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.

Wednesday 26 September 2012

batcombe, sweet tooth, september sun, rain, reckless, assessor

Birthday break at Batcombe, Somerset. Great to return there and to stay at the wonderful Three Horseshoes (the best ever food and hospitality there, I would say). Presents included copy of Ian McEwan's new novel Sweet Tooth, which I'm really enjoying. A textbook McEwan opening chapter that completely immerses the reader in the fiction.

The weather on Monday didn't look promising (top photo), although it cleared towards lunchtime and yesterday's walking was in brightish September sunshine.

Astonishingly heavy rain on Sunday night. Not surprised to learn of sad floods in Somerset and elsewhere.

Was intrigued by the tombstone in Upton Noble churchyard (St Mary Magdalene's)--that middle name 'Reckless' (third-from-top photo). A story there, I feel.

Into Oxford this evening for induction for Certificate of Higher Education assessors.


  1. That's better, gloomy skies, followed by scudding clouds, I am now living my Autumn through your photos.
    You were the lucky birthday boy with book and beer, a peerless combination.
    (A few miles further south, I was once reading Tess in a bar, literally on one of the mentioned bye-ways, and the locals thought I should be involved in their discussion of runner beans. An annual conversation with highs and lows, the latter in a Hardyesque way dominating!)
    Why are there so many Gold Hills in the West Country?

  2. Excellent story! It's great that one can spend time in places mentioned in the novels. We once stayed at a pub that featured in Tess and late in the evening a fiddle player struck up and there was much Hardyesque singing!