Phoenix Fights

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




Here we are again.  Another year nearly over.

And whilst looking back to December 2013, and acknowledging that things seem to have gotten worse, I no longer have the expectation that making a list of New Year Resolutions to work through and tick off is an appropriate strategy for someone with EUPD, or indeed any kind of mental illness.

Human beings in general, let alone us crazies, are much more complicated than that, otherwise there’d be no such thing as irrational phobias and fears, unhealthy addictions would not supersede our higher selves and ALL diets and fitness training plans would work because we would apply ourselves to them without question.

So there you go. BUT, as I’ve bored you all year with my pain, failures and woes to date, I’m actually going to try and focus on the positive and try NOT SAY ANYTHING NEGATIVE!

So what was good about 2014?


I’ve done some successful bits of work in the last year and have even been in the papers, so I should give myself a pat on the back there.  I dabbled in a baking business, and maybe gave up a tad too soon, so perhaps that is something to revisit come 2015.


I can count the number of people I can rely on on one hand, but I am learning to manage my expectations with regard to the others.  Making friends isn’t a problem for me.  When I’m in fun mode, I attract people to me, no doubt about it. Keeping them is.

I think I’m getting better at it.


Whilst I still can’t say I like my appearance I think I am learning to accept the way I look, the ageing process and other things about myself.  The other day I was subjected to a barrage of romantic intent (see DATING/SEX) AND I looked like cack as I barely had any make up on so maybe it’s not all about having the perfect nose, a botoxed brow and perky titties?



I’m still a born again virgin (coming up for 4 – 5 years now – practically healed up), but whilst doing some volunteer work I was heavily pursued by a big hairy, lairy dude, who kept calling me his new wife, bringing me bottles of water and little treats all day.  And whilst he’s not really my type, is barely literate AND smokes, I was pathetically enchanted by these crude overtures, and that he kept calling me ‘Princess’ and ‘Treacle’ in a very butch cockney accent.

Ludicrous really.  I’m embarrassed for myself.

I wonder if God has figured out yet that our hormones and genitalia are seriously unreliable when choosing one’s mate? Because it also turns out that he’s not as strong as he appears and could be quite vulnerable beneath that brash exterior.

Great.  Just great.  Another casualty of war. 😦

BUT we’re still chatting and I’m going to try and not be too judgemental.


I am in pretty good shape really, considering that I neglect and test my poor old carcass with daily mistreatment, so if I start to look after myself better in 2015, it can only improve. Right?

Plus I’m still working on my…


….and working out helps tamp my temper down.  Look, anger is at the heart of me.  I haven’t figured out why, or why it’s so all encompassing, but I’m a whole lot better at controlling it nowadays. Despite the fact I screamed abuse at a call centre worker only this very morning, because they’d pushed my patience to the very edge.  Yet again.

Ahem…this is a work in progress y’know?


I lived off one years money for nearly two and a half years, so I don’t need to earn as much as I did in order to survive.  Good news right?  Except I don’t just want to survive anymore.  I want to LIVE more fully and have some fucking….


….so I do need a swift and steady cash injection in order to participate fully.

I’m also trying really hard to find ‘fun’ friends as per Aunty C’s instructions, but need to figure out what I’m putting out that attracts the walking wounded to me, and how to change that frequency.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all my friends, and empathise fully with my fellow casualties, but sometimes feel a bit like Jack Dawson, as I attempt to clamber on board a bit of raft in order to save myself, but keep finding people who need/deserve it more that keep dragging me off, so I just go along with it instead of piping up ‘Budge your fat ass over Rose, you selfish bitch, before my dick falls off, and then I can get us both some help!’

FILM: Titanic (1997), with Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson and

After all, like all the airline flight attendants inform us when we’re busy browsing our Duty Free pamphlets whilst lingering on the tarmac, in an emergency, we have to give ourselves oxygen first in order to survive long enough to save our vulnerable, so could someone please tell me where all the fun people are?!


Or is it my duty to fix the weak ones before I can move on?  All very confusing really, but I’m going to try and do a bit of both, that’s fair isn’t it?


