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"The Big Issue"

The Big Issue Foundation's core ethos is self help. We offer support to homeless and socially excluded people who seek to gain control of their lives and help them move off the streets and into a home and a job.We work with over 2000 vendors across the UK, supporting them with a diverse program of opportunities either delivered through our own services or in partnership with specialist agencies. Each new vendor has a Needs Assessment, and from this an individual action plan is set, which is monitored in supervision sessions with support staff.



Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.






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June 17 2007

Two Meetings and a Crash - DonInLondon ‘Day in the Life’

Quite a good day and a bit of a crash on the way home! It was one of those things we wished had not happened but it will one day. A crash of two cyclists aiming at the same space. Me and one other and were both a little at fault, we both spilled on to the road and fell. And I will have a few bruises as a result. Well it had to happen. What I guess will keep me wondering a while, is why did the man on the other bike have a very big crow bar? And what on earth was he using it for? I have no idea. It was big though and we picked ourselves up and seemed to be ok. I will check out the bike in the morning.

Two meetings Today and some more Photo’s

I got to the Early meeting of AA, alcoholics anonymous, at Chelsea and Westminster hospital. Its so good to know we can just turn up anywhere and join in. Our only entry requirement is to have a desire to stop drinking and then take it from there on a daily basis.

Seems easy and it can be or as hard as anything. We never know how hard until we try give up something we rely on, and worse in my case became addicted to.

The question of addiction

The self inflicted wound? I realise these days it has nothing to do with self inflicted wounds or in some others opinions a lack of willpower. But you know, I have to forgive anyone who is at the mercy of drink and anyone who has been completely hurt by those who have become alcoholics for all they may think about us alcoholics, powerless and at the mercy of drink.

For the most part I have never yet met anyone who has welcomed addiction or anything like it. And has been driven bonkers trying to control their drinking only to find we slide down and down and cannot stop.

We who have drunk ourselves to oblivion and most often without really understanding how it all started, well we too were as prejudiced about addicts until we became one, and then worse did believe we had some terrible loss of will, and had awful self hatred as a result.

Actually the truth is anyone can become an alcoholic, it is often the first drink which we come to understand was really the culprit in all this awful mess of alcohol addiction. If we had known in advance it would change us forever would we have never taken a drink? Yes we would have and did because its so easy to deny anything we feel may overwhelm us especially as most people can drink and tolerate its potential impact. Addicts cannot stop, George Best showed us all how hard the struggle can be.

I had no clue when I first started drinking it would end up the way it did.

And this morning was a good reminder for me.

Friendships and Coffee

We all go for a coffee and somehow the most disparate group imaginable of people, who have this one common bond, sit get noisy and drink some coffee and hang out for a little while. And then we disperse till the next time and other days and weeks. And then we meet and get busy in fellowship and do this and never in the most part look back with much fondness for times when we could never stop the alcohol and life never make sense at all when we were hooked. Eventually that is as many of us kept it secret as much as we could. Denial and filters kept us in the dark when often others guessed our true state of hopelessness.

Chelsea Festival Is On

Yes a festival of local talent and music and arts. And this morning in the Duke of York Sq just off the King‘s Road, Much music and a farmers market I never knew was on until today. Its there every week, organic food and all sorts to attract the discerning shopper… the Festival an annual event during this month.

And music was playing and I have a video short to upload when I can, to share the morning fun.

Later having taken some photo’s and uploading them takes forever, I left the job going and went off to the ‘old curiosity shop’ for the afternoon meeting I got to and see other friends in fellowship.

We are Never alone

Essential for anyone in recovery is to find safe places where no one drinks. At least in early days its better to just meet and be with people who don’t drink. And today it was just like that.

For me even now I feel wrong footed around alcohol and this is my start of the fourth year in sobriety. I still laugh at myself thinking one day they in AA would reveal a safe way to drink. Smiles and there is one. Drink anything else but never alcohol. And I keep out of pubs designed for drinking as much as one can. And my clubbing days as they are called now seem a far distant memory. And glad there is little for me to feel worried about, provided I keep safe and in good company. And in any day I can feel very off if I miss a meeting of fellowship types.

