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, 5 August 2012

rain, calcroft lane, jessica ennis, tears, narrative, economic gloom, john cantlie

BBC weather said no rain till 10 am but at 6.30, the rain said, You've got it wrong, mate.

I had to be up early because of work but had hoped for a good cycle like yesterday's--no rain and a lovely clear atmosphere. No such luck. A brief respite when I photographed the brook at the edge of Black Bourton Green but then down it came again. Along Calcroft Lane it was particularly heavy, though you can't actually see the stair-rods in the pic. (For an earlier pic and a couple of vids featuring Calcroft Lane, see posts from 31st December 2010, 10th March 2012 and 11th March 2012.)

Went to the Horse Shoe last night for a pint and saw Jessica Ennis run the 800 metres on the big screen TV. Brilliant. I've not really been following the Games much but that race was amazing to watch. Great to see Greg Rutherford's long-jumping too. There were men down the pub confessing to have shed tears while watching Britain's medal-winners yesterday. Prefaced, of course, by, 'I'm not normally an emotional person...'

Caught two excellent Radio 4 programmes this morning. Jake Arnott's Something Understood piece on narrative and how it enables us to explore and understand the world. And John Gray's salutary but beautifully argued Point of View talk on the economy and the sad truth that, 'The relative security that many people enjoyed in the recent past is fading from memory.'

Over breakfast, I read photographer John Cantlie's gripping and terrifying article in the Sunday Times about being taken prisoner by London jihadists in Syria ten days ago. He was threatened with execution and shot when trying to escape. If you're not a News Int subscriber, you can also hear Cantlie describing his ordeal on R4's Broadcasting House.

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