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 7 April 2013

last day of holiday, grafton lock, kelmscott, invisible, tom and sarah

Last day of holiday.

Had a lovely walk along the Thames from Grafton Lock to Kelmscott.

The above photo was taken just below William Morris' Kelmscott Manor. It was about here that I set a scene in Invisible. In a chapter, late in the novel--Daddy, I Hardly Knew You--Tom and Sarah have a picnic by the Thames and he begins to understand more about her complex, troubled relationship with her father. Here is an extract.


I didn't quite understand what she was driving at, although I dare say I picked up enough--from her demeanour, if not her words. Selfishly, I didn't want to get too heavy, what with Dad's visit and the fact it was such a beautiful day.

It was a Sunday and I'd driven us to Kelmscott. I'd prepared us a picnic which I packed into a wicker hamper just as Sarah liked. Tara helped me sort out the details, although I chose the wine.

We called at the Plough for a pint, then walked along the lane, past William Morris's manor and onto the watermeadows. Appropriately, we spread out our rug under a huge willow on the river bank.

In the gentle late-autumn sun, Sarah's pale complexion, dark feathery hair and green eyes looked quite, quite beautiful. But there was hurt in her expression. A tension. I'm not the most observant bloke in the world but it’d been there ever since I picked her up. It was like she couldn't let her features respond to the magic of the day. Instead they were frozen by some as yet barely guessed-at ice field spreading across her mind.

1 comment:

  1. With your photo I imagine a sound-track of sedge-warblers.