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.

Friday 20 January 2012


It has been a very sad week. My dad died on Tuesday.

I saw him a few days before. We were all there as a family once again and for me I found that love had hollowed out a space in which to breath and when it was pulled free it filled our world.

On the morning after he died, I saw that the fire we lit when we got back from the hospital was still glowing and I put a log on the embers and kept the fire going throughout the day.

I remember how we all loved sitting by the fire when I was boy.

When my dad judged I was old enough we went to the farmyard and he showed me how to split wood.


  1. Thanks, Rupert. Much appreciated.

  2. All my love Frank. My great grandma died this week too and it does make you realise who and what are important in your life. Am sending a huge hug. x

  3. Thanks very much for sending love, Hannah, and for the huge hug. So sorry to hear about your great grandma. I'm sending a huge hug to you too. You're right about realising what's important. I see too little of friends, for a start. It would be good to meet up. x

  4. Frank, I am sorry to read this. If you ever feel like a get-together/chat after work, just let me know! Best thoughts, Niels

  5. Thanks very much, Niels. That's kind and is much appreciated. Yes, it would be good to meet up.