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FRANK M A G A Z I N E

Issue 09 Aug - Sept 2020

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Melanie Sykes UNSTOPPABLE

at 50

FRANK by name FRANK by nature


Nomige Giveaway Nomige cleansing products consist of a 2in-1 cleanser and an exfoliating tonic that kindly removes dead skin cells. 2-in-1 cleanser A milky cleansing lotion and make-up remover that can be used with and without water.

Exfoliating tonic A refreshing solution of exfoliating ingredients that removes dead skin cells. We have two sets to giveaway to two lucky readers. All you have to do is subscribe to thefrankmagazine.com and contact us via our website with the words NOMIGE GIVEAWAY UK only, closes Aug 31st 2020

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F R A N K

M A G A Z I N E

Aug Sept 2020

Contents

Editors note

FASHION p8 p10 Wish We Were There Fashion Shoot p22 The Beach Bag Reinvented by Fashion Editor Annabel Kerman

Hello all,

BEAUTY p42 p28 Beauty Editor Fiona Eustace Hot Stuff p34 Melanie’s Top Beauty Products p38 Eye Ritual’s p40 Spotlight on Fragrance Byredo p41 Beauty Tool Foreo p43 Skin Rejuvenation Treatment NEWA

As you can see I have made an appearance on the cover to mark my 50th Birthday. Read my thoughts on the big day and life in general on page 46 . We also talk to TV pottery judge Keith Brymer Jones , singer songwriter Mark King and author Leslie Pearce.

INTERVIEWS p44 p46 THIS IS 50 - MELANIE SYKES p60 Write for yourself - Lesley Pearse p64 Pots ’n’ That - Keith Brymer Jones p76 Getting Personal With…Mark King p84 Charisse Glenn

Fashion editor Annabel Kerman brings you some poolside cool and beauty editor Fiona Eustace turns up the heat for your skin.

HEALTH & WELLNESS p88 p90 Sexy Summer Skin - Dr Louise Wiseman P94 The Pleasure Principle - Michelle Adams p98 No Nonsense Guide - Sandie Fredriksson p102 A FRANK GIVEAWAY with Charlotte Dorman P104 Mental Health & Immunity - Dr Jenna Macciochi p120 Lock Down Lethargy - Kate Tilson SEX p110 p110 Apps for your Sex Life p112 Mindful Sex - Michelle Langer p118 FRANK LOVES p120 Product of the Month - Womanizer p122 Yoga Sex & Surrender Charisse Glenn

We are also talking mindful sex, libido inducing nutrition and THE toy on everyone’s lips. Pun intended ! Enjoy, Melanie x

EATS p126 p128 Eat Yourself Sexy - Gillian McKeith p132 Lunch Time - Rhiannon Lambert p142 Four Delicious Quickies p144 Passion Plants. - Katie Pande WHAT TO… p146 p148 The READING List - Eleanor Tattersfield p152 FRANK Interiors - Lisa Dawson p156 Trailblazer - Lara Platman

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

AND MUCH MUCH MORE.........

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Passion for Pottery A FRANK Interview with Keith Brymer Jones p64 www.thefrankmagazine.com


T E A M

F R A N K

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF - Melanie Sykes

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."

DESIGN DIRECTOR - Millie Cooper BEAUTY EDITOR - Fiona Eustace FASHION EDITOR - Annabel Kerman CONTRIBUTORS Dr Louise Wiseman Michelle Adams Sandie Fredriksson Charlotte Dorman Dr Jenna Macciochi Kate Tilson Michelle Langer Charisse Glenn Gillian McKeith Rhiannon Lambert Katie Pande Eleanor Tattersfield Lisa Dawson Lara Platman

Photo by Sam Hemsley

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

CONTACT US hello@thefrankmagazine.com International Distribution | FRANK Magazine FREE Subscriptions Worldwide | www.thefrankmagazine.com

Copyright © 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. www.thefrankmagazine.com

COVER Melanie Sykes PHOTOGRAPHER Elisabeth Hoff STYLIST Annabel Kerman HAIR STYLIST Tim Crispin MAKE UP ARTIST Aimee Adams PHOTO ASSISTANT Ben Turner DIGITAL OPERATOR Nina Close VIDEOGRAPHER Dave Skinner STYLING ASSISTANT Molly Taylor

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Product of the Month

Crystal Earth ROSE QUARTZ SHAMPOO + CONDITIONER BALANCING + NOURISHING Crystal coded with Rose Quartz this shampoo formulation is designed to balance + nourish + breath life into tired limp hair. Use with crystal coded Rose Quartz conditioner to dissolve stress + tension from heat damage. Apple cider vinegar removes toxins + product build up, creating a weightless shine. An opulent floriental fragrance with top notes of bergamot + pepper, a floral heart of rose, jasmine + red berry undertones, finished with a base of patchouli, sandalwood, amber, musk + moss.

BE KIND TO YOURSELF + THE PLANET Keep a look out for our instagram competition for one lucky person to win these beauties

CRYSTAL EARTH is a range of luxury high performing hair products that have been developed + designed to nourish + replenish. Our vegan friendly shampoo + conditioner range uses 93% natural ingredients + are free from parabens, sulphates + silicones.

www.crystalearth.co www.thefrankmagazine.com


NEVER MISS AN ISSUE

Visit our website and subscribe for FREE

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MICHAEL Michael Kors Crew Striped Top £110 Crew Striped Skirt £110 Malibu Tote £190 Luggage Sandal £120


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Summer FASHION

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WISH WE WERE THERE Poolside Styling for Staycations and Beyond. Photography Dan Williams Fashion Editor Annabel Kerman

EBERJEY bikini


RHODE Dress LINDA FARROW Sunglasses SENSI STUDIO hat ALIGHIERI necklace

ADRIANA DEGREAS Bikini MONTUNAS bag


EBERJEY Swimsuit ALIGHIERI Necklace LINDA FARROW Sunglasses

EMILIO DE LA MORENA Trousers SENSI STUDIO hat EBERJEY Bikini ROBERT CLERGERIE sandals


LA DOUBLE J Swimsuit LINDA FARROW Sunglasses


SELF PORTRAIT Bikini Top THIERRY COLSON Skirt MICHAEL KORS Sandals EMILIO DE LA MORENA Belt LAURA GRAVESTOCK Bangle

EBERJEY Bikini Top YAA YAA LONDON necklace


ANNA MASON jacket ADRIANA DEGREAS Bikini LINDA FARROW Sunglasses ALIGHIERI Necklace


Stockists shop.adrianadegreas.com alighieri.co.uk annamasonlondon.co.uk eberjey.com emiliodelamorena.com lauragravestock.com ladoublej.com uk.lindafarrow.com montunas.com uk.clergerieparis.com self-portrait-studio.com sensistudio.com shoprhode.com thierrycolson.com yaayaalondon.com

Model Sarah Mac at Models 1 Hair and Makeup Helen Bannon at Mandy Coakley using Paul Mitchell and Nars Styling assistant Saskia Purr Photography assistant Melinda Davies


S U M M E R

F A S H I O N

The Beach Bag

Reinvented By Annabel Kerman

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The tropical holiday might not be happening this Summer, but these elevated takes on the trusty beach bag are too good to save for the seaside. 2

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LOEWE Slit bag in raffia and calfskin 5

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1. HEIMAT ATLANTICA Amor basket bag £275 at Matches fashion ( matchesfashion.com) 2. MICHAEL KORS Malibu large straw tote £305 (michaelkors.co.uk) 3. ACCESSORISE Woven stripe tote £20 at Very (very.co.uk) 4. FURLA Claudia tote £295 (furla.com) 5. LOEWE Slit bag in raffia and calfskin £550 at Net a Porter (net-a-porter.com) 6. MANGO Round raffia large beach bag £49.99 (mango.com) www.thefrankmagazine.com


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DO GA Ken to

7. SWYC Personalised tasseled raffia bag £48 (saywhatyouc.com) 8. CULT GAIA Fan Ark natural £160 (cultgaia.com) 9. OLIVER BONAS Journee Weave detail tote £48 (oliverbonas.com)) 10. ZARA Printed maxi bucket bag £29.99 (zara.com) 11. DOLCE & GABBANA Kendra Coffa tote bag £929 at Farfetch (farfetch.com) 12. MUUN Rosa straw basket £125 at Matches fashion (matchesfashion.com) 13. PLUMO Mono tote £95 (plumo.com) 14. PRADA Sheer logo bag £770 at Farfetch (farfetch. com) 15. M&S COLLECTION Cotton blend striped shopper £25 (marksandspencer.com)

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OLCE & ABBANA ndra Coffa ote bag

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F R A N K L O V E S

Saint Iris Adriatica PURITY PASTE

Tip: Ideal as a bi-weekly brightening treatment for the skin with anti-inflammatory benefits.

3-minute mask to brighten and retexturise dull skin This earthy, naturally warming express mask gently exfoliates and shifts impurities, improving texture and leaving skin rejuvenated and glowing. Suitable for body and face. Mediterranean cedar micro-dust works with willow bark extract to gently exfoliate and detoxify skin and enhance absorption of active ingredients.

Hero Ingredients Omega-rich olive, seaberry, seaweed protein and 20 wildplant oils help revitalise and nourish skin. Cherry kernel oil, high in antioxidants, plus vitamin A and E help skin feeling soft, smooth and supple. 10 essential wildplant oils, including borage and rosehip, naturally rich in retinol; essential fatty acids; and vitamins C, D and E reinforce the skin’s barrier.

How to use Smooth on dry skin, all over the body or targeted areas. Leave for 3 minutes, then shower off thoroughly. Achieve the naturally healthy glow without staining or tinting skin. SIA's tip: Ideal as a bi-weekly brightening treatment for the skin with anti-inflammatory benefits.

Feel the fjaka Take the smooth, healthy glow to hands and feet between manicures and pedicures. Use the three minutes to stimulate joints and muscles by flexing and rotating your wrists and ankles. Finish with a refreshing whoosh of Every Body Vitality Spritz.

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siadriatica.com


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BEAUTY

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B E A U T Y

E D I T

Hot Stuff I am writing this as its raining outside, breathing in the beautiful scent that comes with the rain, the damp earth and fresh flowers. I know my garden is enjoying this change in the weather as well. I have really loved that we have been so lucky with the weather over the last few months. I have personally loved the sunshine and the time spent outdoors away from the hustle and bustle, playing with the family and running around with our puppy. But how good is heat for our skin? What benefits will we receive by adding a little heat to our routine?

By Beauty Editor Fiona Eustace @fionaeustace

Let’s go deep and dirty with some Self heating products. In order to understand how heat works and how it can help our delicate layers of our skin, here is a quick outline of our skin and what each layer produces.

EPIDERMIS The epidermis is the outermost of three main skin layers. It is thin but durable and acts as a protective barrier. The primary function is to protect your body by keeping bacteria and viruses out but by keeping water and nutrients in.

MELANOCYTES They contain melanin and is responsible for your skin colour. The more melanin you have the darker your skin tone.

LANGERHANS CELLS These cells are part of your immune system. They are the soldiers of your skin and will guard your body against foreign substances. Take care of your epidermis by keeping it clean, avoiding harsh chemicals and staying out of the sun will help ensure that it stays healthy and continues its job of protecting your body for a very long time. www.thefrankmagazine.com


DERMIS This is the second layer of the skin and is much thicker and sturdier than the epidermis. It contains elastin, which makes your skin flexible, like a piece of elastic it pings back to shape easily. There are several layers within the Dermis which are equally as important

* Sweat glands. These produce sweat that helps your body stay cool. It’s also a way for your body to remove some of its waste products. * Hair follicles. Hair is produced in these tubular structures. Each follicle contains a small muscle that causes you to have goose bumps when its contracts. * Oil (sebaceous) glands. Connected to the hair follicle, these glands produce an oily substance, called sebum, that keeps your skin and hair lubricated. It also helps protect your skin and helps make it water resistant. * Nerve endings. These allow your skin to feel things. * Blood vessels. These bring blood to your skin and move waste products, like carbon dioxide, away from your skin

HYPODERMIS The hypodermis is the deepest section of the skin. This layer of fatty tissue helps us from getting too hot or too cold. It adds padding to your body to protect the bones and tissues when you fall, get hit, or bump into things. When we introduce heat to our routine it can really help the skin microcirculation and the oxygenation. Spending time in a warm steamy shower or using heat either from a product or a device will help the skin’s microcirculation which is located in the dermis and hypodermis layers It plays a big role in the transportation of nutrients, waste and hormones and in regulating the body temperature and its inflammatory response. It’s important to keep your skin healthy by washing regularly to get rid of the oil, dead skin cells and bacteria which can cause spots. Cleaning off sweat after physical activities is also important to maintain skin health.

OXYGENATION There are a lot of benefits of steam when it comes to healthy, glowing skin. Gentle steaming opens your pores so nutrients can sink in and also blankets the face in extra oxygen (a component of H2O).It also cleanses pores, removes toxins, promotes relaxation and enhances circulation. Increased circulation helps boost oxygen in the skin from inside the body. This gives you that rosy glow that makes facials so popular. Here’s a quick way you can have a spa style steam in your own home: Fill a bowl with some boiling water, use a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil, Lavender, Chamomile or Rose are great for the skin. Place a towel over your head and around the bowl. Stay far enough away so you don’t get burnt by the steam. Now relax for 15 minutes and let the steam do its work and breath in those gorgeous oils. Voila gorgeous skin ready for some gorgeous products.

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Here are some products that use heat to help get your glow on and not just for your face!

IONIC SKIN PERFECTOR £99 www.chokbeauty.com A gorgeous handheld device that is so easy to use with some amazing technology to help with your cleansing routine. The unique ionic thermo-infusion technology uses heat to open the pores for better absorption of skincare products by opening the pores and reaching the lower layers of the skin in just 2 minutes. The ionic generator eases the penetration of creams and serums and increases the amount of product absorbed by the skin cells magnifying the desired effect in just a few days of use.it Uses EMS Micro Current that trims and tones muscles for healthier younger looking skin. It also uses Nano Sonic Vibrations that enhance the skin by removing the impurities and blocked pores. WOW that’s a lot! I recommend using this with a sheet mask for a super quick beauty treatment. I love the MIIN SWEET DREAM SHEET MASK for £2.70 from www.miin-cosmetics.co.uk. Great to use just before bedtime because of its beautiful lavender scent. There's also a beautiful message inside the mask for you! Place mask on your face, Using the Thermal heat setting, massage the device over the sheet mask for 90 seconds then remove. Voila you’re done. This helps you absorb 98% of the products in only 2 mins! How amazing is that? Such a handy little device. I have certainly loved using it at home.

SANCTUARY SPA DE-STRESS WARMING BODY BALM Boots.com £7.50 Another wonderful product to use just before bedtime. This rich, moisturising and self-heating body balm formula is infused with fragrant ginger and rosemary oil to help you ease the day away. I love the heat you feel once you’ve applied this product and the smell is divine. Massage the product on any tense areas e.g. neck, shoulder & legs before going to bed and let it do its magic. It’s absolutely divine.

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This hydrating honey mask has a jelly-like texture and is made with natural honey sugars containing amino acids and essential B vitamins.

FARMACY HONEY POTION RENEWING ANTIOXIDANT HYDRATION MASK www.cultbeauty.co.uk ÂŁ36 I love anything with Honey in it as I know that it has such amazing healing properties. So, when I saw this warming mask, I knew I wanted to try it. This hydrating honey mask has a jelly-like texture and is made with natural honey sugars containing amino acids and essential B vitamins. After applying this mask to your wet face, you'll feel its warming effect. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. You will definitely notice the glow.

ASSOME MASSAGER www.assome.co.uk ÂŁ199 This beautiful ultrasonic massager just glides across your booty. It looks and feels like real luxury. Combining 3 cutting edge technologies LED, radiofrequency and ultrasonic waves to fight cellulite and help lift and firm your booty in the comfort of your own home. The radio frequency applies heat to the dermis without causing any damage to your epidermis and is able to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Peachy!

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PIXI COLLAGEN IN SHOWER STEAM FACIAl £18 www.feelunique.com Bring the spa experience home with the PIXI Collagen In-Shower Steam Facial; a cleansing and nourishing formula that can be used in the bath or shower as a pampering treat. Infused with Peptides and plant-derived Acacia Collagen, the luxurious treatment transforms from a gel to an oil and releases a pleasant warming sensation when massaged onto skin. It delivers firming, plumping and moisturising benefits to leave your complexion looking radiant and revitalised after use

WELLA ENRICH SELF-WARMING TREATMENT £11.10 www.feelunique.com

Let’s not forget about your hair as well, it’s normal for hair to get a little dry and dull sometimes. When that happens, rub this mask onto your damp hair and enjoy the 30 seconds of bliss from its warming sensation. Bonus: The scent will leave your hair smelling amazing too

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R E A D E R

O F F E R

Exclusive FRANK Reader Offer

use our special code EMEP017 www.emepelle.co.uk www.thefrankmagazine.com


MELANIE'S Top Beauty Products ... Here our Editor in Chief Melanie shares her beauty cabinet and shows us some of her wonder products that keep her looking fabulous. AVEDA CLOVE COLOUR CONDITIONER This has been a life saver in lock down. I don’t have enough grey hairs to go the distance yet so this keeps the rogue ones under cover. Leave on under a shower cap for 20 mins for a deep condition and rich natural colour.

CRYSTAL EARTH ROSE QUARTZ SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER Using these products makes me feel like my hair is on steroids. So much volume and shine and a gorgeous smell too.

NOMIGE SKINCARE This Range is tailor-made to your DNA and the simplest beauty routine I have ever had.

SKIN CEUTICALS Blemish and age cleanser gel - I use this in the shower every morning without fail for bright and a deep clean for my skin.

MURAD HYDRO-GLOW Aqua Peel - for an instance boost this combo face treatment shows instant results.

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POMEGRANATE MASK MURAD I do love these good old fashioned masks for deep cleaning. This anti ageing fruit mask reduces fine lines and wrinkles and brightens skin.

PALMERS COCO BUTTER Oldie but a goodie. I’ve tried everything else and this just works decade after decade.

MIO BUST CREAM When I noticed the skin around my decolletage was getting a little crepey a friend recommended this and what can i say it just works.

NEWA This beauty gadget just is phenomenal. For a salon beauty treatment at home for firming and smoothing the skin.

BRAZILIAN KISS LIP BALM I just love this. A great smell and taste, with a lovely glisten. Non sticky. just heavenly.

SEAMS HAND CREAM I have been using this cream for years and it is just wonderful. Really moisturizing without being heavy or sticky. Leaves no residue.

