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.

Saturday 16 October 2010

can't believe, village idiot, kensington market (what a trooper)

Toronto seems like a dream. I can't believe I was really there. Maybe if I'd had a day or two's rest after returning, the experience would seem less unreal but as it was I had just four hours sleep after getting home before the alarm went and a busy week started.

More marking, First Week of Oxford's full term and lots of extras, including more Initiate editing (which is, though, looking very good--launches on Thursday 18th November at Blackwell, Broad Street).

This time last Saturday, I was eating my last Toronto supper in the Duke of York pub, after attending the final day at LASA and spending a couple of hours exploring something of the city. I'd been told I should visit Kensington market because I would love the atmosphere.

On my way I stopped off at the Village Idiot pub (or L'idiot du village), which is opposite the Art Gallery of Toronto, at the start of a fascinating oldy-worldy quarter that includes China Town. Amongst the newish buildings are a lot of Victorian-looking terraces. Nearly all the buildings, old and new, are pretty battered. Wherever you see shops selling Artist's Material you know you're onto a winner.

It was good to have a pint of London Pride at the Idiot (served better than in some UK pubs), although I did resist the triple-distilled Belgian Delirium Tremens (8.5%). Bar staff wore T-shirts with the slogan, 'A good pub couldn't function without an idiot!'

Kensington market was like I imagine the King's Road to have been in the 60s. The tatty Isuzu Trooper cruising past, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds blaring out, said it all.

Happy memories!

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