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

Friday, 25 January 2019

snow, where did the super blood wolf moon get to?, burn's night, consultation response and draft bill























Huge snowflakes fell on Tuesday afternoon but didn't settle as much as expected. Even so there was a satisfyingly snowy dusting in Raleigh Park the following morning.

Full term in full swing.

Super blood wolf moon spotting in west Oxfordshire was a non-starter, although as I walked up the garden path the following morning to get the logs for later, the sky was clear-bright, with superb views of the non-super blood wolf moon...

Burn's Night supper tomorrow (a day late, of course). The haggis is in the fridge and the bottle of Cairn O'Mohr oak leaf wine is in.

Was pleased that the Government's domestic abuse consultation response and draft bill was published last Monday. I'd feared that it would be thrown disastrously off course by Brexit. I found it a very moving document to read. I hope its measures soon begin to help victims. I also hope that it will help people on the outside to identify the signs of abuse.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

a few days off, old man's bridge, great tew, memory lane, bell at langford, phantom thread, mobile mini rant...























A few days off.

Two six-mile walks - one from the village, taking in Rushey Lock and Old Man's Bridge (shown in photo), the other through the countryside to the east of Great Tew (following a route recommended by the Times a few weeks ago).

The latter a trip down memory lane, ending as it did with a visit to the Falkland Arms. A pub we used to go to when we first met in the mid-1980s and which I had known for several years before that. Forty years ago, almost, since I first visited it... Gosh!

And it's not changed that much thankfully, although it's definitely an upmarket country pub nowadays, whereas all those years ago it was simply a local where you could have a pint and a bag of peanuts - albeit in an historic building. One that was just being itself. Now it's somewhat self-aware. A gastro pub, no doubt. A place where you might mingle with celebs, what with Soho Farmhouse up the road and every once-tumbled-down farmhouse now done up to the nines!

But it was lovely that there was enough of the old place left to take you back.

A trip to the Bell at Langford for lunch today - delicious food.

Meantime, watching Phantom Thread on DVD (with the option of steaming on mobile). Talking of which, the OS map we used at Great Tew could be downloaded to mobile - instead of me struggling with the folds as the light faded (my choice yesterday). There was none of this mobile business forty years ago, I can tell you, and we were all the better off... Apart from blogs, obviously!