Stumbling My Way Through Life One Glass of Wine at a Time

Stumbling My Way Through Life One Glass of Wine at a Time

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

7 Months Later...

Tomorrow is my 28th birthday. 
I cannot believe I'm almost thirty and have a life totally different to what I had envisioned long ago when people asked me where I saw myself in five years time. 
I want to start this blog back up again as I enter a new year of my life where I'm hoping many of the things I've been dreaming will happen, might finally actually happen!

I'd planned on being married by now, having kids, being an author of bestselling novels and living somewhere with my own herd of dogs and cats.

I have none of that right now.

I'm in a relationship with a man I adore - he's the love of my life but the relationship itself has a testing one.
I feel like we are finally in a great place after a tremendous amount of hard work that is still ongoing.
I'll be honest - we see a couples therapist.
When we're good we're amazing but when we're bad it's like world word three has erupted. We're both incredibly stubborn - but we love each other dearly. Despite our (major) differences, he is the best thing to ever happen to me and I truly cannot imagine my life without him.

Recently a close friend of mine died with his partner in a motorbike accident in Vietnam. Another friend of mine fell from a mountaintop and has become disabled. Someone I once knew during my time in Mallorca just lost her partner. 
All of these things scare the hell out of me.
How would I cope if I lost my partner, M? I really don't think I would.
I get scared because as Buddha once said, 'The Trouble Is, We Think We Have Time.' 
There's so much I want in life and so much I'm ready for and the thought that something could happen in the blink of an eye whether it be my death or my partners - it's too much to comprehend. I've had the future ripped away from me before when I lost my ex fiance. I'm finally in a good place - albeit my wonderful curse of anxiety. I can't lose what I've worked so hard for again. The cruelty of it would destroy me. 

Anyway - this is supposed to be an uplifting blog post. My first in over 7 months... to let you know that I've made some changes on here. I'm no longer under the blog name Bohemian Muses. 
Instead I've changed it to Words and Wine With Jade (Words and Wine was taken...). 
I'm changing my tune with the whole blog thing. I want to document my life as it is now in Australia... a place I NEVER thought I'd wind up! 

So much in my life is so different than the last time we caught up... so different from the life I've always lived... and I'm not the best at adapting lets be honest!! 
Life over the past year has been bloody tough..... but I feel like good things are finally happening. Things are looking up and I want to write again. 

So here we go... to anyone (if there is anyone) that still reads this...

Tonight M is taking me out for an early birthday dinner.
We have an absolute weirdo staying in our spare room at the moment booked through AirBnb.
I can't stand that we let out our spare room... nothing about it makes me comfortable and for some obscure reason we always seem to end up hosting the absolute nut-bags!
This guy is ex military for Afghanistan with PTSD. He can't go out in the sunlight because he had some kind of chemical peel to remove his wrinkles, freckles and blemishes on his face. He looks like a shiny lobster and jumps at every opportunity to talk to us. If you give him an inch he'll take over a mile!
I'm sorry but when I get home from work all I want to do is put on an episode of Masterchef Australia or The Bachelor, pour myself a glass of red wine, prep dinner and CHILL THE HELL OUT. 
However, this guy decided to tell me his life story... and that the reason he's staying with us is because he's busy going through a breakup.
He started rattling on about women's instincts since the caveman era to always have a back up plan and remain close to the same or higher status males than their current partner in case something were to happen to their man and they needed looking after.... his ex girlfriend was chatting to a number of different guys while with him.

Can I also just say here that he is 35 and she is 22???

He told me he can't drink because he's going through some sort of treatments for his mental health but loves smoking weed then going to the gym to lift weights...... ahem....

Our spare room churns out a baffling amount of people like this with stories you just can't make up. It's hilarious but I'm so sick of people in my space.
I'm the kind of girl that walks out of the bedroom either naked or just in hot pants and a vest if I need something from the kitchen.
I like to put my feet up after work and enjoy the silence before M gets home from work with snacks and wine... pretty much looking like a complete slob. But why not?! It's supposed to be my safe space.
I enjoy taking a bath with a lush bathbomb, wine and candles... and the bath is in the spare bathroom that gets taken over by guests when we get bookings.