Tools of Sobriety

The important one is really contact with people and something we consider bigger than us. Most obviously a conscience we all have and how to live to good conscience. Some in fellowship believe in God, and feel God is on their side. I am still open and not yet able to understand, to believe or disbelieve. And what works with any shadow of doubt is how to utilise 12 suggestions and recommendations and a set of principles to keep fellowship safe.

Hungry Angry Lonely Tired

I realise these days much of my life involved any combination of hungry angry lonely and tired. I worked hard a good many years and always had more to do. So in truth a lot of anger, a lot of hunger, a lot of feeling lonely and most definitely tired.

As I realise the hungry angry lonely tired is all about emotional and physical well being it is no wonder I filled in the gaps with booze. Booze gave me oblivion and now I realise just "self medicated" me and made me less able to face these truths of life.

Outside and not quite included, a strong desire for family and all the normal things and children of course. Yet somehow it never happened and I see now the gap there has been a torment over the years. Fuelled with low self esteem and all manner of misunderstandings about life. It is strange I was so good on the outside at so many things and yet never worked out how to be me.

Chameleon

Without doubt a chameleon. And its always a bit of a two edged sword, being able to fit in most of the time and be as alone as anyone might feel.

Speaking with my Mother this morning she mentioned my depressive illness and one or two other things like tinnitus are directly connected to lineage, my Grand Mothers side of the family had these obvious defects of genetics. And a thirsty lot on the male side of the family for drink and being out of reality. We learn and we also realise they had no choice either in these matters. Harsh truth, we are not born perfect of live perfect, we are good at finding ways to make life less horrible. And drink is an obvious outlet when we are so broken inside.

And of course AA is pretty new around and other fellowships or religion never really did much for my ancestors. They must have been a rum bunch. But as we all find we cover up our deficits and put on brave faces..

Anyway even though I have bruises and some amount of pain from the crash, it hardly compares to the other ones I have daily. So enough said really for today.

I am modifying my websites so there may be some confusion for a while. It grew a bit in all directions and now I intend to make it more accessible and shorter pages.

Till later, its already another day here in London





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"The Big Issue"

The Big Issue Foundation's core ethos is self help. We offer support to homeless and socially excluded people who seek to gain control of their lives and help them move off the streets and into a home and a job.We work with over 2000 vendors across the UK, supporting them with a diverse program of opportunities either delivered through our own services or in partnership with specialist agencies. Each new vendor has a Needs Assessment, and from this an individual action plan is set, which is monitored in supervision sessions with support staff.



Be Tolerant

You have the power to tolerate anyone and any situation. But tolerance is not just suffering in silence.

It means going beyond any personal discomfort you may feel, and giving a gift to whom ever you would tolerate. Give your time, attention, understanding, compassion, care - all are gifts, which paradoxically, you also receive in the process of giving.

And, as you do, you will experience your own self esteem and inner strength grow. In this way you can turn tolerance into strength.






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Guardian Unlimited OnLine June 17 2007


How Hamas turned on Palestine's 'traitors' June 17 2007




It started as a well-planned settling of scores between rival political factions. But by the end of last week Palestinians seemed on the brink of civil war as two conflicting governments vowed to defeat each other

Peter Beaumont and Mitchell Prothero in Jerusalem, Azmi Al-Keshawi in Gaza and Sandra Jordan

The first intimation something was different about the explosion of violence in Gaza between the forces of the government Islamist party Hamas and the Fatah fighters of President Mahmoud Abbas came with a no-show.

A week ago, as four senior Fatah officials sat down with Egyptian mediators hoping to negotiate an end to months of spiralling violence, a message arrived from Hamas that it would not be coming. A resurgence in fighting between the two sides made it too dangerous to travel to the meeting.

It was not true. Tired of the endless round of street battles and tit-for-tat assassinations between the two sides, which since the election of Hamas early last year had brought Gaza to the brink of anarchy, the leaders of Hamas had in mind a different solution to Gaza's corrosive security crisis: a definitive attack on the faction inside Fatah it blamed for the escalating violence. Hamas was planning for war, not peace, and the target would be the security institutions still controlled by Fatah and Abbas, which had been bolstered by US funds.

