Edith Cavell Quotes

Edith Cavell, was a British nurse who helped Allied servicemen to escape occupied Belgium. She was found guilty of treason and executed.

'Patriotism is not enough, I must have no hatred or bitterness to anyone.'

"I have no fear nor shrinking; I have seen death so often that it is not strange or fearful to me."

"I thank God for this ten weeks' quiet before the end. Life has always been hurried and full of difficulty. This time of rest has been a great mercy. They have all been very kind to me here. But this I would say, standing as I do in view of God and eternity, I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards any one."

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. III, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923, as quoted at

"Someday, somehow, I am going to do something useful, something for people. They are, most of them, so helpless, so hurt and so unhappy. "

"Nothing but physical impossibility, lack of space and money would make me close my doors to Allied refugees."


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Oscar Wilde Quotes on Women


“How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being.” - Oscar Wilde

" Men always want to be a woman's first love - women like to be a man's last romance. "

" A man who desires to get married should know either everything or nothing.

" Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious; both are disappointed."

" As long as a woman can look ten years younger than her own daughter, she is perfectly satisfied. "

"A man's face is his autobiography. A woman's face is her work of fiction. "

"Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same. "

- Oscar Wilde



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Being Single Quotes


"I celebrate myself, and sing myself." - Walt Whitman

"He is his own best friend, and takes delight in privacy whereas the man of no virtue or ability is his own worst enemy and is afraid of solitude." - Aristotle

"I'm single because I was born that way." - Mae West

"Single women have a dreadful propensity for being poor. Which is one very strong argument in favor of matrimony." - Jane Austen

"It would please me best if, at the last, a marble stone shall record that this Queen having lived such and such a time, lived and died a virgin. " - Queen Elizabeth I

"Being single is getting over the illusion that there is somebody out there to complete you and taking charge of your own life." - Omkar Phatak

"When you're single, your pockets will jingle." - Anonymous



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When I Was A Nipper - Alan Titchmarsh

Review of When I was A Nipper - Alan Titchmarsh

Remember the days when the National Anthem would be played everyday, and people would stand to attention with respect? Remember the days when making a phone call was quite an event and you had to be careful of how long you spoke for? If you do remember, you'll enjoy reading this nostalgic account of postwar Britain.

If you can't comprehend life pre mobile phones and Facebook, you may be fascinated by this account of what life was like in 'Ration book' Britain. Whether you would have preferred life scrimping halp-penny bits to pay for annual trip to Blackpool, is for you to decide.

Alan Titchmarsh writes a personal account of life growing up in postwar Britain. It is nostalgic and interesting without being sentimental or irritating. He manages to write about the best aspects of 50s Britain without getting onto long moralising lectures about present era.

The main thing that comes across from this book is how different society was, just a few generations ago. Today the idea of life without supermarkets, motorways, telephones, cars (to say nothing of t'internet) is hard to imagine.

It raises many questions such as what is the real nature of progress? but, it is also just enjoyable to read about how house mothers used to spend all day ironing and cleaning and how people would wear a hat to denote social status. To those who grew up in post war Britain I'm sure there will be much nodding of head in agreement, but, it is worth reading even for those who brought up in a society of cable TV and Google.

Another good book by Alan Titchmarsh

Book Cover
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British Architecture

british architecture
Merton College Tower

british architecture

Panorama of Oxford - Radcliffe Camera and All Soul's College

british architecture


british architecture

Tower Bridge, London


Modern and the British. No prizes for guessing which was built in the 1960s. I say, Prince Charles for King.


More modern British architecture.

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Photos of Iconic Women

Some quotes and photos of famous iconic women
See also: Women who changed the world


Diana, Princess of Wales 1961-1997

"Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you."

Biography Diana, Princess of Wales


Florence Nightingale 1820-1910

"You ask me why I do not write something.... I think one's feelings waste themselves in words, they ought all to be distilled into actions and into actions which bring results. "

View: Biography Florence Nightingale


Mother Teresa 1910-1997

"Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do... but how much love we put in that action. "

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Quotes on Dreams


"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
— Mark Twain
"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will live as one."
— John Lennon

"It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting."
— Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist)

"Yes: I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."
— Oscar Wilde (The Critic as Artist)

"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night."
— Edgar Allan Poe

Trust your dreams.
They are sweet and beautiful.
Trust your visions.
They are soulful and powerful.
Trust your aspiration.
It is your earth-friend
Trust your realisation.
It is your Eternity's real Self.
- Sri Chinmoy

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
— Eleanor Roosevelt

"I dream my painting and I paint my dream."
— Vincent van Gogh



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Spires Through Mist




some photos from Oxford spires in the mist.
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Great Rags to Riches Stories

In the list of the richest people in the world, some are rich because they inherit their wealth, others are self-made. Some people have great rags to riches stories.

I never watch any reality TV show on principle, but, even a cynic like me was inspired by the story of Susan Boyle. Aged 48, she appeared on Britain's Got Talent, looking anything like a famous singer. But, her talent took the audience and judges by surprise. She gained world record for fastest selling album by debut artist.

Business People with Rags to Riches Stories

Anita Roddick. Born in a air-raid shelter to Italian immigrant parents during 1942. Started with small shop in Brighton in late 1970s developing it into a leading retail brand famous for its ethical stance.

Richard Branson. Leaving school without qualifications. He began his first record shop with a small loan and went on to develop a leading global multinational - Virgin.

Rags to Riches stories
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The roots below the earth claim no rewards for making the branches fruitful.

- Rabindranath Tagore (Fireflies)
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Most Advanced Civilisation


"We never can have a true view of man unless we have a love for him. Civilisation must be judged and prized, not by the amount of power it has developed, but by how much it has evolved and given expression to, by its laws and institutions, the love of humanity."

