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

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    Weddings famously involve a lot of kerfuffle, so they’re not for everyone.

    Whether because of money, the effort required, or ever-expanding guest lists, some couples prefer to abandon the traditional route and opt for bespoke, spontaneous, smaller affairs.

    A few couples who wanted to elope have signed up with an agency, Simply Eloped, which helps them plan their small day.

    Former brides Daisy Davies, Jordan Linton, and Lauren Wilson have all used the firm to arrange a minimal approach to their weddings.

    They spoke to Metro.co.uk about why they wanted a low-key way to tie the knot.

    Daisy and Jack, 25, from Southampton

    (Picture: Gianna Falcon)

    ‘Jack and I decided to elope due to many different reasons; money, having a big family that is spread around the U.K and the world and also for privacy.

    ‘We decided to focus on what was important about getting married – our relationship and focus on making it special for us.

    ‘I think if we had decided to have a traditional wedding I would have spent most of it worried about table settings and food and making sure everyone else was having a good time rather than myself.

    (Picture: Gianna Falcon)

    ‘We decided on New York City because we had gone on a college trip there seven years earlier and that’s where we started going out.

    ‘We planned on having a small BBQ party to celebrate when we returned. Everyone said the way we eloped was a big surprise but very ‘us’.’

     

    Jordan and Jay, 26, from Dundee, Ireland

    (Picture: Natalie Koen/@lilymagnoliaroseart)

    ‘My husband and I had decided to elope for a few reasons; we had never felt like the emphasis for a marriage should lie on a big event that takes months (sometimes years) of planning.

    ‘We felt the most important people in a marriage should be the bride and groom and decided a long time ago that we’d one day get married on our own – in a way that felt intimate and special to us.

    ‘Whenever Jay and I had spoken about when and where we’d get engaged/get married we’d always agreed that these moments should be personal and special to us and a reflection of how we want to spend the rest of our lives together – we spoke about how sometimes the “boring” moments watching The Great British Bake Off were the best.

    (Picture: Natalie Koen/@lilymagnoliaroseart)

    ‘If we felt content in each other’s company doing the everyday boring stuff then – everything else in life was a bonus!

    ‘I’d always aspired to have a marriage like my mum and dad’s – I’ve never known two people more content with little but a loving family around them, a sentiment Jay was in total agreement with.

    ‘So Jay proposed in my most perfect setting – on the sofa in our lovely home just the way he said he’d wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.

    (Picture: Natalie Koen/@lilymagnoliaroseart)

    ‘From then on, intimacy and marrying for us became a bit more of a theme – neither of our families minded much when we had suggested eloping and after having spent an anniversary in New Orleans previously, we decided to make a trip of it.

    ‘Using our savings and gifts from our families we planned a coast to coast trip across America. Beginning in New York as a sort of pre-wedding holiday, then onto New Orleans for our ceremony, and then the honeymoon leg involving a road trip from Las Vegas through LA (and Disneyland) and up to San Francisco.

    ‘We wanted few frills, an intimate ceremony and mainly advice on what documentation we’d need, permits and licenses etc.

    ‘We’ve loved coming home and having the chance to tell people our story face-to-face and see everyone’s reactions which we might have missed out on if we’d thrown a big party or event.’

     

    Lauren, 27, and Nick, 28, from Lincolnshire

    (Picture: Em Rehm)

    ‘So, we met at university and six years later, had our daughter Violet which inevitably adjusted our next steps.

    ‘All of our friends and my sister were planning extravagant white weddings and although we wanted to get married, we just knew it’s not how we wanted to do it.

    ‘I really dislike the way people judge weddings now, they seem to be for show or a topic of debate, and we didn’t fancy wedding wars or having to invite family members neither of us spoke to in order to keep parents happy.

    (Picture: Em Rehm)

    ‘We had visited New York before and just fell in love with the city. Nick proposed to me a year to the day we found out we were expecting Violet and suggested eloping in New York.

    ‘I thought it would be a really costly venture to pursue but after research I realised how wrong I was.

    ‘We asked only eight people to join us (our parents, my sister and her husband and our best friends). Once they agreed, everything started to feel real. I did a vast amount of research but realised essentially anything was possible.

    ‘First priority was where to stay, we booked an amazing three bed apartment in TriBeCa to give us the flexibility we wanted with a toddler.

    (Picture: Em Rehm)

    ‘We chose to get married in the Ladies Pavilion in Central Park, overlooking a lake and the famous NYC skyline. That cost us $25 to ensure singular use of the space for an hour with the local Manhattan council.

    ‘Nick and I had photos around the park and in Grand Central Station, then met our family for food at the iconic Tavern on the Green.

    ‘The day was perfect from start to finish and I would never change a thing. It was all about us and the closest people in our lives, not being pulled from pillar to post to greet ample guests and spend an absolute fortune.

    (Picture: Em Rehm)

    ‘We got a holiday and experience of a lifetime with our family and daughter. Of course we upset some people by making the choice we did, but despite feelings of guilt in the lead up to the trip, those feelings have well and truly been quashed.

    ‘We spent just over £5,000 on a five-day holiday with our wedding in the middle.

    ‘Weddings are personal and special, they’re all about the couple and it’s got to be reflective of you and your choice. No matter what anyone chooses to do, our elopement was incredible and we would urge anyone who doesn’t want the hassle to go and do something different.’

    (Picture: Em Rehm)

    MORE: Couple throw a magical backyard wedding and it only costs them £1,500

    MORE: Groom has 6ft sub delivered to his bride during vows as an ode to their first date

    MORE: Britain’s biggest Bridezilla is slammed for making guest pay £2,500 to attend – only to be four hours late


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    (Picture: OstrichPillow)

    You’re at work and people just won’t. stop. talking.

    You put on headphones. They still turn to you and continue gabbing about their adventures on Tinder or asking how to spell basic words (you’re in front of a computer, Karen, just Google it).

    How do you find peace and quiet? How can you put an end to the chatter and focus on your work?

    If you don’t mind being a bit blunt, a special hood could be the answer.

    The people behind the OstrichPillow (you remember, that weird looking pillow that lets you nap anywhere) have unveiled their latest creation: The OstrichPillow Hood.

    There are three ways to wear the hood; as a loop around your neck to stay cosy, as a hood that blocks out peripheral vision, and in the ‘eclipse’ position.

    (Picture: OstrichPillow)

    It’s the hood and eclipse position we’re interested in.

    Worn as a hood, the front of the handy creation covers up the sides of your face so your desk buddies can’t catch your eye or get your attention. It’s the equivalent of putting on blinkers, and visibly showing people you’re not up for chatting so you can go about your business without distraction.

    (Picture: OstrichPillow)

    In the eclipse position, the hood is turned around so it covers your face entirely, creating a ‘comfortable soft warm dark space’. This is the clothing version of saying ‘I am not here to interact with any of you people, please leave me alone).

    You probably can’t work with the hood in the eclipse position as you can’t see, but you can sit in silence or take a nap. Bliss.

    If you shove on the headphones and the hood, you’ll be entirely shut off from the outside world. It’s the dream.

    (Picture: OstrichPillow)

    Ali Ganjavian, the cofounder of Studio Banana, who make the hood, said: ‘We are living in an age of digital addiction and multitasking, leading to overstimulation, stress and even reduced IQs.

    ‘Hotdesk environments, although creative and social, are not the most productive for deep thinking. We wanted to offer a way for everyone to be able to switch off, relax and focus, wherever they are.’

    Sounds very wise.

    You could also use the hood on your commute to avoid awkward eye contact with other humans, or put it into the eclipse position when your nan’s asking about your love life.

    If you’re keen on getting your own, you can pre-order the hood on Kickstarter for $25 (£19).

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    MORE: People working from home feel guilty because of ‘numerous benefits’


    OSTRICHPILLOWHOOD_eclipse_oceangreen_lifestyle-4b26OSTRICHPILLOWHOOD_eclipse_oceangreen_lifestyle-4b26ellencscottOSTRICHPILLOWHOOD_eclipse_oceangreen_lifestyle-4b26OSTRICHPILLOWHOOD_eclipse_oceangreen_lifestyle-4b26ellencscott

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    The Mediterranean diet has long been held up as the ideal (Picture: Getty)

    Health experts have been banging on about the benefits of a Mediterranean diet for years now.

    The consumption of health oils and fats has been linked to a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

    But new research points to a lesser-known reason to stick to a diet of plenty of veg and fish.

    Eating a Mediterranean diet may help prevent depression, new analysis suggests.

    Published in Molecular Psychiatry, a review of 41 studies published within the last eight years found that sticking to a Mediterranean diet rich in fruit, vegetables, grains, fish, nuts, and olive oil appears to have mood-related benefits.

    People who adhered to a diet similar to this were found to be 33% less likely to develop depression over the following eight to 12 years than those whose meals looked little like a Mediterranean plate.

    Researchers also found that a diet low in saturated fat, sugar, and processed food was linked to a 24% reduction in risk of developing depression.

    It’s recommended we eat a diet high in vegetables, fruit, grains, fish, nuts, and olive oil (Picture: Getty)

    Lead author of the research, Dr Camille Lassale, said: ‘There is compelling evidence to show that there is a relationship between the quality of your diet and your mental health.

    ‘This relationship goes beyond the effect of diet on your body size or other aspects of health that can in turn affect your mood.

