Phoenix Fights

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




It’s beautiful here in my little village oop North.

It really is.

And I HAD to get out of my London flat because in the end I had no choice; not if I didn’t want to end up in severely dire financial straights, and I am lucky to be here and have my own home.


So why do I feel so low?  I’ve had several colossal bouts of depression of late, and it’s only recently that I’ve figured it out.

Everyone is sooo nice in this area; well on the surface anyway.  I’ve been to a couple of social thingys and everyone smiles ever so nicely but I do sometimes detect judgement flickering under the facade of one or two local’s fizzogs.  Whereas in London, no one would bother to hide it; they would just flick shade at you Minage style, so no ambiguity there.


And that’s a positive thing?  Well yes.  Kinda.

I went for coffee with some ‘ladies’ a few days ago, all around my age, and it was ever so pleasant, grown up and civilised.  Some were working, some semi retired, most had a kids, a penchant for gardening, the W.I. and a nice scone (Oh naughty, but nice!), and, blow me down if I didn’t feel like breaking into a ‘Bridesmaids’ style fit, if only to break the monotony.


I’m going to admit it.  For some reason I miss all the London bitches, crazies, potty mouths and degenerates.

I know it sounds ungrateful and contradictory as I thought I wanted a more peaceful life Somewhere That’s Green, but I’m bored.  I’m the Chairman of the Bored. 😦

I feel like a 17 year old trapped in a 50 odd year old’s body and locked in an old folks home.  Get me outta here!  I want fun!  I want action!  I want to play!  ANARCHY!!!  But anyone worth playing with around here is probably half my age and would die of embarrassment at the mere thought of being my partner in crime.

That’s the other thing; I thought I’d still be able to do my random, exciting part time job up here, but there’s nothing doing.  Nada. And I cannot fucking bear to get a little part time job in a charity shop or something, but if I don’t get work soon, I’ll be back where I started,  in trouble with a capital ‘T’.

I feel like I’ve put myself on a fast track to the grave, cos in this neck of the woods, everyone acts their age.   Even the younger women are like a cross between ‘Stepford Wives’ and ‘Desperate Housewives’.  Well minus all the exciting stuff.  Or maybe there is something interesting beneath the pristine make up, sparkling ranges, angelic children and manicured lawns, but I ain’t spotted nowt yet.

Oh and here’s another thing; everyone’s so frigging proper here, that if I so much as say ‘Shit!’ in anyone’s presence, I feel like I have to clasp my hand over my mouth, retreat to the naughty step and beat myself into a state of contrition with a large twig.  Someone said the ‘C’ word on TV the other day and it actually made me feel nostalgic. What is that about?

What the fuck have I done?

Evidently you can take the girl out of London, etc. etc., and I feel no more at home here than I felt 3 months ago.

So I can’t go back and I can’t live this way, what’s a girl/alien to do?

I don’t have a plan, I don’t know what it will take to make me happy, but things cannot continue the way they are.  I will NOT stay SMALL and I WILL NOT BE DENIED the right to be as out there as I please.

Maybe it’s time to shake things up around here…

Feed me villagers!  Feel me ALL NIGHT LONG.  Audrey III is in town.

Namaste x



The Daily Post ‘To-Do? Done!’ – SOMEWHERE THAT’S GREEN (Updated)


‘Quickly list five things you’d like to change in your life. Now, write a post about a day in your life once all five have been crossed off your to-do list.’

Of late the majority of my posts have been about the dire stuff that has been happening in my life, hence I’ve been less and less inspired to write, so I thought ‘I know!  I’ll shut up whinging about my shit (yes I do whinge, CD!) and do a “Daily Post” challenge to take my mind of it!’.

And here we are.



WTF, I’ll do it anyway.

My five things, sorry, five OF my things are:

1. Get out of this shitstorm, sell up and find somewhere affordable to live where I don’t keep waking up in a cold sweat (and no it’s not down to the menopause) in the dead of night waiting for the bailiffs/debt collectors to come get me.

2. Find a way to manage my illness with or without the help of professionals, as right now it’s looking like I’ll have to forgo my two years of schema therapy if I move out of this borough. And I can no longer afford to live here.

3. Find some gainful employment that I can tolerate/cope with, so that I don’t keep waking up, covered in sweat, in the blah, blah, blah….

4. Sort out my body, i.e. stop treating it like shite by comfort eating, staying in 24/7 and deliberately depriving it of exercise, and look after it as least as well as I do my car.

