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 27 September 2014

big bales, lots happening, mst, margaret keeping, woodstock bookshop, a conscious englishman, squashes, digging, drought, toms

Back at work last Thursday. Lots happening as the beginning of the Oxford academic kicks off.

This weekend the Master of Studies (MSt) in Creative Writing residence begins and I shall meet the students I'll be supervising during 2014/15 for the first time - although we have been corresponding by email and talking on Skype for a couple of months. An exciting few days.

The first meeting is at 8 am tomorrow, after which I'll be having coffee with Margaret Keeping and preparing for the event at the Woodstock Bookshop (Monday 6th October, 7 pm), at which I shall interview her about her acclaimed novel A Conscious Englishman.

Later today, I'll be harvesting the squashes on the allotment and storing them in the shed. Then I'll grub up both these plants and those of the courgettes and dig over their ground.

The land is dry. We've hardly had a drop of rain for over a fortnight and there's no sign of any next week.

At the house we have a tomato glut. Glorious. When I got back from cycling earlier, it was wonderful to eat some before breakfast. Their flavour is so sharp, intense and refreshing.

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