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TSF 42 : Marina Fogle – The Bump Class

Marina Fogle helps pregnant women get excited and confident before the birth of their first child. Marina is founder of The Bump Class and website. Marina is the wife of adventurer Ben Fogle.
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Best piece of advice you’ve received? 
Embrace imperfection.  My son once told me that at his school they call mistakes ‘marvellous mistakes’, “because you can’t learn unless you make mistakes.”  Profound advice from a five year old.

Favourite shops? 
Lutyens and Rubinstein – I could get lost there in a world of books.  I love Matches – but it’s dangerous….

Best meal? 
Sitting under the apple trees of a farmhouse on the shores of the Mondsee (a lake in Austria) eating cured meats, cheeses and fresh bread that has been prepared on the farm.  Hearty, wholesome and unutterably delicious.

What is your guilty pleasure? 
Maltesers and Andrew Lloyd Weber Musicals.  

Best weekend activity? 
Taking the children for an ‘adventure walk’ in the woods.  We build camps and try and escape from the baddies who are trying to catch us.  

I achieved my current role through? 
The privilege of being a mother.  I never really liked babies that much and was not convinced I really wanted to be a mother.  But when it happened to me it slowly dawned on me that this is the best job ever, and it gets better every day.

If you could capture and bottle a smell, what would it be and why? 
The smell of the tops of my children’s heads 

Who would you invite to your perfect dinner party (dead or alive)? 
The irreverent wit of Mitford sisters would be great entertainment.

What’s your favourite place in the world and why? 
Each time I travel I’m blown away by our planet but I think my favourite place would be sitting on the lawn of my parent’s house in Austria, overlooking the city of Salzburg.  Surrounded by dramatic mountains, the baroque spires sit in the shadow of the medieval fortress.  The city lies where the Alps rise up dramatically from the Bavarian plains and because of this, the weather is extremely volatile and it’s a view that constantly changes and never fails to astonish me.

What are your ‘on duty’ and ‘off duty’ looks? 
Off duty, skinny J Crew jeans, a chunky jumper from Iris and Ink, and my Ben Fogle for Penelope Chilvers boots.  Never thought I’d married a boot designer but I’m not complaining.  On duty; J crew suede skirt, long boots, a nice soft cashmere jumper and with a great necklace.

Best way to wind down? 
A long, long bath with Jo Malone bath oil, scented candles, listening to the Desert Island Discs Archive

Any cuisines you love or loathe? 
I adore food and I love eating new dishes with bold flavours.  I love spice, herbs and unusual ingredients and hate bland food.

What’s in your handbag? 
Way too much.  I used to drag around a huge tote which ended up feeling like Mary Poppins’s bag with dog leads, children’s toys, single shoes and light bulbs inside.  For the sake of my back, I have now adopted a small bag that literally won’t fit any more than I need – my wallet, my phone and my keys.

Why does your job matter to you? 
Having a stimulating job makes me a better mother, wife and friend because I feel stimulated.  But really what I love the most, is that I get to know a group of women who are intelligent, warm, witty and full of surprises.  

What’s your daily uniform? 
This season it’s a midi skirt or dress and some flat suede knee boots.

What’s your favourite waste of time? 
Twiddling my hair.  I’ve done it since I was a child and I love to hate it.

If you could change a work decision, what would it be and why? 
I would have gone back to work sooner after I had my second child, Iona.  She was about 18 months old when I started The Bump Class the the long period not working left me slightly lacking in confidence.

Essential store cupboard ingredients? 
Chipotle chillies – I put them in everything from salads to scrambled eggs.  And plenty of fresh herbs – coriander, dill and basil.

What are you wearing today and what made you choose it? 
A mid-length denim skirt from Massimo Dutti and a grey cashmere jumper.  I saw the skirt on my sister Olivia and felt I’d get lots of wear out of it.  It’s smart but I’m also able to take my dog for a walk.

What talent do you yearn for?
I’d love to be able tell really spectacular stories.

My typical day is? 
Exhausting!  I’m up at 6, usually woken by Storm my Labrador puppy jumping onto my bed and hugging me.  By the time I’ve dropped the children at school at 8:15, with various PE kits, homework, show and tell and answered their questions (such as “How did the world start”) I feel like I’ve run a marathon.  I’ll head straight to The Bump Class to teach a group of expectant mothers.  A lot of my week is spent writing – my sister an co-founder of The Bump Class Dr Chiara Hunt and I are writing our second book, but we also write regularly for various newspapers and magazines.  Most of the time, I’ll grab a cup of soup or sushi in front of my computer.  If my day allows, I’ll try and nip to the gym or a run in the park.  After having three children, my back goes if my core doesn’t remain strong.  If I’m not teaching in the evening, I’ll race home in time to read a story to Ludo and Iona.  I try and see friends for dinner two or three times in the week – I think it’s so important and I get so much from my close group of friends, but at least two nights of the week, I’ll flop into bed exhausted by 9pm, ready for the next day.

If you had a 25th hour each day, what would you do?
I’d spend 10 minutes meditating and the rest writing a fabulous children’s story.

Who should feature next as a Three Six Fiver? 
Ruth Chapman, founder of Matches.  I’d like to know how she has three children, runs such a successful business and remains one of the most zen women I’ve ever met.

What should people look out for?
The book I co-wrote with my sister, The Bump Class; An Expert Guide to Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond by Dr Chiara Hunt and Marina Fogle is published by Vermillion and is available from all good book shops.  The Bump Class (in Fulham and South Kensington) provides antenatal classes that are tailored to meet the needs of mothers to be who want to learn about the practical elements of pregnancy, child birth, breastfeeding and parenting from a supporting, unbiased and pragmatic point of view.