I have goals.  Yes I do.  I’m just not going to look at them too closely as there is no surety or clear path for me right now and that’s pretty scary, plus I know my inner saboteur will put on my Doc Martens and stamp the shit out of them. This I have been proving for two years now.  My inner sab can turn the most enjoyable thing into a chore in my mind, so I’m keeping stuff under my hat for now.



I’m a whole lot better at this nowadays too.  Maybe hard times do make one into a better person. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my moments of ‘Fuck them’ and the desire to block people out of my life still seems to be my psyche’s knee jerk reflex of choice, but this is all becoming all the more obvious to me, because of my group….


Gawd.  This has been hard, continues to be hard and I have no idea if I’m going to be able to stay in London in order to complete it, but it’s been a fucking education to date.  Not necessarily because of the specific discipline, or because I rate the shrinks, but seeing your shit reenacted by others is beyond cringeworthy which impels one to do better with regard to certain kinds of behaviours.

I still don’t think it’s a good idea to get too friendly with my group fellows, nor do I like all of them, but they are some of the  best teachers I’ve ever had and I can only applaud and appreciate them for their presence, and be as kind as i can to all of us as the process continues.

Right at this moment in time, I should be very worried and uncertain, but I am starting to realise that hiding away and settling with survival does not a positive life make. So whilst on paper, I have very little reason to be confident and excited about the year ahead, I’m going to try and be happy and get out there and see what I can achieve for myself. This is of course, no easy feat and there will be plenty of times that I’ll be back in my pit of despair, but I’m going to try and control my mind a little more, make positive affirmations and at least try and see if it has any affect.

I’ve been OK over the seasonal period and survived it, but that says it all really.

That word again.

Oddly enough the thing I enjoyed most over the last week or so was the charity work, grafting flat out for a common goal.  And yes, I suppose the little flirtation and attention I got kinda upped the ante a little too. But it’s important for me to recognise and record the times and things that have made me happy or contented in the past.

Such as:

Working as a team with fun people.

Horse riding in the Spanish mountains.

Being around animals.

Getting praise for things I have done.

Being accepted.

Nurturing and being nurtured.

Getting attention from the opposite sex.

Had to note down that last one, as I’d much sooner ignore it.


Because maybe there is someone out there who I can be around who’ll add value to my life.

Re New Year’s Eve, I’m actually not going out tonight, because there was nothing very interesting happening, but I think this is a positive thing, as there is no act more lonely than to hurl yourself out of the door and attach yourself to someone, anyone, rather than be alone at the stroke of midnight.

And it’s not like I haven’t been here before, and only good things came out of that.  Like this blog! 🙂

Thank you to all of you for your friendship and continual support.

I’ll keep on keepin’ on and hope you do too.

Happy 2015!

Love and kisses Sista xxx





OK have just come back from my third date with GM and I’m, well, a bit disappointed.

I am taking into account that he’s still working though and finalising a break up with his ex (whom he’s still living with), and, as previously mentioned, I’m not sure that there’s any chemistry between us in the first place, but this is officially the first time I’ve ever had a date at the cinema and not been kissed. 😦

I’m not saying that I wanted him to kiss me, but to sit next to someone for a full two hours and not even be holding hands, leaning into one another or resting an arm each others arm was kind of, well, sad….

Am I so unattractive that I do not engender affection from someone of the opposite sex who is, in theory at least, ‘dating’ me?  And when I think about it, I actually got more admiring looks from complete strangers today than I did from GM.

He also didn’t seem to have much regard for me as a person. After the movie, he asked if I fancied something to eat, and enquired as to whether I liked Mexican or spicy food.

Unfortunately I don’t, so we wandered around on the premise that we’d pass something we both liked, and lo and behold suddenly found ourselves outside a Mexican restaurant.

‘Oh look, it’s Fahita & Co’s!’ he exclaimed with mock surprise, and for some reason I agreed to eat there, didn’t enjoy it at all and left most of the food on my plate.  Even if we are only friends, I would expect a bit more concern and effort from him with regard to ensuring that I enjoyed the dining experience too.

He’s also very careful when it comes to who pays for what and, even though I’ve always said I go 50/50, he’s working and I’m not, so whilst I’m happy to stick to my guns on this, when someone is so adamant to the point of being a bit paranoid about making sure I pay my share, it’s not very attractive at all.

