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 July 2015

cotton thistles, big bales, refreshing bike ride, deluge, summer school, facing the strange by sb sweeney, the 'thing'...

The cotton thistles at Cowleaze Corner are thriving again this year - see post of Saturday 23rd June 2012. This time the plant is in flower and is, if anything, even taller.

The other photo shows some big bales beside Calcroft Lane. Is there a strange beauty to them? Might they one day be looked back on with nostalgia? Who knows but see the - well, I'm not sure quite what it is (poem-ish thing?) - below...

This morning's bike ride was lovely and refreshing. The air almost chilly after yesterday's rain. I'm about to go to the allotment to pick more blackcurrants and am hoping that the deluge has brought it back to life. It was so parched! The spuds are going to be a meagre crop this year.

Tomorrow the creative writing summer school starts at Exeter College. Looking forward to the tutors' meeting and the formal reception and dinner and to meeting the students for the first time.

Earlier today I put an announcement on the StreetBooks homepage saying that we will be publishing Facing the Strange by SB Sweeney in 2016. Very exciting.

And, now, that 'thing':

The Bale

We found the picture on one of those memory sticks that
People used to use back in the day.
You know, like a little plastic shuttle.
We found it in a junk shop.
You clicked them into those funny box computers -
With lift-up screens. We've got some of them. Love old things.

We couldn't believe it when we extracted the data.
Such a beautiful photo.
And what was a real coincidence was that we've got a bale.
Yes, a real plastic-wrapped bale!
We found it in a shed in Herefordshire and
Had it sky-ported back to Surrey.
It hangs at the top of our atrium - ten floors up above the barn-conversion.
From the platform you can look at it close up.
We had it nucleared, of course - you never know what
Bugs it had. We use Nu-Clean, family run since 2096.

I picked up five gorgeous old hologram pendants
And had the photo frozen in each.
The bale is like our symbol. We love it,
Even though the plastic's worn - we'll have it restored.
I can't believe looking at the photo, then at it.
It puts me in touch with another age, with history.
I love its simplicity, the gorgeousness of its design.
It's SO rural!

No comments:

Post a Comment