Phoenix Fights

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

1 Comment



I ask you, is there any creature more contrary than a frigging cat?

Answer – two cats.

Because, I swear to you, they collude….

In the years BC (before cats), I had beautiful natural wool off white flooring that I managed to keep immaculately clean for a good eight years.

Since being a kitty momma, it has gradually deteriorated after being clawed to smithereens, having litter walked into it, and having hairballs and undigested cat crunchies vomited on it on practically every other day.

I groom my mogs whenever I can get hold of them, but Dex is pretty fluffy and Charlie is prone to ‘scarfing and barfing’ his food anyway (because he thinks quite rightly that Dex will steal it, given half the chance) so even though I clean up any stains and deposits as soon as I can, my flooring is a patchy, scratchy shadow of it’s former self, so the time has come to have it replaced.

Aware of the havoc that these cute, innocent looking, furballs of destruction can create, I’ve taken care to do all my research with regard to avoiding loops, light colours and anything that might stain.

I then narrowed it down to four options and ordered some samples to ensure that it complemented my decor and now have found one that fits the bill perfectly.

The only fly in the ointment is that whilst a brand might say that their carpets are stain proof, vomit contains stomach acid, and if I’m at work (hah!) and this stuff is allowed to sink into the pile for a number of hours, it could still stain, so I had a brain wave.

Next time one of them puked, I would scoop it up <retch>, pile it up onto the carpet sample, then leave for eight hours or so and see if it survives the ordeal. 

Congratulating myself on my canniness, I planned ahead and got some quotes with a view to have something fitted within the fortnight, and waited for one or both of them to screw their little faces up, make that awful honking noise and produce the goods.

That was over three weeks ago.

After approximately five years of chucking up nearly every other day, their mouths are, as of now, resolutely welded shut and they haven’t so much as regurgitate a single, solitary kibble.

How.  Can.  This.  Be?

And, more to the point, why?

Why now?

I eyed Dex crunching his way delicately through his breakfast this morning, and whilst I’m not cruel enough to do anything to make him puke, I wish I could give him a temporary weight complex so that maybe he’d ram his paw down his throat just this once.

‘Putting a bit of timber on there Dexter, look at that belly!  Are you sure you haven’t eaten too much today?  Summer’s a-comin’!’

This doesn’t even break his stride.  He just looks at me scathingly and carries on regardless.  I forget he wasn’t around for my eating disorder days.

And I just know the minute I throw these carpet square in the bin, they’ll be back to putting Regan from ‘The Exorcist’ to shame.

So with regard to re-carpeting my flat, I am literally at their mercy.

And I thought I was Top Cat.

Whenever you’re ready boyz, whenever you’re ready……



EAR WORM No. 4 THE KILLERS – Mr Brightside


I slept badly last night, and this fucking song has embedded itself deep in my ear and is driving me crazy.

All those years I worked with D, I told myself I never had a thing for him and I feel like a total eejit ‘cos he’s married with a kid now and had I been able to admit it, make myself vulnerable, and take the risk of rejection, who knows what might have happened?

And now that I’ve admitted it, it hurts and whilst I’ve always said that i wasn’t a jealous person, the realisation is that I’ve never allowed myself to care enough for good looking men to be made jealous, but boy am I making up for it now!

D doesn’t know this and as far as I’m concerned, he’ll never know. Pride is a terrible thing, but right now, it’s all I have. And I want him to be happy.

I think.

Wake up Sista, unless you are reincarnated, there is no going back, there is only forward, so get this out of your system and move the fuck on before it’s too late and you’re too old/wizened/jaded/afraid to meet anyone else.

In the meantime, I’m going to have to secretly block D’s posts, ’cause to be honest?

I just can’t look, it’s killing me…..




Last night, someone’s lips met mine.

I remember.

It started as a bit of fun.

Four Italian brothers, also guests at the Cuban themed party.

G is Italian, her son L was with us and they immediately bonded with him, so we formed a bit of a group.

A gang of raucous ‘ragazoos’ with their aunties for the evening.

Then the band struck up and salsa music filled the air.

It all seemed so safe.

