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.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

wood, twinges, xmas shopping
















I thought the 21st December was the shortest day but according to Radio 4 it's the 22nd this time (I hadn't realised the date changed from year to year). Yesterday certainly felt like it was the shortest--dark, murky, cold and miserable. It was nice to be home (now on holiday), although catching up on my final work-related chores was draining. I wanted to get them done but also just wanted to stop. The last straw was my tax return and the mad scrabbling for receipts and payslips this entails. By the end of the day I was sickening for a cold, felt exhausted and was suffering aches, pains and twinges from the bike accident at the weekend.

But today is a different story--the sun's out, spring is in the air (with a bit of imagination) and I'm about to go Christmas shopping. Cold hasn't come to much either.

One nice thing yesterday was the Christmas log delivery. I love trundling the barrows of logs up the path and building the stack in the woodshed (an old privy). Meanwhile the leaflessness of the garden throws emphasis onto the textures of brick and timber and rusted metal. Photos taken today, of course--the camera wouldn't have worked yesterday it was so dark.

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