Quantcast
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog



Channel Description:

Metro.co.uk: News, Sport, Showbiz, Celebrities from Metro

older | 1 | .... | 1369 | 1370 | (Page 1371) | 1372 | 1373 | .... | 1846 | newer

    0 0

    An armless drag queen is storming Newcastles drag scene`
    (Picture: Matt Smith / Barcroft Images)

    Sophie Harris has an alter ego, and she’s a real piece of art.

    The 26-year-old is also known as Venus Dimilo, finding belief in her performing talents and taking inspiration from the Greek statue with no arms.

    Sophie was born with a disorder called TAR(thrombocytopenia absent radius)  syndrome which means she too has no forearms.

    Instead of letting this hold her back, she created the Venus Dimilo character to have fun and feel confident.

    Venus’ party trick is an act featuring a masturbating T-Rex, with some fantastic makeup, wigs, and outfits thrown in to boot.

    The first ever drag show Sophie watched was on a family holiday in Turkey aged 10. She says she fell in love with their flamboyance.

    Although initially she was wary about getting into drag, once she learned more about female bodied (often known as bio-queens, although Sophie doesn’t use that term) and transgender queens, Venus was born.

    She has since performed in London, Glasgow, and Liverpool, as well as her native Newcastle.

    *** VIDEO AVAILABLE *** NEWCASTLE, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 25: Drag queen Ill Health and Sophie's brother Daniel help her balance on her heels on the way to a nightclub on March 25, 2018 in Newcastle, England. AN armless drag queen is storming Newcastle?s drag scene with her act as a masturbating T-Rex. Sophie Harris has thrombocytopenia absent radius - also known as TAR syndrome - a rare congenital disorder which meant she was born without forearms. The 26-year-old has found confidence and acceptance by performing as a drag artist inspired by the famous - and armless - Greek statue. Sophie saw her first drag show on holiday in Turkey when she was ten-years-old and instantly fell in love with their flamboyance. She initially held back from the scene until she learned more about female bodied and transgender drag queens and decided to create her own drag persona, Venus Dimilo. PHOTOGRAPH BY Matt Smith / Barcroft Images
    (Picture: Matt Smith / Barcroft Images)

    Venus is part of the Hoose of Cunny, which is made up of her friends and housemates Ill Health and, the mastermind behind most of her dresses, Opium.

    Sophie says, ‘When you’re on stage and you see the audience react to what you do it’s validation for all the hard work that you’ve put into it, and it gives sort of like a power, like things you never think of doing normally and you see yourself doing it on stage.

    ‘It’s a very sort of out of body experience but in the best possible way.’

    *** VIDEO AVAILABLE *** UNSPECIFIED - UNDATED: Venus Dimilo in full drag make up. AN armless drag queen is storming Newcastle?s drag scene with her act as a masturbating T-Rex. Sophie Harris has thrombocytopenia absent radius - also known as TAR syndrome - a rare congenital disorder which meant she was born without forearms. The 26-year-old has found confidence and acceptance by performing as a drag artist inspired by the famous - and armless - Greek statue. Sophie saw her first drag show on holiday in Turkey when she was ten-years-old and instantly fell in love with their flamboyance. She initially held back from the scene until she learned more about female bodied and transgender drag queens and decided to create her own drag persona, Venus Dimilo. PHOTOGRAPH BY Barcroft Images
    (Picture: Barcroft Images)

    When she comes on stage for her T-Rex part, she brings on a dildo attached to a wooden stick as part of the joke. Sophie says, ‘that’s probably the most positive and loudest reaction that I’ve had to anything that I’ve ever performed.’

    Her main goal is to inspire people, and show that she can change people’s minds about what they initially thought disabled people and women could do in the drag world.

    Although she still gets criticism for being a woman in the drag world, it’s not going to stop her promoting inclusivity and open-mindedness on the drag scene.

    MORE: Vegan lawyer who became a pilot to spite her boyfriend shares pictures of her adventure-filled life

    MORE: Man surprises girlfriend by proposing to her at his sister’s wedding


    0 0

    (Picture: MuscleFood)

    Dieting and healthier eating just weren’t for me.

    I love potatoes, a lot, and always prioritise immediate enjoyment over the long-term effects the food I’m putting into my body might have.

    While I’m happy with that way of life, I’ve eaten so many amazing meals off of the back of that philosophy, it catches up with you eventually, and I was left feeling unhappy with my body and wanting a change.

    I’ve tried a few different diets before (some with much better results than others) and wanted something that was not going to see me spending my life chopping courgettes and stirring a big pot of cauli rice.

    MuscleFood’s Do The Unthinkable plan, which seemed up my street (apart from the overly aspirational branding, let’s be honest).

    Do The Unthinkable - Musclefood.com
    One of the meals from Do The Unthinkable (Picture: Musclefood.com)

    It starts at £60-a-week for five days a week, or goes up to £79 weekly for no days off at all – that’s the one I did.

    They send you all the food you’ll eat at the start of the week, as well as a DVD of workouts to do.

    Food includes mostly protein porridge for breakfast, with three snacks a day, and microwavable or easily-made wok meals.

    The first thing I did notice was how completely easy the food part was. Unpacking the box was the most difficult thing, and then you simply heat up the food.

    One day's food on Do The Unthinkable

    • Breakfast: OOMF Chocolate Porridge Pot
    • Morning snack: Healthspan HiLo Dark Chocolate and Mint Protein Bar
    • Lunch: Sweet Chilli Chicken & Rice Pot
    • Afternoon snack: Hippeas Organic Chick Pea Puffs Salt & Vinegar
    • Dinner: Persian Lime Chicken with Quinoa, Cauliflower Couscous and Minted Peas
    • Night time snack: Dr Zaks Salted Caramel High Protein Cookie

    In terms of exercise, there was a HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout calendar with about three penciled in per week. They’re pretty standard and not hard to follow.

    I must admit, I didn’t stick to the exercise schedule as well as I should have. There isn’t much space in my flat, so if someone had put their washing up to dry in the living room my home gym was pretty much out of action and that’s all the excuse I need.

    Your living situation should definitely factor into your decision to Do The Unthinkable. You need to be home for a huge delivery box or live with someone who will be or else fresh food will sit on your doorstep all day.

    Plus you need to be a member of a gym, have a big house or have open space nearby and hope for good weather.

    Plus, most of the main meals contain meat, so vegetarians are gonna have a bad time.

    At the start, I was super motivated, and the quantity of food is staggering. It feels like you never stop eating, and that’s including things that might have been considered ‘bad’ on other diets, like crisps and chocolate.

    There’s even protein pizzas, which is ideal for someone who doesn’t want to feel like they’re missing out on carbs and comfort food

    Temptation is always present, though, and given that I did this during the World Cup, pints were always beckoning. I did still drink on this plan, but just cut it down and tried to have spirits with diet mixers rather than wine or beer.

    Four weeks in, I was a lot less enthusiastic. I had eaten so much chicken I felt like at points I was forcing down the rice pots at lunch.

    I only did The Unthinkable for a month, so those who do it for the full three months would likely be feeling like it’s chicken and rice Groundhog Day by the end (or perhaps they’d have Stockholm syndrome by then).

    That said, I went from 11st 7lbs to 10st 6lbs, which is no mean feat in four weeks, and especially when you’re eating that much and feel so full all the time.

    Although I wanted to see more variety with Do The Unthinkable, I spent next to no time preparing food and was able to see really great results.

    I’d certainly recommend that those with more social commitments go for fewer days per week. That way you can still have a meal out or cook yourself something.

    If you want results with not too much effort and plenty of guidance, it’s a great idea.

    I’d also recommend it to people who already eat a high protein diet and need that level of convenience in the short term.

    It’s not a perfect plan, but it does jump start any weight loss or fitness goals you might have, which can hopefully end up changing your lifestyle for the better afterwards.

    What does a dietitian say?

    Dietitian and British Dietetic Association spokesperson Linia Patel gives her pros and cons:

    Pros

    The diet plan bring together both nutrition and physical activity which is good as these are two important factors in any weight loss journey.

    It appears to not exclude any food groups which is great.

    On the plan you have to do zero preparation as all meals and snacks are delivered to you – so this would be great for busy people.

    The fact that the portions are portion controlled would help those who struggle with portion control.

    Cons

    There are a lot of pre-packaged bars and foods and a lack of whole fruit and veg and whole foods in general. Ultimately whole foods is always better in the long-term. Where are the berries to add to the high protein porridge or to add more phytochemical to the high protein bars?

    A key element of a sustainable plan is behaviour change. Perhaps this element is overlooked by this plan – the reality is that you can’t have meals cooked and prepared for you every day of your life (if only).

    People need to be empowered with the knowledge to know what food they should be putting on their plate at home and when out and about and how to prepare this. Healthy doesn’t need to be complicated, and whilst this plan tries to simplify it, it lacks a step down approach that would ease people back into ‘normal’ life when they are shopping, preparing and cooking meals for themselves.

    No one size fits all. This prescriptive plan might work for some, however it is unlikely to work for everyone. The important thing is to find something that works for you and is sustainable in the long run. Speaking to a Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist is a good place to start if you are on a weight loss journey.

    MORE: Takeaway criticised for selling 5,000-calorie box of fried food for under £10

    MORE: Why are so many fast food signs yellow?


    Do The Unthinkable - Musclefood.comDo The Unthinkable - Musclefood.comjessicacvlDo The Unthinkable - Musclefood.comDo The Unthinkable - Musclefood.comDo The Unthinkable - Musclefood.comjessicacvlDo The Unthinkable - Musclefood.com

    0 0

    Are you a business looking to invest in advertising?

    Well look no further, because this man is offering you ample opportunity to reach your audience – via his forehead.

    Tony O’Rourke from Erdington, Birmingham, is stirring up a frenzy in the advertising world with his recent listing on Gumtree.

    He’s presenting businesses with the chance to tattoo a logo or slogan on his forehead for a fee.

    Currently working as a barman, Tony saw a gap in the market (and on his forehead) but it’s not a permanent change – the tattoo will be temporary, lasting 30 days.

    If the forehead doesn’t appeal, Tony is also considering offers for other parts of his body (Picture: BPM MEDIA)

    The 25-year-old dad says the price is ‘negotiable’ but he won’t take less than £200.

    All businesses are welcome to get in touch, though as a family man, he draws the line at ‘sex shops’.

    Speaking to the Birmingham Mail about how the unconventional business idea came about, Tony said: ‘I was looking online and I was joking about it with my cousin at first. We were just looking at ideas for unusual advertising and how we could make something out of it.

    ‘I came up with the idea of putting it on my body and on my forehead for 30 days as a temporary thing to see if anybody would be interested.’

    Write here (Picture: BPM Media)

    Tony’s not had any takers yet but he’s ‘hoping for someone to come through’ and that it will be a ‘company that’s really out there’.

    When asked what he thinks people’s reactions will be to a forehead tattoo ad, Tony says he’s ‘not sure’ but that his family and friends would have a good laugh.

    The budding entrepreneur is hopeful that his forehead ink will be the start of a legitimate business.

    ‘That would be the dream, to get a business out of it and get other people involved and start seeing where we can take it.’

    If foreheads aren’t appealing, Tony is also considering offering up other parts of his body, but his bum will cost you significantly more.

    And just think, if his business takes off, he has free advertising space for life.

    MORE: Man gets tattoo of Smithy’s famous Indian takeaway order from Gavin and Stacey

    MORE: Love Strongbow Dark Fruit? You can now get it tattooed on your body for free

    MORE: Man accidentally gets the wrong wedding date tattooed on his finger


    0 0

    (Picture: SWNS.com)

    Being registered as blind doesn’t stop this gran from creating beautiful drawings and paintings.

    Margaret McNeil, a 95-year-old pensioner from Bothwell, has produced more than 350 works of art despite her poor eyesight.

    She’s completely blind in one eye and partially blind in the other, and instead uses her sense of touch and memory to create her pieces.

    When Margaret’s husband George passed away in 1994, she started to attend art classes.

