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Tony Grist

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This Road On Sufferance [Apr. 4th, 2006|11:36 am]
Tony Grist
On a very steep, rough road beside a church I came accross a sign- very finely carved in stone- that read THIS ROAD ON SUFFERANCE

I guess this means, "We can't stop you using this road but if you break your axle don't expect us to do anything other than laugh and point."
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2006-04-04 04:05 am (UTC)
There's probably also some profound point about God suffering us to make our pitiful little journeys through life in there, too - but I like the idea of laughing, pointing clergy better!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-04-04 05:48 am (UTC)
It raises so many questions.

Why did they chose to have it carved so handsomely?

Why is it just lying on the grass like this?
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[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2006-04-04 05:57 am (UTC)
Yes indeed - I'd love to know what its original context was. I wonder if anyone connected with the church knows?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-04-04 06:01 am (UTC)
I think it's probably in more or less the right place- at the bottom of the road in question- but it must originally have been mounted on something.
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[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2006-04-04 06:08 am (UTC)
Presumably, yes. Are there any graves nearby at all? That kind of context could argue for a more metaphorical reading - "[God let me walk] this road [through life] in sufferance[, but now my time is up]", sort of thing.
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[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2006-04-04 06:08 am (UTC)
Oops - 'on sufferance', of course.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-04-04 07:56 am (UTC)
I don't think there are any graves. There are no gravestones and the hillside is just too steep.

I've just Googled the phrase to see if it occurs in any well-known context; it doesn't.

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[User Picture]From: strange_complex
2006-04-04 08:05 am (UTC)
Aye, I did that earlier! Sounds like it really is literally about the road, then.
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[User Picture]From: idahoswede
2006-04-04 04:20 am (UTC)
I love signs like that, they're so ambiguous (and so very British somehow).
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-04-04 05:48 am (UTC)
I've never seem anything quite like it before.
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2006-04-04 08:45 am (UTC)
Does it not strike you as British, though? It does me, too, and I think it's because Americans are less likely to know what "sufferance" is all about.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-04-04 09:29 am (UTC)
I suppose so.

But I bet there are lots of Brits who don't know what it means either.
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[User Picture]From: happydog
2006-04-04 08:05 am (UTC)
"We're letting you be. For now. Road. But if you give us any trouble..."
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-04-04 08:39 am (UTC)
Why didn't I think of that?:)
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[User Picture]From: karenkay
2006-04-04 08:44 am (UTC)
It's SOOOO "Pilgrim's Progress"!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-04-04 09:25 am (UTC)
It is so.

I love the Pilgrim's Progress.

Or rather I love my memories of it, because I haven't actually looked at it since I was a child.

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From: paroxysma
2006-04-04 05:08 pm (UTC)
To what do I owe this honor of being added by you, kind sir?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2006-04-05 01:24 am (UTC)
I hadn't added anyone in ages and I thought it was time I did.

I saw we had a shared interest in Durer.

And I like your artwork and attitude.
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From: paroxysma
2006-04-05 08:08 am (UTC)
Well thankyou! I'm very critical of my artwork, so I don't think it's too great. I am glad, however, that someone likes my attitutde. Ha!
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[User Picture]From: kaysho
2006-04-16 09:16 pm (UTC)
I love the finality of it. Most of the time, if a road is in poor condition, they put up a temporary sign. This one says clearly that there are no plans to do anything but let this road keep getting worse ... forever. :)
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