To put it bluntly - it's just annoying. 
THAT'S why we're going out for dinner this evening... luckily he checks out tomorrow and we can finally have our space back again so we plan to spend my real birthday snuggled up on the sofa watching Netflix and probably very little clothing.

Ahhh bliss! 

I'm not sure where we're going tonight.
I've hinted enough times that oysters is my preference. I'm not entirely subtle - hey, I know what I want!! And oysters are painfully expensive in Australia. They're a very special treat for us whereas in South Africa we can gorge on them all night long!

He's told me to dress-up a little bit and meet him somewhere after work. 
I have on my leopard print (never thought I'd be a leopard print girl!!) playsuit, a beige trench coat and a big fluffy scarf.
I attempted to curl my hair but halfway through the working day it's gone flat already.
I've made an effort though and I'm excited to have a romantic evening out with him after work.

Oh right - I work at Urban Arts Projects now.
Fine Art is an industry I know well - but this is a fascinating difference as it's more in the manufacturing side of things.
I get to see these gorgeous art pieces getting made from scratch.
It's a big, noisy warehouse - very different from the posh galleries I'm used to working in... but I'm enjoying it! I'm just a temp... it's harder than I ever thought possible to find a good full time job here in Australia.
First it was the working holiday visa limiting me to only 6 months contracts - and now that M and I have finally submitted our partnership visa I have a bridging visa allowing me to work full-time.... which reminds me I really should put more work into that bloody visa!!!
There's so many documents to upload - really odd information that they need such as a list of all of our ex partners, their full dates of births, the beginning and end dates of those relationships and the reason we broke up.
I mean...... REALLY????
To me it's absurd.... but we're getting through it as best we can.

I've been temping for the past year and a half here in Brisbane - not having that job stability is hard for me as I've always been permanently employed AND in high demand actually!!
Yet here I apply for thousands of jobs and barely ever even get a call back.
So recruiters are helping me find temp work.

This current position is a reception role which doesn't pay well but it's a usual Mon-Fri gig for about two months while their usual receptionist recovers from a broken wrist. 
It's weird for me never knowing what's on the cards - where I'll be in a few months time.
I've always been a planner.
I like being in control and having that security. 
There's a lot about my life now that I'm still trying to get used to... but I'm taking it one glass of wine at a time. 

If you got through all of this please reach out to me and say hello!

My email is:

It would mean everything to me to know someone out there actually reads this shit :)

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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Catch Up

Hello world. 

How long it's been.

I'm amazed that it's been about nine months since I have written on this blog. I guess at first booktube took over my life. I enjoyed updating you all on the books I was reading and the life I was living through video. It's a fabulous way to feel more personal with you all. I never thought I would completely abandon my blog, a page I have been writing on for more years than I can count. But I haven't been writing at all. I finished the first draft of my latest novel entitled 'It Was You' and after that, I have taken a hiatus from writing anything other than short and useless Facebook updates. That is the extent of my writing career these days. How sad. 

So let us catch up.

The move to Australia to be with my Tinder match (and now love of my life), was as hard as you could possibly imagine. 

I started out looking like that picture of me in the glorious red bikini. 

And have since gained more kilograms than I care to admit. 
Of course I have been happy with my man. He treats me like no one else ever has. I have finally found a real gentleman. The way he looks at me, touches me and treats me is more than I could ever ask for. I finally know what it feels like to be truly loved and respected. 
I KNOW he would never cheat on me, hit me, hurt me or put me down. He is everything I could ever ask for and more. 
But I have to admit being away from my friends and family has been hard. A lot harder than in Spain because this time it truly feels like it's forever. I guess a part of me always knew Simon and Spain was always temporary. I know that now even though back then I couldn't see past it. When you get cheated on with eight other women and beaten and kicked when you're down, you become a version of yourself so weak and so downright disgusting it is difficult to dig yourself out of that rut. The self-confidence is shattered, the zest for life has shriveled. Mark has helped bring that back out in me BUT I have realised that I have put my complete self into my relationship with Mark and have given absolutely no space to be me.... to make my own life... and I need to do that. And lately that is what I have been doing and it has been making me feel so thrilled and alive.
I have my man. 
But I also have myself. 

