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 7 May 2016

swan's nest, allotments, horrendously late, eucalyptus, trust: a family story

Came across this swan's nest - as hundreds of people must do each day - when I was walking round the pond in the University Parks in Oxford.

The nest is really close to the path but the swan seems oblivious to passers by.

(It's often difficult to photograph white images in direct sunlight using a phone camera - the detail gets bleached out.)

This morning I cycled to the allotments early to start forking through what is to be the potato area. Horrendously late to be doing this but the clay was sodden till recently and then there's been work to do at home... I don't think this year's harvest is going to be that great!

The other photo shows the eucalyptus tree that overshadows a corner of our allotment. It's a landmark that I can see from quite far away when I'm cycling along Mount Owen Road. It's nice to have the tree there to look at but eucalyptuses are said to put a stop to things growing near them. That certainly seems to be the case here.

Reading some MSt work this morning then completing the rewriting and editing of Trust: A family story. I've cut about 10,000 words, so it'll come in at 70k. Then it's the final read through and cover design (latter won't be done by me, although I know what I want to have photographed and who I would like to do the work).

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