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 13 August 2016

spin-painting delights, summer school farewell dinner, peter kemp, catching up

Convolvulus, the weed, is, as I have said before, pernicious. On the allotment, the roots go on for ever and the tendrils strangle the vegetables. It seems impossible to eradicate.

But now we grow garden varieties of convolvulus, which are constant spin-painting delights.

Last night the summer school ended with the reception on the lawn of the Exeter College Fellows' Garden and the formal dinner in hall. Peter Kemp, chief fiction reviewer for the Sunday Times, was the guest speaker - and an excellent witty speech he gave too.

What fun the summer school was - from my point of view (hope my students enjoyed the seminars as much as I did) - and how quickly the days sped by!

Today is a time of taking stock and catching up.

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