5. Find some way of forgiving, accepting and even loving myself so that I can love and be loveable to others and have/keep people in my life.

Pretty fundamental stuff eh?  None of this ‘buy a pair of Louboutins’, ‘pull that hot guy at the gym’ or ‘have a closest clean out’ trivia pour moi.  Such stuff does not even register on my radar right now. Survival is the name of the game.

And how might things look should I achieve the impossible?

Perhaps a little like this:

To clarify, I’m not physically injured and don’t have a ‘semi sadist’ boyfriend; I sometimes wish I did, as I’d be able to justifiably beat the crap out of him, which would be a great exercise in stress relief.  😉


It’s just that I have no idea what a ‘normal life’ would look like for someone like me, so this is as good an illustration as any, and as cringe makingly embarrassing as it is, like Audrey, I do yearn to be away from the city and reside ‘somewhere that’s green’.

But I’m copping out here, because I’m scared to paint the picture.  Because in my heart I daren’t believe it might come true.

But OK, challenges are challenges, so I’ll take a punt at it.

No picket fence, no shrink wrapped furniture (no plastic has been invented that my cats can’t annihilate) and no Howdy frigging Doody who/whatever that is.

But yes, I’m living in that ultimate cliche, a cottage near the sea.

I cook a darn sight better than Betty Crocker and now have a dining room so I can have friends around for BBQ’s, parties and big Sunday lunches.  

I’m living closer to my friends.  I’m close enough to my family that it’s not a five hour journey to get to them, but not so close that it makes either of us twitchy.  

I’m walking distance (or I’ll settle for a short drive) away from the water/beach so I know I can go there and watch the waves when the mind monkeys are driving me ape shit.

I’m walking distance (OK, a short drive) from my part time job which is challenging but not too demanding, leaving me enough energy to pursue the kind of work I love, and yes I have a baking business on the side.

I have the energy to write and make even be embarking on a novel.  At the very least I’m in a writing group and mixing with like minded folk.  

I do yoga. I dance.  I have a social life.  That would be kind of wonderful.

And the biggest thing of all, NO ONE knows about my shit, and whilst I might never pass for normal (quirky/eccentric has been attributed to me in the past), I am accepted and embraced for who I am.  There is no point of me moving to the sticks if the townsfolk know that there’s a (albeit innocent looking) little monster planted in their midst.

If I can have all of that I won’t even need a ‘Seymour’; not yet anyway.  But I live in hope that one day I’ll know what it’s like to be held by a man again, cherished and maybe even enjoy walks on the beach with a strong silent soul.

Control freak dentists of the Shires should, however, watch where they put their implements ‘cos I’m nothing like as sweet as Audrey.

I’m much more of an Audrey 2 really.

With much bigger teeth. 🙂

If I ever achieve all of these things on this list, you’ll be the first to know.  just don’t hold your breath, OK?

Namaste x

PITY PARTY TRACK 13 – SKID ROW Little Shop of Horrors


It was kind of difficult to categorise this song really, but it’s being posted as a Pity Party track as I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself today, though even I have to admit, Sarf London ain’t quite as bad as this…. 😉

It is definitely an ‘Ear Worm’ as it’s been stuck in my head since I included one of Seymour’s lines from it in yesterday’s post….

But every time I hear it, my spirit soars, so it’s also kind of Optimistic too really….

Anyway let it be whatever it is to you and enjoy!

God, I would give my right arm/leg/anything to have pipes like the lady that opens this number.

Go on, girl, ‘Sing it child…’!




I’m being asked (or have been asking myself) to believe a great many unbelievable things of late.

Whether via ‘The Artist’s Way’, self help books, creativity workshops or even ‘The Real Housewives of Atlanta’, the message is that all I have to do is figure out what I want, visualise it, focus/concentrate/pray/all three and it will surely come my way.

Well, right now, whilst I pray, hope and ask for enlightenment, love and a sense of purpose and direction on a daily basis, I’m still waiting for something/someone/anything to happen as nearly a year has passed since my ‘crash and burn’ and I still haven’t made any tangible progress with regard to forging a new, self sufficient life for myself.

Maybe I’m not asking nicely enough?!

Don’t get me wrong; I think leaving my job and damn near having a total breakdown was probably one of the best things that has happened to me, as I’m starting to figure out who I really am (well, probably more like who I’m really not) and no longer have to pretend on a daily basis that everything is alright whilst wanting to jump out of a 10th floor window, but I have been dreading bumping into old friends or colleagues from that particular world, as I have no clue what I can say to them.

