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- 11/15/18--08:09: _This is why you sho...
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- 11/15/18--22:25: _A chef is holding a...
- 11/15/18--22:28: _Topshop launches it...
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- 11/15/18--22:38: _Mum shares her wedd...
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- 11/16/18--00:21: _Woman shares heartb...
- 11/16/18--01:21: _If your partner doe...
- 11/16/18--01:45: _Attention dog lover...
- 11/16/18--01:57: _Pinterest reveals t...
- 11/16/18--02:10: _Are IVF and other f...
- 11/16/18--03:29: _Easy fundraising id...
- 11/16/18--03:37: _When is the best ti...
- 11/16/18--04:09: _The trials and trib...
- 11/16/18--05:23: _Pub launches mince ...
- 11/16/18--06:02: _Man takes stunning ...
- 11/16/18--06:44: _The foolproof guide...
- 11/16/18--07:25: _Woman says she can ...
- 11/15/18--08:09: This is why you should never share your passwords with your partner
- 11/15/18--22:28: Topshop launches its sell out snakeskin midi dress in leopard print
- 11/15/18--22:29: Aldi releases Ugg slipper dupes for £64 less
- 11/15/18--23:24: People share tales of having sex in cinemas
- 11/16/18--01:57: Pinterest reveals the biggest Christmas trends for 2018
- They have never previously had IVF treatment
- There is no evidence of low ovarian reserve
- There has been a discussion of the additional implications of IVF and pregnancy at this age.’
- 11/16/18--03:29: Easy fundraising ideas for Children in Need
- 11/16/18--03:37: When is the best time to work out?
- 11/16/18--04:09: The trials and tribulations of losing a testicle
- Hop in the shower and get warm to make your scrotum loose and relaxed
- Roll each testicle between your thumb and fingers to check for lumps, swelling, or pain
- Your balls should feel smooth, firm, and sensitive but not painful
- If you notice a lump, a change in size or shape, or pain, go to your doctor
- 11/16/18--05:23: Pub launches mince pie filled Yorkshire pudding
- 11/16/18--06:44: The foolproof guide to getting your home ready for Christmas
In a loving, healthy relationship you’re meant to share everything, right?
Your deepest, darkest secrets, your sexual desires, your embarrassing habits – but what about your passwords?
Do we really want our partners to have access to our online profiles, emails, banking, social media? And what happens when a relationship goes sour?
Trust is an enormous part of a successful relationship, but there has to be a line.
Letting your passwords fall into the wrong hands could be catastrophic – and it might be just a matter of time before your other half becomes the owner of those wrong hands.
More than four in ten 18 to 34-year-olds (41%) say they’ve regretted sharing passwords in a relationship, according to a study conducted by Better Buy Insurance.
And it seems to be a strictly millennial affliction, with only 5% of those over 55 saying they regretted it.
The figures also found that 30% of 18 to 34-year-olds say they have used a partner’s passwords without their knowledge.
And this is why you shouldn’t share your passwords. Clearly, none of us can be trusted – particularly when we’re heartbroken.
Luckily, the study shows that most of us are pretty savvy and won’t trust an ex-partner not to access their social media accounts. 65% of those surveyed say they change their passwords after breaking up.
This seems smart. But even smarter would be to not give your passwords out in the first place.
I’m a strong believer in privacy in relationships. You can love someone deeply, intensely, but still preserve certain elements of your life that are just for you. It helps you keep a sense of self-identity, and protects you if the relationship breaks down.
Being in a relationship with someone doesn’t give them automatic entitlement to everything in your life. If you want to invite them to share certain things, brilliant – but it isn’t a given.
Passwords fall under the remit of personal privacy.
If your partner is insistent that they want to know your passwords, want access to your accounts and emails, you have to ask yourself – why?
It smacks of paranoia, lack of trust and emotional manipulation. Demanding access to every facet of your online presence is a definite red flag, and never a good foundation for a functional partnership.
Becky from Manchester admits she wishes she’d changed her password following a recent break-up with a boyfriend.
‘My ex knew my passwords to everything and when we broke up he was logging onto my Facebook and Instagram, and unfriending and unfollowing pretty much every boy I had on there,’ says Becky.
‘I only found out because my friends asked me why I had unfriended them, when I knew I hadn’t.
‘I had a hunch it was him, so I confronted him, and he said he did it because he didn’t want me speaking to them.
‘He was on my Instagram and Facebook accounts, snooping and reading all my messages, and deleting everyone for about a month before I realised.’
Tips for strong passwords
Use a strong, separate password for your email
Having a strong, separate password for your email means that if cyber criminals steal the password for one of your less important accounts, they can’t use it to access your email account.
Use three random words to create a strong password
A good way to create a strong and memorable password is to use three random words.
Numbers and symbols can still be used if needed, for example 3redhousemonkeys27!
Be creative and use words memorable to you, so that people can’t guess your password. Your social media accounts can give away vital clues about yourself so don’t use words such as your child’s name or favourite sports team which are easy for people to guess.
Cyber criminals are very smart and know many of the simple substitutions we use such as ‘Pa55word!” which utilises symbols to replace letters.
Where available use two-factor authentication on your email account
Two-factor authentication provides an extra layer of security, as it means your account can only be accessed on a device that you have already registered.
When you first log-in with a new device you are asked to complete a second step after entering your password, such as providing your fingerprint or entering a unique code which has been sent to your phone.
Breakups are hard enough without the added stress of knowing your partner can access your social media. Hacking is not a joke, and with the rise of revenge porn, it’s clear that an ex’s spiteful actions can have serious ramifications.
It works the other way as well. If you know your ex’s passwords, the lure of sneaking a quick peak at their DMs can be tempting. But if you see something unpleasant it puts you in a really difficult situation.
The good news is that the longer you’re in a relationship, the less of an issue this becomes.
The data tells us that 36% of those who have been in a relationship for a less than a month think it’s important to share passwords, compared to just 9% of people who have been in a relationship for more than ten years.
Which says a lot about the development of trust over time.
Responding to the results, relationships coach Ben Edwards said: ‘Sharing passwords isn’t a necessity.
‘Trust is a fundamental part of any partnership and your relationship should incorporate a degree of honesty and intimacy that ultimately makes password sharing unnecessary.
‘If you feel the need to share passwords with a partner, perhaps you should consider why you think it’s essential; it may reflect a deeper issue.
‘If, for this reason or any other, you feel uncomfortable sharing passwords, I recommend you be upfront and honest about the reasons why.
‘Good communication is key in a relationship and you may just find that this strengthens your bond more than sharing passwords would.’
Life coach, Jamie Skipper, thinks everyone is entitled to private thoughts, messages and conversations – even when they’re in a relationship.
‘Know thyself before you ask your partner for their password or to share their phone,’ says Jamie.
‘Respect other people’s privacy and individuality, respect their model of the world and remember that your beliefs are not necessarily theirs.
‘Some people keep journals or notes on their phones, or they may have messaged their friends about an argument you had, or a friend may have confided in you and sent a personal message that is between friends.
‘It doesn’t always mean that someone is cheating on you if they don’t want to show you their phone or share their accounts with you.’
Metro IllustrationsMetro Illustrationsnataliemorris88I got Catfished by scammers pretending to fancy meHow can I delete Facebook when it has all my memories and photographs?
Though all-expenses paid trips make the best presents, it’s not usually possible to keep a surprise from the person you’re gifting it to (lucky them).
After all, you have to get all their details, make sure they’re prepared for a sun or city getaway, and then there’s all that faff at the airport.
But one determined husband, Steve Millar, was able to whisk his wife Nicola away to Greece as a birthday present and she didn’t know where they were going until they arrived.
Even the pilot kept shtum.
Steve, 53, from Shrewsbury, took Nicola out of dinner and broke the news they were going on a surprise holiday in a few days time.
But he kept the destination secret – confiscating her boarding pass, getting her to shut her eyes at the gate and covered her ears during the airport announcements.
It wasn’t difficult to get the easyJet crew in on the romantic plan either as the pilot announced to passengers: ‘I won’t say where we are going because you all know, apart from a lady in seat C20.’
Staff at Manchester airport also arranged for aircraft members to keep Nicola completely in the dark about where she was going too.
It wasn’t until 1,766 miles later when she was walking through Corfu airport she realised where she was.
‘It was magical,’ said Nicola.
‘Steve will be able to live off the brownie points for a long time. I just couldn’t keep smiling for the whole time. It was surreal and spectacular. I found myself crying with happiness.
‘I was sure that I’d hear someone talking on the plane or it’d slip out. I didn’t go looking for clues because I wanted the surprise.
‘It was fabulous to land without knowing. I knew I recognised the airport. I had been to Corfu before. It didn’t click until I saw some Greek writing inside the airport.
‘I just yelled “oh my god I’m in Corfu”. Everyone in the queue cheered and clapped. I was really excited and overwhelmed.’
Steve, a baker, said the experience was nerve-wracking and worried that the secret would slip out.
‘It was very difficult to keep it a secret. Even I didn’t think I’d manage it but I was excited to see how far we could get without her finding out,’ he said.
‘What they did at the airport for us was amazing. To see her face when she realised was incredible. I can’t believe we got that far.
‘It was a brilliant moment and we had a fantastic weekend. It was perfect for what she wanted.’
Hubby booked his wife a surprise birthday holiday and managed to get her all the way to GREECE without her knowing her destination - and even the pilot kept it quietHubby booked his wife a surprise birthday holiday and managed to get her all the way to GREECE without her knowing her destination - and even the pilot kept it quietfaimabakar1Nicola Millar,50, at the hotel in Corfu. Her husband Steve Millar, 53, booked the surprise holiday for his wife?s birthday and managed to keep it secret all the way to the destination.See SWNS story SWTPcorfu.A husband booked his wife a surprise birthday holiday and managed to get her all the way to GREECE without her knowing her destination - and even the pilot kept it quiet.Romantic Steve Millar, 53, took wife Nicola, 50, out of dinner and broke the news they were going on a surprise holiday in a few days time.But he kept the destination secret - confiscating her boarding pass, getting her to shut her eyes at the gate and covering her ears during the airport announcements.On the plane the Easyjet crew got on board - and the pilot announced on the tannoy: "I won't say where we are going because you all know, apart from a lady in seat C20"Steve,53, and Nicola Millar,50,on board their flight. Mr. Millar booked the surprise holiday for his wife?s birthday and managed to keep it secret all the way to the destination.See SWNS story SWTPcorfu.A husband booked his wife a surprise birthday holiday and managed to get her all the way to GREECE without her knowing her destination - and even the pilot kept it quiet.Romantic Steve Millar, 53, took wife Nicola, 50, out of dinner and broke the news they were going on a surprise holiday in a few days time.But he kept the destination secret - confiscating her boarding pass, getting her to shut her eyes at the gate and covering her ears during the airport announcements.On the plane the Easyjet crew got on board - and the pilot announced on the tannoy: "I won't say where we are going because you all know, apart from a lady in seat C20".
