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 19 February 2012

the difference a day makes

Readers of this blog will have seen this tree before in various guises. These two photos were taken just over a day apart. The upper one yesterday, when the morning was bleak and cold and grey, the other this morning, when the sun was shining and it was a beautiful spring day.

I like this view even though the photos I take don't really do it justice. You can just make out the escarpment on the other side of the Thames Valley in the top picture. The tree stands at a relatively high point for this part of Oxfordshire and you can see how the land falls away into the valley itself about a mile beyond the tree before rising again another mile further on. The view here has a depth to it and a sense of geographical relief that is rare round Bampton.

Went to the Rose and Crown, North Parade, Oxford yesterday and then to the Cherwell Boathouse restaurant, where we had a delicious meal, saw a kingfisher zipping from perch to perch and reminisced about the times when we'd eaten at the restaurant before over the last twenty-six years. About the punting trips to the Victoria Arms and about our wedding breakfast after the service at Binsey.

It was a long and busy week last week. I think I've just about managed to catch up on some rest before the next one starts. It's strange how thoughts of the past have been barging into my mind, though. How the family got into the mess it got in recently and of better times when Dad was in his prime.

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