Welcome to justthoughtsnstuff

Welcome to justthoughtsnstuff.com (jtns), which I've been writing since 2010. Most of its 680 or so posts are about day to day things - highlights from the previous week, books read, places visited - accompanied by photos of what I've seen. There are some posts, though, that deal with 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 the abuse and exploring them openly. This aspect of jtns is discussed in jtns an introduction and life-writing talk, with reference to trust: a family story. Writing jtns has also helped me to keep going. Now that the pain of the past years is easing, the frequency of jtns posts is beginning to lessen and in 2020, when the blog turns ten years old, they will stop. I hope that visitors enjoy reading the posts and looking at the photos and take a little from them. Frank, October 2018
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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.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

cycling, rewrites, reading, port of destiny - "peace"























Joyful late autumn day. Loved cycling through the west Oxfordshire countryside.

I've had some time on the bus to and from work recently to continue with the Trust rewrites. About 85% done now, though the bits I'm focusing on involve painstaking work. Sometimes it's just a couple of hundred words in an hour.

It's funny but when I finished this section I thought it worked really well. Even when I first re-read it some six months later it still flowed. But when I re-read it again a year ago, after I'd received feedback from colleagues and friends, I realised how much needed doing. There's some excellent passages but the structure and integrity of the sections was weak and tenuous. I'm enjoying the process of the work nevertheless. It's exciting to work at something and gradually come up with solutions to problems.

Returned to Jane Ayre a few weeks ago but then got distracted by Traumnovelle by Arthur Schnitzler, which I was inspired to read by Eyes Wide Shut, which we were watching at the time. Both film and novella intrigue but are rather soulless in the end. The former more than the latter, perhaps. Now reading Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie. Quite slow to get going but when it does it is so compelling. Exquisite precision to characterisation.

Currently watching Night of the Hunter. Saw most of it years ago but have wanted to watch the whole things ever since. Is there any wonder that Cahiers du cinéma voted it the second best film of all time (after Citizen Kane).

Very much enjoyed attending the Latin American Centre's screening of Port of Destiny - "Peace" during the week and the question time with former President Santos afterwards.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

in memoriam























In memory of my great-uncle, Claude Meysey-Thompson, who died in France in 1915 and whose body was brought back by my great-grandfather and buried in the family plot at Little Ouseburn in Yorkshire.

On his gravestone is written: "In Loving Memory of Captain The Hon.Claude Henry Meysey Meysey-Thompson, 3rd Battalion Rifle Brigade. Only Son of 1st Lord Knaresborough. Born 5th April,1887. Wounded in the Trenches near Ypres 6th June, 1915. Died at Bailleul in France 17th June, 1915 in the presence of his father who brought back the body to England and it was interred here on the 22nd June, 1915."

With thanks to this thread on the Great War Forum for information about Claude. In the thread it is pointed out that his body was probably one of the last to be brought home for family burial because this was stopped by the government. There was an interesting article in the Times this week that discussed people's outrage at not being able to bring the remains of their loved ones home, entitled 'Don’t bury our brave boys like dogs'.

The article begins:

'"Is it not enough to have our boys dragged from us and butchered without being deprived of their poor remains?"

So pleaded one bereaved mother during the First World War, joining thousands in expressing outrage that the bodies of fallen soldiers would be buried in mass cemeteries abroad rather than returned home for private family burials.'

Sunday, 4 November 2018

bruton catch-up





...Some pics of our escape to Somerset in September. Someone said there wasn't much to see in Bruton but we loved the little tucked away places there.

And there are tons of other things to enjoy. See this Evening Standard piece, 10 reasons why you should visit Bruton, Somerset from 2016. (We had an excellent al fresco lunch At The Chapel.) Then there's Godminster cheese!

It was At The Chapel that we saw the wood wasp coming and going.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

st margaret's, binsey























On Saturday I worked in Oxford.

My walk took me to St Margaret's, Binsey, where we were married. I haven't revisited the country lane (that is both within the ring road and outside time) that leads from the hamlet to the church for quite a while.

What a beautiful place! Especially on a bright sunny frosty morning in October.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

giant beetroots and carrots!








The carrots and beetroots on the allotment have come - more than - good, putting on astonishing growth in the late summer after going nowhere for months!