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.

Tuesday 13 April 2010

plantation road bus stop

Photo taken as I waited for bus nearly opposite Latin American Centre. A view I've pondered since 2007.

When I started at LAC, I'd not long been made redundant at the Oxford Union, where I was cataloguer for several years. I'd been very fortunate in having found a temporary two month post at the Geography Library before being taken on to run the centre's library as maternity leave cover.

LAC is a very friendly warm place and I was immediately made to feel welcome. The atmosphere is more like a family home than an academic institution and was such a contrast to the formal Union. I'd been happy at the Union but it is a strange, unreal sort of place, where people play up to a particularly competitive and abrasive Oxford role.

Being at LAC restored my humanity, I felt at the time--I could sense myself coming back to life.

I was really pleased to be able to return there as site librarian and subject consultant last September.

It's a surprisingly busy place, though, and one always runs out of time. This afternoon was no exception.

The church in the picture, St Philip and St James, is now the Centre for Mission Studies. The building LAC occupies was the original vicarage. Tony Benn proposed to his future wife while sitting on a bench beneath the spire. He subsequently bought the bench for his garden.

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