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- 08/06/18--06:25: _Pat McGrath Labs ha...
- 08/06/18--06:30: _Widow does maternit...
- 08/06/18--06:42: _Makeup artist creat...
- 08/06/18--06:51: _Are you guilty of T...
- 08/06/18--07:09: _The cutest festival...
- 08/06/18--07:13: _New survey reveals ...
- 08/06/18--07:18: _Wetherspoons does h...
- 08/06/18--07:30: _A French Bulldog ca...
- 08/06/18--07:33: _These are the foods...
- 08/06/18--07:35: _New Look’s most pop...
- 08/06/18--08:01: _The UK’s first trac...
- 08/06/18--08:02: _Social media is lea...
- 08/06/18--09:43: _Woman says her endo...
- 08/06/18--22:04: _Hubba Bubba flavour...
- 08/06/18--22:07: _Private island with...
- 08/06/18--22:16: _Pirates of the Cari...
- 08/06/18--23:24: _When does buying yo...
- 08/07/18--00:00: _Dude ranches, wine ...
- 08/07/18--00:00: _I went from NHS doc...
- 08/07/18--00:12: _Warning: You could ...
- 08/06/18--06:25: Pat McGrath Labs has just released ten new MatteTrance lipsticks
- 08/06/18--06:51: Are you guilty of Tsundoku?
- 08/06/18--07:09: The cutest festival hair and make-up trends
- 08/06/18--07:13: New survey reveals the massive toll of catfishing on victims
- 08/06/18--07:18: Wetherspoons does halloumi fries now
- 08/06/18--07:30: A French Bulldog cafe is coming to London
- Eat spinach
- Have a bowl of soup
- Opt for dishes with chilli
- Eat watermelon
- Up your turmeric intake
- Reduce your carbohydrates
- Cut down on meat
- Eat onions
- Consume dishes and drinks which contain mint
- Look out for dishes made with coconut milk
- 08/06/18--08:01: The UK’s first trackable water refill station has arrived
- Pain in your lower tummy or back (pelvic pain) – usually worse during your period
- Period pain that stops you doing your normal activities
- Pain during or after sex
- Pain when peeing or pooing during your period
- Feeling sick, constipated, having diarrhoea or blood in your pee during your period
- Difficulty getting pregnant
- 08/06/18--22:04: Hubba Bubba flavoured gin is making us feel all sorts of nostalgia
- 08/06/18--22:16: Pirates of the Caribbean fans have a pirate themed wedding
- 08/06/18--23:24: When does buying yourself nice things become a shopping addiction?
- 08/07/18--00:00: I went from NHS doctor to mental health patient overnight
- 08/07/18--00:12: Warning: You could pick up head lice from your plane seat
Celebrity MUA, Pat McGrath, is one of the most influential players in the makeup industry.
Not too long ago, she was asked to display and sell her products at the Metropolitan Museum of Art – a first for any beauty company.
Her eponymous brand Pat McGrath Labs also reached a valuation of over $1 billion after less than two years in business.
So, the makeup label is celebrating and treating its fans to ten new shades of its MattTrance lipstick.
The new colours will be part of the MattTrance range which became a favourite in 2017 and won the Allure Best of Beauty award.
The brand is known for its inclusivity and the lips are no exception, you’ll be sure to find a nude or dark matte that works for you.
Whether you want an electric purple (Magnetic Magenta) or a soft crimson (Flesh 5), the new colours bump up MatteTrance’s total shade count to an impressive 30 varieties.
The universally flattering berries, neutrals, and reds, have been named by Pat’s real-life muses who you might recognise.
Guinevere, the deep red hue takes inspiration from Pat’s fellow makeup artist Guinevere van Seenus.
Karen Elson, a supermodel in the 80s was the inspiration behind the orange/red Elson, and fellow model Christy Turlington the muse behind the mauve-coloured lippy.
The range is available at Sephora which is unfortunately not available in the UK just yet but you can find it online.
You can get your hands on one of the new MatteTrance colours for $38/£29.37 from Sephora if you’re within their delivery range.
Or order online from Net-A-Porter for £35.
We’re pretty sure we’d be happy with any one of these.
Pat McGrath's new lipsticksPat McGrath's new lipsticksfaimabakar1Picture: @patmcgrathrealPat McGrath's new lipsticks
Maternity photoshoots usually show gushing mums and dads-to-be posing as a family as they anticipate the arrival of their baby.
Stephanie Maynetto-Jackson’s pregnancy photos were no different. She smiled away for pictures, posing in a beautiful golden gown as she embraced her bump.
But, next to her was a shadowy figure – her 28-year-old husband, Stuart, who died in a tragic motorcycle accident when she was just 18 weeks pregnant with their second child.
She had him edited in to show that he’ll always be part of their small family.
The couple, both Army veterans, were just two weeks away from learning the sex of their baby before Stuart sadly passed away.
‘The shoot was honestly a very difficult day for me because those days make it seem a bit more real that Stuart is no longer physically with us,’ she told Metro.co.uk.
‘He loved taking photographs and documenting our journey. He did great both behind and in front of the camera. He was a natural and had a smile that could brighten any room. He definitely passed that along to both of our sons.
‘I was inspired to do the shoot because I wanted our son to have maternity photos that would always remind him that Stuart and I both planned for him. We wanted to bring him into this world and he should know that he was loved from the very beginning. He won’t have memories with him but this was a way for him to cherish this time in our lives.’
The stunning pictures have now been shared all over the world, with many people praising her courage and strength.
‘The reactions have been overwhelmingly positive from most people,’ she added.
‘A lot of people have said that they now cherish their loved ones and treat them better. I have noticed a lot of friends and family that were affected by his passing begin actually “living” their lives.
‘It was heartwarming to hear that our love story was followed by so many people in life and then in death it continued to inspire so many others.
‘I’m just so glad that our story is being heard and shared throughout the world. I hope that it helps people cherish those they love and hold them close.
‘My boys will grow up to know who their father was and this was one way to make sure that they never forget just how much we loved each other and them.’
Stephanie gave birth to her second son on 17 May. She called him Stuart II, SJ for short.
SEI_24380632-dbfaSEI_24380632-dbfafaimabakar1Woman takes maternity photoshoot alone and edits in late husband Picture: kmivelissephotography PERMISSION TO USEWoman takes maternity photoshoot alone and edits in late husband Picture: kmivelissephotography PERMISSION TO USEWoman takes maternity photoshoot alone and edits in late husband Picture: kmivelissephotography PERMISSION TO USEWoman takes maternity photoshoot alone and edits in late husband Picture: kmivelissephotography PERMISSION TO USEWoman takes maternity photoshoot alone and edits in late husband Picture: kmivelissephotography PERMISSION TO USEWoman takes maternity photoshoot alone and edits in late husband Picture: kmivelissephotography PERMISSION TO USE
Toma Skabeikyte is a makeup artist from Akmene, Lithuania, who has created some of the most incredible looks which take her hours to create.
28-year-old Toma has created makeovers inspired by Mariah Carey, the Joker, the illusion that her skin is being ripped open, and transforming her nose into a butterfly.
She’s has always loved art and drawing from a young age, but has now started using her body as a canvas.
After completing her studies in graphic design at a design college in Vilnius, Toma began her career in makeup artistry and soon found a true passion is visual effects and illusion styles.
Her first illusion makeover was a skull on her face back in 2016, and since then she has completed many styles, including Miss Piggy, a werewolf for Halloween and even the illusion that her face is being torn off.
Toma’s butterfly look is stunning
This optical illusion is crazy
This is so freaky
Here she is as The Joker
Toma as the Red Queen of Bleeding Hearts
Her Mariah Carey recreation is insane
Toma is seriously talented
There is literally no look she cannot do
‘Makeup is my passion and definitely one of the best ways to express myself and show my creativity to other people,’ said Toma.