    ‘We aggregated results from a large number of studies and there is a clear pattern that following a healthier, plant-rich, anti-inflammatory diet can help in the prevention of depression.’

    ‘A pro-inflammatory diet can induce systemic inflammation, and this can directly increase the risk for depression.

    ‘There is also emerging evidence that shows that the relationship between the gut and brain plays a key role in mental health and that this axis is modulated by gastrointestinal bacteria, which can be modified by our diet.’

    Now, before you chuck out your medication and load up on feta, it’s important to note that while this research may provide strong arguments for the mental health benefits of a healthy diet, it’s not conclusive.

    More research is needed before anyone can definitively recommend that eating certain types of food will lower your risk of depression.

    Even if conclusive evidence was found, the Mediterranean diet could only lower risk, not eliminate it completely, and there’s not yet any evidence that a diet could treat mental illness.

    If you’re struggling with your mental health, talk to your GP about options for therapy or medication rather than reorganising your fridge.

    Need support? Contact the Samaritans

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

    MORE: Weight Watchers is rebranding as WW

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    SPONSORED: 5 common myths about nutrition (and the truths)


    Antipasti and olives for saleAntipasti and olives for saleellencscottAntipasti and olives for saleAntipasti and olives for saleellencscott

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    Cockroaches can cause coughs, bunged up noses, ear infections, and itchy eyes (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

    Right now your office is likely a cesspit of people coughing up a storm and sniffing back mountains of mucus.

    Blame the change in temperature or kids going back to school and picking up bugs, but September seems to be the time that people are taken down by colds and flu.

    But here’s a warning to you and your coworkers with a sore throat and a sniffly nose: Those symptoms might be down to a cockroach infestation, not a cold.

    That’s according to cockroach expert and property protector Ranjen Gohri, of 24|7 Home Rescue, who says that having cockroaches in your home can cause symptoms that look like a cold or flu.

    ‘If you’re bunged up and your sinuses are feeling infected, you might assume you’re just coming down with the flu, particularly at this time of year and with autumn approaching,’ says Ranjen.

    ‘But it’s vital you don’t become complacent, because some of the medical symptoms associated with cold and flu also bear all the hallmarks of a cockroach infestation.’

    Ranjen explains that while the UK population of cockroaches does reduce in size as the temperature drops, this is also the time roaches swarm inside homes in search of somewhere hot and humid to hide – so an infestation wouldn’t be too surprising.

    Wherever cockroaches wander around, they leave traces of saliva, faeces, and shedded body pieces. Ew.

    If you keep sneezing and coughing, it might not be a cold (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Shutterstock)

    Those bits and bobs can trigger allergies, leading to symptoms including a persistent cough and wheezing, a chronic stuffy nose, ear and sinus infections, and itchy eyes and nose.

    The scary thing? You could have a tonne of cockroaches in your home or workplace and have no clue. They run at the first sign of light, often hiding inside walls, cupboards, pipes, and floor cavities, meaning they can easily take over your house without you seeing them.

    ‘It’s very easy to have those symptoms and to assume you’re just coming down with a seasonal bug – particularly if you’re a student fearful of Fresher’s Flu or a parent whose child is just starting school, and therefore more prone to picking up a cough or cold,’ says Ranjen.

    ‘It should also be pointed out that it’s very feasible to have a cockroach infestation and know absolutely nothing about it.

    ‘They’re secretive creatures who shy from the light. And if they’re well hidden you’d be none the wiser.’

    Cockroaches can also spread bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli, so can trigger even more unpleasant symptoms such as vomiting and asthma.

    The lesson here: If you’re sick, it’s likely to be a cold or the office bug, but if your symptoms aren’t budging, it’s time to look at alternative reasons you might be sniffly… and that includes cockroaches.

    Signs that cockroaches may be lurking include a musty odour, brown or black droppings (they’re about 2mm in length), and strange stains on your floors, walls, or surfaces.

    The key to avoiding cockroaches is keeping your house and office clean and free of any scattered food cockroaches can feast on.

    ‘Be thorough, make sure your kitchen floors are clean, check your sinks, counters and cookers,’ advises Ranjen. ‘Sweep behind appliances regularly.

    ‘Avoid piles of newspapers, laundry or magazines as they are also attracted to clutter – and that includes accumulated dirty dishes.

    ‘Seal all food containers and ensure any food bins are sealed too.

    ‘Keep a clean microwave, mop up any spills, and empty the toaster of crumbs.

    ‘And once your pet has been fed in the evening, remove their food bowl so there are no traces of food left.

    ‘Cockroaches also need access to water, so fix any leaks you may have in the house.

    ‘Of course if it’s too late to control them and they’re getting out of hand, consult with an exterminator or pest control. Modern insecticides available to professional pest controllers are still very effective.’

    Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to tell everyone coughing in our office to check their house for cockroaches. Then we’ll need to have a shower and a little cry because this information is haunting.

    MORE: Yes, you can pick up bedbugs from sitting down on public transport

    MORE: How to move house with your cat

    MORE: Eating a Mediterranean diet may lower your risk of depression


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    How to mourn someone after they did something terrible
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    If there are wedding trends, there’s no reason there shouldn’t be funeral trends.

    Just as we’ve been celebrating people’s love for centuries, we’ve been honouring people’s death in different ways for ages.

    While some traditions have remained the same, it makes sense for our modern ideas of what a funeral should be to change.

    According to Barry Floyd, managing director at funeral plan provider Golden Leaves, there are a bunch of fresh trends that have become popular at funerals in 2018.

    Barry has noticed that people want a more personalised approach to funerals, dropping traditions that don’t feel fitting in favour of more out-there options.

    ‘Funerals are still very emotional and sombre occasions but we are seeing that more people have personalised the services and use the occasion as a chance to celebrate their loved one’s life,’ Barry tells us.

    So, here are the things Barry says are top funeral trends this year.

    1. No more black

    It’s long been the view that when you attend a funeral, you wear black. Anything else would be disrespectful.

    But rather than asking people to wear the traditional colour of mourning, more families are asking guests to choose colours related to celebration of the deceased’s life, rather than the mourning of their death.

    That might mean wearing a football shirt from the person’s favourite team, wearing a certain colour the person loved, or dressing up for a party rather than anything more sombre.

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

    2. Technology

    We’re getting around long-distances and expensive travel with the use of Skype and live streams.

    It makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Rather than having to fit in everyone a family can think to invite, you simply live stream the service so anyone who feels the loss gets a chance to say goodbye.

    Of course, it’s crucial that involving any technology is used with the immediate family’s approval. Few people will look kindly on you Instagram live-ing someone’s funeral without their permission.

    3. Gifts

    There’s a new trend for people giving small gifts to guests and family at funerals.

    These aren’t supposed to be extravagant or tacky (no gift cards, please), but small ways to provide comfort and keep the memory of the deceased alive.

    4. Alternative burials

    We’re more environmentally conscious these days, and that extends to our funeral planning.

    New offerings of eco-friendly burials – including burials in woodland, remains being used to grow a tree, make a vinyl, or for a coral reef – are becoming more popular in place of the standard burials.

    People are even giving more thought to their coffin choices, opting for sustainably sourced wood.

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

    Barry notes that it’s important for anyone who has their heart set on a specific burial or cremation method to make that clear to their loved ones.

    ‘If you have your heart set on a certain type of burial, it is important to communicate these wishes and put a plan in place to be able to afford them,’ he says.

    ‘It is important to bear in mind that the average UK cremation comes in at just over £3,500.

    ‘Burials could cost you many thousands of pounds more than a cremation service – and that largely depends on where you live. so make sure you explore your options and understand the cost especially if you want to do something out of the ordinary – you’ll need to make your family aware.’

    5. Unusual transport options

    Rather than a traditional hearse, why not opt for a fleet of motorbikes or a particular type of car the person who passed away loved?

    6. Themed funerals

    Again, this is all about making a funeral feel more about the person’s life than their death.

    If they were really into Star Wars, the funeral might be Star Wars themed. If they were musical, music can play a big part in the day.

    ‘We are seeing really diverse ways in which people plan funerals nowadays and a step away from the rigid, traditional services of the past,’ says Barry.

    ‘Family and friends want to make the service more personal and reflect their loved one particularly if they sadly died young, were a larger than life character or had a particular passion or interest.

    ‘It is still a very sad and emotionally fraught time so a funeral plan can help make it a little easier for your loved ones.’

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    ***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** Why you should plan your own funeral right now (Jasmine D)***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** Why you should plan your own funeral right now (Jasmine D)ellencscottHow to mourn someone after they did something terriblemetro illustrations***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** Why you should plan your own funeral right now (Jasmine D)***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** Why you should plan your own funeral right now (Jasmine D)ellencscottHow to mourn someone after they did something terriblemetro illustrations

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    Domino's Vegi Supreme Pizza
    Domino’s may be bringing out a vegan pizza (Picture: Domino’s)

    Rejoice, vegans and dairy-free pals: No longer will you have to desperately search for a vegan delivery option before settling for plain chips, for Domino’s is finally testing out vegan pizzas.

    Yep, Domino’s has confirmed that across a few stores (they won’t tell us which ones, annoyingly) they’re serving up a Vegan Supreme, as well as a Vegan Margherita, throughout September.

    That Vegan Supreme is just like the Veggie Supreme we all know and enjoy, but with a vegan base and vegan cheese. It’s topped with peppers, mushrooms, onions, and sweetcorn.

