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 30 July 2011

autumn comes early? lords and ladies et al, the future, ambit

The talk in the garden at the Horse Shoe last night was the early arrival of autumn.

This week, the quality of sunlight changed. The strength is still there but the light is a mellower egg-yolk yellow. The days are noticeably shorter too. At 5 am on Friday the view of the garden from the kitchen was that of night-time.

Autumn reds are appearing--poppies, harvested with the corn, are giving way to lords and ladies and apples that people swear are weeks early. The first blackberries are ripe and intensely sharp.

Sometimes this week, the sky has been lead-lidded and the muffled world has been comforting. Whether dour or autumn-sunny, it has been a good week for healing. For catching one's breath, contemplating the past and then looking to the future.

Meanwhile, I was excited to learn that a former student, Paul Sweeten, has a short story entitled Prodigy in the latest issue of Ambit magazine (on sale, first floor, Blackwell, if you're in Oxford).

A morning of marking and final summer school preparations ahead.

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