‘I have the opportunity to use my body and face as a canvas, and to create unique looks and share my work with people all around the world.
‘I am inspired by many things, for example movies, videogames paintings, nature and other makeup artists.
‘The very first time I tried special effects makeup was when I was bored and had nothing to do.
‘I don’t have a favourite makeup look, I love all of the looks I’ve done because I try to do my best with all of them, but it can take somewhere between four to sixteen hours.
‘The one that took me the longest took over 24 hours, so of course I had to take short breaks for snacks in between.
‘The small details are the hardest part of any look, they take a lot of time. Drawing in a mirror makes it quite difficult too.
‘I couldn’t choose the most difficult style because they all take a lot of hard work and patience, so each one is very hard.
‘I don’t have to try them out beforehand but sometimes I see that a makeover won’t be a success and I stop it at an early stage. We all have bad days.’
Toma is often short of free time due to her hectic career, meaning she doesn’t get to research new styles as often as she would like to.
After spending nearly a whole day fulfilling her makeover style, Toma will try to get as many pictures and videos as possible to show off her completed look, before having to wipe it all off.
She currently has an Instagram page which has over 3,000 followers, wear she frequently shares her looks.
Although she is currently working in the makeup artist industry, Toma hopes that one day her career will be more about special effects and illusion makeup instead.
She said: ‘Sometimes it’s very sad to wipe it off, so I leave it on for two to three hours to enjoy it. But most of the time I just take photos and videos of the look before wiping it off.
‘No one has ever asked me to do an illusion makeover style on them before, I just do those on my own face and body. It would be nice to try those on someone else though.
‘I am a makeup artist and my job is to do day-to-day makeovers, but I love doing illusion makeovers equally as much.
‘I’m on the way to making this a career because I really love doing makeovers, it’s my passion. At the moment, illusion makeovers are my hobby but one day I hope to make it my full-time career as well.’
If you ever try to fit reading into your busy life, you probably do it too: buying so many books with the intention of “reading” them that they just pile up…and up…until they’re a pile so large you can’t possibly even conceive of tackling them.
If that’s you, there’s a term for your behaviour: Tsundoku, a Japanese term used to describe a person who owns a lot of unread books.
Professor Andrew Gerstle, who teaches pre-modern Japanese texts at the University of London, told the BBC that the term can be found in print as early as 1879.
He says, “the word ‘doku’ can be used as a verb to mean ‘reading’” while the “tsun” originates in “tsumu”, meaning “to pile up”.
Gerstle explains: “the phrase ‘tsundoku sensei’ appears in text from 1879 according to the writer Mori Senzo. Which is likely to be satirical, about a teacher who has lots of books but doesn’t read them.”
Bibliomania was previously used to refer to someone who couldn’t stop collecting literature, but is now used to describe “passionate enthusiasm” about collecting. However, tsundoku is different, as it refers directly to the pile up of unread books.
Are you guilty of tsundoku?
Huge stack of books - Book wallHuge stack of books - Book wallfebruarystationery
We are well and truly in festival season, and for the first time in British history, you don’t need to head abroad to avoid destroying your outfit with mud.
There are only a handful left this summer, but whether you’re heading out to Green Man or Reading in the next few weeks, you’re going to want to make the most of the sun and put together a festival look any Coachella-goer would be jealous of.
Still need inspiration? We’ve rounded up some of Instagram’s best festival hair and make-up looks – from glitter to hair hoops to sequins and everything in between (while trying to steer clear of cultural appropriation, please and thank you).
Try…sticking sequins literally everywhere
Under your eyes? Sequins. On your forehead? Sequins. Arms? Sequins!!! Raid your nan’s craft box or buy a dedicated box of dress-up sequins and just go absolutely mad – but make sure you’ve got a big make-up look on underneath else it’ll look a bit mad.
This look, naturally, also works for any pride events you’ve got coming up. It’s a little harder to pull off, but if you can’t quite manage her exact look, just do your best painting rainbows literally anywhere. You’ll probably sweat them off anyway.
Try…a glitter parting
This one is easier for those of us who aren’t MUAs to achieve with some glitter and hairspray or glittery hairspray. Just chuck it all on there and hope for the best for a simple, easy festival hair do.
Try…all one colour
Festivals are all about sparkles and colour, so load up on both and you should be more than fine. For a more refined look though, try sticking to one colour like this girl who’s gone for pink hair, a pink top, and pink make-up. Throw on as much glitter as you feasibly can and you’re good to go.
Kim Kardashian has done it, but that doesn’t mean tons of people haven’t done it before, and it certainly doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Buy a pack of tiny earrings or dedicated hair hoops from Claire’s, don some plaits, and pop them in before securing with some glitter hairspray.
A new survey by sex-positive men’s lifestyle brand Sugar Cookie has found the massive scale and toll of catfishing still going on today.
Despite the popularity of the show Catfish drawing attention to the issue, many people are still finding themselves being duped by people online – and many more are still attempting to trick others.
The survey found that one in three readers have been catfished and that a huge number of victims are duped into sending money or sexually explicit photos – with 20% of people sending money to catfishers.
The site’s owner, Harriet Sugarcookie, said: ‘Catfishing isn’t new. There’s even a long-running TV show about it,’ adding, ‘but it causes real emotional and financial damage.
‘Personally, I have seen a surge in people impersonating me online and many of my fans have been hurt by that or lost money so we decided to investigate the phenomenon and were blown away by the scale of the problem.’
Sugarcookie said that she was ‘shocked at how many people still get catfished’ and that some are catfished more than once. Reportedly there’s also a gender divide – 43% of men have been a victim of catfishing, while only 28% of women have – meaning that men are almost 25% more likely to be duped.
She believes that the onus falls on websites to do more to protect potential victims.
‘As many victims don’t seem to learn from experience, I think social media and dating sites need to do more to protect their users from fake profiles. For example, the recent purge of fake Twitter profiles is welcome and long overdue.’
According to the survey, many victims suffer financial or emotional damage, with a shocking 6% of people sending between 1001 and 10000 dollars to the catfisher. Perhaps more devastatingly, the survey found that 25% of victims felt humiliated by their experience, 13% heartbroken, and 9% said they were caused mental health issues.
While these results are bleak, hopefully more awareness will push social media and dating sites to do more to protect their users. Sugarcookie believes that ‘they need to be faster to remove reported fake profiles and verification should be something open to everyone, not just A-list celebrities’.
Copy of IMG_9283-d5caCopy of IMG_9283-d5cafebruarystationery
Wetherspoons (the ones who don’t have social media anymore and love Brexit) have halloumi fries now.
So if you’re in to halloumi in a stick format then that’ll be good news because you can go and buy halloumi in a stick format.
There is no Wetherspoons near our office and basically everyone on the Lifestyle desk is vegan, so we haven’t tried them. However, the good people at Joyscribe have and they give them a thumbs up.
Halloumi fries cost £3.10 (though it might depend which Wetherspoons you visit) and come with a side of rocket (which you can obviously leave) and sweet chilli sauce.
If you don’t fancy a trip to Wetherspoons you can recreate the experience by battering and frying some halloumi and then eating it while looking at a relatively garish carpet.
The J.D. Wetherspoon logo is displayed on a glass door at aThe J.D. Wetherspoon logo is displayed on a glass door at arebeccacnreidIs there really a halloumi shortage?
Attention, puppy lovers: a French Bulldog popup cafe is coming to London, and you can either bring your own four-legged friend or simply go along to spend the afternoon with a bunch of pooches.
