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 11 June 2011

hogweed and hemlock?

Went cycling early because I've got a fair amount of work to get through today--until 4 pm, that is, when we'll head down the pub. Where else?

We've had some rain over the last couple of days, which is helping the garden and the allotment to pick up. I dare say the field crops will benefit, although I suspect they need far more rain than we are likely to get, if the yields are to be any good.

Many of the hedgerow plants have gone over and the countryside looks a uniform unhealthy-seeming green, increasingly pocked with burnt up patches. Only a few poppies add colour. Apart that is from hogweed and other members of the carrot family. These are doing quite well, as ever. I love the pinky-tinged top to some of the hogweed umbels and the way these flower heads unpack themselves--first two pics above. I think the photos really do show hogweed, although it is so difficult to tell with this family of plants. If someone knows better, let me know. And is the last pic hemlock? I thought so. Whatever the plant is, though, it's excelled itself. Nine foot tall, on a patch of waste ground just below Cowleaze Corner as you head towards the village from Clanfield.

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