strong. Asserting ourselves in the ways we have learned from a man may be useful, yet bringing to the table the strengths a woman possesses is more effective in balancing out the www.thefrankmagazine.com
A R T I C L E
Time of Your Life
How to Live Midlife Brilliantly By Karen Davis www.thefrankmagazine.com
How to Live Midlife Brilliantly By Karen Davis
Midlife doesn’t come without its challenges, does it?
It’s a time of change in so many ways and none of it is what we’ve known in our twenties and thirties. It’s odd, because when we’re in our twenties and thirties we think those times will last forever, that the children will always be at home, that we’ll always have family holidays and that our bodies won’t ever let us down.
And then comes midlife.
There’s no question midlife challenges women in different ways but physically, we’ve also got the Menopause thrown in. You’re unsure when it starts, you’re not sure which symptoms you’re going to get and you’re not sure if it will be a breeze or incredibly traumatic for you but come it will. In short, midlife can be a place and time when a lot gets thrown up in the air and it comes back down in a different order. It’s disconcerting, your place in the world shifts and it’s not always comfortable for us either physically or mentally.
© Karen Davis 2019
I found myself in that difficult space a few years ago. Physically, I was not the person I was in my twenties. I looked in the mirror to see a fifty-year old who was obese, unfit, looking pretty lined and tired in the face and not at all the same as the person who looked out from those photos of me with toddlers.
Not only that, career-wise I’d not really achieved what I thought I might be able to. I traded fast-track career development for a life in which I could take my children to school and put them to bed. I don’t regret it, but as a working mother you learn that most of us really can’t have it all. My career was in public relations and I didn’t keep up with the changes with social media, so my currency, that of being a strong PR for magazines and newspapers, was losing its appeal and I lost clients. It was a mess all round really and so I did what many of us do, I had an enormous pity party for one.
This lasted quite a while. I couldn’t see my place in the world. I wasn’t wanted at work, my children didn’t need me and I was a fat, middle-aged, tired looking woman. This wasn’t where I thought I’d be in my life at the age of fifty and I had no idea how the small decisions I’d made along the way had led here. What had happened to the dreams I’d had in my twenties? Where had my confidence gone? How had I let myself get into this physical state?
I started doing some research and found out that I wasn’t alone. Staggeringly, most women commit suicide around the age of fifty, most women divorce around the age of fifty and midlife women are leading the pack in terms of addictions from alcohol to food. I’m not an expert, but what I did see is that many of us feel lost at some point during midlife and that’s not often talked about anywhere.
But here’s the thing.
Midlife women are the fastest growing demographic on the planet, shortly to be the largest demographic on the planet. Not only that, midlife women will soon be the largest sector of the UK workforce as well so I started thinking. If we’re that strong in numbers as a group, why aren’t we making ourselves felt in society a bit more? © Karen Davis 2019
Everyone else seems to be getting a look in in terms of concessions by employers and the Government, but most midlife women I know struggle to get a fan on their desk for hot flushes without it being “a laugh” for everyone else in the office.
I also spent time thinking about the skill set that midlife women have. We’re amazing, aren’t we? We make sure everyone in our family is having a fine and dandy life. Food’s in the fridge, meals cooked, problems listened to and advised on but who’s doing that for us? I know that most of us get some satisfaction from doing these things for our families, but it’s a fact that women do 10 hours more work around the house each week than men, just keeping day-to-day life on track. I wondered what we could do if we had that time back? What if I could focus on how could I change my life so that when I’m in my seventies I’m not looking back with regret? Not only that, but not looking back from a place that’s infirm and frail?
That’s how I created the Power Decade, a ten-year period where we find time to focus on us so that you don’t feel the way I felt at fifty.
I’ve had six years to fine tune the Power Decade and I wrote my book, The Time of Your Life, so that I can share what I’ve learnt on how to live these midlife years brilliantly. When you start your Power Decade depends on your life, but it will be sometime between the ages of forty and sixty five, when you have the time to focus on you and you feel that you really want to do this, to live with no regrets.
There are four pillars to a Power Decade and you need each one of them. Don’t take one away or the whole thing falls down, trust me, I’ve tried mucking about with it and it doesn’t work, so focus and get ready to live amazingly.