The event will be taking place at London cafe The Happenstance on Sunday 9th September, where your Frenchie will get to join a group of other pups in the ‘pup paw-ty of the year’.
They’ll get to meet lots of other dogs like them, tuck into a menu of doggy treats and pose for photos.
The event comes from the people behind the popup Pug Cafe, which takes place in Guildford.
There, pug owners are given the opportunity to take their dogs along to the cafe to meet other pups, while meeting other owners.
With the Frenchie event, owners will get to enjoy a range of The Happenstance’s coffees, cakes or cocktails, while your pups are given puppuccinos.
If you’re not a Frenchie owner, don’t worry – you’re more than welcome to come to the event to simply hang out with the dogs.
It’s basically the perfect opportunity for any Frenchie lover who’s not allowed a dog at home.
Pug Cafe owner and Frenchie Café organiser Anushka said: ‘Our Pug Cafe events have been hugely popular within the pug community and now we are spreading the joy to Frenchies!
‘This is our first ever event for French Bulldogs and can’t wait to bring it to the city.
‘There’ll be a menu dedicated to Frenchies including pupcakes and pupucciunos.
‘Our events have seen thousands of dogs and dog lovers attend and we hope Frenchies and Frenchie lovers alike will love it.’
The Frenchie Cafe is a strict booking-only event, and you’ll need a confirmed booking.
It’s organised into 70 minute time slots that start at 10am, 11.10am, 12.20pm, 1.30pm, 2.40pm, 3.50pm and 5pm.
Frenchie owners will have to pay £10 to get in and Frenchie lovers £15 – though don’t worry, your pups get in free.
If you’d like to book tickets, click here.
IMG_4265 copy-19ffIMG_4265 copy-19ffhattiegladwellmetro
Apparently, there are certain foods you should be eating in this hot weather to help keep you cool – including spinach, chilli and soup.
This is according to nutritionist Daniel O’Shaughnessy, who has teamed up with Just Eat to compile a list of the best foods to eat – and avoid – in order to cool down.
This summer has been one of Britain’s hottest on record, so it’s no surprise it’s been affecting the nation’s diet, routine and sleep patterns.
But Daniel says there are certain foods that can help this.
He says watermelon, turmeric and reducing the carbs and protein in your diet are all great ways to beat the heat.
Traditionally seen as a winter dish, he also says having a bowl of soup in the evening as temperatures start to drop can actually help you stay cool.
He said: ‘It will make you perspire more, but as the sweat evaporates, the energy is absorbed into the air, therefore cooling the body.’
Daniel also believes a spicy chilli is an excellent choice in hot weather explaining that the capsaicin found in the food sends a signal to your brain that your body is overheated.
As a result, you will sweat more to cool your body down.
The powerful anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric also make a takeaway tikka masala curry a good option in hot weather.
Curcumin, which is the active ingredient in the spice, helps promote good circulation, helping to speed up your blood flow and cool your body down.
10 food hacks to cool you down this summer
Graham Corfield, of Just Eat, said: ‘With the forecast showing no signs of cooling down, we’re all trying different ways to combat the heat – from having a cool shower as soon as you walk through the door, to avoiding standing in a hot kitchen.
‘What people may not realise is that some of your favourite dishes might just help make these temperatures more bearable.’
Daniel also says that foods such as mint are great due to its cooling sensation, as well as spinach, which contains the vitamins and minerals needed to help keep your blood pressure under control, in turn keeping you cool.
He also added that coconut milk, found in dishes like a Thai Green curry, holds important nutrients to support hydration, prevent exhaustion and muscle aches in hot weather.
And watermelon, which is high in water content, also contains citrulline, an amino acid which relaxes you and helps to dilate the blood vessels, meaning more blood can circulate around your body and cool you down.
But there are some foods to avoid, with Daniel advising Brits to cut down on carbohydrate-rich foods, such as rice and whole grains, and foods high in protein like meat.
He said: ‘It may be harder to digest a high protein food in a heat wave.
‘Meat is quite hard to digest and the digestion process creates heat (thermogenesis) and can make you feel hotter in yourself.
‘Opting for plant-based dishes can be a good choice as less energy is needed to break vegetarian dishes down compared to meat.’
Chopped watermelon on blue plateChopped watermelon on blue platehattiegladwellmetro
Five days ago, New Look’s sell out brown leopard print tea dress made a re-appearance on its site – and once again, it’s sold out already.
The V-neck dress, which features short sleeves, a button-front fastening and a fit-and-flare cut, has sold out several times on the New Look website in the past, with it being one of the store’s most popular items.
It was re-stocked last week, with New Look taking to its Instagram to announce the relaunch, writing: ‘You know that Leopard Tea Dress everyone’s been raving about? It’s baaaack! Double tap to get in quick before it’s gone!’
Obviously, customers went mad for it – with the post receiving more than 19,000 likes and people tagging their friends to let them know it was back in stock.
But sadly, the dress, which was stocked in sizes 6-18, has already sold out online. Again.
And obviously, people are heartbroken.
One Instagram user wrote: ‘Sold out mega quick! I’ve only just stopped crying’.
Another said: ‘Waaaaaah I’ve missed it again.’
Luckily, New Look has said that the dress will be coming back in stock once again – but it hasn’t specified when.
So, if you’re wanting to add the dress to your basket, you best keep a lookout and act fast – otherwise, you’ll face missing out on it yet again.
LPRINT_DRESS-b265LPRINT_DRESS-b265hattiegladwellmetroSPOT ON Sell-out £22 leopard print New Look dress which is loved is back in stock – but you better move quick New LookSPOT ON Sell-out ?22 leopard print New Look dress which is loved is back in stock ? but you better move quick Picture: New Look METROGRAB http://www.newlook.com/uk/womens/clothing/dresses/brown-leopard-print-button-front-tea-dress-/p/590927929?extcam=UK_AFF_DSP_Sub%20Networks_Skimlinks
This summer, there’s been one particularly noticeable change as we visit food and drink establishments.
We’re of course talking about the abolishment of plastic straws, replaced by paper products or even edible options that you can gobble up after you’ve finished your drink.
With Theresa May set to ban plastic straws altogether next year, other companies are following suit and introducing initiatives of their own to help reduce the production of plastic.
Canary Wharf Group, which designs and builds properties in the UK, has just introduced the UK’s first-ever installation of trackable water refill stations, scattered around its shopping malls.
‘After making Canary Wharf a clean coffee zone, tackling plastic straws, introducing a Deposit Return Scheme and set to become the world’s first plastic free commercial centre, this is a natural next step for us,’ says Steve Greig, co-managing director at Canary Wharf Management.
‘We hope this helps even more people make the switch to carrying a reusable bottle.
‘When you have an opportunity to save cost and the planet, it’s an easy decision to make.’
The project, which is part of the company’s #BreakingThePlasticHabit campaign was launched together with MIW Water Cooler Experts, who are the creators of the machine.
As of this week, anyone visiting the designated locations will be able to fill up their bottles on the go.
The Canary Wharf group will open seven refill stations in total; the first is in Canada Place, the second will open in Cabot Place by the end of this week, and the remaining five will follow in September.
According to research, thirsty UK residents purchase 38.5 million plastic bottles every year and less than half get recycled.
The remaining 16 million are put into landfill, burnt or leaked into the environment.
The high-tech machines are free to use and the aim is to cut 100,000 bottles from overall production of plastic.
‘The solution is as simple as it was in Victorian times, when you’d find a drinking fountain on every street corner,’ says Mike Winter, managing director of MIW Water Cooler Experts.
‘The difference now is that the latest models of outdoor fountains are tougher, safer and more accessible than ever before.
