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, 30 August 2019

la chapelle-d'abondance, montreux, the late breakfasters by robert aickman


Superb short holiday, staying with friends in La Chapelle-d'Abondance in the Haute-Savoie! Preceded by a fabulously delicious and convivial lunch in Montreux, with gorgeous views of Lake Geneva.

Holiday reading was The Late Breakfasters by Robert Aickman (a Faber Finds reprint from the author of MR James-quality ghost stories who also happened to be one of the co-founders of the Inland Waterways Association - and who had many other talents and claims to fame). The author was suggested by an MSt student - a recommendation for which I am extremely grateful.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

first james grieve, scrummy veg



...Meanwhile, we harvested our first James Grieve the other day. More since.

And the allotment is coming into its own. Scrummy veg!

summer dredging, erosion?, summer school - wonderful!, oxford never sleeps!





After I saw the old laptop that had been dredged from the Oxford canal back in June, the dredging continued for several weeks and then moved on to the Thames nearby. A few of the items recovered shown above. One wonders how long it would have taken for the waters to erode the bikes.

When I last posted, I was about to start teaching my summer school course. Lots of work but what a fabulous experience. Plenty of wonderful writing from the students and such inspiring discussions!

Much happening at the libraries also. Oxford never sleeps these days!