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 18 April 2015

randolph hotel fire

Shocked by the fire at the Randolph Hotel yesterday afternoon.

At first it seemed that the fire had been put out rapidly but every so often little flames licked up the side of one of the windows in the mansard roof directly opposite the library. These soon seemed to die away only to reappear a few minutes later. Smoke started to wisp through the tiles. Fierce flames erupted from the top.

The speed of the fire then was terrifying, slates falling from the roof and smoke swirling and thickening.

When the fireman at the top of the tall ladder directed the hose onto the roof it looked as if the thin jet of water was nothing but then there were waterfalls cascading down the walls and you realised just how much water was being pumped out. It was at this point that the decision to close the library building was taken but by the time we were all in the street it was clear that the fire was being brought under control.

I'm pleased to say that the library is open as usual this morning, although several streets remain closed.

Above all, it's wonderful news that everyone was safe. I hope the hotel soon reopens and life there gets back to normal.

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