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

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    Most popular toys for Christmas
    L.O.L Surprise! toys are going to be big this Christmas (Picture: L.O.L Surprise)

    We won’t pretend to understand why certain toys inspire such intense desire that they’ll sell out months before Christmas and children will have meltdowns if they don’t unwrap one on the big day.

    Why, dear child, do you want a pretend ice cream cone you can squeeze?

    But what we all know is that if you’re a parent, it’s probably wise to get up to date on what toys are on this year’s hotlist and get them sharpish, to protect your Christmas day from tears and tantrums.

    John Lewis has shared their guide for the ten toys kids will love (including a tiny plastic Waitrose and a Lego Bugatti, naturally) while Argos predicts that this’ll be the year kids want all things unicorn themed.

    Now an expert says that there’s one brand that everyone will be after this Christmas: L.O.L Surprise!.

    Ironically, that’s not too surprising – L.O.L Surprise! branded toys were super popular last Christmas.

    John Baulch from Toy World Mag told Christmas Tree World: ‘I have no doubt that this year’s most successful toy range – L.O.L Surprise! – will continue to be popular in the run-up to Christmas.’

    Most popular toys for Christmas
    Look at all the dolls you can spend your money on (Picture: L.O.L Surprise)

    For those not in the know, L.O.L Surprise! toys are a bit like Polly Pocket from back in the day. There are dolls with massive eyes requiring all kinds of accessories, pets, and homes, meaning parents can spend endless amounts of money on more and more items from the range.

    Other toys John predicts will be popular this Christmas are Harry Potter related toys, including a fancy Sorting Hat and Lego. He also reckons unicorns will be a big deal, as they’ve been a popular theme all year.

    The lesson here: If you want to make a small child happy, it’s probably wise to start buying up L.O.L Surprise! toys and bits of Lego now, before it all sells out.

    Just check that’s what said child wants before you part with your cash. They might be one of those strange creatures who are really into trains, toy cats, or science kits rather than dolls called Kansas Q.T. and Lil Bling Queen.

    MORE: 13 ways to practise self-care when you’re a busy parent

    MORE: Ice Village will open in Manchester this Christmas


    Most popular toys for ChristmasMost popular toys for ChristmasellencscottMost popular toys for ChristmasMost popular toys for ChristmasMost popular toys for ChristmasMost popular toys for ChristmasellencscottMost popular toys for ChristmasMost popular toys for Christmas

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    (Picture: Getty)

    Trying to get pregnant – and all the algorithms that surround it – can be confusing.

    Ovulation, cervical mucus, it can all be a bit much.

    One thing’s for sure though, if you’re conceiving naturally, you need to have sex.

    But how often and when’s the best time to get pregnant?

    (Picture: Getty)

    The best time of the month to have sex is your fertile window.

    This is usually the five days before ovulation which you can have checked at the doctors or using a home test.

    According to studies, having sex every day during this time gives you around a 25% chance of conceiving, which lowers to about 22% if you have sex every other day.

    When couples have sex just once per week, conception probability drops to just 10%.

    (Picture: Getty)

    You don’t just have to limit sex to your fertile window, though.

    Research shows that having regular sex as often as possible at all times actually changes to help her have a baby.

    One concern some expectant parents have when trying to conceive is that they’re trying to have sex so much (in an ‘on-the-clock’ type of way) that it becomes less enjoyable.

    Ideally you’d be having sex every other day all month long (to ensure your partner’s sperm count has a time to recoup with a day of rest) but that’s just not always possible.

    Have sex as often as you want to, perhaps focusing on that fertile window especially.

    If you haven’t conceived after a year of trying, head to your GP who will be able to work out if anything else is going on.

    MORE: Couple marry as Woody and Buzz at Disney themed wedding

    MORE: London’s first floating wine festival is coming to get you tipsy on the Thames


    Husband cuddling pregnant wife on bedHusband cuddling pregnant wife on bedjessicacvlHusband cuddling pregnant wife on bedHusband cuddling pregnant wife on bedjessicacvl

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    Cats LOVE boxes but they don’t necessarily love moving house. (Picture: Getty)

    Moving house is one of life’s more stressful necessities.

    Packing, making endless trips to the tip and charity shops because you’ve amassed so much crap over the years, hiring a removal van and unpacking your life once you reach your new destination isn’t exactly most people’s idea of fun.

    Cats fortunately manage to avoid packing duty (although they do like to helpfully sit in the empty boxes), but they’re still not particularly keen on the whole moving experience.

    Cats are extremely bonded to the physical environment in which they live.

    They have favourite sleeping spots, routes they patrol outside and windows they particularly enjoy watching the world from.

    They’ve taken the time to rub their faces over every doorframe and stick of furntiture in your old place – and you’re daring to undo all this hard work by uprooting them.

    Moving house can be an unsettling experience for cats, so it’s important to keep them as calm as possible on moving day.

    Setting off

    This is not the recommended way to transport a feline. (Picture: Getty)

    Keep your cat in one room with door closed while you load out all your boxes, as all the upheaval could panic them.

    Feed your cat on the morning of your moving date, but not too close to your time of departure. You’ll want to stop them having a tummy upset during the journey.

    Make sure you line their travelling cage with a well-loved blanket or towel, and keep a few treats on hand.

    You might also want to give your cat a T-shirt or other piece of clothing that smells of you to help them feel secure and comforted.

    Some owners sedate their cats for long journeys, and you can buy medication from your vet if you want to go down this route.

    However, it must be prescribed by a professional and the correct dosage for your cat’s size and weight.

    Is a cattery a better option?

    For particularly nervous cats, you might want to consider booking a cattery.

    That way, your pet can be out of the way on moving day, and won’t need to be brought to your new home until everything is unpacked and settled.

    However, if you’re moving a significant distance away, your cat will still need to undergo the long journey to their new address.

    Settling in 

    It might take your cat a bit of time to get used to their new surroundings. (Picture: Getty)

    Once you’ve arrived at the property, unload your cat and its essentials first.

    Put your kitty in a room with their litter tray, scratching post, bed, food, water and toys, and close the door.

    This will give them some time to adjust to a single new space and keep them out of the way of most of the unloading and unpacking madness.

    The new place won’t be ready-furnished with your cat’s scent, and this might make them nervous at first.

    To help them get used to their environment, you might want to use a Feliway plug-in or spray that diffuses pheromones. You can get these from your vet.

    A regular feeding routine is very useful for getting cats settled. Reliable mealtimes will give them a framework and sense of stability.

    Going outside

    Make sure your cat’s microchip details are updated with your new address and a current phone number before you let them outside for the first time.

    Letting a cat outside in a new place for the first time is always nerve wracking, and some cats do try to return to their old homes.

    If you’ve moved far away, this can be very dangerous and result in your cat going missing or being killed on the road.

    However, if you keep them inside for the first two weeks and take things slowly, this is less likely to happen.

    Scatter some of your cat’s used litter outside so that they can identify their home easily. The scent will also make local kitties aware that there’s a new feline on the block.

    If they venture further than you’d like (or over the garden wall), use food as an incentive to entice them home.

    Most cats will return pretty quickly, and confident cats should get used to their new territory without any problems.

    More timid cats might want to stay close to home for longer, and stick to going outside only when you’re in the garden too.

    Remember that your cat should be kept inside for two weeks before being allowed to roam the garden when you move house. (Picture: Getty)
    Your cat should be kept inside for two weeks before being allowed to roam the garden when you move house. (Picture: Getty)

    Claire Stallard, animal behaviourist at pet charity Blue Cross said: ‘It’s important to keep your cat inside your new home for at least a fortnight as this will give them time to bond and feel secure in their new territory.

    ‘You can help them feel at home by taking a soft cotton cloth and rubbing it on their chin (where they have scent glands) and then around your home.

    ‘Offering them a scratching post at “boundary” areas such as doors and windows may also help.

    ‘A few days before you let your cat outside, sprinkle some of their used litter around your garden to help your cat feel at home and make sure your cat’s microchip details are up to date with your new address.

    ‘For the first couple of weeks, let your cat out just once each day just before feeding so that your cat is motivated to stay around.

    ‘The aim is to make the new home the centre of the new territory, which smells secure and is the source of food and shelter.’

    If you keep your cat’s needs in mind and make sure they feel safe in their new home, the process of moving your cat can be fairly stress-free.

    You can find more Blue Cross tips for ensuring your move is as smooth as possible for your feline friend here.

    MORE: How to spot and treat fleas on your cat

    MORE: Do you have bedbugs? Learn how to spot the signs


    Norwegian Forest Cat in Carton BoxNorwegian Forest Cat in Carton BoxhpwilliamsonRemember that your cat should be kept inside for two weeks before being allowed to roam the garden when you move house. (Picture: Getty)Norwegian Forest Cat in Carton BoxNorwegian Forest Cat in Carton BoxhpwilliamsonRemember that your cat should be kept inside for two weeks before being allowed to roam the garden when you move house. (Picture: Getty)

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    (Picture: Getty)

    When you’re a Princess, you don’t have one winter coat like a normal person.

    You probably have an army of coats on solid gold coat hangers, which sing to you as your command.

    Us non royals on the other hand buy one coat every year or two, wear it until it’s falling apart, possibly dry clean it if we’re being really grown up.

    Given that it’s going to have to last at least a year and go with literally all of your clothes, picking a winter coat is a tough job. But even if you’re not tehcnically a royal, you can still get some coat inspiration from them. A recent favourite is Meghan Markle’s recent off duty choice, a full length Black Watch tartan wool coat.

    Now the actual coat is believed to be from Burberry and it costs £1,995 aka the same as a nice second hand car. Also, even if you wanted to spend two grand on a coat, it’s sold out so you’d have to buy one on eBay, where they’re an even more eye watering £3,000.

    (Picture: F&F at Tesco)

    But, all is not lost. Instead of shelling out megabucks on a coat, you could just find out where your nearest big Tesco is and go there. Tesco are selling this lovely, very similar coat for just £35.

    F&F at Tesco aren’t online (yes, there are shops which don’t sell online in 2018) so you’ll need to go to a big Tesco with an F&F section, but even if you took an Uber Luxe to a Tesco at the other side of the country you’d have spent less than the Ralph Lauren customers did.

    MORE: How often should you have sex to get pregnant?

    MORE: ‘I didn’t choose to go to private school’ and other things privileged people must stop saying


    meghan markle coatmeghan markle coatrebeccacnreidmeghan markle coatmeghan markle coatrebeccacnreid

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    A fruitarian diet is not recommended by the NHS. (Picture: MDW)
    A fruitarian diet is not recommended by the NHS. (Picture: MDW)

    There is no medical evidence that a fruitarian diet is a good idea.

    Tina Stoklosa, 39, and fiancé Simon Beun, 26, met in Bali and have existed on a diet of just fruit for more than three years.

    They claim that only eating sweet fruits have kept them looking young, helped them lose weight and given them more energy.

    Stoklosa is originally from Warsaw in Poland and adopted the fruit-only diet because she wanted to lose weight.

