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 27 February 2011

early bike ride, bampton church

Went cycling at 6 this morning--needed to be out early because I've lots of work to do today. Up to 4 pm anyway, when I can relax.

Surprisingly sharp air frost, although it thawed quickly and there was no ice on the frog pond. There are several frogs in the pond btw, which is nice to see after many animals died during the bitter snows over Christmas. Some of the frogs survived in the pond, others are newcomers--frogs are on the move in the gardens at the back of our terrace.

Above is a picture of Bampton's 12th century church, which has been re-roofed over the last two years. The pitches above the choir (nearest end) were still being done when Downton Abbey was filmed and there was a very un-Edwardian-looking plastic canopy over them--see pic from last spring. I can't remember what the film makers did about blocking the canopy out in the film--maybe they slotted in a digital image of that half of the church. I'll have to check our DVD.

Now, at 9 am, it is surprisingly sunny and springlike outside. The weather forecasters seem to have got their predictions wrong.

Over breakfast I read Peter Kemp's review of Justin Cartwright's new novel Other People's Money in the Sunday Times. The novel charts the desperate struggles of crooked financiers and politicians to cover up a failing investment bank. Sounds a great read.

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