Season 5

Wednesday 20th July  2022
Christie Watson
Quilt on Fire
The Messy Magic of Midlife

Christie Watson’s first novel, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, won the Costa First Novel Award; her second, Where Women Are Kings, achieved international critical acclaim; and her nursing memoir, The Language of Kindness, was a number one bestseller. 


In 2020, during the first peak of the pandemic, she published The Courage to Care and briefly returned to clinical work. During this time Christie was shocked not only by the changing world, but her changing body, as her Perimenopause took hold. My book choice for this episode is her fifth book Quilt on Fire, the funny, honest and liberating account of her midlife journey.


Christie writes about the joy of letting go and the pain of the morning after, of the unstoppable power of female friendship and the struggle to raise teenagers as a single parent. 

It lays bare the exhilaration, agony , wonder and fears of being a middle-aged woman with a wild heart, a changing body and a new set of challenges, and as her world takes on a different shape, there’s something else she starts to feel.. the hot flush of possibility….


If you have had, or are having a messy time with your Perimenopause this episode is for you. Not only a brilliant writer, Christie is also very, very funny and very, very honest! Join us for some deep truths and lots of LOL’s as we discuss:-


  • Christie’s search for meaning. Who am I? What do I want from life?
  • Why the book is called Quilt On Fire, its not what you think!
  • The love story that is female friendships.
  • How Christie coped with her “catastrophic breakdown” which resulted in her climbing into a supermarket freezer. 
  • How HRT sent Christie’s libido through the roof.
  • Midlife sexual awakening and midlife dating.
  • How we are all connected by our vulnerabilities.
  • Comparison – the perceived perception that every women has her s**t together and appears to be sailing through Perimenopause.
  • Vulnerability- what happens when we share our mess. We are all struggling with something.
  • Perfection isn’t something we should be striving for.
  • The messy turbulent side of Menopause. Falling apart so we can put ourselves back together. 
  • The Culture wars of HRT and how women are pitted against each other by the media. 
  • The cultural and anthropological side of Menopause.
  • The funny side of internet dating.
  • The chance to Re-evaluate our identity. Who am I? Am I happy with myself? Who do I want to become?
  • The Pandemic and Perimenopause, two times of forced reckoning and how they spoke to each other. 
  • The benefits of collecting older women friends.
  • Having a Hollywood! 
  • Christie finding a much needed sense of gratitude around Perimenopause.


Christie’s Book Choices 

Douglas Stuart – Young Mungo 

Nora Ephron – I Feel Bad About My Neck

You can find out more about Christie Watson here

Wednesday 13th July  2022
Kate Codrington
Second Spring
The Self Care Guide to Menopause

I knew that Kate Codrington and I were destined to meet. Her name has been mentioned many times by past guests of the podcast so I was delighted when our friends at Harper Collins sent me a copy of her book Second Spring and Kate agreed to be my guest.

Kate is a mentor, speaker, artist, writer and therapist, and host of the “Life – an inside job” podcast. And when she’s not doing all these things you’ll find her playing in her compost heaps at her home in Hertfordshire.

Join us in conversation as we discuss:

  • What is our Second Spring? 
  • How Perimenopause can be akin to being thrown around in the washing machine, the disorientation, but once the cycle has finished we get to see ourselves and the world with fresh eyes – that’s the gift.
  • The Four seasons of our life and the pain and the gifts that each one brings. 
  • The Menopausal adventure of finding out “Who Am I?”
  • The conspiracy of “busyness” – why it’s necessary for us to slow down and rest so we can be in a better relationship with ourselves.
  • The whole new cycle of life that starts Post Menopause.
  • The three phases of our Menopause transition – Separation, Surrender and Emergence.
  • Why we must learn to be kind to ourselves.
  • The exhausting effort of “holding it all together.”
  • The importance of vulnerability and surrender during Perimenopause and Menopause.


Kate’s book choice – Angela Carter – Nights at the Circus

Find out more about Kate at

Wednesday 22nd June 2022
Awen Clement
Moon Wise

Since she was little, Awen Clement has been fascinated by the magic of the moon and this led her to write and publish her book, Moon Wise.

