Phoenix Fights

Fighting the FEAR, depression and BDP on a daily basis AND making my own bread. Bring it on 2016….

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Right at this moment in time, it is fair to say that I am in what you might call ‘Career Limbo’.

That is to say I am (a) unemployed, (b) unwilling and probably unable to return to the industry I have just left and (c) unable/unwilling/afraid to figure out what the fuck I’m going to do for wonga.

I try not to think about the latter as my main aim is to get well and stay well as for as my mental health is concerned, but to the rest of the world, and sometimes to myself, I am not in an enviable position.

There are however, some consolations.

* My health seems to be improving a little every day.

* I don’t have to get up and commute on these cold, dreary mornings.

* I am not under pressure to exaggerate, lie, schmooze and grovel in order to appease some bullet headed, ego driven twat and hit his ridiculous financial targets.

* From what I have heard, my previous employers are at last realising what i told them was correct and have changed their strategy accordingly :-).

* The market is at the toughest it’s ever been and the entire industry is suffering.

Re the latter comment, please be assured that I am not gloating about that; I still have a lot of friends in that world, and wish no added pressure or stress on them, indeed I feel for them because I know what it’s like. It is what this climate is driving a certain kind of individual to do that sort of amuses me.

Some of you may be aware of a site called LinkedIn which is a professional networking site, where you access knowledge, insights, ‘Link In’ with people who may be of interest to you work wise or ask for introductions from one of your contacts to a third party.

Since I went AWOL, there was apparently a lot of activity on my site immediately following, probably consisting of a combination of scandal/gossip mongers and people who were genuinely concerned about me, then after a couple of months it pretty much tailed off.

Then, as the market toughened, job losses occurred and remaining, short staffed senior management had to step up and do some real work for a change, the requests started to come in from people who wanted to ‘Link In’ with me; not because they want to stay in touch or be my friend, not because they are approaching me about a job, but because they want to plunder my contacts.

And for the most part, this is fine; I have no objection to this. I don’t really know the majority of them but if gaining access to my client base is going to help them soldier on and create business in one of the most challenging economic climates this country has seen for decades, then, please Friend, help yourself and good luck to you. Knock yourself out.

No. The ones that gall/amuse me the most are the back stabbers, the two-faced wankers and hypocrites who have had the audacity to contact me and expect me to help them.

‘Oh Hi, remember me? I’m that bitch that complained about you to your boss when I didn’t win that pitch? Anyway hope all is well with you, could we please Link In?’

‘Oh hello? I know your name but can barely place your face? This is because I would turn my fat no-neck head in another direction if you approached me, as if someone had farted, as I always thought you were a bit of a loser, and given recent events I was probably right hey? 🙂 Anyway, as you’ve probably heard, I’m a shit manager but a great spin master, so can we Link In so I can access some of your key media partners and do a number on them in order to make a fast buck?’

‘Hi there Sista! I’m that friend of your ex boss who suddenly took against you for no apparent reason, slagged you off in the industry and rubbed my hands together with glee when you finally disappeared into obscurity where you belong. Times however are increasingly tough I’m sure you’ll agree, so Linking In with you will probably help me move into a different area of business, whilst satisfying my curiosity by allowing me to see what you’re up to now and spread a slightly more twisted version of it to my peers. What do you think?’

I think FUCK YOU, that’s what I think.

I may have struggled and you may still be out there but that’s because I have integrity, a heart, and a conscience and therefore I am not willing to tout my grubby ass around, shape shifting to order like some disgusting, mealy mouthed, money grabbing amoeba, and whilst it would be no skin off my nose to accept your invitation (indeed it might beneficial if I were as slimy as you) I would sooner gouge out my eyes with a melon baller, stick them up my arse and take a greased pogo stick out onto the middle lane of the nearest motorway.

So, to clarify, NO I don’t want to ‘Link In’ with you, so take your saggy ‘ho ass and point it in another direction; not all of my clients are perfect or indeed worth doing business with, but they certainly don’t deserve to be ripped off by the likes of you.

So, Jog On Kitty and don’t stop till you hit Plundera, OK?