‘Does she have any siblings?’
It’s a simple question but it’s one that Frankie Brunker admits she dreads when people see her little girl Ayla, now 20 months, running around.
Frankie answers the question with ‘Yes, one of each. One dead. One alive.’
Ayla has an older brother Jago, now four, and an older sister, Esme – but sadly Esme died when Frankie was 38 weeks pregnant.
Although Esme never met her siblings, Frankie, 35, from Stamford, Lincolnshire, wants to make sure Esme is still a big part of their lives and never wants her to be a secret.
When Esme died, talking about her death with the children in her life was one of the things she found most difficult – so she has written a children’s book, These Precious Little People, to help families have those conversations.
Back in 2013, Frankie had three nephews, aged between six and one, a niece who was 10 months old and a young cousin who was five at the time.
They watched her bump grow and were excited to meet their new playmate – but then on 23 September 2013, Frankie went to hospital and came home without her baby.
She explains: ‘We had a totally low risk pregnancy. We had our hospital bags packed, our nursery decorated and it was just out of the blue. It was just two weeks before my due date.
‘I noticed that she wasn’t moving as much so we went to the hospital and they told us that her heart had stopped beating.
‘We were desperate to know how this could happen. I had read about stillbirth in some of my pregnancy books.
‘Some of them have a short section on it but it makes out like there had to be some real serious warning signs or the baby would have to have had something wrong with it.
‘I just assumed that wouldn’t apply to me.
‘They were never able to give me any answers. It was described as “one of those things”.’
Frankie, her husband Mark, now 36, and their whole family were completely devastated by Esme’s death and she struggled to explain why to the younger members of her family.
‘The babies were clueless about what was going on but the older ones had to be told,’ she explains.
‘I felt like it was my fault that they were going to know about death at such a young age.
‘It made me so sad that they had this tragedy appear in their lives. At the same time, I didn’t want it to be a secret.
‘My sister who had the three-and-a-half year old and 10 month old was in bits. She was really really upset about it.
‘I was worried that her poor children would wonder what had happened to her and why she was crying all the time.
‘I found a book that was about being sad by Michael Rosen. He refers to his son dying and I thought that would help a little bit but I do think very young children need something they can really relate to.
‘A lot of the other books I came across were about used animals but I felt that in a child’s mind, that would have nothing to do with a baby just dying.
‘I understand some families prefer that style but it wasn’t what I wanted.’
When her two other children were born, Frankie knew she wanted them to understand who Esme was.
‘It’s been really hard because I feel very protective over them. I don’t want to make them feel that they have to feel the same way I do.
‘To them, she will be this quite abstract concept.
‘Jago knows that Esme came first and then he came along and then it was Ayla.
‘He has picked up on that but when I talk about her being his sister, I think he doesn’t quite understand that because Ayla is his sister and she is right here.
‘I talk very matter of factly with him but it is quite difficult to get your head around the permanency of death when you are that age. It’s a conversation that you have to have lots of times.’
The family visit Esme in the woodland where she is buried and celebrate her birthday together.
At Christmas time, they hang Esme’s stocking with Jago’s and Ayla’s and put personalised baubles with her name on them on the tree.
‘They are just little things to bring her into the family occasions. I just feel so conscious of letting Esme being this sad tragic secret that everyone is afraid of talking about.
‘I want it to be a normal thing that the children can ask questions about. No one should be afraid of tip-toeing around,’ Frankie says.
Frankie wanted something more to help her talk to her children and as she was unable to find a suitable book, she decided to write her own.
These Precious Little People is due to be released by the the end of the year – a collaboration between Frankie and illustrator Gillian Gamble.
The book is a straight-talking but sensitive way to talk to children about a baby that has died during pregnancy or soon after.
She says: ‘I wanted there to be an open explanation in the book about what happened. There are so many different explanations and I couldn’t possibly cover them all but I wanted to try and explain but keep that open ended enough for everyone.
‘I focused a lot of the second half of the book around feelings you might have.
‘I wanted to include a reference to it not being anyone’s fault. I know some older children worry that it is because of something they said or did.
‘I also wanted to include something about remembering that child and ways they can do that – like lighting a candle, a special meal or some of the illustrations show them writing the name of the lost baby in the sand at the beach.
‘There are little ways you can include the one you have lost in those happy family times.’
The book costs £7.50 and is available now for pre-order. Frankie hopes it will be released at the end of this month.
Those who have lost a baby can also order a dedicated copy and have the name of their little one in the book.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a selection of the stories from Fertility Month so far - and you can find all Fertility Month content here.
Stillborn bookStillborn booklauraabernethy6
A chef with 12 years of Michelin Star experience is launching the world’s first sausage party involving 100 different pigs in blankets.
Jim Thomlinson has created a sausage menu which includes a wreath of 32 pigs in blankets, ranging from vegan to smoked streaky bacon.
The sausage party will feature as a popup later this month – as long as he can find a venue.
Jim said: ‘Pigs in blankets is the flavour I look forward to most at Christmas – I always steal so many off the roasting tray.
‘I look forward both to making epic versions of the traditional pig and putting a new spin on the concept.’
The idea came from Messhead, a team behind ‘food stunts’ based on serial killer drama Dexter and The Walking Dead.
Creative director Emma Thomas said: ‘There is no doubt that pigs in blankets is a huge trend for Christmas this year.
‘Being the world’s biggest pigs in blankets fan I wanted to eat a menu that consisted only of this fine food.
‘As soon as I started to talk about this, I realised this was a dream for many and was determined to make this come true.’
Jim is currently looking for a venue in Kent for the party, due to the original venue closing down.
They’re open to using a pub, cafe or tea room closed down for the winter – and of course they’ll be paying the owner.
Sausage partySausage partyhattiegladwellmetroChef Jim Thomlinson, a Michelin Star Chef, is creating a menu with over 100 different varieties of pigs in blankets. See National News story NNsausages.A top chef with 12 years of Michelin Star experience is launching the world's first sausage party involving 100 different pigs in blankets.Jim Thomlinson created a sausage menu including a 'wreath' of 32 pigs in blankets - ranging from vegan to smoked streaky bacon. The 'food party' will feature as a pop-up later this month - and will feature a number of twists on the Christmas classic - as long as he can find a venue.Chef Jim said: "Pigs in blankets is the flavour I look forward to most at Christmas - I always steal so many off the roasting tray.Chef Jim Thomlinson, a Michelin Star Chef, is creating a menu with over 100 different varieties of pigs in blankets. See National News story NNsausages.A top chef with 12 years of Michelin Star experience is launching the world's first sausage party involving 100 different pigs in blankets.Jim Thomlinson created a sausage menu including a 'wreath' of 32 pigs in blankets - ranging from vegan to smoked streaky bacon. The 'food party' will feature as a pop-up later this month - and will feature a number of twists on the Christmas classic - as long as he can find a venue.Chef Jim said: "Pigs in blankets is the flavour I look forward to most at Christmas - I always steal so many off the roasting tray.Chef Jim Thomlinson, a Michelin Star Chef, is creating a menu with over 100 different varieties of pigs in blankets. See National News story NNsausages.A top chef with 12 years of Michelin Star experience is launching the world's first sausage party involving 100 different pigs in blankets.Jim Thomlinson created a sausage menu including a 'wreath' of 32 pigs in blankets - ranging from vegan to smoked streaky bacon. The 'food party' will feature as a pop-up later this month - and will feature a number of twists on the Christmas classic - as long as he can find a venue.Chef Jim said: "Pigs in blankets is the flavour I look forward to most at Christmas - I always steal so many off the roasting tray.
Topshop has released its must-have animal print dress in leopard print, and it’s selling out fast.
Topshop’s midi-print dress first came in snakeskin, and it was a firm favourite with Instagram fashion bloggers.
And now they’ve launched a leopard print version, which, of course, is also becoming increasingly popular.
So popular in fact, that it’s already been listed as a trending product online and is selling out fast, with only a few sizes left.
The dress costs £49, and would look amazing paired with some matching court shoes or black stilettos.
It’d also look great styled down with some white trainers and a denim jacket.
The product description reads: ‘Create a ladylike look in animal print with this midi shirt dress in brown leopard print with slit detailing. We are elevating the look to life with some two part heels.’
Now we’re nearing winter, you might want to leave the denim jacket for next summer, and get yourself a winter coat instead.
We recently revealed what the shoulder straps on winter coats should actually be used for.
You know, the straps you see on the shoulders of coats? They’re actually to hold your handbag in place.
We know, totally handy.
They’re often used in military uniforms – and were originally designed to keep back packs, ammunition pouches or bayonets from slipping off your shoulder.
Topshop's Sell-Out Snakeskin Dress Now Comes In Leopard PrintTopshop's Sell-Out Snakeskin Dress Now Comes In Leopard PrinthattiegladwellmetroTopshop's Sell-Out Snakeskin Dress Now Comes In Leopard Print Credit: TopshopTopshop's Sell-Out Snakeskin Dress Now Comes In Leopard Print Credit: Topshop
The weather is getting colder and colder which means it’s definitely time to start stocking up on fluffy slippers.
And if you’re wanting something cheap, Aldi’s cosy sheepskin slippers are finally back in stores.
The Aldi slippers are a dupe of Ugg’s Scuffette slippers, except they’re £64 cheaper. Amazing.
They were quick to sell out last year, so if you’re currently looking for snuggly lounge wear you’ll want to head to your local store ASAP.
The slippers come in both men and women’s versions, available in both dark chocolate brown and a softer lighter brown.
They both feature a sheepskin lining and a rubber sole.
The only real difference between the two is that the women’s slipper has an added fur detail, while the men’s doesn’t.
The slippers will be available to pre-order online on 18 November for £15.99, so that anyone who doesn’t want to leave the cosiness of their homes can get a pair before they sell out.
They’ll hit shelves on 22 November, for anyone who misses out.
