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

Saturday, 23 February 2019

jtns' ninth birthday, moonlight, sunlight, tutes, frogs, new glasses























On Wednesday 20th February it was jtns' ninth birthday. The photo above is perhaps a rather dark image for the first post of the blog's tenth year - especially on a day that is alive with spring sunlight - but the sight of the trees and moon from our bedroom window last night was breathtaking.

An earlyish start this morning before heading into Oxford for assignment tutorials. Great to be spending time discussing the students' hard work.

Back in the village, the daffodils ringing the bases of the limes in our street have stalled these past few weeks since I first mentioned them. Perhaps today will bring them into flower.

Saw a frog in our pond this morning by torchlight as I went to the woodshed to collect logs. The frogs have been fast asleep, so far as I can tell, till now.

This morning, while eating toast and J's scrummy marmalade, I was idly scanning an article about donations to the new 'political party' and came to a reference to a recent survey of voting intentions carried out by, as I read it, Opium Research. A wacky name for a pollster, I thought, before realising it was 'Opinion'. New glasses needed...

Saturday, 9 February 2019

snowfalls, amazing walk, lots going on, daffodils, powering towards spring

























Big snowfalls just over a week ago but not as bad as last year's and the buses kept going.

Gloomy to begin with, when the snow fell, but last Sunday we had an amazing walk across the white fields before the thaw.

Busy time of term. Lots going on at the libraries and as far as teaching is concerned.

The daffodils round the bases of the limes in our street are about a quarter of their way up and will soon be out if the weather is favourable.

Snow may fall and, last night and today, gales may blow but the year is powering towards spring.