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- 11/13/18--02:49: _Travel blogger slam...
- 11/13/18--03:26: _More good sex could...
- 11/13/18--03:46: _The 2019 food and d...
- 11/13/18--03:51: _Bride shares story ...
- 11/13/18--04:09: _Dad left seriously ...
- 11/13/18--04:54: _These pictures have...
- 11/13/18--04:59: _Homebase has been r...
- 11/13/18--05:04: _Could getting elect...
- 11/13/18--05:25: _Ikea meatballs are ...
- 11/13/18--06:37: _What is palm oil, i...
- 11/13/18--06:44: _How to find wellnes...
- 11/13/18--07:05: _Man makes thousands...
- 11/13/18--07:07: _Bride and cross-dre...
- 11/13/18--07:11: _7 reasons your next...
- 11/13/18--07:28: _98-year-old grandda...
- 11/13/18--07:35: _Iceland launches Ma...
- 11/13/18--07:43: _Why you shouldn’t b...
- 11/13/18--08:20: _Aldi finally launch...
- 11/13/18--08:34: _The best Black Frid...
- 11/13/18--09:21: _You should probably...
- 11/13/18--03:26: More good sex could apparently add £90 billion to the economy
- 11/13/18--03:46: The 2019 food and drink trends you need to know about
- 11/13/18--04:59: Homebase has been rated the worst online retailer in the UK
- Improved muscular definition and weight loss
- Increased overall strength and power output
- Enhanced cardiovascular efficiency
- Effective rehabilitation, especially for lower back issues
- 11/13/18--05:25: Ikea meatballs are available on Uber Eats now, hurrah
- 20 meatballs
- Mash or chips
- Cream sauce
- Lingonberry jam
- 2 x Daim cake
- Sanela cushion cover
- Avsiktig napkins
- Oddrun throw
- Sinnlig scented candle
- 20 x veggie palls
- Butternut squash, courgette, and kale hash
- 2 x plain sugar doughnut
- 2 x Flimra wine glasses
- Marit place mat
- Smycka fake flower
- Gullmaj napkin
- Stabbig decoration for candle
- 20 x meatballs
- 20 x veggie balls
- Mash or chips
- Butternut squash, courgette, and kale hash
- Cream sauce
- Lingonberry jam
- 2 x Daim cake
- 2 x plain sugar doughnuts
- 10 pack of Vinter disposable cups
- 10 pack Vinter paper plates
- Strala LED lighting chain
- Fantastik paper napkins
- Marit table runner
- 11/13/18--06:37: What is palm oil, is it bad for you and where does it come from?
- 11/13/18--06:44: How to find wellness in Tokyo and Nikko
- 11/13/18--07:11: 7 reasons your next long-haul trip should be to Cuba
- 11/13/18--07:35: Iceland launches Marmite Brussels sprouts and we are horrified
- 11/13/18--07:43: Why you shouldn’t brush your dog’s teeth with human toothpaste
- 11/13/18--08:20: Aldi finally launches is six litre bottle of prosecco
- 11/13/18--08:34: The best Black Friday fashion deals for 2018
- Thursday/Friday 16/17 November – Up to 30% off selected brands
- Monday/Tuesday 19/20 November – Up to 50% off going out
- Wednesday/Thurdays 21/22 November – Up to 50% off winter shop
- Friday and weekend – 50% off hundreds of lines
- Cyber Monday – 20% off and free delivery
- 11/13/18--09:21: You should probably get a heated bed for your dog this winter
What would you do for the perfect Instagram post? Would you risk your life?
This Insta influencer was slammed when she stood in front of an approaching train at a busy junction in Thailand.
Patricia Alejos Monzon, who has lived in Australia, Spain, Sweden, and Germany posed at the famous Maeklong Railway Market, staring directly at the train a mere few metres away from her.
After uploading the picture on her social media, she was criticised for the ‘irresponsible’ post.
‘Probably not the best to promote photos like this. There are tons of kids who get in hot water attempting to emulate pics like this. Just my two cents,’ wrote one user.
‘Been there and these people are right. Yes, it may not be as fast as the other trains, but it can still move quickly. Or maybe the train operator tried to slow down because of you. Putting yourself at risk just for an Instagram picture, just for more likes, more attention, and more followers? Not worth it,’ said another person.
‘You shouldn’t promote this,’ wrote another, ‘you are giving the wrong impression of safety and some people following you might get hurt if they do the same. I’ve been there and though the train is slow, everyone should be out of the railway when it comes by.’
In the image, Patricia can be seen wearing almost matching colours to the vehicle in front of her, with her back turned to the camera. The people in front of her, and on the sides of the tracks, where vendors sell food and produce, watched on, taking pictures and videos of the whole thing.
The market is famous for the train that runs through it, however, it’s not often people stand in the way of the vehicle.
The blogger and architect, who has 30,000 followers, has defended her decision to stand in the train tracks, saying it had been moving slowly and there were no real risks.
‘First, this is not dangerous at all, and second I am not the first and won’t be the last person taking a photo here or any other dangerous places,’ she wrote.
‘It is on ourselves to be aware of the dangers and the limits. Even if I would not take this photo, people would anyway. I am not a person who takes a big risk just for a photo, I value my safety and life.
‘It was not that risky. The train was so slow that you could have walked ahead easily. It was rather dangerous how close it passed in front of the people and stands. It was like 10cm.
‘They said that it was really dangerous what I was doing,’ she wrote in the caption. ‘They were holding their cellphones filming how the train was coming at 5 km/h speed while screaming at me saying that I was at risk.
‘Well, to be honest at that speed even a turtle would have saved its life.’
Patricia, who is currently touring South East Asian, is known for her glamorous travel pics and some people defended the contraversial picture, calling it a perfect shot.
SEI_39815234-feecSEI_39815234-feecfaimabakar1Travel blogger slammed for posing in front of a train
Many people just want to go to sleep after an earth-shattering orgasm, but it apparently makes people more productive.
A study from sex toy company Lelo (yes, we see the conflict of interest) has looked into the correlation between more climaxes, happiness, and our work output as a result.
Over three quarters (78%) of Britons surveyed said orgasms make them happier, two thirds (66%) say that they feel more productive after having an orgasm, and 40% believe they benefit from the happiness and productivity-boosting effects of an orgasm for up to five days afterwards.
University of Warwick figures show that when workers are happier, their productivity goes up by between 10 and 20%.
Ergo, orgasms make us happier, meaning we can do much better at work harder for our capitalist overlords – it’s the only way they’ll let us do anything fun, you see.
The ripple effect of this could be a huge £90 billion boost for the economy, as the average worker makes at least £129 more for their employer each week.
If our output increased by 20%, it could create enough money to allow for a much-needed four day week. Sounds good to us.
When we looked at whether masturbation breaks at work would be a good idea, psychologist and life coach Dr Cliff Arnall said: ‘I would expect a masturbation policy to result in more focus, less aggression, higher productivity, and more smiling.
‘Certainly taking a masturbation break for boredom or an escape would increase work focus.’
Lelo have done one better than masturbation breaks, going as far to give their own employees ‘self-love days’ to reduce their stress levels.
Staff at the company can take days off to have sex or self-pleasure, having plenty of orgasms and coming back to work happier the following morning.
Rosanna Spero, author of The Economy of Orgasms report said: ‘Researching the link between productivity and happiness and then linking this to the effects of an orgasm on our body and brain has been fascinating…
‘The arguments for ‘staying in’ more are compelling. It is very rare something free can be so effective’
There’s not really any way the government could ever enforce this, since some people have anorgasmia, others might have lower sex drives, and some might need a full moon, Jo Malone candles, and a steak dinner beforehand to cum.
It’s a nice thought, though, that the simple act of having good sex or a wonderful masturbation session could make the working day a little more bearable.
**ILLUSTRATION REQUEST** Reasons why I don’t like receiving oral sex (Almara Abgarian)**ILLUSTRATION REQUEST** Reasons why I don’t like receiving oral sex (Almara Abgarian)jessicacvlHow to do coital aligment technique during sex
Last year we saw the rise of miso, sourdough, modern Mexican food and the ever-versatile jackfruit.
2018 heralded the wave of meat-free eating, as more and more people turned to vegetarian and vegan alternatives – but what’s going to be trending in 2019?
Waitrose has brought together the knowledge of their food and drink experts to study the data and predict the top foodie trends for next year.
Whether you’re into fancy cocktails, eating out, fast food, or eating at home – there’s a trend for every taste. Get ahead of the wave this year and find out what you need to be serving at your dinner parties in January.
As with everything in our lives, we are starting to rely on technology more and more to improve our culinary experience. And experts predict that Artificial Intelligence could soon inform the way we eat.
Through the use of algorithms, voice-recognition technology and the like, our phones, apps and smart watches will know more about what we should be eating than we will.
