FRANK Feb March 2020

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Issue 06 Feb - March 2020

FRANK by name FRANK by nature



February March 2020


BEAUTY p8 p10 Beauty Editor Fiona Eustace Kissable Lips p14 Hands off my beauty cream FASHION p22 p24 Cover Model Interview Marina Shlosberg p26 The cover shoot The Retro-Spective p36 SS20 Trend Report By Fashion Editor Annabel Kerman INTERVIEWS p44 p46 Kirsty Gallacher p52 Sue Pryke p58 Marianne Cotterill p62 Emma Lloyd Cowell HEALTH & WELLNESS p70 p72 Sarah Mac p76 M Life COMPETITION p78 Gabriela Peacock p80 Gabriela Peacock COMPETITION p82 Dr Louise Wiseman ARTICLES p97 p98 The Fashion of Ageing - Charisse Glenn p102 Feeling Stuck - Danielle Dodoo p102 The Surprising Beauty of the Ordinary - Catherine Gray WHAT TO…BUY, SEE, READ & WATCH p112 p114 Why Not Try? - Sam Baines p118 From my kitchen to yours - Amelia Freer p122 The READING List - Eleanor Tattersfield p126 Carmen Opera Review - Tamsin Flower p128 FRANK Interiors - Lisa Dawson And MUCH MUCH more...


Hello you wonderful Frankettes! The days are starting to be lighter for longer and i’m getting excited for Spring. I really hope our latest issue of Frank makes you feel that way too. Frank is packed with lots of fresh and fun articles, some flash back fashion with a retro feel, advice on keeping lustrous lips for the loved up season and how to recover our lost mojo . We find out what makes Kirstie Gallacher tick and Amelia Freer shares some of her quick and easy recipes from her latest book. All that and more. Get stuck in Ladies , you know you want to! Melanie X

''Frank is for women who want to be informed, inspired, amused, look good and be healthy.''


MELANIE ''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."

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

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

International Distribution | FRANK Magazine FREE Subscriptions Worldwide |


Issue 06 Feb - March 2020

Free subscriptions may begin at any time throughout the year. You can cancel a a subscription anytime. Copyright Š 2020 The Frank Magazine.

@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.

FRANK by name FRANK by nature Photographer Catherine Harbour Photography assistant Ed Findlay Stylist/Fashion Editor Annabel Kerman Styling assistant Liberty Hornby Hair Stylist Alexandru Szabo at Carol Hayes Makeup artist Katrin Rees at Carol Hayes Model Marina Shlosberg at Bookings




FRANK BODY body cream

DRY PATCHES ARE A THING OF THE PAST with frank body’s Body Cream on your bathroom shelf! Going above and beyond to hydrate and nourish your skin, this lil’ guy is sure to earn top spot in your body care regime – it moisturises, strengthens, energises, soothes and firms (phew). Better still? It uses all natural, vegan and cruelty-free ingredients to do so. The ultimate booty call (wink wink), coffee seed extract tones and firms by stimulating collagen production, while shea and cocoa butters grant an intense hydration boost. Vitamin C-packed pomegranate helps to strengthen your skin’s epidermis (the outer layer), while fending off any harmful free radicals, helped along by antioxidantdense, soothing and energising green tea. Butter yourself up postshower and forget your dry skin ever happened…



Issue 06 Feb - March 2020

FRANK by name FRANK by nature

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BEAUTY We have liptastic ideas for the kissing season, The stuff of dreams hand creams & The hair care bear mask we want to get our paws on.



Kissable Lips

Pucker up this Valentines with smoochable lips. By Beauty Editor Fiona Eustace @fionaeustace


he skin on our lips is a lot thinner than the rest of our bodies this means that we need to care for our lips correctly. Here are some top tips on how to look after your delicate lips and how to wear the perfect lipstick. Our mouths are exposed to the elements every day and are prone to dehydration as they have no glands to produce oil, which can act as a barrier., . In the summer months if not protected they can burn more easily than your skin since they lack melanin. The skin on your lips is so thin that they appear red because you can see the blood vessels beneath the surface. So how can we look after our lips? Number one on your list should always be to drink more water. If our bodies are hydrated this will show on our lips. Think of your lips like a sponge, they will absorb water and plump up when exposed to moisture, but they will also shrink and dry out and even crack if we don’t add enough moisture or they get dehydrated. Another way of keeping your lips moist is by ensuring the air in your home is not dry. This is particularly important in the winter months, when the heating is on all the time. Add air into your home by plugging in a humidifier. This will add moisture to the dry indoor air. Just like our faces we should also exfoliate our lips to get rid of the dead skin. The kindest way to do this is to apply a lip balm all over them, then using a cotton bud gently rub and roll the them over your mouth, this will gently exfoliate your lips and slough away any dead skin leaving soft beautiful lips. You can repeat this process until you feel your lips are soft and clean Other than these simple solutions, here are some products that can help keep your mouth kissable and in tip-top shape!

Thirsty Ulla £30.00 The biggest issue for me when trying to up my H2O intake is actually remembering to drink! Cue Thirsty Ulla - this cute little gadget reminds you to drink. Perfect! Attach to any water bottle of any shape or size. If you forget to drink, Ulla will blink at you at least once an hour to alert you.

Sol Janeiro Brazilian Kiss £15 Selfridges I love using this balm when I exfoliate my lips. It smells amazing and contains the nourishing Cupuaçu Butter (pronounced coo-pwahsue) the anti-oxidant powerhouse Açai and super conditioning Coconut oil. It will intensify the natural lip colour and leave a dewy sheen. You can wear it on its own or as a base before a primer and liner. As a Makeup artists I also like to use this on the eyelids and cheekbones or anywhere else I would like to add a dewy glow.

Biodegradable bamboo cotton buds £6.12 Replace plastic ear buds with these biodegradable ones made from bamboo and soft cotton. Unlike the plastic counterparts which can live on for years as one of the biggest river and ocean pollutants, these can simply be thrown away in your recycling. Their packaging is also made of recycled cardboard, reducing plastic waste further. We love that.


reating the perfect pout

After exfoliating your lips, I like to prep my lips with a primer. When applying liner, I like to make sure the point is razor sharp. Always start at the cupids bow then continue around the mouth ensuring symmetry. Sometimes you have to overdraw slightly to create balance. After I am happy with the line, colour in the rest of the lip with the liner. This will ensure you are not left with a harsh line if your lipstick fades throughout the day. At work I will always apply lipstick with a brush for cleanliness, but you can apply it directly form the bullet. If I am using a brush, I prefer an angled eyebrow brush. This always helps me to create the perfect cupids bow and helps me keep the edges smooth and straight were I need them to be. If you make any mistake you can always clean up with a small bud for ease and to remove any colour from the skin, you can use your concealer with a flat edged brush around the edges of the lips.

Mac Prep and Prime £25.00 I love the Mac Prep and Prime Lip. I apply this all over the lip, taking it over the lip line. This will stop feathering around the mouth and will ensure the makeup stays in place longer. It also helps the liner go on smoothly.

Muji thin cotton buds £2.95 I cannot work without these little beauties. Perfect for correcting with accurate precision. I also find they don’t leave fibres on your skin or around your eyes which other buds can , especially when you’re correcting liner. They are perfect for cleaning any smudged lipliner from around the mouth. Also perfect for creating the perfect eyeliner,and ensuring that point is razor sharp. 100% cotton and on a paper wand avoiding plastic waste again.


Fenty Stunna Lip Paint £20

hoosing the right formula for you.

Matte Lips I love a matt lip as these lipsticks are so richly pigmented and stay put for a long time. Always make sure your lips are correctly prepped and moisturised as this formula can be very drying. If you have dry, chapped lips then this is not the formula for you as they won’t look smooth and kissable. When applying you have to be quick and precise as the lipstick can dry quickly but once you’re done then you will be ready for the night.

This stunning lip paint is perfect for making a dramatic head turning entrance. Incredibly rich in colour - a little goes a long way. Work fast and precise because when this is on its not going anywhere. The bottle is also worth a mention as it is beautiful.

If you are after a more softer finish you can dab it onto well moisturised lips with your finger. This will create a more subtle finish. Becca Ultimate Love Lipstick £20


ream Formulas

If your lips tend to be dry and you like to use a moisturised lipstick, I would go for a cream formula. They are still fairly pigmented and will be super-hydrating for your lips. The colour won’t last all day so you will need to reapply. Who doesn’t love freshly applied lipstick? I would still line my lips. Once I’ve finished with a precise line, I would feather the liner onto the centre of my lips with a brush giving a softer finish. I would apply this type of lipstick with the Mac 316 synthetic lip brush, which I love. It’s a great shape to help create a softer cupids bow.


This new high-conditioning and high shine lipstick is one of my favourite cream lipsticks. Not only is it packed with hyaluronic acid and avocado oil which will condition your lips, but it is also highly pigmented and will add the right amount of colour for day or night.

Douvalls Argan lip and cheek colour Oil £35.00 for a set of three

inted Lip Balms and Lip Oils

If you prefer less colour, then I would choose a tinted lip balm or a tinted lip oil. This lipstick does not have as much pigment as a cream lipstick but will certainly give you a subtle tint with a beautiful sheen. I would once again use a liner, but I would feather this liner on using soft strokes around the mouth - still keeping a smooth outline and colour in using a brush again. This can help the balm or lip oil to stay put for longer. You will still have to reapply throughout the day so your lips will stay kissable.

These gorgeous little tubes of lip and cheek colour are really beautiful if you are on the run, as I always am. They come in 6 gorgeous shades and the nongreasy formula is super hydrating. You can time by popping this on to your lips using your finger, then dab the excess onto your cheeks. Voila your look is finished.


BRIOGEO front bow shower cap This ultra stylish shower cap keeps out moisture and steam to prolong beautifully styled hair. Briogeo’s Front Bow Shower Cap is reversible, waterproof, and is large enough to protect long, thick hair. Fun and functional; this cap features a font bow and an elastic band that is secure yet comfortable around the head.




HANDS off my beauty cream They may might not be at the top of your beauty list, but hand cream is one of the best skincare treats to invest in. On a daily basis, your hands are exposed to the same environmental stressors as your face, it makes sense that we should extend our skincare routine right to our fingertips. Not only do these multi-tasking formulas feel (and smell) lovely, but they also come with a whole host of advanced benefits. From softening ragged cuticles to extending the life of your manicure and even erasing age spots and sun damage, there are so many reasons to upgrade your hand cream now.

AESOP Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm £21

CAUDALIE Vinoperfect Dark Spot Correcting Hand Cream £15

SOL DE JANEIRO Brazilian Touch Hand Cream £15

SEAMS Couturiers Hand Cream £14


best buy

nursem Caring hand Cream - 75ml ÂŁ10.00

BYREDO Rose of No Man’s Land Hand Cream £30

SARAH CHAPMAN Skinesis Overnight Hand and Nail Treatment £39

REN CLEAN SKINCARE Atlantic Kelp & Magnesium £18 ALGENIST Genius Liquid Collagen Hand Cream £36

CHANTECAILLE Retinol Hand Cream £62



STIMULATE AND TONE Aromatherapy Associates Revive Body Brush

''This really stimulates my circulation and it only takes a few days of regular brushing to see great results. No more rough skin for me! Millie Cooper

Agave cactus-bristle brush Encourages the renewal of skin cells, improves blood circulation and lymphatic drainage Improves blood circulation Designed to stimulate and tone, the Aromatherapy Associates Revive Body Brush is made with natural, rounded agave cactus bristles. Brush from head to toe towards the heart to encourage the renewal of healthy skin cells, while also improving blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, preparing skin to absorb an aromatherapy-inspired body oil of your choice. ÂŁ25.00


HAIR BEAR..... BRIOGEO Don't Despair, Repair! Honey Moisture Deep Conditioning Mask Cruelty-free haircare


evive locks with the Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Honey Moisture Deep Conditioning Mask, an intensely nourishing mask that contains organic, unpasteurised honey sourced via sustainable beekeeping projects.

This mask works to increase and maintain moisture while reducing breakages and frizz. It is enriched with sweet almond oil, avocado oil and apple fruit extract along with coconut, calendula, radish root and ginseng root extracts. It penetrates each strand from root to tip, leaving locks soothed, smooth and full of life. The Briogeo Don’t Despair, Repair! Honey Moisture Deep Conditioning Mask is suitable for those with dry, damaged, coloured or chemically treated locks. It can also help to breathe new life into particularly tired or stressed tresses. The mask is free from gluten, parabens and silicone and is certified cruelty-free. Key Benefits: Nourishing hair mask enriched with organic, unpasteurised honey Contains sweet almond oil, apple fruit extract, avocado oil and ginseng root Penetrates the hair from root to tip Helps to leave hair soft, smooth and soothed Free from parabens, silicone and gluten Cruelty-free haircare HOW TO APPLY After shampooing, massage Don't Despair, Repair! Honey Moisture Deep Conditioning Mask into the hair, ensuring the conditioner is evenly applied. Leave in for 5-10 minutes before rinsing. ABOUT BRIOGEO Briogeo combines the best of science and nature, to deliver powerful, naturally based formulas for all hair textures and types.



with Annabel Kerman






FASHION We have a retro- spective - fashion with a hint of the 70’s. & The Spring/Summer trend report, that looks at staple pieces, big dresses and bold colours.




ow would you describe yourself?

I was born in Russia, raised in Uzbekistan and lived in Amsterdam and Paris before settling down in the UK. London has been my home for nearly 20 years and this is the longest I have spent anywhere. I love London for its infectious energy, culture, diversity and the wonderful weather! I am a model, occasional actor, wife and a mother of 2 beautiful children. When did you start modelling? Growing up, I wanted to be a fashion designer. I combined my school hours with dressmaking and constantly sketched mannequins in elaborate clothes.After studying fashion design, modelling seemed like a perfect way to research the industry. I was in my 20s - too old compared to most models who were starting out at that time! Little did I know, it would become one of the major paths of my life and take me on an incredible adventure of shooting for French Elle, walking the runway for YSL and Dior and fronting campaigns for L’Oreal and Caudalie amongst other brands. Modelling in Paris felt like being at the epicentre of fashion and I met some incredible people there who have become my lifelong friends. How has the business changed since you began?

“Youth was portrayed as aspirational for generations so representing women 40 plus still feels like being part of a small

Since the 90s the fashion and advertising industry has grown in power and size. It has become a champion of diversity, inclusivity and emancipation. Youth was portrayed as aspirational for generations so representing women 40 plus still feels like being part of a small revolution. As a model I feel more in control of my career thanks to direct access and open communication with the creative community. The arrival of social media has also opened many horizons in terms of creativity and inspiration. The digital age brought significant changes to the art of fashion photography.We are now more productive and precise.

Top RICHARD QUINN at Matchesfashion Earrings KENNETH JAY LANE

What are the perks of the job? Being self employed which gives me the luxury of being in charge of my schedule. Travel,working with international teams and transforming through make up and clothes. Every day is different and somewhat unpredictable and that is very thrilling and suitable to my personality.

My son 9 said that he likes that I am a model because I am pretty (thank you Kai!), but he is not very keen on me being away. He also said that he would prefer if I was a cowboy (not a cowgirl?)! What is your attitude to getting older?

I am acceptant of the cycle of life and to all the changes that are inevitable. I guess the goal is not to lose your purpose, What other work do you do? sense of humour and stay as healthy and alert as possible. At this point of my life, I am less concerned about youthful I had a break from modelling in my mid thirties and set up appearance and fully aware that being old will need some a fashion brand. mental preparation and financial planning. The brand was exclusive to a handful of nice boutiques and got some lovely publicity in American Elle,Telegraph and British Vogue. However, after the birth of my second child juggling the pressures of meeting deadlines and motherhood became too overwhelming.I closed my company and joined a newly formed classic division at Bookings Models, an agency I worked with previously. Luckily, the renaissance of the models from the 90s has worked in my favour and I have been been a full time model ever since. What are you other passions? My family is my biggest achievement. I love spending time with my husband and kids. I am a foodie and a decent cook. A regular in art galleries and not shy at picking up a camera. I used to paint, but right now, having that space seems unachievable. Perhaps it will return as a lovely hobby in retirement. My husband is a documentary film maker and I often enjoy getting involved. What do your children think of your modelling? I actually ran a little interview with my two children to answer this question.

“I am acceptant of the cycle of life and to all the changes that are inevitable. I guess the goal is not to lose your purpose, sense of humour and stay as healthy and alert as possible.�

My 12 year old daughter Marta said that as a model I have to look after my body, and as a result the whole family benefits from healthy cooking and exercise. (Aww!)


THE RETRO-SPECTIVE When 1970’s silhouettes become today’s modern classics

PhotographerCatherineHarbour FashionEditorAnnabelKerman Blouse DOLCE & GABBANA at Matchesfashion Roll neck top ARKET Trousers CHLOE at Matchesfashion Sandals MICHAEL KORS Earrings KENNETH JAY LANE





Photography Assistant Ed Findlay Styling Assistant Liberty Hornsby Hair Stylist Alexandre Szabo at Carol Hayes using Moroccan Oil Makeup Artist Katrin Rees at Carol Hayes using Hourglass Cosmetics Model Marina at Bookings Models Shot on Location at


Jumper ROKSANDA at Matchesfashion Skirt MAXMARA Boots LK BENNETT




By Fashion Editor Annabel Kerman


ost of us would agree that catwalk trends shouldn’t trigger a complete wardrobe overhaul each season, but for SS20 this has never been more of a contentious issue. In the current climate, a flamboyant bi annual month of ooh-ing and ah-ing at ‘new stuff’ isn’t really following the programme. Designers now have to tread a fine line between delivering collections that will encourage spending, while promoting sustainability and mindfulness. It’s a big ask, but fashion is adapting. In addition to a more sustainable approach to production, the new season’s collections were big on ‘investment pieces’ : wardrobe staples that could realistically endure decades not seasons. Plus consideration of our current wardrobe underpins it all: the idea of giving items that we most likely already own a new season twist. Calling yourself a

shopaholic in 2020? Borderline social suicide. So what is SS20 offering? Classic wardrobe items popped up in nearly every show, as did natural, organic and sustainable fibres. On the subject of longevity, many collections looked back to key shapes from past eras that have proved their credentials. But to maintain a bit of fun, bold prints and bright colours were having (another) moment, albeit mostly worn with hardworking flat-forms or classic loafers. Well we’re not going to save the world in stilettos are we? Overall fashion feels like its pulled in the reins this season, keeping its (sensibly clad) feet on the ground for the foreseeable future. So think of this trend report as styling advice: whether you plan to invest, look for preloved pieces or rework what you already own. Just don’t mention the word shopaholic.

