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.

Friday 29 March 2013

willow wands, purity, regrowth, yellow flag, in pursuit of spring, edward thomas, a conscious englishman by margaret keeping, guardian books

Saw the old barge loaded with what I took to be willow wands moored on the Oxford canal earlier in the week. As you can see there was bright sun that morning. That was a treat--there's warmth in the sun when it appears and just the sight of the sunlight is enough to cheer you.

Most of the time, though, the north east wind is unrelenting. It's drying out the land and leaving it looking dead and dessicated. As the other photos show, the land and the trees are so bare. There's a kind of purity, I suppose, as if everything has been stripped back to the bone--while we wait patiently for regrowth. As mentioned a few weeks ago, there are always some signs of life, even so--the yellow flag iris plants in the stream alongside Calcroft Lane, for example.

I'd hoped to get all my work done before today, so I could enjoy the long weekend but alas am having to finish up this morning and the early part of this afternoon. Aiming to stop before In Pursuit of Spring--the first part of the Radio 4 series about Edward Thomas, as prose writer, which goes out at 3.30 pm. Speaking of which, I found this page about the Thomas book of the same name on a site that has been put up by, I think I'm right in saying, the Edward Thomas Fellowship. There's also an excellent piece about Thomas and the broadcast on the Guardian Environment Blog. It's great that the Guardian is such a Thomas fan: A Conscious Englishman by Margaret Keeping was recently featured on the Guardian Books Blog and is available via Guardian Books.

Hope you're having a good Good Friday!

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