TEMPUS CLINIC Belgaravia hydro facials and prohfilo regularly keep my skin hydrated and my collagen boosted. www.thefrankmagazine.com


F R A N K

L O V E S

Mama Mio Lucky Legs REFRESHING FOOT AND LEG HYDRATOR

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ama Mio Lucky Legs™ Cooling Leg Gel, a moisturising lotion that is part of the “Pregnancy Experts” line of health and beauty products. Like other Mama Mio products, it contains no phthalates, parabens or synthetic colourings and fragrances. Tangerine, coconut and spearmint oils blend together for a balm that alleviates swelling and discomfort.The non-greasy, pleasantly scented lotion refreshes legs and feet, and reduces that heavy, overheated feeling that comes

from supporting a pregnant belly. Mama Mio Lucky Legs™ Cooling Leg Gel is also infused with murumuru seed butter, chamomile and lavender to produce a calming effect when massaged into the skin.

Spearmint, coconut and tangerine oils relieve swelling Lavender, murumuru seed butter and chamomile evoke calmness www.mioskincare.co.uk www.thefrankmagazine.com


www.wakencare.com

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B E A U T Y

R E C O M M E N D A T I O N S

Eye Ritual's

Lines, dark circles & puffiness

When you are searching for that instant fix‌ correcting dark circles, contouring, de-puffing, plumping, brightening dullness, under-eye bag removal and anti-aging. You may think it a difficult task, it is fortunately not impossible with time, love and consistency. We have discovered a few of the best eye creams that will exceed all expectations.

Plumping and smoothing under-eyes, this unique elixir diminishes dark circles while intensely moisturising.

RODIAL

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Discover the magic of mushrooms with this multitasking saviour.

ORIGINS

A beautifully formulated duo to renew the skin's

appearance. LA PRAIRIE

Opposite Page: THIS WORKS My Wrinkles Tired Eyes £45.00 SISLEY-PARIS Sisleÿa L'Integral Anti-Age Eye and Lip Contour Cream £145.50

PATCHOLOGY Moodpatch "Down Time" Calming Tea-Infused Aromatherapy Eye Gels x 5 £15.00 SARAH CHAPMAN Platinum Stem Cell Eye Mask £79.00

RODIAL Bee Venom Eye £140.00 KORA ORGANICS Noni Radiant Eye Oil £34.00

This Page: NOBLE PANACEA The Brilliant Eye Infusion £138

ORIGINS x Dr. Andrew Weil Mega-Mushroom Relief & Resilience Soothing Gel Cream £40 LA PRAIRIE Anti-Aging Eye and Lip Perfection à Porter £145

FRESH Rose Hydrating Eye Gel Cream £34.00 LAURA MERCIER Illuminating Eye Cream (15ml) £50 CLINIQUE Pep-Start Eye Cream (15ml) £24

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S P O T L I G H T

O N

F R A G R A N C E

BYREDO Cotton Poplin Room Spray Recreate that spring clean feeling with Byredo Cotton Poplin Room Spray, a sweet and simple fragrance for the home. Fresh and floral, this scent was inspired by pressed fabric and gentle breezes. It is an original perfume that will not overwhelm sensitive noses, and is perfect for more delicate tastes. The Cotton Poplin Room Spray is elegant and understated, creating a classical ambience in the home. It has top notes of blue chamomile and linen, with middle notes of white cedarwood and base notes of sweet musk. These scents combine to evoke memories of hot cups of tea, freshly washed laundry and comfortable Sunday mornings. Notes Top: Blue Chamomile Heart: Linen, White Cedarwood Base: Sweet Musk

''Think clean sheets with touches of blue chamomile, linen, white cedarwood and sweet musk.'' www.thefrankmagazine.com


B E A U T Y

T O O L

FACIAL CLEANSING BRUSH FOREO Luna 2 Facial Cleansing Brush for Oily Skin

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id skin of impurities and rejuvenate it all at once with the innovative Foreo Luna 2 Facial Cleansing Brush for Oily Skin, designed to cleanse and smoothen skin. This innovative device was created to deal with early signs of ageing and remove skin impurities. It takes a mere two minutes to exfoliate the skin and remove makeup and grime. In comparison to previous models, the Foreo Luna 2 Facial Cleansing Brush for Oily Skin uses twice the T-Sonic™ power to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells and stubborn makeup traces. After use, dirt and oil that may lead to skin blemishes are effortlessly banished, unclogging pores in the process. The reverse side of this device delivers powerful anti-ageing action by pulsating at lower frequencies, working to smooth the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Benefits Cleansing and lifting routine that lasts a mere two minutes Removes dirt and makeup Unclogs pores Works towards reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles Two-in-one device

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M I N I

B E A U T Y

S A V I O R S

Mini grab & go Beauty Saviors

Whilst some of us are still working from home, others are still on the go. Here are some small essentials that we love to pop in our bag before we start our day...

or LIPP DR. le Balm f ipp nal N ips i g i r O L

LOM s EVE il Capsule sing O k Clean ravel Pac T

ition S NAR imited Ed uo L ing D

ronz

B Mini

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LASS e G R HOU Extrem ion Caut Mascara Lash el Size Trav


R E A D E R

O F F E R

Exclusive FRANK Reader Offer

use our code NEWA028 www.newabeauty.co.uk www.thefrankmagazine.com


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IN TER VIE WS www.thefrankmagazine.com


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T H E

C O V E R

THIS IS 50

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THIS IS 50 Photography Elisabeth Hoff Fashion Editor Annabel Kerman

elanie

Broadcaster & Editor in Chief talks to FRANK

Photography Elisabeth Hoff Fashion Editor Annabel Kerman

MY WARDROBE bustier NYNNE earrings

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On turning 50 ... Luckily for me I have been able to work, of course with I’m really excited about turning 50. Turning 49 last year this being an online magazine its been business as usual, as wasn’t great. I’m not sure why. I just felt fed up and I do most things on my laptop from my dining room table. didn’t have any mojo to celebrate, but this year I feel completely different. I cannot wait to welcome in the next My voice over work has been able to continue as it’s me stage of my life. alone in a sound booth and my radio show with Alan Carr has been able to go ahead by us sitting in separate studios The last decade has been fascinating, challenging and a whilst being connected by Facetime. period of extreme personal growth and I am grateful for all of it. It’s life and I have to learn to roll with it and take For me, the lockdown and the run up to my big birthday all positives from it no matter hard in parts it has been. I has been a time of great reflection. I have thought a lot have my health and the mutual love of my children, about my life and future and where I would like it to be for anything else is a bonus. the next chapter. I aspire to live here in the UK for half the year and the other, elsewhere for a better climate and quality of life. I am in the process of working on that and only I can make that happen.

On the pandemic and lock down ...

This last few months has been a lesson in staying in the moment, otherwise it would have been too overwhelming. The death toll and the way in which people have been affected by the virus has been devastating and of course a worry. My youngest Valentino has nephrotic syndrome (A kidney problem) and we have to be very careful to keep him protected. He is also Autistic so the virus as a concept has been hard to explain. He has missed school and has been afraid to leave the house with me. But we talk a lot and I hope I have helped to soothe his worries. However home schooling has not been easy. I have unlimited patience as a mother but not as a teacher. He has told me how rubbish I am at it and how he cannot wait to get back to school. He makes me laugh every day with his brutal honesty. I’m not sure if that’s what he has inherited from me or a trait of his condition. My eldest, Roman was unable to sit his A levels but will be hopefully going to Uni in October all being safe. He has coped very well with the situation. The boys have been with me for much of lockdown which was challenging to say the least in our flat and I had to go for the occasional short drive and have a scream in the car when I needed to.

“I cannot believe I have been in the TV and Radio game for 24 years now and I still suffer with imposter syndrome. It was never in the plan to be known and be on telly. It was thrust upon me at at time when it was hard to turn the opportunities down. I was a 26 year old model and it seemed like a good time. That said, I suffer terribly from ‘stage fright’ and that has simply never gone away.”

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“My youngest Valentino has nephrotic syndrome (A kidney problem) and we have to be very careful to keep him protected. He is also Autistic so the virus as a concept has been hard to explain. He has missed school and has been afraid to leave the house with me. But we talk a lot and I hope I have helped to soothe his worries.”

On being a mother ... Awwwww the children, the lights of my life. Roman is now 18 and Valentino is 16. I don’t share them on social media and they have asked me to not talk about them in detail in the media. They deserve and are entitled to their privacy. I respect them and that. They are my reason for being. I am pretty much their sole provider and always have been.. I have obviously taken work to provide for them and had to turn work down if it takes me away for too long. They come first always. I have a good relationship with their father and we share them as much as we can. I wasn’t particularly a maternal type who craved having children prior to my body clock telling me so on the run up to my 30th birthday and thankfully it absolutely kicked in proper the day Roman was born. Juggling a child with Autism and a child without any challenges has been difficult for me to balance, in terms of the attention I have had to find equally some how, and I have probably failed at that a lot. You can only do your best though, right. I check in with them all the time to see how they are doing emotionally and although they may find their feelings difficult to articulate, at least they know that I am interested, if nothing else. I am a very grounded mother, I have always treated them as intelligent beings, never dumbing things down. Although my relationship with them is that of a mother, they still see me as human being. They hear me laugh, they hear me cry and that is important. You cannot pretend to be perfect. They both know that nothing is off topic (for them) and that it would be very difficult for them to shock me and they know I do not judge. It’s just not my style. Who knows if I have succeeded in bringing up well adjusted children. They always get good reviews from other people but the proof will be how they behave as men, as friends, as partners and as family members going forward. As for Valentino he may never be independent of me, which obviously isn’t a problem. We will see how he evolves.

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“The last decade has been fascinating, challenging and a period of extreme personal growth and I am grateful for all of it. It’s life and I have had to roll with it and take all positives from it no matter hard in parts it has been. I have my health and the mutual love of my children, anything else is a bonus.�

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On love and relationships … I don’t often talk of such things in print as I am very protective of my private life but I will say I love to be in love, it just hasn’t happened for a long time. It is going to take someone very special for me to succumb to it again, somebody who will add to my life and enhance it. It’s interesting when you are single people assume it’s not by choice, but it is for me. I have no interest in just settling. Sometimes I travel alone, I dine alone, I go to the cinema alone, all by choice. I am extremely comfortable with and enjoy my own company. I don’t need a father for my kids, I don’t need to be financially supported and I’m not sure if I want too much domesticity with someone. I enjoy my life and I don’t want to negotiate what I watch, when I go to bed, when I eat and I don’t want to share my bed on nights I don’t want to. I love taking care and being a support to a man but I will not give away that energy to someone who is simply not worth it. Yes I get lonely sometimes but better that, than having those feelings within a relationship. Been there, done that, got the certificates.

Which made me laugh. There are no hard and fast rules for longevity but there are things you can do for yourself that make you feel good. Keeping my core balanced, my body’s flexibility and maintaining some muscle strength are the things I am more interested in as I age. Food, well my preferred diet is that of a student, cheese on toast, packet noodles, bacon butties and peanut M & M’s. its such an effort for me to eat fruit and veg, but obviously I do. I have a balanced diet but naturally I would prefer to eat crap. Yoga and weights and ballet based exercises are the combo I use at the moment, as and when I feel like it. I am in tune with my body’s needs and respond accordingly. Everyone is different so I don’t feel its my job to tell people what to do either way.

On ageing ... I have a youthful spirit and that will never change. I have suffered some set backs in life as we all do but I cannot hold anger and its impossible for me to be bitter. It’s just not in my nature and I think that reflects in my core being and what emanates from me.

I merely want a companion, someone to love and him to love me in return, someone to have fun with when it is I haven’t been at the whim of my life, I have mostly taken convenient for him and me without ever feeling obligated. it by the scruff of the neck and dealt with things as and when they have arisen. I’ve tackled things that could have potentially buried me or giving me prolonged unhappiness. I have cut these things out and have done this alone. The older I get the less I will tolerate. I try to be healthy but I’m not always. Sure I exercise, its habitual, part of my routine and has been for about Aesthetically I am faring quite well so far. As we know twelve years now but I have absolutely no interest in genetics play a huge role in this as is taking care of oneself getting people to change their habits and influencing physically, emotionally and mentally, which I have got them. Do what suits you. Live and let live, thats what I covered. say. They do say mediation is anti ageing and that is a daily

On health …

People’s opinions around this topic are interesting though. I was speaking to a cab driver recently about health and I said I don’t drink or smoke anymore and he said “I’ll never give them up, life is too short” to which I replied “ and these things can make it shorter!” That said, I listened to an audio documentary on ‘BBC Sounds’ recently called ‘The Secrets of the Super Old’ There was a lady who was 115 years old and was smoking. Her Doctor told her she should stop that and her reply was, “The last Doctor that said that to me, is dead now.”

habit for me along with some kind of exercise and a relatively healthy food intake. You know, I’m doing what I can. I would not rule out surgery in the future, if thats what I want, I’ll do it. It’s my right to choose either way. I could not give a stuff about anybody else’s opinion. One of my idols is Jane Fonda. I just love her. She said that she hasn’t been brave enough to age without a bit of help. I love her honesty and in the future I might feel the

same. Time will tell.

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I was watching a documentary on David Foster, about his amazing career and at the end of the programme, he said he probably has 15 summers left at best and it made me think I might have 35 summers left at best. It really does give a tangible perspective on things going forward. Don’t waste time, seize the day and try find the joy in every moment before my time is up.

On Frank ...

I just love being Editor in Chief of FRANK and writing interviews and sourcing content. I love working with the brilliant women on the team, Millie Copper my partner and Frank’s design director, Annabel Kerman our fashion editor, Fiona Eustace our beauty editor and all the contributors, writers , artists, therapists etc we feature. All the women on our covers are over forty. It was probably the first thing that I was insistent on when it I cannot believe I have been in the TV and Radio game came to creating the magazine. The magazine is a for 24 years now and I still suffer with imposter syndrome. It was never in the plan to be known and be on celebration of mature women with their abundance of experience and all they have to offer. It was a no brainer telly. It was thrust upon me at at time when it was hard that our models should and would be over forty. to turn the opportunities down. I was a 26 year old

On broadcasting ...

fashion model and it seemed like a good time. That said, I suffer terribly from ‘stage fright’ and that has simply never gone away. I hate being centre of attention and being in front of an audience but I just push through and do it anyway. I absolutely love my voice over work and my radio show. I find it much easier, as there is no extra process, I just ‘am’. Even shooting for the magazine and being on set meant bringing some kind of ‘other me’ energetically, in order to get it done.

On women ... I am a woman’s woman and that is a fact. I love and admire women. I celebrate all our successes and I appreciate the struggle. I feel so devastated when women do not support other women. Not just when it is directed at me because every time it happens it is directed at all of us. There is a culture of jealousy and competition that can happen between some women and the thought of it pains me. We must stick together. We are up against it as it is.

On Men ... I have sons and I hope they turn into decent men. I have male friends who I love dearly who are great fathers, decent partners and who’s opinions I seek. I would love to find a good man to share my life with. romantically. Sadly in all realms of life, most, not all, but most men are pretty basic and disappointing. I feel a bit sorry for British men who have adopted the limited vocabulary of the television character, Keith Lemon, when talking about, and to women. I would be surprised and indeed it would be a miracle, if any of these men are actually getting laid!

The process of putting the magazine together every few months is intense with such a small team but it is worth it. I feel so much pride when its published and you all get to see it and have a good read.

“I haven’t been at the whim of my life, I have mostly taken it by the scruff of the neck and dealt with things as and when they have arisen. I’ve tackled things that could have potentially buried me or giving me prolonged unhappiness and I have done this alone. The older I get the less I will tolerate.”

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“I feel a bit sorry for British men who have adopted the limited vocabulary of the television character, Keith Lemon, when talking about, and to women. I would be surprised and indeed it would be a miracle if any of these men are actually getting laid!�

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Write for yourself Lesley Pearse

Lesley Pearse was told as a child that she had too much imagination for her own good. When she grew up she worked her way through a number of jobs, including nanny, bunny girl, dressmaker and full-time mother, before, at the age of forty-nine, settling upon a career that would allow her gifts to blossom: she became a published writer. Lesley lives in Devon and has three daughters and three grandchildren. www.thefrankmagazine.com


How are you in these crazy times? Pretty good, having worked at home for 20 years it’s not so different.

Where are you and what is your situation? I’m living in Torquay Devon, by the sea, with my dog.

People always said they kept my letters because they were entertaining, and I was often asked to write difficult letters for people. But I started out writing a short story about something that happened on a holiday. It was rubbish, but it gave me the bug, I did a home study course on creative writing, then just kept on until I finally got published. That took 16 years!!

Your personal story has had its challenges, Let’s start firstly with ‘LIAR’ your latest. What’s it about and the inspiration behind it? could you tell us bit about that? Set in London in the 1970’s, Amelia White finds the dead body of a young girl on a pile of uncollected rubbish close to her home. She works for the local newspaper and is sent to the parents of the dead girl to interview them. Two more dead girls later, Amelia’s involvement has grown, and there are fears she may be the killers next victim.

My mother dying when I was 3 and being separated from my brother and sent to an orphanage wasn’t great. But it’s been useful bit of research for troubled children. My stepmother who came later was a dragon, but I do believe she made me what I am now. So no bitterness.

You have a staggering 28 novels under your belt. Does it get easier or harder to keep How hard is it when writing a period piece (Liar is set in the 70’s) How do you stay in the coming up with the goods? mind set? I had my eldest daughter in 1970, and so I recall everything about that time. The music, what we wore etc. For previous books set long before I was born, I have to do extensive research. But I love that part of the job, and quite often begin to believe I’m living in that period.

How much research do you have to do re the policing at that time? That is quite hard. I don’t think I could handle writing believably about forensics. My brother was a scientist and I used to pick his great brain a great deal, but sadly he died a few years ago and I’m on my own now. I do have a policeman friend as an advisor, but to be honest I’d rather not get into technical stuff, I leave that to those writers who have that background.

Tell us a little about your life as a writer. You weren’t published until you were 49 years old. What was the catalyst for you to finally get on that path?

Harder, I fall asleep something at my desk, I’m not so keen on bombing around the world to research things. The ideas keep coming, but the plodding ability needed to sit and write isn’t so good anymore.

“I have to be at my desk. No sitting up in bed with a laptop. I usually start writing after I’ve taken Stan out for his morning walk. But good weather distracts me as I love gardening. I sometimes pray for rain, for both the garden and my writing.”

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“People always said they kept my letters because they were entertaining, and I was often asked to write difficult letters for people. But I started out writing a short story about something that happened on a holiday. It was rubbish, but it gave me the bug.�

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“Write for yourself, if nothing else it’s something to leave your children, and it can be very cathartic. I’ve killed off my stepmother twice fictionally!” What is your routine around writing? I have to be at my desk. No sitting up in bed with a laptop. I usually start writing after I’ve taken Stan out for his morning walk. But good weather distracts me as I love gardening. I sometimes pray for rain, for both the garden and my writing.

