Phoenix Fights

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




This post was inspired by my old friend Mr Mary ( who very reasonably asks today, what is the big deal about women growing their armpit hair, along with bringing to our attention the activities of a group called ‘Armpits for August’ utilising this seemingly innocuous activity as a feminist statement, raising awareness for PCOS, and encouraging our most hirsuite sistas to be out, bristly and proud.

Friends from across the pond, is this for real?!  I would never discriminate against any of my female brethren, hairy or otherwise, and I have a couple of friends with PCOS and know the side effects are numerous and hideous, and whilst raising awareness for charity is most admirable, I don’t think they’ve ever mentioned being treated badly by anyone because of it?

If I didn’t know better, I’d swear this was a faux news item on ‘The Day Today’ brought to us by an appalled Christopher Morris complete with clothes peg clamped over his nose and a weed whacker slung over his shoulder.


Then I noticed that, of course, bloody old sad sack Madonna is right in the thick(et) of things and treating us once again to yet another shot of her manky old body parts, and my irritation levels just soared….

Can I just say how BORED I am at having to look at even more of her cracks and crevices, because as it is, I could recognise her minny in a police line up and I’ve never even met the woman!  I’m amazed she hasn’t braced her hairy/bleached/tattooed bum hole in our collective faces, such is her desperation to stay relevant and down wit da kids, and sorry to all you Madge fans out there, but it’s absolutely pathetic.

The same goes for Miley Cyrus (  No nobody is shocked dear, we’ve all seen it before, and to invert/paraphrase that old saying, nips/cracks/sphincters/flaps/pits are like opinions, everyone has them so what’s so special about yours?!

If you’re a hermaphrodite, I might favour you with a second glance out of sheer curiosity, but if not, put it away FFS, it’s TEDIOUS BEYOND BELIEF!


That said, Madonna and co, if you insist on getting your bits out and displaying them to as many people as possible, may I suggest that you contract an infection/do yourself a mischief and get yourself a guest spot on ‘Embarrassing Bodies’, as if you’re very lucky they might let you on a live clinic and you can point your flaps toward a webcam for all the world to see.

Just give me advance warning please, and I’ll remove the plug from my TV.

And possibly leave the country.  Just to be on the safe side.

Sorry, where was I?

Ah, yes, armpit hair.

OK, so whilst I consider myself a feminist, the only hair a bushy pit lover would notice on me would be my huge hairy eyeball if I had to sit next to her in an office/on a plane/in a lift mid August and the air conditioning was down, as if she hadn’t used a full can of deodorant to cover all of her foliage adequately, she would, regrettably, stink.

Sorry.  Call me superficial if you must, but I’m not keen on other peoples body odour.  Mr Yoga Guru once hosted a talk last summer and he deliberately, proudly let himself get rank by not washing after practice for a few days, and I did not appreciate it at all.  And when months later, he wanted to stay at my home, I remembered that I didn’t have a sheep dip installed outside my front door and he was unfortunately not allowed admittance, as my cats would have ended up spraying all over the place, just to outdo him and assert their dominance.

All joking aside ladies, I don’t go around peering up the sleeves of your respective jumpers, so I will echo Dave’s emotions and say do what thou wilt, just don’t shove it in my face a la Madonna, OK?

Because it might be big, but it certainly ain’t clever.

Namaste x




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Being both motherless and childless, it’s a rare occurrence indeed if Mothering Sunday impacts on me in any way whatsoever.

For Mother’s Day is, quite literally, a non event in my life.

I send nor receive gifts on this day unless you count the huge soggy fur ball I found in one of my slippers this morning, courtesy of one of my fluffy family (and I’m not talking about my rather hirsute sister).

Back when I had a life, the penny only tended to drop when I couldn’t get a table at my favourite restaurant for Sunday lunch.  Damn those smug mommas and their guilt ridden offspring depriving me of my roast beef with all the trimmings with their once-a-year token gestures!

The other common ‘tell’ was the unavailability of my friends on that day, as they either had a mum to visit, kids to treat them, or some are lucky enough to have both.

