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 25 October 2014

eclectic photos, building-chomping, conted open day, casta paintings

A somewhat eclectic set of photos this time.

There's the building-chomping machine seen in Oxford the week before last, the view from one of the fields to the south of the village taken last weekend and a phone box seen today when cycling.

Which only goes to show how long it is since I last posted.

The start of term and the master's finals marking took their toll... Astonishingly busy weeks.

Now thinking about my Continuing Education Open Day event on the 4th November, which appears to be sold out, and the start of the undergraduate diploma module that I teach.

Very much enjoyed the joint party given by the Society of Authors and Writers in Oxford recently at Balliol College - lovely to see old friends!

Also enjoyed the Casta paintings seminar at the Latin American Centre, given by Professor Earle of Warwick University.

Saturday 11 October 2014

misty, jade, finals marking, a conscious englishman, shirley baker, trust: a family story

There was a light mist when I went cycling, though it soon cleared and the rain started.

Loved the green of the fodder roots in the misty light - you can get an impression of this from the photo but in reality it was much more bright jade than it looks.

Inductions' week at the library, so lots happening. Exhausting but thankfully I've been sleeping well and have felt fresh today and can get on with finals marking.

Really enjoyed discussing A Conscious Englishman with Margaret Keeping at the Woodstock Bookshop. Lovely to see former students and academic friends in the audience. Many thanks to Rachel for inviting us!

First log delivery of the season this morning.

Fascinating obituary of the urban photographer Shirley Baker in the Times and Guardian this week. Check out her brilliant photos at the Mary Evans Picture Library.

Finally, friends have asked about the title of the life-writing book: Trust: A family story.

Saturday 4 October 2014

digging, winter veg, mst res, 0th week, margaret keeping, woodstock bookshop, conted open day, stowe, log fire

Dug over the last patches of ground on the allotment this morning before the rain started.

The allotment is really a summer garden but there are a few things for winter. Beetroots have done well and there are carrots, parsnips and turnips, Swiss chard, black Spanish round radishes and some miner's lettuce and other winter salads. There are one or two brassica's that were trying to grow in amongst the courgettes and underneath the runner bean wigwams that might come to something. I also left a couple of cucumber plants to see if the one small fruit on each might grow on a bit. I have to say that cucumbers didn't do that well this year.

Loved the MSt residence last weekend and early this week. So nice to meet the new students I'm supervising.

With Oxford 0th Week starting Monday, there have been lots of preparations being made for undergrad and grad inductions. There's always so much to do at this time of year, no matter how much you try to save yourself time by thinking ahead in the summer.

On Monday evening, I'll be in conversation with Margaret Keeping at the Woodstock Bookshop. Looking forward to this. (Btw, I'll be doing an event at the Department for Continuing Education Open Day on 4th November at Rewley House. More on this nearer the time.)

Today was Old Stoic Day at my old school and I'd like to have gone back. When I was there for the careers fair I didn't have time to walk round the grounds and I thought it would be fun to do this in the early autumn. Sadly, though, working on the library e-skills training session took precedence.

First log fire of the autumn.