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

older | 1 | .... | 1372 | 1373 | (Page 1374) | 1375 | 1376 | .... | 1851 | newer

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    (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

    Squeezing, scratching, and picking at skin is such a natural instinct that there’s a whole genre of videos dedicated to the satisfaction.

    We’ll get a thrill from squeezing out a blackhead, scraping dandruff, or peeling off sunburn.

    But when does that natural instinct become a problem? When does casual picking become dermatillomania, a skin picking disorder?

    If you’re concerned about the amount you’re picking or the emotions behind scratching your skin, there are signs you can look out for that signal an issue.

    Stephen Buckley, head of information at Mind, tells Metro.co.uk: ‘You might experience skin picking as being a problem if it becomes a something you regularly do as a way of dealing with a particular fear or anxiety.’

    If your first instinct in response to stress or worries is to pick at your skin, that’s a sign you may be experiencing dermatillomania.

    It’s not always something you’re conscious of, however, and it’s easy for repetitive skin picking behaviours to remain hidden.

    The NHS says that other signs of a skin picking disorder include causing cuts or bleeding by picking your skin, feeling a need to ‘smooth’ or perfect your skin, and don’t always realise you’re scratching or squeezing.

    Another way to recognise dermatillomania is finding it difficult to stop picking even when it’s causing pain and soreness, or when you can see you’re leaving a mark.

    You may find that you’ll scratch particular spots so repetitively that they aren’t able to heal, or you have scars.

    Symptoms of dermatillomania:

    • You feel like you can’t stop picking your skin
    • You’re causing cuts, bleeding, or bruising by picking your skin
    • You pick at moles, freckles, spots, or scars to try to ‘smooth’ your skin
    • You feel uncomfortable with any sign of ‘imperfection’ on the skin
    • You find yourself picking your skin when you feel stressed or anxious
    • You notice you’re picking your skin without being aware of it, or you’re doing it during your sleep

    While most people will squeeze an obvious spot, someone with dermatillomania will squeeze one and then start picking at every imperfection they can spot. The experience of standing at the mirror and being shocked at how red and sore your face is, and how you felt unable to stop even when you knew you were damaging your skin, is a common one.

    Compulsive skin picking is often categorised under the spectrum of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and is sometimes linked to body dysmorphic disorder. The behaviour often appears as a symptom of anxiety or depression before becoming a disorder in its own right.

    If you’re worried about your skin picking behaviours, or are causing physical damage by picking, it’s important to talk about what you’re experiencing and ask for help.

    ‘It’s always ok to ask for help, especially if how you are thinking, feeling or behaving is having an impact on your day to day life,’ says Stephen. ‘If someone is looking for help with skin picking, then it may be worth seeing a GP.

    ‘Some people also find peer support (talking to other people who experience the same kind of issue) really helpful – take a look at the website for Mind’s Elefriends  or OCD Action.’

    (Picture: Deirdre Spain for Metro.co.uk)

    A GP will usually recommend CBT to treat compulsive skin picking, which can help you identify triggers and patterns in an effort to change them. You could also be prescribed an SSRI.

    Alongside professional treatment, certain self-care techniques can be helpful.

    Try keeping a diary of your skin picking to see when it most often occurs – do you pick when you’re bored, tired, or stressed? You can then work to avoid those triggers by getting more sleep, trying relaxation techniques, and keeping your hands busy.

    It’s helpful to occupy your hands when you feel the urge to pick. Doodle, learn how to knit, or play with a puzzle. Fidget spinners may not be a massive trend these days, but they can help.

    Some people find skincare useful. Applying moisturiser to the areas you most commonly scratch, and putting on a face mask when you have the urge to pick, can ease the need and make your skin smooth and soft. Moisturising is key as it’ll reduce dry skin that you can easily pick at.

    It’s a good idea to keep your nails fairly short to avoid causing damage when you pick, and give yourself manicures to make your nails look pretty enough that you don’t want to wreck them by picking.

    If you find yourself picking without being aware of it, it can be handy to tell people around you that you’re struggling so they can give you a nudge when you go to scratch.

    When you do pick, make sure to keep the area clean and covered to avoid infection.

    ‘Remember though that it’s important not to struggle in silence – if you find self-care is not helping, do ask for support from others,’ says Stephen.

    Need support? Contact the Samaritans

    For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

    MORE: What it’s like to live with compulsive skin picking disorder

    MORE: Hoarding officially recognised as a medical disorder

    MORE: What it’s like to be a parent when you have obsessive compulsive disorder


    acneacneellencscottacneacneellencscott

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    (Picture: Hip Chips, Mama’s Jerk, Renee’s Kitchen, Rudie’s)

    From curried goat to vegan spiced vegetable balls, there are Caribbean treats for everyone.

    Notting Hill Carnival is one of London’s most vibrant. colourful and downright delicious flagship events.

    It currently holds the title of the biggest street party in Europe, and an excess of two million people are expected to descend on the streets of Kensington and Chelsea to dance, drink and indulge in Caribbean-inspired street food.

    There will be over 70 masquerade floats and with the sound of steel pans and samba filling the air, it’s the perfect opportunity to try some authentic cuisine from more than 240 food vendors lining the parade route.

    Here’s what you should definitely sink your teeth into, in between sips of Red Stripe.

    Mama’s Jerk Station

    Notting Hill Carnival Food Guide Credit: Mama's Jerk
    Mama’s Jerk chicken wrap with plantain and fresh salad. (Picture: Mama’s Jerk)

    This London favourite, usually found in Deptford Market Yard and Pop Brixton, will be serving up chips dusted with a homemade jerk rub, their unique take on biriyani (dubbed Biriyardi) where the rice and peas are mixed with platian and sweetcorn, and jerk spiced saltfish cakes.

    Mama’s Jerk Station will keep their Pop Brixton location open all weekend to feed revelers at Brixton’s carnival celebrations.

    Renee’s Kitchen

    Notting Hill Carnival Food Guide Credit: Renee's Kitchen
    Caribbean sweet potato and jackfruit curry with quinoa, plantain and coleslaw. (Picture: Renee’s Kitchen)

    Notting Hill Carnival newcomer Renee’s Kitchen provides plant-based alternatives for all the vegan and vegetarian jerk aficionados.

    Usually based in Wakefield, Renee’s Kitchen will be offering jerk jackfruit with a distinctive ‘meaty’ taste, served in a wrap with pomegranate seeds, plantain, mango, lettuce and BBQ jerk sauce.

    White Men Can’t Jerk

    In Brixton, White Men Can’t Jerk will be serving their signature Red Stripe poached fried chicken wings at the Duke of Edinburgh.

    We’re hoping they’ll also have their jerk halloumi on offer for the vegetarians.

    Prince of Peckham

    The Prince of Peckham pub has a brand new offering in honour of Notting Hill Carnival.

    If you fancy something meat and cruelty free, pop down to try the southern fried cauliflower sub that comes with homemade vegan Scotch bonnet mayo and coriander slaw.

    HipChips

    Notting Hill Carnival Food Guide Credit: Hip Chips
    One of HipChips’ 3-dip medium boxes. (Picture: Hip Chips)

    In Soho, handcrafted crisp emporium HipChips will be serving a carnival-inspired Jamaican Jerk dip to be eaten with salted chips.

    The creamy dip combines essential jerk ingredients Scotch bonnet peppers and allspice, combined with ginger, thyme and garlic.

    Rudie’s 

    Notting Hill Carnival Food Guide Credit: Mama's Jerk
    Rudie’s real jerk chicken. (Picture: Rudie’s)

    At Boxpark Croydon, Jamaican casual dining favourite Rudie’s is offering their usual selection of Jamaican lunch options, including jerk chicken, king prawn and vegan plantain boxes, and roti wraps.

    We also recommend you try their authentic charcoal-grilled real jerk with its unforgettable spicy-sweet taste.

    Caribbean Kitchen 

    If you’re in the vicinity of Bethnal Green, stop by the Sun Tavern, where Hackeny’s Caribbean Kitchen are offering jerk chicken wings absolutely free on Sunday.

    Who can say no to free jerk chicken?

    There are hundreds of amazing food vendors to try on the streets of Notting Hill and further afield, so you really will be spoilt for choice over the long weekend.

    If you’re heading to the parade route itself, we advise arriving early for Sunday’s celebrations and being prepared for long queues.

    Although there is some rain forecast for tomorrow afternoon, we’re hoping that the weather holds for everyone attending the carnival.

    Even if it does end up being a bit grey and soggy, those smoky, sweet, spicy jerk flavours will keep you warm inside.

    MORE: Notting Hill Carnival 2018: All the makeup rules you need to follow

    MORE: When is Notting Hill Carnival 2018 – dates, map, route and line-up


    Notting Hill Carnival Food GuideNotting Hill Carnival Food GuidehpwilliamsonNotting Hill Carnival Food Guide Credit: Mama's JerkNotting Hill Carnival Food Guide Credit: Renee's KitchenNotting Hill Carnival Food Guide Credit: Hip ChipsNotting Hill Carnival Food Guide Credit: Mama's JerkNotting Hill Carnival Food GuideNotting Hill Carnival Food GuidehpwilliamsonNotting Hill Carnival Food Guide Credit: Mama's JerkNotting Hill Carnival Food Guide Credit: Renee's KitchenNotting Hill Carnival Food Guide Credit: Hip ChipsNotting Hill Carnival Food Guide Credit: Mama's Jerk

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    MILAN, ITALY - JUNE 18: Models are seen backstage ahead of the Fendi show during Milan Men's Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 on June 18, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)
    The Fendi SS19 show did oversize subtly (Picture: Getty Images)

    There was a time at school when you wore a jumper down to your knees and trousers about three inches too wide.

    Now, as brands looks to move away from skinny (though that’s still got some time to go yet), the ‘you’ll grow into it’ silhouette has returned to catwalks.

    Streetwear brands have been working towards lower crotches and box cuts for a while but the oversized coat really took hold in shows for SS19.

    It’s part of a wider push from all brands to work away from the beige and boring ‘classic cuts’ of the normcore lull the economy forced brands into.

    We’ve seen ASOS launch the extreme crop top vest at one end of the spectrum and perhaps Thom Browne’s collection of coats seemingly designed for giants sits at the other.

    Being in the middle was always boring.

    The Idle Man calls the oversized shirt ‘one of the most controversial items in all men’s fashion’ because of the received wisdom about a tailored cut being vital to a man’s couture.

    In reality, it’s causing way less of a stir than the male hotpant but having a statement coat or top combined with either a well cut T-shirt or trouser combines a desire to subvert the traditional silhouette without looking like you just stole your big brother’s clothes.

    Wearing baggy or oversized pieces as part of an outfit is a good thing but don’t use it as an excuse for an entirely shapeless silhouette. Tailoring still has a presence here.

    It’s part of a much wider trend for more extreme looks.