    Beun, from Izegem, Belgium, got in touch with her after discovering fruitarianism himself.

    According to the couple, they eat between 2,000 and 4,000 calories of fruit each day and drink fresh coconut water.

    THIS FRUITARIAN woman who has been following a fruit-only diet for FIVE-YEARS feels ???high??? from fruit after relocating to Bali to discover the most exotic fruits where she met her toyboy fianc?? ??? and the couple say they haven???t needed to brush their teeth in two years and would never go back to ???normal??? food. Interior architect, Tina Stoklosa (39) originally from Warsaw, Poland, first discovered the fruitarian diet when she was looking for a pre-Christmas cleanse online in December 2013. Tina tried the cleanse for a week and the positive effects were instant, she found she had more energy and was so happy she ???felt high??? and looked younger already. After this, she decided to become a fruitarian for life but slipped up many times living at home, tempted by meals out and the delicious cooked food at Christmas and used food emotionally to deal with her feelings, both positive and negative. Two years later, Tina decided to move to Bali to discover the most exotic fruits in the world and fully commit to her fruitarian lifestyle without distractions from the Western world. She found that she soon lost weight, going from 13st 1lb to 8st 1lb, and a UK size 16 to 8, despite struggling with conventional dieting back home. Whilst there, she started her Instagram page where she met her fianc??, Simon Beun (26) from Izegem, Belgium, who messaged her after discovering the fruitarian diet himself. Six months later they met up in Bali and fell in love. Although the pair hunt out the most exotic fruits South East Asia has to offer, whilst home in Europe, it would be normal for them to eat 30 bananas in one day. Simon and Tina eat between 2,000 and 4,000 calories a day ??? all from sweet fruits and quench their thirst with fresh coconut water. They treat themselves to a meal out at a raw vegan restaurant twice a year. @fit_shortie_eats / MDWfeatures
    Simon Beun and some of the fruit he eats. (Picture: @fit_shortie_eats / MDWfeatures)

    They also claim that the fibre from all the fruit cleans their teeth and they haven’t needed to use toothbrushes for two whole years.

    Stoklosa said: ‘I have been overweight most on my adult life. Engaged in cycles of binge eating and dieting in turn only growing bigger and feeling more helpless with each year.

    ‘Whilst researching a green smoothie recipe for the first time – I found a girl online that only ate fruit, and then I found a whole group of people online eating this way and calling themselves fruitarians.

    ‘The vast majority of them looked incredibly healthy, and had so much energy they chose to be endurance athletes.

    ‘I was intrigued, and decided to do a week long pre-Christmas weight loss cleanse on just fruit.’

    ‘I felt amazing that week – light, optimistic, even high, I was walking 30cm above the ground – it felt like I was in love with everything.

    ‘I decided to never go back to “normal” food.

    ‘With little to no exercise I am able to eat as much as my boyfriend – a 26-year-old male – and not gain any weight.

    ‘Perks of the fruitarian lifestyle? Certainly. Weight maintenance is just so easy on fruit.

    ‘It cures depression, cures so many mental illnesses, relieves anxiety. Cures all chronic digestive issues. There are thousands of personal accounts of people who have cured cancer on this diet.’

    Tina and Simon fell in love instantly when they met. THIS FRUITARIAN woman who has been following a fruit-only diet for FIVE-YEARS feels ???high??? from fruit after relocating to Bali to discover the most exotic fruits where she met her toyboy fianc?? ??? and the couple say they haven???t needed to brush their teeth in two years and would never go back to ???normal??? food. Interior architect, Tina Stoklosa (39) originally from Warsaw, Poland, first discovered the fruitarian diet when she was looking for a pre-Christmas cleanse online in December 2013. Tina tried the cleanse for a week and the positive effects were instant, she found she had more energy and was so happy she ???felt high??? and looked younger already. After this, she decided to become a fruitarian for life but slipped up many times living at home, tempted by meals out and the delicious cooked food at Christmas and used food emotionally to deal with her feelings, both positive and negative. Two years later, Tina decided to move to Bali to discover the most exotic fruits in the world and fully commit to her fruitarian lifestyle without distractions from the Western world. She found that she soon lost weight, going from 13st 1lb to 8st 1lb, and a UK size 16 to 8, despite struggling with conventional dieting back home. Whilst there, she started her Instagram page where she met her fianc??, Simon Beun (26) from Izegem, Belgium, who messaged her after discovering the fruitarian diet himself. Six months later they met up in Bali and fell in love. Although the pair hunt out the most exotic fruits South East Asia has to offer, whilst home in Europe, it would be normal for them to eat 30 bananas in one day. Simon and Tina eat between 2,000 and 4,000 calories a day ??? all from sweet fruits and quench their thirst with fresh coconut water. They treat themselves to a meal out at a raw vegan restaurant twice a year. @fit_shortie_eats / MDWfeatures
    Tina and Simon are not doctors or nutritionists. (Picture: @fit_shortie_eats / MDWfeatures)

    Qualified medical professionals are united on this issue.

    Fruitarianism and raw food diets do not cure mental health problems and they do not cure cancer.

    We all need protein, fat and carbohydrates to keep our bodies healthy.

    The NHS recommends that a well-balanced diet includes oily fish, pulses, dairy or dairy alternatives, starchy foods like rice, pasta and potatoes, and five portions of fruit and vegetables each day.

    A fruitarian diet is extreme, restrictive and medically unsound.

    Late Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously spent some time on a fruitarian diet, but when Ashton Kutcher tried a bit of method acting to get himself truly into the Jobs mindset, he became very ill.

    He told reporters at the Sundance Film Festival: ‘I ended up in the hospital two days before we started shooting the movie.

    ‘I was doubled over in pain, and my pancreas levels were completely out of whack, which was terrifying.’

    Trying fruitarianism isn’t recommended, and expect bloating, stomach pain, headaches, irritability, hunger and big blood sugar spikes due to a the fructose (fruit sugar) you’re consuming.

    Sugar is very bad for your teeth, so probably don’t combine fruitarianism with not brushing your teeth for years.

    In fact, just don’t do it at all.

    MORE: ‘Brexfit’ is the new workout that lets you punch Boris Johnson in the face

    MORE: A half-marathon has banned plastic water bottles in favour of seaweed balls


    Fruitarian couple think their diet helps them stay youngFruitarian couple think their diet helps them stay younghpwilliamsonA fruitarian diet is not recommended by the NHS. (Picture: MDW)THIS FRUITARIAN woman who has been following a fruit-only diet for FIVE-YEARS feels ???high??? from fruit after relocating to Bali to discover the most exotic fruits where she met her toyboy fianc?? ??? and the couple say they haven???t needed to brush their teeth in two years and would never go back to ???normal??? food. Interior architect, Tina Stoklosa (39) originally from Warsaw, Poland, first discovered the fruitarian diet when she was looking for a pre-Christmas cleanse online in December 2013. Tina tried the cleanse for a week and the positive effects were instant, she found she had more energy and was so happy she ???felt high??? and looked younger already. After this, she decided to become a fruitarian for life but slipped up many times living at home, tempted by meals out and the delicious cooked food at Christmas and used food emotionally to deal with her feelings, both positive and negative. Two years later, Tina decided to move to Bali to discover the most exotic fruits in the world and fully commit to her fruitarian lifestyle without distractions from the Western world. She found that she soon lost weight, going from 13st 1lb to 8st 1lb, and a UK size 16 to 8, despite struggling with conventional dieting back home. Whilst there, she started her Instagram page where she met her fianc??, Simon Beun (26) from Izegem, Belgium, who messaged her after discovering the fruitarian diet himself. Six months later they met up in Bali and fell in love. Although the pair hunt out the most exotic fruits South East Asia has to offer, whilst home in Europe, it would be normal for them to eat 30 bananas in one day. Simon and Tina eat between 2,000 and 4,000 calories a day ??? all from sweet fruits and quench their thirst with fresh coconut water. They treat themselves to a meal out at a raw vegan restaurant twice a year. @fit_shortie_eats / MDWfeaturesTina and Simon fell in love instantly when they met. THIS FRUITARIAN woman who has been following a fruit-only diet for FIVE-YEARS feels ???high??? from fruit after relocating to Bali to discover the most exotic fruits where she met her toyboy fianc?? ??? and the couple say they haven???t needed to brush their teeth in two years and would never go back to ???normal??? food. Interior architect, Tina Stoklosa (39) originally from Warsaw, Poland, first discovered the fruitarian diet when she was looking for a pre-Christmas cleanse online in December 2013. Tina tried the cleanse for a week and the positive effects were instant, she found she had more energy and was so happy she ???felt high??? and looked younger already. After this, she decided to become a fruitarian for life but slipped up many times living at home, tempted by meals out and the delicious cooked food at Christmas and used food emotionally to deal with her feelings, both positive and negative. Two years later, Tina decided to move to Bali to discover the most exotic fruits in the world and fully commit to her fruitarian lifestyle without distractions from the Western world. She found that she soon lost weight, going from 13st 1lb to 8st 1lb, and a UK size 16 to 8, despite struggling with conventional dieting back home. Whilst there, she started her Instagram page where she met her fianc??, Simon Beun (26) from Izegem, Belgium, who messaged her after discovering the fruitarian diet himself. Six months later they met up in Bali and fell in love. Although the pair hunt out the most exotic fruits South East Asia has to offer, whilst home in Europe, it would be normal for them to eat 30 bananas in one day. Simon and Tina eat between 2,000 and 4,000 calories a day ??? all from sweet fruits and quench their thirst with fresh coconut water. They treat themselves to a meal out at a raw vegan restaurant twice a year. @fit_shortie_eats / MDWfeaturesFruitarian couple think their diet helps them stay youngFruitarian couple think their diet helps them stay younghpwilliamsonA fruitarian diet is not recommended by the NHS. (Picture: MDW)THIS FRUITARIAN woman who has been following a fruit-only diet for FIVE-YEARS feels ???high??? from fruit after relocating to Bali to discover the most exotic fruits where she met her toyboy fianc?? ??? and the couple say they haven???t needed to brush their teeth in two years and would never go back to ???normal??? food. Interior architect, Tina Stoklosa (39) originally from Warsaw, Poland, first discovered the fruitarian diet when she was looking for a pre-Christmas cleanse online in December 2013. Tina tried the cleanse for a week and the positive effects were instant, she found she had more energy and was so happy she ???felt high??? and looked younger already. After this, she decided to become a fruitarian for life but slipped up many times living at home, tempted by meals out and the delicious cooked food at Christmas and used food emotionally to deal with her feelings, both positive and negative. Two years later, Tina decided to move to Bali to discover the most exotic fruits in the world and fully commit to her fruitarian lifestyle without distractions from the Western world. She found that she soon lost weight, going from 13st 1lb to 8st 1lb, and a UK size 16 to 8, despite struggling with conventional dieting back home. Whilst there, she started her Instagram page where she met her fianc??, Simon Beun (26) from Izegem, Belgium, who messaged her after discovering the fruitarian diet himself. Six months later they met up in Bali and fell in love. Although the pair hunt out the most exotic fruits South East Asia has to offer, whilst home in Europe, it would be normal for them to eat 30 bananas in one day. Simon and Tina eat between 2,000 and 4,000 calories a day ??? all from sweet fruits and quench their thirst with fresh coconut water. They treat themselves to a meal out at a raw vegan restaurant twice a year. @fit_shortie_eats / MDWfeaturesTina and Simon fell in love instantly when they met. THIS FRUITARIAN woman who has been following a fruit-only diet for FIVE-YEARS feels ???high??? from fruit after relocating to Bali to discover the most exotic fruits where she met her toyboy fianc?? ??? and the couple say they haven???t needed to brush their teeth in two years and would never go back to ???normal??? food. Interior architect, Tina Stoklosa (39) originally from Warsaw, Poland, first discovered the fruitarian diet when she was looking for a pre-Christmas cleanse online in December 2013. Tina tried the cleanse for a week and the positive effects were instant, she found she had more energy and was so happy she ???felt high??? and looked younger already. After this, she decided to become a fruitarian for life but slipped up many times living at home, tempted by meals out and the delicious cooked food at Christmas and used food emotionally to deal with her feelings, both positive and negative. Two years later, Tina decided to move to Bali to discover the most exotic fruits in the world and fully commit to her fruitarian lifestyle without distractions from the Western world. She found that she soon lost weight, going from 13st 1lb to 8st 1lb, and a UK size 16 to 8, despite struggling with conventional dieting back home. Whilst there, she started her Instagram page where she met her fianc??, Simon Beun (26) from Izegem, Belgium, who messaged her after discovering the fruitarian diet himself. Six months later they met up in Bali and fell in love. Although the pair hunt out the most exotic fruits South East Asia has to offer, whilst home in Europe, it would be normal for them to eat 30 bananas in one day. Simon and Tina eat between 2,000 and 4,000 calories a day ??? all from sweet fruits and quench their thirst with fresh coconut water. They treat themselves to a meal out at a raw vegan restaurant twice a year. @fit_shortie_eats / MDWfeatures

