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 3 April 2011

embers, flames, mist, osr, tadpoles and julie

I love it when you come downstairs on some mornings and the logs in the fireplace look dead but when you start sweeping the grate you realise there are still embers and once you've pushed the logs together you soon have a fire that takes the chill off the room.

Not that it felt particularly chilly in the house or garden this morning. It was only when I was cycling away from the village that it was cold. Out in the lanes it was near freezing and the air nipped at my thumbs. There was a mist too hovering above the fields, including the one above. Oilseed rape just coming into flower.

Tadpoles in our pond btw.

Meanwhile over breakfast I read a lovely review of When the Children Came Home in the Sunday Times, the new oral history book by my friend and predecessor as chair of Writers in Oxford, Julie Summers.

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