Who or what inspires you on a personal and professionally level? Charles Dickins is an inspiration. But reading any good book makes me want to try harder, broadens my mind.

Tell us about your fund-raising for NSPCC. Why is this charity close to your heart?

speaking. What do you love about it? I’m a born chatter box, and I think a latent comedienne. I just wing it. I don’t prepare, I mostly talk about my own life, about funny incidents while researching. Whatever comes into my head really.

How do you feel when in front of a lot of people? I see a room full of strangers as potential friends, I don’t really suffer from nerves. I usually try and make them laugh as then they are on my side. No real preparation unless of course I’ve been asked to speak about a cause. Then I have to gen up on it.

What would you say to anyone who has a desire to write a book, who may feel it might be too late in their lives? Go for it. If you have the passion and drive, all you need then is persistence. It’s a tough marketplace to break into now and may be age could be held against you if publishers feel you aren’t very promotable. But write for yourself, if nothing else it’s something to leave your children, and it can be very cathartic. I’ve killed off my stepmother twice fictionally!

They were called to my school once when I had can weals on my legs. My stepmother could be a brute, and at the time I was very unhappy. I saw that uniformed ‘Cruelty’ man as my saviour, and although I never told him the truth about my injuries, the man stayed in my Liar by Lesley Pearse is published by head, and I think I vowed then that I Michael Joseph, price £20.00 would try and find a way to help other children. I don’t do so much now, but I am always available as a guest speaker at any of their fund raisers.

Tell us about your public Find out more about Lesley and keep up to date with what she's been doing: Follow her on Twitter @LesleyPearse Follow her on Facebook @LesleyPearseAuthor Sign up for her newsletter www.lesleypearse.com www.thefrankmagazine.com


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Pots 'n' That...

Keith Brymer Jones

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born and bred Londoner and a potter by trade. Many people know him as a judge on TV shows like the Great Pottery Throw Down & The Victorian House of Arts & Crafts but his day job, and his passion, is for ceramics. The first piece of Pottery he ever made was a pottery owl when he was 11 years old.

His career has spanned 35 years, in which time has handmade for high street retailers such as Habitat, Laura Ashley, Heals, and Barneys New York to name but a few. He co-owns a company Make International, and is Head of Design and sells his ceramics to over 40 countries around the world. He is best known for his timeless 'Word' ceramic range.

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How are you in this crazy time?

"No, I don't". I don't think you can count eating as a hobby, so no. My work as a potter pretty much keeps me Well …………. I'm fine! I have reflected on how much my life has changed if at all. Sure it's changed to a certain occupied, and as such, it has been the thing I turn to for all degree, but certainly not as much as one might of thought. sorts of reason. It's an incredibly careful process, and the tactile nature of the clay is mesmerising. I have been mostly held up in my studio with my partner Marj, and fortunately, have plenty of clay to work with so I have dyslexia, and something I have learnt in later life is it's been nice. I have had time to not only re-connect with that clay is one of the perfect activities for such a condition. Being dyslexic gives you a far better affinity myself but also re-connect with my passion… Clay! with shape, form and volume, which basically is what Usually, in my day job of being a director of a company; Make International, which I run with my business partner Pottery is in a nutshell. Dom. There are often lots of distractions that take me away from what I call my' core process', which is working Tell us how got into the world of Pottery? with the material which I have loved for the majority of What did it bring to your life? my life, and which is the very process that started the company. I like so many other people I had lots of events, Wow…………..now there's a question. I'm now crying as and plans in the diary that have all been cancelled or postponed. The important thing is, though, is one's state of mind and health, and of the ones you love. It has made me I type (I know shocker) as Pottery showed me the path to what I truly am. The school was pretty much uninspiring re-focus on the more essential things in life. until my Art teacher gave the rest of the class and me a Has living by the seaside been a blessing? lump of clay. Half the class started a clay fight, and the OMG …..Has it !! In a word, YES! I have always been a keen sea swimmer ever since the days of swimming off the other half of which included me started making something out of it. From that moment on, my life changed coast of Wales as a child on family holidays. The Father irreversibly. It was like an epiphany. I just loved the would take us (my sister and I) out to sea quite away, substance of it. The fact you could manipulate it into probably further than appropriate for our age. We would often swim a good mile or so out to sea at the age of 11. No whatever your imagination desired was indeed a revelation. As one got more proficient in one's clay coastguards were ever deployed for assistance, as we became powerful swimmers. The Father would often plan endeavours, the connection between your vision and your a route to swim out to a rock that seemed miles out to sea, hands became more connected to the point where you can achieve in 3-dimensional form what you saw in your head or we would usually be found perched on a cliff diving off with more proficiency and confidence. 50 or so feet into the Irish sea. After a day of clay, swimming in the sea is lovely. For the The connectivity between head, heart, and hands is incredibly unique. For all sorts of processes not necessarily most part, the beaches down here have been relatively deserted. As like my relationship with clay, if I don't get in just Pottery, but all creative disciplines from dancing, to sport, to painting or basket weaving. As such I am a firm the sea for a swim, I get a bit funny, agitated, completely believer that it is essential for all children to at least restless. experience some kind of creative process in a school There are benefits both in the Summer and Winter. The environment as we (as a society) would/will be losing a sea is ever-changing in colour, light and mood. I love it. considerable part of talent and personality that has made this country known for its creativity. Creativity is not just Have you changed anything about how you right for the soul in a community setting; it's an integral live during these unusual times? part of life that should be valued as equally as the more Ha …………….No! Clay is pretty much it. When I was dare I say traditional, academic subjects. I was lucky enough as I found a job after I left school. I younger, I studied dance (Ballet, Tap, Highland and didn't really want to go into further education although I Scottish country dancing) Believe it or not, I used to be did apply for Harrow and Chelsea school of art as they had very skinny and studied dance from 3 to 18 years old. There was talk of it becoming my profession, but as I grew excellent ceramic degree courses at the time. Still, in parallel to applying to Art college, I also put an advert in a up and started shovelling clay I looked more like a magazine called 'Ceramic Review' which was and still is the bricklayer than a ballet dancing. However, bricklaying ballet dancers are probably all the rage now. Maybe not so go too publication for all things ceramic. I even remember the advert "Young enthusiastic 18 years old , seeking an much in the eighties. apprenticeship in pottery, please call 01-346-3098". My therapist once said to me "do you have any hobbies, I started working at Harefield Pottery at the naïve age of 18. Keith" and I replied after a few seconds of thought with www.thefrankmagazine.com


"Pottery has always been there to challenge me, comfort me and to be used as a mechanism for solace in my life. It has always helped me through the bad times and always enhanced the good times."

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It was just outside Watford on the banks of the Grand Union Canal. I think my unofficial/official job description was "Clay Boy" which was like an old fashioned apprenticeship. It was hard work, making the clay, sweeping the floor, and most importantly making the tea etc. but as I worked there over the years learnt the art and discipline of studio production pottery. I remember turning to Alan (one of the bosses) and asking when I would be able to throw some of the work that was ordered, and I remember his reply "oooh I give it about 5 to 6 years" which is not really what an eighteen-year-old wanted to hear. I wasn't allowed to leave the Pottery until I had balled up and thrown on the wheel 100 balls of clay. This went on for three years. I was then deemed good enough to make the simple shapes to fulfil orders but what it did was make me realise the discipline and dedication to one's craft one needed to be truly proficient. I don't think for me I could have had better training.

How would you describe your pottery style? Because I had reasonably traditional training and it was crucial to make money, we used to make a lot of domestic ware (cup, saucers, plates, bowls etc. etc.) so when I started up in my own studio in Highgate (North London) it was predominantly domestic ware that I made for stores such as Habitat, Conran, Heals, Laura Ashley and many many more. It was all handmade and would specially design and prepare for the stores according to their aesthetic brand. This, however, did create a problem in that when a specific order or contract came to an end, I was back to square one. So I came up with my brand of ceramics,’The word' range, which became hugely successful. I suppose my style has always been simple but effective ha a bit like me. Joking aside though, I like clean, simple contemporary lines. Although because of 'The Great Pottery Throw Down' TGPTD I am getting more and more interesting in texture and reactions you can achieve with different clay and glazes. TGPTD has reignited my interest in the quite frankly infinite clay, glazes and decorative techniques that Pottery has to offer. It is incredible. I've been working with clay for 80% of my life and feel I've only scratched the surface which is lovely feeling as there is so much to learn ………..oh and I hasten to add 'scratching the surface' is a pottery technique.

much a Universe scenario. I produced a video (one of many) were I play kind of cross-dressing nutter of a potter dressed as Adele singing "Rolling in the Deep", but for artistic purposes, we named our song "Rolling Clay with Keith". We put the video out, and it got quite a bit of attention. I was getting fan mail from all over the world, Art students in India, Art tutor/Professors in various universities in the U.S. as they were using it in lectures. I even had a very enthusiastic fan in Brazil that wanted me to go overdressed as Adele for lunch. It just so happened that at the time we (as in Dom and I) were talking to a woman billionaire over in the U.S. about rolling out KBJ stores in a load of shopping malls she owned. She just happened to be friends with Richard McKerrow one of the owners of Love Productions who was in the U.S. pitching at the time "The Great British Bake Off" to various U.S. TV networks. The two of them had met up, and Richard was discussing what to do next in terms of a light entertainment programme on the lines of the same format as the "Bake Off". She then told him of these two blokes she was talking too and that we had done this strange video were by one of us was dressed up like Adele doing a spoof of one of Adele's videos. Richard went back to his hotel room, got the video up on YouTube, watched it and phoned me up and asked me if I would like to be a judge on a new programme he was planning on putting together. The Universe!

How were you 'discovered' for 'the Great Pottery Throw Down'? I created a talk called "Clay, the Universe and Everything", basically it's about how I started, the path I took etc. etc., but in answer to this question, it is very www.thefrankmagazine.com


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"I also like some of the bizarre conversations we get into the green room whilst waiting to go on set. It's great. It's hard work sometimes to put on the "Jazz Hands" as I say when required but made much easier knowing everyone around you is working to prepare for the best possible outcome." Did you have to screen test?

this happens?

I remember then talking to Rich McKerrow when he returned to the U.K. in more detail about the proposed show and instantly liked him. He was unconventional, said what he thought and was very direct. I had been in a band in the eighties and had some experience of "showbiz" all be it very limited, and I have to say was quite sceptical of the whole industry. We talked, and I remember saying "I'm not into doing car crash TV", "sending people up to fail for light entertainment". "I don't want to be involved in a programme that belittles people, especially in a subject that I love, Pottery. His reply felt so genuine, so in tune with his passion for TV as mine was for ceramics. He responded by saying that he wanted to capture the art, process, and skill of the participating Potters. He wanted to make an uplifting, positive programme about the endeavours of all who were involved, and because of the nature of our conversation, I took on his word. I trusted him, and I have to say in essence, I believe that's what Love Productions have achieved. There were various screen tests whereby I would be paired up with multiple options of other judges. Throughout this process, a small team from Love visited me at my studio to film me. I sat on the wheel and started to make something and by the time the series producer had finished a question I had made various things on the wheel. I remember her looking on in amazement at the speed of how I could make/throw something on the wheel. She then asked me to make a jug which I duly did in about 2 minutes. I could see her eyes light up as this could be so easily incorporated in the show. It was quick, apparently skilful, and looked dramatic from a lump of clay one minute to a jug the next. I remember her asking what I was doing and me replying "I'm throwing a pot, a Jug to be precise". Getting ever more excited Karen then asked me if I could make something else, like a bowl perhaps, within a few minutes there it was, a bowl, and that's were the "Throwdown" was incorporated in the title of the show.

I have been doing pottery/ceramics for all my adult life, ever since I left school. I suppose I'm lucky in that way. Over the years, I have struggled with various issues/ challenges directly and not so direct in relation to Pottery. Pottery has always been there to challenge me, comfort me and to be used as a mechanism for solace in my life. It has always helped me through the bad times and still enhanced the good times. I always say that a good relationship "When things are bad they should only be half as bad, as you have someone there to support you, and when things are good they should be twice as good as you have someone with you to share it with". I have a partner now that thankfully this is true, but my relationship with the craft I have grown to love so much has also been this way. So when I see the Potters on the show go through in certain cases this very personal process in a discipline that they love doing and bearing all to the viewer not to mention then be judged on their work at the end of this process for me it's incredibly humbling and moving experience as I have been in those positions of vulnerability at certain stages of my career. Maybe not on a light entertainment programme but the concept and feeling are the same.

There is much talk of your passion for pots and the tears. What goes on with you when

As a child, I was never lambasted by my parents for being emotional. It was never considered unusual showing one's emotions, and I firmly believe that being around mostly girls as I was growing up dancing, it gave me the affirmation and strength to show and empathise through one's emotions. Let's face it we all know as a general rule girls/women mature far earlier than men, especially when growing up.

"I firmly believe that being around mostly girls as I was growing up dancing, it gave me the affirmation and strength to show and empathise through one's emotions."

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What do you enjoy about doing the show? The easy answer is …………..the whole thing! The process, the crew, the Potters. I had never really experienced it before doing the show the intensity, the common purpose and the complete professionalism that everyone involved has. I'm sure actors or team players such as footballers get it. This intense period of time where everyone is working to the best of their ability to produce and create something good. I also like some of the bizarre conversations we get into the green room whilst waiting to go on set. It's great. It's hard work sometimes to put on the "Jazz Hands" as I say when required but made much easier knowing everyone around you is working to prepare for the best possible outcome. When you are on a set like the Throwdown you're in a bubble, and you really sense the pressure in the studio where we film.

How do you juggle your 'day job' running your business and filming? Arrh yes the day job, and filming. Basically, before filming starts, I try and do as much as possible in the studio in relation to Make International. I make sure that all design briefs, sample requests and any making I have to do is made before filming commences. This way as and when we are filming hopefully, it's just a case of answering emails to confirm certain samples that take place throughout the duration. It's hard sometimes as you have to switch off from the day job to a certain extent as filming can be allencompassing and so it should be. I remember filming the second series between filming I had to go to India for a

greatest respect for each other regardless of their level of skill as do the crew and us as judges . This seems to really come across in the programme. The viewer really sees the Potters not only grow as craftspeople (if they stay in), but also see the whole process of said Potters idea right through to fruition or not as the case may be. There is a genuine honesty about the programme, a real sense of we're all in this together.

What do you make of the Love you receive from your role on the show? You have a big female following. : ) Hahaha ……………….. all miss placed I fear !! In short ……….. it's really lovely! It's always nice to get positive feedback from anyone let alone the opposite sex, but I think some people may be surprised that I have a lot of men who have sent me private messages of support and encouragement as they have themselves struggled with mental health issues and have felt they have had trouble in being honest as to their vulnerabilities let alone conveying their feelings to the people they love. I think the moment people saw me being tearful on the telly it opened up a serious debate as regards men freely showing their emotions or not as the case may be and I think for some people, mostly women the act of me crying with joy at something creative is pleasantly surprising, refreshing and to some appealing. Hopefully, I come across as someone who is completely comfortable with my emotional state.

Is there a pressure when doing the demos when filming on the 'Throw Down'?

day …..yes a day to oversee a particular important

Ha ………………yes !! to put it mildly. When we filmed

sample . We finished a particular batch of filming on Sunday, by Monday I was on a plane. Tuesday I was looking at a pot in a factory in India and Wednesday travelling back for filming on Thursday. It makes me tired, just thinking about it now.

the 1st series, it was more so, but the fact that it is the only part of the programme that really has to be filmed in one take is somewhat stressful. If I cocked it up we would lose the element of surprise with the Potters, and quite frankly I am supposed to be Master Potter. Not blowing my own trumpet too much, but I realised very early on that I am the only judge in any of these types of programmes that demonstrates to the participants. It gives TGPTD a real element of credibility.

What do you think is at the heart of the success of TGPTD? I think one of the main assets to the programme is the Potters themselves and the lengths that Love Production's research team go to find, vet and interview them. It really is a monumental task and one thankfully I am not involved with as it would be a conflict of interest. Sue Pryke and myself (my fellow judge) cannot be seen to have any favouritism to any of the Potters. The other main success of the show is that it's incredibly uplifting. Sure it's a competition, but all the Potters have the

When are we going to see you next? Well …………. I believe plans for the next series of TGPTD are well underway, and hopefully filming will start soon. Obviously, because of the present COVID situation, the production team are having to put new measures in place which takes some organising, but all are going well we should hit the Channel 4 screen early next year.

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Alcohol free - Not pleasure free

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GETTING PERSONAL WITH...

Mark King

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ead singer, songwriter, legendary bass player and handsome rugged man from one of the best eighties jazz-funk groups. Mark rose to fame with the group’s first album in 1981, aptly named ''Level 42'', they continued releasing dance worthy tunes, ten more albums (not including his solo work) and toured worldwide for the next forty years... Yes 40 years! “Something About You“, “The Sun Goes Down“ and their top three hit in the UK, “Lessons in Love“ are still on the fans most played playlists today.

Here FRANK gets up close and personal with the man himself... www.thefrankmagazine.com


“I listen to the radio a lot, and I am a big fan of BBC 6, who have introduced me to so many new artistes from all areas of music. I love good food and fine wines, all the good things in life really.’’

What has kept you busy since the Lockdown? We are very lucky to have plenty of ground here on the Isle of Wight, so we fill the days pottering around and sorting out all the little jobs that you never seem to get around to in normal times. The garden has never looked lovelier, even if the gardeners don’t! I also have a studio here, and it has been nice digging out

old demos to post and hopefully keep the fans

happy.Loads of web-cam streaming too, so plenty to do.

What has been the biggest surprise in your life that you could never have predicted? Well covid-19 has to be right up there doesn’t it? We had a very busy year ahead in the diary, then boom, it’s all gone. It reminds me of the old adage “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans…’

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Who was your very first pin up and why? In your opinion where is heaven on earth? That would have been Cream, the first Supergroup with Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, and Eric Clapton. I was around eight years old and I bought ‘Live Cream’ with some birthday money from my Gran. I didn’t have a poster as such, but I made a sort of 3D stage in a cut out cornflakes box with little figures of Jack, Ginger, and Eric.

Right here at the moment. The sun is shining, and flower scent fills the air. It seems Nature loves a lockdown.

What was your last handwritten note or letter and who received it?

I get requests for birthday cards etc. quite often, and I’m always reminded just how bad my handwriting is when I scrawl out the messages to Okay I guess, but my wife might disagree. I’ve got a whoever. Must try harder… Tesla Model X which is a phenomenal car to drive, and it can drive itself when they pass the legislation When did you last have proper belly here one day. laughs? It outperforms the two Astons I’ve had, and has more space than the Range Rovers I’ve always had My daughter Marlee makes me laugh all the time. since 1983, and with no emissions! She’s great company and has a fab sense of humour. A good person to be in isolation with I think.

