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 June 2014

wolvercote, towpath, scything, haystacks, marking, guided retreat



















As mentioned the other week, I've taken to walking to the city centre from Wolvercote when I have enough time.

It's great crossing the green in front of the Plough and joining the towpath. The first fifteen minutes are like being in the countryside. Then there are the narrowboats and, intriguingly, an oil painting with a slash in it hanging on a brick service point - see tweet of 23rd June.

The other week, I came across a man scything the grass on Wolvercote Green and the next day there were low domed haystacks. These disappeared when the hay was dry (where did he take it, what's he using it for?) but this week there were more in a little meadow further along the towpath - see photos above.

First there were some low stacks then these went, although the frames and a poll used to support them remained. Yesterday, there were three more stacks.

They're terrific!

In the meantime, there was a feature on Radio 4 about the popularity of scything. I can't find that programme but here's an article on the subject in the Telegraph from last year. There's even the Scythe Association of Britain and Ireland.

This weekend and next week there's portfolio marking and preparing for the MSt Guided Retreat.

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