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 16 February 2016

canal, crumbs, frost, smoke

Usually at this time of year I can't walk into town along the canal towpath because it gets too muddy and I end up leaving trails of earthy crumbs throughout the library.

The first time this happened, I wondered who was making such a mess everywhere, until I realised it was me.

But on frosty days the mud freezes and I can cut down to the canal from the top of the Woodstock Road and take a crunchy walk and see what's been happening while I've been away.

This morning the ground was hard, although even at 8.30 am little patches were thawing where the sun fell in open spaces.

I always like passing the narrowboats near Elizabeth Jennings Way when the fires are lit and the smoke hangs in the air amongst the sunbeams.

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