    That’s where the former dress-fitter met local artist and teacher Duncan Brown, who picked up on her passion for painting and encouraged her to keep going even as her eyesight started to deteriorate.

    Margaret said: ‘I’ve always been into painting and used to paint stones from the beach and would give them as presents to people to use as doorstops.

    ‘It was not long after my husband had died and I didn’t feel like going along but I did and everyone was so nice.

    ‘I was 71 years old and there was a tap dancing class on, which I really enjoyed, and after speaking to the class leaders they referred me to local art teacher, Duncan Brown.

    ‘So I went along and met Duncan and we’ve been great friends ever since.

    ‘I lost the sight in my left eye and I said I should stop going to the classes, but Duncan said I mustn’t give up.

    ‘I have done all the paintings from memory, which sounds daft. I can’t do as much as I used to but I get there.’

    Pensioner Margaret McNeil, 95, from Bothwell, draws pastels and paintings from memory despite being registered blind. An incredible 95-year-old granny has produced more than 350 stunning drawings and paintings -- despite being registered blind. See story CPBLIND. Margaret McNeil is completely blind in one eye and partially blind in the other but uses her sense of touch and memories to produce the fine artworks.The former dress-fitter, who lives in Bothwell, South Lanarkshire, has made a large collection of eye-catching pastel drawings and paintings of landscapes and animals.After the passing of her husband George in 1994, Margaret - originally from Bridgeton, Glasgow - started attending art classes after a friend invited her along.Margaret met local artist and teacher Duncan Brown at night classes, who encouraged her to keep up her passion for painting, despite her eyesight deteriorating.
    A snowy landscape by Margaret (Picture: SWNS.com SWNS.COM)

    Her paintings of animals, birds and landscapes are skillful and eye-catching, and unless you know Margaret personally, you wouldn’t realise that she only has partial sight in one of her eyes.

    Margaret is a mother of two and grandmother of three, and she still lives an active life.

    She enjoys baking and giving her cakes away to the local church, police station and dentist.

    Margaret is proof that you don’t need 20/20 vision to enjoy putting pencil to paper.

    Painter John Bramblitt for example, only picked up a paintbrush in 2001, after he lost his sight to epilepsy.

    He uses braille labels on his supplies and textured paints to help him feel his way around the canvas, with ‘haptic visualization’ enabling him to ‘see’ his subjects.

    Pensioner Margaret McNeil, 95, from Bothwell, draws pastels and paintings from memory despite being registered blind. An incredible 95-year-old granny has produced more than 350 stunning drawings and paintings -- despite being registered blind. See story CPBLIND. Margaret McNeil is completely blind in one eye and partially blind in the other but uses her sense of touch and memories to produce the fine artworks.The former dress-fitter, who lives in Bothwell, South Lanarkshire, has made a large collection of eye-catching pastel drawings and paintings of landscapes and animals.After the passing of her husband George in 1994, Margaret - originally from Bridgeton, Glasgow - started attending art classes after a friend invited her along.Margaret met local artist and teacher Duncan Brown at night classes, who encouraged her to keep up her passion for painting, despite her eyesight deteriorating.
    Margaret enjoying some drawing (Picture: SWNS.com SWNS.COM)

    Amazingly, Turkish artist Eşref Armağan was born totally blind but taught himself to write and paint.

    He produces artworks that use colour, shading and perspective after listening to vivid descriptions of the visual world from his father as a child.

    Poor eyesight – or no eyesight at all – doesn’t mean you have to stop being creative.

    Keep on painting Margaret, you’ve got skills.

    MORE: Artist creates quirky snapshot pencil sketches within his travel pictures

    MORE: Boy becomes professional artist aged 8 (feel inadequate yet?)

    MORE: Emma wins the title of world’s fastest pug for the third year running


    An incredible 95-year-old granny has produced more than 350 stunning drawings and paintings -- despite being registered blindAn incredible 95-year-old granny has produced more than 350 stunning drawings and paintings -- despite being registered blindhpwilliamsonPensioner Margaret McNeil, 95, from Bothwell, draws pastels and paintings from memory despite being registered blind. An incredible 95-year-old granny has produced more than 350 stunning drawings and paintings -- despite being registered blind. See story CPBLIND. Margaret McNeil is completely blind in one eye and partially blind in the other but uses her sense of touch and memories to produce the fine artworks.The former dress-fitter, who lives in Bothwell, South Lanarkshire, has made a large collection of eye-catching pastel drawings and paintings of landscapes and animals.After the passing of her husband George in 1994, Margaret - originally from Bridgeton, Glasgow - started attending art classes after a friend invited her along.Margaret met local artist and teacher Duncan Brown at night classes, who encouraged her to keep up her passion for painting, despite her eyesight deteriorating.Pensioner Margaret McNeil, 95, from Bothwell, draws pastels and paintings from memory despite being registered blind. An incredible 95-year-old granny has produced more than 350 stunning drawings and paintings -- despite being registered blind. See story CPBLIND. Margaret McNeil is completely blind in one eye and partially blind in the other but uses her sense of touch and memories to produce the fine artworks.The former dress-fitter, who lives in Bothwell, South Lanarkshire, has made a large collection of eye-catching pastel drawings and paintings of landscapes and animals.After the passing of her husband George in 1994, Margaret - originally from Bridgeton, Glasgow - started attending art classes after a friend invited her along.Margaret met local artist and teacher Duncan Brown at night classes, who encouraged her to keep up her passion for painting, despite her eyesight deteriorating.An incredible 95-year-old granny has produced more than 350 stunning drawings and paintings -- despite being registered blindAn incredible 95-year-old granny has produced more than 350 stunning drawings and paintings -- despite being registered blindhpwilliamsonPensioner Margaret McNeil, 95, from Bothwell, draws pastels and paintings from memory despite being registered blind. An incredible 95-year-old granny has produced more than 350 stunning drawings and paintings -- despite being registered blind. See story CPBLIND. Margaret McNeil is completely blind in one eye and partially blind in the other but uses her sense of touch and memories to produce the fine artworks.The former dress-fitter, who lives in Bothwell, South Lanarkshire, has made a large collection of eye-catching pastel drawings and paintings of landscapes and animals.After the passing of her husband George in 1994, Margaret - originally from Bridgeton, Glasgow - started attending art classes after a friend invited her along.Margaret met local artist and teacher Duncan Brown at night classes, who encouraged her to keep up her passion for painting, despite her eyesight deteriorating.Pensioner Margaret McNeil, 95, from Bothwell, draws pastels and paintings from memory despite being registered blind. An incredible 95-year-old granny has produced more than 350 stunning drawings and paintings -- despite being registered blind. See story CPBLIND. Margaret McNeil is completely blind in one eye and partially blind in the other but uses her sense of touch and memories to produce the fine artworks.The former dress-fitter, who lives in Bothwell, South Lanarkshire, has made a large collection of eye-catching pastel drawings and paintings of landscapes and animals.After the passing of her husband George in 1994, Margaret - originally from Bridgeton, Glasgow - started attending art classes after a friend invited her along.Margaret met local artist and teacher Duncan Brown at night classes, who encouraged her to keep up her passion for painting, despite her eyesight deteriorating.

    0 0

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock (1234201du) Beach and jetty Soneva Fushi resort by Six Senses celebrates its 15th anniversary, The Maldives - 15 Oct 2010
    (Picture: Richard Young/REX / Shutterstock)

    Only bookworms need apply.

    Luxury resort Soneva Fushi is looking for someone to take over its beach bookshop, so if your favourite thing to do on holiday is to chill beside the beach with a novel, this could be the dream job you’ve been waiting for.

    Instead of looking out at dreary grey office blocks and a leaden sky, you’ll be on white sand, gazing out across azure waters in one of the world’s most sought-after holiday destinations.

    The Maldives is in the Indian Ocean, best known for its coral reefs, pristine beaches and incredible lagoons.

    As the ‘desert island bookseller’, you will be in charge of your own bookshop and able to recommend tourists the most engrossing beach reads.

    Philip Blackwell, the man behind this job opportunity, told the Guardian: ‘The pay is derisory but the fringe benefits unparalleled.

    ‘The role will evolve and it is in part up to you to make the most of this unique opportunity.’

    ‘It’s a dream job for many people. If I was 25 again I would do it.

    ‘We want someone on the ground who is creative and inspiring and can maybe get more people to share the pleasure of reading, which is what people enjoy doing on holiday.’

    In such an idyllic setting and surrounded by books, we think we could forgive a low wage.

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock (1234201dt) Beach Soneva Fushi resort by Six Senses celebrates its 15th anniversary, The Maldives - 15 Oct 2010
    Not a bad view from the office. (Picture: Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock)

    Perks of the job include rubbing shoulders with celebs who frequent the island – including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Beckhams, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, and Madonna, all of whom are fans of the Maldives.

    On your days off, you can soak up the sun on the beach, go exploring on a snorkelling session or sip cocktails on the edge of a blue lagoon.

    Your duties will include hosting creative writing courses and blogging about your experiences of the island, so aspiring writers are definitely encouraged to apply.

    Maybe this job will give you the inspiration you need to write that novel you’ve been talking about for the last five years.

    It will definitely provide the successful candidate with the opportunity to share their love of reading and encourage others to immerse themselves in the imaginary world of a good book.

    If you’re tempted to apply, check out the original job listing on BookBrunch.

    MORE: Harry Potter fans, your dream home is on sale for £350,000

    MORE: Fancy quitting your job and getting paid to look after a bunch of cats on a Greek island?

    MORE: Quit your job and get paid to jump around on an inflatable obstacle course instead


    Soneva Fushi resort by Six Senses celebrates its 15th anniversary, The Maldives - 15 Oct 2010Soneva Fushi resort by Six Senses celebrates its 15th anniversary, The Maldives - 15 Oct 2010hpwilliamsonMandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock (1234201du) Beach and jetty Soneva Fushi resort by Six Senses celebrates its 15th anniversary, The Maldives - 15 Oct 2010Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock (1234201dt) Beach Soneva Fushi resort by Six Senses celebrates its 15th anniversary, The Maldives - 15 Oct 2010Soneva Fushi resort by Six Senses celebrates its 15th anniversary, The Maldives - 15 Oct 2010Soneva Fushi resort by Six Senses celebrates its 15th anniversary, The Maldives - 15 Oct 2010hpwilliamsonMandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock (1234201du) Beach and jetty Soneva Fushi resort by Six Senses celebrates its 15th anniversary, The Maldives - 15 Oct 2010Mandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Young/REX/Shutterstock (1234201dt) Beach Soneva Fushi resort by Six Senses celebrates its 15th anniversary, The Maldives - 15 Oct 2010

    0 0

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Stephen Lovekin/REX/Shutterstock (9626741bm) Asia Argento 9th Annual Women in the World Summit, Arrivals, New York, USA - 12 Apr 2018
    Asia Argento had spearheaded the #MeToo movement (Picture: Stephen Lovekin/REX/Shutterstock)

    The #MeToo movement has shed light on a damaging culture of sexual abuse within the entertainment industry, and allowed for a wider conversation about sexual abuse encountered day-to-day.

    Dozens of women spoke out about being abused by Harvey Weinstein, many of them emboldened by Asia Argento, who spearheaded the movement.

    So it was hard to hear that police are now investigating Ms Argento for allegedly sexually assaulting a young male actor, Jimmy Bennett, when he was 17, allegations she has since denied.

    Lots of people seem to be struggling to wrap their heads around this and the fact that sexual abuse holds no demographic constraint. Anyone can be a survivor or perpetrator, regardless of gender.

    Research shows that while sexual violence against men is most commonly perpetrated by men, men can also be victimised by women.

    More men are beginning to open up about sexual abuse, with three times the number of recorded complaints over the past decade, although this is unlikely to reflect the true extent of the problem as many men still struggle to speak out.

    Assault from a woman towards a man is no less traumatic than the rape of a woman by a man.

    In my work as an independent sexual violence advisor, I regularly encounter the same misconceptions. It is often assumed that if a man has an erection while being abused, he must have enjoyed it. Or that men are stronger than women, so it’s their fault if they don’t escape or fight off the female perpetrator.