G and I took turns dancing with them all, and they were such good fun!  Fooling around, shaking maracas, taking photos, dancing around with someone’s wig on.

It felt like family.

Latin folk are naturally tactile, plus salsa is a pretty intimate dance, so I probably had more skin to skin, man on woman contact last night than I’ve had for a long time.

And the best part?

It felt safe.

G and I were old enough to be their mothers and the presence of young L underpinned that status, so we could relax and have fun without any misunderstandings.

So I luxuriated in their company, their warmth and frequent hugs and embraces on and off the dance floor.

At one stage we were outside and I was cold, so this guy, P, took off his coat and put it around my shoulders, and that one simple gesture lit a small, hopeful flame in my heart. One day I would meet someone my own age as sweet, attentive and solicitous as this.

Then at some part of the evening, I went upstairs to find the bathroom and found myself alone with him.

Utterly comfortable with this, because I felt safe, I stood with him and we chatted and bantered whilst we were waiting to use the loo.

You know when you’re pissed and you have a ‘deep and meaningful’ with someone and were in hindsight probably chatting a load of shit, but at the time you really felt like you were putting the world to rights?  It was like that; a true meeting of minds.  About what I can’t remember, but we just seemed to gel and agree on just about every topic you can think of.

He smiled and said something like ‘You are so cool.’ and held his arms out to hug me.  I went into them gladly.  So big, so warm, so comforting, I soaked up his embrace like a cactus sucks up water.

Then he pulled away and kissed both of my cheeks.

It was lovely; If I were a cat I would have been purring loudly.

Then he kissed me on the mouth.

For a split second, I paused, probably out of bafflement more than anything, then I pulled away, smiled, gave him a big hug then shot into the bathroom feeling a little uncomfortable and foolish.

I remember replenishing my lipstick, going back to the party and chatting to the host for a while and by the time I go back to our gang, it was fine and we were both able to act is if it hadn’t happened, so it didn’t spoil the evening.

In the cab home G confided in hushed tones (so that L who was sat in the front didn’t overhear) that one of the other brothers tried it on with her, so we laughed about it, agreed that it was kind of flattering, and that all men were dogs and went home to our respective beds.

And now I’ve remembered everything and for some reason that kiss has stayed with me all day.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t kid myself that this guy wanted anything other than a one night stand, and I’m not hankering after him, but his mouth was a revelation.

Full, soft and sweet, I can only pat myself retrospectively on the back for not caving and snogging his face off, especially as I was so plastered.

It is at least two years since I have been kissed so tenderly, and today it feels as if his mouth has left an indelible imprint on mine.

I know some of you would say (and have said) that I should just go for it, but I can’t.  I’m too proud and insecure to be someone’s ‘last chance saloon’ shag, as let’s face it, a 29 year old would not date a 50 year old seriously and I am not good at rejection.

I’m one of those stupid people who go out on dates and worry more about being rejected by a guy than whether I actually like him or not.  He could look like the Hunchback of Notre Dame and I’d be obsessing and fretting if he showed any signs of not fancying me, so am not comfortable enough in my skin to risk going on booty calls.

Then later this afternoon I went on Facebook and saw that D had uploaded his wedding photos and felt such a visceral wrench it was like someone had reached into my belly and yanked hard on my guts.

The one that got away.

Yesterday was such a great day.  I met with good friends at lunchtime, overcame a big panic attack, made myself go to my party, and had a great time, but tonight?

I feel a little sad.

You know on those old TV game shows when the contestant fails to reach the requisite score and the host puts his arm around their shoulders and says ‘This is what you could have won!’ as the curtain rolls back on stage to reveal a brand new car?

Well in this episode, God is the host, I’m that gormless donkey of a contestant, and D or someone like him is the car, and the message is ‘This is what you could have had, had you got your shit together thirty years ago!  But never mind, here’s a Blankety Blank cheque book and pen….’


And now?  I feel like a 20 year old trapped in a 50 year olds body.  At my best I’m childish, playful, mischievous and fun and can’t help but doubt that I’ll find a man my own age who would want or appreciate this in a woman of my advancing years, and I’m too mental and intolerant to settle for someone mature with a ‘middle aged’ personality who watches ‘Extreme Fishing’ with Robson Green and wears M&S slacks and novelty ties.

