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 18 April 2010


David Cameron was apparently out and about in Witney today and when we were on the bus coming up the High Street the boys at the back, who had been talking about 'shagging', suddenly called out, 'There's Dave,' but whether they meant a friend or Dave himself, I don't know because the bus had suddenly lurched forward. The boys seemed quite excited, so perhaps it was him. If so, he would have been in the same place as Count Tolstoy was when canvassing for UKIP yesterday--outside Waterstone's. People looked quite bemused when the elegant count accosted them. He was wearing what looked like an incredibly expensive tweed overcoat and was beaming rather too much for comfort.

Today we were off to the Hollybush to meet our friends Jonathan and Anne for lunch. They had got the S1 from Oxford. They were bringing birthday and Christmas presents from last year, which was lovely. We decided to switch from our favourite table indoors to one outside because it was so sunny. The pub's yard is overlooked by the old stone buildings of the Wychwood brewery.

We all knew Chris Moss who founded the brewery. He lived on Osney a few doors down from us and was the most wonderful man. Sadly he died of cancer in 2001, a few weeks after we moved to Bampton. I remember walking along the footpath from Mill Green to Weald and hearing the carillon and thinking, 'Chris is dead'. I felt tears in my eyes and this awful sense of loss as if a huge amount of energy had suddenly been drained from the world. I have never before felt anything like that. The next morning Jonathan phoned to say that Chris had died at that time.

I mention Chris in the acknowledgements at the back of Invisible because the Tom character is partly inspired by his brewing stories.

Now about to eat a shrimp chow mein from Mark's Kitchen, accompanied by Brown Bros Tarrango.

No comments:

Post a Comment