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, 14 November 2015

winter, not-quite and on tip-toe, vibrancy, meeting the new students

How stealthily relentless the winter is. The rains haven't been especially heavy and winds have rarely been fierce, despite recent warnings - at least not in west Oxfordshire.

Yet leaves cannot but fall, many trees are all but bare, garden and allotment die back and the ground is not far off being saturated. A long not-quite winter that gets closer on tip-toe.

The absence of heat from a strong sun and the shortening days mean the land can't resist the progress of the season.

Week by week the difference just a few days make is astonishingly, and unnervingly clear as I cycle through the countryside.

Still, there is vibrancy and beauty amongst the drabness.

Meantime, it was great to meet the new students on Thursday night.
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