Tag Archives: personal

Hello again!

Well, this is a little weird. It’s been about a year since I blogged and I just read my last post and it reminded me of how excited (and worn out) I was getting ready for our big move to Europe. If you saw my twitter thread recently, you’ll know that things haven’t turned out as expected and I’ll be returning home to Australia as a single mother.

Because of this, my emotions have been all over the place, as you can imagine. But, at the same time, I can’t wait to get back home and return to normal. (According to an app on my phone, I have 55 days, 23 hours, 58 mins, and 12 seconds until I leave) I haven’t written anything in over a year but I’m excited that I’ll be able to get back into it as soon as I’m settled back home again. There are two guys who are demanding my attention to finish their story and give them their HEA so I better move my arse.

(Also don’t be surprised if I write a book about a couple going through a divorce. Inspiration comes from the weirdest places.)

I actually don’t have any news, just that I’m excited to be going home, even if the circumstances are not ideal, but I’m also positive for the future. This is my chance to have the kind of life I want, without having to answer to anyone. It’s my chance to prove how strong and capable I am.

Love and light to all,
RJ

Gratuitous pic of Fatboy x

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Some do’s and don’t’s of selling stuff online. And people who suck.

For those of you that have met me know that I’m a fairly nice person. I’m friendly and welcoming even though I think the majority of humans suck. I’m terrible at small talk and it’s the one thing that makes me itch.  However, I will go out of my way to help you. I will do the right thing. However, my stance on the suckiness of the human race has been reinforced by having to deal with people while selling my furniture and cars online.

So here are some tips for you if you’re selling your belongings over the internet:

1. Don’t use your phone. Get a burner phone or buy a cheap sim card. The reason for this will become clear later.

2. If you’re a single woman (or a woman whose husband works overseas) pretend you’re married. Get your neighbour, who looks like a member of the Coffin Cheaters, but is actually a bearded, tattooed, and pierced softy, to act like your husband. (Thanks, John. You’re the best.) If you don’t have a John (or a Barry, Bruce, or a Brandon) tell potential purchasers that your husband is at work and will be home that afternoon or night. People will take advantage of a woman on their own. Not everyone, sure, but the potential is there.

3. If the potential purchasers make you uncomfortable for any reason, don’t let them in your house. Halt them at the front door and tell them sorry, but the bed, couch, TV, whatever, just sold 15 minutes ago. Do not let them in! You are under no obligation to sell them anything.

4. Stick to your price. People will try and talk you down, especially if they know you have to sell. Don’t be unreasonable with your pricing, but stick to your guns. You need the money. If they want it badly enough, they’ll pay for it. If they don’t, someone else will.

Some tips if you’re buying:

1. Firstly, and this is the biggest so listen closely: Don’t be a dick. Turn up on time, be polite, and if something happens and you can’t make it, let the seller know. Manners, people, manners.

2. The seller is under no obligation to sell you their item. If you demand stuff that is above and beyond, like insisting that the seller spends three hours of their time and a few hundred of their dollars getting a mechanical check on the car that you want to buy from them, before you commit to a sale, don’t be surprised when they tell you where to get off. If you want a check done on a car (that’s only 3 years old and has a full history) then get it done on your time at your expense. They have mobile mechanics these days that will come to the house. This is not the seller’s responsibility. Neither is it their duty to purchase a warranty out of their pocket for the car you want to buy, again before you commit to the sale. That’s just not on, peeps.

3. If you purchase some furniture on behalf of someone else, for example, a homeless man that you have put up in an apartment, and need some cheap but good stuff, don’t mistake the seller’s friendly personality as someone you can bully. If she feels like helping you help the homeless man by knocking some off the price and giving you a bunch of free stuff (lamps, pictures, etc) don’t change your mind and ask for a refund after you’ve picked the items up and left. If you change your mind, tough luck. The seller is not a shop. You can’t have a refund. If the seller doesn’t give you the refund you demand, don’t then insult her via numerous text messages and tell her what a horrible human being she is. You got a bunch of free stuff. She’s by herself with no husband to make her feel protected. Feeling like she needs to check all the doors and window locks in the house and go to bed with the phone in her hand in case you turn up in the middle of the night, is not fun for her. She’s probably blocked your number but she knows you know where she lives. You, Sir, are a dick.

4. If you purchase some furniture but don’t secure it in the back of your van and drive like a bat out of hell so the items fly around in the back and get damaged, it is not the seller’s fault. Don’t call her. She doesn’t care and neither does she have a friend that can fix it for you. Just because you have her number and she was friendly and helpful, doesn’t mean she gives a shit after you’ve left her driveway. Leave her alone.