    Its appearance on all sorts of different catwalks just shows how much impact the 90s are having on visuals. You can’t move in the more fashion-conscious parts of town without seeing bucket hats, a festival mac and those ugly dad trainers that we believe are on their way out of fashion.

    And you don’t have to go all the way to Thom Browne extremes to achieve a strong oversized look:

    Acne Studios always had the reputation for doing staples well and, though it did push to more avant-garde styles over recent seasons, its core offerings are well tailored jeans and well-cut coats.

    The oversize style will keep poking its head up each season until it truly overtakes the resilient demand in men’s fashion for things to show off just how hard you’ve worked at the gym.

    That’s making a statement with your body rather a key item you’re wearing. With oversized coats in particular, there are few ways of wearing them without being statement pieces.

    The green coat in the Raf Simons show was a highlight

    There’s no way of looking like a Christmas present without wanting to make an entrance.

    It doesn’t need to be that showy or shiny but the overarching principle is that long-line has taken a long time to take hold.

    There was a brief foray from high-street brands to offer longer shirts in particular but now they’ve retreated a little back to high fashion.

    What is clear from the collections is that there’s a desire to bring back the oversize silhouette.

    If you have a larger fashion-conscious friend, you can now ‘borrow’ their clothes to test it out.

    MORE: Helmut Lang books women in their eighties to front Women of Wales campaign

    MORE: People are making fun of PrettyLittleThing for selling a hi-vis jacket for £45


    FASHION-FRANCE-RAF-SIMONSFASHION-FRANCE-RAF-SIMONSalexhudsMILAN, ITALY - JUNE 18: Models are seen backstage ahead of the Fendi show during Milan Men's Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 on June 18, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)FASHION-FRANCE-RAF-SIMONSFASHION-FRANCE-RAF-SIMONSalexhudsMILAN, ITALY - JUNE 18: Models are seen backstage ahead of the Fendi show during Milan Men's Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 on June 18, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)

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  • 08/25/18--04:31: How to avoid wasp stings
  • (Picture: Getty)

    If you think there have been an unpleasant number of wasps buzzing round your half-finished pint of cider this summer, you’re absolutely right.

    The unusually hot and dry weather has allowed British wasp populations to flourish.

    After a wet winter followed by a chilly spring, wasps should’ve been thin on the ground this summer as the hibernating queens usually need cold with little rainfall in the winter months and a warm spring to thrive.

    However, summer conditions ensured that the surviving insects had all the heat, dry and abundant food they needed to swell wasp population numbers.

    Consequently, there have been plenty of the stinging yellow and black omnivores around to ruin picnics and beer garden sessions all summer.

    Even if you’re not allergic to wasp stings, nobody likes getting stung.

    There are some ways you can reduce your likelihood of receiving a painful sting.

    Do not anger the wasp

    Wasps don’t like it if you annoy them. Try really hard not to get on their tiny nerves.

    Don’t flap your hands at them or try to swat them away, however tempting it is to do so.

    Stay as calm as possible

    It’s not always easy, but try to keep your cool.

    If a wasp lands on your skin, simply wait for it to fly away. If you can’t wait, brush it away slowly and carefully with a piece of paper.

    It can be terrifying if a wasp gets inside your clothing, particularly if you’re allergic, but the best thing to do is remain completely still and allow the wasp to find it’s own way out.

    Fabric hitting the wasp or pressing against it will be identified as a threat.

    Wasps love sweet foods like jam and syrup. (Picture: Getty)

    Keep scent to a minimum

    Wasps are attracted to odours in their enviornment.

    Some of these you can’t do anything about (like the human meat smell of your skin – sorry everyone, wasps eat flesh) but others you definitely can.

    Don’t overdo it with perfume, cologne or scented soaps before you go to a potential wasp hotspot, but also make sure your personal hygeine is good because wasps are attracted to the smell of body odour too.

    Even the very slightest traces of food on your fingers or clothing can ignite a wasp’s interest due to their incredibly sensitive sense of smell.

    Be mindful of your surroundings

    Wasps nests can be found in trees and shrubs, but a massive 70% of them are built underground.

    Don’t go barefoot in areas of vegetation and be aware that disturbing plants when gardening or looking for a picnic spot could put you in contact with a colony of wasps.

    If you’re within three metres of a nest and receive a wasp sting, the stinging wasp will release an alarm pheromone that causes other wasps to swarm in and attack.

    Choose pale colours

    Wearing white or light shades can protect you significantly if you do mange to disturb a wasp colony, as it’s been proven that wasps hone in on dark coloured targets.

    Run in a straight line

    It’s always best to move away slowly and steadily, but if you need to flee the scene, always run in a straight line.

    Moving jerkily or zig-zagging makes you an even easier target for stings and wasps can pursue you up to 150 metres.

    If you are stung, you need to get rid of that pheromone or biological marker as quickly as possible.

    Move away, change your clothing and wash the sting site with soap and water.

    Wasps might not be the most welcome barbecue guests, but you can ensure that your behaviour isn’t making the situation worse.

    Keep calm and they should buzz off.

    MORE: Wetherspoon bans dogs from all its pubs and hotels nationwide

    MORE: The adorable snoot challenge is taking over the internet


    Honeybee's Flying around Rapeseed FloraHoneybee's Flying around Rapeseed FlorahpwilliamsonHoneybee's Flying around Rapeseed FloraHoneybee's Flying around Rapeseed Florahpwilliamson

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    Man sleeps as woman in underwear looks on
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    In news that will come as little surprise to anyone who’s ever had a relationship marked by regular makeups and breakups, on and off relationships may not be good for your mental health.

    New research has found that relationships that experienced breaking up and reuniting were associated with higher symptoms of psychological distress, such as depression and anxiety.

    That’s because these relationships tend to have higher rates of poor communication and low levels of commitment.

    The study, published in the journal Family Relations, looked at 500 individuals currently in relationships, tracking their emotions and feelings towards their relationship.

    They found that those who had an increase in breaking up and reuniting were more likely to experience depression and anxiety.

    The study also looked at why couples tended to make up or break up. The most common reason was necessity or practicality, such as choosing to stay together for financial reasons or to make their living situation easier.

    Researchers found that while on and off relationships aren’t always bad, it’s important to analyse why you broke up and why you’re getting back together.

    Acne and depression
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    ‘Breaking up and getting back together is not always a bad omen for a couple,’ said Kale Monk, assistant professor of human development and family science.

    ‘In fact, for some couples, breaking up can help partners realize the importance of their relationship, contributing to a healthier, more committed unions.

    ‘On the other hand, partners who are routinely breaking up and getting back together could be negatively impacted by the pattern.

    ‘The findings suggest that people who find themselves regularly breaking up and getting back together with their partners need to ‘ook under the hood of their relationships to determine what’s going on.

    ‘If partners are honest about the pattern, they can take the necessary steps to maintain their relationships or safely end them. This is vital for preserving their well-being.’

    Monk recommends that couples should take note of any consistent or persistent issues impacting a relationship, have honest conversations around the reasoning for a breakup, and question whether they’re getting back together for positive reasons, such as commitment and love, or out of obligation and convenience.

    He also wants people to feel comfortable ending a relationship that’s become toxic.

    ‘Remember that it is okay to end a toxic relationship,’ says Monk. ‘For example, if your relationship is beyond repair, do not feel guilty leaving for your mental or physical wellbeing.’

    MORE: What women ‘banned’ from your stadium want you to know about football

    MORE: A scientist debunks pickup artists’ top dating theories and techniques

    MORE: How a sex drought affects your mind and body


    Xx things I wish I had known before losing my virginity (Rosy Edwards)Xx things I wish I had known before losing my virginity (Rosy Edwards)ellencscottAcne and depressionXx things I wish I had known before losing my virginity (Rosy Edwards)Xx things I wish I had known before losing my virginity (Rosy Edwards)ellencscottAcne and depression

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    (Picture: Sachiko Kouraba/ CATERS NEWS)

    Fans of this unusual kitty are smitten by her pure white fur and the distinctive black marking on her back in the shape of a heart.

    The one year old cat lives in Hokkaido, Japan, with her doting owners Sachiko Kouraba, 36, and Sachio Kouraba, 51.

    The heart-shaped patch of black fur on her back has marked her out as special on Instagram, where she has amassed a following of 19,000 in just over six months.

    Instagram users agree that she’s adorable and a ‘perfect model’, as Ikura likes to pose with flowers, wearing different cute collars and wearing a tiny lion’s mane.

    She always seems to have a little smile on her face.

    Pic by Sachiko Kouraba/ CATERS NEWS: (Pictured: Here is Ikura, the one-year-old cat with a big heart shape on her fur) A cute kitty has been winning the hearts of netizens with her striking white-fur coat highlighted with a natural big heart. Ikura, the one-year-old adorable cat with the romantic markings on her back has amassed a following of over 18,000 ardent fans on Instagram in just over six months. Named after salmon caviar in Japanese, the one-year-old kitty lives with her owners Sachiko Kouraba, 36, a pharmacist and her husband Sachio Kouraba, 51, a doctor, in Hokkaido. The pristine white cat has her own replica toys that her owner Sachiko has stitched and is often found looking outside the sunny window with her babies, sitting closely and spotting birds. SEE CATERS COPY.
    Ikura with her matching toys. (Picture: Sachiko Kouraba/ CATERS NEWS:)

    Ikura is named after the Japanese word for salmon caviar, although this won’t be her favourite food because cats can become poorly if they eat raw fish.

    Owner Sachiko, a pharmacist, has made two matching cat toys with the same markings as Ikura.

    Ikura loves to hang out with her two ‘babies’ and watch birds and traffic go by from her perch beside the window.

    Pic by Sachiko Kouraba/ CATERS NEWS: (Pictured: Here is Ikura, the one-year-old cat with a big heart shape on her fur) A cute kitty has been winning the hearts of netizens with her striking white-fur coat highlighted with a natural big heart. Ikura, the one-year-old adorable cat with the romantic markings on her back has amassed a following of over 18,000 ardent fans on Instagram in just over six months. Named after salmon caviar in Japanese, the one-year-old kitty lives with her owners Sachiko Kouraba, 36, a pharmacist and her husband Sachio Kouraba, 51, a doctor, in Hokkaido. The pristine white cat has her own replica toys that her owner Sachiko has stitched and is often found looking outside the sunny window with her babies, sitting closely and spotting birds. SEE CATERS COPY.
    (Picture: Caters News Agency)

    Sachiko said: ‘A few weeks ago, I made two dolls that looks like her babies. 

    ‘She makes me so happy. We are not home during the day and she has an answering machine. 

    ‘She often looks out of the window to spot a bird and when not, she spends her time napping.’

    Instagram Photo

    Sometimes Ikura gets to go for car rides, and she’s apparently very used to people giving her compliments and commenting on her unusual appearance.

    According to Sachiko, she ‘seems to understand that she is being praised’.