CLASSIC STAPLES The appeal of the classic and the well made is huge this summer. The trench coat, jeans and the white or pale blue shirt have long been key components of the slightly quaint sounding ‘capsule wardrobe’, but for spring summer capsule aficionados will be feeling both smug and of the moment. In a timeless way of course.







STATEMENT PRINT The catwalks are saying anything goes with print's this season, although ditzy florals have for the most been replaced with bold tropical blooms and 60’s and 70’s inspired geometric designs. Which means our darker, more wintery prints will remain quite at home within our summer wardrobe thank you very much. Wear layered up for maximum impact.







TAILORING Tailoring underscored nearly every show, from oversized masculine suiting, to the new seasons short suits ( think longer line culottes if anything north of the knee leaves you cold - in all senses.) The waistcoat is a surprise newcomer, last seen with skinny jeans at a festival somewhere in the mid noughties, and possibly still lurking at the back of many wardrobes. One for the brave.






RETRO SILHOUETTES It feels like fashion is currently saying ‘let's focus on proven style codes that have endured.’ 60’s and 70’s silhouettes were everywhere on the catwalks. Oversized collars, bell sleeves, wide leg trousers, and aline skirts all have timeless appeal, with not a hint of Austin Powers (well not much). A coming of age for retro styling, if you will.







SPOTS Polka dots have slowly been on the rise for the last few seasons (A certain white spot dress that broke the internet last season anyone?) but for SS20 spots are set to go into overdrive: Mix and match every polka dot piece you’ve ever purchased, and you’ll be halfway there.







VOLUME Whether it’s the Killing Eve/Molly Goddard effect, or the fact designers are appreciating the continuing universal appeal of the buffet dress, oversized dresses and skirts brought a bit of drama to the catwalk which can easily be achieved in ‘real life’. PS. There is no such thing as too big.







NATURAL NEUTRALS If Anna Wintour says this trend has legs then we consider it done. Natural organic fabrics, raffia, rope and crochet were a constant on the catwalks, mixed with both romantic whites and safari-esque khaki. If a raffia dress feels a step too Pocahontas, accessories are a far less intimidating way to access this look.







BOLD COLOUR The awards ceremonies have already shown us that acid bright colour is trending, and while tangerine orange and apple green on winter white limbs may strike fear into the hearts of many, come the warmer months the appeal of a pop of bright with a summer tan will be far more palatable. Nb. Head to toe monochrome colour is also still a thing.












“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be. Put your future in good hands—your own.”

ARK Boobs A6 Notebook

ABRAMS AND CHRONICLE BOOKS Today is a Good Day Multi-Tasker Journal

CHRISTIAN LACROIX PAPIER Fashion's Seasons B5 Journal

COSY NIGHTS IN Now is the time to get cosy and warm on these cold evenings, as a treat to ourselves we got these beautiful pj's by Desmond & Dempsey. And they are very comfortable, so warm and very stylish. The D&D brand was born out of a love story (go to About Us on their website), it makes us love them even more and they deserve to go on our BEAUTIFUL THINGS page.

DESMOND AND DEMPSEY The Mexico Collection ''Our Mexican collection was inspired by the colours and stories of Mexico. We have tried to capture some of that magic and bring to life the feeling of the cities we visited. Our hope is that these pyjamas become a little reminder of the true meaning of maĂąana.'' images by Desmond and Dempsey












K GALLACHER “I am a real girl’s girl and love strong women, all my friends are strong and have a story to tell.”

Interviewed by Melanie Sykes

How long have you been broadcasting ? I’ve been broadcasting for nearly 20 years which is a pretty frightening thought! It feels like only yesterday that I went ‘live’ on Sky sports for the very first time. Why did you decide to leave Sky Sports?

How are you? I’ve just returned from a work trip to Dubai so I’ve been unpacking and doing the usual chores & sorting our new house which is still full of boxes! We moved late December and it’s been so busy I don’t feel I’ve fully settled in yet. There’s still loads to do but we love it!

I was at Sky for most of my career but actually left once before to do other projects like ‘Rise’ (the breakfast show on channel 4) ‘Gladiators’ and ‘Saturday Night takeaway’ with Ant and Dec to name just a few projects. I returned to Sky when Sky Sports News was revamped and to do a new afternoon show which I loved doing. Sport is in my blood so it was great to go back. I left Sky this time in the May of 2018 because I felt I had done all I could do at Sky sports in that current role. I wanted to get my teeth into other projects, I couldn’t have done this if I had stayed there. It’s important for me to keep learning and moving forward, I love change. Never sit still, there’s so much more we can be doing and learning. I am now freelance which works much better for me and my children. It was however a huge decision to leave Sky and it came as a big shock to the bosses there. It was so upsetting breaking the news to them. I discussed it long and hard with my agent Richard Thompson and my family and close friends and it wasn’t an easy decision to make but it was the right one. It can be such a boys club around sport, how have you kept level and dealt with the re percussions of that, if ever?

How did you get into the TV business? I had just finished a diploma in fashion journalism and promotion at the London College of Fashion in 1995 and was at a dinner hosted by Sky Sports in honour of my father. He was European Ryder Cup captain and he and his team had just won on American soil, the first time in 25 years at Oakhill. I was approached by the deputy head of sport Mark Sharman and they wanted me to go in for a screen test, I said no as I was petrified & still had my sights set on the fashion world. Eventually I was coaxed into going in and although my screen test was pretty ropey ! they offered me a job as a junior which I accepted. I started working on the golf team and loved it as I obviously love sport, in particular golf. It was a few years down the line when sky digital launched that I was thrown into the deep end as a presenter on Sky Sports & Sky sports news and the rest is history.

I think the world of sport has changed a lot and yes at times it did feel quite male dominated in the past but I am a pretty strong woman and know my sport and had a passion for it so I tried not to be affected by that. I’ve always worked hard and say that if you leave no stone uncovered then you have nothing to worry about! How has your personal life been like since you left ? Life is fabulous now. It’s been well documented my struggles after divorce and I am no different to any other person whose marriage has broken down. My heartbreak was my children Oscar and Jude. I found it very hard and I worried for them but they’re doing really well now and are very resilient.

“It’s important for me to keep learning and moving forward, I love change. Never sit still, there’s so much more we can be doing and learning.”

So what other projects have you been up to? I present Socceraid on ITV with Dermot O’Leary every year which is a fantastic project to do. We have such fun and it’s all in aid of Unicef . It’s wonderful to see how much money has been raised over the years and it just keeps going from strength to strength. I have been doing lots of radio, Radio five live & Classic Fm and regularly work with Chris Evans now on his Virgin breakfast show which is brilliant fun as you can imagine. I am just working on a new podcast which is very exciting and will be unveiled very soon! I enjoyed doing the European Tour golf podcast last year but I felt I could develop my own which is what I’ve now done so I can’t wait for that. I am also an ambassador for Circle DNA UK which I am fascinated by and I think there’s a real appetite for more knowledge these days so that we live a healthier, longer life. It’s a simple test that you do and can tell you all about your body, medical issues you have or may have, genetics and much more! It’s a real eye opener. I do lots of other brand work and of course charity work too which I love and means so much to me. I really feel that I’ve got to a stage in my life and career where I can get my teeth stuck into passion projects and can pick and choose now as to what I do and what will fulfil me. What is the ideal gig for you? As a say its all about passion projects for me now and doing what I feel is right for me as a person, my family and my brand of course. I am so excited about my new podcast. I love doing radio and am looking at a new TV shows. Obviously sport and fitness is very important to me so to combine that in some way in future projects would be ideal. What don’t you like about the industry? I guess as an established presenter, journalist and most importantly a Mum, I dislike the obsession now on tv and in the media with ‘celebrity’ and fame. It’s now more about what one looks like and who they’re seeing which I think is dangerous and we’ve seen so many sad and upsetting stories in the press over the last few years, whether it’s to do with someone battling with mental health to loss of life. It breaks my heart that this is where we are at and It scares me for my children and youngsters now and the pressures they now face growing up.

My children are quite unfazed by my job really as they’re so used to it. They grew up in this world and me doing what I do. Obviously they love the perks though like any youngsters would, like going to meet certain people or going to shows like Socceraid every year!

“I hope my boys have the utmost respect for women as they grow up as they’ve been raised by a single working Mum. They see how hard I work and how they enjoy the lifestyle and schooling they have because of that, which is vital.”

What do your children think of your fame and career?

“I think the world of sport has changed a lot and yes at times it did feel quite male dominated in the past but I am a pretty strong woman and know my sport and had a passion for it so I tried not to be affected by that.” How do you find bringing up boys and how important is your role do you think in bringing up decent men ? I hope my boys have the utmost respect for women as they grow up as they’ve been raised by a single working Mum. They see how hard I work and how they enjoy the lifestyle and schooling they have because of that, which is vital. They know it doesn’t come easy and often see me exhausted! They take nothing for granted. Amongst all that you do your fitness is very important to you? What does it do for you apart from the physical? Keeping fit and training regularly is so important for me. It keeps me sane! I love feeling like I am in touch with my body and in fact if I hurt after a workout I love it (obviously within reason)! I know I’ve worked hard and my body is responding. I enjoy weight training, circuits and more dynamic and power based exercise. I also love sprint training. You ran the London marathon. What prompted that? Yes I ran the London marathon last year which is really the opposite to what I am good at or have conditioned myself to do and it was quite an ask. I’ve always wanted to do it and test myself, but never thought realistically that I would get round to doing it. My great friend friend Rosie Nixon, editor of Hello! Magazine mentioned me doing it for one of the charities she supports ‘Safe Hands for Mothers’ and how it would greatly help awareness if I could take part. I really didn’t need to think for long, it felt like the right time and I did it! It was one of the best days of my life and I raised lots of money for the charity, but it was gruelling. Who are your female icons and why? I am a real girl’s girl and love strong women, all my friends are strong and have a story to tell. I am very close to my mother Lesley and my sister Laura. I love nothing more than spending time with my girlfriends and family. Its difficult to pick out any specific people and feels unfair to do so but suffice to say it’s ironic I’ve got two boys! Perhaps there’s room yet for a little girl in the house.......

“I love doing radio and am looking at new TV shows. Obviously sport and fitness is very important to me so to combine that in some way in future projects would be ideal.�



POT LUCK Ceramicist and new Judge on “The Great Pottery Throw Down” SUE PRYKE talks to Frank about her lifelong passion and work and her new high profile role.


ongratulations on your television debut! How did that come about?

It seems that the production team had a short list of possibilities for judges, other makers like myself that have worked with ceramics for a long time. I knew Keith, who had my number, he rang and asked if he could forward my number to the team.. my initial reaction was.. why would I want to do that?!! On meeting the team for screen test, everyone was so lovely and supportive, not what I imagined, not sure what I did imagine, but they were all great and its a bit like teaching without the direction! I’ve taught for many years and used to head up a Ceramics & Glass Degree course, so teaching and giving feedback is just there and comes easily... especially with ceramics.

Had you been a fan of “The Great Pottery Throw Down’ in previous seasons? I loved the Throwdown, I’m a big fan as the programme is all about getting people engaged in ceramics. Pottery doesn’t happen in schools anymore, not to the scale it used to, so if you can connect with an audience via television, give them an insight into the wonders of clay, that’s magic! There has definitely been a surge of interest in the craft since the start of the Throwdown, one or two of the potters this series were inspired to start making because of the first series, how amazing is that!

What was your passage into ceramics? I took a very ordinary route. I loved art and progressed to A levels and the only option was Art & Craft, the craft option was a choice between printmaking and pottery, so I chose pottery, not knowing anything about it, but I was hooked early on. The tutor was inspirational, I loved that you could take a lump of malleable clay, mud from the earth essentially, form it and miraculously change it into something beautiful and everlasting. I eventually progressed to a Ceramics degree course and then a post graduate course at the prestigious Royal College of Art, the only postgraduate college in the country.

When did you realise that slip casting was your preference? Half way through my degree course I went on a 6 month placement to Amsterdam where some of the students were working in more of an industrial way with plaster, making models out of the material and then moulds and using these for slipcasting. I loved the precision you could get with this process and you had a mould that you could use again and again to repeat the same piece again. I loved this production line approach. When I returned to the UK I entered a national student design competition - The Royal Society of Arts Student Design Awards, to design a tableware set... and my design concept won!

How would you describe your style and designs ? I like understated simplicity. I love tableware, I try to pare back to basic elements that are still familiar, have fluency or resonance and maybe add a little tiny twist that sets a design idea apart from the next... The devil really is in the detail.

You say in the programme most homes will have your designs in them. What brands have you worked for? I’ve worked with Ikea since 1994, some of the homeware pieces that I’ve designed for them are still in production, like the soft square dinner plates, the original 365+ range. Syntes dinnerware is still going strong and theres also an abundance of glass cookware, a kettle, oh and the oval cheese grater with 2 lids for grating, Chosigt. I’ve currently got a range in M&S. I’ve worked for most high street retailers, like Next to Wilko, to airlines like Virgin Atlantic. As well as restaurants and hotels.

“I think essentially what drives me is I love working with ceramics and especially tableware, there’s always another range that’s there waiting to be designed.”

How does it feel to be able to make a statement like that? I guess I’ve been doing this for a long time, and having my photo in the IKEA stores across the world and in the catalogue for many years means that I’m used to being associated with tableware design.

What range are you most proud of? I think the original IKEA 365+ range as its long lasting, Ikea updated the range a couple of years ago and introduced new shapes under that range, but the original range is still in production just under a different name. Because it’s been in production for so long and Ikea is such a huge company it means that it’s probably one of the worlds biggest selling tableware ranges.

I love the names you give some your pieces. Edie,Vera,Betty to name a few. How do you approach that? Is it a fun element of the process? I wanted the vases to have a special presence, because they are statement pieces, its a considered purchase and I wanted them all to be slightly different and hang together as a family without being exactly the same in shape. So a family of vases ended up being named after my great aunts all having characteristics similar to my aunties!! The hand made collection that I have was developed in conjunction with my husband, he made the wooden elements, so a ceramic teapot which I make with an oak handle which he makes, we called the range our Mr & Mrs Collection.

Previously your work and ideas have been the star and now here you are on TV representing that work, you personally and the pottery community. How do you feel about that? I think its great, I’m so proud to be part of the show. Pottery is there for everyone, and each potter impresses their own personality on each challenge, which is what happens with creative processes, you put a little bit of you into it. I’m no different as a judge, I’ve lots of experience with teaching and giving advise and feedback, I’ve seen a lot of pots and I’m really passionate about all ceramics. It’s a fun bit of lovely television that will not be for everyone, but it will evoke a response in some viewers to give it a go, pottery isn’t easy, but it’s fun to get involved and if it goes wrong, you just give it another whirl. It’s a meditative process and helps to unwind and switch off, well it does if you’re not up against the clock on the Throw Down!

How was the shooting experience? I loved every minute of it! I’m completely new to all of this so wasn’t sure what to expect. I loved the early morning starts and getting into the make up chair, having a wardrobe styled for me and having runners there to make endless cups of tea.... what’s not to like!

Why do you think of the calibre of the potters in this series? The potters are amazing! Some are fairly new to potting, none of them have had formal training. It was their endless tenacity that impressed me, even during tough challenges when they were completely out of their comfort zone and ready to throw in the towel they just kept going and didn’t give up. Really impressive!

“I’ve been practicing yoga and pilates for a few years now which helps with enormously with flexibility and has become a really important part of my week. It’s all about mobility and enjoying the freedom to have time to myself.”

“Pottery doesn’t happen in schools anymore, not to the scale it used to, so if you can connect with an audience via television, give them an insight into the wonders of clay, that’s magic!”

You have a great relationship with Keith Brymer-Jones. When did you first meet him and how has that relationship developed working daily with him? I’ve known Keith for years as we exhibit at the same trade fairs throughout the year, he’s well known in our ceramic world and he’s so much fun. We were off to a good start having mutual respect for what we each do commercially. I think we soon realised that we have an easy repartee with each other which really comes through in the show, as the episodes progress I think we become more relaxed and that natural synergy and teamwork is apparent. You have three children and this impressive career, What drives you? What’s wonderful about a company like IKEA is their philosophy of design, they call it democratic design. The need to design beautiful pieces that are accessible to all. I’ve always loved this way of working, to be able to develop a beautiful shape doesn’t necessarily have to be unobtainable. Working with companies like Sainsbury’s is a great example - good design and it’s accessible to all. That’s what drives me. I love designing and I produce work at every level. My hand made range is more expensive as its individually crafted in my small studio set up. I also work with small factories in the UK to make work for me, I work also with European producers and factories in the Far East, so my own ranges are available at all price levels. And I design pieces in conjunction with retailers, such as M&S who are at another price level. I think essentially what drives me is I love working with ceramics and especially tableware, there’s always another range that’s there waiting to be designed.

You have three children and this impressive career. What is your support network? I have a sound & adorable husband, who is always there to support me in whatever direction I need to go. He also has his own business which is great as it means the flexibility has always been there to offer additional support if necessary. When the children were small he helped out massively with child care when I needed to work more hours and vice versa, I’ve done the same for him when he is busier than me.

What is your attitude to health and well being at this stage of your life and with so many commitments? All of our children are old enough to be fairly independent, they’re still at home but old enough not to need me to be around quite so much. So instead of running them around to sport practice -it was always swimming with mine, especially the eldest who was a national swimmer and would be in the pool 9 sessions a week and off all over the country competing - I have more time to get in the pool myself. As soon as my youngest quit swimming I joined the swimming club, after 30 odd years - I must have missed the camaraderie of the poolside.. I also run 2-3 times a week and enter events throughout the year. To balance the running I’ve been practicing yoga and pilates for a few years now which helps with enormously with flexibility and has become a really important part of my week. It’s all about mobility and enjoying the freedom to have time to myself.




marianne cotterill

Interviewed by Melanie Sykes


arianne is a successful stylist who often travels internationally with her work. She helps magazines and businesses produce compelling images and films of their editorial material and their products. She does this by finding locations for filming, arranging the settings on location, sourcing, and composing props and product. Most of her work relates to interiors; however, she has other styling work in her portfolio too.

