Who am I?

At this stage in my life sometimes I’m not entirely sure!  There have been several incarnations —  Frances, Frankie, Frank, Frankincense, The Grand Shrew — to name but a few. But I would have that in common with anyone who’s lived for any length of time.

My philosophy? You can’t let life happen to you — if your ship doesn’t come in, you need to swim out to it. I also believe, like Sophia Loren, mistakes are one of the dues one pays for a full life.

But I called my blog Never Succumb to Beige because this has  become a personal metaphor for always being who you are, despite the pressure to conform to all manner of often uncomfortable societal norms . To thine own self be true I say, even if thy true self is more bling than Ming. Quite apart from anything else, imagine the epitaph it would make, ‘she never succumbed to beige!’

Things I love include  writing, singing, playing my violin, bush walking, animals and birds, reading, history, satire, summer … and good wine. The latter preferably at the same time and shared with close friends!

On the writing front, over the years, I’ve tried most things; a column for a magazine Sects in the City, media stories for widely different organisations, copywriting, creating the exhibition Food Future’s: The Face of Tomorrow, ghosting an autobiography, a series of short stories one of which was published in Finding Mr Right, this blog which started its life as column, To Be Perfectly Frank, for Shrew Magazine in 2001.

I guess I’m a raconteuse at heart. A teller of tales, a spinner of yarns. I love entertaining people through my eclectic observations. Probably something to do with my life-long love of history which manifested in a Master of Arts with Honours in Medieval History.

Of course there’s a book in the pipeline 🙂

Professionally, entrepreneurialism must be in my DNA because in between ‘proper’ jobs throughout my career, I keep returning to the startup scene. Some of these forays have been more successful than others, but I love the challenge and sheer creative energy involved in breathing life into a concept that will ultimately becomes a business. Past ventures have included a promotions company that specialised in branded Christmas crackers and the above mentioned Shrew Magazine, which my sister Roz and I launched — that was an amazing journey. I’m currently co-founder and chair of ShowGizmo, which produces smartphone apps for conferences and trade shows, Managing Director of Moxie Communications, a boutique creative agency, and Director of Shrew Enterprises, an Indy Publisher. I’m currently on the Board of the  National Council of Women of NZ. Our mission is to achieve a gender equal NZ.

Originally from Scotland, I was London-based for 14 years before moving to New Zealand in the mid-nineties and I now live in NZ’s wild and windy capital, Wellington. Apart from the earthquakes … and the interminable wind … it’s a great place to live.