He did do me a music CD though, and whilst I think I’ll keep him as an occasional friend, I am rapidly writing off the potential of our ever being romantic with one another.

Whilst I’m not the best at relationships, I’ve had some lovely boyfriends who’ve treated me with love and respect, so even at my age, I’d think I’ll hang out for someone who prefers to get hot in the back row of the movies instead of in cheap Mexican restaurants and tongue blistering chilli dishes for their thrills and spills…




So I did my one hour date with City Boy on Friday night.

It wasn’t the best of starts as I was half an hour late after getting my times mixed up. 😦  I swear my brain (or that naughty moon) tricks me into sabotaging these things….

But he waited.

And he was nice.

And normal.

CB is on the dating website because he split from his last partner some time ago, and his daughter is off to uni soon, so it works out that he’ll have more time to explore London and will be free most weekends.

He works as a banker, spends half his time in London, half his time in Oxford, has a splendid relationship with both of his exes, they all have timeshare of a big country house where they all get together with their big gang of super successful ex uni friends and academics for big hearty meals, and everyone gets on famously.

So all a bit ‘Peter’s Friends’ really.

He was very chatty and amiable, nice looking, not in bad shape and seems like an all round good guy.

But all I could do is look at him with fascinated wonder and think ‘You’re so…..normal!’

I felt like we were almost different species, and that I hadn’t the heart to inflict my madness on this utterly balanced, happy, successful chap, and that to take this further would be like acting out a posh, British version of ‘The (Wo)Man Who Fell To Earth’ with CB being Mary Lou to my Newton.

And, when the day finally arrives when I have to peel off my mask, reveal to him my true self, and reach for him invitingly with a long, slimy arm, he’d run screaming from the room, wondering what the hell he’d fallen in love with.


And I just couldn’t deal with that.

I’d like to say that I’d be happy to be friends with him, but even that seems kind of intimidating, so I’m going to let this one pass by and hope he meets some lovely, successful lady in her forties who works high up in media, has a first in something or other, a child of called Muffy, Buffy or Tufty who is up at Eton doing rather well, is on the board of a charity, arranges flowers in her spare time and has an exceedingly close, convivial relationship with her gay ex husband who is now her best friend.

Oh, and doesn’t go all weird whenever there’s a full moon.

On the plus side, Goatee Man has been in touch and suggested a trip to the movies.  Yay!

Whilst I feel there is something about GM that he has yet to reveal to me, I’m much more comfortable with that than, say, normality to the point of perversity.

I must ask him whether he wears contact lens or not though…. 😉




I’m not very good at Artist’s Dates.

Well, it’s not that I’m bad at them; it’s just that I don’t always want to do them on my lonesome and from now on I’m giving myself permission to do them my way however that might be.  

Ordinary folk who work full time, have a partner/kids/dog and a very full life with barely a moment to themselves probably claw a little ‘Me Time’ away from the chaos with their inner artist every now and then.

Me?  Time on my own is the norm, so this time, I invited someone else along.

A second date with Mr Goatee was in the offing (the guy I met at Waterloo), and I was dying to see ‘David Bowie is:’ at the V&A, so I suggested he came along too, which was a great idea, especially as he got there first, did all the queuing (something I hate) and had tickets in hand by the time I arrived.


And it was everything I hoped for.

The exhibition, not the date 😉

Actually, joking aside, it was great to have him there as music is something Mr G and I have in common, and both being huge fans of the Thin White Duke, it made the whole experience so much more enjoyable.

And of course it goes without saying that as far as fulfilling Artist’s Date criteria, it was (or should be) any Creative’s wet dream and then some.

It takes someone pulling together something like this to realise what an extraordinary career this guy has had.  The exhibition takes you from his humble beginnings in Brixton, to his mooching moodily around Soho, on stage at ‘Top of the Pops’, Berlin, Manhattan, the world, and through a plethora of metamorphoses that, if you’re a fan, will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.  

Because it takes courage to be different and as soon as his fans got used to one incarnation, he would snatch it away and come back as someone completely different, and shock/amaze/inspire the world all over again.


And he did all of this pre-punk when the world was still shockable.

