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 12 March 2016

misty, frog spawn, wild west roads, john mcgahern, ballsbridge buggy, crane

A misty cycle ride. Very chilly too, especially on the hands.

Hope the frog spawn in the pond is OK. The first lot was sighted a few weeks back (Sunday 21st February) but over the last couple of days the main clumps have been appearing. As you approach the pond, there a terrific swishing and splashing. When you reach it they've gone into hiding.

Because it's been so warm, the blanket weed stayed throughout the winter and had started to get a hold. But now the frogs are about in large numbers it's almost disappeared. Do they eat it?

As I think I once said on jtns, our village always reminds me of an Irish cattle town that has been plonked on the western edge of Oxfordshire. Well, now we've got the roads - exactly like they used to be in the wild west around Leenane, say, before the EU money came and all the improvements. Forget Downton Abbey, you could film a John McGahern here.

Fine, the potholes, if you've got a Chelsea Tractor - or a Ballsbridge Buggy, even (thanks, Irish Times, for that one!) - but when you've got a normal-sized hatchback, you're in there and the tarmac's above the roof.

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