I strongly suspect I’m not on my own with this feeling, and tomorrow I will put my best foot forward and not mope about it, but right now?

As futile and stupid as it is, I have to say this.

I would give anything to be able to go back in time thirty years and do it right this time around.

There, I’ve said it.

‘Last night I felt real arms around me.

No hope, no harm.

Just another false alarm’.






Feeling a mite fragile after partying Cuban stylee last night, imbibing huge glasses of Mojito (75% alcohol content) and salsa-ing with some young Latino cafe owners in the most unsuitable fashion….

What frickin’ signals am I sending out to the universe here?  I promise you, it was not my fault, I didn’t initiate it!!

So I don’t have much to say today beyond ‘Ooooh’, ‘Aaaahh’ and ‘Urgh’ other than that I’m praying that no one took any footage of my antics and if they did, I can only hope that they are open to bribery and corruption….

I did however bake yesterday, so have a recipe for yummy sourdough muffins for you 🙂

The reason I know that they are yummy is that I found four muffin papers on the kitchen floor this morning, so unless my cats have developed opposable thumbs overnight, I must have scarfed them when staggering in at some God awful hour, before tottering into the bedroom fully clothed and passing out on top of my bedclothes.

Anyway, here it is, my contribution for today, enjoy x



1 medium sized onion, chopped

1 tblsp olive oil

1 tblsp balsamic vinegar

1 tblsp brown sugar

125g plain flour (or rye if you wish)

6g/3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2g/1/4 tsp salt

250g of grated mature cheddar plus a bit for sprinkling/decoration

50g pumpkin seeds plus some for sprinkling/decoration

1 tsp powdered mustard (or jar mustard if you have no dried)

300g sourdough culture

60g Carotino oil (or sunflower oil is also fine)


You will need to have some sourdough culture in order to make these.  You can either make your own (Paul Hollywood shows you how to make one here or some nice person can give you some to breed from!

I tend to keep about 100g of mine in a plastic pot with holes in so that it doesn’t explode and cover my kitchen/fridge with smelly, white gunk.

The night before you plan to bake, you need to take out your starter and feed it with equal parts of strong baking flour and tepid water, then leave it somewhere warm overnight.  You always need to have some left to keep, so in this instance you would add 150g strong bread flour and 150g water so that you will have approximately 100g left to put back in the fridge to use another day.

This is how it looks when you take it out of the fridge. Sometimes it will have a layer of brackish looking water floating on top of it, but this is fine, you just mix it in before adding more flour and water.


Mix the bread flour and water in thoroughly cover, then leave somewhere warm overnight. The next day it will have grown in size and have lots of bubbles running though it, and that’s when it’s ready to use.

So it should look something like this:


For the Onions:

  1. Fry the onion in the olive oil very slowly for 15-20 minutes
  2. Add the balsamic and sugar and cook slowly for another 10 minutes to caramelise
  3. Allow to cool


The Muffins

1.  Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7/220c

2.  Mix together plain flour, bicarb, salt and powdered mustard

3.  Add the cheese, pumpkin seeds and onions.  Make sure the onions don’t clump together and are distributed evenly throughout the mixture.


4.  In a separate bowl mix together the culture, oil and wet mustard if you don’t have any powdered.  The Carotina oil makes it this lovely colour and is good for you to boot.  Bargain!


5.  Add the wet to the dry ingredients, and mix gently until just incorporated.  The mixture will be quite stiff.


6.  Fill paper cases then sprinkle the tops with some grated cheese then a few pumpkin seeds.

7.  Bake for 15-20 mins or until skewer comes out clean


Serve (when you are sober ideally) with a nice cup of tea.  Delicious both warm and cold and you can freeze on the day and defrost them when needed.  Lovely dunked into home made soup.


And there you have it.   A muffin to be proud of. 😉




I’m going to say this quietly as I don’t want to scare it away (yet), but it appears that my sexuality has slunk back in the door and is sniffing around, growling quietly to itself and sharpening its claws on the cat post in the corner as we speak.