What type of driver are you?

What do you do to help you relax when you are not working?

I listen to the radio a lot, and I am a big fan of BBC 6, who have introduced me to so many new artistes from all areas of music. I love good food and fine wines, all the good things in life really.

What makes your blood boil? Brexit, the lies we were told, Trump… I could go on!

What’s the best gig you have been to? (Not yours ; ) Ha! I loved seeing Larry Graham and Graham Central Station at The Jazz Café a few years back. Larry started the whole ‘slap’ bass style, and he can lay down some serious funk.

What was the last best film or series you have watched? I thought Once Upon A Time in Hollywood was brilliant, as was Joker, and I like the ‘Scandi-Noir’ series, such as The Bridge. Love a binge watch me!

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When was the last time you cried and why? I seem to be turning into my Dad when it comes to this. I remember finding it strange that he would fill up watching some soppy nonsense on telly, but I found myself having a blub watching ‘The Repair Shop’ recently. There’s no fool like an old fool, as he used to say.

Who or what was your first love? Kay Bird and Dawn Collins were my first kisses, and the fact that they were my best mates, and the three of us used to hang out together probably explains my lifelong confusion when it comes to girls, plus I’m a Libra so can’t make a decision to save my life.

Have you experienced unrequited love? who? I have and it hurts doesn’t it? There is a great lyric in ‘The Warmth of the Sun’ by the Beach Boys that sings “The love of my life, she left me one day. I cried when she said “I don’t feel the same way…”

Are you a night owl or up with the larks? Both really. On tour we stay up until the wee small hours and sleep until noon, but at home or on holiday I like to get up with the sun.

What is the weirdest question people/ fans have asked you? Is that your own hair? a Dutch journalist asked me once, and proceeded to lean forward and pull it… twat.

“We had a very busy year ahead in the diary, then boom, it’s all gone. It reminds me of the old adage “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans…’’

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Who are the most significant female role models you have had in your life, personally and professionally? Mrs Drudge ( real name! ) was my music teacher at junior school. She had a ferocious temper and all the pupils were terrified of her, but she gave me the chance to play drums in the school band and I never looked back.

What is next for you and the group? Well, 2020 seems to be the year that never was, but 2021 is rammed with all the rescheduled tours and festivals, ( I can hear God laughing! ) so we will be out there and funking it up as we always try to do. I love my job, I really really do!

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FRANK M A G A Z I N E

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F R A N K Issue 09 Aug - Sept 2020

FRANK by name FRANK by nature

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Charisse Glenn Charisse has been a commercial casting director in Los Angeles for over three decades. She lives just outside of LA, with her horses, dogs, cats, and an occasional stray.

How are you? Where are you?

a name I am fantastic, holding up with the craziness of the world, that would encompass all that I wanted to write. The Let thanks for asking. I live in Agoura, California. If you are Go is a term I would use when I trained horses and taught people to ride. familiar with Malibu, it is the mountains that border Malibu. To ask a horse to do anything, we need to apply cues, which come in the form of pressure. For instance, if I want Tell us about ‘The Let Go,’ your inspiring a horse to move to the side, I would apply pressure to the blog. What is the ‘let go,” How did the opposite side. The Let Go came about when I was coming up with

website come about? Where you were in your life and how it came to you?

Where was I in life? After coming out of an 11-year relationship, I spent much of my energy reevaluating my choices and how I saw my journey moving forward. I wanted to share my beliefs and to communicate my philosophy of life.

The nanosecond they had the thought to move away from the pressure, you release the pressure, thus giving them a signal they were doing the right thing, for having the right thought. The let go was the reward. So as I was looking for the name, I kept going back to life is all about the let go and Viola, it was born.

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Tell us about your love of horses. How do your animals help you in your life? I always wanted to write a book; Everything I learned about life I learned from horses. Those of us who are horse obsessed believe we were born with a particular gene. It was a non-negotiable part of life. The obsession began as young as I can remember. Horses and all animals have always played a major role in my life. I have a 23-year-old black cat, two Dobermans, and two horses. Without them as my touchstones, I am not sure how I would fare, they keep me grounded. And the skunk family who lives under the barn keeps me in tune with the natural world.

What were your hot topics, the things you couldn’t wait to share on your website? Oh wow, can I say everything? I write about life, how I have learned to process what gets thrown my way. Often the topic of an article comes from the struggles I have witnessed with friends, conversations I hear or something I have encountered within. The core of each subject always comes back to letting go of what no longer serves our lives, meaning if something is upsetting us, we have the power with how to react to it. The funny thing is, many people are very comfortable in the dramas of their lives and are stuck within the confines of what is familiar to them. The unknown is frightening, and the familiar is safe. They think to let go means to have less, yet in reality, it makes room for much more.

How has acceptance of life’s cycles come to you? Were you naturally accepting or has it been a work in progress? Aging is indeed a process, but once I decided to embrace it, everything changed. The most challenging part I dealt with was about exposing my age at work, not because I have an issue with it, but those I work with do. As a casting director, I work with advertising agencies where ageism runs rampant. So when I decided to go grey, I was potentially risking my livelihood. Because it went hand and hand with speaking my truth, I was willing to do it. With age, I have become more relaxed. I have learned not to hold on to things, and to accept things as they are. This brings me joy.

I loved the blog you did about your Father, how we can’t expect people to change we have change how to react to people. You are extremely open, is this the key to one’s healing? I have always been open but not transparent. We all have those things we keep in the shadows. As children, we know the monster hides in the dark, and as soon as the light is on, the monster disappears. About 35 years ago, a friend of a friend who was a well know author told me that when I was willing to expose every aspect of who I was, I would become a writer. Now I cannot conceive of anything I am not willing to speak about. Our thoughts; the way we choose to react to anything is the power we hold in all situations. It’s a choice. What prevents healing is when we are immersed in the wound, unwilling to accept what’s transpired, and to move on. The key to healing is to move beyond the trauma. Understanding that life happens and we cannot press a redo button, it’s our choice if we want to continue to live in the past or let it go to create the lives we deserve.

“The key to healing is to move beyond the trauma. Understanding that life happens and we cannot press a redo button, it’s our choice if we want to continue to live in the past or let it go to create the lives we deserve.” www.thefrankmagazine.com


You have wonderful video online that starts the day in a wonderful way. ‘Giving yourself a massage’. I loved the stuff on beating at the Thymus like Gorillas and Tarzan. Can you explain what that does? Thump your Thymus! Yes. The Thymus sits behind the collarbone, and it helps the immune system do its job. The crazy thing is the Thymus starts deteriorating after birth, and by middle age, it is virtually a remnant of what it was. So it’s essential to keep it stimulated. Many yoga poses are great activators, mainly the heart openers. Stimulating the Thymus has another benefit; it is said to give us courage. By simply tapping the Thymus with our fist, we can begin to activate it like Tarzan or gorillas. Some believe the word Thymus derives from the herb thyme because it is shaped like a thyme leaf. And the ancient Romans, Greeks, and Scottish Highlanders believed thyme gave them courage before a battle. Coincidence? I also find myself unconsciously tapping my collarbone area if I am nervous about something. I do believe that our bodies hold the key to our health if we learn to unlock the doors.

Yoga is a big part of your life. Many more people have taken to it during the lockdown because of the pandemic. What does Yoga do for you? When I was 14, I read Yoga was great for the nervous system. Since I was hypersensitive and very emotional, I thought it might help balance me. It did, and it continues to do so. How I practice now in my 60’s is very different than my practice was in my 20’s and 30’s, 40’s… it’s a lifelong journey. My practice now is more profound, quieter, more reflective. The classic poses are the ones that interest me the most. The need for the pretzel-like variations no longer appeals to me. Yoga is not an exercise for me, not like going to the gym. It is my preventive medicine. It is my therapist. It is my lifestyle. But Yoga is a personal journey; everyone who practices will gain what they need from it. My mother is 87 and started her practice at 82!

What other techniques of self-care do you use? Do you see me smiling? My entire life is self-care. Self-care starts with my thoughts. The happier we are, the better we look and feel. I function best in a calm state, so my outlook always revolves around letting go of things that stress me out. Being blessed to work from home, I created an environment that is tranquil and relaxing and designed my gardens to soothe my soul. I call my home, the Zen Hacienda. Oh, I love, can I say LOVE massages—foot massage at the bare minimum. I must admit with the pandemic, it is one of the things I miss most.

“Thump your Thymus! Yes. The Thymus sits behind the collarbone, and it helps the immune system do its job. The crazy thing is the Thymus starts deteriorating after birth, and by middle age, it is virtually a remnant of what it was. So it’s essential to keep it stimulated.”


“Having mastery over the chambers of our womanness will allow for our orgasms to become otherworldly. And secondly, the vagina is connected to an intricate reflexology map that connects to different emotions and organ systems.” What are your daily ‘go-to’ activities that you are going to keep emotionally and physically buoyant?

stimulates creativity, so by all means, get creative! The exercises in Taoist practices are very internal, and yes, alone is a good place to start. The vagina is a muscle, and like any muscle, it needs exercise. Once we get over the embarrassment and our shyness, we can discover many beautiful things. The benefits of practicing are twofold. Having mastery over the chambers of our womanness will allow for our orgasms to become otherworldly. And secondly, the vagina is connected to an intricate reflexology map that connects to different emotions and organ systems. For example, the cervix is connected to the heart and is also connected to the vagus nerve, which is the longest cranial nerve in our bodies. The vagus nerve is said to run up to our crown chakra.

So to stimulate our pleasure and our inner healing, we I love to cook. Cooking calms me down, so when the world begin with the basics and the most important element, which is the control of our muscles. paused, I turned to my kitchen, making food for my Think of the chamber of your womanness as three parts, friends. I know when I move outside of myself to be of the first or opening third, the middle third, and the top service to others, it bolsters me. The smallest of gestures third with the cervix at the crown. will enrich my day. I will always step to be on the side of We begin by learning to isolate and control each section. kindness. The pause also allowed me to change gears, and I decided Get comfortable, I like to lie down. Start by focusing your attention on squeezing or contracting just the opening to focus on getting fit and lean. I dropped a few extra third. Once you succeed, keeping it contracted to continue pounds, upped my yoga practice, and found creative to the middle, hold both sections tight then move to the ways around the property to exercise. top third. Your entire womanness is contracted. Now go in As I mentioned earlier, my animals are a great source of reverse, release just the top third, then the middle, and my emotional stability. lastly the opening. You can think of it as drawing the energy up to one section at a time, then releasing it in What inspires you to write and in general? reverse. It could be equated to three-part breathing in some forms of pranayama. People. Humanity and the human spirit inspire me daily. Practice until til it becomes a controlled and fluid When I hear of how people struggle with their lives and movement. seem so unhappy, it always brings me The Let Go. The solution is so easy, yet incredibly difficult, let go of those Once this is mastered, You can stimulate your partner things which make you miserable. with the strength of your muscles alone and he in turn if

What is your practice around writing? Is it organic or timetabled? A bit of both. I aim to write every day. I have been known to be up in the wee hours pursuing an idea. I am a night owl who is training to be a morning person.

Thank you for your article on Yoga and sex. Tantric sex sounds incredible. Can we practice tantric ‘sex’ alone? Ah, big subject. There is scientific research orgasm

he has also mastered his control can activate areas within you, you never knew existed. What was once vigorous full-body exertion to attain your pleasure lessens and instead, it magnifies your pleasure a thousandfold. This is when the Taoist techniques transform from a physical act to a spiritual practice.

Connect with Charisse here Instagram @letgo_now www.theletgo.com

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F R A N K

L O V E S

Mindful pod casts PEACE OUT Kids learn best through storytelling, and that’s exactly what the Peace Out podcast does best. Each podcast features a short story that guides kids through breathing and visualization exercises. Use it at bedtime to help your child wind-down before sleep or as a way to help them find calm during the day. bedtime.fm/peaceout

THE MINDFUL MINUTE Trying mediation for the first time can be intimidating, especially if you have no idea what to do. Fortunately, there are teachers like Meryl Arnett of The Mindful Minute podcast, that take you through simple and concise guided meditations that allow you to get out of your own head (and your own way) while learning how to live in the moment. podcasts.apple.com

I SHOULD BE MEDITATING If you’ve ever thought to yourself: “I Should Be Meditating,” then this podcast is for you. Adopting a daily practice of meditation takes passion and commitment, something that Alan Kilma, the host of I Should Be Meditating knows all too well. Based on decades of experience, his talks and guided meditations can help you learn new tips and approaches to being present in life while moving towards a deeper understanding of your own meditation journey. ishouldbemeditating.com/

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Health & Wellness

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Sexy Summer Skin and Your Health I

Dr Louise Wiseman MBBS BSc(Hons) DRCOG MRCGP

n these extraordinary times, freedom to be in the sunshine is golden. Time indoors has been protracted and whether or not you decluttered your beauty products in lockdown, take a peek at the ingredients that would do better on your face than languishing in the drawer or kitchen cupboard. It is never too late to give skin some TLC whether it is going to only be seen indoors or flaunted in ‘le jardin’. (any brands are from my opinion, not sponsored and you must research your own preference)

SUN PROTECTION You need protection from skin cancer and wrinkles – you can be vain and be sensible. Pesky, irregular pigmentation may be something you never had to do battle with before. Vulnerable areas – foreheads and tops of ears, legs in women - are common sites for skin cancers. Report any changes in an existing mole or any new moles/lumps/bumps to your doctor. Itching, bleeding, scaling, redness, change in pigment all need to be checked and many Dermatologists advise an annual review with a doctor – especially important on those areas we cannot see ourselves. We tend to get benign (harmless but often unsightly) lesions like skin tags around our bra and neck line line as we age. This tends to be where clothes rub. Harmless warty lesions can also arise. It is better to be safe and get your skin checked if new things have arisen. Sun Protection needs to be broad spectrum, against accelerated ageing (UVA) and burning (UVB). Research shows gals who used it for a year had less deepened wrinkles, skin mottling and better skin texture. Don’t forget backs of hands and your chest.

SPF on sunscreen only refers to UVB blocking. Look at UVA star rating as well – you need 4 or 5. Many makeup products also carry SPF – even bronzers have been designed with broad spectrum coverage. Remember a hat and sunnies too. Examples – La Roche Posay Anthelios, Heliocare 360, Tropic, Elemis www.thefrankmagazine.com


PIGMENTATION BE GONE

THE EYES HAVE IT

Treatment will need to be supported by subsequent use of sunblock or you are wasting your pennies as it will come back. Specialists (always see a qualified dermatologist for advice) may prescribe lightening treatments such as hydroquinone, kojic acid or even zap pigmentation with intense pulsed light (IPL) after careful consultation.

Eyes are the windows to your soul but you might not like everyone seeing how many late nights that soul has seen! Skin around the eyes is super delicate. Studies show many skip this area with sunblock.

At home you can try niacinamide (Vitamin B3) products – they improve the skin barrier, slow melanin production, reduce blotchiness and I believe should be a routine part of our skincare over 30. Niacinamide can be found in gentle cleansers which don’t strip the barrier for mature skins. B3 is found in meat, fish, eggs, milk, grains and greens. Examples – Cerave, Olay, Gow, The Ordinary, La Roche Posay

Eye bags love to be minimised by a caffeine in creams/gels and a weak retinol (if tolerated) can have a beneficial effect here. Look for something with peptides to give the collagen making cells (fibroblasts) something to work with. It’s all ongoing research but giving peptides to our skin can help with the plumpness from the collagen and give us a real anti-ageing boost. Peptides are short chains of proteins that are the building blocks for collagen. Examples – Tropic, La Roche Posay, Estee Lauder, The Ordinary, Clinique

BRIGHTENING We all need brightening up right now! Vitamin C products reduce some of the ‘photo-injury’ caused by the sun on our skin, help restructure collagen and can maintain the fatty ‘waterproof’ layer of our skin. There is a dilemma in getting the vitamin C to not ‘destabilise’ in the bottle or on your face. Keep serums in the dark and use promptly. Don’t put it on then go sunbathe. Try using at night and see if over a period time your complexion evens out. More importantly include vitamin C in your diet. Brightening can come along with a whole host of benefits from using a retinol product. These are derivatives of vitamin A (the stronger arsenal of which comes as retinoids on prescription – something to discuss with your Derm as side effects are potent). Retinol can aid production of collagen and revolutionised the skin care market. It can still irritate and you must sunblock (seeing that pattern here – block or block that’s the choice). Start with a weaker concentration, use alternate days and build up. If after a very strong percentage you will need a prescription but beauty store supplies actually pack a potent punch. Start as low as 0.2%. Too high a percentage may theoretically thin the skin. You may need a richer moisturiser alongside this to replenish. Examples – Olay Regenerist, La Roche Posay, The Ordinary, Boots No 7, Medik8

“We tend to get benign (harmless but often unsightly) lesions like skin tags around our bra and neck line line as we age. This tends to be where clothes rub. Harmless warty lesions can also arise. It is better to be safe and get your skin checked if new things have arisen.”

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ACNE AT MY AGE!?! Female adult acne is the last thing most woman would wish for. We suffer more than men due to changing hormones, contraception or menopause. Seek professional help as scarring can be prevented. Over the counter/prescribed treatments can be used and well after the storm vitamin C and skin brightening procedures can help- still moisturise and cleanse gently. Choose non-comodogenic products and keep your phone clean. Reducing processed food and dairy can help but watch you still have calcium and minerals from other sources.

FURTHER EATING FOR SKIN GLOW Betacarotene (our bodies convert to an active form of Vitamin A) comes from sweet potatoes, oranges and helps health skin production and gives us some sun protection. Vitamin E (think avocadoes, sunflower seeds, almonds) keeps cells healthy and like C is an antioxidant helping protect from the ravages of life – it moisturises and heals! Oily fish (think tuna, salmon, sardines, mackerel) have omega 3 fatty acids great for strengthening our skin. Water, Fruit and Vegetables for all minerals and nutrients. You might choose to look at emerging data about collagen supplements and whether that is right for you. We lose collagen every year from our late 20s. Look at ingredients carefully – something simpler may be better. We are seeing research that collagen does help reduce wrinkle depth, improve wound healing and may help joint repair but I like it to be clean and simple, not with a load of ingredients that haven’t been studied to see if they cause harm. The source has to be ethical and not contaminated. Bone broth is an option but realistically make sure you have healthy lean proteins – chicken, salmon, eggs, chickpeas, lentils. Tofu or edamame for example if vegan. Watch your caffeine and alcohol intake as these can make flushing, redness and broken blood vessels worse.

