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 21 August 2011

bindweed, lewis, keith douglas

Bindweed flowers always seem to me to be really pretty. It's a shame that the plant is so pernicious and impossible to eradicate. It thrives on our allotment and tries to twine its way round every plant. No matter how much I pull it up or dig it out, it's always back with a vengeance within a week or two. Digging it out is, of course, a joke--its roots go down for miles.

I saw these flowers along the gated road when cycling this morning. At least they are several miles from the allotment.

Enjoyed the end of Summer School dinner in Exeter College hall on Friday night. Great food and company.  When I got to Exeter an episode of Lewis was being filmed in the quad. Judging from the number of forensics people whatever happened inside staircase four looked grim. A surreal moment occurred as the Summer School tutors and students headed to the fellows' garden for the reception. We had to make our way through a whole load of actors pretending to be tutors and students. Who was who?

During the speeches Professor Jon Stallworthy read a wonderful poem entitled Oxford by Keith Douglas. I'd never heard it before but will certainly be seeking it out.

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