PILLAR 1 - YOUR HEALTH There’s no getting round this, we start with our health because we need to be well, fit and able to take on the challenges I’ve created for you and to go into old age independent of medical care.
© Karen Davis 2019
Take stock of yourself. I can’t lie, 50% of midlife women are obese, not overweight, obese so start to get your weight under control (I know, it is really, really hard), think about eating well, treats in moderation and drink a lot more water. You also need to change what you eat because this helps reduce menopause symptoms and we need to have another eye on keeping Osteoporosis at bay. Oily fish, vegetables, humus, fermented soya and fibre are the bywords here. No, it doesn’t say sauvignon blanc, you knew that…
Exercise is a magic bullet for batting off disease and illness. I’ve heard a past UK Minister for Health say as much. You know you need to do this so start by just moving more. Imagine your chair has a health warning on it and move more every day because this daily investment will pay you back better than shares in Apple, trust me.
PILLAR 2 – BE CREATIVE At primary school every kid comes home with a mound of art, parts in plays that they have to learn and details of singing concerts that parents have to attend. So, logic tells us that creativity is something we want to develop in our children, but why do we stop this as we get older? Why is creativity not valued for adults? I believe that being creative is absolutely key for women in midlife for good mental well-being.
Being creative for two hours each week takes your mind to a different place, with super-charged benefits. It is proven to boost brain function, boost your immune system and helps prevent disease. Be careful though and take up something truly creative. Rambling is lovely, but it’s a hobby. Photography is both creative and a hobby so choose carefully as you have to fire up that part of your brain.
© Karen Davis 2019
PILLAR 3 – VOLUNTEERING I was not the volunteering sort. At all.
Early on, when I was still in pity party mode, I was asked to go on a local committee which flattered my bruised mental state. However, I was scared because I’d never been a volunteer before, I didn’t know what the others would be like and I didn’t know if I’d be any good.
What an eye opener. Not only were my fellow volunteers bright, smart and fun, they were incredibly kind to me and started me on my road back to good mental health.
Volunteering is key to living midlife well. Get out there and give four hours a month to a cause that you feel strongly about (and by midlife there will be several causes that you will feel strongly about) from cancer rehab, to teenager issues, dementia care or sustainability. There are so many benefits to volunteering including mental health benefits, a sense of true job satisfaction, a sense of doing something you love to help your fellow citizens. Remember, to be a volunteer for your Power Decade you have to leave your home, it’s not something you can do online. The benefits are from interacting with others face to face.
PILLAR 4 – YOUR DREAMS Your dreams. Now is the time to think hard about what you want to do but haven’t quite got around to.
Think very carefully. Are your dreams the same as when you were twenty? They don’t have to be but you must be sure that when you are seventy and looking back in your old age that you will feel you lived life well, that there are no regrets.
So, let’s pull all together.
© Karen Davis 2019
HEALTH Create an eating plan, an exercise plan and a wellness plan where you put into place all the things that you need to get your health back into a great space. Some of us already have health challenges so this is a plan to make it the best for you. There is so much all of us can do to help ourselves, so start.
CREATIVITY This is for your mental health. Pick something you want to do or learn and research it. Find a group, sign up for evening classes, get an online course, set up a room to paint in. Actively plan creativity into your life.
VOLUNTEER I’ve spent longer on Candy Crush in a week than the four hours per month I’m asking you to do as a volunteer so it’s perfectly do-able but make sure it’s something you’re passionate about. You will be amazed at the friends you make, what you learn and the genuine, heartfelt impact your four hours can have.
DREAMS Break these down so that you’re not waiting years before you achieve them. Get one under your belt in the next few months for so many reasons. Don’t leave dreams until last, they have to run alongside the other pillars – you’ll see why.
So why bother? Why have we gone to all this effort to pull your life around more than the menopause is doing for you anyway?
For me, my life has been revolutionised.
I’m no longer obese, my health statistics are all very good and I exercise every single day – I’m pretty healthy.
Creatively, I’m writing a UK road trip book which takes me all over England meeting amazing people. © Karen Davis 2019
I’ve moved on from the committee I mentioned earlier and now I give my time to a volunteer project alleviating loneliness in our local area. A project like this touches people of all ages and humbles you every day.
