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.

Tuesday 29 December 2015

refreshing walk round barrington park yesterday, spring-like morning today, corridors of power by cp snow, then and now...

A refreshing walk yesterday round the Barrington Park estate, beginning and ending at the Fox.

A walk last done on 4th September, when we had a week or so off. I love joining the old drove road which runs north-south from Great Rissington to Great Barrington and which makes you think that you are back in pre-motor car times.

Today, I'm catching up on some work, including research. Started the day with a cycle ride - the first in a while. A beautiful, almost spring-like morning. Certainly scarily spring-like when I came across daffodils out at Black Bourton and cherry blossom at Kencot.

Christmas holiday reading includes Corridors of Power by CP Snow. I've not read him before although I remember masters being keen on him when I was at prep-school. He never interested me then. Now, though, when looking through our bookshelves, it somehow seemed like the right moment to try him. Perhaps it was the appeal of reading something that was set in the years when my parents met and married (the novel spans 1955-58). A wish to be transported back to an era I just about remember.

An era that is not much different to our own, in terms of the political class, according to an article in the Times on tomorrow's new year honours list, which begins:

'Nearly half of the recipients of knighthoods and above in 2015 attended public school, according to an investigation on the eve of publication of the new year list.

'The figure - 46 per cent - has hardly changed since 1955, when it was 50 per cent, yet only 6.5 per cent of the population goes to private school.'

I don't know much about politics but there does seem an uncanny resemblance between the world of the book and now.

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