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.

Saturday 23 June 2012

decent bike ride, waterlogged allotment, cotton thistles, hedge and ditch, bunting, two great evenings

Haven't been on a decent bike ride for some weeks, what with the demands of the allotment and the trip to Yorkshire last weekend.

I couldn't do anything on the allotment this morning as it's pretty near waterlogged. Still, some of the potatoes are in flower (though I never got the chance to ridge them up), the shallots and onions are looking good and the cucumbers and Italian courgettes are beginning to bush out.

So, it was great to take my mind off what I wasn't able to do on the allotment by heading out on the bike. Strong head-winds to start with before I turned off the Langford road just after Broadwell and was carried back along Calcroft Lane and the Clanfield road. Noticed how green everything was because of the rain. Even so, the grass and the corn aren't as far forward as I'd expected--too cold, I imagine. Or maybe it's the waterlogging.

A plant that appears to be thriving is cotton thistle, which, when the sun went behind a cloud, seemed to shimmer out at you like a wraith. The ones in the top photo (taken near Bampton) were about seven foot tall; the one in the next pic (in Alvescot) was about six foot.

Interested to see how much more established the recently-laid hedge and new-dug ditch off Calcroft Lane look (see post of Sunday 26th February).

Loved the home-made bunting still lining the brook in Clanfield.

It's been a bit of a mad week, I must say, what with the MSt Guided Retreat coming up tomorrow. A really fun experience was the end-of-year evening for the undergraduate diploma finalists yesterday. Terrific readings! Also, had a great time when J's god-daughter came to stay on Thursday and we ate out at Biztro (best meal ever there).

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