So just to update you on my Scary Man Juice (aka testosterone gel) treatment, since applying it (albeit tiny amounts as I am fwightened) I have, of late, felt something of a stirring down there……

I’ve also had strange, random, erotic dreams, (which, you will be relieved to hear, I will not go into on here) and, as I can’t blame my usual mixing alcohol with my meds habit, I think it’s fair to say something is happening.

So whilst I wouldn’t go as far as to say I feel horny, last night I had a bit of a tingle, and as I couldn’t get to sleep, I decided to have a play and see if my orgasm was working again.  For the sole purpose of reporting back in this blog of course……

Please don’t close this page, this isn’t going to be some female porno wankfest, I promise!

So  initial signs were promising.  Arousal was swift and it was fair to say that pretty much from the onset it felt like orgasm was only seconds and a slightly firmer stroke away.  But, again for science purposes only 🙂 , I dragged it out as long as possible, hoping for a better return as it were.

The overall sensation stayed the same.  Very intense, almost peri climatic, but pretty much ‘Get on with it, I’m ready to go here!’ rather than the slow, steady, gradual but amazingly rewarding journey I was used to.  So as soon as I realised this, I listened up and went for it, hoping for a glorious return to the heaven I once knew and loved.


OK, if I’d never had a proper orgasm before, I might have thought this was fantastic.  But I have.  So I didn’t.  ‘Cos it wasn’t.

Let’s use the Rollercoaster analogy again.

If my real orgasm was a rip roaring, ride of thrills, spills and excitement with lots of different levels, dips and climbs that once it got started, seemed as it it would never end, until eventually, breathless, exhausted, totally satiated, you just  had to come down before you passed out?

An my pre Scary Man juice orgasm was an ancient old rollercoaster where the rusty old car slowly and painfully chugged to the top of the lowest peak, then, just when you thought it might make it over, it rattled, creaked, groaned and broke down leaving you stuck, totally dissatisfied and wishing you’d never got on the damn thing in the first place?

In this orgasm the car raced you to the top so fast you almost got a nose bleed, then just as you hit the peak, and almost flew over, it then ran out of gas, hissed as the tyres deflated then slid slowly into the dip below and stayed there.  Rocking, throbbing and humming annoyingly.

In sum, ‘It’s an orgasm Jim, but not as we know it.’ 😦 😦

And it might be enough, if a nice big willy slid in there afterwards and added a whole new dimension to the experience, but as it is I’m just left squirming and arching, trying to rid myself of an unsatisfied throb/burn that didn’t abate for a good half hour or so.  Grrr.

So, on the plus side, things seem to be going in the right direction.

But riding solo?  No go.

Never was a woman, so alone, so alone 😦

I don’t normally request comments, but please if there are any peri or postmenopausal women reading this I’d love to know how you are faring when it comes to the Big ‘O’?

Also, anyone whose anti depressants or other meds are affecting them?

In the meantime, I’m off out to buy some shoes, get some Haagan Dazs, and punch a passing traffic warden or something.

Over and out.

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So, as you might have gathered, I’m home alone a lot during the day.

I’m at home today and someone downstairs is banging.  And smashing stuff.

Why is that a problem, you might ask?  Well I don’t exactly live in the most salubrious of areas, and my neighbour’s back door was kicked in the other week right under our noses.  Not a window. Not a door panel. The mad bastards just kicked it and kept kicking it (and this is in broad daylight) until it caved, then climbed in and stole her stuff.  We have building works going on at the moment so no one thought twice about all the noise, but the sheer audacity and boldness of these desperados is somewhat chilling to say the least.

Bang, bang, BANG!

There it goes again. I know I’m naturally paranoid, but you have to admit, I have good reason to be this time.  OK so they’re not trying to knock my back door in (don’t go there), but I have to be a good neighbour and watch out for others, plus if they ever tried to break into my place, let’s just say they wouldn’t want to encounter me with a carving knife in one hand and a power drill in the other, channelling ‘The Bride’ in ‘Kill Bill’ mode.  Break into my place, you’re going to find yourself in the ‘United States of Sista’ and a whole lotta trouble….