    News of a vegan Domino’s pizza first arose on Twitter, where lucky people stumbled upon the option of the Vegan Supreme while ordering online.

    Domino’s confirmed the news on Twitter, ironing out a slight issue when ‘egg’ was incorrectly listed as an ingredient online in the process.

    We asked Domino’s if the rumours were true, and while they didn’t expand on the stores offering the Vegan Supreme, they did confirm that the pizza is real.

    Domino’s told Metro.co.uk: ‘We want as many people as possible to enjoy the great taste of Domino’s and the appetite for us to offer a vegan pizza has continued to grow.

    ‘We’re delighted to say we’ve developed the Vegan Supreme in response to this, which we think will hit the spot. The “vegendary” pizza is in trial across a few stores in September to help us get as much customer feedback on the product as possible.’

    We’ve since done some digging around the Domino’s Twitter and found that the vegan pizza is available in 43 stores across the UK, including in London, Liverpool, Bristol, Leeds, and Newcastle.

    If all goes well, the Vegan Supreme will be rolled out nationwide.

    Sadly, we haven’t yet been able to try the Vegan Supreme, so can’t tell you how it is, but some people claim to have shared photos of the vegan pizza. It looks… interesting.

    Instagram Photo

    Instagram Photo

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    SEI_31995206-30efSEI_31995206-30efellencscottDomino's Vegi Supreme PizzaSEI_31995206-30efSEI_31995206-30efellencscottDomino's Vegi Supreme Pizza

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    Hot water bottles left on a tree by the Hot Water Bottle Network, a group that leaves donated hot water bottles in public for homeless people to take during the winter.See SWNS story SWTREES . Brighton, East Sussex. As the winter chill returns to the air residents of UK cities may start to see peculiar things appearing on their trees. We're not talking about traditional autumn things like conkers, no this year some city-centre trees will start sprouting hot water bottles. The Hot Water Bottle network collects donated hot water bottles and leaves them tied to trees for homeless people to use, along with directions to businesses which have agreed to provide hot water. ?It's already cold on the streets,? said Bristol organiser Pete Wentland.
    The Hot Water Bottle network helps those living on the streets (Picture: Pete Wentland/ SWNS.COM)

    Don’t be alarmed if you spot hot water bottles hanging in a tree – they’re not a strange message or an art installation.

    A group is tying hot water bottles to tree branches to help homeless people as the temperature drops.

    The hot water bottles are labeled with directions to nearby businesses that have agreed to provide hot water.

    The scheme is run by the Hot Water Bottle Network, which operates in Bristol, Bath, Leicester, and Brighton, and depends on donations of hot water bottles and participation from local businesses.

    It’s a kind gesture to those living on the streets, who will struggle with the cold.

    Each place’s network has its own Facebook group where people can offer up their hot water bottles or sign up their business to offer hot water.

    The network is keen to expand into more cities, starting with Cardiff, and hopes to get more people involved.

    If you’d like to help out, search for a Hot Water Bottle Network group near you on Facebook, and if there isn’t one, consider getting in touch with the organisers to start your own.

    ‘It’s already cold on the streets,’ said Bristol organiser Pete Wentland. ‘We are taking this action as an emergency measure to try to make the winter that tiny bit more bearable for those who face the worst brunt of it.

    ‘In encouraging local businesses to help rough sleepers we also hope for a breaking down of the barriers that separate us.’

    MORE: The risks of the spice epidemic on mental health

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    SEI_31984741-9332SEI_31984741-9332ellencscottHot water bottles left on a tree by the Hot Water Bottle Network, a group that leaves donated hot water bottles in public for homeless people to take during the winter.See SWNS story SWTREES . Brighton, East Sussex. As the winter chill returns to the air residents of UK cities may start to see peculiar things appearing on their trees. We're not talking about traditional autumn things like conkers, no this year some city-centre trees will start sprouting hot water bottles. The Hot Water Bottle network collects donated hot water bottles and leaves them tied to trees for homeless people to use, along with directions to businesses which have agreed to provide hot water. ?It's already cold on the streets,? said Bristol organiser Pete Wentland.SEI_31984741-9332SEI_31984741-9332ellencscottHot water bottles left on a tree by the Hot Water Bottle Network, a group that leaves donated hot water bottles in public for homeless people to take during the winter.See SWNS story SWTREES . Brighton, East Sussex. As the winter chill returns to the air residents of UK cities may start to see peculiar things appearing on their trees. We're not talking about traditional autumn things like conkers, no this year some city-centre trees will start sprouting hot water bottles. The Hot Water Bottle network collects donated hot water bottles and leaves them tied to trees for homeless people to use, along with directions to businesses which have agreed to provide hot water. ?It's already cold on the streets,? said Bristol organiser Pete Wentland.

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    Changing tables should be cleaned before use (Picture: Getty)

    A mum has shared a warning about using babies’ changing tables in public toilets without cleaning them first.

    She claims that the black marks you might spot on a changing table aren’t just scuffs, but are proof that drug use has happened on the table.

    ‘Before putting your babies anywhere near these things, ALWAYS wipe them down first,’ wrote Jessica Wayman on Facebook.

    ‘Even if you are in a hurry, even if you have a blanket to lay down. See the black marks? Those are from burnt spoons. Addicts use these as tables while they shoot up.

    ‘There could be residue from heroin/meth whatever, and other harmful bodily fluids. If someone doesn’t care about themselves, I can promise you, they aren’t thinking about your kids. Be cautious.’

    METRO GRAB FACEBOOK Jessica Wayman Follow ?? 23 September ?? PSA: Before putting your babies anywhere near these things, ALWAYS wipe them down first. Even if you are in a hurry, even if you have a blanket to lay down. See the black marks? Those are from burnt spoons. Addicts use these as tables while they shoot up. There could be residue from heroin/meth whatever, and other harmful bodily fluids. If someone doesn???t care about themselves, I can promise you, they aren???t thinking about your kids. Be cautious SHARE so this can reach as many parents/guardians/babysitters as possible. It could mean the difference between life or death/serious life threatening injury, for a lot of innocent children & unsuspecting parents. EDIT: I never expected this to get so much attention, but since it is, to clarify some of the things I???m seeing being questioned, this is in reference to changing stations in single person bathrooms & in handicapped stalls, yes this is VERY REAL. I am a recovering addict myself, which is why I made this post in the first place, to warn all the unsuspecting parents who would never think something like this when looking at a changing table. Along with people using them as tables while they shoot up, they are also OFTEN used by addicts to bust drugs out and crush them up upon. So again, be cautious.
    One mum claims the black marks on changing tables are a result of drug use (Picture: Jessica Wayman/Facebook)

    Jessica says she’s a recovering addict, so knows firsthand that people use changing tables to shoot up and crush up drugs for snorting.

    Of course, we can’t know for sure that this is the case for every black mark you see on every changing table – it’s possible that a mark is just a scuff or a stain.

    But Jessica does raise a good point about cleaning the tables before use.

    Changing tables often aren’t properly cleaned, and it’s true that people do use them for purposes other than changing a baby. You’ve probably spotted drunk people using them as seats or makeup trays, while others have no issue with using the tables as a (not very good) support for having sex.

    Any public surface can have grime and dirt left over by people who aren’t bothered about wiping up their mess, and whatever that grime and dirt may be, it’s likely not something you want coming into contact with your child.

    Wipe down any changing table before use with a disinfecting wipe – even if you’re putting a blanket between your baby and the surface.

    People are gross and often aren’t thinking about your child when they’re in the loos. Be cautious.

    MORE: Just so you know, your cough and cold symptoms could be down to a cockroach infestation

    MORE: Why I eloped: Three couples explain why they didn’t want a traditional wedding

    MORE: People are deeply disturbed by peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches


    SEI_31978267-acedSEI_31978267-acedellencscottMETRO GRAB FACEBOOK Jessica Wayman Follow ?? 23 September ?? PSA: Before putting your babies anywhere near these things, ALWAYS wipe them down first. Even if you are in a hurry, even if you have a blanket to lay down. See the black marks? Those are from burnt spoons. Addicts use these as tables while they shoot up. There could be residue from heroin/meth whatever, and other harmful bodily fluids. If someone doesn???t care about themselves, I can promise you, they aren???t thinking about your kids. Be cautious SHARE so this can reach as many parents/guardians/babysitters as possible. It could mean the difference between life or death/serious life threatening injury, for a lot of innocent children & unsuspecting parents. EDIT: I never expected this to get so much attention, but since it is, to clarify some of the things I???m seeing being questioned, this is in reference to changing stations in single person bathrooms & in handicapped stalls, yes this is VERY REAL. I am a recovering addict myself, which is why I made this post in the first place, to warn all the unsuspecting parents who would never think something like this when looking at a changing table. Along with people using them as tables while they shoot up, they are also OFTEN used by addicts to bust drugs out and crush them up upon. So again, be cautious.SEI_31978267-acedSEI_31978267-acedellencscottMETRO GRAB FACEBOOK Jessica Wayman Follow ?? 23 September ?? PSA: Before putting your babies anywhere near these things, ALWAYS wipe them down first. Even if you are in a hurry, even if you have a blanket to lay down. See the black marks? Those are from burnt spoons. Addicts use these as tables while they shoot up. There could be residue from heroin/meth whatever, and other harmful bodily fluids. If someone doesn???t care about themselves, I can promise you, they aren???t thinking about your kids. Be cautious SHARE so this can reach as many parents/guardians/babysitters as possible. It could mean the difference between life or death/serious life threatening injury, for a lot of innocent children & unsuspecting parents. EDIT: I never expected this to get so much attention, but since it is, to clarify some of the things I???m seeing being questioned, this is in reference to changing stations in single person bathrooms & in handicapped stalls, yes this is VERY REAL. I am a recovering addict myself, which is why I made this post in the first place, to warn all the unsuspecting parents who would never think something like this when looking at a changing table. Along with people using them as tables while they shoot up, they are also OFTEN used by addicts to bust drugs out and crush them up upon. So again, be cautious.