EXFOLIATE OR NOT The rough scrubs of 15 years ago should be left on the shelf. Over 50 skin is thinner and more vulnerable. Ladle on a scrub with hot water and you are scratching too deep. You can cause microtears in the epidermis so go more graceful now and use the modern version – milder acids that gently cleanse away that top layer of dead cells and allow other products to get in and your skin to glow. Look for alpha hydroxy acids, lactic (Cleopatra knew what she was doing), salicyclic, glycolic acid – talk to your skin specialist and start gently, remembering that you need to sunblock block block (not your social media stalker but your skin!). Moisturise after the stripping of exfoliation.

“Cleansing should be a mindful process. You might choose to double or triple cleanse e.g. oil then water based but go softly. Tepid water not hot (you don’t want to permanently blow up capillaries on the skin). Don’t drag around your eyes, it won’t spring back. Skin can become more sensitive with age. We are far from delicate flowers, but we have to be nurtured.” www.thefrankmagazine.com


“Female adult acne is the last thing most woman would wish for. We suffer more than men due to changing hormones, contraception or menopause. Seek professional help as scarring can be prevented. Over the counter/prescribed treatments can be used and well after the storm, vitamin C and skin brightening procedures can help.” CLEAN IT UP GIRL Cleansing should be a mindful process. You might choose to double or triple cleanse e.g. oil then water based but go softly. Tepid water not hot (you don’t want to permanently blow up capillaries on the skin). Don’t drag around your eyes, it won’t spring back. Skin can become more sensitive with age. We are far from delicate flowers, but we have to be nurtured. You might want a cleanser that ‘gives back’ ceramides and moisturisers so you are not stripping the skin. If you use a toner it can’t be like alcohol paint stripper toner from the 80s - it should have moisturising ingredients and be spritzed over and left to sink in. Korean beauty loves this approach and toners are often lovely nurturing flower essences.

GET THE ROLLER OUT Mindful skincare can have a bit of indulgence. This can range from a £10 jade roller to a sophisticated massage kit for your face – do your research if you are going to invest and go on recommendation – but finishing a cleanse with a cool roll over might be a treat. Anything that gets the circulation going should in theory benefit skin whether an anti-ageing effect is proven or not. Follow the lines to drain to your lymphatics and care around the delicate eye area again.

Remember any changes take time to show in your skin, be patient. Louise, a former NHS GP is now an author, freelance health writer and a medical editor at www.netdoctor.co. uk This is just a quick glimpse into skincare and health – read more about keeping your body, mind and outlook strong in Louise’s forthcoming book to be released in September‘Your Best Life – A Doctor’s Secret Guide to Radiant Health Over 40’ which you can preorder through Louise’s website www.drlouisewiseman.co.uk/thebook Or follow Louise on Instagram @drlouisewrites Twitter @drlouisewrites

THE DECOLLETAGE Vulnerable, exposed and delicate. Your chest and neck area are unique. Something that does not upset your face may cause havoc here. Take care with skin preps unless they are specific to the area –if you seek help from the derm they may give you stronger products but tread carefully. Don’t forget these areas along with your hands as you go to bed at night. Examples – Moo, Prai www.thefrankmagazine.com


W E L L B E I N G

The Pleasure Principle

By Michelle Adams BSc (Hons) MBAcC LicAc MSc Traditional Chinese and Five Element Acupuncturist, Nutritionist

How do you converse with the ideal of pleasure in your life? Are you living a predominantly pleasurable life? A life drenched in the frequency of your wildest desires? Life can often feel effortlessly rudimental at times. Of course, this is dependent upon how efficiently you are dripping in the divinity of your enchanted existence. In the realms of humanity, we are seamlessly programmed from a young age to focus, to utilize direct thought and analytical thinking. We are programmed to flourish in the frequency of the psyche. In this forced blossoming, we forget embodiment...to sink deep into the body and its ancestral wisdom and energy centers. It is here we can truly experience the untainted pleasures of our aliveness. In the cave of treasures that is the human vessel we, with intention, inner-standing, and compassion can activate different dimensions of how we direct our human escapade. www.thefrankmagazine.com


Pleasure is an act of enjoyment. In its actualization, it can be a shared thought that it is something we plan to ignite, something that we earn. We work hard, play hard. We find time for pleasure, rather than allowing its caress to be an interdependent extension of our lives. Worthiness plays a large fragment on how much pleasure we allow ourselves to absorb. Deeming ourselves worthy of pleasure also effects the depths of pleasure we allow to marinade when dipping our toes in the crystal clear waters of enjoyment. This can be felt in our most intimate moments such as our sexual encounters. Being in full submission to the allowing of embodied pleasure has a direct entanglement on how much pleasure we receive in these or any other moments. Making plans to enjoy a night of adventure, only to put a curfew on your time for fear of responsibility, can dampen the unfolding of the evening. It can draw away from truly experiencing the pleasure of the mysterious present. It can also be felt in our settling of relationships and the homes we build for the holy sanctuary of security and fear. Yet, we are creation and creator alike.

internal and structural health, but our emotional stability and ability to receive, allow and experience pleasure. Let’s lean into our sacral authority. When tapped in, it is the animal like intuition...the knowing. The sacral chakra is one, and the second of our seven chakras. It is located in the dantian, a place where essence and spirit are stored. The dantian is located just below the navel in the center point of your lower jiao or abdomen. Partnered and associated with the vibrant colour orange and the element of water, it can also be found dwelling in the lumber spine and corresponding with the genitals and lower back. The orange is representative of the vital impulse and its expression of creativity, sensuality and sexuality. Water is representative of the mysterious feminine relationship with consciousness and the present, though it also represents the harmony between the divine feminine and masculine, the sun and moon, and night and day. Weaknesses that occur in these regions are linked with the lack of potency or a sudden deficiency in this center. The sacral chakra stimulates pleasure and is the center of feeling and emotion. It is active in its role in stimulating our sexuality, desires and sexual needs.

Imagine living a life of pleasure. Imagine finding time for pleasure in every waking moment, rather than cramming it into our restrictive ideas of responsible living. Envision feeling pleasure in every breath, attuning to the beauty that cascades from being present and spontaneous. I think of desire as part of our vital energy or Qi. To be passionate is to be full of Qi. The English words desire or passion connotes a feeling of yearning and fervour that includes sex, but can also reflect our strongest feelings about life. In the allowing of desire into our every moment from drinking a glass of water, to spreading almond butter, is to live a life of passionate expression. This requires us to fall gracefully into the arms of the moment, finding ourselves in the creative emptiness of the heart space, and allowing our sacral authority to flourish. Our energy centers work tirelessly to steady and balance our internal and external worlds. Unseen and often unacknowledged, these centres become deficient under the weight of daily existence. In this deficiency and starvation, imbalance emerges. In its unveiling, it can not only have a direct result on the physical attributes of our

“Imagine finding time for pleasure in every waking moment, rather than cramming it into our restrictive ideas of responsible living. Envision feeling pleasure in every breath, attuning to the beauty that cascades from being present and spontaneous.

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Manifestations of the sacral chakra can be found present in our: - Feelings - Relationships - Creativity - Emotions - Wellness/Being - Ability to accept change - Empathy - Fantasies - PLEASURE - Intimacy - Warmth - Capacity to nurture self and others

It is fairly easy, once aware, to sense deficiency and imbalance in this sacred space. A lack of pleasure flowing through all areas of your life is the obvious culprit. When this center enters into an under active state and manifest imbalance, lower frequency emotions can float to the surface of your paradigm. This can result in anxiety, detachment, aggression, depression, fear and a poor relationship with boundaries. There can also be a direct connection to unhealthy substances that invoke an artificial sense of pleasure. As within as without, in this knowing, further physical imbalances could also be birthed in the form of menstrual issues, kidney deficiency, joint dis-ease and low energy. Low libido and blood deficiency is also thought to be associated with this center. In what ways do you allow or disallow yourself to feel pleasure? Do you feel challenge and struggle to be the only route to self-actualization? Are you inherently jealous and co-dependent? Is summoning creativity and sensuality a quadrant of your realization that feels and flows with stagnation, rather than in an effortless flow of ease? Perhaps it is time to fall into the realms of sacral authority and explore the unlit shadows. As many routes to wholeness, there is not one, but many country roads that lead and support the blossoming of this sacred center. Being that this divine center is our seed of creativity, in order to be able to feel untainted desire and passion for a subject, the nourishment of this chakra requires us to submit to not knowing and relinquishing control.

“Embrace patchouli, ylangylang, bergamot, sandalwood, clary sage, jasmine, orange and rose. These distilled essences will hold the foundation of your sacral chakra and litter it with the perfumed beauty euphoric pleasure.�

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“It is our divine right to live a life of pleasure, to feel as though we are lusting after the beauty of every moment. You have the right to feel passionate and in love with life and yourselves.� Foods that heal the sacral authority: Orange foods seem like an obvious choice, however that is fact. We often complicate the obvious with thought and learned behaviors when creation is actually rather simple. It is us that make it anything less. Oranges, carrots, sweet potatoes, peaches, apricots, mangoes, papayas, pumpkin and mandarins are all sacral foods. Adding fats when indulging in this goodness will help support and absorb their vitamins and minerals. Being the seed of our creativity, and also exploring the idea of simplicity, seeds and nuts are also highly therapeutic for the sacral chakra. Flax, poppy, sesame, hemp, pumpkin and sunflower seeds will be a loving partner in the welcoming back to balance of the chakra.

Water Being of the water element, it is no huge surprise that water plays a wonderful part in the re-connecting of balance within the sacral chakra. Running a bath that is loaded with beauty helps ignite the nourishing of self-worth. Indulge in the adorning of it with orange flowers and essential oils. If you are blessed to be near the ocean, then also find yourself there. Its vast unexplored wildness is a representation of the manifestation of the sacrum.

Essential Oils Embrace patchouli, ylang-ylang, bergamot, sandalwood, clary sage, jasmine, orange and rose. These distilled essences will hold the foundation of your sacral chakra and litter it with the perfumed beauty euphoric pleasure.

Yoga and Dance A huge amount of our emotions, from an embodiment perspective, are stored in the hips. Hip openers are pivotal in the alignment of this center. Movement in the form of dance is highly beneficial for this center. Allowing the body to speak through free flow movement is an act of embodied healing. It is our divine right to live a life of pleasure, to feel as though we are lusting after the beauty of every moment. You have the right to feel passionate and in love with life and yourselves. It feels as though in the finding of beauty within, and allowing pleasure to permeate our existence (and not from material use but spiritual vibrancy), that we not only bring vibrancy into our own lives, but are able to mould and effect the frequency of life around us.

Be open to pleasure, it has never escaped you. It is just waiting for you to acknowledge it. michelle@thecloudgate.co.uk

www.thecloudgate.co.uk The Cloud Gate, The Woods Studios, Unit 15-24 Botanic Square, London City Island, London, E14 0LH www.thefrankmagazine.com


H E A L T H

C O A C H

The NoNonsense Guide to Fat Loss For Women Over Forty Sandie Fredriksson is the creator of

Healthy Habits for Life. She teaches busy women how to lose weight, have more energy and put their health on autopilot.

Sandie shares the one simple truth that will liberate you from fad dieting forever.

I

t sneaks up on you, usually in your mid to late 40's. Without warning, your carrying an extra ten to fifteen pounds. And as if that wasn't enough, this unwelcome fat has chosen to settle right around your belly.

Even if you consider yourself to be an active person with a healthy diet, losing weight after 40 can be an infuriating uphill battle. What most people don't realise is that 70%of the energy you burn each day has nothing to do with how much you move, walk or exercise. It is simply your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the energy you burn by Whilst your been busy running your home, volunteering merely existing. As you move through your 40's your at your kids school, impressing your boss and delivering BMR starts to slow down which means your body requires to your clients, your body has been quietly playing a cruel around 200 fewer calories to accomplish its most basic trick on you. Or so it seems. (basal) life-sustaining functions. Reasons for this include the natural ageing of your metabolic processes, hormonal But whats really going on? changes and gradual loss of precious muscle mass.

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Why precious? Because the more muscle you have the more calories your body burns at rest. However, after 30, we start to lose muscle at a rate of 3-8% per decade, and this is negatively compounded if you have a history of yo-yo dieting. Each time you stopstart an overly restrictive diet, you risk losing more and more muscle. Which means despite all the starvation and missed parties over the years, what youve actually been doing is grinding your metabolism lower. Quite simply, if you remain oblivious to your slowing metabolism and consume the same amount of food and alcohol as you did in your 30s, it will get harder and harder to keep the weight off in your 40s and beyond. And at the very time of our lives that we need to be firing up our metabolic engines, we are often less active than we have ever been. Allowing our waking hours to revolve around our kids and desk jobs can leave us overstretched and tired, and being sedentary, stressed and sleepdeprived is a bad combination when it comes to managing our weight. It’s hardly surprising that with little time and energy for the gym, another fad diet might feel like your only option.

The only way to lose fat is to consume fewer calories than

you burn. As a rule of thumb, you need a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories per week to lose one pound of fat. Breaking that down into a 500 calorie deficit target a day is a good place to start, but once you get in the swing of things, using a weekly deficit target of 3,500 will give you the flexibility to shift your calories to match your social calendar. The trick is to implement your calorie deficit in a way that feels freeing and sustainable. That might mean you give yourself permission to take a slower, more gradual approach and instead aim for half a pound of fat loss per week. So, rather than blinding you with jargon and dressed-up methods, I want to take you straight to the calorie deficit principle and teach you the evidence-based strategies around weight loss that I use with my clients.

Many of the women who come to me with weight loss as their goal have a history of failed dieting. Their brains have been fried with misinformation resulting in a dent in their confidence and a side-serving of low self-esteem. Ketogenic, low-carb, low-fat, intermittent fasting - there are dozens of methods to choose from, and there is also a steady stream of adverts and influencers on your Insta feed looking to profit from your confusion. But what they arent doing is telling you about the one thing that really matters. Its the principle behind every single one of these cleverly-packaged strategies, and that is the calorie deficit principle.

''It sneaks up on you, usually in your mid to late 40's. Without warning, your carrying an extra ten to fifteen pounds. And as if that wasn't enough, this unwelcome fat has chosen to settle right around your belly.'' www.thefrankmagazine.com


Calculating your daily calorie target There are a number of free tools on the internet that will help calculate the calorie deficit for your weight loss goal and therefore your calorie target per day. My favourite is fitnesschef.co.uk, which I used to arrive at my personal 1450 daily calorie limit. Now, it’s about how you apply this number to the food and drinks you consume. It’s important to understand that all calories are created equal when it comes to weight loss. Which means 100 calories of crisps are the same as 100 calories of chicken, even though these different calorie sources are utilised in the body in different ways.

Tracking your calories consumed

''Whilst walking is one of the best things you can do for your health and weight, I strongly encourage my clients to include resistance training in their schedule. This is an efficient way to ramp up your calorie burn as well as to improve your posture and preserve bone density. ''

This requires you to become a label-reading detective. When I first started, I used kitchen scales and measuring spoons to help me get to grips with the calories in my food. Now I use the Nutracheck app for tracking. I appreciate counting calories isn’t for everyone, and you may already be following a more intuitive approach, which can work just as well. But the truth is that calories do count, and it is entirely possible to track your calories in a healthy and sustainable way by adopting a patient and flexible mindset. Think about it like this, dedicating a couple of weeks to educating yourself about the calories in your food is just as valuable as monitoring your spending to balance your finances. Too many weeks and months consuming more calories than your body needs will ultimately lead to weight gain.

Beware the healthy halo effect Underestimating the calories in your meals, snacks and drinks is an easy trap to fall into, especially when it comes to healthy eating. You can be organically and nutritiously putting on weight, just as you can be losing weight eating junk food. Remember, as long as you are in a calorie deficit you will be losing fat. Once you understand this you will be able to include bread, pasta and anything else you enjoy in your diet. Of course, aiming for the majority of your calories to come from nutritious whole food sources is a sensible approach - our ageing bodies need all the help they can get. But leaving a little room each week for the foods you eat for pleasure will help your adherence long-term.


''One of the biggest mistakes I see my clients making is an underconsumption of protein. You should be aiming for 1-2 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight per day, spread evenly across all your meals and snacks.'' Pay attention to portion size It blew my mind when I realised there were 300-500 calories in a single avocado. And that the bowl of nuts I mindlessly munched through every afternoon was loading me up with an easy 300 calories a day. That’s a big chunk of my 1450 calorie target! I'm not saying to forgo these nutritious, calorie-dense foods - we need healthy fats in our diet. But instead, consider adjusting your portion sizes and opt for half an avocado and a smaller portion of cashews and almonds. Top Tip: Being sleep deprived can negatively impact your hunger hormones (ghrelin and leptin) causing you to overeat and make poorer food choices.

Prioritise protein in your calorie target One of the biggest mistakes I see my clients making is an underconsumption of protein. You should be aiming for 1-2 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight per day, spread evenly across all your meals and snacks. This will keep you feeling fuller for longer, balance your blood sugar and also help build and maintain that precious muscle mass we talked about. Again, spend a bit of time growing your awareness of the protein content of the foods you consume - one egg (6g of protein), 100g of skinless chicken breast (30g of protein), 100g of boiled chickpeas (9g of protein), and use the internet or an app like Nutracheck to help you.

Get honest about your alcohol intake

the 175 calories in a 250ml glass of wine for the 100 calories in a skinny bitch (vodka, fresh lime and soda) is a classic weight-loss hack.

Increasing the daily calories you burn We already know that 70% of our total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) consists of our BMR. So what about the other 30%? The majority of this is made up from our planned exercise (running, training in the gym etc.) and our daily activities such as walking, emptying the dishwasher and taking the stairs rather than the escalator. By increasing our activity we can increase the number of calories our body burns, which will positively impact our calorie deficit.

Estimating the calories you burn People have a tendency to overestimate how many calories they are burning through exercise. Here are some examples which might surprise you: burning just 100 calories (that’s one gin and tonic or a 50g slice of bread) will look something like 10 minutes of running, 22 minutes of walking, 13 minutes of cycling, seven minutes of skipping or 30 minutes of yoga. Which means even if you are very active, you still need to pay attention to the calories inside of the energy equation to be losing fat. As the saying goes: You can’t out-train a bad diet. Above all, when it comes to exercise, choose ways to move that you enjoy and that you can stick to.

The benefits of building muscle Whilst walking is one of the best things you can do for your health and weight, I strongly encourage my clients to include resistance training in their schedule. This is an efficient way to ramp up your calorie burn as well as to improve your posture and preserve bone density. If I haven’t said it enough, let me say it again: maintaining and building precious muscle mass will help keep your fatburning tap on all day. The most successful way of approaching a calorie deficit is through a combination of managing what you consume and being active. Finding a strategy you can stick to is key. I want you to enjoy life without eliminating any specific food groups and still include the occasional pizza, crisps and ice cream!

Cutting back on alcohol is a quick way to make a massive dent in your calories consumed. There are seven calories per gram of alcohol, compared to four calories per gram of www.sandiefredriksson.com protein and carbohydrates (and nine in fat). Swapping @thehealthyhabitscoach

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A

F R A N K

G I V E A W A Y

Stay well and live well all season round with....

