Quantcast
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog



Channel Description:

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

older | 1 | .... | 1448 | 1449 | (Page 1450) | 1451 | 1452 | .... | 1846 | newer

    0 0

    ***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** A former Dominatrix critiques Christian Grey's sex moves. (Miranda Kane)
    We could learn a lot from the BDSM community (Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler)

    In heteronormative porn scripts, enthusiastic consent is about as common as a real female orgasm.

    However, there’s a fringe of mainstream society that actually knows how to practise affirmative consent, and one from whom the general community could learn a thing or two: BDSM enthusiasts.

    As it turns out, kinksters are the ones who have been doing sex right this whole time.

    According to a recent survey conducted by the sexual health charity FPA (Family Planning Association), 47% of the 2,000 people surveyed think it’s OK for someone to withdraw consent if they are already naked, and only 13% said they would discuss issues of consent with a partner.

    Too often in sexual encounters, consent is considered implicit: it’s rarely asked for, and sex continues until someone – usually the woman – says no.

    However, in BDSM scenarios, only a clear, enthusiastic and ongoing ‘yes’ constitutes consent. There’s a big difference between our mainstream ‘no means no’ mentality and BDSM’s ‘yes means yes’ approach.

    Speaking to Metro.co.uk, sex educator, queer porn maker and BDSM provider Pandora Blake explains that the absence of a ‘no’ isn’t enough to constitute consent.

    ‘We’re conditioned from a young age to not say no,’ Pandora tells us. ‘Women are socialised to be people-pleasing, and when you get into the habit of people-pleasing it can make it hard not only to say no but to even be in touch with what we want.’

    Because BDSM is an umbrella term that encapsulates a wide spectrum of different activities, Blake explains that you can never assume what your partner will be keen on.

    ‘Saying “I’m into BDSM” doesn’t mean you’re going to know what the other person actually likes, and you have to talk through it to find out if you have any kinks in common.

    ‘In mainstream sex people think they know the script, and actually that script doesn’t work for a lot of people, but there’s this assumption that they know what sex is.’

    In the BDSM scene, partners explicitly negotiate specific sex acts beforehand, rather than assuming it’s kosher until somebody says no. Because BDSM can be risky and push people’s comfort limits, those who practise it don’t just assume a partner will be okay with a certain act just because they haven’t said ‘no’.

    ‘Everybody who plays BDSM games has their own ways of keeping themselves safe, and there are different community standards which different people subscribe to,’ says Blake. ‘One of the mantras that people use is Safe, Sane and Consensual, which is the idea that any riskier activities are done in a way that minimises risk and is as safe as possible.

    I went to a sex club and here's what happened Sex club swing relationship naked fetish girl boy man woman Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk
    (Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk

    ‘Sane refers to people’s abilities to give informed consent, so: are they in a state of mind where they’re able to look after themselves? Are they sober, for example? Are they going through a crisis in their life right now where they’d be inclined to make bad decisions?

    ‘Another system people use is Risk-Aware Consensual Kink, which makes slightly more space for risky activity, if they consent.’

    BDSM is a subculture where consent and negotiation are normalised and accepted. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Sex Research found that compared to vanilla people, the kink community had significantly lower levels of benevolent sexism, rape myth acceptance, and victim blaming.

    Another survey published in 2012 by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom also found that 85% of BDSM practitioners polled agreed with statements such as ‘a person can revoke consent at any time’, ‘consent should be an ongoing discussion in a relationship’, and ‘clear, overt consent must be given before a scene’. Over 93% of respondents endorsed the statement ‘consent is not valid when coerced’.

    ‘From pre-negotiations to post-mortems – just talking about things before, after and all the way throughout – it really just comes down to communication and making sure that everybody is on the same page,’ explains Blake.

    ‘Most consent violations happen because people are selfish and don’t have the communication tools to find out what’s going on with the other person, but most of us want to be having sex with people who genuinely want to be having sex with us.

    ‘There is nothing sexier than getting that information from your partner.’

    Pleasure plays a huge part in consent, and heterosexual women are the ones who get the sh*t end of the stick in bed. While 95% of straight men regularly orgasm during sex, only 65% of straight women do. Society discourages us from talking about sex (ahem, prudes), making it harder for women especially to explore what they like in bed.

    If we don’t encourage women to speak up about what they want in bed, how will we ever normalise affirmative consent?

    Transvestic Fetishism - everything you need to know (Violet)
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    ‘This idea that consent is a contract is really pernicious,’ Blake says. ‘Consent is revocable and ongoing, and being encouraged to change your mind is necessary for consent. By saying you’ve changed your mind, you’re helping your partner respect your boundaries.’

    ‘Consent isn’t about just avoiding negative situations, it’s not about getting permission to do something, it’s an active process and collaboration between two people who respect each other to create the best experience for everyone involved.’

    The same rules of engagement the BDSM community respects can easily be applied to vanilla encounters. Talking about what you want before, during and after a sexual encounter isn’t just necessary, but can be incredibly sexy too.

    Asking and giving consent doesn’t have to be a formal sit down where you lay out all the things you’re ok and not ok with (although, if you want to do it that way, it’s perfectly cool).

    In fact, foreplay and dirty talk are perfect ways to practice explicit consent. Asking things like ‘can I do X?’, ‘do you like it when I X?’, ‘I want to do X to you, do you want that?’ not only make the experience that much hotter, but they make sure you’re respecting your partner’s boundaries.

    The only reason some people think of consent as a formal request for a sex, something that ruins the mood, is because in heteronormative, vanilla sex scenes, consent is rarely given as explicitly as it should be.

    Explicit consent has a number of advantages over the implicit consent practised (or better yet, not practised) in traditional sexual scripts because everyone is required and encouraged to ask for what they want.

    Boundaries and acts that are off-limit are clearly discussed, there’s no intimidation or coercion, and there’s no ambiguous silence that can be exploited. Just because you’re not keen on a flogging session, doesn’t mean you can’t learn a thing or two from BDSM.

    MORE: The Sex Resort Diaries: Spanking, seminars, and the risks of swinging

    MORE: How to make sure you have enthusiastic consent for sex

    MORE: It’s important to feel able to reject your partner sexually – even if you’re married


    ***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** A former Dominatrix critiques Christian Grey's sex moves. (Miranda Kane)***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** A former Dominatrix critiques Christian Grey's sex moves. (Miranda Kane)oliviacassano93I went to a sex club and here's what happened Sex club swing relationship naked fetish girl boy man woman Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.ukTransvestic Fetishism - everything you need to know (Violet)***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** A former Dominatrix critiques Christian Grey's sex moves. (Miranda Kane)***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** A former Dominatrix critiques Christian Grey's sex moves. (Miranda Kane)oliviacassano93I went to a sex club and here's what happened Sex club swing relationship naked fetish girl boy man woman Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.ukTransvestic Fetishism - everything you need to know (Violet)

    0 0

    (Picture: Ella Byworth)

    Getting stuck into the weekly cleaning routine is normally anything but a pleasure, but with the rise of the infamous Mrs Hinch – an Instagram sensation with over one million followers – more people than ever are doing housework just for the fun of it.

    The face behind the account, Sophie Hinch, is loved for her strange need to affectionally name her cleaning products as well as her ability to make daily chores more fun.

    Many are dubbing this craze a passing trend, but the truth is that a clean home can have a profound impact on our happiness.

    A study published in 2010 found that women with cluttered homes expressed higher levels of stress hormone cortisol.

    Decluttering and cleaning can be incredibly difficult for those with mental illness, but once they get started it can help to manage some of the symptoms.

    Counselling Directory member Dr Ritika Sukthankar tells Metro.co.uk: ‘When we feel depressed, it can feel hard to feel on top of our responsibilities, and so our environment may start to feel cluttered. Decluttering can give us a sense of mastery, action and pleasure which can improve low mood and hopelessness.’

    28-year-old Abbie, from London, says decluttering acts as an instant boost when she’s feeling anxious.

    She may become fixated on tidying and will often feel overwhelmed by clutter, but when she begins to organise her space she sees a positive impact on her mood.

    ‘My mind calms down like I’m putting parts of it “back into place”, if that makes sense,’ says Abbie. ‘Like each piece of clutter is representative of a burden I’m carrying so by putting it in an order, it helps me to see both my mental and physical space more clearly and positively.’

    For those who can’t find the strength to tackle decluttering alone, Nicola Lewis is on hand to provide professional help.

    (Picture: Nicola Lewis)

    She started This Girl Can Organise back in 2017 after a career in investment banking took its toll on her own wellbeing.

    Nicola now makes a living going into other people’s homes to clear out mess and offer eco-friendly solutions to overbearing home clutter.

    She boasts celebrity clients such as Zoe Ball, Katie Piper and Gemma Collins but says that her most rewarding moments are helping the seriously unwell find joy in organising their belongings.

    ‘I’ve worked with people who have terminal illnesses and doing this is taking their mind off the road ahead which is very scary,’ Nicola tells us. ‘Putting on music and having fun organising is making them feel better.’

    Dr Ritika Sukthankar says that cleaning and organising can give people a purpose to get out of bed every morning, even when they might be thinking there’s no point in doing anything at all.

    ‘With a terminal illness, an ending is coming. Cleaning and organising is a therapeutic way of getting things in order as you prepare to say goodbye, not just to those around you, but also to your environment.’

    Nicola gets messages on Instagram every day from people who find not only enjoyment from watching her declutter spaces, but also feel inspired to go and get their own life in order.

    One message came from a woman with chronic depression who said she feels compelled to get out of bed purely as a result of watching Nicola organise things on her Instagram stories.

    Instagram Photo

    Personal messages like this slide into Nicola’s DMs every day. She believes that taking control of clutter is linked to self-worth and finally feeling like you are deserving of a tidy home.

    ‘I do often think some of the most successful people have immaculate homes,’ she says. ‘They have invested time to get help so that they are more successful.

    ‘They know that they are going to get stressed in a cluttered space and they know that a clean space is healthy.’

    Obviously, not everyone can afford to pay for a professional like Nicola to come in and run the show, but she thinks everyone can see a difference in their home and their health by simply dedicating thirty minutes a day to decluttering.

    Her top tip? Crank up the tunes before you start.

    ‘I always use music when I’m cleaning. It’s such a major uplifter.

    ‘As soon as I walk in from the school run the place is a mess, but put music on and it gets me going. It gets me into gear. It takes you away somewhere and you can be creative.

    ‘It’s about finding your happy place.’

    MORE: How the cleaning craze is damaging the environment

    MORE: When does stress become burnout?

    MORE: Student earns £60,000 a year by making videos of herself whispering


    organising communal rentingorganising communal rentingfr040780organising communal rentingorganising communal rentingfr040780

    0 0

    This Beef Jerky Advent Calendar Is Proof That Christmas Miracles Are Real
    (Picture: Man Crates)

    We’re no strangers to out-there advent calendars.

    Take these gin, cheese and Pringles calendars, for example.

    But now someone’s filled an advent calendar with meat – and it’ll set you back $79.99 (£62).

    The O Holy Cow Advent Calendar comes filled to the brim with beef jerky. It comes from a company called Man Crates, and is filled with ‘artisanal’ flavours ranging from classic to sriracha to root beer habanero.

    With 12 flavours in total, it also features ghost pepper and chilli lime.

    (Picture: Man Crates)

    The product description features a story, titled ‘The Twelve Flaves of Christmas’.

    It reads: ‘Forget the french hens and geese a-layin’. Nothing says “Mooey Christmas” like twelve festive flavors of jerky: Whiskey Maple, Chili Lime, Ghost Pepper, and more.

    ‘There’s no telling what seasonal surprise he’ll discover that day; the only guarantee is that it will be delicious.

    ‘Plus, he’ll get to proudly display our custom artwork, a seasonal celebration of ‘A Christmas Carol’ as depicted by cows. ‘Tis the season for seasoned meat!

    This Beef Jerky Advent Calendar Is Proof That Christmas Miracles Are Real
    (Picture: Man Crates)

    ‘The Jerky Advent Calendar is the ultimate carnivore, candied countdown celebrating 25 delicious December days.’

    While the story refers to ‘he’ – and the company the jerky calendar comes from is called ‘Man Crates’, this isn’t a gendered gift.

    So ladies, if beef jerky is your thing too, you can buy it here.

    MORE: Couple have stunning Harry Potter themed wedding

    MORE: McDonald’s launches Malteasers reindeer McFlurry for Christmas


    This Beef Jerky Advent Calendar Is Proof That Christmas Miracles Are RealThis Beef Jerky Advent Calendar Is Proof That Christmas Miracles Are RealhattiegladwellmetroThis Beef Jerky Advent Calendar Is Proof That Christmas Miracles Are RealThis Beef Jerky Advent Calendar Is Proof That Christmas Miracles Are RealThis Beef Jerky Advent Calendar Is Proof That Christmas Miracles Are RealThis Beef Jerky Advent Calendar Is Proof That Christmas Miracles Are RealhattiegladwellmetroThis Beef Jerky Advent Calendar Is Proof That Christmas Miracles Are RealThis Beef Jerky Advent Calendar Is Proof That Christmas Miracles Are Real

    0 0

    (Picture: Morrisons)

    From today, shoppers can get their hands on a whole bunch of Black Friday deals from Morrisons.