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    Who Will Eat All The Pies? Company Seeks Official Pie Tasters
    (Picture: Holland’s Pies)

    We’re finally in Autumn, which means it’s totally acceptable to start eating pie and mash every night.

    Everyone knows it’s the perfect comfort food for colder weather.

    But if you’re the sort of person who could eat a pie every day of the year – we’ve got great news for you: You can do just that for free.

    Well, five lucky people can.

    Holland’s Pies is looking for five people to taste their pies for an elite new Pie Panel.

    Those selected will have exclusive access to new products, and every panelist chosen will receive an entire year’s supply of pies and puddings.

    The panel will meet every six months at the Holland’s factory, where they’ll get to taste the Best Ever pie range, which includes improved recipes and new fillings.

    Who Will Eat All The Pies? Company Seeks Official Pie Tasters
    (Picture: Holland’s Pies)

    According to the Lancashire-based company, panellists must be willing and able to travel at their own expense to each Pie Panel meeting at Holland’s Pies, on Manchester Road in Baxenden, near Accrington.

    If you’re not local to the area – it’s probably not for you. Unless you are the most dedicated of pie lovers.

    Those who make it as a panellist may also be asked to test products at home, in which case delivery can be arranged.

    So, what is the company looking for?

    Bosses will be judging entries on how unique their reason for applying is and if they can make the judging panel laugh or smile with their entry. They’ll also need to display their undying love of pies.

    So, a simple ‘I want free pies’ probably won’t suffice (though it might get a few laughs).

    If you fancy entering to become a pie panellist, all you have to do is email piepanel@hollandspies.co.uk by 12 October, and tell them in no more than 250 words why you deserve the role.

    Who Will Eat All The Pies? Company Seeks Official Pie Tasters
    (Picture: Holland’s Pies)

    Helen Henry, Chief PIEologist (yes, that’s an actual title) at Holland’s Pies, commented: ‘We’re excited to announce that we’ll be choosing five lucky fans to become part of our exclusive Pie Panel.

    ‘We’re looking for people who are passionate about pies and who eat, sleep and dream about pies.

    ‘They will taste and feedback on our Best Ever range and will be rewarded with mountains of pies and puds to take home!

    ‘By introducing this Pie Panel, we hope to continue to ‘PIEfect’ our range and maintain and grow our loyal fan base within the North West.

    ‘Whilst we know our products are already much loved, we wouldn’t be doing our job to the best that we possibly can if we didn’t provide our fans an opportunity to ensure our pies and puds are the best they can be.’

    MORE: Asda releases a glittery gingerbread gin just in time for autumn

    MORE: At last you can buy easy-peel avocados


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    (Picture: Phoenix Zoo/ SWNS.COM)

    The adorable moment a baby giraffe met her dad for the first time has been captured on camera.

    Little Rafiki has lived in isolation with her seven-year-old mother Imara at Phoenix Zoo in Arizona since her birth in June.

    She was kept separate from her father Miguu, nine, as zookeepers wanted to wait until she was ready to encounter a male giraffe of his size.

    Two month old giraffe Rafiki, who had to be kept away from her father her father Miguu, 9, till she was ready to meet a giraffe of his size. Zookeepers at the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona, captured their touching first meeting. September 6th, 2018.See story NYGIRAFFE . An adorable baby giraffe met her dad for the first time in a sweet family moment that was captured on camera by proud zookeepers. Caring mom Imara, 7, has been the only giraffe by baby Rafiki?s side since her birth on June 26th, 2018. Zookeepers at Phoenix Zoo in Arizona wanted to keep Rafiki, now just two months old, separate from her father Miguu, 9, until she was ready to encounter a male giraffe of his size. Early morning on September 6th, 2018, zoo staff decided the time had come for the touching reunion to take place.
    (Picture: Phoenix Zoo/ SWNS.COM)

    But on the morning of 6 September zoo staff decided the time had come.

    Zookeeper Amanda Jock, 32, said: ‘Miguu went to Imara first because he hasn’t seen her in a while so he focused on her.

    ‘Then he went to Rafiki. He just bent down and was smelling over her body to identify her.’

    Two month old giraffe Rafiki, who had to be kept away from her father her father Miguu, 9, meets him for the first time. Zookeepers at the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona, captured their touching first meeting. September 6th, 2018.See story NYGIRAFFE . An adorable baby giraffe met her dad for the first time in a sweet family moment that was captured on camera by proud zookeepers. Caring mom Imara, 7, has been the only giraffe by baby Rafiki?s side since her birth on June 26th, 2018. Zookeepers at Phoenix Zoo in Arizona wanted to keep Rafiki, now just two months old, separate from her father Miguu, 9, until she was ready to encounter a male giraffe of his size. Early morning on September 6th, 2018, zoo staff decided the time had come for the touching reunion to take place.
    (Picture: Phoenix Zoo/ SWNS.COM)

    Amanda, who has worked at the zoo for half a decade, added: ‘It was so sweet.’

    Staff were worried that introducing Rafiki to her father when she was a newborn would be too intense for the the little calf.

    ‘He’s so much larger and he kind of pushes the girls around a little so we wanted to make sure she could handle that,’ Amanda explained.

    Two month old giraffe Rafiki, who had to be kept away from her father her father Miguu, 9, till she was ready to meet a giraffe of his size. Zookeepers at the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona, captured their touching first meeting. September 6th, 2018.See story NYGIRAFFE . An adorable baby giraffe met her dad for the first time in a sweet family moment that was captured on camera by proud zookeepers. Caring mom Imara, 7, has been the only giraffe by baby Rafiki?s side since her birth on June 26th, 2018. Zookeepers at Phoenix Zoo in Arizona wanted to keep Rafiki, now just two months old, separate from her father Miguu, 9, until she was ready to encounter a male giraffe of his size. Early morning on September 6th, 2018, zoo staff decided the time had come for the touching reunion to take place.
    (Picture: Phoenix Zoo/ SWNS.COM)

    ‘We didn’t want her to get overwhelmed.’

    However, the total opposite happened when the pair finally met. Rafiki wasn’t scared of her dad in the slightest.

    Amanda continued: ‘I wasn’t sure if she would be a bit nervous, but she didn’t care — she went right up to him and was excited to meet him.’

    Two month old giraffe Rafiki, with mother Imara, 7 and father Miguu, 9, who she was meeting for the first time. Zookeepers kept father and daughter apart due to Miguu?s size, but managed to, capture their touching first meeting at at the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona. September 6th, 2018.See story NYGIRAFFE . An adorable baby giraffe met her dad for the first time in a sweet family moment that was captured on camera by proud zookeepers. Caring mom Imara, 7, has been the only giraffe by baby Rafiki?s side since her birth on June 26th, 2018. Zookeepers at Phoenix Zoo in Arizona wanted to keep Rafiki, now just two months old, separate from her father Miguu, 9, until she was ready to encounter a male giraffe of his size. Early morning on September 6th, 2018, zoo staff decided the time had come for the touching reunion to take place.
    (Picture: Phoenix Zoo/ SWNS.COM)

    Miguu was also excited to see Imara for the first time in months, too. And apparently they were incredibly loved up.

    ‘They haven’t been able to spend time together in a long time,’ said Amanda.

    ‘They can see each other through the barn but they haven’t been able to touch or smell each other.’

    Two month old giraffe Rafiki, who had to be kept away from her father her father Miguu, 9, meets him for the first time. Zookeepers at the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona, captured their touching first meeting. September 6th, 2018.See story NYGIRAFFE . An adorable baby giraffe met her dad for the first time in a sweet family moment that was captured on camera by proud zookeepers. Caring mom Imara, 7, has been the only giraffe by baby Rafiki?s side since her birth on June 26th, 2018. Zookeepers at Phoenix Zoo in Arizona wanted to keep Rafiki, now just two months old, separate from her father Miguu, 9, until she was ready to encounter a male giraffe of his size. Early morning on September 6th, 2018, zoo staff decided the time had come for the touching reunion to take place.
    (Picture: Phoenix Zoo/ SWNS.COM)

    The emotional get-together brought a smile to the faces of onlookers and zookeepers alike, and is a sign of more family bonding to come.

    Amanda said: ‘They’ll definitely spend more time together now.

    ‘In the mornings they can graze together before Rafiki needs to go for some quiet time at midday.’

    She added: ‘It was wonderful to see her running around with her dad. Now the whole family is together at last.’

