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.

Thursday 4 March 2010


He looks through the window at the passing country,
at the hill in the distance where they last met,
its trees like lichen, purple and orange and emerald.

A screech owl flaps mechanically in the valley, stops short and swoops.

He thinks of another time, the first time, at her flat,
wishing he could rewrite it like a scene in one of his stories,
and that narrative could carry him to this parallel place:

She does not drink their bottle of wine the night before...
He brings food...
He does not doubt her, nor has reason to...
She doesn't doubt him...

He types into his phone and when he stops
the road ahead is a tunnel through the night.

In front of the hill a screech owl flaps mechanically, stops short and swoops.

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