It’s predicted that next year, more people will be using technology to receive accurate, tailored advice on what to eat, when to eat it, and how to look after themselves.
Personalised dietary advice could soon be accessible to everyone, and it could help people to make smarter, conscious choices about healthy eating.
It’s hard to think about ice cream in November – but we assure you, next year it’s going to big.
And we’re not talking about the humble 99 from your local ice cream van on the first hot day of the year. Ice cream is set to become a year-round treat with fancy parlours springing up all over the country.
Creators, inspired by the delights of Japan, will aim to make ice cream an unforgettable sensory experience. Marrying unusual flavours, textures and presentation for a truly Instagram-worthy dessert.
This year, ice cream sales smashed £1 billion in the UK alone, so it looks as though the resurgence of this childhood treat is just getting started.
West African Food
The culinary spoils of Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal and Mali are set to be the next big thing for 2019.
West African cuisine is spicy, vibrant and wholesome – and could usurp Indian food as the takeaway of choice in the coming months.
As well as sniffing out your local West African restaurants, it’s probably a good idea to brush up on some of the techniques and try these dishes at home.
Loads of West African food are big, one-pot dishes, so perfect for preparing ahead of time and impressing your friends at a dinner party.
If you love a negroni or an Aperol spritz, then you’ll already know the beguiling power of bitter flavours.
Way less basic than its sickly counterpart, bitter is a sophisticated flavour that lends itself to deeply warming recipes and distinctive tastes.
High-cocoa dark chocolate and kale are already firm favourites, both fit in to this bitterness trend and could be set to become even more popular.
Another knack to create a more bitter flavour, is charring food over a naked flame, a technique that is being used in a rising number of trendy restaurants, so there will be plenty of places to get your bitterness fix.
Continuing with the trend of wellness that has dominated 2018, cocktails next year are likely to be healthier, lower in sugar and often lacking in alcohol.
Vegan alternatives mean that everyone can enjoy a pisco sour, as more venues are swapping our egg whites for aquafaba – the water found in chickpea tins can be whisked to behave just like eggs.
Alcohol-free options will be on the rise, which makes sense given that almost a third of 16-25-year-olds don’t drink alcohol. Experts predict that although these drinks may be free of alcohol, they will have even more to offer when it comes to flavour.
There’s also likely to be a boost in savoury flavours next year. So expect your drinks to come with hints of beetroot and pickled onion, garnished with vegetable trimmings. Bring it on.
Close-Up Of Hand Holding Ice Cream Against SkyClose-Up Of Hand Holding Ice Cream Against Skynataliemorris88Confident businesswoman checking financial trading data with smart watch in city
It’s a truth universally known; you might not get along with your in-laws. While you can choose your partner, you can’t choose their family.
One bride thought she and her mother-in-law (MIL) had hit it off after attending her wedding dress fitting together along with her own mother, both of whom had cried at seeing her try on the gowns.
But after the special occasion was over, her in-law had accidentally sent the bride a text saying the whole thing was a shitshow.
The bride, who posted about the event on Reddit, was disheartened to learn it hadn’t gone as well as she’d thought.
‘My mum and one of my good friends came up from southern California to go shopping for a wedding dress,’ she wrote. ‘I invited my soon-to-be mother-in-law and my fiance’s sister to come along as well. Overall we had a great day and I got the most amazing dress. My mum cried and my fiancé’s mum cried, it was special.
‘At lunch, my mum told everyone she suggested I keep my maiden name for work only and take my fiancé’s name for personal life. I want to keep my personal life private from my work life. My fiance’s mum agreed with my mum because that is what she does for work too.
‘So later that night after we all parted ways, I get a text message that was “accidentally” sent to me. It was from my fiancé’s mother. I made the mistake of reading it with my fiance in the car.
‘The text said the whole day was a shitshow and that my mom advised me to not take my fiancé’s name for career reasons.
‘I’m so hurt and pissed that she would go around spreading lies about my mum. She knows that’s not what my mum said.’
The bride, who goes by the username Bamboo2u, explained the whole situation to her fiancé who urged his mum to apologise to his future wife.
When the two met again, the mother-in-law just looked down and ignored the bride, she wrote on the thread.
The user said she is the kind of person to kill ’em with kindness, which drives the MIL, crazy but Reddit users had vengeful ideas to take out on the mother.
One wrote to Bamboo2u saying: ‘Drop the rope. Tell her why: “We’re doing xyz wedding stuff. I am not inviting you because I do not want you to feel roped into another shitshow. No, no, you made it very clear how you feel, and your lack of apology was staggering. Show up to the wedding wearing beige, if you’re invited, and that’s all the involvement you’ll get to have”.’
mother sees cyber bullying on cellphonemother sees cyber bullying on cellphonefaimabakar1Mother-in-law 'accidentally- texts bride about 'shitshow' wedding dress fitting
Oh, we do love a good cake disaster.
Today’s cake-related mishap isn’t rude, it’s just a bit, um, disappointing.
In preparation for his son Mason’s third birthday, Shane Hallford headed to his local Woolworths store in Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia, to ask for a frog themed cake.
Mason loves frogs, you see, so Shane imagined they could decorate a cake to look like a big green frog, with the number three to show off his age.
‘I went down to the store three days before my son’s birthday to order the cake,’ says Shane. ‘I explained to them we wanted a frog theme, as my son loves frogs.
‘They told me it could done, no worries at all. He wrote down everything I said and said it would be ready by Sunday morning. I was very excited to see it.’
On the day of Mason’s birthday, Shane went to pick up the cake. He paid $49AUD (£28) and took it home without opening the box, trusting that inside would sit the frog cake of his dreams.
When he arrived home, he and his wife Amy opened the box.
What was inside was… not impressive.
Rather than a frog shaped from cake or a detailed icing sketch, the cake simply had an iced on smiley face and the number three.
Shane and Amy were not impressed.
‘It would have taken five seconds to do,’ said Shane.
‘Amy was very upset, as our guests were arriving in a couple of hours. We thought we would have to try and bake something else.
‘I decided to just ring Woolworths to see if they could fix it. I explained the situation but was told that they didn’t “decorate” cakes.
“They have other pre-made cakes for sale that all looked lovely, so I thought they would do a good job.
‘They do this every day for a living. Surely, they could have done something better than this.’
Thankfully, Shane and Amy were able to seek help from another cake decorator who ‘saved’ Mason’s birthday cake twenty minutes before guests arrived.
Mason enjoyed eating the repaired cake, so it wasn’t too much of a disaster.
‘A cake is an integral part of any child’s birthday party,’ says Shane. ‘You want a nice one, so you’re able to remember it and take photos.
‘I was most disappointed with just the lack of effort. It seemed like they didn’t even care.
‘It was a disgrace. I will never be buying cakes from Woolworths again.’
A spokesperson for Woolworths said: ‘We’re sorry to have disappointed the customer with our cake decorating, particularly on such a special day for the family.
‘We’ve been in contact with the customer to apologise and provided them with a $50 AUD giftcard.’
Disappointing 'frog' cakeDisappointing 'frog' cakeellencscottPIC FROM Shane Hallford / Caters News - (PICTURED: Mason,3, eating the cake) - A disgusted dad has slammed an Australian supermarket after they allegedly ruined his sons frog-themed birthday cake with their pathetic decorating skills.In preparation for his son Masons third birthday, devoted dad Shane Hallford, 43, claims to have forked out 0 on a special frog-themed birthday cake from his local Woolworths store in Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia yesterday morning (11 NOVEMBER).SEE CATERS COPYPIC FROM Shane Hallford / Caters News - (PICTURED: The birthday cake Shane Hallford bought for his son, Mason, 3 from Woolworths in Australia) - A disgusted dad has slammed an Australian supermarket after they allegedly ruined his sons frog-themed birthday cake with their pathetic decorating skills.In preparation for his son Masons third birthday, devoted dad Shane Hallford, 43, claims to have forked out 0 on a special frog-themed birthday cake from his local Woolworths store in Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia yesterday morning (11 NOVEMBER).SEE CATERS COPYPIC FROM Shane Hallford / Caters News - (PICTURED: The birthday cake after it was fixed by friends of the family) - A disgusted dad has slammed an Australian supermarket after they allegedly ruined his sons frog-themed birthday cake with their pathetic decorating skills.In preparation for his son Masons third birthday, devoted dad Shane Hallford, 43, claims to have forked out 0 on a special frog-themed birthday cake from his local Woolworths store in Tamworth, New South Wales, Australia yesterday morning (11 NOVEMBER).SEE CATERS COPY
Sometimes we are all in need of a little bit of inspiration just to get us through the day.
These pictures are the perfect solution.
They have have named as the 12 winners in a competition to find the most inspiring moments captured on camera in the UK.