There was so much to see from posters, to album covers, records, lyrics scrawled on exercise book paper, props, film clips, specially created sets and the costumes of course, are glorious.  All of this plus wireless activated dialogue via headphones, and an endless soundtrack of his back catalogue which just makes you want to go home and play all his stuff on shuffle again, again and again.

Suffice to say, his influence on music, fashion, art, popular culture and of course, all of us odd ball, unconventional, never-could-fit-in freaks was and is immeasurable.


Bowie, with his mismatching eyes and crooked teeth never tried to hide his weirdness; indeed he flexed and worked it like a steroid fuelled muscle man, and in doing so made himself the living icon that he is today.

And if he dared to be different, then why can’t we?  

Whilst Bowie studied and always feared mental illness (his half brother committed suicide in 1985), if it was ever part of his genetic inheritance, he trounced it and turned it around by allowing himself to let loose with his wild imagination, and be entirely, utterly and unapologetically himself.

So my fellow fruitcakes, from now on I’m going to try and be myself without fearing what anyone might think of me, and I’d love it if you did too.

After all, what’s the worst that can happen?

World domination? 😉

Go and see this if you can.

And gimme your hands; ‘cos we’re wonderful x

P.S. Another date is on the cards too!





This weekend I have practically gone up a dress size and positively hate myself.  The skin over my stomach is as taut as a drum skin, I’m totally exhausted, dehydrated and feel like I want to vomit.

It started on Friday.

I went out for tapas with a friend for lunch and ate masses of the things, ‘treated myself’ to cake after an intense physio session and then had a large portion of pasta for supper.

Saturday I had two thick doorsteps of home made granary toast with butter and home made marmalade for breakfast to carb up for a run that didn’t happen, I didn’t do my yoga, had a substantial lunch to line my stomach in anticipation of a boozy night ahead, then drove to my friends place only to discover that she’d made a hearty dinner for us all, with the same rationale in mind.

Was I hungry?  No.   Did I eat it?  Hell, yes.


Went out in the evening, got totally hammered and must have drunk at least 4 double G&T’s and then, as I recall, when we got in, we had a huge bacon sandwiches before we went to bed.

Then I woke up this morning with a stinking hangover, ate two sausages, a handful of biscuits and a couple of painkillers and went back to bed.  I passed on going with my friends on a walk in the woods because of my headache, then we all went for a big Sunday roast.  After this, I drove home and put away a whole carton of ice cream and a piece of cake.  My justification for this?  I didn’t have dessert at the restaurant.

Suffice to say, I am now beside myself with disgust and self loathing.

Why have I done this to myself might you ask?

Well, the guy I went out with last week has asked me out on another date.

Any other female on the planet would be (a) pleased, (b) watching what she eats and (c) exercising regularly so that she feels and looks her best for such an event.

Me?  I clearly just want to totally fuck it up, just so that at a later date I don’t have to apologise for how old/ugly/inadequate I am, explain about my condition and end up eating dust as he hurtles off into the sunset.

I know this isn’t the most jolly, entertaining entry to date (hey, I never promised you a rose garden…..) but I have to write it down if I’m to have any hope of catching myself doing this and maybe one day, nipping it on the bud.

This kind of behaviour killed my last relationship (along with a couple of other things, to be fair) but had I been in a place where I could love and accept myself for who I was, who knows what might have happened?

Actually, scratch that; I was bonkers/self destructive, he was a big baby, it could never have worked.  But it might have lasted longer and ended more prettily, that’s for sure.

I know I say this time and time again, but from tomorrow, for at least a week, I will not damage myself either from starving/over exercising or binging/lounging around in my pit.

I also have to keep reminding myself that this is only a friendship that may or may not come to something and then I will take the pressure off myself and enjoy it like I would an outing with any other friend, and not feel as if I’m about to walk the plank or something.

I’m not the prettiest woman in the world, nor the smartest but the one thing I used to have was an OK body and now I’m doing my level best to trash it.  I’ve had these kinds of issues since I was about eleven years old and I’m living proof that you can be closer to putrification than puberty and still want to ram your fingers down your throat every now and then.

Yes folks, it’s all fun, fun, fun, chez Sertraline tonight….