SEI_40149954-84caSEI_40149954-84cahattiegladwellmetroBack by popular demand ??? Aldi restocks Luxury Sheepskin Slippers Aldi???s Luxury Sheepskin Slippers are back by popular demand ??? great news for those that didn???t manage to get hands on them last year. Perfect for a toasty night in, these stylish Men's/Ladies??? Sheepskin Slippers (??15.99) feature a super soft sheepskin lining and supportive rubber sole, so fashion-lovers can relax in style and give tired feet a break. The slippers are part of Aldi???s wider Stylish Gifts range, available to pre-order online from 18th November and purchase in stores nationwide from 22nd November, but shoppers will need to be quick, as with all Specialbuys, once it???s gone, it???s gone! For further information or images, please contact the Aldi Specialbuys team on: email@example.com 020 7479 0910 ENDSBack by popular demand ??? Aldi restocks Luxury Sheepskin Slippers Aldi???s Luxury Sheepskin Slippers are back by popular demand ??? great news for those that didn???t manage to get hands on them last year. Perfect for a toasty night in, these stylish Men's/Ladies??? Sheepskin Slippers (??15.99) feature a super soft sheepskin lining and supportive rubber sole, so fashion-lovers can relax in style and give tired feet a break. The slippers are part of Aldi???s wider Stylish Gifts range, available to pre-order online from 18th November and purchase in stores nationwide from 22nd November, but shoppers will need to be quick, as with all Specialbuys, once it???s gone, it???s gone! For further information or images, please contact the Aldi Specialbuys team on: firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7479 0910 ENDS
A bride made the heartbreaking decision to combine her daughter’s birthday with her wedding celebrations, because the six year old has a condition that means she is unlikely to live beyond 12.
45-year-old Claire Bradshaw, from St Helen’s, Merseyside, has spoken about the decision to combine the birthday with her own orange and white themed wedding – the colours of Batten disease awareness, a form of juvenile dementia which has stolen her little girl’s future.
Claire is her daughter Kaycee’s full time carer, and was devastated when she was diagnosed with the incurable genetic condition – which affects everything from her mobility to her mental health – two years ago.
When Claire – who celebrates Kaycee’s half birthdays because of her limited lifespan – married warehouse worker Greg Riley, 47, on 27 October, she asked people to wear orange, to support her fervent campaigning to raise awareness of Batten disease.
She said: ‘I told my guests they couldn’t come unless they wore orange. But, seeing them all there in that sea of orange, made my heart swell.
‘I cried when I walked down the aisle, but I wasn’t crying because I was marrying the love of my life, I was crying because I was thinking about all those boys and girls who have died from this condition.’
A mum-of-six, Claire told how her nightmare began in September 2015 when, after experiencing jerky movements or tics, her little girl was diagnosed with epilepsy.
When Kaycee began falling to the floor for no apparent reason, her mum hoped it was just clumsiness, but when this was accompanied by delayed speech, she took her back to the doctor’s.
She explained: ‘We visited the doctor and asked why Kaycee wasn’t developing like a normal child.
‘After that, we went through 16 months of pure hell – with countless blood tests and MRI scans to figure out what was wrong.
‘During that time, Kaycee was only getting worse. She was losing teeth, as she kept falling over and could barely walk properly.’
Then came the dreaded call, on 31 August 2016, when the family were told Kaycee had CLN2 Batten disease – meaning her life expectancy was between just eight and 12.
Claire recalled: ‘The nurse who gave the diagnosis had to Google it right in front of us, because even she didn’t know what it was.
‘None of us had ever heard of it. There had never even been a known case in our area, but we were told it was terminal there and then.’
Sent home with an A4 sheet of information about Batten, still in shock, Claire and Greg had the troubling task of telling her five siblings – Bryan, 27, Natasha, 25, Callum, 22, Tyler, 16, Tazim, 10 – about the diagnosis.
Claire recalled: ‘It was a complete nightmare, which will always be permanently etched on my brain.
‘I was greeted by screams of, “There can’t be a god – how could there be?”
‘It was truly heartbreaking.’
But Claire was determined not to give up. She spent the day and night Googling the condition until she found cerliponase alfa treatment, a form of enzyme replacement therapy administered directly into the brain which, while not a cure, can slow down the progression of the condition.
However, the procedure costs around £500,000 annually per patient, and it is rarely available in the UK.
She said: ‘I got a phone call from the BDFA – Batten Disease Family Association – charity telling us we could have the treatment free – if we got in quick enough.
‘There were only five funded places – as there still are – in the UK and three were taken, so we went straight to London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital to get it.’
Since then, Kaycee and Claire have visited the hospital every fortnight for two years for the treatment, – funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) – travelling for over four hours each way.
Claire continued: ‘The treatment involves a needle infusion straight into the brain, which takes four hours to drive through a syringe. It can’t cure Kaycee, but it does slow down the effects.
‘She’s usually awake for the whole four hours, so I have to stay by her side and watch movies with her, to make sure she doesn’t fidget and move anything she shouldn’t.’
One of the most agonising aspects of batten disease is that, while it can be similar to caring for an elderly person with dementia, all Kaycee wants to do is run around and play with other children.
Claire explained: ‘She has frequent short-term memory loss and can barely recall what she does during the day.
‘Her vocabulary is extremely limited. She can say, “mum” and various grunts and groans, which only her family can interpret. Often she wears nappies and drools – at her worst times, she’s a mess.’
Taking Kaycee to play areas is a great challenge for Claire, who finds watching her stumble and barely stand up to play with other children heartbreaking, while her daughter ends up screaming in frustration at her limitations.
Conversations with Kaycee can also be extremely painful,. with Claire frequently having to leave the room to cry in private, as she cannot understand what her little girl is trying to tell her, or why she is distressed.
Despite the difficulties, however, she still believes that Kaycee has a great quality of life, but would never want to prolong her suffering or pain, if she started to deteriorate rapidly.
She said: ‘I’m constantly aware that more bad turns could be around the corner.
‘Eventually, Kaycee will need tubes to assist in feeding her, but right now she still laughs and giggles like any other child.’
Although they face many obstacles, the family have still enjoyed fun times – such as a trip to Disneyland Paris for two nights, provided by the Make A Wish charity in August 2018.
One of Claire’s proudest moments was getting the news that Kaycee is included in the final three for the Child of Courage awards on 16 November.
But Claire said the Bradshaws’ biggest celebrations are on Kaycee’s birthdays, adding: ‘Half birthdays for terminally ill children are celebrated for obvious reasons. We never know how much time is left, so every minute is precious.
‘We got married on her last half birthday this year and I was very happy for her to upstage me, as the wedding was designed to be a celebration for her as well as me and Greg.
‘Our family and friends partied well into the night after the ceremony, and even Kaycee’s favourite teacher at her special needs school attended.
‘I show her pictures and try to remind her of the big day. I’m not sure she even remembers it, but I want to at least try to keep the memory alive for as long as possible.
‘Raising awareness for Batten disease was a big part of my wedding day, too. Sometimes it swallows my life, but until we beat it, I won’t leave it alone.
‘Forget the honeymoon, we can just have a caravan holiday at some point!’
Now the wedding is over, the couple are back to normal life in their three bedroom council house, where Claire has to constantly carry Kaycee up and the down the stairs and two family members have to watch her in the bath for safety.
Despite everything, Claire refuses to accept that losing the daughter she so loves is inevitable, saying: ‘Every time I go to bed at night she sleeps with me, that’s my way of keeping her safe.
‘I want her to see me every morning and night. I stroke her eyelashes and fingers and make sure she falls asleep. When I say goodnight, I think, “Is this the last time I’m going to say this?”.
‘People’s wishes and desires in life change all the time. Mine are always the same – to keep Kaycee with me. I want her to be here when there’s a cure, that’s the bottom line.’
‘When my friend remarked that the couple behind us were shagging, I thought she was joking. Then I glanced over my shoulder and saw them going full cowgirl in this cinema in Leicester Square.’
Ed, who was watching Natural Born Killers. tells Metro.co.uk: ‘it was jaw-dropping – definitely better than the film. It took the usher ages to notice.
‘She went for backup, but by the time she found someone, the couple had finished, so then these two ushers stationed themselves near the couple in case they were tempted to resume.’
According to Ed, the couple seemed sober, ‘and there was no sign of drugs either – they were clearly just adventurous.’
Adventurous or… horny.
Talking to people who’ve been saucy in the cinema, a severe case of The Horn tends to be the trigger for risqué behaviour in the back row.
Kasia says: ‘I remember when my boyfriend lived with his parents and so did I – it was the beginning of our relationship and we were constantly horny. We went to the cinema and sat at the back – where I got totally naked and went for it reverse cowgirl style.
‘It was an old cinema in Poland, so the seats were wooden, and connected in a row – which meant the whole row bounced with us.
‘Luckily, the only other people were at the front, but afterwards we realised the projector guy would definitely have seen us.’
Simon and his girlfriend of eight months couldn’t hold back when the film they were watching reached the fruity bits. He tells us: ‘it was the 80s and we decided it would be a bit of sleazy fun to watch Last Tango in Paris at a dirty film cinema in Soho.
‘A lunchtime drink had us feeling frisky, so we were pleased to see the cinema was virtually empty, and we had the back row to ourselves.
‘Then at the last minute, a well-dressed, middle-aged city type came in and sat next to us. He kept looking at us. We were pissed off, as it foiled our plans for a fumble and as the film went on, we felt more frustrated.
‘We’d pretty much given up on any action when he leaned over and said politely, “I don’t mind if you don’t!”
‘It was obvious what he meant and we both laughed because it was so bloody brazen! Initially we ignored him, but as the film got fruitier, we got hotter under the collar, and fuelled by the vodka we’d sneaked in, we started kissing.
‘Then my girlfriend’s hand started wandering to my crotch – that’s when we noticed he was staring. My girlfriend stared back, then went for my zip and pulled my cock out.
‘She whispered, “is this what you wanted to see?” He looked absolutely thrilled, and sat there watching as she wanked me off.
‘He looked like he was playing with himself under his coat, but we’d gone beyond bothering now and when I orgasmed, he looked even more thrilled – then he stood up and left. We couldn’t believe what we’d done and sat there sniggering for the rest of the film.’
Tom was at a busy screening of Heathers at the BFI, when his date put her foot in it.
‘It was my fourth date with a 50 year old mum of four, and I’d booked the back row because it was a film from when we were teenagers, and we were re-enacting our teenage years,’ he says. ‘She said she’d come dressed for back row action and I was confused by this, as she was wearing trousers, but she turned out to be quite accessible.
‘We’d had sex the date before, so I knew she was noisy, but the real problem was that she kept pushing the seats in front of her with her feet while I fingered her.
‘I was quite embarrassed, and the people in front of us walked out ten minutes before the end.
‘As we left, one of the audience was at the ticket desk talking to a member of staff and they were looking at me. I haven’t been back since.’
Emma cooled down quickly after other cinema-goers rained on her parade. She explains: ‘I was 21 and watching Beauty and the Beast with my boyfriend in Margate. We were sat at the back holding hands when he put his arm round me – then it escalated.
‘We were making out and he had his hands in my bra and my hand was on the crotch of his jeans. Then out of nowhere, it felt like rain and we realised the people nearby were flicking slushies at us.
‘We were so embarrassed, I wouldn’t even let him hold my hand after that.’
Ian wasn’t impressed when he was left with a reminder of his cinema servicing. ‘I was watching Disclosure with my girlfriend of three months,’ he tells us.