    MORE: How to move house with your cat

    MORE: How to spot and treat fleas on your cat


    FAMILY FORTUNES - An adorable baby giraffe met her dad for the first time in a sweet family moment that was captured on camera by proud zookeepersFAMILY FORTUNES - An adorable baby giraffe met her dad for the first time in a sweet family moment that was captured on camera by proud zookeepershattiegladwellmetroTwo month old giraffe Rafiki, who had to be kept away from her father her father Miguu, 9, till she was ready to meet a giraffe of his size. Zookeepers at the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona, captured their touching first meeting. September 6th, 2018.See story NYGIRAFFE . An adorable baby giraffe met her dad for the first time in a sweet family moment that was captured on camera by proud zookeepers. Caring mom Imara, 7, has been the only giraffe by baby Rafiki?s side since her birth on June 26th, 2018. Zookeepers at Phoenix Zoo in Arizona wanted to keep Rafiki, now just two months old, separate from her father Miguu, 9, until she was ready to encounter a male giraffe of his size. Early morning on September 6th, 2018, zoo staff decided the time had come for the touching reunion to take place.Two month old giraffe Rafiki, who had to be kept away from her father her father Miguu, 9, meets him for the first time. Zookeepers at the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona, captured their touching first meeting. September 6th, 2018.See story NYGIRAFFE . An adorable baby giraffe met her dad for the first time in a sweet family moment that was captured on camera by proud zookeepers. Caring mom Imara, 7, has been the only giraffe by baby Rafiki?s side since her birth on June 26th, 2018. Zookeepers at Phoenix Zoo in Arizona wanted to keep Rafiki, now just two months old, separate from her father Miguu, 9, until she was ready to encounter a male giraffe of his size. Early morning on September 6th, 2018, zoo staff decided the time had come for the touching reunion to take place.Two month old giraffe Rafiki, who had to be kept away from her father her father Miguu, 9, till she was ready to meet a giraffe of his size. Zookeepers at the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona, captured their touching first meeting. September 6th, 2018.See story NYGIRAFFE . An adorable baby giraffe met her dad for the first time in a sweet family moment that was captured on camera by proud zookeepers. Caring mom Imara, 7, has been the only giraffe by baby Rafiki?s side since her birth on June 26th, 2018. Zookeepers at Phoenix Zoo in Arizona wanted to keep Rafiki, now just two months old, separate from her father Miguu, 9, until she was ready to encounter a male giraffe of his size. Early morning on September 6th, 2018, zoo staff decided the time had come for the touching reunion to take place.Two month old giraffe Rafiki, with mother Imara, 7 and father Miguu, 9, who she was meeting for the first time. Zookeepers kept father and daughter apart due to Miguu?s size, but managed to, capture their touching first meeting at at the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona. September 6th, 2018.See story NYGIRAFFE . An adorable baby giraffe met her dad for the first time in a sweet family moment that was captured on camera by proud zookeepers. Caring mom Imara, 7, has been the only giraffe by baby Rafiki?s side since her birth on June 26th, 2018. Zookeepers at Phoenix Zoo in Arizona wanted to keep Rafiki, now just two months old, separate from her father Miguu, 9, until she was ready to encounter a male giraffe of his size. Early morning on September 6th, 2018, zoo staff decided the time had come for the touching reunion to take place.Two month old giraffe Rafiki, who had to be kept away from her father her father Miguu, 9, meets him for the first time. Zookeepers at the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona, captured their touching first meeting. September 6th, 2018.See story NYGIRAFFE . An adorable baby giraffe met her dad for the first time in a sweet family moment that was captured on camera by proud zookeepers. Caring mom Imara, 7, has been the only giraffe by baby Rafiki?s side since her birth on June 26th, 2018. Zookeepers at Phoenix Zoo in Arizona wanted to keep Rafiki, now just two months old, separate from her father Miguu, 9, until she was ready to encounter a male giraffe of his size. Early morning on September 6th, 2018, zoo staff decided the time had come for the touching reunion to take place.FAMILY FORTUNES - An adorable baby giraffe met her dad for the first time in a sweet family moment that was captured on camera by proud zookeepersFAMILY FORTUNES - An adorable baby giraffe met her dad for the first time in a sweet family moment that was captured on camera by proud zookeepershattiegladwellmetroTwo month old giraffe Rafiki, who had to be kept away from her father her father Miguu, 9, till she was ready to meet a giraffe of his size. Zookeepers at the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona, captured their touching first meeting. September 6th, 2018.See story NYGIRAFFE . An adorable baby giraffe met her dad for the first time in a sweet family moment that was captured on camera by proud zookeepers. Caring mom Imara, 7, has been the only giraffe by baby Rafiki?s side since her birth on June 26th, 2018. Zookeepers at Phoenix Zoo in Arizona wanted to keep Rafiki, now just two months old, separate from her father Miguu, 9, until she was ready to encounter a male giraffe of his size. Early morning on September 6th, 2018, zoo staff decided the time had come for the touching reunion to take place.Two month old giraffe Rafiki, who had to be kept away from her father her father Miguu, 9, meets him for the first time. Zookeepers at the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona, captured their touching first meeting. September 6th, 2018.See story NYGIRAFFE . An adorable baby giraffe met her dad for the first time in a sweet family moment that was captured on camera by proud zookeepers. Caring mom Imara, 7, has been the only giraffe by baby Rafiki?s side since her birth on June 26th, 2018. Zookeepers at Phoenix Zoo in Arizona wanted to keep Rafiki, now just two months old, separate from her father Miguu, 9, until she was ready to encounter a male giraffe of his size. Early morning on September 6th, 2018, zoo staff decided the time had come for the touching reunion to take place.Two month old giraffe Rafiki, who had to be kept away from her father her father Miguu, 9, till she was ready to meet a giraffe of his size. Zookeepers at the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona, captured their touching first meeting. September 6th, 2018.See story NYGIRAFFE . An adorable baby giraffe met her dad for the first time in a sweet family moment that was captured on camera by proud zookeepers. Caring mom Imara, 7, has been the only giraffe by baby Rafiki?s side since her birth on June 26th, 2018. Zookeepers at Phoenix Zoo in Arizona wanted to keep Rafiki, now just two months old, separate from her father Miguu, 9, until she was ready to encounter a male giraffe of his size. Early morning on September 6th, 2018, zoo staff decided the time had come for the touching reunion to take place.Two month old giraffe Rafiki, with mother Imara, 7 and father Miguu, 9, who she was meeting for the first time. Zookeepers kept father and daughter apart due to Miguu?s size, but managed to, capture their touching first meeting at at the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona. September 6th, 2018.See story NYGIRAFFE . An adorable baby giraffe met her dad for the first time in a sweet family moment that was captured on camera by proud zookeepers. Caring mom Imara, 7, has been the only giraffe by baby Rafiki?s side since her birth on June 26th, 2018. Zookeepers at Phoenix Zoo in Arizona wanted to keep Rafiki, now just two months old, separate from her father Miguu, 9, until she was ready to encounter a male giraffe of his size. Early morning on September 6th, 2018, zoo staff decided the time had come for the touching reunion to take place.Two month old giraffe Rafiki, who had to be kept away from her father her father Miguu, 9, meets him for the first time. Zookeepers at the Phoenix Zoo, Arizona, captured their touching first meeting. September 6th, 2018.See story NYGIRAFFE . An adorable baby giraffe met her dad for the first time in a sweet family moment that was captured on camera by proud zookeepers. Caring mom Imara, 7, has been the only giraffe by baby Rafiki?s side since her birth on June 26th, 2018. Zookeepers at Phoenix Zoo in Arizona wanted to keep Rafiki, now just two months old, separate from her father Miguu, 9, until she was ready to encounter a male giraffe of his size. Early morning on September 6th, 2018, zoo staff decided the time had come for the touching reunion to take place.

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    (Picture: Getty)

    You’ve bought the present and donned your hat for a wedding, but you’ve yet to write the card.

    The card is an important part of showing a marrying couple you care; giving your best wishes and showing gratitude at having been invited.

    That doesn’t mean it isn’t tricky, though, so we’ve put together some guideline, quotes and messages for when you’re feeling stuck.

    Rules

    Talk about what the couple mean to you. You’re there for them, so let them know how they’ve impacted on your life.

    You could mention the first time you met your friend and their partner or recount some of the best times you’ve had together over the years.

    (Picture: Getty)

    Funny anecdotes work well, but as do more serious messages. It’s the wedding day! Tell the couple how happy you are to be sharing this occasion with them and how excited you are that the big day has finally arrived.

    If you only know one half of the couple, it’s absolutely fine to just address the card to them. Although, it’s a good idea to mention that you’re looking forward to spending time with them as a married twosome and getting to know their partner better.

    There’s nothing wrong with saying ‘congratulations’, even if every other card is going to include the same well-wish.

    If you’ve got a particularly good piece of marriage advice, put it in the card. This could be something a family member has passed on to you, something you’ve learned or a funny gem that’s specific to the happy couple.

    Quotes on love are also a great addition to a wedding card. T

    Make sure you wish them a wonderful future together and perhaps let the couple know that you’ll be there for them should they ever need anything.

    Wedding cake with presents and guest book

    Quotes

    ‘A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person’ – Mignon McLaughlin

    ‘It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages’ – Friedrich Nietzsche

    ‘The first time you marry for love, the second for money, and the third for companionship’ – Jackie Kennedy

    ‘Let the wife make the husband glad to come home, and let him make her sorry to see him leave’ – Martin Luther

    ‘My most brilliant achievement was my ability to be able to persuade my wife to marry me’ – Winston Churchill

    ‘There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage’ – Martin Luther

    ‘A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short’ – Andre Maurois

    ‘One should believe in marriage as in the immortality of the soul’ – Honore de Balzac

    ‘To keep your marriage brimming, With love in the loving cup, Whenever you’re wrong, admit it; Whenever you’re right, shut up’ – Ogden Nash

    ‘Remember that creating a successful marriage is like farming: you have to start over again every morning’ – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

    I love being married. It’s so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life’ – Rita Rudner

    (Picture: Getty)

    Messages

    Wishing you a lifetime of love and happiness

    May the love you share today grow stronger as you grow old together

    May today be the beginning of a long, happy life together

    Wishing you joy, love and happiness on your wedding day and as you begin your new life together 5) May the love and happiness you feel today shine through the years

    Congratulations on your wedding!

    We’re/I’m so happy for you!

    Wishing you the best today and always

    So happy to celebrate this day with you both!

    As Bill and Ted said, ‘Be excellent to each other.’

    Thanks for the free booze. Best wishes on a long, happy marriage!

    Getting married is like going to drama school. May there be more comedy than melodrama

    May the One who brought you together bless your marriage, enrich your lives and deepen your love throughout the years

    Mazel Tov! May the joy that is yours today always fill your life

    Congratulations on your marriage, and welcome to the family!

    We’re delighted to share this day with you both

    What a wonderful day for our family, and especially you two. May the joy you feel today last a lifetime

    We/I couldn’t be happier to call you both family. Best wishes for a long and happy future together

    I’m so happy to call you both my friends. Congratulations!

    Of all the big life events we’ve celebrated over the years, today tops the list. Congrats!