Know how I know?

Well apart from the weird horny dreams I’ve been having of late, I am finding my encounters with some of my partners at ballroom lessons a whole lot more uncomfortable/exciting.

Since I hit 40 I’ve always managed to persuade myself that women who pray on younger men were tragic, and to date I only ever viewed boys as (a) little brothers (b) amusing/irritating in equal parts, or (c) a target for any tiny shreds of maternal instinct that I have left.

I have nephews, my friends have adult sons and I’ve had to deal with young, handsome men in the workplace for years, but my role was never in question then.  My natural instinct was to ‘Auntie’ them, that is to say give them the benefit of my experience of the world when needed/requested/essential (not in that way), cuff them around the head occasionally and bung them a tenner or the odd bit of cake when the mood took me.


Everyone knew who they were and what their roles were.

Until now.

Now I find it increasingly difficult to look some of my partners in the eye whilst lumbering around the dance floor.  Especially one young, doe eyed Latin bloke who, like most mediterraneans has no problem with intimacy whatsoever, and locks eyes with me flirtatiously whenever we partner up.

I like to think that I am a sexually confident, formidable, sophisticated woman of the world who is beyond being unsettled by any man, let alone some little slip of a thing that can just about grow a beard, but the other night, quite frankly, I barely knew what to do with myself around him so I alternated between avoiding him, being silly (cue mad, overly dramatic tango promenades), and locking eyes with him, pretending to flirt and then being totally unnerved by the genuine chemistry that sprang up between us like, well, like a big, happy, bobbing man’s member.  Eeekk!


I know I should be pleased that my Mojo has returned and I haven’t totally dried up like an out of date vanilla pod, but I find this attraction to men young enough to be my son absolutely mortifying, as it is something I never dreamed would happen to me.  In fact whenever I’ve seen an older woman slobbering over some kid (I had to use eye bleach for months after one  particular holiday in the Gambia – don’t even ask) I’ve told friends that if I ever did anything like that to put a bullet between my eyes.  Right. Between. My. Eyes.  Don’t even think about firing a warning shot or winging me, because if I’m behaving like that, I’ve already hit the slippery slope (missus) and there will be no coming back from it.

Not only that, but I’m not even good at going out with good looking men of my own age, let alone half of it, because, as a very insecure women who has little trust in those of the male persuasion (romantically albeit), I don’t like being the less attractive one, as, as far as my twisted logic is concerned, the odds are higher with regard to my being hurt.

Plus waking up next to someone who looks like a Caravaggio saint, whilst I look like Bette Davis in ‘Baby Jane’ is quite frankly, my idea of hell.

And then, if I had any doubt about it, the final bit of evidence came to light today, as I have spent most of this evening tearing various BT operators limb from limb because their service is shit.  In the end I had to put the phone down because I was shaking with anger and frustration, and my higher self was scared of what I might say, and that they might end up calling the police or needing therapy or something.

As I sipped a G&T to help me calm down, it struck me that I haven’t lost my temper like that for a long, long time, and then the final bit of the puzzle clicked into place.

My most angry, resentful, temperamental time on this earth has been during my potential child bearing years.

Anger = passion.

Passion = sexuality.

Sexuality – jiggy jiggy = cranky + Scary Man Juice = homicidal rage.

It’s official.  Somehow my Mojo has been rejuvenated and amped up my tendency to fly off the handle, and now, something that has teeth, claws and appetite is stalking around the periphery of my flat, glaring ominously and demanding to be fed.

But how?  Scary Man Juice hasn’t really worked before now?

And then I remember.  I haven’t taken my meds for two days.  And whilst I’ve always been aware that Sertraline is hardly an aphrodisiac, this is clear proof that it has been having a libido stifling, bromide like effect on me.

So I face an interesting dilemma; Sexuality v Sanity.

The choices here are:

1. Release the Kraken and potentially unleash a scarier, more unhinged Sista on the world?


2.  Keep taking the tablets?

This I need to think about.

