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 8 January 2012


Loved seeing some traditional hedging this morning when I went cycling.

There are a few people in the village who keep the art alive even though most farmers use flail trimmers that might do the job quick but which over a number of years create gappy boundaries full of cramped out and diseased trees.

The hedge above will be stock-proof and the plants will be reinvigorated by the pleaching and laying.

I remember Percy Curtis hedgelaying on the farm when I was boy. I remember the smell of the fires he lit to burn the thinnings he'd taken out. He worked steadily all day, dressed in a suit, waistcoat and collarless shirt. Another world. It was another world for those times too really.

On my desk I have a small white penknife with two narrow blades that Percy used when rabitting. I've opened letters and sharpened pencils with it for nearly forty years now. A treasured possession.

1 comment:

  1. https://plus.google.com/u/0/100146646232137568790/posts/frnT6jev4UU

    Yes Frank I know, responding soon :-(