Tonic Health!

By Charlotte Dormon Founder, The Good Health Consultancy & Good Health PR

Leading British immune health brand Tonic Health has teamed up with The Frank to offer readers a chance to win 3 months supply of Tonic Health Elderberry & Blackcurrant and Lemon & Ginger sachets to help you stay topped up on all your essential immune supportive nutrients to help you feel your best. www.thefrankmagazine.com


Each sachet can be made into zero sugar hot or cold drink and are each loaded up with 1500mg of vitamin C, Zinc, Vitamin D3, elderberry and ginger that all work super hard to keep you feeling strong and supported.

Giveaway! FRANK has joined up with @tonichealth Prize includes £75 worth of Tonic Health’s best immune support multipack max strength vitamins, with the highest doses of Vitamin C, D, and Zinc plus plant extracts! To enter: 1. WATCH out for our post and LIKE it 2. FOLLOW @tonic_health & @thefrank_mag 3. TAG 2x friends in the comments Competition closes 30th Sept 2020 GOOD LUCK

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I M M U N O L O G I S T

Dr Jenna Macciochi, PhD FHEA

MENTAL HEALTH AND IMMUNITY

With over 20 year experience in the field of immunology, Dr. Jenna Macciochi specialises in understanding how nutrition and lifestyle interact with our immune system. She is on a mission to break down the science behind our health and share the secrets of how to be well, for good.

T

houghts and emotions are an essential part of how we interact with our environment. Our brains and senses are constantly relaying information about what’s going on around us and how we are feeling. Have you ever felt butterflies in your stomach? A speeding heart rate in

anticipation of giving a big presentation at work? These are physiological effects of your emotions. Not only do emotions drive your behaviours, but also shape your health. What does this have to do with the immune system?

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Contrary to what we’ve long thought, psychology and immunology are intimately intertwined. You could think of your immune system as your sixth sense, one of many ‘tools’ the body uses to adapt appropriately to life’s ups and downs. The relatively new but growing field of psychoneuroimmunology - the study of how the mind can affect the immune system can vice versa - is now starting to provide evidence for the interesting yet long puzzling, ancient, anecdotally based notion that how we think and feel can affect our health.

PSYCHONEUROIMMUNOLOGY The link between immunity and psychology is a two-way street. Just think about how you felt last time you had flu – your immune system dealing with the virus overlaps with depressive symptoms like social withdrawal, changes in appetite, inactivity, malaise, sleepiness, failure to concentrate and fatigue. These are clinically what we call ‘sickness behaviours’ – a suite of centrally organised behaviours that evolved for good reason. As the name suggests, sickness behaviours are designed to help us get over being sick, limiting us from doing more damage or spreading an infection any further. These adaptive changes are triggered by the immune systems inflammatory response when fighting infection. The resulting inflammatory chemical messengers in the blood are received by the brain, instructing us to reorganise our priorities in favour of rest and recovery, to conserve our resources for the high energetic costs of fever and efficiently fighting infection.

DEPRESSION Some people with depression show classic sickness behaviour and sick people feel a lot like those with depression, exploring a common cause that inflammation may account for both. The evidence continues to stack up that unruly inflammation could drive mental health issues in some people. The obvious question is what might be causing the inflammation in the first place if you haven’t got an overt chronic inflammatory disease like rheumatoid arthritis or an infection.

Infection is not the only way to trigger inflammation by our immune system; our immunity is also hard-wired to sense danger. The immune system is not fully matured at birth, requiring certain inputs from our environment, not least from our microbiota - the collection of good germs that live on us and in us, most notable in our gut. Diet is also no doubt important, but so is our ability to get adequate sleep and regular daily movement – and ultimately influenced by our upbringing, environment and psychosocial status, plus the weight of each individual’s invisible life load. It starts to look like mental ill health is a kind of autoimmune reaction to modern-day living, a normal response to an abnormal environment, going some way towards explaining it spiralling all over the world. Now you know that there is a strong link between your immune system and depression, it shouldn't be a surprise to hear that your state of mind can influence your immunity. Although much of the medical community remains sceptical, numerous scientific studies confirm the old adage that happiness and healthiness go hand in hand. We can no longer ignore that our mental state can impact our physical health, susceptibility to infection and ability to repair and recover.

“Now you know that there is a strong link between your immune system and depression, it shouldn't be a surprise to hear that your state of mind can influence your immunity. Although much of the medical community remains sceptical, numerous scientific studies confirm the old adage that happiness and healthiness go hand in hand.”

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LONELINESS We are hard-wired to belong to a tribe, with an innate need for social connection. For a long time, a curious link between social isolation and health has been noticed. Although it's suggested that through positive relationships you are more likely to engage in positive health behaviours, like regular exercise and eating well – known as the peer pressure theory of social relationships. Recent work in this area shows that bad habits aren’t entirely to blame for worse health outcomes in lonely people. The immune systems of lonely people seem to behave dramatically differently to those of the nonlonely. Isolation fools the body into thinking it’s in mortal danger, with increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system – responsible for the ‘fight-or-flight’ response – triggering inflammation without applying the built-in brakes that normally keep it in check.

STRESS AND A SENSE OF DANGER One aspect of our modern-day lives that plays into immunological disquiet is something we hear about and mindlessly mention in a negative light on a daily basis: stress. The stress response is a complex natural alarm system that is normal, healthy and, importantly, selflimiting. With a profound impact on our immunity,

shutting it down while we deal with the threat, it is acute, short-term by design. Once a perceived threat has passed, cortisol returns to normal and its impact on our body abates, leaving no lasting detriment to immunity. This biological dynamic doesn’t translate well into modern society, however. Modern life is stressful – not in the way our ancestors experienced stress, but partly because of the mismatch between the modern world and that which we evolved to encounter. For example, screens and technology can activate our sympathetic nervous system, which is part of our biological stress response. Sending an email and waiting on a response activates the sympathetic nervous system. How many of us are doing that all day?

“Learning how to manage stress is important, but just as valuable is learning how you can use ‘good’ stress to make yourself stronger. This is called hormesis, that can make you more resilient and powerful in day-to-day life. This includes things like cold showers, heading to the sauna or trying a different type of exercise challenge.”

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The immune systems of lonely people seem to behave dramatically differently to those of the non-lonely. Isolation fools the body into thinking it’s in mortal danger, with increased activity of the sympathetic nervous system – responsible for the ‘fight-or-flight’ response – triggering inflammation without applying the built-in brakes that normally keep it in check.”

effects of the sympathetic nervous system – aka the fightor-flight or ‘do-something!’ stress-releasing adrenaline/ cortisol part. Engage in regular forest bathing and biophilia. Exposure to nature works primarily by lowering stress, rebalancing the sympathetic and parasympathetic arms. The Japanese art of ‘shinrin-yoku’ (literally ‘forest bathing’). Good stress. Learning how to manage stress is important, but just as valuable is learning how you can use ‘good’ stress to make yourself stronger. This is called hormesis, that can make you more resilient and powerful in day-to-day life. This includes things like cold showers, heading to the sauna or trying a different type of exercise challenge.Ultimately looking at it as a long term investment that all us humans must continually address in an age of increased pressure. The key is to put back in what we take out.

TOP TIPS Stressful events will always be a fact of life and loneliness is more prevalent than ever despite being ‘virtually’ more connected than ever. Life will always have challenges and we all have vulnerabilities. But in today’s fast-paced world, we can carry a heavy subjective life-load which can silently jeopardise our health if left unchecked. Supporting both our physical health and mental health can only be explored if we consider our ‘whole’ selves, rather than separating the physical from the mental. There are steps we can take to manage the impact these events have on you including simple, time- and costeffective measures that, when done in small and frequent doses can do absolute wonders for your health. Conveniently, many of these overlap with avoiding triggering unruly inflammatory responses by the immune system – like a sensible lifestyle and remembering the knowns of poor health (not drinking too much, not smoking and not taking drugs). Getting good-quality sleep is also important, as is staying physically fit. (Importantly, mood-boosting exercise doesn’t need to be intense, nor does it need to involve a gym.) Cultivating a strong social network is crucial. Explore resources to support your development of resources like grit, gratitude and compassion. Mind-body therapies like meditation, mindfulness, breathwork and yoga can help boost your vagus nerve – aka the rest-and-digest or ‘chillout’ part. The more we do things that ‘stimulate’ or activate it, like deep breathing, the more we banish the

Shinrin-yoku ( ‘forest bathing’)

Dr Jenna Macciochi, Brighton, UK Author of Immunity: The Science of Staying Well

www.drjennamacciochi.com hello@drjennamacciochi.com Immunity is available on Amazon www.amazon.co.uk

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L I F E

C O A C H

Lock Down

Lethargy

By Kate Tilston

Hands up those not sleeping? Hands up those who just want to sleep? For me, sleep is just escaping me at the moment – it doesn’t matter how early I go to bed, it doesn’t matter how tired I am, how many times I’ve walked the poor dog, I can feel totally exhausted and STILL not sleep. During those most intense phases of lockdown I actually felt strangely energised – I had time in abundance. I managed to get stuff done whether it was for our home, my business, myself and I had a real sense of achievement. I felt hugely grateful to our wonderful NHS and all the amazing key workers who were putting themselves on the frontline for us, that too seemed to give me a sense of energy. I enjoyed reading about and witnessing some fantastic acts of kindness which lifted my spirits. I got to know my neighbours better through the weekly clap for carers which during the early weeks, for me, really raised the energy levels. I felt good about shopping locally, supporting local business. All of these things lifted me through the horrors of Covid 19. Don’t misunderstand me, I also had very dark emotional days where I couldn’t bear the pain & suffering so many were experiencing, at times it drove me to my bed, my face blotchy from crying BUT there was a sense of people pulling together to fight this dreadful thing.

“I personally think we have hit lockdown lethargy. Now reality of the “new normal” is hitting home. We are watching the after effects of the pandemic yet we’re still in it.”

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Where are we now? I personally think we have hit lockdown lethargy. Now reality of the “new normal” is hitting home. We are watching the after effects of the pandemic yet we’re still in it. People are exhausted, I’m taking enquiries from people who have been made redundant, people who are scared about what the future looks like – it’s incredibly sad. I’ve had more enquiries from people whose mental health has been really affected and they just don’t know where to turn and that is just the tip of the iceberg. No wonder we’re not sleeping or want to sleep too much! No wonder we’re all feeling a bit worn out. Even our regular TV programs that we’ve escaped with in the past have disappeared and we’re having to watch endless re-runs of everything…..it’s all a bit PANTS!

So, what can we do? As with most things it’s about balance and perspective. Yes, the world can feel depressing and uncertain right now BUT that will not always be the case, we need to find the joy! One of the things I’m doing right now is writing my gratitude diary again. Each night I write the following in my journal (always good to have an excuse to buy a nice new notebook).

* 3 Successes – these can be anything that you consider to be a success, I managed to get out of my pyjamas today, I managed to go food shopping without having a panic attack. I actually understood my 12-year old’s maths problems? Depending on your type of day will depend how you measure the success. * 3 things that brought me joy – chocolate, wine…….dog walk on the beach. Something one of your children said that made you laugh. If it made you smile, if it brought you joy, write it down. * 3 things you are grateful for – it can be as simple as “I’m grateful that I have clean drinking water by just turning on a tap” or “I’m grateful that I could be available for my friend having a hard time right now”. Write them down. If it’s too hard to think of 3 things, start with just the 1 and build up gradually. If you do this every day, you will start to notice a difference in mood, you will start to feel a little more positive and a little less lethargic. This is not going to solve everything; it might even feel a bit flippant. You will still have rubbish days, but it might lessen the number of rubbish days and help you refocus on some of the good stuff out there? Finally, be kind to yourself. “This too shall pass.” It might take some time, there might be some tough days ahead BUT there are also moments of great joy out there in the world if we look for them and they WILL raise our energy levels. Focus on those, avoid the negative stuff where you can and celebrate anything that is worth celebrating. We all need to be hopeful as that is what will keep us moving forward.

“If it’s too hard to think of 3 things, start with just the 1 and build up gradually. If you do this every day, you will start to notice a difference in mood, you will start to feel a little more positive and a little less lethargic.”

Kate Tilston Practical Life Coaching www.katetilston.co.uk kate@katetilston.co.uk

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M I N D F U L

M E D I T A T I O N

Mindful Sex

By Michelle Langer Certified Wellbeing Instructor

Michelle is an Executive Coach and Certified Wellbeing Instructor who has been teaching wellbeing, meditation and mindfulness for over 13 years, helping leading companies, individuals and renowned talent to address the causes of stress and unlock peak performance. She was trained personally by Dr Deepak Chopra at The Chopra Center for Wellbeing.


“Michelle, can you write 1000 words on mindfulness and sex?” “Only 1000 ? I could fill a book”. Like the act itself, there are multiple approaches to the subject. I’m going to focus on the three which I think are most poignant – 1/ how practising mindfulness in the moment can make sex more enjoyable and longer lasting, 2/ how meditation itself can be an erotic experience and 3/ how one of the key benefits of a regular meditation practice is the reduction of anxiety which can be a major barrier in the bedroom. Two thoughts to kick off. It’s no coincidence that the term ‘mind blowing’ is used in connection to sex. If you try to remember what you were thinking about during your most enjoyable sexual encounters the answer is probably nothing. Meditation is about going beyond thought, letting go of expectations, surrendering, and being totally immersed in the present moment. Just like good sex. The second interesting connection is in the word for mindfulness itself. As Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, pointed out, the Chinese character for ‘mindfulness’ combines the ideograms for presence and heart. It literally means presence of heart, so when we combine the practice during intimacy there is an opportunity to boost the emotional connection and heighten the experience. So why do we need to connect mindfulness and sex? Well the latest sex survey published in 2018 by Public Health England found that 42% of women complained of a lack of sexual enjoyment. The most recent National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles, published in 2013, found that people in Britain were having less sex than they once did, with low sexual function affecting about 15% of men and 30% of women. Problems with sexual response were common, affecting 42% of men and 51% of women reported one or more problems in the last year. One reported factor inhibiting enjoyment is the distracted mind. An average adult spends 47% of their life not in the present moment, wandering to thoughts of past events or ruminating about the future (Harvard, 2010). The increasing pace of life and the invasion of technology into every aspect of life hasn’t helped. Do any of these sound like familiar scenarios? You are in the

heat of the moment and your mind wanders off to your to do list of chores, or the phone rings and you debate whether to answer, or you’re looking at the clock wandering how long this is going to go on for because you’re sleep deprived? So where does mindfulness fit in? Mindfulness is putting your mind and body in the same place. Whichever method you follow, it’s about finding an anchor for your focus and learning to return to that anchor when you’re distracted. This anchor or focus for awareness could be a mantra, the breath or sensations in the body. Regular practise is like building a muscle so that you become more aware when thoughts or other distractions enter your mind, and you’re better able to let them go and return to your anchor. Applying this in the bedroom means replacing mind-filled sex with mindful sex, where you’re totally immersed in the physical sensations of your body. It doesn’t mean you’ll never have distracting thoughts. It means that you’re more able to let these distracting thoughts go without getting stuck on them.

Women can experience physical arousal, such as increased blood flow to their vagina, but it barely registers mentally. “There may be a strong physiological response, [but] there’s no awareness in their mind of that response. We know that healthy sexual response requires the integration of the brain and body, so when the mind is elsewhere – whether it’s distracted or consumed with catastrophic thoughts – all of that serves to interrupt that really important feedback loop.”

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Professor Brotto


Couples therapist Diana Richardson describes mindful sex in terms of “being sex instead of doing sex”, directing our attention inside the body and using it like a sensing organ. She has spent 25 years studying tantra, the union of sex and meditation, and exploring the ways that sex is affected by the mind. She points out that by thinking that orgasm is the reason to have sex, and often the agenda, it makes us climax or goal oriented with for example, getting it right, pleasing partners, timing it right – which can bring stress. She describes nine principals to achieving mindful “sex with awareness” which if followed can make the experience much longer and a more bonding experience –

1. Make a date and put 2-3 hours aside undisturbed. 2. Your intention is to be present and aware as possible. 3. Scan for tensions in the body repeatedly. 4. Breathe deep and slow into the belly and genitals. 5. Enter consciously and slowly with lubrication. 6. Instead of mechanical friction, move with awareness and slow to increase sensitivity. 7. Have eyes wide open and make eye contact. 8. Share in words what you experience. 9. Have a sense of humour. This guidance is applicable to couples of all orientation. Diana uses a fire metaphor to contrast tantra mindful sex to everyday mind-filled sex. If you add wood to a fire quickly, there are blazing flames but it’s not long before the fire dies down. “If you add the wood piece by piece and keep the flame low, that same fire will last the whole night through”.

Turning now to how mindfulness in itself can be an erotic experience. Sometimes when people enter a deep meditative state, it can stimulate the sacral chakra (energy centre) which is located in our lower abdomen and is the seat of sexual energy. During my group meditation and mindfulness courses I teach the science behind meditation, research into how it works and the benefits, before giving participants their first experience of meditating with a personal mantra. Afterwards they share what happened, both the challenges and the enjoyment. Occasionally I see a flushed face and I know exactly what’s happened that won’t be shared. More often this reaction happens when people meditate on their own and they return to future sessions with appreciative stories from their partners who have also noticed the difference. One client was ecstatic to report that after attending a 45-minute Tranquillo session (her first ever experience of meditation) where we combine guided meditation with live cello, she went straight home to have the best sex of her life. There are studies which back up these anecdotes. One which is often quoted in relation to mindfulness and libido is a study among women at the University of British Columbia, at their Centre for Sexual Medicine. After taking standard tests of sexual function, participants took part in three group mindfulness meditation sessions two weeks apart. Between these sessions, they practiced mindfulness meditation at home and then retook the sexual function tests. The course of meditation was shown to increase the women’s desire, arousal, lubrication and sexual satisfaction. In the post-program feedback, the women rated the mindfulness exercises as the most helpful aspect of the program, which also included advice and guidance from a gynaecologist and sex therapist. Another study at Brown University found that 44 women who took a 3-month mindfulness meditation course reported feeling much more aroused by looking at racy pictures and much more quickly than non-meditators. www.thefrankmagazine.com


“Long term meditators experience increased cortical gyrification (folding) of the brain’s insula. This has been shown to allow the brain to process information faster and some studies have found that women with more gyrified insula experience more intense orgasms."