Lives are at stake here….




Guess what?

As if to complement what was the warmest, sunniest day of 2013 here in London, I just got nominated for the Sunshine Award by the lovely soad88, bless her heart!

Whilst I’m not always the sunniest natured of folk (* unless I mix my meds with alcohol and/or Nurofen plus that is), I am hugely flattered that she finds me entertaining, especially as she is such a gifted writer herself 🙂 .

OK, so here are the rules:

  • Include the awards logo in a post or on your Blog.
  • Link to the person who nominated you.
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself.
  • Nominate 10 Bloggers.
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their Blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.

Ten questions about me:

Favorite color:  Teal blue or burnt orange
Favorite animal:  Argh, I love all animals, but I’d better say cats otherwise mine will sulk and/or scratch my new ballet flats…
Favorite number:  6
Favorite non-alcoholic drink:  Tea.  There is no competition, OK?  Second place, water.  Don’t like fizzy drinks, total waste of calories and coffee is the devil’s piss….
Favorite alcoholic drink:  Wine, all kinds, especially with food.  G&T is my favourite short, and don’t mind Pimms or a Bellini or two when it’s warm 🙂
Favorite types of music:  Another toughie!  Like all kinds of music, but currently going through a Northern Soul obsession
My passion(s):  Baking, cooking, writing, getting good customer service, yoga, music, mental health awareness, dancing.  Oh, and salted caramel ice cream.
Prefer getting or giving presents:  I’d rather give great presents than receive some of the heinous shit that has been given to me over the years.  Sorry, that wasn’t very Sunshiny was it?!
Favorite cities:  Barcelona, Rome, Sydney, New York, York, Bath
Favorite TV show:  Probably The Sopranos

My ten nominees are: – Because he’s hilarious and I’ve forgiven him for nearly putting me off yoghurt for life…. – Joyful, spiritual and inspiring website, fellow yogi and dancer – A group blog with a nice mixture of contributors/comment.  Particularly like Gee who bangs on about how much women annoy him which makes me laugh 🙂 – Entertaining, honest and flying the flag for lipstick lovin’ mamas everywhere! – Miss Dolly is a personal trainer who creates amazing, low fat recipes that even I’d eat, so well worth checking out if you’re trying to get your beach bod back in time for Summer.  If we get a proper one that is…. – Great writer, gifted poet and kindred spirit – I love toemail!  Great writing and pictures of peoples feet.  Sounds random I know, but check it out, and if you take a nice photo of your tootsies they’ll feature it!  How ace is that? – Does what it says on the tin.  A very positive, motivated, inspiring fellow Artists Way-er, but much more dedicated to it than I’ve been to date….. – This chap appears to have helped me discover why I’m such a mad, oversensitive bitch, and what to do about it, more on that to come. – Feisty bird, great blog, choc full of creativity x

And there you have it!

Keep reading, big love, mwah! xx

* mixing prescription meds with over the counter meds and/or alcohol NOT recommended so please don’t try this at home!

Leave a comment



He takes my hand.

We enter the hotel lift and as it ascends, and his lips brush mine, the lights go out.  

Someone gets in at the next floor.  He pulls away, but in the darkness, his fingers trace the length of my spine.  I catch my breath, and will the lift to move quicker, the tension palpable in the small airless space.

We get out after two floors, go into a room and get into bed.

There’s a TV flickering at the end of the bed, but we’re not really watching it.

He holds me softly, his arm resting lightly around my shoulders, the fingers of his right hand flicking my hair out of my eyes, his breath hot on my cheek.  As I reach out to pull him closer, I hear floorboards creak and the rustle of bedsheets.

I look to my right and my Mum is lying on the bed next to us, staring resolutely at the TV, pretending that this is totally normal and that she can’t sense my consternation and sheer unadulterated exasperation.

For God’s sake!  This is ridiculous.  I’m a grown woman?

His body grazes mine as he straddles me, then starts to descend, disappearing under the duvet.

‘Oooh look!’ shrieks my Mum loudly, ‘It’s David Attenborough!  I love his programmes, don’t you?’