Marianne’s work has been published widely in the media, including in Vogue, Harpers Marianne also works for private Bazaar, Elle ,Vogue Living, Elle Decoration, House Beautiful clients as an interior designer. USA, Brides, Sunday Her own home – as you will Telegraph, Inside Out, ES see! – is available as a location for advertising campaigns and Magazine, Grazia, L’Officiel and Living Etc. other media uses.

Thank you for the use of your location house. It is a treasure trove. How long have you been living there and how long does it take to design / Kit out a place like that? Been here a while, 16 years. Took me approx 6 months to kit it out, no time at all. It’s my job to source props/interesting things for my various projects. The problem is trying to unkit the place.. When did the idea for having a location home come about and why? The idea came about shortly after I had my last daughter. I really didn’t want to go out to work because at that time I had four kids under the age of 6 , plus one 6 year old. The child care was too complicated and expensive, and anyway I wanted to spend as much time as `I could with them. As a stylist,I was always looking for unusual places to shoot , most of the work I was doing back then was in studios there were very few interesting houses. We lived in a lovely big Georgian house in Hackney, and I had done a few shoots in it and always loved the light and the way it was versatile. I thought it was a good way to earn money while I could be with the children, so I made a card and sent it around to all the magazines. Within 3 months it was booked solidly.

“It is my home first, location house second. I am not precious about my things. I get frustrated when I shoot in other peoples locations and they are very precious and intolerant.”

How does it feel like to live in a location home? You cannot be territorial at all… It is my home first, location house second. I am not precious about my things. I get frustrated when I shoot in other peoples locations and they are very precious and intolerant. I never go back to those places, they seem to forget they are getting paid for the day. A scratch or a breakage is part of the wear and tear. You have five children. What has been their experience living this way? We have a private area at the top where all the children’s rooms are, nobody is allowed to shoot there. They often find it amusing and interesting, especially when somebody they think is cool is here, maybe a sports star or somebody they admire who is current in the music business. They often have stories to tell their friends They can be around or not, it’s up to them.

“I mix vintage with new, though I buy very little new now, if anything. I rework things, I have covered a comfy sofa a few times rather that change it. “

What are the down sides to owning and living in a location house and the benefits?

I have a total disregard for the rules of ageing, in fact I don’t know any rules regarding personal style that I have ever taken notice of. I do cover up more, I guess but I wear what I like, or at least what I think suits me. I don’t like paying a lot of money for clothes, they have to be very special. I buy less and less now and try and stick to what’s in my cupboards (there are many!). I do occasionally buy some Simone Rocha or Preen, but I also love vintage. I like the challenge of accessorising an expensive item with something cheap. I bought a skirt recently for £350, and it was in the sale, so every time I wear it I collaborate with my vintage wardrobe and keep to a shirt that cost under £50 tops. My favourite one cost £5 from a boot fair. I have become very anti stuff now that I understand how bad it is for our environment. How would you describe your taste for interiors and your personal style?

Downside is having a disrespectful crew, though that is rare, and living in the house not completely as I would like. I have compromised the decoration, I would probably not have certain rooms the way they are, and I would use them differently, but overall I am happy with how the house earns its living .

I love beautiful things, not everyone agrees with my idea of beauty, it's very personal. I mix vintage with new, though I buy very little new now, if anything. I rework things, I have covered a comfy sofa a few times rather that change it. I can’t live anywhere that doesn’t have any cosiness or comfy furniture. A home is for relaxing in, I I personally have been shot there quite a few times. You take such pleasure in having lovely lamps on in the evening and curling up on a feathery sofa.I keep adding must have had many famous faces and publications in and taking away, my kids are all moving out now and your home? when I visit them I am shocked at how much stuff in their Have had many celebs and publications here from all over places is from here, I have totally forgotten what I have brought in and what has gone out. Great that it is all being the world. An encounter which always makes me smile is used, and I am slightly flattered that they think my style the one with the cast of Game of Thrones. I remember is cool! them sitting around the kitchen table, they looked like young nervous students, quite apologetic and shy when Who are your style icons? they were trying to describe the whole concept to me. They all agreed it was a punt really and that they were My friend Linda Rodin. She sticks two fingers up to not sure it was going to work. They were at the house to do all their promo shots, I though they were all charming ageing. Plenty more, but she’s the best. She is a stylist and a model at the age of 71. She is the and I felt a little sorry for them! coolest person I know and I always look forward to seeing her when I am in NYC. The first time I met her she had What projects are you working on at the moment? just had her sofa covered in white shiny vinyl, and she was wearing a top to match. Sounds crazy but it looked I am busy styling and directing shoots, mostly interior fabulous. She is totally ageless in her style ,totally ones, with paint, furniture and fabric companies, also magazine shoots. I have some private clients whom I help irreverent, and is the envy of many a young hipster with her fashion sense. with designing their homes. I have also just finished a book coming out in the autumn called Dogs at Home with Her apartment in Chelsea in NYC is knee deep in beautiful and fascinating flea market finds and art. She adores her photographs by James Merrell. We travelled all over the poodle Winks, they go everywhere together. He has the world to feature interesting homes and their dogs, with best dog leashes and collars which she designs herself. the occasional owner thrown in. When we go out together we often get stopped for a You have great personal style. As you mature how is your picture, people are still surprised when they see older women ignore the norms of age appropriate dressing. style changing? if at all.




together for short

lives Emma Lloyd Cowell Interviewed by Melanie Sykes


hat does Together for short lives charity do?

Together for Short Lives is here to make sure the 49,000 seriously ill children and their families across the UK can make the most of every moment they have together, whether that’s for years, months or only hours. When a child’s life is expected to be short, there’s no time to waste. We support families at the point of diagnosis towards bereavement and beyond in a variety of ways with direct services. Because of the caring demands and how precious time is, being able to have one place to get all the information they need is vital such as the help/care they can access, financial support, legal advice and connecting with other families who are going through similar unimaginable circumstances. We also fundraise for the 54 children’s hospices in the UK working with businesses to make a difference to such magical places. Our helpline we run is a lifeline for families reeling from their child’s diagnosis, who often feel isolated and alone and don’t know where to turn for help. This year we helped more families than ever with a 59% rise in calls and we are fundraising to expand this service due to demand. Calls from families like Carly’s: “Together for Short Lives was there for us when we felt lost. They were there to listen, to help find the care that was right for Effie and our family and they connected us with other families through their safe online forum. It helped us feel less isolated and alone. Having Together for Short Lives’ support is priceless.” Hearing how we help others keeps the fundraising team going, and drives us to raise more so we can reach out to as many families and children as possible: “Together for Short Lives has been a lifeline for my family. I first rang the helpline last year and the support I received was incredible. You invited me to join the Facebook group and I’ve made friends with loads of others in the same boat. You’re an amazing charity and I really appreciate all that you offer.”

“Together for Short Lives is here to make sure the 49,000 seriously ill children and their families across the UK can make the most of every moment they have together, whether that’s for years, months or only hours. When a child’s life is expected to be short, there’s no time to waste.” Emma with her husband Tony Cowell on board to run their capital appeal to build a children’s hospice in Cornwall- the third of theirs in the South West region. I was so incredibly inspired by the work they did and my husband and I had supported the charity privately in any way we could, but this felt like a way to be involved in something transformative. Bringing a service to an area that didn’t have that facility was such a privilege and then after the hospice opened, the real challenge began of sustaining 3 children’s hospices to the tune of around £10m per year. The way communities What is your role? galvanise and join together to support the work of these places and Together for Short Lives is so uplifting and I am Head of Philanthropy and Special Events which very special to be part of. I never thought of fundraising means I work with high net worth individuals who want as a career- it never occurred to me and I sort of fell into it, to make a difference to the children and families we are here for. It is such a rewarding job because you get to see but outside of the work we do with children, the way people give and sometimes their reasons for giving are so the best in people; meeting those who are determined to have a positive impact on these children. Having worked heart-breaking and that is as inspiring. So many donors over the years have shared their very private and personal with so many families for over 10 years in children’s stories of grief and loss of their child that perhaps they palliative care, I know how much it means to them to hadn’t spoken about before, but feel safe to do so because have such generosity so they can get the best care possible. Nobody wants to think of a child being so unwell of their connection to the cause. Child loss or baby loss is that they will die before adulthood, but that is the reality something few people talk about and yet it has happened to so many people in different circumstance to the for the tens of thousands of families that we support children our charity works with, but nonetheless, we have throughout the U.K. Although we cannot change the inevitable, what we can do is ensure that the child gets the to get better at talking about this, as it affects so many. access to the best care and the wider family get the support and help they need. I also organise our main gala event every year which is a giant undertaking, but totally Emma, Simon, worth all of the hard work as last year we raised over Lauren Silverman £400,000! and Tony “Thank you so much for all your support. You listened and made me feel like I could cope with my daughter’s diagnosis of cancer. It was nice that you didn't say it was all going to be ok when we know it won't be. Your information about our choices on where she dies was an eye opener! You do amazing work for families and I can't begin to say how much of a difference you have made to our family.”

How did it all start? I was a presenter for the BBC and met the CEO of a children’s hospice charity who wanted someone to come

Photos by Andy Barnes

I think we have a unique culture of charity in the U.K- it starts at school and is just part of what we do and that is why so many services -that many assume are government funded- are supported almost entirely by voluntary donations such as Together for Short Lives.

What is average day for you? There is no such thing! Every day is different, whether it’s speaking to donors about the work we do, being introduced to new people who are interested in our work or trying to find amazing auction prizes……it’s all talking and in that sense no different to being a BBC presenter, but these are very high stakes conversations, as I know what we can do with a positive outcome. Being able to talk to people about the children and families who desperately need help from the first hand experience I’ve had during my work in the sector drives me forward. For them it isn’t just about getting the best care, it’s being given the space and time away from the demands of caring and creating memories that will endure during the difficult times that are inevitable for them.

How do you stay motivated? Sometimes it can feel like a struggle when you are trying to raise money- especially when there is economic uncertainty and there are also so many incredible causes to support. But I know that if we don’t generate funds to support our services, the thought of those children and families having a place less to turn to is unthinkable. There is a constant pressure, but knowing the impact we have on families and being able to make their unbearable situations as bearable as possible is the very best motivator.

about the kindness of strangers. One time I was on the phone in the back of a taxi talking to one of the team about an amazing corporate partnership we had just landed and the driver overheard me and told me about his niece who had cancer when she was born but thankfully is now well. He said he was sorry for eavesdropping but thought it was amazing the work we do and gave me a donation. Those are the amazing days that make you so proud to do what you do.

“Sometimes it can feel like a struggle when you are trying to raise money- especially when there is economic uncertainty and there are also so many incredible causes to support. But I know that if we don’t generate funds to support our services, the thought of those children and families having a place less to turn to is unthinkable.”

Simon Cowell who is the Patron of the charity at your last event, in his speech ,talked about how he spent a day on the phone trying to pull in money saying how hard it was and that was just one day. Can it be an up hill battle? I remember having the conversation with him a few weeks before that speech and he said to me that he had tried to do my job for the day and it was an absolute nightmare! He said he was so surprised at how many people said no…..I’m not sure he is used to that! I think that a lot of people assume that because our work is so important and many people connect with a children’s charity, that fundraising would be easy: it’s not! But you really do get to see the very best of generosity in this job and yes of course you get rejection and people who are unable to support you, but those that do are so engaged with our work and so positive about it, it outweighs the frustration and the no’s. People can surprise you and charity is all

“I think that a lot of people assume that because our work is so important and many people connect with a children’s charity, that fundraising would be easy: it’s not!”

Emma with Lauren

Who are your patrons and how important are they? We are so lucky to have amazingly generous patrons and ambassadors and among them are Simon Cowell, Holly Willoughby, Peter Andre, Jordan Banjo, Lance Corporal Richard Jones and YOU! Having celebrity support in addition to other patrons and friends of the charity helps us raise awareness which is as important as raising money in terms of new donors but also families who are struggling and feel desperately isolated find out about us and we can then help them. One year when we were featured on the X Factor, a mum watching the show in Australia saw a child featured who had the same condition as her son and she had never seen anyone who had those same challenges; now those two families are in touch and are able to support each other on email. Whether it’s donating money or introducing friends, helping us with auction prizes or spending the time with families and children we feel very blessed to have support like this from incredibly busy people! A lot goes on behind the scenes away from the media or public eye and it is wonderful the support we get.

How do you stay sane when organising the fund raising and events?

did a 10k and my hip hurt for a year afterwards… so never again! It can be easy to work crazy hours especially with events as there is always something to be done, but finding time to not to think about work is vital to try and keep some balance. I am based most of the time in Cornwall and being near the sea and the beautiful beaches is a great leveller from the jam packed trips I do to London every couple of weeks. In the summer going out on the boat and fishing is when I feel totally at peace and it’s a bonus catching something for dinner. Although travelling for work can be exhausting, coming back home to Tony-my husband- our cat and the sea keeps me sane. I love baking too as it feels like meditation especially making pastryalthough the danger is you end up eating everything straight out of the oven!

What events have you coming up ? We have lots of events during the year and places in marathons, other runs and bespoke events for businesses and of course the big ball in November. Some fundraise and put on their own events, whether it’s a dinner party where your guests make a donation or a larger fundraising event, payroll giving at work or dress down Fridays.. …every penny helps us make a huge difference.

How can people donate? There are a few crunch points in the year when it can get quite stressful- especially in the run up to our ball in November. I couldn’t manage the stress without yoga. I’ve practised Ashtanga and then Vinyassa yoga since I was eighteen and it always makes me feel better. It’s definitely about mental health as well as fitness and stretching out all of that tension! It’s the only thing that works for me, as I’ve tried running and I hate it! I once

On our website is the easiest place to give We never take for granted how lucky we are to have such amazing support from the public and are so grateful to people for thinking of us when they can.

The Bentley Belle Katarina Kyvalova

By Lara Platman


have known Katarina for a few years, we first met at Goodwood Revival where, I was delighted to meet another female racer – and also to see her in the big show stopper races of the Tourist Trophy, with cars averaging £100,000 each, the yearly race is seen amongst avid race car drivers as one to win on their bucket list. I caught up with Katarina at Henry Poole and Co. on London’s Savile Row where, she is having a bespoke driving suit made. Whilst Gentleman Drivers have their suits made here, Katarina, a Lady Driver, decided she too wanted a suit to wear whilst at events with her Pre-War Bentley. Katarina, after planning a series of questions, I immediately got bamboozled into skipping straight to the middle because I have just learnt that your first ever race was with the Bentley Belles in Portmeo, Portugal, a 24hour race in your Pre War Bentley. Not only that, you got your race licence so you could race that race. It all starts in year 2014 in April at the Flying Scotsman, a lovely rally where, I drove my Bentley 4.5 litre up to Glenn Eagles and in the early hours of the final evening, I heard about this Benjafield 24 Hour race - a celebration of the Bentley Boys winning Le Mans 24 Hours. These rally fellows said ‘why don’t you come and race at Le Mans with us, Katarina just do It’. Well, I never raced on a circuit before, never knew what the apex was, I had never been racing before. So I said ‘yeh ok I’ll do it, why not, sounds like fun’. Then I learn I need to have a race license and co drivers. So I made a bet and said I am going to do it and I am going to do it with all girls on my team. I am going to make this happen so I build a whole female team to race the 24 hours in the Bentley and it was my first ever race in my life. An absolutely crazy plan. But I was indeed the first contemporary all female team to race a 24 hours in the Bentley and of course my first ever race in my life. I agree now, when I see back, I wonder what was I thinking.

But what happened was, you got the girls and you raced it. But let’s go back a little bit. How did you get your race license and in what and how did you acquire a Pre - War Bentley? I needed a race license and I went back to Germany, rented a rental car and took all the insurance that ever existed. I rented a VW golf and because I took all the insurance they offered me an upgrade, a wonderful Mercedes automatic. I said ‘no no it needs to be manual’ and took my license near to the rental location. Very suspicious, however nothing happened except I wrecked the tyres. I had to do a practical and written test and past. Luckily we don’t need 6 signatures in Germany like you do in the UK. Yes here in the UK we need to acquire 6 signatures from UK races, every time we bring the car home we get a signature, then after this we can race internationally.

Had you woken up one day to say you wanted to go racing? My partner had some cars but he never raced, my passion about racing came from Goodwood from seeing the Revival many times and being a member of the classic car club in Hamburg. Ok but where did that come from, where did the seed for classic cars come from? I actually don’t know where it comes from, I do have an unbelievable passion for four wheels and cars, even my mother doesn’t have a road license no one in my family races so I don’t really know. My brother who is twelve years older than me, I always played with his cars rather than my dolls. I moved to Vienna for my studies then to Hamburg, my passion was always driving around the countryside in classic cars.

So I took my race license and almost immediately afterwards, I raced the 24 hours. I had not met the girls until the night before. I asked the Vintage Sports Car Club in the UK if they had some ladies who could race with me for my team. I live in Hamburg in Germany where there is not much vintage racing going on, so I did not know many women racing drivers at all. I found Two Georgina’s and one Gillian all being keen to race with me. We raced.

So you did this race with the Bentley Belles, how did it go, how did you find all the corners, the paddock the driver changes, the controls of racing a car? Gosh! Everything!

So let’s go back a bit further how did you acquire a Bentley?

Wait let’s take stock of that, with a modern car the accelerator is on the right hand side with the brake is in the middle, so you are swapping round your brake and acceleration?

My passion came through my partner he used to drive a Speed 6 and I got a chance to drive them. I realised I needed a smaller car, a 3 or 4.5 litre would be good start with and found a lovely car with matching numbers, no particular history - it didn’t have any famous races, but it was a really sweet car. Let’s really go back now to the start of the interview!

We finished 11th overall and there about 30 cars. Funny half of the story is that three girls had never raced in Bentley, although they raced in other pre-war cars, we have to brake on the right side as the accelerator is in the middle. Proper pioneering!