- Rabindranatah Tagore

We are apt to judge societies by their material success. If we can put a man on the moon, we consider it an advanced society. If people live a life of simplicity, we consider it a backward society.

The real success of society is not in proving its superiority but whether there is a sense of self-offering and good will to other societies and countries.

With this criteria it is much harder to judge which is the most advanced civilisation. Measuring countries by Gross Domestic Product GDP says nothing about the values and aspirations of the people.

Interestingly the small Kingdom of Bhutan seeks to measure progress not by GDP but by a happiness index.

Hopefully, the most advanced civilisation is still to come.
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Quotes on the Sun

The sun shines for everybody
Some take advantage
Of it and some people do not.

- Sri Chinmoy

"The higher the sun ariseth, the less shadow doth he cast; even so the greater is the goodness, the less doth it covet praise; yet cannot avoid its rewards in honours."

Lao Tzu

"If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god."

Napoleon Bonaparte

To correct a natural indifference I was placed half-way between misery and the sun. Misery kept me from believing that all was well under the sun, and the sun taught me that history wasn't everything.

Albert Camus

To the eyes of a miser a guinea is more beautiful than the sun, and a bag worn with the use of money has more beautiful proportions than a vine filled with grapes.

William Blake
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Great People of 20th Century

The 20th Century was one of the most turbulent on record. It was a century of profound upheaval and change. It was a century which showed man plumb to his lowest depths but also gave an opportunity for some people to offer an example of profound values, courage and integrity.

Some of the great people of the twentieth Century which spring to mind.
  • Albert Einstein - the philosopher / Scientist. His theory of relativity helped create a new avenue of physics and led to many significant discoveries.
  • Woodrow Wilson - Had vision of a League of Nations which would seek to avoid the devastation the world had witnessed during the First World War.
  • John M. Keynes - Great economist who helped create a new branch of economics - macro economics through offering solutions to the Great Depression of the 1930s
  • George Orwell - No other writer encapsulated the twentieth Century quite as well as Orwell. With his penetrating touch he warned the world of the dangers of totalitarianism. A democratic Socialist, Orwell was never fooled by the false utopia of Communism but through his writing proved that the pen could be mightier than the sword
  • Nelson Mandela - The inspirational leader of South Africa who fought injustice with integrity and magnamity.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev. It was Mikhail Gorbachev who undertook the greatest challenge of giving up the absolute power of State Communism. Though his vision cost him politically, his vision of glasnost and perestroika changed the fate of Eastern Europe and the whole world.
  • Winston Churchill. The indomitable bulldog spirit which stood up to Nazi Germany and helped turn the course of the war.
  • Mother Teresa - proof greatness and humility are compatible. Mother Teresa dedicated her life to serving the poor.
  • Pope John Paul II - Spiritual leader of great integrity and strong moral values.

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Quotes on Hate


"Hate is often an obverse form of love.
You hate someone whom you really wish to love but whom you cannot love."
- Sri Chinmoy
No remedy for black hate?
Who says?
Just love
And love more,
That's all.
- Sri Chinmoy

Doubt is the lock,
Faith is the key.

Hate is the lock,
Love is the key.

Body is the lock,
Soul is the key.

Ignorance is the lock,
Light is the key.

God's Heart has no lock,
Man's mind has no key.

-- by Sri Chinmoy
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Inspiring Pictures


The Dreaming spires of Oxford through Christ Church Meadow. Taken from River Thames.


Another shot of Dreaming Spires from East Oxford. University church on left, Radcliffe Camera in centre.


The Beauty and purity of a rose


Bluebells in Spring


Photos taken by Tejvan Pettinger, 2010 using Canon 500D

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War Poppy Poem


In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

by John MacRae

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Inspirational Gardens


Gardens are one of the few places that can at times evoke a sense of heaven on earth. Throughout history man has sought to tame nature and create gardens that inspire, uplift, relax and bring peace in the midst of the hussle and bussle of life.


Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford

Gardens don't have to be famous to offer inspiration. We can get inspiration from the smallest plot of land, where we can enjoy seeing the fruits of our own labour.

Oxford Botanic Gardens

These are a few shots of gardens that have inspired me, hopefully, more will be added as I get to visit more.
Oxford Botanic Gardens

Frosty morning in backgarden

burton agnes

Water Lillies at Burton Agnes Pocklington

Water Lilies of Claude Monet

Claude Monet - Garden

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Persistent People

"Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance."
- Samuel Johnson
"Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity. "
- Louis Pasteur
"If you are going through hell, keep going."
- Winston Churchill

"Man can accept his fate,
He can refuse.

"Fate shall be changed by an unchanging will."

- Sri Aurobindo, Savitri

I do not give up,
I never give up,
For there is nothing
In this entire world
That is irrevocably unchangeable.

- Sri Chinmoy

"When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on."
- Thomas Jefferson

"I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right."
- Albert Einstein

There is a famous saying - 'genius is one % inspiration and 99% perspiration' Great people tend to be persistent, determined and unperturbed by set back and defeat. If we look at people who changed the world, we see great characters who persisted even in the most difficult circumstances. For example, Nelson Mandela who spent most of his life in jail or fighting the injustice of the apartheid system. He could easily have chosen an easier option in life.

Persistence should not be a stubborn persistence that ignores when you have made a mistake or are in the wrong. Persistence is valuable when we never give up dreaming of becoming a better person and making the world a better place.

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Most Inspirational People

Who would you vote as being most inspirational person of all time?

If you'd like to suggest a person who you find inspirational, you can leave a comment at the bottom of this post. It may be a famous person from history or someone less well known who inspires you for some reason.
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