Not everyone is like the examples above. Every once in a while – well, only once for me in this whole process – there’ll be someone who restores your faith in humanity. The couple who bought the husband’s car, Jerry the Jeep, were polite, funny, honest, and engaging. I could’ve talked to them for a few hours. If I had the time I and didn’t mind looking like a crazy old woman in their eyes, I would have invited them in for a wine or three. But that would’ve been weird, so I didn’t. These guys wanted a bigger car to transport their fur babies, and who wouldn’t buy a car for that purpose? I love people who are dedicated to their pets. It’s adorable, and makes me have a little faith in the human race. I like it when the Fates show me that not all people suck. Thanks, guys. ❤

So that’s it. Be careful who comes into your house, and if you don’t have a significant other that can provide that backup, I’ll send you John’s number. He doesn’t require payment but loves it when you turn up with a six pack and some neighbourhood gossip.

Jerry the Jeep is now named James. Here he is with his new owners, Bentley (the lab) and Benjamin (the sausage) I love how they’re all colour coordinated! (Photo used with permission of the new owners)

Till next time,
RJ

Not long to go.

You’ll have to excuse my tardiness. When I started this moving-to-the-other-side-of-the-world journey, I had grand plans to blog about it each week and keep you all informed as to what’s going on. Back then I knew I’d be busy, but busy doesn’t begin to cover it. My limited interaction on SM should give you a clue.

The shit you have to do to move countries is enormous. I mean, it’s only 14,926kms. What’s the big deal? Turns out there’s lots of stuff like taking yourself off the electoral role so you don’t get fined for not voting. Oh, and suspending your health insurance so you don’t get whacked with a huge bill when you return. So many other things which I shan’t bore you with. But the list is loooong.

As of today, I have three weeks and five days left in Australia. Daunting, yes. Exciting, yes. I’m at the stage where I wish it was all over and I was sunning myself on a Portuguese beach already. But things are progressing smoothly. I’ve sold both cars and am now running around in my niece’s POS because she’s gone off to Canada for three months and won’t need it. All furniture that we’re not taking with us has been sold and I’m just waiting for people to come and pick it up. (Don’t ask me about selling stuff online, just know that I will NEVER do it again.)

The house has been leased and the tenants are moving in the day after we leave. Fatboy has had all his vaccinations and health checks and is cleared to fly as well.

My house looks like a bomb has hit it and that sends my anxiety spiking but there’s not much I can do about that, so I just breathe and pretend that being a dirty slob is my new normal.

I just look at this pic and pretend I’m there already. (BTW, my new home is a 2-minute walk from this beach. Not bad, huh?)

I’ll try and keep you updated as things progress and I’ll be sure to let you know when I arrive in Portugal.


RJ

Cleaning house and the things you find.

One of the things I have to do is clean out all my drawers and cupboards before we move to Portugal, and although I’ve moved many times around Australia, I’ve never had to cull so much of my stuff before. All previous moves I’ve done, I’ve just had to box everything up and move it, but moving countries means I can’t take everything. The shipping container is only so big.

So… ditching a lot of old stuff that doesn’t get used anymore is what I’ve been doing this last week. The charity bins near me are full!

When you go through drawers that haven’t been opened in a number of years, you’re bound to happen across things you thought were long gone. There are some good memories in my cupboards. And low and behold, I came across a ton of old photos. I suppose that was to be expected.

I found this one below, and realised I haven’t actually changed all that much.

On to the next cupboard.

RJ

Writing, moving, and plans. WTH is going on?

Most of you would have heard along the grapevine that the Jones’s are packing up house and moving to Portugal.

It’s true. As of today, I have 68 days left in Australia. Which means I have less than that to do a shitload of sorting out and pack up my belongings. I need to sell two cars, some appliances, various pieces of furniture, and take whatever is left (that isn’t coming with us) to charity. I have a big house and also plenty of years collecting a lot of useless stuff.

Who keeps empty boxes?

Turns out, I do!

Of course, I didn’t know I kept empty boxes until I started going through some cupboards. *sigh* Sooo much work.

So what does that mean for my writing? Well, unfortunately, not much will get done. Moving my family to the other side of the world has to take precedence, and I’m sure no one will disagree with me on that.

We’ll be moving to Praia de Galé (don’t click the link if you don’t want to be jealous) in July but then I have the big task of settling into our new life and getting the kids ready to start school in September. Even after the boys start their Portuguese education, I’ll be busy house-hunting (for more permanent accommodation) and generally finding my way around my new home.

I’ll keep you updated how things progress over the next few weeks. I’ll try and keep the writing up so I can release something this year, but no promises.

Wish me luck as I toddle off to tackle more cupboards.

RJ

I’m opinionated, you just didn’t know it.

I need to apologise first and foremost. I have not blogged in ages, and I have no excuse. I’m a lazy blogger. There, I admitted it.

On to the topic.