Yes, you do get used to it. But the normal reaction at the beginning is to do it the wrong way, however we all got used to it, it was more the size of the Bentley 4.5ltr. As Ettiore Buggati said, it is the fastest tractor in the world. And it is true. So that was more the point how do we keep the beast on the tarmac was huge. Demanding, but all part of the fun and when you get it right, that feeling is just like nothing else.

Now this feeling which starts the addiction, was it at that race? Or at the Flying Scotsman or before?

the development of the road car for the race track. Race on Sunday sell on Monday.

My addiction to Bentley was straight away when I had driven it and I made a couple of gear changes and it was like a dream. And that was that. For racing pretty much after that 24 hour race, because when you see the sunrise on a race circuit during a 24hour race, and with a team is something else. And you finish and you realise this is hopeless, this is it. I was hooked.

Yes we forget these, historic racing didn’t exist as it was just racing. And now we take all the nice looking cars and go back in time. The importance of modern racing has never changed. The best drivers and the most advanced cars in the world. Is it important to stay fit?

Yes, racing is physically and mentally demanding. We have nutrition plan, all food is focused on protein for And I did my second race just two weeks later at the same concentration and body fitness. Endurance racing is full on adrenaline with 60 degrees in the car and no air con, circuit, because everyone said, ‘Ok Katarina you know the circuit now, so well you know every single corner and you need to keep very aware, a high level of concentration and that’s the tiring part. It is way better when you are get more confident’. And in the mean time I bought a physically fit. Train hard for sure. Healey 3000 race car to be able to enter more races. I think that’s where I got my bug too – at sunrise.

Is it an easier car to race?

How do you juggle it with your work and personal life?

Ah no. What was I thinking? I bought a 3 litre Austin Healey a relatively large engine for a small car, very tale heavy.

All my break time goes to racing. There is so much work and preparation with testing. My partner enjoys doing rallies with me. It works out quite well. And he sees I get good results with my races. Anyway a happy girlfriend is a happy life.

Last year you raced the 24 hours of Dubai in a contemporary Mercedes GT4 AMG. How the heck did you The clash or rather, the juxtaposition of the modern and find the confidence to do this, with flappy paddle gears and slick tyres, how did this come about and with who did historic - you Katarina with Jamie Chadwick, the winner of the Formula E Championship, she has raced with Aston you race? Martin and is the development driver for Williams Formula One racing - she is a contemporary racer and I Yes that was pretty much what I saw was going to don’t believe that she has raced in historics before, and yet happen, to race a modern car. My new historic racing you both went racing at the Spa 6 Hour – an historic race friends were former modern racing car drivers so it was that made me fall in love with endurance motorsport. something that was going to happen. Whilst modern racing is very serious, historic racing is much more She is the only female driver that has won a Formula 3 relaxed in the sense it is more a hobby for people, we all have fun and talk to each other it is passion for people, we race, not ever raced an historic race yet, we met on a cycling camp, yes we raced a Jaguar E Type Series1 at are friends first of all and then we race. But modern Spa. She really loved it, she loved how it was so relaxed, racing is in the car with data, the computer and more we could socialise and no data demands – as such, just serious. I am racing again this year with the same team, pure enjoyment of racing. We did one test before at and we have started training already. Silverstone and she had to get used to the brakes which are drum brakes not the modern disc brakes – which (After this interview was recorded Katarina returned to means – they are basically no brakes and of course there is the Dubai but the race was red flagged due to heavy torrential rain. She completed one double stint with a race a clutch and changing gears with a gear stick not flappy paddle on the steering wheel. She came from karting so lasting only 7 hours. The team stranded in 6th in class. I think Katarina will be returning next year for unfinished she was great. We have some more plans for next season for some more racing together and she did an incredible business.) job in the rain and in the night. Contemporaneous racing has always been about the What was it like as two women - in Spa and with Bentley reliability of the car, since Henry Ford made his second Belles, do people give a dam on the race track? car, he said ‘lets go racing’ - it’s always been absolutely

No, not really when you have your helmet on, we all want to win, doesn’t make a difference. I also like to team up with female drivers as we do get more attention and get more ability to race too. What is next for you? I want to get my bike license and a plan of mine is to get a pilot’s license too. With a nod to Mary Petre Bruce. Well, let’s talk about this marvellous lady Mary Petre, as I have been so patient in starting a conversation about her, a lady who we have come together on a bit, as you are racing a Bentley and I have been researching her for years, the Honourable Mrs Mildred Bruce – Mary Petre her maiden name. She is extraordinary I discovered her through Bentley. She has so many speed records in a boat in a plane and in a Bentley and found out that her speed record in a Bentley is still standing today, 98 miles an hour average at Brooklands. I would like make a trial, but there is no chance to beat her record as Brooklands is no longer. I do know one thing though I will make it happen somehow. Mildred Bruce amongst her many achievements flew solo

around the world in a fold-up Blackburn Bluebird after having only 26 hours of flying time, hence why you are taking flying lessons. However, I would like suggest something to you, something that is very achievable – as Mildred was the first woman to win the Coupe de Dames, of the Monte Carlo Rally in 1927… I would like to suggest that we do the Monte Carlo Rally next year together. We’ll do exactly her route from John O’ Groats to Monte Carlo, I have her diary and we can do the same drive. We’ll absolutely do it, we shall have malt tea as she did, it’s on my bucket list. We shake hands on doing the Monte Carlo Historic Rally together for January 2021 and I walk away brimming with excitement. My work is done. You can find out more about the amazing exploits of Katarina Kyvlova at: Twitter/ Instagram @KKyvalova And Lara Platman at: Twitter @photofeature Instagram @photo.feature






Health & Wellness




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Sarah Mac

Living the M life


hat is your role at M life ? I’ve had many roles at M life London which was previously known as Manuka Life. I’ve been part of the brand for over 15 years, starting as the face of the brand and moved into many different roles over the years, finally being made Creative Director and business partner. Over the last couple of years we have actually abandoned job titles within the company, as we believe we are a team in equal measure. I am still the face of the brand and we are about to launch the SS20 collection. I am in charge of seasonal colours, trends and design elements. I carry the seasonal story straight through from design to website and also produce the shoots, art directing all brand content. Over the years we have been to some incredible places on our shoots, (even meeting the Dali Lama) we are very lucky! When you learn and train from the ground up, it creates unity and a certain deep rooted knowledge, that is so valuable in a team. I was very grateful for the initial opportunity but worked extremely hard over the years to grow into my role.

I am now a freelance Creative Director and Designer, producing inspiring, trend-led campaigns and seasonal shoots for other brands for their eCommerce sites. We help brands develop and communicate their unique ethos and seasonal themes, as I have done for M life for many years. We are a complete, creative production team both unique and affordable. How long have you been in the yoga business? I have been working in the yoga business for 17 years. Now that I am a qualified yoga teacher, I can see that my training with Yoga London was a very important and much needed step, which has separated yoga and business for the first time in many years. My yoga practise is now a daily spiritual challenge and journey which I am still learning and investigating. I teach 1-2-1 private yoga classes in my clients own homes. I feel compelled now to move in a more holistic direction. Authenticity is key for working within this industry, in my opinion. What is important when creating yoga gear? Over the last decade so many athleisure brands have emerged since Manuka life arrived on the scene. Sustainability is a must. Fabric and fit are key. Fabric must be comfortable, durable, supportive with good coverage and a soft hand feel. The fit has to be perfect with samples tried and tested on the yoga student. An advanced ashtanga student or teacher for example, will need a fit that can accommodate the deep postures and rigours of their daily practise. Also, there can be no irritating labels or seams! My next design project will be focused completely on sustainability. I am creating a capsule collection with a wonderful brand called Sussurro, a unique residence in the heart of Mozambique. Watch this space!

"Over the last decade so many athleisure brands have emerged since Manuka life arrived on the scene. Sustainability is a must. Fabric and fit are key. Fabric must be comfortable, durable, supportive with good coverage and a soft hand feel.�

Sarah Mac

Living the M life

What is an average day like for you? Each day is different and I love the variety. I might go to a casting in Oxford Street, attend a meeting at Head Office or speak at an event about Wellbeing. Sometimes, I head to the fabric shops in Berwick street to choose seasonal colours and research themes and trends. Other days might consist of a yoga class at Breeze London in Bromley or simply hanging out with my lovely Bookers Chantal and Uwe at Models 1. What is the best element of your job?

“The mat can be a space to just be. In a time, where it is harder and harder to find time and space, the mat gives you the opportunity to reconnect to your breath, to truth, to yourself. “

The creativity, variety and the people.

You model for the brand too as you mentioned. How did that come about ? I’ve modelled since I was 21 for M life. I had a casting through photographers, Damian Russell and Sam Perry who I’d worked with before for 125 magazine. When I walked in, I’m not sure Leonie believed I was the model, given I’d had quite a late night the night before and looked like something the cat had dragged in! When the camera rolled and all the hair and make-up was done, fortunately she said “I transformed" (her words not mine). The rest is history. We bonded on that shoot, I loved what she did, I loved her story about her grandmother, strong women and the birth of Manuka. It was inspiring. What have you in store for this season? This season is all about the heritage range and returning to the core collection. For example the famous Lotus Pant with a kick flare made in our super soft brushed cotton. Our viscose slogan T- shirts and the Nirvana lounge wear range all have been tried tested and loved. The SS20 colour pallet consists of dusky blues, pastel pinks and greys, there is something for everyone. Since you started, you will have seen the explosion of the wellbeing industry. Why do you think we are all finding our way to the mat? The mat can be a space to just be. In a time, where it is harder and harder to find time and space, the mat gives you the opportunity to reconnect to your breath, to truth, to yourself. I love this quote from B Oakman because it resonates with me on a deep level maybe this is why we are finding our way to the mat. I lied and said I was busy. I was busy: but not in a way. Most people understand I was busy taking deeper breaths. I was busy silencing irrational thoughts. I was busy calming a racing heart. I was busy telling myself I am okay Sometimes, this is my busy And I will not apologize for it. B Oakman Sarah Mac

“ We have actually abandoned job titles within the company, as we believe we are a team in equal measure.“





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By Gabriela Peacock Nutritionist W A T E R


Hydration Our bodies are composed of 80% water making hydration incredibly important. Not only does water help to transport and metabolise the nutrients we consume, it is also key in toxin removal, temperature regulation and maintaining the skin’s moisture levels. UK Eatwell guidelines recommend you should be aiming to consume around 1.5 litres of water a day - this is solely to replace the water you lose carrying out . If you are doing any physical activity (from walking to weightlifting) or consuming a lot of caffeinated beverages or alcoholic drinks (which are diuretics) the volume of water you need will increase incrementally. I personally recommend trying to get at least 2 litres of water each day, adding a further bottle of water if I’ve been to Pilates, and always having an extra glass of water alongside a glass of wine.

If you haven’t been regularly consuming enough water your skin may become prone to breakouts & dryness. This can lead to dry, cracked and peeling skin that results in typical fine lines and premature aging.”

Dehydration can manifest itself in many ways. Some of the more common symptoms I see in my practice that can be caused by insufficient water intake include: × If you haven’t been regularly consuming enough water your skin may become prone to breakouts & dryness. This can lead to dry, cracked and peeling skin that results in typical fine lines and premature aging. × Dehydration can mean that your body tries to preserve any water it can, this can lead to constipation, bloating and an uncomfortable and unhealthy gut (intestinal tract). × Fatigue, headaches and brain fog can often be linked back to dehydration and insufficient fluid intake. This is because as the body tries to ration its water, it can redirect it to its most critical uses. This means your blood is diverted to working muscles, away from skin and other key organs.

“Dehydration can mean that your body tries to preserve any water it can, this can lead to constipation, bloating and an uncomfortable and unhealthy gut.”

So, we can see that form the inside out staying hydrated is crucial for health and beauty. Fortunately increasing our water intake is relatively easy and we can begin seeing the effects pretty quickly. If you struggle to drink enough during the day here are some health hacks and facts to help you stay hydrated this season. - For most of us, drinking water is treated and is safe to consume. If it tastes unpleasant due to chemicals such as chlorine; which are used to disinfect the water and keep it free of germs and bacteria, you can use at home filtering devices. You may also find that your mains water causes limescale deposits to form which can block pipes and damage appliances. Absorption (charcoal) filters can help to remove chemicals like Chlorine, and Ion Exchange filters can help to soften hard water, reducing limescale and heavy mineral deposits. Both are commercially available for at home and on the go use. - BPA is an oestrogen mimicking chemical that is used to make reusable plastic products like water bottles. BPA is reported to have negative impacts on long term health & certain disease states. To avoid ingesting this you should avoid packaged foods, opt for glass bottles and glass Tupperware for food storage. There is even some great glass reusable on the go coffee cups available. - Caffeinated drinks have a mild diuretic effect, but they shouldn’t cause dehydration if you make sure you are also consuming plenty of non-caffeinated beverages like water or herbal teas. Replacing coffee/tea with redbush, herbal or flavoured fruit teas are a great way to increase your hydration and keep your drinks interesting and full of flavour throughout the day. - Try adding sliced lemons and limes, mint & cucumber, or sliced strawberries & Kiwi to a jug of water for a delicious and refreshing drink. This can be achieved using hot water too, with combinations like lemon and fresh ginger making for a satisfying and comforting brew. - Electrolyte drinks like coconut water can help to quickly replenish any salts lost by the body, normally via sweating during intense exercise. They’re a brilliant way ensure you don’t become dehydrated.

Gabriela Peacock @gp_nutrition


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advice as well as recommend supplements to best suit your lifestyle and needs. They will then send the the winner ÂŁ250 worth of the GP Nutrition supplements that Jen recommends.

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How many litres of water does Gabriela recommend to drink a day?

Go to Gabriela's article in this edition of FRANK for the answer.

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Muscle and a Heartfelt story for Valentine’s

Dr Louise Wiseman

Muscles are moving your eyes to read these words. Muscles are allowing you to sit, breathe, blink and get up to make that coffee in a minute. Do you even think about them? There are around 700 skeletal (moving bone) muscles in the human body. There are endless lengths of smooth muscle in blood vessels to shrink and expand the size of these tubes of blood and move it around the body. There is one heart (cardiac) muscle vital to all of this. How can muscle be manipulated to help you stay well? We are not only talking about a biceps curl at the gym.

Let’s think of muscle as the powerhouse for our movement, posture, pelvic floor and beating hearts. Muscles require nurture, TLC and a definite tune up. MOVEMENT Skeletal muscle We lose 3 to 8 per cent of muscle every decade as we age. Shockingly sad but let’s fight that now. You can change it! Keep your figure We burn fat within our muscle and healthy muscle helps preserve our metabolic rate. Let it dwindle and the muscle wastes, the fat supplies expand. Muscle takes up less space than fat. Muscle never turns into fat or vice versa so don’t think of that when you are ‘dieting’ or increasing your exercise. Excess fat gives us extra curves that me may not want but severe weight loss diets can actually mean we lose muscle and our metabolic rate slows. We literally regain fat afterwards as we lose muscle. One does not turn into another. Weight training does the reverse. When you weight train you GAIN Strength in bone and muscle Metabolic rate Ease of digestion Stamina Confidence As women we have maybe a tenth of the testosterone of men, so not enough to truly bulk up. Working with exercises against our body weight (e.g. floor work) and light to medium free weights is more effective than slogging away with very light weights if you are capable of doing a little more Through working your muscles, you may lower your cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes risk, weight and chance of arthritis as bones are supported more around joints. If muscles are functioning effectively then any sugar and carbs we digest are metabolised more efficiently also our insulin works better in our bodies. Very low muscle mass is a risk factor for ‘insulin resistance’ as we age- this basically means we can’t handle our sugar well and it is more likely to end up as fat reserves. It is now more common to see women using free weights in the gym. You should be trained correctly as injuries and joint damage will undo all of this good. We want to maintain function as we age. It is no good living long but not being able to walk to the shops or pick ourselves up if we fall! FUNCTION is the buzzword for our future but it is bang on rend for you right now.

“Any excessive emotional or physical shock to the body or even being in a natural disaster has the potential to cause Takotsubo. After an earthquake the severity of the patients’ Cardiomyopathy, if they were affected, was found to be directly proportional to how near the centre of the earthquake the people were.”

When you have weight trained or used large muscle groups you continue to burn more calories later in the day. Squats, jumps and lunges burn a lot as they are using the large muscle groups in combination. Use the stairs- if you stop, you literally lose the ability to do so. If we don’t move, we waste away. Slowly, but we literally do. We need to be active every day with the right balance between sitting/standing and moving. Hunching over your desk or phone all day or driving for hours? You really need to make up for that with movement. As a sedentary writer finishing my book last year I tell you the struggle is real! A great concept is run- walking. If you can’t run, then just walk, but if you have never run try walking then slow running interspersed- maybe start with 5 seconds running for every minute and build up over a few sessions to 15 seconds per minute. You may feel slightly self conscious on your own (like running for an invisible bus!) so try with a friend! This is how our bodies were built to work- intermittent bursts of activity not always an endless slog. If you are practising any form of exercise that includes weights/body resistance work you can increase lean muscle tissue and basically ‘de-age’ your body. That muscle will pump well and give you energy. Your skin, confidence, libido may soar as the blood flow improves EVERYWHERE! Go for it! POSTURE Daily damage caused by computer desks and ‘tech neck’ need to be undone. Don’t ‘shoulder hold’ your phone for hours. Your body will not forgive you. Talking to my friends in their 40s and 50s, we all have aches and pains we did not have when younger whether we are gym bunnies or not. If we sit too much our hip flexors stay tight at our desk and our glutes weak. You don’t necessarily want a ‘bubble butt’ but you do want strong glutes! Carry a heavy handbag? Ditch the excess nonsense in it (guilty as charged) or your shoulders may round and your spine twist. We are remarkably adept at becoming asymmetrical in our bodies from bad habits! Consider Yoga or Pilates- ideally one to one initially- to assess and reconfigure your posture. Stand tall- that old trick of imagining you have string pulling up from your head works. Look at asymmetry- do your shoulders and hips lie level? We need to stretch and exercise to protect our necks, take breaks from tech and screens. Keep your core strong and stand regularly. Standing desks are not a gimmick. Pilates is not new, yet we are realising its potency in maintaining strength, our figure and our youthful posture. We need 75 to 150 minutes’ activity (at least walking) every week. Your sofa will not keep you well. The ground will. PELVIC FLOOR Women have many organs in the pelvis combined in a small space and they are held by a bowl shaped ‘sling’ called the pelvic floor. If you haven’t become acquainted with yours then say hello now. Straining to lift heavy objects or gaining excessive weight stresses your pelvic floor (also pregnancy/delivery/any pelvic surgery potentially). You may not realise until it is too late. Try the movement you would do to hold in wind/stop the flow of urine and you are engaging your pelvic floor. Try holding it for four seconds. Is that tough? (try not to simultaneously hold your breath/tense/facially gurn as you do). Avoiding excessive weight gain and seeing a women’s health physio or speaking to them can help with your pelvic floor, incontinence and milder forms of prolapse. Speak to your doctor or nurse about your options.