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    MORE: Fruitarian couple say their diet of nothing but fruit means they don’t have to brush their teeth


    South Africa,Cape Town, Bride and bridesmaids unpacking giftsSouth Africa,Cape Town, Bride and bridesmaids unpacking giftsjessicacvlSouth Africa,Cape Town, Bride and bridesmaids unpacking giftsSouth Africa,Cape Town, Bride and bridesmaids unpacking giftsjessicacvl

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    The Oban Fish & Chips which celeb chef Rick Stein has called ?the best fish and chips? he has ?ever tasted?, is up for sell for ?850,000. Argyll, Scotland. September 14 2018 . See Centre Press story CPFISH .A chippy described by celebrity chef Rick Stein as serving "the best fish and chips" he had ever tasted" is up for sale for ?850,000. The business, Oban Fish & Chips in the centre of Argyll, has thrived for 14 years. It was made famous by the praise of award-winning chef Mr Stein in an episode of the BBC?s Food Heroes programme in 2002. And his words of praise about the food are splashed across the shop window.
    (Picture: Christie & Co/ SWNS)

    Ever wanted to own your own chip shop? Well, now you can, as one described by celebrity chef Rick Stein as serving ‘the best fish and chips’ he had ever tasted is up for sale for £850,000.

    The business, Oban Fish & Chips in the centre of Argyll, has been going for 14 years.

    It was made famous by the praise of award-winning chef Rick Stein in an episode of the BBC’s Food Heroes programme in 2002.

    His words of praise about the food are splashed across the shop window.

    The Oban Fish & Chips which celeb chef Rick Stein has called ?the best fish and chips? he has ?ever tasted?, is up for sell for ?850,000. Argyll, Scotland. September 14 2018 . See Centre Press story CPFISH .A chippy described by celebrity chef Rick Stein as serving "the best fish and chips" he had ever tasted" is up for sale for ?850,000. The business, Oban Fish & Chips in the centre of Argyll, has thrived for 14 years. It was made famous by the praise of award-winning chef Mr Stein in an episode of the BBC?s Food Heroes programme in 2002. And his words of praise about the food are splashed across the shop window.
    (Picture: Christie & Co/ SWNS)

    The owners of the shop, Lillian Hutchinson and her husband George, have decided to sell the business due to retirement.

    The restaurant, which seats 40 guests, and a takeaway were set up in the 1990s.

    The town of Argyll is nicknamed ‘The Gateway to The Isles,’ and is home to the second biggest ferry port in Britain.

    The Oban Fish & Chips which celeb chef Rick Stein has called ?the best fish and chips? he has ?ever tasted?, is up for sell for ?850,000. Argyll, Scotland. September 14 2018 . See Centre Press story CPFISH .A chippy described by celebrity chef Rick Stein as serving "the best fish and chips" he had ever tasted" is up for sale for ?850,000. The business, Oban Fish & Chips in the centre of Argyll, has thrived for 14 years. It was made famous by the praise of award-winning chef Mr Stein in an episode of the BBC?s Food Heroes programme in 2002. And his words of praise about the food are splashed across the shop window.
    (Picture: Christie & Co/ SWNS)

    Business agent Mark Lavery said: ‘Due to its coastal location and great access links to the Scottish Isles, the restaurant is ideally located to capture the tourism trade, whilst enjoying steady levels of business from a loyal, local following.’

    The business is said to be busy with a healthy profit margin – and has good ferry links with the islands of Colonsay, Mull and Barra.

    A spokesman for Christie & Co said: ‘Originally established in the early 1990s and hailed by award-winning chef Rick Stein as having some of the “best fish and chips he has ever tasted” in an episode of the BBC’s Food Heroes programme, the business has been successfully trading under the current owner for over 14 years.’

    MORE: Farmhouse setting of The Darling Buds of May is selling for £3 million

    MORE: Britain’s most expensive bungalow comes with its own dental practice


    CHIPS IN - A chippy described by celebrity chef Rick Stein as serving "the best fish and chips" he had ever tasted" is up for sale for £850,000.CHIPS IN - A chippy described by celebrity chef Rick Stein as serving CHIPS IN - A chippy described by celebrity chef Rick Stein as serving "the best fish and chips" he had ever tasted" is up for sale for £850,000.CHIPS IN - A chippy described by celebrity chef Rick Stein as serving "the best fish and chips" he had ever tasted" is up for sale for £850,000.hattiegladwellmetroThe Oban Fish & Chips which celeb chef Rick Stein has called ?the best fish and chips? he has ?ever tasted?, is up for sell for ?850,000. Argyll, Scotland. September 14 2018 . See Centre Press story CPFISH .A chippy described by celebrity chef Rick Stein as serving "the best fish and chips" he had ever tasted" is up for sale for ?850,000. The business, Oban Fish & Chips in the centre of Argyll, has thrived for 14 years. It was made famous by the praise of award-winning chef Mr Stein in an episode of the BBC?s Food Heroes programme in 2002. And his words of praise about the food are splashed across the shop window.The Oban Fish & Chips which celeb chef Rick Stein has called ?the best fish and chips? he has ?ever tasted?, is up for sell for ?850,000. Argyll, Scotland. September 14 2018 . See Centre Press story CPFISH .A chippy described by celebrity chef Rick Stein as serving "the best fish and chips" he had ever tasted" is up for sale for ?850,000. The business, Oban Fish & Chips in the centre of Argyll, has thrived for 14 years. It was made famous by the praise of award-winning chef Mr Stein in an episode of the BBC?s Food Heroes programme in 2002. And his words of praise about the food are splashed across the shop window.The Oban Fish & Chips which celeb chef Rick Stein has called ?the best fish and chips? he has ?ever tasted?, is up for sell for ?850,000. Argyll, Scotland. September 14 2018 . See Centre Press story CPFISH .A chippy described by celebrity chef Rick Stein as serving "the best fish and chips" he had ever tasted" is up for sale for ?850,000. The business, Oban Fish & Chips in the centre of Argyll, has thrived for 14 years. It was made famous by the praise of award-winning chef Mr Stein in an episode of the BBC?s Food Heroes programme in 2002. And his words of praise about the food are splashed across the shop window.

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    (Picture: Primark)

    It’s already September, which means Christmas is just around the corner (no, these next few months don’t count).

    And of course, stores are already getting in on the festive launches – from advent calendars to gingerbread gins.

    And now, Primark has announced it will be bringing back its super popular Disney baubles for the end of this year, and they’re all seriously Instagrammable.

    Making a comeback will be its much-loved £4 Mickey and Minnie Mouse baubles, which are teeny and come in metallic colours

    Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018
    (Picture: Primark)

     

    The giant pink Minnie Mouse bauble, which costs £5 for just one, will also return

    Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018
    (Picture: Primark)

    Alongside the famous mice, Primark will also be releasing lots of other Disney themed Christmas decorations.

    Like these lovely Beauty and the Beast hanging decorations, which come in the form of Chip and Mrs Potts

    Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018
    (Picture: Primark)

     

    There’s also Lumiere and Cogsworth

    Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018
    (Picture: Primark)

     

    There’s also Winnie the Pooh decorations – which follow on from Primark’s latest collection

    Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018
    (Picture: Primark)

     

    And it wouldn’t be Disney without some princesses added into the mix – specifically Belle and Cinderella

    Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018
    (Picture: Primark)

     

    And finally, these Thumper and Bambi decorations are adorable

    Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018
    (Picture: Primark)

    All of the decorations will set you back a fiver.

    MORE: Couple marry as Woody and Buzz at Disney themed wedding

    MORE: Primark is launching an advent calendar filled with Disney-themed baubles


    Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018hattiegladwellmetroPrimark's Disney baubles are back for 2018Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018hattiegladwellmetroPrimark's Disney baubles are back for 2018Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018Primark's Disney baubles are back for 2018

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

    Being part of the vegan community is strange.

    In fact, if I’m being honest, I don’t actually feel like I’m a part of the community at all.

    Two years ago, I watched one documentary that depicted live chickens being stamped on in an egg factory and from that moment I stopped eating meat.

    But I haven’t actively told anyone.

    It’s not that I’m embarrassed to be vegan, I’m just not ready to have that conversation.

    In all honesty, I can’t dedicate the time required to become a walking encyclopedia of all things animal-friendly. And, at the minute, I have no plans to.

    I wish I knew everything about living an ethical, sustainable lifestyle, and I wish that I was a more passionate activist, but being vegan is just a small aspect of my life, and that’s all I can manage right now.

    I’m the kind of vegan who accidentally eats honey sometimes and owns and wears trainers made with animal-derived glue; I still taste the forbidden fruit by using MAC makeup that I can’t bear to get rid of just yet.

    While I’m sure there are some vegans who would understand my inability to leave these parts of my life behind, I know a large percentage wouldn’t.

    Most vegans I’ve met are proud of their choice to abstain from using products derived from animals and are continually posting on social media about the injustice of animal cruelty or the unhealthy consequences of consuming meat and dairy.

    They make many of their style choices based on activism and are happy to wear a t-shirt with a sassy slogan such as ‘Powered By Plants.’

    Others take a more passive aggressive approach and will sport t-shirts with an image of a cow and the words, ‘Not Your Mom, Not Your Milk.’

    My friend’s sister makes a weekly visit to the supermarket to vandalise the cow’s milk section with stickers explaining how messed up the dairy industry is.

    I’ve even seen some people make the more permanent decision to have a tattoo with the word ‘vegan’ on their wrist, or a cute drawing of a lamb and a speech bubble which reads, ‘eating babies is weird’.

    I just can’t do that.

    I’m pretty sure as a vegan you’re legally required to have that little green plant emoji in your Instagram bio, but I’ve gone rogue and decided not to even mention it.

    I have one lonely vegan t-shirt that I bought on a whim a few years ago when I was in the early days of adopting a plant-based diet and I have never once had the courage to actually wear it.

    But it’s not just vegans that I’m scared of telling my secret to.

    On the occasions that my plant eater status has been announced, I’ve been met with meat eaters telling me that animals are ‘there to be eaten’, and that my protein and iron intake must be dangerously low.

    Historically I have an incredibly unhealthy relationship with food, crash dieting and binge eating, so having to defend my dietary habits to someone who is trying their best to trip me up is pretty triggering.

    Oh, and did I mention I have social anxiety? That makes passive aggressive interactions with strangers about animal cruelty, global warming and social change pretty terrifying to the point where it can cause a panic attack.

    I understand why people are proud to be vegan and are happy to engage in debate with carnivores, but personally I prefer to keep my non-meat eating habits under wraps until I’m absolutely forced to discuss it.

    I refuse to let being a vegan shape my life

    I will not dictate which restaurant my friends and I go to because I don’t want my veganism to change how others view me.

    If it’s a choice between crossing the street to get the best dairy-free pizza in town or following the crowd into the nearest unknown pub, I will more than happily run the risk of eating the only vegan option on the menu – even if it is an entire basket of crusty bread.

    Although I know this piece will immerse me in the world of veganism, I’m still not ready to submit myself fully to vegan stereotypes.

    If you need me, I’ll be trying my best and hoping that no one interrogates me while I carb-load quietly in the corner.

