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 17 December 2011

bampton square, moon x 2, ice, speedway

Cold start this morning. The first time the frog pond has frozen over this year, I think.

Stopped by the village square, just after setting off on my bike ride, to take pictures of the Xmas tree. As I was doing so, the bus I usually catch during the week arrived. I was pleased not to be heading to Oxford today. (You might notice the two moons in the photo of the bus--I've always said Bampton was special. Actually, I don't think either of them is the moon--don't know what they are. Spooky.)

Cycling was OK on the main roads but I have to confess to taking a tumble at the junction of the Broadwell to Langford road and Calcroft lane (aka the gated road). The bike skittered on down the carriageway like machines do in speedway crashes, with me following behind. Amazingly, I was lucky and fell pretty well. There wasn't much damage, apart from a bit of bruising, the chain slipping off the bike and the headlamp not working (though this came back to life when I got home). I was surprised the headlamp survived because it exploded into two halves, the bulb unit and the batteries. I was fortunate that I was about half-way round the ride when the accident happened, so was able to regain my confidence. I started down the gated road very cautiously but it wasn't as bad as I expected and once it began to rain the ice melted. Funnily enough it was the pavements in the village that stayed icy--nearly came a cropper when I parked up the bike and headed to the newsagent.

It's been a hectic week at work on occasions and I'm looking forward to time off at Xmas and the New Year.


  1. Merry Christmas to you and your family Frank.


  2. Thanks! And a Very Happy Xmas and a Great New Year to you!