“We cannot predict or avoid disaster and grief so we must be aware to protect our hearts in times of calm so that if the worse happens we have stress coping mechanisms to cushion us.”

earthquake the severity of the patients’ Cardiomyopathy, if they were affected, was found to be directly proportional to how near Sometimes science astounds us. Sometimes the centre of the earthquake the people were. it tells us something we think we knew deep How completely shocking! How completely shocking! The heart does recover from this down. cardiomyopathy should no complications A lot of my research and writing is about arise but is vulnerable in the interim. I asked managing lifestyle and reducing the effects of stress so they don’t affect our neurological Dr Sandeep Jauhar, a renowned leading and cardiac systems as much as they might. NYC Cardiologist in this field and he explained to me listening to his TED talk is Cutting to the core when awful things one of the best ways to understand this happen we cannot escape. Bereavement, phenomenon. I urge you to listen too. heartbreak, upset can cause something deeper alongside crying and feelings of sandeep_jauhar_how_your_emotions_cha­ desperation. Can they literally break your nge_the_shape_of_your_heart heart? We know from studies 30 years ago that stress management and lifestyle change can YOUR FUTURE HEART reduce ‘plaques’ that have build up in the We cannot insulate ourselves against cardiovascular system linked to cardiac emotion, we must feel it. We cannot predict disease. We never really focussed on or avoid disaster and grief so we must be emotion here. Strong emotions DO have a aware to protect our hearts in times of calm physical effect on the human heart. We so that if the worse happens we have stress think of the heart as the source of love yet coping mechanisms to cushion us. Keep your we know it is our brain. The heart can still added salt low to your food, exercise, eat potentially suffer. It has an intimate healthy, lose excessive weight and you are connection with our emotions. Fear and grief in their diabolical aftermath cause our protecting your blood vessels and heart from strain. blood vessels to constrict, our hearts to gallop and our blood pressure to rise. The That yoga class, that meditation session, heart appears stunned in this state and can that massage, that ‘run-walk’ not only keep almost ‘balloon’. A phenomenon now your calm fuel tank topped up but they also recognised and called Takotsubo keep your heart happy for many Valentine’s Cardiomyopathy. The Takotsubo is a to come. Japanese pot with a wide base and narrow Love is surely meant to be an neck- the shape a heart can impersonate in this state- this can then go on to cause heart ADVENTURE! failure, irregular heart beats, blood pressure I say ‘Keep all your muscles strong for the ride!’ falling (going into shock) and potential organ damage in this vulnerable time. Any excessive emotional or physical shock to the Dr. Louise Wiseman MBBS BSc(Hons) body or even being in a natural disaster has DRCOG MRCGP the potential to cause Takotsubo. After an KEEP YOUR HEART HAPPY THIS VALENTINE’S

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 has used her medical and life experience to write her first book ‘Your Best Life- A Doctor’s Secret Guide to Radiant Health Over 40’ for release in 2020. Find Louise at Instagram and Twitter @drlouisewrites


DELICIOUS WARMING DRINKS HOT CHOCOLATE BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE Ingredients: 1 1/4 cup (300 ml) unsweetened vanilla almond milk 1 Tbsp (16 g) nut butter OR dairy-free chocolate chips* 1 Tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup** 1/2 cup (40 g) rolled oats 2 Tbsp (10 g) unsweetened cocoa powder 1/2 tsp vanilla extract Directions: – The night before, add all ingredients (except chocolate chips, if using) to the bowl of your blender and give it a stir to ensure that everything is well combined. Cover and place in fridge for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. This step isn’t absolutely necessary, but allowing the oats to soak for a few hours will make them easier to blend and give you a smoother, creamier smoothie.*** – When you are ready to eat, blend on high until oats are fully broken down and a smooth and creamy consistency is reached. – Transfer the smoothie to a small saucepan set over medium heat (adding chocolate chips, if using) and bring to a simmer or boil, depending on how hot you want it. If the smoothie is too thick, add an extra splash of almond milk until desired consistency is reached. – When your smoothie reaches your preferred temperature, transfer it to a heat-safe glass, garnish with toppings of choice, and enjoy!


APPLE ELDERFLOWER AND POMEGRANATE HOT SMOOTHIE Ingredients: Seeds from half a pomegranate 1/2 tbsp elderflower cordial 1 sweet apple I like Jazz apples, roughly chopped 300 ml hot Jasmine tea you could replace this with green tea or another of your favourite herbal tea Directions: – Place your pomegranate seeds, elderflower cordial and apple in your smoothie maker. Add in a splash of cold water and a splash of the Jasmine tea (see warning above about hot liquids and smoothie makers). – Blend on high for a minute or two until everything is completely incorporated. – Pour your your smoothie into a cup and mix in the remaining Jasmine tea.

WHITE CHOCOLATE COCONUT CASHEW HOT SMOOTHIE Ingredients: Makes 2 Smoothies 2 large or 4 small chunks dairy free white Chocolate 2 + ½ cups fresh Coconut milk (the refrigerated kind such as Apro – as opposed to canned coconut milk) 6 tbsp Oats 1 ripe Banana (the riper the better) 2 tsp Maca powder (optional) 20 Cashew nuts 2 tbsp Toasted coconut (simple place unsweetened coconut flakes in a hot oven for 1 minute to brown – but be careful, they burn quickly) Directions: – Add the white chocolate to a pan, and pour in 2 cups of the coconut milk. heat until the mixture is hot and the chocolate has melted. – Place the oats, banana, maca powder, cashew nuts, 1 tbsp of the toasted coconut, and the 1/2 cup of cold coconut milk into your smoothie maker or blender (don’t add any hot liquid to your smoothie maker or blender). – Blend on high for a minute until the oats and have been completely incorporated (add an extra splash of cold coconut milk or water if it’s looking too thick to blend properly). – Divide the blended oat mixture between two cups and stir in the hot milk/ chocolate mix. Top with the remaining toasted coconut and serve.

HOMEMADE MASALA CHAI (DAIRY FREE, CAFFEINE FREE) Ingredients: – 3 cups water you’ll simmer this down to 2 – 1 inch piece ginger root sliced thin or grated – 10 cardamom pods – 2 star anise – 3 cinnamon quills – ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg – 1 vanilla bean – 10 black peppercorns – 1 teaspoon fennel seeds – 2 cups oat milk or use a nut or seed milk – 2 teaspoons red rooibus tea or black tea if you don't mind the caffeine Directions: – Place the cardamom pods in a mortar and pestle and give them a gentle grind to break them open and release the seeds, then add to a pot with the 3 cups of water. Grind the star anise and fennel in the same way, then add to the pot. – Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise, then add to the pot along with the grated nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, and peppercorns (basically everything but the rooibus/black tea and oat milk!). – Bring the water to a boil then reduce to a simmer, cover slightly and leave it to reduce to about 2 cups – this may take between 15 and 20 minutes. – Add the oat milk and black tea, bring the water to a boil again then reduce to a simmer for five minutes. – Strain through a sieve and serve.


Oh to Age

Gracefully By Kate Tilston


ou don’t look 51” was the way a conversation at the weekend started for me which then led to a fairly heated discussion about “what does 51 actually look like?” The conclusion we all came to was that there is no definitive image her. On that we can now say represents our age. These days we have some fantastic role models of “older” ladies (what do we now classify as older?) Women are seemingly coming into their own later on in life, appearing to care less about fitting in and caring more about the quality of their life so why does ageing still come up in my coaching sessions on a regular basis? top of that, she was just hitting the menopause and hormonally she was all over the place. Her children were on the home stretch of school and she was already getting As a practical Life coach, I coach both men and women very anxious about possible empty next syndrome. My and I think it is fair to say that I rarely have a client wanted to have a plan to deal with some of the conversation about age with my male clients. We might emotions and to feel prepared for what might lie ahead. discuss related issues such as career change, redundancy and how to deal with that and the fear attached, at a certain age but NOT what they’re looking like. Obviously, I’m not a bereavement counsellor, I’m not a specialist in the menopause but I am a 51-year-old woman who has there is the occasional male client who is struggling with huge empathy for what she is going through. So, to start getting older, less fit maybe, but for me, it has only been with we mapped out what the various aspects were that occasionally. were troubling her breaking them down into individual HOWEVER,….. I have numerous conversations with my topics rather than overwhelming her. Once we had female clients about getting older and what that means or identified the different areas, we put plans of action in place to start dealing with each concern. has the potential to mean to them. Recently, a client of mine turned 50, it was a significant age for her as her Mum had sadly died the year she had turned 50 so it was bringing up all sorts of emotions for

Where she was feeling overwhelmed, she was struggling to remember things and her usual lists were not working for her so we created a different type of list that she found easier to navigate and was more productive.

We worked through each issue looking for solutions or potential solutions until we felt life was a little more manageable. For me, what is interesting is that some of the subject matter might change for each client of a certain age, but that overall the majority of my clients who are dealing with getting older and all that it brings, struggle with very similar issues. I have also worked with women that wholeheartedly embrace getting older and the empowerment that they feel it brings them. These women have a far healthier relationship with social media and the media in general. They have done a lot of self-work and can appreciate the journey they have travelled and be grateful for the experiences along the way. I asked one of these clients, how she had maintained this attitude of positivity and her response was as follows; “ I don’t claim to have it all sorted, I too have days where I look in the mirror and don’t recognise the woman staring back at me or I look and see my own mother, but I choose to confront those feelings and be grateful that I actually have the opportunity to stand and look in the mirror as so many of my family and friends will never be fortunate enough to experience ageing” A sobering thought but also so true.

the ones who are getting out there and making the most of what they have. Again, if you spend enough time around positivity, it will have a knock-on effect on you. Avoid the “woe is me” brigade – you don’t need to add to any negativity you are feeling, that’s for sure. 4. Maybe it’s time for some personal re-evaluation? Do you need to feel healthier, fitter to feel better? Maybe invest in a personal trainer or research a class that you could join that would not only get you out but meeting others? 5. Perhaps it’s time for a wardrobe overhaul? It might seem like a frivolous expense, but Style Coaches/Image consultants can make a HUGE difference to how you are feeling about yourself. I have clients who feel that their image consultancy session has saved them literally hundreds of pounds and left them feeling much more positive about their overall look.

“We can fight ageing all the way OR we can decide to embrace it the best we can and appreciate and be thankful for the amazing body that has got us this far.”

So how do we change our thought patterns and our beliefs Ageing is inevitable, those of us lucky to be able to to embrace (or at least manage) getting older? experience have a choice, we can fight it all the way OR 1. I encourage my clients to keep a gratitude diary – each we can decide to embrace it the best we can and appreciate and be thankful for the amazing body that has night before you go to bed, write down 3 things that you are grateful for that day. They don’t have to be big things got us this far, every wrinkle/laughter line that tells a story, every scar every lump and bump that shows we but acknowledgements of things you are grateful for – have lived and continue to do so. Some days it won’t be turning on the tap and having instant hot water, being easy, ask for help if you’re struggling – it is one of the able to feed your children, having warm clean bedding…..the list goes on. It has been proven that if you experiences we will all share, the good bits and the bad. keep a gratitude diary for over 21 days, it will have a For more information on how I coach, please feel free to significant effect on your mental well-being. email me You will also find me on 2. Limit your time on social media – stop comparing yourself to friends and even people you don’t know. You Facebook, Instagram @katetlifecoach have no idea how “real” the life that they are portraying Twitter @KateTlifecoach online is and therefore have no idea of the possible struggles they too are contending with. You also don’t know how much time they’ve spent photoshopping their pictures! 3. Engage with other positive people. Search out people who are of a similar age that are embracing their lives –




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How To Fail With Elizabeth Day is a podcast that celebrates the things that haven’t gone right. Every week, a new interviewee explores what their failures taught them about how to succeed better.

Awaken, discover and connect to the deeper meaning of the world around you with SuperSoul. Hear Oprah’s personal selection of her interviews with thought-leaders, bestselling authors, spiritual luminaries, as well as health and wellness experts. All designed to light you up, guide you through life’s big questions and help bring you one step closer to your best self.


Join our host, Who What Wear co-founder Hillary Kerr, as she chronicles the career changes that can come at any age in our podcast, Second Life.


Are You Suffering From

A Motivation Hangover? Sandie Fredriksson

Sandie Fredriksson is a highly sought-after health coach and the creator of ‘The 8 Week Plan - Healthy Habits For Life’. She teaches women over 40 how to get in control of their body and mind, without it feeling

If you’ve already hit a wall with your 2020 health goals, it’s time to re-examine your approach. Sandie Fredriksson shares her 10-point checklist on how to set and get the change you want. ‘New Year, New You’ might feel like a mildly irritating cliché, but there’s good reason January is a popular time for setting goals. Much like starting your day with a healthy morning routine, beginning your year the right way can be an effective strategy to get healthier and happier. Those first heady days and weeks of working on your goals feel exciting. You’re hitting the gym three times a week, replacing every lunch with a nutrition-packed smoothie and you’ve successfully denied yourself chocolate for 11 days straight (that’s about 10 days too long for me!). But soon enough the “Old You” is back on the sofa making excuses to skip the gym or stay up late on a Monday to watch just one more episode of Messiah.

So if you are suffering from a motivation hangover, or you haven’t yet kick-started your 2020 health goals, here’s my checklist to help you get on track.

1. Don’t make it about a massive life overhaul Think about where you’re starting from. If you’ve never set foot in a gym, don’t aim to be there five days a week. Start with twice a week, until you’re used to identifying with that behaviour. By staying consistent, “I go to the gym Tuesdays and Thursdays” will become who you are, not what you do.

Trying to work on too many goals at once is a popular mistake. I encourage clients to pick one or two, to begin with, then we focus on the habits that will drive that It’s at this point we realise that willpower alone is a pretty outcome rather than the end goal itself. It will surprise unreliable strategy - and when the motivation starts to you how the smallest of habit changes can create tangible melt away, it can leave you feeling deflated and results really fast. Before you know it, you’ll have set depressed. yourself on a whole new health trajectory.

“Your friend might be posting on Instagram about how she gets up at the crack of dawn every Saturday morning for a military boot camp on the heath, but if you struggle to get up in the mornings, and react badly to being shouted at, and live nowhere near the heath, then that isn’t necessarily going to be your best plan to get fit.” 2. Be specific about what your goal is There is a meaningful difference between “I’m going to start running” and “I will run a 5K by June”, or “I’m going to have a healthier diet” and “I’ll eat five homemade vegetarian meals a week”. The detail matters, otherwise how will you know when you have got there? Get specific on what you want and how you will measure it. Also, ask yourself: is that goal achievable in the timeframe you have set? When a client comes to me with an unrealistic goal, we work to adjust it at the outset, breaking it down into manageable chunks.

3. Understand why you want to achieve that outcome The gratification of losing weight is not going to be as immediate as the gratification of eating one of the cupcakes your kids just baked! So, if you want to stay on track, you really need to dig deep into your motivations. Why do you want it? How will it feel when you get it? How will it change your life for the better? Asking yourself these questions can sometimes mean you need to reframe your goal in some way. Perhaps you didn’t actually want to be a vegetarian - you just wanted to eat less meat and more plant-based meals.

4. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing Your friend might be posting on Instagram about how she gets up at the crack of dawn every Saturday morning for a military boot camp on the heath, but if you struggle to get up in the mornings, and react badly to being shouted at, and live nowhere near the heath, then that isn’t necessarily going to be your best plan to get fit. Be realistic about what feels manageable and make a plan that works in the context of your life.

5. Write your goals down

When I work with my clients to turn their written plan of action, everything changes. You’re far more likely to follow through when you can see what you have to do, rather than just thinking about it. Make your schedule non-negotiable by building the rest of your week, around it. There may not be time to do everything, but there’s always time to do the important things. And by important things, I mean prioritising your health.

6. Take bold action Commit to your goals by investing in them from the getgo. Book in your training sessions and pay for a block upfront, so cancelling them isn’t an option. Or take a cookery course as a pledge to yourself that you won’t give in to the temptation of takeaways anymore. To bring your dreams to life there needs to be a hefty bias towards action. Put your energy into the ‘doing’ rather than the ‘thinking about it’.

7. Don’t rely on willpower On-off dieting, juice fasts, sporadic gym visits: I remember how disheartening it is when anything you try feels unsustainable. Pretty soon, you’re back to your old ways of doing things, wondering if you’re ever going to get in control of your health. Spoiler alert: your brain loves to keep you in repeating behaviours (even the ones that don’t serve you) which is why it can be tough to break negative habit loops alone. A coach, mentor or trainer will not only help you find the fastest, most direct route to your goal, they’ll also hold you accountable to following through. And a skilled coach will know exactly how to rewire your brain with new behaviours that feel easy so your old ways become obsolete.

“The biggest lesson I’ve learned in my 40s? Whatever your goal - lose weight, get healthier, save more, drink less, find love - the pursuit of perfect will paralyse you! You don’t need the perfect plan to get started and there’s never a right time.” 8. Track your progress Often, clients find ticking off their daily achievements on a habit tracker an incredibly powerful way to stay on course. Your final goal might take some time to achieve so reward yourself along the way. Swap your three-a-day latte habit for a luxurious massage at the end of the month to keep you motivated! But don’t punish yourself up if you do slip. Resilience is the key to your success, so ditch the guilt and negative self-talk and jump straight back to the plan at the first opportunity.

