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Jill Frankham

Jill has been playing bridge for around 4.5 years and learnt with Andrew at the club. She plays gentle duplicate session on Tuesday nights regularly with her partner Minoo Sahni-Court and occasional Friday nights in the Butlers with Nick Pacheco.

What do you enjoy most about the game?

I love bridge for lots of reasons: being part of a community, making new friends, the excuse for a glass of wine! Also bridge gives me the chance to cut out from whatever is happening in my life as it requires my undivided attention. It teaches concentration and improves memory and is character building. You win some or more likely a few and lose a lot. But there's always another game! 

What do you / did you do career wise?

I have had several careers. I started out as a journalist and writer.  One of my first jobs was as Assistant Press Officer for The Embassy of Vietnam just as the war ended. I later worked as a feature writer for several Fleet Street Newspapers and magazines. I also wrote a popular psychology book on relationships called ‘Marriage and How to Survive it’ and contributed to several others. In my late thirties, I trained as a psychologist and psychotherapist and worked in the NHS in Adult Mental Health until I retired. I then reinvented myself again as a would-be artist, working with glass to build sculptures and mosaics. I also create jewellery which I regularly show off at the club. Last year I exhibited my work at my Art Foundation Course end of year show to which many of my Acol friends came to lend their support!

We hear you have a rather impressive claim to fame? Please elaborate...

I think you must be referring to my marriage to a musician and songwriter? He had several hit records in the seventies with Brett Marvin and the Thunderbolts and wrote a very well known song called " I'm always in the Kitchen at Parties". Even if you didn't hear it the first time round, it was on TV recently as the music from The IKEA Ad. 

Do you have any other activities / interests aside from bridge?

Other interests outside bridge include Tai Chi which I have practiced for fifteen years and do weapon forms including sword and sabre. I am also a badly behaved Buddhist (too much wine) and have a daily meditation practice. 

Back of the Pack Part 8

Back of the Pack Part 8


B Player

Dear B Player

Please can you help? I have been following your advice religiously, but am a bit flummoxed by your last piece about Courses. Can you tell me where I can find a course on avoiding being beaten by opponents who know I have been on a course? Does the Andrew Robson club run something suitable, perhaps?

Yours sincerely

Mrs Guggenheim


Dear Mrs Guggenheim

How nice to hear from you. Andrew Robson’s club no doubt runs a whole suite of suitable courses, running over two academic years, and they will be delighted to take your money in advance once you have arranged the necessary mortgage on your condominium.

Yours as ever

B Player


Dear B Player

Since reading your interesting statistic two weeks ago about the number of different possible bridge deals, I have been working through them all systematically and making notes in my usual A4 notebooks. I am concerned, however, that it may be necessary to build an extension to my flat to accommodate the paperwork thus generated. Do you have any practical suggestions?

Yours sincerely

Futile Willie


Dear Futile Willie

This is a common problem afflicting gentlemen such as yourself who are unfamiliar with modern computer systems. If your wife is so unreasonable as to rule out the use of the bath as an overflow filing system, the important thing is to reinforce the extension floor with top-quality steel beams when building above ground floor level. Several suitable designs are to be found in the June 1987 edition of Bridge Pedant magazine.

Yours sincerely

B Player


Dear B Player

On our 13th hand the other evening, I was flabbergasted to find that my new partner completely misunderstood my trial bid asking for help in Hearts, and read it instead as an Ace-showing cue bid! Naturally we went down in the ensuing 6 Diamonds, which quite spoiled my evening. Do you have any advice on choosing partners who will never do anything so outrageous?

Yours sincerely

The Unlucky Expert


Dear Unlucky Expert

How distressing for you. My Partner is guaranteed never to do anything of the sort, largely because neither of us have ever heard of trial bids or cue bids. Have you considered an advertisement in Pianola, setting out a clear 17-page summary of the most salient aspects of your game, to be studied carefully by all potential partners in advance?

Yours sincerely

B Player


Dear B Player

I’m sure you will commiserate with me over the impossibility of making that 5 Clubs on the third hand as South last night. As I cannot see through the backs of cards like the computer, there was no possible way I could have foreseen that 4:1 split in Diamonds! I really cannot see what East’s opening bid of 3 Spades has got to do with it. The Fates were against me, I suppose.

Yours sincerely

Mr Smug


Dear Mr Smug

Quite so, and very bad luck. It is amazing how some of the players at the club always seem to be lucky, don’t you think? I’m sure it has nothing to do with their ability to count. Speaking of which, my Partner is looking for a game next Tuesday. I’m sure you’d make an exceptionally fine pair!

Yours sincerely

B Player

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