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

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    LONDON - MARCH 30: A British Airways plane heads into the sky after taking off from Heathrow Airport on March 30, 2006 in London, England. Air travel is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. Along with emissions from cars, air travel is set to become the dominant source of climate change. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
    (Picture: Getty)

    Sure, summer has proved wonderfully enduring this year, but that doesn’t mean we’re not allowed to mourn now it’s gone.

    As temperatures plummet, it’s only natural to pine. And it doesn’t really get much better than this British Airlines flash sale, the perfect excuse to whack out the credit card and dream of better, more relaxing times.

    You need to be quick though, as the deals expire at midnight on Tuesday, October 30th. There’s a whole heap of sweet, sweet promotions on offer, with a host of European and worldwide destinations bundled into the mix.

    Fancy a jaunt to New York? £1,479 per head will get you Club World flights and three nights at the four-star Moxy Times Square hotel. Or if desert excess is more your vibe, you can scoop Club World flights and seven nights at the Luxor hotel for £1,999.

    Of course, if you fancy an upmarket take on the classic Spanish sun getaway, there’s always Club Europe flights to Malaga, with seven nights of accommodation thrown in for £422. Finally, a chance to slay the last fever dream memories of Magaluf ‘2010.

    Even further afield, there’s even an opportunity to cross the Seychelles off the bucket list, with seven nights at Avani Seychelles Barbarons Resort and Spa starting at £1,999.

    Surely that’s what overdrafts are made for, right?

    AD FEATURE: 11 reasons to go to Orlando on your next holiday

    AD FEATURE: 10 experiences you need to have in Australia

     


    Aviation - The Fastest Growing Source Of Greenhouse GasesAviation - The Fastest Growing Source Of Greenhouse Gasesfranciscogarcia92LONDON - MARCH 30: A British Airways plane heads into the sky after taking off from Heathrow Airport on March 30, 2006 in London, England. Air travel is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. Along with emissions from cars, air travel is set to become the dominant source of climate change. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)Aviation - The Fastest Growing Source Of Greenhouse GasesAviation - The Fastest Growing Source Of Greenhouse Gasesfranciscogarcia92LONDON - MARCH 30: A British Airways plane heads into the sky after taking off from Heathrow Airport on March 30, 2006 in London, England. Air travel is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions. Along with emissions from cars, air travel is set to become the dominant source of climate change. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

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    Halloween came early at London Zoo as its giraffes, squirrel monkeys and gorillas enjoyed some special treats in carved-out pumpkins.

    With days to go until the Oct. 31 celebration, the animals didn’t even have to go trick or treating as they were delivered to their enclosures.

    The animals soon got into the fiendish swing of things and had their very own pumpkin party.

    BGUK_1381472 - London, UNITED KINGDOM - ZSL London Zoo Halloween Photocall, London UK, 25 October 2018 Pictured: N/A BACKGRID UK 25 OCTOBER 2018 BYLINE MUST READ: WLHN / BACKGRID UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
    This gorilla plays with a Donald Trump-inspired pumpkin at London Zoo (Picture: Splash)
    ZSL London Zoo Halloween Photocall, London UK, 25 October 2018, Photo by Brett D. Cove Pictured: Squirrel Monkeys Ref: SPL5036454 251018 NON-EXCLUSIVE Picture by: Brett D. Cove / SplashNews.com Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles: 310-821-2666 New York: 212-619-2666 London: 0207 644 7656 Milan: +39 02 4399 8577 Sydney: +61 02 9240 7700 photodesk@splashnews.com World Rights,
    A squirrel monkey uses his new pumpkin as a lookout post (Picture: Splash)
    BGUK_1381472 - London, UNITED KINGDOM - ZSL London Zoo Halloween Photocall, London UK, 25 October 2018 Pictured: N/A BACKGRID UK 25 OCTOBER 2018 BYLINE MUST READ: WLHN / BACKGRID UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
    It’s trick or treat time for this giraffe (Picture: Splash)

    Giraffes Maggie, Mollie and Ellie found leaves in cut-out pumpkins for their breakfast, while the zoo’s Bolivian black-capped squirrel monkeys played with small pumpkins dangling from a rope.

    Nearby Western-lowland gorillas woke up to and inspected a display of carved out pumpkins, including one depicting the face of U.S. President Donald Trump.

    ‘A standard tradition is to let the animals enjoy a bit of Halloween,’ Daniel Simmonds, head of primates at London Zoo, said.
    ‘The gorillas have got pumpkins to enjoy. Now, obviously they are not part of that standard diet so the pumpkins are actually hollowed out and we put some much healthier treats inside … encouraging them to go over and have a look.’

    ZSL London Zoo Halloween Photocall, London UK, 25 October 2018, Photo by Brett D. Cove Pictured: Squirrel Monkeys Ref: SPL5036454 251018 NON-EXCLUSIVE Picture by: Brett D. Cove / SplashNews.com Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles: 310-821-2666 New York: 212-619-2666 London: 0207 644 7656 Milan: +39 02 4399 8577 Sydney: +61 02 9240 7700 photodesk@splashnews.com World Rights,
    This monkey truly got into the swing of Halloween celebrations (Picture: Splash)
    ZSL London Zoo Halloween Photocall, London UK, 25 October 2018, Photo by Brett D. Cove Pictured: Squirrel Monkeys Ref: SPL5036454 251018 NON-EXCLUSIVE Picture by: Brett D. Cove / SplashNews.com Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles: 310-821-2666 New York: 212-619-2666 London: 0207 644 7656 Milan: +39 02 4399 8577 Sydney: +61 02 9240 7700 photodesk@splashnews.com World Rights,
    The pumpkins were filled with healthy treats inside (Picture: Splash)
    ZSL London Zoo Halloween Photocall, London UK, 25 October 2018, Photo by Brett D. Cove Pictured: Gorillas Ref: SPL5036454 251018 NON-EXCLUSIVE Picture by: Brett D. Cove / SplashNews.com Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles: 310-821-2666 New York: 212-619-2666 London: 0207 644 7656 Milan: +39 02 4399 8577 Sydney: +61 02 9240 7700 photodesk@splashnews.com World Rights,
    It was certainly playtime for this gorilla at London Zoo yesterday (Picture: Splash)

    Halloween at London ZooHalloween at London Zoofranciscogarcia92BGUK_1381472 - London, UNITED KINGDOM - ZSL London Zoo Halloween Photocall, London UK, 25 October 2018 Pictured: N/A BACKGRID UK 25 OCTOBER 2018 BYLINE MUST READ: WLHN / BACKGRID UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*ZSL London Zoo Halloween Photocall, London UK, 25 October 2018, Photo by Brett D. Cove Pictured: Squirrel Monkeys Ref: SPL5036454 251018 NON-EXCLUSIVE Picture by: Brett D. Cove / SplashNews.com Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles: 310-821-2666 New York: 212-619-2666 London: 0207 644 7656 Milan: +39 02 4399 8577 Sydney: +61 02 9240 7700 photodesk@splashnews.com World Rights,BGUK_1381472 - London, UNITED KINGDOM - ZSL London Zoo Halloween Photocall, London UK, 25 October 2018 Pictured: N/A BACKGRID UK 25 OCTOBER 2018 BYLINE MUST READ: WLHN / BACKGRID UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*ZSL London Zoo Halloween Photocall, London UK, 25 October 2018, Photo by Brett D. Cove Pictured: Squirrel Monkeys Ref: SPL5036454 251018 NON-EXCLUSIVE Picture by: Brett D. Cove / SplashNews.com Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles: 310-821-2666 New York: 212-619-2666 London: 0207 644 7656 Milan: +39 02 4399 8577 Sydney: +61 02 9240 7700 photodesk@splashnews.com World Rights,ZSL London Zoo Halloween Photocall, London UK, 25 October 2018, Photo by Brett D. Cove Pictured: Squirrel Monkeys Ref: SPL5036454 251018 NON-EXCLUSIVE Picture by: Brett D. Cove / SplashNews.com Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles: 310-821-2666 New York: 212-619-2666 London: 0207 644 7656 Milan: +39 02 4399 8577 Sydney: +61 02 9240 7700 photodesk@splashnews.com World Rights,ZSL London Zoo Halloween Photocall, London UK, 25 October 2018, Photo by Brett D. Cove Pictured: Gorillas Ref: SPL5036454 251018 NON-EXCLUSIVE Picture by: Brett D. Cove / SplashNews.com Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles: 310-821-2666 New York: 212-619-2666 London: 0207 644 7656 Milan: +39 02 4399 8577 Sydney: +61 02 9240 7700 photodesk@splashnews.com World Rights,Halloween at London ZooHalloween at London Zoofranciscogarcia92BGUK_1381472 - London, UNITED KINGDOM - ZSL London Zoo Halloween Photocall, London UK, 25 October 2018 Pictured: N/A BACKGRID UK 25 OCTOBER 2018 BYLINE MUST READ: WLHN / BACKGRID UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*ZSL London Zoo Halloween Photocall, London UK, 25 October 2018, Photo by Brett D. Cove Pictured: Squirrel Monkeys Ref: SPL5036454 251018 NON-EXCLUSIVE Picture by: Brett D. Cove / SplashNews.com Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles: 310-821-2666 New York: 212-619-2666 London: 0207 644 7656 Milan: +39 02 4399 8577 Sydney: +61 02 9240 7700 photodesk@splashnews.com World Rights,BGUK_1381472 - London, UNITED KINGDOM - ZSL London Zoo Halloween Photocall, London UK, 25 October 2018 Pictured: N/A BACKGRID UK 25 OCTOBER 2018 BYLINE MUST READ: WLHN / BACKGRID UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*ZSL London Zoo Halloween Photocall, London UK, 25 October 2018, Photo by Brett D. Cove Pictured: Squirrel Monkeys Ref: SPL5036454 251018 NON-EXCLUSIVE Picture by: Brett D. Cove / SplashNews.com Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles: 310-821-2666 New York: 212-619-2666 London: 0207 644 7656 Milan: +39 02 4399 8577 Sydney: +61 02 9240 7700 photodesk@splashnews.com World Rights,ZSL London Zoo Halloween Photocall, London UK, 25 October 2018, Photo by Brett D. Cove Pictured: Squirrel Monkeys Ref: SPL5036454 251018 NON-EXCLUSIVE Picture by: Brett D. Cove / SplashNews.com Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles: 310-821-2666 New York: 212-619-2666 London: 0207 644 7656 Milan: +39 02 4399 8577 Sydney: +61 02 9240 7700 photodesk@splashnews.com World Rights,ZSL London Zoo Halloween Photocall, London UK, 25 October 2018, Photo by Brett D. Cove Pictured: Gorillas Ref: SPL5036454 251018 NON-EXCLUSIVE Picture by: Brett D. Cove / SplashNews.com Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles: 310-821-2666 New York: 212-619-2666 London: 0207 644 7656 Milan: +39 02 4399 8577 Sydney: +61 02 9240 7700 photodesk@splashnews.com World Rights,

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    Outdoors composition of a beautiful black cat and black objects.
    Black cats haven’t had the best press over the last few hundred years (Picture: Digital Vision)

    Black cats haven’t had the best press over the last few hundred years.

    All the way from Celtic good luck charms, to the object of deep-seated suspicion and scorn, they’re the moggies that seem to attract unusually strong feelings on both ends of the spectrum, from love to loathing.

    Which all seems a bit unfair really, considering that no one has seriously believed that black cats are demons or witches in disguise for at least 300 years.

    But still, it feels right that they get their own exclusive slot to serve as center of attention, which is why National Black Cat Day occurs every October 27th.

    You might have seen some of the best photos circulating online. Proud owners showing off their felines, or snaps of the local neighborhood cat. All very wholesome and adorable.

    Even though some of the most absurd associations might have melted away, it’s still a fact that black cats are by far the least likely be adopted.

    So it could be time to do your bit, if you’ve been thinking about bringing a pet into your life.

    For those with a bit more disposable income, you can also buy a black kitten—breeds such as the Bombay are solid black and are renowned for their playfulness.

    If that’s too much of a commitment, then there are other smaller ways to make a difference. Making a donation to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is one small practical way of providing help, or whichever shelter operates in your area.

    An RSPCA spokesman was quoted on what they hope the awareness raising they hope the day will achieve.

    ‘We are really hoping to highlight how difficult it is for the black cats to find homes compared to their colourful friends’.

    ‘National RSPCA statistics show black cats on average take 30 days to find their forever homes compared to an average of 19 days for ginger cats’.

    ‘For us we feel choosing a cat or kitten to adopt should all be about personality, not the colour of their fur and we want to show off our amazing black kitties on National Black Cat Day’.

    MORE: Russian woman lands dream job of cat chief

    MORE: Man's story about missing cat will bring joy to your day

     

     


    Black cat among black objectsBlack cat among black objectsfranciscogarcia92Outdoors composition of a beautiful black cat and black objects.Black cat among black objectsBlack cat among black objectsfranciscogarcia92Outdoors composition of a beautiful black cat and black objects.

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    Here's how you can get paid to eat Yorkshire puddings Credit: Getty
    The winner scoops £250 to sample a range of Yorkshire puds(Picture: Getty)

    Imagine literally being paid to eat a Sunday roast.

    If you’re a Leeds-based Yorkshire Pudding enthusiast, then this isn’t just a wistful pipe dream, but a very real possibility.

    The promotion comes after Australian start-up Airtasker added Leeds as the latest city in their expansion, following success in London earlier this year.

    They’re a ‘community platform website and app that connects people and businesses with members of the local community who are able to complete tasks to earn additional money’.

    That’s why they’ve teamed up with Leeds-based gastropub, The Botanist Trinity, to offer people the opportunity to apply for the title of ‘Chief Yorkshire Pudding Tester’.

    Just look at them (Picture: Cultura RF)

    You don’t have to live in the city, but we imagine it sure does help the application process.

    The winning candidate will be chosen to attend a session at the pub, where they’ll be presented with a range of Yorkshire puddings made using different methods. With gravy, of course. Plus, a £250 for the time taken to scoff the lot.

    The feedback will then be used to pick a winner, which will become a regular staple of the Sunday roast.

    All you need to do to apply is post in the story of your most memorable roast, with the candidate plucked from whoever’s entry impresses judges the most.

    The Botanist Trinity’s Head Chef, Sebastian came out with some fighting talk, claiming: ‘There’s tough competition for the ‘Best Sunday lunch in Leeds’, but I reckon my Yorkshire puds are the best in the country’.