The My Inspiring Moments competition was launched by photobook and print specialist CEWE Photoworld in conjunction with mental health charity Mind.
The UK competition, which was part of the CEWE Photo Award 2019, aimed to bring the joy back into photography, asking entrants to share their most treasured memories and inspiring moments they had ever captured on camera.
The overall winner was Leanne Vennard with an image of her friend and her son touching hands across a table.
Leanne commented: ‘I went out with a photography friend and my son for the first time and my shy quiet boy took to him straight away.
‘My friend took to him too and I was able to get this beautiful shot of them. It’s one of my all-time favourites.’
The twelve winners will now have their images compiled into a calendar which will be sold online at CEWE Photoworld, with £5 from the sale of each calendar going to mental health charity Mind.
Lets take a look at the winners:
Clare Moreton, Digital Marketing Director at CEWE Photoworld, commented: ‘Our research found that while people are taking more photos than at any other time in history, the pressure to post our lives on social media has taken away the joy of photography for photography’s sake.
‘The CEWE My Inspiring Moments competition aimed to bring the joy back into photography as an art form, asking people to share the photos that make them feel inspired and optimistic about the world we live in.
‘It was a delight to see all the amazing entries we received from people across the country and it was difficult selecting just 12 photos to win out of hundreds of entries.
‘We are looking forward to publishing our winners’ photos in our charity calendar and raising much deserved funds for Mind, which does great work in ensuring no one has to face mental health problems alone.’
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Homebase.co.uk has been rated the worst online retailer in the UK for 2018, Which? has announced after doing an its annual online shop survey.
Shoppers feel the site has a poor product range, low quality and is poor value for money.
The results were announced after Which? asked more than 10,000 people to rate the most popular online shops based on their own experiences in the last six months.
Those surveyed were also asked to rate websites for their experiences buying particular items and consider a variety of factors including price, product range, deliveries, product quality and the returns process.
The most highly rated shops in the Which? survey were smaller, specialised retailers such as LizEarle.com (94%), RicherSounds.com ( 93%), Rohan.co.uk (93%), SeasaltCornwall.co.uk (93%) and WexPhotoVideo.com (93%).
Homebase.co.uk achieved a customer score of just 55%, with shoppers saying they struggled to navigate the website the it often wasn’t up to date.
One person also added that the site is ‘unattractive’.
Alongside Homebase.co.uk, other shops with low ratings included SportsDirect.com (61%), DorthyPerkins.com (61%), DIY.com (B&Q) (62%), WHSmith.co.uk (63%) and JDSports.co.uk (63%).
SportsDirect.com, with a 61% overall customer score, received mixed customer feedback. One shopper said the product they bought from the sports retailer was ‘very poor quality’. But its cheap prices win many other customers over. ‘It has a fair range at good value,’ said another.
Other shoppers mentioned the Dorothy Perkins website having too slow a delivery process, saying that the shop was ‘nothing special’.
Winning the survey was beauty specialist LizEarle.com, with a customer score of 94%. The skincare retailer was praised for its natural ‘high-quality products’, ‘excellent service’ and ‘good money off offers’.
Many shoppers also mentioned that they were likely to get free gifts in their orders.
RicherSounds.com, Rohan.co.uk, SeasaltCornwall.co.uk and WexPhotoVideo.com all came in with a high overall customer score of 93% – and they received five star ratings in pretty much every category.
Harry Rose, Editor of Which? Magazine, said: ‘The online shops with the happiest customers tend to be the ones that offer a personal service, quality items and deliver quickly and conveniently.
‘Where the big players are lacking, either with poor service or confusing websites, smaller more specialised online retailers have seized the opportunity to make their mark and give shoppers exactly what they want.’
Homebase store, North Finchley, London, UK - 05 Aug 2018Homebase store, North Finchley, London, UK - 05 Aug 2018hattiegladwellmetroMandatory Credit: Photo by Richard Gardner/REX/Shutterstock (9780561b) Homebase store Homebase store, North Finchley, London, UK - 05 Aug 2018 The business is now under new ownershipFile photo dated 18/01/16 of a Homebase store sign. Homebase has been sold by its Australian owner Wesfarmers to retail restructuring firm Hilco, closing the chapter on a disastrous foray into British retail.A general view of a 'Dorothy Perkins' store on Oxford Street in London.BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 11: In this photo illustration a laptop displays the B&Q website on August 11, 2014 in Bristol, United Kingdom. This week marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale. Since that sale - a copy of an album by the artist Sting - online retailing has grown to such an extent that it is now claimed that 95 percent of the UK population has shopped online and close to one in four deciding to shop online each week. (Photo Illustration by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
EMS, or Electric Muscle Stimulation, sounds pretty scary. You get covered in wires, hooked up to a machine, they plug you in and zap your muscles… sure, sign us up.
But once you get used to the unsettling sensation of electric currents contracting your muscles involuntarily, it actually feels kind of good. In a slightly sadistic kind of way.
The trainers say it can be more effective for muscle conditioning and strengthening than going to the gym.
In a normal gym session you generally only work one or two muscle groups at a time – EMS targets all eight, at the same time. I tried it and can confirm that working all eight muscle groups, simultaneously, is hard.
The whole thing takes 20 minutes, but is apparently just as effective as an hour of strength-work in the gym. Which is ideal if you struggle to fit a workout into your day.
It’s basically cheating. The machine does the majority of the work for you, and it accelerates your progress to give you results faster.
How does EMS work?
EMS training is an active workout that utilises technology to amplify the signals that the brain sends to the muscles to make them contract.
It activates muscle fibres you can’t even feel or control in conjunction with the exercises, making the tissue work harder and more effectively. This means your workout will be more intense.
A form of EMS is commonly used by elite athletes to add another layer to their training regime, and the medical industry has used EMS for years to aid muscle rehabilitation after injury.
Once you’re hooked up in your suit, which has been inexplicably doused with warm water, you complete a short interval session with simple, gentle moves such as squats, lunges, and jogging on the spot.
But when the electricity is turned up, none of the moves feel simple or gentle.
Waiting for the first shock to kick in I was nervous as hell – I braced a lightning bolt – but it starts more like a gentle tickle in your muscles.
Your trainer works with you before the workout begins to find your perfect level of electricity – so what starts as a tickle ends as a pretty violent jolt, but you ease up to it so it isn’t too jarring.
The aim is to keep your muscles at a point where it feels like they’re pushing against a weight. So the electrodes around your glutes and thighs should make it feel as though you’re permanently in a deep squat – that delicious, trembly feeling that tells you you’re working hard.
The benefits of EMS
Benefits of EMS training
But the best thing is you really don’t have to work that hard. Just tense your muscles against the wave of electricity, and job done. It is tough, and it does feel weird – but you won’t be exhausted and drenched in sweat like you would after leg day in the gym.
Hours later, and I’m really starting to feel it. Whereas in the gym I tend to concentrate on my legs and bum – my strongest muscles by miles – EMS forced me to work on everything. My poor triceps have never experienced anything like it.
The skeptic in me couldn’t help but scoff at the idea of a 20-minute workout, how much could you possibly achieve in such a short space of time?
But the next morning, as I hobbled up the stairs to my office, my glutes told me exactly how much I had achieved.
It’s recommended that you don’t take part in EMS training more than once a week – so really it works to complement other kinds of training.
As tough as it is on your muscles, there isn’t that much of an elevation in heart rate, so in order to improve fitness levels and endurance you would probably want to keep up with running, spinning or HIIT classes alongside it.
And you really want to mention if you have any underlying injuries, even if they’re basically healed and don’t cause you much drama.
I had shoulder surgery for a long-term injury around seven months ago, I’ve completed my physio and think of myself as practically back to normal. But when I strapped on the suit and pumped a ton of electricity through my muscles, my dodgy shoulder didn’t like it one bit.
There are plenty of adjustments your trainer can make to accommodate for injuries, so make sure you shout up before you get plugged in.
It’s not cheap. Which is understandable when you think about how much high-tech kit is needed.
If you buy a year subscription, it works out at £39 per session, but if you buy a month package the classes jump to £55 per session, with four sessions to use over a six-week period.
What you’re getting is essentially a personal-training session – as most classes are one-on-one. So if you think about the cost of most PTs, the comparative price isn’t completely off the scale. But it’s a serious commitment.
If you’re strapped for time, but not strapped for cash, then this could be the perfect workout for you. Squeezing in a lunchtime EMS session once-a-week could speed up your progress in the gym and help you get where you want to be, faster.
If you’ve trekked down to your nearest Ikea (probably not that near, annoyingly) just to get a load of their iconic meatballs, we don’t blame you.
The Swedish delight is a popular staple for many a furniture enthusiast and beyond. Some people even pop to the Ikea restaurant for the grub and not for the purposely built home maze that the furniture store offers.
