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On 2 January 2015 - 1:34pm

If you had to list out all the spaces of your home in their order of importance, your Living Room would probably top the list since this is a high traffic area of your home. Keeping your living room warm and welcoming becomes a priority as you will be entertaining your friends and guests in this place. This is a common place of gathering for the entire family making it an all the more important place of your home.

Play Paired Patterns 

Patterns like floral, check, geometric, stripe, polka-dot, paisley, toile or plaid are a great way to add personality to your living room. Mixing two or three patterns could accentuate your style statement. With proper planning while choosing patterns & colour themes, one can make sure the living room is not looking like a pile of colorful laundry!

Flower Power  ...more

Posted By Ed Mayo's blog
On 1 January 2015 - 10:00am

One of the great qualities of the co-operative model is the extraordinarily flexible way in which the simple idea of ownership by those involved in the business can be brought to life. It is true that there are many levels at which you can co-operate in a business – to be owned by your customers doesn’t mean that the workplace is a participative one, just as to be owned by your workforce doesn’t mean that your services are always shaped and led by customers. But the five innovations I would pick out for 2015 all have this simplicity at their heart – they offer a simple but radical shift in the way of doing business.

1. Co-operative education. Co-operation is a far richer and more effective organisational model for learning than competition. The extraordinary success of around eight hundred co-operative schools in England, plans in Wales following the 2013 Commission on Co-operatives and Mutuals and the emergence of ‘schools of co-operation’ in Scotland, is only a start. ...more

Posted By Addictions UK
On 1 January 2015 - 9:00am

Thought: 'Life is like many other puzzles – the solution is in re-arranging what you have already been given.' ...more

On 31 December 2014 - 1:16pm

If you want to know what’s been happening in social investment in 2014, the answer is that Iain Duncan Smith (IDS) thinks it’s going brilliantly and I think the market is experiencing a ‘different level of success’. That’s the headline news in Big Society Capital (BSC) CEO, Nick O’Donohoe’s blog-based review of the year.

It’s an honour that O’Donohoe is taking my views into account in his assessment of the current challenges facing his organisation but (while I can’t speak for IDS) he’s wrong to suggest that I’m one the ‘stakeholders’ continuing to ‘judge success or failure by a rather one dimensional yardstick’.

As regular readers will know, the vast majority of my blogs on social investment over the years have explained why the market is failing at ...more

Posted By Addictions UK
On 31 December 2014 - 9:00am

This week's Video ...more

On 30 December 2014 - 5:05pm

monk-555391_640“Not as an emblem of suffering, but as an example of faithfulness in the midst of suffering. Job never doubted God.”

-Mennonite Phrase

We are faithful in anything in life — our work, our family, our duties, not simply to do it.  We do it because we cherish the values they represent, or, it supports the people we love.

We go to work because we are impassioned by it and how we can make the world better, whether you are an international diplomat or a garbage man who helps keep our streets and health safe.   We are faithful to cherish others, such as showing up for our grandson’s game or niece’s game, because we love them and want to nurture that love ...more

Posted By Ed Mayo's blog
On 30 December 2014 - 10:35am

William Hazell, who died in the year I was born, was a miner and co-operative writer and activist from South Wales. His biography has been published recently, written by Alan Burge. It is an extraordinary read, full of the hope, integrity and compassion that has sustained the co-operative sector as a social movement over a long period of time.

Of himself, Hazell commented that he had been ‘on the anvil for most of his life, and taken many a hammering’. Alongside his work as a miner came his participation and writing as a co-operator, involved through the local co-operative society and in networks from South Wales to the national federal associations, the Co-operative Wholesale Society and the Co-operative Union, where I work today.

The greatest wonder of Wales and Glamorgan, he believed, was “the co-operation of a million of its people in the co-operative soceities of its towns and cities. Confident in ...more

On 29 December 2014 - 5:05pm

boxing-546143_640“Young man, young man, your arm’s too short to box with God.”

-James Weldon Johnson

James Weldon Johnson was born on June 17, 1871, in Jacksonville, Florida.  Johnson distinguished himself equally as a man of letters and as a civil rights leader in the early decades of the twentieth century. A talented poet and novelist, Johnson is credited with bringing a new standard of artistry and realism to black literature in such works as The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man and God’s Trombones.  He founded the Daily American newspaper in 1895, passed the bar in 1897, and wrote the song, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”  ...more

Posted By Addictions UK
On 29 December 2014 - 9:00am

(This week's slogan) ...more

Posted By Ed Mayo's blog
On 27 December 2014 - 10:30am

A Christmas gift is Russell Brand’s book, Revolution. Charismatic or controversial, comic or serious, I don’t know, but it is certainly full of passion, hope and far more humility than I would have imagined.

It is also the first bestselling book for a while to quote the seven principles of co-operative identity, and associated co-operative values, that form the Statement of Co-operative Identity of the International Co-operative Alliance.

The principles are the open source coding for democratic enterprise that has evolved and been tested in organisations dating back to the 1844 Rochdale Pioneers (they had an additional one, though, not to forget, which was political and religious neutrality).

First the values. Co-operative values, he says “sound a bit airy-fairy but these ideas would’ve prevented me squirrelling away the donated offcuts of well meaning celebrities for some imagined reason.”

And then, this is what Russell Brand (UK comic, actor, bohemian ...more