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.

Sunday 11 December 2016

cotswold rambles, clanfield kingfishers, mystery meals, cantos cautivos

Took some days off this week. Lovely long rambles in the Cotswolds near Burford and around the Great and Little Barringtons.

Today we walked to Clanfield and had a pint at the Tavern. On the way back, wandering along a track with deep ditches full of water either side, we saw a kingfisher‎ streaking down a length of ditch in two different places. I can't be sure but I don't think they were the same bird.  Every now and then each one would land on a branch and pause before zooming off again. On one occasion one of the kingfishers dived into the water as if to catch something. J has seen this happen along the track before and we both wonder what the birds find to eat in the ditches. They were dry until the recent rains and aren't, so far as we know, fed by streams.

As the photo of the wood off the track shows this was a colourful walk. Later, when the sun was setting the moon was out early - cool mint blue - and the western horizon was marbled pink and turquoise.

Bookmarked a site devoted to songs written by political prisoners in Chile during the Pinochet dictatorship, called Cantos Cautivos. It has recordings of the songs - some made clandestinely in the detention centres - the words to the songs and the prisoners' stories. Fascinating, courageous and poignant.‎ The text of the site is available in both Spanish and English and is well worth exploring.

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