    #MeToo brought women together in their fight against perpetrators of sexual abuse and it seems that in light of the recent allegations, women are now struggling with a moral dilemma. Rose McGowan, a friend of Ms Argento, has changed her tune, imploring people be ‘gentle’ in light of recent allegations.

    This is a stark contrast to her tweets about denouncing ‘known predators’ in November 2017.

    Earlier this year author, Junot Diaz revealed he was raped as a child, prompting an outcry of support – but the situation became much murkier when he was also accused of sexual abuse by many women.

    While research suggests that a large number of sexual offenders also experienced sexual violence at some stage, very few victims of sexual violence go on to offend. In the case of Ms Argento, regardless of her gender or being abused herself, we must not lessen the significance and impact that her alleged abuse of Mr Bennett has.

    Assault from a woman towards a man is no less traumatic than the rape of a woman by a man.

    The issue extends beyond casual conversation around sexual abuse. Even legal definitions of sexual offences remain gender biased, stating that rape only includes penile penetration.

    Most offences committed by females fall under the offences ‘assault by penetration’ or ‘sexual assault’, yet the definitions for these still use the ‘he’ pronoun when describing the offender.

    I’ve seen professionals such as police officers reinforce gender stereotypes by using the pronouns ‘she’ and ‘he’ when talking about victims and perpetrators respectively. This helps reinforce the portrayal of men as perpetrators, and women as victims, and creates the assumption that there is a gender distinction within sexual violence.

    In order to properly support male victims, we must normalise the discussion of sexual violence and abuse towards men, eradicate the view that rape and sexual abuse is gendered and see it for what it is: a means of power and control committed by one individual over another.

    Any woman who supported Ms Argento when she claimed she was abused must now take Mr Bennet’s allegations just as seriously. Only by believing and supporting victims of all genders will we ever break the cycle of abuse and empower people to come forward and hold their abusers to account.

    SurvivorsUK support male survivors of rape and sexual abuse, increasing awareness of male rape as an issue, and ensuring that male survivors have the best opportunities to receive support for a broad cross spectrum of problems. If you or someone you know is struggling, do take a look at the website, www.survivorsuk.org, and access our online helpline.

    MORE: We will continue to hijack the lobster emoji until we get one of the trans flag

    MORE: A terrorist tried kill to me but I do not want the death penalty for extremists

    MORE: The next stage of the body positivity moment is seeing mid-sized women with real bodies


    Rose McGowan ‘heartbroken' by news that Asia Argento paid of sex assault accuserRose McGowan ‘heartbroken' by news that Asia Argento paid of sex assault accusersirenabergmanukMandatory Credit: Photo by Stephen Lovekin/REX/Shutterstock (9626741bm) Asia Argento 9th Annual Women in the World Summit, Arrivals, New York, USA - 12 Apr 2018Rose McGowan ‘heartbroken' by news that Asia Argento paid of sex assault accuserRose McGowan ‘heartbroken' by news that Asia Argento paid of sex assault accusersirenabergmanukMandatory Credit: Photo by Stephen Lovekin/REX/Shutterstock (9626741bm) Asia Argento 9th Annual Women in the World Summit, Arrivals, New York, USA - 12 Apr 2018

    0 0

    (Picture: Funmi Olutoye)
    Funmi, pictured right, with her mum (Picture: Funmi Olutoye)

    I’m 30 in two months. That means I have approximately 60 days to prove to my mum I haven’t completely failed in life by not being married by now.

    So I completely empathise with TV presenter AJ Odudu’s mum-induced search to find a husband in her new TV show, ‘Manhunting with my Mum’ on Channel 4. I know our Nigerian mums only want the best for us. But honestly mum, if you’re listening, I’d like to think in this particular area, I know what’s best for me too.

    Nigerian culture is very traditional and ultimately very conservative. They believe in marriage and they believe men are head of the household. Because of this, rightly or wrongly, marriage is the crowning glory of a woman’s life in this society.

    However, I’m of the philosophy that firstly, marriage is not the pinnacle of my life’s achievements, and secondly, that it’s best to wait for the right person rather than getting married for the sake of it, only to break up soon after.

    Recent figures from the Office of National Statistics say that around 42% of marriages in England and Wales end in divorce, with around half of these marriages ending within the first 10 years.

    I definitely don’t want to count myself among these stats for the sake of having a hashtag Instagram wedding and to give my parents the bragging rights of their daughter being married off.

    My mum and various other members of my family have tried to force their hand in an attempt to dismantle my single life in the past. I’ve been dragged to endless weddings all over the world, and been the centre of discussions between their friends on how I can meet their sons.

    Every conversation I have with my granddad, about 2.5 minutes in, he’ll ask me, ‘So, any nice boys hanging around?’

    I knew my family were getting distressed when one afternoon, my dad blurted out, ‘are you gay?’ Wow. So a single woman of Nigerian descent has only three options in life: Married, to-be-married-imminently and gay?

    Of course, there have been boys in my life – just none I really felt brave enough to subject to the intense interrogation they’ll get when I introduce them as my other half.

    (Picture: Funmi Olutoye)
    (Picture: Funmi Olutoye)

    But after my dad’s desperate cry for information on my love life, I realised it’s time to stop killing my family with panic. So last year, I introduced someone to my mum – a white guy from the Midlands.

    I was a bit apprehensive, because like AJ’s mum, I assumed she might want me to be with someone she can really relate to, someone Nigerian.

    But my mum completely fell in love with him.

    I couldn’t work out whether she loved him for his ridiculously good looks (and I really mean ridiculous) and charming personality, or if at this point, she was willing to accept even a martian that just landed from Pluto, because she was beginning to think I was asexual. In hindsight, it was definitely the former.

    Alas it didn’t work out, and we’ve remained friends, but the pressure from my mum is still on. She’s still asking questions and she’s still sending Bible verses pertaining to marriage. Bless her.

    Our outlooks on relationships and marriage are worlds apart. Not just from a generational perspective but also a cultural perspective. It’s something I explored on my YouTube channel My African Mum & Me.

    This isn’t Pride & Prejudice. I’m not going to be Charlotte in that novel; pick anyone and get married out of convenience just because I’m clocking the big 3 0. There has to be better reasons than that.

    So how do I navigate this caring-although-sometimes-irritating concern about my love life?

    It’s a constant battle to show my mum and the rest of the family that actually waiting for the right person is what is right for me at this point in time.

    I’ve seen some of my friends cave under the pressure of Nigerian parents pushing them to get married, and I’ve seen the irrevocable damage that it has caused. They’re paying a heavy price for it now in the name of divorce, becoming a single parent family, financial difficulties and much more.

    I know they just want us to be happy, but I do wish that our traditional African parents would release the pressure on us because the UK is ultimately a different society to where they grew up.

    Women in the UK are fortunate in that they can choose whether or not their entire destiny and social status hangs on their other half. Thank goodness for me that it’s a choice that I can actively make until I feel the time and person is right for me.

    MORE: Why I wish my parents had taught me to speak their language

    MORE: 8 things you know if you have Nigerian parents

    MORE: 10 of the best Nigerian restaurants in London


    funmi-43b0funmi-43b0funmio7(Picture: Funmi Olutoye)(Picture: Funmi Olutoye)funmi-43b0funmi-43b0funmio7(Picture: Funmi Olutoye)(Picture: Funmi Olutoye)

    0 0

    A general view of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the penthouse flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
    The flat sits at more than 130ft high (Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

    If you don’t mind heights and love a nice countryside view, this might be your dream property.

    A penthouse flat in a converted water tower in Hertfordshire is on sale for £750,000.

    The flat takes up the top two floors of the tower, sitting at more than 130ft high.

    There’s some interesting history behind the place. The tower was built in 1932 to serve Shenley Hospital, near Radlett, and was used in the Second World War as a look-out post.

    Now converted into a home, the top floor flat had provided resident Sandra Lenson, 74, who lives in the flat with her husband Trevor, 81, the perfect vantage point to carry out her neighbourhood watch duties.

    A general view of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the penthouse flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
    The tower was used as a look-out point in World War II (Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

    That’s because the view you get from the top is pretty incredible. You can see right out over the countryside, and on a clear day you can even spot St Paul’s Cathedral and the Shard.

    The couple say they often spot birds of prey flying by the window.

    Sandra and Trevor have been in the flat since 2011, and have loved being so high up. Now they hope to move to a property with a garden.

    An aerial view of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the penthouse flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
    The flat provides incredible views of the surrounding countryside (Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

    ‘We get kites. There’s a pair of them that often pass our windows, says Sandra.

    ‘They sort of glide past and still never fail to amaze us. It’s a bird’s-eye view.

    ‘”It’s incredible because the flat is beautiful, it’s perfect in size and even when you have a few people round it feels spacious.

    ‘It’s very open, with all the windows, cool in the summer and warm in the winter – we’ve got underfloor heating.

    ‘If you tell people about where you live they are amazed and if you show them pictures they are even more amazed because it’s so different.

    A general view of the penthouse flat of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
    There are three bedrooms and an open plan living, dining, and kitchen area (Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

    ‘The views are incredible. Every single window has an incredible view, a beautiful view, whatever time of the year, sunrise and sunset.’

    The three-bedroom penthouse, sitting on the tower’s tenth and eleventh floors, can be accessed by lift (so don’t worry about making that climb every evening) and has two bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, one smaller bedroom, and an open-plan living room, dining room, and kitchen.

    It’s up for sale with Hamptons International, with a guide price of £750,000.

    We’d recommend taking a visit if you’re interested to properly appreciate the views from the top.

    A general view of the penthouse flat of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
    The main bedroom (Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire)
    A general view of the penthouse flat of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
    The open plan living area (Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire)
    A general view of the penthouse flat of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
    The smaller bedroom (Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire)
    A general view of the penthouse flat of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
    A glimpse of the view (Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

    MORE: What I Rent: Gigi and John, £1,550 a month for a two-bedroom flat in Notting Hill

    MORE: Blogger asks followers for style advice, doesn’t notice the penis design on her skirt

    MORE: Wiltshire’s charming villages are brimful with good restaurants – and it’s about time you visited for a gourmet weekend


    Sweet flat for saleSweet flat for saleellencscottA general view of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the penthouse flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA WireA general view of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the penthouse flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA WireAn aerial view of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the penthouse flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA WireA general view of the penthouse flat of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA WireA general view of the penthouse flat of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA WireA general view of the penthouse flat of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA WireA general view of the penthouse flat of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA WireA general view of the penthouse flat of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA WireSweet flat for saleSweet flat for saleellencscottA general view of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the penthouse flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA WireA general view of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the penthouse flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA WireAn aerial view of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the penthouse flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA WireA general view of the penthouse flat of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA WireA general view of the penthouse flat of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA WireA general view of the penthouse flat of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA WireA general view of the penthouse flat of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA WireA general view of the penthouse flat of Shenley Tower in Radlett, Hertfordshire, where the flat has gone on sale. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 20, 2018. The 3 bedroom flat sits over two floors of the tower which was originally used as a water tower on the site of a hospital and was built in 1932 before being converted 12 years ago into flats. See PA story MONEY Tower. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

    0 0

    (Picture: Ella Byworth)

    What do you define as cheating?

    Is it only cheating if penetration happens? Would you be bothered if a partner asked someone else for advice on an emotional issue? Is it inappropriate to like other people’s thirst traps?

    It’s tricky to draw the line, and what some people would say is an absolute no-go, someone else thinks is entirely okay.

    The best approach is to talk to your partner about what they find acceptable and what would hurt them, so you’re both on the same page.

    But if you need somewhere to start in your inappropriate behaviour definitions, look to this survey from Ashley Madison (yes, that’s the dating site for people having affairs), which reveals what men and women believe constitutes cheating.

    We’d recommend going through the list and seeing what you and your partner believe.

    Remember, all these inappropriate things have been defined as cheating by people who’ve cheated before. So they might know what they’re talking about.

