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, 9 February 2019

snowfalls, amazing walk, lots going on, daffodils, powering towards spring

























Big snowfalls just over a week ago but not as bad as last year's and the buses kept going.

Gloomy to begin with, when the snow fell, but last Sunday we had an amazing walk across the white fields before the thaw.

Busy time of term. Lots going on at the libraries and as far as teaching is concerned.

The daffodils round the bases of the limes in our street are about a quarter of their way up and will soon be out if the weather is favourable.

Snow may fall and, last night and today, gales may blow but the year is powering towards spring.

Friday, 25 January 2019

snow, where did the super blood wolf moon get to?, burn's night, consultation response and draft bill























Huge snowflakes fell on Tuesday afternoon but didn't settle as much as expected. Even so there was a satisfyingly snowy dusting in Raleigh Park the following morning.

Full term in full swing.

Super blood wolf moon spotting in west Oxfordshire was a non-starter, although as I walked up the garden path the following morning to get the logs for later, the sky was clear-bright, with superb views of the non-super blood wolf moon...

Burn's Night supper tomorrow (a day late, of course). The haggis is in the fridge and the bottle of Cairn O'Mohr oak leaf wine is in.

Was pleased that the Government's domestic abuse consultation response and draft bill was published last Monday. I'd feared that it would be thrown disastrously off course by Brexit. I found it a very moving document to read. I hope its measures soon begin to help victims. I also hope that it will help people on the outside to identify the signs of abuse.

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.