    Seems like there’s only one way to find out.

    MORE: Cafe makes world's first vegan Irn Bru sandwich

    MORE: Paying more for 'protein' versions of food is probably just wasting money

     

     

     


    SEI_37087026-3f81SEI_37087026-3f81franciscogarcia92Here's how you can get paid to eat Yorkshire puddings Credit: GettySEI_37087026-3f81SEI_37087026-3f81franciscogarcia92Here's how you can get paid to eat Yorkshire puddings Credit: Getty

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    Before arriving in Grasse, the only ‘nose’ I was familiar with was the one dangling on the end of my face.

    After a day in the perfume capital of the world, I not only decided I could become a ‘nose’, but also found myself enthralled by the idea of insuring one’s nostrils for upwards of £1 million.

    Grasse is a small town 40 minutes drive from Nice in the south of France and famed for being the perfume capital of the world.

    Maybe it’s more of an insight into me than anything else but the tour we were given of Parfumerie Galimard left me thinking I hadn’t learnt so much in a day in years.

    As it turns out, the ‘nose’ is the affectionate term for a perfumer, the highly-skilled and much-vaunted person responsible for creating perfumes.

    (Picture: Jay Jaffa)

    With such a fine sense of smell, the very best noses (of which there are only around 100 worldwide) insure theirs for upwards of £1 million and only work a couple of hours a day.

    Not a bad gig really, and a career path I definitely have my eye on.

    Along with the tour group, I was introduced to the processes that went into making perfumes.

    Then it was onto making one of my own.

    In a room resembling a school science lab, a group of around 20 men and women in white coats milled around the desks we would-be perfumers were sat at, guiding us towards the different notes we should consider as we worked on our own scent.

    (Picture: Jay Jaffa)

    There were a lot of options.

    It’s an intricate process, full of pitfalls, though forgetting you were making a scent for your girlfriend and not yourself seems like one I could and probably should have avoided.

    Alas, in went Musc Blanc and the Mousse d’Arbe, and thus began a horror show performance in the parfumerie.

    As tempting as it was to double down and concoct something truly awful, I tried my best to turn the masculine base notes I started with into a smell my girlfriend might like, maybe even wear.

    (Picture: Jay Jaffa)

    Unfortunately it was easier said than done, and the grimace from the nose who tried desperately to rescue my shambolic creation told me all I needed to know: There was no coming back from this. It now resides in a dusty cupboard ‘maturing’.

    Even ignoring the clash of smells in my test tube, it was far more challenging than I anticipated.

    There were success stories among our party though, notably one that experimented with tobacco.

    But it’s a unique and fun way to spend the day, and coming in at €53 per person, the tour and perfume-making session also includes a 100ml bespoke Eau de Parfum to take away with you,

    Getting around the south of France:

    (Picture: Jay Jaffa)

    Having a good car to drive around the region is essential.

    I test-drove the new Ford Focus ST, a sporty number with room enough for a family of four – it’s a particular treat given the picturesque surroundings.

    The mountainous landscape means you can really put a car to the test along the winding roads – something I was more than happy to do.

    The sensational views over the coastal towns just added to the pleasure and challenge of what must be one of the most enjoyable stretches of road to explore.

    Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the Focus was the HUD (heads-up display), which projected information like speed directly into your field of vision, without obstructing it.

    It is an exaggeration to say it felt like I was in Top Gun, but it was nevertheless incredibly cool and something totally novel for me as a semi-regular driver.

    (Picture: Jay Jaffa)

    Now, this might sound like I’m bragging, but one method of transport I have to recommend for the area is power boat.

    I was transported from the magnificent Hotel Belle Rives – which must be one of the most quaint lunch spots on the coast – to Nice airport by VanDutch 40 power boats. It felt very James Bond and naturally made for some great photos. Hello #newprofilepic.

    While this was on the more extravagant end of the spectrum, it does draw attention to the beautiful coastline in the south of France.

    You might not fancy spending hundreds on this kind of boat trip, but getting out onto the water is a must.

    (Picture: Jay Jaffa)

    Where to stay in Nice and how to get there

    The French Riviera is expensive, but if you’ve got the budget, you could stay in a private villa at the five-star resort Terre Blanche like I did. Rooms come in at £500 a night, but it feels less like a hotel and more like your own property.

    Dinner was fantastic, and the spread for breakfast provided me with just about anything I could think of to start my day. The staff were also a lot of fun and very friendly, making for a hugely enjoyable stay.

    Flights are much more reasonable, with Ryanair getting you there for as little as £30 return.

    Though I didn’t stay at Belles Rives, if you’re keen to mingle with the wealthy and be right on the water, this is the perfect spot in Juan-les-Pins and comes in at approximately £300 a night for a sea view.

    (Top picture: Jay Jaffa)

    MORE: Why you should head to Gran Canaria for the ultimate wellness retreat

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    scents-83afscents-83afjaffajayscents-83afscents-83afjaffajay

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    Rachael Bews a domestic abuse survivor from Ross-shire, Highland, is helping women in need by providing clothing parcels. See SWNS story SWSCclothes; Entrepreneur Rachael Bews is seeking to tackle clothing crisis by helping women escaping abusive and violent relationships to maintain their "dignity, identity and confidence". The 26-year-old from Ross-shire in the Scottish Highlands was inspired to set up her charity Alicas after working with a woman who fled an abusive partner, and following her own experience of a violent relationship last year. Rachael, a business, management and marketing graduate, said: ?When I was 18 I worked with a wonderful woman called Ali who fled to Inverness with her three kids from an abusive partner, with only the clothes on their backs. majestic animal.
    (Picture: Morgan and Rose Photography/SWNS)

    A woman who fled an abusive relationship is now helping other women by giving them clothing parcels.

    Entrepreneur Rachael Bews is tackling the clothing crisis by helping women escaping abusive and violent relationships to maintain their ‘dignity, identity and confidence’.

    The 26-year-old from Ross-shire, Scottish Highlands, was inspired to set up her charity Alicas following her own experience of a violent relationship last year.

    The parcels Alicas provide are made up of a week’s worth of clothes, including pyjamas, smart work-style clothes, dresses, trousers and essentials like socks, underwear and tights.

    Each clothing box contains at least 30 items and can be tailored for cultural or religious needs, and includes a hand-written letter of support.

    Alicas launched a campaign last month to collect 10,000 items to make 300 clothing packs to give to women in need.

    Rachel escaped her violet ex-partner in 2017.

    She started a relationship with him after completing her studies at the University of the Highlands and Islands in Inverness, before moving to Italy to teach English.

    Rachael Bews a domestic abuse survivor from Ross-shire, Highland, is helping women in need by providing clothing parcels. See SWNS story SWSCclothes; Entrepreneur Rachael Bews is seeking to tackle clothing crisis by helping women escaping abusive and violent relationships to maintain their "dignity, identity and confidence". The 26-year-old from Ross-shire in the Scottish Highlands was inspired to set up her charity Alicas after working with a woman who fled an abusive partner, and following her own experience of a violent relationship last year. Rachael, a business, management and marketing graduate, said: ???When I was 18 I worked with a wonderful woman called Ali who fled to Inverness with her three kids from an abusive partner, with only the clothes on their backs. majestic animal.
    (Picture: Morgan and Rose Photography/SWNS)

    She fell in love, but the relationship took an unexpected turn and Rachael found herself having to flee the country in February 2017 after her partner turned violent.

    When she returned to Scotland, Rachel was offered help from Ross-shire Women’s Aid.

    And after realising the poor quality of clothes available to women who need help, Rachael became inspired to explore her own ideas.

    The charity is also inspired by a woman called Alison Grant, who shared her experiences with Rachel.

    Rachel said: ‘When I was 18 I worked with a wonderful woman called Ali who fled to Inverness with her three kids from an abusive partner, with only the clothes on their backs.

    ‘She had fled hundreds of miles from England and left a good job as a nurse behind, yet she still remained positive and strong.’

    Alison Grant, who Rachael recently regained contact with, told her how a nice coat and pair of shoes gave her the confidence and strength to make it through the aftermath of her abusive relationship.

    Rachael said: ‘She mentioned how her coat and shoes were important to her, and I remember thinking how those two things are such humble garments.

    Rachael Bews a domestic abuse survivor from Ross-shire, Highland, is helping women in need by providing clothing parcels. See SWNS story SWSCclothes; Entrepreneur Rachael Bews is seeking to tackle clothing crisis by helping women escaping abusive and violent relationships to maintain their "dignity, identity and confidence". The 26-year-old from Ross-shire in the Scottish Highlands was inspired to set up her charity Alicas after working with a woman who fled an abusive partner, and following her own experience of a violent relationship last year. Rachael, a business, management and marketing graduate, said: ???When I was 18 I worked with a wonderful woman called Ali who fled to Inverness with her three kids from an abusive partner, with only the clothes on their backs. majestic animal.
    (Picture: Morgan and Rose Photography/SWNS)

    ‘But when you lose so much they are so important in holding onto who you are – it really struck me.’

    She called it Alicas (Ali’s coat and shoes), in recognition of the bravery of her old workmate Alison.

    Rachel said: ‘I did some research and found out about retailers burying and incinerating clothing left over from sales.

    ‘I think there needs to be more government pressure to stop the needless destruction of clothing from major design labels.

    ‘There are thousands of women out there in clothing crisis so I set out to try and bridge the gap.

    ‘The retailers I spoke to thought it was a really good idea.’

    After reaching out, Rachael received positive support from Orkney designer Kirsteen Stewart, German plus size clothing company Navabi and London-based ethical clothing firm Compare Ethics.

    Having also received backing from the Royal Bank of Scotland’s entrepreneurship programme, Rachael set about establishing her very own organisation.

    Rachel said: ‘A big barrier to women and their children leaving an abusive partner can be the idea of losing everything and leaving everything behind.

    ‘Women don’t always have financial independence either and can be scared of having to start again with nothing.

    Rachael Bews a domestic abuse survivor from Ross-shire, Highland, is helping women in need by providing clothing parcels. See SWNS story SWSCclothes; Entrepreneur Rachael Bews is seeking to tackle clothing crisis by helping women escaping abusive and violent relationships to maintain their "dignity, identity and confidence". The 26-year-old from Ross-shire in the Scottish Highlands was inspired to set up her charity Alicas after working with a woman who fled an abusive partner, and following her own experience of a violent relationship last year. Rachael, a business, management and marketing graduate, said: ???When I was 18 I worked with a wonderful woman called Ali who fled to Inverness with her three kids from an abusive partner, with only the clothes on their backs. majestic animal.
    (Picture: Morgan and Rose Photography/SWNS)

    ‘In the case of one woman we supported, her partner destroyed all her clothes so she had nothing to move on with.

    ‘It can be a way of controlling and abusing women, so we want to empower women to retain their dignity and confidence.’

    Alicas works through referrals from support bodies such as Shakti, who help women in need from ethnic and minority backgrounds, and Women’s Aid.

    The charity also sell items through their website and accept clothing donations.

    They ask that members of the public look through their wardrobes to pass on any unused clothes to help women in need. They are trying to send out 300 parcels by Christmas, but they only have six so far.

    Rachael said: ‘Family crises can escalate around Christmas time and with the changing weather we’re trying to get more boots and warmer clothes prepared.

    ‘The first woman we supported was only 19 and she was over the moon with her package.’

    She added: ‘It’s been quite a journey.

    ‘For my family it was very difficult seeing one of their own go through something like I did, but they’ve been very supportive and really want my organisation to succeed.

    ‘For me it became a huge focus and passion at that time of my life and a part of my recovery as well.’

    Having recently moved into new premises in the Edinburgh she said: ‘At the moment our pilot is Scotland, but we’ve had interest in England and we’re really interested to speak to more companies who want to pioneer this.

    ‘Our ambition is to help women throughout the UK.’

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    SEI_36911873-30d3SEI_36911873-30d3hattiegladwellmetroRachael Bews a domestic abuse survivor from Ross-shire, Highland, is helping women in need by providing clothing parcels. See SWNS story SWSCclothes; Entrepreneur Rachael Bews is seeking to tackle clothing crisis by helping women escaping abusive and violent relationships to maintain their SEI_36911873-30d3SEI_36911873-30d3hattiegladwellmetroRachael Bews a domestic abuse survivor from Ross-shire, Highland, is helping women in need by providing clothing parcels. See SWNS story SWSCclothes; Entrepreneur Rachael Bews is seeking to tackle clothing crisis by helping women escaping abusive and violent relationships to maintain their "dignity, identity and confidence". The 26-year-old from Ross-shire in the Scottish Highlands was inspired to set up her charity Alicas after working with a woman who fled an abusive partner, and following her own experience of a violent relationship last year. Rachael, a business, management and marketing graduate, said: ?When I was 18 I worked with a wonderful woman called Ali who fled to Inverness with her three kids from an abusive partner, with only the clothes on their backs. majestic animal.Rachael Bews a domestic abuse survivor from Ross-shire, Highland, is helping women in need by providing clothing parcels. See SWNS story SWSCclothes; Entrepreneur Rachael Bews is seeking to tackle clothing crisis by helping women escaping abusive and violent relationships to maintain their "dignity, identity and confidence". The 26-year-old from Ross-shire in the Scottish Highlands was inspired to set up her charity Alicas after working with a woman who fled an abusive partner, and following her own experience of a violent relationship last year. Rachael, a business, management and marketing graduate, said: ???When I was 18 I worked with a wonderful woman called Ali who fled to Inverness with her three kids from an abusive partner, with only the clothes on their backs. majestic animal.Rachael Bews a domestic abuse survivor from Ross-shire, Highland, is helping women in need by providing clothing parcels. See SWNS story SWSCclothes; Entrepreneur Rachael Bews is seeking to tackle clothing crisis by helping women escaping abusive and violent relationships to maintain their "dignity, identity and confidence". The 26-year-old from Ross-shire in the Scottish Highlands was inspired to set up her charity Alicas after working with a woman who fled an abusive partner, and following her own experience of a violent relationship last year. Rachael, a business, management and marketing graduate, said: ???When I was 18 I worked with a wonderful woman called Ali who fled to Inverness with her three kids from an abusive partner, with only the clothes on their backs. majestic animal.Rachael Bews a domestic abuse survivor from Ross-shire, Highland, is helping women in need by providing clothing parcels. See SWNS story SWSCclothes; Entrepreneur Rachael Bews is seeking to tackle clothing crisis by helping women escaping abusive and violent relationships to maintain their "dignity, identity and confidence". The 26-year-old from Ross-shire in the Scottish Highlands was inspired to set up her charity Alicas after working with a woman who fled an abusive partner, and following her own experience of a violent relationship last year. Rachael, a business, management and marketing graduate, said: ???When I was 18 I worked with a wonderful woman called Ali who fled to Inverness with her three kids from an abusive partner, with only the clothes on their backs. majestic animal.