I’ve sat on my hands to stop from typing something on various topics so many times my fingers are numb. I’ve stopped myself because it is sometimes seen as unprofessional and enough authors have been told to sit down and shut up. We are not supposed to have opinions. We are only to talk about books, book boyfriends, and anything writing/reading related. Apparently.

I keep my mouth shut on most subjects. Like how a debut indie author can top the best-selling lists with no promo and next to no social media. This is not something I’ve been able to achieve, even when I promo my butt off. If I say something I’ll look like a jealous banshee, which I totally am. Maybe they just know how to work the system better than I do. You know, with all their experience and everything. (See! Jealousy) It’s irritating at best.

I try to stay out of any controversies. I may comment every now and then on something contentious but it’s usually when I see an injustice or something dubious. Maybe my professional front is slipping a little. I see authors told to sit down and shut up, not to voice their opinion because they’ll lose readership, and I’ve seen this happen on social media, usually with extreme/abusive right-wingers, but I’ve also seen it happen over small matters such as a difference of opinion.

*Loud sigh* I digress, that is not what this post is about.

This post is about politics. *Gasp* The horror!

I know. I will not be a silent bystander while the world I live in goes to hell. I am an author and I have an opinion. There are lots of authors out there who won’t say anything publicly for various reasons, but are supportive of the #resistance we see happening all over the world at the moment. Let’s face it. There’s so many people filling up our feed with political news and outrage, it’s nice to see a kitty or puppy, or five. Support doesn’t need to be so openly visible, and politics, like religion, is a sticky topic at the best of times. I’ve tried not to rock the boat myself, but well… this particular boat gets me hot under the collar, and if I lose a reader or two that doesn’t agree with me, well… so be it.

Some authors have been told to “stay in your lane,” or to butt out of American politics because “you’re not American. You don’t have a dog in this race.”

I’m a citizen of the world, and this is my lane. My dog may not be as big as an American, but it’s yapping its fool head off right alongside.

From what I have seen online (we don’t get a lot of American news on TV here, thankfully, and yes, I stay away from the fake news sites) Trump is out to destroy the world and make it his own. His decisions in the first week have been reprehensible and morally corrupt at best, not to mention downright scary.

But the #trumpresistance I see happening at the moment gives me the warm fuzzies at the same time as firing me up, making me want to make a banner and start a Perth branch of the movement.

This bit below particularly gives me hope that they’re are more resisters out there than Trump supporters. (BTW, It still baffles me how he got in, but that’s a topic for someone else who knows more than I do. I’m still in shock and shaking my head.)

pic-rogue

 

There is only so much a little Aussie can do. But by God, if I lived in the US, you bet your cute arses I’d be marching and screaming my head off. (just like that banshee above)

When you march, protest, resist, or revolt, please know that this little Australian chick, from the most isolated capital city in the world, is resisting right alongside you. I’m here with you.

I could go on, but there are so many people out there who say it far more eloquently than I. So I’ll leave you with this:

Go forth and resist! Resist today. Resist tomorrow, and resist the day after that. Make sure your voices are heard. Don’t do it just for your country, do it for the collective world population who sees what is happening and is sickened by it. History cannot be allowed to repeat itself.

Resistance is not futile.

RJ out.

What happens when RJ is very tired… If I had three wishes

IF I HAD THREE WISHES…

When I’m overtired I get a little silly and my imagination often runs away. This is me right now. While I was waiting for my husband to cook dinner (I’m lucky like that) my mind wandered off. This is where it went without my permission.

Wish 1 – 55% of the world’s population would be gay. Not to make heterosexuals the minority, but to make being gay as normal as going down the shop for a loaf of bread. ‘Homophobia’ would be stricken from the dictionary simply because it no longer existed.

Wish 2 – Everyone would be born with eyes that didn’t see the colour of other people’s skin. People of colour would still exist but because no one would be able to see it, it would be a non-issue. The only reason why we wouldn’t like someone would be because they had better hair. (My hair sucks, so this is totally legitimate)

Wish 3 – Bigotry and hatred would still be a thing. (C’mon. I’m trying to be realistic here.) However, it would be illegal and severely frowned upon so much that all bigots would be forced to leave the global ‘village’. They would start a commune high in the Siberian mountains where they would be forced to live on berries and magical wild elk. These elk would be in abundance and breed like rabbits. When consumed the hateful person would see the light of their ways, be filled with love, and wonder why they believed in the hatred in the first place. Reformed bigots would be welcomed back into the fold with open arms. Bigots who refuse to eat the magical elk die from starvation. Donald Trump is their leader. He’s currently on an intravenous drip of berry juice, but it doesn’t look good. Even on his deathbed he is still an arsehole.

I apologise for being so tired.
I’m off to bed.

RJ

Lola 1 canape