Personally, I’ve completely changed my business into something that I love, am good at and (brilliantly) women seem to love. I now get asked to speak at conferences on the Power Decade to other women who are feeling lost in midlife.
From an obese woman who had a redundant career, not great health and a reasonable amount of depression my life has turned around to an unbelievable level. I want that for you. Try it. One amazing Power Decade where you make incredible things happen for yourself. Remember, no regrets.
THE AUTHOR Karen (56) is an award-winning 40+ beauty blogger and an ex-beauty PR with over twenty years’ experience as well as having created major beauty promotions for most of the UK media. She is Managing Director of Time of Your Life, a monthly subscription beauty box for the midlife woman which also offers Podcasts and blogs on a range of subjects specifically targeted to women between 40 and 65 years old. She has as dysfunctional family as any, has been divorced, had children, had businesses succeed and fail, had quite a few mammograms and has lost both parents. But, she’s a firm believer that midlife women are the greatest force for good in the world, they just don’t know their own power – yet.
THE BOOK The Time of Your Life is out September 2019, published by Rethink Press and available on Amazon or at www.toyl.co.uk
© Karen Davis 2019
P O R T R A I T O N A N I C O N
DEM I M O O R E THE ‘INSIDE OUT’ JOURNEY TO THE TOP
by Shaima Al-Obaidi and Maddie Waktare www.thefrankmagazine.com
Earlier this Autumn, Hollywood superstar Demi Moore hit the headlines following the release of her tell-all memoir, Inside Out. In it, Moore, 56, presents her own, raw side of “the story of how I learned to surrender,” baring all on her chaotic childhood, troubled teenage years and her rise to stardom. She also reveals intimate details about the ups and downs of her marriages to famous actors Bruce Willis and Ashton Kutcher, and writes candidly about her struggles with body image, and substance abuse that nearly tore her family apart. “[My story] doesn’t belong to the tabloids or my mom or the men I’ve married or the people who’ve loved or hated my movies or even my children,” she writes.“My story is mine alone; I’m the only one who was there for all of it, and I decided to claim the power to tell it in my own terms.” Moore enlisted the help of author and journalist,Ariel Levy, to ghost write the memoir. In an interview with The Guardian,Levy,who specialises in writing about interesting women, discusses her surprise at connecting with Moore on a deep personal level. She hadn’t, in fact, expected to really like her at all.The shift in Levy’s perception of Moore shows the huge gap between the public persona and the real woman living behind it. Having been the subject of media scrutiny for decades, Moore has certainly been misrepresented over the years. That isn’t to say, though, that she hasn’t had an extraordinary life. Less like a train running off the track and more like a jet plane,zooming between exotic but often fraught locations.
It was in that moment,she said,“something very deep inside of me shifted then, and it never shifted back. My childhood was over.” Virginia’s addiction and mental health problems were fuelled by a lack of self-worth which manifested in her relationship with her husband, Dan Guynes. It was a union of infidelities; blame; incessant power play and allconsuming co-dependency. When their relationship broke down, as it frequently did, the couple would uproot their family to a new town or,often, a new side of the country.By the time she was 14,Moore had moved more than 30 times. She sites this constant need to adapt; to become person she needed to be in each new place as the foundation of her talent for acting. Benefitting little from being in education, she dropped out of school when she was 16 and began working and taking acting classes. She made her television debut in her 20s, which saw her appear as plucky journalist,JackieTempleton in General Hospital.
At the start of a live interview for Gwyneth Paltrow’s podcast, Goop, the fellow actress puts it perfectly when she observes:“It’s almost like you’ve had multiple lives in one.”