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    fresh cottage cheese on a deep wooden spoon
    (Picture: Getty)

    Eating cheese at night is mostly known for giving us nightmares, but apparently it can now help us lose weight, too.

    New research, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, has found that eating cottage cheese before going to sleep can help shed the pounds, as the low calorie food boosts metabolism, muscles and overall health – even while you are in bed, according to scientists.

    The popular theory is a regular late night snack increases the risk of obesity because the body stores it as fat.

    But that isn’t the case with protein rich products like cottage cheese, explained nutritionist Professor Michael Ormsbee.

    His team found consuming two tablespoons of the cheese just half an hour prior to bedtime was actually good for wellbeing, and it offers as an alternative to healthy drinks or powders.

    Even for those who have sworn off eating at night, there is no gain in body fat, said Professor Ormsbee.

    Cottage cheese with blueberries and spoon in a small bowl
    (Picture: Getty)

    It is one of the first studies where participants ate a whole food as opposed to a protein shake or supplement.

    Professor Ormsbee, of Florida State University, said: ‘Until now, we presumed whole foods would act similarly to the data on supplemental protein, but we had no real evidence.

    ‘This is important because it adds to the body of literature that indicates whole foods work just as well as protein supplementation, and it gives people options for pre-sleep nutrition that go beyond powders and shaker bottles.’

    Cottage cheese is believed to be ideal before bed because it is abundant in a protein called casein, which releases slowly into the body.

    This ensures a steady supply of amino acids through the night. When you eat protein, it’s broken down into amino acids.

    These are then used to help your body with various processes such as building muscle and regulating immune function.

    In the study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, 10 active young women in their 20s were given 30 grams of cottage cheese 30 to 60 minutes before going to bed.

    (Picture: Getty)

    They ate it two hours after having dinner at the sleep laboratory where the experiments were carried out.

    Upon waking between 5 and 8am their resting energy expenditure – the amount of energy burned while asleep – was measured.

    This showed it was just as efficient as when they were given a casein shake to drink before going to bed.

    Specifically Professor Ormsbee and his graduate student Samantha Leyh said the cottage cheese had improved their metabolic rate and muscle recovery equally as well.

    Professor Ormsbee added: ‘These data suggest the metabolic response from whole-food protein do not differ from the metabolic response of liquid protein.’

    Samantha, who is now a research dietitian with the US Air Force, said the results serve as a foundation for future research on precise metabolic responses to whole food consumption.

    She said: ‘While protein supplements absolutely have their place, it is important to begin pooling data for foods and understanding the role they can play in these situations.

    Picture: Getty CHEESE DREAM - Eating cottage cheese before going to sleep helps shed the pounds
    (Picture: Getty)

    ‘Like the additive and synergistic effects of vitamins and minerals when consumed in whole food form such as fruits or veggies, perhaps whole food sources may follow suit.

    ‘While we can’t generalise for all whole foods as we have only utilised cottage cheese, this research will hopefully open the door to future studies doing just that.’

    Salmon is also said to be a perfect pre-bed food because it is high in protein and healthy omega fats that are good for health.

    Having it with a salad adds bulk and fibre for the perfect low-carb option. Like cottage cheese, Greek yoghurt is also high in protein and packs a calcium punch.

    Other low fat cheeses eaten with raw vegetables also do the job – or some tinned tuna.

    Professor Ormsbee said his team will start examining more pre-sleep food options by carrying out longer term studies.

    He hopes from doing this, he’ll be able to shed light on the best food choices for overall health, recovery from exercise and the repair and regeneration of muscle.

    He said: ‘There is much more to uncover in this area of study.’

    MORE: Cadbury World has created a super scary giant chocolate spider for Halloween

    MORE: There’s not enough fruit and veg on the planet for everyone to eat a healthy diet, study says


    cottage cheese on a wooden spooncottage cheese on a wooden spoonhattiegladwellmetrofresh cottage cheese on a deep wooden spoonCottage cheese with blueberries and spoon in a small bowlPicture: Getty CHEESE DREAM - Eating cottage cheese before going to sleep helps shed the poundscottage cheese on a wooden spooncottage cheese on a wooden spoonhattiegladwellmetrofresh cottage cheese on a deep wooden spoonCottage cheese with blueberries and spoon in a small bowlPicture: Getty CHEESE DREAM - Eating cottage cheese before going to sleep helps shed the pounds

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    (Picture: MMUFFIN for Metro.co.uk)

    Eid is an annual celebration that takes twice a year for Muslims around the world.

    The first is Eid al-fitr which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan and then a second one to honour prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God’s command.

    For the nearly three million Muslims in the UK, that means organising their work and school lives around the two important dates.

    Now there’s a petition to make Eid a public holiday in Britain to accommodate Muslims, but not everyone is for it, even those who follow the religion.

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

    A number of Muslims spoke to Metro.co.uk and while the majority of them agreed it would be good to have the day off to spend in worship and with family members, they all pondered how it would work.

    That’s because, unlike Christmas, Eid doesn’t fall on the same date every year and unlike the Easter holiday, it isn’t set in advance, which makes it difficult to pinpint when to book off.

    The dates vary from year-to-year shifting up approximately 11 days earlier for Eid al Adha. For Eid al-Fitr, the date for the start of any lunar Hijri month varies based on when the new moon is sighted.

    Most working Muslims either book off the possible days of Eid or don’t come in on the day it falls on, after discussion with management.

    But not all professions can accommodate this and many followers of the Islamic faith end up working on the sacred day.

    Muslim researcher Hassan Chodhury told Metro.co.uk: ‘It would be good to have Eid off but it’s a logistical nightmare.’

    Teacher Shabana Khan added: ‘I don’t think it’s realistic to call for Eid to be a public holiday.

    ‘I think you should be entitled to have two religious days off which is then inclusive to all faiths.’

    But she also noted that this might be hard to achieve if people want to use up their entitlement at the same time. It would also be difficult to regulate – what if people misuse it and claim they belong to a faith?

    Her thoughts were echoed by blogger Nafisa Bakkar who’s co-founded Muslim website Amaliah. She told Metro.co.uk that though it would be nice, it’s not the most economical choice.

    ‘Personally I don’t think Eid should be a public holiday. Thinking with my business hat on, making all religious holidays public sounds like too many days off for the economy. Imagine having to coordinate a whole country with the moon wars.

    ‘I think instead it should be down to employer discretion e.g. at Amaliah we give Eid or the next day off if Eid has fallen on a weekend. Also if you made it compulsory for employers, what stops an employee now saying they’re Muslim and then saying they’re Hindu for Diwali?’

    What does the law say?

    The draft Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003, published alongside the Equality and Diversity consultation, prohibit direct and indirect discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief.

    What is time off for religious observance?

    Employees may require time off to observe a religious festival not covered by current statutory holidays, or for prayers. There is no express right to take time off in these circumstances and employers are not required to grant all requests for leave for religious observance.

    However, employers risk liability for direct discrimination by refusing to grant leave if leave is refused because of an employee’s religion. Employers also risk indirect discrimination by having rules that are particularly disadvantageous to members of a particular religion, and which are not objectively justifiable.

    Youth worker Ali Khan said he has far more serious concerns than the economy about having Eid become a public holiday.

    If Muslims were granted a day off due to religious entitlement, it could fuel islamaphobia, he argued.

    ‘In today’s environment (i.e rise in hate crime, post-brexit) is not conducive to a cohesive society. It’s very likely the far right and others will use this as narrative to sow further discord and hatred in the community.

    ‘In the UK, I don’t think Eid should be a public holiday. I say this as a Muslim. As we are a multicultural society, if those celebrating Eid get a public holiday, then it would be unfair on the other religions not to.

    ‘Eid is celerated on two dates every year. The first marks the end of Ramadan. As dates are based on the lunar calendar, one cannot determine the date in advance – so it would cause some issues.

    ‘Which Eid would be a public holiday out of the two? Most Muslims get days off on Eid – although there are a few examples of some who don’t but I am sure the majority do.’

    The results of the petition will be put forward to Parliament on 29 October .

    What are your thoughts?

    MORE: Muslim comedy show is touring the UK and the proceeds go to charity

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    (Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk)

    It’s been a busy year for innovative dating.

    In March, Londoners were introduced to naked speed dating (where I myself stripped off in the name of potential love). Then, during summer, it was time for exercise dating – where you incorporate different workouts while bonding over your bods – and finally, speed darting.

    Which is, essentially, throwing darts with a group of single people.

    But the year isn’t over and Rob Ryall, founder of Date in a Dash, has another trick up his sleeve.

    Namely, fetish speed dating.

    The concept isn’t entirely new, as there are already similar date nights out there – such as Club Rub and the odd event organised by users on FetLife – but this version is a lighter, introductory event for newbies and people who are curious about the fetish scene, but might feel intimidated by the more established communities.

    ‘I’ve had a lot of interest from girls about this type of event,’ said Ryall.

    ‘People are really put off by being totally naked but love the idea of dressing up. And talking about sex and fetishes is such a taboo, especially kinky stuff – so an event like this brings like-minded people together at “entry level”‘

    ‘At my naked dating events, people were turning up in outfits anyway; this one guy wore boots and a trench coat, and brought his own blindfold.’

    Come dressed in kinky PVC or leather outfits, themed nurses uniforms or latex – all themes are welcome. Or, if you’d prefer to be au naturel, nudity is also accepted.

    On each table, you will find toys to play with, such as whips, dog collars, paddles and blindfolds.

    But keep your hands to yourself – Ryall is very clear on that ‘no touching or sexual activity of any kind’ is allowed.

    The event will launch at the end of November and be held at the Exhibit in Balham. More information to follow on the Date in a Dash website very soon.

    MORE: I tried naked speed dating and it was actually pretty amazing

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    ***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** This is what it's like to wait for a kidney transplant on the national organ donor waiting list (Rosy Edwards)
    MPs have been encouraged to promote organ donation within the BAME community (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    In the summer of 2010, I was diagnosed with end stage kidney failure – where kidney function has dropped beyond the point of no return -and was told I needed to have dialysis, which is the only way of treating kidney failure until a donated organ becomes available.

    My wife, sister and two nieces came forward as a potential living kidney donors, but unfortunately none of them were compatible.

    I was on dialysis for around three and half years when, in October 2014, I got called up for a transplant. My whole family and I were elated.

    The transplant allowed me to do so many things I was not able to do while on dialysis; I finally had my life back again.

    However, in late 2016, a virus in the donated kidney caused it to be damaged beyond use, so sadly I am back on dialysis and on the transplant waiting list.

    That is why it is great to hear about the government’s latest initiative, in which parliamentarians are being urged to help stamp out the organ shortage in black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities by tackling taboos and championing donating in their constituencies.

    But I’m unsure if MPs are best placed to engage with their local BAME constituents around the issue of health. I know from conversations that many constituents could feel that their MPs have an agenda, and therefore will be wary of their motives and intentions.

    Although the MPs have been provided with a toolkit called ‘Organ Donation: Saving Lives in Black and Asian Communities’ – which will contain information about donation rates and how to encourage organ donation and challenge perceived risks and myths such as religious taboos – I feel this need is far too pressing to fall on only the shoulders of MPs.

    The statistics are startling. People from BAME communities represent 11% of the UK population, but make up over 33% of the kidney transplant waiting list.

    Frequently asked questions about organ donation based on myths

    • Will doctors try their best to save my life if I’m registered as an organ donor?
    • Could a person still be alive when their organs are removed?
    • Is organ donation against my religion?
    • Will organ donation leave my body disfigured and prevent me having an open-casket funeral?

    Answers to these questions and more can be found here.

    Any initiative that places the spotlight on increasing BAME organ donation rates is most welcomed and its success will depend on the strategic planning and commitment of MPs. But I, and many others, fear that tackling the organ shortage will not be a priority for them.

    Instead, I believe funding should be made available for them to work in partnership with grassroots and local community organisations.

    Unlike MPs, these organisations have strong links and have built up good relations with their communities. While they might not be experts on the topic of organ donation, with funding and the support of their MPs, they are far more likely to be able to command an audience and dedicate the necessary time to help bust myths and stigma.

    By turning to MPs, we risk seeing them attempt to reinvent the ‘organ donation awareness wheel’ to little avail.

    As well as working with local community organisations, MPs would better serve this cause if they used their influence to put pressure on local health services, to reduce the inequality in accessing healthcare faced by many people from BAME communities, which is a major issue.

    Aside from the myths and religious beliefs affecting donation levels, it has also been argued that a distrust of doctors and a fear of racism prevent many potential donors from signing up.

    A 2015 report by Healthwatch Surrey into the healthcare of BAME communities reported that BAME groups tended to describe less positive experiences relating to their healthcare than their white counterparts.

    It is therefore imperative for health services to improve the BAME community’s local healthcare experiences if intervention and discussions about the body and organs are to be successful.

    With a NHS Blood and Transplant report revealing that a family’s refusal to allow their loved one’s organs to be used is the biggest obstacle to organ donation among BAME communities, it is essential that healthcare services – the people equipped with medical knowledge, rather than MPs – work to dispel the myths that exist around organ donation.

    The majority of BAME patients on the transplant waiting list are waiting for a donor kidney. In the Netherlands, living donor kidney transplantation rates are increasing and now exceed those of deceased donor kidney transplantation. This is partly due to a greater use of home-based educational interventions.

    A similar scheme was piloted at Guy’s Hospital Trust and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, and has the potential to increase the number of transplants for BAME kidney patients.

    It is because of this that I believe, while the MP initiative is most welcome, it is not going to be the solution when it comes to solving the organ donation crisis within the BAME community.

    As someone on the waiting list, I constantly worry about the lack of BAME community members donating their organs. Once again, I feel like my life is on hold and fear that it will be a long wait until I get the kidney I need.

    If this focus on changing attitudes is to be sustainable, MPs must tackle the unequal access to healthcare, lack of organ awareness education and the deep mistrust of the NHS and other government institutions.

    Without doing so, this situation is unlikely to change.