I mutter curse words under my breath and turn my head, shooting her daggers, willing her to fuck the hell off, NOW.

She won’t look at me.

Big warm hands clasp my ankles, the bedclothes ascend as my trembling knees rise and fall apart to allow him access, and my hands disappear into his hair as his head descends.

‘That poor zebra!,’ exclaims Mum turning up the volume so that the room is filled with the sound of scuffling, growling and frightened braying, ‘nature is very cruel, isn’t it?’

‘Mum, please?’ I hiss furiously, ‘We don’t get to see one another very often, can we have a bit of privacy, just for once?’

No reply.

He’s on his back now, so I turn and bury my head into his chest, my belly queasy with desire.  Fingers tremblingly grazing his abdomen, I turn my face up for a kiss.

Mum blows her nose loudly.

‘For fuck sake!  Can’t we just have a cuddle in peace?’

Mum laughs shrilly ‘That’s not very ladylike is it?  I bet your friend doesn’t swear at his mother, does he?’

There’s a knock at the door.

I leap out of bed and answer it.

It’s my Dad.

‘Dad, please make her go!  I’m not a kid anymore, surely I’m entitled to some privacy?  And it’s not like I’m going to get pregnant anymore is it?’

Dad’s face is like thunder.  ‘Now you listen to me, I’m 58 and know more about men and what they’re really after than you do and….’

‘No you’re not!  I’m 50, so how can that be?’

Dad laughs sheepishly.  ‘OK, well that might be true but no daughter of mine….’

I slam the door shut and turn back to the bed.

He’s out of bed now with his back to me.  I can see the expanse of his broad muscular back, his slightly narrowing waist and the outline of his bum through the thin, damp, white towelling robe.

I turn my back on him, and feigning indifference, casually shrug off my robe and get back into bed.

He turns to face me now, his erection tenting up the robe, a small, almost inperceptible smile turning up the corners of his mouth.

Oh God.

Golden skin, tawny eyes, full lips, dark, tangled, curly wet hair.

I can feel his heat even from this distance.

I lie back, turn on my side, close my eyes and wait.

Something soft brushes my right eye.

I ignore it.  He’s going to have to do better than that.

Again, something soft brushes against my eye, more firmly this time.

I raise my hand and flick it away.

Then something warm, soft and spiky scratches my eyelid.


I open my eyes and there’s Dexter looking extremely indignant, sitting on my chest, his paw hovering over my face.

I groan with realisation and disappointment, then reach for the stale glass of water on my bedside table.

Fucking Scary Man juice!  Right now I need weird wet dreams like a hole in the head.

I climb wearily out of my lonely bed, conscious of the small pulse of desire throbbing away in my lower abdomen.  I grimace.  All revved up and no place to go.  If it was still night I’d be on the common howling at the moon.

I don’t like feeling this way.  It’s brought me nothing but trouble in the past.

I pull back the curtains and squint at the blinding sunshine, then stretch and yawn.  A strange deeper, more visceral sound starts to emit from deep inside my gut.

The cats stare up at me, appalled.


Time to arrange another blind date.




Driving into town today I had to brake hard to avoid hitting a man dressed in sweats, a camouflage jacket and hobnail boots who strode into the middle of the road holding an imaginary gun.

As I slowed, he walked towards the front of my vehicle.

Our eyes locked.

Then, he gave me an almost imperceptible nod and waved me on with his weapon.

As I drove away I glanced into my rear view mirror and watched the back of his Che Guevara beret bounce frantically on his head as the rat-tat-tat-tat of (oral) machine gun fire filled the air.

I think I may have found one of my tribe.


Leave a comment

I love this track but no doubt about it, it’s very ‘woe is me’ so a good Pity Party number to slope around in the kitchen on your own to, sipping miserably on warm Lambrini, whilst everyone else is dancing around, snorting coke or snogging on the sofa having a good time….

And no, my love hasn’t gone, I don’t have one, but I’m sure if I did he would have, and the lyrics are nice and bitter so will hopefully get this piss poor mood out of my system.

Mathilde Santing does a great version too, so well worth checking it out.

Twiglet anyone?