This was followed by some smaller movie parts before she got her big screen break playing party girl Jules in the box office smash, St Elmo’s Fire, now recognised as a coming of age classic, and A Few Good Men. Soon after that, Moore’s “I feel that way”, Moore replies. career seemed to catch alight. She became a familiar face in Her account of a turbulent and unsettled childhood marred blockbuster smashes: from her critically acclaimed by her parents’struggles with addiction is told from a place performance in Ghost, through to Indecent Proposal. of genuine peace and forgiveness.She takes readers through the sordid experience of being raped at 15 by a man who may or may not have paid her mother $500 as a trade-off. In the book, she writes: “It was rape and a devasting betrayal, revealed by the man’s cruel question: how does it feel to be whored by your mother for $500?” Her mother, Virginia Guynes, struggled with alcoholism, which slowly took hold throughout Moore’s adolescence. She attempted suicide on several occasions and Moore recalls how her intervention at just 12 years old saved her mother’s life. “I remember using my fingers, the small fingers of a child to dig the pills my mother has tried to swallow, out of her mouth.”
“Her account of a turbulent and unsettled childhood marred by her parents’ struggles with addiction is told from a place of genuine peace and forgiveness.”
Her commitment to her craft isn’t always recognised, yet, it is perhaps epitomised in the physical transformation she underwent for her lead role in GI Jane. Moore took on the role of the first female navy seal where she shaved all her hair and took on the training regime of a seal. Moore was determined, like her character, to prove herself just as capable as the men. Critics have raved about her screen persona, which, according to The Guardian,“has something indestructible about it.” Her performances have a toughness, a strength and a determination.“The inescapable thing that she gives us”, The Guardian concludes, “is steel.” However, for Moore, this sudden burst of fame was difficult to navigate.“I got involved with drugs because I was young and didn’t know how to become part of the crowd,” she confessed.
Moore hit fame without the foundation of a stable upbringing to provide a personal grounding. In fact, the very fabric of her identity had been shaken years earlier, when at 13 she discovered her parents’ marriage certificates and noticed that the wedding date was a year after she was born. It transpired that her biological father was not Dan Guynes but Charles Harmon, an Air Force airman, who her mother had shared a brief, two-month betrothal. Benefitting little from being in education, she dropped out of school when she was 16 and began working and taking acting classes.She made her television debut in her 20s,which saw her appear as plucky journalist, Jackie Templeton in General Hospital.
This was followed by some smaller movie parts before she got her big screen break playing party girl Jules in the box Once she started - be it drinking or taking drugs - she didn’t office smash, St Elmo’s Fire, now recognised as a coming of know how to stop. age classic, and A Few Good Men. Soon after that, Moore’s career seemed to catch alight. She became a familiar face in Whilst the 80s was a career-defining decade for Moore, she blockbuster smashes: from her critically acclaimed explains that her “appetite for cocaine had escalated into performance in Ghost, through to Indecent Proposal. dependency and though I would never have called myself an addict, that’s what I had become.”
“In 1996, Demi became the highest-paid female actress in Hollywood history, getting $12.5m for Striptease, dominating the media headlines and given the nickname, ‘Gimme Moore.’ While she was vilified by the press and portrayed as being greedy, other reports claimed that it inspired other actresses to bump their asking rate.”
Through each other, Moore and Willis fulfilled a deep desire they both harboured to be parents. But after two more daughters, Scout and Tallulah, and over a decade of marriage, they divorced in 2000, remaining great friends to this day. In 2003,Moore met‘That 70s Show’actor,Ashton Kutcher, who was 15 years her junior – a fact that sparked a brutal media frenzy.According to Moore, in Kutcher, she met her soul mate and that her relationship with him was like“a doover, like I could just go back in time and experience what it was like to be young…much more so than I’d ever been able to experience in my twenties”
Her successes, both her own and those which she can hold up on behalf of womankind, are as much a part of her story as her struggle. Moore made shockwaves when, in 1991 she appeared naked and pregnant on the cover of Vanity Fair. It may not seem so extraordinary now, but it was an image of its time. A symbol of the power and beauty of a pregnant woman’s body, in an era when glamour and status did not coincide naturally with motherhood.