    Ikura’s owners describe her as a ‘good girl’ and we’re inclined to agree.

    Surely no kitty with such beautiful markings could ever be naughty?

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

    MORE: Everyone’s fallen in love with this 25lb cat who’s extra and knows it


    Pic by Sachiko Kouraba/ CATERS NEWS: (Pictured: Here is Ikura, the one-year-old cat with a big heart shape on her fur) A cute kitty has been winning the hearts of netizens with her striking white-fur coat highlighted with a natural big heart. Ikura, the one-year-old adorable cat with the romantic markings on her back has amassed a following of over 18,000 ardent fans on Instagram in just over six months. Named after salmon caviar in Japanese, the one-year-old kitty lives with her owners Sachiko Kouraba, 36, a pharmacist and her husband Sachio Kouraba, 51, a doctor, in Hokkaido. The pristine white cat has her own replica toys that her owner Sachiko has stitched and is often found looking outside the sunny window with her babies, sitting closely and spotting birds. SEE CATERS COPY.Pic by Sachiko Kouraba/ CATERS NEWS: (Pictured: Here is Ikura, the one-year-old cat with a big heart shape on her fur) A cute kitty has been winning the hearts of netizens with her striking white-fur coat highlighted with a natural big heart. Ikura, the one-year-old adorable cat with the romantic markings on her back has amassed a following of over 18,000 ardent fans on Instagram in just over six months. Named after salmon caviar in Japanese, the one-year-old kitty lives with her owners Sachiko Kouraba, 36, a pharmacist and her husband Sachio Kouraba, 51, a doctor, in Hokkaido. The pristine white cat has her own replica toys that her owner Sachiko has stitched and is often found looking outside the sunny window with her babies, sitting closely and spotting birds. SEE CATERS COPY.hpwilliamsonPic by Sachiko Kouraba/ CATERS NEWS: (Pictured: Here is Ikura, the one-year-old cat with a big heart shape on her fur) A cute kitty has been winning the hearts of netizens with her striking white-fur coat highlighted with a natural big heart. Ikura, the one-year-old adorable cat with the romantic markings on her back has amassed a following of over 18,000 ardent fans on Instagram in just over six months. Named after salmon caviar in Japanese, the one-year-old kitty lives with her owners Sachiko Kouraba, 36, a pharmacist and her husband Sachio Kouraba, 51, a doctor, in Hokkaido. The pristine white cat has her own replica toys that her owner Sachiko has stitched and is often found looking outside the sunny window with her babies, sitting closely and spotting birds. SEE CATERS COPY.Pic by Sachiko Kouraba/ CATERS NEWS: (Pictured: Here is Ikura, the one-year-old cat with a big heart shape on her fur) A cute kitty has been winning the hearts of netizens with her striking white-fur coat highlighted with a natural big heart. Ikura, the one-year-old adorable cat with the romantic markings on her back has amassed a following of over 18,000 ardent fans on Instagram in just over six months. Named after salmon caviar in Japanese, the one-year-old kitty lives with her owners Sachiko Kouraba, 36, a pharmacist and her husband Sachio Kouraba, 51, a doctor, in Hokkaido. The pristine white cat has her own replica toys that her owner Sachiko has stitched and is often found looking outside the sunny window with her babies, sitting closely and spotting birds. SEE CATERS COPY.Pic by Sachiko Kouraba/ CATERS NEWS: (Pictured: Here is Ikura, the one-year-old cat with a big heart shape on her fur) A cute kitty has been winning the hearts of netizens with her striking white-fur coat highlighted with a natural big heart. Ikura, the one-year-old adorable cat with the romantic markings on her back has amassed a following of over 18,000 ardent fans on Instagram in just over six months. Named after salmon caviar in Japanese, the one-year-old kitty lives with her owners Sachiko Kouraba, 36, a pharmacist and her husband Sachio Kouraba, 51, a doctor, in Hokkaido. The pristine white cat has her own replica toys that her owner Sachiko has stitched and is often found looking outside the sunny window with her babies, sitting closely and spotting birds. SEE CATERS COPY.Pic by Sachiko Kouraba/ CATERS NEWS: (Pictured: Here is Ikura, the one-year-old cat with a big heart shape on her fur) A cute kitty has been winning the hearts of netizens with her striking white-fur coat highlighted with a natural big heart. Ikura, the one-year-old adorable cat with the romantic markings on her back has amassed a following of over 18,000 ardent fans on Instagram in just over six months. Named after salmon caviar in Japanese, the one-year-old kitty lives with her owners Sachiko Kouraba, 36, a pharmacist and her husband Sachio Kouraba, 51, a doctor, in Hokkaido. The pristine white cat has her own replica toys that her owner Sachiko has stitched and is often found looking outside the sunny window with her babies, sitting closely and spotting birds. SEE CATERS COPY.hpwilliamsonPic by Sachiko Kouraba/ CATERS NEWS: (Pictured: Here is Ikura, the one-year-old cat with a big heart shape on her fur) A cute kitty has been winning the hearts of netizens with her striking white-fur coat highlighted with a natural big heart. Ikura, the one-year-old adorable cat with the romantic markings on her back has amassed a following of over 18,000 ardent fans on Instagram in just over six months. Named after salmon caviar in Japanese, the one-year-old kitty lives with her owners Sachiko Kouraba, 36, a pharmacist and her husband Sachio Kouraba, 51, a doctor, in Hokkaido. The pristine white cat has her own replica toys that her owner Sachiko has stitched and is often found looking outside the sunny window with her babies, sitting closely and spotting birds. SEE CATERS COPY.Pic by Sachiko Kouraba/ CATERS NEWS: (Pictured: Here is Ikura, the one-year-old cat with a big heart shape on her fur) A cute kitty has been winning the hearts of netizens with her striking white-fur coat highlighted with a natural big heart. Ikura, the one-year-old adorable cat with the romantic markings on her back has amassed a following of over 18,000 ardent fans on Instagram in just over six months. Named after salmon caviar in Japanese, the one-year-old kitty lives with her owners Sachiko Kouraba, 36, a pharmacist and her husband Sachio Kouraba, 51, a doctor, in Hokkaido. The pristine white cat has her own replica toys that her owner Sachiko has stitched and is often found looking outside the sunny window with her babies, sitting closely and spotting birds. SEE CATERS COPY.

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    Sally has had ME for 13 years (Photo: Sally Doherty)

    I wake late, drag myself out from under my duvet and stumble to the kitchen.

    It would be a relief to have breakfast in bed but my husband works full time. He’s left me a bowl and a spoon on the side, and a sandwich awaits me in the fridge for lunch.

    I eat in silence and then shuffle back to my bedroom on the ground floor.

    Hungover? I wish.

    This is not a one off; this is how I have felt every morning for the past 13 years.

    I suffer from myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

    That’s a fake illness, right?

    The one where people are just being lazy and they need to think positively, get off their backsides and do some exercise, yes?

    Some 250,000 people in the UK (plus their carers, families and friends) would tell you otherwise. And I’m one of them.

    I used to be like you; healthy and happy with a full life of work, socialising and exercise. I never dreamt that one day I wouldn’t be able to get over my doorstep.

    I was 22 and had my whole life ahead of me.

    And then – bam, it hit me out of the blue.

    Fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, light-headedness, the list goes on.

    ‘It’s just post-viral fatigue,’ my GP said. ‘You just need some early nights. You’ll be better in a few months.’

    But I wasn’t. Not better in a few months. Not in a year. Not in a decade.

    There are different levels of ME, I fall into the severe category. Lucky me.

    Imagine you’ve got the flu (not just a cold but flu that feels like it’s sucking the soul out of your body).

    Housebound and largely bedbound, I was the person who couldn’t bear to go one day without a dance class or a swim. Now, the most exercise I get is from trying to shower.

    Did I mention that it’s the biggest task of my day? And it’s not easy.

    Every small activity I do is sandwiched between long rests in bed. And by ‘activity’, I mean eating, getting dressed, sitting in the garden for five minutes (on a good day) and checking the internet for brief spells.

    Resting does not mean watching television. Oh no, no. My brain is as fatigued as my body.

    And let’s talk about how I’m feeling during those activities and my rests.

    Imagine you’ve got the flu, not just a cold but flu that feels like it’s sucking the soul out of your body.

    And now you need to climb Mount Everest, while wearing leaden boots and with a sack of sugar attached to every cell in your body. This is how I feel on my bad days, which is at least 50% of the time, and can go on for weeks on end.

    I’m dependent on my husband. Cooking, laundry, shopping: you name it, he has to do it.

    And I go days, sometimes even weeks, without seeing another human being. Family and friends are always keen to visit for short periods but – more often than not – I’m not well enough.

    Thank heavens for my cuddly canine companion (snoring and dirty paws aside).

    I never imagined I’d be 35 with little to show for the past 13 years: no career, no achievements, no children.

    But here I am. And here I will be. Along with an estimated 17million sufferers worldwide.

    We need belief. We need investment in research.

    Right now, no one even knows what causes ME. And until we know that, there’s no hope of finding a cure.

    What are the symptoms of ME?

    The main symptom of CFS/ME is feeling extremely tired and generally unwell.

    In addition, people with CFS/ME may have other symptoms, including:

    • Post-exertional malaise or symptom exacerbation
    • Activity-induced muscle fatigue
    • Cognitive dysfunction
    • Pain
    • Sleep disturbance
    • On-going, flu-like malaise
    • Autonomic symptoms

    You can read more about the illness on the ME Association website or call their helpline on 0844 576 5326 (charges apply).

    MORE: I went from NHS doctor to mental health patient overnight

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    MORE: When I was struggling with PTSD, my allotment was the one place I could seek refuge


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    The link between motherhood and mental illness is well documented. The NHS says that 10-15% of new mums are affected by postnatal depression.

    Yet parents still struggle to talk about it. It’s estimated that 58% of cases go unreported.

    Postnatal depression can last for years and develop into long-term illness such as depression and anxiety. Some reports suggest that 1 in 3 mothers can show persistent symptoms of depression up to four years after giving birth.

    This prolonged period of mental anguish is often filled with resentment towards the children involved, and there are some mothers who admit that they wish they’d never had kids in the first place.

    27-year-old copywriter Claire*, from Oxford, hit rock bottom when she received devastating news about her son’s health.

    Although she suffered from depression before her pregnancy, nothing could have prepared her for living with this situation.

    ‘I feel responsible for bringing him into this world,’ Claire tells Metro.co.uk. ‘One in which he suffers. I feel like a failure in all aspects of my life.’

    Financial stress has given Claire countless sleepless nights. She feels responsible for creating a life that isn’t picture perfect.

    ‘Instead of seeing myself as an extraordinary woman for managing to make such a difficult situation work, I lay awake at night thinking about all the things I have done wrong.

    ‘How irresponsible it was of me to have a child with my partner of more than a decade.’