9. Grow your self-awareness Does it sometimes feel like you’re cheating behind your own back? You know, like if you eat that slice of cheesecake really quickly, you might not notice, or if you miss that HIIT class, you can pretend it didn’t happen. By paying attention to your internal dialogue you will start to notice what it sounds like when you’re sabotaging your goals. This means having a strategy for when you don’t feel like sticking to your plan: just because your gym kit is packed and you’re all fired up and ready to hit Barry’s Bootcamp after work tomorrow, doesn’t mean you’ll feel like it when the time comes. Be prepared to not let that stop you.

love - you don’t need the perfect plan to get started and there’s never a right time. The pursuit of perfect will paralyse you! What you think is the best strategy at the beginning usually needs several tweaks along the way. And how much could you have achieved by now if you had just got going rather than waiting for the perfect time? A quieter week at work, or when you’ve finally got on top of your life admin, or - God forbid - when the kids leave home for good. What if they never do?! Women, in particular, can be guilty of trying to clear the decks of all other responsibilities before we finally make time to work on ourselves. But life is always going to get in the way. So make this your new mantra: ‘Done is better than perfect.’ Value making progress over having it all figured out with the perfect plan.

To find out more about ‘The 8 Week Plan - Healthy Habits For Life’ visit

10. Check in with how you’re feeling Does it feel like you’re growing or suffering? If it feels too restrictive, or just too damn boring, it’s not going to be sustainable. Dread going to the gym? Try a boxing class or join a climbing centre, or whatever you think could excite you. Don’t like your PT? Change to someone you actually want to spend time with three times a week. I look forward to working out with my trainers at Ellis Stockwell Personal Training - they’re fun and genuinely invested in my progress. Going there has become part of the fabric of my life, so work out what that looks like for you. The biggest lesson I’ve learned in my 40s? Whatever your goal - lose weight, get healthier, save more, drink less, find

“If you’ve never set foot in a gym, don’t aim to be there five days a week. Start with twice a week, until you’re so used to identifying with that behaviour that “I go to the gym Tuesdays and Thursdays”


Issue 06 Feb - March 2020

FRANK by name FRANK by nature










The Fashion of Ageing is THE FASHION TO FOLLOW Charisse Glenn


geless means ‘being of all generations, not ageing or appearing to age’. To want to look youthful is not an issue, masking it behind a facade of fear is. Acknowledging what prevents us from owning our years is essential to our spiritual growth. We are all ageing — every one of us, every minute of every day. We will never be chronologically younger than we are at this moment.

The good news is how we handle it will determine if we grow old or if we become ageless. Becoming ageless happens when we shift our perspective. The shift is happening. We are entering a new era; the fashion of ageing is upon us. Never before have women embraced the natural cycle of life as they are doing now. As a young woman, I admired women who went grey. Exuding an aura of wisdom and youthful curiosity, they seemed to be shrouded in mystery, holding a secret behind the twinkle in their eyes. I wanted to know what Momentarily I felt better, and yet I felt like a spiritual charlatan for hiding my true self. The dread of exposure allowed them to be so confident and free. was always hanging over me. Years later, as my grey began to appear, I lacked the When I finally decided to let my grey shine, most of my courage to let it show. I was not ready to become the friends were shocked. woman I was meant to be. I struggled. The To their reactions, I responded: ” I am doing it so I can ramifications seemed immense. speak my truth.” Ageism is rampant in the world in which I work. I have The need to come to terms with my ageing was crucial for my journey of self-realisation. Acceptance of who I been a commercial casting director in Los Angeles for more than 30 years. In this image and youth-oriented am, naked, without adornments was imperative. I needed to face myself without shame. It was not easy. At times, I was unrecognisable to myself. The inner business, was I endangering my livelihood if I allowed my age to show? In the realm of advertising, as you image I carried had not reconciled with the one reflecting me – who was that old woman looking at me? approach 50, you are looking at the exit door. So, like millions of women, I coloured the grey.

“When I decided to follow the course of nature and let my hair grey, I let go of pressures that I hadn’t realised I was carrying around — pressures of how I was taught to be. I am not advocating all women to go grey; it is a personal choice, just like our wardrobe. Yet, for me, it was a gateway to my authentic self.”

Nothing in nature stands still, so why should we? The secret those women knew so many years ago was knowing they did not need society’s permission to Be. They followed the course of nature, flowing with the change of seasons, understanding the power of renewal, regrowth, and resilience. The energy they exuded, crossed generations. There is nothing more attractive or sexy than someone living their truth. Those women were the forerunners to the fashion of ageing. They were setting the stage for us. But society still had a stranglehold on our perceptions. The time to challenge those perceptions has arrived. A current trend in fashion, spearheaded by young men and women, is to colour their hair grey. They see the beauty in what those experiencing the transition see as appalling. The door has opened for those who have been hiding behind the facade of youth. However, we don’t suddenly become fashionable. First, we must let go of our acceptance of society’s stigma about ageing. The stigma happens slowly. We barely realise it is happening at all. There is a sense of irrelevance, an almost imperceptible fading. Deep within, there is a feeling something is changing. Then one day, we feel as if we are no longer modern. We have a veil of invisibility around us. Yet, it is not about who we are. It is about how our culture imposes its prejudice of age upon us. For this reason, many women resist the ageing process. They are holding onto perceived youth, shielding the truth of reality from themselves. They have not made peace with their reflection in the mirror. When I decided to follow the course of nature and let my hair grey, I let go of pressures that I hadn’t realised I was carrying around — pressures of how I was taught to be. I am not advocating all women to go grey; it is a personal choice, just like our wardrobe. Yet, for me, it was a gateway to my authentic self. Evidence of my ageing was a badge that said I could be and do as I wished. I no longer needed permission to be me. It was liberating. I felt a profound sense of peace. It was as if my souls’ purpose was screaming out to the Universe; I got it! I am whole and complete and perfect as I am. On Becoming Ageless: My vision has improved. I now see qualities like kindness, gratitude, empathy, and compassion more than I see physical traits. I can see another’s journey without judgment, but rather with tolerance and understanding. My sense of hearing has been heightened. I hear the positive more than the negative. I can hear words that are unspoken.

I have become more flexible. Ancient trees that have lived hundreds or thousands of years have become my teachers. They may stand upright or twisted from their experiences, but they bend and sway with the winds, having learned to be rigid will only break their branches. I have become stronger. As with trees each year, they grow stronger and more resilient, so do I. Sharp words no longer cut me, nor can the daggers from angry eyes pierce my skin. I have not toughened but instead have become like flowing water. I can nourish myself. As trees drop their leaves to nourish the ground, I, too, have learned to nurture myself. When thoughts enter my mind, which do not serve my higher good, I let them go. And, so I have become softer. I have learned the softest of touch can affect the deepest healing. To become who we are meant to be means to let go of who we once were. The need for others to define us ceases to exist. We can stand tall with pride, wearing the scars of our experiences and our grey as evidence of our being. With grace and acceptance, the becoming is effortless. Because we’ve aged does not mean it’s too late to redefine our identities, we are tens of millions of cool, impactful, self-aware women. Let us embrace our wisdom, honouring our value and worthiness to pave the way for the coming generations. Let us make becoming ageless the fashion to follow. Let us be the #socialtrendworthfollowing.

When I finally decided to let my grey shine, most of my friends were shocked. To their reactions, I responded: ” I am doing it so I can speak my truth.”

“We are all ageing — every one of us, every minute of every day. We will never be chronologically younger than we are at this moment. The good news is how we handle it will determine if we grow old or if we become ageless.”


Feeling stuck? Get your mojo back By Danielle Dodoo

that feels so out of reach – a goal, a dream, this thing that we think will make us happy and the “stuck” is preventing The symptoms often start subtly, hindering you with a us from accomplishing it. It could be as big as trying to slight lack of motivation and focus. Common ones include find your life’s purpose or you could be stuck on deciding distracting yourself with food, getting up and opening the to leave your job, change your career, end a relationship or fridge multiple times (as my mother used to say, waiting get healthier and fitter. for it to give birth) rather than sitting down to do any But, it’s really important to remind yourself that being significant or even minor piece of work. Randomly tidying stuck is a good thing. When we hit stalemate and we’re so up and choosing to do house chores you’ve been putting frustrated with the discomfort and self-loathing of not off for months. You are subconsciously keeping yourself being able to accomplish this thing or be the way we want busy so you have an excuse for not making progress on the to be, then we are forced to do something about it. important things; things you know are required to move Normally, one of two things happen. We either choose to your business or relationship forward and avoiding self-sooth by distracting ourselves with something like decisions that will dictate your future. It can feel like comfort eating, or we get addicted to complaining, Groundhog Day. directing our focus to less healthy behaviours like If there was a formal description it might read something obsessively checking social media or falling into a pattern like: “moderate burnout accompanied by self-doubt and of negative thoughts. Less frequently, we choose to do general apathy about your entire existence, with an something that moves us closer to our goals and the life we aching to know the meaning of life.” know we are capable of living. But unless we have the The reason we get stuck is that we often want something tools, it’s pretty damn hard to do the latter.

We all get stuck.

Let’s cover three areas that you need to understand and focus on to become unstuck. 1. Know your limiting beliefs. 2. Become self-aware and alter your perception of reality. 3. Make a decision and take action. Know your limiting beliefs Beliefs dictate our destiny. Beliefs are that which we think are true. The more limited they are, the less we are likely to succeed in our goals.

and feel more disappointment when even the smallest things didn’t go your way. Often your internal chat can become very critical - about your abilities, about your purpose and you start questioning whether you even want to be doing what you’re doing. You might become more anxious and this manifests into complaining. Everything just feels so hard. There are two gremlins that feed the ‘stuck’. “The Fear” and “The How”. According to David Bayer, "Fear is wanting to have a predicate outcome around an experience you have never had before.”

Everything we want, our goals, our aspirations – they sit in the world of the unknown. But our brains become conflicted. The Fear kicks in when the lizard or ancient "It’s the core of behavioural part of the brain tries to keep us safe. It tells us, ‘don’t do that, it’s dangerous or uncomfortable.’ Unfortunately, psychology: It’s your beliefs that the more dominant part of the brain and its number dictate your thoughts, which dictate it’s one job is to keep us alive. your emotions, dictate your actions, The How is, “how the hell am I going to do this? I’ve never done this before. I’m not good enough, I don’t have the dictate your results which then tools, the time or the skills.” Or, “someone’s already done it, there’s no point in me trying, mine won’t be better, reinforce your beliefs.” what even makes me think I can do it?”. You become overwhelmed with the thought of wanting to identify In fact, beliefs are actually decisions. If you believe money is hard to make then you've decided money is hard everything that needs to happen for your vision or goal to to make and that influences (limits) the choices you make become a reality. You’re suddenly unable to make a to make money. If you believe you have to do everything decision and you talk yourself out of doing ‘the thing’. on your own you've actually decided you have to do everything on your own. If you believe that your relationships won't work out then you’re likely to sabotage all your intimate relationships. And if you feel A good exercise is to think about like you’re not good enough, you find the evidence to support that the belief that people around you don’t care the worst thing that has about you or respect your feelings.

As David Bayer says:

The meaning you have given to your past experiences plays a huge role in defining your limiting beliefs. You store the meaning you give to these beliefs as memories in your brain. If you see your current state negatively and continuously put yourself down, focusing only on what you are not doing right rather than what you are doing well then it's no wonder you fall into a pattern of thinking that holds you back. The negative thoughts become the easiest thoughts to think and they gain momentum, ultimately becoming wired into the neuro networks of our brain. It's really important to know what the stuck looks like for you. Do you feel trapped? Do you become indecisive or convince yourself that you just don’t care enough anymore? Perhaps you become more sensitive to change

happened to you and ask yourself if that was in fact, the best thing to ever happen to you? What positives have you experienced since that event that wouldn’t have otherwise happened? Reframing that question to find the positive outcomes can change everything.

Most decisions are hampered by The How.

For example, you might ask: how true is that I’m the right person to do this? When have I been able to stick to a plan So, now that we know what our limiting beliefs are and and execute it? When have I shown self-discipline before? that our internal dialogue is always trying to move us into Has someone else been successful in entering a product the ‘known’, let’s discover how to move forward. into a saturated market before? Have I been able to Become self-aware and alter your perception of reality approach and make conservation with strangers before? First, you need to accept that what you believe will dictate your thoughts on a moment by moment basis. For example, if you think money is hard to make, you won't find it easy to come up with ideas or thoughts to make money easily. This is called a psycho cybernetic loop. The idea is that "what you think you then experience as an emotion and that emotion dictates what actions you do or do not take and that produces your results"; your results then reinforce your limiting beliefs. So, to become self-aware you need to know how the brain perceives reality and therefore influences the decisions you make. The part of the brain that pays attention at any given moment is called reticular activation. However, did you know that your brain is rarely paying attention and filters out 90% of the of everything going on around you? Instead, it pays attention to what you believe is happening and focusses on the 10% you've decided is important. It’s no surprise that the 10% it focusses on is always in alignment with what you believe and it gives meaning to whatever you are currently focused on. This is why when you decide on a model or colour of car you want to buy you suddenly see that specific car everywhere. What you believe, or what you’ve decided, will affect the coincidences that happen in your life. So what does this mean? It means that you need to actively listen to that internal dialogue and the emotions that spring from it. Write them down. It’s super important to understand and be able to articulate what you actually believe and it's super important that you understand that it’s your internal dialogue that’s dictating all the actions you take. Once you’re able to do that you then need to find alternative evidence to the negative meaning that your brain is giving you at any time.

Then tell yourself, it's not true that you're not good enough. It's not true that you need to get it all done today. It's not true that if you take that risk, you're going to end up living under a bridge. It's just not true. The brain will find answers to support the questions we ask ourselves. So it makes sense to ask better questions to get better answers. Tony Robbins suggests that a good exercise is to think about the worst thing that has happened to you and ask yourself if that was in fact, the best thing to ever happen to you? What positives have you experienced since that event that wouldn’t have otherwise happened? Reframing that question to find the positive outcomes can change everything. Untether yourself from these unhelpful and unintelligent patterns or thoughts and you’re halfway there. Make a decision and take action The Power of clarity cannot be overstated. Your brain is a goal-achieving machine and in its ‘powerful state’ you can achieve anything. Like most people, I’m sure you are pretty clear about what you don’t want. But its more important to know what you do want. What is it that you want to create? What kind of partner or relationship do you want? What kind of friend, sibling, mother, father do you want to be? What kind of colleague or leader do you want to be? What are the skills you want to learn and why? Get that clarity.

Studies have shown that clarity is intimately connected to the imagination. As we become clearer on something, we Basically, question it, call it out for its bullshit and ignore begin to see what that thing is in our mind's eye and we it. can visualise what it might look like in reality. Getting more clarity is like moving through fog. Move from Let’s try a little exercise. Hold your limiting belief in your indecision and procrastination into decisive action, even if mind. Now flip it round to be the opposite belief. Find the you have to take baby steps. As your vision becomes evidence that supports the idea that the opposite is true. clearer, start taking action.

A 2009 study at Harvard proved that whether you imagined playing the piano or actually played it, the human brain showed the same activity and it lit up in the same places. Study after study shows that your brain doesn't know the difference between imagination and reality. It’s also interesting to know that as you get clear around your vision then your brain builds the same neuro networks as if that experience has already occurred. So if you remember how I said that: "It’s the core of behavioural psychology: It’s your beliefs that dictate your thoughts, which dictate your emotions, dictate your actions, dictate your results which then reinforce your beliefs.” You can actually store visualisations as memories in your brain and replace the existing limiting beliefs with new and positive neurotic networks. So now, make a decision and hold that decision in your mind. Remember for now, forget trying to figure out ‘The How’. As soon as you make the decision your brain will become focussed on the outcome, you’ll start getting ideas and you’ll find that the circumstances and coincidences start showing up to support you. This, in turn, will loosen the stuck feeling and will motivate you to take action; with action opportunities will start to appear and will create a momentum that feeds upon itself. Remember, every time you be been successful in your life it was because you decided to take action. The path then unfolded for you along the way and whilst it didn’t always work out exactly how you wanted or expected, when you look back now and, in hindsight, you can see it worked out. Even if at the time you saw it as a

failure, you can now see that it happened for a reason. It redirected you on a different course and brought you to where you are now. Or perhaps it helped you learn the skills or build the character you needed to develop to accomplish the things you’ve accomplished now. So if you want more happiness, wealth, joy, fun, better relationships, or you want to achieve your full potential, get clear on what that vision, what that would look like for you and make sure what you believe is congruent with that outcome because if what you believe is not congruent with that outcome, then at a basic level, neurophysiologically, you are working against yourself. Remember that the brain is a goal-achieving machine and you can only hold onto the beliefs that your brain has decided is true. You can only think or have ideas that are in alignment with that truth. That truth becomes your perception of the world so think intelligently and positively. Don’t actively self-sabotage by leaning into your limiting beliefs.

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



THE SURPRISING BEAUTY OF THE ORDINARY Before a brush with the black dog of depression, bestselling author Catherine Gray believed that her dissatisfaction with the average, ordinary and normal, was what was going to power her towards her future, upgraded, extraordinary existence. She shares how she learned to overhaul her ‘default disenchanted’ mindset, with Frank. By Catherine Gray adaptation means that we adjust to our fortunate. circumstances much more quickly than is desirable. Euphoria fades, triumph wanes, achievement recedes. And thus we start seeking the next high. It means there is no “arrival” at contented bliss. We’ve done a I had always desperately wanted to work on glossy triathlon, but we want to do an Ironman (which women’s magazines and I had somehow manage to should, strictly speaking, be called ‘Ironperson’ shoehorn my way in, aged 23. My pay was low surely). We’ve got the promotion, but we start eyeing compared to that of my university friends in up the corner office. We have moved in, but we want a marketing, law and accounting (I even earned less than the trainee teachers), but on the flipside I led the ring on it. most charmed, gilded, extraordinary life. Allow me to introduce you to the person I was before I gained an appreciation of the ordinary. Fair warning: she is a bit of a tosser.