‘This will be the first time fountains which can track usage are installed in UK shopping malls, so it will be exciting to see how many single use water bottles we are able to replace with refills.’
We know social media has many advantages and disadvantages.
While we can’t say that it’s responsible for the mental health crisis in teenagers, we know that it has some adverse effects on young people.
It can affect the emotional maturity of children, according to neuroscientist Baroness Susan Greenfield, who said social media can leave them with the behavioural habits of a three-year-old.
As they grow accustomed to the constant stimulation of the likes of Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube which is available 24 hours a day, children need constant real-life stimulation, she said.
The problem is that it leaves children unable to grapple with their own thoughts and in turn their own company, she argued.
The senior researcher from Oxford University also cited a study conducted by psychologists at Virginia and Harvard Universities which found that students would rather give themselves mini electric shocks than be left alone without some sort of distraction.
Founder of digital detox movement Time To Log Off and author of Stop Staring at Screens, Tanya Goodwin, told Metro.co.uk she agreed with the claim.
‘It’s hardly surprising that many scientists think the online world is causing children’s minds to delay developing in important respects,’ she said.
‘The digital world is designed like a children’s playground, bright primary colours, usually red, to attract the eye; buzzes, badges and banners to get our attention when we stray offline – it’s a wonder we’re not all behaving like three-year-olds online (and in fact on Twitter many of us are).
‘The digital world fills any impulse children may have to occupy or entertain themselves by providing non-stop 24/7 entertainment, with 1% of UK under fives having their own smartphone their digital reliance is coming earlier and earlier.’
She added: ‘In a recent Ofcom report, 50% of UK adults said their lives would be “boring” if they didn’t have access to the digital world. What message is that sending to our children?’
Things like reading, gardening, and doing sports may be better alternatives to screen time, she argued, saying that such activities would stimulate children’s imaginations.
Girl with headphones using digital tablet on sofaGirl with headphones using digital tablet on sofafaimabakar1
Endometriosis is when tissues that line the womb are found outside of it, including in the ovaries and fallopian tubes.
It can make it more difficult for women to have children, depending on the severity of it.
Emily Mulet, 38, suffers from the condition and it makes her stomach swell so much that strangers often mistake her for being pregnant.
As well as dealing with painful symptoms, Emily also has to deal with people congratulating her on her ‘pregnancy’ on a regular basis.
She was officially diagnosed in 2013, after living with symptoms of endometriosis for 18 years.
The mum-of-one is a personal cruise consultant and says she suffers from such excruciating periods that she has to miss work at least once a month.
At times, the pain can be so agonising that doctors prescribe her with codeine, an opiate, to help Emily cope on the toughest days.
‘When I have a flare up, I get so big and bloated, it can look like I’m pregnant.
‘People often ask me when I’m due, or if I’m expecting. It’s embarrassing.
‘I don’t take offence because I know people mean well, but it’s not fun. This condition really impacts women’s lives.
‘The pain is debilitating. When I have my period it’s constant, it’s horrific abdominal pain, it’s back pain. It literally feels like someone is hitting my back with a hammer and it makes me so fatigued.’
After almost two decades of battling the condition, Emily has decided to undergo a hysterectomy, an operation where surgeons will remove her womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries.
She hopes that the procedure will help her have a pain-free life, excel at her job and perhaps even find love.
‘Making the decision to have a hysterectomy is very difficult,’ she says.
‘It feels like by taking away your womb, you might be taking away what makes you a woman.
‘But I’ve thought about it. I have been battling this intense pain every month since I was 18 years old.
‘It’s become unbearable. It’s holding me back in every way. I’m so tired of it.’
The main symptoms of endometriosis are:
Research also suggests eating red meat could be linked to a heightened risk of endometriosis.
woman says endometriosis makes people think shes pregnantwoman says endometriosis makes people think shes pregnantfaimabakar1woman says endometriosis makes people think shes pregnantEmily Mulet, an endometriosis sufferer who's stomach swells so much she looks pregnant. See SWNS story NYENDO. Emily Mulet, 38, was officially diagnosed with endometriosis in 2013, a painful disorder in which tissues from the womb grow outside the uterus. Emily sadly experienced an ectopic pregnancy with her former partner and doctors found evidence which suggested endometriosis during surgery. The mom-of-one, of Davie, Florida, said she has battled the ?debilitating? symptoms of the disorder for over 18 years, including periods that are so painful she has to miss work each month. Emily, a personal cruise consultant, said the pain in her back and abdomen can be so intense her doctor has prescribed codeine, an opiate, to help her cope on particularly tough days. The condition causes Emily?s stomach to swell so much that strangers regularly ask her if she is pregnant, which she said is frustrating and embarrassing.Emily Mulet with son Reggie. Emily is an endometriosis sufferer who's stomach swells so much she looks pregnant. See SWNS story NYENDO. Emily Mulet, 38, was officially diagnosed with endometriosis in 2013, a painful disorder in which tissues from the womb grow outside the uterus. Emily sadly experienced an ectopic pregnancy with her former partner and doctors found evidence which suggested endometriosis during surgery. The mom-of-one, of Davie, Florida, said she has battled the ?debilitating? symptoms of the disorder for over 18 years, including periods that are so painful she has to miss work each month. Emily, a personal cruise consultant, said the pain in her back and abdomen can be so intense her doctor has prescribed codeine, an opiate, to help her cope on particularly tough days. The condition causes Emily?s stomach to swell so much that strangers regularly ask her if she is pregnant, which she said is frustrating and embarrassing.Emily Mulet, an endometriosis sufferer who's stomach swells so much she looks pregnant. See SWNS story NYENDO. Emily Mulet, 38, was officially diagnosed with endometriosis in 2013, a painful disorder in which tissues from the womb grow outside the uterus. Emily sadly experienced an ectopic pregnancy with her former partner and doctors found evidence which suggested endometriosis during surgery. The mom-of-one, of Davie, Florida, said she has battled the ?debilitating? symptoms of the disorder for over 18 years, including periods that are so painful she has to miss work each month. Emily, a personal cruise consultant, said the pain in her back and abdomen can be so intense her doctor has prescribed codeine, an opiate, to help her cope on particularly tough days. The condition causes Emily?s stomach to swell so much that strangers regularly ask her if she is pregnant, which she said is frustrating and embarrassing.
Hubba Bubba gin liqueur exists and we’re feeling all sorts of nostalgia.
The new gin is created by Sweet Little Liqueurs, a new Liqueur company creating unique flavours inspired by treats we all loved at kids.
This gin apparently tastes just like the bubblegum we all used to buy in tuck shops – and is said to mix perfectly with lemonade, tonic water or prosecco – or of course you could enjoy it neat.
Sadly the gin is already sold out, not just online but also in Bartons Wine and Spirits, where it was also being sold.
It’s currently not being sold anywhere else, either *sob*.
Other flavours that have sold out include Cherry Baked Well gin, Custard Cream gin, Jammy Dodger gin and Fruit Salad gin.
Which are also all said to taste just like the treats they’re inspired by.
They sound amazing, don’t they?
If you are looking for a sweet inspired gin that you can actually get your hands on, there’s always the Parma Violet gin, which is now being sold in Wetherspoons.
You can also find a a 50cl bottle of Zymurgorium Manchester Sweet Violet Gin Liqueur on Drink Supermarket for £25.89 a bottle.
The product description reads: ‘Sweet violet heaven made for the gods? Well not exactly, but a wonderful liqueur nonetheless.
‘Great replacement for violet based liqueurs as the role of 20 botanicals really do provide a unique taste. Enjoy any how you like.’
While the Parma Violet gin is admittedly amazing – if you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out – we are rather gutted the other nostalgia-filled flavours aren’t available right now.
