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, 17 January 2015

freezing start, memories, early walk, assignment marking, snow, noughth week, things hotting up, jtns 50,000th

Freezing start to the day, with the roads and pavements glassy, so definitely NO cycling. Memories of coming off the bike a few years back still vivid.

Set off on a walk before seven because I'm marking assignments this weekend and have a fair bit to get through.

Photos show the churchyard with a clear skyline then, just a few minutes later, conditions worsening in Bridge Street. Not that the snow came to much in the end.

Oxford full term begins on Monday, though things during Noughth Week were already hotting up.

Oh, and according to Blogger stats, justthoughtsnstuff had its 50,000th pageview this week. And no, they're not all me...


  1. Many congratulations on the 50,000 and I'm sure you enabled the 'not own page-view' counter straight away!
    I have thought of you as I was reading the ubiquitous H is for Hawk, Helen Mackintosh, as the grounds of Stowe figure in it. TH White wrote his Goshawk there.

    I read lines in a review this weekend which have really stayed with me-
    'Norwegian Karl Ove Knausgaard's six-volume autobiographical sequence My Struggle has inspired many writers to give up on artifice and invention and address themselves exhaustively to the texture of their own lives. "Autobiography is increasingly the only form in all the arts," Rachel Cusk confidently declared recently.' (Sunday Times' Theo Tait). I think I find that very liberating.
    While I'm going on - have wondered if A Conscious Englishman wouldn't have been more commercially titled with 'Edward Thomas' in the title e.g 'For love of Edward Thomas'. A relaunch - what do you think?
    Last - 9 years after we started the Undergrad CW diploma a sizeable group of us still meeting for a meal and ongoing encouragement. Brilliant course.

  2. Sorry for tardy reply, Margaret. It's been quite a week, what with one thing and another. Thanks for the pointer to H is for Hawk and for the autobiography quotes. There does seem to be a lot of interest in life-writing at present. I find the area fascinating. I know what you mean about putting Edward Thomas in the title but personally much prefer A Conscious Englishman - ACE! How amazing to think it's 9 years since you started the course. Soon it will be 9 years since my seminars - gosh time has gone so fast. It's great that you still meet up. I hope you had a good meal last week! Talking of meeting up - we must meet up!