    MORE: Vegan woman posts to Facebook after cafe serves oat milk in jug with cow udders

    MORE: One in five young adults think we will all be vegans by 2030

    MORE: Going vegan is a sign of midlife crisis in men, says study


    vegan illustrationsvegan illustrationsfr040780vegan illustrationsvegan illustrationsvegan illustrationsfr040780vegan illustrations

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    Meet Harry Read, your new favourite person and life inspiration.

    At 94 years old, he just jumped 10,000 feet from a plane.

    It’s been 74 years since he’s flown through the air. During the Second World War, at just 20 years old, Harry worked as a wireless operator, and was part of the Parachute Brigade landing in Normandy on 6 June 1944.

    That experience wasn’t quite as dramatic as this recent skydive, mind you, as to avoid attack during war time, parachuting would take place as close to the ground as possible.

    D-Day veteran Harry Read, 94, test fits his skydiving helmet at Old Sarum Airfield, Salisbury, Wiltshire, where he is taking part in his first high level skydive since he parachuted into Normandy on 6 June 1944. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 14, 2018. He is using the event to fundraise for the Salvation Army's Anti Trafficking and Modern Slavery work. See PA story SOCIAL Skydiving. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
    (Picture: Ben Birchall/PA)

    ‘On that morning at 00.50 hours I parachuted into Normandy and 30 seconds later I was on the ground,’ said Harry.

    ‘It was a very different experience to the one I just had.’

    This time around Harry headed up in the air from Old Sarum airfield in Salisbury, Wiltshire. He jumped from 10,000 feet above the ground.

    D-Day veteran Harry Read, 94, practices a skydive position at Old Sarum Airfield, Salisbury, Wiltshire, where he is taking part in his first high level skydive since he parachuted into Normandy on 6 June 1944. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 14, 2018. He is using the event to fundraise for the Salvation Army's Anti Trafficking and Modern Slavery work. See PA story SOCIAL Skydiving. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
    (Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire)

    He didn’t do it just for the thrill. Harry’s a life-long member of the Salvation Army, and undertook the jump to raise money for the charity’s work in anti-trafficking and modern slavery.

    So far he’s raised more than £5,000. If you fancy helping him out with his fundraising, you can donate through JustGiving.

    He was joined by his grandchildren, Lianne, 37, Joanna, 39, and Josh, 23.

    Harry plans to do it all again next year in Normandy, to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

    D-Day veteran Harry Read, 94, descends under his parachute connected to chief instructor Ryan Mancey at Old Sarum Airfield, Salisbury, Wiltshire, where he is taking part in his first high level skydive since he parachuted into Normandy on 6 June 1944. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday September 14, 2018. He is using the event to fundraise for the Salvation Army's Anti Trafficking and Modern Slavery work. See PA story SOCIAL Skydiving. Photo credit should read: Ben Birchall/PA Wire
    (Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Wire)

    ‘This was my first high-level skydive and whilst I was a little nervous I have always enjoyed the thrill of parachuting,’ said Harry.

    ‘It was amazing to experience the freefall and then cruising down was simply beautiful.

    ‘I feel so lucky to have been able to experience this at my age.

    ‘Before I could take part in the jump my doctor assured me my heart is as healthy as a middle aged man.

    ‘At whatever age we are, we are more than capable of shrinking from something that we feel is beyond us.

    ‘But, I believe we should not withdraw from a challenge – yesterday is not our best, our best is tomorrow.’

    MORE: Fruitarian couple say their diet of nothing but fruit means they don’t have to brush their teeth

    MORE: Inside the secret world of London’s urban foxes


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    Aldi is launching a brand new 'Gingerbread' Christmas gin
    (Picture: Getty/ Aldi)

    Aldi has announced it will be increasing its gin range by 60% this Autumn – as the store says it sells 12,500 bottles a day.

    As part of its biggest gin range yet, the supermarket will be launching its first ever Gingerbread Gin Liqueur for £9.99.

    Available in stores and online from 1 October, the liqueur is characterised by notes of ginger, cinnamon, vanilla and orange, and is apparently best enjoyed with a splash of tonic water or simply served neat over ice.

    Aldi expects the new gin to be very popular with its customers, considering it’s been handcrafted and uses one of the biggest Christmas flavour trends.

    (Picture: Aldi)

    Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, said: ‘Gin continues to be immensely popular among our shoppers, so we’re delighted to be offering our biggest range ever, just in time for the festive season.

    ‘At Aldi, we pride ourselves on innovation, and the launch of these exciting new products is a real testament to the hard work of our UK based buying team, who work incredibly closely with suppliers to bring great-value, quality spirits to our shelves.’

    Sam Caporn, Aldi’s Wine Expert, added: ‘The gin bubble is yet to burst, and its fantastic that shoppers can turn to Aldi for award-winning, great quality bottles that won’t break the bank.

    ‘The brand new Gingerbread Gin Liqueur is not only deliciously on-trend, but its a brand new festive tipple, that is sure to delight gin lovers this festive season!’

    This is the second gingerbread gin we’ve seen in the past week – with Asda also announcing its own version.

    Gingerbread gin Provider: Asda/ Getty
    (Picture: Asda/Getty)

    Asda’s version looks a little different to Aldi’s – given that it’s glittery.

    The gin is an orange-y gold and comes with a shimmering, pearlescent edible glitter.

    It was created combining Asda’s Extra Special Triple Distilled Premium Gin with the flavour of lightly-spiced, home-baked gingerbread.

    It’s meant to be served over ice, with either some tonic or added to a glass of fizz.

    As well as the appearance, there’s also another difference between the two gins: Asda’s is £2 more expensive, at £12.

    So, if you fancy some gingerbread gin, it’s about deciding whether you fancy something glittery or something a little cheaper.

    Although we’re sure most will choose depending on whichever store’s closer.

    MORE: Britain’s most expensive bungalow comes with its own dental practice

    MORE: 100-year-old man says key to long life is never skipping dessert


    Aldi is launching a brand new 'Gingerbread' Christmas ginAldi is launching a brand new 'Gingerbread' Christmas ginhattiegladwellmetroAldi is launching a brand new 'Gingerbread' Christmas ginGingerbread gin Provider: Asda/ GettyAldi is launching a brand new 'Gingerbread' Christmas ginAldi is launching a brand new 'Gingerbread' Christmas ginhattiegladwellmetroAldi is launching a brand new 'Gingerbread' Christmas ginGingerbread gin Provider: Asda/ Getty

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    FILE PHOTO - Parnham House in Beaminster, Devon. See story SWMANSION. A Grade I Listed country home gutted by fire in tragic and suspicious circumstances has been put on the market for ?3 million. Parnham House, near Beaminster, Dorset, was the family home of Michael Treichl, an Austrian-born financier who had spent 15 years restoring the Elizabethan pile. Last year the stunning and historic mansion was destroyed by a major fire. Mr Treichi was arrested on suspicion of arson but died two months later in Geneva. The home, described as being ?at risk? by Historic England, was this week put on the market with Knight Frank for ?3 million. Knight Frank wouldn?t discuss the 34,000sq/ft mansion, but they're calling it "an opportunity of a lifetime".
    (Picture: Local World / SWNS.com)

    A Grade I-listed country manor gutted by fire in suspicious circumstances has been put on the market for £3 million.

    Parnham House, near Beaminster, Dorset, was the family home of Michael Treichl, an Austrian-born financier who had spent 15 years restoring the Elizabethan home.

    Last year the stunning and historic mansion was destroyed by a major fire.

    Michael was arrested on suspicion of arson but drowned in a suspected suicide two months later in Geneva.

    Yes, this house sounds like a real-life crime and mystery novel.

    Parnham House in Beaminster, Devon, following a fire at the property. April 16 2017. See story SWMANSION. A Grade I Listed country home gutted by fire in tragic and suspicious circumstances has been put on the market for ?3 million. Parnham House, near Beaminster, Dorset, was the family home of Michael Treichl, an Austrian-born financier who had spent 15 years restoring the Elizabethan pile. Last year the stunning and historic mansion was destroyed by a major fire. Mr Treichi was arrested on suspicion of arson but died two months later in Geneva. The home, described as being ?at risk? by Historic England, was this week put on the market with Knight Frank for ?3 million. Knight Frank wouldn?t discuss the 34,000sq/ft mansion, but they're calling it "an opportunity of a lifetime".
    (Picture: Craig Baker / DWFRS / SWNS.com)

    Parts of Parnham House date back 500 years and in the 19th Century John Nash, the man behind Buckingham Palace, was commissioned to renovate and improve it.

    Following the First World War, it was used as a country club and then sold to Edward Bullivant in 1930 as a private home.

    It was used by the US Army in World War Two before being converted into a nursing home.

    Furniture designer John Makepeace bought it in 1976 and he converted the stables and coach house into workshops before selling it to Michael Treichl in 2001.

    FILE PICTURE - Parnham House in Beaminster, Dorest. See story SWMANSION. A Grade I Listed country home gutted by fire in tragic and suspicious circumstances has been put on the market for ?3 million. Parnham House, near Beaminster, Dorset, was the family home of Michael Treichl, an Austrian-born financier who had spent 15 years restoring the Elizabethan pile. Last year the stunning and historic mansion was destroyed by a major fire. Mr Treichi was arrested on suspicion of arson but died two months later in Geneva. The home, described as being ?at risk? by Historic England, was this week put on the market with Knight Frank for ?3 million. Knight Frank wouldn?t discuss the 34,000sq/ft mansion, but they're calling it "an opportunity of a lifetime".
    (Picture: Local World / SWNS.com)

    The home, described as being ‘at risk’ by Historic England, was this week put on the market with Knight Frank for £3 million – despite being a burned-out wreck.

    Knight Frank wouldn’t discuss the property, which is set in 131 acres of parkland, but they’re calling it ‘an opportunity of a lifetime’.

    They describe the house as being ‘completely derelict, requiring total restoration’.

    Parnham House in Beaminster, Devon, following a fire at the property. April 16 2017. See story SWMANSION. A Grade I Listed country home gutted by fire in tragic and suspicious circumstances has been put on the market for ??3 million. Parnham House, near Beaminster, Dorset, was the family home of Michael Treichl, an Austrian-born financier who had spent 15 years restoring the Elizabethan pile. Last year the stunning and historic mansion was destroyed by a major fire. Mr Treichi was arrested on suspicion of arson but died two months later in Geneva. The home, described as being ???at risk??? by Historic England, was this week put on the market with Knight Frank for ??3 million. Knight Frank wouldn???t discuss the 34,000sq/ft mansion, but they're calling it "an opportunity of a lifetime".
    (Picture: Henry Nicholls / SWNS.com)

    And so anyone who wants to snap this property up will need to make sure they can afford to give it a total makeover.

    The sale of the property has been instructed by receivers Sanderson Weatherall on behalf of Coutts Bank.

    Whoever takes on the huge project will have to consult Historic England due to it being Grade I Listed.

    A report from the government body revealed stabilisation work should be carried out in 2018 to prevent ‘likely’ collapses of the walls. It is not known if any of the work has commenced on the property.