    This includes a £10 magnum of Prosecco and a giant Toblerone for just £5, which will be selling across 494 Morrisons stores across the UK.

    The magnum of Prosecco holds 1.5 litres of bubbly, and we imagine it’ll sell out pretty quickly considering it’s only a tenner.

    Morrisons Black Friday Deals 2018 ? magnum of Prosecco for ?10 and giant Toblerone for ?5 Morrisons
    (Picture: Morrisons)

    The Bacio Della Luna bottle contains 12 glasses of fizz – meaning each glass costs under £1. Bargain.

    Alongside this, the supermarket is launching a Prosecco filled advent calendar for £47, which includes 12 200ml bottles of Prosecco. Amazing.

    As well as alcohol, Morrisons currently has a giant Toblerone on offer.

    Morrisons Black Friday Deals 2018 ? magnum of Prosecco for ?10 and giant Toblerone for ?5 Morrisons
    (Picture: Morrisons)

    The 750g bar costs £5.

    And finally, Giant Cadbury Fingers are also selling for £3.50.

    As mentioned above, you’ll want to be quick to get your hands on these offers because Black Friday deals never last long – to keep track of all of Morrisons Black Friday offers, have a look here.

    Here’s to indulging in lots of Prosecco and chocolate!

    When actually is Black Friday 2018?

    This year Black Friday falls on 23 November.

    The shopping showdown is always hosted the day after Thanksgiving in the US, which is on Thursday, 22 November this year.

    Black Friday tends not to be too wild on the UK high street (Picture: The Washington Post via Getty Images)

    Why is Black Friday called Black Friday?

    The name is thought to be a reference to the ‘black ink’ on the balance sheets from the huge profits the retailers rake in on this day (rather than being in the red).

    Which shops and sites usually offer Black Friday deals?

    Black Friday is often associated with technological goods, with the likes of televisions, laptops and phones being popular purchases on the day.

    However, it has now branched out to almost anything you can think of, with clothes, food and drink, holidays and computer games all involved.

    Dozens of retailers will take part in Black Friday this year, including: Amazon, Argos, Currys, Tesco, John Lewis, Boots, Sainsbury’s, Debenhams, eBay, House of Fraser, River Island, Topshop, ASOS, New Look, Very, M&S, Game, Maplin and The Body Shop.

    MORE: The best Black Friday fashion deals for 2018

    MORE: When do Amazon’s Black Friday 2018 deals start?


    Morrisons Black Friday Deals 2018 ? magnum of Prosecco for ?10 and giant Toblerone for ?5Morrisons Black Friday Deals 2018 ? magnum of Prosecco for ?10 and giant Toblerone for ?5hattiegladwellmetroMorrisons Black Friday Deals 2018 ? magnum of Prosecco for ?10 and giant Toblerone for ?5 MorrisonsMorrisons Black Friday Deals 2018 ? magnum of Prosecco for ?10 and giant Toblerone for ?5 MorrisonsMorrisons Black Friday Deals 2018 ? magnum of Prosecco for ?10 and giant Toblerone for ?5Morrisons Black Friday Deals 2018 ? magnum of Prosecco for ?10 and giant Toblerone for ?5hattiegladwellmetroMorrisons Black Friday Deals 2018 ? magnum of Prosecco for ?10 and giant Toblerone for ?5 MorrisonsMorrisons Black Friday Deals 2018 ? magnum of Prosecco for ?10 and giant Toblerone for ?5 Morrisons

    0 0

    (Picture: The Alchemist)

    This week, The Alchemist in London will open its doors to the public and offer 300 free cocktails.

    The new site is opening in St Martins Lane on Friday 16 November.

    It marks the brand’s commitment to London, with a third location due to open on Old Street next year.

    To celebrate the launch, the Alchemist will be giving away 300 of its signature cocktail, the Lightbulb Moment, on Friday only.

    The Lightbulb Moment is a cocktail filled with dry ice, gin, pimms, ginger beer, raspberry, lemon and mint.

    Yes, it’s more of a summery drink – but as it’s free, we’ll happily take one.

    Lightbulb Moment cocktail from The Alchemist
    (Picture: The Alchemist)

    Simon Potts, Managing Director of The Alchemist, said: ‘We are hugely excited to be bringing the brand to Covent Garden; we’re looking forward to engaging with the local theatre, bar and restaurant community and to play a part in the renowned dining and drinking destination.

    ‘The capital, in many ways represents the country on a world stage, as an international destination visited by millions every year. So this opening is a significant one for The Alchemist as we continue our journey as a brand.’

    MORE: 7 reasons your next long-haul trip should be to Cuba

    MORE: Vegan chef shortages, overnight oats, and Tube takeovers: A week in vegan news


    Cocktails for LondonersCocktails for LondonershattiegladwellmetroLightbulb Moment cocktail from The AlchemistCocktails for LondonersCocktails for LondonershattiegladwellmetroLightbulb Moment cocktail from The Alchemist

    0 0

    (Picture: Getty)

    Carbs are the best. Pizza, spaghetti, sandwiches – what’s not to love? But if you’re trying to lose weight, new research suggests binning the bread could be the answer.

    It’s a contentious topic in the health and fitness world – how effective is going carb-free? Most experts agree that carbs are an essential part of a healthy diet and have plenty of benefits.

    But while we shouldn’t eliminate carbs completely, a new study suggests that a low-carb diet could help you to lose weight.

    The study found that switching to low-carb could help you lose up to 10kg (1.57 stone), over the course of three years.

    And the researchers said that the long-term benefits could be even greater, after analysing the number of calories burned in various diets.

    The authors, who published their study in The BMJ, found that lowering the proportion of carbohydrates from diets led to the greatest number of calories burned.

    "Authentic Italian, Hand Made Ham and Pineapple Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella - Photographed on a Hasselblad H3D11-39 megapixel Camera System"
    (Picture: Getty)

    234 overweight American adults aged 18 to 65 were tested, and placed on an initial calorie-restricted diet for a period of 10 weeks.

    This led to 164 participants losing at least 10% of their body weight over the first period of the study. These people were then placed on either high, moderate or low-carb diets for an additional 20 weeks.

    Researchers tracked the participants’ weight and measured energy expenditure, which shows how many calories are burned. They found that total energy expenditure was significantly greater in participants on the low-carbohydrate diet compared with the high-carbohydrate diet.

    Participants on the low-carbohydrate diet burned 209 to 278 kilocalories a day more than those on the high carbohydrate diet

    (Picture: Getty)

    ‘If this effect persisted – and we observed no attenuation from 10 to 20 weeks – it would translate into an estimated 10kg weight loss after three years for a typical 30-year-old man of height 178cm,’ the authors wrote.

    ‘Dietary composition seems to affect energy expenditure independently of body weight. A low glycemic load, high-fat diet might facilitate weight loss maintenance beyond the conventional focus on restricting energy intake and encouraging physical activity.’

    So is cake off limits then? It all depends on your goals.

    If you want to achieve and maintain weight loss, then it might be a good idea to watch your carb intake and make sure you’re not overdoing it.

    But don’t forget that your body does need carbs. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. Cutting it out completely could make it harder for the body to get enough fibre, and leave you at risk of a deficiency in certain nutrients.

    Replacing carbohydrates with fats and higher fat sources of protein could increase how much saturated fat you’re consuming, which can raise the amount of cholesterol in your blood – not good.

    But there are healthy ways to consume carbs – choose wholegrains, potatoes, vegetables and pulses, rather than processed, sugary products.

    How much carbohydrate should I eat?

    The Government recommends that just over a third of your diet should be made up of starchy foods, such as potatoes, bread, rice and pasta, and another third should be fruit and vegetables.

    This means that over half of your daily calorie intake should come from starchy foods, fruit and vegetables.

    NHS

    MORE: Coca Cola scales back Christmas truck visits following protests

    MORE: Key to quitting smoking is spending more time with vapers, research says

    MORE: NHS invests £46,000,000 so people with diabetes can control own sugar levels


    Slice of artisan bread cut from a loafSlice of artisan bread cut from a loafnataliemorris88Slice of artisan bread cut from a loafSlice of artisan bread cut from a loafnataliemorris88"Authentic Italian, Hand Made Ham and Pineapple Pizza with Fresh Mozzarella - Photographed on a Hasselblad H3D11-39 megapixel Camera System"

    0 0

    METRO GRAPHICS
    (Picture: metro.co.uk)

    Think you know about all the possible side effects of your chosen method of contraception?

    According to women’s educational health publication The Femedic, one in four women are not given any in-depth details about possible side effects of their contraception by their clinician during their appointments.

    Between October 2017 and January 2018, The Femedic commissioned the in-depth survey in order to gauge women’s attitudes towards and experiences with contraception: what are women choosing, and why? Are they being given adequate information, support and care?

    The survey was distributed on digital channels and via social media to women living in the UK, or who had acquired their current, or previous contraception in the UK. Over 1,000 took part in the survey.

    The survey found that nearly half of all women in the UK (47%) have had ‘serious trouble’ with their current or previous form of contraception, and of these, 16% said they didn’t receive adequate professional care for the trouble. 

    METRO GRAPHICS

    On top of this, just one in four (25%) women feel the potential side-effects of any contraception they were taking or about to take were explained to them ‘in-depth’, the survey revealed.

    Almost half of women (45%) said the potential side effects of the contraception they were advised to use were only ‘barely’ or ‘briefly’ explained to them, and 6% said side effects weren’t explained to them ‘at all’.

    This is all the more astonishing given that examples of negative side effects the women surveyed reported included constant bleeding, blood clots, suicidal thoughts, and even needing surgery because of their contraception. 

    When women complain or raise concerns over the effects however, many do not feel like they are being listened to.

    ‘I was told to stay on it and see how it goes,’ said one respondent.

    Others say they weren’t taken seriously, or that their GP laughed at them. Another woman said: ‘I bled for six months constantly and was severely anaemic. The doctor didn’t help me until it got so bad that I needed a blood transfusion.’

    Some of the issues people reported experiencing with contraception:

    • ‘I got blood clots, even though the mini pill is deemed safe’
    • ‘Pregnancy’
    • ‘Developed severed acne and became depressed’
    • ‘I required surgery to remove it’
    • ‘I got persistent and severe thrush as a consequence of the contraception pill’
    • ‘The implant caused me to have constant bleeding and it made the symptoms of my mental illness so much more intense than normal’
    • ‘It made me paranoid and emotionally unstable. Didn’t realise it was the pill at the time until I used the same brand again after having a family and the same symptoms returned almost immediately.’
    • ‘The pill caused weight gain, depression, and suicidal thoughts.’
    • ‘I got constant bleeding, a burst ovarian cyst (I don’t have PCOS), weight gain, mood changes, and severe migraines with aura’
    • ‘I got depression, I got worse PMDD on a pill I should never have been prescribed. One of my Mirena coils came out, another Mirena got lodged in my uterus wall and had to be removed under general anaesthetic. I also had chronic migraine, and weight gain.’

    Almost half (45%) of the women polled said they don’t feel there are enough resources or information available about contraception and associated risks. 

    Many women also reported feeling that their contraceptive choices weren’t even in their own control. 

    25% of women said that they felt under pressure from someone, be it a family member, a healthcare professional, or a partner, to take the form of contraception they use. Only two thirds of women (65%) felt that their choice to use the contraception they currently use was theirs and theirs alone.

    The survey exposes the nation’s dissatisfaction with the contraceptive options — and the services providing these options — available to them, and shows that more research and funding needs to be spent on educating the population and allowing them access to suitable contraception options.

    Reasons people gave for using their current contraception:

    1. My GP advised it
    2. Doctor or nurse in sexual health recommended it
    3. Friend or family member
    4. Read about it online
    5. First thing I was offered
    6. Heard about it in school
    7. Everyone else is using it

    It also highlights the short shrift given to women’s health issues, and women’s complaints of pain or problems related to their reproductive health. 

    The statistics come around at a time when NHS staff are particularly stretched, and sexual health clinics are being forced to close as local governments find their funding is slashed.

    Founder of The Femedic, Monica Karpinski said: ‘The survey results expose a deep need for a cultural and organisational shift in the way we speak about and value reproductive health, and contraception.The results of our survey should in no way dissuade women from using the form of contraception that works for them.

    (Pictures: Monica Karpinski)

    ‘Nonetheless, the more choice women have, and the more information they are given, the more confident they will feel about pursuing what they know is best for them.

