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.

Tuesday 15 March 2011

bloomin spring

It's a change not to be reading students' work on the bus to Oxford. I have time to look at the spring landscape.

At Standlake, the meadows by the river Windrush have a fine mist over them, which makes the grass seem even more green than in the sun.

Beyond Northmoor, looking towards the Thames, the mist has turned to fog and the escarpment below Appleton is hidden.

Although much of this year has been dry and not too cold the memory of the snows round Christmas lasts and it seems a relief to feel the days getting warmer. It feels like it's been a long winter. Not one that has left me feeling depleted, as some do, but as if I have been in a state of walking hibernation.

Yesterday lunchtime, I had to drop a letter off at Stanford and went via Queen's Lane. As I rounded one of the sharp bends I suddenly realised that the air above me was alive with buzzing. Masses of tiny bees hovered round the buds of one of the New College trees.

Returning along the High Street, I was excited to see the cherry outside St Mary's, the University Church in flower. I missed it last year. This time it seems earlier than usual.

Meanwhile, in Bampton the daffs that ring the bases of the line of limes in our street are out.

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