OK, that’s it.  I grab my mobile and text our (relatively new) caretaker.

‘Hi CT, it’s Sista S in flat 6, there’s some very loud banging going on downstairs, do we have official workers on site today? Could you check it out? Thanks!’

I then put down the phone, put on some trackies and go do some yoga.

Ten minutes later the banging stops, then twenty minutes after that, there is a knock at my front door.

It’s CT, leaning on the banister nonchalantly, hip cocked, one eyebrow raised with the look on his face.


By the look, I mean…. OK, let me give you some examples of where/on whom you might have seen it before.

Kenneths Williams and Connor and, let’s face it, most of the male cast of the ‘Carry On’ team, Robin Askwith from the ‘Confessions of a Window Cleaner’ movies and Lenny Henry as Theopolis D Wildebeast. Lots of rap stars use it. Little Justin Bieber tries to do it (bless, his balls haven’t even dropped yet) and Joey Essex does it all the time, to hilarious effect.

But the general gist of it is ‘Hey baby!’ accompanied by a cheesy, sleazy, trying to be modest, shit eating grin.

The more specific version aujourd’ hui  is ‘C’mon baby, we both know why you really called me.  Hey, it’s your lucky day.  Help yourself to my good thang.  Hop. On.’

Groan…. really?

He clears his throat.

‘I’ve just checked things out downstairs and it’s all quiet now.  There are some guys updating the windows at No 4 though, so, that’s where your, erm noise is coming from…’

The right eyebrow rises a little higher and he attempts to smile playfully.

He honestly thinks I made this up?

I’m torn between pure irritation, coruscating scorn and hysterical giggles.  Does this little gnome think he’s a sex god or something?

I catch my reflection in the hall mirror and inwardly wince.  I’m looking all of my 50 years old, in my big baggy onesie, no make up, and I have a red scaly nose, so I’m hardly the hottest thing on the planet myself but that’s beside the point.  I do not fancy this man and have never given him any kind of encouragement or signals to indicate that I do.


‘OK, great, well thanks for checking it out CT, much appreciated!  Bye!’

As I close the door I inwardly grin as I watch the self assured smirk on his mush morph into a twist of frustrated confusion.  Whaaaa?

Is it just me or does this happen to every single female living alone?

‘Cos its not the first time for me, oh no.

I had one guy who did some work for me come back after hours cause he left his hammer and volunteer to do ‘extras’.

Another builder emerged from the shadows one night when I was parking my car and scared the living shite out of me, claiming that his wife had chucked him out.

I once asked the guy who did my neighbour’s electric wiring to send me a written quote for some work I needed doing.  He, however, chose to hand deliver it, and when I answered the door dazed from being woken up from a nap, he was there, holding an envelope?  Then he did the look, raised the eyebrow and took a step towards me as if to come into my flat, only stopping short when noticing the alarmed horror on mine.  The worst thing was that a week or so later, my neighbour (who knew nothing of this) asked if he could access my place in order to finish her work as her place is on the floor below mine. Great.  I made sure my ex was there when he arrived and he couldn’t get out of here fast enough.

Let me stress that whilst I admit that I am quite partial to a masculine, authoritative manual worker sometimes, but if I did like someone who was doing work in my home, I would (a) indicate my approval without making the first move, (b) only respond if I thought they liked me and (c) expect to be asked on a date and treated like a lady and not a ‘wham, bam, thankee ma’am’ opportunity.

Anyway, for the record, I did not find any of these guys attractive, nor did I give them the come on in any way, shape or form.

Then again, maybe my poor sex deprived body is making overtures all on it’s own, and leaking out ‘FUCK ME BEFORE I DRY UP!’ pheromones whenever someone with a willy is in a half mile radius of me?  Damn you Mother Nature, mind you own business, y’hear!

More likely is that presumably these neanderthals are adding together one and one then getting three all on their ownsome.

As in ‘older woman living alone + cats = gagging for it’.

Or it’s the old ‘numbers game’ where ‘any hole’s a goal’.

