Phoenix Fights

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




I don’t know about anyone else, but I find myself reading articles in the papers nearly every day that make me sad, angry, ashamed of my own kind, but more than that, ashamed to be a middle aged woman as the ‘ladies’ who write or are featured in them, do not do themselves, or the rest of us, any favours.

More often than not, the target of their distain is someone in the public eye, who for some reason, cannot, or is not willing or able to speak up and defend themselves.

Case in point, today I want to talk about the Middleton sisters.

First Kate, who tends to get the lions share of this kind of vitriol from some pretty mean old cougars.

A whole plethora of people in the public eye have criticised her style, lifestyle, make up, thinness and, even for not recycling her clothes often enough, this particular allegation coming from Vivienne Westwood.  So presumably she won’t mind too much when Kate doesn’t buy any of hers?  And at least the Duchess no doubt remembers to put some knickers on when she goes to the palace, which is more than we can say for Viv, who’s nunny is never out of the papers of late…

Conversely, the less than regal Ms Kelly Osbourne very kindly indirectly informed the Duchess of Cambridge that whilst it might be politically correct in the UK to wear the same thing more than once, doing so in her country is considered a ‘faux pas’.  I doubt that Kelly even knows the direct translation of ‘faux pas’ i.e. what it means, but it’s awfully nice of her to let Kate know what the done thing is in the USA, so that she can perhaps let her advisors have the afternoon off or something.

Whilst I quite like Viv and Ms O, neither of them live in what any of us mere mortals would call the real world, and they seem to forget that Kate is pretty new to this job, was herself a commoner not that long ago, and probably wore the same frocks once a month like the rest of us, and as these conflicting views indicate, you just can’t please everyone or indeed anyone all of the time.

Then, the author Hilary Mantel in a lecture at the British museum dubbed Kate ‘a plastic princess’, ‘a jointed doll on which rags are hung’, ‘bland’ and ‘born to breed’, just, coincidentally, around the time that she needed some cheap publicity for her Costa book award, niftily ensuring that the sales of her novels would soar, clearly reinforcing the theory that there really is no such thing as bad publicity, as thanks to her patronising, bitchy tirade, people in this country actually know who she is now.  Not exactly a badge of honour though, is it?


Then, hot on the heels of this onslaught came broadcaster and TV’s Mrs Potato Head, Sandi Toksvig’s declaration that the Duchess ‘does not hold a single opinion’ and that she is ‘not enough for me’.  Cue KM breathing a massive sigh of relief no doubt….

Ms Toksvig then compares Kate with Cheryl Cole who she likes and admires, remarking that Chezza, unlike a lot of famous women ‘says what she thinks’ and rather more sinisterly admits that she ‘does fancy her quite a bit’.  Run, Cheryl, run!

These  two seemingly intelligent older ladies are essentially shooting fish in a proverbial barrel, knowing full well that the Duchess’ job is quite a unique one, and that anyone joining the royal family is going to be somewhat limited with regard to what she can say or do in public.

So, unlike Cheryl Cole, Sandi, Kate cannot get into a cat fight/race row with a female toilet attendant, call Lily Allen ‘a chick with a dick’ on Twitter, or take Simon Cowell down a peg or two on TV.

See the difference, you pompous old battle-axe?  X Factor judge/singer v wife to the future King of this country?

I think that we also forget that Diana didn’t have that much to say with regard to opinions until she split from Charles, and was only really able to speak freely after this.


Another British journalist who seems to delight in putting down her fellow females is the infamous Liz Jones.

I try very hard not to be a hater, but Ms Jones pulls my chain more than practically anyone else on this planet.  Ex diarist and editor of Marie Claire, Daily Mail columnist Jones quite frankly makes me looks sane.  She is in turn arrogant and self pitying, attacking men who are disrespectful to women, then attacking any woman that shows up on her radar, pleading poverty and practically begging for donations then sneering at those who can’t afford her designer lifestyle, decrying men then boasting about her anonymous ‘rock star’ boyfriend, and she still bangs on about her ex husband (who she split from about seven years ago) in practically everything she writes, even though she stopped writing her diary of their life years ago.  Get over it biatch!