And now one of them, H, wants to meet up with me to ‘catch up’.

I can just imagine it.


‘Oh hi!  How are you?  Really?  Oh that’s great, good for you how amazing!’

Big smiles all round.

‘What? Who, me?’

My smile faltering somewhat….

‘Well I’ve been training to be a yoga teacher…..

Cue wide eyes and big enthusiastic smile from H.

….but not sure I’m going to follow it through as it’s all a bit cultish, and if I don’t join and do as the Guru says they might burn me in a Wicker Man….’

H’s eyes look confused and smile diminishes somewhat.

‘I’ve had some cool ideas for new businesses…..’

Relieved eyes and some cooing about my being very creative.

‘….but I haven’t really had the bottle to run with them as I’m scared to do it on my own….’

H’s eyes will suddenly, tinge with just a little impatience/contempt, as she glances down to look at her watch, no doubt hoping for a swift escape.

‘I’ve been on a few dates recently…..’

Eyes widen again. Something worth gossiping about at last?

‘….but nothing much has come of any of them, apart from one guy who thinks I’m a cardboard cut out stand in for his ex wife….’

H’s eyes say ‘BORED NOW!!’ and mouth makes soothing, apologetic noises as she picks up her coat, squeezes out of her seat, and her legs transport her towards the exit.

‘But I am getting better, being kinder and discovering more about myself every day!’

Footsteps quicken.


Door slams shut.


You see my problem?

Yes, I know I shouldn’t care what other people think, but I hate to think of my ex boss or those smug oh-so-sane bitches at Wankers R Us smirking away on hearing any such thing, or worse still, that I end up lying to her and making something up just so that doesn’t happen, as all they’ll see is that I’ve been out of work for a year because I’m still mad (true) and can’t get a job.

So, it seems to me that it’s all very well, this ‘Ask, Believe, Receive’ cosmic ordering malarky, but it doesn’t seem to be working for me at all.

On the job front, I have also been applying for roles (with some trepidation admittedly) that might both fill my wallet and my heart, but strangely enough, no one seems too keen to employ a 50 year old woman who’s been out of work for nearly a year.

On the dating front, I have finally deleted my online dating file and given the fuck up as nothing ever has or ever will come from being on them.  Then again, maybe you have to have Kim Zolciak levels of bullet proof self belief and confidence to attract the right man, settle down and play happy families.

The 2009 Fox Reality Channel Really Awards in LA


Oh, and it doesn’t hurt to be under forty, bleach blonde, with massive tits and an even larger bank account.

Seriously this woman and women like her totally fascinate and fill me with admiration.  When you see old photos of her, she was far from being a looker. Did that stop her? Hell, no.  She dyed her hair, had lots of surgery, bought a pile of wigs, had her tits done, got herself a sugar daddy, landed a TV show, shamelessly exploited her day to day life for rubberneckers like me, met the love of her life and made a fortune to boot.

Maybe if I hadn’t been so fucked up, I could have done the same?  Without the tits, wigs, sugar daddy and reality TV escapades of course.  I think.

But this is the thing. Miss Kim probably knew who she was, what she wanted and what she was prepared to do to get it pretty much from day one and set out to do just that, never letting anything get in her way, as is usually the case with successful people in all walks of life.

As for me, a line from a song from ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ springs to mind:

‘Poor, all my life I’ve always been poor

I keep askin’ God what I’m for

And he tells me, “Gee, I’m not sure

“Sweep that floor, kid!”‘

So whereas Kim Z is the equivalent of a blonde juggernaut, moving steadily, confidently and relentlessly through life, achieving her aims, crushing anything that gets in her way, I am the proverbial tent in the wind, blowing this way and that, occasionally skimming the ground, lingering, but never long enough to hammer just one peg into the earth and create a starting point for myself.

But what is the answer?  Wait until I can love and have confidence in myself and maybe then enlightenment will come my way?  How long will that take? Confidence is all very well, but will be fuck all use if I’m living in a cardboard box on the Embankment?  Or just have a punt, run with something and try something else if it doesn’t work out?

I’d like a clue, please God.  Just one fucking clue.  Pretty please. With a cherry on the top.

And if nothing comes of this desperate prayer then I’m going to give myself an ‘Ask, Believe, Receive’ reprieve, and get the fuck on with something as if I don’t start earning soon, I will end up sweeping floors….

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Whoever thinks that knitting is the domain of slightly batty old ladies is seriously way off base.  Anyone who is skilled at this must have minds like razor blades…..