    While the obvious ones – having sex with someone else, getting into a relationship with someone else – are defined as cheating across the board, there are some other actions on the list that might surprise you.

    Those surveyed ranked forming a deep emotional bond as the worst type of cheating, and 18% think it’s cheating to fantasise about someone else during sex.

    Top actions that are considered cheating:

    Forming a deep emotional bond with someone else – 55%

    Sending naked pictures to someone other than me – 46%

    Texting erotic messages to someone other than me – 44%

    Maintaining an online dating profile – 29%

    Spending time with their ex-partner – 29%

    Casual flirting with someone other than me – 18%

    Thinking about someone other than me when having sex with me – 18%

    Going out to dinner with someone who is the opposite sex – 18%

    Communicating with their ex – 16%

    Fantasising about someone else – 13%

    There isn’t one universal set of rules for a healthy relationship, so while knowing what everyone else thinks is okay can be handy, the best way to find out what your partner expects in a relationship is to just ask them.

    Get things clear now before you do anything that might hurt them.

    MORE: My Nigerian family are desperate for me to get married – but it’s important that the choice is mine

    MORE: What I Rent: Gigi and John, £1,550 a month for a two-bedroom flat in Notting Hill


    How to talk to a woman you don't knowHow to talk to a woman you don't knowellencscottHow to talk to a woman you don't knowHow to talk to a woman you don't knowellencscott

    0 0

    (Picture: Getty Images/EyeEm)

    Back in the day, those who shunned dairy had limited options when buying plant-based milk in the supermarket, or when ordering a latte at the coffee shop.

    These days, you’re inundated with choice – and it can be a bit overwhelming.

    Within all the different types (Soy? Almond? Hemp?), you’ve then got variations – do you want sweetened? Organic? Fortified with vitamins?

    Let’s get this straight – whichever you choose, none taste much like cow’s milk, no matter how much a brand tries to convince you otherwise.

    The good news though is that once your taste buds change after a few weeks without dairy, you’ll probably find cow’s milk repulsive anyway.

    When I first dipped my toe into dairy-free, I wrinkled my nose at the soya milk in my tea, and craved cow’s milk, but it didn’t take long before I got used to the different taste. In fact, when I was accidentally given dairy milk at a coffee shop, I spat it out as it tasted so vile.

    I personally prefer plant milks with minimal ingredients e.g. just nuts/soybeans, water and salt, because some of them can be a little questionable, scrimping on the supposed main ingredient and thickening the drink with oil or potentially inflammatory ingredients like carrageenan instead.

    However, those with a higher nut content do tend to be more expensive. It’s a minefield. For your mind and your bank account.

    Of course, you can always make your own, but realistically, who’s got time?

    So, this World Plant Milk Day, whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, or dairy-free for health reasons – here’s a guide to all your plant-based milk alternatives available in the supermarkets.

    Soya

    (Picture: Waitrose)

    Soy is the OG vegan milk alternative, but it’s been pushed to the side in recent years, in favour of other fancier milks.

    It’s also fallen out of favour due to some medical studies linking it to reproductive health issues, thanks its phytoestrogens, which mimic female hormones.

    However, a study last year revealed soy was the most nutritious plant milk, so make up your own mind.

    Soy works well in both tea and coffee, although it does tend to make any drink its added to quite heavy and filling. It’s also prone to curdling (depending on the acidity of the coffee you’re using), but you can combat this by warming the milk up a bit, or adding the milk before gradually adding the coffee.

    You’ll find Alpro soy products in most supermarkets, they’ve got loads of versions like sweetened/unsweetened/light. Find them in the fridge and the longlife milk section.

    If you’re not down to clown with loads of thickeners in your drink, you’ll probably be after Alpro Organic Soya Wholebean (£1.40 for one litre) which only contains water and hulled soya beans.

    Special shoutout to Alpro Caffe Soya Caramel (£2.50 for one litre), a big carton of sweet iced coffee you can stash in your fridge.

    Most supermarkets do their own sweetened and unsweetened versions of soy milk for less than £1, like Tesco Soya Drink Sweetened (85p for one litre), Essential Waitrose Unsweeteened Soya (90p for one litre), and Sainsbury’s Sweetened Soya Drink (90p for one litre).

    Now, the international daddy of all soy milk is hands down Bonsoy, but a) it’s expensive and b) made in Japan and not widely available in the UK, but you can get it at Ocado for £3.75. Treat yoself.

    FYI – full fat soy is usually the best milk alternative in baking.

    Almond

    (Picture: Alpro)

    This one tastes great in coffee – if you haven’t had an almond milk flat white, you haven’t lived.

    Almond milk does taste – shock horror – quite strongly of almonds though, and alters the taste of your drink significantly, so unless you like a nutty brew, steer clear of tea with this one.

    It’s worth pointing out that cheaper almond milks tend to contain only one to two percent almond, bulking the rest out with thickeners. If you’re after a simpler recipe, check out Plenish Organic 6% Almond M*lk (£2.50 for one litre), which only uses three ingredients in its version – almonds, water and a little salt.

    It’s naturally thickened by the extra nut content, and while it’s a bit pricier than the ones with less almonds, it’s often on offer in Sainsbury’s, so keep an eye out.

    Top tip – Plenish is usually kept in the fridge at Sainsbury’s but it’s actually long-life, so you can stock up when it’s on offer.

    Rude Health Ultimate Almond Drink (£4.40 for one litre) also has six percent almonds but it’s really pricey – and a lot of vegans boycotted the brand last year after it promoted full fat cow’s milk.

    If you don’t mind a cheaper almond milk, then you’ve got loads of readily available options – both sweetened and unsweetened.

    Try Alpro Almond Roasted Original (£1.60 for one litre) or Almond Breeze Unsweetened (£1.60 for one litre). Supermarkets like Tesco and Sainsbury’s also do own brand versions.

    Oat

    (Picture: Oatly)

    The oat milk market has been well and truly commandeered by Oatly, a brand which many vegans passionately suckle on the oaty teat of.

    An increasing number of coffee shops now swear by Oatly Barista Edition (£1.80 for one litre) as it foams really well. Oatly even have an Oatfinder map to help you locate nearby coffee shops that use it.

    If you’re not a fan of thickeners and fillers in your moo-free blend, then give Oatly Organic Oat Drink (£1.50 for one litre) a try. I’m a fan of this in both coffee and tea, and it’s a great price for a simple recipe.

    Alpro Oat Original (£1.40 for one litre) is another option, but this does contain vegetable oil, in case you’re bothered.

    If you’re a chocolate milk fan, Oatly Chocolate Oat Drink (£1.50 for one litre) is ridiculously delicious and is enriched with vitamins, but it also contains rapeseed oil. Worth it for a treat though.

    Oat milk is naturally a bit sweet, so even the ones with no added sugar are a great choice for those with a sweet tooth.

    Cashew

    Cashew milk is super creamy and great for coffee. It works well in tea too as it doesn’t have a strong taste, and it makes a lovely, rich porridge.

    Plenish Organic Cashew M*lk (£2.50 for one litre) is tasty, and has a high nut content. You’ve also got Alpro Cashew Original (£1.70 for one litre) as a cheaper option, with fewer nuts, although it is fortified with vitamins like B12, which vegans need to keep an eye on their levels of.

    Coconut

    (Rebel Kitchen)

    Ah, coconut. Koko Coconut (£1.50 for one litre) is sweetened with grape juice, fortified with vitamins, and doesn’t have an overpowering coconut taste, so it’s great for hot drinks and cereal.

    Rebel Kitchen makes three different coconut cream-based milk alternatives that they claim tastes like cow’s milk…but they 100% don’t. We were excited to test this after Rebel Kitchen hyped them up so much, but we couldn’t find a single vegan/non-vegan tester who agreed that it tasted like cow juice.

    It’s a nice drink it itself though – all our testers enjoyed it – and again, doesn’t taste too much like coconut. They do three different options – whole, semi-skimmed and skimmed, depending which thickness you’re after.

    Rebel Kitchen Semi-Skimmed Dairy Free Organic Mylk (£2.99 for one litre) is a nice middle ground for your hot beverages. It also contains brown rice and cashews.

    I’m a big fan of Alpro Coconut Rice Drink (£1.70 for one litre) as it tastes really coconutty (that’ll be the flavourings…) and it makes a really delicious iced coconut latte.

    You can make a really tasty porridge using coconut milk drink, with fresh or dried tropical fruit and coconut shreds.

    Califia Farms Chocolate Coconut Almond Milk (£2.29 for 750ml) also deserves a mention, and is a wonderful treat straight from the fridge.

    Rice

    (Picture: Dream)

    Rice milk is quite thin and watery, so it’s great if you like your coffee or tea strong but with a splash of milk.

    As it’s not heavy, it makes quite a refreshing cold drink by itself.

    Try Rice Dream Original (£1.38 for one litre), Alpro Rice Original (£1.31 for one litre) or if you’re feeling super quirky, there’s Rice Dream Quinoa (£1.60 for one litre), which isn’t as gross as it sounds. In fact, it was fine in coffee.

    Hazelnut

    Big fan of this in coffee – it makes a delicious iced hazelnut latte, and the most decadent hot chocolate. Unless you like a praline flavoured tea, steer clear of this in your Earl Grey.

    Plenish is always a great go-to for nut milks due to the aforementioned high nut content (five percent) – try Plenish Organic Hazelnut M*lk (£2.50 for one litre) . It tastes naturally nutty, without artificial flavourings.

    if you’ve got a sweet tooth, try Alpro Hazelnut Original (£1.80 for one litre), which has added sugar, as well as added calcium and vitamins B2, B12, E, and D2.

    Hemp

    (Picture: Good Hemp)

    Hemp is naturally creamy, and Good Hemp Unsweetened (£1.50 for one litre) is a nice option for hot drinks as it doesn’t alter the flavour.

    Also great in smoothies.

    Peanut

    Peanut milk is a bit of a new one, and not easy to find, but Rude Health Peanut Drink (£2 for one litre) is an option – it only contains peanuts and water, so it’s thickener-free.

    We’ve only ever seen this in Waitrose though. You can probably find it in health food stores like Whole Foods, but their prices tend to be higher.

    We were expecting a peanut-flavoured coffee, but it doesn’t taste all that nutty and is quite thin, so might be best reserved for cereals and smoothies.

    Macadamia

    (Picture: Provamel)

    Now, this one’s not that common, but if you can find one and do feel like splashing out on a little carton, then give the subtle taste of Provamel Organic Macadamia Drink (£1.79 for 500ml) a go in your coffee.

    It’s made with four percent macadamia nuts, water, agave syrup and salt, and is rich and creamy – a great drink in its own right.

    Flax

    We’ve left this until last as it’s the one dairy-free milk we’ve not tried, and it isn’t widely available.

    You can get OOO Mega Flax Drink (£2 for one litre) at Waitrose, which naturally contains omega 3 and 6 from the flaxseed oil. The makers say it’s great for hot drinks and baking, so if you give it a go, let us know what you think.

    If you’re new to the world of dairy-free, enjoy finding your fave!

    MORE: Asda's going to be selling a vegan cheeseboard this Christmas

    MORE: Check your B12 levels with this DIY test

    MORE: We review 11 vegan, cruelty-free eye creams


    Almond Milk In Glass With Straw On Table Against Black BackgroundAlmond Milk In Glass With Straw On Table Against Black BackgroundlisambowmanAlmond Milk In Glass With Straw On Table Against Black BackgroundAlmond Milk In Glass With Straw On Table Against Black Backgroundlisambowman

    0 0

    Kids can do a lot of damage when your back is turned, even when it’s just for a minute.

    Emma Howes learned that the hard way on 15 August, when within the ten minutes she was focused on doing the laundry her two toddlers Hollie, four, and Evie, two, managed to cover the floor, walls, and their little sister with brown and purple paint.

    The 24-year-old mum says she was only doing the laundry for ten minutes when she noticed her kids had disappeared. She popped upstairs to check on them and found paint covering almost every part of the house.

    Eventually she found Hollie and Evie dancing in the shower, splashing around more brown paint and having fun.