    MORE: My husband donated his organs to save lives and I hope others will do the same

    MORE: Couple whose daughter lived for nine days donate her organs to save another baby

    MORE: Silent walk of honour for organ donor who is dying to save another person


    ***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** This is what it's like to wait for a kidney transplant on the national organ donor waiting list (Rosy Edwards)***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** This is what it's like to wait for a kidney transplant on the national organ donor waiting list (Rosy Edwards)jessrubyaustin***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** This is what it's like to wait for a kidney transplant on the national organ donor waiting list (Rosy Edwards)***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** This is what it's like to wait for a kidney transplant on the national organ donor waiting list (Rosy Edwards)***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** This is what it's like to wait for a kidney transplant on the national organ donor waiting list (Rosy Edwards)jessrubyaustin***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** This is what it's like to wait for a kidney transplant on the national organ donor waiting list (Rosy Edwards)

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    (Picture: Olga Barantseva/Caters News)

    If you owned a large tamed bear, what would you do with them?

    You’d probably have a few hundred pictures of the grizzly – just as the owners of a domesticated Russian bear, Steppan, do.

    The Instagram-famous pet has gained a lot of fame after being snapped by many a blogger. But people have slammed the influencers for posing with the animal to get the ultimate social media shots.

    Now the owners, Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko, who live with Steppan on a sprawling Moscow property, have said they don’t mind Instagram stars using Steppan for pictures.

    Pic by Olga Barantseva/Caters News - (Pictured: Steppan the friendly bear poses with a model.) - Bloggers have been slammed for posing with a giant tamebearto get the ultimate social media shots. Instagram-famous domesticated RussianbearSteppan lives on a sprawling Moscow property with his owners Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko. In recent years the 26-year-old, 350kgbearhas become a social media icon with legions of followers flocking and models using him to boost their own fanbase and is now rarely seen without a bevy of beauties. The trend has been criticised, with animal rights advocates warning so much human contact could be inappropriate. But Svetlana and Yurij insist they saved thebearand he has a much better quality of life than at a zoo or circus. Svetlana, a professional animal trainer, said: We actually saved thisbear. He had no chance to be reintroduced to the wild and he was facing the zoo or the circus. Or worse, falling into the hands of cruel people who dont know what to do with him. Yuriy added: People have plenty to say about cruelty when they see photographs. But we ask these people what they are doing to help the animals. Adopting homeless cat or dogs? Its always easy to give recommendations than to do anything themselves. At the same time they eat meat, wear leather cloths and do hundreds of other things that harm the natural world. No one thinks about how nature is affected from the use of petrol, excavating of ore products and deforestation. So instead of saying were cruel, how about doing something yourself to help, like switching your TV off and saving electricity. You will save oil, gas, wood and probably somebears. Photographer Olga Barantseva, who snapped the shoots over the past year, said she was honoured to put Steppan on the world stage. She admitted models are sometimes scared on the shoots but said Steppan is a friendly giant and no one has ever been harmed. SEE CATERS COPY.
    (Picture: Olga Barantseva/Caters News)

    The 26-year-old bear, who weighs 350kg, has become a social media icon and has been snapped for glamorous photo shoots with many different models.

    But the trend has been criticised, with animal rights advocates warning so much human contact could be inappropriate.

    Svetlana and Yurij insist they saved the bear and he has a much better quality of life than at a zoo or circus.

    Svetlana, a professional animal trainer, said: ‘We actually saved this bear. He had no chance to be reintroduced to the wild and he was facing the zoo or the circus. Or worse, falling into the hands of cruel people who don’t know what to do with him.’

    Pic by Olga Barantseva/Caters News - (Pictured: Steppan the friendly bear poses with a model.) - Bloggers have been slammed for posing with a giant tamebearto get the ultimate social media shots. Instagram-famous domesticated RussianbearSteppan lives on a sprawling Moscow property with his owners Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko. In recent years the 26-year-old, 350kgbearhas become a social media icon with legions of followers flocking and models using him to boost their own fanbase and is now rarely seen without a bevy of beauties. The trend has been criticised, with animal rights advocates warning so much human contact could be inappropriate. But Svetlana and Yurij insist they saved thebearand he has a much better quality of life than at a zoo or circus. Svetlana, a professional animal trainer, said: We actually saved thisbear. He had no chance to be reintroduced to the wild and he was facing the zoo or the circus. Or worse, falling into the hands of cruel people who dont know what to do with him. Yuriy added: People have plenty to say about cruelty when they see photographs. But we ask these people what they are doing to help the animals. Adopting homeless cat or dogs? Its always easy to give recommendations than to do anything themselves. At the same time they eat meat, wear leather cloths and do hundreds of other things that harm the natural world. No one thinks about how nature is affected from the use of petrol, excavating of ore products and deforestation. So instead of saying were cruel, how about doing something yourself to help, like switching your TV off and saving electricity. You will save oil, gas, wood and probably somebears. Photographer Olga Barantseva, who snapped the shoots over the past year, said she was honoured to put Steppan on the world stage. She admitted models are sometimes scared on the shoots but said Steppan is a friendly giant and no one has ever been harmed. SEE CATERS COPY.
    (Picture: Olga Barantseva/Caters News)

    Photographer Olga Barantseva, who snapped the shoots over the past year, said she was honoured to put Steppan on the world stage.

    She admitted models are sometimes scared on the shoots but said Steppan is a friendly giant and no one has ever been harmed.

    Pic by Olga Barantseva/Caters News - (Pictured: Steppan the friendly bear poses with a model.) - Bloggers have been slammed for posing with a giant tamebearto get the ultimate social media shots. Instagram-famous domesticated RussianbearSteppan lives on a sprawling Moscow property with his owners Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko. In recent years the 26-year-old, 350kgbearhas become a social media icon with legions of followers flocking and models using him to boost their own fanbase and is now rarely seen without a bevy of beauties. The trend has been criticised, with animal rights advocates warning so much human contact could be inappropriate. But Svetlana and Yurij insist they saved thebearand he has a much better quality of life than at a zoo or circus. Svetlana, a professional animal trainer, said: We actually saved thisbear. He had no chance to be reintroduced to the wild and he was facing the zoo or the circus. Or worse, falling into the hands of cruel people who dont know what to do with him. Yuriy added: People have plenty to say about cruelty when they see photographs. But we ask these people what they are doing to help the animals. Adopting homeless cat or dogs? Its always easy to give recommendations than to do anything themselves. At the same time they eat meat, wear leather cloths and do hundreds of other things that harm the natural world. No one thinks about how nature is affected from the use of petrol, excavating of ore products and deforestation. So instead of saying were cruel, how about doing something yourself to help, like switching your TV off and saving electricity. You will save oil, gas, wood and probably somebears. Photographer Olga Barantseva, who snapped the shoots over the past year, said she was honoured to put Steppan on the world stage. She admitted models are sometimes scared on the shoots but said Steppan is a friendly giant and no one has ever been harmed. SEE CATERS COPY.
    (Picture: Olga Barantseva/Caters News)

    She said the shoots are inspired by Russian fairytales and she hopes to illustrate through them that humans and animals can live in perfect harmony.

    Olga said: ‘Thanks to the media the bear became a star and now many people around the world want to fly to Moscow for photographs with the bear.

    ‘I have already shot people from Japan, China, Thailand, Austria Switzerland, Mexica and India.

    ‘He is really friendly and loves hugging, for instance. People often compare him with a very big dog. His owners did all they could to help him grow friendly.

    Pic by Olga Barantseva/Caters News - (Pictured: Steppan the friendly bear poses with a model.) - Bloggers have been slammed for posing with a giant tamebearto get the ultimate social media shots. Instagram-famous domesticated RussianbearSteppan lives on a sprawling Moscow property with his owners Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko. In recent years the 26-year-old, 350kgbearhas become a social media icon with legions of followers flocking and models using him to boost their own fanbase and is now rarely seen without a bevy of beauties. The trend has been criticised, with animal rights advocates warning so much human contact could be inappropriate. But Svetlana and Yurij insist they saved thebearand he has a much better quality of life than at a zoo or circus. Svetlana, a professional animal trainer, said: We actually saved thisbear. He had no chance to be reintroduced to the wild and he was facing the zoo or the circus. Or worse, falling into the hands of cruel people who dont know what to do with him. Yuriy added: People have plenty to say about cruelty when they see photographs. But we ask these people what they are doing to help the animals. Adopting homeless cat or dogs? Its always easy to give recommendations than to do anything themselves. At the same time they eat meat, wear leather cloths and do hundreds of other things that harm the natural world. No one thinks about how nature is affected from the use of petrol, excavating of ore products and deforestation. So instead of saying were cruel, how about doing something yourself to help, like switching your TV off and saving electricity. You will save oil, gas, wood and probably somebears. Photographer Olga Barantseva, who snapped the shoots over the past year, said she was honoured to put Steppan on the world stage. She admitted models are sometimes scared on the shoots but said Steppan is a friendly giant and no one has ever been harmed. SEE CATERS COPY.
    (Picture: Olga Barantseva/Caters News)

    But Georgie Dolphin, Humane Society International’s Program Manager for Animal Welfare in Australia, suggested it was time animals stopped being made to entertain humans.

    He said: ‘Wild animals have no place in entertainment. In 2018 it is high time we stopped exploiting animals for pleasure – from performances to props for “selfies”. Wild animals belong in the wild.’

    Dr Jade Norris, from the RSPCA, said: ‘Many wild and exotic animals’ social, physical and behavioural needs cannot be met in unnatural environments and captivity.

    ‘Wild animals like bears should be living in the wild and living life in nature.’