‘We were about 19 or 20 and heavy into each other. It wasn’t a great film, but there was a hot office sex scene that got my girlfriend really horny. She started snogging me, then gave me a hand job.
‘I don’t think anyone noticed – the couple nearest us were all over each other. I don’t know if we set them off or vice versa, but they can’t have seen much of the film.
‘Anyway, the ending was a bit messy and I remember weeks later being pissed off because I couldn’t get the stain out of my favourite top.’
The cinema was Nigel’s go-to place for back row raunch – until he lost his stride. He says: ‘When I was late teens and early twenties, my girlfriend and I both lived with our parents, so we’d pop to the cinema in the early afternoon and buy a ticket to the crappiest film, so there wouldn’t be many people around.
‘We’d normally start by getting handsy, then I’d get a blow job. No one ever said anything, but sometimes people moved away.
‘One day it was a Jamie Lee Curtis film and I remember looking up and seeing her undressing. It was well past her True Lies days and it put me right off. It ruined my blowjob for me so we left.’
Tom met his match with a scientist who quickly worked out how he was wired. He says: ‘It was my first date with a girl I’d met on Match and she said she wanted to watch some highbrow Woody Allen nonsense. I booked a sofa, and told her if it was crap I’d expect a back row snog.
‘The texting became flirtier, and selfies followed. On the day of the date, she sent me a photo of her outfit for that evening. I told her I might not manage to leave her alone, and she said that was the point.
‘When I got to the cinema, she was already outside. I walked up behind her, took her hand and kissed her. We snogged for ages before we broke off to say hello. Inside the cinema, we carried on snogging.
‘She worked out how to flick my switch by kissing my ears, and I loosened her bra and played with her boobs. We had to pause when they delivered our snacks, then she slid her hand inside my boxers, and kept edging me for the rest of the film.
‘Afterwards we “went for a drive” and ended up back at mine.’
Trevor’s girlfriend accepted her mission and then some, at a cinema in the O2. He says: ‘we’d been sexting all day. It had built up, and we got hornier over dinner when we talked about having sex in pubic. We had tickets for Mission Impossible, and as we went into the cinema, I said how hot it would be if she gave me a hand job.
‘Initially she said no, but she was caressing my crotch, so I undid my jeans and pulled my cock out. She teased me a bit before giving me a blowjob – and carried on until I came.
‘The cinema was quite empty so I don’t think anyone noticed when my girlfriend took off her g-string and I fingered her, up her skirt.’
Psychologist Jo Hemmings tells Metro.co.uk that people have been getting saucy in cinemas since they opened.
Are you allowed to have sex in cinemas?
In the UK, sexual acts in public and the public exposure of genitals is considered an offence.
A cinema qualifies as a public place, so if you get caught doing it in the back row, you could get in serious trouble.
Usually to establish if an offence has been committed, the audience affected by the sexual act or exposure will be assessed to prove that the act is considered indecency. If the audience feel harassed, alarmed, or distressed, charges may proceed.
If there are children in the audience, it’s a more serious offence.
Even if criminal charges aren’t pursued, getting caught boning in a cinema will likely get you kicked out of the film and possibly banned from returning.
At the very least, you’ll have to deal with the embarrassment of cinema staff gently asking you to stop stroking each other’s genitals.
‘It’s a traditional early dating place because the darkened environment makes it easier for those who are anxious about making the first move,’ she explains. ‘Cinema seats make it easy to slip an arm around somebody, or to put your hand on their knee.
‘If you get a welcome response, it might build up from a bit of touching and a snog to something else.
‘And because you’re looking at the screen, rather than the person next to you, there’s a disconnect that makes it easier, particularly if you’re quite young or in an early dating space. And if the approach isn’t welcome, a knock-back in the dark doesn’t seem so bad.’
Jo adds: ‘he cinema provides privacy for people who can’t get that elsewhere, and there’s a clandestine, naughty thrill from doing what you’re not supposed to – as well as the thrill of getting away with it.
‘It can also be a way for couples to recreate the naughtiness of when they first met, and for older people to reminisce about their younger years.
‘The cinema is also very immersive – you’re both in the moment, without the distractions you’d get watching a film at home. So seeing something sexy on a huge screen can put you in the mood even if you hadn’t intended to get intimate with each other.’
SEI_40188851-607aSEI_40188851-607aellencscottMetro Illustration Metro Illustrations Why people have sex in cinemas (Picture: Dave Anderson for Metro.co.uk)People with vaginas share what they actually want you to do to their clitHow to talk to a woman you don't know
A mum has spoken about the pain of giving birth to a stillborn baby at 32 weeks.
Kristy Watson posted a photo of the moment she held her son for the first and last time, along with a moving Facebook post about the experience.
Despite having some worries about being a single mum, Kristy says she was overjoyed when she became pregnant with a ‘miracle baby’ after experiencing three miscarriages.
She describes the pregnancy as the ‘most beautiful experience’ even though it ‘almost killed’ her.
Kristy suffered from severe pre-eclampsia. Her kidneys were failing, her blood pressure was dangerously high, her vision was blurred and she was experiencing excruciating headaches.
‘My body was fighting so hard for too long to keep my boy alive that it took his life in order to keep mine,’ she wrote on Facebook.
She’d known that something wasn’t right, but each time she went to the doctor she was told she was ‘normal’ and was sent home.
32 weeks and five days into her pregnancy, Kristy was told that her son, who she named Kaycen, didn’t have a heartbeat.
‘No words you ever want to hear,’ wrote Kristy. ‘No words you ever imagine hearing so far into your pregnancy.
‘I had already lost my son before he got [the] chance to see the light of day.’
Labour was induced and after twelve hours, Kristy was able to hold her stillborn son.
Kristy is sharing her story to encourage women to question doctors who say there’s nothing wrong, and to push for checks when they know something isn’t quite right.
She says she felt ‘stupid’ going to the doctor three days before she was told her son was dead to complain about symptoms.
What is pre-eclampsia?
Pre-eclampsia is a condition that affects up to 6% of pregnancies, with severe cases developing in around 1% to 2% of pregnancies.
Early signs include having high blood pressure and protein in the urine.
Other symptoms include swelling of the feet, ankles, face and hands, severe headaches, vision problems, and pain just below the ribs.
Most cases are mild, but the condition can lead to serious complications for the mother and her child without treatment. Left untreated pre-eclampsia can lead to fits, called eclampsia.
The exact cause of the condition isn’t known, but it’s thought to occur when there’s a problem with the placenta.
Risk factors for pre-eclampsia involve having diabetes, high blood pressure, or kidney disease before starting a pregnancy, being over 40 years old, expecting twins or triplets, and having developed the condition during a previous pregnancy.
‘If only they had done a ultrasound that day to see that my placenta was failing, if only they had done my bloods to see how toxic my bloods really were at that stage,’ wrote Kristy. ‘It may not, it may not had changed the outcome of what happen but the thing is I will never ever know.
‘I don’t want to play the blame game but to be so neglected and feel like I wasn’t listened to by people who I put in the hands of the life I was creating and to be let down as much as I was is not something I would wish on my worst enemy.
‘I want to raise awareness so no mother, no family ever has to go through the pain, heartbreak and loss I’ve had to go through.
‘I felt my sons last movements on the 26th of July around 8.30 to then not be able to find a heartbeat the next morning at 6am.
‘I had to go from having my whole life line, my world move around and be healthy in my belly to then be induced to deliver my sleeping baby.
‘I lost my gorgeous little boy due to the system letting me down and not listening to me when I knew something was wrong.
‘I had to watch my family be so heartbroken over the loss of their nephew, grandson and cousin and myself because no one cared enough to help when I needed it.
‘I want people to know my story so they know when there gut is telling them that something is not right to fight for answers, to travel back and forth until they know what is going on, to make sure they are listened to because I now have to go home to a nursery full of everything I needed to raise my little boy now to a empty cot that my son never got to lay in, to books I never got to read him, to his favourite outfit I never got to dress him in all because I was not heard.
‘I now go home empty handed with a heart so broken that it’s going to take a long time to heal.
‘Please listen to your bodies. These little lives we create inside our wonderful bodies rely on us, we have to look after ourselves just as much and I couldn’t imagine any other mother having to feel like they failed their child like I’ve had to.
‘I know my little Kaycen will live on through me and everyone’s hearts he touched.’
Kristy’s Facebook post has been flooded with messages of support and gratitude, thanking her for speaking so honestly about a painful experience that’s too often kept silent.
Heartbreaking images of mother hugging her baby following still birthHeartbreaking images of mother hugging her baby following still birthellencscottA devastated young mother has spoken candidly about her heartbreak of giving birth to her stillborn baby son at 32 weeks. Kristy Watson, from Victoria, was filled with joy when she finally fell pregnant with her 'miracle baby' after suffering three devastating miscarriages. However, at 32 weeks, the 20-year-old nearly lost her life after her pre-eclampsia was left undiagnosed until she discovered her unborn son Kaycen had died in the womb.A devastated young mother has spoken candidly about her heartbreak of giving birth to her stillborn baby son at 32 weeks. Kristy Watson, from Victoria, was filled with joy when she finally fell pregnant with her 'miracle baby' after suffering three devastating miscarriages. However, at 32 weeks, the 20-year-old nearly lost her life after her pre-eclampsia was left undiagnosed until she discovered her unborn son Kaycen had died in the womb.A devastated young mother has spoken candidly about her heartbreak of giving birth to her stillborn baby son at 32 weeks. Kristy Watson, from Victoria, was filled with joy when she finally fell pregnant with her 'miracle baby' after suffering three devastating miscarriages. However, at 32 weeks, the 20-year-old nearly lost her life after her pre-eclampsia was left undiagnosed until she discovered her unborn son Kaycen had died in the womb.A devastated young mother has spoken candidly about her heartbreak of giving birth to her stillborn baby son at 32 weeks. Kristy Watson, from Victoria, was filled with joy when she finally fell pregnant with her 'miracle baby' after suffering three devastating miscarriages. However, at 32 weeks, the 20-year-old nearly lost her life after her pre-eclampsia was left undiagnosed until she discovered her unborn son Kaycen had died in the womb.A devastated young mother has spoken candidly about her heartbreak of giving birth to her stillborn baby son at 32 weeks. Kristy Watson, from Victoria, was filled with joy when she finally fell pregnant with her 'miracle baby' after suffering three devastating miscarriages. However, at 32 weeks, the 20-year-old nearly lost her life after her pre-eclampsia was left undiagnosed until she discovered her unborn son Kaycen had died in the womb.A devastated young mother has spoken candidly about her heartbreak of giving birth to her stillborn baby son at 32 weeks.Kristy Watson, from Victoria, was filled with joy when she finally fell pregnant with her 'miracle baby' after suffering three devastating miscarriages.However, at 32 weeks, the 20-year-old nearly lost her life after her pre-eclampsia was left undiagnosed until she discovered her unborn son Kaycen had died in the womb.
