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.

Monday 24 March 2014


Up at 4.30 this morning because I had to catch an early S1 bus from Witney. Due in Oxford for 8 am meeting, although the bus made such good time that I fitted in a walk from Botley to North Hinksey and on into the city along the Willow Walk and across Osney Island.

‎The sun was already melting the sharp frost at 7.15 and the light was gorgeous.

Another early start yesterday because the MSt residence took place over the weekend. Great to catch up with the students I'm supervising.

Taking the photo from the bridge at the start of the Willow Walk (top, above) reminded me of a post I wrote for the precursor to this blog (see http://www.frankegerton.com/scrapbook.html). The walk I posted about had reminded me of, in turn, walks from the mid-90s when  there had been family upsets. Little did I suspect, when I wrote that piece, that soon, in the first months of justthoughtsnstuff (around this time of year in 2010), these old wounds would burst open again catastrophically.

This morning, there were, of course, the overlaying years but also I had the sense of all those sad times having passed and of seeing the key actors with more sympathy and compassion.‎

Last week I had a day off and we walked from Bampton to Old Man's Bridge near Radcot Lock, where we crossed the Thames and circled back to the village. The day was overcast and everything seemed winter-bleak. (It's so strange how the landscape takes its cue from the weather at this time of year - when there is sun, it is spring; when it is grey, it is winter again.) The curlews' calls haunted the watermeadows beside the river. A haunting but nevertheless beautiful sound.

Later we had lunch at the excellent Five Alls at Filkins.

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