    More awareness of women’s experiences will, hopefully, counter any impressions that their pain is not as serious or deserving of care.’

    In January, Dr Mark Lawton of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV warned that up to 600 people per week are being turned away from oversubscribed sexual health clinics in one London NHS Trust, speaking after several central London clinics were closed in 2017. 

    In August, the Local Government Association (LGA) warned that sexual health services were at ‘tipping point’, after seeing a 25% rise in patients seeking help in the last five years, combined with total cuts of £531m to public health budgets by 2021.

    MORE: How do Orthodox Jews have sex?

    MORE: It’s not funny to joke about stealing your partner’s birth control

    MORE: Can we please just stop asking couples when they’re going to have a baby?


    METRO GRAPHICS sex-compMETRO GRAPHICS sex-compnerdabouttown1METRO GRAPHICSMETRO GRAPHICSMETRO GRAPHICS sex-compMETRO GRAPHICS sex-compnerdabouttown1METRO GRAPHICSMETRO GRAPHICS

    0 0

    woman sleeping at desk
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    We’re all busy, we’re all so busy.

    We’re too busy to meet for drinks, too busy to call our mums, too busy to go for a run, too busy to find love. We complain, but we also kind of love it.

    Admit it – you get off on being busy.

    It makes us feel important, ambitious, successful. We’ve thrown ourselves into the rat race and if we’re constantly out of breath, we can trick ourselves into thinking that we’re winning.

    Staying late at work becomes a competition. We may sigh and roll our eyes, but if we’re still at our desks when the cleaner flicks the light off, we can’t help but feel a slight thrill. A sense of achievement.

    And we will 100% send a mass email before we leave so the entire office knows we were still working at 10.36pm.

    Alexis Ohanian, the founder of Reddit and Serena Williams’ other half, has warned about what he calls ‘hustle porn’ – the glorification of working ridiculously long working hours.

    Speaking at the annual Web Summit technology conference, Ohanian criticised the toxic busyness culture, which he says is particularly rife in tech.

    ‘Hustle porn is one of the most toxic, dangerous things in the tech industry right now,’ he explained.

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

    ‘And I know so much of it comes from the States. It is this idea that unless you are suffering, unless you are grinding, unless you are working every hour of every day and posting about it on Instagram, you’re not working hard enough.

    ‘It’s such bullshit, such utter bullshit.’

    And it’s not just the nine-to-five. Nine-to-five isn’t enough actually. You should also have a side-hustle, a pop-up stall you run at weekends, a second draft of a novel and at least three hobbies.

    It’s exhausting, draining, and it’s destroying our health… but at least we’re achieving. Or are we?

    A study, conducted by researchers at the University of London, looked at working habits and found that being really busy is actually bad for your career. Those who reported working ‘very intensely’ were associated with poorer career outcomes.

    So the person who stays late every single night might not be better at their job, or more hardworking – it might actually signal that they’re just inefficient. Busy, yes. Productive? Probably not.

    How to break the busyness cycle

    1. Start your day with a plan. Write out a list of high-priority items for that day and just concentrate on getting that done. Prioritising your workload will help you plan your time and ensure you can leave on time and manage your tasks much more effectively.
    2. Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to let people know when you need some support. We often feel asking for help is a weakness but actually if this enables you to carry out your work more efficiently, your boss will respect your honesty and thank you for it in the end.
    3. Plan other activities. Having non-work activities planned on set days of the week will help you stay on track at work. Arrange to meet a friend, have a date night, book a paid class at the gym – dedicating some time to the other areas of your life will not only have positive benefits on your health and mood but as a result will mean your work will improve.
    4. Know when to turn technology off. We all know how tempting it is to have a quick glance at your work emails at 10pm. Knowing when to switch off takes practice, but try setting a time every night where you turn your work phone or laptop off so you physically can’t see or hear what is happening.

    Nadia Rafique, life coach

    And it’s no wonder. Being busy and stressed is not at all conducive to getting results. You’ll probably have your most productive day in the office when you’re well-rested, calm and only have a few things to focus on. And there’s a scientific reason behind it.

    Marc Jones, Professor of Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University, says stress can negatively impact your performance at work in a number of ways.

    ‘Under stress we may become irritable impacting our relationships with our coworkers, we may become unable to concentrate, and further chronic stress may start to impact our health and well-being,’ Marc tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘Chronic stress may mean we sleep less or engage in unhealthy behaviours, such as drinking too much or eating comfort food as a coping mechanism.

    ‘When people feel very busy over long, continuous periods then it can be detrimental. In these circumstances people may work long hours and as a result may find it difficult to switch off from work.

    ‘In particular the use of technology, like being able to access emails on smart phones, may mean that people remain connected to work during leisure time and this makes it very hard, if not impossible, to psychologically detach from work, connect fully with family and social groups, thus impeding rest and recovery.’

    And a week on the beach isn’t going to make up for it. Marc says making sure you get enough rest on a day-to-day basis is the only way to counter the negative effects.

    ‘Interestingly, while people do often switch off in holidays, the beneficial effects of these relatively long periods away from work diminish quickly.

    ‘Daily recovery during evening hours has a larger impact on employee health, wellbeing and productivity. Because it enables people to rest and recover better to face the challenges of the next day at work.’

    How to leave work on time

    1. Have a clear goal and task list for the day written down in whatever format you prefer – online, diary, journal, or task list. Share with your team what your focus is.
    2. If you’re asked to change your focus on to something else, ensure you re-schedule what you had planned for another day, don’t try to cram it all in today.
    3. Ensure your work calendar has your exact work leaving times listed and visible to work colleagues.
    4. Link your calendar with your phone and have a reminder set 30 minutes before your leaving time as a reminder it’s time to leave soon.
    5. Know your reason for going home – is it to meet friends, pick children up, or do your daily exercise? It will help you keep focus.

    Tracey-Jayne Hughes, coach and trainer, Business Cheerleading Club

    Peter Lawrence, a HR expert and Director of Human Capital Department, says our obsession with busyness and working long hours can cause serious health problems.

    ‘There are very good reasons not to get into the habit of long hours culture – a large study of over 6,000 British Civil Servants found that those who worked over ten hours per day were 60% more likely to suffer from heart disease,’ Peter tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘Other health issues are likely to arise if overworking for an extended period; long shifts can lead to disorientation and confusion, it can become difficult to switch off and so sleep patterns become interrupted.

    ‘It can also lead to more serious mental health problems – all of which could add up to an extended period of sickness absence and possibly exit or termination of employment.’

    ‘Employers naturally want employees to be engaged at work and ready to go the extra mile, and this is positive, but it becomes a problem if there is an expectation to work long hours regularly because home life, and other duties will start to slide. That’s when the work/life balance gets out of proportion.’

    now that summer is over, it's harder to harness that spring
    (Picture: Ella Byworth)

    So why are we all so obsessed with being busy? Is it because real, significant milestones are so out of reach we have to satisfy our need for success with overloaded schedules?

    No, I won’t be buying a flat this year, but I have worked every Saturday for the past two months, so I’m definitely achieving something. Right?

    Life coach Nadia Rafique thinks our busyness obsession stems from the idea of status.

    ‘The busier we are, the more important we appear and this gives the impression that we are invaluable,’ Nadia tells us.

    ‘People feel like they have to justify why they have their jobs in this competitive market, and by being super-busy we feel like we prove our value to our business or company. We tell everyone how busy we are to protect ourselves, to protect our jobs and to protect our character.

    ‘Being busy isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you must ask yourself what you are busy doing? Does every task you are busy doing add value or help you reach a life or work goal? If it doesn’t, do you need to be busy doing it?

    ‘Anyone can be busy doing absolutely useless tasks. Busy doesn’t equate to more value or better work – it can sometimes mean the opposite.’

    It’s difficult. We all want to impress, and the unstable job market means employees have to work harder and longer hours for less reward. Sometimes it can feel as though you have no other choice but to give your boss blood, sweat, tears and endless hours of overtime.

    But it’s important to claw back some time for yourself and stop praying at the alter of ‘busy’.

    Next time your friend asks you how you are, wouldn’t it be nice if you could say, ‘great’, ‘fulfilled’or ‘relaxed’, rather than, ‘Ugh, so busy!’?

    MORE: Student earns £60,000 a year by making videos of herself whispering

    MORE: Woman describes struggle of living with parents on £40,000

    MORE: Male fertility stories: My ability to have a baby doesn’t define me as a man


    now that summer is over, it's harder to harness that springnow that summer is over, it's harder to harness that springnataliemorris88woman sleeping at deskoffice lunchnow that summer is over, it's harder to harness that springnow that summer is over, it's harder to harness that springnataliemorris88woman sleeping at deskoffice lunch

    0 0

    (Picture: Getty)

    We keep being told that people are having children later and later.

    This is due to a number of factors; different societal expectations, demanding careers, less money.

    Many people – women particularly – still feel the pressure of the so-called biological clock, however, due to widespread messages about fertility dropping ‘after a certain age’.

    But when is that age? Does it actually exist? Is there a steep cliff after which babies are an impossibility?

    (Picture: Getty)

    According to the British Fertility Society, there is a decline in female fertility starting in the mid-thirties, with lower fertility especially after the age of 35.

    This is possibly due to the number of eggs in our bodies.

    We are born with around 2 million immature eggs. Then, as we hit puberty and begin ovulating and menstruating, those eggs mature.

    At each cycle, if they’re not fertilised, they die and are absorbed back into the body, meaning the number we have declines over the years.

    By the time we’re 37, it’s estimated there are around 25,000 eggs left.

    The quality of the eggs left can also be affected as we grow older, which can also decrease fertility.

    Institut Marquès puts a woman’s most fertile age at between 21 and 28, saying that chances of getting pregnant drop once we hit 30.

    However, given that almost half of women who turned 30 in 2016 did not yet have any children (according to the ONS) it’s likely not the news we want to hear, or what makes sense given we see our thirty-and-forty-something friends conceiving.

    The fact is, despite your fertility dropping as you age, the chances of having a baby don’t change all that drastically.

    One study, published in Obstetrics & Gynecology found that with sex at least twice a week, 82% of women between 35 and 39 conceive within a year, compared to 86% of those between 27 and 34.

    Another in Fertility and Sterility found that, among women having sex during their fertile times, 78% of women from 35 to 40 got pregnant within a year, compared to 84% of 20-to-34-year-olds.

    Taking your fertility into account is undoubtedly important, and it’d be unwise to think that we can all conceive into our dotage.

    However, stressing yourself out thinking that if you don’t do it by 30 it won’t happen at all is not conducive to anything – especially given that stress can make you less fertile.

    According to the NHS, around 1 in 7 couples may have difficulty conceiving, regardless of age.

    This is approximately 3.5 million people in the UK, so the important thing is to know you’re not alone, and not to worry too much if it doesn’t happen first time.

    If you feel that you may have passed what you feel is the ‘right time’ to have a child, speak to your GP or a fertility specialist for more advice.

    Fertility Month

    This story is part of Fertility Month, a month-long series covering all aspects of fertility.

    For the next four weeks, we will be speaking to people at all stages of the fertility journey as well as doctors, lawyers and fertility experts who can shed light on the most important issues.

    If you have a story to tell or a question to ask, please do get in touch at fertilitystories@metro.co.uk.

    Here is a selection of the stories from Fertility Month so far - and you can find all Fertility Month content here.

    MORE: Fertility Month: Why we are talking about fertility this month

    MORE: I found the perfect sperm donor - but I never got my happy ending

    MORE: Plastic could be affecting your fertility – here’s how and why

    MORE: How hard is it to get pregnant if you have polycystic ovary syndrome?

    MORE: How to get super sperm like the Danish Vikings

    MORE: Male fertility stories: My ability to have a baby doesn’t define me as a man

    MORE: What’s it like to be have an eating disorder while you’re pregnant?


    Young woman looking at pregnancy test with disappointed expressionYoung woman looking at pregnancy test with disappointed expressionjessicacvlYoung woman looking at pregnancy test with disappointed expressionYoung woman looking at pregnancy test with disappointed expressionjessicacvl

    0 0

    (Picture: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

    Black Friday is just over a week away, but some stores have already started their sales.

    Since some sales offer huge discounts, it’s worth thinking about the big ticket items you want, and seize the moment to bag a bargain.

    Argos is one such hub that offers furniture, tech, and toys all in one place, making it an ideal Black Friday destination.

    Here’s everything you need to know about their offers, and when you can expect to get your hands on them.

    (Picture: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

    Argos already have a dedicated Black Friday page up and running on their site.

    They say on the page, ‘Oh man, Black Friday is going to be amazing this year. We’re so excited. We’d tell you all about our deals, but we can’t right now – it’s totally hush-hush, top secret.’

    It’s not totally hush-hush, however, since we know it’ll be starting on Friday 23 November.

