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. 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 nightmares 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, the seasons and the countryside, walking and cycling) and I hope that these, together with their accompanying photos, are enjoyable and positive. In February 2020, jtns will be ten years old and there will be no further posts. It will then become a contained work of life-writing about me and the past ten years of my life. Frank, December 2019

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

st margaret's, binsey























On Saturday I worked in Oxford.

My walk took me to St Margaret's, Binsey, where we were married. I haven't revisited the country lane (that is both within the ring road and outside time) that leads from the hamlet to the church for quite a while.

What a beautiful place! Especially on a bright sunny frosty morning in October.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

giant beetroots and carrots!








The carrots and beetroots on the allotment have come - more than - good, putting on astonishing growth in the late summer after going nowhere for months!

last alpine holiday snaps, happy memories, gentians, spruce needle anthills!





These are the last pics from our holiday in the French Alps.

Such happy memories of seeing our friends and of walking in the forests and on the hillsides above La Chapelle-d'Abondance.

Loved seeing wild mushrooms and flowers, including gentians.

The extraordinary ant hills made of spruce needles were amazing. I can find articles about forest ants in the Jura and Swizerland but clearly they are found in the French Alps too!

Saturday, 13 October 2018

propelled, summer memories, the future























It almost seems a lifetime since I last posted.

The Michaelmas 0th and 1st Week turbines have propelled me from the lingerings of late summer to the supercharged pace of the academic year.

Suddenly the town is teeming with new students and there are inductions to do. The old year's finals papers tumble through the letterbox for marking.

The patterns of working are refound, hopefully with new ideas that have suggested themselves unconsciously over the last twelve months.

This October everything is heightened by a summer that refuses to yield fully and the memories of unending sunny days. Evenings spent at the top of the garden: drinking wine at the old table above our pond (that table has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember); reading; watching the bats and listening to the owls as the light faded. Of holidays in the Alps and Somerset. Of eating apples picked from our trees.

This weekend there is a brief moment or two at dawn, as I write, to savour the future - brim full of concealed potential - and the past, as the trees sough in the gales outside.

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The last of the Alpine photos and some from the Somerset trip to follow.