If you’re in a relationship, you should be able to talk about everything with your partner, especially your lived experiences.
Race is one thing that might come up if you’re a person of colour. To be honest, even if you’re not a person of colour (POC), race should still be a healthy discourse when the topic arises.
But some interracial couples, with whom race can be an elephant in the room, struggle to open up and have that conversation.
Destiny’s Child star Michelle Williams recently revealed on her reality TV show with white fiancé Chad Johnson that he gets upset when she talks about race.
In the show, Chad Loves Michelle, she explained how Chad retaliated to her bringing up race with a comment about her mental health and whether she’d taken her medication.
‘Chad, because you are not black you would not understand why I communicate the way I do. Maybe because you didn’t grow up around a lot of black people,’ she explained in a clip.
The video went viral as many found the behaviour problematic, saying as a white person he should be mindful of her lived experiences and not dismiss it or trivialise them.
Others felt that even if he doesn’t understand Michelle’s experiences, he should try to listen at least.
Chad later told Michelle (in front of a relationship counsellor) that he doesn’t care if she’s black, white, green or yellow – it doesn’t matter to him.
But by saying he’s colourblind, he doesn’t see her blackness and he doesn’t see her whole existence.
And colour blindness isn’t going to solve racism. It’s like author Angie Thomas says in her bestseller novel The Hate U Give: ‘If you don’t see my blackness, you don’t see me.’
Though the phrase ‘I don’t see colour’ is used by well-intentioned white people, pretending that race doesn’t exist diminishes how people are affected and shaped by their races; it ignores privileges, bias, and systematic oppression.
And people of colour don’t just bring up ‘the race card’ for shits and giggles, we genuinely can’t separate ourselves from the topic of race, nor do we want to. It enriches and informs our daily experiences – sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.
Socio-political awareness, especially of social injustices, has always been important to me whether I’m in a relationship or not – whether anyone is listening or not.
I was in an interracial relationship where I would bring up race all the time, talking about historical and structural racism, misogyny, misogynoir, police brutality.
And each time I’d be met with indifference from my partner. These weren’t all experiences that were directly happening to me but I was bringing them up because it’s so important to dissect, understand, and call out.
It became difficult to have these conversations with my partner at the time, who felt I should really only care if it was happening to me or my loved ones.
Though he wasn’t denying my own lived experiences, he was brushing the broader topic of race under the carpet and that made me feel uncomfortable.
He’d felt there was a hierarchy of things to care about and worrying about every ‘minor’ issue was a waste of energy. But I disagree.
Perhaps it had more to do with the fact that I’m not black but I don’t have to be black to empathise with the plight of black people in modern day society, or any other group.
I shouldn’t have to ‘pick my battles’, I can have the same energy for all oppressed groups.
Race and racism are too big and complex topics to be burdened on the shoulders of only those who experience it. And we have to chip away at the ‘minor’ things, which are the foundations that prop up systemic racism.
It’s when people speak up for things they’re not affected by that makes noise and gets the most attention, like when men speak on sexism against women or when white people fight against racism.
We shouldn’t let people unaffected by these phenomena hijack the movement, however, but rather let them be allies and work on their allyship.
If you’re a person of colour with a white person and they don’t want to talk about your lived experiences, they are essentially saying they don’t care about you.
If race makes them uncomfortable ask them why. As a person of colour it, unfortunately, means that you don’t get to forget race; that’s not a luxury available to you.
Though you might go most days without thinking about your race, your race will remind you of its existence at some point. And when that happens you might want to tell your partner. If they have no time for that, they have no time for you.
If you’re in an interracial relationship with a white person, they shouldn’t dismiss that part of you. If they, like Chad did to Michelle, tell you that you’re overthinking things, blowing it out of proportion – or even more insidious – that it’s your mental health issues, I don’t believe that relationship can be conducive to a healthy life.
Even if you’re both of the same race, talking about worldly affairs and social injustices shouldn’t make you feel uncomfortable – recognise where it emerges, how it affects you, how you can dismantle problematic structures.
If he doesnt like you talking about race, its a red flagIf he doesnt like you talking about race, its a red flagfaimabakar1Chad Loves Michelle (Picture: OWN)
It’s a disappointing truth that we must all come to terms with: A photo of a dog will get more likes than that selfie that took an hour and a bit.
Another truth: There are dogs who are more famous than we’ll ever be.
But if you can’t beat ’em in terms of Insta likes, join ’em by heading along to an event happening this December.
On 8 December, more than 70 dog influencers will gather at 14 Bedford Square, Fitzrovia, to teach us all their ways of being insta-famous.
Dogs of Instagram will feature biscuit decorating workshops for humans and their hounds from Neoh & Nobo and Essence of Cakes, the chance to meet a bunch of dogs you gaze at on social media, and complimentary food and drink from Good Yard Ldn, The Barista Coffee Specialty and more.
There’ll also be a Christmas market filled with special treats, discounts, and toys so you can get your pooch all the gifts they deserve come 25 December.
There’ll also be prizes to be won throughout the day, in case the joy of stroking some celeb dogs isn’t enough for you.
If you fancy attending you’ll need to book a ticket. There are two types available: the £13 option, which includes complimentary food and drinks on the day and entrance to the venue, or the £18 option, which includes complimentary food and drink, entrance to the venue, and a two hour workshop with either Neoh & Nobo or Essence of Cakes, along with four or five biscuits to take home and some extra goodies for taking part.
Oh, and an important note: You’re not allowed to bring your dog to this event, but there will be a load of dogs there for you to hang out with.
Tickets are limited, so we’d advise booking quickly if you have your heart set on attending.
Some of the dogs attending include Amelia the cav, Bun the sausage dog, and Mr Gizmo the pug. Make sure you don’t get starstruck.
What: An event for dogs and their owners, with more than 70 instafamous dogs attending
When: Saturday 8 December
Where: 14 Bedford Square, Fitzrovia, WC1B 3JA
How to buy tickets: You can book tickets through the Familiar Kin website.
insta dogs-8e2ainsta dogs-8e2aellencscottinsta dogs
Christmas is coming round fast. Really fast. It’s time to get organised.
We need presents, decorations, party menus and outfits for our endless list of festive parties – it’s a lot to handle.
Luckily, Pinterest has released a comprehensive list of this season’s top trends to help you get sorted.
From delicious party snacks, to vegan alternatives, festive cocktails and cute decorations – there are plenty of unique ideas to get your creative juices flowing.
We’ve collated some of the most-pinned trends which could help make your Christmas hosting really memorable this year.
The vegan option
With more and more people going meat-free, it’s more than a bit likely that you’ll have a vegan at the dinner table this Christmas. Don’t fob them off with a couple of dry slices of nut roast – vegans need comfort food too!
This 9-ingredient mash is super luxurious, and 100% vegan. Loaded with roasted garlic and chives, it’s perfect on its own, with veggie gravy, or with a giant scoop of vegan butter.
The perfect pudding
If you’re stuck for ideas for dessert, Pinterest recommends these ridiculously simple cookie bars. They will certainly keep the kids quiet, and you can make them in huge batches, ahead of time, to take the pressure off on the day.
They also work as a thoughtful, homemade gift. Simply slice them up, wrap them in cellophane and festive ribbon, and bring them to every Christmas dinner party for an easy win.
The signature cocktail
It’s not a party without a tipple. Impress your guests with a new recipe that looks fancy as hell, but couldn’t be simpler to put together. This pomegranate rosemary spritzer combines unusual flavours that will impress even your most discerning guests.
Prosecco at the heart of it gives it a bubbly kick, combine that with peach schnapps, pomegranate juice and mango flavoured soda water – garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs and pomegranate to complete the look.
The quirky decoration
Classic Christmas wreaths are so 2017. This year it’s all about the asymmetric wreath. Why? We’re not exactly sure. But it definitely looks cool.
All you need is a wreath hoop, floral wire, wire cutters and greenery and berries. All you have to do is put it all together in a design that you like.
The asymmetric look is a modern twist on an old design, and it means you only have half as much decorating to do – result.
The beautiful baubles
The tree will likely be the centre-piece of your Christmas decor. It all starts from there and works outwards. Impress your guests with individually decorated baubles – using temporary tattoos.
The clever idea means your baubles will be completely unique – and it’s really simple. All you need is plain, glass baubles and some pretty, temporary tattoos. The tattoos stick easily to the glass, so you’ll have a full set ready for the tree in no time.
The cosy cover-up
Pinterest-users are loving this versatile popcorn cardigan, which is perfect for padding around the house, wrapping presents, or you could even throw it over jeans and heels for an impromptu Christmas drink.
It’s long-line, warm, super comfortable and comes in a neutral tone, which means it’ll go with almost all of your outfits.
Pinterest Christmas trend reportPinterest Christmas trend reportnataliemorris88Pinterest Christmas trend reportPinterest Christmas trend reportPinterest Christmas trend reportPinterest Christmas trend report
Same-sex couples and single women who want children don’t have the same options available to them as a heterosexual couple that have been trying to have a child.
While some treatments for overcoming infertility for straight couples are paid for by the NHS (depending on several factors), those from LQBTQ backgrounds might have a tougher road ahead.
There are some options like IVF that hopeful parents can do but are only offered for free on the NHS if you tick certain boxes.
Donor insemination can be used for single women and lesbian couples. It involves taking sperm from an anonymous donor by going to a licensed fertility clinic (the safer option) or getting someone you know to offer theirs.
For single women that means finding the right sperm, which can cost around £800 if you do it privately.
The next step would be to get the woman pregnant via a process called artificial insemination, or intrauterine insemination (IUI) which involves directly inserting sperm into a woman’s womb .
Donor sperm can be used for IUIs or for IVF treatments.
If you’re hoping to have fertility treatment on the NHS, you need a referral from your GP. To get a referral, you need to meet certain criteria – these differ depending on where you live, so ask your GP for more information about the criteria.
IVF is an option for couples that are unable to conceive naturally who may use this procedure where the egg cell is fertilised with the sperm outside of the body.
The process is long and expensive, but free for certain (straight) couples if they meet the criteria. For example, if you are a woman under 40, you can get three free cycles of IVF if you’ve been trying to get pregnant for at least two years or if you’ve had 12 failed artificial insemination attempts. That’s all according to The National Institute of Care and Excellence (NICE) which establishes guidelines in these areas.
Some single women freeze their eggs to be used for IVF in later life. Certain NHS postcodes offer egg-freezing services to single women, those paying privately may pay up to £5,000 for it.
The NICE guidance expects female same-sex couples to have tried to conceive six times using artificial insemination (funded themselves, not by the NHS) before they can be considered for NHS-funded fertility treatment.
