Celebrations, Lulu, the boys and 110 degrees!


Jill and the boysSince my last blog it's been pretty crazy in the world of the Franks'.

Where do I begin? Well, I think the first celebration is a great place. Our dear friend Adam (Scruncher and Mr B's second dad!) celebrated his 40th birthday for days I believe and the finale was to come. It was a great night .. How the restaurant coped I will never know .

Being the only sober one there (as I don't drink) I get to catch all those great moments on film or stills. Mind you, I dread to think what I would be like with a drink …

Larry, Jill and HelenHe certainly had a night to remember and so did we. We all met for breakfast for a debrief the next day (haha) and boy there were a few sunglasses around, even though the rain was just loving us all.

I was looking forward to a few days off to get the house straight from decorating and new exciting pieces of furniture arriving. I was also looking forward to doing a few nice things with friends, like going to see Lulu perform live at Henley and taking private bikram lessons (totally hooked, more later).

I woke on the Monday only having to cancel all my plans for the next 10 days as my body felt like I had been run over by a truck. What on Earth was going on? Me, sick?! The last time I was unwell and visited the doctors was eight years ago. I thought it would pass but how wrong was I?!

The Doctors couldn't fit me in for two days (crazy, huh?!) by then I had deteriorated. An emergency doctor was called (don't really remember much) and prescribed me some antibiotics. The thought was "ahhh!" but I didn't care to be honest …I drank nine litres of water in two days, as my body was just screaming for it.

Outside by my bins it looked like an alcoholic lived here with all the bottles of water lined up…so, thinking the meds would kick in, I just rested. Me, rest. I was going crazy but it made me take a step back and just chill.

A week later no meds left and still unwell . Knowing my body like I do, I went back to the doctor's and knowing I hadn't been to the docs for eight years, me and the doctor knew it wasn't just a cold. I had a lower tract infection by my lungs and if not treated I would end up in hospital with pneumonia. So, another prescription came my way. They looked like bullets that would kill!

Thankfully yesterday I started to turn a corner. I went back to work – naughty girl, I know, but how could I take time off, huh? I'd just had a 10-day break, supposedly. So I apologise for the horrific cough you have all been listening to, but it's practically gone now and I am just starting to feel myself. It took me by total surprise!

Jill and LuluI was disappointed that many of my plans were cancelled. I had to cancel Lulu at Henley but, to be honest, it was too much of a risk with the rain (did I say rain?) and it was an outside gig. I even had my wellies ready to go! Alison Young would have been proud.

Thought you might like to see this picture of Lulu and I (left). I was 18 years of age and we were performing together in a Royal Variety Performance at Drury Lane in Covent Garden. I managed to grab a pic before curtain up. "Where's my hair?" I hear you cry! I have a stocking cap on, ready for my show wig.

Jill at Sarah's birthday, pretending to drinkThen it was more celebrations with my girlfriend, Sarah's birthday. We had another great night (among the coughing and sweating). I couldn't let her down. We actually laughed so much that night I thought I was going to burst.

Then my bikram yoga classes. I was gutted, as I had been so looking forward to it. I had been recommended it years ago by a girlfriend but there were no classes near me. Then I discovered a new studio. You know me, always looking for a challenge and fascinated by how the body works and how we fuel it to survive the crazy lifestyles we all lead.

Studying for my nutrition and fitness qualification was one of the best things I have ever did. I think once you understand nutrition you are half way there and realise how dangerous all these crazy diets are. Not one of my clients diets. Getting them to understand the body and how it needs fueling for their lifestyle has been life-changing for them and their families, and boy do they have bodies to die for!

Bikram, to me, was appealing as I like the heat. It is practiced in 110 degrees and, at first, is a little daunting. There were people of all ages, shapes and sizes. I drank my litre of water prior and a little snack two hours before (two bikram rules, so as not to be sick and end up with a headache).

The class is 90 minutes so I braced myself. 90 minutes in 110 degrees. Fab, I was going to be warm at long last. Well, that's an understatement. I was so excited and the first class they tell you it doesn't matter if you don't do any of the 26 poses on which bikram is based, but just try and cope with the heat.

I took my place towards the outer edge of the studio and another rule is no talking. How on Earth was I going to cope?! No talking or laughing for 90 minutes! I entered the studio 10 minutes prior to the class to acclimatise. Wow, the intensity of the heat just hits you. Once you enter the class you are not allowed to leave, except in an emergency.