We’re dying to try the Hubba Bubba gin.
Bubba Hubba ginBubba Hubba ginhattiegladwellmetroPicture: ginspiration.uk, Getty Bubba Hubba ginPicture: ginspiration.uk, Getty Bubba Hubba ginPicture: ginspiration.uk, Getty Bubba Hubba gin
A stunning private island complete with its own dock has just gone on the market for £1.2 million.
Maude Island is just a short boat ride away from Sitka harbours in Alaska, USA, and is perfect for those who love to go fishing.
The heavily forested one-acre island features a beautiful two-storey house including three bedrooms and three bathrooms.
It also has a very spacious kitchen and a living area filled with natural light that leads onto a large porch.
The property is said to have gorgeous ocean and mountain views – and is the ‘perfect retreat’ for those looking to get away, according to the listing.
The listing continues: ‘Enjoy the spectacular views from the indoors or the expansive decks, or swap fish tales around the rock fireplace.
‘The property features three bedrooms and three baths. It is in excellent condition and comes fully furnished and inclusive of everything you’ll need including gear, fishing tackle, and more. It’s “fish on” with a large processing and gear room.
‘Equipped with city power, three large water catchment tanks, and a septic system in place, you don’t need to rough it here.
‘This exclusive island home sits on nearly an acre of land and has plenty of room for expansion with potential for future construction on the property and/or additional outdoor living space. Enjoy boating, fishing, and kayaking and launch from your own private dock.’
Of course, it’s not all about the property – it’s about where it’s located, too.
And luckily, being close to Sitka, there’s loads to do – including kayaking in the Pacific Ocean, hiking, backpacking and mountain climbing.
Basically, it’s the perfect location for anyone who loves the great outdoors – but not so much for anyone who prefers lounging around on the beach.
Living area. THIS STUNNING private island, complete with its own dock, could be a fisherman???s dream for around ??1.2m. Incredible aerial pictures show the heavily forested one-acre island with a beautiful two-storey house including three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Other striking shots show the sleek interior of the house with a spacious kitchen, cosy bedrooms and a living area filled with natural light that leads onto the large porch. Maude Island is just a short boat ride from Sitka harbours in Alaska, USA and is currently listed on privateislandsonline.com for around ??1.2m. Private Islands Inc / mediadrumworld.comLiving area. THIS STUNNING private island, complete with its own dock, could be a fisherman???s dream for around ??1.2m. Incredible aerial pictures show the heavily forested one-acre island with a beautiful two-storey house including three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Other striking shots show the sleek interior of the house with a spacious kitchen, cosy bedrooms and a living area filled with natural light that leads onto the large porch. Maude Island is just a short boat ride from Sitka harbours in Alaska, USA and is currently listed on privateislandsonline.com for around ??1.2m. Private Islands Inc / mediadrumworld.comhattiegladwellmetroExterior. THIS STUNNING private island, complete with its own dock, could be a fisherman???s dream for around ??1.2m. Incredible aerial pictures show the heavily forested one-acre island with a beautiful two-storey house including three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Other striking shots show the sleek interior of the house with a spacious kitchen, cosy bedrooms and a living area filled with natural light that leads onto the large porch. Maude Island is just a short boat ride from Sitka harbours in Alaska, USA and is currently listed on privateislandsonline.com for around ??1.2m. Private Islands Inc / mediadrumworld.comPrivate dock. THIS STUNNING private island, complete with its own dock, could be a fisherman???s dream for around ??1.2m. Incredible aerial pictures show the heavily forested one-acre island with a beautiful two-storey house including three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Other striking shots show the sleek interior of the house with a spacious kitchen, cosy bedrooms and a living area filled with natural light that leads onto the large porch. Maude Island is just a short boat ride from Sitka harbours in Alaska, USA and is currently listed on privateislandsonline.com for around ??1.2m. Private Islands Inc / mediadrumworld.comLiving area. THIS STUNNING private island, complete with its own dock, could be a fisherman???s dream for around ??1.2m. Incredible aerial pictures show the heavily forested one-acre island with a beautiful two-storey house including three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Other striking shots show the sleek interior of the house with a spacious kitchen, cosy bedrooms and a living area filled with natural light that leads onto the large porch. Maude Island is just a short boat ride from Sitka harbours in Alaska, USA and is currently listed on privateislandsonline.com for around ??1.2m. Private Islands Inc / mediadrumworld.comExterior. THIS STUNNING private island, complete with its own dock, could be a fisherman???s dream for around ??1.2m. Incredible aerial pictures show the heavily forested one-acre island with a beautiful two-storey house including three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Other striking shots show the sleek interior of the house with a spacious kitchen, cosy bedrooms and a living area filled with natural light that leads onto the large porch. Maude Island is just a short boat ride from Sitka harbours in Alaska, USA and is currently listed on privateislandsonline.com for around ??1.2m. Private Islands Inc / mediadrumworld.com
A Captain Jack Sparrow lookalike has married his Pirates of the Caribbean-mad girlfriend in a pirate themed wedding.
43-year-old Wayne Truman dressed up in a pirate costume to marry Sarah, 28, saying their vows in front of hundreds of people – who were also all dressed up as pirates – at the Matlock Bath Mutiny festival.
Wayne dressed in red 17th Century swashbuckling attire while Sarah wore a white fishtail gown.
After all the formalities were out of the way guests enjoyed a day of entertainment which included bouncy ships, hog roasts, cider and live music.
Wayne had popped the question at the festival, which he helps organise, two years before, while dressed as Jack Sparrow.
And they returned to the same event where they got engaged to finally tie the knot over the weekend.
A pirate-themed boat then took the pair along the River Derwent onto The Fishpond Freehouse where they were joined by 50 family members and friends for their reception.
The couple first met at a Comic Con, Sarah having dressed up as Harley Quinn and Wayne as Captain Jack Sparrow. They hit it off straight away.
Wayne, who works as a Jack Sparrow lookalike for a living, described the wedding as the most ‘ecstatic’ day of his life.
He said: ‘It was better than we ever could have imagined, it was a great atmosphere with hundreds of people.
‘Sarah looked stunning in her white dress, she was just perfect.
‘On the wedding set there was a huge ships wheel and I was dressed in 17th Century style clothing, even the Pastor was dressed in pirate garb with a long dark Victorian coat.
‘There was hundreds of pirates everywhere and people were letting off guns.
‘They even gave us an archway of swords for us to walk through.
‘There was masses beer all over the place but nothing got out of hand and there were no mishaps.’
He continued: ‘It’s hard to say how I’m feel as I’ve never been married before. But I’m just happy and ecstatic.
‘I’m 43 years old and I didn’t think I would get married – it’s a big deal for me.
‘Sarah was on board with the whole pirate themed wedding – she’s loves it just as much as I do.’
Sarah added: ‘I could not have asked for a better wedding day, it was absolutely amazing, I really can’t put it into words.
‘I met Wayne at a Comic Con at Birmingham’s NEC three years ago, my thing was Cos Play as Disney Princesses.
‘But I’m a big Pirates of the Caribbean fan so I was more than happy to go along with the theme.
‘The wedding was part of the pirate festival which is in its fourth year, it’s grown from just a few pirates to hundreds turning up – it’s a great day.’