    P, a 27-year-old blogger from Birmingham, gave birth five months ago. She’s had negative feelings since her baby was born.

    ‘Honestly, I love my newborn dearly but I would lying if I said I didn’t feel slightly regretful in the first two months of his life, I felt like my life was over,’ she explains. ‘Had I made the right choice? Would I ever feel normal again? My honest thought process was no.’

    These pangs of regret are normal and in most cases, fleeting.

    (Picture: Erin Aniker)

    When problems continue, therapist Alex Carling explains it’s often because parents feel unprepared for the huge life changes that are part and parcel of raising a child.

    ‘I have heard some people expressing a feeling of regret,’ says Alex. ‘I’ve heard people say that if they’d known what it was going to be like then they wouldn’t have had a child.’

    Alex went though her own personal torment when she gave birth, and says that she went though a grieving process for the experience that she had imagined but was never granted.

    ‘My birth wasn’t what I wanted it to be, my experience of having a baby in the early days was worse than I imagined it to be.

    ‘My exhaustion, my pain… I didn’t have that capacity to love and adore my new life.’

    The negative emotions related to this drastic change in circumstances are incredibly complicated, and come with shame and guilt.

    Business owner Amy Holland has always worked in mental health and previously worked as a family support worker for single parents. She tells us that she often heard people talk about feelings of regret and observed that blame was placed on the children.

    ‘This was common with the first child, and more common when there had been a relationship breakdown at the same time,’ says Amy. ‘People would think if they hadn’t had the baby the relationship wouldn’t have broken down.’

    As well as relationship problems, many parents will feel like they are missing out on other areas of success as a result of starting a family.

    Amy says: ‘I used to see the stress and the strain and it’s quite easy to put that onto the children. People would experience a setback with their life, career or mental health and I could see it was very hard for them to adjust.’

    metro illustrations
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Amy struggled with postnatal depression herself and was particularly detached with her second child.

    She recalls that she didn’t breastfeed for very long and used to turn off the baby monitor because she just wanted some sleep.

    ‘I really, really regret that now and I had so much resentment that I felt so bad about,’ Amy says. ‘I honestly don’t remember the first year of his life and I feel guilty about that.’

    Many parents struggle with the false image of what parenthood is supposed to look like.

    The reality of physical and mental exhaustion is rarely publicised and there is a real taboo around admitting that you might have made the wrong decision to become a parent.

    In a frank interview with the Daily Mail in 2013, mother of two Isabella Dutton said in no uncertain terms that she wished she had never had children.

    She said that having children ‘consigns you to an endless existence of shelling out financially and emotionally, with little or no return’

    As well as the burden on herself, Isabella claimed that her marriage with her husband Tony would have been much more enjoyable had she decided to live a child-free life.

    She admits that she felt no maternal bond and that she was ‘completely detached from this alien being who had encroached upon my settled married life and changed it, irrevocably, for the worse.’

    The backlash to Isabella’s brutally honest comments was undeniable.

    The online article has thousands of comments which label her as ‘selfish’,’appalling’ and ‘cold-hearted’, only solidifying the unspoken rule that these topics are not to be mentioned publicly.

    But these feelings aren’t rare. A Quora thread called ‘what is it like to regret having children?’ has over a hundred comments – mostly from anonymous accounts – of people sharing their own struggles.

    I asked therapist Alex how people can cope when they experience feelings of regret and she emphasised that the dialogue needs to change to accept that this is normal.

    She recommends starting with your own internal voice and remind yourself that its OK to feel this way.

    ‘Have a manta that confronts the intrusive thoughts.

    ‘Tell yourself “this is normal” or “this is not a weakness” and know that just because you feel low doesn’t mean you’re not thankful.’

    *Name has been changed. 

    Need support? Contact the Samaritans

    For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

    MORE: What it’s like to have postnatal depression

    MORE: My doctor told me I was ‘just tired’ – 13 years later and ME has taken over my life

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    Women who had kids but regret itWomen who had kids but regret itfr040780metro illustrationsWomen who had kids but regret itWomen who had kids but regret itfr040780metro illustrations

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    (Picture: Getty)

    Why don’t dick pics instantly turn the recipient into a puddle of lust and sexy fluids?

    Is it that men are visual creatures and women aren’t – that old idea wheeled out to explain everything from the popularity of strip clubs to a less-than-groomed man demanding a blonde with perfect breasts?

    Or are penises just not visually attractive?

    The men vs women difference isn’t so simple. Both men and women tend to go for people who are visually out of their league on dating apps, which implies that women, like men, base part of their attraction in someone’s physical appearance. So yes, women are visual too.

    So why is it that female nudity is considered automatically sexy, while a dick pic all too often feels embarrassing, awkward, gross, or funny?

    Is it the difference between how the male and female brain perceive bodies? Or is it down to the objective attractiveness of male and female bodies?

    Are penises aesthetically sexy? Are they physically attractive? Are all dick pics doomed to inspire zero lust? Does that only count when they’re sent to women?

    And do you have to be visually attracted to someone’s genitals to describe yourself as attracted to them?

    It’s complicated.

    We asked some people attracted to men to take us closer to the answers.

    Okay, straight up. Do you find penises visually appealing?

    Austin, 20: Nope.

    Emma*, 29: An erect penis is really sexy for me, but that doesn’t mean I want dick pics constantly.

    Scott, 31: Yes I think it’s never ugly.

    Harriet, 27: Penises are not particularly visually appealing. They are veiny, knobbly and generally quite weird. Some are nicer than others, but most are fairly unpleasant to look at.

    Natalie, 26: No. In my opinion, penises are glorified sausages. Let’s be honest, all genitalia in general isn’t especially pretty to look at.

    Alan*, 37: Sometimes.

    Sarah, 30: When they are flaccid, they are funny looking and not visually appealing. However, when they are hard it’s easier to get over that oddness.

    Laura, 27: 1. Yes and no – they’re not actually attractive looking things on the face of it.

    Jess, 24: Yeah, in the same way I find anyone’s body parts visually appealing. If I saw my boyfriend’s arm on it’s own I probably wouldn’t be like omg hottest thing ever, but when part of his whole body it’s super hot.

    Amy*, 23: I think they can be pretty in aesthetic terms, but they don’t turn me on.

    ILLUSTRATION REQUEST: XX women talk about what they like best about penises and why (Almara)
    (Picture: Phébe Lou Morson for Metro.co.uk)

    Do you get turned on just by looking at a penis?

    Austin: Nope.

    Emma:  I get really turned on seeing my boyfriend’s penis get harder and harder and knowing it’s going to be inside me or in my mouth.

    Scott: My partner’s one, yes, of course.

    Harriet: Nope. It’s more the thought of what the penis might be able to do and what it might feel like rather than how it looks.

    Natalie: Very rarely, and only if it signifies their own arousal (which can be a turn on)

    Alan: Looking at an erect penis can turn me on, yes.

    Sarah: A long, hard penis does to an extent. But it would definitely depend who it was on and what was about to happen.

    Laura: Yes, they do turn me on.

    Jess: Not in a standalone way, no. But then neither do vaginas. It’s all about the promise of what’s going to happen and the situation it’s in. In porn I quite like seeing the penetration itself but a dick in a still life scene wouldn’t really arouse me as much. That’s less about penises and probably more about how I’m visually stimulated.

    Amy: Not at all. I get turned on by the situation and what the penis could do, not the penis itself, if that makes sense. I’d get more turned on imagining someone’s penis inside me than by just looking at a penis.

    What makes a penis nice to look at?

    Austin: Clean, kept bush, and hard.

    Emma: It’s the way the blood rushing to that area gets them really red and a very obvious vein or two is such a turn on. Luckily for me, my boyfriend’s penis is absolute goals (ha – penis goals, is that a thing?) in terms of size for me. It just looks beautiful.

    Scott: They are all different, you never see the same penis, so it’s interesting to see what it will be like.

    Harriet: In my opinion an attractive penis is uncircumcised, clean, non-angry looking, a little bit veiny (but not too much), fairly thick, long (but not too long) – what can I say, I’m fussy.

    Natalie: Nothing, unless they are dressed for comedic effect.

    Alan: I’m not sure. The firmness of it maybe? I read an article about how men manifest their arousal in a more physical, i.e. visual, way and some guys find that a turn-on.

    Sarah: What about a penis makes it nice to look at? Not having too much skin, not being surrounded by too much hair.

    Laura: There is something about an erect penis, especially when you’re in ‘the moment’, that is inherently sexy; I think it’s more the connotations of how it got to be (I’ve turned the guy on enough) or what’s about to happen (sex!) rather than the visual image itself.

    Jess: They’re quite proud aren’t they? Again, I like looking at a penis and thinking what’s going to happen next. ‘What that thang do?’

    Amy: ‘Nice’ to look at means smooth, nice skin, trimmed pubic hair, not too veiny (it makes me worry a penis is about to explode), and not too big (the pain and UTIs aren’t worth it). But again, that just makes a penis ‘nice’ to look at, like a sculpture or a nice photograph. The visuals of a penis don’t turn me on.

    Do you need to find penises visually attractive to be attracted to men? 

    Austin: No, not all men have penises and there is 95% of the rest of the body that you can have a thing for. You are barely gonna see it.

    Emma: You certainly don’t need to find a penis attractive to find men attractive. I’ve slept with men who I found intellectually stimulating and I wanted to sleep with them because of that and not just what was down there.

    Scott: I fall for personality. With my partner I fell for his eyes and who he is, but I know some friends of mine that goes for a man just because they think they have a great penis.

    Harriet: No, you definitely don’t need to find penises nice to look at to be attracted to men.

    Natalie: Not at all – but at the same time I think you do have to enjoy sex with someone who has a penis in order to be attracted to men – so it’s more about the function of the penis than the look of it.

    Alan: No, you can be attracted to someone in a number of ways: physically, romantically or sexually. It’s more about the act for me – a sexual experience. I don’t ‘notice’ guys when I’m out and have never been attracted to them in any other way.

    Inventor designs self-engorging condom to beat erectile dysfunction and make micro-penises 'more satisfying' picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk
    (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

    Sarah: No, but you can’t be repulsed by them. There needs to be some level of appeal.

    Laura: I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. The penis and the man are linked – you find a man attractive before you’ve even seen his penis.

    Jess: I think genitalia in general get called gross a lot (people call it ‘bumping uglies’ for example) so it might have been conditioned into folk to think penises aren’t a sexy thing. But if you’re with a partner who has a penis and you can’t see that as part of their sexiness, I’d say that’s a worry.

    You’d still be straight if you were a woman, but you’d definitely need to have a think about why you have trouble thinking a part of your sexual partner’s body is unattractive. Would you be okay if they thought your breasts or labia were unattractive?

    Amy: I’m bi, which I think makes me less worried about what my feelings towards genitals mean. I’m not really turned on by anyone’s body parts in isolation, but I don’t find them repulsive either – they’re nice to look at, but I get turned on through interaction with a person.

