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 15 April 2012

walk, drought, hollow tree, end of the holiday, writing

A lovely day which began with a walk into the Thames Valley then back round to Weald, Ham Court, the Plantation and the fields to the north of the village, which are bounded by the Shill and Highmoor brooks.

I'd not done much of this walk for several months and it was great to revisit places including the water meadows near the Thames in between the Sharney and Burroway brooks where the curlew come to nest. (The fourth and fifth photos from top show the Sharney Brook, which is low now, though not as low as the ditch shown immediately above them. This ditch is usually full until the middle of summer and often never dries out. The drought is certainly happening round here.)

Meanwhile, was fascinated by the hollow willow in the line of the old hedge along the green lane from the Burroway Brook to Weald. I wonder what happened to it--struck by lightening possibly?

The oilseed rape is full out around the village.

I can't believe the holiday is almost over but feel very refreshed by it. I've also enjoyed writing about the past couple of decades during the week. I've learned a lot from that and will continue exploring these experiences in writing over the next week. Also looking forward to working on another short filmscript and reading a novel draft about a First World War poet for StreetBooks.

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