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.

Saturday 20 April 2013

top of the garden, grrrr!, sweet tooth, nesting material, twists

Beautiful sunny day. Late lunch at the top of the garden after a trip to the Plough at Kelmscott (a pint of Lion--Grrrr!). The manor must have been open (the first time this year?)--a huge coach lumbering up one of the little lanes into the village and cars in a field on the outskirts.

A taste of summer, today. And how hungry I am. Thank goodness this winter is over (I surely can't be speaking to soon--it's nearly May!).

Now just about to finish Ian McEwan's Sweet Tooth. It's held me till nearly the end and from the 'tipping point' (around p.210) had me in thrall, desperate to find out what happened next and admiring of McEwan's handling of suspense and his generation of inexorable momentum. But, with six pages to go, I'm not sure about ending the novel with Tom's letter. It seems a bit of a cop out. What I really want is more Serena. She's fascinating and I suspect this Tom finale gives a false sense of 'conclusion' without satisfying the deeper needs of the reader. Still, I shall read on--of course...

Ah well, the novel has kept me more than entertained most of the time.

Meanwhile, we put our dog's groomed-out fur for the birds--see above photo. It seems it is much prized as nesting material, especially by blue tits!

...And now, having read those six pages, I can report that McEwan turns the end of the novel pretty magnificently. Yes, a clever last-minute twist and then another twist. Expertise, he has. I should have remembered that!

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