Similarly, in 1996, she became the highest-paid female actress in Hollywood history, getting $12.5m for Striptease, dominating the media headlines and given the nickname, The pair married in 2005 and she became pregnant with his ‘Gimme Moore.’ While she was vilified by the press and child, a girl she was going to name Chaplin Ray. portrayed as being greedy, other reports claimed that it Devastatingly, though, Moore suffered a miscarriage. inspired other actresses to bump their asking rate. Although she had been sober for nearly 20 years, the loss of the baby was hard for her to deal with and she turned to According to Gwyneth Paltrow,Moore“became a movie star alcohol and Vicodin, a highly addictive opioid painkiller. in this time where women didn’t naturally fit into the system. The couple continued to try for a child,even seeking fertility She was really the first person who fought for pay equality treatments, but as time passed and Moore didn’t fall and got it, and really suffered a backlash from it. We all certainly benefited from her.” pregnant, her drinking got worse. She recalls a time when on holiday together, Kutcher said: “I don’t know if alcoholism is a real thing – I think it’s all about moderation.”As a result, she“wanted to be that girl. The girl who could have a glass of wine at dinner, or do a tequila shot at a party. In my mind, Ashton wanted that, too,” she said in an episode of Jada Pinkett Smith’s, Red Table Talk. Her daughters,Rumer andTallulah appear on the show too, talking about the impact of their mother’s sobriety slip.“It was like the sun went down, and a monster came,”Tallulah said, who was 9 years old when Moore relapsed. This need to conform to an imagined ideal for Kutcher opened the gate to a dark path. Moore reveals that Kutcher had asked her for threesomes, and later learned that he had been cheating on her.She wrote: “I wanted to show him how great and fun I could be,’ but knew that it was a “mistake.” Ultimately, the pair went through a wrought and painful separation, finalising their divorce in 2013, two years after announcing the split. It is these experiences of heartbreak and tragedy which seem to have shaped her the most. Her memoir takes us through her journey to the top from a place of true self-acceptance and understanding.
Moore addressed her trailblazing status in her interview with the New York Times. She said that it “was an honour, and with that came a lot of negativity and a lot of judgement towards me, which I’m happy to have held if it made a difference.” It is this kind of genuine and touching humility which lingers as you turn the pages of Inside Out. Publisher HarperCollins, sum up her extraordinary journey in a statement:“Inside Out is a story of survival, success, and surrender — as well as resilience: a wrenchingly honest portrayal of one woman's at once ordinary and iconic life.” It was an opportunity for Moore to replace the version of herself that everyone thinks they know with her own personal truth.Now more than ever,at 56 – nothing will stop her from rising.
“Her commitment to her craft isn’t always recognised, yet, it is perhaps epitomised in the physical transformation she underwent for her lead role in GI Jane. Moore took on the role of the first female navy seal where she shaved all her hair and took on the training regime of a seal. Moore was determined, like her character, to prove herself just as capable as the men."
W H A T
Why Not Try...?
By Sam Baines
Start here to make your life brighter, shinier and a little better with these beautiful items you need to own this autumn and beyond.
Coffee by girls If you need your morning coffee and you want to support female founded products then this is the brand for you. Girls Who Grind is an all-female roastery founded by Fi O'Brien and Casey Lalonde. Based in Somerset, they source all of their coffee from female producers and farmers focusing on the story behind the beans as well as the taste. Head to their website for weekly, fortnightly and monthly subscriptions or order by weight and support female coffee producers all over the world. From ÂŁ8.50 www.girlswhogrindcoffee.com
Free from skincare Myroo is skincare for sensitive and allergy prone skin. Founded by Rachel Dunseath due to her own sensitive skin issues, Myroo is now the only 100% plant based, vegan skincare in the UK which is also free from all fourteen allergens as well as being paraben free. Their skin serums, balms and oils are made in Yorkshire in small batches and are all also available fragrance free. If you or someone you know struggles with skincare allergies or skin sensitivity then Myroo could be the answer to their prayers. They also do candles and starter kits which are perfect for Christmas presents. From £8 www.myroo.co.uk
Deliciously soft reusable face wipes If you are trying to cut down on your one use products then disposable face wipes and cotton pads are out the window which means make up removal can be tricky. It's a good thing Ane' have introduced their deliciously soft double-sided face cloths. Made from 100% organic cotton muslin and microfibre these face cloths are not only good for the environment but they buff your skin whilst wiping away impurities. You can pop them in the washing machine on 30 degrees and keep reusing them and each pack comes with three cloths. £14.45 www.beautybyane.com From £8