SEI_24231170-5f56SEI_24231170-5f56hattiegladwellmetroSarah Kirsty Page, 28, and Wayne Mark Truman, 43, leave their wedding through a gauntlet of swords, in the gardens of Matlock Bath, Derbs. See Ross Parry copy RPYPIRATE: A Captain Jack Sparrow lookalike has tied the knot with his Pirates of the Carribean-mad girlfriend in a wacky PIRATE themed wedding. Wayne Truman, 43, walked down the aisle instead of the plank with his new bride Sarah, 28, following their colourful nuptials on Saturday (4/8). The madcap pair had a day to treasure as they said their vows in front of hundreds of people - all dressed as pirates - at the Matlock Bath Mutiny festival.Sarah Kirsty Page, 28, and Wayne Mark Truman, 43, leave their wedding through a gauntlet of swords, in the gardens of Matlock Bath, Derbs. See Ross Parry copy RPYPIRATE: A Captain Jack Sparrow lookalike has tied the knot with his Pirates of the Carribean-mad girlfriend in a wacky PIRATE themed wedding. Wayne Truman, 43, walked down the aisle instead of the plank with his new bride Sarah, 28, following their colourful nuptials on Saturday (4/8). The madcap pair had a day to treasure as they said their vows in front of hundreds of people - all dressed as pirates - at the Matlock Bath Mutiny festival.Guests dressed as pirates watch the wedding of Sarah Kirsty Page, 28, Wayne Mark Truman, 43, in the gardens of Matlock Bath, Derbs. See Ross Parry copy RPYPIRATE: A Captain Jack Sparrow lookalike has tied the knot with his Pirates of the Carribean-mad girlfriend in a wacky PIRATE themed wedding. Wayne Truman, 43, walked down the aisle instead of the plank with his new bride Sarah, 28, following their colourful nuptials on Saturday (4/8). The madcap pair had a day to treasure as they said their vows in front of hundreds of people - all dressed as pirates - at the Matlock Bath Mutiny festival.Guests dressed as pirates await the wedding of Wayne Mark Truman, 43, and Sarah Kirsty Page, 28 See Ross Parry copy RPYPIRATE: A Captain Jack Sparrow lookalike has tied the knot with his Pirates of the Carribean-mad girlfriend in a wacky PIRATE themed wedding. Wayne Truman, 43, walked down the aisle instead of the plank with his new bride Sarah, 28, following their colourful nuptials on Saturday (4/8). The madcap pair had a day to treasure as they said their vows in front of hundreds of people - all dressed as pirates - at the Matlock Bath Mutiny festival.
Buying yourself something new feels good.
Even if it’s only a bottle of nail polish or a new notebook, the act of treating yourself to something is often accompanied by a little rush of pleasure.
It’s like your brain is lighting up and saying: ‘This is new. I like this. It’s a present for me!’
That pleasure doesn’t last forever.
For some people, it drains away very quickly – in two or three days time, when they bring their item home, when they leave the shop, or even directly after they’ve paid for their new purchase.
They won’t receive that same dopamine hit until they go out and buy something else.
Shopping has a tangible effect on the brain, with the chemical dopamine surging when you’re anticipating a new purchase. The pleasure of retail therapy comes from dopamine, and the spike is even more intense when there’s an unexpected bonus involved – like getting money off a garment or seeing that the shop you’re in has a sale on.
Before we even think about buying something, our brains are bathed in the warm glow of pleasure, so is it any wonder that we sometimes buy things we don’t actually need?
In a 2007 study, neuroscientists found that when they presented subjects with a range of products, the nucleus accumbens (or the brain’s pleasure centre) became more active.
When the products were accompanied by their prices, the prefrontal cortex and the insula lit up. These are the areas of the brain associated with executive functioning (decision-making) and processing pain respectively.
The subjects were calculating whether they could afford the item, making buying decisions in their heads and anticipating the pain of handing over their hard-earned cash.
When the activity in the brain’s pleasure centre outweighs that of the insula, where pain is processed, then the person in question is more likely to make the purchase.
People enjoy shopping precisely because of all this chemical activity, as the increase of dopamine conjures up powerful feelings of reward and motivation, but this pleasure usually remains balanced by practical financial considerations and the knowledge that overspending hurts.
When this process gets out of balance and people become addicted to the pleasure sensation of spending, this can turn into a full-blown shopping addiction, also known as oniomania or compulsive buying disorder (CBD).
Compulsive spending is believed to affect 8-16% of the UK population – a staggering 8 million people. It can leave sufferers in the same financial chaos as is apparent for people with gambling addictions.
Oniomania gets in the way of healthy, fulfilling relationships with friends and family and can lead to people hiding their purchases because they’re ashamed of being unable to control their spending habits.
Sufferers use shopping as a way to deal with negative emotions, and may feel distressed when they’re not spending money.
They may go to extreme lengths to keep what they’re bought a secret, having packages sent to workplaces or using click and collect options to stop their partners or families from seeing parcels from online shopping arriving at home.
Compulsive buying is linked to psychiatric conditions like obsessive compulsive disorder, depression and bipolar disorder.
Unlike being a ‘shopaholic’, where you occasionally overspend but know that you can control your habits, people with oniomania feel completely ruled by the compulsion to purchase things ad spend money.
But when does enjoying buying yourself nice things become cause for concern?
Rosie* is 21 and she knows she buys more than she really needs to.
She told Metro.co.uk: ‘I get the urge to buy at least one item of clothing a week.
‘There’s this exhilarating rush when I buy something, but it dissipates the next day or as soon as I’ve tried it on.
‘I do feel in control but sometimes the urge to buy something alongside the feeling that this item will make me more beautiful or more likeable is sometimes too strong to resist.
‘My urge to keep shopping is probably rooted in self-esteem issues. I get the idea into my head that buying clothes especially will make me feel more desirable to others, more confident more and powerful, essentially remedying feelings of low self worth that I struggle with.
‘At the moment, I’m challenging myself to only buy vintage items if I want to buy something because the pieces are more special, higher quality and it’s better for the environment.’
Rosie’s boyfriend and her family are not aware of the true extent of how much she buys, including clothes, shoes, jewellery, makeup and skincare products.
She’s currently trying to cut down on her spending, but finding it tricky to stop buying altogether, particularly on apps like eBay and Depop.
Online shopping, auction-style websites and apps for major retailers have made it much easier to spend 24/7, without having to leave the house (or get up out of bed).
Adam Cox, a Harley Street hypnotherapist and addiction expert, told Metro.co.uk that he has worked with many shopping addicts.
‘I know firsthand that it’s not only genuine but can cause harm especially with relationships, anxiety and issues with debt.
‘I define a shopping addiction as a compulsion to buy things to change an emotional state.’
When should someone be worried about that their spending is becoming an addiction?’
According to Adam, the warning signs are: ‘Accumulating debt such as credit cards to cover the cost of shopping, buying too many of the same thing but never or rarely using them, and using shopping (including online) as a way to deal with emotions such as boredom, stress, anxiety or depression.’
‘Shopping at times when you have other responsibilities is another sign. Many people are shopping from their phones at work rather than working.
‘Also if you realise that you’ve bought things by looking at your statement but can’t remember buying them, that’s a clear warning that something isn’t right.’
Adam says that it’s definitely possible to recover from compulsive buying disorder.
‘The first step is to realise that shopping is just a vehicle to change your emotional state. Once you understand this, you can think of all the things you’ve done previously that made you feel better that didn’t involve spending money.
‘This could be time with friends, listening music, walking in the sun. Many things can change our emotional state, and some of the best ones are completely free.
‘Try actually using the things you’ve bought instead of buying new ones.
‘If you’re still struggling, I would recommend making an appointment with an addiction expert or hypnotherapist.’
The NHS says that shopping becomes an addiction when you buy things you don’t need or want to achieve a buzz, and this is quickly followed by feelings of guilt, shame or despair.
If this sounds like you, it could be worth making an appointment with your GP to discuss how you’re feeling. Your doctor will then refer you on to the appropriate services.
There’s nothing wrong with buying yourself a little treat as a pick-me-up after a difficult week at work.