Good news for lovers of their famous dish then as Uber Eats is giving the people what they want; meatballs at your door.
Just tap the app.
If you like hygge then move over for a new Swedish concept – fredagsmys – the tradition of a cosy night in with friends and family which Ikea wants Brits to embrace.
Ikea has partnered with Uber Eats to deliver ‘celebrations on demand’, offering three handpicked packages which include the classic meatballs, veggie balls, and the famous Daim cake.
You don’t have to bother about setting the mood as the home and furniture shop has got you covered; along with your meals you’ll get a Sinnlig scented candle, Flimra wine glasses, and the new Strala LED lighting chain.
With these, you’ll get a main and dessert, priced between £10 and £20. Diners can choose between The Snug which includes 20 meatballs, mashed potatoes or chips, cream sauce, lingonberry jam, plus two Daim cakes.
The Formal features 20 veggie balls, butternut squash, courgette and kale hash, and two plain sugar doughuts. Both meals are for two people, priced at £10.
The Family Platter for four people is complete with all the above trimmings and is available for £20.
What's in each package?
The Snug – £10 for 2 people
The Formal £10 for 2 people
The family platter – £20 for 4 people
Now for the bad news: The offer isn’t around forever, and it’s available only in certain locations.
Ikea on Uber Eats will run for five days from 16 to 20 November, between 11am and 2pm and 5pm and 10pm. You’ll need to live a maximum of 2 miles away from the Ikea kitchen, located at Studio DDC, 367 Geffrye Street, E2 8HZ.
Sorry, West London pals.
You can also only order one Ikea menu per Uber Eats account per day, so you can’t stock up.
The collab with Uber Eats comes after Ikea’s research found that nearly nine in 10 (88%) UK adults would rather kick off the weekend with a cosy night in than head out into town.
It found that 89% are choosing to celebrate good news with friends and family at home. Also, 66% say comfort food is the most important factor for a great night in.
SEC_39829814-df2fSEC_39829814-df2ffaimabakar1IKEA partners with Uber Eats to launch celebrations on demand. For the first time, delicious hot food and products from IKEA will be available for delivery to enjoy at home
The Greenpeace video that has been promoted by Iceland has brought the debate on palm oil to a much wider audience.
The Iceland advert may not have been cleared for television, but it has still been seen by a huge amount of people who are now keen to know more about palm oil production.Game Of Thrones season 8 will arrive in April – new teaser trailer released
Despite it being an ingredient in such a vast amount of products, few people know a lot about palm oil, and the issues surrounding its production.
Here is what you need to know…
Palm oil is a popular cooking oil.
One of the tropical oils (along with coconut oil and palm kernel oil), it’s made from the fruit of oil palm trees.
The oil is found in many edible products like bread, biscuits, cereals, and processed convenience foods, as well as being used to make cosmetics like soaps, toothpaste and makeup.
The product is super cheap to produce as it produces up to nine times more oil per hectare than its closest counterpart, and according to Harvard Health Publishing, it became popular in 2006 when the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) announced that all trans fats must be declared on food packaging.
Because of this, many food manufacturers ditched trans fats and looked to trans fat-free palm oil instead.
But does trans fat-free mean healthy?
‘Palm oil is an excellent source of tocotrienols – a form of vitamin E with strong antioxidant properties that may support brain health,’ says Haleh Moravej, Senior Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences at Manchester Metropolitan University.
‘Not only that, palm oil has also been shown to provide protection against heart disease. Although some study results have been mixed, palm oil generally appears to have beneficial effects on heart disease risk factors.
‘Lastly the oil can help improve vitamin A status in people who are deficient or at risk of deficiency.’
Palm oil might be free of trans fats, but it’s high in saturated fats, which pose a significant risk to cardiovascular health, according to Livestrong.
This report by the Center of Science in the Public Interest states that palm oil is more healthy than partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, but less healthy than liquid oils like olive or rapeseed.
In 2016, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) raised concerns that high levels of 3-MCPD – a substance found in refined palm oil – could pose risk to kidneys, and the male reproductive system.
While 3-MCPD is suspected to be carcinogenic, EFSA they revised their guidelines earlier this year, increasing the safe consumption levels of the compound.
If palm oil was manufactured in an ethical way, it would seem a fairly solid choice for the kitchen.
However, it’s now used in around 50% of foods and other household products sold in the western world, and is currently the most widely consumed vegetable oil on the planet.
To satisfy this huge demand, tens of millions of tonnes of palm oil is produced every year. However, the production of this oil is contributing in major ways to deforestation, climate change, and the deaths of tens of thousands of animals,in places as varied as Africa, Asia, North America and South America.
The situation is so bad that Iceland announced it’s banning palm oil from all own brand products by the end of the year and they chose to publicise the Greenpeace video on the subject.
It would be a lot easier to make decisions concerning the oil if it was extremely bad for you – however we appear to have got ourselves into such a palm oil mess because it’s not the worst oil on the market, when it comes to health.
Add to that the fact it’s cheap to produce, and you’ve got an oil that’s obviously going to be in demand.
Boycotting palm oil altogether is a tricky issue – once you start looking, you’ll realise it’s in so many products, and often in disguise.
However, if we start blindly boycotting it, we’re putting people’s sole livelihoods at risk, and there are millions of people who work in the industry – an industry that has helped lift rural communities out of poverty, according to WWF.
Although there are doubts surrounding ‘sustainable palm oil’, it still makes more sense to opt for products containing the sustainable version than not, if you want to do your bit to help.
You can read more about sustainable palm oil and the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) here.
Food products likely to contain palm oil
Other products likely to contain palm oil
How to know if these products contain palm oil
Many products will not outright say that it contains palm oil, but instead list it as one of many other names.
However, if you see any of the following then the product contains palm oil.
Euphemisms for palm oil
Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Fat, Palm Kernel, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Fruit Oil, Palmate, Palmitate, Palmolein, Glyceryl, Stearate, Stearic Acid, Elaeis Guineensis, Palmitic Acid, Palm Stearine, Palmitoyl Oxostearamide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Kernelate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate, Hyrated Palm Glycerides, Etyl Palmitate, Octyl Palmitate, Palmityl Alcohol
When you think of a trip to Tokyo, you probably picture tall buildings plastered with flashing ads, colourful outfits in Harajuku, and weird and wonderful themed cafes.
Busy and bustling. That’s Tokyo.
But it turns out Tokyo can be a centre of wellness and relaxation, too – a place to take a breather and find some peace.
Team up your visit with a journey to Nikko, just a train ride away from the city, for a dreamy way to unwind.
Here’s what to do while you’re there.
Take a dip in hot springs
When you go to Japan, Onsen (hot bath) is a must.
Thankfully the town of Nikko is filled to the brim with outdoor bathing spots. Either choose a hotel with hot springs included (I stayed in Kai Nikko, which has indoor and outdoor baths), or buy a day pass to access some of the springs nestled in forests and mountains.
Yes, you will need to be totally naked. Yes, that will feel daunting.
But once you’re up to your shoulders in steaming hot water, you’ll forget about any awkwardness and just allow yourself to feel restored.
There’s a lot of etiquette around onsen, beyond the required nudity. Have a read of the spring’s pamphlets and take the recommendations. It really does make a difference to do the deep breaths they recommend, have a warm shower beforehand so your body isn’t shocked by the heat, and take some time to sit and sip a cool drink once you’re done.
Try standup paddleboarding
Don’t panic, paddleboarding is not the sort of high intensity water sport you’re imagining.
It’s simple: You stand on a floating board holding a long paddle, then slowly glide along the water.
Book in a session with Sup! Sup! to spend the morning making your way across Lake Chuzenji. It’s an incredibly peaceful experience, and the best way to take in the views of the surrounding mountains.
Head to Kegon Falls
Pay a small fee to ride the elevator all the way down to the viewing platforms, where you can feel the power of the giant waterfall.
There will likely be tourists at busier times, but if you can find a quiet spot to peer out at the falls, you’ll feel truly peaceful.
Fuel up afterwards with a bowl of hot ramen in one of the cafes. If you buy the little shiba inu toys the shop sells, you have my jea
Stroll around the town
Nikko is a quiet area that’ll ease you in as you recover from any jet lag. Spend a day strolling along the banks of Lake Chuzenji, hopping in a paddle boat and making sure to stop off in the shops selling handmade crafts.
If you’re on the hunt for an authentic souvenir, pick up a pair of Nikko-geta, a type of wooden sandals originally created for monks to trek to temples through the snow. Kai Nikko offers a performance on the history of Nikko-geta, complete with incredible dance, and lets you try out the sandals for yourself before you invest in a pair to take home.
Take in Chuzenji Temple
A short walk from Lake Chuzenji you’ll find the Chuzenji Temple, a stunning set of buildings and the home of the Tachiki Kannon Statue.