    The bargains will begin at 12.01am on Friday, but they’re advising people to try to shop between 3am and 4am, as this is less busy and there’s less chance of delays.

    If you’re certain there’s something you want from the sale, it’s also advisable to set up an account ahead of time to speed up the process on Black Friday.

    Last year’s deals included half price off toys and buy one get one half price on selected jewellery lines.

    In a strange but oddly useful twist, Argos will be giving away 100 free shower curtains to customers on the day.

    They’re see-through, and include a waterproof pocket so you can put your phone or tablet in, apparently so you can shop in the shower.

    Argos have highlighted, however, that they don’t take any responsibility for water damaged phones, so be careful while you shower-shop.

    MORE: Morrisons Black Friday deals have already started with a £10 magnum of Prosecco

    MORE: The best Black Friday fashion deals for 2018


    Inside Home Retail Group Plc's U.K. Catalogue Chain Store ArgosInside Home Retail Group Plc's U.K. Catalogue Chain Store ArgosjessicacvlInside Home Retail Group Plc's U.K. Catalogue Chain Store ArgosInside Home Retail Group Plc's U.K. Catalogue Chain Store Argosjessicacvl

    0 0

    Do you remember the last time you felt giddy and gleeful at the sight of snow?

    A video that shows two children from Eritrea enjoying snow for the first time in Canada is melting hearts on social media worldwide.

    The video – taken by Twitter user Rebecca Davies – shows a young girl and boy run out into a back yard in big winter coats, squeal with delight, walk around and jump. The girl spins, twirls and waves her arms. Both hold out their hands to catch falling snowflakes.

    Then they jump up and down. The look on their faces is pure joy.

    Rebecca Davies, spokesperson for the Ripple Refugee Project, a Toronto-based group of private citizens that sponsors, settles, and helps to integrate newcomers to Canada, posted the video on Twitter, Reddit and YouTube at her home just 48 hours after the seven-year-old girl and her five-year-old brother arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings as privately sponsored refugees, Canadian press reported.

    (Picture: Rebecca Davies)

    Davies later explained to her Twitter followers that she sponsored the family through Canada’s Private Sponsorship of Refugees charity, which allows private citizens to put up their own funds to bring UN-vetted refugees into the country.

    Sponsors pledge to support the refugees for 12 months, not only financially; they also ensure that children attend school and see doctors and dentists, and that adults are linked to potential employers or training programs.

    The charity donate resources, including housing, furniture, clothing, and toys. In 2018, Canada planned to welcome 18,000 refugees via this path, in addition to 7,500 others sponsored by the government directly.

    The video has been viewed on Twitter more than 3 million times and has even earned a shout-out from Canadian PM Justin Trudeau.

    The children are part of a family of refugees arrived in Canada after five years of living in a refugee camp in Sudan. They moved to the refugee camp after fleeing the violence in Eritrea.

    Ms Davis said their single mother fled the east-African country in 2015 with her four children, all of whom are living with her temporarily until they are back on their feet.

    According to Rebecca, the little ones are also looking forward to starting school in their new neighborhood.

    ‘This is what life is all about. Children, new to Canada that have never seen snow, and embracing it in that magical way that children do,’ one person tweeted.

    ‘Welcome to Canada sweethearts! Your lives will hopefully be a beautiful journey.’

    MORE: Couple advertise for babysitter to come on all expenses trip to Bahamas

    MORE: ‘Hustle porn’ is ruining our lives and making us less productive


    0 0

    Marjorie Eliot, 81, with her friends Helga Athineos and Cooki Winborn. See SWNS story SWNYjazz; A musical mother-of-five has held a free jazz concert in her living room every Sunday for almost 25 years. Marjorie Eliot, 81, first threw open the doors to her New York apartment on June 5 1994 following the death of one of her sons. The actress, writer and musician has recreated the spectacle every Sunday afternoon since - 1,275 weekends in a row. While the first tribute concert drew a crowd of six, word of mouth has seen the number of weekly attendees swell to at least 60. Latecomers too slow to snag a fold-away plastic chair cram into the kitchen or spill out into the corridor, craning for a glimpse. Then, at 4pm sharp, the sound of jazz played by musicians from around the world fills the room. Marjorie, a talented pianist, also graces the stage alongside one of her sons, saxophonist Rudel Drears, 52. Speaking after a show, Marjorie, who lives on the border of Harlem in New York City, said: "It brings me so much joy.
    (Picture: Shanti Das / SWNS.com)

    A mother-of-five has held a free jazz concert in her living room every single Sunday for almost 25 years.

    Marjorie Eliot, 81, first threw open the doors to her New York apartment on 5 June 1994 following the death of one of her sons Philip, who died of kidney disease.

    Marjorie, an actress, writer and musician, has recreated the concert every Sunday afternoon since – 1,275 weekends in a row.

    While the first tribute concert drew a crowd of six, word of mouth has seen the number of weekly attendees grow to at least 60.

    Marjorie puts out fold-away plastic chairs for her audience, but anyone running late has to find a spot in the kitchen or corridor.

    Then, at 4pm sharp, the sound of jazz played by musicians from around the world fills the room.

    Marjorie, a talented pianist, graces the stage alongside one of her sons, saxophonist Rudel Drears, 52.

    Inside Marjorie Eliot living room. See SWNS story SWNYjazz; A musical mother-of-five has held a free jazz concert in her living room every Sunday for almost 25 years. Marjorie Eliot, 81, first threw open the doors to her New York apartment on June 5 1994 following the death of one of her sons. The actress, writer and musician has recreated the spectacle every Sunday afternoon since - 1,275 weekends in a row. While the first tribute concert drew a crowd of six, word of mouth has seen the number of weekly attendees swell to at least 60. Latecomers too slow to snag a fold-away plastic chair cram into the kitchen or spill out into the corridor, craning for a glimpse. Then, at 4pm sharp, the sound of jazz played by musicians from around the world fills the room. Marjorie, a talented pianist, also graces the stage alongside one of her sons, saxophonist Rudel Drears, 52. Speaking after a show, Marjorie, who lives on the border of Harlem in New York City, said: "It brings me so much joy.
    (Picture: Shanti Das / SWNS.com)

    Speaking after a show, Marjorie, who lives on the border of Harlem in New York City, said: ‘It brings me so much joy.

    ‘I look forward to Sundays all week – my life centres around it.

    ‘It started out with a small crowd and it has been a person telling a person, “I had a good time.”

    ‘I didn’t want to be connected to an organisation telling me what to do, and making a donation isn’t necessary.

    ‘I do it because I need to do it. I have to do it. To have people come here and engage with it is a glorious thing.’

    Marjorie’s concerts are held at 555 Edgecome Avenue, a landmarked building once home to the legendary singer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson.

    They last two hours and combine sorrowful songs with uplifting numbers like ‘When The Saints Go Marching In.’

    Inside Marjorie Eliot living room. See SWNS story SWNYjazz; A musical mother-of-five has held a free jazz concert in her living room every Sunday for almost 25 years. Marjorie Eliot, 81, first threw open the doors to her New York apartment on June 5 1994 following the death of one of her sons. The actress, writer and musician has recreated the spectacle every Sunday afternoon since - 1,275 weekends in a row. While the first tribute concert drew a crowd of six, word of mouth has seen the number of weekly attendees swell to at least 60. Latecomers too slow to snag a fold-away plastic chair cram into the kitchen or spill out into the corridor, craning for a glimpse. Then, at 4pm sharp, the sound of jazz played by musicians from around the world fills the room. Marjorie, a talented pianist, also graces the stage alongside one of her sons, saxophonist Rudel Drears, 52. Speaking after a show, Marjorie, who lives on the border of Harlem in New York City, said: "It brings me so much joy.
    (Picture: Shanti Das / SWNS.com)

    As the music plays, Marjorie’s friend Helga Athineos navigates the crowd handing out orange juice and honey oat granola bars.

    She asks for donations for the band, but Marjorie, who’s been living in the same spot since 1983, is quick to point out that this isn’t a money spinner.

    The musicians do it for the love.

    Koichi, who has been part of the line-up since 2003, said: ‘I always wanted to play in New York. It was my dream.

    ‘A long time ago I was just in the audience, but then Marjorie picked me.

    ‘Now I’ve been playing almost every week for 15 years. It’s such a good experience.’

    Inside Marjorie Eliot living room. See SWNS story SWNYjazz; A musical mother-of-five has held a free jazz concert in her living room every Sunday for almost 25 years. Marjorie Eliot, 81, first threw open the doors to her New York apartment on June 5 1994 following the death of one of her sons. The actress, writer and musician has recreated the spectacle every Sunday afternoon since - 1,275 weekends in a row. While the first tribute concert drew a crowd of six, word of mouth has seen the number of weekly attendees swell to at least 60. Latecomers too slow to snag a fold-away plastic chair cram into the kitchen or spill out into the corridor, craning for a glimpse. Then, at 4pm sharp, the sound of jazz played by musicians from around the world fills the room. Marjorie, a talented pianist, also graces the stage alongside one of her sons, saxophonist Rudel Drears, 52. Speaking after a show, Marjorie, who lives on the border of Harlem in New York City, said: "It brings me so much joy.
    (Picture: Shanti Das / SWNS.com)

    Marjorie, meanwhile, sees the series as a way of dealing with the grief of losing three of her five children.

    Her son Philip, 32, died from kidney disease on a Sunday in 1992, followed by her son Michael, 47, who died of meningitis in 2006 and Alfie, 51, who died in 2015.

    Marjorie gets emotional as she plays, and is grateful to her guests for her letting her cry.

    She explained: ‘I don’t have to hide it.

    ‘The people who come here wear their hearts on their sleeves. They’re not peeping in the door treating it like a curiosity.

    ‘The thing I love about them is they come in and say, ‘This is the way it should be.’ They all know my story.

    ‘I just get into the music and it’s one way of dealing with the hardship.

    ‘I know you can go to Madison Square Garden but the intimacy here allows for growth. It allows us to really play the music.’

    MORE: You can now buy an advent calendar filled with beef jerky

    MORE: Couple have stunning Harry Potter themed wedding


    SEI_39942244-c3eaSEI_39942244-c3eahattiegladwellmetroMarjorie Eliot, 81, with her friends Helga Athineos and Cooki Winborn. See SWNS story SWNYjazz; A musical mother-of-five has held a free jazz concert in her living room every Sunday for almost 25 years. Marjorie Eliot, 81, first threw open the doors to her New York apartment on June 5 1994 following the death of one of her sons. The actress, writer and musician has recreated the spectacle every Sunday afternoon since - 1,275 weekends in a row. While the first tribute concert drew a crowd of six, word of mouth has seen the number of weekly attendees swell to at least 60. Latecomers too slow to snag a fold-away plastic chair cram into the kitchen or spill out into the corridor, craning for a glimpse. Then, at 4pm sharp, the sound of jazz played by musicians from around the world fills the room. Marjorie, a talented pianist, also graces the stage alongside one of her sons, saxophonist Rudel Drears, 52. Speaking after a show, Marjorie, who lives on the border of Harlem in New York City, said: SEI_39942244-c3eaSEI_39942244-c3eahattiegladwellmetroMarjorie Eliot, 81, with her friends Helga Athineos and Cooki Winborn. See SWNS story SWNYjazz; A musical mother-of-five has held a free jazz concert in her living room every Sunday for almost 25 years. Marjorie Eliot, 81, first threw open the doors to her New York apartment on June 5 1994 following the death of one of her sons. The actress, writer and musician has recreated the spectacle every Sunday afternoon since - 1,275 weekends in a row. While the first tribute concert drew a crowd of six, word of mouth has seen the number of weekly attendees swell to at least 60. Latecomers too slow to snag a fold-away plastic chair cram into the kitchen or spill out into the corridor, craning for a glimpse. Then, at 4pm sharp, the sound of jazz played by musicians from around the world fills the room. Marjorie, a talented pianist, also graces the stage alongside one of her sons, saxophonist Rudel Drears, 52. Speaking after a show, Marjorie, who lives on the border of Harlem in New York City, said: "It brings me so much joy.Inside Marjorie Eliot living room. See SWNS story SWNYjazz; A musical mother-of-five has held a free jazz concert in her living room every Sunday for almost 25 years. Marjorie Eliot, 81, first threw open the doors to her New York apartment on June 5 1994 following the death of one of her sons. The actress, writer and musician has recreated the spectacle every Sunday afternoon since - 1,275 weekends in a row. While the first tribute concert drew a crowd of six, word of mouth has seen the number of weekly attendees swell to at least 60. Latecomers too slow to snag a fold-away plastic chair cram into the kitchen or spill out into the corridor, craning for a glimpse. Then, at 4pm sharp, the sound of jazz played by musicians from around the world fills the room. Marjorie, a talented pianist, also graces the stage alongside one of her sons, saxophonist Rudel Drears, 52. Speaking after a show, Marjorie, who lives on the border of Harlem in New York City, said: "It brings me so much joy.Inside Marjorie Eliot living room. See SWNS story SWNYjazz; A musical mother-of-five has held a free jazz concert in her living room every Sunday for almost 25 years. Marjorie Eliot, 81, first threw open the doors to her New York apartment on June 5 1994 following the death of one of her sons. The actress, writer and musician has recreated the spectacle every Sunday afternoon since - 1,275 weekends in a row. While the first tribute concert drew a crowd of six, word of mouth has seen the number of weekly attendees swell to at least 60. Latecomers too slow to snag a fold-away plastic chair cram into the kitchen or spill out into the corridor, craning for a glimpse. Then, at 4pm sharp, the sound of jazz played by musicians from around the world fills the room. Marjorie, a talented pianist, also graces the stage alongside one of her sons, saxophonist Rudel Drears, 52. Speaking after a show, Marjorie, who lives on the border of Harlem in New York City, said: "It brings me so much joy.Inside Marjorie Eliot living room. See SWNS story SWNYjazz; A musical mother-of-five has held a free jazz concert in her living room every Sunday for almost 25 years. Marjorie Eliot, 81, first threw open the doors to her New York apartment on June 5 1994 following the death of one of her sons. The actress, writer and musician has recreated the spectacle every Sunday afternoon since - 1,275 weekends in a row. While the first tribute concert drew a crowd of six, word of mouth has seen the number of weekly attendees swell to at least 60. Latecomers too slow to snag a fold-away plastic chair cram into the kitchen or spill out into the corridor, craning for a glimpse. Then, at 4pm sharp, the sound of jazz played by musicians from around the world fills the room. Marjorie, a talented pianist, also graces the stage alongside one of her sons, saxophonist Rudel Drears, 52. Speaking after a show, Marjorie, who lives on the border of Harlem in New York City, said: "It brings me so much joy.