    Pics by Caters News - (Pictured: Emma Howes finds house trashed in paint by two children ) - Two troublesome toddlers covered their whole upstairs landing, bathroom and bedroom in paint including their baby sisters FACE. As Emma Howes did a load of washing at home in Witney, Oxford, on August 15, two of her three children, Hollie, four, and Evie, two, slipped away. After just ten minutes of concentration, the 24-year-old mum realised her kids have disappeared and runs upstairs to be greeted by utter devastation. SEE CATERS COPY
    (Pict Caters News

    When she headed into check on her third daughter, Connie, she found even more paint on her cot and the 11-month-old’s forehead.

    ‘I literally had no words I couldn’t speak, totally shocked,’ said Emma. ‘Honestly I could have cried.

    ‘Their dad was far from happy but what was done was done. Now we just look and laugh. Especially at the video with Connie’s cheeky grin at the end.’

    After hours of trying to clean up the mess, Emma ended up calling a specialist cleaner which set her back £100.

    ‘It is much better than it was at first, but even then we have to get the specialist back out,’ said Emma.

    ‘I stuck the pair of them straight in the shower while I figured out where to start the clean up.

    ‘I asked Hollie what she thought she was doing and replied “I’m a rockstar mummy”.

    Fair point, Hollie.

    MORE: Half of UK parents think it’s okay to swear in front of their children

    MORE: Woman finds drunken stranger asleep on sofa after he walked into parents’ old house


    0 0

    Mental health series: How to look after your mental health when you're moving house, because it's bloody stressful
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    It’s tough to know when to call it quits and move to a new place.

    Packing up your things and hiring a van feels like a lot of effort, and you’ve enjoyed living in your place for a while. Is a move really worth the faff? Are you giving up a good thing for no reason?

    The reality is that your home needs to be sanctuary you actually enjoy returning to – somewhere you can rest your head and relax without feeling claustrophobic or scared about mice in your kitchen.

    When you’re going back and forth on whether to stay or go, it’s handy to know some key signs that show it’s time to move on.

    Thankfully, a study commissioned by Keepmoat Homes has revealed a few of those top signs. If you go through them and find yourself nodding along, it might be time to take the plunge and ditch your current home. It’ll be tough, sure, but it’ll be worth it when you come home from a long day at work and actually like where you are.

    Top 30 signs it's time to move house:

    • Your home starts to feel too big or small
    • You browse home-moving websites like Zoopla or Rightmove
    • There are DIY jobs you can’t be bothered to crack on with
    • You start to hate the neighbours
    • You notice other people’s homes more frequently
    • You don’t have enough storage space
    • You start to yearn for a shorter commute
    • You spend ages complaining about your house
    • You start honing in on all the things which are ‘wrong’ with the house
    • You have the money to move
    • You feel your home is now too old-fashioned
    • You’ve forgotten everything you once loved about it
    • You imagine how you’d decorate a new house
    • You’ve stopped tidying and cleaning as much as you should
    • You bring up houses, decorating and house-hunting in conversation more than you used to
    • You want a new project to work on
    • You start spending more time outside the house than in
    • You begin to feel your kids are ‘too big’ for the house
    • You feel you have ‘too many’ children for your current home
    • You slow down every time you go past a ‘For Sale’ sign
    • Your friends are all living in a different area
    • You stop keeping up with basic maintenance like replacing light bulbs
    • You don’t invite friends round any more
    • You get annoyed by cars parking in ‘your’ space
    • You let your garden fall into disrepair
    • You’ve had planning permission refused and can’t do things you want to do
    • You take a weirdly keen interest in other people who are buying new homes
    • You start buying home interior magazines
    • You never go in your garden
    • You find yourself ‘window shopping’ at B&Q

    The study found that the average homeowner (ha! owning a home – can you imagine?) wants to move after nine years of living in one place, so you can imagine how little time it takes for a renter to be ready to leave.

    People tend to move because they want a home in a better location, a garden, or to get away from an annoying neighbour.

    But money holds us back – 41% say they’re stuck in their current home because they can’t afford the move.

    And all that hassle plays a part too: More than one in five say they’re staying put because they don’t want to deal with the stress of moving.

    MORE: What I Rent: Gigi and John, £1,550 a month for a two-bedroom flat in Notting Hill

    MORE: Half of UK parents think it’s okay to swear in front of their children

    MORE: What I Rent: Rebecca, £714 a month for a room in a two bedroom flat in Tooting


    Mental health series: How to look after your mental health when you're moving house, because it's bloody stressfulMental health series: How to look after your mental health when you're moving house, because it's bloody stressfulellencscottMental health series: How to look after your mental health when you're moving house, because it's bloody stressfulMental health series: How to look after your mental health when you're moving house, because it's bloody stressfulMental health series: How to look after your mental health when you're moving house, because it's bloody stressfulellencscottMental health series: How to look after your mental health when you're moving house, because it's bloody stressful

    0 0

    BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)?Pic: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS Fancy living in your own Magic Kingdom - fairytale French Chateau near historic Poitiers on the market fot ?5 million. Homebuyers will need deep pockets or a fairy godmother if they want to get their hands on this stunning ?5m castle that looks straigh out of Disneyland. With its white walls and spectacular pointed blue turrets, the elegant 19th century chateau near Poitiers in western France could easily be mistaken for the iconic Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and the Walt Disney logo. The impressive home has everything a modern-day princess could want - indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, home cinema and a gym - all that is missing is the pumpkin carriage and glass slippers. It is on the market with estate agent Maxwell Baynes for ?4.92m (5.5m euros).
    A chateau in France looks just like Disney’s Cinderella Castle (Picture: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS)

    Disney fans, raid your piggy bank or make friends with a wealthy older relative: Your dream home is on sale for £5million.

    Sadly, we don’t think Help to Buy will be quite enough help to buy the place, but we can still dream, right?

    The place to fantasise about is a 19th century chateau near Poitiers in western France.

    Why? Because it looks just like the Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida and in the Walt Disney logo.

    Just think of the Instagram opportunities you’d have if this were your home.

    BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)?Pic: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS Fancy living in your own Magic Kingdom - fairytale French Chateau near historic Poitiers on the market fot ?5 million. Homebuyers will need deep pockets or a fairy godmother if they want to get their hands on this stunning ?5m castle that looks straigh out of Disneyland. With its white walls and spectacular pointed blue turrets, the elegant 19th century chateau near Poitiers in western France could easily be mistaken for the iconic Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and the Walt Disney logo. The impressive home has everything a modern-day princess could want - indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, home cinema and a gym - all that is missing is the pumpkin carriage and glass slippers. It is on the market with estate agent Maxwell Baynes for ?4.92m (5.5m euros).
    And it’s pretty incredible inside (Picture: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS)

    The chateau has the white exterior and pointed blue turrets of the Disney castle, and has all the fancy bits a princess would be after.

    There are indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, a home cinema, a gym, and lush green surroundings.

    It might be a little large for one princess to live alone in, though. Offering 9,687 sq ft of accommodation over four floors, the chateau has five bedrooms in total, one of which is a large master bedroom suite, three bathrooms, a study, a games room, a snazzy entrance hall, a double reception room, a dining room, a kitchen, a conservatory, and a central hall for any balls you feel like throwing. Whew.

    BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)?Pic: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS Outdoor pool and restored Dovecote. Fancy living in your own Magic Kingdom - fairytale French Chateau near historic Poitiers on the market fot ?5 million. Homebuyers will need deep pockets or a fairy godmother if they want to get their hands on this stunning ?5m castle that looks straigh out of Disneyland. With its white walls and spectacular pointed blue turrets, the elegant 19th century chateau near Poitiers in western France could easily be mistaken for the iconic Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and the Walt Disney logo. The impressive home has everything a modern-day princess could want - indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, home cinema and a gym - all that is missing is the pumpkin carriage and glass slippers. It is on the market with estate agent Maxwell Baynes for ?4.92m (5.5m euros).
    There’s an outdoor swimming pool and one inside, too (Picture: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS)
    BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)?Pic: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS Cinema. Fancy living in your own Magic Kingdom - fairytale French Chateau near historic Poitiers on the market fot ?5 million. Homebuyers will need deep pockets or a fairy godmother if they want to get their hands on this stunning ?5m castle that looks straigh out of Disneyland. With its white walls and spectacular pointed blue turrets, the elegant 19th century chateau near Poitiers in western France could easily be mistaken for the iconic Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and the Walt Disney logo. The impressive home has everything a modern-day princess could want - indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, home cinema and a gym - all that is missing is the pumpkin carriage and glass slippers. It is on the market with estate agent Maxwell Baynes for ?4.92m (5.5m euros).
    Plus a home cinema (Picture: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS)

    Outside there’s one of the swimming pools we mentioned along with 72 acres of land, featuring a tennis court, a summer kitchen, a greenhouse, and a restored 15th century dovecote.

    There’s also a three bedroom annexe, offices, and a number of outbuildings, in case you needed more.

    The property is on the market for £4.92million, or you can buy it furnished for an additional £143,000. Bargain.

    BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)?Pic: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS Fancy living in your own Magic Kingdom - fairytale French Chateau near historic Poitiers on the market fot ?5 million. Homebuyers will need deep pockets or a fairy godmother if they want to get their hands on this stunning ?5m castle that looks straigh out of Disneyland. With its white walls and spectacular pointed blue turrets, the elegant 19th century chateau near Poitiers in western France could easily be mistaken for the iconic Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and the Walt Disney logo. The impressive home has everything a modern-day princess could want - indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, home cinema and a gym - all that is missing is the pumpkin carriage and glass slippers. It is on the market with estate agent Maxwell Baynes for ?4.92m (5.5m euros).
    Take your pick from five bedrooms (Picture: MaxwellBaynes/ BNPS)

    Christophe Chassin from Maxwell Baynes said: ‘The château is of a rare elegance and has been restored to the highest possible standard.

    ‘It is immaculate, beautifully presented and furnished – it can be bought furnished.

    ‘It has magnificent landscaped parkland, woodland, meadows and a river.

    BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)?Pic: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS Fancy living in your own Magic Kingdom - fairytale French Chateau near historic Poitiers on the market fot ?5 million. Homebuyers will need deep pockets or a fairy godmother if they want to get their hands on this stunning ?5m castle that looks straigh out of Disneyland. With its white walls and spectacular pointed blue turrets, the elegant 19th century chateau near Poitiers in western France could easily be mistaken for the iconic Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and the Walt Disney logo. The impressive home has everything a modern-day princess could want - indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, home cinema and a gym - all that is missing is the pumpkin carriage and glass slippers. It is on the market with estate agent Maxwell Baynes for ?4.92m (5.5m euros).
    Look at that fancy bathroom (Picture: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS)

    ‘It is a very private and exclusive haven of peace. The château is one of the most beautiful properties we have ever brought to the market. And everyone says it looks like the Disney Castle.’

    If you do end up buying the place, we simply request that you throw a Disney themed banquet and invite people round for a Beauty and the Beast themed high tea.

    Come on, it’s too joyous to keep to yourself.