Liz also has rampant mid life crisis disorder and has over the past couple of years (after bitching about practically every woman over 35’s physical deterioration as if it were a criminal offence) had a face lift, has had various facial injectables and, to my infinite chagrin, a horse tattoo on her arm to make her look younger and more rock ‘n’ roll.

Just after I had mine.

If it wasn’t so painful I swear I’d get mine removed. 😦

She also has the uncanny knack of turning any article about any subject (Cameron, Obama, Mandela, the Moors Murderers, nuclear physics, bread making) into one about her good self complete with shots of her grinning, newly stretched, shiny moon face beaming up from the pages.

Liz did find recently herself somewhat out of her depth when she had a pop at feisty young Rihanna, dubbing her ‘Pops Poisonous Princess’ in the Daily Mail, berating her for being a bad influence on young girls, and shockingly claiming that her fashion sense ‘incites rape’, as Ri Ri promptly bitch slapped her within an inch of her life, and Instagrammed her using a very unflattering photo where her fans also gave Liz a roasting.  She then took Jones’ criticisms apart, claiming that she never aspired to be a role model, said that Jones is a ‘sad, sloppy, menopausal mess’, that she Rihanna was happy to be who she was, and essentially told her to back off.



AEGON Championship - Day Four

Today, Liz has clearly finished licking her wounds and recovered from that fight, and she is now having a go at Pippa Middleton, stating that she has terrible dress sense, proclaiming mockingly that she must ‘dress in the dark’ and has the sheer bloody audacity to criticise the lovely 29 year olds body, sneering at her ‘knobbly knees’ and ‘spaniels ears breasts’.

Whilst Pippa’s taste in clothes is clearly a matter of opinion, Jones’ relentless misogyny and attack dog behaviour, particularly towards young, pretty women makes me fume.  I know reaction and attention is cat nip to someone like her, but I have in the past responded to her columns online, and vented big time.  Shameful I know 😦

I also need to emphasise that I’m not a die hard royalist here, although I don’t mind most of them, and love young Harry.

I just don’t like bullies.

The thing is, (and I hate to admit this) she and I are near enough the same age, so I get how she feels deep down under that ‘look at how young I look’ airbrushed veneer.  I haven’t always felt loved or accepted, I didn’t manage to find the right man to have children with…

(Oh, sorry, she hates kids, she much prefers animals.  She’s a vegan, you know? Albeit a leather wearing one…)

…and I sometimes get a bit wistful when I see a young, beautiful girl out strutting her stuff, wishing I could go back in time and reclaim my much-derided-but-was-pretty-damn-hot-actually twenty year old body and live my life again without fear and taking more risks, but I’ve never ever felt or shown the kind of jealousy and hatred that Jones clearly feels towards the next generation.  And I can safely say that I’ve never had a go at anyone who hasn’t attacked me first, especially if they weren’t able to defend themselves.

The fact is lovely-ladies-of-a-certain-age, we had our turn, we did what we did with it, and now it’s their turn, so move on with love and acceptance to the next part of your life, and don’t look back.  I struggle with being older too, but there’s no point in being bitter and twisted about it.

And those vitriolic old bags who feel the need to attack or pick on young women, either in real life or in print, I suggest you take yourself off to somewhere nice and peaceful, do a little self searching and see if you can figure out what’s behind that impulse, as understanding yourself might just be the key to coping with the ageing process without hurting others.

As for you young ‘uns?  Enjoy your youth, my beauties, no matter what your shape, size or style, live, laugh and love bravely without regrets because time is so very short and precious; far too precious to be obsessing about your appearance or anyone elses’ for that matter.

And to Jones, Mantel, Westwood, Toksvig et all, I say, bitches, pick on someone your own size, or failing that, take a good long hard look in the mirror and apply some of that lofty, arrogant, coruscating criticism to your good selves.