I was a saucer-eyed girl plucked from south Birmingham, who felt like she had spent the bulk of her teenage years squinting at the road and wondering where the bloody bus was. So when I entered the magazine realm, I was as bouncy as Will Ferrell in Elf, and would say things like, “Is this for me? I get to keep this?!...This canapé is lifechanging...You’re sending me to Bristol to write a travel article? Are you serious? HAPPY DAYS.” But as time rolled on, I did what most humans do in most lucky-duck situations. I grew accustomed to it, and I started to pick holes, and find fault. In short, I started to want: M.O.R.E

Extraordinary expectations of our twenties I expected trials and tribulations, as I was scaling the ladder in my twenties. What I didn’t expect was to live in rooms smaller than Carrie Bradshaw’s walk-in wardrobe, in nine different rented flats (so much moving). I expected a surfeit of intersectional friends as some sort of cosmic reward for moving from the Midlands to London, like when Laura Linney moved to Barbary Lane in Tales of the City. Instead, I struggled to make friends in the megatropolis, where it was seemingly illegal to look strangers in the eye.

I expected extraordinary nights out, but I didn’t anticipate that my quest for them would birth an I was always wanting, striving, seeking the alcohol addiction. If I was bored, I didn’t go home. extraordinary, but when I was in the extraordinary, I Hell no. I drank more, in an attempt to salvage this wanted it to be more extraordinary. I thought people faceplant of a night. Just one more drink, bar, dance. who were happy with their lot were dim nitwits who had had the wool pulled over their eyes, settled for I expected to marry in my twenties, but instead, I was the substandard and would never reach the peaks unable to make a relationship last more than three that I would scale via the crampons of my choosiness. years. My friends were getting engaged, starting I pitied the fools. families even, and had climbed on the property ladder thanks to parents handing them deposits, or the What I was experiencing has a name. It is the result bittersweet windfall of inheritance, and in of something called the “hedonic treadmill”. This comparison, I felt like the very definition of a loser. treadmill is a metaphor to sum up the psychological phenomenon of “hedonic adaptation”. Hedonic

“My joy in the ordinary has likely made me irritating, to the gloommongers of the world. Former me would have hardswerved current me. I have been known to weep at the beauty of sunrises, and I want to apologise for that, because I feel deeply uncool for typing it, but I’m not going to, because positivity should not be seen as uncool.”

Photographer David Yeo

a golden panel on a scratchcard. Suicidal ideation has been represented as sinking into uncharted depths, or falling into the empty spaces between words. For me, it was more like unwittingly building a bomb. Over the years, I accidentally collected more and more bomb-assembly parts. (Drinks far too much, check. Attracted to men who I spent my twenties perpetually disappointed, panicking and pissed off. I entered my early thirties in aren’t that bothered about me, check. Allows money to burn a hole in pocket, check. Alienates work a blind panic at the life boxes I still hadn’t managed contacts, check.) to tick. I thought I’d have a mortgage for a flat with window boxes; possibly a baby blooming in my belly, too. That didn’t happen. (That still hasn’t happened.) Once I had enough parts, the device just fell together of its own accord, like a bunch of magnets, and started By 30, I had the job I had wanted, as a features editor to tick. on a million-selling newspaper supplement, but I I had even mentally written the note I would BluTack hated every hothoused second of it, and in under a to the door to stop my cohabiting boyfriend from year I’d failed and bailed, and had to move back coming in and finding me. “I’m sorry, I can’t live in home for six months as a result of a total lack of my own skin anymore. Please don’t come into this savings. room. Please call an ambulance instead.” At the grand age of 31, I spent my birthday gulpysobbing because I’d just been dumped and I felt “old” And one night, I got into a bathtub with a kitchen knife at 3am, inconsolable, and willed myself to do (seems laughable now, but I truly felt like that) and like “time was running out” and that “I was going to something. I lay there for an hour, until the water was end up alone”. I felt as if I was trapped inside a giant goosebump cold. For that hour, I existed in between two worlds; not wanting to live, yet not being able to egg timer, and sand was being sucked from beneath do what was necessary to die. my feet. On my 27th birthday, my mates made me a birthday book which they all wrote and drew in; all of the doodles of me starred wine and cigarettes. Later that night, I would chip my front tooth by drunkenly falling into a front door.

The next day I started Googling “Painless ways to commit suicide”, hoping to hit upon an answer that wouldn’t involve blood, agony or seizures. Instead of finding a “how to”, I found a deterrent site, masquerading as a how to. It jolted me awake by telling me - via capitals, the grammatical version of shouting - that “THERE IS NO PAINLESS WAY” and “YOU WILL CAUSE YOUR LOVED ONES GREAT DISTRESS As a result, my peers got further and further ahead, IF YOU MANAGE IT”. It was like a punch in the and I felt more and more hopeless each time I contemplated where I was, and how fast I would have nose. to skedaddle in order to catch up. I didn’t know back My ideation never materialised into action, because then, that many of my friends were extraordinary, what I wanted was an absence of pain. To press a and that I was actually very ordinary. button and make myself - whoosh! - vanish. I didn’t want more pain before non-existence. Or the prospect I didn’t know that most people didn’t get married in their late twenties or early thirties; I didn’t know that of potential failure (“I can’t even get suicide right”). most of my peers were renting too. I just-so-happened to make friends with overachievers. And I chose to The dismantling of the expectations begins focus all my energy on chasing them, rather than So, that website probably saved my life. The next day regarding those running alongside me. I called my father and asked for help. I had assessed I didn’t even know what the hedonic treadmill was, or that it existed inside my head, and yet I still felt haunted by that unnamed urge. I was increasingly opting to slide off the treadmill and sit beside it instead, smoking and sinking wine in order to anaesthetise my despair, which was blossoming like a bruise.

all pain options - suicide, continuing to drink and be I reached a place in 2013 where the pain of my depressed, or quitting drinking and finding a way out existence outweighed the fear of disappearing. I of depression - and decided that changing was the best wanted to scratch myself out, as a person scratches off option. I set about dismantling the bomb inside me,

My joy in the ordinary has likely made me irritating, to the gloommongers of the world. Former me would have hard-swerved current me. I have been known to weep at the beauty of sunrises, and I want to apologise for that, because I feel deeply uncool for typing it, but I’m not going to, because positivity should not be seen as uncool.

Photographer David Yeo

In recovering, I learned how to dismantle my extraordinary expectations of myself and my life. I heard the phrase ‘expectations are resentments in construction’ in an AA meeting and it triggered a silent mind revolution. If I lowered my expectations, and upped my gratitude for what I already had, for who I already was, for what had already happened, maybe my filmic expectations would take a back seat? It was worth a whirl.

I discovered that if I don’t let everyday pleasures slide on by unnoticed, or to fall out of my head, I can get a buzz from the most everyday pleasures. Buttery toast, the plunge of the cafetière, getting a seat on a packed train, a coat hook that looks like a drunken octopus, a dog / child running towards you with unbridled joy, a sweet conversation with a stranger, chucking a scrunch of paper into a wastepaper basket and feeling like a baller. Once you begin to truly notice all the things that do go right in a very ordinary day, it can mean that an ordinary day begins to create the same sensation as an extraordinary day. The sum of its parts creates the same whole. Or even, something greater.

think, ‘I’ll be happy when I earn X amount / own a flat / get engaged / can do a headstand on a paddleboard. ’ That just means my satisfaction is an ever-moving target, always everso-slightly out of reach. I live in the beauty of what’s already happened now; rather than in tireless pursuit of what may never happen. And it feels damnstraight lovely. Come on in. Give it a try.

“Once you begin to truly notice all the things that do go right in a very ordinary day, it can mean that an ordinary day begins to create the same sensation as an extraordinary day.”

Extraordinary experiences are narcotic, there’s no denying that. In And so I set about attempting to mine two weeks time I will be swimming with turtles in Thailand and the wonder in the workaday. Simply Photographer David Yeo you better believe I will enjoy every by doing one thing. Writing at least second of it. But, given I spend 99 five gratitudes, daily. (I nearly put myself to sleep writing that last line). out of every 100 swims circumnavigating soggy plasters in a Gratitude-ing has been so done to death it has become clichéd. It feels a leisure centre pool, rather than touch woo-woo, a smidgen ‘medieval dodging turtle flippers, I no longer hook my happiness upon the monk with a cat o’ nine tails’, and a extraordinary, which makes up so lot American. Even I roll my eyes Catherine Gray’s book, The when I see a headline espousing ‘The little of my life. Turtles are Unexpected Joy of Being Ordinary Power of Gratitude’. Yet it was one of incredible; but so is the fact that most of us in the first world have access to the most transformative daily practices I’ve ever adopted. It’s also, a giant local swimming pool for under a fiver. aside from exercise, one of the most This is an edited extract from scientifically-proven ways to aboutCatherine Gray’s book, The Nor does it make any sense to me to turn your mental health.


The Truth Behind BDD

Rachel Ann Cullen


t’s like the deafening stampede of migrating Wildebeest thundering through all rational, logical thought, trampling them into the dust which is then kicked up into a confused, whirling smog. Nothing is clear. Logic and rational thought have now gone. They have been reduced to a vague memory – a notion of a thought process that was once familiar, but is now entirely absent. And what’s worse is that it all sounds so… futile. So self-absorbed. So filled with sad, egotistical / narcissistic entirely pointless worries which, to any sane person would sound… pathetic. Yes, that. Pathetic.

THIS IS BODY DYSMORPHIA ‘Oh, my God. My hair. It’s too thin / flyaway / flat / greasy / itchy / [fill in the blanks…]’ ‘My face. The skin. It’s oily / shiny / spotty / blemished / red / [fill in the blanks…] ‘My nose. It’s too big / small / fat / squashed / bent / hooked / crooked [fill in the blanks…] ‘My tummy. It’s too fat / spongy / saggy / chubby / round / [fill in the blanks…]

THIS IS BODY DYSMORPHIA. But it’s so much more than that. It’s so much darker than the fleeting, momentary worries and insecurities which every woman has about whether this IS a genuine “BHD” (bad hair day), or whether those new jeans are, in fact, simply an unflattering fit. Body Dysmorphia is unrelenting in its cruelty and its devastating impact. Masquerading as a person who is simply ‘insecure’ or ‘obsessional’ over their appearance. Somebody with ‘not enough to think about.’ As though a BDD sufferer didn’t have enough to contend with, this is the additional burden of the condition – a notion that this is simply a person who is self-absorbed and who should make better choices...

grip of this? What is even worse is that I am fully aware of logic. I understand that this way of thinking is entirely illogical, and yet I feel completely helpless to change it. I am now perspiring and I can feel my heart rate increase. It’s like standing on the start line of a race. Am I about to run a marathon? ‘No’, my logical voice squeaks in response, but it is barely even audible above the thunderous BDD thoughts which are now rampaging in my head. ‘Can we get out of the car mum?’ Her voice pulls me into the present. I glance at the clock on the dashboard, panic flooding my entire adrenal system. Shit! The school bell is about to go. What? I must get out of the car? And walk over there? Through the school gates? Looking like this? It takes all my strength to open my car door and to step outside, the wave of playground noise and children’s chatter almost bowling me over. I manage to safely deliver my daughter through the school gates, the whole experience a blur of confused, cruel thoughts all wrangling for my attention. It isn’t even 9am and already I am exhausted. This is the reality behind daily life whilst suffering from I am sitting in the car with my young daughter a few hundred yards around the corner from the school gates. I the maddening effects of body dysmorphia. If only I don’t like to park too close – I don’t want the other mums could have made a ‘better choice’. If only I could have allowed rational thought and perspective to spare me and confused school children watching me as I check from this self-indulgent tumult of fear and anxiety. myself constantly in the rear-view mirror on guard for Sadly, on this day, BDD won. I can only hope for a better ugliness. I don’t want them to know that I am a freak. day tomorrow. I am having a conversation with my daughter, but I’m not entirely sure what she’s asking, or what I’m saying in response. Yes, no, maybe, later. Really? That’s nice. The Dr Rachel Ann Cullen is the author of ‘Running For My Life’ and ‘A Midlife Cyclist’, both deeply personal words come out of my mouth, but my mind has gone elsewhere. My thoughts are now muddy and dark. I have accounts of how Rachel has overcome her own mental health demons – one of those being body dysmorphia. In been consumed with fear and anxiety at the prospect of her book, ‘A Midlife Cyclist’ she describes undertaking a having to step out of my car and walk my daughter into course of therapy in 2017, and the ways in which she has the school playground. I see one of the other School Mums dash across the road holding her daughter’s hand. been able to successfully manage the condition. She looks smart in her tailored work suit and high-heeled shoes, her silky blonde hair bouncing perfectly as she skips effortlessly across the road. She looks so… together. She looks like a person who is sane. She looks like a person who can float into the office – wherever that is – and glide along a corridor to her desk, bursting with sunshiny ‘Good mornings!’ to her work colleagues without issue or incident. She looks like a person who can nip into the supermarket on the way home from work and pick up a few bits without being marooned in her car, simply bewildered by self-hatred based on picking herself apart for a perceived physical flaw that only she can see, and to the rest of the world does not exist. I envy her for that. Why do I feel like this? Why am I the person in the Of course, for a non- BDD sufferer it all seems so… alien. The concept is (understandably) entirely bizarre - that a person may become so preoccupied with one or more aspects of their own physical appearance that the impact can be literally devastating on their day-to-day lives. Having a bad hair day? Well, just style it in a different way tomorrow, then. OMG! The answer is so simple! It’s all so logical. Shit! Is that all I needed to do? Just stop worrying about my bad hair and think about something more important / interesting / of greater human significance / more worthwhile / productive (and so on) than the cut and/or colour of my hair? I wish somebody had just said so! Why didn’t’ they tell me it was all so easy? Body dysmorphia makes a person feel not only completely overwhelmed with perceived physical flaws – defects they can see only in themselves in almost any conceivable human form. But to add insult to the cruel mental health injury, it also makes a sufferer feel stupid and foolish for being so pathetic as to suffer from these cruel and disproportionately gargantuan effects.





Read Cook


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.

Finishing touches Help add that extra pizazz to old furniture with beautiful new handles in a range of colours and intricate designs. Knobbles and Bobbles is a british company that helps you get a handle on handles. Set up by Lucy, a mumpreneur with a love of furniture they have now expanded to hooks and coasters as well as handles.


Light up your home Add a bit of drama to your home with these arty light boxes from Tadley based designer Abi Stafford. Available with mains or battery power, these statement lights can add a bit of humour, spice up a picture wall and even be ordered with your very own bespoke word or phrase.

A stylish welcome Opening the front door never felt so rewarding. Greet visitors with these gorgeous hand sprayed doormats from Artsy Doormats, based in Lincolnshire. In over three hundred designs featuring leopard print, comedy phrases and just plain gorgeous welcomes there really is something for everyone. Make sure you check out the double door mats perfect for conservatories with double doors.

Last swab If cotton buds are your thing then save the planet and buy last Swab, a reusable cotton swab. Disposable swabs get into seas and pose a threat to sealife the company estimates with each purchase of a Last Swab you have saved the Earth from around one thousand cotton buds. That's pretty good going. There are also makeup versions for tricky eyeliner fiascos and you just rinse after each use. They are delivered in eco-friendly packaging and come in a nice travel case to pop in your handbag STOP SINGLE-USE


Sit & Relax Sumptuous and stylish chairs don't come more comfy than these from Julian Joseph. Set up by four pals working abroad, the company is now split between the UK and Shanghai and are taking the interiors world by storm. Supplying side tables and footstools and moving into sofas very soon, their velvet accent chairs are all over your favourite interior instagram accounts.

Frothing Marvelous The perfect accompaniment to your coffee machine, this stylish frother from Smeg demands to be grabbing attention on your work surface. Six pre-sets as well as manual functions means barista style coffee is easy to achieve in the comfort of your own home. With an induction heating system, 500ml of heated liquid and 250ml of frothing can be created, that's plenty of froth! They come in all your favourite Smeg colours too.


From my kitchen to yours by Amelia Freer

Simply Good For You by Amelia Freer is out now (Michael Joseph, ÂŁ22) Photography by Susan Bell

From my kitchen to yours: Simply Good for You, is Amelia's 4th book, it is a bible of 100 recipes with simplicity and speed at their core. Bursting with goodness and flavour, ''I hope that many of these dishes will become firm favourites in your own households'' Celebrate food that is Simply Good For You.

Fish Provencal Provençale sauce is a really versatile and fragrant sauce that can be used to liven up the most basic of meals from pasta, jacket potatoes, chicken or fish, as here. If you feel you need something more filling, add some wholegrain rice or pasta or a serving of courgetti.

INGREDIENTS {Serves four} 1 onion, peeled and diced 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed olive oil 1 x 400g tin of cherry tomatoes 70g pitted black olives 4 fish fillets, frozen or fresh fresh basil, to finish

METHOD This works best in a shallow frying pan with a lid, although a large cast-iron casserole with a lid can also be used. SautĂŠ the onion and garlic together in a little olive oil for 8 to 10 minutes, until soft. Add the cherry tomatoes and black olives and bring to a very gentle simmer. Top with the fish fillets and cover with the lid. Poach for 10 to 20 minutes (depending on the size of the fish and if it is fresh or frozen. It is done when opaque all the way through and flakes easily). Serve hot, sprinkled with torn basil leaves.

Butternut Cashew & Sage Pasta Sauce Cashews, once soaked, blend really well into sauces to add creaminess (as well as healthy fats, protein and various essential minerals) and so are a useful ingredient if you are wishing to be more plant based or avoid dairy. Here I’ve blended them with roasted butternut squash and caramelized onions. This remains one of Willow’s favourite sauces and I use it in many recipes. It’s a winning recipe to have up your sleeve and a few portions stored in the freezer for busy days.

INGREDIENTS {Serves 4} (vegan) 60g cashews 400ml hot water 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into bite-size pieces 1 onion, peeled and cut into wedges sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons olive oil 5 fresh sage leaves or 1 teaspoon dried sage (plus extra to garnish) 400g pasta of choice a grating of Pecorino Romano or Parmesan (optional) METHOD Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan. Pour the hot water over the cashews and leave to soak for 20 minutes. Prepare your butternut squash and place in a roasting tray along with the onion wedges and a little salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, or until soft. When cooked, allow to cool slightly, then take a third of the roasted vegetable mixture and blend in a high-speed blender with the sage leaves and the cashew/water mixture. Add a little more water if it is looking too thick to blend. You are aiming for a sauce consistency. Transfer to a pan and warm through gently. Meanwhile, cook your pasta according to the packet instructions and drain. Stir the sauce into your cooked pasta of choice and add the rest of the vegetables and a sprinkling of fresh sage leaves. Top with grated Parmesan or Pecorino or vegan alternative (optional).

