Phoenix Riting! – December 14th, 2023


The Christmas Pizza Party at the Hall on Saturday evening was lovely, if sparsely attended. That part was surprising; I expected a huge turnout, but Hornby can be unpredictable that way. The Hall was beautifully decorated, and Santa was of course available for photo ops. At the beginning, there were more folk with children, thanks to Santa’s presence. Yes, I did get photos with Santa. And no, I did not sit on his knee. I managed to score a piece of pizza before it all disappeared; when I went back for seconds, quite early on, the pizza had vanished. I wished for more (my wish was granted later).


Pat Mullan was there playing Christmas tunes; including my own song, apparently, though that was before I arrived. We hung out, sipped drinks, munched pizza and cookies, and smiled. Then the Anonymous Six took the stage. Turns out they weren’t all that anonymous; they were Dr. Laura, John, Cath, Paula, Holly and a gentleman from Denman called, I think (forgive me if I get this wrong) Andrew.


At first, I confess, I found the music irritating, though I could tell it was well executed. These were quite complex and challenging pieces to sing, and no less challenging to hear for the first time. I’ve had this experience on my first deep listen to classical pieces; I grew up with homemade country, folk, and later rock music, so I’ve had to learn how to hear certain types of music. It felt like fingernails scratching at the blackboard of my brain. I stayed with it and slowly my experience shifted. The scratching, it seemed, was opening new mental grooves and by the third or fourth piece I began to appreciate the beauty and complexity of these a capella six part choral pieces. By the end, I was captivated by the sublime loveliness of these intertwining vocal lines.


It is so rewarding, that joy of a new musical discovery. Dr. Laura tells me they would like to do other performances, and if so, I shall be there, with my newly etched grooves ready to enjoy.


It was a mixed bag of an evening for me, as my autistic social anxiety was on top. I am an excellent masker but occasionally my mask slips and I realize only later that whatever I just said was probably ill timed, inappropriate, or hadn’t made sense in context. So often, what’s inside my brain is out of step with the world around me. When that happens, all I can do is walk away and hope it didn’t come across too badly. I’ve tried apologizing and explaining–but that makes things more awkward! It’s not easy navigating the world with a weirdly wired brain.


I did have a wonderful time despite, I imagined, leaving a few shaking their heads as I walked away. If you ever wonder, “What did she mean by that?” I plead, nothing, I meant nothing, I simply forget sometimes that I’m all alone in my world. The world others share is one I can visit, but not live in. It’s exhausting but I love it, I love people. I try not to be too annoying. Mostly, I think, I succeed.


There were other highlights to the evening. A raffle was held, and I purchased a ticket at the last minute, on impulse, and was rewarded by winning the $50 gift certificate for pizza. Yay more pizza! There was dancing afterward, and I had a blissful time until my brain made me slide out the door and go home to hide from my anxiety. On top of everything else, the Moon was in Scorpio.


My song is now streaming on all the platforms–YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, TikTok and many more I’ve never heard of. If you haven’t had a listen yet, and you’d like to, just search ‘Phoenix Bee Something About Christmas.’ I do hope you like it!


That’s what I think, what do you think? Email me at