However, if your response to stress is always to buy something, then you might want to think about some different ways you can manage negative or uncomfortable emotions.
*name has been changed
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*illustration request* acts of kindness*illustration request* acts of kindnesshpwilliamsonWoman with shopping bags sitting on bench.No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover Usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Touchstone/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5885347ak) Kristin Scott Thomas, Isla Fisher, Leslie Bibb Confessions Of A Shopaholic - 2009 Director: P.J. Hogan Touchstone Pictures USA Scene Still Comedy Confessions d'une accro du shopping
The seventh biggest city in the US and second largest in Texas, San Antonio is as hip to current trends as any urban centre.
It’s a lot more cosmopolitan than you might expect, and proud of its Latinex culture, but back in 1718, it was little more than a Spanish colonial outpost.
Plenty of reminders of San Antonio’s past remain, juxtaposed with the more contemporary aspects of life.
And that’s what took me there: the chance to check out how the city was celebrating its tricentennial with some excursions to boot.
The Witte Museum was a wise starting point for my crash course in San Antonio history.
During my visit, the interactive exhibit, Confluence And Culture: 300 Years Of San Antonio History, told me all I needed to know about the city’s three-century evolution.
Across seven different galleries, I learnt about how the different cultures helped to shape San Antonio as a city and its early years as a Spanish mission.
Of course, I couldn’t forget to tour the Alamo, too – it’s one of the key attractions in the city.
In the heart of downtown San Antonio, this Spanish mission predates the city, but is best known for a small band of Texans who stood their ground to the bloody end against Mexican forces in 1836.
Discovering San Antonio’s 300-year story presented a good excuse to explore its culinary scene – in 2017, the city became one of only two in America designated a Creative City of Gastronomy by UNESCO.
With a food culture influenced by Mexican, Spanish, German and French cuisine, San Antonio is well worth a few days of grazing.
The stand out meal I had during my visit was at Clementine, a regional and seasonal restaurant that does fine fare in a casual setting.
I savoured grilled okra with blackberries, almonds and feta; ricotta cavatelli with broccoli top pesto, Sichuan peppercorns, toasted pecans, and Parmesan; and fried strawberry pies with crème fraîche ice cream.
It’s creative gourmet stuff, though certainly not like your average San Antonio joint.
So I also tried some local spots, including two BBQ restaurants and a taqueria.
The fancier BBQ eatery was Granary ‘Cue & Brew, located in the vibrant post-industrial Pearl District.
I was lucky enough to go when their pastrami rib was on the menu – definitely worth ordering if you see it.
The other was B&D Ice House, a ramshackle takeaway set in an old ice storehouse south of downtown.
From jalapeno poppers wrapped in bacon to a tub of banana pudding, with a whole lot of smoked meat in between, supper there was epic.
Both Granary and B&D were excellent spots for sampling local craft beers as well.
As for tacos, breakfast at Garcia’s Mexican Food was a dream come true.
In fact I ate there twice – something I seldomly do when visiting a new city.
When you go, don’t deny yourself the Tex Mex glory of brisket tacos with guacamole.
Being in San Antonia is a good excuse to get out of the city and see the rest of Texas too, and I split the rest of my time in Texas between two nearby destinations: Bandera and Fredericksburg.
Bandera, about an hour’s drive – and a world away – from San Antonio, is a rural outpost that’s ideal for an overnight.
My main excursion was a guided horseback ride at Dixie Dude Ranch, a 10-minute drive from Bandera.
It’s been donkey’s years since I was last on a horse, but the guides (and my horse) were gracious pros. I felt relaxed and safe and very much enjoyed touring the 725-acre ranch.
Back in town for the night, I moseyed about Bandera for my evening entertainment.
My timing was impeccable. Showing up on Wednesday meant I was there for BYO steak night at the 11th Street Cowboy Bar, an open-air music venue where the grills were fired up for patrons to cook for themselves.
Grilling my own rib eye at twilight, I spied a possum scurrying down a tree as a dozen or so line dancers sashayed in unison to live country music.
After the heartiest of breakfasts the next morning – chicken fried steak with biscuits and gravy and eggs at O.S.T. Restaurant, I hit the highway. And what a highway it was!
Planning my route over a perpetually filled cup of coffee, I determined that arriving was secondary to driving and set out to get lost on some country roads before reaching my next stop.
Taking in the landscape, crisscrossing rivers and canyons, and zipping through quirky communities (who knew Utopia was a town in Texas?) while blaring my favourite Spotify playlist with the window down were treats indeed for a pedestrian Londoner such as myself.
Best part of my joyride was negotiating the infamously curvy Ranch Roads 335, 336 and 337.
These were a trio of hairy switchbacks, complemented by smooth and scenic straight shots, referred to colloquially as the Twisted Sisters – and they were top draw for motorcyclists.
But even in my compact SUV, I found exhilaration behind the wheel, especially when scoping vistas that had me wondering if I was somewhere more exotic than Texas.
Eventually, I reached my final stop before flying back to London: Fredericksburg.
1,200 miles from the Pacific might seem a strange place to commemorate America’s involvement in World War II, until you realise the Commander in Chief of the Pacific Fleet in charge of Allied air, land and sea forces during the war was hometown boy done good, Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz.
Believe it or not, wine is a fast rising industry across much of Texas.
Hill Country farmland are being converted to vineyards, and Fredericksburg is the de facto hub for area wineries.
Best of the lot appears to be Becker Vineyards. I certainly wouldn’t turn my nose up at a bottle of its Cabernet Franc after the glass I had at their in-town tasting room (set in an old Buick showroom).
As much as I loved ambulating around downtown Fredericksburg, my two preferred Fredericksburg activities occurred outside its city limits.
My first full day there commenced with a morning hike up Enchanted Rock.
A bald mountain of pink granite, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is about 17 picture perfect miles north of Fredericksburg. Trekking to its summit took a bit of exertion but yielded a gorgeous panorama of surrounding countryside.
Conversely, an evening listening to music in the blink-and-miss-it village of Luckenbach (16 miles southwest of Fredericksburg) required minimal physical effort, save for elbow bending while sipping a beer and keeping alert for roving roosters and the occasional armadillo.
A cluster of rustic buildings and picnic tables serves as an al fresco entertainment venue here – and something of a shrine to the virtues of rural living.
Immortalised in the lyrics of Waylon Jennings’ hit about this backwater enclave, Luckenbach is a place where ‘there ain’t nobody feelin’ no pain.’
To be sure, there was a merry assemblage of people loving the chance to rest in the shade of sprawling live oaks while listening to acoustic music.
But I got the impression that more than a few of them might have some hangover-related pain to attend to in the morning.
Where to stay in San Antonio and how to get there:
In San Antonio, I stayed downtown at The St Anthony, a 110-year old luxury hotel of recently reclaimed grandeur. Several attractions – including the Alamo, Market Square and River Walk – were nearby.
One indulgence I especially cherished about bedding down at the St Anthony was having its rooftop pool to myself every morning. Jet lag saw me rising extra early. Swimming laps with a skyline view was a refreshing kick-start to each day.
Rooms there start from £142 per night.
Digs for my night in Bandera was in town at the River Front Motel, mere steps from a handful of bars, restaurants, and amenities. Their cabins start from $99 (£76.49) per night.
My hotel in Fredericksburg was the Inn on Barons Creek, just a hop, skip and jump from much of what I wanted to do in town. Rooms there start from £112 per night.
American Airlines/British Airways and a number of major carriers offer connecting flights to San Antonio. I flew from Gatwick via Chicago O’Hare outbound and via Dallas return. Flights start from around £850 return.