Scents of burning incense, climbing stairs among the forest, and views of the mountains will give you a sense of calm.
Where to stay:
I stayed in Kai Nikko and Palace Hotel Tokyo, travelling between the two on TOBU Railways trains.
If you prefer to have your travel and itinerary sorted for you so you can relax without any planning, Steppes Travel offers a seven night itinerary to Japan, staying at Palace Hotel Tokyo and Kai Nikko from £4,685 per person – that includes accommodation and flights.
Visit the spa at Palace Hotel Tokyo
Of course, if you’re visiting Tokyo you’ll want to explore the shops, see the Shinjuku Crossing, and do all the other traditional city stuff.
But after a day of hustle and bustle, make sure to book in at Palace Hotel Tokyo’s Evian spa.
Make sure to get a massage then nibble on dates and pear juice, then take your pick from one of the hotel’s specialised packages – offerings include meditation, tea ceremony experiences, and calligraphy classes along with your standard spa fare.
I’d recommend the Aqua Relaxation Experience for stress and tension. Being carried around a pool by a man adjusting your posture is surreal, but deeply soothing. It forces you to let go of any rigidity in your body and just let yourself unwind. I dozed off in the water.
Play with Shiba Inus at the Shiba Cafe
There are a lot of animal cafes in Tokyo. Some can feel a tad manic, with backdrops for photoshoots and feeding frenzies, but I found the Shiba Cafe in Harajuku a more comforting experience.
Head there early to book a time slot. The cafe does get booked up fast and queuing on the stairs can feel a bit precarious. If you get there early you’ll likely be able to get a slot for the afternoon, so you can spend the day shopping and use the cafe as a break.
Once you’re in you get an hour, a free drink, and space to play with the pups, stroke them, or just enjoy watching them doze in the sun.
If dogs aren’t your thing, head to Ra.a.g.f Rabbit Café, where you can take some time out with a couple of bunnies.
Visit the cats at Gotokuji Temple
There’s nowhere on earth like Gotokuji Temple.
Take a speedy train to the Setagaya District to visit the Buddhist temple that’s responsible for the maneki-neko (beckoning cat) that you’ll find statues of all over the city.
The legend goes that at this temple, a cat beckoned a priest and its servants inside to safety. In that cat’s honour, you’ll find hundreds of maneki-neko statues propped around the temple’s grounds – rows of them by the main shrine, little ones tucked under trees, and, of course, statues you can buy in the gift shop.
Spend an hour or so seeing if you can spot them all.
How to get there:
Finnair flies from London Heathrow, Manchester, Dublin, and Edinburgh to Tokyo with a quick stop in Helsiniki with fares from £935 return in Economy Class.
Do you have a ‘one that got away’? An ex who you regret breaking up with but you have no idea how to try to get back with them?
Don’t worry, there is help out there – this relationship coach specialisies in teaching you how to win someone back.
He claims he is so successful, he makes thousands of pounds each month by training his clients how to manipulate their exes into getting back together.
Coach Lee aka Lee Wilson, 38, of Nashville, Tennessee, USA, advises around 4,000 lovelorn people each year, charging $87 (£67) for each half-hour session and $47 (£36) for an ’emergency break-up kit,’ including a video and text guide to rekindling a broken romance.
Happily married to stay-at-home-mum Joanna, 40, the father-of-two said: ‘The biggest and most common mistake people make when they’re trying to get back with their exes is to become desperate and grasping.
‘They often beg and ask to be taken back, appealing to the other person’s mercy and immediately putting themselves in a position of weakness.
‘That nearly always just digs the hole even deeper, because they didn’t go out with that person in the first place through mercy – they did it because of love and attraction.’
A relationship coach for 18 years, Lee draws on his own experience gleaned from two ‘very painful’ break-ups in his late teens, to help others.
Stressing the importance of playing it cool and not giving your ex too much attention, he explained: ‘That personal experience was hugely helpful for me in my later career, because afterwards I realised the value of not trying too hard.
‘Suddenly, at college, when I wasn’t actively looking to be in a relationship, I had all these girls asking me out.’
Lee, who studied theology at university, realised he was a natural when it came to giving relationship advice while working as a copywriter for a marriage guidance firm.
Leaving copy writing behind, in favour of coaching, he was soon helping couples having marital difficulties – despite only recently having married Joanna in 2000.
His focus then turned to winning back exes when he realised the vast majority of his requests for help were coming from friends and acquaintances, looking for pointers after being dumped.
Lee's tiips on how to win back your ex
• DON’T be overconfident in your abilities to talk them around. Talking rarely works. You need to appeal to their heart and not their head.
• DON’T bombard your ex with messages. It can make you appear emotionally unstable and places control in the hands of the other person.
• DON’T beg or show yourself to be desperate in any way. Appealing to someone’s mercy will only make matters worse.
• DO tell your ex that you respect their decision but don’t agree with it.
• DO keep your distance and let them notice that you are not there. On the occasions that you do have contact, be sure to show them that you are happy and could move on.
• DO drop inside jokes and references into conversation with your ex once you are at the stage of speaking again. This will help remind them of the good times you had together before the break-up.
Since rebranding himself as the ‘Ex Coach’ 12 years ago, he has been taking up to 14 calls each day from people, wanting to get back with people they have loved and lost.
He has clients based everywhere from the USA to the UK, Australia and Ireland.
Lee continued: ‘I always tell people who come to me that you need to give the other person space and that means not texting them and not constantly trying to contact them, telling them how much you miss them.
‘Your absence is power. Let them go and tell them that you respect the decision to end things and then let that person start to miss you and notice that you’re not there any more.
“When they then choose to contact you, it’s important to show them that you are in a positive place and could potentially move on.’
But, even with his self-professed magic touch, Lee admits that once three months has passed, after a break up, the chances of reconciliation are slim.
Still, he estimates the success rate among clients who follow his advice is between 55 and 75 per cent.
When his coaching fails, he claims there is normally an additional factor, like long distance, or a particularly acrimonious split involved.
He added: ‘Normally, I find that my method is helpful in most instances, even the most extreme.
‘For example, a man came to me after his girlfriend dumped him, because she had discovered he once went to jail – though for a crime he hadn’t committed.
‘He kept phoning her to the extent that the odds of them getting back together seemed very small, when he first came to me.
‘But, a month later, I got a text out of the blue from him saying it had worked.’
Meanwhile, Lee said that his own rock solid marriage has helped him to coach others.
He said: ‘Obviously, my marriage with Joanna has helped a lot with my work and vice versa.
‘My advice for anyone is just not to rush things, not to force anything or lock someone down.
‘Focus on your partner as a person and not as an object of desire – and if you do that, things should be a lot easier and more natural.’
Ex coachEx coachlauraabernethy6Lee and Joanna have been married 20 years (Collect/PA Real Life)Lee and Joanna met at college in the late 1990s (Collect/PA Real Life)
Most brides would cringe at the idea of someone turning up on their wedding day in a white dress.
But for Emma Sparre-Newman, 51, it made her big day extra special – particularly as it was the groom who was wearing it.
Her husband Ian Newman, 53, has been dressing almost exclusively in women’s clothing for the past two years so when it came to the wedding day, Emma knew that they would both wear a dress.
But when they went shopping together, they happened to fall in love with the same 50s style strapless gown.
So at their wedding in Las Vegas on 21 September, they said their vows in matching dresses and heels.
Emma and Ian met at the Larmer Tree Festival in Tollard Royal in Dorset in 2014.
Emma was co-managing one of the stages and Ian was performing with one of the acts – The Antipoet, an anarchic punk poetry/comedy act.
‘Standing at around 6ft 8 in his high heeled patent fetish boots, top hat and with his long hair and kilt, he does rather make an impression; not to mention that he is accompanied by an equally flamboyant poet and a double bass; so it is fair to say that Ian had caught my eye,’ Emma told Metro.co.uk.
‘However, the first few years that I was running the stage, Ian wasn’t single and so ours was nothing more than a professional working relationship.
‘I’m not sure that Ian even really noticed me but he claims that he assumed I was partnered up with my fellow stage manager.’
But in 2016, they discovered they were both single. They got talking between sets and hit it off.
With Emma living and working as communications manager at My Aerial Home in London and Ian based in St Albans, they spent a month texting and emailing before they met up again a month later.
And when Emma went to visit Ian in St Albans a few weeks later, she discovered another side to his life.
She explained: ‘Before I arrived he told me that when he was at home, he preferred to dress ‘more fabulously’.
‘I had only ever seen him dressed in a kilt and an assortment of velvet and lace jackets so wasn’t sure how much more fabulous he was going to be able to get, but when I arrived at his house he was dressed as a woman.
