Welcome to justthoughtsnstuff

I started posting to jtns on 20 February 2010 with just one word, 'Mosaic'. This seemed an appropriate introduction to a blog that would juxtapose fragments of memoir and life-writing. Since 1996, I'd been coming to terms with the consequences of emotional and economic abuse that had begun in childhood, and which, amongst other things, had sought to stifle self-expression. While I'd explored some aspects of my life through fiction and, to a lesser extent, journalism, it was only in 2010 that I felt confident enough to write openly about myself. I believed this was an important part of the healing process. Yet within weeks, the final scenes of my family's fifty-year nightmare started to play themselves out and the purpose of the blog became one of survival through writing. Although some posts are about my family's suffering - most explicitly, Life-Writing Talk, with Reference to Trust: A family story - the majority are about happier subjects (including, Bampton in rural west Oxfordshire, where I live, Oxford, where I work, the seasons and the countryside, walking and cycling) and I hope that these, together with their accompanying photos, are enjoyable and positive. Note: In February 2020, on jtns' tenth birthday, I stopped posting to this blog. It is now a contained work of life-writing about ten years of my life. Frank, 21 February 2020.

New blog: morethoughtsnstuff.com.

Sunday 21 February 2010


At noon across the street from our study-bedroom
There was the gentle but full sunlight and the daffodil stalks, six inches tall, ringing the plane trees.
Earlier, when the sun had barely risen, I found brittle ice on the pond and the frogs frisky beneath.
5 am starts this weekend, lots of assignments to mark.
Now it is night and I'm in front of a log fire, wood quick to burn since the ash was scooped out.
On the Chatsworth table, great aunt's legacy, lies John Cowper Powys' Maiden Castle,
Macdonald edition, 1966, typewritten review copy slip included;
I noticed this evening how the pages' print is slightly blurred;
Still, a precious book, its first line sunrise.

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