Welcome to justthoughtsnstuff

Most of this blog's 600 plus posts are about day to day things - highlights from the previous week, books read, places visited - together with photos of what I've seen. There are some, though, that deal with a difficult subject - obsessional emotional and economic abuse that went on for several decades and that came to a head in autumn 2010. Writing jtns became in part a way of coping with the consequences of what happened and exploring them openly. This aspect of the blog is discussed in JTNS, An Introduction and Life-Writing Talk, with Reference to Trust: A family story. Now that the pain of the past years is easing (after many false dawns, when I thought it had finally passed), the frequency of the posts is lessening and in 2020, when jtns will be ten years old, they will stop. I hope that you enjoy the photos and reading the happier posts (the majority) and take a little from them. Frank, October 2018

Sunday, 22 February 2015

oxford clay, first cycle ride of the year, hedging, allotment, spuds and squash

The above pics were taken during my walk yesterday morning. The water meadow beyond Glebelands was flooded in places and sticky with Oxford clay nearly everywhere. The higher fields weren't much better. Some strikingly vivid skies, though.

Today I went on my first cycle ride of the year. I didn't go out on the bike before now because of the frosts that seemed to coincide with the weekends when I could have gone and because of the lovely long walks to Clanfield J and I did every Sunday for the past three weekends.

Today's cycle was pretty short - just towards Brize (via the allotment), to Lew and back to Bampton over Mount Owen. The last of these was a touch challenging but I have to say that when I got back I knew what I had been missing. Wonderfully energising and refreshing exercise!

It was also great to see the landscape again from the perspective of a cyclist. Was intrigued to see some more hedging being done along the western edge of a paddock at the bottom of Mount Owen road. The person does a little bit every year - see post of January 2012 - and has now almost finished the whole hedge.

On the allotment, all is pretty much finished now. I pulled some beetroot last weekend but only one was any good - the others had been too badly frosted. Carrots have been eaten by rabbits and the slugs are getting everything else. Still, it was fun going to the shed at the house earlier for pink fir apples, kestrel spuds and a squash from the hessian sacks hanging from the rafters.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

mist wisping and puffing, memories of the mull of galloway, hazel catkins, digital humanities project

A chilly start to the day with mist wisping and puffing from the ground when I set off on my walk at around seven. The mist seemed only to rise a little before dispersing and was soon all gone. A beautiful clear light followed that occasionally triggered a memory of September lights on the Mull of Galloway in the mid-eighties.

A joy, seeing hazel catkins in abundance in the Millennium Wood.

A week of library work and finding out more for my Digital Humanities project.

Friday, 6 February 2015

inspiring meeting at oerc, mst promo video

Lots going on this week.

Libraries busy. A fascinating and inspiring meeting at the Oxford e-Research Centre about the Digital Humanities fiction project I'm interested in doing. Assignment tutorials during the week and tomorrow.

This week I also learned that the promotional video for the Master of Studies in Creative Writing has been launched. Loved seeing colleagues and former students on film. For myself - well, this was done before the sideburns came off. Quite weird seeing them again!

The above pic shows Stephanie Scott who won the AM Heath Prize and whose short story, Pulau Brani, recently won the Writers’ Village International Short Fiction Award.