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 July 2011

a week of sadness

It has been a week of sadness.

Three friends died this week.

The catastrophic events that have overtaken my family during the last year came to a head this week.

Although I have great sympathy for those who are in trouble, I have had serious concerns about what they were doing for many years. I once wrote an essay explaining what I thought was going wrong and how it might be put right. I have described that essay as an act of love. The essay was largely ignored.

As I said to somebody recently, the way that essay was received made me feel like the boy in the story of the emperor's new clothes.

[23.01.12 and 03.02.12: In the light of recent sad events I have decided to rewrite parts of the above post. I have kept a copy of the original post.]


  1. What an absolute stinker of a week, hopefully Sunday will see productivity at allotment.

  2. Indeed, a bike ride through beautiful west Oxfordshire, followed by time spent weeding the allotment and digging a root or two of spuds will be therapeutic.