‘It was the first I knew of his interest in cross-dressing, so it was a bit of a surprise, but it didn’t stop me from giving him a hug and telling him that he certainly did look ‘fabulous’.
‘He then said that he had an alto ego who was called Diane, so I shook his hand and said “Hallo, Diane, I’m delighted to meet you”.’
Although Emma was surprised, she realised that this was something that was an important aspect of Ian’s life.
She said: ‘Despite the fact he was presenting as female, he was someone that I was interested in and wanted to be with. He is a genuinely lovely human being, full of warmth, wit, kindness and intelligence; the fact that he was wearing a skirt and high heels didn’t change that.
‘I’m the youngest daughter of a country parson and although there is probably an idea that vicar’s children may be innocent and cosseted, it’s actually true to say that we are usually very worldly, as our homes are open to everyone from every walk of life.
‘It’s probably quite difficult to shock a vicar’s child and we take most of what life has to present in our stride.
‘Ian and I met again and I ran a barrage of questions past him to establish what cross-dressing meant to him and how it related to his sexuality and what it would mean for our relationship.’
Ian explained to Emma that he had an inkling of his interest when he was a child but it wasn’t until 2011 that he started to cross-dress.
Since 2016, Ian has been wearing womens’ clothes almost all the time.
Emma said: ‘Most people may assume that the kilt and the velvet and lace that he wears as The Antipoet and as part of his other band DodoBones is part of his stage persona, but that is actually what he wears all the time.
‘I have only seen Ian wearing trousers on about three or four occasions and he looks most odd dressed in male clothing.
‘Aside from his interest in women’s clothing, Ian is completely heterosexual.
‘I take the view that clothing in itself has no gender and it is only that society has decreed that certain clothing is worn by one sex or the other.’
After two years together, the couple started planning a trip to Vegas and they decided to get married while they were there.
Initially, they wanted to keep the big day secret and just get married in a Las Vegas chapel but Ian wanted to tell his daughter from his previous marriage and Emma felt like she had to tell her family too.
Although they had gained a few guests, they still didn’t want an elaborate wedding. Emma thought she would just wear something she had in her wardrobe – but then Ian interjected.
Emma explained: ‘I was still desperately trying to downplay it all, when my friend Amanda asked “don’t you want a lovely frock?” Just as I was replying that I already had many lovely frocks, Ian piped up with, “I do”.
‘That pretty much signified the turning point. Amanda set about organising taking me to some wedding dress shops and we were going to leave Ian to make his own arrangements.’
While Emma was trying on dresses at FairyGothmother, in Deptford, South East London, she asked the manager if she would object to a man trying on dresses.
Emma picked out the strapless tea-length dress but never expected Ian to choose the same thing when he visited the store a few weeks later.
‘Ian and I have very different ideas about what constitutes a good outfit and so we had no expectations that we would wear the same dress,’ she said.
‘As Ian tried on various styles, it was Emma, the shop manager, who asked him if he had seen my dress.
‘She then pointed out that we were the exact same dress size and asked him if he wanted to try it on. Ian asked me if I would mind if he did and it didn’t bother me at all.
‘Even before Emma had done it up, Amanda and I both just said “that’s it, that’s the dress”. He looked amazing.
‘It never occurred to me to be precious about ‘my’ dress. It was ‘our’ wedding and I never once considered that I wouldn’t want to share the entire experience with Ian being just as important and involved in the whole thing.’
Still reluctant to plan much for the wedding itself, Emma focused on planning the rest of their trip and she came across the Neon Museum – a collection of signs from across the US.
When she looked it up online, she found pictures of people getting married there and after showing Ian, they realised it was perfect.
Emma laughed: ‘They put me in touch with their recommended wedding officiant – Elegant Vegas Weddings – and we just opted for the minister that was least gimmicky.
‘We didn’t need nor want Elvis, The Godfather, Father Christmas or Cupid marrying us (all were options, believe me).’
The couple married at 5.30pm surrounded by friends and family who had travelled out to Vegas with them.
Amanda helped Emma get ready while Ian’s daughter did his hair and make up, before travelling together in an Uber.
Emma added: ‘It was such an amazingly happy day and the photos absolutely capture the joy that we all felt. It was truly incredible.
‘Ian had considered shaving off his moustache but he decided to keep it. I maintained that it was his face and he could do want he liked with it but I was secretly overjoyed that he kept it, as I had planned to wear a false moustache for the last few photos. Ian had no idea.
‘I told Brandon, the photographer, and, as Ian was kept distracted, Amanda whipped out a moustache and some fixative, and our final photos taken include some mutual moustache twirling.
‘One of my favourite wedding photographs is the one of Ian reacting to seeing me wearing the moustache.
‘In fact, when I look at the photographs, I just see total joy and happiness on every face and that is both Ian and my abiding memory of the day. It was so joyful.’
I’m beside myself. I’ve always wanted to go to Cuba. And, now, here I am, bum on seat, buckled in and flying across the Atlantic via Paris to one of my bucket-list destinations.
And, despite leaving my phone on the plane and being chased down by an amazing Air France lady who, in a mad, movie-like moment, delivers it to my hand seconds before I go through security, I feel like all my Christmases have come at once.
I’ve always been intrigued by this spirited island – the people, the culture, the reality of living in a socialist country.
And the reality didn’t disappoint.
They – like me – are not a fan of Agent Orange who has, as he is doing for increasingly more and more people, made life trickier. Since the alleged and unexplained sonic attacks on staff members of the US Embassy in Havana operations have been hugely reduced.
Now, as a Cuban, if you’d like to apply for any kind of visa to visit the United States you have to travel to Guyana or another South American country to obtain one. But there’s no guarantee, of course, and people can spend thousands on flights, accommodation and visa fees to then get rejected. Of course, for many Cubans, this is financially impossible.
There still exist many state jobs that, no matter whether you’re a doctor or an admin assistant, I’m told are paid roughly the same. The same being around $25 a month.
And, so, unsurprisingly, this has encouraged a black market to rise as people try to better their situation.
While I was there I was told only to buy cigars in hotels, but people will try to flog them to you on the street. Cubans who work in the cigar factories – where’s the world’s most famous cigars are made – are given five cigars a day and it’s these that they use to try and up their socio-economic status.
However, despite this – and there is so much to Cuban society than I have touched upon here – the Cuban spirit is, like Beyoncé, flawless.
I practised my (bad) Spanish, replaced all the water mass in my body with rum, danced, tried those infamous Cuban cigars, coughed – a lot — drank more rum and soaked up the warm embrace of the Cubans.
I had the time of my life.
Here are just seven reasons why I love this Caribbean island almost as much as I love my mum:
1. No advertising
Imagine a magical place where advertising doesn’t exist. No one is telling you to be thinner, bigger, stronger, weaker, cleaner, messier, taller, shorter, work harder, relax more, avoid fat, then margarine, then butter, then margarine… Don’t imagine, just go to Cuba.
Bizarrely, I didn’t notice until a local brought it to my attention. ‘This is why Cuban women are so confident,’ she said. ‘I moved back from Spain because I couldn’t stand being constantly told there’s something wrong with me.’ She’s got a point. It’s amazing what a marketing detox can do for your body image and self-confidence. I highly recommend it.
2. The birthplace of ron
Though the origin of dark ron or ‘rum’ (as we call it) is much contested in the Caribbean, few will argue with the fact that Cuba birthed light rum.
Either way, no matter the colour, Havana Club Rum is very much the national drink. And there are several places to enjoy it – all of which I tried because, you know…research.
At El Museo del Ron (the Rum Museum), there was a too-many-rums-to-count tasting, followed by original cocktails, including my favourite, Canchánchara, and another made from OJ, rum and sugar cane.
The sugar cane is freshly juiced in the courtyard, and you can help squeeze it.
You can also head to Club Habana (Havana Club) and pay a small fee to enjoy their private beach, equipped with a fitting rum-stocked beach bar.
Caution: Measures are generous.
3. The best daiquiri of your life
When I was told I’d never have a daiquiri like the one made at La Floridita, my face carried the sceptical arrogance of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory.
But, as is often the case with Sheldon, I was proved wrong – only I was way less reluctant than he is to accept the error of my ways.
The perfect balance of this drink blew my mind. It’s a badly kept secret that this is the place in town for the best daiquiri of your life but I’m told the best time to visit is in the afternoon after you’ve spent some time meandering the streets of Old Town Havana.
4. Cubans know how to party
It’s rare that an underground movement stays underground for long but, with no advertising allowed, where to go on your night out is passed on by word of mouth.
Since the laws on private enterprise were relaxed in 2010 by the then newish-president-on-the-block Raúl Castro, making it easier for ‘mom-and-pop’ businesses to pop up, more Cubans have been transforming their homes into shops, ‘paladares’ (home-run restaurants) and… nightclubs.