    MORE: Halloween comes early for the animals at London Zoo

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    BEAR MODEL BACKLASHBEAR MODEL BACKLASHfaimabakar1Pic by Olga Barantseva/Caters News - (Pictured: Steppan the friendly bear poses with a model.) - Bloggers have been slammed for posing with a giant tamebearto get the ultimate social media shots. Instagram-famous domesticated RussianbearSteppan lives on a sprawling Moscow property with his owners Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko. In recent years the 26-year-old, 350kgbearhas become a social media icon with legions of followers flocking and models using him to boost their own fanbase and is now rarely seen without a bevy of beauties. The trend has been criticised, with animal rights advocates warning so much human contact could be inappropriate. But Svetlana and Yurij insist they saved thebearand he has a much better quality of life than at a zoo or circus. Svetlana, a professional animal trainer, said: We actually saved thisbear. He had no chance to be reintroduced to the wild and he was facing the zoo or the circus. Or worse, falling into the hands of cruel people who dont know what to do with him. Yuriy added: People have plenty to say about cruelty when they see photographs. But we ask these people what they are doing to help the animals. Adopting homeless cat or dogs? Its always easy to give recommendations than to do anything themselves. At the same time they eat meat, wear leather cloths and do hundreds of other things that harm the natural world. No one thinks about how nature is affected from the use of petrol, excavating of ore products and deforestation. So instead of saying were cruel, how about doing something yourself to help, like switching your TV off and saving electricity. You will save oil, gas, wood and probably somebears. Photographer Olga Barantseva, who snapped the shoots over the past year, said she was honoured to put Steppan on the world stage. She admitted models are sometimes scared on the shoots but said Steppan is a friendly giant and no one has ever been harmed. SEE CATERS COPY.Pic by Olga Barantseva/Caters News - (Pictured: Steppan the friendly bear poses with a model.) - Bloggers have been slammed for posing with a giant tamebearto get the ultimate social media shots. Instagram-famous domesticated RussianbearSteppan lives on a sprawling Moscow property with his owners Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko. In recent years the 26-year-old, 350kgbearhas become a social media icon with legions of followers flocking and models using him to boost their own fanbase and is now rarely seen without a bevy of beauties. The trend has been criticised, with animal rights advocates warning so much human contact could be inappropriate. But Svetlana and Yurij insist they saved thebearand he has a much better quality of life than at a zoo or circus. Svetlana, a professional animal trainer, said: We actually saved thisbear. He had no chance to be reintroduced to the wild and he was facing the zoo or the circus. Or worse, falling into the hands of cruel people who dont know what to do with him. Yuriy added: People have plenty to say about cruelty when they see photographs. But we ask these people what they are doing to help the animals. Adopting homeless cat or dogs? Its always easy to give recommendations than to do anything themselves. At the same time they eat meat, wear leather cloths and do hundreds of other things that harm the natural world. No one thinks about how nature is affected from the use of petrol, excavating of ore products and deforestation. So instead of saying were cruel, how about doing something yourself to help, like switching your TV off and saving electricity. You will save oil, gas, wood and probably somebears. Photographer Olga Barantseva, who snapped the shoots over the past year, said she was honoured to put Steppan on the world stage. She admitted models are sometimes scared on the shoots but said Steppan is a friendly giant and no one has ever been harmed. SEE CATERS COPY.Pic by Olga Barantseva/Caters News - (Pictured: Steppan the friendly bear poses with a model.) - Bloggers have been slammed for posing with a giant tamebearto get the ultimate social media shots. Instagram-famous domesticated RussianbearSteppan lives on a sprawling Moscow property with his owners Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko. In recent years the 26-year-old, 350kgbearhas become a social media icon with legions of followers flocking and models using him to boost their own fanbase and is now rarely seen without a bevy of beauties. The trend has been criticised, with animal rights advocates warning so much human contact could be inappropriate. But Svetlana and Yurij insist they saved thebearand he has a much better quality of life than at a zoo or circus. Svetlana, a professional animal trainer, said: We actually saved thisbear. He had no chance to be reintroduced to the wild and he was facing the zoo or the circus. Or worse, falling into the hands of cruel people who dont know what to do with him. Yuriy added: People have plenty to say about cruelty when they see photographs. But we ask these people what they are doing to help the animals. Adopting homeless cat or dogs? Its always easy to give recommendations than to do anything themselves. At the same time they eat meat, wear leather cloths and do hundreds of other things that harm the natural world. No one thinks about how nature is affected from the use of petrol, excavating of ore products and deforestation. So instead of saying were cruel, how about doing something yourself to help, like switching your TV off and saving electricity. You will save oil, gas, wood and probably somebears. Photographer Olga Barantseva, who snapped the shoots over the past year, said she was honoured to put Steppan on the world stage. She admitted models are sometimes scared on the shoots but said Steppan is a friendly giant and no one has ever been harmed. SEE CATERS COPY.Pic by Olga Barantseva/Caters News - (Pictured: Steppan the friendly bear poses with a model.) - Bloggers have been slammed for posing with a giant tamebearto get the ultimate social media shots. Instagram-famous domesticated RussianbearSteppan lives on a sprawling Moscow property with his owners Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko. In recent years the 26-year-old, 350kgbearhas become a social media icon with legions of followers flocking and models using him to boost their own fanbase and is now rarely seen without a bevy of beauties. The trend has been criticised, with animal rights advocates warning so much human contact could be inappropriate. But Svetlana and Yurij insist they saved thebearand he has a much better quality of life than at a zoo or circus. Svetlana, a professional animal trainer, said: We actually saved thisbear. He had no chance to be reintroduced to the wild and he was facing the zoo or the circus. Or worse, falling into the hands of cruel people who dont know what to do with him. Yuriy added: People have plenty to say about cruelty when they see photographs. But we ask these people what they are doing to help the animals. Adopting homeless cat or dogs? Its always easy to give recommendations than to do anything themselves. At the same time they eat meat, wear leather cloths and do hundreds of other things that harm the natural world. No one thinks about how nature is affected from the use of petrol, excavating of ore products and deforestation. So instead of saying were cruel, how about doing something yourself to help, like switching your TV off and saving electricity. You will save oil, gas, wood and probably somebears. Photographer Olga Barantseva, who snapped the shoots over the past year, said she was honoured to put Steppan on the world stage. She admitted models are sometimes scared on the shoots but said Steppan is a friendly giant and no one has ever been harmed. SEE CATERS COPY.BEAR MODEL BACKLASHBEAR MODEL BACKLASHfaimabakar1Pic by Olga Barantseva/Caters News - (Pictured: Steppan the friendly bear poses with a model.) - Bloggers have been slammed for posing with a giant tamebearto get the ultimate social media shots. Instagram-famous domesticated RussianbearSteppan lives on a sprawling Moscow property with his owners Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko. In recent years the 26-year-old, 350kgbearhas become a social media icon with legions of followers flocking and models using him to boost their own fanbase and is now rarely seen without a bevy of beauties. The trend has been criticised, with animal rights advocates warning so much human contact could be inappropriate. But Svetlana and Yurij insist they saved thebearand he has a much better quality of life than at a zoo or circus. Svetlana, a professional animal trainer, said: We actually saved thisbear. He had no chance to be reintroduced to the wild and he was facing the zoo or the circus. Or worse, falling into the hands of cruel people who dont know what to do with him. Yuriy added: People have plenty to say about cruelty when they see photographs. But we ask these people what they are doing to help the animals. Adopting homeless cat or dogs? Its always easy to give recommendations than to do anything themselves. At the same time they eat meat, wear leather cloths and do hundreds of other things that harm the natural world. No one thinks about how nature is affected from the use of petrol, excavating of ore products and deforestation. So instead of saying were cruel, how about doing something yourself to help, like switching your TV off and saving electricity. You will save oil, gas, wood and probably somebears. Photographer Olga Barantseva, who snapped the shoots over the past year, said she was honoured to put Steppan on the world stage. She admitted models are sometimes scared on the shoots but said Steppan is a friendly giant and no one has ever been harmed. SEE CATERS COPY.Pic by Olga Barantseva/Caters News - (Pictured: Steppan the friendly bear poses with a model.) - Bloggers have been slammed for posing with a giant tamebearto get the ultimate social media shots. Instagram-famous domesticated RussianbearSteppan lives on a sprawling Moscow property with his owners Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko. In recent years the 26-year-old, 350kgbearhas become a social media icon with legions of followers flocking and models using him to boost their own fanbase and is now rarely seen without a bevy of beauties. The trend has been criticised, with animal rights advocates warning so much human contact could be inappropriate. But Svetlana and Yurij insist they saved thebearand he has a much better quality of life than at a zoo or circus. Svetlana, a professional animal trainer, said: We actually saved thisbear. He had no chance to be reintroduced to the wild and he was facing the zoo or the circus. Or worse, falling into the hands of cruel people who dont know what to do with him. Yuriy added: People have plenty to say about cruelty when they see photographs. But we ask these people what they are doing to help the animals. Adopting homeless cat or dogs? Its always easy to give recommendations than to do anything themselves. At the same time they eat meat, wear leather cloths and do hundreds of other things that harm the natural world. No one thinks about how nature is affected from the use of petrol, excavating of ore products and deforestation. So instead of saying were cruel, how about doing something yourself to help, like switching your TV off and saving electricity. You will save oil, gas, wood and probably somebears. Photographer Olga Barantseva, who snapped the shoots over the past year, said she was honoured to put Steppan on the world stage. She admitted models are sometimes scared on the shoots but said Steppan is a friendly giant and no one has ever been harmed. SEE CATERS COPY.Pic by Olga Barantseva/Caters News - (Pictured: Steppan the friendly bear poses with a model.) - Bloggers have been slammed for posing with a giant tamebearto get the ultimate social media shots. Instagram-famous domesticated RussianbearSteppan lives on a sprawling Moscow property with his owners Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko. In recent years the 26-year-old, 350kgbearhas become a social media icon with legions of followers flocking and models using him to boost their own fanbase and is now rarely seen without a bevy of beauties. The trend has been criticised, with animal rights advocates warning so much human contact could be inappropriate. But Svetlana and Yurij insist they saved thebearand he has a much better quality of life than at a zoo or circus. Svetlana, a professional animal trainer, said: We actually saved thisbear. He had no chance to be reintroduced to the wild and he was facing the zoo or the circus. Or worse, falling into the hands of cruel people who dont know what to do with him. Yuriy added: People have plenty to say about cruelty when they see photographs. But we ask these people what they are doing to help the animals. Adopting homeless cat or dogs? Its always easy to give recommendations than to do anything themselves. At the same time they eat meat, wear leather cloths and do hundreds of other things that harm the natural world. No one thinks about how nature is affected from the use of petrol, excavating of ore products and deforestation. So instead of saying were cruel, how about doing something yourself to help, like switching your TV off and saving electricity. You will save oil, gas, wood and probably somebears. Photographer Olga Barantseva, who snapped the shoots over the past year, said she was honoured to put Steppan on the world stage. She admitted models are sometimes scared on the shoots but said Steppan is a friendly giant and no one has ever been harmed. SEE CATERS COPY.Pic by Olga Barantseva/Caters News - (Pictured: Steppan the friendly bear poses with a model.) - Bloggers have been slammed for posing with a giant tamebearto get the ultimate social media shots. Instagram-famous domesticated RussianbearSteppan lives on a sprawling Moscow property with his owners Svetlana and Yuriy Panteleenko. In recent years the 26-year-old, 350kgbearhas become a social media icon with legions of followers flocking and models using him to boost their own fanbase and is now rarely seen without a bevy of beauties. The trend has been criticised, with animal rights advocates warning so much human contact could be inappropriate. But Svetlana and Yurij insist they saved thebearand he has a much better quality of life than at a zoo or circus. Svetlana, a professional animal trainer, said: We actually saved thisbear. He had no chance to be reintroduced to the wild and he was facing the zoo or the circus. Or worse, falling into the hands of cruel people who dont know what to do with him. Yuriy added: People have plenty to say about cruelty when they see photographs. But we ask these people what they are doing to help the animals. Adopting homeless cat or dogs? Its always easy to give recommendations than to do anything themselves. At the same time they eat meat, wear leather cloths and do hundreds of other things that harm the natural world. No one thinks about how nature is affected from the use of petrol, excavating of ore products and deforestation. So instead of saying were cruel, how about doing something yourself to help, like switching your TV off and saving electricity. You will save oil, gas, wood and probably somebears. Photographer Olga Barantseva, who snapped the shoots over the past year, said she was honoured to put Steppan on the world stage. She admitted models are sometimes scared on the shoots but said Steppan is a friendly giant and no one has ever been harmed. SEE CATERS COPY.

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    Afro hair is political. It is steeped in cultural history and, for black and mixed women, how they choose to wear their hair can be a deeply personal expression of identity.

    But many black and mixed race women find it hard to love their hair. We live in a society that venerates European standards of beauty; fair skin, slim build, silky straight locks. Kinky, coily, dry or course hair doesn’t fit that mould. If your hair doesn’t flow down your back like a Disney princess – then it isn’t seen as beautiful.

    Black women in the UK are taught from a young age that their hair is difficult or problematic. It is an obstacle to being beautiful – rather than something that enhances their beauty.

    Even the language around black hair reinforces this message. Rather than celebrating the versatility of afro hair, we’re told it’s ‘unmanageable’, ‘wild’, something to be ‘tamed’. This animalistic imagery is common, and gives the impression that afro hair is shameful, barbaric, or less than human.

    Despite the snide comments, uninvited touching and overt discrimination that our hair elicits – black women are reclaiming their hair as a symbol of beauty, individuality and empowerment.

    It just might take us a while, that’s all. Learning to care for and love your afro hair – natural, braids, weave or buzz cut – can be a long and arduous journey. These women all got there – but it wasn’t easy.

    Taylor 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)
    Taylor (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)

    Taylor, a journalist from Lewisham, says going natural is the best thing she’s ever done.

    ‘Like a lot of black women, my relationship with my natural hair has been complicated,’ she explains.

    ‘I grew up idolising my mum and using her as my reference of beauty. My mum is Bengali and had long, flowing, straight hair whereas mine was nothing like that.

    ‘I longed to fit in with the Asian side of the family, and would wish so hard for my hair to be like theirs.

    ‘My best friend introduced me to perms in secondary school, and I begged my mum to let me get one. She had always worked hard to ensure I was happy with the hair I was born with, but she finally caved.

    ‘I remember feeling so excited at the very idea of finally starting to look like the women I saw in magazines and on TV. I remember trying my hardest not to wince at the burning sensation on my scalp because I was determined to have the smoothest hair possible.

    ‘In Western society, our hair is never seen as normal or accepted. From the films and TV we consume to music videos and even the dolls we played with. How was I meant to embrace my natural hair when I never saw it being positively represented in the media?’

    Taylor 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)
    Taylor (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)

    It was politics and the treatment of black people globally that persuaded Taylor to leave the chemicals behind and embrace her natural curls.

    ‘The death of Trayvon Martin in 2012 and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement deeply affected the way I saw myself and the world. I wanted to fully embrace my beliefs, so alongside reading up on police brutality and the criminal justice system, I also read about the history of black hair.

    ‘Without sounding super corny, I started to look deeper within myself and saw that my straightened hair was birthed through media propaganda, constantly telling black women they are not beautiful unless they are lighter or had straighter hair. I decided enough was enough.

    ‘I started to love my hair after discovering the online natural hair community. It was filled with countless beautiful black women, teaching me how to embrace and properly take care of my curls.

    ‘I took their tips and tricks as gospel and soon, I started to see all the hard work and effort pay off as I transitioned out of my damaged, straightened hair to my healthy, natural curls.’

    Vee 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)
    Vee (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)

    Vee, a mother of four and a brand and marketing consultant, loved her afro from a early age. She says growing up in Wandsworth and seeing loads of other black girls at school helped normalise her hair, and helped her feel beautiful.

    ‘I loved my hair. I had it pressed with a hot comb when I was young. I also have fond memories of enjoying treatments at hair salons with my mother from a really early age,’ says Vee.

    ‘The struggles I faced with my hair were mainly related to time management and the products – more so as I reached my late teens. Hair management and maintenance takes some serious time.

    ‘The cost of relaxing hair properly and also treating it, whilst looking after a little one, studying and working was a lot to keep up with.’

    After leaving the security of her school friends, Vee found that navigating the corporate world with natural hair was more of a challenge.

    ‘When it came to managing my personal brand in the workplace, colleagues always had something to say about my changing styles.

    ‘Being in senior branding and marketing roles and heading up teams meant I always had to look the part (on their terms). This meant that, in corporate land, whilst a weave was allowed, I could never consider dying my hair or doing something out of the “ordinary”.

    Vee 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)
    Vee (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)

    ‘Certain styles I’ve had in more senior roles as an employee, have certainly raised a few eyebrows and left me feeling a bit awkward. But that’s one of the reasons I started my own business.’

    Vee decided to go for the big chop because she felt it was easier to manage whilst juggling a busy professional career. But that wasn’t the only reason.

    ‘I’m not someone who is bothered by the opinions of others, one of my core values is centred around the importance of authenticity and embracing who you truly are.

    ‘Recently at a family party, relatives were asking what made me decide to cut my hair off. I said “me”. I decided to cut my hair off because I define myself and I like it. I don’t think anyone expected me to say that.

    ‘But when I decided to cut my hair off, it wasn’t to please society or to make any kind of statement, it was to please myself.’

    Charlotte 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)
    Charlotte, who you can follow @thestylum (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)

    Marketing consultant and digital influencer Charlotte, used to equate straight hair with professionalism and sexiness.

    ‘Going to an event, interview or even work with my hair in its natural straight was unthinkable,’ Charlotte tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘I’ve never relaxed my hair, but I spent most my early twenties with straight hair, straightening daily with GHDs and a lot of the time with a half head of weave to make it long and luscious.

    ‘When I was younger I found my hair really difficult because I didn’t know anyone who had hair like mine. I didn’t actually realise it was curly until I was around 15 years old as my mum always brushed my curls out and plaited my hair.

    ‘All my white friends had long, straight hair and my black friends and family had straight, relaxed hair, so I found my own hair quite confusing.’

    It was a new arrival to the family that caused Charlotte to change her relationship with her hair and explore different ways of caring for it.

    ‘My brother and his wife had their first daughter, and she had a head of beautiful curls – just like how my hair looked when I was little. My sister-in-law has long straight hair and I knew that my niece would grow up wanting what she doesn’t have.

    ‘So, I decided to go on a journey to grow my hair and keep it healthy and full. If I loved myself then I felt she would have someone to look up to and try to emulate, someone that I didn’t have.’

    Charlotte 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)
    Charlotte, who you can follow @thestylum (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)

    ‘Looking back on my relationship with my hair makes me laugh. To think I didn’t feel sexy or attractive with my hair in it’s natural state is so funny to me as now I hate seeing my hair straight.

    ‘My hair grows out of my head this way and it’s healthy and always styled, what’s unprofessional about that? I am able to look back and see that my mindset was unhealthy and I am now totally comfortable in my own skin which is extremely liberating.’

    Elle 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)
    Elle (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)

    Fitness blogger Elle, chemically straightened her hair for years. It was only when the damage from all the chemicals started to really take effect, that she began thinking about other options.

