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 25 June 2016

first fruits, relaxing, oerc10, ugdip readings, lac summer party

First fruits!

A relaxing time spent on the allotment earlier, followed by a bike ride to Mount Owen.

A lovely start to the weekend after an exhausting project-focused week.

Though there were some fun times too! Loved the OeRC tenth anniversary celebrations on Tuesday at Keble Road and the Ashmolean. Terrific end of course readings at Rewley on Wednesday - high standard of work from the Undergraduate Diploma in Creative Writing finalists. Yesterday, I rushed from the Taylor to the Latin American Centre summer party and got there just in time to enjoy a glass of wine and chat to friends.

Thursday 23 June 2016

sultry oxford, bridges, two little boxes

A sultry Oxford day with at times, including when I walked to work along the canal, Port Meadow and the Thames, a diaphanous yet clammy rain.

Clearer in Bampton, thankfully.

Took the photo above after I had crossed the bridges from the Meadow.

Too much to do tomorrow to allow staying up to hear the referendum results but for those that stay the course I dare say it will be an odd night. The ballot paper looked, with its two little boxes, too insubstantial for such a momentous decision.

Saturday 18 June 2016

last new york photos, non-stop rain, now stopped, tree peony, oerc and mod langs parties, remain!

Last New York photos.

In west Oxfordshire, it's been pretty much non-stop rain and no allotmenting has been done. Though I am planning to head up there later this afternoon.

In the garden all the petals have been pelted off. The rain has been good for the frog pond, though, which is fuller and clearer. Two water lily flowers are open today too.

I'm pleased that the tree peony has survived the downpours and is in flower. I thought somehow that it was late this year but looking back at previous years' posts (20th June 2015, for example) it is in fact early!

Looking forward to the OeRC tenth anniversary celebrations next week and to the Mod Langs summer party, which ironically happens on the same day as the referendum. Which way will I be voting? As the Ops Manager of the Bodleian's Western and Eastern European Languages libraries that does not remain to be seen. Remain!

Saturday 11 June 2016

new york public library, funding petition, bodleian tie, end of academic year but much to do, allotment tranquillity, facing the strange by sb sweeney

Loved seeing the New York Public Library. In many ways some reading rooms seemed more Oxford than Oxford - at least as seen through their glass doors. I was saddened to learn, though, that the library is having to petition City Hall for funding increases - current levels are below those of 2008, while demand for services is growing.  Why won't governments invest in libraries?

Nice to see a Bodleian tie on sale in the gift shop.

Although the Oxford academic year is ending - for undergraduates, at least - there is much to do at work.

Hooray for the tranquillity of the allotment!

Looking forward to publishing the excellent Facing the Strange by SB Sweeney!

Saturday 4 June 2016

nyc, lasa 50th, tiffany's, grand plaza, central park, the allotment

Back from New York and the LASA 50th anniversary congress. What an event - the best LASA I've been to. What a city!

Even though I only saw a fraction of the place, it was amazing to wander from the conference to my hotel, passing Tiffany's, strolling through Grand Plaza and Central Park.

Not that I wasn't pleased to be working on the allotment today. That was wonderful!