And of course, it’s hard to miss it completely when the shops are literally bulging with cards, roses, chocolates and teddies (what grown woman wants a teddy?!), but fortunately for me, the only parent in my life is the ‘Good Parent’, that oh so familiar PAC model that I’m meant to invoke when I’m being shit to myself, and she/he don’t deserve nuffin as I rarely see even them anyway.

When I was a kid though, I was usually coerced into schlepping down to the newsagents for some Milk Tray for my darling maman regardless, as you did as you were told or got a clip around the earhole for insubordination if you stepped out of line in our house.


At the time, I remember some warbling, simpering brat called Neil Reid brought out a diabetes inducing, nauseatingly sentimental single entitled ‘Mother of Mine’ which made me want to honk up my Weetabix every time it came on the radio or Top of the Pops.

Allow me to share some of the lyrics with you:

“Mother of mine, you gave to meee

All of my life, to do as I please

I owe everything I have to you

Mother, sweet Mother of mine”

I have spared you the pain of listening to it by not uploading the song, but I’m sure it can be found on YouTube if you want the ultimate earworm de jour ringing in your pinna.

Suffice to say, little Neil and I did not share the same idyllic childhood.

So why do I feel so sad today?  Where is my usual indifference?

Whilst I can’t be sure, I strongly suspect BBC2’s showing of ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’ last night may have struck a cord.   Great timing Auntie Beeb, you soppy, sentimental old harridan you…

Not, can I stress, that I totally relate to the Kevin character, as I have yet to be seen running around sarf London terrorising my neighbours with a crossbow, poison tipped arrows and the ‘Robin Hood’ theme tune pumping into my iPod headphones.

But I strongly suspect that the character’s earlier years mirror mine.

I don’t think I was as horrendous a brat as little shark eyed Kev, but I must have been bad enough for her to dislike me so.

I know I could have been cold, aloof and when pushed hard enough, I could transform passive aggression into a war like art form.

Because as a kid in 1960’s/70’s working class Britain, that was your only weapon, unless you wanted a good hiding.

But I wasn’t as good at it as Kev.  Yes, I think we did the ‘tit for tat’, ‘who can hurt who the most’ thing.  But I was only a kid.  And it hurt.   I hurt.  She had the power, and she knew it.

But as a adult AND my mother, she should have known better.

But maybe she couldn’t help it.  And maybe she loved me deep down, even if she never liked me and hated me sometimes.

I think the hardest thing of all is to admit that there were some good times, which I choose to block out, such is my bitterness and desire to allocate blame, so I can’t paint her as a total demon.

I just have to think hard about what they were.

Once upon a time, on Mother’s Days past, I used to try and be how she wanted me to be so that, dead or alive, she might like me more.  I’d not swear for the day, be ‘ladylike’ (whatever that means), not get into arguments and think about how to be a better person.

The irony that I’m trying to do this now via this ‘no holds barred’, profane, gut spilling on line blog/diary is not lost on me at all.

But I am praying again.

Perhaps not in the way that you would like or appreciate Mum, but hell you can’t have everything, woman!  As Popeye once said  ‘I yam what I yam, and that’s all that I yam, and whilst I was never your cup of cha, and I am open to evolving and hopefully finding out what the fuck, sorry, hell God put me here for, I cannot and will not be anything other than 100% authentically myself.

There is much healing to be done here, and I very much doubt it will all be worked out today, but in the spirit of Mother’s Day, I will tell you at least 10 THINGS I liked about my Mum

1.  She was a great cook and made sure we were well fed

2.  She used to let me put her curlers in and do her hair sometimes

3.  We watched black and white movies together.  Usually tear jerkers.  In retrospect, I have no doubt in my mind that she, like me, was depressive

4.  She taught me to make Sunday lunch

5.  She loved animals and animals loved her

6.  She rarely drank and was hilarious when she got tipsy on ONE half of shandy.  Even I’m not that much of a lightweight.

7.  She’d give the dog a toffee so she could laugh her ass off at him trying to lick it off his teeth

8.  I think she once told me I had pretty hair

Shit.  I’m struggling now.