    MORE: Britain’s most expensive bungalow comes with its own dental practice

    MORE: Farmhouse setting of The Darling Buds of May is selling for £3 million


    SEI_29628773-da9cSEI_29628773-da9chattiegladwellmetroFILE PHOTO - Parnham House in Beaminster, Devon. See story SWMANSION. A Grade I Listed country home gutted by fire in tragic and suspicious circumstances has been put on the market for ?3 million. Parnham House, near Beaminster, Dorset, was the family home of Michael Treichl, an Austrian-born financier who had spent 15 years restoring the Elizabethan pile. Last year the stunning and historic mansion was destroyed by a major fire. Mr Treichi was arrested on suspicion of arson but died two months later in Geneva. The home, described as being ?at risk? by Historic England, was this week put on the market with Knight Frank for ?3 million. Knight Frank wouldn?t discuss the 34,000sq/ft mansion, but they're calling it SEI_29628773-da9cSEI_29628773-da9chattiegladwellmetroFILE PHOTO - Parnham House in Beaminster, Devon. See story SWMANSION. A Grade I Listed country home gutted by fire in tragic and suspicious circumstances has been put on the market for ?3 million. Parnham House, near Beaminster, Dorset, was the family home of Michael Treichl, an Austrian-born financier who had spent 15 years restoring the Elizabethan pile. Last year the stunning and historic mansion was destroyed by a major fire. Mr Treichi was arrested on suspicion of arson but died two months later in Geneva. The home, described as being ?at risk? by Historic England, was this week put on the market with Knight Frank for ?3 million. Knight Frank wouldn?t discuss the 34,000sq/ft mansion, but they're calling it "an opportunity of a lifetime".Parnham House in Beaminster, Devon, following a fire at the property. April 16 2017. See story SWMANSION. A Grade I Listed country home gutted by fire in tragic and suspicious circumstances has been put on the market for ?3 million. Parnham House, near Beaminster, Dorset, was the family home of Michael Treichl, an Austrian-born financier who had spent 15 years restoring the Elizabethan pile. Last year the stunning and historic mansion was destroyed by a major fire. Mr Treichi was arrested on suspicion of arson but died two months later in Geneva. The home, described as being ?at risk? by Historic England, was this week put on the market with Knight Frank for ?3 million. Knight Frank wouldn?t discuss the 34,000sq/ft mansion, but they're calling it "an opportunity of a lifetime".FILE PICTURE - Parnham House in Beaminster, Dorest. See story SWMANSION. A Grade I Listed country home gutted by fire in tragic and suspicious circumstances has been put on the market for ?3 million. Parnham House, near Beaminster, Dorset, was the family home of Michael Treichl, an Austrian-born financier who had spent 15 years restoring the Elizabethan pile. Last year the stunning and historic mansion was destroyed by a major fire. Mr Treichi was arrested on suspicion of arson but died two months later in Geneva. The home, described as being ?at risk? by Historic England, was this week put on the market with Knight Frank for ?3 million. Knight Frank wouldn?t discuss the 34,000sq/ft mansion, but they're calling it "an opportunity of a lifetime".Parnham House in Beaminster, Devon, following a fire at the property. April 16 2017. See story SWMANSION. A Grade I Listed country home gutted by fire in tragic and suspicious circumstances has been put on the market for ??3 million. Parnham House, near Beaminster, Dorset, was the family home of Michael Treichl, an Austrian-born financier who had spent 15 years restoring the Elizabethan pile. Last year the stunning and historic mansion was destroyed by a major fire. Mr Treichi was arrested on suspicion of arson but died two months later in Geneva. The home, described as being ???at risk??? by Historic England, was this week put on the market with Knight Frank for ??3 million. Knight Frank wouldn???t discuss the 34,000sq/ft mansion, but they're calling it "an opportunity of a lifetime".

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    Head to Lapland for snow, Northern Lights, and plenty of reindeer (Picture: Getty)

    If you’re fed up of the office and counting down the hours ’til your favourite time of year, Christmas, just go ahead and quit your job now – we’ve just found your dream career.

    Over in Finnish Lapland, Santa is looking for helpers.

    At SantaPark Arctic World, Father Christmas needs a load of hardworking elves committed to helping visitors and spreading festive cheer.

    An ideal helper will have great language skills, particularly in Spanish, Russian, French, or Chinese, a ‘customer-oriented attitude’, and, we imagine, a love of snow, reindeer, and all things Christmas.

    The job is part-time and seasonal, so it might not offer the five-year career plan you’re after, but it’s a pretty fun way to spend a few months.

    Instagram Photo

    As one of Santa’s helpers, you’ll get to gaze at the Northern lights while going on husky sled rides, feeding the reindeer, and helping visitors around Santa Claus’ own Home Cavern, SantaPark, and Santa Claus Secret-Forest Joulukka.

    The job listing doesn’t specify how much helpers get paid, but we imagine perks will include mulled wine and gingerbread.

    There are 80 positions available, no former experience is required (but any previous customer service related experience is appreciated), and you’ll get to be a part of the most festive team around.

    SantaPark’s only requirements are helpers with a ‘sparkle in the eye and passion to make our guests’ adventures in Lapland purely magical’, which doesn’t sound too tricky.

    If you fancy applying, act quickly, as applications close today. Just file your CV, application form, and a photo of yourself through the SantaPark careers website.

    MORE: Company is looking for pie tasters – and they’ll give you a year’s supply of pies

    MORE: Aldi is launching a gingerbread gin this autumn


    HelsinkiHelsinkiellencscottHelsinkiHelsinkiellencscott

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    Man body-shames his girlfriend over a tuna melt and the internet is not here for it
    (Picture: Getty)

    Some people have an overwhelming need to make comments about the choices of others.

    They weigh in when no one asked them to, with unsolicited advice and opinions.

    New York-based writer Rachel Syme witnessed an example of this in a sandwich shop, where she says a woman was told by her boyfriend that the tuna melt would be ‘a little fattening, babe’.

    She wrote in a tweet that’s now been liked more than 49,000 times that she wanted to ‘transmit subtle “leave him” vibes’ to the woman in question.

    Eventually, she went with an ‘unsubtle huffy sigh’.

    Naturally, Twitter had plenty of suggestions for how to suggest to the woman that her body-shaming boyfriend is not the one, from passing a napkin with the words ‘dump him’ written on it to creating some sort of flag signalling system.

    Writer and actor Mara Wilson responded to Syme’s tweet by sharing her direct approach: ‘I have just straight up told guys like that “she could do a lot better than you” before’.

    Many people came forward to say they’d had similar experiences with ex-partners or witnessed situations like this one.

    One user wrote; ‘Working in retail, I had a woman ask her husband’s advice on a dress. “Don’t plan on buying it unless you’re also planning on a diet,” he replied. Older gentleman shouts on his way out of the store, “If you wanna stay married, you’ll learn real quick never to say that again!”‘

    Others said they hoped that the woman ordered the tuna melt with extra mayo, bacon, covered in chocolate and deep fried.

    A tip: don’t make shaming comments about other people’s food choices.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re in a relationship with them or not.

    Also, tuna melts are absolutely delicious and an excellent sandwich choice.

    Brb, ordering one right now.

    MORE: ‘Fat shaming’ sweatshirt disaster: Whole collection has now been pulled

    MORE: How bullying at school can affect you in adult life


    Man body-shames his girlfriend over a tuna melt and the internet is not here for itMan body-shames his girlfriend over a tuna melt and the internet is not here for ithpwilliamsonMan body-shames his girlfriend over a tuna melt and the internet is not here for itMan body-shames his girlfriend over a tuna melt and the internet is not here for itMan body-shames his girlfriend over a tuna melt and the internet is not here for ithpwilliamsonMan body-shames his girlfriend over a tuna melt and the internet is not here for it

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    ***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** GAVIN MCGREGOR: LGBT TREASURES FOUND IN LOFT
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Earlier this year, I went to help clear my friend Louise’s attic as she prepared to move with her young son. But I was also eager to take a look at the discovery she had been meaning to show me.

    After much banging heads on dusty rafters, we found two carrier bags. I plunged in my hand and pulled out a fistful of pin badges.

    ‘16 OK – Lower the age of consent’, said one. ‘Behind every great woman is a man who tried to stop her’, the next one quipped. ‘Gays Against Fascism’ and ‘Ireland – England’s Vietnam’, proclaimed others.

    It became clear that we were looking at someone’s personal artefacts from a crucial period in the LGBTQ movement – an archive that ended in the mid-1980s and had been gathering dust for years.

    There was a powerful sense of a moment in time put on pause, and a life abruptly interrupted.

    The 130 pin badges covered everything from 1970s and 80s Gay Pride emblemsfeminist slogansSave the Greater London Council campaignIreland, to anti-fascism, atheism, anarchism and more – a spectrum of radical left causes, irreverent humour and slogans and symbols that were a mystery to me.

    After Louise entrusted the archive to me, I set out to find the identity of its owner.

    The manuscript of the first draft of a novel was my best clue.

    An internet search revealed that the novel had been published, and the author, Bill Albert, had a website with his contact details.

    I fired off an email asking who, in South London, he thought might have had a copy of his manuscript. He had a ready answer: Paud Hegarty. Paud had set up a short-lived publishing company to which Bill had sent his novel.

    Paud Hegarty, I soon discovered, had been manager of the Gay’s The Word bookshop in Bloomsbury during the 1980s and 1990s.

    By all accounts he was a well-loved, clever, politically minded man with a dry wit. He played an important role at a pivotal time for LGBTQ campaigning and broader radical politics, not only by virtue of his position running the important community hub that is Gay’s The Word, but also because of the personal courage, sacrifice and energy he invested in the role.

    Paud continued a tradition of making the bookshop available as a meeting place for gay and lesbian support groups and for political campaigners, including Lesbians & Gays Support the Miners, whose work many now know of from the film Pride.

    And he had, along with the shop’s directors, courageously fought a raid by Customs and Excise – a fight eventually won by the shop and by the community that rallied to support it.

    Paud was set to channel his intellect and passion into a new career in law (‘Keep your filthy laws off my body!’ demanded one badge), but sadly this promise was cut short by his death in 2000, aged just 45, from Aids-related pneumonia.

    It was at this point that his carefully compiled archive of badges, pamphlets and other memorabilia, stored in his south London attic for safekeeping, must have been overlooked.

    Since these discoveries, we’ve entrusted the collection to Gay’s The Word bookshop, where manager Jim MacSweeney – a friend and colleague of Paud’s – says the artifacts have ‘come home’.

    You can visit, at 66 Marchmont Street, London, and see the entire badge collection on display.

    The badges, seen together, create a vivid, evocative portrait of the struggles and concerns of that time.

    They have proven to be powerful in bringing to light the stories and memories of people who lived through those times, and help us remember those campaigns – perhaps because they are unignorably personal items, wearable history.

    They adorned the lapels, t-shirts and jackets of brave people taking a stand in sometimes dangerous circumstances, and they seem still charged with that energy of love, pride, fear and bravery.

