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 6 July 2013

allotment, ugdip readings, wingspan by jeremy hughes, moocs, oers, opera next, mount owen, ps no-see-ums

Up to the allotment early today to finish digging some rough ground that I didn't get the chance to clean earlier in the year. Things are moving now and some of the potato plants are in flower. (Meanwhile, this weekend, we'll be having the first of J's mangetouts and spinach, which she's been growing at the house).

Went to the final year celebration evening for the undergraduate diploma students midweek. Loved hearing the readings. Also, I enjoyed meeting one of my colleagues who I'd not had a chance to chat to before. His second novel is due out from Cillian Press in September: Wingspan by Jeremy Hughes.

Interesting Radio 4 programme about MOOCs and other digital teaching initiatives just now. MOOCs are Massive Open Online Courses and I have to say, speaking as an Oxford online tutor for the last five years, they sound fascinating. Opening up learning is one of the main inspirations behind online courses and, indeed, behind the Open Education Resources (OER) project I took part in last year for the Department of Continuing Education.

At the beginning of the week, I decided to try out the Opera 12 web browser, having grown a bit bored with Chrome and Firefox. No sooner had I done so, however, than there was suddenly a radically new Opera available--Opera 15, which is based on the Chromium open-source software that powers Google's browser, although the Norwegian one has a very different feel. (I chose to download the slightly more experimental version of the browser, Opera Next.) Personally I like the absence of all but the address bar and the page tabs. For settings and options, there's just one button to press that produces a drop-down menu; while commands, such as print, are available by right clicking on web pages. I'm also quite into the way the browser handles bookmarks--a single page to which you add screenshot icons for each bookmarked website. The browser is pretty stripped down at present, though a rapid roll out of features is promised. I'm going to stick with the browser and see how it devlops.

Cycled home from the allotment the long way round, out to Lew and back over Mount Owen--pictures above.

PS (an hour or so after the original posting): as I think I've mentioned, I subscribe to the Oxford English Dictionary Word of the day service (see OED site, right-hand side), which means the complete definition and quoted examples of a particular word are emailed to you each day. It's fun. Today's word was 'no-see-um', a indigenous American coinage for 'any of several minute, bloodsucking flies, esp. biting midges'. Love this word! I think I got bitten by several no-see-ums on the allotment earlier!

1 comment:

  1. Frank. I've already dug a few roots of my potatoes. Not much on them, but good and clean. Also had our own lettuce and beetroot leaves, and our own gooseberries in a tart. Ain't it nice to eat your own stuff?