The "Monstre" Balloon
From the book
The Ingoldsby Legends
by the Rev. Richard H. Barham
Published by Richard Edward King,
88 Curtain Road,
From Aunt Emma
March 6th 1921
(C) Copyright Tony Lance 1999
Distribute complete and free of charge to comply.
Big Bertha Thing welfare
29th April 1999
The Benefits Agency,
Further to your letter of 28th April 1999,
regarding a list of questions, on the possibility of my working at
I will attempt to answer your questions, in order as listed in your
1.I am not working, I am just pottering arround on the internet.
I last registered for course work with the Open University in
1997. This would have involved 6 hours work per week.
I could only manage half-an-hour per day, so totally failed
to do the work or complete the course. Not even one homework
assignment was completed.
In August 1997, I bought a second hand computer for 150 pounds
sterling, and was given free access to the Open University
computer along local telephone lines at a call charge of
1p per minute.
Since that time, I managed to build up a body of correspondence,
within the limits of half-an-hour per day mental or physical work.
In January 1999, this correspondence was transfered by me to my
web site; www.bertha.ndirect.co.uk(since disabled.)
I have to pay 14 pounds and 9p per month for this site.
2.Nobody suggested it, it just happened.
3.My doctor does not know that I have a web site.
4.See answer 1 for description of my activities.
No job is being done, so no job description exists.
5.No employer exists or payments have been recieved.
6.I can think straight for half-an-hour per day.
The rest of the time is spent pottering arround.
I can do one side of A4 paper of mathematics
or computer work per day.
7.On any day free of a major shopping expedition,
I can do half-an-hour of original work and
about an hour of copy typing at non-typist speeds.
8.My principle interest is a 50 year scientific project,
which was started 30 years ago.
If I could spend 48 hours per week doing it I would.
However half-an-hour work and an hour pottering,
seems to be all I can manage and
at that not every day of the week.
Due to my condition, I asked Mrs. Pam S....,
a fellow Open University student to be the project archivist
for my work on the Open University computer.
She agreed and kept the archive of the correspondence
which is now on my web site. This is both an unusual
request and an unusually generous service
to a fellow student on incapacity benefit.
9.Zero income for as far as the eye can see.
10.Not applicable, zero wages or income.
11.August 1997 and is ongoing.
I trust that the above will put the internet feeding frenzy
of the newspaper hype into some perspective.
From: Tony Lance <jude...@bigberthathing.co.uk>
Subject: Re: Big Bertha Thing redoubt
Date: Wed, 04 Apr 2007 18:37:41 +0100
Big Bertha Thing indomitable
(1938) about biography of Lord Grey of Falloden
Lord Grey of Falloden sprang from a Northumberland family of country
who for generations had played a part in public affairs.
His own pleasures lay in the country, but his sense of duty drove him
He was happiest fishing for trout, and watching wild birds,
but once he was a member of parliament his abilities and character
won for him a prominence that gave him little time for such pursuits.
From 1905 to 1916 Lord Grey was Foreign Secretary.
It is strange that the man whose heart was never entirely in politics
should have risen to such a high office, should have held it so long,
and in such crucial years.
It is possible to consider Lord Grey's life as a failure.
His sense of duty prevented him from living the life he loved.
His efforts to preserve the peace of Europe suffered the defeat of
that darkened the rest of his life.
He sacrificed his eyesight in his wartime service in the government.
When at last release came, and he returned to his birds and books,
he could no longer see them. Domestic griefs beset him.
Yet as our extract from his biography shows,
from this tragic material his serene and strong nature
won a greatness that is an inspiration and splendid example.(Two
He was equally cut off from books, of which as life advanced he had
scarcely less fond.
I classify the different parts of my body as being
of different ages, as thus:
99 Sense of smell
56 Sense of Hearing (My age)
45 Heart and lungs
It makes an unequal team to get along with.