I stood behind a guy who really knew what he was doing. I took a deep breath, placed my mat and my very big bottle of water was close by my side. It was the most incredible experience. It was tough and some of the exercises I stuck to the beginner's level. I was so proud of myself. The 90 minutes flew by and my heart was pounding so hard it felt like everyone else could hear it beating. My tracksuit bottoms were so heavy with the sweat (nice!) and now I understood why most people wore next-to nothing. Skimpy shorts and even a swimsuit.

Jill and birthday girl, JoMy body felt incredible afterwards. Like a rubber band. Not only did it help my neck after my horrific car accident in 2008 but my quirky back loved it too. I was two months premature and my scoliosis can give me issues on occasion. But keeping as fit as I do, my body is very strong. I am 47 next week and feel incredible. I just don't want to get to 65 and feel creaky. I want my body to have the best chance in life it can possibly have. We are only given one and it's our life-line to being and looking the best we can. So, will I return to bikram? You bet I will. It works great with my running and Pilates.

Then it was time for more celebrations for my girlfriend Jo's (left) 50th. Now that felt scary. She is beautiful and looks incredible for her age. Another great night and a chance to catch up with some old friends we hadn't seen for a while.

Jill hugging her boysNow a drumroll for my beautiful boys. Scruncher and Mr Bojangles (Mr B).

Being sick also gave me extra special time with them. They make me smile every day. English bulldogs have so much character.

They are so different. Scruncher is now six and I call him "angel boy". He is the perfect dog in every way. A beautiful, beautiful nature and he just breaks my heart every day.


Scruncher sat next to the BBQMr B is the cheekiest little monkey ever. I call him "prince charming" as he is so very handsome and he certainly knows it.

He thinks he is superdog and can do anything. A little scary at times but underneath all the confidence he is a vulnerable, nervous and beautiful boy who actually brings tears to my eyes many days.

Mr B is besotted with Scruncher (left) and I think he would like to be joined to Scruncher's hip.


Scruncher asleep on the sofaScruncher (left) will get a little tetchy if he gets disturbed whilst sleeping, and boy can Scruncher sleep. He can pack in hour after hour. Mr B always has one eye open in case he misses anything. You daren't cuddle Scruncher first as Mr B will butt right in and pose with his back leg stretched out as if to say, "where's my cuddle?" Sooo cheeky!

I hope you enjoy the recent pics I have taken of them. They hate the rain and adore the sun (I wonder where they get that from?) so trying to get them to go out for a wee-wee when it's pouring is impossible.

Mr B naps on Jill's Emu slipperThey have bladders of steel, I am sure. They go out and immediately turn around thinking I can't see them. They love their sofa cuddles, and so do I (with the dogie throw on first, of course – I am crazy about mess…)

It's weird when they stay over at Daddy Day Care (the farm) as I miss the snoring in a weird way. As many of you bulldog-lovers know, they love to snore! It's kinda comforting knowing they are downstairs, in a strange kinda way. Mr B (left) loves his food, swims in the lake and lives for his walks.

Scruncher on the treadmill with his gold medalScruncher (left) adores his sleep and has a special bond with Larry. It's incredible to watch them together. They truly are the love of our lives. I hope you enjoy these recent pics of them.

Finally, I celebrate my 47th birthday next Wednesday and I am looking forward to it. A day of surprises, so Larry tells me, and I hope a theatre trip is included. Fancy Singing in the Rain (literally, huh). Well 47 it is and I feel a million dollars in every way. Hey hey hey!

Have a great week and stay happy and healthy…

Scruncher and Mr BLots of love




  1. sandra riley July 19, 2012 at 12:32 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jill,
    Glad you are better, I have had some sort of lergi this last couple of weeks,
    nice to see you back on screen
    I dont drink either, tell me do you get ribbed about itas I do quite ofteh haha

  2. Susan July 20, 2012 at 4:30 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jill and Sandra,
    First of all, Sandra I don’t drink either and yes I do get made fun of! Like it’s a bad thing!! Lovely photos Jill especially the last one…gorgeous! Would melt your heart! Hope you have an amazing birthday and couldn’t believe you are going to be 47!!! Crazy! You’ve the body of a teenager!! And din’t know you have scoliosis. Credit to you. Princess Eugene has it too and it’s her chosen charity. Nice to see less well known and supported ones getting a focus.
    Enjoy your day!
    Susan x

  3. peggy pig July 20, 2012 at 8:31 pm -  Reply

    Lovely doggy pics very cute and pampered pooches. Glad you are feeling better.