9.  Whilst usually passive, she would occasionally put my Dad right back in his place when he pissed her off enough

10. She once stood and watched me as I slept and leant over to stroke my face.  She must have just found out that she didn’t have long to live.  Typical me, even as I slumbered, I consciously, deliberately turned my face away.

I wish I hadn’t now.

She must have been so afraid.  But I didn’t know or wouldn’t believe she was dying.  I can’t remember which.

The day before she died, I walked to the hospital to visit her, and as all mums do, she clutched at my hands and fussed and berated me for not wearing enough clothes (‘yawn’ thought belligerent teenager moi), and pleaded with me to wrap up warm in future.

I never saw her again.

And on the day she died, I felt like my heart had been ripped out.

I think my mum, like Eva, tried harder with me when I was older, but by then, like Kevin, the damage was done.

What hell it is not to be loved for who you are.

What hell it must have been to not love your offspring.

Mum, wherever you are, I never stopped loving you and I forgive you for being who you were and that you tried to love me as much as my sister.

Anyway you have to admit, I could have been a whole lot worse than I was, and lets face it, if Eva and Kevin can hug it out after everything that transpired between them, maybe there’s hope for us when our paths cross again.


Happy Mother’s Day xx

P.S.  If ‘wrapping up warm’ was an Olympic event, I’d have a glass case of gold medals by now.  No one does it better.






After decades without owning one, I have recently acquired a rosary.

I had subconsciously been looking for one for about a year, but whilst I wandering through famous cathedrals and churches, checked out websites and eBay, I never really saw anything beautiful that I connected with.

Then last week I did.

And it was lovely.

Not your average, conventional Catholic format though.  Until the other day it didn’t even have a crucifix attached.  I still loved how it looked, but it didn’t seem right without one, so the guy who made it for me sent me a matching cross to add, gratis, bless his heart.

Now it looks perfect.

I pick it up and admire it all the time.  Pinch the cruciforms.  Run the cool, dappled stones through my fingers.  Ball it in my hand and press it close to my heart.

But I don’t know how to pray with it.

For someone who believes in a God, I’m certainly not great at having a dialogue with him/her/it.

It’s the same with meditation.  I own all the paraphernalia but in reality I’m full of shit.

As with many things I talk the talk, but cannot bring myself to walk the walk.

Conventional Christians please look away now, because I don’t want to offend you!

When I was a kid, we were taught to pray as a duty and/or a penance, so it was never a pleasure or a respite from the world let alone a dialogue with the Almighty.   We just babbled words parrot fashion under the steely eye of some embattled, bitter old bag of a nun who you knew was just itching for you to laugh, so that she could give you a smack upside the head.  Not that it stopped us.  I was bored.  An hour or so is a long time for a kid to keep quiet whilst standing up, sitting down, kneeling down intermittently, and I lost count of how many times me and my friend were kicked out of mass for tittering away at some pompous, holier than thou twat or other, posturing in the pews.

I also have to say that, back in the day, I never ever felt the presence of God in church.  But in all fairness, it’s not like we were properly introduced.  It was all about us being unworthy, lowly sinners, who had to bow and scrape, kneel down on the cold floor and try and keep our bony little arses still on that slippery, artfully cheek numbing bench to make up for JC being nailed to the cross because we were such rubbish human beings.

No one explained the prayers to us, what the words meant let alone assuring us that we were allowed to have a direct relationship with God.  I mean, c’mon, how would a working class, snot nosed little scrap like me know what ‘fruit of thy womb’ meant?  No one would have told us what a womb was, because that was to do with ‘the facts of life’ (said in hushed tones in case a passing penis might overhear), and even if we knew, what had fruit to do with it?!  I don’t even think our parents understood either.  We might as well have been reciting the phone book.