Awen is a healer and intuitive who works deeply with the land, the moon and the elements. 
She teaches on spiritual connection, healing and sacred leadership, and is the founder of The Earth House, a fledgling community for folk who walk an Earth-centred spiritual path. 

When she isn’t working or teaching Awen is raising four awesome young humans and can often be found drinking tea in her sacred shed at the bottom of her garden in Birmingham. 

Join us as we discuss:-

  • How we become Moon Wise and what living a Moon Wise life means
  • Our Natal moon phase and how this affects us
  • What it means if you are born near a New Moon or Full Moon?
  • That we are cyclical beings connected to nature and the impact on our wellbeing of not tuning into the seasons
  • Ovulating on the Full Moon and bleeding on the New Moon – is this a thing?
  • The traditional Pagan model of the three stages of a women’s life and the modern addition of a fourth stage to honour our modern Menopausal phase. 
  • What happens to the energy we use to bleed when we stop our cycle and enter into Post Menopause?
  • What if we don’t fit into the typical archetype of child-bearer because we choose not to or can’t have children?
  • Menopause as a positive deep inner transformation, we are not broken. 
  • How can we use the moon Post Menopause to bring out the cyclical nature in us. 
  • Why we can have such different feelings from each other around a Full Moon. 

Awen’s book choice – Burning Women by Lucy H Pearce

Find out more about Awen and get your copy of Moon Wise at

Wednesday 28th June 2022
Dr Jenna Macciochi
Your Blueprint for strong immunity
Personalise Your Diet and Lifestyle for Better Health 

Dr Jenna Macciochi an expert immunologist who has spent over 20 years as a scientist researching the impact that lifestyle has on the immune system in health and disease.

Her latest book “Your Blueprint for Strong Immunity”, is a guide to cultivating strong immune health from a voice of reason in a rising tide of pseudoscience and promises of quick fixes.

The book encourages us to audit our lifestyle and identify key areas that might not be serving our health well and as Dr Jenna said when we spoke, ‘I wrote the book that I needed to read”


Join us as we discuss:-


  • The myth behind the term “Immune Boosting.”
  • Why we need to ‘balance’ rather than ‘boost’ our immune system.
  • How well were you before you got sick? How you go into an illness reflects how you will cope with it.
  • The cyclical nature of our immune systems.
  • Why our ‘immune age’ doesn’t necessarily match our chronological age
  • Immunity, the sex hormones and our Menstrual cycle.
  • How our blood sugar response is so individual
  • The power of protein and fibre, the unsung hero of longterm health
  • Why we shouldn’t necessarily avoid the foods that make us bloated but work to increase our tolerance of them.
  • Immunity and Menopause the impact of declining oestrogen
  • Man Flu – the science to support it!
  • The long game – how do you want to feel in your 70s and 80s
  • The importance of good liver function and how we support the process
  • The myths surrounding benefits of detoxes and sweating
  • Air pollution in our homes, household toxins and the stress of living in with clutter.
  • The importance of spending time in nature and why we should limit the use of artificial fragrances.


Dr Jenna’s book choice – Oliver Burkeman Four Thousand Weeks


You can find out more about Dr Jenna here

Wednesday 6th July 2022
Julie Walker
bonny and Read

For the first time on The Merry Menopause Bookclub podcast, I’ve chosen a fiction book, Bonny and Read is the historical reimagining of two female pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read. 


Author Julie Walker first came across this swashbuckling duo as a teenager when she was listening to the Adam Ant song Five Guns West.  She was instantly fascinated by their story and has meticulously researched them ever since. 


Bonny and Read has been longlisted for both the Mslexia First Novel Prize and the Bath Novel Award. 


Join Julie and I as we discuss what led her to write the story of Ann Bonny and Mary Read and the circumstances that led these two legendary women to meet, live and adapt to a life on board a pirate ship in the Caribbean in 1700’s. 


How they became immortalised in a ballard, a book and achieved celebrity and mythical status.


This is the story of two strong and resourceful women from very different backgrounds and parts of the world, who lived, loved and created history onboard a pirate ship named The Revenge.


Bonny and Read is out on the 4th of August and is a perfect summer read.


Julie’s book choices 

Life and Loves of a She Devil Fay Weldon

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus


You can follow Julie on Twitter @NicerMarmot