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 9 April 2011

dibber, spuds, eucalyptus and what the butler saw

It's that time of year again.

Went up to allotment early, dug the last bit of spud ground and planted eleven rows.

Cara, Charlotte, Estima and Kestrel.

The sunny weather has been a gift as far as preparing the soil has been concerned. Plus not having to concentrate on Writers in Oxford literary festival things has meant I can get on with digging in late March/early April for the first time in, what, seven years?

Funnily enough we met up with our friends Carol and Steve last night--it was Carol who gave us the brilliant potato dibber in the photos. It belonged to her dad.

We shared a table with them at a rehearsed reading of Joe Orton's play What the Butler Saw at the village hall. Such a wacky play. And very nicely done--produced by neighbour Trevor Milne-Day.

Was intrigued by how strongly the shadow of the eucalyptus came out in the more general photo.


  1. Plot to the left looks as if true enthusiasts have been at work!

    Never try to keep up with allotment neighbours. ;-(

  2. Yes, absolutely. That's Matthew's plot, who is very much the 'Father' of the allotments and who has helped out with the loan of a rotavator when time ran out in the past. He is also a wonderful Morris musician and historian!