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 14 June 2011

oxford canal bridge, nag's head, yaffling

Walked along the Oxford canal this morning from North Oxford (the excellently named Elizabeth Jennings Way) to the very end, opposite the pub that I always think of as the Nag's Head. A favourite pub when I first moved out of Keble to the flat on Osney Island.

The bridge in the photo is the last before the final arm of the canal. It curves over the narrow lock that leads into the system of Thames streams that flow on past Fisher Row, the old brewery and the castle, before rejoining the river.

The bridge featured in my first novel The Lock and is also opposite Worcester College cricket ground--the only one in Oxford inside a college boundary. Happy memories of playing in Simon Hiscock's team; of hearing a woodpecker yaffling in the late afternoon; of drinking beer into the evening on the pavilion verandah. (I have to say that I was more there for the yaffling and beer rather than being an asset to the team.)

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