    *Names have been changed. 

    So… not a definitive answer. 

    Interestingly, the men we asked were more likely to say they were turned on by penises, or found penises visually attractive – but not all of them, so the debate really isn’t as clear cut as men being visual while women aren’t.

    Some people find a penis sexy or beautiful in itself, others don’t, but none of the people we asked believe you have to be attracted to penises to be attracted to men. So you don’t need to question your sexuality just because you’re not deeply aroused by someone’s knob.

    But what’s common among the responses we received is that context is important. A penis becomes attractive when it’s attached to someone who’s attractive in other ways, or when it’s about to bring someone pleasure.

    And that’s why an unsolicited dick pic is never sexy: because it’s free of all context. Get it?

    If you’re questioning the sex appeal of your penis, your best bet is to ask the person whose judgement you value (your partner, the recipient of a striptease, whatever), and don’t panic if they say that actually, they don’t get aroused by just looking at your dick.

    Sexual attraction is more complex and exciting than just looking at a penis and saying ‘ooh, I like that’. That’s part of what makes it fun.

    Experiment, explore, and enjoy.

    A note, before anyone gets angry: a vagina version of this article is incoming. Remain calm. 

    MORE: Scottish sex terms you all need to know

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    Do people find penises visually attractive?Do people find penises visually attractive?ellencscottILLUSTRATION REQUEST: XX women talk about what they like best about penises and why (Almara)Inventor designs self-engorging condom to beat erectile dysfunction and make micro-penises 'more satisfying' picture: Getty/Metro.co.ukDo people find penises visually attractive?Do people find penises visually attractive?ellencscottILLUSTRATION REQUEST: XX women talk about what they like best about penises and why (Almara)Inventor designs self-engorging condom to beat erectile dysfunction and make micro-penises 'more satisfying' picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk

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    (Picture: CASEY BRUNO/CATERS NEWS )

    Paisley the dalmatian got an honorary mortar board and diploma for helping her owner graduate from university.

    Casey Bruno, 22, has struggled with depression and anxiety for most of her life.

    Thankfully, Paisley the dalmatian pup came to the rescue.

    For the past two years, Casey and Paisley have been inseparable.

    When Paisley entered her life, Casey says that ‘everything changed’ and she credits her service dog with helping her meet her boyfriend and best friends.

    PIC BY CASEY BRUNO/CATERS NEWS (PICTURED: After helping her owner through mental health battles at university, this dog got its very own token of appreciation) - This adorable service dog received its own honourary cap at her owners graduation, as a thank you for helping her through university as she battled mental health issues. Casey Bruno, 22, says shes suffered from anxiety and depression for as long as she can remember, but when a Dalmatian pup named Paisley came into her life two-years-ago, everything changed. Crediting meeting her best-friends and boyfriend thanks to Paisley, Casey also managed to graduate from the University of Central Florida on August 3rd an achievement she admits wouldve never been possible if not for her doting sidekick. SEE CATERS COPY
    Paisley and her personalised mortar board, designed and made by Casey. (Picture: CASEY BRUNO/CATERS NEWS)

    Despite her ongoing battle with mental health issues, Casey graduated from the University of Central Florida in August with a degree in veterinary medicine.

    She admits that this achievement may not have been possible without the support of her canine companion.

    Throughout university, Paisley would spend the majority of the day by Casey’s side in lectures and seminars.

    Paisley is trained to sense when her owner is going to have an anxiety attack, and would nuzzle into Casey’s side instinctively, comforting her and calming her down.

    Casey decided that her pup needed to be honoured at graduation, and made Paisley her very own graduation cap.

    The pair showed off their matching mortarboards in a super cute photoshoot.

    Casey said: “If I didn’t have her [Paisley], I don’t know where I’d be – honestly.

    PIC BY CASEY BRUNO/CATERS NEWS (PICTURED: After helping her owner through mental health battles at university, this dog got its very own token of appreciation) - This adorable service dog received its own honourary cap at her owners graduation, as a thank you for helping her through university as she battled mental health issues. Casey Bruno, 22, says shes suffered from anxiety and depression for as long as she can remember, but when a Dalmatian pup named Paisley came into her life two-years-ago, everything changed. Crediting meeting her best-friends and boyfriend thanks to Paisley, Casey also managed to graduate from the University of Central Florida on August 3rd an achievement she admits wouldve never been possible if not for her doting sidekick. SEE CATERS COPY
    Paisley and Casey hanging out together. (Picture: CASEY BRUNO/CATERS NEWS)

    ‘Since she’s been with me through all of this, I came up with the idea for her to have her own cap.

    ‘I knew I wanted a paw print on mine to associate with me wanting to be a vet, so I thought it would be cute to have a handprint on hers.

    ‘It represented how I was dedicated to her and her dedication to me throughout college.’

    The University of Central Florida even presented the adorable service dog with her own diploma.

    Casey continued: ‘I would owe pretty much my [whole] graduation to Paisely.

    PIC BY CASEY BRUNO/CATERS NEWS (PICTURED: After helping her owner through mental health battles at university, this dog got its very own token of appreciation) - This adorable service dog received its own honourary cap at her owners graduation, as a thank you for helping her through university as she battled mental health issues. Casey Bruno, 22, says shes suffered from anxiety and depression for as long as she can remember, but when a Dalmatian pup named Paisley came into her life two-years-ago, everything changed. Crediting meeting her best-friends and boyfriend thanks to Paisley, Casey also managed to graduate from the University of Central Florida on August 3rd an achievement she admits wouldve never been possible if not for her doting sidekick. SEE CATERS COPY
    Is this the most adorable graduation picture ever? (Picture: CASEY BRUNO/CATERS NEWS)

    ‘She’s broadened my horizons and allowed me to do thing I never thought I’d be able to do.

    ‘She’s definitely given me my entire college experience and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.

    ‘You can’t be mad, sad, or frustrated when she’s right next to you because she’s such a happy dog – she’s so in touch with other people’s emotions.

    ‘Anxiety is a big issue for a lot of people, and having a service dog has let me open up to people and realize things can get better, and that I can do anything I put my mind to.’

    Paisley continues to support Casey in her day-to-day life as her constant companion.

    Congratulations to Casey and Paisley on your joint graduation!

    MORE: Cat with heart-shaped marking is melting hearts

    MORE: Little girl dresses as her aunt’s assistance dog for Book Week


    PIC BY CASEY BRUNO/CATERS NEWS (PICTURED: After helping her owner through mental health battles at university, this dog got its very own token of appreciation) - This adorable service dog received its own honourary cap at her owners graduation, as a thank you for helping her through university as she battled mental health issues. Casey Bruno, 22, says shes suffered from anxiety and depression for as long as she can remember, but when a Dalmatian pup named Paisley came into her life two-years-ago, everything changed. Crediting meeting her best-friends and boyfriend thanks to Paisley, Casey also managed to graduate from the University of Central Florida on August 3rd an achievement she admits wouldve never been possible if not for her doting sidekick. SEE CATERS COPYPIC BY CASEY BRUNO/CATERS NEWS (PICTURED: After helping her owner through mental health battles at university, this dog got its very own token of appreciation) - This adorable service dog received its own honourary cap at her owners graduation, as a thank you for helping her through university as she battled mental health issues. Casey Bruno, 22, says shes suffered from anxiety and depression for as long as she can remember, but when a Dalmatian pup named Paisley came into her life two-years-ago, everything changed. Crediting meeting her best-friends and boyfriend thanks to Paisley, Casey also managed to graduate from the University of Central Florida on August 3rd an achievement she admits wouldve never been possible if not for her doting sidekick. SEE CATERS COPYhpwilliamsonPIC BY CASEY BRUNO/CATERS NEWS (PICTURED: After helping her owner through mental health battles at university, this dog got its very own token of appreciation) - This adorable service dog received its own honourary cap at her owners graduation, as a thank you for helping her through university as she battled mental health issues. Casey Bruno, 22, says shes suffered from anxiety and depression for as long as she can remember, but when a Dalmatian pup named Paisley came into her life two-years-ago, everything changed. Crediting meeting her best-friends and boyfriend thanks to Paisley, Casey also managed to graduate from the University of Central Florida on August 3rd an achievement she admits wouldve never been possible if not for her doting sidekick. SEE CATERS COPYPIC BY CASEY BRUNO/CATERS NEWS (PICTURED: After helping her owner through mental health battles at university, this dog got its very own token of appreciation) - This adorable service dog received its own honourary cap at her owners graduation, as a thank you for helping her through university as she battled mental health issues. Casey Bruno, 22, says shes suffered from anxiety and depression for as long as she can remember, but when a Dalmatian pup named Paisley came into her life two-years-ago, everything changed. Crediting meeting her best-friends and boyfriend thanks to Paisley, Casey also managed to graduate from the University of Central Florida on August 3rd an achievement she admits wouldve never been possible if not for her doting sidekick. SEE CATERS COPYPIC BY CASEY BRUNO/CATERS NEWS (PICTURED: After helping her owner through mental health battles at university, this dog got its very own token of appreciation) - This adorable service dog received its own honourary cap at her owners graduation, as a thank you for helping her through university as she battled mental health issues. Casey Bruno, 22, says shes suffered from anxiety and depression for as long as she can remember, but when a Dalmatian pup named Paisley came into her life two-years-ago, everything changed. Crediting meeting her best-friends and boyfriend thanks to Paisley, Casey also managed to graduate from the University of Central Florida on August 3rd an achievement she admits wouldve never been possible if not for her doting sidekick. SEE CATERS COPYPIC BY CASEY BRUNO/CATERS NEWS (PICTURED: After helping her owner through mental health battles at university, this dog got its very own token of appreciation) - This adorable service dog received its own honourary cap at her owners graduation, as a thank you for helping her through university as she battled mental health issues. Casey Bruno, 22, says shes suffered from anxiety and depression for as long as she can remember, but when a Dalmatian pup named Paisley came into her life two-years-ago, everything changed. Crediting meeting her best-friends and boyfriend thanks to Paisley, Casey also managed to graduate from the University of Central Florida on August 3rd an achievement she admits wouldve never been possible if not for her doting sidekick. SEE CATERS COPYPIC BY CASEY BRUNO/CATERS NEWS (PICTURED: After helping her owner through mental health battles at university, this dog got its very own token of appreciation) - This adorable service dog received its own honourary cap at her owners graduation, as a thank you for helping her through university as she battled mental health issues. Casey Bruno, 22, says shes suffered from anxiety and depression for as long as she can remember, but when a Dalmatian pup named Paisley came into her life two-years-ago, everything changed. Crediting meeting her best-friends and boyfriend thanks to Paisley, Casey also managed to graduate from the University of Central Florida on August 3rd an achievement she admits wouldve never been possible if not for her doting sidekick. SEE CATERS COPYhpwilliamsonPIC BY CASEY BRUNO/CATERS NEWS (PICTURED: After helping her owner through mental health battles at university, this dog got its very own token of appreciation) - This adorable service dog received its own honourary cap at her owners graduation, as a thank you for helping her through university as she battled mental health issues. Casey Bruno, 22, says shes suffered from anxiety and depression for as long as she can remember, but when a Dalmatian pup named Paisley came into her life two-years-ago, everything changed. Crediting meeting her best-friends and boyfriend thanks to Paisley, Casey also managed to graduate from the University of Central Florida on August 3rd an achievement she admits wouldve never been possible if not for her doting sidekick. SEE CATERS COPYPIC BY CASEY BRUNO/CATERS NEWS (PICTURED: After helping her owner through mental health battles at university, this dog got its very own token of appreciation) - This adorable service dog received its own honourary cap at her owners graduation, as a thank you for helping her through university as she battled mental health issues. Casey Bruno, 22, says shes suffered from anxiety and depression for as long as she can remember, but when a Dalmatian pup named Paisley came into her life two-years-ago, everything changed. Crediting meeting her best-friends and boyfriend thanks to Paisley, Casey also managed to graduate from the University of Central Florida on August 3rd an achievement she admits wouldve never been possible if not for her doting sidekick. SEE CATERS COPYPIC BY CASEY BRUNO/CATERS NEWS (PICTURED: After helping her owner through mental health battles at university, this dog got its very own token of appreciation) - This adorable service dog received its own honourary cap at her owners graduation, as a thank you for helping her through university as she battled mental health issues. Casey Bruno, 22, says shes suffered from anxiety and depression for as long as she can remember, but when a Dalmatian pup named Paisley came into her life two-years-ago, everything changed. Crediting meeting her best-friends and boyfriend thanks to Paisley, Casey also managed to graduate from the University of Central Florida on August 3rd an achievement she admits wouldve never been possible if not for her doting sidekick. SEE CATERS COPY

