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To know all is to forgive all’ (French, mid 20th century)

1st April 2019

On the altar of the ruins of the old cathedral in Coventry are carved the words ‘Father forgive’. During their recent visit the Inters were told how originally some people had wanted it to read ‘Father forgive them’. However, in recognition of the need for forgiveness for all in times of conflict and that none of us is without fault or ‘sin’, the words carved were simply ’Father forgive’.

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‘To the pessimist the cup is half-empty. To the optimist it is half-full.’ (20th Century)

25th March 2019

In the stories of Winnie the Pooh, two characters exemplify optimism and pessimism. Tigger is the ultimate optimist, happy, bouncy, not to mention fun, fun, fun, fun, fun! In contrast Eeyore, who always has a dark raincloud hovering over his head, talks about how miserable he is, and proclaims ‘I never get my hopes up, so I never get let down’. I wonder if you would say that your default setting is more Tigger (glass half-full) or Eeyore (glass half-empty)?...

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Diligence is the mother of good luck (16th Century)

18th March 2019

Do you have a lucky mascot? Maybe it’s a cuddly toy, a crystal or even a special pair of lucky socks (or pants!)? It seems even the students on University Challenge have mascots for their teams, perhaps hedging their bets that if everything else fails, then maybe ‘lady luck’ can be harnessed to their benefit.

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All happy families are alike, but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way (Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina, 1878)

11th March 2019

At the opening of his novel Anna Karenina, the Russian novelist Tolstoy writes 'All Happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’

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Penny wise and pound foolish (Early 17th century)

1st March 2019

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Can’t buy me love (Paul McCartney, 1964)

15th February 2019

Money can’t buy you love but according to research, it may shift the odds in your favour! Although not many people are so transparently materialistic, choice of a long term partner may well be related to the ability of a couple to support each other in practical as well as emotional ways.

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