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 May 2016

warm and beautiful day, trust: a family story finished!, logic of the season, sabina murray, valiant gentlemen, cotswolds, kirby hall

A surprisingly warm and beautiful day, after the warnings of precipitous drops in temperature earlier in the week. There is summer-seeming sun and real warmth out of the breeze (at the top of the garden, for example).

Finished editing Trust: A family story this morning. Yes, finished! I can't quite believe that but it's true! While 10k was written back in 1998, I've been working on the other 60k since Easter 2012. And now it's done.

Just the cover to commission.

The book will be published as a limited edition print run of one hundred numbered copies to begin with.

After finishing, I went to the allotment and did some more strimming and ‎forking through. So late to be prepping the ground but I tell myself that I am going with the logic of the season and in places the earth is still sopping.

On Thursday I attended a talk by Sabina Murray at the Kellogg College Centre for Creative Writing. She has written a novel (Valiant Gentlemen) about the humanitarian Sir Roger Casement, who was hanged by the British Government for gun-running for the Irish Nationalists in 1916. It was a wonderful talk - quite mesmerising, in fact - which was followed by a terrific guest dinner at the college and the chance to chat with Sabina and creative writing colleagues.

Took the top two photos in the Cotswolds this afternoon‎. The bottom one is of a tiny watercolour done by a relative in the early twentieth century. It shows Kirby Hall lake with the house in the background. The house, an ancestral home in Yorkshire, was pulled down after the First World War. Only the stable block, a couple of lodges and the mausoleum remain. My parents are buried in the family plot by the mausoleum.

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