    ‘My hair was chemically straightened from the age of nine to make it more manageable and to allow me to look more presentable for school as being an only child in a single parent family, I often had to get myself ready.

    ‘All the chemicals used on my hair were starting to have a negative impact; my hair was damaged and prone to breaking so I decided to have the ends bleached which was fashionable at the time, knowing that the result would be having to cut my hair shorter due to hair loss.

    ‘I ended up having a graduated bob style, which I loved and one day, something clicked when a non-black friend told me I should just “go natural”.

    ‘I figured that the hair I was born with couldn’t possibly look that bad, and from that day on I resolved not to have my hair straightened any more.’

    Elle 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)
    Elle (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)

    ‘There were no positive images or narratives of black women loving their hair in any form of media. The only message that was mainstream was that having long straight hair was the ideal.

    ‘There are still so few mainstream images and personally, for someone who likes to be active, there is an even bigger gap.’

    She says the decision to go natural and turn her back on harmful chemicals has been emancipating.

    ‘I’ve never looked back since growing out my natural afro hair. It’s been almost five years now, and it’s definitely a journey of experimenting to find what works well for me.

    ‘It’s great to see so many products available that don’t use harmful chemicals and that are readily available in high street shops or from small independent retailers.

    ‘I wouldn’t say my hair is easier to manage now but it’s worth the effort. Having natural hair has also given me a sense of freedom I never had before.

    ‘I was able to learn to swim, aged 30, and I’ve been able enjoy holidays, swimming in pools and in the sea, like I never got to through all my years growing up because of my straightened hair.’

    Sonnah 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)
    Sonnah is wearing Fiorucci, styled by @ashleighstunna (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)

    When Sonnah was younger, her relationship with her hair was all about fitting in. Now she has her own company, designing accessories, but back then she felt like a bit of an outcast.

    ‘Growing up as a black girl in Feltham, I had only two other black kids in my year in primary school and was often made to feel different or ugly because I wasn’t white,’ says Sonnah.

    ‘One morning my mum did my hair into a ponytail with an afro puff and I begged her to plait it into a more compact bun, probably to conceal the characteristics of my hair. I have a lot of hair, but I wanted it kept under wraps.

    ‘My mum had this rule that my sisters and I were not allowed to relax our hair until we were 16, which almost made it feel like a right of passage.

    ‘I got a curly perm, which I hated. After three months I got the roots relaxed, which was the worst mistake ever.

    ‘My hair was falling out in the salon, the front completely looked like a razor had been put to it – it was so blunt. Luckily, because I had so much hair, it wasn’t too bad, but I lost length and texture.’

    Over the next few years, Sonnah experimented with weaves, colours, chemicals and a whole range of different styles. She loved changing her look, but it all began to take its toll on her hair.

    ‘It was like a cycle. My hair would get unhealthy and damaged, and I would cut it in a bob and start again. I did that at least four times.

    ‘When I was 22, I decided I had had enough. I didn’t want to be that black girl who says things like, “my hair used to be like this”. I literally cut of all my hair off without warning or a plan.

    ‘I grew my hair, bought some wigs and started to take pride in my hair, and my journey.

    Sonnah 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)
    Caption: Sonnah 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)
    Photographer: Jerry Syder
    Provider: Jerry Syder jsyder.co.uk
    Source: Jerry Syder
    Copyright: ? Jerry Syder, All Rights Reserved

    ‘Now at 28, I never touch relaxer. I try different looks with wigs from time to time but my natural hair remains thick and long underneath.

    ‘The jobs I have had over the last few years often made me feel like I had to conceal my blackness, including my hair.

    ‘It stemmed from being the only black girl – never understood and always having to explain. I would get great comments when wearing a long, wavy wig, but when I wore my natural hair people would say I was having a “bad hair day”.

    ‘Now I love the skin I’m in, and expressing myself in all creative ways possible.

    ‘I am a role model for my younger cousins, who are going through exactly what I did. I want to be a promoter of self-love, because I feel that if I had had the same thing my journey would have been different.’

    Doyin 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)
    Doyin (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)

    19-year-old actress Doyin, struggled with accepting herself when she was at school. Her identity was tied up in her hair and she did everything she could to hide it.

    ‘For years I would go to lengths to hide my natural hair from others and even myself,’ Doyin explains.

    ‘My hair was something I had been hiding and policing for years because of a fear of showing others, and myself, the true me.

    ‘I was also conditioned by my family to always have my hair “done”, which involved hiding my natural hair because it was deemed messy, unprofessional and a lazy look to have.’

    Doyin’s family were reticent when she first decided to stop straightening her hair – they didn’t understand where she was coming from.

    ‘The day I went natural my mum scheduled an appointment for my hair to get straightened, so I told her to cancel it. Her initial response was “But why? You don’t know how to look after it and it’s nice to get your done.”

    ‘She said that it won’t help me in finding someone. It made me realise that I used to think having my natural hair would make me less attractive to the opposite sex. That it wasn’t possible for me to be beautiful with my natural hair.’

    As an only child, Doyin turned to social media and online tutorials to learn more about her hair.

    ‘I watched countless natural hair tutorials and saw the beauty in it. It made me realise that of course it would suit me – it grows out of my scalp so why wouldn’t it?

    ‘As I started to learn more, my love for my hair grew and so did my confidence. I knew that I wasn’t hiding anything and how my hair looked was based on what I felt like doing, not on what I needed to do to please others. The freedom of choice is so liberating.

    Doyin 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)
    Doyin (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)

    ‘With my hair texture, my curls can be defined – I began to see how other black girls saw that as “lucky” – which is something I had never felt about my hair. It showed me that I’m not the only who has so much unlearning to do.

    ‘The best thing about it is having strangers compliment your hair, or having your mum call you to talk to another black woman who also has natural hair to exchange tips.

    ‘I’m comfortable in who I am, my blackness, and now I feel like I celebrate myself everyday. Putting my hair into a puff reminds me that I am powerful, strong and beautiful.’

    Natalie 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)
    Natalie (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)

    Growing up, mine and my sister’s hair was a constant source of stress, drama and anxiety.

    My mum is white and we didn’t live with my dad for most of my childhood – and none of us knew what we were doing. My sister and I spent hours pinned between my mum’s knees as she battled the mounting tangles and knots – all three of us in tears.

    I grew up in a predominantly white area, and dreamt of a long, swishy ponytail that bounced when I ran like my friends’ did. My hair has a complicated, mixed texture, the curls underneath are looser and softer, the curls on top are tighter and frizzy. I didn’t know what to do with it.

    At 16 I got my hair relaxed for our Year 11 prom. The reaction at school was intense, no one could believe it was me. I was ecstatic – long, straight hair – it was everything I had always wanted.

    That was until it started breaking. It was the noughties, so obviously I was GHD-addicted and burnt the hell out of my hair. That, combined with the chemicals proved too much, and a lot of my hair snapped off at about halfway.

    When I was 22, I moved to London. That was a game-changer. In the capital, no one seemed to care what anyone thought of them. It was a melting pot of eccentric styles and I loved it.

    Natalie 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)
    Natalie (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)

    Over the next year I stopped straightening it and started to embrace my curls. I had no idea what I was doing, or how to take care of it – when I look back at pictures from that time now, I can see my hair is dry and matted – but I was trying.

    I educated myself, I read blogs and had long conversations with my new-found black friends, who were unbelievably helpful and patient with my ignorance. I found a hair care routine that worked for me, and products that made my curls manageable and softer.

    I often think about the time that I lost – more than two decades of feeling like I couldn’t be beautiful because of what was on my head.

    My mum would tell my sister and I over and over that we had beautiful hair, she always wanted us to show off our curls. I wish I had listened to her earlier.

    But I had years of conditioning to unlearn before I could truly see what she saw in me. Conditioning from the media, movies, adverts, celebrities, that taught me that beautiful women didn’t look like me.

    The more we normalise black styles and diversify our standards of beauty, the easier it will be for little brown girls to accept themselves. I wouldn’t want anyone else to feel as though they had to jump through impossible hoops in order to be perceived as beautiful.

    MORE: Sajid Javid using divisive language is more damaging than racism from white politicians

    MORE: Nine ways workplaces in the UK are failing women of colour

    MORE: Companies might be forced to reveal their ethnicity pay gaps – this is why they absolutely should


    Afro hairAfro hairnataliemorris88Taylor 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Taylor 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Vee 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Vee 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Charlotte 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Charlotte 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Elle 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Elle 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Sonnah 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Sonnah 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Doyin 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Doyin 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Natalie 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Natalie 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Afro hairAfro hairnataliemorris88Taylor 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Taylor 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Vee 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Vee 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Charlotte 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Charlotte 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Elle 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Elle 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Sonnah 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Sonnah 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Doyin 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Doyin 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Natalie 1 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)Natalie 2 (Picture: Jerry Syder/Metro.co.uk)

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    (Picture: Danielle Mustarde/SWNS)

    When writer Danielle Mustarde bought a second-hand copy of her favourite film Lost in Translation 18 months ago, she didn’t expect to find a note in it.

    Like the bittersweet romantic themes of the cult film, the love letter, found in Sheffield, south Yorkshire, had pangs of heartache and desire.

    In the note someone known only as ‘Martin’ tells recipient ‘Fran’; ‘We’ll always have Sheffield’.

    Without having any more details of the couple, Danielle is now on a mission to reunite the pair.

    Collect of the ?2 copy of the film Lost in Translation, that Danielle Mustarde, 28, who, after finding a love letter within, was inspired to campaign to find the lovers. Sheffield, South Yorks.See SWNS story SWLEnote./A woman who discovered a heartfelt letter between two lovers in a second-hand DVD which she bought 18 months ago is now on a mission to reunite them.Danielle Mustarde, 28, found the note in her ?2 copy of cult film Lost In Translation this week after opening it for the first time since buying it. In the note someone known only as 'Martin' tells recipient 'Fran', "we'll always have Sheffield". Martin appears to have placed it for Fran to find in a copy of the 2003 tearjerker which journalist Danielle bought in Sheffield, South Yorks.
    (Picture: Danielle Mustarde/SWNS)

    ‘As promised, one not very exciting DVD,’ said the note.

    ‘However, it is full of poignant moments which I can truly relate after my time in Sheffield – especially the ending.

    ‘I miss you like mad and hope that we can meet again sometime. But for now, I’ll leave you with this message.

    ‘We’ll always have Sheffield.’

    Collect of Danielle Mustarde, 28, who, after finding a love letter in a ??2 copy of film Lost in Translation, is on a MISSION to find the lovers. Sheffield, South Yorks.See SWNS story SWLEnote./A woman who discovered a heartfelt letter between two lovers in a second-hand DVD which she bought 18 months ago is now on a mission to reunite them.Danielle Mustarde, 28, found the note in her ??2 copy of cult film Lost In Translation this week after opening it for the first time since buying it. In the note someone known only as 'Martin' tells recipient 'Fran', "we'll always have Sheffield". Martin appears to have placed it for Fran to find in a copy of the 2003 tearjerker which journalist Danielle bought in Sheffield, South Yorks.
    (Picture: Danielle Mustarde/SWNS)

    Danielle, originally from County Durham, bought the DVD while studying in Sheffield but opened the box for the first time this week after buying it a year ago.

    The 28-year-old said: ‘I found it while browsing in a second-hand shop – it’s my favourite film but I’ve never touched it.

    ‘I just love the bitter-sweet ending to this story – I’m a bit of a softie and love the film.

    ‘It was one of the only two DVDs I brought with me when I moved – I had split up with my partner and he had kept most of the DVDs.

    ‘There was this sweet little note inside when I opened it – originally I thought it was for me.

    ‘But it was this lovely little note from Martin to Fran – it’s quite sweet. Maybe this was their film and he was trying to send a secret message.

    ‘In my romantic mind, she just didn’t get the message – like the whisper at the end of the film.

    ‘But who knows if they were meant to be together – it could be unrequited love.’

    In the film, Bill Murray and a married Scarlett Johansson become attracted to each other while respectively living in Tokyo.

    The unlikely couple has to then go their own ways in a touching end scene during which Bill Murray’s character whispers a line to her, unheard to the audience.

    The tearjerker is one of Danielle’s favourites and she hopes that Fran and Martin will have the happy ending Bill Murray and Scarlett Johannson didn’t.

    MORE: Is it weird to start using ‘Mrs’ and your partner’s surname when you’re not married?

    MORE: Can you help to find the 80-something-year-old couple that this ring belongs to?

    MORE: Can you be a feminist and still want a fairy tale wedding?


    LOST IN TRANSACTION - A woman who discovered a mysterious letter in a second-hand DVD box is on a mission to reunite two lost loversLOST IN TRANSACTION - A woman who discovered a mysterious letter in a second-hand DVD box is on a mission to reunite two lost loversfaimabakar1Collect of the ?2 copy of the film Lost in Translation, that Danielle Mustarde, 28, who, after finding a love letter within, was inspired to campaign to find the lovers. Sheffield, South Yorks.See SWNS story SWLEnote./A woman who discovered a heartfelt letter between two lovers in a second-hand DVD which she bought 18 months ago is now on a mission to reunite them.Danielle Mustarde, 28, found the note in her ?2 copy of cult film Lost In Translation this week after opening it for the first time since buying it. In the note someone known only as 'Martin' tells recipient 'Fran', LOST IN TRANSACTION - A woman who discovered a mysterious letter in a second-hand DVD box is on a mission to reunite two lost loversLOST IN TRANSACTION - A woman who discovered a mysterious letter in a second-hand DVD box is on a mission to reunite two lost loversfaimabakar1Collect of the ?2 copy of the film Lost in Translation, that Danielle Mustarde, 28, who, after finding a love letter within, was inspired to campaign to find the lovers. Sheffield, South Yorks.See SWNS story SWLEnote./A woman who discovered a heartfelt letter between two lovers in a second-hand DVD which she bought 18 months ago is now on a mission to reunite them.Danielle Mustarde, 28, found the note in her ?2 copy of cult film Lost In Translation this week after opening it for the first time since buying it. In the note someone known only as 'Martin' tells recipient 'Fran', "we'll always have Sheffield". Martin appears to have placed it for Fran to find in a copy of the 2003 tearjerker which journalist Danielle bought in Sheffield, South Yorks.Collect of Danielle Mustarde, 28, who, after finding a love letter in a ??2 copy of film Lost in Translation, is on a MISSION to find the lovers. Sheffield, South Yorks.See SWNS story SWLEnote./A woman who discovered a heartfelt letter between two lovers in a second-hand DVD which she bought 18 months ago is now on a mission to reunite them.Danielle Mustarde, 28, found the note in her ??2 copy of cult film Lost In Translation this week after opening it for the first time since buying it. In the note someone known only as 'Martin' tells recipient 'Fran', "we'll always have Sheffield". Martin appears to have placed it for Fran to find in a copy of the 2003 tearjerker which journalist Danielle bought in Sheffield, South Yorks.