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    (Picture: Getty)

    The idea that manspreading exists (or the fact that it’s not just a natural part of life) is a controversial one.

    Today, it was reported that protesters had started pouring diluted bleach onto the crotches of those who participated on public transport.

    But what is it, and are you guilty?

    Plenty of room for activities (Picture: Getty)

    Manspreading is the theory that some men take up way more space than many feel is necessary on public transport by keeping their legs as open as possible.

    Sometimes a manspreader will have their knees so far apart that they take up more than one seat on a train or bus.

    One of the first instances of the world (although in the format of ‘man spread’) appeared on Urban Dictionary in 2010, and it continued to be used more widely since then.

    A Tumblr post in 2013 didn’t particularly mention manspreading, but spoke of the fact that some men take up more space on the train with their legs.

    In 2014, a New York City public service campaign saw signs which read ‘Dude… Stop the Spread, Please. It’s a space issue’ and urged men to be considerate with the amount of room they were allowing themselves on transport.

    It was added to the Oxford Dictionary website in 2015, and everyone from Tom Hanks to Helen Mirren have spoken about it in some form or another.

    Mirren said, ‘they’ve always done it! It’s just now they’re being called on it.’

    There are various criticisms of the term manspreading, with some saying that it’s sexist to say that just men are guilty of it.

    Others say that men ‘need’ extra room for their genitalia – although this might be disproved by the fact that, when standing, guys don’t adopt the classic Tory stance to give themselves more space down below.

    Perhaps it may be sexist to think that those with labias don’t need extra room for those? Who knows.

    As a general rule, regardless of what you’re packing in your pants, try to be considerate of those sitting beside you and not encroach their space.

    MORE: Why has Weight Watchers changed its name to WW?

    MORE: Tiffany Haddish sex advice is simple – hygiene is everything


    Multi-ethnic commuters on busMulti-ethnic commuters on busjessicacvlMulti-ethnic commuters on busMulti-ethnic commuters on busjessicacvl

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    (Picture: Tesco)

    Everyone knows pigs in blankets are the best part of Christmas dinner – but Tesco has just upped the game with pigs in duvets.

    Pigs in duvets still feature the original recipe – sausages wrapped in crispy bacon – but, unlike pigs in blankets, these sausages come wrapped in a layer of puff pastry.

    They’re essentially mini sausage rolls, but with bacon. And we’re all for it.

    Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait a while to get your hands on them, as they won’t be available in stores until 12 November – where a box of the pigs in blankets, which come with cranberry sauce, will cost £5.

    Tesco - Pigs in Duvet
    (Picture: Tesco)

    Tesco isn’t the only supermarket revamping the beloved pigs in blankets.

    From 6 December, Aldi will be selling a giant version: foot-long pigs in blankets.

    It’ll set you back £2.99 for two 12-inch sausages, which come wrapped in streaky bacon.

    Sure, we’ve still got a while to wait yet – but these new releases are making us more excited for Christmas than ever.

    MORE: Domino’s is testing out a vegan pizza

    MORE: Eating a Mediterranean diet may lower your risk of depression


    Pigs in duvetPigs in duvethattiegladwellmetroTesco - Pigs in DuvetPigs in duvetPigs in duvethattiegladwellmetroTesco - Pigs in Duvet

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    Twin sisters give birth to sons on the same dayPicture: jalynnecrawfordMETROGRAB
    (Picture: jalynnecrawford)

    Identical twin sisters Jalynne April Crawford and Janelle Ann Leopoldo, 30, experienced miscarriages at the same time.

    Jalynne, from Arizona, has polycystic ovarian syndrome and had an unviable ectopic pregnancy whereby the foetus grew outside of the womb.

    At the same time her twin, Janelle, from California, had a miscarriage which she experienced again at a later stage.

    Jalynne and Janelle then ended up getting pregnant again simultaneously.

    Now, with some work, they’ve given birth on the same day to two healthy boys.

    Twin sisters give birth to sons on the same day Picture: jalynnecrawford METROGRAB
    (Picture: jalynnecrawford)

    ‘We kept telling each other, “It’s God’s plan”,’ said Janelle.

    ‘Maybe this is his way of getting us pregnant together like we’ve always wanted. We’ve got to be patient and accept the journey.’

    Following their fertility struggles, the sisters were ecstatic when they discovered they were pregnant, just four days apart.

    As their pregnancies progressed, they shared their story with the world, posting a pregnancy photoshoot on Instagram and revealing the painful journey which had got them there.

    ‘I thought it would be helpful if we could reach someone going through this to know not to give up. This happens to a lot of women.’ explained Janelle.

    Despite their joy at bcoming parents again, they worried that they wouldn’t be able to do it together as they resided in different states.

    Determined to have the whole family together, Jalynne approached her doctor and asked if it would be possible for them both to deliver on the same day in Arizona.

    With their due dates so close, the doctor said it wouldn’t be a problem so they packed up and went to Arizona six weeks before the big day.

    In June this year, Jalynne gave birth in the morning and Janelle in the afternoon, with their whole family waiting there to meet the babies.

    Jalynne, who now has four children, has completed her family, but Janelle, with three, said she is not quite there yet.

    ‘I know she and her husband want four kids as well, so they’re not done,’ added Janelle.

    MORE: 100-year-old identical twins say secret to long life is being Mormon

    MORE: ‘Eating for two’ while you’re pregnant ‘could actually harm your baby’


    SEI_30998706-45afSEI_30998706-45affaimabakar1Twin sisters give birth to sons on the same dayPicture: jalynnecrawfordMETROGRABTwin sisters give birth to sons on the same day Picture: jalynnecrawford METROGRABSEI_30998706-45afSEI_30998706-45affaimabakar1Twin sisters give birth to sons on the same dayPicture: jalynnecrawfordMETROGRABTwin sisters give birth to sons on the same day Picture: jalynnecrawford METROGRAB

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    *** ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** Yvette Caster: What happened when I attended my first bipolar support group meeting
    (Picture: Dave Anderson for Metro.co.uk)

    I have bipolar disorder.

    Until very recently, a mixture of pride, denial and serious lack of time deterred me from going to any kind of support group to do with my long-term mental health condition. I kept that part of my life in a box as much as I could, even though it inevitably seeped out – manic episodes ruining relationships; depression isolating me and damaging my career.

    But, this month, aged 36, I attended my first group organised by Bipolar UK.

    There are regular meetings all over the land and they’re a chance for people who share my diagnosis to meet, chat and discuss some of the common challenges they face. Like so many other groups we gathered in a church hall – chairs round in a circle, hands folded in laps.

    The first thing that struck me was that there was no one ‘type’ among us – attendees were old and young, male and female, of various ethnicities. I wasn’t really expecting a type but, having previously met just three other people with bipolar disorder, this was significant to me.

    The meeting was opened by a ‘co-facilitator’ (no leaders here) who ran through the evening’s agenda. The importance of listening respectfully and giving others their say was stressed, and the rules were read out – these included no bad language or bad behaviour to group members. I found this off-putting, especially the swearing rule because who the hell cares about that? – but they were obviously well-intentioned.

    The meeting began in earnest when we went round the circle, each person talking about how long they had lived with bipolar, when they were diagnosed and scoring themselves on a laminated mood chart that was handed round: one was very depressed, 10 was manic, and five was more or less ‘normal.’

    It was colour-coded like traffic lights, with red for danger and green for good. It felt pretty cheesy, but proved its worth when a few members gave a particularly low number and, in response, the co-facilitator offered individual follow-up support after the meeting.

    We were all invited to raise a topic or question we’d like covered. Our first discussion was on how to deal with the guilt we might feel after a manic or depressive episode, particularly if we’ve done things during these times we wouldn’t usually.

    I could relate. Manic episodes can mean you do things on impulse, act with fewer inhibitions and end up with regrets. In the past I’ve wasted money impulsively on things I didn’t want, and done uncharacteristic things in terms of sex. I still feel guilty and embarrassed about the latter so just hearing that others learn to navigate this stuff was helpful.

    Other topics included how to navigate the changing seasons, (for some, winter can bring depression while spring and autumn can trigger mania – spring’s always been the worst for me) and how to support those with bipolar disorder.

    As well as them just being nice, because of what we have in common we already have an understanding on certain things I’ve never managed to talk to friends about.

    Partners, friends and family members also attended the meeting to find out how they might be able to help. Some called themselves carers. In the past there’s been times when my parents have acted as such, I suppose – feeding me when I wouldn’t leave bed for months, or keeping me safe during a manic episode.

    Outside of those times, though, I’m very independent, so the idea of calling someone a ‘carer’, let alone actually letting them care for me, was a new and somewhat uncomfortable concept. But to hear people talk about their concerns for family members and see housemates and husbands getting so involved in something that, for me, has always been quite a private struggle, was very touching.