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Times OnLine June 17 2007


Blair to do deal over EU June 17 2007




Blair to do deal over EU

charterIsabel Oakeshott and Nicola Smith, Brussels

Tony Blair is preparing to cave in to pressure to sign up Britain to a sweeping new human rights charter.

The prime minister is ready to do a deal over the European charter of fundamental rights this week amid fears that plans for a treaty to replace the failed European Union constitution will collapse if he refuses to compromise.

However Downing Street is pessimistic about the general prospect of a successful outcome to the EU summit, starting in Brussels on Thursday.

The charter sets out a series of rights and privileges in areas from the workplace to benefits. As well as enshrining the right to strike, it allows all employees to limit their weekly working hours, a law that does not apply in Britain at present.

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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News June 17 2007


A bloody epitaph to Blair's war June 17 2007



The death of a hotel receptionist in British custody was first reported by the IoS. In the week that the Law Lords ruled that the Human Rights Act applies to Iraqis in British custody, Andrew Johnston reveals the shocking witness statements that shed new light on a dark chapter in an illegal war

Graphic and shocking new information - including a photograph showing his battered and bruised face - about the death of Baha Mousa, the Basra hotel receptionist killed in British military custody in September 2003, has emerged as scores of Iraqis prepare to sue the Ministry of Defence for alleged mistreatment in detention.

The dead man's father, Daoud Mousa al-Maliki, is bringing a case on his son's behalf in the next four weeks, following Wednesday's ruling by the Law Lords that the Human Rights Act applies to civilians arrested and detained by British forces in Iraq. Nine other cases are proceeding at the same time, and solicitors say another 30 are in the pipeline.

Not only do witness statements in the cases shed fresh light on Baha Mousa's death, but, taken together, they also suggest a pattern of abuse by British forces in southern Iraq during the period following the defeat of Saddam Hussein's forces. With Tony Blair's imminent departure from Downing Street, the Government will hope that it is no longer so closely associated with the unpopularity of the war and the questionable means used to prosecute it, especially if most British troops leave in the next few months. But the decision in the House of Lords raises the prospect that their conduct in Iraq will be aired in the courts for years to come.

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BBC OnLine News June 17 2007

Bomb destroys police bus in Kabul June 17 2007

A bomb attack on an Afghan police bus has killed at least 21 people and left 24 injured in Kabul, officials say.

The rush-hour attack close to police HQ in the city centre killed mostly police instructors. The injured include foreigners, police say.

It is thought to be the most devastating bomb attack in Kabul since the Taleban were ousted in 2001.

Taleban rebels told the BBC that they had carried out the attack - the fifth bombing in three days.

The blast site resembled a scene from Baghdad, the BBC's John Simpson says.

Such an attack is disturbingly new on the streets of Kabul and the tactics appear to have been borrowed directly from Iraq, our world affairs editor reports from Kabul.

In a separate incident, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle attacked a military convoy in the north Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif. One Afghan civilian was killed and several injured but no soldiers were hurt.

Foreigners

Kabul's police chief gave a death toll of 21, all of whom were police instructors apart from one civilians. Police had initially reported 35 deaths.

BBC OnLine Full Story




BBC OnLine History June 17 2007

June 17 1970: 'Babes in the wood' bodies found

The bodies of two children have been found in a shallow grave in a wood at Waltham Abbey in Essex.
Detectives who have been investigating the disappearance 10 weeks ago of Susan Blatchford, aged 11, and Gary Hanlon, aged 12, have been called to the scene.

It seems almost certain the bodies are those of Susan and Gary, both from Enfield in north London, who were last seen on 31 March playing together near their homes.

The bodies of the girl and boy were found by a man taking his dog for a walk this evening on the edge of Epping Forest, about six miles from where the missing children lived. A plimsoll and other clothing were found by police dogs.

BBC OnLine Full Story





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