Stunning Marble Sink Throw everything but the kitchen sink at your problems but keep these beautiful bathroom sinks for best. These stunning marble wash basins are available from Tikamoon who hand make all of their products and work directly with designers and creatives as well as being committed to sustainability. It's worth checking out their solid wood furniture too. From ÂŁ59 www.tikamoon.co.uk
Menstruate in style If you are a menstruator or know someone who is then these 100% organic cotton tampons from independent brand Ohne are a must. These toxic-free (that means bleach free too), biodegradable and eco-friendly tampons come with applicators or without. Not only are they good for your vagina, Ohne also donates to women's causes all over the world and tries to educate all about menstrual health. Delivered to your door monthly, this is a subscription box that aims to do good things. For your first box free use code 'SAMANTHAVIP' From ÂŁ4.80 a month www.ohne.co
Beds fit for a Queen A brand beginning to pop on the high street and it's worth getting involved early on with Feather and Black who are top of the headboard when it comes to bedroom furniture. All their products are ethically sourced, come with a ten year guarantee and they even offer a recycling service for mattresses to make sure nothing goes to waste. Feel like a Queen every morning in this Versailles bed from ÂŁ1695 www.featherandblack.com www.thefrankmagazine.com
R E C I P E S
The Curry Queen
Sarah Ali Choudhury is a TV Chef, Multi Award Winner and Indian food expert who's recipes and articles have featured in print and online publications locally, nationally and internationally including Forbes, The Sun, The Telegraph, Independent and various others. Sarah presented BBC's Inside Out highlighting female chefs in UK. It was translated and went global on BBC World News. Her work has been highlighted by Forbes who recognise her as 'The Curry Queen' and as a leader for Asian women in Catering. www.thefrankmagazine.com
Succulent Lamb Bhuna
INGREDIENTS 1/2 kg diced lamb 1 finely chopped onion 5 cloves finely chopped garlic 1 tbsp grated ginger 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) 1/4 green pepper Finely chopped 1 large tomato chopped finely 1tsp concentrated tomato puree
1 bay leaf 3 cardamons 1 inch cinnamon stick 1tbs mixed curry powder 1/2 tsp tumeric powder 1tsp garam masala 1 tbs coriander powder 1/4 tsp chilli powder (optional)
1/4 tsp paprika 2tbsp sunflower oil Fresh Coriander for garnish 50ml water
METHOD 1. Heat oil 2. Add bay leaf, cardamons and cinnamon stick, 3. Add garlic, ginger, onion, green pepper and salt and fry on a low to medium heat, stirring regularly until onions soften 5-10 mins. 4. when onions start to caramelise add the tumeric, coriander, garam masala, mixed curry powder, chilli powder, paprika and the tomato puree and stir well. 5. Add 50 ml water and stir well then add the tomato. 6. After about 10 mins you will notice a little oil come to the top of the mixture. This means the spices are cooked and it is at this point that you add the diced lamb. 7. Stir well and cover. Cook this for 15- 20 mins regularly stirring ensuring it doesn't burn and for the last 5 mins leave it on slow heat and covered. 8. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve. www.thefrankmagazine.com
INGREDIENTS 1 small/medium Butternut squash (peeled and finely diced) 1 medium onion finely chopped 4 cloves fresh garlic finely chopped 1 tsp Coriander powder 1 tbsp cumin powder 1/4 tsp Tumeric Powder 1 tsp concentrated tomato puree 1tbsp sunflower oil Coriander or spring onion for garnish 25ml water METHOD 1. Heat oil in a heavy based pan 2. Add garlic, onion and salt 3, Allow to soften and then add cumin, tumeric and coriander powder, along with the tomato puree 4. Add water and allow to cook on a slow heat for 5-7 mins 5. turn to medium heat for 3-5 mins 6. Add the butternut squash , stir well and cover. 7. You will need to cook for about 15-20 mins on slow heat to allow squash to cook through properly, ensure that you stir regularly. 8. When done, serve and garnish with fresh coriander or spring onion. www.thefrankmagazine.com
What is Butternut Squash? Butternut Squash is a type of winter squash. It has a distinctly nutty and sweet taste very similar to pumpkins. It is technically a fruit but can be used as a vegetable being sautĂŠed, toasted, roasted, mashed or pureed. I find that cumin brings out the flavour of butternut squash and works really well with it. It is one of my favourite foods and I love to sometimes cook it together with a chicken or lamb curry. Best way to peel Butternut Squash. Lots of people try peeling it with a knife but I find the easiest way to peel it is actually with a potato peeler in a downward motion. Then top and tail it. Once completely peeled, topped and tailed, cut in half lengthways and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Then dice. You can use the seeds by washing and drying them. Toss and bake them by ensuring they are evenly coated with oil and salt, spread them out into a single layer and roast for about 20 mins or until starting to brown.
