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 adversity
Milton (1644) from The Liberty of Unlicensed Printing.
First, when a city shall be as it were besieged and blocked about,
her navigable river infested, inroads and incursions round,
defiance and battle oft rumoured to be marching up
even to her walls and suburb trenches;
that then the people, or the greater part, more than at other times,
wholly taken up with the study of the highest and most important
to be reformed, should be disputing, reasoning, reading, inventing,
discourcing, even to a rarity and admiration,
things not before discourced or written of,
argues first a singular good will,
contentedness and confidence in your prudent forsight,
and safe government, Lords and Commons;
and from thence derives itself to a gallant bravery and well-grounded
of their enemies, as if there were no small number of as great spirits
as his was, who when Rome was nigh besieged by Hannibal, being in the
bought that piece of ground at no cheap rate
whereon Hannibal himself encamped his own regiment.
Next, it is a lively and cheerful presage of our happy success and
For as in a body, when the blood is fresh, the spirits pure and
not only to vital, but to rational faculties,
and those in the acutes and the pertest operations of wit and
it argues in what good plight and constitution the body is;
so when the cheerfulness of the people is so sprightly up,
as it has not only wherewith to guard well its own freedom and
but to spare, and to bestow upon the solidest and sublimest points of
and new invention, it betokens us not degenerated,
nor drooping to a fatal decay,
by casting off the old and wrinkled skin of corruption to outlive
and wax young again, entering the glorious ways of truth and
destined to become great and honourable in these latter ages.
Methinks I see in my mind a noble and puissant nation rousing herself
like a strong man
after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks;
methinks I see her as an eagle nursing her mighty youth,
and kindling her undazzled eyes at the full mid-day beam;
purging and unscaling her long-abused sight at the fountain itself of
while the whole noise of timorous and flocking birds,
with those also that love the twilight, flutter about amazed at what
and in their envious gabble would prognosticate a year of sects and