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There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept.
Things we don’t want to know but have to learn.
And people we can’t live without but have to let go.

If you have a sister and she dies, do you stop saying you have one?
Or are you always a sister, even when the other half of the equation is gone?
( Jodi Picoult )

More People Are Falling Victim To A Homelessness Crisis.
If you’re sitting warm and comfortable, consider yourself extremely fortunate.
As temperatures across Britain plummet and forecasters predict the coldest winter in a century, more and more people are falling victim to a homelessness crisis some say is the worst this country has experienced for two decades.
Cold weather has already claimed the lives of several homeless people this winter, with four highly publicised deaths last month.
Michelle Conroy, 21, was killed in Exeter after high winds sent a tree crashing into the tent in which she was sleeping.
Two Polish rough sleepers also died, in a fire on wasteland in Streatham, south London.
And Michael Gething, 42, died of suspected hypothermia in Totnes, Cornwall. Michael was the fourth homeless person to die in Totnes this year.

These tragic stories come in the context of a homelessness problem that is growing worse daily.
Big Issue founder John Bird has warned that the situation could soon be as bad as it was in the 1980s, when the capital was full of “thousands and thousands of rough sleepers packed door to door”.
That crisis led to the setting up of The Big Issue to enable homeless people to earn an honest living and give them a hand up from the streets.

A report released by homelessness charity Crisis on December 5 suggested the number of rough sleepers across Britain has soared by 23% in the last year. In London, the figures are even starker, with 43% more rough sleepers in 2012 than in 2011.
( Jasper Hamill, The Big Issue, December 2012 )

Well, we’re all very silly aren’t we?
But next time you’re very silly, make sure you’re paid a lot of money for it.
( Eric Sykes )

Why is the accepted business wisdom that a firm has to significantly increase profits every year regardless of trading conditions?
And if you haven’t made more than you did last year, well, just sack some workers, kill some skills and make it even harder for the next generation to move into work.
( Brian Reade )

A modest man, who has much to be modest about.
( Winston Churchill on Clement Attlee )

Struggling To Make Ends Meet.
In life the things that seem to be certain are taxes, death and water bills rising every year.
The inflation-busting increases are yet another financial drain on households already struggling to make ends meet.
Government ministers must impose tougher regulations to make hugely profitable – often foreign-owned – water companies justify the higher charges.
Nobody expects water for free but we are entitled to ask why the cost rises every year when services stay the same or get worse.
Water privatisation should work in the interests of customers, rather than the balance sheets of firms which have been given a legal authority to bleed households dry.
( Daily Mirror )

When I was a young mum on benefits I used to go to bed at 8pm in the winter to save on heating so I could make sure I had money for my daughter’s needs.
I often went without meals myself to make sure that she did not.
( Teresa Pearce, MP for Erith and Thamesmead )

Sometimes it’s easier to pretend you don’t care than to admit it’s killing you.

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
If all you have is a gun, everything looks like a target.
( Dr Rowan Williams )

Osborne Blames Those On Benefits To Deflect From His Cuts.
Are you lazing about?
Maybe lying on the sofa with the curtains pulled?
Well, are you?
Have you ever done this?
You are a scrounger, then.
You should be pilloried, run out of town and never allowed admittance to polite society again.
Make sure you clean up as you go.
Is that how it goes now?
The demonisation of a certain number of people in society is galloping along well.
George Osborne’s recent quote about “families with their curtains closed sleeping off a life on benefits” rose again last week, following his autumn statement.
The intention was clear: to deflect.
To stop criticism for any cut in benefits with the implication that anybody on benefits was soaking up the finance and good will of the great British public.
Damn them?
Times are tough.
People are buckling in.
There is no doubt that the entire welfare and benefits system is in a terrible state and needs addressing.
There is also no doubt that some people abuse it and are happy not to work.
But fixing the system is not done by the equivalent of pointing a finger and sneering and inviting a judgmental attitude that conflates everybody who may need a little help, whether the disabled, those in employment blackspots or families in work and who find things like working family tax credit a vital lifeline.

( Paul McNamee, The Big Issue, December 2012 )

We survive because the fire burning inside us is brighter than the fire that surrounds us.
( Florence Emily Hookins, 1896-1962 )

You bring them up and they go off and do their own thing and take not a blind bit of notice of anything you say.
Mrs Mary Cameron, 78, says her headstrong lad David “just won’t be told.”
I know, luv, I know.
Just because he’s the Prime Minister he thinks he knows everything.
He needs a good slap on the legs, Mrs C.
Mind you, toffs like him normally pay busty young women good money to do that.
( Paul Routledge )

Knowing the truth.
Seeing the truth.
But still believing the lies.