    As someone stands in the bookshop and surveys the framed collection, memories and personal recollections often pour forth.

    For those unable to visit the shop in person, I’ve put all the images online at the Paud’s Pins website, and there, too, I’ve received beautiful, moving, sad, funny and inspiring stories.

    ‘My dad had an enamel Gay and Lesbian Switchboard badge pinned to the inside of the car visor,’ Cara commented.

    ‘My father’s partner died HIV+ in ’84, and he died of HIV/AIDS in ’95, so it’s a badge that connects me with my formative years and the men that raised me.’

    Other badges can provide a historical education for those of us too young to have lived through those times and whose schooling has ignored the details of this important civil rights movement.

    I had no idea, for example, about the important support work done on a shoestring by the Gay Switchboard, or the pioneers at the London Gay Teenage Group, until the pins started those conversations.

    Those who can fill in details have begun to get in touch through the website, telling the dramatic story behind a badge reading ‘Support positive images of gays and lesbians in Haringey schools’, or offering anecdotes that explain the mysterious symbolism of a meat cleaver embedded in a pink triangle.

    I was even contacted by a veteran of the Stonewall uprising, who has his own astonishing collection of memorabilia.

    In what often seems like a time of unprecedented openness and acceptance, it is startling to realise just how recently social attitudes and persecutory laws have changed, and as a result, LGBTQ history remains under-documented, sparsely archived and collated, and largely untaught on curriculums.

    Section 28 – the Thatcher era law that banned local government from ‘promoting’ homosexuality – continues to have a chilling effect on schools’ willingness to teach LGBT-relevant sex and relationships education, let alone the history of our struggle for civil rights, and this chill leaves even LGBTQ people ignorant of our own history.

    Oral history projects have enormous potential to enable our LGBT elders to have their stories documented and celebrated.

    I believe Paud made his collection because he suspected it would one day be of historical interest, so every time a new recollection is offered, it’s thrilling and gratifying.

    Each shared memory grows the potential for Paud’s archive to have a positive impact, telling LGBTQ history through a diverse range of voices.

    But so far, this project must only have scratched the surface of the stories that could be brought to light if the badges are seen by more people, so I hope people will share the website, Facebook page and Twitter widely, come forward with their contributions and encourage others to build a unique grassroots radical history resource.

    MORE: These are the UK’s most powerful LGBT people

    MORE: The invisibility of LGBT people on Love Island is problematic and irresponsible

    MORE: There’s been a big increase in people saying they’re LGBT


    ***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** GAVIN MCGREGOR: LGBT TREASURES FOUND IN LOFT***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** GAVIN MCGREGOR: LGBT TREASURES FOUND IN LOFTqinxie***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** GAVIN MCGREGOR: LGBT TREASURES FOUND IN LOFT***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** GAVIN MCGREGOR: LGBT TREASURES FOUND IN LOFTqinxie

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    Get spooning (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

    It’s the weekend. Either you’re the type who saves up sex for Saturday and Sunday or you’ll at least have a bit more time and energy to take it up a notch.

    Who can be bothered to try new positions and gadgets on a weeknight, right? We have to get up early tomorrow.

    This weekend’s recommended position to add to your repertoire is the bouncing spoon, also known as the bent spoon.

    It’s worth a go because it doesn’t require a tonne of flexibility, effort, and multi-tasking, as so many sex positions do. It’s super stimulating but laidback enough that you can do it on a Sunday morning when you’re not quite ready to get out of bed.

    It’s intimate, easy, and perfect for clit action.

    So, how do you do it?

    The spoon bit is what you’re guessing – you’re nestled together like spoons, with the person penetrating the big spoon behind and the little spoon in front.

    Bouncing spoon sex position
    Behold, a visual guide to the bouncing spoon (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    But rather than lying down and snuggling, you get your spoons bent out of shape. The big spoon sits up and leans on the headboard or a wall for support, while the little spoon rests back and puts their head on the big spoon’s shoulder.

    If that sounds a bit tricky to line up, it’s easier to guide the penis in like so: Big spoon gets into position first, little spoon stands over them with feet on either side of their thighs and back facing them, then get down on their knees before sitting back and guiding the penis inside. Once it’s all in, little spoon leans back.

    Penetration happens in this position, creating an angle that’s half spooning, half reverse cowgirl, and the big spoon can easily reach their hands around to stimulate the clitoris and touch up every bit of their partner’s bod.

    The little spoon can bounce up and down (that’s the bouncing bit of the bouncing spoon), or grind against the big spoon. The little spoon is in control, and can lean forward and rest their legs on the bed or their partner’s legs for support.

    It’s easy once you get the hang of it, and can be intensely pleasurable once you figure out the best angle.

    Do enjoy. We’d recommend following it up with some poached eggs on toast.

    MORE: Does it matter how long you have sex for?

    MORE: What are ‘daddy issues’ and why do some men avoid or look for partners with them?

    MORE: I was traumatised by childbirth. Online forums would have prepared me


    SPOON_ING-23cbSPOON_ING-23cbellencscottBouncing spoon sex positionSPOON_ING-23cbSPOON_ING-23cbellencscottBouncing spoon sex position

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    Married couple on beach
    (Picture: Digital Vision/Getty)

    Weddings are stressful.

    With all that expense, planning, and balancing everyone’s needs and desires, it’s not surprising that occasionally the people getting married start to behave a little strangely.

    Take that bride who ended up cancelling her wedding because her guests refused to pay for it. Yes, the ensuing rant was a sight to behold, but we have to understand that weddings are exceptional circumstances that can make you do some truly wild things.

    This time around in glorious wedding rants, we have a mystery woman who took to Facebook to have a little vent.

    Her issue is simple: A large portion of her guests aren’t willing to drop thousands to attend her wedding. Thus, she must threaten to delete them on Facebook. Gasp.

    She’s also pretty peeved that her guests have only bought the ‘cheap stuff’ from the wedding registry.

    ‘At the risk of sounding entitled… I have to vent today,’ wrote the mystery bride on Facebook. ‘When we invited our friends and family to our destination wedding in Thailand, only 9 people RSVP[d]. Out of 150!!!

    (Picture: so_long_and_thanks_/Reddit) Bridezilla is upset her friends wouldn't spend $3k for a destination wedding, follows up with a registry complaint. A true knee slapper
    (Picture: so_long_and_thanks_/Reddit)

    ‘Ok, I get it, paying $3k to share my special day is too much for some of you, I’d pay for yours, but whatever.

    ‘BUT then, when we changed the wedding to be in Hawaii, so it’s within everyone’s reach, only 7 of you RSVPd??? It costs less but less of you wanna come?!

    ‘Is that what you think of [groom] and me? You can’t spare $2K to come share our happiness?’

    You can tell she’s angry because of all the punctuation.

    After explaining this outrage, the bride makes the ultimate threat: to delete her mates from her Facebook.

    ‘I’m tempted to just elope and not let any of you be a part of our happiest day,’ she wrote. ‘This is it you guys you have 3 days to respond to our evites or we’re deleting you off FB and good luck keeping up with our lives then.’

    Then comes the final blow.

    ‘Don’t get me started on the registry,’ writes the bride. ‘Only the cheap stuff is gone. I swear I thought I had better friends.’

    The bride’s rant was shared on Reddit, where it received a bunch of comments from people devastated by the thought of no longer being able to keep up with her life.

    The person who shared the status on Reddit has since shared the bride’s latest update, which suggests people haven’t responded to well to the initial post.

    ‘And now [groom] is giving me a hard time over my earlier status,’ she wrote a day later. ‘Can nobody understand where I’m coming from?

    ‘Jeez all I wanted is to share my day with y’all, that’s not too much to ask. I hoped at least my “love” would understand that. Thanks guys.’

    There’s a lot of emotion in that ‘thanks guys’.

    Now, of course, the bride’s name hasn’t been included in the Reddit post, and it’s possible that this is all just a very well-acted joke.

    But we can see it being the real deal. Like we said, weddings make people do strange things.

    MORE: What to write in a wedding card

    MORE: Couple who met in Starbucks get married in the coffee shop

    MORE: Nobody seemed to know that a lot of wedding dresses come with pockets


    Bride is not impressed that guests won't pay ?3k to come to her weddingBride is not impressed that guests won't pay ?3k to come to her weddingellencscottMarried couple on beach(Picture: so_long_and_thanks_/Reddit) Bridezilla is upset her friends wouldn't spend $3k for a destination wedding, follows up with a registry complaint. A true knee slapperBride is not impressed that guests won't pay ?3k to come to her weddingBride is not impressed that guests won't pay ?3k to come to her weddingellencscottMarried couple on beach(Picture: so_long_and_thanks_/Reddit) Bridezilla is upset her friends wouldn't spend $3k for a destination wedding, follows up with a registry complaint. A true knee slapper

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    (Picture: Getty)

    Vegans in the UK can rejoice – the cruelty-free Magnum is now here.

    The beloved Magnum is, without a doubt, one of the best ice creams.

    A warm day never fails to be improved by a Magnum, and now vegans can slurp on them guilt-free.

    Magnum trialed their vegan alternatives in Finland and Sweden, where they proved a resounding success, and they’re now available in UK supermarkets.

    You can get a pack of four for £3.69 from Tesco.

    We can almost taste that vegan chocolatey goodness. (Picture: Magnum)
    We can almost taste that vegan chocolatey goodness. (Picture: Magnum)

    The vegan Magnums come in two flavours: Classic and Almond.

    The Classic has a creamy centre and is covered in chocolate, while the Almond has nuts embedded in the chocolate coating.

    The cocoa beans that Magnum uses for the chocolate shells of their ice creams are all from Rainforect Alliance Certified farms, and the inside of the ice cream is made from a dairy-free alternative – pea protein.

    These completely plant-based treats are certified by the European Vegetarian Union, and they’ve already received rave reviews from customers on Twitter.

    There are now 3.5 million vegans in the UK, and major brands are starting to branch out and tap into this growing customer base.

    Hellman’s vegan mayonnaise will be available in UK supermarkets in October, and this year, Waitrose added more than 50 new vegan and vegetarian lines to their shelves.

    The ‘vegan pound’ is real and retailers want to get a slice of it.

    The release of the vegan Magnums is timely, particularly for people living in the south east of England, who could enjoy unseasonably warm temperatures next week.

    On Tuesday, it could be as hot as 27 degrees in London.

    Perfect weather for flopping in the park and enjoying a vegan Magnum – providing your nearest supermarket hasn’t already sold out.

    We’ll be stocking up in time for the sun.

    MORE: Burberry has finally ditched fur – but faux fur has its own problems too

    MORE: A half-marathon has banned plastic water bottles in favour of seaweed balls


    MAGNUM_01-7a78MAGNUM_01-7a78hpwilliamsonWe can almost taste that vegan chocolatey goodness. (Picture: Magnum)MAGNUM_01-7a78MAGNUM_01-7a78hpwilliamsonWe can almost taste that vegan chocolatey goodness. (Picture: Magnum)

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