    0 0

    The moment a toddler had a meltdown after she was cast as an angel in the school nativity was captured on camera.

    Darcy Raine Cheshire, three, was in floods of tears when her mother picked her up from pre-school after the roles had been given out for the Christmas play.

    Darcy was especially upset because she didn’t want to be an angel – she wanted to be Spiderman.

    A hilarious video shows her patient mum Heather, 37, explaining that Spiderman isn’t in the Bible and adding: ‘It’s the story of baby Jesus.’

    But furious Darcy answers: ‘I don’t like baby Jesus. Because I hate baby Jesus. I don’t like angels.’

    Darcy – who has four big brothers – had been told her class would be playing the angels in Hambleton Primary Academy’s nativity.

    Darcy Raine Cheshire in her favourite Spiderman outfit. See SWNS story SWTPnativity; Who had a meltdown after she was cast as an angel in the school nativity - when she wanted to be SPIDERMAN instead. Darcy Raine Cheshire, three, was in floods of tears when her mother picked her up from pre-school after roles had been dished out for the traditional Christmas play. A hilarious video taken by her mum Heather, 37, shows the little girl screaming: ""I don't want to be an angel - I want to be Spiderman." The tot - who has four big brothers - had been told her class would be playing the angels in Hambleton Primary Academy's nativity. But little Darcy loves superheroes, and had a meltdown in the car when her mum picked her up. The funny video of her tantrum shows her kicking her feet and waving her arms screaming "I don't want to be an angel - I want to be Spiderman."
    (Picture: Aaron Cheshire / SWNS.com)

    Her mum and dad showed the video to the teachers at school – and they have agreed that she can be a superhero in the school show.

    It even gained her one line directed towards baby Jesus: ‘You should be brave like Batman.’

    Dad Aaron said: ‘She comes out with the funniest things.

    ‘She can be very loud and she’s very funny. She is very strong minded for a child of her age.

    ‘The things she comes out with, sometimes she’s more like an 18-year-old.’

    Darcy loves superheroes, and had a meltdown in the car when her mum picked her up on Friday.

    Darcy Raine Cheshire dressed as Batman. See SWNS story SWTPnativity; Who had a meltdown after she was cast as an angel in the school nativity - when she wanted to be SPIDERMAN instead. Darcy Raine Cheshire, three, was in floods of tears when her mother picked her up from pre-school after roles had been dished out for the traditional Christmas play. A hilarious video taken by her mum Heather, 37, shows the little girl screaming: ""I don't want to be an angel - I want to be Spiderman." The tot - who has four big brothers - had been told her class would be playing the angels in Hambleton Primary Academy's nativity. But little Darcy loves superheroes, and had a meltdown in the car when her mum picked her up. The funny video of her tantrum shows her kicking her feet and waving her arms screaming "I don't want to be an angel - I want to be Spiderman."
    (Picture: Aaron Cheshire / SWNS.com)

    The funny video of her tantrum shows her kicking her feet and waving her arms screaming.

    When her mum asks what she does like, if she doesn’t like baby Jesus, the little girl answers: ‘Batman’.

    She sobs as her mum explains she will be a ‘beautiful angel’, but Darcy screams ‘I don’t want angel’.

    And when her mum asks what she should do for the costume, Darcy answers: ‘Get me a Batman outfit with not a skirt one. A normal one with pants and a cape. I don’t like angels.’

    MORE: How hard is it to get pregnant if you have polycystic ovary syndrome?

    MORE: Stranger helps white adoptive mum to style her black daughter’s hair


    0 0

    MERCURY PRESS. 13.11.18. HIGH WYCOMBE, UK. Pic shows: Britain's most eccentric inventor Lyndon Yorke at his home in High Wycombe. An unlucky in love inventor dubbed Britain?s wackiest is looking for his muse ? after finding he could build anything but a way to meet his dream woman. Eccentric Lyndon Yorke is on the hunt for a soulmate to spend his days with ? and said the more unusual the lucky lady is, the better. Lonely Lyndon said although he?s had plenty of girlfriends they never seem to last, despite the prospect of endless champagne-fuelled trips up and down the river in one of his more unusual inventions ? an amphibious bathchair. SEE MERCURY COPY Pic credit: Simon Jacobs/Mercury Press
    (Picture: Simon Jacobs/Mercury Press)

    An unlucky in love inventor who has been called Britain’s wackiest man is looking for his perfect partner.

    Lyndon Yorke is on the hunt for a soulmate to spend his days with – and said the more unusual the lucky lady, the better.

    Lonely Lyndon said although he’s had plenty of girlfriends they never seem to last, despite the prospect of endless champagne-fuelled trips up and down the river in one of his more unusual inventions – an amphibious bathchair.

    The inventor, who has been single for five years, constantly has a project on the go – the latest being a pest control machine based on a First World War wheelchair.

    Lyndon, from Marlow, Buckinghamshire, said: ‘I’m on the lookout for my muse. The true meaning of the word muse is someone who is a source of artistic inspiration – that was not only attractive but inspiring. But there’s not many of them about.

    ‘My dream woman needs to be someone that has got a mechanical and an artistic mind – someone creative who is in to old mechanical things like cars and boats.

    ‘She also needs to be someone who likes for picnics by unusual means – either travelling in vintage cars or along the river.

    ‘The more unusual the more interesting, and maybe she can use and a spanner and hammer too? But most importantly, they must be an artistic inspiration.’

    Describing himself as a ‘follyologist’, Lyndon has dedicated his life to his inventions. never marrying or having children.

    He has plenty of female friends, but just hasn’t fallen for anyone yet – despite having a weird and wonderful collection of inventions to impress the ladies with, including a wickerwork car and aircraft named Hurrycane as well as a nine piece orchestra called the Buskermatic.

    MERCURY PRESS. 13.11.18. HIGH WYCOMBE, UK. Pic shows: Britain's most eccentric inventor Lyndon Yorke sits on his Bath Chair boat, 'Tritania' An unlucky in love inventor dubbed Britain?s wackiest is looking for his muse ? after finding he could build anything but a way to meet his dream woman. Eccentric Lyndon Yorke is on the hunt for a soulmate to spend his days with ? and said the more unusual the lucky lady is, the better. Lonely Lyndon said although he?s had plenty of girlfriends they never seem to last, despite the prospect of endless champagne-fuelled trips up and down the river in one of his more unusual inventions ? an amphibious bathchair. SEE MERCURY COPY Pic credit: Simon Jacobs/Mercury Press
    (Picture: Simon Jacobs/Mercury Press)

    Lyndon admitted his obsession with inventing can cause personal life problems – with his previous relationships falling through because he’s not ‘responsible’ enough.

    Lyndon said: ‘I’ve had about half a dozen serious relationships and a few less serious ones over the years. I had one a while ago but she wanted to have babies so it didn’t work out.

    ‘I’m not responsible enough to have children. I just hate the whole idea of screaming babies. I quite like it when friends’ children come over and are inquisitive about my inventions but the smaller ones – I can’t stand.

    ‘It’s important my dream woman likes to fly up and down the river enjoying regattas and festivals so they can dress to impress.

    ‘It’s nice to have a glamourous person on your arm when you go to these kind of events.

    MERCURY PRESS. 13.11.18. HIGH WYCOMBE, UK. Pic shows: An animatronic 'Buskermatic" model in the worksop of Britain's most eccentric inventor, Lyndon Yorke. An unlucky in love inventor dubbed Britain?s wackiest is looking for his muse ? after finding he could build anything but a way to meet his dream woman. Eccentric Lyndon Yorke is on the hunt for a soulmate to spend his days with ? and said the more unusual the lucky lady is, the better. Lonely Lyndon said although he?s had plenty of girlfriends they never seem to last, despite the prospect of endless champagne-fuelled trips up and down the river in one of his more unusual inventions ? an amphibious bathchair. SEE MERCURY COPY Pic credit: Simon Jacobs/Mercury Press
    (Picture: Simon Jacobs/Mercury Press)

    ‘Because of my job I spent a lot of my working life overseas and I discovered long distance relationships rarely work out.

    ‘Now I’m not travelling so much it’s a better environment to find someone. I’ve tried online dating but it’s never worked out.

    ‘Most of my girlfriends have been a bit younger – which is why I never reveal my real age.’

    Aerial survey consultant Lyndon keeps a pencil and pen on his bedside table and around the house so he can constantly jot down ideas.

    His pride and joy is the Tritania, inspired by an old Edwardian paddle boat, which has a wind up grammar phone, a rotating umbrella, a large model pigeon that flaps its wings, swinging arms to pick up drinks and, of course, a hooter.

    Another favourite is his old wickerwork car which he made himself out of an old 1920’s Citroen having taught himself how to weave.

    In 2001 he was named Most Eccentric Man – a title he’s embraced.

    MERCURY PRESS. 13.11.18. HIGH WYCOMBE, UK. Pic shows: Britain's most eccentric inventor Lyndon Yorke in his work shop. An unlucky in love inventor dubbed Britain?s wackiest is looking for his muse ? after finding he could build anything but a way to meet his dream woman. Eccentric Lyndon Yorke is on the hunt for a soulmate to spend his days with ? and said the more unusual the lucky lady is, the better. Lonely Lyndon said although he?s had plenty of girlfriends they never seem to last, despite the prospect of endless champagne-fuelled trips up and down the river in one of his more unusual inventions ? an amphibious bathchair. SEE MERCURY COPY Pic credit: Simon Jacobs/Mercury Press
    (Picture: Simon Jacobs/Mercury Press)

    Lyndon, who builds everything from a workshop in his garden, said: ‘I get components for my inventions from antique shops, second hand shops, scouring auction magazines and eBay.

    ‘I’d say I’ve spent about £10,000 on my inventions to date. It’s hard to put a figure on it but if I see something I like I have to buy it regardless of the cost.

    ‘I usually start work early in the morning around 7am and work through to lunchtime then spend the afternoon working on my inventions.

    ‘Ever since I was a kid I’ve been interested in sprockets, cogs and chains.

    ‘Things can occasionally go wrong. I once blew a hole in my parent’s roof when I was trying to repair a radio. That was a steep learning curve.

    ‘On another occasion I was in one of my river machines and I started to sink.’

    Lyndon said: ‘90% of my projects are successful. When you’re building things a lot of it is trial and error and I often have to reconfigure things but I wouldn’t call them failures.

    ‘I like to be able to amuse people. When people laugh at my stuff they’re not laughing at me but at the whole scenario. It’s all friendly.

    ‘I’ve kept everything I’ve ever made. I didn’t like to part with anything. I’ve had comfortable offers for things but I want to keep the collection together.

    ‘I’d like to have an exhibition one day.’

    MORE: What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?