Either way chaps-that-do-this, it’s very annoying, potentially intimidating and you should at least wait for some kind of signal from the lady that she likes you before sauntering up to her with the look, your Roger Moore eyebrow, your ‘personal service package’ and your nuts all aflame.

And if I wanted to fuck you let me assure you that (a) you’d know it, (b) you’d have to work for it and (c) you’d respect me in the morning and every morning thereafter.

In the meantime, I am not Barbara Windsor circa 1962; I’m Sista Sertraline 2013 so move with the times already!

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Please be there

Don’t ever change

You are my rock

When life’s deranged

And when I come to my wits end

I’ll come to you, my faithful friend


So please be there

Don’t ever change

So I might fly

While you remain


Safe and sure

Like a moss covered stone

Like a safe house when I’m far from home

Like a wise old hermit in a cave

Then when the world does rant and rave

You’ll be where you’ve always been

My love, my dove, my kith, my kin


Please stay there

Don’t ever change

So I might fly

While you remain


And if I tumble from the sky

I’ll turn to you

You’ll hear my cry

You’ll tend my wounds, and heal my pain

And nurse me back to health again

And you won’t mind, or be unkind

When I venture into the world again


Please be there

Don’t ever change

And when I fly

Please do remain


When dark days come

Your hour of need

When your cries for help I do not heed

This you will bear and will not mind

Or think me selfish or unkind

Though to your side I do not dart

You know you’re always in my heart


Please stay there

Don’t ever change

As I must fly

While you remain


If wings you grow

Don’t take to the air

I won’t be able to find you there

I need to compare your life with mine

This makes my world seem oh so fine

As though I go through pain and strife

At least mine is the better life


Please stay in there

Don’t ever change

‘Tis I who fly

While you remain


Please don’t change

Where would I be

Without that knowledge

To comfort me

Be still so I, can suck you dry

And one day leave you there to die

Be there for me, my faithful friend

Be there for me, until the end.


You will be there

You will not change

Now I must fly

You will remain



Today was a bit of a bummer as I was supposed to go to a friends for tea and cake and had planned to make a Passion Fruit Pavlova to take along with me.  I even made the passion fruit curd last night in preparation in order to save time.

But my stinking cold is worse, and, as producing numerous snotty tissues at the table, is (a) bad manners (b) gross, and (c) tends to kill peoples appetite, I had to do the decent thing and bail 😦 .

But I was left with jars of fresh curd, two egg whites and a fridge full of fresh ingredients, and if you read this blog you will know I hate wasting food, so what to do?

I could have made the Pavlova regardless but there’s only one of me and I’d have ended up eating it all and doubling in size which is not an option, so I decided to make some ice cream.  It’s kind of like a frozen Eton Mess rather than the traditional stuff, but none the worse for that 🙂 .

Whilst there are three stages to this, you can just buy the fruit curd of your choice and ready made meringues, then just go straight to Stage Three and make your ice cream.  I had egg whites to use up so making my own meringues was a no brainer, but the passion fruit curd is definitely worth the effort.

STAGE ONE – Making the Passion Fruit Curd

This is the recipe I follow, courtesy of Queen Nigella of the Badunkadunk; it’s quick easy and the end result tastes amazing!

The only tips I would add is really squeeze your pips (missus) against your sieve and get as much juice out as possible, and when you have your curd on the stove do not stop stirringIt may seem like nothing is happening for ages, but when it eventually thickens it does so really quickly, so don’t risk leaving it for a minute whilst you put the kettle on, it’s not worth the risk!  If you do take that risk however (tsk, tsk..) and you see any lumps, get it off the stove and beat it with a wire whisk and if you’re not too late, that should fix it.

And there you have it!  Two and a half jars of deliciousness.


STAGE TWO – Making the Meringues

It would be no biggie if you bought these (They sell them in M&S), but you are likely to get a more ‘squidgy in the middle’ end result if you make your own, and it’s very easy.


2 egg whites (you will have these left over from the curd if you’ve made your own)

100g caster sugar


1. Heat your oven to Gas Mark 2, and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2. Put your egg whites in a clean, grease free glass bowl and slowly beat with an electric mixer or whisk until they start to foam, then increase the speed and beat until they are stiff and hold their shape.