So when the day came that I was old enough to rebel, I immediately refused to go to mass.  My father had never gone, my brother was let off the hook a few week prior, so there was no way I was going to go back.  As far as I was concerned, my local church was largely populated with nasty, small minded hypocrites that bitched/gossiped about/hit one another 6 days a week, then on the 7th rocked up clutching their plastic beads, faces devoid of make up (unless it was disguising a pending black eye), every trace of the booze they had swigged at the pub the night before ruthlessly erased by toothpaste, beaming with holiness, all sweetness and light, simpering away in front of the priest.  As for him (the priest that is, not God) if he was so frigging holy, how come he didn’t spot them a mile off and pull them up about it?

Religion?  You could keep it.


Yes, even at that age, I was a judgemental little mare. 🙂

It took me some years to realise that religion and God were two very separate entities indeed.

Hence here I am, with my rosary and no instructions manual.

And I doubt I can do the old Hail Mary/Our Father routine.  I think both of them know what and where they are so they don’t need me to keep banging on about it.

And am I meant to kneel like I used to?

It’s a mystery.

I think I’m going to have to make up my own words and routine.

The last time I was faced with the prospect of writing my own prayer was when I was doing the Artists Way last year and I found it too cringy to even contemplate, but here we are again, and this time there’s no avoiding it.

So I will do it.

But not now.

As Meatloaf once said, with a sweaty passion, quite inappropriate for this subject matter, ‘Let me sleep on it, Baby, Baby, let me sleep on it’.

I’ll give it a go in the morning.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share this superb version of the ‘Sinners Prayer’ by BB King and Ray Charles, when they cry out to the Lord because they are down on their luck, and apologise for any wrong doing because they want to be in the money again.

Shallow, yes? But hell, unlike some of the mealy mouthed, sycophantic wankers I once shared a pew with, a least they’re being honest.

As will I.  Because now I get to choose how I conduct my spiritual life.


And pray for me and my prayer.

If you know what I mean.

Namaste x



Haven’t had a dream in a long time….

A game of two halves.  That was yesterday.

Another pointless visit to Dr B, asking where the hell the cavalry is, after being left for over three months in personality disorder limbo.  She’s as frustrated as I am.

Then a meeting with someone who could find me work in the future for BEING MYSELF.

Kind of.

It’s a long shot, I won’t deny it.  This company are much sought out, specialist in their area of business and they have seen thousands of people in the last few days.  And even if they take me on, there’ll be a financial outlay, and I wouldn’t be guaranteed work, consistent or otherwise.

I think they liked me.

I made them laugh.

It’s still a long shot.

My dreams aren’t like the dreams of others.  I don’t want or expect fame, fast cars, a stunning husband, a holiday home in the Maldives or millions in the bank.

I just want to find a way forward to living the rest of my life authentically, healthily and safely, fully realised, instead of working for the man, playing the game, lying, manipulating and posturing, pretending to be ‘normal’ whilst my soul shrivels and dies, or just existing, scraping by, living hand to mouth and waiting for the hammer to fall.


I sometimes hate hope so much more than hopelessness.  But in this case, I can’t douse this tiny persistent flame in my heart.

So God, if you’re listening, I don’t ask you for much.

But please, please, please?  Let me get what I want.

This time.




It’s always the same isn’t it?

The minute you think you’re onto something or found a way forward, something spooks you, you relapse and fall into your old ways.

This Lent 10,000 steps thing ( really seemed to be working.  I was sleeping better, waking refreshed, losing blubber, but for some reason I didn’t get out of the door Thursday morning.

‘Never mind,’ I thought, ‘I’ll pop to the shops in the afternoon’.

But it didn’t happen.  I had a call from some old dragon from the benefits department and ended up having to dig out and copy yet more proof that I wasn’t a multi millionaire rigging the system and pretty soon I looked out of the window and the sun was going down.

‘That’s not the end of the world,’ I reasoned, ‘I’ve got choir tonight so I’ll go the long way and that will easily eat up 10,000 big ones’.

Well it might have, had I left the building.


‘OK’ I said gravely, getting rather strict with myself now, ‘if you’re not going to choir you are definitely going to a yoga class.  You haven’t done anything since Tuesday.’

Guess what happened.

That’s right.  Nada.

And 24 hours later, I still haven’t done shit or left the flat.  I nearly got out half an hour ago, I’m sat here fully made up for an evening out but still in my trackies.  I had a fun evening in the pipeline, but something somehow held me back, and now I loathe myself and my weakness even more.

