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 22 August 2015

brief light mist, creative writing work, typesetting, poem

There was a brief, light mist as I left the village on the bike this morning. Very localised.

A lot of creative writing work has to be completed before I take a break in September.

Also working on the typesetting for I Am the Man Who Lives in a Shoe (formerly Trust: A family story) and Facing the Strange.

In respect of the former, I'm pleased with the order that I placed the narratives, blog posts and other material in. There needs to be some copy editing and a touch of rewriting but it is nearly as I want it. Then I can get feedback from colleagues.

Oxford is very quiet just now.

And here is a poem, or whatever. [Sunday 23rd August: now becoming a work in progress...]

Children Playing

Berry-brown boys and girls
Play in the evening sun.
A woman enters the scene.
'Come on, bed now please. Girls. Boys.'

Fizzing excitement accompanies the children,
Making sleep
At least for ten minutes.

In the garden,
Energy and sheer love of life
Out here and ‎deep inside memory's honeycomb.


  1. Frank. Which berries are brown? Or is this an allusion that I am not capable of understanding. From 'brown as a berry' I suppose, but all of the berries I can think of are black, red, white or green.

    1. Good point, Rob. It's an expression that doesn't make literal sense. Indeed what berries are intended? The origins of the simile are Chaucer (two instances) but so far as I can tell there is no great theory that explains which berries might have been meant. Still it's a common phrase - one that my dad used - and I felt it's slightly old-fashioned feel suited the poem, which I see as being set several decades in the past.