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, 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.

Saturday, 22 June 2019

peonies!, allotment ups and downs, work then lunch



The peonies are thriving, despite the battering downpours of the past fortnight.

Up to the allotment when the air was still cool earlier. Lots of hoeing, feeding, watering and grass cutting.

The broad beans are looking great, as are the spuds (in flower). Some of the runners have been chomped, though, by something - bird, slug, rabbit? And there won't be as many blackcurrants as in recent years - I left the pruning too late. Still, decent sized currants. And the new gooseberry is doing well (a present from a neighbour and only planted in the spring).

Some work - prep for the MSt Guided Retreat - then a late lunch at the top of the garden.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

... the flowering rush!



... The flowering rush is out!

mosaic pond, rain-swept square, further surprise ...



Travelling home this evening, in between arriving at Carterton on the S2 and leaving for Bampton on the 19, I suddenly noticed a mosaic pond in one of the otherwise rain-swept, deserted squares. Its wriggles made it alive with fish, currents, ripples and overlapping lily pads.

At home, there was a further pond surprise ...

Friday, 14 June 2019

toshiba t2450ct, the mind might boggle, soaked and frozen

Not as picturesque as some of the scenes on the banks of the Oxford canal but nonetheless fascinating.

A Toshiba T2450CT - from the early 1990s, I think. It appeared a few weeks ago, when dredging started. It sat on the bank for some days. Then one morning it was gone. I'd hoped it would stay there for ever, getting slowly enveloped and concealed by the vegetation.

I suppose it was just too tempting to someone - unless they returned it to the water.

Seeing it made wonder me how it got there, naturally. Was it dropped accidentally by someone on a narrowboat? Was it stolen? Or related to a more sinister crime? The mind might boggle.

--

Gosh, it's been wet these last few days! I got so tired of getting soaked. And being frozen. Still, the pond is all the better for being topped up with fresh rainwater. The flowering rush is nearly in bloom. And in the border the peony is in flower.

Saturday, 8 June 2019

garden excitement, incl. flowering rush, willow cotton wool, 'lucid and focused' - not, end of the academic year



An exciting time in the garden. Peonies just coming into flower and the flowering rush in our pond about to bloom - a rare event that we've been awaiting for five years!

Lots more happening, in the garden, on the allotment and elsewhere - see willow cotton wool above. (Willow? I think so, unless anyone knows different. This photo was taken beside the Thames near Tumbling Bay.)

Have been doing some final edits this week - hardly any, really, which is a joy. At one point I was re-reading a blog post that appears in Trust, in which I said that the third section of the book needed hardly any rewriting. That was back in 2015. It was, I said, 'lucid and focused'. And yet when I returned to the typescript many months later I realised how wrong I was. Although what was said was all there it was in a form that made sense only to me. It's taken a huge amount of work to get right.

Hard to believe that we're approaching the end of the academic year at Oxford. What a marathon it's been. Rewarding, though. And, of course, as far as Continuing Education goes, that never stops!