Welcome to justthoughtsnstuff

Welcome to jtns, which I've been writing since 2010. Most of its 600 plus posts are about day to day things - highlights from the previous week, books read, places visited - together with photos of what I've seen. There are some posts, though, that deal with a difficult subject - obsessional emotional and economic abuse that went on for several decades and that came to a head in autumn 2010. Writing jtns became in part a way of coping with the consequences of what happened and exploring them openly. This aspect of the blog is discussed in JTNS, An Introduction and Life-Writing Talk, with Reference to Trust: A family story. Now that the pain of the past years is easing (after many false dawns, when I thought it had finally passed), the frequency of the posts is lessening and in 2020, when jtns will be ten years old, they will stop. I hope that you enjoy the photos and reading the happier posts (the majority) and take a little from them. Frank, October 2018

Saturday, 12 January 2019

a few days off, old man's bridge, great tew, memory lane, bell at langford, phantom thread, mobile mini rant...























A few days off.

Two six-mile walks - one from the village, taking in Rushey Lock and Old Man's Bridge (shown in photo), the other through the countryside to the east of Great Tew (following a route recommended by the Times a few weeks ago).

The latter a trip down memory lane, ending as it did with a visit to the Falkland Arms. A pub we used to go to when we first met in the mid-1980s and which I had known for several years before that. Forty years ago, almost, since I first visited it... Gosh!

And it's not changed that much thankfully, although it's definitely an upmarket country pub nowadays, whereas all those years ago it was simply a local where you could have a pint and a bag of peanuts - albeit in an historic building. One that was just being itself. Now it's somewhat self-aware. A gastro pub, no doubt. A place where you might mingle with celebs, what with Soho Farmhouse up the road and every once-tumbled-down farmhouse now done up to the nines!

But it was lovely that there was enough of the old place left to take you back.

A trip to the Bell at Langford for lunch today - delicious food.

Meantime, watching Phantom Thread on DVD (with the option of steaming on mobile). Talking of which, the OS map we used at Great Tew could be downloaded to mobile - instead of me struggling with the folds as the light faded (my choice yesterday). There was none of this mobile business forty years ago, I can tell you, and we were all the better off... Apart from blogs, obviously!

Monday, 31 December 2018

Sunday, 30 December 2018

last of the beetroot soup























Today we finished the last of the Christmas beetroot soup.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

midwinter harvest, easter?, christmas reading, transformative lighting
























On the allotment earlier, harvested carrots and beetroots for tomorrow's lunch. Afterwards went for a bike ride. Green fields and singing birds - it felt like Easter not Christmas!

Lovely to be spending Christmas and New Year at home! Wonderful to be together. Lots of delicious food and gorgeous long country walks.

Finished - and much enjoyed - moving and thought-provoking Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie. Have now returned to Jane Eyre - perfect midwinter reading.

The holidays started excellently with Amahl and the Night Visitors by Gian Carlo Menotti performed by Bampton Classical Opera in St Mary's on 21st December. Quite apart from the beautifully emotive music and voices, there was tasty mulled wine - not to mention transformative lighting!

Saturday, 22 December 2018

home for the holidays!























This photo was taken when I was at a bus top in Witney waiting for the S1 to Oxford early yesterday morning.

This was the last time I'll be taking this journey until the new year. I love my job and I love Oxford but it will be so lovely to be at home for a couple of weeks.

The photo shows Densham's Butchers - a shop we go to: https://denshamsbutchers.co.uk. Though in the interests of fairness, Patrick Strainge in Bampton is another excellent butcher: http://www.patrickstrainge-butchers.co.uk!

Our Christmas decorating and shopping are almost done - just cheese and wine to go.

Saturday, 15 December 2018

frosty mornings, christmas parties, trust: a family story - finished?, political shenanigans, escaping...

Lovely walks on frosty mornings.

Happy memories of a weekend spent with family in Kent.

Lots of departmental and college Christmas parties - a consequence of my varied University affiliations. Pacing oneself is an art. Great, though, to spend time with colleagues - such a rarity these days; these busy days.

I confess that it was quite difficult starting work again after our short holiday. It was almost as if my mind had decided that Christmas had come early. Now the mad dash to get everything done before we finish. Apart from one or two things, Christmas shopping remains to be done.

Finished Trust: A family story the week before last. I say finished - and I'm pleased the work is done - but there is still much to do. Rereading the whole work to see how the rewrites and reorderings flow. Not to mention deciding where to take it next.

Things for the new year.

Was fascinated by the recent political shenanigans. Fascinated and appalled. Where are we going? Why? What for? Endless questions without answers.

Like many, I suspect, Christmas will be a period of escaping from it all; like no other, this year. These Brexit days are ones of subdued, numb uncertainty and wishing we had never got ourselves into this mess.

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

time off, lovely winter walks, contrast























Had a couple of days off. Lovely winter walks on the Barrington Park Estate and along the Windrush between Burford and Swinbrook. Quite a contrast to this time last year when there was heavy snow.