The guidance doesn’t specify whether couples need to try to conceive using a fertility clinic, or whether attempts to conceive at home with donor sperm makes you eligible for NHS treatment.
In any case, using a clinic is advised as they can test the sperm for infections and diseases.
Whether you qualify or not is up to your local NHS trust.
If you aren’t able to get it funded, one cycle of IVF including fertility drugs could cost you between £3,000 and £5,000, plus further costs for appointments and storing embryos.
A spokesperson for NICE told Metro.co.uk their guidelines on fertility problems. While they have recommendations for women in same-sex relationships, their guidelines do not cover single women or gay men.
NICE suggests lesbian couples can use intrauterine insemination which has been available for same-sex couples since 2013.
You may be offered IUI if you’re in a same-sex relationship and haven’t got pregnant after up to six cycles of IUI using donor sperm from a licensed fertility clinic.
Bear in mind that the waiting list for IUI treatment can be very long in some areas.
The criteria you have to meet to be eligible for IUI can also vary. Check with your GP or local CCG to find out what the rules are where you live.
IUIs are less evasive than IVF and cheaper, the treatment is also less successful than an IVF. The average cost of one full cycle of IUI treatment is between £350 to £1,000.
Women for whom having a pregnancy may be dangerous or gay men who want children may use a surrogate they know or an unknown surrogate.
In the UK, you are not allowed to pay for a surrogate, though you will be required to pay for any maternity expenditure. Surrogacy UK say that, in their experience, expenses typically range from £7,000 to £15,000.
What is funded by the NHS
A spokesperson for NICE told Metro.co.uk that new guidelines published in 2013 mean the following can get their treatments paid for:
‘Women aged under 40 years who have not conceived after two years of regular unprotected intercourse or 12 cycles of artificial insemination (where six or more are by intrauterine insemination), can be offered three full cycles of IVF. If the woman reaches the age of 40 during treatment, she can complete the current full cycle but won’t be offered further full cycles.
‘Women aged 40–42 years who have not conceived after two years of regular unprotected intercourse or 12 cycles of artificial insemination (where six or more are by intrauterine insemination), can be offered one full cycle of IVF, provided the following three criteria are fulfilled:
These are recommendations by NICE, but you can contact your local authorities for further guidance.
It is important to find out what your local NHS trust’s criterion is on funding fertility treatment before beginning the process of conceiving.
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 email@example.com.
Here is a selection of the stories from Fertility Month so far - and you can find all Fertility Month content here.
Fertility SeriesFertility Seriesfaimabakar1Fertility Series
Children in Need is an annual event dedicated to raising vital funds for the kids who need it most.
Tonight, the special programme will air on the BBC, giving viewers a chance to phone in and donate money.
The charity has been running for the last 40 years, and over that time they have raised a staggering £970 million.
But they couldn’t have done it without the ingenuity and generosity of the people at home. People like you.
Every year, thousands of kids and adults take part in all sorts of different challenges, sales and events to help drum up donations. If you want to get involved this year, here are some simple, last-minute things you can do to raise some money.
A bring-and-buy sale
If you went to school in the UK, then you’ll know what this is. The iconic concept was coined by Blue Peter in the 1970s, and is still going strong today.
It’s essentially a second-hand stall. All you have to do is bring unwanted things from home – toys, games, clothes – and sell them on. You can also buy anything that takes your fancy, and all proceeds will go to the charity.
You know the drill. Rice crispy cakes for the novices, elaborate bakes for the pros – no matter how skilled you are, you can always offer something. Even if that means icing a shop-bough Victoria sponge – we promise we won’t tell.
Bake sales are a fun and simple way to rake in the cash. You’ll probably find people are willing to donate a fair amount of money for a good slice of cake.
Where to watch Children in Need
The Children in Need TV fundraiser starts on Friday 16 November at 7.30pm on BBC One.
The show will be presented by Tess Daly, Graham Norton and Ade Adepitan who will also appear alongside Rob Beckett, Mel Giedroyc, Rochelle and Marvin Humes.
The programme will feature special versions of some of the BBC’s biggest shows, including Strictly Come Dancing and EastEnders.
Last year’s event raised an amazing £60.7 million – the highest ever total raised.
The annual duck race sweepstake
This one take minimal preparation. All you have to do is print off a sweepstake poster, bet on your duck and hope for the best.
The race will be broadcast live during the BBC’s live programme, so make sure you cheer loudly to spur your plastic racer on. Organisers have suggested collecting £2 for every duck.
A baked bean bath
A true classic. Is it even a fundraising event if someone hasn’t half-drowned themselves in beans?
A sure-fire crowd-pleaser, the bean bath can raise loads of money and has the added bonus of making whoever does it look absolutely ridiculous. And people definitely pay to watch other people doing really stupid things.
The Children in Need single
Each year one artist releases a song to help raise money for the children’s charity.
This year’s song is performed by Jamie Cullum, called ‘Love is in the Picture’ – you can buy it on iTunes.
Or if you want to take the singing theme even further, you could help organise a school or workplace sing-along, or talent show to raise even more money.
Fundraising ideas for Children in NeedFundraising ideas for Children in Neednataliemorris88
Fitting your fitness into a busy working day can be difficult – there aren’t many options available to you.
First thing, if you can stomach the early rises, lunchtime if you’re speedy, or after work if you’re not too knackered from the day.
And logistical issues aside, there’s also the question of when will your workout be most effective. There are plenty of arguments on both sides – AM and PM – but what’s the conclusive answer?
Is there a perfect time to work out? And how does the time of day affect your performance?
Working out in the morning is certainly appealing. For starters, there’s the smugness element.
If you manage to get your daily session done and dusted before everyone else has even woken up, you get to feel deliciously smug all day. You can saunter home after work safe in the knowledge that you’ve already achieved your fitness goals.
It’s a good feeling. It’s also good for your body.
Research has shown that waking up early for exercise helps you to regulate your body clock for a better night’s sleep, and can increase your productivity levels throughout the day.
It’s also thought to give your metabolism a really big boost. In fact, one study found that a vigorous, 45-minute workout can increase your metabolic rate for around 14-hours. That’s more than a full day of extra calories being burned.
Another study found that working out in the morning would actually help you to burn more fat.
The figures found that people burn up to 20% more fat when they hit the gym on an empty stomach in the morning than later on, especially after they have eaten.
When you have food in your stomach, your body is busy burning the calories in your digestive system for energy, but when you exercise on an empty stomach your body burns more of your fat stores to get the energy it needs.
Although morning workouts can feel brutal, PT Mollie Millington says there are strategies you can use to get you out of bed.
‘To hold yourself accountable, meet a friend for the class, no matter what time of day,’ Mollie tells Metro.co.uk.
‘You will be more inclined to go if you made a verbal agreement with someone.
‘Your body will adapt to a schedule so if you always train a certain way at a specific time of day, your body will adapt and begin to optimize its performance. So stick with what works for you and the body will follow.’
Ok, but if the thought of setting an alarm pre-7am still scares the living hell out of you, then you’re going to need an alternative.
The good news is that there are also benefits of working out in the evening.
Firstly, you’ll be stronger. When you’ve had an entire day to wake up, fuel up and energise, your body will be much more capable of lifting heavy weights – which means your gains are likely to be greater in the evening.
Working out on an empty stomach is one thing, but if you still feel groggy and tired, lifting weights isn’t a good idea and can lead to injury.
Fitness after work is also a brilliant way to reduce your stress levels. Elevating your heart rate releases cortisol and endorphins, which will help you to relax and forget about that passive-aggressive email chain.
If you’re feeling particularly full of rage, try kickboxing or going to town on a punchbag – you’ll feel better in no time.
Mollie agrees. ‘Evening workouts are great to relieve stress from your day,’ she tells us.
‘If you have trouble sleeping, a late-night yoga class will help your body and central nervous system relax a bit before bed – just don’t go on social media between class and bedtime.
‘My top tip for committing to evening workouts is not to go home first – or at least don’t sit down. Once my bum hits the couch, there is a huge drop in the chance I will go back out the door.’
As well as performance, accessibility is also a factor. If you depend on the gym, first thing in the morning may be quieter – or late at night. You just might want to avoid the mad post-work rush at 6pm.
The seasons also play a part in when you can work out. If you run outside for instance, winter and the encroaching darkness can put a stop to early morning workouts – meaning you might have to opt for lunchtime sessions.
Ultimately it comes down to the individual. There’s no perfect time that works for everyone, all you can do is weigh up the pros and cons, and see how it fits with your life.
The best time for you to work out is the time that you can commit to. So whether that’s early or late, having a consistent fitness schedule is the thing that’s most important.
fitnessfitnessnataliemorris88now that summer is over, it's harder to harness that springthe importance of good shoes for fitness training
What does it mean to be a man?
It’s a big question.
For a lot of people, it’s as simple as physical sex: one penis, two testicles, equals man. And the larger these things are, the more ‘manly’ the person is.
So what happens when you have to say goodbye to one of your balls… or both of them?
For those who lose a testicle due to surgery, illness, or injury, ideas of masculinity are thrown into question, along with worries about sex and fertility.
At 15, Nick, now 29, was fast asleep when his scrotum got in a twist. He was entirely unaware that his spermatic cord had rotated and cut off the blood supply to his testicle.
He woke up the next day to find one of his balls was swollen to ‘the size of a billiard ball’, but had to get on with his mock GCSEs, so put up with his poor swollen testicle until the next day when he went to a doctor.
Nick’s GP reckoned that his swollen sack was down to an infection, and prescribed him antibiotics.
Of course, the antibiotics had no impact on testicular torsion, so the pain and swelling only got worse.
What is testicular torsion?
Testicular torsion occurs when the spermatic cord, which provides flow to the testicle, gets twisted. This cuts off the testicle’s blood supply.
It requires immediate treatment to save the testicle. Left untreated for even twelve hours, testicular torsion can cause permanent damage to the testicle, necessitating removal.
Symptoms include swelling, pain, blood in the semen, frequent urination, and one testicle appearing higher than the other.
It can happen due to certain physical activities, after an injury, or while sleeping. It’s more common in teens.
Testicular torsion is sometimes called ‘winter syndrome’ as it’s more likely to happen during cold weather. When a man is lying in a warm bed, his scrotum is loose and relaxed. Then emerging into the cold air can suddenly contract the spermatic cord, trapping it in a twisted position.
He went back to the doctor for an ultrasound, which confirmed that no, Nick’s testicle wasn’t infected, but had been twisted around and would need to be removed.
Recovery from the surgery was painful.
‘They put a ‘drain’ in my scrotum, I think to collect fluids post-surgery,’ Nick tells Metro.co.uk. ‘It hurt like hell. Constant, searing, agonising pain for the best part of two or three full days in a hospital bed.
‘They gave me as much oral morphine as they were allowed to give a minor and it didn’t make a dent in the pain.