    The group was also punctuated with insights that I didn’t even realise were common struggles. For example, it was mentioned in passing that people with bipolar disorder can be more sensitive to noise and music – suddenly the time I had to convince my (very understanding) editor to let me work in an empty room because my mind was too ‘buzzy’ to write made sense.

    As with all the best meetings and clubs, ours was followed by a drink at the pub, and it was nice not to be asked by anyone why I was ‘only’ drinking tomato juice (look, it’s the meds, ok?!). I don’t know if regular meetings are for me, but I can see benefit of making friends through them.

    When you start from a place of common ground you can discuss things that mates, colleagues or family members just don’t get – pills, side effects, dosage and all.

    Looking back on it now, I think I’ve resisted support groups like this for two reasons.

    I’ve never wanted my bipolar disorder to define me in any way, and going to a meeting like this meant no longer being in denial – it’s a final admission this is something that will always be a part of my life whether I like it or not.

    The other reason was pride – I’m not good at asking for or accepting help and have always been very independent and, if I’m honest, being there made me slightly uncomfortable for that reason.

    Going to the meeting, though, has made me reflect on how this element of my personality can be potentially dangerous, even lethal. I urge others to reach out and ask for help when they’re suicidal, but I’ve only managed it a few times – usually it’s been my family’s intuition for knowing when I’m withdrawing that’s saved me.

    I don’t know if I can get better at it because I pride myself on being self-sufficient – buying my own home, car, clothes and so on, and never really needing anyone.

    People talk a lot about how men find it hard to open up because of the idea of masculinity and perceived weakness, but the group made me realise I’ve possibly become too obsessed with the idea of being a strong woman.

    After the meeting I definitely wanted – and intend – to meet up with some of the people I really clicked with there on a more social level.

    As well as them just being nice, because of what we have in common we already have an understanding on certain things I’ve never managed to talk to friends about. For example, I’ve never really talked about my pills, alcohol, side effects and so on with friends, just because it doesn’t come up. But it’s nice to be able to discuss holidays, for example, and share plans on how we manage bipolar disorder across different time zones (sleep can affect it, and it’s hard to know when to take meds).

    I might go back to another meeting but the one I chose for this article was in an area far from where I live, so I’m more likely to go to one closer to home.

    I’m still a bit scared of making myself vulnerable – and admitting I have this condition to a room full of people, even though they do too – but I think it would probably be helpful in the long run. If nothing else I think I’d make some more friends.

    You can find out more about the support groups Bipolar UK runs, including where to find your nearest, at the charity’s website here. This article was written with the consent of the charity and my fellow attendees, who I thank for being so welcoming.

    MORE: My dad and I have helped each other through bipolar disorder: Here’s our story

    MORE: Bipolar disorder: What I wish I'd known after my first manic episode

    MORE: I have bipolar disorder, so why am I scared of dating someone with a mental illness?


    *** ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** Yvette Caster: What happened when I attended my first bipolar support group meeting*** ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** Yvette Caster: What happened when I attended my first bipolar support group meetingyvettemcaster*** ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** Yvette Caster: What happened when I attended my first bipolar support group meeting*** ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** Yvette Caster: What happened when I attended my first bipolar support group meeting*** ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** Yvette Caster: What happened when I attended my first bipolar support group meetingyvettemcaster*** ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** Yvette Caster: What happened when I attended my first bipolar support group meeting

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    metro illustrations
    Consent is not just the absence of a ‘no’ (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Only having sex with people who want to do it shouldn’t be a difficult concept.

    But every time the topic of consent gets brought up, there’ll be one comment from someone who seems confused about what consensual sex actually entails.

    So let’s make it absolutely clear.

    To engage in anything sexual with another person, you need to have consent.

    Consent is not just the absence of a no. It’s also not saying a hesitant yes.

    Consent for sex needs to be enthusiastic, stated clearly, happily, and without any pressure to do so.

    If someone is drunk or under the influence of drugs, they’re not able to consciously give their consent. If someone’s asleep, they can’t give their consent.

    Consent can be withdrawn at any point, and sex needs to stop when it is. It’s okay for someone to change their mind, or feel uncomfortable, or need to stop for any reason.

    Consent isn’t a one-time-fits-all thing. Giving an enthusiastic yes does not mean an automatic enthusiastic yes every time. Consent needs to be given every time.

    When we repeat the above, we usually hear from someone asking how they’re supposed to check they actually have enthusiastic consent without ruining the mood. Are they supposed make all sexual partners fill in a form? Do they have to request consent every 30 seconds to make sure it’s still in place?

    We spoke to FPA, the sexual health charity working on increasing knowledge around consent, for their official advice.

    ‘Getting enthusiastic consent is all about communicating with a partner,’ Bekki Burbridge, deputy chief executive at FPA, tells Metro.co.uk. ‘Do they really want to be there? Are they as happy and excited about what’s going to happen as you are?

    metro illustrations
    Enthusiastic consent is essential (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    ‘People can worry that asking for consent will somehow ruin the mood, but there are simple questions you can ask such as

    • “Do you want me to…
    • “Would you like it if I…
    • “How do you feel about…”.

    Asking those questions won’t ruin the mood. You don’t need to be as formal as asking ‘do I have your consent to continue with our lovemaking, m’lady?’.

    Communication is sexy, promise.

    As well as asking the right questions, it’s crucial to actually take in what the person is – and isn’t – saying. You have to be understanding, respect how your partner feels, and respond accordingly. Getting angry or upset because they’re not up for having sex isn’t okay.

    That’s why making sure you have enthusiastic consent is about more than just asking the question. It’s crucial to check in and see if your partner is feeling pressured or uncomfortable, or if they’re giving nonverbal cues that they’re not enjoying what’s going on.

    ‘Some people might not feel comfortable saying “no,” so as well as what they say, pay attention to their body language and non-verbal cues,’ says Bekki.

    Nonverbal cues that indicate someone does not consent to sex include looking away or avoiding eye contact, pushing you away, moving away from a touch, and avoiding touching you. If you stopped what you were doing, would they continue? Is all the action and direction coming from you?

    Signs of consent include direct eye contact, actively touching you or pulling you closer, smiling, making sounds of enjoyment, saying something feels good, and saying yes. Body language is open to interpretation, so it’s important to check verbally for consent too.

    It’s really not that complicated, and refusing to have sex without enthusiastic consent doesn’t make sex ‘weird’ or ‘awkward’. What would be weird, awkward, and illegal, is having sex with someone who doesn’t want to have sex with you.

    MORE: What happened when I attended my first bipolar support group meeting

    MORE: What it feels like to have a full body orgasm

    MORE: Please stop flushing condoms down the toilet – there’s a better way to dispose of them


    sexsexellencscottmetro illustrationssexsexellencscottmetro illustrations

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    (Picture: Kwoff)

    JD Wetherspoon has a special place in many people’s hearts, mainly because it’s super cheap.

    And now they’ve added something new to the range: Zymurgorium Realm of the Unicorn gin liqueur – which is pink, glittery, and aimed at those looking for Instagram photos.

    A shot of the spirit with a mixer will cost £3.25 – 50p more expensive than the standard gin shots, which cost £2.75.

    A description on Kwoff, a company selling the gin, reads: ‘Bursting with marshmallow, vanilla and marzipan flavours, we can confirm no unicorns were harmed in the production of this glittery, sweet gin based liqueur.’

    JJD Wetherspoon Now Stocks Shimmering Pink Unicorn Gin
    (Picture: Kwoff)

    The drink is supposed to be served with lemonade and fresh strawberry, though of course you can choose your mixer.

    The gin, which has been dubbed the ‘Realm of the Unicorn’, was launched in Wetherspoon pubs today, 25 September.

    Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon said: ‘Wetherspoon offers a superb range of gins and we are always keen to add to the range.

    ‘We believe the new gin will be a hit with our customers.’

    MORE: Aldi is launching a gingerbread gin this autumn

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


    JD Wetherspoon Now Stocks Shimmering Pink Unicorn GinJD Wetherspoon Now Stocks Shimmering Pink Unicorn GinhattiegladwellmetroJJD Wetherspoon Now Stocks Shimmering Pink Unicorn GinJD Wetherspoon Now Stocks Shimmering Pink Unicorn GinJD Wetherspoon Now Stocks Shimmering Pink Unicorn GinhattiegladwellmetroJJD Wetherspoon Now Stocks Shimmering Pink Unicorn Gin

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    (Picture: Pretty Little Thing/Getty)

    We’re nearing the end of September and it’s that weird time of the year where it’s too cold to wear shorts but sunny enough to wear sunglasses.

    If you want to pull off the shorts look without the cold breeze on your legs, PrettyLittleThing has your back.

    The online retailer is selling some optical illusion trousers.

    Where the white colour cuts off, it makes it look as though the leggings are actually shorts – as they’re taupe from the knee down.

    The faux leather trousers cost £30.

    SHORT STRAW PrettyLittleThing is selling a ??30 pair of ???optical illusion??? leggings??? and shoppers are VERY confused Credit: Pretty Little Thing
    (Picture: Pretty Little Thing)

    Pretty Little Thing shared a photo of model Leslie Sidora wearing the trousers to its Instagram page – and it’s so far received 123,000 likes and loads of comments from confused people.

