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 2 March 2012

mist, st a's, bampton, oxford canal

Misty start yesterday and today. Only yesterday, the sun had burnt the mist off by twelve and what followed was a gorgeous spring afternoon.

Had a delicious lunch with colleagues at St Antony's, the sun streaming into the hall.

Discovered over coffee that the mansion that became the hall of residence I lived in for a year when I was at Cirencester had not only once been owned by relatives of one of the colleagues but had been built from stone salvaged after another of her family's houses was demolished south of Birmingham.

I remember sharing what must have been one of the mansion's grand front bedrooms with two fellow students, Richard and Adrian. The high-ceilinged room was very cold in winter and once I came back from lectures to find that Richard had torn away the hardboard that covered the big fireplace and was lolling in front of a blazing log fire.

Sadly, the mist today hasn't lifted. The scenses above--taken in Bampton and along the Oxford canal--were atmospheric, certainly, but also capped the day. A cap that fitted the day and the day wore it. Until now, oddly, when all of a sudden the sun is lighting up the stone on the other side of St Giles', as I take my break... Maybe the bus journey home will be beautiful.

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