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 5 November 2011

cycling, oak, family rumbles, sparklers, mad dog

Cycled earlier this morning. First time for a couple of weeks due to marking, the Brazilian visit last weekend and one or two other commitments.

The countryside had changed--and it was also considerably darker than before.

After the false autumns of the late summer, autumn really does seem to be here, although the hot weather fools you into thinking that we can't possibly be into November yet.

Good autumn colour this morning, once the sun rose. Including the leaning oak off Calcroft Lane that I photographed earlier in the year (27th August and 27th March).

Working today till 3 pm but after that I'll be able to relax. I'm taking on some interesting new library duties in December and am due to meet the people I'll be working with next week, so want to be fresh for that.

Meanwhile the family stuff rumbles on--mercifully in the background now. What an utter waste of time that is--and has been for the last thirty-plus years.

Enough of that. Just checked the sparkler supply--plenty there for some fun. They were talking on the radio this morning about dogs cowering under the furniture on Bonfire Night. Our dog tries to jump up and grab fizzing sparklers out of your hand and has to be restrained. As you light the garden fireworks and leg it back to the house, he's straining at the lead to tear off and pounce. Mad boy.

Church btw is the one at neighbouring village of Broadwell.


  1. Our dog goes out and barks at the fireworks till he's bored; don't think he's actually frightened. Everyone has something like that in their family, people disagreeing over things they can barely remember. Really not a lot you can do if someone's determined to be right at all costs.

  2. Thanks, Kathryn. Families, eh! Hope you're having a good weekend.