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. 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

Sunday, 16 February 2020

more gales and downpours, bright green grass, downton the movie, thames towpath from osney bridge to port meadow, overlays of memory




More gales and downpours. Got drenched cycling this morning and came across scatterings of debris every so often - even a branch across the start of Calcroft Lane (aka the Gated Road) at Clanfield. The ditches and steams were full and when we drove to Burford this afternoon, there was flooding in the fields.

What a winter!

On the plus side, the grass is bright green and the plants in the garden are thriving.

Have started to watch Downton the movie. Amazed to see a post van driving along the lane beside the church for what seemed an age, whereas in reality it would have taken seconds. Fascinating manipulation of time and space.

The cinematography and lighting - beautiful naturally lit interiors - are superb and, presumably, are what you get for your money when you're making a feature film, as opposed to a television series.

The top photo, above, looks rather menacing - the result of the jagged shape of the fencing in the foreground. Though the view was gentler than that in reality - and in the colour original. I changed it to black and white because I was wanted to intensify the patterns in the composition.

I remember discovering this towpath shortly before moving to our flat on Osney Island in the late eighties. I was so thrilled and imagined walking along it from Osney Bridge to Port Meadow and the Perch at Binsey at the weekend. In those days it was more of a rough track and had yet to be surfaced. The experience of walking it was in any case much more bucolic because none of the development between it and the railway line had begun and the waste land was densely overgrown.

Much has changed but the overlays of memories remain!

Saturday, 1 February 2020

flooded water meadows near north hinksey, canal towpath improvements completed last friday!



Pics of a walk I did a couple of weeks ago when the Thames flooded the meadows east of North Hinksey, Oxford. Stunning views that morning, though I remember worse floods in the 1990s - at least this time I could walk along the causeway between the innundated fields.

Meantime, I learnt from the Council website that the Oxford canal towpath improvements from Wolvercote Green to Aristotle Lane should have been completed last Friday. Yey!