Sarah's Healthy Vegan Recipe INGREDIENTS 4 tbsp Oil 2 tsp Panch Phoran 1 Medium Onion peeled and chopped 1 Inch Ginger peeled and grated 5 Cloves Garlic finely chopped 1 tsp Salt or to taste 1 small tin chickpeas (washed and drained) 1 tbsp Coriander Powder 1 tsp Cumin poder 1 tsp Chilli Powder 1 tsp Turmeric 1 tbsp Tomato Puree or 2 fresh plum tomatoes 1 Potatoes peeled and cut into 3â „4 inch cubes 1 Aubergine cut into 1â „4 inch cubes 1 carrot (chopped) 2 Peppers green and/or red, cut into 1 inch pieces 2 cups (500ml) Water 2 tbsp Chopped Fresh Coriander METHOD Heat oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. When hot, add the panch phoran and cook until sizzling then add the onion and allow to soften for about five minutes then add the garlic, ginger and salt, stirring occasionally. Then add the coriander powder, cumin, chilli powder, turmeric and tomato puree and continue stir. then add 100ml water and allow to cook on a medium heat. you will start to see the colour go darker around the edges of the pan and the oil comes to the top, thats the perfect time to add the potatoes and carrots and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Then add the aubergine and peppers, stirring for another five minutes. If it is sticking to the bottom of the pan or drying out you can add a touch more water. Add the chickpeas now then stir well, cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Garnish with fresh coriander. You can use other seasonal vegetables such as courgettes and tomatoes, okra, pumpkin or sweet potato. Paanch Puran is an equal amount of the following: Fennel seeds Mustard Seeds Fenugreek Nigella Seeds Cumin Seeds www.thefrankmagazine.com
What is Okra? Okra, also known as ladies' fingers is a heat-loving plant with slightly fuzzy green pods that contain a rich source of potassium, folic acid, vitamins B and C, calcium and fibre. It is estimated that eight medium-sized okra pods contain over three grammes of fibre, which can help digestion, cut hunger cravings and keep you fuller for longer. Said to be replete with antioxidants, okra can make excellent antifatigue food and contains glutathione, which is said to protect against a wide range of health problems. It has been suggested that okra may help manage blood sugar in cases of type 1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. However, okra is not to everyone's taste because of it's subtle flavour and it can have a slippery texture as the seeds release a sticky, viscous liquid when cooked. This makes the vegetable (technically a fruit), useful for thickening stews. It comes into its own when cooked with spicy ingredients and when used whole, okra makes a tasty side dish. This versatile food can also be chopped, sliced and fried. When doing this remove the seeds first and mix with spices and flour and drain before serving. Okra is available all year round in supermarkets and other stores.When choosing fresh okra, select the rigid pods and look for those that are brightly coloured and avoid any with brown marks or that are limp. The larger ones are tougher (between 7-10cm length is best). Drinking okra hate is a popular new method of using okra. This is done by soaking okra pods in water overnight and drinking the water the following day. It's a quick solution to derive the benefits of okra if you aren't crazy about the taste of it when cooked. Okra is sometimes called bhindi and belongs to the same plant family as cotton and hibiscus. Look out for our okra recipe in the next issue but enjoy this delicious vegan recipe.