‘What I remember most clearly is when they removed the drain – which I couldn’t see but it felt like they were just… pulling it out, like pulling the chain on a bath plug – and once it released it was incredible.’
On waking up, groggy from anaesthetic and painkillers, Nick cried when he was told one of his balls had been removed. He considered getting a prosthetic put in, but the threat of another painful drain put him off.
Nick wasn’t concerned about how the loss of a bollock would impact his masculinity. His main worries were fertility (he would still produce sperm in his other testicle) and how soon he’d be able to have sex (as soon as he felt up to it).
Today, he’s still not bothered, but credits that in part to always having had a healthy relationship with gender, refusing to put too much weight in societal expectations of ‘being a man’.
‘My only real worry is for testicular cancer,’ says Nick. ‘To the best of my knowledge, the treatment for testicular cancer is to simply cut the whole testicle off because most people have two, after all.
‘When people see it for the first time, they don’t even notice until I point it out. And I’ve never had a negative reaction from anyone, just curiosity.
‘As for how I broach the subject, if we’ve been talking openly about sex and our bodies while flirting, I’ll bring it up like “oh, by the way, just so it doesn’t seem weird later…” but otherwise I just won’t bring it up. Like I said, people don’t seem to notice.
‘The only thing that does irk me is that following the surgery, I don’t “hang” as far as other men do.
‘Everything is kept very tight (the surgeon told me they “fixed” my remaining testicle so it couldn’t contort).
‘I’m not sure why this bothers me, but I’m always slightly jealous when I see guys with balls that hang.’
Nick would consider getting a prosthetic, but the ‘the prospect of pain outweighs any aesthetic concerns’.
Not everyone is so cavalier about the emotional loss of a testicle.
As Jana Brezinova, head of psychology and counselling at IVF Cube, notes: ‘It’s important to point out that losing a testicle does not make a person any less of a man.
‘There can sometimes be a stigma attached and men may experience a loss of self esteem.’
That’s despite the fact that the loss of one testicle may not have any effect beyond aesthetics.
‘Most men can continue to enjoy a happy and healthy sex life and do everything they were able to before,’ says Jana, while leading fertility expert Dr Hana Visnova tells us that having one testicle doesn’t necessarily affect a man’s fertility.
‘When a man has only only testicle – either through injury, cancer or simply because they were only born with one – they clearly worry about their ability to become a father,’ says Dr Visnova.
‘But the surprising reality is that one testicle often produces just as much sperm as a man with two testicles – and the remaining testicle is known to grow slightly larger in order to compensate for there only being one present.’
She explains that ‘normal’ sperm production, as defined by the World Health Authority, is anything above 15 million sperm per millilitre.
‘It’s common for two testicles to produce around 100 million sperm per sample,’ says Dr Visnova. ‘So even if you’ve got one testicle producing 50 million sperm per sample, that’s still well within the acceptable range when it comes to making a baby.’
A bigger concern than the removal of the testicle can be the accompanying chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment for testicular cancer – a common cause for someone to lose a testicle.
How cancer treatments affect fertility:
Cancer treatments can affect fertility in a number of ways, disrupting hormone production and the production of sperm.
Chemotherapy works by killing cells in the body that are dividing too quickly. It can target sperm, reducing sperm count, and can cause permanent infertility if all the immature cells in the testicles are severely damaged.
Following chemotherapy, sperm production will slow down and it can stop entirely. Usually sperm will start being produced within four years after treatment.
Radiation at high doses kills sperm and the stem cells that produce sperm.
Peter, 33, was 29 when he found a lump in his testicle.
He had regularly checked his balls (at least twice a month), so knew immediately that something was wrong when he felt a lump the size of a ‘seed of a tomato’.
His initial feelings were alarm and panic. He went to his GP that morning, who referred him to a urologist, who performed tests and determined the tiny lump was a tumour. Peter was told he would need to have the testicle removed.
‘Honestly I just wanted the testicle removed since removing it would remove the cancer from my body,’ he tells us. ‘I had the operation two weeks after being told the decision to operate.’
After the removal of one testicle, Peter was given the option of one hour of low dose chemotherapy to cut the chances of cancer coming back from 15% to 2%. He decided to say yes, but had concerns about fertility.
He chose to have his sperm frozen before going ahead.
Peter was relieved to be rid of cancer, but he did feel some loss in the removal of his testicle.
‘After the operation [my view of my masculinity] did take a knock,’ he tells us. ‘I know I shouldn’t be worried about women finding out about my one ball but I do get nervous.
‘Every now and again I do look at myself and think part of me isn’t there, or there’s the surprise of looking down and seeing one lonely ball.’
Peter still worries about losing his other ball, and takes comfort in having one left.
‘I might be firing on one cylinder but everything works fine,’ he explains. ‘I did have a problem with testosterone levels but these leveled out over time.
‘I was offered a prosthetic ball before my operation but didn’t take it, since if I had opted for it with chemo, it might cause an infection.
‘I wouldn’t want one now anyway. All balls do is produce sperm and testosterone and I can do that with one ball.’
Peter’s right – testicles are for producing sperm and testosterone, and as long as that function’s still working, concerns are only aesthetic.
But that doesn’t mean those feelings of insecurity are any less valid. After all, when the idea that a big penis is a huge part of how manly you are is so prevalent, it’s not surprising that people would place emotional weight in their genitals.
It’s vital to talk about your concerns and work through how a loss of a ball is making you feel.
‘Putting on a brave face and muddling through a time of distress is often the very worst thing you can do,’ says Jana. ‘Open up and talk to your partner or a professional about how you feel.
‘Working to maintain both physical and emotional intimacy is also really important.’
In terms of fertility, things are pretty simple. As long as one testicle is in working order, the loss of the other shouldn’t make a big difference.
But other treatments alongside removal, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy, can absolutely impact a man’s fertility, so it’s worth taking action before proceeding.
Banking sperm can be a way to ease anxieties about the remaining testicle, although it can be pricey.
‘If you know you’ve already got a low sperm count, even before having a testicle removed and starting further treatment, you should definitely consider sperm banking,’ says Dr Visnova.
‘Chemotherapy often lowers the number of sperm the testicles can produce, and most practitioners advise that a man waits for a year after chemo before trying for a child naturally.
‘You should also wait for a year before trying for a child following radiotherapy, as the treatment might impact on how the health and motility of the sperm.’
At the end of the day, a ball is just like any other body part: It’s there to do a job, and if it’s causing more trouble than it’s worth removal can be the best option.
One testicle is a small price to pay to survive cancer or an infection, and if you do fancy restoring balance to your ballsack, prosthetic testicles and fillers are always an option.
Who you are is not defined by what’s in your pants. Balls to anyone who tells you any different.
How to check your balls:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a selection of the stories from Fertility Month so far - and you can find all Fertility Month content here.
Metro IllustrationsMetro IllustrationsellencscottWhat it's like to have one ballWhat is 'sacking' and how can you deal with it during sex?Getting Freaky: Are 'blue balls' real?
A Derby pub known for its filled Yorkshire puddings has just started selling mince pie Yorkshire puddings.
The Cherry Tree Farm dining and carvery has mixed the two Christmas dishes together to create the ultimate festive food.
The creation is made up of a hot mince pie sitting in a crispy Yorkshire pudding, drizzled with icing, dusted with icing sugar, and served with custard.
Gareth Cotton, general manager at the Cherry Tree, said: ‘There’s no time quite like Christmas to gather the family and feast together – and no festive spread would be complete without a mince pie or two!
‘Our filled Yorkshire puddings are always a hit with our guests, but usually we’re encouraging diners to pack them full of succulent meats and seasonal vegetables.
‘This Christmas we wanted to combine the classic Yorkie pud with a seasonal sweet treat to create something truly spectacular, which also tastes delicious.
‘We’re not shy of wacky and wonderful food combinations here at Farmhouse Inns, and are delighted to hear that our dish is so popular it will be rolling out across other Farmhouse Inns across the country!
‘We hope our guests are as excited as we are to try our new seasonal dish – we’re sure they’ll love it!’
The mince pie Yorkshire puddings are currently available at The Cherry Tree Farm for £2.49.
Yorkshire Pudding and Mince PiesYorkshire Pudding and Mince Pieshattiegladwellmetro
A photographer has created an adorable photo series which shows him petting his dog in beautiful settings.
28-year-old Honza Řeháček, and his dog Sitka have been travelling around the Czech Republic and Poland taking some super cute photos.
Honza loves exploring, but can never be without his four-year-old Czechoslovakian Wolfdog who tags along everywhere.
They have built up 300,000 Instagram followers with their stunning shots.
Honza said: ‘I used to work three jobs to keep my photography dream alive.
‘At some points I lived in a caravan I would only eat bread, but I always made sure Sitka was well fed.
‘I promised him that he will live the best life a dog could possibly live, because he completely changed my life.
‘He has helped me find myself, and he is here for me on the hard days – I take him everywhere with me.’
Honza’s photography career kickstarted when he got Sitka in 2014, after taking a trip to the Czech mountains to get away from everyday life.
Czechoslovakian Wolfdogs are crosses between a German Shepherd and a Carpathian Wolf.
Honza said: ‘I went off in to the Krkonoše mountains, in Poland for weekend.
‘We went for a walk and it was sunny but there was fog and snow which appeared in the middle of the hike.
‘When we got to the top everything below us was cloud and everything above us was sunshine.
‘That very moment up there was unforgettable.
‘That day I became addicted to these beautiful moments and so I decided to capture them.’
Honza says his Instagram fame means nothing to him – and that his best days have been travelling around without a penny, but with his best friend by his side.
He continued: ‘For a couple of months, we only lived in a small Combi car for a few months and travelled, discovering new places, and I can say that nothing was missing me.
‘The most beautiful moments I’ve experienced in the days I’ve had the last few pennies in my pocket.
‘I felt I was living more than ever before, and this feeling kept me sticking to my dream even though I was probably the only one who believed it for a while.’
Honza now sells his amazing photographs to customers around the world and is the Czech Fujifilm ambassador.
He said: ‘I will continue to discover my beautiful country and hopefully one of the next journeys will be in the Slovakian mountains, because you know, Sitka is a Czechoslovakian Wolf and I want to show him the beauty of these places.
‘I want to take him home.’