And let’s just hope it doesn’t crack before you finish.




Yoga, new friends, cafe au lait and cookies, a walk in the sun, a yummy lunch, kitty cuddles, ceilidh, Scottish folk band, Goatee man in the friend zone, more new friends, some male attention of the non friend kind, a nice warm bath, time for bed.

In the words of Ice Cube….


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The Ear Worms are coming thick and fast this month, and embed themselves DEEP.

Or maybe drinking on top of my meds again isn’t the best thing I can do for myself.

Or maybe in homage to Anthony K I should do it more ‘cos I’d sure love some of his energy 😉


Then again, I shouldn’t whine.  Just went to see my friend (who’s just lost her mum), and whilst I was there she got a text to say one of her closest friends just died from stomach cancer.

And he was younger than us.

I didn’t know Rico very well, but he tore through and devoured life like it was a big, juicy chunk of steak.  He was a risk taker, wild, outlandish, sometimes selfish, but so charming and funny everyone loved him.

God bless and keep you Rico, you mad bugger x

And God, send down a bit of that joie de vivre if you’ve got any spare going, so that I can stop picking at life like it was a soggy lentil salad.  With tofu.  Yuck.

‘Can’t stop the spirits when they need you

This life is more than just a read thru’


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My attempted reblog and response to Mr Fry’s oh so eloquent article about loneliness, ‘ONLY THE LONELY’.

Dear Stephen

I totally get what you are saying, the whole push me/pull you/self sabotaging aspect of being as we are is immensely frustrating, and ever so hard to explain, even to the most benign and sympathetic.

I’m also on meds, and although every now and then I peer through rose tinted bins at a future where I’m all Zen, serene, balanced, and yes, even happy, walking this earth no longer needing them, but in truth, I honestly can’t see it somehow.  I’m not working and I notice immediately if I don’t take my particular poison every day, so how the hell would I cope when out there interacting in the big wide workplace without them?

At the time I was put on my current dose of this stuff, my doctor soothingly assured me that my condition was greatly exacerbated by the traumatic events of being bullied by my boss and booted out of the the workplace (and yes, they did know about my condition), being older, not living close to my family, living alone, the menopause, blah blah blah…and that things would get better once I made a brand new start, but I’d been hanging on by my fingertips for years, and had no desire to reestablish my grip without the aid of medication.

And, even when I allegedly had everything a woman could want (youth, job, home, man who wanted to marry me, a bright future etc.) I would sit there in this desirable environment, surrounded by happy, chatty, optimistic folk, and think ‘Is this it?’ as it all felt like huge anti climax somehow.

As do many things.

And although I’m often lonely, my main default impetus is to go home as soon as I can.


And when I’m at home, guess what?

I’m lonely.

And now that I’m kind of ‘out’ as a known depressive (sounds like I should be signing some kind of police register, doesn’t it?!) quite a few friends and acquaintances have fallen by the wayside, but in a lot of ways it matters not.  There have been many times when I’ve forced myself into company so as to not ‘be alone’ and as soon as I find myself there, I’m counting the minutes until I can leave.

I’ve been on lovely holidays, to the finest restaurants, red carpet events, festivals, family events and amazing countries and cities, but I usually can’t wait to get the fuck outta Dodge, and as soon as I leave, I forget pretty much everything about them.

I was once at a concert where two of the biggest divas in the world (both of whom I worship) were duetting, something I should have been honoured to witness and y’know what? All I could think was ‘Hmmm, we’re running over time, hope we don’t miss that last train home’.

One blessed relief from reading your stuff is that you don’t try and come up with an explanation for all this shit.  Because there isn’t one.  It just is what it is.

And that thought in itself makes me, for a fraction of a second, a little less lonely.

Many thanks for staying and writing about your condition, you are helping more people than you’ll ever know.

Sister Sertraline (of the 7 wounds) x




Ladies and gentlemen, I believe it is fair to say, that I don’t have, and have never had, a really pretty face.