    Some have said they didn’t even realise the trousers weren’t shorts until they looked at Leslie’s ankles, while others have compared the bottoms of the trousers to prosthetic legs.

    One person wrote: ‘Those pants are hideous, not flattering but the model is gorgeous!’

    Instagram Photo

    Another said: ‘Why even wear pants at all?’

    Someone else said: ‘They look so bad. They’re literally the EXACT color of her skin.’

    Despite lots of people not being fans of the trousers – it seems there are some who do like them, as they’re selling out over on PrettyLittleThing’s website.

    MORE: M&S launches ‘easy dressing’ range for children with disabilities

    MORE: Fashion Nova releases totally sheer trousers for people with ‘nothing to hide’


    SHORT STRAW PrettyLittleThing is selling a ?30 pair of ?optical illusion? leggings? and shoppers are VERY confusedSHORT STRAW PrettyLittleThing is selling a ?30 pair of ?optical illusion? leggings? and shoppers are VERY confusedhattiegladwellmetroSHORT STRAW PrettyLittleThing is selling a ??30 pair of ???optical illusion??? leggings??? and shoppers are VERY confused Credit: Pretty Little ThingSHORT STRAW PrettyLittleThing is selling a ?30 pair of ?optical illusion? leggings? and shoppers are VERY confusedSHORT STRAW PrettyLittleThing is selling a ?30 pair of ?optical illusion? leggings? and shoppers are VERY confusedhattiegladwellmetroSHORT STRAW PrettyLittleThing is selling a ??30 pair of ???optical illusion??? leggings??? and shoppers are VERY confused Credit: Pretty Little Thing

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    (Photo: Getty Images)

    My partner and I were invited on Good Morning Britain yesterday to defend Girlguiding’s policy that allows trans girls to participate in their activities – we immediately turned it down.

    I said no because we are sick of debating our identities.

    Trans people deserve to be respected for who they are and should be free to have access to the same activities and facilities as other people. This should be obvious and therefore nothing to debate.

    Girl Guide’s policy has already been in place for several years now and, despite there being no actual factual evidence that it has ever resulted in abuse, this row has yet again resurfaced.

    It is no surprise that those who advocate against trans rights would seize this opportunity to conflate trans people — in this instance trans girls between the age of 10 and 14 — with sexual predators.

    What is surprising is that trans people and their families are being invited on mainstream TV to argue why young trans girls aren’t potential rapists, 

    Those with concerns claim that by allowing trans girls to join as participants — or trans women as guides — some girls and women will say they identify as female just to get into these spaces to abuse girls.

    Yet someone falsely claiming to be someone they’re not has nothing to do with trans people.

    The process trans people go through to be themselves is a lot more complex than claiming to be a ‘woman on Wednesdays’, as a man deciding to stand to be Basingstoke Labour party’s women’s officer, announced. 

    Trans people experience high levels of discrimination in society and go through tremendous stress and trouble in coming out as who they are; often risking losing their family, friends, job and even risk their own physical safety and mental well-being. 

    In addition, anyone that wanted to abuse women and girls certainly wouldn’t have to pretend to be a woman in order to do that. Men already do at an alarming rate, and none of them ‘put on a frock and make-up.’ 

    Girlguiding has robust and well-established safeguarding regulations in place, and those working with them having to go through an assessment and have the proper certification and qualifications.

    The fundamental problem with this ‘debate’ is the lack of understanding and compassion towards trans people and their lives

    They assess every group and individual that take part in their activities, and make sure that safety procedures are met – what’s more, those that have actively breached their policies and code of conduct have had their membership withdrawn.

    Without evidence of trans girls being a risk to other girls, any of these concerns about them are based on fear and misleading narratives pushed by people who don’t believe trans people should have the same fundamental rights as everyone else.

    Masquerading it as ‘concern’ doesn’t make it any more legitimate.

    The fundamental problem with this ‘debate’ is the lack of understanding and compassion towards trans people and their lives – we’ve seen these scaremongering narratives before, centered around gay and bisexual people during section 28.

    Trans girls certainly aren’t the same as boys; they have bodies that do not fit their innate sense of self, and this causes them severe distress and anxiety. Those that are fortunate enough to get access to puberty blockers, therefore, don’t have to go through having their body form in ways that traumatise them.

    However, trans girls are just like other girls, wanting to get on with life without being constantly persecuted and ‘othered’ for their difference. They want to be seen as their true selves, just like any other child.

    Imagine being 12 years old and seeing fully grown adults arguing on TV as to why they think you could potentially be a sexual predator and shouldn’t be allowed on a camping trip with your friends.

    Advocating for the exclusion of an already vulnerable group from activities that will benefit them massively, both socially and physically, is frankly cruel and nothing but clear-cut transphobia.

    Research tells us that trans youth are at a higher risk of discrimination and bullying, and that up to 45% of them have attempted suicide.

    Trans kids need our support more than ever – the only abusers here are those wanting innocent children to suffer because of fictional speculation.

    MORE: We could have used a trans survival guide growing up: By writing one we hope to make today’s teens feel proud of who they are

    MORE: ‘Transphobic’ student editor sacked over belief that ‘women don’t have penises’

    MORE: Identical twin brothers who do everything together transition at the same time


    Girl Walking on Log over Water,Girl Walking on Log over Water,jessrubyaustinGirl Walking on Log over Water,Girl Walking on Log over Water,jessrubyaustin

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    (Picture: Caters News)

    A single mother says she has earned £10,000 by dating strangers.

    37-year-old Kelly Popilek claims to have dated men – who pay for her company at the dinner table – to ensure her 10-year-old daughter Ariana can have a good life.

    Kelly uses the money to pay for school supplies, clothes and household bills – and she’s hoping to inspire other single mums to do the same.

    Kelly, from California, US, wants to make it clear that just because she dates for cash that she’s not a ‘gold digger’ – she has her own real estate business

    PIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Kelly Popilek, 37, dates strangers to earn enough money to support her and her daughter Ariana, 10) - A single mum has earned 10,000 by dating strangers in a bid to give her only daughter a better life.Serial dater, Kelly Popilek, 37, attends dates with men who pay for her company at the dinner table to ensure her daughter, Ariana, 10, leads the best life.Using the extra cash to pay for Kellys school supplies, clothes, and household bills, Kelly is hoping to inspire other mums to do the same.SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Caters News)

    The single mum – who has used the website WhatsYourPrice for two years – has since earned £10,000 from dating strangers and she has no intention of stopping anytime soon.

    Kelly said: ‘I use the money from date to pay for bills, clothes, food, school supplies and everyday things for my daughter.

    ‘I’ve earnt around $13,000 from dating the men I’ve met online as it has led to business partnerships too.

    ‘It has given me and Ariana a great lifestyle and I would recommend it to anyone.

    ‘I’m not a gold digger though, I’m only dating these men to make my life better not because I want a relationship.’

    PIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Kelly Popilek, 37, dates strangers to earn enough money to support her and her daughter Ariana, 10) - A single mum has earned 10,000 by dating strangers in a bid to give her only daughter a better life.Serial dater, Kelly Popilek, 37, attends dates with men who pay for her company at the dinner table to ensure her daughter, Ariana, 10, leads the best life.Using the extra cash to pay for Kellys school supplies, clothes, and household bills, Kelly is hoping to inspire other mums to do the same.SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Caters News)

    Kelly has gone on loads of different dates, from formal dinner dates to nights at a karaoke bar, and charges no lower than £100 per night.

    She dates strangers at least once a week, but says she is pretty picky when it comes to dates.

    She said: ‘I will only date someone if we have things in common as there’s no point not having anything to talk to.

    ‘They have to understand that my time is valuable and that I won’t accept any lower than $150 dollars for two hours of my time.

    PIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Kelly Popilek, 37, dates strangers to earn enough money to support her and her daughter Ariana, 10) - A single mum has earned 10,000 by dating strangers in a bid to give her only daughter a better life.Serial dater, Kelly Popilek, 37, attends dates with men who pay for her company at the dinner table to ensure her daughter, Ariana, 10, leads the best life.Using the extra cash to pay for Kellys school supplies, clothes, and household bills, Kelly is hoping to inspire other mums to do the same.SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Caters News)

    ‘I always ensure we meet in a public bar or restaurant and will tell my friends where I am at all times.’

    Kelly is adamant she will continue dating strangers and feels it has made her a better mum.

    She said: ‘I’m able to afford things now that I won’t have been able to.

    ‘We don’t need anyone else’s support to ensure we can lead the best lives possible.

    ‘Ariana now has all the school supplies and clothes she needs and it’s all because I’m able to date strangers for extra cash.

    ‘I have recommended it to a few other mums and I can only hope that they use it as an opportunity to better themselves like I have.’