    MORE: Airbnb reveals the most popular houses on everyone’s wish list

    MORE: These are the signs you’re ready to move house

    MORE: Toddlers cover the house in paint in the ten minutes their mum did laundry


    SEI_26220892-08d2SEI_26220892-08d2ellencscottBNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)?Pic: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS Fancy living in your own Magic Kingdom - fairytale French Chateau near historic Poitiers on the market fot ?5 million. Homebuyers will need deep pockets or a fairy godmother if they want to get their hands on this stunning ?5m castle that looks straigh out of Disneyland. With its white walls and spectacular pointed blue turrets, the elegant 19th century chateau near Poitiers in western France could easily be mistaken for the iconic Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and the Walt Disney logo. The impressive home has everything a modern-day princess could want - indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, home cinema and a gym - all that is missing is the pumpkin carriage and glass slippers. It is on the market with estate agent Maxwell Baynes for ?4.92m (5.5m euros).BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)?Pic: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS Fancy living in your own Magic Kingdom - fairytale French Chateau near historic Poitiers on the market fot ?5 million. Homebuyers will need deep pockets or a fairy godmother if they want to get their hands on this stunning ?5m castle that looks straigh out of Disneyland. With its white walls and spectacular pointed blue turrets, the elegant 19th century chateau near Poitiers in western France could easily be mistaken for the iconic Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and the Walt Disney logo. The impressive home has everything a modern-day princess could want - indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, home cinema and a gym - all that is missing is the pumpkin carriage and glass slippers. It is on the market with estate agent Maxwell Baynes for ?4.92m (5.5m euros).BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)?Pic: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS Outdoor pool and restored Dovecote. Fancy living in your own Magic Kingdom - fairytale French Chateau near historic Poitiers on the market fot ?5 million. Homebuyers will need deep pockets or a fairy godmother if they want to get their hands on this stunning ?5m castle that looks straigh out of Disneyland. With its white walls and spectacular pointed blue turrets, the elegant 19th century chateau near Poitiers in western France could easily be mistaken for the iconic Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and the Walt Disney logo. The impressive home has everything a modern-day princess could want - indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, home cinema and a gym - all that is missing is the pumpkin carriage and glass slippers. It is on the market with estate agent Maxwell Baynes for ?4.92m (5.5m euros).BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)?Pic: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS Cinema. Fancy living in your own Magic Kingdom - fairytale French Chateau near historic Poitiers on the market fot ?5 million. Homebuyers will need deep pockets or a fairy godmother if they want to get their hands on this stunning ?5m castle that looks straigh out of Disneyland. With its white walls and spectacular pointed blue turrets, the elegant 19th century chateau near Poitiers in western France could easily be mistaken for the iconic Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and the Walt Disney logo. The impressive home has everything a modern-day princess could want - indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, home cinema and a gym - all that is missing is the pumpkin carriage and glass slippers. It is on the market with estate agent Maxwell Baynes for ?4.92m (5.5m euros).BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)?Pic: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS Fancy living in your own Magic Kingdom - fairytale French Chateau near historic Poitiers on the market fot ?5 million. Homebuyers will need deep pockets or a fairy godmother if they want to get their hands on this stunning ?5m castle that looks straigh out of Disneyland. With its white walls and spectacular pointed blue turrets, the elegant 19th century chateau near Poitiers in western France could easily be mistaken for the iconic Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and the Walt Disney logo. The impressive home has everything a modern-day princess could want - indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, home cinema and a gym - all that is missing is the pumpkin carriage and glass slippers. It is on the market with estate agent Maxwell Baynes for ?4.92m (5.5m euros).BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)?Pic: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS Fancy living in your own Magic Kingdom - fairytale French Chateau near historic Poitiers on the market fot ?5 million. Homebuyers will need deep pockets or a fairy godmother if they want to get their hands on this stunning ?5m castle that looks straigh out of Disneyland. With its white walls and spectacular pointed blue turrets, the elegant 19th century chateau near Poitiers in western France could easily be mistaken for the iconic Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and the Walt Disney logo. The impressive home has everything a modern-day princess could want - indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, home cinema and a gym - all that is missing is the pumpkin carriage and glass slippers. It is on the market with estate agent Maxwell Baynes for ?4.92m (5.5m euros).SEI_26220892-08d2SEI_26220892-08d2ellencscottBNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)?Pic: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS Fancy living in your own Magic Kingdom - fairytale French Chateau near historic Poitiers on the market fot ?5 million. Homebuyers will need deep pockets or a fairy godmother if they want to get their hands on this stunning ?5m castle that looks straigh out of Disneyland. With its white walls and spectacular pointed blue turrets, the elegant 19th century chateau near Poitiers in western France could easily be mistaken for the iconic Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and the Walt Disney logo. The impressive home has everything a modern-day princess could want - indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, home cinema and a gym - all that is missing is the pumpkin carriage and glass slippers. It is on the market with estate agent Maxwell Baynes for ?4.92m (5.5m euros).BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)?Pic: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS Fancy living in your own Magic Kingdom - fairytale French Chateau near historic Poitiers on the market fot ?5 million. Homebuyers will need deep pockets or a fairy godmother if they want to get their hands on this stunning ?5m castle that looks straigh out of Disneyland. With its white walls and spectacular pointed blue turrets, the elegant 19th century chateau near Poitiers in western France could easily be mistaken for the iconic Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and the Walt Disney logo. The impressive home has everything a modern-day princess could want - indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, home cinema and a gym - all that is missing is the pumpkin carriage and glass slippers. It is on the market with estate agent Maxwell Baynes for ?4.92m (5.5m euros).BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)?Pic: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS Outdoor pool and restored Dovecote. Fancy living in your own Magic Kingdom - fairytale French Chateau near historic Poitiers on the market fot ?5 million. Homebuyers will need deep pockets or a fairy godmother if they want to get their hands on this stunning ?5m castle that looks straigh out of Disneyland. With its white walls and spectacular pointed blue turrets, the elegant 19th century chateau near Poitiers in western France could easily be mistaken for the iconic Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and the Walt Disney logo. The impressive home has everything a modern-day princess could want - indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, home cinema and a gym - all that is missing is the pumpkin carriage and glass slippers. It is on the market with estate agent Maxwell Baynes for ?4.92m (5.5m euros).BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)?Pic: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS Cinema. Fancy living in your own Magic Kingdom - fairytale French Chateau near historic Poitiers on the market fot ?5 million. Homebuyers will need deep pockets or a fairy godmother if they want to get their hands on this stunning ?5m castle that looks straigh out of Disneyland. With its white walls and spectacular pointed blue turrets, the elegant 19th century chateau near Poitiers in western France could easily be mistaken for the iconic Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and the Walt Disney logo. The impressive home has everything a modern-day princess could want - indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, home cinema and a gym - all that is missing is the pumpkin carriage and glass slippers. It is on the market with estate agent Maxwell Baynes for ?4.92m (5.5m euros).BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)?Pic: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS Fancy living in your own Magic Kingdom - fairytale French Chateau near historic Poitiers on the market fot ?5 million. Homebuyers will need deep pockets or a fairy godmother if they want to get their hands on this stunning ?5m castle that looks straigh out of Disneyland. With its white walls and spectacular pointed blue turrets, the elegant 19th century chateau near Poitiers in western France could easily be mistaken for the iconic Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and the Walt Disney logo. The impressive home has everything a modern-day princess could want - indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, home cinema and a gym - all that is missing is the pumpkin carriage and glass slippers. It is on the market with estate agent Maxwell Baynes for ?4.92m (5.5m euros).BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833)?Pic: MaxwellBaynes/BNPS Fancy living in your own Magic Kingdom - fairytale French Chateau near historic Poitiers on the market fot ?5 million. Homebuyers will need deep pockets or a fairy godmother if they want to get their hands on this stunning ?5m castle that looks straigh out of Disneyland. With its white walls and spectacular pointed blue turrets, the elegant 19th century chateau near Poitiers in western France could easily be mistaken for the iconic Cinderella Castle at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and the Walt Disney logo. The impressive home has everything a modern-day princess could want - indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a wine cellar, home cinema and a gym - all that is missing is the pumpkin carriage and glass slippers. It is on the market with estate agent Maxwell Baynes for ?4.92m (5.5m euros).

    0 0

    Nearly half of us don't know what 'responsible' drinking is getty
    (Picture: Getty)

    Around 48% of adults in the UK don’t know that the recommended weekly alcohol limit is 14 units (yep, that’s for both men and women).

    New research from the Priory Group found that figure rises to 57% among men.

    More than half of those surveyed said that the government should find a better way to explain what a unit of alcohol looks like and over 60% said they had no idea what constitutes ‘binge drinking’.

    In January 2016, the Department Of Health updated drinking guidelines, recommending that both men and women should drink no more than 14 units of alcohol a week.

    Previously, men had been warned not to exceed 21 units.

    For those who are unsure, 14 units is the same as six pints of 4% beer or five glasses of 13% wine.

    The Priory’s poll found that 69% of those surveyed thought that it was the responsibility of drink manufacturers to warn consumers about the link between alcohol and health problems like mouth cancer and liver disease.

    Four out of 10 said they would welcome warnings on bottles and cans like those required on cigarette packets.

    Did you know?

    Only 10 minutes after having an alcoholic drink, 50% of the alcohol contained within the beverage will be in your bloodstream.

    Priory consultant psychiatrist Dr Niall Campbell, one of the UK’s leading experts on alcohol addiction, said: ‘These findings show that we need to transform the way we talk about alcohol so we all understand exactly how much we are drinking – and what it is doing to us.

    ‘This is especially important because we all want to live longer – and may be expected to work longer – in good health.

    ‘To talk about “units” of alcohol frequently confuses people, because many think a unit is a glass of wine almost regardless of its size, and some pubs and restaurants only serve large glasses.

    ‘In truth, a large glass of 13.5% ABV (alcohol by volume) wine consists of more than three units, so drinking two large glasses quickly can constitute binge drinking for some people.’

    But why is awareness around units of alcohol so low?

    Dr Campbell told Metro.co.uk: ‘The unit measurement system is quite complicated for people to understand.

    ‘And after people have had a few drinks they tend to not to care about units. I think that binge drinking, as a whole, is a separate question, it is so much a part of UK culture.

    ‘People go out to get drunk and not just to have a couple of drinks.’

    ‘I think that the country has a deeply held love affair with alcohol and that is something incredibly difficult to change.’

    The NHS defines binge drinking as ‘drinking lots of alcohol in a short space of time or drinking to get drunk’.

    More than six units (three pints of regular strength beer or three standard size glasses of wine) in a single session is considered binge drinking, although the effects of the amount of alcohol depend on your age, build and tolerance.

    An alcohol binge puts you at risk of accidents that can cause injury or even death, misjudging situations or engaging in risky behaviour.

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jason Alden/REX/Shutterstock (940484a) Women with glasses of wine Women drinking
    A couple of glasses of wine can easily turn into what the NHS characterises as binge drinking. (Picture: Jason Alden/REX/Shutterstock)

    Dr Campbell says that we should look at the consequences of drinking if we want to know whether someone’s drinking is a problem.

    ‘Your health – is it affecting your physical health? Is alcohol making you so hungover and sick that you feel increasingly unwell? Are you falling over drunk and having accidents?

    ‘Your mental health – Is it making you depressed, morose and irritable?

    ‘The health of your relationships – is it affecting your relationships with your nearest and dearest?

    ‘Your work health – are you missing days and is your performance going downhill?

    ‘Are you only running on 20% each day and turning up to work late or leaving work at lunchtime?’

    How many units have I had?

    Multiply the amount of the drink (ml) with the strength of the drink (%ABV) then divide by 1,000

    So one pint (568ml) x 5 (5%ABV) = 2,840

    2,840 divided by 1,000 = 2.8 units

    If you’re worried about your drinking, Dr Campbell says that it might be helpful to keep a record of how much alcohol you consume.

    He told Metro.co.uk: ‘I would then advise talking to someone close. Following this, speak to your GP or get professional help from the voluntary sector.

    ‘Alcoholics Anonymous and NHS counselling are both free. Consider rehab.

    ‘On a more practical level, try not to drink before 6pm, try to have two, three or four alcohol free days per week and try, if you are out, to alternate wine with an alcohol-free drink such as water.

    ‘Finally, do not drink on an empty stomach.’

    It’s tempting to nip out with friends or colleagues for a cheeky couple of drinks after work, eschewing dinner in favour of pub snacks, but it’s important not to swap food for alcohol.

    You’ll get drunk faster without anything to soak up the booze (one of those saying that is actually true), and you’ll potentially make more risky decisions because of this.

    How many units are in your drinks?

    • Standard (175ml) glass of wine, 13.5% ABV – 2.3 units
    • Large (250ml) glass of wine, 13.5% ABV – 3.4 units
    • Pint of standard lager – 2.3 units
    • Pint of premium lager – 2.8 units
    • Pint of strong cider – 4.7 units

    The Priory’s research shows that Brits are still woefully uninformed about what binge drinking looks like and how abusing alcohol can affect the body.