Really cool nightclubs that, for obvious reasons, aren’t hugely big or commercialised. From the outside they look like someone’s having a house party but, inside, there’s no furniture or priceless vases you have to worry about breaking – they’ve been kitted out with bars, dance floors, killer sound systems, even private booths. It’s clubbing with class.
My favourite by far was EFE – I didn’t experience what it’s like to eat at a mellow point in the night but after hours it sure was fun.
5. Music, music, music
From house to jazz to reggaeton and beyond, Cuba is the place to experience some fantastic music.
For live music you want to find what the locals call a ‘casa de la musica’ – or music house – where you can sit, eat, drink and enjoy the show.
But also ask around about free concerts – this is where you’ll get a bigger local crowd because it’s cheaper and easier to soak it up among friends and family.
This is a country where people love their music as much as their rum and cannot help but move their feet…hips…and dance to the beat.
Where to go out in Havana
As a general rule, I’d avoid anything with the words ‘state-owned’. Instead, I’d opt for family-owned-and-run businesses where the quality, service and love that goes into everything just seems ample. I stayed in a hotel while here, but I’d definitely opt for a homestay next time.
TO EAT + DRINK
La Guarida – WARNING: Comes with many stairs…
El del Frente – Great spot for a drink or a meal with a great little roof terrace
Vistamar – A pool, the sea, and good food – what more could you want?
Casa Miglis – Fun times all round at this bar / restaurant / club
Centro Asturiano – Far-reaching views and I can highly recommend the sweet potato
La Floridita – A must-do drink spot for world-renowned daiquiris
Coppelia – Apparently the only spot in town to get decent ice cream
TO LISTEN + DANCE
EFE – Cute club with great beats
La Esencia – The bar is meh but the locals were killing it with salsa on the dancefloor
Jazz Café – Where your entry fee covers your food and drink
Palacio de la Rumba – Attracts a young crowd for a great night out
Los Jardines de la Tropical – Keep your ear to the ground for open-air concerts here
Fabrica de Arte – Perhaps the most popular place in town
6. There’s a part of town that has more tiles than your bathroom
It’s called Fusterlandia. Named after the artist behind these tiled-creations, José Fuster, who, inspired by public works by Gaudí, started his own rudimentary artistic expressions.
Tiling his studio first, in the run-down neighbourhood of Jaimanitas in 1975, his neighbours soon admired his work and asked him to do their walls, houses and so on.
It brought the area up and created a haven for artists who continue his tradition. I’ve never seen anything like it and I’m not sure I ever will again. One thing that man had – patience.
7. An internet-free zone
I’m not going to lie, being cut off from the internet felt to me how I imagine I’d feel coming off crack. Bag of nerves, sweating, scratching all over for no apparent reason.
It’s not that you can’t access the internet in Cuba, but it’s certainly not as easy or free as we’re used to in the UK. So you start to think (eventually), what’s the point?
And, slowly but surely, you return to being a normal human – one that can entertain themselves, hold a conversation and maintain an attention span of longer than 20 seconds.
Pass it forward
Don’t be thrown if people come up to you on the street asking for soap (jabón) or shampoo. These items are quite expensive for locals, so they often ask tourists if they can spare any as we often travel with it or have it provided at our accommodation, unless you’re staying at a homestay, in which case you’ll usually have to provide your own. I’ve advised all my friends who have visited since to carry some spare.
El Museo del Ron (Picture: Hannah Berry George)El Museo del Ron (Picture: Hannah Berry George)veryberrygeorgeDancer from Raíces Profundas, Havana, CubaLa Floridita, Havana, CubaThe band at the Raíces Profundas dance school (Picture: Hannah Berry George)Live music at Casa Miglis (Picture: Hannah Berry George)
The only thing we love more than a good makeover is cute grandparents.
Not only is this granddad super adorbs, he also oozes swag.
That’s because his grandson, photographer Aman Kumar, has given his grandpa, referred to as daddu affectionally in parts of Asia, a millennial makeover.
If you’re wondering what that is, just imagine what a hipster drinking drip coffee out of a beaker in an independent cafe would look like. And then add a whole lot of pizzazz to the look because that’s what this daddu is serving.
Aman gave his papaw a snazzy makeover, adding fedora hats, suspenders, coloured spectacles, printed shirts, and Adidas garms – all the trimmings of a millennial.
He has encouraged others to embrace their granddads and share the hashtag.
‘What is it like to see your Grandfather in a completely new millennial look?’ he wrote on his Facebook.
‘My #DadduCool is here again in his forever refreshing fashion sense and equally enthusiastic inner strength at the age of 98. Yes! 98, you heard it right!
‘On the one side, my grandfather keeps himself engaged in prayer, worship, however, on the other side, he is also busy finding vibrant color choices and experimenting with his own style.
‘There is still a kid residing in him and that is the most amazing part of his personality.
‘I have often seen him sharing his notorious stories with me but then shooting him on distinctive concepts has brought me a complete new dose of amusement and maturity together.’
Aman captured his daddu firstly in his traditional Indian attire and then pictured him in lots of Insta worthy scenes.
He can be seen posing away at a cafe, a library, with a glamorous woman, next to some pretty cool cars, and the ever favorite on Insta, in front of aesthetically pleasing doors.
The compilation has inspired other youngsters to show some Insta love to their granddads and use the #dadducool hashtag.
Anybody else suddenly want to run to their granddads, with some beads and a cap?
Grab the camera too.
Here is daddu looking super cool:
Grandpa gets makeoverGrandpa gets makeoverfaimabakar1Grandpa gets makeover https://www.facebook.com/pg/amankumardesigns/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2150681424963337 Aman KumarGrandpa gets makeover https://www.facebook.com/pg/amankumardesigns/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2150681424963337 Aman KumarGrandpa gets makeover https://www.facebook.com/pg/amankumardesigns/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2150681424963337 Aman KumarGrandpa gets makeover https://www.facebook.com/pg/amankumardesigns/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2150681424963337 Aman KumarGrandpa gets makeover https://www.facebook.com/pg/amankumardesigns/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2150681424963337 Aman KumarGrandpa gets makeover https://www.facebook.com/pg/amankumardesigns/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2150681424963337 Aman KumarGrandpa gets makeover https://www.facebook.com/pg/amankumardesigns/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2150681424963337 Aman KumarGrandpa gets makeover https://www.facebook.com/pg/amankumardesigns/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2150681424963337 Aman KumarGrandpa gets makeover https://www.facebook.com/pg/amankumardesigns/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2150681424963337 Aman KumarGrandpa gets makeover https://www.facebook.com/pg/amankumardesigns/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2150681424963337 Aman KumarGrandpa gets makeover https://www.facebook.com/pg/amankumardesigns/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2150681424963337 Aman KumarGrandpa gets makeover https://www.facebook.com/pg/amankumardesigns/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2150681424963337 Aman KumarGrandpa gets makeover https://www.facebook.com/pg/amankumardesigns/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2150681424963337 Aman KumarGrandpa gets makeover https://www.facebook.com/pg/amankumardesigns/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2150681424963337 Aman KumarGrandpa gets makeover https://www.facebook.com/pg/amankumardesigns/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2150681424963337 Aman Kumar
Iceland have decided that Brussels sprouts aren’t gross enough, and have hatched a plan to make them even worse.
Or they’ve decided they’re not delicious enough, and have hatched a plan to make them even better.
The supermarket is launching a special edition product for Christmas – Brussels sprouts smothered in Marmite butter.
The aim of the launch is to breathe new life into tired old Brussels sprouts, as more and more families are exiling the divisive vegetable from the Christmas dinner table.
The bold new flavour will certainly divide people – so do you love it or hate it?
Iceland and Marmite have collaborated on the campaign to try to save the sprout and keep them included on the festive menu. But will the addition of Marmite help to keep sprouts relevant, or turn even more people off?
Smothered with Marmite butter, the frozen sprouts are available exclusively at Iceland from 19 November for £1.50 – and they could certainly act as a Christmas Day talking point with the family.
Research commissioned by Iceland suggests that it’s the younger generation who are choosing to shun the sprout, with seven in ten Gen Z’s citing them as the most likely festive food to end up in the bin.
A third of Brits say they haven’t been served sprouts in the last three years, and a fifth have never bought a Brussels sprout in their life.
Unsurprisingly, the research found that one third of Brits blame millennials for the decrease in popularity of these edible emeralds. Because we kill everything, sure.
In place of the humble sprout, Brits feel the rise of new food fads will have an impact on our Christmas dinners, 17% think tenderstem brocolli would be a good replacement for sprouts, and 16% mentioned cauliflower cheese.
This was closely followed by sweet potato fries, with 13% of people in the country believing they will make an appearance on their table in December.