Lazy Dahl I call it ‘lazy’ because I’ll sometimes use frozen chopped onions, garlic, ginger and chilli, and skip the toasting of the spices (just substituting an equivalent amount of ground spices). It does save time and reduce all of the chopping. However, using fresh ingredients and taking that little bit of extra time really does produce better flavour, so I’ll leave it with you to decide. It freezes well.

INGREDIENTS ½ teaspoon cumin seeds ½ teaspoon coriander seeds ½ teaspoon mustard seeds 2 teaspoons coconut oil 1 onion, peeled and diced 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped 2 teaspoons ground turmeric 1 teaspoon garam masala 200g dried red lentils, rinsed until the water runs clear, and drained 1 x 400g tin of coconut milk 500ml vegetable stock sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 handfuls of washed fresh spinach or 2 blocks of frozen juice of ½ a lemon a handful of fresh coriander leaves

METHOD Heat a large pan over a medium heat and gently toast the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds for 2 to 3 minutes, until the mustard seeds start to pop. Tip them out of the pan, and then lightly grind in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Put the coconut oil into the hot pan, then add the onion with a pinch of salt and cook gently for 5 minutes over a low heat. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for a further few minutes. Add the freshly ground spices, along with the turmeric and garam masala, and cook for 1 minute. Finally, add the lentils, coconut milk and vegetable stock, and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes with the lid on, then 10 minutes with the cover off to allow it to thicken. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, add the spinach and stir until it wilts, then squeeze in the lemon juice and top with fresh coriander leaves.


The READING List Here are some recommended books for getting cosy in the winter months. By Eleanor Tattersfield

This unique voice and offering is to be read with relish.

Drive your plow over the bones of the dead by Olga Tokarczuk

Wonderfully immersive book set on the wild border of Poland and The Czech Republic. The macabre and eccentric narrative is told by a woman, Janina, living in this remote and harsh landscape whose world view is influenced by William Blake, astrology and her deep love of animals. She is a fresh and startlingly original character and her wintery and deadly world is made believable by her idiosyncratic character trait. It is full of bizarre happenings in this forest life. Janina’s unique take on this happenings is almost fable-like, the language of the prose is slightly off kilter like her. Her estranged neighbours, for whom she has brilliant nicknames for and the small local community infiltrate her hitherto lonesome life as dramatic events occur in the vicinity. Her hefty snow boots drag us with her on an otherworldly tour of her life in which both the mundane and mystery co- exist. This unique voice and offering is to be read with relish. Olga Tokarczuh is a renown Polish writer who won the Booker Prize in 2018 for her book Flights and in 2019 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.


Fleishman is in trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner Very hipped book of end of last year, by a debut female star writer at the New Yorker. The novel is about Toby Fleishman, a hepatologist in his forties who is undergoing a bitter divorce from his wife, Rachel. I have to admit I couldn’t put this down. The tale of the disintegration of a marriage through the eyes of the husband is compelling, sad and fraught and sometimes very funny, thank heavens! Our narrator, Toby, starts with a high octane online dating frenzy that suitably distracts him from the trauma of his divorce. He enjoys endless sexual hook ups that are a marvel to him. His ex wife all the while seems to have left the city and abandoned their children. He struggles to juggle his surgical responsibilities at the hospital with child care and his new sex life, all the while the ever increasing concern over the whereabouts of his wife begins to dominate the picture. This is an insightful, and darkly funny look at the breakdown of a contemporary marriage and a revelatory exploration of the sexual dating scene that is presumably going on all around us. Dig in.

I have to admit I couldn’t put this down.

The member of the wedding by Carson McCullers Beautiful book about adolescence and yearning. Frankie is a 12 year old Southern girl with her brother’s wedding looming in the near future, a wedding she is imagining is just as important for her as it is for her brother and his fiancé and that it will change her life. Her conversations around the kitchen table with her house keeper Berniece and her friend Henry are funny and dark and insightful about the fragile human condition. We can all relate to Frankie and her desire to escape and explore at her age and her need that this wedding will do this for her. The main theme of the book has to do with life's universal rules, as Frankie attempts to grow up and seek membership into the adult world, she discovers that certain life rules encumber her. She is alone, she will not be able to join her brother this division of her family unit echoes in the division she explores with Berenice about race discrimination which also is a new life lesson for Frankie. Frankie is a wonderful character and the atmosphere of the American deep South and Frankie’s awakening are both evocative and moving.

Frankie is a wonderful character and the atmosphere of the American deep South and Frankie’s awakening are both evocative and moving.

Carson McCullers was a much celebrated radical literary figure in her time, who lived during the 1950s in a Brooklyn brownstone with other influential writers of the era. At this residence McCullers held a lunch for Marilyn Monroe and Isak Dinesen ( author of Out of Africa) during which they all told secrets and ended up dancing on the table until the small hours. Carson McCullers is also the author of the more famous “ The Heart is a Lonely Hunter” 1940 that she wrote was she was 23 and “The Ballad of the Sad Cafe” 1951. I can’t recommended them and her highly enough. She and her books are fascinating.


The book you wish your parent had read ( and your children will be glad that you did) by Philippa Perry A hugely insightful and genuinely helpful guide to what to do and what not to do in raising children and more generally conducting oneself in relation to family. It is simply written and therefore easy to understand, her ideas are not swathed in psychobabble. Perry makes points and backs them up each time with an example so we lay fellows can begin to understand the common traits we all bring back from our own upbringing and sometimes bring to bare on our own children. It is a book that makes you think, re-think and delve deep into your own earliest emotional memories to untangle our subconscious motivations and reactions to the present. For example Tony a father of a two year old is finding it difficult to stay in his marriage and family. Perry explains convincingly that the reason for his need to get away is a direct result of him being abandoned at the same age by his own father. I encourage anyone who has children or in fact wants to unpick some of their own motivations to read this book. Philippa Perry is a British psychotherapist, writer, columnist and speaker. She she married to Grayson Perry.

It is a book that makes you think, re-think and delve deep into your own earliest emotional memories.


Review by Tamsin Flower

ENO Carmen 2020, Justina Gringyté, © Richard Hubert Smith

Carmen, English National Opera Composer - Georges Bizet Director - Calixto Bieto Conductor - Valentina Peleggi


ith design that channells Franco’s Spain and images of colourful choruses haunting the underground, I eagerly anticipated Calixto Bieto’s production of Carmen at the ENO. It was therefore surprising that before Valentina Peleggi had picked up her baton, the reviewer to my right announced how much he ‘hated’ the production, having seen it three times. I took this as a sure sign of a rewarding evening. What sticks out as strongly as passion and guile in this version of Bizet’s 1875 classic is community - and a vision of mob-culture within community to boot. We are first

introduced to the guard in a Spanish square as a mass of mid-twentieth century soldiers accustomed to grey uniformity, toil and dubious authority figures. Indeed, the first image of the production is a skinny man in pants sprint-circling the stage with a gun in his hand. We are introduced to a mercenary and energetic reality. As guard, José, his hometown sweetheart, Micaëla, and Carmen pop out of the mass with gusto, we are offered an impression of rebellious individualism within the ranks of the crowd. Nardus Williams’ ENO debut as Micaëla offers subtle characterisation paired with a powerful, velvetine voice as she pleads with José (played articulately and sublimely by Sean Pannikar) to return to his mother. By the time Carmen delivers her provocative ‘Love is a rebellious bird’ we have been treated to the athletic strutting and tumbling of the guard.

“This is an urban landscape of muscle, effort and joy grabbed with both hands. Justina Gringyté’s Carmen is the perfect siren to this macho display.”

“Carmen’s death is genuinely gruesome, a convincing clawing of blood at the neck. Her limp body is dragged off-stage by the still enamoured José.” When they goad Carmen to make her choice, we are treated to the tableau and lighting of a twentieth century war painting. This treatment by designer, Alfons Flores, matches the frenetic emotionality of Meilhac and Hailevy’s story. This is an urban landscape of muscle, effort and joy grabbed with both hands. Justina Gringyté’s Carmen is the perfect siren to this macho display. Characterised as a tall, blonde beauty with the kind of self-possession so often embodied by women from central Europe, this Carmen echoes the status of ‘gypsies’ in that region and indeed, of migrant factory workers in the UK.

The clarity of stage-movement and storytelling allows for a very lonely and sombre altercation between spurned lover, José and Carmen before he finally takes her life. The two figures are alone on-stage with the exception of the pole that bares the Spanish flag throughout. Carmen’s death is genuinely gruesome, a convincing clawing of blood at the neck. Her limp body is dragged off-stage by the still enamoured José.

Overtures of an oppressive culture subverted by its spirited workers are clear. However, contrary to overindulgent or radical politicising, the production offers a historical backdrop that gently mirrors the plight of Bizet’s society while connecting us with recognisable The world of seventies Spain is heavily punctuated during scenarios. The investment of time, promotion and money in Opera dictates a very particular relationship to the procession for the arrival of bullfighter, Escamillio audiences and patrons. Perhaps this is why there is still an Carmen’s future lover. Cars of the Ford Cortina ilk litter attachment, among veteran fans, to productions offering the stage, parked with their owners draped jeeringly aesthetic fidelity to the time in which they were made. The beside them. The crowd’s motion to a downstage barrier age old irony endures - that if enfant terribles such as to: wave, jump, hoot and whistle at the procession, is a pure expression of party hysterics, underscored brilliantly Bizet and Mozart were to witness their original productions in the context of our complex age, they would by the opera’s Prelude. When Escamillio does enter to perform ‘Toreador Song’, his portrayal as a sweaty, boosy whip audiences into a peasants revolt! success story with a pack of primal followers, makes his small-town celebrity identifiable. Rows of guards, line-ups of cars, cigarette girls and toreador fans make for a production with highly linear movement direction, emphasised by a simple cyclorama lit for shadow and tone. Even the urchins, dressed up like tourist dolls, are organised into a scant chorus. The innocence of the chief urchin girl in contrast to the spivs, gangsters and lackeys surrounding her is foregrounded as she opens scenes, dancing, begging, waiting etc. It is not entirely clear what weight of meaning she carries but parallels between the behaviours of the grown women and those encouraged in the doll-like urchin can be drawn Carmen is playing at the ENO until February 27th.


How To Make Your House A Home with Lisa Dawson


y husband Joe and I’s first home together was a new build on the Elm Park estate, previously the old Reading Football Club ground. It was a blank box, a magnolia adorned, beige carpeted dream that I filled in one swift trip to the shops with pine furniture and decorated, for reasons unknown, in lime green and lilac. I was an interior magazine free zone, wholly influenced by Homebase promotions and with no independent ideas of my own. We were, however, transient souls and over the next nine years, we moved four times, finally settling in a five bedroom Victorian semi in Berkshire. It was the house I’d always wanted. Huge hall, high ceilings, big rooms and, with a mortgage so big that our payments left us with about 35p a month free income and beans on toast for the foreseeable future; in fact, a veritable money pit.

I started buying interior magazines, scouring them for ideas and projects and ways in which I could stamp my own mark on this space that I loved. I discovered eBay, became obsessed with upcycling all the Elm Park pine and obtained real pleasure out of juxtaposing old and new to create a look that was as budget friendly as it was individual. In 2013, Joe was offered a job in York which enabled us to buy our dream Georgian home, the North South divide working in our favour. Social media exploded on to the scene, I started posting my room revamps on Instagram, launched a blog based upon styling your home on a budget and now I work full time as an interiors writer and content creator. One of the questions that I am asked most on my blog is, how do I style my home when I don’t know where to start? It’s a conundrum that affects many, whether you are a first time homeowner, a renter or have been buying and furnishing houses for years. Finding and growing your personal style sometimes isn’t quite as easy as it would seem. It took me until I was 37 years old to have real confidence in my own ideas and for those ideas to grow into my core home aesthetic. Even now, I’m often veered off track by the influx of the shiny new trends that I see on the High Street and on my social platforms it’s like being tempted in a sweet shop. It’s taken me a while to learn that when I launch myself at the Pick N Mix, I should stop filling the bag before I actually feel sick. Trends, schmends. Sometimes it’s hard to see the wood from the trees when your style is evolving. Or the fizzy cola bottles from the fudge squares. We are constantly bombarded with a wealth of ideas and trends and the strong inclination to make our spaces our own. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a trend. Instagram is

a nightmare for new ideas which is both its highlight and its lowlight (dwindling bank balances unite). But after several disastrous trend led episodes - the dark grey room that no one would sit in; the pink walled living room that looked like candy floss - I now know that I need to carefully consider any new additions to our family home. So what to do? How can you create a home that works for you without being a slave to fashion whilst still curating your own personal style, not blowing the budget and thinking sustainably? Here are my top five tips.

The first thing to remember when planning your space is this: have nothing in your home that doesn’t make you happy. Seriously, nothing. If it doesn’t make you happy, then ditch it.

Your home truly has the power to make you happy and to become a reflection of you and your own personal style - it’s an ever evolving process but that’s what makes it so exciting. to a friend. Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to start. Clear your room and add your treasured items, one by REFINE YOUR CORE STYLE So what style is your style? The best way to work this out one. Add the piece that makes you the happiest first – is to pin. Years ago, I’d collate pages of magazines that I this could be a print, a bookcase, a sofa, a favourite vase. Whether you’re passionate about mid century art, have a loved to build an idea of how I wanted a room to look. love of kitsch pottery or are simply an avid collector of The advent of Pinterest means that it’s even easier to magazines, that’s the starting point. work out which route you want to take when it comes to Begin by placing it perfectly and then add other items your decor. Set up a Pinterest board for each room and that you love around it. If you have a blank spot in the pin whenever you find something that catches your eye. corner, don’t rush to fill it. Stick a plant in there until you Pin indiscriminately, wildly, randomly; pin with abandon. You’ll soon find that you are pinning the same can find something that you really love and that is the perfect fit - there’s nothing wrong with living with empty pictures and the same styles. It’s a great way to focus space. I’m a shocker for this. I once refused to buy a your mind on what you truly love rather than adding toaster until I could afford a Dualit and made my kids risk something to a room because you think that you should. burnt fingers on the grill every day for years. It may I find myself repinning photographs that I originally sound cheesy, but your room should light up with your pinned five years ago because they STILL appeal to me. For me, that’s a definitive confirmation of my core style. smile when you enter - if it’s filled with things you love, it When you think you’ve nailed it, transfer your favourite won’t fail to make you happy. Fact. pins to a mood board (use Powerpoint or Canva) and you’ll have a great starting point for your design. As you start to pull the room together, you can add and take away from these ideas as you see in reality how it comes together. MAKE IT HAPPY The first thing to remember when planning your space is this: have nothing in your home that doesn’t make you happy. Seriously, nothing. If it doesn’t make you happy, then ditch it. eBay it, Freecycle it, donate it, give it away

Multi task what you’ve got - use a dining table as a desk; a bench as a coffee table; a chair as a bedside table. Don’t hesitate to move everything about and try all options. CONSIDER PURCHASES & MULTI TASK Changes in the economy and the advent of Brexit mean that we aren’t so keen to splash our cash on going out; staying in and socialising is the new black. We’re cleverer with what we are buying for our homes. Much cleverer. Gone are the days when we’d launch ourselves at a room set and buy every piece (*read pine warehouse). Look at what you already have and utilise it - try the side table in a different room, use it in a different way, take it out of its comfort zone and see how it looks in a new environment. Multi task what you’ve got - use a dining table as a desk; a bench as a coffee table; a chair as a bedside table. Don’t hesitate to move everything about and try all options. Never mind fast fashion; fast furniture is equally unsustainable and when we buy, we want to buy for good or, indeed, buy something with a recycled past. Scour the charity shops and eBay for solid, good quality furniture that can be repurposed or upcycled. Paint it, change the knobs, recover it in a cool vintage fabric. There’s nothing more satisfying in repurposing something that you think has lost its edge or that someone else has no use for. AVOID THE TREND TRAP One of the reasons that Instagram has been such a successful interiors platform is that it’s choc a block full of new ideas. In the four years that I’ve been posting on social media, I’ve seen a fair few trends come and go. Some trends are timeless, some hang around a while and some are here for less time than it takes to boil a kettle. Due to the transience of Instagram, anything that is new, individual and exciting is filling your feed before you can say ‘flamingo’. Unfortunately, once it’s all over your feed, it’s all over. No longer new, no longer individual, no longer exciting. Godammit. So how can you make sure that you don’t fall into the trend trap? Trends make the interior world go round but take them lightly. Add a touch of a trend - a cushion, a print, an accessory - but keep the bones of your room neutral. This means that you can take advantage of new colours and new ideas when they happen without having to totally redecorate your space. Flooring, tiles, kitchens, bathrooms, hardware - the expensive stuff - should be able to move with the times. Think about

and not just what appeals to you at that moment when considering those main purchases. JUXTAPOSE YOUR SPACE Finally, don’t be scared to mix things up. There is nothing better from either an aesthetic or sustainable point of view than juxtaposing the old and the new. Put a vintage print from a charity shop above a contemporary bookcase; contrast a mid-century modern sideboard with modern urban art. I have my Grandmothers blanket box in my bedroom alongside a modern upholstered bed with a mixed gallery wall above. The contrast is what makes it interesting. Dig out the old photographs, enlarge them and frame them, create a focal point of memories. Our homes should reflect our personalities and our history. Don’t hide away the inherited or vintage crockery - use it, alongside more modern pieces, to add interest to a table setting. Every piece in your home should be there because it means something, whether it’s old or whether it’s new. And the contrast of these much loved pieces will be what gives your home the warmth and personality that you’re looking to portray. Your home truly has the power to make you happy and to become a reflection of you and your own personal style it’s an ever evolving process but that’s what makes it so exciting. It’s totally normal to make mistakes - I can tell you for a fact that I’ve made plenty (it took me fifteen years to warrant selling off the pine furniture, not to mention four full coats of white to get rid of the dark grey walls) - but trial and error will get you to a place where your space feels like your own. I feel like I’ve come a long way since the lime green and lilac walls of our first new build and now have a home which works well for our family, reflecting our personalities and memories whilst being a damn good place to spend time together and with friends over a meal and a glass of wine. Or two. Or maybe even three. Have confidence in yourself, have fun and most of all, ENJOY making your home your own.