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 22 April 2010

downton abbey

justthoughtsnstuff.com is the blog of novelist Frank Egerton. www.frankegerton.com

Returned to Bampton this afternoon because I don't start working with Stanford students until next Thursday. Beautiful day to be at home. Before tackling library and Writers in Oxford things (the latter being the forthcoming joint WiO and Oxford branch of the Society of Authors party), I nipped round to the church square to check out the filming that I'd been alerted to by someone on the bus.

ITV are making part of a new Julian Fellowes series called Downton Abbey, which is set in Edwardian England and stars Dame Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville. The press release reads, 'The sun is rising behind Downton Abbey, a great and splendid house in a great and splendid park. So secure does it appear, that it seems as if the way of life it represents will last for another thousand years. It won’t.'

Well, be that as it may, I didn't actually get to see Dame Maggie or the estimable Hugh but was intrigued by the extra pubs and shops that had been created out of homes that used to be--well, pubs and shops, as it happens. There were also numerous horse-drawn vehicles and ancient cars and lorries parked up. It was a kid's dream.

Then there were the extras and masses of people, some in fluorescent coats, wielding mobiles or walkie-talkies. Nothing seemed very urgent, though, and it made me realise just how much standing about there is on a film set.

This evening, after I'd spent a couple of hours contributing to the online course, we drove over to Kelmscott for a pint at the Plough, which opened last autumn after having been closed for two years. It was badly affected by the disastrous floods of summer 2007 (200 homes in Bampton flooded). I have to say, the pub is fantastic (see below)--even better than it was before. A nice drop of Brakspear's too.

A fine place, in the light of yesterday's post, to contemplate the legacy of the great William Morris whose manor is a few hundred yards up the road.

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