    MORE: You can blame your mum if your dating life is rubbish


    THE UNLUCKY PROFESSOR! BRITAIN?S WACKIEST INVENTOR CAN BUILD ANYTHING APART FROM WAY TO MEET HIS DREAM WOMAN ? AND IS LOOKING FOR LOVETHE UNLUCKY PROFESSOR! BRITAIN?S WACKIEST INVENTOR CAN BUILD ANYTHING APART FROM WAY TO MEET HIS DREAM WOMAN ? AND IS LOOKING FOR LOVEhattiegladwellmetroMERCURY PRESS. 13.11.18. HIGH WYCOMBE, UK. Pic shows: Britain's most eccentric inventor Lyndon Yorke at his home in High Wycombe. An unlucky in love inventor dubbed Britain?s wackiest is looking for his muse ? after finding he could build anything but a way to meet his dream woman. Eccentric Lyndon Yorke is on the hunt for a soulmate to spend his days with ? and said the more unusual the lucky lady is, the better. Lonely Lyndon said although he?s had plenty of girlfriends they never seem to last, despite the prospect of endless champagne-fuelled trips up and down the river in one of his more unusual inventions ? an amphibious bathchair. SEE MERCURY COPY Pic credit: Simon Jacobs/Mercury PressMERCURY PRESS. 13.11.18. HIGH WYCOMBE, UK. Pic shows: Britain's most eccentric inventor Lyndon Yorke sits on his Bath Chair boat, 'Tritania' An unlucky in love inventor dubbed Britain?s wackiest is looking for his muse ? after finding he could build anything but a way to meet his dream woman. Eccentric Lyndon Yorke is on the hunt for a soulmate to spend his days with ? and said the more unusual the lucky lady is, the better. Lonely Lyndon said although he?s had plenty of girlfriends they never seem to last, despite the prospect of endless champagne-fuelled trips up and down the river in one of his more unusual inventions ? an amphibious bathchair. SEE MERCURY COPY Pic credit: Simon Jacobs/Mercury PressMERCURY PRESS. 13.11.18. HIGH WYCOMBE, UK. Pic shows: An animatronic 'BuskermaticTHE UNLUCKY PROFESSOR! BRITAIN?S WACKIEST INVENTOR CAN BUILD ANYTHING APART FROM WAY TO MEET HIS DREAM WOMAN ? AND IS LOOKING FOR LOVETHE UNLUCKY PROFESSOR! BRITAIN?S WACKIEST INVENTOR CAN BUILD ANYTHING APART FROM WAY TO MEET HIS DREAM WOMAN ? AND IS LOOKING FOR LOVEhattiegladwellmetroMERCURY PRESS. 13.11.18. HIGH WYCOMBE, UK. Pic shows: Britain's most eccentric inventor Lyndon Yorke at his home in High Wycombe. An unlucky in love inventor dubbed Britain?s wackiest is looking for his muse ? after finding he could build anything but a way to meet his dream woman. Eccentric Lyndon Yorke is on the hunt for a soulmate to spend his days with ? and said the more unusual the lucky lady is, the better. Lonely Lyndon said although he?s had plenty of girlfriends they never seem to last, despite the prospect of endless champagne-fuelled trips up and down the river in one of his more unusual inventions ? an amphibious bathchair. SEE MERCURY COPY Pic credit: Simon Jacobs/Mercury PressMERCURY PRESS. 13.11.18. HIGH WYCOMBE, UK. Pic shows: Britain's most eccentric inventor Lyndon Yorke sits on his Bath Chair boat, 'Tritania' An unlucky in love inventor dubbed Britain?s wackiest is looking for his muse ? after finding he could build anything but a way to meet his dream woman. Eccentric Lyndon Yorke is on the hunt for a soulmate to spend his days with ? and said the more unusual the lucky lady is, the better. Lonely Lyndon said although he?s had plenty of girlfriends they never seem to last, despite the prospect of endless champagne-fuelled trips up and down the river in one of his more unusual inventions ? an amphibious bathchair. SEE MERCURY COPY Pic credit: Simon Jacobs/Mercury PressMERCURY PRESS. 13.11.18. HIGH WYCOMBE, UK. Pic shows: An animatronic 'Buskermatic" model in the worksop of Britain's most eccentric inventor, Lyndon Yorke. An unlucky in love inventor dubbed Britain?s wackiest is looking for his muse ? after finding he could build anything but a way to meet his dream woman. Eccentric Lyndon Yorke is on the hunt for a soulmate to spend his days with ? and said the more unusual the lucky lady is, the better. Lonely Lyndon said although he?s had plenty of girlfriends they never seem to last, despite the prospect of endless champagne-fuelled trips up and down the river in one of his more unusual inventions ? an amphibious bathchair. SEE MERCURY COPY Pic credit: Simon Jacobs/Mercury PressMERCURY PRESS. 13.11.18. HIGH WYCOMBE, UK. Pic shows: Britain's most eccentric inventor Lyndon Yorke in his work shop. An unlucky in love inventor dubbed Britain?s wackiest is looking for his muse ? after finding he could build anything but a way to meet his dream woman. Eccentric Lyndon Yorke is on the hunt for a soulmate to spend his days with ? and said the more unusual the lucky lady is, the better. Lonely Lyndon said although he?s had plenty of girlfriends they never seem to last, despite the prospect of endless champagne-fuelled trips up and down the river in one of his more unusual inventions ? an amphibious bathchair. SEE MERCURY COPY Pic credit: Simon Jacobs/Mercury Press

    0 0

    Tummies bloat and change size - get used to it
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Since time immemorial there have been superstitions, old wives tales and tips to ensure a woman becomes pregnant and has her baby safe and sound.

    In Medieval times the whole kingdom could rest on the success of failure of a queen providing a monarch an heir to the throne, and not just any heir, a male heir.

    And if by divine right a baby was going to be born, then the childbirth would be a spectator sport.

    In 1778 when Marie Antoinette of France gave birth there were 200 people in her bedchamber waiting to see if the royal baby made an appearance.

    The obstetrician even yelled: ‘The Queen is going to give birth!’ sparking hundreds of courtiers to pour into the room forcing the king to pull across the bed’s curtains.

    And when Mary Queen of Scots had her son James in 1566, who would go on to rule Scotland and England, her bedchamber was packed with dignitaries wanting to be the first to congratulate the parents.

    But throughout history soothsayers who promised they could help a woman have a successful birth were in great demand.

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Granger/REX/Shutterstock (8713507a) Mary, Queen Of Scots (1542-1587). Mary Stuart Presenting Their Newborn Son, James, Prince Of Scotland And Heir Of Great Britain, To Her Husband, Henry Lord Darnley, Titular King Of Scotland. Mary, Queen Of Scots
    When Mary Queen of Scots had her son James it was a very public childbirth (Picture: Rex)

    Some were strange, some dangerous, and many plain weird, especially in Middle Ages Europe.

    For instance, who on earth came up with this one: ‘One may not pierce the bread of a pregnant woman with a knife or fork, or else the child’s eyes will be poked out.’

    And a twisted mind must have picked this one out of thin air: ‘If a pregnant woman ties a rope instead of a belt around herself, her child will be hanged.’

    If women survived childbirth, they faced another period fraught with superstition. Imagine being told this: ‘A woman recovering from childbirth may not look out of the window for six weeks, or else every wagon that passes will take a bit of luck with it.’

    And: ‘A woman may not draw water from any well for six weeks following the birth of her child, or the well will dry up for seven years.’

    But do not think the strange superstitions and birthing tips were left in the Middle Ages, across the world women are still being given tips about childbirth despite science being able to sort most problems out.

    In England a fertility custom which dates back 4,500 years is still alive and kicking for anyone who visits the neolithic stone formations .

    The legend decress if a woman passes through the Crick Stone seven times she will soon fall pregnant.

    Since the 17th Century the Cerne Abbas Giant in Dorset has been apparently boosting women’s fertility.

    Any woman who sleeps on the naked chalk figure will soon fall pregnant, according to folklore, and have a wild guess where on his body they usually decide to have a kip.

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Robert Judges/REX/Shutterstock (170998b) CERNE ABBAS GIANT THOMAS HARDYS WESSEX, DORSET, BRITAIN - 1990
    (Picture: Robert Judges/REX/Shutterstock)

    In Hungary the annual ‘Watering of the Girls’ is as strange as it sounds.

    Every Easter in Hungary’s World Heritage village of Holloko young men dressed in traditional clothing throw buckets of water over girls.

    It is unknown whether Western popular culture’s ‘Wet T-shirt Competition’ was inspired by ‘The Watering of the Girls’.

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock (4610867d) People celebrate Easter during the traditional "watering of the girls" ceremony. Traditional Easter celebrations in Holloko, Hungary - 06 Apr 2015 Local people from Holloko, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List, take part in a Hungarian tribal fertility ritual rooted in the area's pre-Christian past.
    The Watering of the Girls festival in Hungary (Picture: Rex)

    In Japan, the only country where you can buy teenage girls’ pants in vending machines, any fertility festival will not be subtle and the Hōnen Matsuri does not disappoint.

    Every year on March 15 huge wooden penises are paraded through the town of Komaki for its annual fertility festival.

    Couples hoping for a child attend the festival along with hundreds of tourists who go for the ‘all-you-can-drink-sake’ stalls and free food.

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Aflo/REX/Shutterstock (5614299f) Men carry a wooden phallus on a portable shrine Honen Matsuri fertility festival, Komaki, Japan - 15 Mar 2016
    The Honen Matsuri fertility festival in Komaki, Japan  (Picture: Rex)

    Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris is the final resting place of Édith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde and Frederic Chopin as well as plenty of France’s great and good.

    Couples who want a helping hand with fertility head to the grave of Victor Noir. The lady hoping to be a mother has to kiss the statue on the lips, place a flower in his upturned hat and rub his trousers.

    Unfortunately for Victor he did not manage to convince women to do this when he was alive.

    Prince Pierre Bonaparte shot him dead in 1870 during a dual and he became a symbol of the imperial injustice and a martyr for the soon-to-be-defunct Republic.

    Sculptor Jules Dalou was commissioned to create his grave and decided to give Victor a rather impressive lump of bronze below the belt which Parisian women started to make a beeline for.

    Now nearly 150 years later the statue’s lips and crotch are bright and shiny whereas the rest of him remains almost untouched.

    In Nigeria the annual week-long Osun-Osgogbo festival paying homage to the goddess of fertility is thousands of years old.

    The high point of the festival is when a virgin carries sacred objects to the river Oshun where the goddess of water is said to live.

    Worshippers follow behind her praying to the gods for health, prosperity and more children and sacrifices of flowers are also made to the goddess in the river.

    In China newlyweds have to adhere to the art of Feng Shui if they want to increase the chances of tiny feet in their home. The groom is first supposed to carry his wife over burning coals before they entering their marital home.

    Newlyweds are also not supposed to have anything blocking the front door, and should never clean under the bed beyond removing clutter.

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Imaginechina/REX/Shutterstock (3440594d) A bowl of birds nest soup is served at a restaurant in Wuhan city. Chinese authorities have banned shark fin and birds nest soup from official receptions China bans some traditional food dishes - 2013 In the latest step in a crackdown on extravagance and waste cigarettes and expensive alcoholic drinks were also banned from official receptions. Shark fins, bird nests and products of rare wild animals are popular materials in luxury dinners in China. Officials on business tours should arrange their own meals according to relevant expenditure standards. Chinese President Xi Jinping has sought to address growing public anger at the illegal or unethical behavior of party officials, especially those with flamboyant lifestyles, often seen as a sign they are corrupt.
    Bird’s Nest Soup is a traditional fertility remedy in China (Picture: Rex)

    And the bride is encouraged to drink bird’s nest soup, which must be made from the nest of the Swiftlet bird, which is constructed from the bird’s saliva.

    Across several cultures, including modern Western culture, the pineapple is a sign for fertility.

    The pine cone and pineapple symbolise fertility as they are the ‘reproductive organs’ of their respective parent plants and have long featured in the homes and art of kings.

    However, the pineapple might be just more than an old wives tale as it contains very high levels of the enzyme bromelain and women undergoing IVF treatment are encouraged to consume the fruit.

    Bromelain can increase blood flow to the uterus as a blood thinner and anticoagulant.

    And pineapple is not just handy for women hoping to become pregnant – the fruit’s juice is believed to help strengthen men’s sperm and protect its potency when frozen.

    And after millennia of strange and wonderful ideas about improving fertility, devouring pineapple is child’s play.

    Fertility Month

    This story is part of Fertility Month, a month-long series covering all aspects of fertility.

    For the next four weeks, we will be speaking to people at all stages of the fertility journey as well as doctors, lawyers and fertility experts who can shed light on the most important issues.

    If you have a story to tell or a question to ask, please do get in touch at fertilitystories@metro.co.uk.

    Here is a selection of the stories from Fertility Month so far - and you can find all Fertility Month content here.

    MORE: Fertility Month: Why we are talking about fertility this month

    MORE: I found the perfect sperm donor - but I never got my happy ending

    MORE: Plastic could be affecting your fertility – here’s how and why

    MORE: How hard is it to get pregnant if you have polycystic ovary syndrome?

