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.

Friday 9 April 2010

st barnabas, northern lights, etc

It's been great having time to walk in the mornings this week and not having to work on the bus and in cafes as well as at work.

I love Oxford for its hidden places and for all its history and literary associations. The above pic shows the Oxford canal running through Jericho, which has plenty of literary associations.

At the far end on the left bank of the canal is the start of the boatyard that Philip Pullman has been fighting to save from development (don't know whether the campaigners have won or lost, though--anybody know?). Both Northern Lights and Lyra's Oxford feature Jericho.

The church tower is that of St Barnabas near to which lived Jude and his family in Hardy's Jude the Obscure.

Oh, and towards the end of my novel The Lock, Gerald walks along this stretch of towpath to the grebe pool on Port Meadow after he has learnt a lesson or two when visiting his daughter Alison on her barge.

Btw The Lock will be reissued next year by StreetBooks. Meanwhile, there's a copy on Amazon UK going for £95. Fair play to the seller but the price does seem excessive.

My wife said they'd probably got the decimal point wrong (hope she meant £9.50, not .95p).

RIP Malcolm McLaren--or should that be something like CBS (come back shouting).

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