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.

Thursday 11 October 2012

oxford canal, a40, coal barges, snaky heron, rain

Lovely walk along the Oxford canal before work this morning. Though not as long a walk as I'd have liked because the traffic on the A40 was bad again and the bus didn't get in till about 8.15. All month the traffic has been bad. I don't remember it being this bad last year (showing my age with these curmudgeonly comments!).

Saw the coal barges above by the last lock before the city. A similar barge is referred to in The Lock, when Gerald, the Oxford don having an affair with a graduate student, visits his daughter Alison on her barge and learns about her way of life: 'His questions revealed that the stove was called a Squirrel and that it was kept going all the time in winter. As well as heating the living-area, a radiator in the bedroom was run off it. Coal was supplied by a firm from ‘up north’ who would phone when their barge was in the area.'

Also saw the heron again at the very end of the canal by Hythe Bridge Street--looking rather snake-like, as a friend remarked when I showed her the photo. I say it's 'the heron' but I think this is another one--a younger one.

Later, at about 11.30, the promised rain started and the day stayed pretty grey and damp after that.

1 comment:

  1. It was good to see the canal photos ; how the towpath has changed, though, since I biked home from work there every day in the 80's.
    Certainly more accessible than the muddy path, but something is lost. More curmudgeonliness no doubt.
    I think herons have a judgemental look, and their solitariness is eerily beautiful.