I’m starting to wonder whether I’m out of my depth with this lovely cable sweater pattern, as it appears that you need a degree in Applied Mathematics just to get beyond the ribbing.

I spent over an hour last night un-knitting about four rows as, unbeknownst to me, I’d been reading the pattern charts wrong.

These things are not read top to bottom, from left to right.  No, you have to read them from bottom to top, from right to left unless it’s an even numbered row, then it’s left to right.

And blank means knit and dot means purl.  Unless you’re on the wrong side, there is an ‘r’ in the month and your moon is in Uranus and then you do the exact opposite.


This project is, however, probably the best Easter present I could have given myself as when I’m beavering away at it, mouthing the mad instructions, squinting at the multiple charts and graphs and swearing like a navvy, I’m not thinking about anything else,  i.e. my deepest, darkest fears.

Which is just as well, as for the first time in a long time, I’ll be on my own for Easter Sunday.

I did however decide to have a posh dinner with an old friend, H, in Oxford the other night by way of compensation.

I’d like to say that it was fun, but it wasn’t.

When H is on form, there’s no one like her. We met on a hiking holiday in Scotland a few years ago, and she had me in complete stitches every single day.  H has a wry, caustic, coruscating humour, little patience and no buffer, so like her or loathe her, there is no way of ignoring her, especially once she’s had a few. She is also a hugely talented, creative individual and a real inspiration.

On the minus side, she is hugely depressive, extremely self sabotaging and another one of those people who expects everyone to heal, rescue, understand, help, FEED HER in every which way possible.

She is also of late, very negative, nothing is her fault and she can fall out with her friends at the drop of a hat.

Know anyone like that Sista, hmmm?  Recognise any of those less than charming traits?

H spent the entire dinner documenting her woes, moaning about people who’ve let her down, telling me how horrible everything in her life is right now, and generally vomiting up all her shit onto the table for my perusal.

The worst part of this was that it was like looking at a great, big, frightening, distorted mirror image of myself.

‘Is this me?’  I inwardly asked myself as she droned on and on and on, without asking me a single thing about myself, unless it was something she needed to know for her own benefit ‘Is that why I can’t keep my friends?  Is that why no one calls?’

I listened as sympathetically as I could, trying not to let the green black sludge suck me back down into my own, only recently vacated tar pit, and changed the subject every chance I could, but there was no good/positive/fun news to be had from her.

I think that in three hours we must have laughed once and that was when we were saying goodbye, she, because of the joke she cracked, me from relieved hysteria that I had managed to survive the evening largely intact.

I was desperate to get back to my knitting though, to hide amongst the knits, the purls and thick white cables, and try shoo away the thick black clouds circling around my head.  I think that was when I rushed through it and fucked it up instead of reading the pattern properly.  Dammit.

H is also on her own tomorrow and something inside me was thinking that I should cook a roast and invite her over.  Cheer her up instead of compulsively, maniacally nit picking at her in my head.  Be a fucking Christian for once.

But I couldn’t.  My home is my sanctuary and to be locked in here with her for hour after hour, as she gets more and more pissed and maudlin, not knowing when she might leave, would (a) tip me over the edge, (b) quite possibly end the friendship if I try and evict her, and I’m not willing to lose her ‘cos I like her far too much to risk that.

This is the tragedy; Aunty C always bangs on at me to make ‘healthier friends’ but I’m a magnet to my own as they are to me, and sadly, I’ve grown to realise that I can’t rescue them.  I can offer advice if I’m a good place myself, but if they don’t take it or at least try and help themselves, then I’m powerless.

I don’t respond well to guilt.  I was made to feel guilty by my family right throughout my childhood for everything and anything, and it left me very defensive and extremely angry, and I have finally learned that you can only give what you can give.  If you don’t have the emotional readies (or real ones actually) in the bank then you can’t withdraw them and give them to someone in need.  It’s impossible. Especially as some fucker has blown the door off my safe and completely cleaned me out.

I need to heal myself before I can properly help anyone else, and even then, it may not be my place to do so.

In the meantime, all I can do is love her, be a friend and see her when I can.  I will continue to gently rebuff her hinted demands, help manage her expectations and hopefully  even make her smile and bring back the H that used to have me in tears of laughter.

As for me, I’ll enjoy the peace and serenity of my home, continue to wrestle with this bastard jumper and see what tomorrow brings.

The snow has arrived.  I gaze out of my window and smile.

Suddenly, I don’t quite feel so lonely anymore.