I’d better go to bed before I empty the fridge, gorge on dry pasta or just pour sugar down my neck.  On nights like this, even the cats might start to look appetising…..

Pray for me if you believe in all that stuff please?

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Once again, for your delectation, my monthly ‘Pheonix Flights’ progress report on my aims/ambitions for this year.

After the initial shaky start, April has actually been quite good all in all 🙂 .

However, since Lent finished, I have lapsed back into being a lazy, late sleepin’, TV watching old sloth, but these days are numbered as the communal heating goes off in a couple of days which should help get my lazy ass out of the door, so best foot forward for May!

As per last month, my psychological model/imaginary friend ‘The Good Parent’ (who Aunty C bangs on about all the time) will be the ‘voice’ of my Action Points.

<Jeez, no wonder I’m friggin’ barking….>

As I am rapidly running out of ‘airborne things’ to stay in keeping with the ‘Flights’ theme (even last months insects were more crawly than fliers), so let’s dig deeper into the animal kingdom and look at the world of le Chat :-).



Ragdoll/Burmese Cross

Whilst I still have that Ragdoll urge to just flop out, my  more outgoing Burmese side is coming more and more to the fore.

So, whilst I recognise and finally accept that I will always need my duvet days and a bit of solitude, I am a whole lot more willing to get out and about nowadays.

Action Point – Keep it up and make the most of the duvet days whilst you still can (see Earn Money)!’



The Runt of the Litter

I have no choice with regard to the time that I awake because according the house hierarchy, I appear to be the Runt of the Litter, given that my cats generally bully me into wakefulness every day by jumping on my most tender body parts, scratching my scalp, batting me in the eye with their paws, and most recently, chewing my hair.  That said, I tend to stagger off to the kitchen, feed ‘em, then slink back to my pit whilst they are tucking in.

Nil points!

Also, like all cats, I’m a bit nocturnal so still not good at getting to bed before midnight.

Action Point –As per last month, go to bed on time and get up as soon as cats arrive’.



The House Cat

Like the House Bound Cat, who has nothing better to do, I’ve lapsed back into the super bad habit of staring at the box for hour after hour, and especially at trash daytime TV.  So I acknowledge and recognise that I must put aside my addiction to ITV2 and mad, overprivileged American ‘Housewives’ bitching at nothing and screaming at one another and focus on more important things instead.


Action Point – Bad kitty!  Only watch quality stuff, no more than a couple of hours a day maximum.’



Top Cat

I’m pretty proud of myself on this one!  I’ve only pulled out of arrangements when really tired, I turned up for all of my yoga modules and I made it to a party on Saturday after a big panic attack.

Hey, hey, hey!

Action Point – Keep up the good work.’



The Burmese

The Burmese is not only friendly but a ‘chatty’ cat, and like this gorgeous kitty, I have been very sociable this month, seen more of my existing friends and made a few new ones too!

Being an Empath I tend to get a bit overwhelmed by people sometimes and can be a bit lazy at small talk, but I’ve been careful about who I’ve spent time with so I don’t get drained, I’m open to believing that I’m likeable enough to be friends with, and have made more effort in social situations, so pretty pleased with my progress here :-).

During the course of 2013, certain people have moved or are moving out of my life, but lots are moving in, so I’ve just got to have faith in the process and that everything has been and is for the best.

Action PointKeep up the good work, and trust your own instincts.  When you’re comfortable being your self, the right people do and will come and stay into your life.’



The Persian

Like the Persian I have been a bit lazy this month.

Unlike the Persian who weighs no more than a bag of feathers, I have put some excess timber on that needs to come off ASAP :-(.

My diet hasn’t been that bad, but have had a couple of pasta nights with friends, oops….

Action Point – Lay off the lasagne Garfield, and join some kind of Bootcamp club or hire a (cheap) personal trainer if you can’t discipline yourself.’



The Aristocats

Just like Thomas O’Mally and Duchess, I’ve been cutting a rug quite a lot recently both at ballroom lessons and at a recent party I had a good salsa (and a little more besides) and really enjoy both.


Rinky tinky tinky!


