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.

Friday, 4 September 2015

windows 10, timber, spindle, never mind by edward st aubyn, sublime, potato harvest


Taking a few days off, as mentioned last time. Also getting used to Windows 10 - pretty good, though not a seamless transition, I would say!

A wonderful walk round the Great Barrington estate yesterday - passed a stand of timber that was being thinned. A lovely walk from Bampton this morning. Spindle everywhere is looking magnificent - this photo taken in the Bampton Millennium Wood.

Reading Never Mind by Edward St Aubyn. An object lesson for creative writers of how to make the supposedly obsolete omniscient narrator technique work, switching from perspective to perspective in the third person within scenes.

A Keble alum too.

Wonderful lines abound. For example: 'He had watched his father's eyes behind their dark glasses. They moved from object to object and person to person, pausing for a moment on each and seeming to steal something vital from them, with a quick adhesive glance, like the flickering of a gecko's tongue.' See post of Monday 3rd March 2014 for link to podcast of Oxford Centre for Life-Writing interview with Teddy St Aubyn plus link to post about that interview.

The people in the novel are often monsters but the writing is sublime.

Tomorrow the allotment - tidying and the potato harvest. Overwhelmed by runner beans.

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