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.

Monday 8 March 2010


It was great to get away to Shropshire at the weekend, even if it was only for a few hours. As we drove out of Oxfordshire into Gloucestershire, I suddenly realised I hadn't left the county for yonks. The only drives I've done since Xmas have been back and forths to Oxford.

Is it the getting away or the driving that's important? Life's 'never' either or, so it's got to be both. I suppose the point I'm making is that you shouldn't undervalue the effects of the drive. There's a particular quality to the thoughts that empty themselves out as you bat along, leaving somewhere, heading for somewhere else. They're thoughts that have been waiting, that couldn't form before then. Laying-to-rest thoughts.

The hills round Oswestry were beautiful in the sunlight and there were loads of snowdrops out in the gardens. The fields were quite yellowy-looking, though, because, it turned out, they've been under snow for weeks--it's only just thawed. Shropshire Alps, must've seemed.

Busy at Taylor, everyone keeping going till end of 8th week. After which comes? A whole lot of 9th week... But it is an important psychological barrier. Library guides working party lasted 2 1/2 hours and ushered in yet another new digital era.

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