For the record this not body dysmorphia talking.

And, suffice to say, the onset of old age is not helping. 😦

By the same token, it’s also fair to say that I have attracted my fair share of good looking guys, have truly been loved and cherished (albeit temporarily), and whilst for the most part, I put that down to the fact that I have an OK figure, I can (in the right light/circumstances/bag on head) look quite nice when viewed face on.

It’s my profile that shows where I’ve been whacked hardest with the ugly stick, my nose being the biggest culprit.

Whilst showing you a photo would obviously compromise my anonymity, I’m going to try and give you some idea of what we’re dealing with here.

The nicest thing anyone has said to me about my looks in the last five years came from a workmate who said that she thought I looked a bit like Katie White from the Ting Tings.



Whilst part of me would love to believe this, and I can see where she was coming from, pardon the pun, but as the song goes, ‘That’s not my name!’ (sorry…)

I. Wish.

Maybe, when I was 20, I could have been her rather less pulchritudinous sister.

Or, at a pinch, she could be my daughter. Had I bred with Chris Hemsworth.

The next comparison came from an old lady who once compared me with (the lovely) Debbie McGee.


Well. As her not so lovely husband, Paul Daniels, might say, ‘Not a lot…'(sorreee….)

But one of the worst allegations came from a rather malicious busker playing on a London underground platform, who, when I strode past him, must have been peeved that I had not dropped any coinage in his greasy trilby.

‘And, you look like Margaret Thatcher!’ he sang at me, rather innovatively and with a fair bit of venom during his rendition of ‘Where Do You Go To, My Lovely?’ as I leapt onto the train.



Just harsh.

It’s funny now, but that happened about twenty seven years ago and he’s probably dead now (I hope 😉 ), but I’ve never forgotten it.

I wonder why insults stick more than complements?

Margaret Thatcher?

No wonder my Dad was so derogatory about my looks.

I’ve also got quite a mouthful of teeth on me, and I’m not even going to go into what my early teens were like or I was called at school by my family, friends, and enemies alike, but suffice to say, UGLY has been branded onto my soul, bone deep, and will probably be there till my dying day.

So when I sprouted tits and legs in my late teens, I grasped at these blessings and desperately hung onto them like Jack Dawson did to that bit of wood in the sea at the end of ‘Titanic’, and as soon as I started earning a wage at sixteen, I bought contact lens…

(Yes, that’s right. I was speccy too. In sum, speccy, goofy, weird nose with reddish hair and thick National Health glasses. Thanks so much for that, God…)

….and did everything I could to discourage the ‘U’ word from attaching itself, leech like, to me ever again.

And a lot of the time, I succeeded. Perky tits draw the male eye much more than big teeth, and if those eyes travelled up for any reason they were immediately dazzled by a shock of bleach blonde hair and carefully rouged, slightly parted full, glossy lips, and all of course, was forgiven.

But for a whole plethora of reasons, I never felt beautiful enough to be loved, never trusted anyone to love me for myself, and if anyone was foolish enough to, they’d come a cropper because there must be something wrong with them if they want me.


And of course, I always envied the beautiful girls, especially those of the kittenish variety with perfect faces and cute little noses who couldn’t not be pretty if they tried.

Meg Ryan. Ulrika Johnnson. Michelle Pfeiffer. Debbie Harry. Shannen Doherty. Lisa Bonet.

I could have had a million pounds worth of surgery, or even a head transplant, but I would never get to look like them in a million years.


Of course my yet-to-be-acknowledged mental illness ran riot with this, and happily, breezily stirred the shit, whipping up my paranoia to frenzy level whenever an opportunity arose.

Someone laughing in the room/street/nightclub? They were laughing at my face.

Someone scowling in the room/street/nightclub? They hated me because I was so ugly.

Someone ignores me in the room/street/nightclub? They’re ashamed to be seen with me, because blah, blah, bleugh…..

However, whilst some of these things may have been my imagination, I have been the subject of brutal name calling, even in middle age, usually albeit, by people even uglier than I am.