B O O K S
The READING List Here are some recommended books for getting cosy in the winter months. By Eleanor Tattersfield
Inheritance by Jenny Eclair This is the first of Jenny Eclair’s books that I have read and I am not surprised that her training as a stand up comedian has honed her observational skills which add immeasurably to the world she has created. There is something about Cornwall and its association with the revered classics by Du Maurier that lends an added dimension of eerie and melancholy to a novel whose central motif is a house. This story revolves in and around a house called Kittiwake where a baby called Bel is discovered in a drawer in the opening pages. The preparations for Bel's brother Lance's 50th birthday party being held at the family estate create the central theme as the inter familial saga reveals itself. It is an impressively complex novel that skips about in time, but is surprisingly easy to follow. With both wonderful cultural references to growing up in the 70s and 80s that are terribly nostalgic like the sanitary bags with the red lady in a crinoline dress and bonnet logo and the stuff of our times like Ottolenghi and the current trend for absurd children’s names. The intriguing ending that keeps the characters of this book in your head long after you have put it down. Tell Me Your Secret by Dorothy Koomson I have to confess this is not my favourite genre; what I would call police procedural crime thriller airport flick-lit.
Having said that the story flows along swiftly and one is soon immersed in the characters, whom are well drawn and utterly believable with all their vulnerabilities and well-deserved neuroses. It is a grim but gripping tale of a serial kidnapper/ torturer/ murderer who does the one thing you hope this type of person won’t ever do; which is to reoffend with the same group of women he has traumatised before. One must commend Koomson for her imagination as just when you thought you seen enough Scandi noir to have covered all your basic criminal methods she has come up with some gruesome new additions to the pantheon. I won’t reveal the good and surprising ending should you wish to spend two days under cover in the winter months getting to know Jody the policewoman and Pieta the journalist come together over their shared dark internal pain and move towards a dramatic end.
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett I love Ann Patchett ( see previous review on Truth & Beauty ) and couldnâ€™t wait to read her latest novel, The Dutch House. Itâ€™s another family saga drawn in and around the familial home and in a similar way to Inheritance the house plays a big part in the lives of all who lived there. The Dutch house centres on the touching relationship between brother and sister. They have absent parents early on in their lives, their mother left the house when they were young and their father is distant and ever more so when he remarries. Mauve gives up a lot of her early adulthood to take care of her younger brother. Their sadness is exacerbated by their shared hatred of the stepmother their father introduces into the Dutch House. Much of the present day takes place in a parked car whilst the siblings occupy a stake out - like position watching their old house and reminiscing about their past. Patchett style is so effortless that the writing falls away as one is completely absorbed in the characters and immersed in the scenes. www.thefrankmagazine.com
B O O K S
READ ME Tell Me Your Secret by Dorothy Koomson I have to confess this is not my favourite genre; what I would call police procedural crime thriller airport flick-lit. Having said that the story flows along swiftly and one is soon immersed in the characters, whom are well drawn and utterly believable with all their vulnerabilities and well-deserved neuroses. It is a grim but gripping tale of a serial kidnapper/torturer/ murderer who does the one thing you hope this type of person wonâ€™t ever do; which is to reoffend with the same group of women he has traumatised before. One must commend Koomson for her imagination as just when you thought you seen enough Scandi noir to have covered all your basic criminal methods she has come up with some gruesome new additions to the pantheon. I wonâ€™t reveal the good and surprising ending should you wish to spend two days under cover in the winter months getting to know Jody the policewoman and Pieta the journalist come together over their shared dark internal pain and move towards a dramatic end. www.thefrankmagazine.com
Ladder of Years by Ann Tyler Dee is a woman in her forties on a summer family holiday, after a morning of preparing things for a day a the beach she sits on her towel and watches her children play, her sisters chat and her husband takes off for a long jog. She comes to a moment in her life where she finds herself a stranger both to her family and to herself. She stands up grabs a sarong and her beach bag, stuffs a towel in it and walks off without breathing a word to her family. In a nearby town, Delia reinvents herself; getting her first job, finding her first place, and buying her first business suit. Can she really start again, walk away from one life and begin another? Mothers and wives often have these fantasy thoughts of escape and I feel sure that is why this book has such resonance. The story is so compelling that it is easy to overlook Tylerâ€™s writing style which is beautifully crafted, using such thoughtful word choices. If you have never read any Ann Tyler.. well, you have plenty of joy ahead.
READ ME www.thefrankmagazine.com