( Stupidity )

I don’t understand the fuss about David Cameron leaving his eight-year-old daughter Nancy in a local boozer.
He’s a busy man with a lot on his mind.
You can’t expect him to remember every little thing.
But if Wayne from Bog Lane Estate had left little Chardonnay in the public bar of the Pit Bull and Traveller, I suspect social services would have been knocking on his door before you could say “Asbo”.
( Charlie Catchpole )

Set Your Priorities.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.
When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.
He shook the jar lightly.
The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full.
They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He asked once more if the jar was full.
The students responded with a unanimous ‘yes’.
The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed.
“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognise that this jar represents your life.
The golf balls are the important things.
Your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favourite passions.

And if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.
The sand is everything else, the small stuff.”
“If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life.
If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Spend time with your children.
Spend time with your parents.

Visit with grandparents.
Take your spouse out to dinner.

There will always be time to clean the house and mow the lawn.
Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter.
Set your priorities.
The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented.
The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked.
The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.”

MPs are to put forward a proposal for a four-day week.
Isn’t it big of them for volunteering to work that extra day?
( Charlie Catchpole )

She can’t be with us tonight.
She’s busy attending the birth of her next husband.
( John Parrott on Joan Collins )

And now, to make matters worse, the Tories have elected a foetus as party leader.
( Tony Banks on William Hague )

Just because she’s dead doesn’t mean she’s gonna change.
( Bette Davis on Joan Crawford )

Every Morning A Lion Wakes Up.
Asked what drove him to break the four-minute mile, Sir Roger Bannister said:
“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up.
It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up.
It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or a gazelle, when the sun comes up, you’d better be running”.

The trouble with David Cameron and his Government is that they are insulated from the impact of their policies in the real world.
( Paul Kenny )

So boring, you fall asleep halfway through her name.
( Alan Bennett on Arianna Stassinopoulos )

I have suffered from being misunderstood..
But I would have suffered a hell lot more if I had been understood.

You mean that fat dancer from Take That?
( Noel Gallagher on Robbie Williams )

Quick To Jump To Hate.
I do not see how the Israelis can have a right to defend their land because a book, which the jury is still out on, said so.
There are Israelis living in areas that they have travelled halfway across the world to live in, in order to protect ‘their’ land, which really is insane.
When I made these comments on Twitter it was said that I was anti-Semitic.
How ridiculous is that?
But there will always be these idiots out there, quick to jump to hate because I do not agree with their take on it.
In the meantime, I hope with all my heart that someone comes up with a solution.

( Joey Barton )

Keeping a place open for the idea of God would mean keeping a place open for the idea of absolutely anything.
How absolutely wonderful is that?

I wish Stanley Baldwin no ill, but it would have been much better if he had never lived.
( Winston Churchill )

She can’t even chew gum and walk in a straight line at the same time, let alone write a book.
( Liam Gallagher on Victoria Beckham )

The Staggering Rise In The Number Of Foodbanks.
When social historians of the future look back at life in 2012, they will be forced to note the stunning rise of food banks.
Now a feature of most towns and cities in Britain, they are a kind of emergency support you might have thought was consigned to the past.
Their prevalence speaks of a struggling nation – a land where neither work nor the state’s safety net are proving quite enough for a growing number of families.
The number of people in crisis who use food banks is doubling every 12 months and is set to reach a staggering 250,000 at the end of this financial year.
More than 45,000 children were fed through food banks in the past year.
( The Big Issue, December 2012 )

Beware of those who fear the devil.
They are to be feared more than the devil himself.

I’ve met serial killers and assassins but nobody scared me as much as Mrs Thatcher.
( Ken Livingstone )

Super Volcanoes Exist.
Every school pupil learns how Pompeii was buried by the fire and brimstone of Mount Vesuvius.
What few realise is that it could happen again, and the entire globe could perish.
Super volcanoes exist.

USA’s Yellowstone Park is the mouth of a huge volcano, which if it erupted, would plunge us into a nuclear winter not seen since the dinosaurs were wiped out.

She speaks five languages and can’t act in any of them.
( Sir John Gielgud on Ingrid Bergman )

If you gave someone your heart and they died, did they take it with them?
Did you spend the rest of forever with a hole inside you that couldn’t be filled?
( Jodi Picoult )

Their lyrics are unrecognisable as the Queen’s English.
( Ted Heath on The Beatles )

There Is One Thing We Do Know.
From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know.
That we are here for the sake of each other – above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy.
Many times a day I realise how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labours of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.
( Albert Einstein )

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