Sorry had to share this picture too, this cat looks just like me at a salsa club, just about to stick my stiletto into some dirty bastard’s foot 🙂

Action Point – Sign up for the Intermediate Ballroom course and find somewhere nice to salsa where you won’t get groped.’



The Bengal

Most cats aren’t that fussed about drinking, but the Bengal really likes water, and I’ve learned to embrace H2O of an evening and have largely eschewed drinking alcohol at home.

And if I really fancy a tipple?  I have ONE G&T rather than open a bottle of wine which would then need to be finished over the next few days.  Oh and every now and then I have hot milk laced with Baileys before bed 🙂

Action Point – ‘Well done, keep it up!  Your liver and skin with love you for it!’



The Scaredy Cat

Speaks for itself doesn’t it?!

Apart from Saturday night, I’ve done really well with regard to managing panic attacks and keeping the Fear at bay and I’m afraid that if I go back out into the corporate world, it will all come flooding back, and I don’t think I can take that, as I’ve come so far and never want to be that person again.

But money doesn’t grow on trees, so I’m going to try making stuff and selling it, be it cake, toiletries or toys and keep my eye open for a part time job so I don’t get overwhelmed by a 5 day week.  I’m also exploring going back into remedial massage.

Action Point – Well, that rendered anything I have to say obsolete, didn’t it?!’



The Siamese

OK, so whilst I haven’t exactly been a sex kitten, as like the Siamese I’m discerning about whom I get close to, but I do like a cuddle from the right guy, and am a lot more chatty and flirty around the male of the species of late.

Also something has started purring again, and I’ll give you a clue, it’s not my mouth, it’s my p…..

Yes, my libido appears to be back, haven’t checked my orgasm for a while so must see if that is any better, and will report back accordingly ;-).

Dating wise, I met Groin Guy, and he was nice but there was no chemistry but I haven’t arranged anything else for a while but do have a date tonight, which I’m not looking forward to, as we spoke on the phone and he sounded a bit insincere/potentially duplicitous to me.  I know, I can’t really judge him before I meet him (which is why I’m going) but my instincts are second to none and I’m already getting alarm bells….

But I’m going!  I promise….

I also seems to be getting attention from some younger toms in the ‘hood, but just can bring myself to go there, alas….

Action Point – Don’t you dare bail on tonight!  I know you want to…. Arrange one date a week until something happens, or failing that, shag that Italian Stallion before your foof goes into a massive sulk again….’



Cat-astrophe (sorry…)

I’m not even going to try and fudge this one.

I don’t like what I see.

My belly is fatter but my face is thinner and my neck is getting more and more scraggy.  My skin is drying up and veins are starting to show through my legs, and every now and again I get a Dennis Healy eyebrow hair that curls up and takes on a life of its own.  Oh and my hands are starting to look ancient….

Action Point –You can’t look that bad if you are attracting young blokes at parties? Anyway remember that saying about the words you speak ending up being your life?  Try and see your good points rather than the bad.’ 

Yes, but he just wanted a…

‘Enough!  No more negatives, do as you are told.’



The Sleeping Cat


The Sleeping Cat is apparently the symbol of peace in Japan, and you will be surprised to discover that I am not angry with anyone anymore.

Not even my old boss and he’s a total cock….

This is progress indeed, I can’t remember a time when I’ve not been furious with someone….

Action Point – Who are you? And more to the point, what have you done with Sista?!’




Typical eh, as soon as I add this to the list I stop doing it….

If I remember rightly, I was doing the evening pages one night, trying to get some help on something from God and nothing happened.


In fact I felt worse, so I think it put me off a bit…..

Action Point – Give it another go, just pick up where you left off.’



Paws-itive 🙂

I have and I do, but I could do more…..

Am (obviously) still writing, still knitting but have a boxful of fabric that I have yet to put to good use….

Action Point – Start making things and when you perfect them, you can sell them and set up your own company!’ 



Shivasana Cat

I’ve given Yoga its own posting as I’ve been really neglectful of late and it’s typical of me, I find something I love, then I stop doing it.

Why?  I have no fucking clue.

So whilst I’m great at Shivasana, this will not bring me customers come Autumn.


Action Point – Get Downward Dogging already!  And do something EVERY SINGLE DAY.’


So.  Not a bad month all in all!