I've finally stopped letting the anxiety and the panic, the self doubt and the awful voice in my head stop controlling my life. I've been putting myself out there. I have been meeting like-minded people, making friends, eating healthier, starting to SLOWLY run... burn off some of those kilograms I gained in the months leading up to the moment of taking my life back.

I have read 70 books this year. I have started a bookish podcast and I have been fueling my life with my passions. I am happy.

Australia is never somewhere I envisioned myself being. I didn't have a dream to be here. I didn't find Australia particularly fascinating... yet it is here I have been able to really and truly learn myself. I have started seeing a psychologist about my anxiety and my trust issues. About my past of being hurt and beaten and raped and abused not only physically but mentally too. It's been a long and slippery slope. But friends, I am doing it. I have been able to dress up and let my hair down. I've gone dancing and haven't let anxiety get the better of me. I have made friends, some of which I really feel care for me and will be with me no matter what for the rest of my life. 

I'm not quite writing again yet but I am going to. I have so many ideas swirling around in my chaotic head. They will be set free soon.

But for now I wanted to tell you about my venture. My new business... my everything.

My bookish podcast, Books and Booze. 

It has been an incredible journey  setting it up, learning how to start a podcast and learning the ropes. I have been researching and getting educated on a world so far from what I'm used to. Technology.
I've learnt how to edit using Audacity. I've started taking my Goodreads book reviews to the next level and talking ABOUT them and sharing my thoughts with hundreds to soon to be thousands of listeners. I have been trying out Libsyn as my podcast host and so far it has all been so much easier than I ever thought it would be. It's not easy breezy but what I'm saying is GO for what you want. Make it happen. You ARE capable of achieving what you want. 

I hope to be back soon, but if I'm not which is probably just as likely... just know I am doing well and living my best possible life.

I hope you are too. 

Jade - September 2018

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Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Not Bali... Australia!

I should be used to life changing like the flick of a switch by now... but I'm not.

Today is supposed to be the start of my new life. It's supposed to be exciting... and it is... yet today is bringing with it memories. Haunting memories like when I moved to Spain to be with someone. It turned out to be the worst year of my life. It has scarred me both physically and emotionally forever - and it is ruining what should be such a special day for me.

I even woke up with a horrific dream about my ex fiance. It wasn't a night terror like I used to get, but it was almost worse. I don't want either him or Slimy Simey taking up any part of my life now yet it seems I cannot escape them.

Before meeting this handsome Aussie, I'd made certain rules which I mention in some of my previous blog posts. Some of them were as follows:
Never trust anyone ever again.
Never let your guard down.
Never open up to anyone.
Never ever put someone before myself again.
Never move to be with someone.
Never fall in love.

Handsome Aussie has me breaking all of those rules. All. Of. Them.
A part of me wants to scream at myself, tell myself I never learn. Another part of me is proud that my past experiences hasn't completely broken me. I thought it had. I thought I was going to be a cynical, bitter woman for the rest of my days... no exaggeration.
It's still having a huge impact on my life. Certain little things eat away at me like an aggressive cancer. It's something I need to work on myself... my confidence has just been shattered and I hate that. I used to be the most secure, confident person. I miss her. I never used to have trust issues. I wish there was an easy way to fix it. Part of me worries that I am broken in a way that can never be repaired... but wouldn't you be, too? What I went through is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. The deceit, the mind-games, the absolute disgust and the hurt... the pain. The abuse. It was a nightmare.
Handsome Aussie didn't understand why I got so emotional, irritated and angry the other day when he tried to talk to me about my time in Spain. He doesn't understand that it's something I wish I could forget. He made a point saying there must be some good memories from my time there and yes, while there were, they make me sick to my stomach... because it was all a lie. I had the sheets pulled over my eyes the entire time and I looked like an absolute idiot to everyone around me.
It's something I would pay to forget because if I could, I'd be able to trust handsome Aussie now... and while a huge part of me feels like he deserves all of my trust in the world, another part of me is too cautious. And there have been certain things that have me worried. Obviously he was with other people when he was traveling after we met and that doesn't really bother me. I knew about it and he never tried to hide it... but there's other things. Things I'm still trying to work through in my head before I feel comfortable enough sharing them on this stupid online journal that absolutely no one reads. This is just my unedited release of my emotions I suppose.

