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, 10 June 2012

oaks, oxfordshire cotswolds?, up and down dale, third novel

There are few oaks in and and around Bampton. As I think I've said, this is supposed to mean that the soils are poor. It's difficult to tell the truth of this because fertilisers compensate nowadays. Oaks are found nevertheless along Hayway Lane to the south and towards Brize Norton to the north. The two oaks above are off the Bampton-Brize road and Mount Owen Road respectively--both north of the village.

This morning I spent an hour or so working on the allotment--weeding mostly because the clay was still too wet to fork through--before a quick cycle along the Brize road and back to Bampton via Lew and Mount Owen. The ride reminded me of how the oaks start as one nears the southern edge of the Cotswolds. (The references in tourist brochures to Bampton actually being in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds are, it always seems to me, a recent invention and somewhat spurious.)

Even so it was fun to be cycling along roads that gave an approximation of going up and down dale for a few  minutes.

Meanwhile, I've been writing up comments on assignments for much of the weekend and thinking about 'this and that'. It's been a bit of a restless time since getting back from San Francisco.

I've also been putting the finishing touches to the planning of my third novel. The plot is based on something I wrote over twenty years ago. At first I tried to simply recast the original in a more contemporary setting but have come to realise that this is a waste of time--having 'wasted' a considerable amount of time doing so. Subsequently, I have come up with something new that incorporates one or two aspects of the original  but which has nevertheless changed a great deal and which reflects where I am as a writer in 2012. The process has been protracted and at times painful, although I am very pleased to have reached the point of beginning the real writing!

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