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.

Friday 18 April 2014

bracket fungus, rac/rau cirencester, forestry finals, ace final read through, planting spuds, jtns 40k

What's the significance of this magnificent bracket fungus? A Good Friday link, perhaps? None that I know of. I was just struck by its texture and colours as I was walking along the Oxford canal yesterday morning. It was growing on a pollarded willow. Once I would probably have been able to tell you what sort it was but, sadly, not these days. I studied forestry as part of my three-year diploma course at the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester (now a university) back in the late seventies and early eighties. Indeed, I believe I'm right in saying that I got the highest mark in our forestry finals. Skills that have withered on the vine - if that isn't too bizarre a metaphor in this context.

Spent the first part of today checking the typeset book-block of the corrected reprint of A Conscious Englishman before running it through Acrobat Pro prior to the final read though. Having made changes, I'm looking out for unintended consequences of these, as far as the layout is concerned.

This afternoon I've been on the allotment, planting spuds, amongst other things. The annual outing of the potato dibber - see previous years' posts on this subject: 27th May 2013; 6th May 2012; 9th April 2011; 19th April 2010. This year I planted Desiree, Estima, Kestrel and Pink Fir Apple.

Meanwhile, Blogger stats tells me that jtns has reached 40,000 page views.


  1. So looking forward to seeing the new version, Frank.

  2. Hoping I've avoided unintended consequences! In any event, it's gone to the printers now. Next step, the corrected proof.