And it still hurts. Make no mistake about it.

Don’t pity me too much though, ‘cos I am quick witted, very observant and the years have sharpened my tongue, so any fool wanting to take me on nowadays gets their arse cored, with all the mercy and subtlety of a Cillit Bang enema.

I take no prisoners, people.

Then the other day I looked at my reflection in the mirror and told myself:

‘Sista, this shit is not going to get better y’know.

You face has gotten thinner in the last year and there is only so much Botox you can do, so your ‘at least I don’t look my age’ card is getting a little frayed.

Your figure is OK, but your skin isn’t that of a sixteen year old so you might want to give the bikinis away to Oxfam this year.

You know you are getting less male attention.

Your next big birthday is sixty.

All those women you used to long to look like? Even their looks are starting to spoil, like strawberries left out in the hot sun.

So bitch, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are not going to get prettier. You are, from a totally superficial point of view, going get uglier.


What are you going to do about it?’


But true.

The last of my Aces in this life has been snatched out of my hands, and thrown on the fire to join blonde, skinny and sexy; intimidating, confident bitch; and high profile executive.

Then, one night, it occurred to me that if Ugly is going to stay with me for the rest of my days, I might as well embrace it and try and make the most out of it.

So instead of deleting/hiding my most hideous photos, I’m going to look for them, keep them and send them off to a photographic agency for people with ‘Interesting Faces’ and see if I can’t benefit for once for having the profile of the most hated Tory MP in history.

I may even try and get ‘extra’ work. I think I’d look very at home as a peasant in the crowd circa Tudor times in ye olde England. 😉

I may even have professional shots done!

Loving my looks and indeed myself is still so far away and is probably the biggest challenge I’ve ever attempted with regard to personal growth or development.

So please, wish me luck folks, because I’m sure as hell going to need it as things are about to get even uglier…..


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I’ve had this song on my mind for a couple of days now, and I’ve been driving myself mad trying to figure out what it is.

All I knew lyrics wise was the line ‘then I’m gone’ which repeats and repeats and has been going round and round in my head, so given that I’m agitated enough today, I went on a lyric finder search engine so put it to bed once and for all, and it turned out to be this.

I don’t normally print the lyrics of my Ear Worms, but these are so fucking relevant, I had to.

Waking with good intentions is one thing; following them through, quite another….

Amazing track, dedicated to fellow earth dwellers who, like me, fall by the wayside only too often x


Will you recognize me in the flashing lights
I try to keep my heart clean, but I can’t get it right
Will you recognize me, when I’m lying on my back
Somethings gone inside me, and I can’t get it back

Oh heaven, oh heaven, I wake with good intentions,
But the day it always lasts too long
Then I’m gone!
Oh heaven, oh heaven, I wake with good intentions,
But the day it always lasts too long
Then I’m gone, then I’m gone, then I’m gone, then I’m gone
Then I’m gone, then I’m gone, then I’m gone, then I’m gone

Will you recognize me, when I’m stealing from the poor
You’re not gonna like me, I’m nothing like before
Will you recognize me, when I lose another friend?
Will you learn to leave me, or give me one more try again

Oh heaven, oh heaven, I wake with good intentions,
But the day it always lasts too long
Then I’m gone!
Oh heaven, oh heaven, I wake with good intentions,
But the day it always lasts too long
Then I’m gone, then I’m gone, then I’m gone, then I’m gone
Then I’m gone, then I’m gone, then I’m gone, then I’m gone

Oh heaven, oh heaven, I wake with good intentions,
Oh heaven, oh heaven, I wake with good intentions,
Oh heaven, oh heaven, I wake with good intentions,
You say that you’re away, I try but always break
Cause the day always lasts too long
Then I’m gone, then I’m gone, then I’m gone, then I’m gone
Then I’m gone, then I’m gone, then I’m gone
Then I’m gone, then I’m gone, then I’m gone, then I’m gone
Then I’m gone, then I’m gone, then I’m gone, then I’m gone