When sorrows come....

...they come not single spies, But in battalions.

Stand well back...  

<Grumpy Old Man Mode: ON>

Which is Shakespeare's (Hamlet) way of saying - it never rains, but it pours. As years go, 2011 would so far, easily be, as the queen once so famously put it, our Annus Horribilis ("horrible year").  We've had the daughter broken arm/lost job debacle and we've had the Starfleet bufoonery, and we've had the loss of my cousins wife to the Big C.

We now have Great step-garandmother-in-law (Its complicated - don't ask) moving out of her flat and into a home which has begun a spate of cardigan theft. The imminent loss of our very close friend L's father - also to the big C. Mrs G's friend, S's discovery of a "lump" and finally my near death experience with tooth-ache that is prooving a right royal bar steward to get sorted out.  Don't get me started about NHS dentists and how much of a rip off in general the denitstry system is. I you're wondering - I'm still in significant pain without any sign of a thieving dentist.  Never looking a gift horse in the mouth isn't something that phases these findividuals (and yes, that F is intentional)

On top of this we have a mix of government that are cutting everything while charging more via the back door and on the surface don't actually appear to be fixing anything. The cost of everything is going through the roof. I packed up smoking last year - and thank god for small mercies, having recently seen a packet of 16 (yes only 16) cigarettes in a vending machine priced at 8 quid!!!  8 QUID???!!  What the be-jesus is that all about?  That means, one cigarette would cost you 50p!  For a 19 year old apprentice, that means almost 4 hours work without putting a roof over their head or eating anything!?  What happened to the simple pleasures - even if they were bad for you?

On a global scale, Japan, Libya, & Syria... in fact, the whole of the middle east!  I'm not one to swear in my blog often, but fecking hell... this is getting stupid now.

In short I am not a happy bunny!

<Grumpy Old Man Mode: OFF>

.. and so, instead of being a GOM (sorry, but I had to vent a little), let's try and focus on the good stuff.  What's positive that's been happening or is on the cards ?

I'm on holiday (even if I am spending it with my hand clamped roughly to my jaw) as we're now almost precisly in the gap between bank holidays. There's the fothcoming flag waving of the royal wedding to look forward to - that should help shouldn't it?? No? .. well, OK, but I am on holiday still.  Sort of.  

"The Pooh" and I are still awaiting news from the front, but it's a bit slow in coming. I keep checking, but it's like the proverbial "watched pot", and is never boiling. At some point, it will boil over and then it'll be all hands to the pumps and manning the gas tap as it's bound to wash the burning ring out.

The previous weekend has been a cracker though - and no mistake.  Mrs G and I took a trip to North Nibley.  "Where?", I hear you ask.  


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It's a beautiful little village near Dursley in Gloucestershire. What drew us here was a recent news story regarding the people of Nibley and their monument.   It starts with an uphill struggle through the woods and eventually to a gate that opens out onto a field atop the hill.  And there before you sits the 111-foot-tall monument.

It says here:

William Tyndale was born in Gloucestershire around 1490. He spent much of his early life in Nibley, Stinchcombe and Slimbridge before going on to Magdalen Hall, Oxford, from which he graduated with a BA in 1512. After this he spent some time in Cambridge before employment as tutor to the children of Master Walsh, a Knight of Sodbury Manor, Gloucestershire.

It was while as Sodbury, William Tyndale seriously began to consider translating the New Testament into English. At this time, the doctrines preached by Martin Luther on the continent were being discussed in England and Tyndale accepted them and preached them in Sodbury and villages around.

After some time he went to London and there, continued studying and preaching. But persecution was too strong and he made his way to Wittenburg, the home of Luther and joined an enthusiastic band of students who had gathered there. Here he prepared his translation of the New Testament which he had printed in Antwerp and then had copied smuggled into this country.

Shortly after this William Tyndale was put into prison by the Emperor of Germany on a charge of heresy. At his trial he pleaded that the doctrines he taught were contained in the Bible and that the Bible ought to be in a language which everyone could read. His defence was of no avail and subsequently in the courtyard of Vilvorde Castle near Brussels he was chained to a stake and burnt.

The date was October 6th, 1536.

A facsimile of the Tyndale New Testament can be seen in the lobby of North Nibley Tabernacle.

The monument was built between 1863 and 1866 to commemorate the work of William. The land around the monument as always been freely accessible to the public, but now the landowner wants to sell up.  The villagers have an apeal going to raise the £46,000 needed to keep it as it is today.  It's a beautiful area with a cracking pub - something we don't have enough of anymore. I'd highly recommend a couple of hours here to anyone should you be passing. Proper smashing.

Right then - it's time to find a dentist that won't mug me....   That will be a struggle.


This post originally appeared here: Posterous