I'm proud of myself that I'm working towards this exciting future with him despite my concerns and my nerves. It's far from where I imagined my life ending up. The plan for 2018 was always to pack up and live a minimalist life in Bali, finally writing my novel. I'd finally made it a plausible option; a reality... and just as I was in the final planning stages, handsome Aussie crashes into my existence and alters everything.

I'm this blend of terrified and excited all at once.

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Australian Working Holiday Visa 417

This morning I woke up in a dorm room in Canggu, Bali, believing I was about to spend Christmas alone for the first time in my life. To be honest, if you have to spend the holidays alone, Indonesia is not a bad place to be! Even with it being the rainy season here and the last week it has rained continuously, it has been the most soul reviving trip. I needed it. There's plenty you can do here while it's raining.

Attend the Canggu Jewelry Class

I have fallen head over heels for Silversmithing over the past few days in Bali. I think I've found something I'd really like to pursue in between writing novels!!
For one lesson (3 hours) it's 600,000 IDR including the materials and 5 grams of silver. You pay extra for stones and any more silver you use. The trainers are amazing, so helpful and talented.
I did two classes and wish I could have done more but I ran out of time.
The two rings you see above I made!! Had a lot of help of course and it's going to take years to become good at it but wow... it's so fascinating and fun!! It's really tough too!!! Requires a fair bit of muscle, a good eye for detail and a lot of creativity!

Attend an Authentic Balinese Cooking Class

Periuk Bali Balinese Cooking Class was a fantastic day out in Ubud!!! I made 11 Balinese dishes which I got to eat afterwards with the other travelers attending the class. The teachers are again absolutely wonderful people, really helpful and informative. They give you heaps of information not only on cooking but also teach you loads about the Balinese culture. We visited a local market, sampled divine foods and got to look out at the rice fields and learn more about how they work! 

Enjoy a Bintang or a juice overlooking the incredible Tegallalang Rice Terraces

This is something I literally HAD to do before leaving Bali... and you can see why with that view. I mean.... WOW.
This was taken at the Lumbung Sari Warung restaurant. I had hoped to get there and enjoy a nice glass of wine or a cocktail while looking out at the view but unfortunately the only alcoholic beverage served is Bintang (the pricing of which is extortionate!!! Expect to pay almost 40,000 IDR for a small beer...). I sipped on an avocado juice which was more like a chocolate milkshake to be honest.

You can walk through the fields if you want to but I didn't due to the rain. There's heaps of markets around so bring some spare cash if you want to do any shopping... and don't forget to barter!!!!

Taste traditional Luwak Coffee (the most expensive coffee in the world and made with poo!)

Guess what guys.... it tastes like normal coffee!! Haha. It is said to have a lower amount of caffeine in it though which means it is healthier. You also sample a massive amount of tea here which is really interesting and get a full tour of the making of Luwak coffee. You even get to see the animals it comes from.

Swing way up high above the rice paddies

This picture is priceless... but the swing itself, situated right by the Luwak coffee tasting, is pretty pricey!! It's 200,000 IDR for the super swing as seen in the photograph above. You get 15 swings.... but there's no denying it... it's beautiful. Was it worth it??? Yes. Every penny.