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    The gin market has more than doubled in the last five years and there’s now hundreds of different types on offer.

    But maybe you don’t need to splash out on an expensive bottle.

    Sainsbury’s own Taste the Difference Blackfriars Gin has come out on top in a taste test against other premium brands.

    The test, conducted by Which?, was carried out to find the best widely-available dry gins.

    Glass of Gin and Tonic with Ice and Lime, sitting on old leather suitcases.
    (Picture: Steve Lupton/Getty)

    The Sainsbury’s gin costs just £16 but scored an impressive 83% in the test and was praised for its ‘exuberant aroma and freshness’.

    Some of the other 11 gins tested were also supermarket labels, including Asda’s Special Triple Distilled Premium Gin (£16), which scored 75% and Lidl’s Hortus Original London Dry Gin (£16), which scored 74%. M&S London Gin (£15) was awarded 71% by the panel.

    Well-known brands, Gordon’s Special London Dry Gin (£16) and Beefeater London Dry Gin (£16) trailed at 66 and 63% respectively, placing them firmly in the middle of the table.

    The only brand to enter the top five was Tanqueray Dry Gin (£18), which was awarded this gin a score of 75%.

    The gin marketplace is crowded and competitive, with sales of gin having doubled in the five-year lead-up to March 2018. Given the proliferation of new brands, varieties and distilleries springing up, gin-lovers have more choice than ever before.

    Harry Rose, Editor of Which? Magazine, said: ‘With sales of gin rocketing and shoppers facing more choice than ever, it’s good news for gin-lovers that our expert test has found some excellent high street contenders that don’t cost a fortune.

    ‘Well-known brands are being challenged by a range of impressive supermarket offerings, showing how strong the demand for gin is now.’

    Which? expert tips for the perfect gin and tonic:

    Which? expert tips for the perfect gin and tonic:

    1. Choose your glass wisely: Which? recommends a Tom Collins or highball glass. Balloon glasses are all the rage, but the top-heavy design means you are likely to cradle the bowl in your hands which can lead to cold hands and a warm gin and tonic.

    2. Pick the right tonic: the Which? gin experts blind-tested some of the premium tonics and their prefered choice was Fevertree.

      However, our experts agree that Schweppes is a fine choice for everyday use. Whichever tonic you choose, pick a can rather than a bottle for maximum effervescence.

    3. Get your proportions right: according to our experts, the optimum ratio is one part gin to three parts tonic.

    4. Keep it cool: store your mixer in the fridge and fill your glass with ice. Bigger pieces of ice will keep your drink colder and undiluted for longer.

    5. Add the final flourish: pick the right citrus fruit for your gin and tonic.

      • Lemon: a slice at the bottom of the glass or a twist of peel on top is best. This is a classic companion to gin, complementing the dryness of tonic water.

      • Lime: the preferred choice for a gin and slimline tonic, as the slightly more acidic lime helps to cut through the sweetness of the artificial sugar substitutes

      • Grapefruit: an underutilised citrus that can bring an interesting flavour to a gin and tonic. Use a slice or run some peel around the rim of the glass to give your drink a fragrant edge.

    MORE: Woman finds a love letter between two strangers stored in a DVD case

    MORE: How we learned to love our afro hair

    MORE: Here’s how you can get paid to eat Yorkshire puddings


    Sainsbury's-gin-73ccSainsbury's-gin-73cclauraabernethy6Glass of Gin and Tonic with Ice and Lime, sitting on old leather suitcases.Sainsbury's-gin-73ccSainsbury's-gin-73cclauraabernethy6Glass of Gin and Tonic with Ice and Lime, sitting on old leather suitcases.

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    Picture: Fashion Nova

    Your Halloween costume is either going to be brilliant, barmy, or worst of all, unrecognisable.

    But no one would ever dare judge a doggie Halloween costume, no matter how much or how little effort you put into dressing up your pup.

    So if you can’t be bothered to dress up as a popular fiction character for the umpteenth time, then hey, at least let your dog go as a mini pirate or Harley Quinn.

    Online retailer Fashion Nova is giving the people what they want by offering their pet costumes for discounted prices. If you act quick, the outfits might just arrive in time for the big spookfest.

    Baby Monster Pet Costume, $12/£9.35

    Picture: FashionNova Dog halloween costumes
    (Picture: FashionNova)

    Pirate Girl Costume, $10/£7.79

    Picture: FashionNova Dog halloween costumes
    (Picture: FashionNova)

     

    Walking pirate costume, $10/£7.79

    Picture: FashionNova Dog halloween costumes
    (Picture: FashionNova)

     

    Shark pet costume, $10/£7.79

    Picture: FashionNova Dog halloween costumes
    (Picture: FashionNova)

     

    Police dog costume, $12/£9.35

    Picture: FashionNova Dog halloween costumes
    (Picture: FashionNova)

    MORE: Halloween comes early for the animals at London Zoo

    MORE: Pictures that show everyone really enjoyed Halloween

    MORE: Three tiny kittens survive being locked in a car for a week during a 2,000 mile journey


    Dog halloween costumesDog halloween costumesfaimabakar1Picture: FashionNova Dog halloween costumesPicture: FashionNova Dog halloween costumesPicture: FashionNova Dog halloween costumesPicture: FashionNova Dog halloween costumesPicture: FashionNova Dog halloween costumesDog halloween costumesDog halloween costumesfaimabakar1Picture: FashionNova Dog halloween costumesPicture: FashionNova Dog halloween costumesPicture: FashionNova Dog halloween costumesPicture: FashionNova Dog halloween costumesPicture: FashionNova Dog halloween costumes

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    (Picture: Pirates of the Hidden Spirit)

    Grab your crew – it’s time to get shipfaced.

    A pirate-themed immersive bar is coming to London.

    From 22 November, The Golden Hinde ship, docked near London Bridge, will become The Hidden Spirit.

    You can join Captain Jack Cassidy on board to hunt treasure – and of course enjoy a few cocktails.

    (Picture: Pirates of the Hidden Spirit)

    After the growth in immersive bars, such as the Alcotraz themed bar and the Harry Potter inspired The Cauldron, this is your chance to enjoy a night as a pirate.

    You’ll even be given pirate coats and hats to help you fit in as you enjoy cocktails including Royal Docks (a Royal G&T with elderflower & Earl Grey tea), Beneath the Bridge (a salted caramel Old Fashioned) and St Mary’s Margarita (a Persian Lime & Nori Margarita).

    Pirates of the Hidden Spirit launches at St Mary Overie Dock, central London, on 22 November.

    Visits will last for one hour and forty minutes and cost £34.99 per person.

    MORE: Don’t forget your dog costumes this Halloween

    MORE: Sainsbury’s own brand gin beats Tanquery, Gordon’s and Beefeater to be crowned the best

    MORE: How we learned to love our afro hair


    Hidden Spirit-02-7aa1Hidden Spirit-02-7aa1lauraabernethy6Hidden Spirit-02-7aa1Hidden Spirit-02-7aa1lauraabernethy6

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    Millionnaire couple Mark Beresford and wife Sharon are raffling away their £3m home – and it could be yours for just £25.

    The couple have printed 250,000 raffle tickets and they are hoping to sell half, if not all of them, to cover the value of the property, Avon Place, near Ringwood, Hampshire.

    And even if you don’t win the top prize, you could still walk away with an Aston Martin worth £160,000.

    After slow sales, Mark and Sharon decided to add another incentive to get people to buy the tickets by offering the flashy car as a runner-up prize.

    So, paying £25 for a luxury home or car really is quite the bargain.

    BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833) Pic: DeepSouthMedia/BNPS A couple who are raffling their stunning ?3m house at ?25 a pop have thrown in a runner's up prize ? a brand new Aston Martin worth ?160,000. Mark Beresford, a company managing director, and wife Sharon got fed up with sales of their six-bed riverside home falling through so they decided on the radical sales tactic. They will have to sell 120,000 tickets to reach the ?3m value of Avon Place near Ringwood, Hants. Now, to provide an extra incentive to enter the competition, they will take the runner-up to a showroom and get them to pick the Aston Martin DB11 V8 of their choice.
    (Picture: DeepSouthMedia/BNPS)
    A couple who are raffling their stunning ??3m house at ??25 a pop have thrown in a runner's up prize ??? a brand new Aston Martin worth ??160,000. Mark Beresford, a company managing director, and wife Sharon got fed up with sales of their six-bed riverside home falling through so they decided on the radical sales tactic. They will have to sell 120,000 tickets to reach the ??3m value of Avon Place near Ringwood, Hants. Now, to provide an extra incentive to enter the competition, they will take the runner-up to a showroom and get them to pick the Aston Martin DB11 V8 of their choice
    (Picture: DeepSouthMedia/BNPS)

    After all their children flew the nest, the Beresfords have been looking to sell the family home.

    But it’s been a bit of a struggle to shift the six-bedroom mansion so the couple made the decision to raffle it away.

    If they manage to sell every ticket they’ve printed, they will have make over £6m in total, double what the property is valued at.

    Avon Place was designed by a German company, Huf Haus, in their signature wooden and glass styles, and is located on an elevated one-acre plot.

    All six bedrooms have ensuite bathrooms, seven reception rooms that include a games room, a cinema with a 65in screen and various other living room.

    You can also expect a state-of-the-art kitchen, with designer Gaggenau appliances fitted.

    Thankfully, you don’t have to worry too much about the upkeep either as the house is energy efficient and sustainable with around £270 per month, covering gas, electricity and water bills.

    Whether you have a car or not, the giant garage can fit up to four vehicles. Oh and you’ll have access to 60ft of direct frontage of the River Avon, along with fishing rights.

    BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833) Pic: DeepSouthMedia/BNPS A couple who are raffling their stunning ?3m house at ?25 a pop have thrown in a runner's up prize ? a brand new Aston Martin worth ?160,000. Mark Beresford, a company managing director, and wife Sharon got fed up with sales of their six-bed riverside home falling through so they decided on the radical sales tactic. They will have to sell 120,000 tickets to reach the ?3m value of Avon Place near Ringwood, Hants. Now, to provide an extra incentive to enter the competition, they will take the runner-up to a showroom and get them to pick the Aston Martin DB11 V8 of their choice.
    (Picture: DeepSouthMedia/BNPS)

    ‘We really want to sell enough tickets to be able to move house,’ said 61-year-old businessman Mark.

    ‘We thought that offering a brand new Aston Martin would be a temptation that many wouldn’t be able to resist. They really are iconic cars and are great to drive.

    ‘We’ve had a fantastic response to the competition so far with people across the world buying tickets from the Win A Mega Home website.

    ‘We built the house intending to sell it, but moved in for a while and ended living here for 12 years and raising our three children.’

    BNPS.co.uk (01202 558833) Pic: DeepSouthMedia/BNPS Mark Beresford at Harwoods Aston Martin dealerhsip in Chichester to promote the runner up prize for his 'Win a Mega Home' competition. A couple who are raffling their stunning ?3m house at ?25 a pop have thrown in a runner's up prize ? a brand new Aston Martin worth ?160,000. Mark Beresford, a company managing director, and wife Sharon got fed up with sales of their six-bed riverside home falling through so they decided on the radical sales tactic. They will have to sell 120,000 tickets to reach the ?3m value of Avon Place near Ringwood, Hants. Now, to provide an extra incentive to enter the competition, they will take the runner-up to a showroom and get them to pick the Aston Martin DB11 V8 of their choice.
    (Picture: DeepSouthMedia/BNPS)
    A couple who are raffling their stunning ??3m house at ??25 a pop have thrown in a runner's up prize ??? a brand new Aston Martin worth ??160,000. Mark Beresford, a company managing director, and wife Sharon got fed up with sales of their six-bed riverside home falling through so they decided on the radical sales tactic. They will have to sell 120,000 tickets to reach the ??3m value of Avon Place near Ringwood, Hants. Now, to provide an extra incentive to enter the competition, they will take the runner-up to a showroom and get them to pick the Aston Martin DB11 V8 of their choice
    All this could be yours (Picture: DeepSouthMedia/BNPS)

    ‘The winner of the house and the car can keep them or sell them as they wish – it’s up to them.

    ‘We will pay the stamp duty and solicitors’ fees with the house and I’ll take the winner of the car to the showroom so they can pick the one they want.

    ‘A lot of people think this is too good to be true – but it’s not, it’s a genuine offer and the odds are far better than the National Lottery.’

    To enter, see here, The raffle will end on 31 December and the draw will be made on 9 January.

    Good luck to all.

    MORE: A live-in pinecone-shaped treehouse is now up for sale

    MORE: Tube map shows what you need to earn to be able to afford homes at each station

    MORE: This restaurant is hosting a three-course meal for you and your dog for one day only


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    (Picture: Getty)

    Women are regularly subject to questions about their periods; some are okay to answer them, others will tell you to google it yourself.

    Sex education also just about covers the basics and is sometimes segregated between girls and boys – meaning the latter don’t quite truly understand menstruation.

    As periods are generally quite taboo, some men have made assumptions – mainly that period blood is similar to peeing.

    One woman explained how her boss – a middle-aged, married state representative, didn’t know how periods work and always despised sanitary products.

    He thought tampons were sex toys and women just used the excuse of periods to faff around the toilets.

    (Picture: Getty)

    ‘Once I worked as an intern in the state capital,’ wrote the user on Tumblr. ‘One of the representatives I worked for was this middle-aged guy. And he hated the tampon and napkin machines in the women’s bathrooms. Hated them. He insisted that they weren’t necessary.

    ‘My period started suddenly, as it sometimes does, and I asked to excuse myself to go to the ladies room. He wanted to know why. I told him.

    ‘He started ranting about how lazy women were. How we wasted time. How we were so careless and unhygienic, and that there was no call for that. He finished by telling me that I certainly was not going to the ladies’ room and that I was just going to sit there and work.

    ‘“If I don’t go,” I said in an overly patient tone, “the blood is going to soak through my pants, stain my new skirt that I just bought, and possibly get on this chair I’m sitting in. I need something to soak up the blood. That’s why I need to go to the bathroom”.’

