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, 27 July 2019

dh@oxss, time!, creative writing summer school, pond, festooned



Really enjoyed co-presenting at the Digital Humanities @ Oxford Summer School on Thursday (Humanities Data strand).

It was a pleasure to talk people through the images, xml encoding and digital preservation sections of Emma's wonderful Digital Editions course. (I was also pleased, it has to be said, that our slot was the 9-10.30am one - before, that is, the day reached its highest temperatures!)

The summer school was held at Keble and I loved going back - I say going back but I spend much of my working life only about five minutes away. Even so, those five minutes do seperate me from the reality of the college.

On Wednesday, I went over to check out the room where our presentation was to be held. On leaving I turned down a narrow flagstoned path in between the Victorian buildings and the sight of the sun on the stone slipped me back across the years momentarily. Then I thought of how much time had elapsed since I was an undergraduate. So much has happened, yet the time seemed no time at all...

Now, preparing for the Creative Writing Summer School at Exeter College. Talking of time... Another summer school! So looking forward to seeing colleagues and meeting the students at the reception and dinner tomorrow!

(The picture of the pond was taken a couple of months ago - everything is rather more festooned now, and the lily pads are covering much of the water.)

Saturday, 20 July 2019

wiltshire deep space, relaxed, punting






Had a wonderful week off, including a few nights away in Wiltshire. Deep space: thatched, flagstoned floor pub; tiny hamlet with, mostly, just the sound of the landscape to listen to; long walks through fields and along wooded hillside paths with not a soul about; delicious food and drink.

I've not relaxed so much in a week in a long while.

Saturday, took to the river - Cherwell - in the Kellogg punt. Not the agile undergrad I might once have been but OK...