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    This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.
    (Picture: Savills / SWNS.com)

    Minimalists, this isn’t the place for you.

    But if you’re into colour and bold lines – and happen to have £1.75million handy – behold your dream home.

    Stuart and Nikki McAlpine Miller are selling the property the artist and designer turned into a pop art themed mansion.

    The couple bought the property back in 2016 and immediately set about transforming the traditional mansion, dating back to 1935, into something more fitting of their tastes.

    They kept in period features such as panelling, fireplaces, and high ceilings, but gave the rest of the 16,000 square foot mansion a colourful makeover.

    The Perthshire-based home has nine bedrooms, including  master suite with a large dressing room and an en suite bathroom. There’s also a 50ft long drawing room, a billiards room with bar, a library, a morning room, a gym, a yoga studio, an office, a shower room, and a laundry room. Whew.

    This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.
    (Picture: Savills / SWNS.com)

    The kitchen is super fancy, having been created to fit Nikki’s designs. It’s fitted with an aga.

    Outside the home there’s 12 acres of lush space which sits near the Teith, where you can fish for salmon and trout.

    The property, called The Gart, is now on the market with Savills for £1.75million.

    Nikki said: ‘I love original features, and I like the mix of contemporary and traditional.

    ‘We were definitely looking for a place with large open spaces.

    This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.
    (Picture: Savills / SWNS.com)

    ‘We wanted to create an art gallery within the house, so we wanted to have a lot of wall space and be considerate throughout with colour.

    ‘It was a blank canvas at the time, but the view from every window was like a painting.’

    Jamie Macnab, from Savills, said: ‘This is quite simply an astonishing property – already a fine and substantial period house in a wonderfully scenic riverside setting.

    ‘It has been given a whole new dimension by the style and workmanship and luxurious edge of the contemporary elements so boldly conceived and executed by Stuart and Nikki.

    ‘Their name alone certainly adds an additional layer of interest in a sale that is bound to cause ripples not just in the UK, but also internationally.’

    Take a look at the property inside and out below.

    This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.
    (Picture: Savills / SWNS.com)
    This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.
    (Picture: Savills / SWNS.com)
    This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.
    (Picture: Savills / SWNS.com)
    This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.
    (Picture: Savills / SWNS.com)
    This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.
    (Picture: Savills / SWNS.com)
    This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.
    (Picture: Savills / SWNS.com)
    This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.
    (Picture: Savills / SWNS.com)
    This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.
    (Picture: Savills / SWNS.com)
    This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.
    (Picture: Savills / SWNS.com)
    This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.
    (Picture: Savills / SWNS.com)
    This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.
    (Picture: Savills / SWNS.com)
    This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.
    (Picture: Savills / SWNS.com)

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    SEI_26478624-c850SEI_26478624-c850ellencscottThis classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.SEI_26478624-c850SEI_26478624-c850ellencscottThis classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.This classic Baronial mansion given an extraordinary pop art transformation by a Scottish artist has been put on the market for ??1.75 million. See SWNS story SWMANSION; Stuart McAlpine Miller and his interior designer wife, Nikki, bought The Gart in 2016 and set about restoring it. Period features such as panelling, fireplaces and high ceilings have all been respectfully retained, but the creative husband and wife have opened up the kitchen and dining room, transformed a top floor turret room into a home cinema. Their cutting edge and wildly imaginative ideas aligned with exquisite attention to detail and exacting standards of finish.

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    Houghton Hall has a tradition for showcasing great artwork so it’s probably no surprise there were some brilliant pieces on the grounds recently.

    It wasn’t what you think though.

    The art and sculptures were actually part of a music event that took place in Norfolk for the second year in a row.

    Art was a big pat of Houghton 2018 (Picture: Here & Now)

    Legendary DJ Craig Richards put on the inaugural Houghton Music Festival from August 9-12.

    As well as the brilliant electronic tunes there was also a focus on art.

    Artists exhibiting there work included Squid Soup, Antonia Beard and Celia Collective.

    Many pieces could be found spread across different stages at the venue.

    Organisers even put on tours for those who wanted to see the art on offer at Houghton Hall, which also included work from Damien Hirst and Richard Long that is currently being displayed.

    Here is a selection of the best images from this year’s festival

    A brilliant sculpture on show at the festival (Picture: Here & Now)
    Art was everywhere at the festival (Picture: Here & Now)
    An amazing sculpture on show (Picture: Here & Now)
    There was something unique wherever you looked Picture: Here & Now)
    This looks hypnotic (Picture: Here & Now)
    Even the floor looked great (Picture: Here & Now)
    (Picture: Here & Now)
    (Picture: Here & Now)
    (Picture: Here & Now)
    (Picture: Here & Now)

    © Photography by Jake Davis for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)© Photography by Jake Davis for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)jimmynsubugaukmetro© Photography by Jake Davis for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)© Photography by Jake Davis for Here & Now (fb.com/wearehereandnow)jimmynsubugaukmetro

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    Italy isn’t exactly short of romantic locations – the rolling hills of Tuscany, gondolas of Venice, and of course Juliet’s balcony in Verona.

    But after a recent trip to Puglia, I think it might just take the top spot.

    A combination of beautiful scenery, historic towns, great food and gorgeous hotels make it the perfect destination for a romantic getaway.

    Arriving into Bari, we immediately headed south to the highly photographed town of Alberobello, A UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    The town is full of trulli, small stone houses with conical roofs.

    It’s incredibly picturesque and, for a romantic evening, you can spend the night in one of the trulli, as some have been converted into tiny hotels and B&Bs.

    Truly not to be missed spots in Alberobello include Trullo Sovrano, a two-floor trullo (singular of trulli) that’s also a museum, and Sant’Antonio Church.

    Instagram Photo

    A 30-minute drive from Alberobello is Cisternino, one of Italy’s ‘borghi piu belli’ (most beautiful towns).

    It draws less tourist attention than Alberobello, making it a bit of a hidden gem, which is great if you’re looking for quiet alone time.

    Wandering through the historic centre is a lovely way to spend an afternoon before heading out to explore the surrounding countryside from Piazza Garibaldi.

    While in Puglia, make sure you stay at a masseria. These are farmhouses that have been converted into boutique hotels and B&Bs.

    We spent the night at Masseria Le Carrube, an old frantoio (an olive oil producing mill).

    You couldn’t ask for a more romantic spot; secluded by fruit trees, bougainvillea covering the white walls and vines hanging from the trellises – all to be enjoyed while you sip on a spritz by the two swimming pools.

    Instagram Photo

    The vegetarian restaurant is a great spot for an intimate dinner.

    It serves local specialities and, of course, the region’s excellent wines, made from grape varieties like primitivo and negroamaro.

    South of Masseria Le Carrube is the stunning city of Ostuni.

    It really is one of the most striking places I’ve ever visited – imagine whitewashed buildings perched on top of three hills, surrounded by miles of olive groves.

    The city is a jumble of narrow lanes and roads, full of stylish bars, excellent restaurants and lovely boutiques.

    For an immersive dining experience, head to Masseria Il Frantoio, just outside of the city.

    This masseria offers a delicious tasting menu using many of the herbs and vegetables grown in the gardens.

    After a tour of the olive press and beautiful grounds, you sit down to dinner where you’re given an intro to each delicious course.

    Instagram Photo

    If it’s crystal clear water and white sand you’re after for your romantic break, well, you will find plenty in Puglia.

    Punta Prosciutto is a long, sandy beach tracing the west coast of the heel. There are a few small bars for cocktails, but there are also plenty of quiet spots for a dreamy afternoon at the beach.

    Stay at the nearby Don Totu, the ultimate hotel for a romantic getaway.

    A concealed 18th-century palazzo, with charming courtyards, gorgeous lounges and a divine swimming pool, Don Totu has only six bedrooms, so it feels like you have the whole place to yourself.

    (Picture: Hayley Lewis @alovelyplanet – Don Totu)

    Then there are the bedrooms, featuring a bathroom larger than my living room, and a huge four-poster bed.

    I could have stayed in the room the entire trip.

    Leaving Don Totu, we headed north for the seaside town of Polignano a Mare.

    This Instagrammable town is perched atop limestone cliffs on the Valle d’Itria coast, which is dotted with caves and small bays.

    The central beach has become a popular spot for cliff diving, with a competition taking place each year.

    With plenty of bars, Polignano a Mare is also a great place for an aperitivo or two.

    (Picture: Hayley Lewis @alovelyplanet – Polignano a Mare)

    Our final night was spent at Masseria San Domenico. This was a fortified farm that resembled a castle, with a watchtower belonging to the Knights of Malta.

    It also has the largest swimming pool I’ve ever seen – a huge free-form pool surrounded by natural rocks.

    We ended the trip at the poolside restaurant, devouring freshly caught fish and sipping on wine under the stars. A fitting end to a romantic break in beautiful Puglia.

