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 21 September 2013

misty morning, mount owen, cucumbers and runner beans, oudce open day, a conscious englishman

Although it's my birthday, I was up early because there's work to finish before any celebrations can begin.

A slightly misty start to the morning, which softened the views when I was cycling. I did the Mount Owen route but going in the other direction, starting with Mount Owen and ending up at the allotment. I realised I'd never done this route like this before--in fact I don't remember cycling up Mount Owen from Bampton since 2001. It's a much longer slope going this way and I was quite surprised by how demanding it was. It was extraordinary to see the countryside from this direction--familiar places looked like they were in another part of England altogether.

On the allotment, I harvested a couple of cucumbers, one green, one crystal lemon (round, yellow) and masses of runner beans (which have been amazing this summer). The courgettes have pretty much stopped on the allotment, although they are still going strong at the house, with its sheltered lighter land.

Meanwhile, looking forward to the Oxford Department for Continuing Education Open Day on Thursday--in particular, the authors event, which features Margaret Keeping reading from A Conscious Englishman. (I notice that there have been one or two returns for both this event and mine in the last 24 hours--and indeed other events that were fully booked--so places are available again now. There are some excellent events in prospect!)

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