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, 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.

Saturday, 17 September 2016

beautiful bindweed..., estima, how novels work, writers [on writing], trying to relax!


Another photo of a garden convolvulus flower, aka bindweed. Every time the flowers appear - apparently on the same stem - they are different. Sometimes brash, sometimes, like today, delicate.

Dug Estima spuds this morning - not a good harvest. Way less than the Desiree. Wonder what the Kestrel will be like. Probably lifting them tomorrow.

Two books on fiction arrived from Amazon yesterday - How Novels Work by John Mullan and Writers [on Writing]: Collected essays from The New York Times. The first has been out for a long while and though I have dipped into it in libraries, I've never read the whole thing. The other book I came across in the New York Public Library shop in May.

Trying to catch up after the TABS Relocation project stage two. Trying to relax a bit before the beginning of Oxford's term, which is approaching rapidly!

Saturday, 10 September 2016

pearly linseed, lie in, tabs relocation, amazing effort, archers trial

Cycling not allotmenting this morning because of the rain.

Passed a field of brown pearly linseed.

A lie in earlier - up at 6. A whole extra hour. A lot of book and furniture moving was done this week, as the TABS relocation neared a further significant deadline. The end of stage two.

The Taylor will be reopening after its extended closed period on Monday at 9 am, as planned.

Everyone has put in such an amazing amount of effort!

A day of catching up with things - and of some relaxation.

Have to say that I am gripped by the Helen Archer trial and the prospect of the hour-long celebrity verdict episode. It's very charged emotional drama. At times extremely powerful.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

runners, spuds, pear, autumnal, an experience, facing the strange by sb sweeney, my woman by angel olsen









Enjoyed working on the allotment early this morning. Picking an unlikely amount of runner beans - the luck of the season and nothing to do with me! - harvesting the Desiree spuds (no sign of blight) and planting a pear tree.

Glad to get everything done. This afternoon it's been rain, rain. And today the light has been so autumnal! Such a change.

Another busy TABS Relocation week. The end is in sight. Quite an experience, this.

Pleased to have decided on the publication timetable and pricing for Facing the Strange. Truly, a novel of substance!

Meantime, loving Angel Olsen's latest, My Woman!