Welcome to justthoughtsnstuff

Most of this blog's 600 plus posts are about day to day things - highlights from the previous week, books read, places visited - together with photos of what I've seen. There are some, though, that deal with a difficult subject - obsessional emotional and economic abuse that went on for several decades and that came to a head in autumn 2010. Writing jtns became in part a way of coping with the consequences of what happened and exploring them openly. This aspect of the blog is discussed in JTNS, An Introduction and Life-Writing Talk, with Reference to Trust: A family story. Now that the pain of the past years is easing (after many false dawns, when I thought it had finally passed), the frequency of the posts is lessening and in 2020, when jtns will be ten years old, they will stop. I hope that you enjoy the photos and reading the happier posts (the majority) and take a little from them. Frank, October 2018

Monday, 28 October 2013

reviving weekend, autumn leaves, friend staying, kings of leon, london grammar, lou reed, osney sundays

A weekend away. Very reviving - lovely company.

This morning we were fortunate in west Oxfordshire and Oxford to be relatively unaffected by the storm that sped across southern England. Although there were a couple of small trees down on the Oxford canal when I walked to work (see photo above) and a lot of leaves have been scattered.

Meanwhile, Oxford Michaelmas term is settling down - a touch - and this evening, a friend is coming to stay, which I'm looking forward to.

Oh, and I recently downloaded Mechanical Bull by The Kings of Leon and If You Wait by London Grammar. Both excellent. Especially like the latter now I've listened to it a couple of times.

Sad to hear about the death of Lou Reed. Happy memories of listening to a Velvet Underground cassette on Osney Island at Sunday lunchtimes in the late 80s. And of an arrangement of Sunday Morning, played at our wedding blessing at Keble College chapel.
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A Conscious Englishman by Magaret Keeping - StreetBooks Kindle edition published 16.08.13 - visit http://www.streetbooks.co.uk for details

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Saturday, 19 October 2013

full term, full swing, oxford, late lunch, hollybush, ramblings, cathy dreyer, finals, allotment

Oxford full term in full swing.

Lots going on at the libraries and in the world of creative writing.

Working in Oxford all today up to a v late lunch at the estimable Hollybush in Witney.

A grey, autumnal but incredibly warm day. Enjoyed my walk along the Oxford canal--photos above. (See the reed bed from the same angle in the summer.) Amazing ash keys this year!

Loved listening to Ramblings on Radio 4 this morning. There I was, lying in the bath, when I suddenly realised that the person being interviewed by Toyah Willcox was a former student, Cathy Dreyer. See her wonderful blog, Shortcircuit.

Tomorrow there will be finals marking and, hopefully, some more work on the allotment.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

murky, josé, desktop, calming, digging?, 0th week

Got soaked when cycling this morning.

Some years ago, a Venezuelan friend fell in love with the English word 'murky' because he felt that its sound summed up much of our weather. Well, José, this morning was certainly murky, as the two photos above show. Incidentally, these contrast with a pic taken from a similar angle back in the summer (the photo btw that I use as my desktop background at work - I find it very calming).

Now, fortunately, the sun is shining and I'm hoping that the allotment will soon dry out, so that I can do some more autumn digging this afternoon.

Meanwhile, we've just had Oxford 0th Week - the time when the Freshers arrive and inductions are held at the libraries. A very busy few days but great to be meeting the students for the first time.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

promotion, mst, morris

A strange week.

Promotion within the library - a wonderful privilege but also much to take in. The MSt residence and meeting the students - a lovely, exciting few days.

Then the funeral on Friday. Very moving. A warm, life-affirming service in the middle of which the Morris side that is based at Alan's pub danced in the church crossing.

With apologies to Milan Kundera.

We sit in the chancel with the other latecomers because the church is so full and half-way through the service we hear the familiar sound of Morris bells. We stand up, lean forward and catch glimpses, imagining what must be happening.

Men in white with bowler hats dance in a ring, others skip in from the side chapel. Big men, slender men, young and old, each dainty enough to dance on a penny piece. Round and round they go then they step into the air - surely they must do - spiralling past the Anglo-Saxon stones, up through the floor of the belfry, past ropes, before bursting out of the medieval masonry, to join with jackdaws circling the tower. They look down at the ancient barrow in the churchyard, spy the outline of a Roman temple in an autumn lawn, wonder at the remnant of the Burford road heading for a ford in the Thames now long gone, the little market square at the base of the minster (where these days film makers create Downton).

Then they are suddenly back with us, drawing on every ounce of energy and poise, gleaming white and kicking chinkling bells, dancing for Alan. They tip their bowlers to the coffin and are gone.

(The photo? The three-fields walk, done early on Friday before the funeral.)