    MORE: How the fear of passing on our mental illness is making us question having children

    MORE: Woman shares the simple saving plan that helped her pay off £16,000 debt and buy a fancy holiday


    SEC_32020883-079fSEC_32020883-079fhattiegladwellmetroPIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Kelly Popilek, 37, dates strangers to earn enough money to support her and her daughter Ariana, 10) - A single mum has earned 10,000 by dating strangers in a bid to give her only daughter a better life.Serial dater, Kelly Popilek, 37, attends dates with men who pay for her company at the dinner table to ensure her daughter, Ariana, 10, leads the best life.Using the extra cash to pay for Kellys school supplies, clothes, and household bills, Kelly is hoping to inspire other mums to do the same.SEE CATERS COPYPIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Kelly Popilek, 37, dates strangers to earn enough money to support her and her daughter Ariana, 10) - A single mum has earned 10,000 by dating strangers in a bid to give her only daughter a better life.Serial dater, Kelly Popilek, 37, attends dates with men who pay for her company at the dinner table to ensure her daughter, Ariana, 10, leads the best life.Using the extra cash to pay for Kellys school supplies, clothes, and household bills, Kelly is hoping to inspire other mums to do the same.SEE CATERS COPYPIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Kelly Popilek, 37, dates strangers to earn enough money to support her and her daughter Ariana, 10) - A single mum has earned 10,000 by dating strangers in a bid to give her only daughter a better life.Serial dater, Kelly Popilek, 37, attends dates with men who pay for her company at the dinner table to ensure her daughter, Ariana, 10, leads the best life.Using the extra cash to pay for Kellys school supplies, clothes, and household bills, Kelly is hoping to inspire other mums to do the same.SEE CATERS COPYSEC_32020883-079fSEC_32020883-079fhattiegladwellmetroPIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Kelly Popilek, 37, dates strangers to earn enough money to support her and her daughter Ariana, 10) - A single mum has earned 10,000 by dating strangers in a bid to give her only daughter a better life.Serial dater, Kelly Popilek, 37, attends dates with men who pay for her company at the dinner table to ensure her daughter, Ariana, 10, leads the best life.Using the extra cash to pay for Kellys school supplies, clothes, and household bills, Kelly is hoping to inspire other mums to do the same.SEE CATERS COPYPIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Kelly Popilek, 37, dates strangers to earn enough money to support her and her daughter Ariana, 10) - A single mum has earned 10,000 by dating strangers in a bid to give her only daughter a better life.Serial dater, Kelly Popilek, 37, attends dates with men who pay for her company at the dinner table to ensure her daughter, Ariana, 10, leads the best life.Using the extra cash to pay for Kellys school supplies, clothes, and household bills, Kelly is hoping to inspire other mums to do the same.SEE CATERS COPYPIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Kelly Popilek, 37, dates strangers to earn enough money to support her and her daughter Ariana, 10) - A single mum has earned 10,000 by dating strangers in a bid to give her only daughter a better life.Serial dater, Kelly Popilek, 37, attends dates with men who pay for her company at the dinner table to ensure her daughter, Ariana, 10, leads the best life.Using the extra cash to pay for Kellys school supplies, clothes, and household bills, Kelly is hoping to inspire other mums to do the same.SEE CATERS COPY

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    MERCURY PRESS. 26/09/18. Manchester, UK. Pictured: James Windle, 34, buried in bricks at Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester. A supermarket worker has swapped stacking shelves for stacking colourful bricks after landing his dream job of playing with LEGO all day. Life-long Lego addict James Windle beat 1,000 others to land the role as a master Lego builder at the Lego Discovery Centre in Manchester. The 34 year old from Manchester, who still gets given Lego as a Christmas present every year, previously worked as a general assistant at Tesco for 18 years. SEE MERCURY COPY. Photo Credit: James Speakman/Mercury Press
    (Picture: James Speakman/Mercury Press)

    A supermarket worker has ditched stacking shelves after landing his dream job of playing with Lego all day long.

    34-year-old James Windle has been a Lego addict all of his life, and beat 1,000 others to land the role as a master Lego builder at the Lego Discovery Centre in Manchester.

    James, who loves Lego so much he still gets given it as a Christmas present every year, worked at Tesco for 18 years.

    Now, he is one of only 24 master builders in the world – spending his days creating and building Lego masterpieces.

    Landing the Lego role was hard.

    James went through a gruelling interview process including presenting his designs to a panel of children – and was told he’d bagged the job by a 10ft model shark knocking on his door.

    MERCURY PRESS. 26/09/18. Manchester, UK. Pictured: James Windle, 34, in front of a Blackpool-themed display at Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester. A supermarket worker has swapped stacking shelves for stacking colourful bricks after landing his dream job of playing with LEGO all day. Life-long Lego addict James Windle beat 1,000 others to land the role as a master Lego builder at the Lego Discovery Centre in Manchester. The 34 year old from Manchester, who still gets given Lego as a Christmas present every year, previously worked as a general assistant at Tesco for 18 years. SEE MERCURY COPY. Photo Credit: James Speakman/Mercury Press
    (Picture: James Speakman/Mercury Press)

    He said: ‘I saw the job advert when it was posted on social media. Everyone knows I like Lego and my friends and family were telling me to go for it so I thought I would.

    ‘I sent them pictures of things I’d built with Lego or models that I’d built. I was shortlisted from 1,000 people then it was like an X Factor-style competition with various stages.

    ‘I got to the stage where I was competing against 50 other people and we had 30 minutes to build something. I built a unicorn and monster truck which I called the Unicornator.

    ‘We were also asked to build something that was meaningful for us so I built a Manchester Pride stage with musicians.

    ‘There were 12 children between the age of four and 12 in the audience to judge what we’d made.

    ‘I got the call saying I’d made the top four and was invited in for a formal interview.

    MERCURY PRESS. 26/09/18. Manchester, UK. Pictured: James Windle, 34, working on some upcoming models for Halloween at Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester.
    (Picture: James Speakman/Mercury Press)

    ‘I found out I’d got the job after a 10ft shark knocked on my door. I answered it and there was a shark mascot saying ‘you’re hired’.

    ‘I was in complete shock. I was like “are you kidding me?”

    ‘I thought that says something about a company – the way they made all that effort. I felt like it was a really cool company and it’s going to be a lot of fun.

    ‘I held back the tears and when everyone left did a silent scream and got the prosecco out.’

    James, who started the job earlier this month, said: ‘To be told I’d got it felt like the start of my new journey.

    ‘It’s my dream job to work with Lego and get to do something creative. I’m living my best life.

    ‘It’s just awesome – I get to play with Lego all day, get paid for it and get to see how happy it makes the kids and parents.

    Undated handout photo issued by Rule 5 PR of James Windle, a former supermarket worker from Salford, who has beat thousands of applications to bag his dream job as Master Model Builder, at Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday September 20, 2018. The job will see James tasked with constructing builds around the attraction, including mini-land, an interactive city containing over 1.5 million bricks, curate exhibitions, and mentor and inspire children in the creation of their very own model masterpieces. Photo credit should read: LEGO/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
    (Picture: James Speakman/Mercury Press)

    ‘Lego has always been a passion for me since about the age of four.

    ‘I got my first set for Christmas and used to get a set for every birthday and Christmas from my mum. She stills buys one for me every Christmas. I just never grew out of it.

    ‘I’ve got a Lego tattoo on my arm – it’s a mini figure that I can draw on. I can draw a happy or sad face or colour it in.

    ‘I like Lego because I get to use my creativity and imagination and build whatever I want.

    ‘My head is full of ideas and Lego is one of those products you can play with and there’s never a wrong or right answer. If you build something you can break it up and make it again.

    ‘I find it so relaxing and it’s good for the brain.’

    James says working with Lego is like being a ‘kid in a candy shop’ – and that a typical day is spent creating and maintaining models.

    Undated handout photo issued by Rule 5 PR of James Windle, a former supermarket worker from Salford, who has beat thousands of applications to bag his dream job as Master Model Builder, at Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday September 20, 2018. The job will see James tasked with constructing builds around the attraction, including mini-land, an interactive city containing over 1.5 million bricks, curate exhibitions, and mentor and inspire children in the creation of their very own model masterpieces. Photo credit should read: LEGO/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
    (Picture: James Speakman/Mercury Press)

    He’s currently busy making things for Halloween – including a giant spider to crawl up a model of Manchester town hall and a zombie Alton Towers scene.

    James’s home is full of his Lego creations including a decorated mirror, a huge Millennium falcon and glass cases filled with models.

    He reckons he’s got thousands of toy bricks and loves sharing his passion with his nephews and nieces – and now that he works for with Lego he gets a discount, so his collection is only going to grow.

    James says his mum is very proud of him, adding: ‘That’s what it’s about – making your mum proud.’

    General Manager Manchester Cluster, Merlin Entertainments, Jenn McDonough, said: ‘We had thousands of applicants apply for the role – as you can imagine it’s incredibly sought-after.

    ‘We chose James because he’s absolutely perfect for the job – he’s incredibly creative, talented, outgoing and patient and the kids love him, of course.

    ‘We’re delighted to welcome James into the Merlin family, and I can’t wait to see him inspire families for years to come.’

