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 1 February 2014

ugh! graffiti, downton hallucinations, log fire, assignment marking

There has been a lot more rain this week. There's also a been a keen wind, which makes the saturated air particularly unpleasant. It's in any case as if you are clothed in damp air and then you're sliced into by jets of cold. Ugh!

Yet there has been some respite. Walking along the canal tow-path in Oxford yesterday morning, the air was warm for a while and I was fooled into thinking that spring was on the way. There were hazel catkins out near the station.

How I hate the damage graffiti does! But how striking some of the images are!

Expression of another kind was thrown into sharp relief this morning as I walked through the churchyard. (Not Bampton churchyard any more but somewhere caught between ancient Bampton and Yorkshire Downton. You half-expect to bump into Lord Grantham. Or at least you do when you have a cold - perhaps it's the Boots day and night remedy.)

No cycling today because of the cold - only the walk to the butcher and Budgens. Then some assignment marking seated close to the log fire. Very much enjoy getting to know my students through their work.


  1. Now this week I was expecting a comment from you on that pub, as I'm sure you know it. I gather it also has Downton associations.

  2. I do indeed know it - and have done for many years. I liked it best in the early 1980s. Around that time I wrote a short story set there (which well never see the light of day). The pub is owned by a cousin, would you believe. I didn't know it had Downton associations.