I've been waiting out my Working Holiday Visa in Bali for the past week. I applied for it 30 days ago in Tim Horton's, Canada. It said the application process can take between 16 - 32 days so I figured I got unlucky due to the festive season. There's been a big backlog over December. There was nothing I could do but wait it out and just as I'd finally accepted that I was going to be spending Christmas alone in Bali, I woke up this morning with a lovely email notifying me that I've been granted the visa!!!

Although I'm British and hold a British passport, I have lived in South Africa for most of my life and hold a South African passport too. I also lived in Spain for a year within the last five years and this information all had to be in my application form. I think that extra information made my visa application take longer. 

Being in South Africa, a medical examination had to be done to ensure I was free of tuberculosis. That in itself was an experience and a half!!! South Africa, I am sorry to say, is useless. 
One week after applying for my visa, I was asked to provide health clearance and they only accept certain doctors / hospitals to provide this evidence. I was in Cape Town at the time and the doctors there only had availability for me in over a week... that would have slowed down my visa even more so I called every other acceptable hospital I could and eventually found a slot in Durban. As I'd never been to Durban and had always wanted to, I jumped at the chance. Flights were craaaaazy expensive though so my boyfriend and I embarked on a roadtrip to Durban. From Knysna in the Garden Route it should have taken us just over 13 hours....... but...... I'll admit it..... I'm terrible at directions. I got us HORRIBLY lost in an African township and we had to sleep there on a dirt-road in our car overnight. We eventually found our way out of the township though and made it to Durban safely where I had my medical done, then enjoyed Durban!!! We cycled along the promenade, skinny dipped in the ocean and gorged on curry.

On the way back to Knysna we had a pit stop in one of my favorite parts of South Africa, Jeffrey's Bay. We squeezed in a surf in lovely warm water and then headed back home.

I applied for my visa online and had no help from anyone which made things slightly more stressful. The hospital never let me know that they had cleared me of TB and sent off my medicals to the Australian government and there's this button on the Australian Immi website when you've logged in that says, Information Provided. You're supposed to click it when all the info you've been asked for is in. I didn't click mine for days and was really upset with the hospital for not letting me know that my forms were already submitted. BUT.... when I called the Australian high commission to find out if this would slow down the process they said no. They told me you don't really have to click the information provided button... but like I said, South Africa is a bit useless at times so I'd click it anyway. Just a heads up! 

Anyway... thereafter I heard NOTHING from the Aussie government for weeks. I was really stressing out, wondering if I'd done the application correctly, started stressing that I'd missed something or hadn't provided evidence of something they needed. I started googling other peoples horror stories about their visa taking up to two months which petrified me!!
The only time I heard from them again was when my visa was granted, this morning!!! It was exactly a month after my application, so it was a long wait... but it's going to be worth it! 

So, my dear readers, tomorrow I am heading off to beautiful Australia for the first time ever to meet my incredible, sexy boyfriend's family and friends... and start my new life in Brisbane!!!! 

I am insanely excited for this new start. 

In the past when I left home to move to Spain to be with Simon and work on the yachts and even when I moved to Cape Town to be with Lyndon, I'd cried. Leaving had been hard. It's not easy leaving behind everything you know. Your family, friends and pets. But when I hopped on a plane to start this move to Australia, there wasn't one tear shed. I was overcome with this sense of calm... it just felt like I was doing the right thing. I feel like I am on the right path... like I am right where I am supposed to be.

There's this Irish proverb that goes, 'Your feet will take you where your heart is.' 
I am pretty sure I'm on my way there....

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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Thriller Recommendations for Newbies

Hi Bookies!

I LOVE thrillers - so while we're in the spooky month of Halloween, I thought I'd recommend 5 thrillers all for very different reasons. 
From a book in the genre that is probably the most well-known and therefore a great place to start (it was my very first thriller read!!) to a book recommended for those of you who are more comfortable with the sci-fi / fantasy genre... there's a book for everyone here:

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