    MORE: My odd job: I’ve been performing Punch and Judy since I was 4 and no show is ever the same

    MORE: My odd job: Becoming a fortune teller and ghost hunter was my destiny


    EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! LIFE-LONG LEGO FAN LANDS DREAM MASTER BUILDER JOB AFTER 18 YEARS AS SUPERMARKET SHELF STACKER.EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! LIFE-LONG LEGO FAN LANDS DREAM MASTER BUILDER JOB AFTER 18 YEARS AS SUPERMARKET SHELF STACKER.hattiegladwellmetroMERCURY PRESS. 26/09/18. Manchester, UK. Pictured: James Windle, 34, buried in bricks at Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester. A supermarket worker has swapped stacking shelves for stacking colourful bricks after landing his dream job of playing with LEGO all day. Life-long Lego addict James Windle beat 1,000 others to land the role as a master Lego builder at the Lego Discovery Centre in Manchester. The 34 year old from Manchester, who still gets given Lego as a Christmas present every year, previously worked as a general assistant at Tesco for 18 years. SEE MERCURY COPY. Photo Credit: James Speakman/Mercury PressMERCURY PRESS. 26/09/18. Manchester, UK. Pictured: James Windle, 34, in front of a Blackpool-themed display at Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester. A supermarket worker has swapped stacking shelves for stacking colourful bricks after landing his dream job of playing with LEGO all day. Life-long Lego addict James Windle beat 1,000 others to land the role as a master Lego builder at the Lego Discovery Centre in Manchester. The 34 year old from Manchester, who still gets given Lego as a Christmas present every year, previously worked as a general assistant at Tesco for 18 years. SEE MERCURY COPY. Photo Credit: James Speakman/Mercury PressMERCURY PRESS. 26/09/18. Manchester, UK. Pictured: James Windle, 34, working on some upcoming models for Halloween at Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester.Undated handout photo issued by Rule 5 PR of James Windle, a former supermarket worker from Salford, who has beat thousands of applications to bag his dream job as Master Model Builder, at Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday September 20, 2018. The job will see James tasked with constructing builds around the attraction, including mini-land, an interactive city containing over 1.5 million bricks, curate exhibitions, and mentor and inspire children in the creation of their very own model masterpieces. Photo credit should read: LEGO/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.Undated handout photo issued by Rule 5 PR of James Windle, a former supermarket worker from Salford, who has beat thousands of applications to bag his dream job as Master Model Builder, at Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday September 20, 2018. The job will see James tasked with constructing builds around the attraction, including mini-land, an interactive city containing over 1.5 million bricks, curate exhibitions, and mentor and inspire children in the creation of their very own model masterpieces. Photo credit should read: LEGO/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! LIFE-LONG LEGO FAN LANDS DREAM MASTER BUILDER JOB AFTER 18 YEARS AS SUPERMARKET SHELF STACKER.EVERYTHING IS AWESOME! LIFE-LONG LEGO FAN LANDS DREAM MASTER BUILDER JOB AFTER 18 YEARS AS SUPERMARKET SHELF STACKER.hattiegladwellmetroMERCURY PRESS. 26/09/18. Manchester, UK. Pictured: James Windle, 34, buried in bricks at Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester. A supermarket worker has swapped stacking shelves for stacking colourful bricks after landing his dream job of playing with LEGO all day. Life-long Lego addict James Windle beat 1,000 others to land the role as a master Lego builder at the Lego Discovery Centre in Manchester. The 34 year old from Manchester, who still gets given Lego as a Christmas present every year, previously worked as a general assistant at Tesco for 18 years. SEE MERCURY COPY. Photo Credit: James Speakman/Mercury PressMERCURY PRESS. 26/09/18. Manchester, UK. Pictured: James Windle, 34, in front of a Blackpool-themed display at Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester. A supermarket worker has swapped stacking shelves for stacking colourful bricks after landing his dream job of playing with LEGO all day. Life-long Lego addict James Windle beat 1,000 others to land the role as a master Lego builder at the Lego Discovery Centre in Manchester. The 34 year old from Manchester, who still gets given Lego as a Christmas present every year, previously worked as a general assistant at Tesco for 18 years. SEE MERCURY COPY. Photo Credit: James Speakman/Mercury PressMERCURY PRESS. 26/09/18. Manchester, UK. Pictured: James Windle, 34, working on some upcoming models for Halloween at Legoland Discovery Centre in Manchester.Undated handout photo issued by Rule 5 PR of James Windle, a former supermarket worker from Salford, who has beat thousands of applications to bag his dream job as Master Model Builder, at Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday September 20, 2018. The job will see James tasked with constructing builds around the attraction, including mini-land, an interactive city containing over 1.5 million bricks, curate exhibitions, and mentor and inspire children in the creation of their very own model masterpieces. Photo credit should read: LEGO/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.Undated handout photo issued by Rule 5 PR of James Windle, a former supermarket worker from Salford, who has beat thousands of applications to bag his dream job as Master Model Builder, at Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday September 20, 2018. The job will see James tasked with constructing builds around the attraction, including mini-land, an interactive city containing over 1.5 million bricks, curate exhibitions, and mentor and inspire children in the creation of their very own model masterpieces. Photo credit should read: LEGO/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

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    People Are Petitioning To Bring Back Galaxy Truffles To Celebrations In Time For Christmas
    (Picture: Mars)

    People were gutted when Mars made the decision to ditch the much-loved Galaxy Truffles from its Celebrations tubs in favour of a Twix.

    The Galaxy Truffle was always a firm favourite, and people had no idea why the company would want to get rid of them.

    And finally, someone has decided to do something about it – by starting a petition to bring them back.

    In hopes of reaching 10,000 signatures, Sean Duggan entitled his petition ‘Bring back the Galaxy Truffle to Celebrations’.

    The petition reads: ‘This petition has been made so people are aware that the Galaxy Truffle was taken away from the Celebrations chocolates.

    ‘Apparently, they were taken away due to them being too expensive for production and so were replaced with the Twix.

    ‘Let’s get the Truffle back and let the company know that we don’t want something that was so popular to be replaced with something so mediocre.

    ‘Let us show not only the heartbreak of something so delicious being taken away, but to show that this should never happen again!’

    The Galaxy Truffle was first axed in 2011. Yes, it’s been seven years and people are still mad about it.

    Sean Duggan isn’t the first person to have launched a campaign against the decision – last year, Mark Jackson took to Change.org to ask for 200 people to back a similar petition.

    People Are Petitioning To Bring Back Galaxy Truffles To Celebrations In Time For Christmas
    (Picture: Mars)

    He reached out to representatives of Marks UK who said their research had suggested that customers preferred the Twix over the Truffle, and Mark wasn’t having any of it.

    However, as you can tell, the campaign changed nothing – and it only received 105 signatures.

    Sean’s campaign has so far achieved 633 signatures – but Mars still has no plans to bring back the Galaxy Truffle.

    A spokesperson for Mars Wrigley Confectionery told Metro.co.uk: ‘We replaced Galaxy Truffles with Twix in 2011 and Celebrations continues to be the UK’s best-selling chocolate tub.

    ‘We’re always interested in hearing our fans’ views on the products they love, but we don’t have any current plans to bring back Galaxy Truffles.’

    MORE: Domino’s is testing out a vegan pizza

    MORE: JD Wetherspoon now sells shots of pink glittery gin


    People Are Petitioning To Bring Back Galaxy Truffles To Celebrations In Time For ChristmasPeople Are Petitioning To Bring Back Galaxy Truffles To Celebrations In Time For ChristmashattiegladwellmetroPeople Are Petitioning To Bring Back Galaxy Truffles To Celebrations In Time For ChristmasPeople Are Petitioning To Bring Back Galaxy Truffles To Celebrations In Time For ChristmasPeople Are Petitioning To Bring Back Galaxy Truffles To Celebrations In Time For ChristmasPeople Are Petitioning To Bring Back Galaxy Truffles To Celebrations In Time For ChristmashattiegladwellmetroPeople Are Petitioning To Bring Back Galaxy Truffles To Celebrations In Time For ChristmasPeople Are Petitioning To Bring Back Galaxy Truffles To Celebrations In Time For Christmas

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    (Picture: Erin Aniker for Metro.co.uk)

    Traditional gender roles are rife on social media, despite society becoming more progressive.

    In one of the largest studies into online dating, researchers at Oxford University and eHarmony analysed 150,000 profiles over 10 years to look at common patterns.

    They found that a lot of the old clichés such as waiting for a man to make the first move are still prevalent. And the few times that women have initiated the conversation, their response rates have dropped.

    The Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and the relationship experts at eHarmony found that men were 30% more likely to initiate conversation than women.

    And it seems men preferred to keep it this way as women who make the first move see 15% less engagement.

    Other traditional values also remained popular, such as looking down on being sex-positive. Anyone identifying as ‘sexual’ was considered a major turn-off for both genders.

    On the bright side though, Brits were more receptive to dating outside their social strata and placed less emphasis on income or religion.

    Women still preferred for the man to make the first move, research showed (Picture: Getty)

    Men also appreciated confidence in potential partners, sending more messages to women with a higher level of self-rated attractiveness.

    Good looks were less important to women – men who scored between 5-9 on attractiveness actually received more messages than men who scored 10/10.

    Health was a major factor that people considered when looking for suitors online. Among the respondents, 40% it was very important their partner didn’t smoke, whereas 77% agreed that whether they drink alcohol or not is not important.

    The way women view male income has also changed. While 30% considered it to be important, it was less significant to the majority, possibly due to more efforts to achieve gender parity (though there is still a long way to go).

    Researchers also explored which variables could predict success in online dating, measured by the number of messages received.

    For men, putting up more photos increased the likelihood of receiving messages, as did scoring highly on athleticism, agreeableness, and altruism.

    Similar results were found for women – the most successful of whom scored highly on athleticism, altruism, and being romantic.

    Admitting to being anxious or clever saw women get fewer chances of finding a match.

    If you think the whole virtual dating game is not for you, especially with its gendered norms, maybe it’s time to consider old-school ways of meeting someone new.

    MORE: Divorced women are happier than men, shows study

    MORE: Dress up as your failed relationship this Halloween with this ghosted dress

    MORE: Couple get married in a lavish double wedding with their bunnies


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