Iceland launch Marmite Brussels sproutsIceland launch Marmite Brussels sproutsnataliemorris88Iceland launch Marmite Brussels sprouts Picture: Iceland METROGRAB
Dog owners have been warned not to brush their pup’s teeth with human toothpaste after research suggested it was being used to treat bad breath.
The RSPCA says the toothpaste is no good for your pets, as the fluoride and occasional use of artificial sweetener could prove toxic to dogs if it was to be swallowed.
The research, commissioned by pet food company Lily’s Kitchen, comes after a survey of 2,000 owners showed that nearly 8% had tried to cure their dog’s bad breath with human toothpaste.
But the fluoride in it can give dogs gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhoea and vomiting, as it reduces the calcium in the blood and increases potassium levels.
The presence of sweetener xylitol in certain types of toothpaste could prove even more serious – potentially leading to death if left untreated.
Caroline Allen, London veterinary director at the RSPCA, said: ‘Not only will pets be less likely to tolerate the foaming and the minty flavour of human toothpaste but there is also a risk to their health from swallowing human toothpaste.
‘While there is a potential risk to pets from the ongoing swallowing of fluoride…the inclusion of the artificial sweetener xylitol in toothpastes is a more serious concern as this is much more toxic and products containing this ingredient should not be given to dogs.’
Alongside toothpaste, the survey also found that dog owners were giving their animals mints to cure their bad breath.
A spokeswoman for the charity advised long-suffering owners to instead brush their pet’s teeth daily with specialist toothpaste.
‘While we applaud owners who take responsibility for caring for their dogs teeth, we would also stress that only toothpaste formulated for dogs should ever be used,’ the Kennel Club spokeswoman said.
‘Some specialist toothpastes for human-use contain ingredients which are unsafe for pets, for example xylitol, an artificial sweetener that is very poisonous to dogs.’
How do I brush my dog's teeth?
According to Banfield Pet Hospital, you should brush your dog’s teeth regularly to keep their teeth and gums healthy.
You should use a moistened dog toothbrush with soft bristles, and use specialist pet toothpaste – which is often flavoured like poultry, malt and other dog-friendly flavours.
You should never use human toothpaste.
The pet hospital says you should first give your dog a small sample of the toothpaste to introduce them to the taste and then lift the lip to expose the outside surfaces of your dog’s gums and teeth.
Brush with gentle motions to clean the teeth and gums, as you would your own, and then clean the outside surfaces.
You should be sure to reach the back upper molars and canines, to tend to built up tartar, and reward your dog afterwards to tell them they did a great job, and to make the cleaning process easier.
Dog Dental HealthDog Dental HealthhattiegladwellmetroClose-up portrait of a happy looking Border Collie dog in a green garden.A little dog getting his teeth brushed isolated on white.A purebred golden retriever dog is showing the importance of animal dental health. In this frame the dog is holding a toothbrush in his mouth.
Attention, bubbly fans: Aldi’s six litre bottles of prosecco are finally coming to stores.
The huge bottles will be sold online and in store from tomorrow, 14 November.
The bottle holds enough prosecco to fill up 64 glasses, and costs just £79.99, which works out as £1.25 per glass. Bargain.
Aldi’s Methuselah of Giotti Spumante Prosecco is supposed to be a ‘sweet, creamy and zesty’ fizz.
And we don’t doubt it tastes as good as it says on the label – as Aldi’s wine range has won over 150 medals by international awarding bodies.
Aldi says: ‘Be everyone’s favourite guest this Christmas with this show stopping Methuselah bottle of Giotti Spumante Prosecco, the equivalent of eight regular sized bottles or 64 glasses.
‘A sweet, almost creamy, mouth full with flavours of lemon zest, tangerine and pear mean this Prosecco is sure to be a crowd pleaser this year.’
Aldi proseccoAldi proseccohattiegladwellmetro
Stats from PWC show that those of us who plan to shop this Black Friday will be spending a whopping £5 billion over the course of the weekend.
The annual festival of consumerism falls this year on Friday 23 November (as ever, on the first Friday after Thanksgiving).
While some will be getting gifts for their loved ones ahead of Christmas, plenty will be eschewing the spirit of giving altogether and treating ourselves instead.
There are plenty of great bargains to be had when it comes to clothes, and some stores will be hitting us with discounts of up to 70%.
Here’s what we know so far, but we’ll keep the page updated as we find out more.
Topshop last year offered up to 50% off, and added the sweetener of free delivery.
It could be the same this year, but so far we’ve heard nothing from the brand. They have got a sale on already if you really can’t wait, though.
Asos are being extremely tight-lipped about what their discounts will be on the day.
We contacted them, but were told it’s all a secret until everything goes live.
Club members will likely get the best prices on Black Friday this year, as there tends to be an extra 10% off sale prices for them.
For everyone else, and based on past Black Fridays, it could be up to half price on selected lines.
It’s a veritable smorgasbord of bargains in the run up to Black Friday. Here’s what you can expect:
If last year is anything to go by, there could be big savings to be had at New Look.
In 2017, there was 25% across the site and in-store, and the sale lasted from the start of Black Friday to the end of Cyber Monday.
Due to recent store closures, there may be a limited menswear selection in your chosen location, so have a look beforehand if there’s anything you have your eye on.
Pretty Little Thing
PLT will be offering up to 50% on certain lines, starting on Black Friday itself.
You can sign up to receive updates or – if you’ve ordered from the site recently – use the Unicorn code on their Black Friday page that promises a special prize.
Offers here will last from Friday 23 to Monday 26 November, and be available both online and in store.
There will be up to 50% various items, but all jeans are £17, all boots are £20, which could be perfect for a ‘Christmas walk’ get-up.
Again, this sale will last from Friday 23 to Monday 26 November, so you’ll have all weekend to shop.
There will be up to 50% off everything in store and online, but the week before will see some introductory offers with up to 30% off.
In 2017, Missguided surprised us and started their sale early.
There was one day last year where the brand offered 50% off absolutely everything, so keep your eyes pealed for something similar.
Sign up for updates on the site to stay ahead of the curve.
Like Missguided, Boohoo did a half price errythang day during their deal last year.
Keep your fingers crossed for more of the same, and sign up for an alert when it goes live here.
This sale starts earlier, on Thursday 22 November, and finishes on Sunday 26 November
There will be introductory offers on different categories from Sunday 18 November, with the full range of sale products going as low as half price.
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If you’ve ever sat on a heated bed, seat, or even a toilet then you know it’s what dreams are made of, especially during winter.
So why should our pets miss out on all the fun?
You can now get heated beds for your doggos because they get cold too, you know.
Instead of being squashed into your sofa because your dog wants to make the most of your body warmth, you should probably invest in a heated bed for your canine companions.
Amazon is selling one so now owners don’t have to go through their winters pinned down by their pets.
The Thermo Snuggly Sleeper by K&H Pet Products will make sure your beloved pooch stays warm when the temperatures drop.
The six-watt heated bed aligns with the dog’s temperature, making it perfect for them to snuggle into and sleep on.
It won’t take up too much space either, at 26 by 20 inches but if you have a larger pet you can get it from the K&H website, as well as Amazon.
But it will cost a pretty penny (surely our pets are worth it though?), available at Amazon for £102.13 and for £294.49 for a bigger one.
If you did want to get it for a significantly cheaper price then head to the K&H website where it’s available for $145 (£112).
If you like getting a second opinion then you’ll be pleased to know pet owners have left rave reviews.
One person wrote: ‘I have a two-year-old all white Siberian Husky. You’d think that he wouldn’t want any more warmth because of his thick hair, but he loves this heated bed. After every single walk he runs into my room and on his bed. He starts to whine if he can tell that it’s not warm. It’s a little expensive, but it’s worth it.’
Another happy customer said: ‘We have a four-pound Chihuahua and when she takes a nap it’s in the sun through the sliding door or in her heated bed. I’m grateful that she can have a place to go when she needs to keep warm, I’m now looking for a 12-volt model so we can take on in the car or on the motorcycle in her pet taxi.’
If you’re worried about the bed getting smelly, then don’t worry the pillow and covers are removable so you can give it a good wash.
Cat owners, worry not, there are beds for your kitties too but they tend to be self-warming as cats are already warm creatures. These beds reflect and retain your pet’s radiated body heat.
Alternatively, you can get a heated pad for them.
Remember, happy, warm pets make a happy home.
Heated dog beds Picture: KHPet https://www.khpet.com/dog-products/outdoor-heated-dog-beds-pads-bowls.htmlHeated dog beds Picture: KHPet https://www.khpet.com/dog-products/outdoor-heated-dog-beds-pads-bowls.htmlfaimabakar1Heated dog beds Picture: KHPet https://www.khpet.com/dog-products/outdoor-heated-dog-beds-pads-bowls.html