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 13 September 2014

blight, green tomatoes, drawer, spuds, shallots and onions, life-writing

We stopped growing tomatoes some years ago because blight is bad in this area. But a neighbour gave us some plants in the early summer.

Sure enough they succumbed to blight a week or so ago but J spotted this early and picked all the tomatoes. We then cleared a drawer and put the fruit inside - see photo above.

We used to do this years ago, when we lived on Osney and had an allotment greenhouse. The plants would usually get blight but later on in the season and by then the fruits were big. The blight seems to be passed to the fruits by the plant and not from fruit to fruit, so that if you're quick, only a small proportion turn bad, the rest ripening gradually. Some people put an apple in with the fruit to accelerate ripening. The only thing to watch out for is infected fruits turning.

Harvested the spuds on the allotment on Tuesday and have been digging the area in the evenings since then. I grew four varieties - Dersiree, Estima, Kestrel and Pink Fir Apple. I generally plant a lot of rows because I don't tend to have time to water the plants and so yields are low. This year and last, though, the crop has been heavy - this year's especially so. The spuds are now bagged in hessian sacks, which I hang from the rafters in the old piggery, so that they are out of reach of the mice.

I'll go up to the allotment later to do a bit more digging and bag up the shallots and onions, which have been drying in the shed for several weeks since I lifted them.

I've continued to write the life-writing narrative I mentioned last week. It's now over 15,000 words and there is still quite a lot more to say. I'd not realised how much there was to say. Writing this out is my way of coming to terms with the past. Perhaps that should read, a staging post on the way to coming to terms with the past. It's very healing, whatever stage I'm at, however.

No comments:

Post a Comment