3. Then, adding the sugar a spoonful at a time, you beat it at high speed until all the sugar has gone and you are left with glossy peaks.  It should look something like this.


4. Then, rush out of the room, sneeze, curse, blow your nose for about the one thousandth time, wince, go put some Vaseline on it, then wash your hands.  Return to the kitchen.

5. Spoon blobs of the meringue onto the baking tray.  Remember they don’t have to look pretty as you will be chopping them into bits and putting them into your ice cream.  I did eight.


6. Put them into the oven, turn it down to Gas Mark 1 and bake for an hour.

7. Give yourself a much needed sugar rush by eating any left over meringue in the bowl, then lie on the sofa for the come down, nursing a Lemsip.  Feel sorry for yourself.

8. After an hour, turn the oven off and let it and the meringues go cold.  And then they’re done!  Ta da!  Crispy, squidgy yum, yum.


STAGE THREE – Making the Ice  Cream


300 ml of whipping cream or double cream

125g of Greek yoghurt

150-200g Passion Fruit curd (more or less according to taste)

3-4 meringue nests

1 passion fruit


1. Beat the cream with the electric mixer until thickened but not too stiff.

2. Gently stir in the yoghurt, the seeds of the passion fruit, and three quarters of the curd.  Taste and add more until you are happy with the flavour.

3. Break up the meringue nests and stir in quickly.  The pieces can be a small or as large as you like, but you are more likely to retain a bit of texture if they are bigger.


4. Spoon into a shallow container, level off then quickly ripple through more curd if you wish.

5. Put into the freezer immediately and leave for a couple of hours.


6. Then, if you have any meringue nests left (I did!!) you can fill with some ice cream, pour  over any left over cream and gorge yourself.  Waste not, want not.

The best cure for a sore throat that I know of 🙂

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Hugely amused at the number of hits ‘So Now I’m Wearing No Knickers’ is getting, as when cross referencing it with (a) Likes (or lack of therein) and (b) where the readers are coming from, I strongly suspect that those showing interest were looking for something a mite more, well, titillating than this ‘my knickers have turned into cheese wire and gone up my foof again’ diatribe 🙂 .

Sorry chaps, don’t mean to be a prick tease, honest! 😉 . 

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If you ever have a sneaking suspicion that you are not living an authentic life that makes you happy, and want to check this out, I know a way.

Log into and check your last online dating profile.  And if you don’t have one?  Write one.  Don’t think about it, do it quickly without thinking too much and do the best you can.

Then (and this is the fun bit) analyse it and see how honest you were.

So, you might ask, what I am doing, rooting around in the ‘Last Chance Saloon’ of the dating world?

Well, in an effort to achieve at least some of my goals this year, I have decided to give internet dating one more try <groan>, so I have just logged onto the last website I was registered on, reviewed my old summary, and found myself asking ‘Who is this bitch?’

Firstly, I am of course anonymous (hey, I love a good nom de plume) but I stand by that having once being stalked to my workplace by someone very high up in radio, whom, after having been rebuffed, googled me, realised he knew some very senior people at my work, then implied to me that he had influence over them, and indirectly, my career, so perhaps we should meet up after all.

Creepy, creepy, creepy.  So, suffice to say, that ain’t changing.

I’d also put myself down as five years younger than I actually am; ironic seeing as one of my ‘dislikes’ is ‘people who lie’ 🙂 .

Why?  If I recall, my rationale was that any woman over 50 will not get any hits (which to be fair, is probably true) and anyway, I reasoned at the time, I don’t look my age.  That may or may not be the case, but already, I’m changing stuff about myself to make myself acceptable to people I haven’t even met yet.  Not good.

My photos were, however, relatively up to date and not 10 years old (like some people’s I could mention), but obviously the most flattering I could find, i.e. none showing me in profile which I hate.  The main shot is one is of me at a work function, champagne in hand, wearing a grey suit dress looking very corporate indeed, clearly indicating how much I was bought into that whole ‘job title = identity’ malarkey.

