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 11 April 2010

potato planting

Spent some very happy hours on the allotment this weekend--the first time I've been able to get up there this year. I'd hoped to start preparing the ground last weekend but it was still too wet. The soil's Oxford clay, which takes a long time to dry out--and to warm up.

Mostly the ground was pretty easy to fork through, having been dug over last autumn. The severe winter really broke down the clods.

For years we've been cleaning what was a very overgrown plot and this weekend I felt that all that hard work was paying off--not much couch or bindweed about, save for near the paths. The bindweed will come up from deep down, of course, but the topsoil if free of it. People who've had plots for years say we'll never eradicate it.

This afternoon I planted our first rows of spuds, using an amazingly useful potato dibber that was given to us by our friend Carol. It belonged to her father and I've never come across another one (see pics above). Planted Estima and Kestrel. Will plant Cara and Charlotte next weekend, weather permitting.

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