Dare I?

The image to the left is a version of the illustration on the front of my book, but it’s more than that. It represents another side to my character. I’m the quiet version of me, but as with many of us there’s another me inside screaming to get out. The one I intended to be when I was young, had the world at my feet, and it hadn’t yet tripped me up.

As a writer I’ve developed organically. I never intended to become a writer it just happened, as I’ve said before. Poet, playwright, author, blogger, back to poet. During this journey the other side of me, the one in the sequins and high heels covered in stars emerged – Mildred Scrunge. She emerged one day at work when a friend was looking particularly fed up and wrote her the most ridiculous letter, one that didn’t go anywhere, got stuck on the subject of roundabouts and baked beans, and only the last line was meaningful.

Instant success?

Within moments my friend was in hysterics, people were looking over her shoulder and also in hysterics, and Mildred developed from there. Her name, as signed on that first letter, is Mildred Scrunge of Bodgit, Screwem, and Leggit, solicitors. She is a solicitor of neither repute nor success, and Mildred does not care. She’s so un-me, and that’s what I love about her.

Over the years she’s developed a life of her own, she has two men in her life Julius Ackass and Lord Elpus, both provided by good friends who got into the spirit of the thing and started pen-pal relationships with her on particularly dull days at work. One of her finest moment was in writing a letter to my husband on behalf of our cat, Charlie, when he chewed through a CAT5 cable (yes really) causing quite a bang, and cut the telephone off that same night. Both Julius and Tony sent me versions of “thanks for sending me that at work!” All I can remember was that ended “P.P.P.S, I chewed through the tepelone cable in the night and deaded your tepelone.’ I wish I could remember the rest.

A law unto myself

Milders is a phenomenon and everything I’m not. She’s my way of releasing the crazy sense of humour I was born with and lost when life got in the way. I used to laugh all the time, found life hilariously funny, and then it just stopped. It’s called marrying the wrong person, and finding out that they were seriously wrong for you in ways you didn’t understand for another 10 years.

Thanks to her I wrote the funny letters, the crazy poems, and a comedy thriller for the amateur stage that went down very well. Thanks to her I could still see me.

Weird and Whacky Wisdom

We were writing a book together during the lockdowns, with her less than serious take on life, the universe and everything. Not meant to parody life issues, and definitely not including covid, but to add her quirky way of looking at life into the mix of inspiration available, for people who have lost their laughter and need to find it again. Maybe others will be able to see themselves again through her. However, we haven’t been able to get round to finishing it due to her constant search for enlightenment; which she thinks is a place and won’t be told otherwise. I leave you with a note I received a few weeks ago.

Dearest Mrs H

I won’t ask you how you are as I’m sure you’re probably bored and probably writing about it. That is not fun. If, however, you’ve managed to have any fun please do write by return and tell me about it, I have looked forward to such a letter for many years, but please also remember that Percy the carrier pigeon can only carry so much weight and any ennui could be too much for him; so don’t mention it even in passing.

Did I tell you I was going to Peru? I’m guessing you’ve guessed as I left 6 months ago. Not necessarily that I was in fact heading for Peru, but more that I’m not there. You’re pretty quick like that. So, I’m not there I’m here and it’s very high.

I left very suddenly after a lead was suggested to me by a new colleague who doesn’t seem that enamoured of me, but was exceptionally helpful when I said I needed a holiday. She pointed me towards the foothills of Machu Pichu, and the cave of a blind deaf monk who is the world authority on enlightenment and finding yourself, if of course you can find him.

He lives about a third of the way up the foothills, on a path to the left bordered by a spectacular purple bush. He is very particular about whom he helps, you must stand outside his cave and call out for ‘the master’. If he hears you and likes the look of you he will come out of his cave, if not, you’re just an unenlightened idiot standing on a mountain shouting.

As you may imagine there were problems involved. The bush wasn’t in flower, but I solved that by asking someone where he lived, they allegedly didn’t know but no one gets between me and the development of my soul, so I stood with my foot on their head until they told me. Spirituality is so important isn’t it.

The second issue was the not hearing and not seeing malarky. In some ways that worked for me as I’m both weird, fearsome, badly dressed, and my false eye tends to look in strange directions when I’m tired. I’m also rather strident after years of correcting judges in courtrooms until they’re forced to see my viewpoint or have a breakdown. So it’s good he can’t hear.