    Instagram Photo

    Where to stay in Puglia and how to get there:

    Masseria Le Carrube has rooms from €140 per night, based on two adults sharing a double room on B&B basis, including VAT.

    Double rooms at Don Totu start from €210 per night on a B&B

    Masseria San Domenico has rooms from €363 per night, based on two adults sharing a Deluxe Double room on a B&B basis, including VAT.

    British Airways flies from London to Bari from £84 return.

    Hayley Lewis is a travel writer, blogger and producer. You can follow Hayley’s travels at alovelyplanet.com or on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter or Facebook.

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    Hayley Lewis - a lovely planet - Puglia - Polignano a Mare-c65dHayley Lewis - a lovely planet - Puglia - Polignano a Mare-c65dhayleyalovelyplanetcomHayley Lewis - a lovely planet - Puglia - Polignano a Mare-c65dHayley Lewis - a lovely planet - Puglia - Polignano a Mare-c65dhayleyalovelyplanetcom

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    Emmie and her future husband (Picture: Emmie Harrison)

    Gently lifting up the skirts of my champagne-coloured, floral embroidered wedding gown for the first time – this feeling was going to be one to remember.

    But for all the wrong reasons.

    ‘Better start starving now, it’s far too small for you,’ my mum said casually.

    Looking at myself in the mirror, I felt like a sausage bursting out of its skin.

    A very expensive sausage.

    Next July, I’m getting married to the love of my life and all people want to discuss is my weight; my diet, how much I’m drinking, what size I bought my dress in.

    As a size 14, naturally, I bought a dress in my size – but it fits like it’s two sizes too small.

    ‘You’ve got at least two stone to lose,’ my mum said, pulling the dress tight over my love-handles, showing me how I’d look if I was ‘the perfect size’.

    ‘Don’t worry, all wedding dresses are like this,’ she adds. ‘We’ll get the meat slicer out.’

    That’s when it hits me, the ridicule and shame all women go through when trying on the one dress that is meant to represent the rest of their lives.

    Truthfully, if I was to buy a dress that fit, I’d be going straight for the size 18 options on the rack.

    Type in ‘how to lose weight for my wedding’ and over 115million results are returned, each URL leering at your cute muffin top and nagging you to be smaller.

    How damaging must this be for women with poor self-esteem or those recovering from an eating disorder?

    I’m happy with my size, but because I don’t want to lose weight for my big day, I’m called a ‘defeatist’.

    Apparently, I’d be ‘sweaty and uncomfortable’ – compared to fat brides of old in the family, who ‘clearly looked unhappy’ on their respective wedding days.

    ‘You know, you’d feel so much happier if you just lost a little weight for the wedding,’ they tell me.

    Honestly, I don’t blame them for their strict, outdated opinions.

    It’s obvious that these women have grown up instructed on how to behave, act, dress and even eat in order to be a ‘normal’ woman – and wife.

    All it takes is a simple Google search to discover why women are under so much pressure to be thin.

    Type in ‘how to lose weight for my wedding’ and over 115million results are returned, each URL leering at your cute muffin top and nagging you to be smaller.

    There are bridal boot camps, wedding workouts, lacklustre articles and unlimited books on what to eat, drink and breathe to lose weight.

    There is even bridal gym gear.

    Yes, you can now buy leggings adorned with the following inspirational quotes:

    ‘Slimming down for the gown.’

    ‘Sweating for the wedding.’

    ‘Getting tight for Mr Right.’

    I mean, if Mr Right doesn’t already think you’re tight, you’re making a big mistake, honey.

    There are, of course, few attires for grooms, though one is emblazoned ‘shredding for the wedding’.

    There seems to be a universal, damaging attitude towards weddings wherein the bride must lose weight in order to be happy, make her groom happy or fit into her dream dress.

    And retailers support this – you buy a dress for your actual body size but it still fits like it’s too small, making you feel like crap.

    Women who weigh more than the societal norm are forced to retreat to their bedrooms and browse ill-fitting, characterless tents on eBay.

    They’re made to feel worthless and vulnerable for what is supposed to be the biggest day of their lives.

    Or, if you’re famous and have money, you get broadcasted on telly in a curvy bridal boutique.

    The perfect laughing stock for internet trolls.

    Because, didn’t you know, a fat woman can’t be successful, happy or even a wife.

    If you want to eat bran flakes for breakfast every day for the months before you tie the knot – you go girl.

    But do it for you.

    Chances are, your partner won’t even realise, because he’ll be too busy smiling through stifled sobs as he high-fives his best mates while you glide down the aisle.

    You don’t need to be smaller to be the best bride you can be.

    It’s the big day that ignites the rest of your life – so be yourself.

    MORE: I might not look like your average runner at size 14 but it doesn’t mean I can’t beat you in a race

    MORE: Wedding dresses 2017: How to plan your bridal shopping trip and find The One

    MORE: What it’s like being in a ‘mixed-weight relationship’


    emmie-and-fiance-at-wedding-this-summer-5492-bd5f-e1535189972896-666aemmie-and-fiance-at-wedding-this-summer-5492-bd5f-e1535189972896-666aallieabgarianemmie-and-fiance-at-wedding-this-summer-5492-bd5f-e1535189972896-666aemmie-and-fiance-at-wedding-this-summer-5492-bd5f-e1535189972896-666aallieabgarian

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    Picture: Ben and Jerry's ben & jerry's cookie dough
    (Picture: Ben & Jerry’s)

    Whether you like scooping out the cookie dough bits of ice cream or love to lick the bowl after a baking sesh, we can agree that the doughy stuff is delicious.

    It’s such a popular treat that everyone’s favourite ice cream brand, Ben & Jerry’s, has decided to make a whole snack out of it.

    After it announced that you can buy its signature ice creams in bagel form, the Vermont-based creamery has just come out with frozen cookie dough chunks.

    Naturally, fans have gone into a frenzy (same here, tbh) so, where can we get some of the delicious new goods?

    Picture: Ben and Jerry's ben & jerry's cookie dough
    (Picture: Ben & Jerry’s)

    The popular brand has decided to take the ice cream out of its product and create a packet of dough chunks on their own.

    They coms in two flavours – chocolate chip and peanut butter chocolate chip – which need to be placed in a freezer as you would with ice cream cream.

    If you think the cookie dough is the best part of eating an ice cream and can’t wait to get your hands on it, then you’re in for a bit of a wait.

    That’s because the company is trialling the product in its hometown of Vermont, U.S.

    The stocks will only be available in its home state before it rolls out to the rest of America and eventually the world.

    So if you are a Vermonter then do the rest of us a favour and stock up.

    Because we can’t wait to take a trip down our local supermarket and pile up on the stuff.

    MORE: Cafe create puppy ice-creams you have to decapitate to eat

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    (Picture: @thingsihavedrawn)

    The fridge is only so big; it won’t fit all the drawings your children make.

    And don’t tell the kids we said this, but we know that not every picture they create is a masterpiece.

    If you’re a parent, you’ve probably had to feign pride at the plethora of images your kids enthusiastically give you… especially when their portraits aren’t so flattering.

    One dad wanted to show his children, and the rest of the world, what their creations really look like when applied to the real world.

    Tom Curtis turned to Photoshop to recreate some of the characters his kids have drawn. The results are a bit unsettling.

    Instagram Photo

    Instagram Photo

    Tom, who works in content marketing, has photoshopped his own face, animals, and cars to resemble the ones his sons Al and Dom have drawn.

    Squiggly lines and disproportionate limbs may look cute on a five-year-old’s drawing but when you apply them to a selfie, the result looks pretty unnerving.

    The edited images, which range from adorable to terrifying, have been shared on Tom’s now famous Instagram.

    He now has 126,000 follows on his page and even has a book published of all the things he’s created.

    Instagram Photo

    Instagram Photo

    If you browse through the images, you can expect to see a sausage-like cat with a creepy smile, an ill-proportioned penguin, half a crocodile, and an upside-down car.

    Famous figures like Mickey Mouse, the Statue of Liberty, and even the queen make the list, in a way you’ve probably never seen them before.

    Donald Trump is also a recurring character.

    Instagram Photo

    Tom writes posts from the perspective of his sons but occasionally makes appearances on Instagram as himself.

    He has also done some explainers on how he’s made the images.

    The next time your child draws a sun, a pet, or a family portrait, you might want to grab the laptop and have some fun drawing on your own.

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    Instagram Photo

    Instagram Photo

    Instagram Photo

    Instagram Photo

    Instagram Photo

    Instagram Photo

    Instagram Photo

     

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    I must admit it’s slightly disconcerting to wake up with a dragon next to your bed. But such things can’t be helped when you’re staying at the Legoland Castle Hotel at Legoland Windsor Resort.

    It’s not like you’re unprepared – the hotel entrance is guarded by the most enormous green Lego dragon, growling and puffing smoke from his nose.

    In the Castle Hotel restaurant there’s another, guarding her eggs from hungry diners.

    My niece and nephew loved this primary coloured creation, along with the play corner in the Tournament Tavern.

    They came with me to see what Legoland Windsor Resort and its hotels had to offer.

    (Picture: Yvette Caster)
    The bunk beds (Picture: Yvette Caster)

    There are two – The Legoland Resort Hotel and The Legoland Castle Hotel.

    Both are fun, imaginative and bursting with colour, but they’re not exactly cheap – at the time of writing (admittedly during the summer holidays), a stay for a family of four would cost upwards of £300 per night.

    Compared to the CBeebies Land Hotel and Thomas Land, Legoland Windsor fared pretty well overall, but is better suited to older children (like my Ninjago-obsessed six-year-old nephew) than both of those.

    Arrive as early as possible to get bang for your buck and plan your whole trip as much as possible – there’s lots to do at the hotel and in the park there are 55 rides, shows, workshops and attractions.

    (Picture: Yvette Caster)
    My bed – plus dragon (Picture: Yvette Caster)

    Check-in is from 3pm but there’s a swimming pool open from 7am to 8pm (make sure you book) and live entertainment from 7.30am to 8pm.

    Check out is at 10am, but it’s better to leave earlier – staying at the hotel means you can get into the park before everyone else, from 9.30am on Saturdays, and you can leave your luggage at reception.

    When we arrived, the kids (three and six) spent a lot of time running around getting excited at the throne, wizard and dragon – all Lego after all.

    (Picture: Yvette Caster)
    The wizard in reception (Picture: Yvette Caster)

    They loved their room too.

    Don’t underestimate how much time kids will want to spend in there, as the themed ones at the castle come complete with dragons, a treasure hunt and Lego computer games on the TV opposite their bunk beds (to be honest, the simple fact they were allowed a TV opposite their beds was probably one of the highlights for them).

    For my part, I thought the decor was hilarious – from the aforementioned dragon by my bed to the Lego knight blushing in his boxers on the back of the toilet door.

    (Picture: Yvette Caster)
    Lol (Picture: Yvette Caster)

    There were also nice touches like branded bath products.

