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 1 August 2015

chilly start, vapour trails, summer school, greek dancing, kitchen refurb, conted open days 2015, teymour shahabi, courgettes

Last night's clear skies and full moon brought a chilly start today. Out cycling the cold air streamed down from the north. Only after a while was it refreshing.

Heading towards Black Bourton, I looked up and saw this grid of vapour trails across the rising sun.

A lovely reception and formal dinner at Exeter College last Sunday to mark the beginning of the Creative Writing Summer School. A pleasure to work with the students this week.

There was a wonderful library staff party on Thursday - such a relaxed and warm atmosphere. Shame I left to catch my bus before the Scottish and Greek dancing!

At home, it's the kitchen refurb. Inevitably a bit of dust, the dry mealy smell of the wet plaster and that strange echoey emptiness of the room. We're camping in the rest of the house, which is filled with all the kitchen stuff that is spread everywhere and you just can't understand where it's come from and how it fitted in. It's a tiny kitchen!

And sometimes in the early morning, the theatre of the kitchen seems to have deserted it. It's just this impermanent-seeming space that could be cardboard. Cardboard skimmed with milk-chocolate plaster and daubed with paint samples. The old lino so obviously worn and dented. It's extraordinary how much life all that stuff gives the room; how much it absorbs the kettle's pop as it is about to boil, which now rings in your ears like a gunshot. Still it has been fun to select the floor tiles and decide on the paints. Soon it will be a new, almost unfamiliar place to explore and make our own.

It's also great to see Billy again - the renaissance man, who, as well as painting and decorating, made our pond, redesigned the garden and sorts roofs, fences and plumbing emergencies.

Yesterday, I sent off the title and description of my session at the Department for Continuing Education's Open Days (25th and 26th September). The programme goes live soon.

Meantime, I've been following the YouTube videos of Oxford alumnus and aspiring New York self-publishing author, Teymour Shahabi - @teymourshahabi.

This afternoon, catching up with the allotment and wondering what to do with all those courgettes!

No comments:

Post a Comment