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 26 November 2017

portrait unveilings, wio competition winners, outrageously beautiful views

I was pleased to be invited to the unveiling of the portrait of the Bodleian's 24th librarian, Sarah Thomas. The event took place in the gorgeous, fan-vaulted Convocation House, where the Lords sat during Charles I's Oxford Parliament in 1644. The portrait was painted by New York artist Ted Minoff, who gave a speech explaining some of the techniques he used and the portrait's underlying themes.

Not having been to portrait unveilings before, this is the second in a month. At the end of October, I attended the ceremony at St Antony's at which Benjamin Sullivan's painting of Professor Margaret MacMillan, the college's fifth warden, was unveiled by Lord Patten.

A fascinating tradition, this portrait unveiling.

Meanwhile the winners of the Writers in Oxford Young Oxfordshire Writers competition are celebrated on the WiO hompage. I've been enjoying re-reading the winning stories.

More outrageously beautiful views of Oxford on my walks to work this week, which the picture above only does partial justice to.

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