    MORE: How to get super sperm like the Danish Vikings


    Tummies bloat and change size - get used to itTummies bloat and change size - get used to itadamsmithmetrocoukMandatory Credit: Photo by Granger/REX/Shutterstock (8713507a) Mary, Queen Of Scots (1542-1587). Mary Stuart Presenting Their Newborn Son, James, Prince Of Scotland And Heir Of Great Britain, To Her Husband, Henry Lord Darnley, Titular King Of Scotland. Mary, Queen Of ScotsMandatory Credit: Photo by Robert Judges/REX/Shutterstock (170998b) CERNE ABBAS GIANT THOMAS HARDYS WESSEX, DORSET, BRITAIN - 1990Mandatory Credit: Photo by Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock (4610867d) People celebrate Easter during the traditional Tummies bloat and change size - get used to itTummies bloat and change size - get used to itadamsmithmetrocoukMandatory Credit: Photo by Granger/REX/Shutterstock (8713507a) Mary, Queen Of Scots (1542-1587). Mary Stuart Presenting Their Newborn Son, James, Prince Of Scotland And Heir Of Great Britain, To Her Husband, Henry Lord Darnley, Titular King Of Scotland. Mary, Queen Of ScotsMandatory Credit: Photo by Robert Judges/REX/Shutterstock (170998b) CERNE ABBAS GIANT THOMAS HARDYS WESSEX, DORSET, BRITAIN - 1990Mandatory Credit: Photo by Xinhua/REX/Shutterstock (4610867d) People celebrate Easter during the traditional "watering of the girls" ceremony. Traditional Easter celebrations in Holloko, Hungary - 06 Apr 2015 Local people from Holloko, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List, take part in a Hungarian tribal fertility ritual rooted in the area's pre-Christian past.Mandatory Credit: Photo by Aflo/REX/Shutterstock (5614299f) Men carry a wooden phallus on a portable shrine Honen Matsuri fertility festival, Komaki, Japan - 15 Mar 2016Mandatory Credit: Photo by Imaginechina/REX/Shutterstock (3440594d) A bowl of birds nest soup is served at a restaurant in Wuhan city. Chinese authorities have banned shark fin and birds nest soup from official receptions China bans some traditional food dishes - 2013 In the latest step in a crackdown on extravagance and waste cigarettes and expensive alcoholic drinks were also banned from official receptions. Shark fins, bird nests and products of rare wild animals are popular materials in luxury dinners in China. Officials on business tours should arrange their own meals according to relevant expenditure standards. Chinese President Xi Jinping has sought to address growing public anger at the illegal or unethical behavior of party officials, especially those with flamboyant lifestyles, often seen as a sign they are corrupt.

    0 0

    In 2007, at the age of 41, I was diagnosed with cancer.

    It was a cancer that I had never heard of before. It was one that I had to learn about and it was one I feared.

    My cancer was pancreatic cancer. A cancer where I was facing a 3% chance of surviving beyond five years in 2007.

    I had no idea whether I would survive, although being diagnosed in time for surgery to remove the tumour did increase my chances of survival. I am currently still free of the disease and I am extremely grateful for this.

    During the early phases following my diagnosis, I was trying to survive the cancer but mostly I was determined not to be a cancer ‘victim’. I did everything I could to remove myself from the cancer patient stereotype.

    Wisborough Green, West Sussex, UK. 24th August 2018. Ali Stunt, CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action charity, at her home in Wisborough Green, West Sussex. In Photo: Ali Stunt in her garden.
    ‘Even 11 years on, I question whether the label ‘survivor’ is an appropriate one’ (Picture: Scott Ramsey/Metro.co.uk)

    I was lucky, I didn’t lose all of my hair and in between treatments, I looked ‘normal’ – most of the time.

    I also did not want to belong to the cancer patient club and I was probably one of the most anti-social cancer patients in the chemotherapy unit.

    I deliberately kept myself to myself and I didn’t want to be ‘one of them’; I didn’t want to discuss my side effects or to see others in pain and anguish, or to acknowledge that I was, by default, a member of that club.

    Even 11 years on, I question whether the label ‘survivor’ is an appropriate one.

    To me, in order to survive something, the event or situation you survived must be over. Finished. You survive a car crash or plane crash. You survive a war or a natural disaster. When those events are done; it’s over.

    Wisborough Green, West Sussex, UK. 24th August 2018. Ali Stunt, CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action charity, at her home in Wisborough Green, West Sussex. In Photo: Ali Stunt in her home.
    ‘It’s a label that most of the time I am happy to wear as the alternative is just not worth thinking about’ (Picture: Scott Ramsey/Metro.co.uk)

    The trouble with cancer is you never know if it will ever be over and there are no guarantees that it won’t come back one day, now or in the future.

    This hangs over me and will remain for the rest of my life; the effects of a year of treatment are still with me as is the constant anxiety that my cancer may return.

    After treatment I completely changed track and gave up my previous life to start a pancreatic cancer charity – Pancreatic Cancer Action.

    Founding the charity has meant that I have not allowed myself to move away from the disease or been able to put it all behind me, which has been hard at times.

    Wisborough Green, West Sussex, UK. 24th August 2018. Ali Stunt, CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action charity, at her home in Wisborough Green, West Sussex. In Photo: Ali Stunt looks at the Pancreatic Cancer Action website.
    Ali set up Pancreatic Cancer Action after being diagnosed in 2007 (Picture: Scott Ramsey/Metro.co.uk)

    However, this was a deliberate and considered choice; it was hugely impacted by the fact that there has been no change in survival for nearly half a century, despite huge improvements in survival rates for many other cancers.

    I am now able to use my cancer survivor status to help others; to give hope to people who may be facing the same cancer as I had.

    I have immersed myself into the subject that is pancreatic cancer and am able to use that knowledge to help others navigate the health system, inform them of current treatment options and advise on where to go for clinical trials or even second opinions.

    I do still often have bouts of survivor’s guilt – wondering why I am surviving while so many others do not.

    Wisborough Green, West Sussex, UK. 24th August 2018. Ali Stunt, CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action charity, at her home in Wisborough Green, West Sussex. In Photo: Ali Stunt in her home.
    ‘I am still not convinced that the term survivor is the correct one to use’ (Picture: Scott Ramsey/Metro.co.uk)

    So, 11 years on, I now have the label of a cancer survivor and it is a label that most of the time I am happy to wear as the alternative is just not worth thinking about.

    However, I don’t want that to be the label that solely defines me. I am also a person, wife, daughter and mother, charity CEO and much, much more. All of these labels are a continuous part of me and I don’t switch in and out of any of them.

    I am also not sure that this journey has completely finished. I am still not convinced that the term survivor is the correct one to use.

    Mind you, I am also not sure what the correct amount of disease free time has to pass until that label becomes accurate.

    So, does the label of ‘cancer survivor’ define me?

    Yes, and I’ve allowed it to through my work at Pancreatic Cancer Action.

    Has it change me? Yes and No.

    Yes, because the experience of having and being treated for cancer and still being alive completely changed my perspective on life.

    No, because I am still the same person I was before all of this happened – perhaps just a little more scared of the future.

    Labels

    Labels is an exclusive series that hears from individuals who have been labelled – whether that be by society, a job title, or a diagnosis. Throughout the project, writers will share how having these words ascribed to them shaped their identity  positively or negatively  and what the label means to them.

    If you would like to get involved please email jess.austin@metro.co.uk

    MORE: My Label and Me: Infertile

    MORE: My Label and Me: Vegan

    MORE: My Label and Me: Snowflake


    Ali StuntAli StuntjessrubyaustinWisborough Green, West Sussex, UK. 24th August 2018. Ali Stunt, CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action charity, at her home in Wisborough Green, West Sussex. In Photo: Ali Stunt in her garden.Wisborough Green, West Sussex, UK. 24th August 2018. Ali Stunt, CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action charity, at her home in Wisborough Green, West Sussex. In Photo: Ali Stunt in her home.Wisborough Green, West Sussex, UK. 24th August 2018. Ali Stunt, CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action charity, at her home in Wisborough Green, West Sussex. In Photo: Ali Stunt looks at the Pancreatic Cancer Action website.Wisborough Green, West Sussex, UK. 24th August 2018. Ali Stunt, CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action charity, at her home in Wisborough Green, West Sussex. In Photo: Ali Stunt in her home.Ali StuntAli StuntjessrubyaustinWisborough Green, West Sussex, UK. 24th August 2018. Ali Stunt, CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action charity, at her home in Wisborough Green, West Sussex. In Photo: Ali Stunt in her garden.Wisborough Green, West Sussex, UK. 24th August 2018. Ali Stunt, CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action charity, at her home in Wisborough Green, West Sussex. In Photo: Ali Stunt in her home.Wisborough Green, West Sussex, UK. 24th August 2018. Ali Stunt, CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action charity, at her home in Wisborough Green, West Sussex. In Photo: Ali Stunt looks at the Pancreatic Cancer Action website.Wisborough Green, West Sussex, UK. 24th August 2018. Ali Stunt, CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action charity, at her home in Wisborough Green, West Sussex. In Photo: Ali Stunt in her home.

    0 0

    **ILLUSTRATION REQUEST** Shadowing is the awful new dating trend you should know about – XX women share their stories (Almara)
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    If you’re on a dating app, you’d probably like to get more matches. If only for the sake of your ego.

    So you pick the most flattering photos. You spend a good twenty minutes crafting your bio. You consider changing your age, then realise that is a truly bizarre thing to do.

    Now what?

    You might want to shove a load of keywords into your bio, according to seeking.com, who’ve released a list of the words people put in their dating profiles and get more matches.

    Now, before you go ahead and copy and paste these terms into your ‘about me’ section, it’s worth noting that this research has been conducted by a website designed to match sugar babies with sugar daddies, so it may not be reflective of your average dating market.

    It’s entirely possible that a man’s matches on such a website are not down to his mentions of tacos and wine, but to his large wealth.

    That being said, these words have a tendency to be appealing. Perhaps they suggest wealth. Perhaps they just make the potential date sound like fun.

    Either way, adding them in is worth a shot, right?

    Word worth putting in your online dating profile:

    The best words for men to include in their bios:

    • Travel
    • Gym
    • Connection
    • Wine
    • Tacos
    • Hike
    • Foodie
    • Pizza
    • Dogs
    • Concerts

    The best words for women to include in their bios:

    • Connection
    • Yoga
    • Hike
    • Dogs
    • Travel
    • Love
    • Wine
    • Vegan
    • Foodie
    • Concerts

    Lessons from this: potential dates like it if you’re into travel. Sugar babies like it if you’re offering to take them on all expenses paid trips around the world.

    Going hiking is clearly a solid date activity (just don’t make it your first date, please. Meet in a public space until you’re convinced they’re not creeps or killers), as is an evening eating delicious food and sipping on wine.

    And, as you’d probably expect, having a dog is always a plus.

    Seeking.com’s spokesperson Brook Urick said: ‘It’s really important to take the time to write something unique about yourself in your online dating profiles.

    ‘Is your affinity for pizza and tacos really the most important thing someone can learn about you in 10 seconds? Probably not, and it’s an outdated attempt to appear funny and laid back.

    ‘Getting that match is the first step, and then it’s all about coming up with a personalised, interesting opening line.’

    MORE: Millennials love plants because we have nothing else

    MORE: Unlucky in love inventor Lyndon is searching for his soulmate

    MORE: You can blame your mum if your dating life is rubbish


    **ILLUSTRATION REQUEST** Shadowing is the awful new dating trend you should know about – XX women share their stories (Almara)**ILLUSTRATION REQUEST** Shadowing is the awful new dating trend you should know about – XX women share their stories (Almara)ellencscott**ILLUSTRATION REQUEST** Shadowing is the awful new dating trend you should know about – XX women share their stories (Almara)**ILLUSTRATION REQUEST** Shadowing is the awful new dating trend you should know about – XX women share their stories (Almara)ellencscott

    0 0

    It’s National Nug Week this week.

    But because we’re moving ever closer to a post-meat age, that doesn’t just mean that the meat-eaters get to have all the fun.

    Increasingly, there’s a vegan option for all these ridiculous marketing things, as companies cotton on to the fact that the green pound is only going to get stronger.

    Vegans have been doing bits – and the real proof is in recent estimations of just how much the plant-based industry is worth (clue: it’s in the billions).

    So without any further delay, here’s what has been going down this week in vegan news:

    Frankie & Benny’s launched vegan chicken nuggets

    Instagram Photo

    Everyone’s favourite retail-park-on-the-outskirts-of-town-family-restaurant Frankie & Benny’s has just added vegan nugs to its menu – just in time for National Nug Week (13-18 Nov).