For direct flights from London, Austin-Bergstorm International Airport is less than an hour and half drive from San Antonio. Flights for this route are around £350 return.
For thrills as well as practicalities, a car definitely was necessary. I reserved mine with Hertz and was able to pick it up and drop it off at San Antonio Airport.
For more Texas itinerary tips go to traveltexas.com.
(Top picture: Getty)
San Antonio, TexasSan Antonio, TexastikichrisThe Alamo in San Antonio (Picture: Getty)Creative gastronomy at Clementine (Picture: Chris Osburn)B&D Ice House (Picture: Chris Osburn)Breakfast tacos at Garcia's Mexican Restaurant (Picture: Chris Osburn)Decisions decisions (Picture: Chris Osburn)Going for a ride at the Dixie Dude Ranch (Picture: Chris Osburn)On the road in the Hill Country (Picture: Chris Osburn)fredericksburgAt the Becker Vineyards tasting room in Fredericksburg (Picture: Chris Osburn)Enjoying the views from atop Enchanted Rock (Picture: Chris Osburn)Meeting locals in Luckenbach (Picture: Chris Osburn)Rooftop pool at The St Anthony (image courtesy of the hotel)
I struggled with my mental health as a teenager and through university but I kept thinking to myself that things would be better if I could just get to the next phase in my life.
My confidence and self esteem had always been really low but I thought once I passed my degree it would prove to myself that I was good enough.
University was incredibly stressful, it felt like I was being tested and scrutinised every day and rightly so, I was training to be a doctor.
I was really excited the first time I walked onto a ward as a qualified doctor but my nerves were sky high, not just because it was the first day of a new job but my credentials meant I suddenly had ‘trust me’ status – it’s quite a responsibility.
I could not shake the nagging doubt that I just wasn’t good enough. I felt sick when my on-call or crash bleep went off and I would hide in the toilets crying, absolutely terrified I would do something wrong that would result in someone dying. That was my ultimate fear and it played on a constant loop in my brain.
The learning never stops as a doctor – illnesses and treatments are constantly evolving as we discover more about the human body. I find this fascinating but it also means the exams never stop.
We weren’t meant to work more than 50 hours per week but if we did, we just had to say we hadn’t. Overtime was essential to fit everything in but we were not to declare it. A week of nights equaled 91 hours. I’m not sure how anyone is meant to function working those hours.
I was completely exhausted, struggling to eat enough, sleeping very badly, my mental state was questionable and I had a negative thought stream playing on repeat in my brain, but I was certain my work was keeping me going. As long as I could just keep working, I would keep fighting.
Although I was plagued with self harm and suicidal thoughts, I knew I would never do anything to harm my patients; for over six months, I continued to put on a work mask and make everyone believe I was coping just fine. It didn’t occur to me to take sick leave.
Unfortunately I could not keep up this facade forever; my suicidal thoughts got worse so my psychiatrist thought an admission to a psychiatric ward would be the best thing for me.
One Monday afternoon in February I went from working as a doctor, looking after sick people, to being a patient myself and the one that needed care.
I didn’t think I would ever actually be ‘one of them’. I had swapped sides and I didn’t know how to play this role.
Walking onto the psychiatric ward and waiting to be admitted was one of the strangest experiences of my life. I didn’t think I would ever actually be ‘one of them’. I had swapped sides and I didn’t know how to play this role. I knew how to be a doctor, I knew how to present myself, I knew what people expected from me – but as a patient, I was terrified.
I knew logically that I was ill but I kept asking myself, was I really sick enough to be here?
Instead of putting on the mask I was used to, I was being asked to be myself, be honest about how I was feeling and to let people help me. This was a alien experience.
Ultimately my story has a positive outcome: I no longer have symptoms of mental illness although I will be taking medication for the rest of my life. I have not returned to being a doctor, instead I have found ways to give back to the mental health community.
I think something fundamental I did wrong for a long time was assume that the next life stage would make everything all better – if you’re mentally unwell, you need medication and/or therapy. It is unhelpful to think ‘if I just get married/divorced/have children/move house/move job, everything will get better’. Take it from me – it doesn’t.
If you’re a student or doctor struggling with your mental health, please get help sooner rather than later. I found that medicine was not the career for me but if it is for you, it’s important to find ways of managing the stress and ensure you get the right support.
If you, or anyone you know, is struggling, Samaritans are here to help.
They’re available 24 hours a day and offer a safe place to talk, about anything that is getting to you. Call 116 123.
Frances Coleman Williams3-acecFrances Coleman Williams3-acecmindfulsurvivorFrances Coleman Williamswoman in hospital
Sorry to ruin your holiday before you even arrive on the beach, but we have an unsettling warning.
By hopping on a plane and resting your head on that headrest, you’re at risk of catching head lice.
It’s obvious when you think about it, but the risk of getting head lice from a plane seat never crossed our minds before. We were blissfully unaware, lounging around, snuggling down for a plane snooze, and gazing out of the window as we took off, head lolled back on the seat.
But we’ve been snapped out of that ignorant bliss by Dr Sharon Wong, a consultant dermatologist with the British Skin Foundation, who’s confirmed that you can indeed get yourself a head full of lice from airplane headrests.
Head lice don’t fly or jump as they are wingless.
‘Most commonly they infect another person via close contact and survive by blood feed from the scalp,’ explains Dr Wong.
‘However they can survive off the human host for up to 48 hrs – so within that time frame lice and eggs which have dropped off the hair shaft or hair strands which are infested with lice can potentially be cross transferred to another person by objects such as pillows, hairbrushes… and headrests.’
Now, of course, we’d like to think that airlines are cleaning their seats between every flight, but that’s rarely possible, especially when a plane is used for multiple short-haul flights in one day.
That’s why experts recommend that you bring along your own head lice deterring sprays to protect yourself just in case.
And please, please, if you know you or your child have head lice, try to sort out the issue before you head away on holiday – especially as incidences of lice tend to increase in the summer time, when kids are spending more time playing with pals.
Shamir Patel, founder of online pharmacy Chemist-4-U, says: ‘Some short haul planes are performing four or five flights every single day.
‘And if the seat comes into contact with a passenger with head lice, it’s very probable that some of the bugs could linger in the headrest.
‘I’d urge families not to fly if they know either themselves or their children have a head lice infestation, in order to protect other passengers.
‘Meanwhile there are good preventative, pre-emptive sprays and shampoos available which stop head lice infesting you in the first place.
‘Look for products that contain the ingredients cyclomethicone and isopropyl myristate – which kill the lice by essentially dissolving the outer coating of their shell and dehydrating them to death.’
You can also try products containing tea tree oil, as its strong scent repels lice.
But before you start completely panicking and dousing yourself in oils and sprays, it’s worth noting that while it’s possible to pick up head lice from a plane seat, the likelihood is pretty low.
Dr Tess McPherson, a consultant dermatologist with the British Association of Dermatologists, said: ‘I would say the risk of acquiring head-lice from aeroplane seats is incredibly low.
‘They are unlikely to jump off heads onto seats, as they like warm places, and in any case will only survive a short time and quite quickly become less lively or mobile when not on a human head.
‘I do not think people need to be routinely advised to wet wipe down aeroplane seats.’
Stay calm, keep a spray on you if you get paranoid about an itchy head, and if you are one of the unlucky few to get head lice on holiday, deal with the issue swiftly.
Grab some medicated lotion from your nearest pharmacy and get combing. Comb the rest of your family or travel buddies too.
Yes, knowing that there are teeny tiny bugs in your hair is a truly haunting experience, but you can get through it and continue on with your holiday, promise.
Just keep an eye out for sand fleas when you hit the beach.
Scared of flyingScared of flyingellencscottmetro illustrations