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 28 September 2013

mst residence, allotment, memories, autumn

It's the MSt residence this weekend. Looking forward to meeting the students I'll be supervising over the coming year. We've spoken and they've sent work for me to read but we've not met.

Went up to the allotment just now and harvested what must be nearly the last lot of runner beans, courgettes and cucumbers. In Bampton and in the countryside, rather a beautiful autumn is beginning.

Yesterday was a sad day because a friend has died, the landlord of our local.  He died while we were away. Going to the pub last night, at first I thought all the cards and flowers were for a birthday or some other celebration. What had happened was so sudden and it was hard to take in.

I remember that not long after we moved to the village, we were talking to him and I said I'd just had a novel published. He asked if I had any spare copies and I delivered a dozen which he displayed in the pub, selling all of them.

It was sometime later that I met another friend when out walking. He told me that his wife liked reading fiction and had bought my book at the pub. He said he didn't tend to read novels but his wife had suggested he read mine. He finished by saying that he must have enjoyed it because when he got to the end, he read it again. He said nothing more about the book and we've never talked about it since. But what more could a writer want.

Thanks for these and other memories, Alan.

Revised 29.09.13

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