Why is it so easy to slip back into old, destructive habits, especially when things had started to look up?  Maybe it’s because things had started to look up that I want to flee back to my hidey hole again.  Who fucking knows?

I honestly don’t know where the last 20 months or so have gone.  OK I’ve done or tried to do some useful, proactive stuff, but the majority of it has seemed to have been spunked away in front of the computer or TV, and even being off Facebook hasn’t stopped me reading gossip online, following the Pistorius trial (GUILTY!  It’s an open and shut case!  You can’t just let someone off just because they can run a bit!) or staring with wonder at pixie haired Pammy’s latest nude photos.


My God, she does look extraordinary though doesn’t she?  Good for her, no hater I….

Then before you know it you spot something about her ex husband and father of her kids having a big dick, you go looking for that (good Lord…), then you see he supports PETA, so you go on that site, sign a petition against seal culling, wince at some hideously cruel photos showing mans shameful abuse of animals (what is wrong with people?), look at something more cheerful and before long you have RSI of the right hand (from mouse clicking, not pebble flicking, thank you), a pending migraine and another day of your life has come and gone.

Sometimes I don’t care though.  After all, the lives of others, famous or not, are much more interesting than mine.

I’m still having mad dreams about my past and Auntie C (in lieu of those NHS bastards actually doing something) is trying to make me focus on the present and I feel like a crazy compass needle or sycamore seed, spinning in the wind.


I have to try and get back on track though.

I think the most successful days so far have been when I have stuff organised from the get go.  Real stuff that I can’t bail on, as opposed to vague plans that I can easily shun because no one is looking and no one cares, so I’m going to try and plan more stuff, as early in the day as possible. So I need to start as early aspossible instead of waiting till the cats start bouncing off my uterus demanding their breakfast.

I also seems to get derailed if I’m not feeling well, and in the last few days one of my old war wounds has been playing up.  Rather than ignoring it for fear of spending money, I think I’m going to have to let the moths out of my wallet and go and get treatment.

Also maybe not letting myself eat until I’ve done some yoga might break that particular impasse.

I’m also going to set a timer for 10 minutes every time I go near my PC, and when it goes off, I’ll log out.

I’m also gonna ‘earn’ my TV, the length of viewing dictated by how long I exercise that day.

I’d also better start being more sociable with my friends again so that people do care if I open my door every day, especially if I’m meant to be meeting them.

Up I get again (groan, stagger), but God knows, if I had any other choice, I’d bail in a heartbeat.

So I’ll start yet AGAIN, and i guess I’ll finish eventually….God how I hate this shitty planet.

Namaste x



OK, this is my first proper ‘ear worm’ for y’all, aka a song you really don’t want stuck in your head.  Ever.

Well, it’s stuck in mine, so suck it up suckers!

And the reason this catchy little number has been driving me barmy all morning?

I received a letter reminding me that my annual cervical smear test is due.

Oh deep and fundamental joy.  NOT.  A modified car jack with sharpened lolly stick attachment up the fanny, just what every single, celibate gal needs of a morning. 😦

Oh, and any blokes thinking ‘Here we go, another woman banging on about her hormones and shit’, try imagining this bad boy cranked up your dirt box then opened wide.


Got it?  Good.  Show a bit of empathy for once.

And of course the minute I get prone on that paper couch and spot the bloody thing heading due south, my minnie goes on lock down and is harder to breach than an airborne Airforce One, making the whole transaction even more of a battle.

So be warned, I’ll be in a dangerous mood that day.

Seriously, when the fuck will they leave my poor old carcass alone and start working on my head via group therapy?  What with all the tit squishing, blood letting, head shrinking and booby perverts peering at my girls mid exam (, I’m gonna start breaking out in hives every time I recognise my GP or hospital’s postal stamp on an envelope.

Whoever ends up breaching my person that day had better have a gentle hand otherwise someone’s gonna have themselves a case, and quite possibly a broken face too.

Next life I’m coming back as a man, do you hear me God?!!