I hated work functions so why am I smiling? Then I remember that I was hammered from having been on the bubbles for 3 hours without any food in my stomach, and was chatting up this ginormous bloke who owned the club instead of making small talk with my clients.  Whoops.

Back to the profile; I’ve been pretty honest about my height, weight, colour of eyes etc. (what’s the point of lying about stuff like that?), but it’s the ‘About Me’ section that is the most tellling.

It reads something like this:

‘Slim, independent, attractive, professional woman living and working in the Capital seeks Batman to her Robin.  I work in Film/Marketing/Media, love my job, have a great social life with lots of friends, but am missing the icing on the cake in the form of like minded, professional, solvent alpha male soul mate for drinks, movies, dancing and maybe more!’

What an absolute pile of crap.  I hated my job, was too knackered to go out with my friends, so my social life sucked.  I was on all kinds of medication to get me though the day, but selling myself as this oh-so-together, spin-tastic go getter who loved her Blackberry more than her Rampant Rabbit (I was also too tired to even use that for the most part).

So the thing I hated the most about my life was the thing I used as my key selling point to prospective partners.  WTF?

I then go onto specifics re what I would like in a potential partner; I want funny, clever, in shape, solvent, generous, masculine, authoritative, sensitive, smoke free, spiritual, reliable, faithful, yada, yada, yada…

Who did I think I was exactly?  It’s as if I think I have access to some kind of ‘Build a Bear’ technology, and can create the ideal man, and that nothing else would do.  In hindsight, I’m amazed anyone actually bothered to contact me at all.

Also note the term ‘alpha male’. God you would think after years of dating big, muscle bound, chest-thumping, emotionally autistic dickheads that I might have learned something wouldn’t you?  Unfortunately for me, this is what has always floated my boat physically speaking, along with the odd rangy but super charismatic sexy bastard who would occasionally saunter into my life like Clint Eastwood circa 1972 (but with more attitude), and ironically, fuck with my head ten times more than he ever did with my body.

So why was I still looking for more of the same?  Is having someone hot more important than meeting a soul mate and best friend?  Evidentially it was at that time. But now?  Not so much.

When I look at this profile I marvel at how much I have changed; OK not totally for the better, but I certainly bear no relation to that highly groomed (but drunken) exec with long red nails, a politicians smile and a packet of beta blockers in her bag.

So, I can see I’m going to have to start from scratch.

But how honest can I be?

‘Slim, burnt out, once attractive woman living on a shoestring in the Capital seeks Rachet to her McMurphy.  I don’t work, have an almost non existent social life with a few trusted friends, but am missing the icing on the cake in the form of a like minded, tolerant alpha male soul mate to watch Real Housewives with, keep me calm in social situations, and, if you’re lucky, try and jump start my sexuality and see if my taking ‘scary man juice’ has moistened my muffin yet.’

Hmm.  Maybe not.

Something in the middle perhaps?

After about an hour and a half, I’m done.

I’ve updated my photos to shots that are more recent and reflect my new lifestyle; well, I’ve taken out the work snaps anyway…

My ‘About Me’ reads something like this:

‘Slim, independent, attractive female woman who has left corporate life and exploring new avenues seeks fun, attractive guy for high jinks and adventures.  If my change in lifestyle puts you off/scares you/makes you think you have to pay for everything, then you’re probably not the man for me, whatever I end up doing.  If however this intrigues you and/or makes no difference to your interest in me whatsoever, perhaps we can grab a coffee, chew the fat and see if we can put the world to rights?’

I’m quite jocular and bantering in the rest of the profile as that is how I am when I’m in a good place, and I have limited my relationship choice to ‘Just Friends’ for now, as that’s all I’m ready for, as I would have to share a bit more about myself and my condition if I was to see someone seriously, as that’s only fair to them.

So whilst I might be wasting my time and have lost 90 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back doing this, I’m proud of myself for finally letting go of everything that incorporates and connects me to my old identity, and have finally come out as a 51 year old writer/trainee yoga teacher who is still feeling her way in the world.

And if they give a damn?  They can ‘Take Me Baby or Leave Me’.