I’m not such a shitty kitty anymore, and with the right mate, could even be a Lovecat 🙂  As long as my boyz approve, natch….

I’ve finally achieved some level of forgiveness, I’m more sociable, less anxious but still have stuff to work on.

Wish me luck on that date tonight, just hoping I don’t get sprayed….




I’ve got a date tomorrow.

I’m going for a coffee with Groin Guy from the dating website.

This is probably my first date for about two and a half years, unless you count the aborted one I nearly had last year, which I’m trying not to think about, otherwise I’d probably bail.

My online dating strategy for 2013 works like this:

  1. Log on
  2. Check out my ‘matches’.
  3. ‘Like’ the ones I like the look of.
  4. ‘Like’ anyone else I like the look of even if they’re not a ‘match’.
  5. Be willing to meet pretty much anyone unless they are really awful.
  6. Answer any nice/witty/funny emails
  7. Follow up with a telephone conversation to see if there is any potential rapport.
  8. Arrange a 30-60 minute coffee for a first date.
  9. Bail if they show any signs of being a maniac.


Four and five are new additions to all previous strategies.  This is because some of the men I like in real life, I would never have ‘liked’ online on the basis of a profile only, so you can’t always tell what a person is like by photographs and blurb alone.

Really awful = anyone who is sleazy/creepy/pompous/racist/sexist/totally boring/boastful/up themselves.

GG’s email was quite nice and whilst our brief conversation wasn’t exactly scintillating, he may have been nervous and what the hell, I’m not exactly going out of my way to meet him.  I’m in the area for lunch with friends, so if all goes tits up, I won’t feel like I’ve wasted much time or put too much effort into it.  And we’re close to a shopping centre 🙂 .

I know, I sound like a real barrel of laughs, don’t I?!

But honestly, if you’d been on as many of these things as I have, you’d be a bit jaded too.  Suffice to say, I’ve met my fair share of freaks, pervs and maniacs, and the aborted date from last year was far too close a call for my liking.

The 2012 guy seemed really charming from the get go.  He looked like Maxwell (yum), he sounded creative, well read and educated, he cooked, even baked cakes, and said he was ‘in touch with his feminine side’ (not usually something I look for, but I went with it because of the Maxwell factor (did I say, YUM?)), and when we chatted on the phone, there was rapport aplenty, so we arranged to meet by the river the next day for a drink and a stroll.

When the big day dawned, it was gloriously sunny.  An auspicious sign, I thought happily ironing a pretty top to wear with my jeans.  If only I’d known.

I decided to travel by bus seeing as it was a lovely day, and even made an extra effort to be on time.  Half way to our meeting point, my phone bleeped.

A text.

I glanced at it.  It was from M and said ‘I’m running abt 15 minutes late, b there soon.’

Hmmm.  No apology.  Not impressed.

‘Now, now, don’t be so judgemental!’ my Good Parent chided me, ‘how often are you late?  Don’t say a word. Go, smile and be nice for a couple of hours.  It may be well worth your while!’


I text back saying ‘Not to worry!  See you soon, SS x’.

I arrive at the river and by now it is baking hot.  There is no shade on the side where we are meeting, and I’m cursing myself for wearing jeans as I’m starting to perspire.

Never mind, I told myself looking in vain for a shaded area, he’ll be here soon and we can go and get a jug of icy cold Pimms.

15 minutes later, radio silence.

30 minutes.  This place is rammed with tourists, so I’m getting jostled left right and centre.  I’m also getting my period so I’m slowly starting to get more and more cranky.  I go into a book shop hoping for respite.  The air con isn’t working.  Shit.

A trickle of sweat runs down the middle my back. I jiggle a bit hoping it goes down my jeans without staining my pretty, white cotton top.

40 minutes.

I.  Am.  Not.  Happy.

I know he’s coming in by bus but he hasn’t sent any more texts, grovelingly apologetic or otherwise, and my delicately applied looks-like-I’m-not-wearing-make-up-make-up is sliding off my face like the top layer of a cake left out in the rain, and I don’t think that I can take it.

Oh no.

Maybe a drink will improve my mood.

I join one of huge, barely moving queues, and five minutes in, the huge German guy in front of me swings round, whacking me in the face with his back pack.  I refrain from punching him in the kidneys.  Just.