    ‘His face turned oatmeal-grey; an expression of pure horror spread across his face. He leaned forward and whispered, “Wait, you mean that if you don’t go, you’ll just keep on bleeding? I thought that women could turn it off any time that they wanted!”.’

    ‘I thought “you have got to be kidding”.’

    (Picture: Getty)

    To her shock, after several whispers later, the manager then explained how he’d thought women could hold in their blood as with urine. He also thought tampons were dildos, paid for by the Health and Human Services, which is why he and his friends considered them luxury items.

    The woman, 20 years old at the time, explained the importance of sex education and why it’s needed so badly; not least of which is to stop powerful men in charge of decision-making enacting uninformed choices that affect half the population.

    MORE: It’s time we were honest about our time of the month. We must end the stigma, period

    MORE: Is it OK to masturbate while in hospital?

    MORE: This is what it is like to have a relative who has been sectioned


    Co-workers talking together at office spaceCo-workers talking together at office spacefaimabakar1Co-workers talking together at office spaceCo-workers talking together at office spacefaimabakar1

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    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Newscast/REX/Shutterstock (8521776he) Ben&Jerry's,ice cream Stock, Various - 11 Mar 2016
    (Picture: Newscast/REX/Shutterstock)

    It might be winter time but we can still enjoy ice cream, right?

    Especially if it’s free.

    Ben & Jerry’s have announced that they are giving away free ice cream across the UK this week.

    And it’s all to raise awareness of the ‘Waiting isn’t Working’ campaign which sets out to help reinstate the right to work for people seeking asylum.

    You can pick up free scoops of fan favourite Fairtrade flavours, as well as a heart-warming hot chocolate made with the ice cream duos Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream.

    (Picture: Ben and Jerry’s)

    The tour kicks off in Leeds on 29 October, before travelling to Exeter on 30 October, London on 1 November and finally Cardiff on 7 November.

    Rebecca Baron, Ben & Jerry’s UK Social Mission Manager, said: ‘We love to get out on the road to connect with our fans over a scoop and dig a little deeper on important issues. If we can mobilise the huge numbers of people already in support of giving people seeking asylum the right to work then together we can drive a historic change. There’s no time to waste.’

    Stephen Hale, CEO Refugee Action, said: ‘Giving people seeking asylum the right to work would give more opportunity and dignity to people seeking safety, by allowing them to provide for their families and give back to their new communities. The ‘Waiting isn’t Working’ tour is a great way to get our message heard far and wide and, in turn, drive action on a timely topic.’

    The ice cream brand is encouraging those who pick up a free scoop to sign a petition, to change rights to work for refugees.

    The petition will be handed in to the Home Secretary ahead as the Government develops its new Immigration Bill. The Waiting Isn’t Working campaign supports the efforts of the Lift the Ban coalition – made up of over 100 organisations including Refugee Action and Ben & Jerry’s – that’s committed to driving a change in policy for people seeking asylum.

    MORE: Menstruating woman’s boss thinks tampons are sex toys and she can just turn her period off

    MORE: You can get a house worth £3m or an Aston Martin worth £160,000 for just £25

    MORE: You can set sail with Captain Jack at an immersive pirate-themed bar in London


    Stock, Various - 11 Mar 2016Stock, Various - 11 Mar 2016lauraabernethy6Mandatory Credit: Photo by Newscast/REX/Shutterstock (8521776he) Ben&Jerry's,ice cream Stock, Various - 11 Mar 2016Stock, Various - 11 Mar 2016Stock, Various - 11 Mar 2016lauraabernethy6Mandatory Credit: Photo by Newscast/REX/Shutterstock (8521776he) Ben&Jerry's,ice cream Stock, Various - 11 Mar 2016

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    pastel glitter Christmas tinsel placed around edges to create border with copy space for text
    (Picture: Kelly Bowden/Getty Images)

    Advent calendars aren’t just about chocolate anymore.

    There are coveted beauty and makeup calendars, where you get an exciting new product each day, the Harry Potter calendar (filled with Funko dolls in the shapes of wizards and witches) and even the odd adult toy calendar.

    But, for those of us who enjoy the eating and drinking during the jolly season the most, we present a whole horde of exciting new products in 2018.

    To make your life easier, we’ve rounded up the best ones.

    Drinks by the Dram Gin Calendar

    Food & drink calendar round-up (I)
    (Picture: Drinks by the Dram)

    Price: £124.95

    Packaging: The doors are a bit difficult to open, and the yellow, blue and green colour scheme is a little off-trend.

    What’s inside: One of our favourite calendars this year, filled with some of the finest gin you can imagine – from both boutique and established brands. Inside, you’ll find 24 wax-sealed gins in 30ml bottles, such as botanical beauties and sloe gin, aged gin, Ableforth’s Bathtub gin and a Yuletide tipple from the Boutique-y gin company.

    Festive joy: It’s a gin calendar. Do you really need another reason to feel festive?

    Best for: If you often find yourself ordering a standard G&T in the pub, and would like to taste what else is out there.

    When and where you can buy it: You can pre-order it from a range of stockists, have a look here.

    Pukka Tea Calendar

    Food & drink calendar round-up (I)
    (Picture: Pukka)

    Price: £9.99

    Packaging: A little unusual, which we appreciate – you can hang it up on the wall and just pick your tea off each day. Sure, there’s less of a surprise element, but sometimes choice is a good thing.

    What’s inside: Organic herbal teas galore in every flavour you could want.

    Festive joy: Seasonal ingredients like cardamom and cinnamon that will linger in the air as you sip your brew.

    Best for: Anyone British. Tea people. Not for Scandinavians (we prefer coffee).

    When and where you can buy it: Get it from online retailers like Ocado, Amazon and Bodykind, or go onto the brand’s own website to search for a local stockist.

    McVitie’s Biscuit Calendar

    (Picture: B&M)

    Price: £9.99

    Packaging: Like your average calendar, with 25 doors to open. The design features a cosy village and a sack full of treats, casually left out in the snow.

    What’s inside: You can’t have a cuppa without a biscuit, right? Dunk Penguins, Clubs and Gold Bars in your Pukka tea, as you sit by an open fire. Or a heater. Door 25 has a little surprise for you.

    Festive joy: Tea and biscuits is a British joy all in itself, so it counts.

    Best for: Pretty much any family member, friend or colleague.

    When and where you can buy it: Sold at B&M and already in store, so you better hurry.

    Naked Marshmallow Calendar

    (Picture: Naked Marshmallow)

    Price: £15

    Packaging: Bright and exciting, with a reference to Nat King Cole’s Christmas tune, ‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire’.

    What’s inside: We were a bit disappointed by this one. It has a really great offering with six flavours including Gingerbread and S’mores, but it gets sickeningly sweet after a while. Plus points for the tasty Mint Chop Chip and the milk chocolate spoon behind door 25, which can be used to make hot chocolate.

    Festive joy: If you get the add-on kit along with your calendar, you can spike your mellow on a bamboo stick and grill it over a mini-toaster.

    Best for: People who appreciate quirky gifts, like sugary treats and who are tired of the usual chocolate calendar.

    When and where you can buy it: The calendars sold out last year. Get out ahead and pre-order now, the second round of deliveries will take place on 1 November.

    Snaffling Pig: Beer & Scratchings Calendar

    Food & drink calendar round-up (I)
    (Picture: Snaffling Pig)

    Price: £65

    Packaging: Sadly, due to a lack of bubble wrap, one of the bottles in the package had broken and our offices smelled like beer all day. And while that’s not necessarily a bad thing, we don’t like wasted beer. The ‘Logistics Pig’ on the brand’s website has announced that the crackling and beer is now delivered in two separate packages though, so let’s hope they’ve fixed that kink in the system.

    What’s inside: The Snaffling Pic Co. has partnered up with Meantime Brewery to create an advent calendar suitable for any beer lover. Admittedly, it gets a bit repetitive (given you’ve only got one beer and one snack to choose from) but still, booze and crackling isn’t a bad way to end your day. The calendar contains 12 beers (London Lager, Pale Ale and Yakima Red) and 12 packets of crackling.

    Festive joy: Maple flavoured crackling, along with salt and BBQ options too.

    Best for: Men and women who like nice beer and crackling. But be warned, it’s not one for beer snobs, they’ll want more variety than this.

    When and where you can buy it: You can get it from the brand’s website now.

    B&M Kellogg’s Calendar

    (Picture: B&M)

    Price: £8.99

    Packaging: Looks like your average Kellogg’s box, really.

    What’s inside: 24 cereal bars and two pop tarts, with Coco Pops, Frosties, Rice Krispies and Squares all up for grabs. Odds are these will sell out quickly (and you’ll probably be tempted to eat more than one a day), so we’d recommend getting two. Just to be on the safe side.

    Festive joy: Tony and Coco have each been given a Santa hat. That’s about it.

    Best for: Morning people, families and kids.

    When and where you can buy it: B&M stores across the country.

    Boost Box Protein Calendar

    (Picture: Boost Box)

    Price: £39.99

    Packaging: It’s a big box, with a blue bow on it.

    What’s inside: Boost Box was started by two bros who were ‘had a passion for fitness & wanted to build a brand that cut-the-crap’. The subscription service has now launched into advent calendars with 25 protein treats, from brands such as Battle Bites, Bounce, Boost Ball and Pulsin.

    Festive joy: Sure to make December a jolly time for gym bunnies and health-conscious millennials.

    Best for: Anyone who regularly posts the phrase ‘leg day’ on Facebook.

    When and where you can buy it: You can get it online. When you’re done lifting weights, click here.

    Sous Chef Chilli Calendar

    Food & drink calendar round-up (I)
    Picture: Sous Chef)

    Price: £29.95

    Packaging: The calendar falls short when it comes to its packaging. It’s not very different to any other plain post box, apart from its admittedly cheerful print.

    What’s inside: Once again, the packaging is slightly disappointing, as there are no doors to rip open (which is half the fun of an advent calendar). Instead, there are 25 red sachets. But it’s still a winner, as the actual fillings are very exciting and include spices from countries such as China, Mexico, India, Taiwan, USA, Spain and Italy.

    Festive joy: It’s an inclusive calendar that celebrates flavours from all over the world.

    Best for: Your parents, people who like to cook and those who appreciate a nice gift (but don’t need the obvious Christmas theme).

    When and where you can buy it: Get it from the brand’s own website, available now.

    First 4 Hampers: Gin Calendar

    Food & drink calendar round-up (I)first4hampers
    (Picture: First 4 Hampers)

    Price: £125

    Packaging: It’s a humongous Christmas cracker – we’re in love. However, it was rather fiddly getting the bottles out of the doors.

    What’s inside: Flavour, flavour, flavour. Gin flavour, that is. Indulge in Yorkshire Tea, Raspberry Jam, Strawberries & Cream and Mulled Winter Fruit, alongside Sloe gin, Rhubarb and Rosehip, Orange, Lavender and Cucumber gin. There’s more, but we don’t want to spoil the surprise.

    Festive joy: Like the creators of the cracker say: ‘Gin-gle all the way’. And, it’s suitable for both vegans and vegetarians.

    Best for: Yourself. Or, get an extra one and share it at the dinner table on Christmas Day.

    When and where you can buy it: Sold at First 4 Hampers, Amazon and Master of Malt, among others.

    Pact Coffee Calendar

    (Picture: Pact)

    Price: £39.00

    Packaging: Yet another box with sachets, but this one is more colourful, in light turquoise and red. Easy to store and use too, just pop it on your counter next to the kettle.

    What’s inside: Divine, aromatic caffeine, along with a little book to explain the 25 speciality brews. Each 18g sachet is pre-ground (suitable to be used in an Aeropress, cafetière or drip-brewed) and there are eight different origins for you to sample.

    Festive joy: The brand has partnered with Shelter, an organisation that supports those who are homeless, with 50p from each box given to the charity.

    Best for:

    When and where you can buy it: Pre-order it online and the goodies will be shipped out around 18 November.

    Swizzels Calendar

    (Picture: Swizzels/Ella Byworth)

    Price: £5

    Packaging: A decent-sized calendar, shaped like Santa’s little workshop, covered in snow and candy canes.

    What’s inside: Filled with retro sweets. On the upside, you can munch on Drumstick squashies, Banana Skids, Refreshers and Love Hearts. On the downside, none of the treats are vegetarian or vegan, so think about who you’re getting it for.

    Festive joy: Will bring back memories from childhood.

    Best for: People with a sweet tooth and those who moan about things like ‘Freddos used to cost 10p’.

    When and where you can buy it: You can get this one in a variety of shops (Wilko, for instance) and online.

    Virgin Wines Calendar

    Picture: Virgin Wines)

    Price: £79.99

    Packaging: Always keep it in its upright position. If you put it down, you risk all the bottles moving around inside the package, which, trust us, isn’t fun to sort through.

    What’s inside: So, so heavy – but given it contains 24 miniature bottles of wine, we’re not surprised. It’s an excellent selection of new and old world, red and white wines, along with one rose, a port and some bubbly. Something for everyone – Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Pinot Grigio, Malbec and more. Our favourite tipple is the Les Hautes Terrasses Côtes du Rhône.

    Festive joy: A glass of wine a day keeps Christmas shopping troubles at bay. Or something like that.

    Best for: Wine connoisseurs, your best friend or yourself.

    When and where you can buy it: You can get it from Virgin Wines, but we recommend you look around online first as you might find other, cheaper retailers.

    Fever-Tree: Gin & Tonic Calendar

    Food & drink calendar round-up (I)
    (Picture: Fever-Tree)

    Price: £60

    Packaging: Minimalistic design with gold detailing, stands up on its own.

    What’s inside: It’s already caused quite a fuss in the advent calendar world, but then again who doesn’t love a gin calendar? Featuring 12 miniature 50ml bottles from Portobello Road, Warner Edwards and Hendrick’s gin, to be mixed with 12 miniature cans of tonic. Special tonic flavours include Aromatic and Elderflower.

    Festive joy: Not much. A tad boring perhaps, when compared to other gin calendars, but it is a first for the brand.

    Best for: People who prefer to have their tonic ready with their gin, instantly.

    When and where you can buy it: Exclusively sold in Waitrose and available now.

    MORE: Sainsbury’s and Asda launch a cheese-filled advent calendar

    MORE: B&M launches McVitie’s biscuits filled advent calendar

    MORE: The best beauty and makeup advent calendars for 2018 – where to get them, what’s inside, and how much they cost


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