    Perhaps it’s time to admit that putting ‘please enjoy responsibly’ on the back of a bottle isn’t enough.

    If you or someone you know is struggling with the issues covered in this article then further help can be found at Alcoholics Anonymous and Mind.

    MORE: Father of three shares how sex and relationships education has changed since the ’70s

    MORE: Why are so many fast food signs yellow?


    BEER_UNITS-1af2BEER_UNITS-1af2hpwilliamsonMandatory Credit: Photo by Jason Alden/REX/Shutterstock (940484a) Women with glasses of wine Women drinkingBEER_UNITS-1af2BEER_UNITS-1af2hpwilliamsonMandatory Credit: Photo by Jason Alden/REX/Shutterstock (940484a) Women with glasses of wine Women drinking

    0 0

    (Picture: Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)

    It’s always a bit miserable when you hear about something delicious that you’ve got limited chances of actually eating.

    All those amazing fast food menu items around the world, for example (Burger King halloumi burger, I’m looking longingly at you). Limited edition foods available on just one day that you happen to be working.

    Normally the difficulty getting hold of these treats only makes us want them more, which is probably exactly what the big brands are hoping for. That’s how you end up with massive cues for a fairly standard meal.

    But in this case, KFC has taken the tactic strangely far.

    The chicken brand is serving up a special burger for one day only… but only in one KFC branch in Bolton.

    The #Burger (yes, that hashtag is there deliberately) is the creation of KFC employee Rick Holt, who won a competition asking KFC team members to come up with a new recipe.

    Rick’s #Burger is a combo of four Original Recipe mini fillets stacked in a #, crispy bacon, cheese, lettuce, Kansas BBQ sauce, and ranch dressing, all in a # branded glazed bun.

    Behold a burger that you probably cannot have (Picture: KFC/Metro.co.uk)

    Sounds nice, right?

    Unfortunately for anyone who wants to try that burger, however, it’s only available on Thursday 23 August in Bolton’s KFC Linkway restaurant in Middlebrook Retail and Leisure Park.

    A portion of the sales of each burger will be donated to The KFC Foundation – a charity initiative which supports the development and nurturing of young people, by offering them safe spaces to socialise, the chance to find a job and people to speak to through mentoring programmes.

    Now, if we’d won a competition in recipe innovation, we’d want out snazzy new burger to be served far and wide, but clearly KFC has other plans. Unless you’re in Bolton this Thursday, you won’t be able to get your hands on Rick’s burger. Sad.

    Rick commented: ‘I can’t believe that a burger that I designed is actually going to be sold in the restaurant where I began my career. It’s truly epic. Aside from appearing on Ninja Warrior, it’s probably the best thing I’ve ever done.’

    Oh, sweet Rick.

    We’ve reached out to KFC to find out why the burger is only being served in one Bolton restaurant for one day, but we hadn’t heard back at the time of publishing. We’ll update this article with their response when we get it.

    If you are #blessed enough to be in Bolton on Thursday 23 August, you can grab a #Burger for £4.19 on its own or for £5.19 as a meal.

    MORE: Five burgers that are more about the bun than the beef

    MORE: A London restaurant is offering free dog burgers for a whole week

    MORE: Wiltshire’s charming villages are brimful with good restaurants – and it’s about time you visited for a gourmet weekend


    kfc burger 1-5510kfc burger 1-5510ellencscottkfc burger 1-5510kfc burger 1-5510ellencscott

    0 0

    (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Getty)

    It might not always feel like it after a few ill-advised midweek pints, but it turns out that the occasional drink might actually be good for your ticker.

    That’s according to a new study published in the BMC Medicine journal, which links moderate drinking to a lower risk of heart disease.

    The data, taken from six studies, – including five from UK – examined people’s drinking patterns and their risk of developing CHD (Coronary Heart Disease).

    Over 35,000 people took part over an average of 12.6 years.

    The result showed 5% suffering a CHD ‘event’ during the follow-up period.

    Alcohol intake was assessed at three different periods of time, with researchers using the data to determine each person’s 10-year alcohol intake trajectories.

    They found that ex-drinkers had a significantly higher risk of CHD compared with drinkers who ‘always adhered to lower-risk intake guidelines’.

    Women non-drinkers also had an increased risk compared with people who were ‘consistently moderate’ in their drinking habits.

    The key takeaway seems to be that consistency, not binges mixed with spells of total abstinence, is the healthiest policy – with those who drank moderately, but not persistently so, at a greater risk of developing CHD compared with those who consistently drank moderately.

    ‘Overall, the findings from this study support the notion of a cardioprotective effect of moderate alcohol intake relative to non-drinking,’ the authors, led by experts from University College London, wrote.

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jason Alden/REX/Shutterstock (940484a) Women with glasses of wine Women drinking
    (Picture: Jason Alden/REX/Shutterstock)

    ‘However, crucially, stability in the level of alcohol consumption over time appears to be an important modifier of this association.’

    Commenting on the study, Ben Butler, spokesman for Drinkaware, said: ‘In the UK, coronary heart disease causes around 66,000 deaths each year.

    ‘Regularly drinking too much can increase the risk of high blood pressure, one of the key risk factors for having a heart attack or stroke. Heavy drinking also weakens the heart muscle which means that the heart cannot pump blood as efficiently.

    ‘Drinking less alcohol can lower your risk of developing serious heart problems, as well as helping you to lose weight, which in turn reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke.’

    Guidance from the British Chief Medical Officers states that to keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it is safest not to drink more than 14 units a week – the equivalent of six pints of average strength beer, which should ideally be spread over at least three days.

    The guidance also warns that the risk of developing a range of health problems – including cancers of the mouth, throat and breast – increases the more a person drinks on a regular basis.

    Commenting on the study, Naveed Sattar, professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow, said: ‘The headline message misses the fact that a much bigger recent study published in the Lancet has shown that whilst risk for myocardial infarction may well be lower with modest alcohol, risk for other complications of the heart and brain increase with even moderate drinking.

    ‘In short, no-one should start to drink or drink more to protect their hearts. The totality of evidence does not support alcohol as a measure to improve overall risks.’

    So there you have it. While that extra Merlot might not be as harmful to your ticker as once thought, that doesn’t mean you won’t still feel it in the mornings to come.

    MORE: Nearly half of us don’t know what ‘responsible’ drinking is

    MORE: A chocolate festival is coming to the UK


    Sober october: I didn't need to be drinking a lot to realise I have an unhealthy relationship with alcoholSober october: I didn't need to be drinking a lot to realise I have an unhealthy relationship with alcoholfranciscogarcia92Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jason Alden/REX/Shutterstock (940484a) Women with glasses of wine Women drinkingSober october: I didn't need to be drinking a lot to realise I have an unhealthy relationship with alcoholSober october: I didn't need to be drinking a lot to realise I have an unhealthy relationship with alcoholfranciscogarcia92Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jason Alden/REX/Shutterstock (940484a) Women with glasses of wine Women drinking

    0 0

    Metro Illustrations: If you're thinking about cheating, give this a read first
    (Picture: Credit: Phébe Lou Morson for Metro.co.uk)

    Being cheated on sucks. We’d all quite like to avoid it happening, really.

    If it does happen, you’re then presented with a tough call: do you work through things and try to rebuild trust? Or do you call off the relationship and move on?

    An important part of making that decision is understanding why the person cheated – and what their infidelity says about their view of the relationship.

    One expert in affairs says there are two distinct types of cheating, and knowing the difference is crucial.

    Speaking to BusinessInsider, Tammy Nelson, a sex and relationship therapist who works for Ashley Madison, said that affairs can be separated into two categories: A way to end a relationship and a way to fill the gaps in a relationships (the emotional gaps, you dirty-minded people).

    She describes the first category as a ‘can-opener’ affair. That’s when you want to leave a relationship and don’t know how to do it, so you cheat, knowing it’ll break you apart.

    A person having a can-opener affair might not be aware of the reasons they’re doing it, but on some level they’re looking for a way to end their main relationship. Sometimes cheating can seem easier than confronting the reality of what’s gone wrong.

    ILLUSTRATION REQUEST: Don’t do it! XX people share their horrifying and cautionary stories of sex with their ex (Bibi Lynch)
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Tammy says women are more likely than men to have can-opener affairs.

    Men, meanwhile, are more likely to have affairs of the second type, as ‘a way of filling that one part of their life that their marriage doesn’t’.

    So that might be an affair with someone who shares a fetish your partner isn’t into, or having an emotional connection with a different person because your partner is too stressed to talk things through.

    The person who has this type of affair doesn’t want to break up their relationship – they’re just trying to have it all.

    This backs up previous research from Ashley Madison, which found that the most common reason people sign up to the affairs site is because their relationship has ‘lost its spark’, followed by boring or infrequent sex.

    The site also found that 54% of users said their affairs enhanced their marriage, as they provided excitement and sex without the need to leave the marriage. So those people fall firmly into the second category.

    MORE: Survey reveals what people define as cheating

    MORE: Cheaters tend to get caught after their third affair

    MORE: Vegan lawyer who became a pilot to spite her boyfriend shares pictures of her adventure-filled life


    Metro Illustrations: If you're thinking about cheating, give this a read firstMetro Illustrations: If you're thinking about cheating, give this a read firstellencscottMetro Illustrations: If you're thinking about cheating, give this a read firstILLUSTRATION REQUEST: Don’t do it! XX people share their horrifying and cautionary stories of sex with their ex (Bibi Lynch)Metro Illustrations: If you're thinking about cheating, give this a read firstMetro Illustrations: If you're thinking about cheating, give this a read firstellencscottMetro Illustrations: If you're thinking about cheating, give this a read firstILLUSTRATION REQUEST: Don’t do it! XX people share their horrifying and cautionary stories of sex with their ex (Bibi Lynch)

    0 0

    Wicked is one of the West End plays included in the Kids Week 'kids go free' theatre project
    Wicked is one of the West End plays included in the Kids Week ‘kids go free’ theatre project

    The first time I bought decent tickets to a West End show I remember doing a little double-take at the price.

    To sit and watch a play for a couple of hours cost the sort of money that a few years earlier I’d have paid for flights and a week’s self-catering somewhere hot that I couldn’t point to on a map.

    But if this was part of being a grown-up, I was willing to give it a try.

    And I did enjoy our grown-up trips to the theatre. But then we had babies and that sort of thing got neglected.

    When the kids were a bit older my wife wanted us to try taking them to see some shows.

    I wasn’t so sure.

    My first experience of family theatre was going to see the occasional slightly lame pantomime where the biggest laughs were saved for when bits of scenery fell over.

    It’s fair to say that provincial theatre in the 1980s did nothing to prepare me for the experience of seeing shows like Wicked and Aladdin. At no point during those shows did I find myself gazing around and wondering how long it was until the interval.

    Back at the Redgrave Theatre in Farnham it was a very different story.

    The sensational Lion King
    The sensational Lion King stage show

    The only surprise – at least to me, clearly the mean one in the family – is that you pay full price for kids, no matter how young they are.

    So it is understandable that going to the theatre is not seen as one of the most accessible forms of family entertainment.

    That’s what interested me in Kids Week, an initiative to get more children going to the theatre by offering free tickets to West End shows when kids are accompanied by paying adults.

    I’m not sure why it’s called Kids Week, as it goes on for the whole of August, but the important thing is that it should give loads more people a chance to go to the theatre.

    Because taking kids to see a really good show is something everyone should try if they can.

    I’ve got an eight-year-old daughter and a son who is five. They roar with laughter constantly through family shows, both in the West End and in our local theatre.

    And the shows are not just for them. It doesn’t matter whether you are the sort of person who enjoys Will Ferrell movies or challenging foreign plays – any grown-up with a functioning soul will love Matilda.

    And no matter how old you are, I challenge anyone not to have a tear in the eye when the green witch does her big singing number in Wicked.

    Well worth the ticket price on its own.