As an aside, I’m proud to say I once drove one judge back into the arms of his ex-wife, because he said she was a saint compared to me even though she pushed his fancy car off a cliff with him in it. He survived by throwing himself from the car and clinging to cliff grass until the police were forced at gunpoint to rescue him.

As the idea of standing outside shouting is an anathema to me, what’s the point if it’s not accompanied by a terrifying glare, I marched into his cave and demanded an audience and enlightenment. You will probably be surprised to know that the man exists, his name is Martin Schutzwitzle, and he hails from Clapham. In other words 5 minutes around the corner from where I live and we drink at the same pub! He was lost on the mountain 5 years ago when some very suspicious looking locals came up to enquire what he was doing in their sacred space. Quick as a flash he said he was an important gyro who helps people find a path to inner peace. Good job they couldn’t speak English properly. They immediately decided he was a god, and spend their lives feeding him and caring for him. As if he came home now he probably couldn’t afford to eat, he’s making the most of it.

So he’s been gyro-ing on the mountain for 5 years, getting fed by the locals, and telling everyone that finds him that true peace lies within. If anyone asks him about the eyes and ears thing he simply says that his spiritual eyes and ears are so attuned that he can see and hear even though he can’t. I know you see and hear people without seeing and hearing them, so it made sense to me. Well as much sense as the current Government which is not a lot but one doesn’t want to be close-minded does one.

Anyhoo, the upshot was that he has no idea what enlightenment is, told me to find it within, and I’ve been here ever since. I’ll be coming home soon. He won’t be upset because I think he’s getting fed up with me as he keeps sneaking out in the night, but the man trap (dug to keep us safe) is doing an excellent job so far. However, you know me, always faithful to Julius, Elpus, and the man who cleans the windows at the office, his brother, the janitor, two of my fellow Barristers, and a guy who works at the chip shop and thinks he’s Elvis. It’s a good job I’ve maintained my purity otherwise things could get complicated and all the exercise could be tiring, plus I can’t abide complexity.

As such I shall see you soon, or maybe later if I get lost again, I thought Peru was in South America and had a devil of a time finding it. Toodle pip sweetie. Life’s fun isn’t it.



No I haven’t enlightened her

I did think about writing back and explaining that Peru is in South America, but the letter wouldn’t find her if she’s already on her way home, plus to my knowledge caves don’t have a post-box. Goodness knows where she is, but because she’s Mildred she will have had a wonderful time.

We should all be more like Mildred…with certain exceptions of a romantic nature of course. Maybe less adventurous. Possibly we should buy maps if we’re going anywhere. And how the hell has she kept her job I’d like to know? But I’ll guarantee you she has because she’s brilliantly successful. Dear Lord I’m being logical again, how does the crazy in her bring out the boring in me?


Deb xx


Published by debdancingstarhawken7

I'm a writer, public speaker, medium, and spiritual thinker. I suffered from acute anxiety from the age of 16 until I was well into my 50s, after fearlessly exploring many ideas, philosophies, and tools, I finally found methods that helped me return my mind to a better normal. One of the things I hated about anxiety was the way people treated me like a fool or a problem, I have two degrees and I'm a (much) retired black belt, my IQ is decent, but I constantly felt like a complete idiot, something that was exacerbated by never feeling like the real me. The girl who could laugh endlessly about the smallest things, and had a real excitement about what life had to offer her. I didn't need anyone else to tell me I wasn't 'right', I knew that better than anyone. My mission now is to support people suffering as I did with a message of support with what they're going through, tools and ideas that might help, and a strong message of hope for the future. At 63, which I am at the time of writing, many people I know are in a rut, yet having beaten anxiety I'm now doing more with my life than I ever did when I was struggling just to get up in the morning, let alone face the day. It's a wonderful feeling - so the main message is that it doesn't matter how long you've been struggling or what age you are, when you beat anxiety you will get an entirely new lease of life - and that's fantastic at any age. On a personal note I'm married to my soul mate, we have 5 cats, and I live in the middle of the UK. I follow a number of fantastic thinkers, as it's important to immerse yourself in healthy thinking as often as you can, I'm a Toastmaster and professional public speaker, and I keep life simple and encourage my clients to do the same, and my friends.

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