One explanation is that long term meditators experience increased cortical gyrification (folding) of the brain’s insula. This has been shown to allow the brain to process information faster and some studies have found that women with more gyrified insula experience more intense orgasms. It also comes back to this aspect of mindfulness of uniting mind and body. Psychology Professor Brotto of the University of British Columbia and author of ‘Better Sex Through Mindfulness’, who has spearheaded a lot of the research, explains that “lots of data shows us that women, more so than men, tend to be somewhat disconnected from what’s happening in their bodies”. Her experiments have shown that women can experience physical arousal, such as increased blood flow to their vagina, but it barely registers mentally. “There may be a strong physiological response, [but] there’s no awareness in their mind of that response. We know that healthy sexual response requires the integration of the brain and body, so when the mind is elsewhere – whether it’s distracted or consumed with catastrophic thoughts – all of that serves to interrupt that really important feedback loop.” It can be the same for some men, she says, but “there tends to be more concordance between the body’s arousal and the mind’s arousal. When men have a physical response, they’re also much more likely to have a mental sexual arousal response.” Embedding a regular mindfulness practise, or using

techniques in the moment, can bridge that gap between mind and body. Before giving you some bullet points (why does everything sound like an innuendo) on putting this into action, I think it’s worth exploring how mindfulness reduces anxiety and how this connects to sexual satisfaction. Psychosexual and relationship therapist Kate Moyle says that mindfulness is a common part of therapy, even if it’s not always given that title. “When people have sexual problems, a lot of the time it’s anxiety-related and they’re not really in their bodies, or in the moment. Mindfulness brings them back into the moment. When people say they’ve had the best sex and you ask them what they were thinking about, they can’t tell you, because they weren’t thinking about anything, they were just enjoying the moment. That’s mindfulness.” Regular meditation has also been shown to reduce the amount of cortisol in the brain, the stress hormone. When we are in our fight/flight or stress response, cortisol is produced to direct blood to essential functions like our muscles and away from areas that are not important in that moment, like the genitals. When you’re in fight/ flight mode, sex is probably the last thing on your mind, so libido is reduced. By lowering cortisol production in the body through mindfulness, libido and therefore sexual desire is increased.

“It’s no coincidence that the term ‘mind blowing’ is used in connection to sex. If you try to remember what you were thinking about during your most enjoyable sexual encounters the answer is probably nothing.” www.thefrankmagazine.com


At its core, mindfulness can be defined as present moment non-judgemental awareness. As Professor Brotto points out “Each of those three components are critical for healthy sexual function.” By removing self-judgement, space is allowed for more honest communication with your partner and an ability to express what turns you on. I hope that this can inspire you to take up a regular meditation practise but here are two simple techniques to try out in the meantime –

*Mantra mindfulness - When you find yourself distracted during intercourse, repeat silently to yourself “Be here now”. When your mind tries to drift, escort your focus back to the repeating mantra. You might have to repeat this process multiple times, but each time you return to the mantra you are building your mindful muscle and gaining control over your thoughts. Then move your focus to wherever you’re feeling the most intense physical sensations. Allow your awareness to rest there and notice how the feelings are heightened through your focus. When thoughts try to distract you, follow the same method and escort your focus back to your strongest sensations. *Deep Breathing Space – This can be practised before or during sex to help bring you into the present moment and boost your focus. It should take just three minutes. * In the first minute notice what thoughts are dominating your mind. Don’t judge those thoughts or enter into conversation with them but just list them as if you are a witness looking into your mind. Then move your focus to where you are feeling strongest sensations in the body. You’re not trying to change anything but just observing. * Then move your attention to the breath and where you are feeling it most intensely – nostrils, chest, abdomen or back of your throat. Notice the movement of the body with each breath in an out, the rise and fall which each inhale and exhale. Again you’re not controlling the breath, just watching it. * In the final minute follow the circulation of the breath through the whole body. Feel the cool breath coming into your nostrils and picture it moving down to your feet. Then on the exhale imagine that breath travelling up your body giving energy and vitality to all organs that it passes and notice sensations on your skin. Visualise the whole body expanding on the inhale and letting go on the exhale. There is a 15% discount for FRANK readers who book a course before the end of August 2020 Quote Frank15 For meditation & mindfulness courses, Michelle can be contacted

via www.michellelanger.com or follow her guided meditations on Instagram @michellejlanger www.thefrankmagazine.com


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Prior to intercourse, squeeze a small amount onto your fingers and apply gently around the entrance to the vagina. Suitable for everyday use or as little or as often as required.

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Intimate Pod Casts COSMOPOLITAN'S ALL THE WAY WITH… Curious about the colourful world of sex and relationships? Or just nosy AF about other peoples' love lives? Cosmopolitan's sex & relationships editor, Paisley Gilmour, and deputy beauty editor/sex novice Laura Capon, ask real people real questions about their love and sex lives. Join them for a friendly, informal, and most importantly - fun - look at sex and relationships in an inclusive and non-judgemental space. From a sugar baby and woman who gets orgasmic massages, to a bride who cancelled her wedding last minute, our guests share the intimate details of their romantic and sexual experiences.

podcasts.apple.com SEX PODCAST - COCKTALES: DIRTY DISCUSSIONS Hosted by Kiki Said So and Medinah Monroe, both are in different stages of their romantic lives . As Souncloud puts it, "The women give uncensored accounts about their sex and dating lives, relationships, and what it's really like to navigate the sea of love in Atlanta. On CockTales, the ladies gather over great drinks and discuss the latest happenings in their sexual experiences dating lives."

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SEX PODCAST - PROJECT PLEASURE Anouszka Tate and Frankie Wells host Project Pleasure, the podcast that puts the pleasure back into safe sex and healthy relationships by teaching you all the things you should have been - but probably weren’t - taught at school. Each episode sees them get a Good Debriefing from industry experts, hear moving real-life stories in Switching Positions, and cringe at each others’ pursuits of pleasure in Real Talk. www.roundhouse.org.uk www.thefrankmagazine.com


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Yoga, Sex & Surrender

By Charisse Glenn

Yoga is a dance between control and surrender – Between pushing and letting go – and when to push and to let go becomes part of the creative process, part of the open-ended exploration of your well being. ~ Joel Kramer www.thefrankmagazine.com


Life presents us with the lessons we need to learn. Sometimes they are apparent, and other times, they come to us in a circuitous route. In the ’80s, I lived in NYC and worked in the fashion industry at a high-pressure job. I was overworked, unhappily married, and in need of an escape. As open-minded and go with the flow as I thought I was, I had gotten stuck in the rigidity of what I imagined my life should be. I had found myself living a life that no longer resonated with my true self. Wanting to rediscover my yoga practice, learn a new language, and explore the next phase of my journey, I cut all ties, packed my bags, and moved to Paris. Forty years ago, yoga was not as mainstream as it is now, but I managed to find a studio. As a novice French speaker, I lacked the confidence to ask questions, so I followed the lead of the other students and quietly entered the studio, sitting in Sukhasana ( crossed-legged). I closed my eyes. I could hear as more students entered, and I sensed the teacher had arrived. With our eyes remaining closed, he instructed us to begin class with 3 Om Shanti’s (an opening chant). On completion of the chant, we opened our eyes, and mine met with the magnetism of the teacher, a young man sitting directly in front of me. The thought that crossed my mind was, ‘I cannot have sex with my yoga teacher.’ As we moved through the postures, the teacher, let’s call him G, would come close to whisper an adjustment to me, and my blood would rise. Suffice it to say we spent the next six months together. Growing up when Make Love, Not War posters were everywhere, sex was not dirty nor shameful, it was beautiful. Pre HIV, fear was not in our consciousness; sex could not kill you, so we experimented freely. There was an innocence in the exploration of our bodies. I am fortunate to have had a positive and lovely introduction to the world of sexuality.

“It is said you can reach Nirvana or enlightenment through conscious lovemaking and we were experiencing glimpses of it, a level of connection to a higher realm that transported us out of our bodies. We were experiencing a world where time ceased to exist.” www.thefrankmagazine.com


“Gone was the wham bam thank you mam and going for the climax, instead it was endless foreplay with tantalizing interludes for hours and days.�

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Even as a teen, I had been interested in the deeper realms of sex. I read the Kama Sutra and my mother, who was very open-minded and ahead of her time, gave me The Sensuous Woman. To be fair, she also gave my brother The Sensuous Man. So when G shared with me, he had studied the Taoist philosophy of sex while in India, I was intrigued. Even though I had experimented with some Taoist techniques on my own, I did not grasp the intricacies of spiritual sexuality. Surrender would prove to be my biggest challenge. I didn’t understand that surrender was a matter of trust. But, to trust what? Who? How? I discovered it came down to my willingness to explore my boundaries. But those boundaries could only be found if I trusted. It was a catch 22. We ate, drank, slept, practiced pranayama (breathing techniques), meditation, yoga, and sex. Yes, we practiced sex. As in any asana ( yoga pose), you can do too little, or you can do too much. The subtle body moves deeper into the posture as the breath releases, and the mind moves aside. The art of surrender became my mantra. When I tried to control or do too much, I was guided to do less. Our bodies were entwined, yet instead of a rigorous exertion, it transcended into almost imperceptible movement, just the surrender of our bodies into each other. Gone was the wham bam thank you, mam, and going for the climax, instead it was endless foreplay, with tantalizing interludes for hours and days. The control he exhibited of his manhood and eventually the learned control of my womanness, we could gaze into each other’s eyes, synchronize our breath and go to the moon and back. It became our private joke; I should have been an astronaut because I was leaving the planet so often. It is said you can reach Nirvana or enlightenment through conscious lovemaking, and we were experiencing glimpses of it, a level of connection to a higher realm that transported us out of our bodies. We were experiencing a world where time ceased to exist. It is in this state of otherness that the essence of my yoga practice and, ultimately, my life was revealed to me. I had conflated the concept between relaxation and surrender. Once I was able to let go of my preconceived ideas and limiting mind, I came to understand the release of rigidity into the softness of surrender. The balance between effort and release unlocked the doors to the deeper realms of consciousness. As intoxicating as it was, my time in Paris came to an end. It was time to return to the world from whence I came, moving back to the states. In my time with G, I gained a deep understanding of how important it was to let go. The Let Go became my cornerstone philosophy. To surrender is the ultimate Let Go. “If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it.” Anonymous Connect with Charisse here Instagram @letgo_now www.theletgo.com www.thefrankmagazine.com


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EATS “Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” Ruth Reichl Food Writer www.thefrankmagazine.com


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Eat Yourself

Sexy

Gillian McKeith, Nutritionist and Dietetic specialist is known the world over for her ability to turn around even the worst eaters and set dieters on the path of living healthier and happier lives. Gillian is the author of nine internationally best-selling books and is also the star of several hit television shows including ‘You Are What You Eat ‘and ‘Eat Yourself Sexy’. Join the Gillian McKeith WeightLoss and Wellness Club at www.gillianmckeith.com

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By Gillian McKeith

he mineral zinc is essential for the production of sex hormones, sperm and female lubrication. The B group of vitamins are needed for sex hormones too – plus they support your adrenal glands, helping you deal with stress, reduce lethargy and boost mood. Find zinc in nuts and seeds, beans, eggs, wholegrains and lean meat. And get your fill of B vits from wholegrains, green leafy veg, beans, tuna, chicken, figs, poppy seeds, raw shelled hemp seeds, dates, and nuts such as brazil nuts. Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are needed for sex hormone production. A regular intake of good-quality protein is important – the best sources are sprouted seeds, soya beans (sometimes called edamames, pronounced ed a mammies), quinoa, tofu, fish, and lean chicken. Don’t scrimp on whole-grains, fresh fruit and veg either. Eat plenty of oily fish and flaxseed oil, gold of pleasure seed oil and consider an evening primrose or starflower oil supplement. The following foods are my favourite sources of the nutrients I’ve just talked about, and good foods to choose if you want added sparks between the sheets. www.thefrankmagazine.com


Gillian’s Top Ten Libido-boosting Foods 1.Sauerkraut – rich in compounds that strengthen the liver, where sex hormones are formed 2.Raspberries/strawberries – rich in vitamin C, for circulation, and the seeds contain zinc 3.Pumpkin seeds – packed with EFAs and zinc 4.Quinoa – top source of protein, B vits and zinc. It is nutritionally nourishing to your kidneys, and you need these little devils in fine fettle to keep up your sexual strength! 5.Garlic – increases blood flow to your sex organs 6.Oats – contain the zinc, protein, vitamin E and selenium needed for a healthy reproductive system, particularly sperm. There’s a good reason for the phrase ‘sow your wild oats’. 7.Raw shelled hemp seeds – crammed with EFAs (plus zinc) 8.Ginger – increases blood flow to your sex organs 9.Cinnamon – boosts blood flow to genitals and helps balance blood sugar for stamina 10.Asparagus – loaded with B vitamins including folic acid

And Five Sex-drive Saboteurs 1.Alcohol – loosens inhibitions, but also gives him brewer’s droop. Booze severely depletes your levels of B vits too. 2.Caffeine – just one to one and a half cups a day of coffee, regular black tea, sodas or colas can diminish your sex life, because of the high content of caffeine in these drinks. Caffeine impedes the brain chemical adenosine, which keeps the happy chemical dopamine in proper balance. Instead, drink a rotation of herbal teas such as nettle, dandelion and red clover, or simply hot water with lemon.

the opposite effect. Why? Because the chocolate most of us reach for is loaded with sugar, saturated fat, additives and calories. Not only will it trigger blood-sugar imbalances – and a short burst of energy followed by fatigue – but studies show it can also trigger feelings of guilt and depression. And nothing can dampen your libido more than a combination of fatigue, guilt and depression! Chocolate cravings might be a sign of low levels of minerals such as magnesium and chromium, or bloodsugar imbalances, which need to be checked out. If you crave chocolate, opt for cacao bits or powder instead (find them in the health-food store). Eat the cacao with a naturally sweet food such as fruit. Heaven! Cacao, the actual cocoa bean, is one of the highest natural sources of magnesium. That’s why you sometimes crave chocolate: it’s the body’s way of telling you that it really needs magnesium. However, chocolate is not the solution, whereas cacao bits are a fine way to boost your body’s supply of this particular mineral. A diet high in magnesium protects against the symptoms of hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, joint problems and pre-menstrual tension. 5. Trans Fats – or bad fats from poor-quality oils, fried foods, junk and processed foods, potato chips, crisps, baked goods and fatty meats, negatively affect the brain and sex life by blocking the conversion of good fats into essential brain fats. Unfavourable trans-fat blockers prevent the formation of healthy fats. This creates sexual lethargy.

3.Sugar – regular white sugar causes imbalances in your brain, as cell membranes thicken and swell. Sugar saps your body of brain-building vitamins and minerals; it also interferes with your levels of glucose, the brain’s fuel, causing an increase in disruptive free radicals, which further destroy brain cells and neurons. But your brain is your turn-on mechanism for good sex. As a result, too much sugar kills sex life. I’m not saying that you can’t ever eat a sweet. Just don’t overdo it, and be aware of the effects of getting ‘sugared out’ – not that great sex and gaining weight. 4. Chocolate – most of us think of chocolate as a moodboosting aphrodisiac food but I’m telling you that it has www.thefrankmagazine.com


GILLIAN SAYS . . . A word of caution: there’s no point trying all these herbs at once. Apart from breaking the bank, if one of them works, how will you know which one it is? Pick the one which seems to fit your symptoms best and give it a go for a couple of months – it may take time for the effects to kick in.

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LOVE ON THE MENU On waking, drink a cup of hot water and lemon.

Breakfast Exotic fruit salad with passion fruit, pomegranate, mango and goji berries

Mid-morning snack Veggie juice of celery, beetroot, cucumber, carrots and a small piece of ginger

Lunch Baked vegetables and quinoa (page 166) Mid-afternoon snack Handful of pumpkin seeds and a couple of Brazil nuts

Dinner Steamed sea bass with lemon and asparagus (page 162) Evening snack A couple of figs

Special sexy treat Dates rolled in carob powder or cacao bits (find them in health-food shops)

This is an exert from Gillian McKeith’s book “Wedding Countdown Diet”

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Four Delicious Quickies Here are over four of FRANK's favorite breakfast recipes.

10-Minute Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Ingredients 1 1/2 cups any milk 1 1/2 cups water 2 1/2 cups quick oats 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans 1/2 cup coconut sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon salt Directions 3/4 dried cranberries Bring the milk and water to a boil in a saucepan that's large enough to prevent boil-overs. Reduce the heat to low. Add the oats and then stir in all other ingredients except cranberries. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes until oats are done and oatmeal is thickened to your liking. Serve with cranberries, either stirred in or sprinkled on top.

Oatmeal Blueberry Yogurt Pancakes

Ingredients 1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 container (5.3 oz) siggi's blueberry or vanilla bean yogurt 1/2 medium ripe banana 1 egg 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1/3 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, plus more for serving Directions Place all ingredients except fresh blueberries into a blender; blend until smooth. You may need to add a teaspoon or two of almond milk if batter is way too thick. . Set batter aside to thicken up for a few minutes. If batter is too thin, add a tablespoon or two more of oats and blend again Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with butter or cooking spray and heat over medium low heat. Drop batter by 1/4 cup onto skillet. Add a few blueberries on top. Cook until bubbles appear on top. Flip cakes and cook until golden brown on underside. Wipe skillet clean and repeat with more cooking spray and remaining batter. Makes 4 pancakes. www.thefrankmagazine.com


5 Minute Hot Quinoa Cereal Ingredients Cereal: 1 cup sweetened or unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, 1% milk , or milk of choice cup quinoa flakes - you can find these flakes in the cereal section next to the oatmeal ¼ cup goji berries, dried blueberries or cranberries You can also make this without any of the berries pinch of sea salt Directions In a small to medium sized saucepan set over medium-high heat, bring the almond milk to a boil. When the milk comes to a boil, add in the cup quinoa flakes, the ¼ cup goji berries (or dried blueberries) and a pinch of salt, turn off the heat and give the cereal a stir. Let the cereal sit for 3 minutes, (set your timer here) to allow the quinoa flakes to cook through. Give the cereal and give it a final stir. It will be a lot thicker and creamier. Ladle the cereal into a bowl and top with your favorite toppings! I love topping my cereal with fresh fruit in the summer, like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches, mango, you name it! I always blend in a big spoonful of peanut butter though! Amazing!

Sweet Potato Toast Wash and peel a sweet potato. Slice it lengthwise to anywhere between a 1/4 inch to a 1/2 inch thick. Pop it in the toaster. Keep toasting it until it’s soft. (Usually between 3 and 8 times, depending on how thick your slices are) Put your slices on a small cookie sheet and cook them at 375 F. for about 15-30 minutes, depending on how thick your slices are. They may turn out a bit “softer”, but you should still be able to use them like toast. Toppers * Nut butter and bananas * Almond butter & honey * Sliced eggs and tomatoes * Goat cheese & fresh herbs * Hummus and chopped tomatoes * Avocado, salt and pepper * Apple and cheddar (put the slices in a toaster oven to melt the cheese) www.thefrankmagazine.com


F R A N K

H E A L T H

Passion Plants! Discover three of the best natural Ayurvedic remedies to give your lady garden a little TLC and enhance your sex life.