Bollocks to this.  I decide to start to walk towards the tube station, and appease the GP by silently promising her that if I hear from him before I get there, I’ll go back and meet him, or better still arrange to meet him somewhere cooler.

Despite the fact that he’s an ill mannered, inconsiderate, arrogant twat.

Just as I’m climbing the steps to the station, my phone beeps.  I inwardly groan, run my hand across my sweaty forehead, and look at the message.  He is now just over one hour late.

The message reads ‘Am here, just walking towards the cafe, will be there in 10.’

I stare at it with disbelief.


  • Over an hour late.
  • No acknowledgement of this.
  • No explanation.
  • No apology whatsoever.

Even the GP is afraid to speak.

I look up the steps and can just see that the little M&S food store is still open.

Fuck him.

I’m going to get a bottle of wine, some king prawns and seafood, salad, some strawberries, a carton of cream and I’m going home for a cool bath and a nice supper.

Surprisingly, once I’d made this decision, all anger leaves me.  I pop into the shop, gather my goodies, pay with a smile then run for my train and catch it with seconds to spare.   The back of my top is now drenched with sweat.

When I get out at the other end 20 minutes later, my phone is just about pogo-ing in my pocket.

I look at it.

There are six unread messages.

He’s finally recovered the use of his thumbs and index finger then?

The messages are sent at 3-5 minute intervals and go something like this:

  1. Im here!
  2. Im here!  Where u at
  3. Its boiling hear (sic) hun, can’t see u, u arnd?
  4. It’s me.  Where r you?
  5. M here, we had a date remember?  Were (sic) r u?
  6. SS, r u always this rude?  WHERE R U?


I can feel the anger start to bubble up.  Oh the irony!  But then I glance down at my chilled bottle of Frascati which glistens back at me reassuringly and tantalisingly, and I take a deep breath and know that all will be well.

I reply, with, as far as I’m concerned, the utmost restraint.

‘Hi M, I’m at Clapham Junction and on my way home as I’m a sweaty mess and have a blinding headache. Would have text you earlier but didn’t want to miss my train, but look on the bright side, you’ve only been kept waiting 20 minutes.  I waited 70.  Have a good evening, S’

Almost immediately I got a response.

I didn’t expect a belated, sheepish apology.  Maybe a grudging one would have been nice, but I was managing my expectations now.   What I didn’t expect was the shit storm that came back at me.

I received a total of aroung 30 replies, calling me all kinds of names from dickhead (?) to c***, telling ME I had no manners, that I had nothing to complain about, why didn’t I just sit on the grass (what grass?!) and chill, how he’d wasted his valuable time on an idoit ( 🙂 ) and a time waster like me, that he was glad I’d left before he wasted any more time on me, that I was a snotty bitch, I deserved a slap, that I should walk the other way if ever I saw him, he still had my photo etc, etc.  In the end I had to tell him to stop contacting me or I would report him to the website and the police.  He sent about five more after that, albeit less threatening ones, sticking to misspelt insults.

So, my gentle Maxwell morphed into a ranting, rabid Mike Tyson with ‘roid rage.  Not sure what happened to his feminine side.  Perhaps he bit off it’s ear and it fled, screaming, all the way across Waterloo bridge.

I arrived home, slightly shaken, a relieved, older, wiser and significantly stickier Sista.  I then ran myself a lovely, cool, scented bath and, calmed by my glass of cold vino, told myself I’d try another date in a week or so.

But I didn’t.  And haven’t since.

Until now.

I have no idea if the guy I’m meeting tomorrow is who and what he says he is, and/or how he handles rejection.  But we’re meeting in a big, buzzy restaurant which should be packed on a Saturday afternoon, and as pessimistic as I am, I can’t imagine that he’ll be more than five minutes late, but if he is, I have shopping to do and if he’s very late, I’m outta there.

I’ll also be carrying a cardboard roll of coins wrapped up in a napkin about my person.

Because in these days of ten year old photos, creatively crafted profiles, and carefully hidden personality disorders? You never really know who or what will be sat on the other side of that table.

Girls, take my advice.

Let’s be careful out there……