  4. Babs Dyson July 25, 2012 at 10:24 pm -  Reply

    Jill, Glad you are much better and HEY you look great for 47. The dogs are just fabulous. Take Care and keep well. A card is in the post for your Birthday and enjoy your day – you deserve it.
    Much Love

  5. Marie Beglan July 28, 2012 at 8:08 am -  Reply

    Dear Jill,
    So pleased that you are feeling better and the photos of the boys are just adorable. Lucky you to have such fantastic dogs. Happy also to see you looking beautiful and back on QVC. I could not help looking at your new engagement ring, it is stunning, so was the other one and so very unusual.
    Best wishes

  6. Louise July 28, 2012 at 8:37 am -  Reply

    Hi Jill
    Love the pics of Scruncher and Mr Bojangles. I was a boxer breeder and currently have two: Oscar, the dad and Caspar, his son. I can relate to what you say about jealousy. Oscar also butts in if either mum or I make of Cas and wants his bit of ‘me time’. Cas was in an accident when he was one, and had to have his front left leg amputated, but boy, what a bully! He goes for his dad with a passion and, like the big soft but handsome – they do know they’re handsome, don’t they? – blag he is, he lets him. They are guard dogs but boxers have the most endearing personality I think you’ve got to love em, and british bulldogs are the same. I’ve lived at home with mum since my fiance of 13 years and I split up. We had seven dogs and, obviously couldn’t take them all home with me. It broke my heart when we had to rehome some, but we were able to keep three. At least they went to caring families. I have never wanted children and, like you, my dogs are my life. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for them. A house next to our’s has just got a puppy and my two are fascinated by it’s yelping and, if he could, Cas would be over the six foot fence! Osc just looks at it as if to say “what are you doing on my patch?” Cas is digging a hole under the fence, so we’ll have to keep an eye on him. Thing is, if the pup got on our side of the fence, these two softies would run a mile!
    Well, Jill, all the best for your 47th – sorry – and hope your guys – including Larry – are all well.
    p.s. I bet you can understand this: when my fiance and I split up, he told me I think more of the dogs than him. Know what? He was spot on!
    Take care.

  7. sharon wilson July 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm -  Reply

    hi Jill glad you are feeling better, i am really writing on behalf of my mother who is obsessed with your mother of pearl engagement ring, and i was wondering if you could tell me a bit about it. she has noticed that you have another one now which is similar. hope you dont mind me asking. i must say your doggies look fab!

  8. Sam August 30, 2012 at 1:25 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jill,
    Sorry to hear you were so unwell..but glad you’re better now !
    Your two dogs are just gorgeous….beautiful boys.
    I have two labradors that i love to bits.
    Keep well.
    Sam (Dublin)xxx

  9. Virginia September 5, 2012 at 5:03 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jill,
    I have never written to you, but have spoken to you live on air on a few occasions. I just had to write to tell you how gorgeous your two little darlings are. One can see from the pictures how much you love them. We had two gorgeous Golden Retrievers, but sadly six weeks ago one of our babies died. We are still in shock and miss him terribly. We are lucky that we still have our other baby, otherwise I think I would go completely crazy. They are such a big part of your lives that it breaks your heart when you loose one of them. As we don’t have children, they are like our babies. I know some people think we are mad, but to us they are so much more than just dogs, they are family.
    I hope you had a nice birthday. I really enjoy watching you when you are on air. You always make me laugh.
    Take care and I can’t wait for more pictures of your doggies.
    Virginia (Hereford)

  10. Margaret Mitchell October 14, 2012 at 2:12 pm -  Reply

    Hi Jill, met Mr B & Scruncher today whilst taking my daughters bullie Duke for a walk at Virginia Waters, him & Mr B got on great 🙂 I think it must have been your hubby who was taking the boys out for a walk round the lake. I knew it was them as soon as he told me their names but was a little unsure so looked at the blogs and it was them. Mr B is so full of beans a real little bundle of fun and Scruncher is just a georgeous boy. I am so pleased we met them. Take care Margaret

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