By medical herbalist Katie Pande

Low libido, vaginal dryness and the inability to orgasm can all be caused by excess stress and hormonal imbalances. Medical Herbalist Katie Pande helps you discover three key Ayurvedic plants to support female hormones and enhance your sex life.

SHATAVARI -

This is such a wonderful herb for women. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries to support every element of female health. Its main action is tackling hormonal imbalance, but by doing so, it really helps to boost libido and keep our stress hormones under control.

Shatavari

The name shatavari is derived from the Sanskrit words shat, which means ‘100’ and vri, which means ‘root’. The word vari can also mean ‘husband’, which may explain why shatavari is often referred to as ‘she who has a hundred husbands’. The association with husbands and fertility is also a reference to the traditional uses of the roots of this plant, which for centuries have been used to treat and nourish reproductive health. Shatavari contains constituents that help balance out the key sex hormones, oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone.

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“One study showed that women who took a daily dose of ashwagandha over a month saw significant improvements in achieving orgasm and sexual arousal due to a significant reduction in sexually related distress.”

Aloe Vera ASHWAGANDHA -

ALOE -VERA -

Most people associate aloe vera with healing skin burns or regulating the digestion However, conditions where there is excessive burning or dryness such as vaginal dryness or cystitis can really benefit from the cooling, antiinflammatory and skin healing effects of this juicy plant. And, no, you don’t need to insert juice into your vagina, all you need to do is drink it three times a day with meals. If you’re not keen on taste, you can get it in capsule form. It’s also excellent at re-balancing gut bacteria, so can prove very beneficial for women who suffer with reoccurring thrush.

Is traditionally used to improve sexual performance and libido in both men and women. When we are stressed we produce a lot more adrenaline and place pressure on our adrenal glands and organs. It is also known in Sanskrit as the herb that gives you the ‘strength of a stallion’. Not letting our imaginations run wild…this is the perfect solution for r low libido and inability to orgasm due to high stress levels. It’s actually more common that you might think for women to have sex but not experience regular orgasm. And, when this becomes the ‘norm’, the situation just continues and often worsens. Ashwagandha is the herbal solution to stress. It strengthens our nervous system and balances the stress response, building our physical and mental resilience to stress. It’s ideal for those who simply feel that they just don’t have the energy for sex and who really struggle to climax as a result. Just so you know…it also has a similar effect on men. One study showed that women who took a daily dose of ashwagandha over a month saw significant improvements in achieving orgasm and sexual arousal due to a significant reduction in sexually

Ashwagandha

related distress. Beyond decreasing the effects of stress it was suggested that ashwagandha’s role in increasing testosterone was also key as this is a factor in androgen deficiency syndrome, which in turn is also associated with female sexual dysfunction. You can purchase Pukka Herbs organic Ashwagandha, Shatavari and Aloe Vera capsules & liquid from Amazon or www.pukkaherbs.com www.thefrankmagazine.com


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W H A T

T O

What Read to Buy

And be Inspired by

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B O O K S

The READING List So as we ease out of lockdown the prevalent theme preoccupying many it would seem is sex. Lockdown has forced many to turn inward and for some this has meant more deeply into their erotic lives. I have to be asked to review some books of a more sexual nature and although Anais Nin is the only book of purely erotic literature the others also have something to offer in that field, but in very different ways.

The Penguin Book of Lesbian Short Stories Edited by Margaret Reynolds I was given this book for my 21st birthday, 26 years ago and it is now that I turn my attention to it. The inscription my friend had written inside reads, “ Welcome to the world of adult fiction’. So we’ll start here. This anthology contains a broad selection of stories from 1897 by Sarah One Jewett to Jeanette Winterson in 1993. Within it are three specially commissioned stories including a graphic novel by the incomparable Alison Bechel. Virginia Wolff, Colette, Margaret Atwood and Emma Donogue are all represented.The scope is broad, the content is erotic and edgy. There are stories about courting rituals, in witty paragraphs for easy digestion ( Merril Mushroom ), there are science fiction stories about women ruling the planet of the future ( Margaret Atwood) and there is a moving erotic tale of a one night stand in the Lower East Side ( Joan Nestle ) and a evocative tale of a girl struggling with her sexual desire for a both woman and a group of junkie boys ( Beth Nugent ). It also includes a brilliantly comic graphic short story by Alison Bechel ( please also read Fun Home) which to my mind seems quite a radical inclusion in a Penguin anthology of written word short stories. I discovered new authors and new areas of special interest. Dive in and see how they effect you, the variety of great writing will, even if nothing else does. www.thefrankmagazine.com

By Eleanor Tattersfield


The Argonauts By Maggie Nelson This is the most startlingly original and provocative book I have read in years. In the opening paragraph Nelson describes a scene with her partner; “…the words I love you come tumbling out of my mouth in incantations the first time you fucked me in the ass, my face smashed against the cement floor of your dank and charming bachelor pad.’ Maggie Nelson is a 46 year lecturer, writer, critic and poet based in LA. This book is a series of autobiographical musings on her experiences of sex, her partner changing sex during the arrival of their baby boy and her philosophical takes on academia, identity, motherhood and sex. It is an insight into a highly intellectual and open mind, one not scared of shocking ( she refers to her predilection for S & M quite often ) one not scared of revealing the inner workings of her sex life alongside the inner workings of her brain. Both are fascinating and eye opening. Almost every paragraph has references to other authors, philosophers, thinkers, feminists and academics. This book touches on so many themes and these detailed references make it also a great tool for exploring any of these topics in greater depth.

“…the words I love you come tumbling out of my mouth in incantations the first time you fucked me in the ass, my face smashed against the cement floor of your dank and charming bachelor pad.’

I find her writing and her mind so interesting it makes me what to enrol at CalArts and do her course. I’m a fan girl and she might even be able to persuade me to whip her!

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Come as you are - The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life by Emily Nagoski

At any age it is not too late to learn more about your vulva. Emily Nagoski, America’s pre-eminent sexual therapist, takes us on a journey to look at, feel, and understand exactly what female genitalia consists of ( largely the identical components of male genitalia ) and how to get the best out of it. For any woman who wants to learn more about her anatomy or any man who wants to know more about his lover’s anatomy, this is the way to start. Her theory about having/not having orgasms is that there are two forces at work; the accelerator (drive ) and the brake ( context: stress, body image, etc.), both are operating to lesser or greater degrees in all people, some have more of one than the other but that it is the combination of these influences that allows us to orgasm. Nagoski offers many examples from her years of sex therapy to illustrate her theory and how to change your ratio if needs be. It’s a fascinating, well written academic look at arousal and pleasure… it can only lead to knowing more if not experiencing much more. It seems she has discovered a surprising new science that will do what it says on the tin! (sorry)

It’s a fascinating, well written academic look at arousal and pleasure… it can only lead to knowing more if not experiencing much more. www.thefrankmagazine.com


The Delta of Venue By Anais N She was the first woman to write erotica and as she says in the preface “ It will show that women have never separated sex from feeling…:

This is the classic book of erotic literature. Anais Nin seems to have achieved the near impossible - to write sex well! She is the supreme master of describing the nuances of sexual encounters, whether brief and suggestive or explicit and complex. They fall off the page without the hideous embarrassment that many descriptions of sex can illicit. The stories range from a Hungarian adventurer seducing wealthy women then vanishing with their money; a veiled woman selecting strangers from a chic restaurant for private trysts; and a Parisian hat maker named Mathilde leaving her husband for the opium dens of Peru. Nin was asked to write all of these varied tales in the 1940s for one client who commissioned her privately to do so. She was the first woman to write erotica and as she says in the preface “ It will show that women have never separated sex from feeling…: Within are tales to cover all sexual desires and depravities… there is bound to be one tale that speaks to you. Most people have a well thumbed story or doggedeared page they keep going back to.

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F R A N K

I N T E R I O R S

Outdoor Living

S

ummer is here and with it – let us hope – the sunshine. It’s been a long four months since lockdown was announced and as we start to gradually return to a ‘new normal’, we are all looking forward to being able to once again start socialising with our friends and family, albeit in small groups. But hey, progress is progress and where better place to do this than our very own gardens? The chances are that this summer, we’re likely to be spending a significant amount of time in our outdoor spaces so we need to start thinking of them as extensions of our inside spaces, furnishing and planning them accordingly.

with Lisa Dawson

Since the weather perked up last month, my message box has been filled with questions about how to make these often overlooked areas a main feature of your home. If your garden or patio has been neglected over the winter months and you’re confronted with soggy cushions and needed social contact. But where to start? Once you’ve an abundance of algae, it’s often hard to see the wood earmarked the perfect space for summer fun, here are my top buys for making your outdoor space the place to for the (overgrown) trees. At the beginning of lockdown, my own garden was in particularly shocking be. condition. Undeterred, I painted the walls, cleaned the “At the beginning of lockdown, patio and furniture and upped my garden game significantly. It didn’t take much - just a lot of hard my own garden was in work - but the change has made me VERY happy. But particularly shocking condition. let me clarify this first - it doesn’t matter how big your outdoor space is. Whether you have a balcony, small Undeterred, I painted the walls, yard, patio or the full grass shebang, it’s perfectly possible to create an outdoor room that brings you joy cleaned the patio and furniture and reflects your own personality. and upped my garden game So as the lockdown rules gradually cool down, it looks as if our social lives are going to be hotting up (well, up to a significantly. It didn’t take maximum of six people anyway). Whether you have a much - just a lot of hard work.” friend popping over for a coffee, an afternoon BBQ or a quick drink and nibbles, creating an ambient and cosy atmosphere is imperative to make the most of this much www.thefrankmagazine.com


House by John Lewis, Salsa Four Seater Garden Table & Chairs £399 www.johnlewis.com

Made, Catania Garden Corner Dining Set £1049 www.made.com

Heals, Wicked 2 Seater Sofa £2016 www.heals.com

Made In Design, Ames Maraca Armchair £1319 www.madeindesign.co.uk

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Beliani, Bermuda Garden Set £1350 www.beliani.co.uk

Maisons Du Monde, Botswana Rattan Effect Chair £140 www.maisonsdumonde.com

West Elm, Portside Expandable Dining Table £1049 www.westelm.co.uk

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Neptune, Pembrey Modular Outdoor Furniture from £945 www.neptune.com

Fenwick, Nassau Dining Set £599 www.fenwick.co.uk

Vondom, Blow Sofa £672 www.connectionsathome.co.uk

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F R A N K

M O T O R I N G

Trailblazer

The Honourable Mrs Victor Bruce Record breaking on land, sea and in the air

When I was asked to write about a woman from history, I immediately thought of Mildred Bruce who, regular readers to Frank magazine may have noticed I had mentioned her previously, but then I thought about all the other women, in one way or another have shaped the motoring industry as we know it today. Firstly, Bertha Benz who, was the business partner and wife of automobile inventor Karl Benz. She was the first person on 5th August 1888 to drive an automobile over a long distance, rigorously field testing the patent Motorwagen, helping to develop brake pads and solve several practical issues during the 65 miles trip. Then we have Camille du Ghast who came a magnificent 33rd out of 122 drivers in the Paris to Berlin 1901 race, in her 20 horse powered Panhard Levesso car. During the 1903 Paris-Madrid, Ghast was amongst the leaders of the race, came across a catastrophic accident of an overturned De Dietrich car, and got out and helped to clear the carnage. However, a year later entering the Berlin-Paris race she was excluded from the race on the grounds of ‘female excitability’. A true fighting spirit, Camille du Ghast certainly started the wheels turning for other women at the dawn of the century.

by Photojournalist Lara Platman

Elizabeth Junek who lived throughout the 20th century

made the Targa Florio race in Sicily her thing. Along with her husband for the mechanic, Junek soon provided a sublime driving style with her Bugatti 35b. She was nicknamed ‘Queen of the steering wheel’ and I can begin to understand why, as Madam Junek was the first person to mark out the roads on the course with chalk allowing her to foresee where the corners and obstacles were, enabling her to drive smoothly and effectively and so much faster than her rivals who relied on memory alone. Her racing career ended abruptly when her husband was in a fatal accident during the German Grand Prix. Devastated she sold all of her Bugatti cars, but to this very day, the system of the Tulips Map for rally courses exists created by the glamorous trailblazer. Dorothy Levitt, the world’s first female land speed record holder, carried a glass mirror on a stick to use for her lipstick and to see what was following her, requested from car designer Selwyn Edge, that he place a glass screen on the car, in front of her face so she didn’t have to catch so many flies in her gauze head scarf whilst driving along and another lady racer Kay Petre, demanded a convenient place for her gloves. The windshield, glove compartment and rear view mirrors are with thanks to these insightful women.

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Amy Johnson, Mildred Bruce, Winifred Spooner

Bertha Benz

I am fascinated by this generation of women who simply didn’t know they couldn’t – who all knew they could! It wasn’t considered odd or exotic, it was just part of life, a time for speed, rallies, time trials and good solid racing around a circuit. When Brooklands motor circuit opened in 1907, women raced there right from the start along with competing in road rallies and reliability trials. So forgive me as I return to Mrs Bruce who, for me encapsulates everything that a trailblazer is.

in Monte Carlo after 70 hours of nonstop driving. Mrs Mildred Bruce was the first woman to win the Monte Carlo Rally in 1927.

The Monte Carlo Rally began in 1911, but during the twenties with such interest from manufacturers and keen driving enthusiasts wanting to expose the quality and durability of their cars, the rules allowed competitors to select their own departures far and wide across Europe. Cities such as Warsaw, Gibraltar, Constantinople and John O’ Groats were all part of the new trend and by the 1920’s, the whole of Europe wanted to enter the Monte Carlo Rally, including a host of lady drivers.

“:As the world turned to the war, Bruce became part of the Air Ministry team who worked on aircraft to aircraft refuelling in the air, whilst her air transport soon to turned to war time demands by starting a factory to make fuselages”

Thick fog for fifty miles around Carlisle, mist on the Yorkshire Moors, heavy snow falling from London onwards… we find Mrs Bruce travelling a total of seventeen hundred miles for the Monte Carlo Rally in 1927 from John O’Groats. Mildred took it upon herself after repeated requests to Selwyn Edge to take one of his AC cars and compete in the Rally. Mildred arrived almost asleep at the wheel, along with co-pilot husband Victor and the motoring editor of the Daily Sketch, Robert Bare,

Not surprising really when at the age of fifteen was caught for speeding on her brother’s motorbike and having a baby out of wedlock, this in the 1920’s, Mildred was not afraid to get on with her life no matter what.

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“During a pit stop Mildred stopped for a well needed gasp of water to perk her up only to find the bottle labelled water was indeed petrol, and with a big thump on the back Mildred certainly perked up and continued out onto the track.� www.thefrankmagazine.com


“I am fascinated by this generation of women who simply didn’t know they couldn’t – who all knew they could! It wasn’t considered odd or exotic, it was just part of life, a time for speed, rallies, time trials and good solid racing around a circuit.” Following the Rally in 1927, Mildred continued her reliability trial of the AC around Africa (similar to how manufacturers test their cars around the Nurburgring today) and later that same year, went again in the AC car to travel 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, a first for any motor vehicle of that date. Following this success, her determination to break more records thrived, with an attempt to drive for 10 days and 10 nights at the Montlhery circuit with her husband. That record broken, she looked to another motoring exploit and tested the Bentley motor car, again at Montlhery just before Tim Birkin and Earle Howe would be utilising the very same car at Le Mans 24 hour race the very next month. So a 24hour endurance trial began in this extremely heavy 4 and a half litre engine car. With a steady 107mph Mildred completed the laps and the time rolled in. During a pit stop Mildred stopped for a well needed gasp of water to perk her up only to find the bottle labelled water was indeed petrol, and with a big thump on the back Mildred certainly perked up and continued out onto the track. Once again she broke the record covering 2164 miles at an average speed of 89.7 miles per hour. Her reliability trial gained her British Petroleum as a sponsor who didn’t charge her a penny for fuel, instead they advertised their petrol had “kept not only the Bentley going but the driver too!” Full of life Mildred tried many endeavours from speed boat racing along with joining the flying circus as a wing walker. With sponsorship money in her pocket from her endurance trials, one day, whilst was walking down Burlington Gardens bought a fold up Blackburn Bluebird and with only 26 hours of flying lessons to her belt in 1930 flew solo around the world whilst becoming the first woman to fly single-handed to Japan. Mildred recorded her diary whilst in the air describing her every thoughts, worries and delights. Now available to hear on a vinyl record, her voice is exquisite, deep and precise. Occasionally folding up the plane for extended

periods over the sea for instance, Mildred is one of the breed of women such as Amy Johnson and Amelia Earnhardt who took to the air breaking new records. On her return to Croydon in fact, Amy Johnson and Winifred Spooner were there to celebrate her arrival. Confident in the air, Mildred started an air transport coups, servicing Croydon to Paris, and with passengers on board, she was the first British person to place an air hostess on the flights. Daphne the air hostess and Mildred would have a jolly decent time in the Paris hotel where they would often let each other know who had ‘gentleman company’ that evening, by placing a pair of shoes outside their room for ‘cleaning’, Mildred in her diaries describes this quite candidly. As the world turned to the war, Bruce became part of the Air Ministry team who worked on aircraft to aircraft refuelling in the air, whilst her air transport soon to turned to war time demands by starting a factory to make fuselages and then after the war, her fuselage factory began to make coach bodywork. Still very much a fast lady in later life, Mildred Bruce took a new Ford Capri at speed round Thruxton motor circuit in the mid 1970’s. To my sadness I never found out about the Honourable Mildred Bruce until after her death in 1990, she was 95 when she passed and I understand that when an electrician came to fix a light in her bedroom where he found Mrs Bruce in bed, seeing the bed displayed at an angle, he realised a leg had broken off. He fixed the bed with her still in it. The current owner of the house keeps all the documentation she left behind, including the recording of the air crossing, many medals and trophies along with her notes for her numerous articles, newspaper cuttings and diaries. From glove compartments to air to air refuelling, the motoring industry has a host of women to be thankful for however, Mildred Bruce compels me to endeavour to achieve more than I could possibly imagine. I have written a radio drama about this remarkable lady and hope to have it aired this year. I think her story deserves to be heard by a new generation of young ladies. If Mildred Bruce can do it, I can certainly have a go.

Lara Platman can be found on twitter at @photofeature

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Profile for The Frank Magazine

FRANK Aug Sept 2020  

Hello all, As you can see I have made an appearance on the cover to mark my 50th Birthday. Read my thoughts on the big day and life in gen...

FRANK Aug Sept 2020  

Hello all, As you can see I have made an appearance on the cover to mark my 50th Birthday. Read my thoughts on the big day and life in gen...

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