    For more details see the Kids Week website

    THE JOY OF TAKING KIDS TO A WEST END SHOW: WHAT KIDS WEEK IS ALL ABOUT

    Kids Week is an annual initiative run by Society of London Theatre which aims to encourage more young people and their families to enjoy the theatre by offering a free ticket to every child aged 16 or under accompanied by a paying adult, and half price tickets for two additional children in the same group.

    There are no booking, postage or transaction fees. There are free tickets on offer for more than 40 hit shows throughout the month of August.

    Since it began in 1998, the scheme has engaged over 1.4 million children and families.

    Alongside the performances, children are given the chance to get involved in a wide range of events including open-air cinema in Leicester Square, workshops and activities, with participating shows offering everything from storytelling and backstage tours to cast meet-and-greets and choreography.

    This year Kids Week is partnering with LimbPower, a charity which helps people with amputations and limb impairments make the most of opportunities in the arts and sport.

    An afternoon of theatre taster workshops was held at the Lyric Hammersmith on 20 August, for 25 young people with amputations and their siblings.

    Emma De Souza, Founder of Kids Week, said:

    ‘I’m very proud that Kids Week has reached so many families during its 21 years, as it is so important to get children into the habit of theatre-going and give them a fun and positive experience. I am thrilled to be partnering with LimbPower this year, a charity close to my heart as my son is a recent amputee. Their work is hugely important for building confidence and opening doors to new experiences for the children and families they support.’

    Shows taking part in Kids Week 2018 include:

    • Disney’s Aladdin
    • Disney’s The Lion King 
    • Wicked
    • The King And I
    • The Phantom Of The Opera 
    • Aliens Love Underpants
    • David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny
    • Dinosaur World Live
    • Dreamgirls
    • Jack And The Beanstalk
    • Matilda The Musical
    • School Of Rock – The Musical
    • Mamma Mia!
    • PAW Patrol Live

    See the full list of shows for Kids Week here.

     


    The sensational Lion King-cd1bThe sensational Lion King-cd1bakismet-2fcb28243f975bb512a587b829a23dfdWicked is one of the West End plays included in the Kids Week 'kids go free' theatre project The sensational Lion KingThe sensational Lion King-cd1bThe sensational Lion King-cd1bakismet-2fcb28243f975bb512a587b829a23dfdWicked is one of the West End plays included in the Kids Week 'kids go free' theatre project The sensational Lion King

    0 0

    Natalie on her 5,000 mile journey (Photo: Natalie Wilson)

    I’ve always had Ehlers–Danlos Syndrome, a rare inherited condition that affects connective tissue. But at 19 a blockage in the back of my brain meant my condition deteriorated fast.

    I went from being a student out partying all the time to not being able to walk, talk or get to the toilet. After brain surgery it still took me a good three years to leave the house, and I got very deconditioned which caused problems with my joints and muscles.

    I believed that if I built up my strength I’d find life easier, but I never foresaw a time when I wouldn’t be disabled.

    My husband and I purchased a recumbent trike which I began riding to go food shopping. It gave me such a feeling of independence to know I could do things for myself again.

    I started doing longer rides, and then, one morning, I woke up feeling that I needed to achieve something. When you’re sick a lot of the things you always thought you could do get away from you.

    I have always been fascinated by our country, so I spent three months planning the trip that would take me round the entire British coastline, covering 5,000 miles in three months.

    It took me a while to build up my mental strength. I was scared knowing that I wouldn’t see anyone for long stretches of the road but in the end, so many people joined me along the way.

    Natalie Wilson
    (Photo: Natalie Wilson)

    Some just did five miles, others came in their wheelchairs. I met people as far away as the Orkney Isles who had EDS.

    I was in the local newspaper and the next day I walked into a shop and the shopkeeper recognised me, saying ‘I”ve got EDS too!’ It brought the EDS community a little closer together.

    Indeed, meeting people along the way was one of my highlights.

    Riding a recumbent trike, people always ask questions. On one occasion, I’d had a really bad day with torrential rain and I needed some dinner.

    I turned up at the village’s little pub and the landlady said they didn’t serve food, but she had some frozen chicken nuggets and chips she could cook for me.

    When there was bad weather, I asked for places to stay on social media and some days I had too many offers

    By the time I left the local journalist had come to see me and some of the villagers had brought me food.

    In remote parts of Wales and Scotland, I’d turn up soaking wet at someone’s house and they just welcomed me in. When there was bad weather, I asked for places to stay on social media and some days I had too many offers, and hotels and B&Bs wouldn’t charge me.

    One day the rain had been relentless and my jacket had given up being waterproof. I told the guy cycling with me that I didn’t know what I was going to do.

    He invited me to have breakfast with his wife while he drove to his local town, and he bought me a new jacket.

    (Photo: Natalie Wilson)

    Another highlight was being able to camp anywhere: on beaches and on the sides of roads where I would wake up to the sounds of the countryside. I knew the scenery was going to be beautiful, but I didn’t realise just how beautiful some of the British coast really is.

    I could have done without the snow, however. The south west never gets snow in spring, but I was knee deep in it in March, in -8 degrees.

    My phone and GPS stopped working, and a trike can’t cycle up a steep, icy incline, so at times I had to push it. Luckily I stayed with a family for three days.

    The hills were really tough so I kept reminding myself of when I had brain surgery, and how this was nothing by comparison – that made it easier.

    When I reached the end, I wanted to keep going. Now I feel I can achieve anything I put my mind to, and it’s really freeing because I’m not scared to try things anymore.

    I’m a lot happier, I’ve got more energy, and my body works better – I bought a two-wheel bicycle three weeks ago and I’ve just done the Ride London 100 mile challenge.

    I never imagined I’d be this strong – or that kindness like this existed.

    MORE: BBC’s Leading Lady Parts failed to address the discrimination disabled actors constantly face

    MORE: Blue badges are a lifeline for people with mobility issues like me – expanding the scheme will put us at risk

    MORE: ‘Does she read bus numbers?’ and other bizarre questions my guide dog and I are asked


    natalie wilson bike tournatalie wilson bike tourrmve86Natalie Wilsonnatalie wilson bike tournatalie wilson bike tourrmve86Natalie Wilson

    0 0

    (Picture: ASOS)

    Help, the crop tops are coming.

    There’s been bubbling panic across the internet and the real world thanks to ASOS selling what they call ‘an extreme cropped vest’ for men.

    Essentially, it’s a crop top worn by a male model, targeted specifically at men.

    That’s right, a crop top for men. Try to take a deep breath and remain calm.

    The panic about this stems largely from long-held notions of what men and women are ‘allowed’ to wear.

    Form-fitting items are most commonly for women, because women’s bodies should be shown off.

    Men more commonly wear clothes that cover the appropriate areas, protecting their modesty and covering their bodies.

    Very broadly speaking, women’s bodies are valued for being sexy, so certain bits can be shown (and others definitely can’t), while men’s bodies are generally more neutral (men can be judged on non-physical qualities, the lucky things) so their clothes can serve the purpose of simply being there.

    Don't be afraid of the crop top for men http://www.asos.com/reclaimed-vintage/reclaimed-vintage-inspired-extreme-cropped-vest-in-white/prd/10712741?clr=white&SearchQuery=extreme+cropped+vest&SearchRedirect=true ASOS
    The crop top causing mass panic. (Picture: ASOS)

    The hyper-sexualisation of women’s bodies versus men’s is why it is fine for a man to stroll around topless, nipples out for the world to see, but women will get shamed for doing the same.

    It’s also why a man wearing skinny jeans or micro-shorts gets made fun of, because these clothes are traditionally coded as ‘female’ and for a man to be seen as ‘feminine’ is widely judged as a negative thing.

    Crop tops fall into this binary ditch. A certain length of top is cast as ‘girly’ because it allows women to showcase a part of their body that’s socially acceptable (as long as they don’t have a hint of body fat, of course).

    But as fashion shifts and grows, some male-identifying people are questioning the crop top’s rigid definitions. They’re asking why they can’t enjoy a breeze on their tum and eyes on their belly button, and are rocking the crop top without fear or shame.

    On catwalks at Calvin Klein and Astrid Anderson in the last few years, crop tops have popped up in casual and formal fits.

    That ease around crop tops hasn’t yet extended to those who are less experimental with their clothing choices.

    Instagram Photo

    While queer and creative men who are willing to take risks in fashion will throw on a crop top, the average straight man continues to recoil in fear and disgust.

    Which is silly, really, as crop tops are a delight.

    They allow for free range of movement. They let you show off your tummy, which is one of the best places for your partner to smooch. They cover up those forbidden nipples while still showing some skin.

    Men haven’t always been afraid of crop tops.

    Back in the 80s, men wore a cropped tee with freedom and joy, allowing a flash of abs to peek out between their top and sweatpants.

    Just look at the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and the late musician and icon Prince for all your inspiration.

    (Picture: NBC)

    More recently, models, musicians and influencers are strolling around wearing tees of a shorter length.

    Kid Cudi wore a crop top for his performance at Coachella, Queer Eye’s Antoni donned a cropped hoody for the show’s promo shots, and American footballer Ezekiel Elliott chose a cut-off shirt for the NFL draft red carpet.

    (Picture: Tim Mosenfelder/WireImage)

    Trust me, they all managed the tricky task of looking both cool fashion-wise and hot. There’s something sexy about a little flash of skin.

    Of course, ASOS’s crop top for men is an extreme version – it says so in the name.

    But rather than run and hide, allow this nipple-grazing top push us into a new era.

     

    HOW TO EMBRACE THE CROP TOP

    Ease yourself in slowly. Trim a tee so it doesn’t hang over your bum. Try a French tuck (another Queer Eye approved tip) to start experimenting with making your clothes a little more form-fitted.

    You don’t need to pay a tenner for a tiny vest and you don’t need to show off the entirety of your abs on your first try.

    Take a look in women’s clothing sections (they’re not scary, promise), take a pair of scissors to a charity shop tee or an old baggy favourite, then pair your creation with trousers that sit slightly higher up so you feel comfortable.

    That comfort factor is important, because wearing a crop top requires body confidence, not a certain type of body.

    You do not need sculpted abs to wear a crop top, whatever your gender.

    Instead you need the confidence to walk your excellently dressed body around without awkwardly tugging your top down.

    Be loud, be proud, be cropped. It’s a brave new world.

    MORE: How much is too much for a man to spend on grooming?

    MORE: Kendall Jenner evokes wrath of fellow models with thoughts on walking fashion weeks


    Don't be afraid of the crop top for men http://www.asos.com/reclaimed-vintage/reclaimed-vintage-inspired-extreme-cropped-vest-in-white/prd/10712741?clr=white&SearchQuery=extreme+cropped+vest&SearchRedirect=true ASOSDon't be afraid of the crop top for men http://www.asos.com/reclaimed-vintage/reclaimed-vintage-inspired-extreme-cropped-vest-in-white/prd/10712741?clr=white&SearchQuery=extreme+cropped+vest&SearchRedirect=true ASOSellencscottDon't be afraid of the crop top for men http://www.asos.com/reclaimed-vintage/reclaimed-vintage-inspired-extreme-cropped-vest-in-white/prd/10712741?clr=white&SearchQuery=extreme+cropped+vest&SearchRedirect=true ASOSDon't be afraid of the crop top for men http://www.asos.com/reclaimed-vintage/reclaimed-vintage-inspired-extreme-cropped-vest-in-white/prd/10712741?clr=white&SearchQuery=extreme+cropped+vest&SearchRedirect=true ASOSDon't be afraid of the crop top for men http://www.asos.com/reclaimed-vintage/reclaimed-vintage-inspired-extreme-cropped-vest-in-white/prd/10712741?clr=white&SearchQuery=extreme+cropped+vest&SearchRedirect=true ASOSellencscottDon't be afraid of the crop top for men http://www.asos.com/reclaimed-vintage/reclaimed-vintage-inspired-extreme-cropped-vest-in-white/prd/10712741?clr=white&SearchQuery=extreme+cropped+vest&SearchRedirect=true ASOS

older | 1 | .... | 1369 | 1370 | (Page 1371) | 1372 | 1373 | .... | 1846 | newer