    Dinner at the Tournament Tavern was outstanding. The chateaubriand at this grill was as good as any top steakhouse offering.

    For once, it felt like a kids’ restaurant was catering for adults first, although the children enjoyed their spag bol too.

    The menu options are aimed meat-lovers though – there’s smoked salmon, pate, ribs, king prawns and so on, but only a couple of veggie options.

    If you’re vegan, you may be better heading to Bricks Family Restaurant, the buffet in the other hotel.

    (Picture: Yvette Caster)
    The chateaubriand steak (Picture: Yvette Caster)

    Breakfast was a well-executed but fairly standard mix of options, from full English to continental.

    Make sure you look at your copy of The Daily Build when you check in – it’s your guide to the hotel entertainment and more.

    The kids enjoyed learning some circus skills and dancing as part of this, while I enjoyed going upstairs to play more Lego arcade games.

    The highlights of the park for us were Lego Ninjago World (because Ninjago), the Splash Safari in Duplo Valley (because who doesn’t like running round squirting water at people when it’s hot) and Miniland (because it reminded me of visits when I was younger).

    (Picture: Yvette Caster)
    Jay by the Ninjago ride (Picture: Yvette Caster)

    My nephew was pretty taken with Miniland too, especially its boats.

    The section now includes Lego versions of the Taj Mahal, The Forbidden City and Miniland USA with its tiny copies of the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty.

    One tip for the park would be either head back to the hotel restaurants for lunch or take your own food, as we weren’t too impressed by the (mostly junk) food on offer from the various stalls.

    Vegan ice cream was available though.

    This was never going to be a cheap family trip in high season, but it’s lots of fun.

    If your kids are obsessed with Lego, especially Ninjago, they will love it. And even for adults, there was plenty to do and see.

    My advice? Plan ahead to make sure you get the most out of your trip there – but do go.

    How much does it cost?

    (Picture: Legoland)
    The Tournament Tavern (Picture: Legoland)

    At the time of writing, a family of four can stay at The Castle Hotel from £300, or in a premium themed room for £697, including breakfast and park tickets for two days.

    Ninjago fans should check out the four themed rooms at The Legoland Resort Hotel too.

    Check the Legoland Windsor Resort website for deals, including kids go free ones.

    Day tickets to the Legoland Windsor Resort start from £32 per person – book them online at least a week in advance.

    Q-bot passes cost from £20 each. If you can afford them, I’d recommend them to avoid the queues and do more in the day – you can book them here.

    And if you do decide to visit, make sure you plan lots in advance (look at the map and work out a route with rides most suited to your kids), so you can make the most of the hotel and the park.

    Do consider bringing packed lunches.

    (Picture: Yvette Caster)
    The fountain in Knights Kingdom (Picture: Yvette Caster)

    How to get to Legoland Windsor Resort

    The nearest train station is Windsor & Eton Central – the journey takes about 45 minutes from London Paddington.

    You need to change at Slough, and a return ticket costs £11.70 per adult.

    You can travel direct from London Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Riverside, which takes about an hour.

    From both stations, there’s a shuttle bus to the park – from Windsor & Eton Central, tickets cost £4 per adult and £2 per child, the trip takes 10 minutes and the service runs every half hour.

    Children aged five and under can travel free on all trains, while kids aged five to 15 need a child’s ticket (half the price of an adult).

    If you’re planning to travel by train regularly, you could buy a Family & Friends railcard, which costs £30 and saves a third on fares and 60% on kids’ fares across Britain for a year.

    It’s also worth checking the National Rail Days Out Guide website – currently you can get two tickets to Legoland for the price of one when you travel by train.

    Alternatively, if you’re driving from central London, the journey takes just over an hour and a day’s parking costs £6.

    If you want to park closer to the entrance, you can buy Preferred Parking for £12, or £10 if you book online in advance.

    (Top picture: Legoland)

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    (Picture: Nail Sunny)

    Listen, we like kooky beauty and fashion just as much as the next person but some things are just too unsettling.

    When it comes to manicure art, we thought we’d seen it all from our favourite out-there salon Nail Sunny, but oh no, they had more in store.

    Now, the Russian nail technicians have wowed (and disturbed) the world with their latest creation.

    They have, somehow, trapped ants that move around in your nails.

    That’s one way to get unique nails. *Shudders*

    Picture: Nail Sunny Ant nails. ANT NAILS.
    (Picture: Nail Sunny)

    As with all their nail creations, the salon created a how-to video of the horror show.

    In it, you can see long acrylics being applied to the fingers before another plastic layer is added at the bottom to create a vessel.

    The technician then grabs an ant for each nail using tweezers as they try to escape.

    Picture: Nail Sunny Ant nails. ANT NAILS.
    (Picture: Nail Sunny)

    After some difficulty trying to insert the bug into the small opening, it’s sealed shut with plastic, leaving the ants to circle around the small space.

    ‘Keep calm, we left them to breathe,’ ensured the salon after many followers expressed concern over the unusual treatment.

    Picture: Nail Sunny Ant nails. ANT NAILS.
    (Picture: Nail Sunny)

    ‘There is a difference between stepping on them unintentionally and shoving them in finger nails. It doesn’t even look cool,’ wrote one unimpressed Instagrammer.

    ‘Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. They were hideous anyway,’ wrote another.

    Some defended the treatment saying people step on ants all the time without care or notice. Most disagreed between accidental stepping and deliberate torture for ‘art’.

    ‘When you go down the street you step on them without wanting to, without being conscious, however Nail Sunny (have done this) being conscious and although they released them later, they have taken them with tweezers which could have killed them and to put an ant or any other bug inside a nail is horrible.’

    Another user agreed, saying: ‘I think that people are taking it too far but the idea itself was just bad and for a really bad reason (style). I don’t think anyone should use any actual living creatures for fun and laughs and definitely not for aesthetics.’

    Nail Sunny subsequently released a video showing that the ants were freed. We’ve also asked them for a comment on this and will update the article if they reply.

    MORE: Oh look, someone’s created some horrifying nails that look like feet

    MORE: You can now carry your colouring pencils on top of your nails

    MORE: When does squeezing spots or scratching your skin become dermatillomania?


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    Beauty looks/portraits at Notting Hill Carnival Credit: Andr? Zuccolo
    (Picture: André Zuccolo for Metro.co.uk)

    A little rain never stopped a good party.

    Despite the weather, Londoners came out in droves for the first day of Notting Hill Carnival.

    The streets were filled with dancing, grinding and gyrating revellers who were determined to have a fantastic time.

    This is the 52nd year for the festival and two million people are expected to attend over the Bank Holiday weekend.

    Beauty looks/portraits at Notting Hill Carnival Credit: Andr? Zuccolo
    (Picture: André Zuccolo for Metro.co.uk)
    Beauty looks/portraits at Notting Hill Carnival Credit: Andr? Zuccolo
    (Picture: André Zuccolo for Metro.co.uk)
    Beauty looks/portraits at Notting Hill Carnival Credit: Andr? Zuccolo
    (Picture: André Zuccolo for Metro.co.uk)
    Beauty looks/portraits at Notting Hill Carnival Credit: Andr? Zuccolo
    (Picture: André Zuccolo for Metro.co.uk)

    People got down and dirty in colourful ponchos, wigs and glitter makeup to celebrate the Caribbean festival.

    While some decided to take shelter, others proved that twerking is still alive and well.

    Beauty looks/portraits at Notting Hill Carnival Credit: Andr? Zuccolo
    (Picture: André Zuccolo for Metro.co.uk)
    Beauty looks/portraits at Notting Hill Carnival Credit: Andr? Zuccolo
    (Picture: André Zuccolo for Metro.co.uk)
    Beauty looks/portraits at Notting Hill Carnival Credit: Andr? Zuccolo
    (Picture: André Zuccolo for Metro.co.uk)
    Beauty looks/portraits at Notting Hill Carnival Credit: Andr? Zuccolo
    (Picture: André Zuccolo for Metro.co.uk)

    Many brought along flags and dressed in shades to match.

    In an act of solidarity however, the music stopped at 3pm as carnival dancers, musicians and festival-goers paid tribute to those who died in the Grenfell Tower last year. The silence continued for 72 seconds, representing the 72 lives lost.

    Beauty looks/portraits at Notting Hill Carnival Credit: Andr? Zuccolo
    (Picture: André Zuccolo for Metro.co.uk)
    Beauty looks/portraits at Notting Hill Carnival Credit: Andr? Zuccolo
    (Picture: André Zuccolo for Metro.co.uk)
    Beauty looks/portraits at Notting Hill Carnival Credit: Andr? Zuccolo
    (Picture: André Zuccolo for Metro.co.uk)

    If you’re planning to head down to the festival today, you might want to bring the poncho and rain mac again, as the weather prognosis predicts more rainfall.

    And if you need make-up inspo, we’ve got you covered.

    MORE: Revellers dance in the rain as Notting Hill Carnival gets off to wet start

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    (Picture: Getty)

    There’s nothing vanilla about vanilla ice cream – it’s delicious – but apparently there’s no actual vanilla in it either.

    Although the creamy goodness is loved by many and is a classic ice cream fave, a new investigation has found that we might not be eating the real thing.

    The scoop is that over half of supermarket ice creams don’t contain the traditional ingredients of vanilla, cream and fresh milk.

    So what have we been eating all this time?

    (Picture: Getty)

    The investigation by Which? reveals that just half of the branded vanilla ice creams sold at 24 supermarkets have all three ingredients.

    Those which didn’t contain vanilla – a flavouring extracted from an orchid plant – were usually own brand products.

    Among them were Soft Scoop Vanilla Ice Cream from Asda, Morrisons and Tesco, and Ms Molly’s, exclusively sold at Tesco, as well as the branded Wall’s Soft Scoop Vanilla Ice Cream.

    Don’t worry though, they’re not adding any old thing to their scoops.

    Several products just substituted cream and milk with partially reconstituted dried skimmed milk or whey protein, while the taste of vanilla was often replaced with a general flavouring.

    Some of the non-dairy ingredients included palm oil, coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and water.

    Can you still call it ice cream if it doesn’t have the key components that we expect in it?

    Why yes, you can.

    Although back in the day (up until 2015), anything labelled ice cream had to contain at least 5% dairy fat and 2.5% milk protein, things have changed.

    The Food Information Regulations paper changed all that to accommodate vegans and those looking for low fat options.

    Now, ice cream has to contain 5% dairy fat, some protein from a dairy source and no vegetable fats.

    Naturally, people are freaking out about the news on social media, rethinking all those 99p Flakes they’ve consumed during the heatwave.

    It’s a good thing we’re getting the news now that summer is basically over.

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    Scoop of ice cream in container with mint near conesScoop of ice cream in container with mint near conesfaimabakar1Scoop of ice cream in container with mint near conesScoop of ice cream in container with mint near conesfaimabakar1

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