    It announced the news via Instagram on Monday, saying: ‘Vegan Nuggets are landing at Frankie & Benny’s just in time for National Nugget Day!’

    It’s yet to say exactly what the nugs are made from.

    They’re just the latest plant-based edition to the Italian-American chain, who increased its vegan options sixfold back in September to include a vegan beet burger, bruschetta, garlic bread, sorbets and pasta.

    The nugs are £5.99 for unlimited amounts of nugs and come with vegan mayo.

    I’m A Celeb bosses face a ‘crisis’ after signing up three vegans

    Fleur East has been very open about her vegan beliefs (PIcture: ITV)

    In what is possibly the most 2018 thing to happen ever, I’m A Celeb is reported in The Sun to be in CRISIS because the programme signed up a load of vegans who don’t want to eat goat testicles or fish eyeballs as part of the Bushtucker trial.

    Fleur East, James McVey and Sair Khan have all openly talked about their vegan commitments, with Fleur apparently having told ITV bosses that she doesn’t go near any kind of animal products.

    Previous years have seen celebs having to eat kangaroo penis, roasted spiders, and various animals’ anuses.

    Bleeding burgers hit Tesco

    Instagram Photo

    Probably the biggest consumer news of the week is that Tesco is finally stocking the infamous bleeding burgers, which dribble with beet blood when cooked.

    Costing £5.50 for a pack of two, they were due to launch back in August, but people went so crazy for them in the US that Beyond Burger (the company that makes them) couldn’t keep up.

    The ultra-realistic patties are made 100% from veg, containing 20% pea protein, coconut oil, potato starch and beetroot juice.

    And they’ve been pretty controversial in both vegan and omnivorous circles. On the one hand, people don’t seem to get why you’d want to eat something reminiscent of bleeding flesh when you’ve chosen plant-life, and on the other, people just want to eat a juicy burger.

    The Beyond Burger is designed to look, cook and taste like beef and is sold at more than 10,000 grocery stores across the US, and is on the menu at more than 10,000 restaurants.

    ‘We see the growing global demand for delicious, plant-based proteins and are excited to serve that demand in the UK with the revolutionary Beyond Burger,’ said Seth Goldman, Beyond Meat’s executive chair.

    ‘Bringing our innovative approach to merchandising to the UK, Tesco will sell the Beyond Burger in the chilled meat aisle alongside animal-based proteins.’

    Eating a plant-based diet is found to potentially help boost the quality of life of type II diabetics

    5 common myths about nutrition (and the truths) Ella Byworth
    Going vegan might help to fight against type II diabetes (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk)

    According to a new study, vegan diets might help alleviate issues associated with type II diabetes, including depression, weight gain and nerve damage.

    A team of scientists looked at 11 clinical trials published between 1999 and 2017, comparing the impact of following a plant-based diet with other diets which included animal products.

    They found that those who adopted the plant-based one saw an improvement in the quality of their life.

    As well as a lift in depression, the vegan option was also found to reduce nerve pain, which the scientists put down to the progressive nerve damage associated with diabetes being slowed down.

    Fasted blood sugar levels also dropped.

    The sample sizes were pretty small, and different diets do different things to different people but there’s no doubt that eating a tonne of fruit, veg, whole grains and cutting down on fat, salt and sugar only do good things.

    Vegan snack market set to be worth $73 billion (£56b) by 2028

    Instagram Photo

    With a new plant-based snack coming out seemingly every day, perhaps it’s not surprising that the vegan snack market is set to reach over £56billion in the next decade.

    A new report by market researchers Future Market Insights say that the industry is set to grow by 8.7%

    The fastest growing products, the firm says, are plant-based meat snacks.

    ‘The growing trend for veganism and vegetarianism is further leading to the increasing demand for plant-based snacks and products,’ says the report.

    ‘Increasing concerns regarding animal welfare and treatment is considered to be another driver for the growth of plant-based snacks and products in developed economies.’

    A separate report by Fact.MR has predicted a significant increase in products containing nutritional yeast, while other findings have set the tempeh industry to reach $5.8b (£4.5b) by 2026, and the tofu industry at $24b (£18.5b) by 2022.

    How about wearing some trainers made from coffee grounds?

    (Picture: nat-2.eu)

    German sneaker brand nat-2 has just dropped a line of animal-free leather shoes made from coffee grounds.

    Sounds totally bonkers but bear with.

    These 100% vegan bad boys come in two styles, one high and one low top. And they’re covered in up to 50% recycled coffee, which gives them a smooth, fine texture.

    They’re handmade in Italy in a family-run facility which promises fair conditions.

    As well as coffee beans, the shoes are also made from rubber, waterbased glue and a soft anti-bacterial cork insole. Oh, and the bits that look like suede? Yeah, they’re made from recycled PET bottles.

    Could there be a greener shoe?

    MORE: Apparently using these these words on your dating profile will get you more matches

    MORE: A London bar is giving away 300 free cocktails this week


    nuggets-c9eanuggets-c9eamkyl5 common myths about nutrition (and the truths) Ella Byworthnuggets-c9eanuggets-c9eamkyl5 common myths about nutrition (and the truths) Ella Byworth

    0 0
  • 11/15/18--00:56: Why do people hate vegans?
  • now that summer is over, it's harder to harness that spring
    She seems harmless but she’s got seitan in that sandwich (Picture: Ella Byworth)

    This week, it seems as though there’s been a flurry of op eds in the media entitled something along the lines of ‘Why Do We All Hate Vegans So Much?’

    Type that question into Google and up comes thinkpieces on the Independent, Vice, Daily Mail, MSN…you name it, an ode to vegaphobia is there.

    Everywhere people are looking to answer the same question: what is it about plant-eaters that so gets our goat?

    I asked that very question on Twitter (always a reliable source) and lo and behold, a war of words broke out between a vegan and an omnivore.

    And so it went on.

    You simply cannot talk about veganism these days without p*ssing someone off.

    As Bryony Gordon concluded in the Telegraph, that hatred is born often out of guilt; one knows that meat eating is bad for the environment, cholesterol and the poor animal but it’s an inconvenient truth. We don’t want to be reminded that every time we eat a sausage sarnie, we’re contributing to global warming – let alone the brutal slaughter of an ‘ickle piggy.

    But should vegans be allowed to be made into acceptable objects of hate?

    Speaking on their podcast, The High Low, Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes said this week that while the Waitrose magazine editor had been in the wrong for joking about killing vegans, vegans are not a marginalised community but a group of people who had made a lifestyle choice, and therefore not able to demand the same level of respect or at least protection as say, a religion.

    They’ve got a point.

    Vegans who choose to campaign for the rights of animals while willfully turning away from incidents of racism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, don’t make any sense. Vegans who compare the meat industry to slavery or the holocaust are guilty of such overwhelming caucasity that they can’t see how their own privilege has killed their compassion.

    But in a secular age, why shouldn’t huge lifestyle choices be given the same respect as a religion?

    The vegans I know are way more active in being living embodiments of their beliefs than any of the catholics I grew up with (most of whom are now atheists).

    If God is dead (and the numbers of bums on seats at Sunday worship seem to be indicating that may be the case), then perhaps we can talk of all-encompassing lifestyles and ethical beliefs as being quasi-religions.

    5 common myths about nutrition (and the truths) Ella Byworth
    Bow down at the alter of the plant-based profits (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk)

    Just as with a creed, the fundamental issue with veganism is that it thrives on its disciples spreading The Truth – and the problem there is that we hate anyone who tells us what to do.

    We hate the government every time it tries to pass a law which tells us what to eat or drink (the sugar tax, the proposed meat tax). We hate evangelists telling us to start worshiping God, just as we reject people who want to show us the ‘errors’ of our ways.

    Having someone find fault with the way we live our lives is annoying.

    The thing that makes veganism so painful for so many is that food is the most emotionally charged part of many of our lives. The way we eat as adults is intrinsically linked to how we were brought up, the relationship we have with ourselves and various chemical charges which dictate what we fancy eating when.

    No other part of life do we guard so closely as we do our diets because the way in which eat is bound up in emotion.

    Is veganism as divisive a topic in countries where food is celebrated and sits front and centre of communal living?

    In Ghana, where my family is from, it’s a non-existent concept; there, killing your prized goat is seen as the utmost honour to visiting guests. In northern Portugal where we’re also based, it’s a struggle getting family friends to understand that no, you don’t want any pork or egg, you just want salad and chips for dinner – the cheapest bits of the meal.

    While I hope that veganism does spread eventually to those areas in due course, there is something touching about one’s own family sacrificing what little they have in order to feed you and make you feel welcome. It’s just a shame that it has to be Bambi.

    I don’t believe in killing animals or using them for my own gain but I also don’t believe in judging cultures too harshly which do – at least for now.

    Perhaps if we all had a healthier relationship with food, the idea of being asked to give up something would be less horrific.

    But until then, all I ask is that vegans let others come to plant-based life on their own accord, and for omnivores to leave us vegans in peace.

    MORE: From unlimited vegan nuggets to bleeding burgers: A week in vegan news

    MORE: My Label and Me: Cancer survivor


    now that summer is over, it's harder to harness that springnow that summer is over, it's harder to harness that springmkyl5 common myths about nutrition (and the truths) Ella Byworthnow that summer is over, it's harder to harness that springnow that summer is over, it's harder to harness that springmkyl5 common myths about nutrition (and the truths) Ella Byworth

    0 0

    Brody inspired Laura to get in touch with Tesco (Picture: Laura Rutherford)

    My beautiful son Brody is nearly seven years old.

    He has an undiagnosed genetic condition, autism, epilepsy, a dodgy left foot and an infectious smile. Thankfully, despite all of the challenges he faces, he is a happy-go-lucky boy.

    When your child is a toddler, you don’t tend to think about them outgrowing nappies or baby changing tables.

    But when your child has a disability and is doubly incontinent, suddenly these challenges creep up on you.

    When Brody turned four, I found size six nappies in the supermarket – the biggest size you can buy in store – a tight squeeze. Unfortunately he wasn’t eligible for products from the continence service until he was five, and even then, there was a significant waiting time.

    So I found myself looking at products online and was faced with the so-called disability price tag. You know, the added cost that seems to be applied to any product aimed at the disabled community.

    How else can you explain £12 for a packet of nappies?

    I posted on the Tesco Facebook page and explained our situation, and told them I loved their own-brand nappies. I got a standard ‘we’ll look into it’ reply, but the response from other parents was huge.

    So, I started a petition asking all supermarkets to consider selling or manufacturing bigger nappies.

    With the support of thousands of parents and carers, all facing similar challenges, I discovered that while the NHS continence service is a great service to have, it is a bit of a postcode lottery.

    Brody and his little sister in front of Tesco’s Junior Nappies (Picture: Laura Rutherford)

    Referral age, waiting time and the number of nappies provided varies depending on where you live in the UK, meaning there are always parents and carers who need to buy bigger nappies – either because they are not yet eligible, or because they don’t receive enough and need to top-up.

    It’s here that I should mention that, yes, there are ‘pull-ups’ stocked in supermarkets, however they are designed for children with bladder control, already in the process of potty training.

    And they have lower absorbency, so are not ideal for an incontinent child.

    You also don’t get many nappies in a pack – it would cost parents a small fortune if they required at least a packet a day, which many do.

    A few months after starting the petition, I received a phone call from someone at Tesco.

    They acknowledged that there was a gap in the market and they wanted to develop something and so, the Tesco Junior Nappies journey began.

    I was sent samples to trial and we did an anonymous survey to get feedback from parents and carers about things such as cost, packaging and where the products should be placed in store.

    The journey wasn’t short, it has taken a few years, but it’s been great to be involved from start to finish and it’s something I’m really proud to have been a part of.

    This month, these nappies hit the shelves.

    One of the things I’m really happy about is the price of the nappies – £4.50 for a pack of 20. No disability price tag whatsoever.

    They can be found in 450 stores, bought online and if a store doesn’t have them, you can request that they stock them.

    I think this is a game-changer for a lot of families like mine. A simple thing this can make a big difference.

    Brody now receives nappies from the continence service, but having products in store means that we can top-up if we need to, which is brilliant.

    I’ve heard from parents all over the UK who are as excited about the nappies as I am. Hopefully more sizes and products will follow.

    It’s an amazing feeling to know that this will make life a little easier for them – one less thing to worry about.

    Every little helps!

    Laura writes at www.brodymeandgdd.com

    MORE: We need a Minister for Disabled Children because the Government must support families like mine

    MORE: Disabled people already fight battles every day. Making us prove we need benefits is almost inhumane

    MORE: Without fundamental reform, Universal Credit will put single parents at risk of poverty


    Laura R-34cbLaura R-34cballieabgarianLaura R-34cbLaura R-34cballieabgarian

older | 1 | .... | 1448 | 1449 | (Page 1450) | 1451 | 1452 | .... | 1846 | newer