SEI_40297147-b090SEI_40297147-b090hattiegladwellmetroHonza ??eh????ek pets his Czechoslovakian wolfdog named Sitka in the Czech Republic. See SWNS copy SWCAdog: An instagrammer has captured thousands of hearts with his photos of him petting his dog in stunning locations. Czech photographer Honza ??eh????ek says he loves travelling but cant do its without his best buddy Sitka a Czechoslovakian wolfdog who tags along everywhere. The four-year-old dog, named after an Alaskan city has travelled throughout the Czech Republic with Honza, and helped him amass a an enormous 300,000 instagram followers.Honza ??eh????ek pets his Czechoslovakian wolfdog named Sitka in the Czech Republic. See SWNS copy SWCAdog: An instagrammer has captured thousands of hearts with his photos of him petting his dog in stunning locations. Czech photographer Honza ??eh????ek says he loves travelling but cant do its without his best buddy Sitka a Czechoslovakian wolfdog who tags along everywhere. The four-year-old dog, named after an Alaskan city has travelled throughout the Czech Republic with Honza, and helped him amass a an enormous 300,000 instagram followers.Honza Reh?cek pets his Czechoslovakian wolfdog named Sitka in the Czech Republic. See SWNS copy SWCAdog: An instagrammer has captured thousands of hearts with his photos of him petting his dog in stunning locations. Czech photographer Honza Reh?cek says he loves travelling but cant do its without his best buddy Sitka a Czechoslovakian wolfdog who tags along everywhere. The four-year-old dog, named after an Alaskan city has travelled throughout the Czech Republic with Honza, and helped him amass a an enormous 300,000 instagram followers.Honza Reh?cek pets his Czechoslovakian wolfdog named Sitka in the Czech Republic. See SWNS copy SWCAdog: An instagrammer has captured thousands of hearts with his photos of him petting his dog in stunning locations. Czech photographer Honza Reh?cek says he loves travelling but cant do its without his best buddy Sitka a Czechoslovakian wolfdog who tags along everywhere. The four-year-old dog, named after an Alaskan city has travelled throughout the Czech Republic with Honza, and helped him amass a an enormous 300,000 instagram followers.Honza ??eh????ek pets his Czechoslovakian wolfdog named Sitka in the Czech Republic. See SWNS copy SWCAdog: An instagrammer has captured thousands of hearts with his photos of him petting his dog in stunning locations. Czech photographer Honza ??eh????ek says he loves travelling but cant do its without his best buddy Sitka a Czechoslovakian wolfdog who tags along everywhere. The four-year-old dog, named after an Alaskan city has travelled throughout the Czech Republic with Honza, and helped him amass a an enormous 300,000 instagram followers.Honza Reh?cek pets his Czechoslovakian wolfdog named Sitka in Poland. See SWNS copy SWCAdog: An instagrammer has captured thousands of hearts with his photos of him petting his dog in stunning locations. Czech photographer Honza Reh?cek says he loves travelling but cant do its without his best buddy Sitka a Czechoslovakian wolfdog who tags along everywhere. The four-year-old dog, named after an Alaskan city has travelled throughout the Czech Republic with Honza, and helped him amass a an enormous 300,000 instagram followers.Honza ??eh????ek pets his Czechoslovakian wolfdog named Sitka in the Czech Republic. See SWNS copy SWCAdog: An instagrammer has captured thousands of hearts with his photos of him petting his dog in stunning locations. Czech photographer Honza ??eh????ek says he loves travelling but cant do its without his best buddy Sitka a Czechoslovakian wolfdog who tags along everywhere. The four-year-old dog, named after an Alaskan city has travelled throughout the Czech Republic with Honza, and helped him amass a an enormous 300,000 instagram followers.Honza Reh?cek pets his Czechoslovakian wolfdog named Sitka in the Czech Republic. See SWNS copy SWCAdog: An instagrammer has captured thousands of hearts with his photos of him petting his dog in stunning locations. Czech photographer Honza Reh?cek says he loves travelling but cant do its without his best buddy Sitka a Czechoslovakian wolfdog who tags along everywhere. The four-year-old dog, named after an Alaskan city has travelled throughout the Czech Republic with Honza, and helped him amass a an enormous 300,000 instagram followers.Czechoslovakian wolfdog named Sitka in Germany. See SWNS copy SWCAdog: An instagrammer has captured thousands of hearts with his photos of him petting his dog in stunning locations. Czech photographer Honza Reh?cek says he loves travelling but cant do its without his best buddy Sitka a Czechoslovakian wolfdog who tags along everywhere. The four-year-old dog, named after an Alaskan city has travelled throughout the Czech Republic with Honza, and helped him amass a an enormous 300,000 instagram followers.Honza Reh?cek pets his Czechoslovakian wolfdog named Sitka in the Czech Republic. See SWNS copy SWCAdog: An instagrammer has captured thousands of hearts with his photos of him petting his dog in stunning locations. Czech photographer Honza Reh?cek says he loves travelling but cant do its without his best buddy Sitka a Czechoslovakian wolfdog who tags along everywhere. The four-year-old dog, named after an Alaskan city has travelled throughout the Czech Republic with Honza, and helped him amass a an enormous 300,000 instagram followers.
There was a time when all we had to do at Christmas was open presents.
Now, what with adulting and such like, we are facing the prospect of actually hosting the whole shindig ourselves.
And there’s only one way to be properly prepared for a houseful of guests this festive season – by making sure our beloved homes are up to the job! Thankfully, we have teamed up with the experts at B&Q to give you a fool-proof guide to getting your pad ready for Christmas – no matter who you’re expecting to drop in (Santa excluded, obvs).
First impressions count
To welcome your guests to your home, make sure the front door is as welcoming as a batch of freshly baked Christmas cookies, and you can’t go wrong with a traditional wreath hanging on the door like the Classic Gold Effect Wreath (£12, from B&Q).
For ultimate curb appeal, take the chance to spruce up your front door with a lick of paint. Dare to be a little different by trying an on-trend colour like light grey such as the Ronseal Grey Stone Satin Wood Paint 750 ML (£19 at B&Q, £25.33 L).
Tree-mendous time of year
Christmas isn’t Christmas until the tree is up – whether you opt for real or artificial.
Let the decorating begin!
Light up, light up!
One of the best ways to make your home cosy this Christmas is through clever use of lighting.
The easiest way to do this is with lighting. You could fully embrace the fun side of the festive season. Whether you go kooky, like this Mains Operated Tinsel Dog Silhouette (£32 at B&Q) or chic like the 120 Warm White LED String Lights (£7 at B&Q), you can put your own personality in to the festive season.
Get in the mood for dancing!
Whether the kids play with their new toys on it or the adults use it to show off some questionable dance moves, your living room floor will be the place to be over Christmas.
So, why not take the opportunity to freshen up your space with some new flooring.
Easy to lay – and even easier to clean – go for some super-stylish flooring like the Dolce 12mm High Gloss Laminate Flooring (£14 m2, pack price £16.66 at B&Q).
Deck your hall (literally)
While you want to impress your guests with your decked out home, you also want to enjoy yourself. So, before the big month of December lands on our mat like the first Christmas card, why not use your hosting duties as an excuse for some home improvements.
The simplest way to freshen up an area of your home is with a quick lick of paint; you could add a dash of colour, repaint in the same shade or you could try a clean, sophisticated paint like polished pebble. Try it in a matt emulsion from Dulux (£20 from B&Q – £4 per L).
Now for the practical stuff…
It’s all very well and good that you’ve decorated the house from the top to bottom but it’s the little things that can turn Christmas sour quickly. Think about little annoyances that you’ve ignored around the home for ages, such as a broken loo seat.
Make sure this Christmas is a cracker with B&Q!
christmas-19cechristmas-19cekatywinter2015Christmas tree B&QMains operated static Star Trio, £20, B&QDolce High Gloss Walnut Effect Laminate Flooring, £14m2 (pack price £16.66) at B&QCooke & Lewis Palmi White Standard toilet seat
Add this to the ever-growing list of things cannabinoid (CBD) oil can help to treat.
Beth Cusack, 29, has suffered with eczema for the last four years.
Her condition was so severe that her skin felt absolutely raw, causing her to scream out in pain at the slightest movement. As a result she had to quit her job.
Beth had tried everything, and eventually became housebound to try to limit her pain.
Then she saw an advert for CBD oil, and decided to give it a go.
Now, she thanks CBD oil for ‘saving her life’.
‘I didn’t think there was any way to make my skin better, until I found CBD oil,’ says Beth. ‘I tried so many courses of medication, creams and anything that I was told would help my skin – but it never did.
‘Just going out for a walk would leave my skin red-raw and I would be in so much pain, so I reluctantly had to become housebound to stop myself from feeling this way.
‘On top of that, the severity of my scaly skin made me feel very self-conscious and I didn’t want anyone to see me like that.
‘But since I’ve taken the oil it has truly saved my life – I am no longer in pain and I can happily leave the house now without feeling in pain or embarrassed.’
What is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol – CBD for short – is one of the most common compounds found in cannabis and hemp leaves
It works by binding to cell receptors in the body that effect everyday functions such as sleep and appetite, as well as pain and mood regulation
CBD has been used to treat epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain
It is taken as oil that you drip under the tongue, but can also be consumed as gummies, or inhaled using a vape
It is not psychoactive, unlike the cannabis compound Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), so CBD does not produce the “high” associated with cannabis
CBD is legal to buy in the UK, but legal restrictions mean it is sold online as a food supplement, rather than a medicine
Research is ongoing, but more investment into clinical trials is needed to explore CBD’s full potential as a medicine.
Initial trials suggest CBD may be useful in helping people stop smoking, and even lessen withdrawal symptoms from painkiller addictions
CBD is used by sportsmen because of the effect it has on pain, inflammation and recovery
CBD is also being trialled for its use as a potential anti-cancer agent.
Beth says she takes three spoonfuls of CBD oil a day before each meal, and claims that within a few days of the treatment her eczema had cleared and she was no longer in pain.
‘Whilst doing my research I read a lot about CBD oil and the benefits that it can have on people’s skin, but I was still trying a lot of other more conventional methods.
‘But then one day whilst I was on social media, I saw someone who was selling the oil and thought I should give it a go.
‘I’d previously been recommended the oil by a good friend, so thought it was worth a try.
‘Once I received it, it took only two days for it to clear up and my skin was no longer in pain.
‘I now take three spoonfuls of it every day, before each meal, and my skin has been pretty much perfect ever since.
‘The oil costs me £60 for a bottle, and that will last me two weeks, but I genuinely believe it is the best money I have ever spent.
‘I really do have CBD oil to thank for giving me my life back – I would still be shut up in my house, losing friends and deteriorating my own mental health if it wasn’t for the oil.’
YOUNG WOMAN WHO WAS LEFT HOUSEBOUND DUE TO SEVERE ECZEMA THANKSYOUNG WOMAN WHO WAS LEFT HOUSEBOUND DUE TO SEVERE ECZEMA THANKSellencscottMERCURY PRESS. 16/11/18. Pictured: Beth Cusack, 29. A young woman who was left housebound due to the severity of her eczema has thanked CBD oil for clearing up her condition. Beth Cusack, 29, has suffered with eczema, that was so bad it left her housebound, for the past four years. Whilst working as a manager at a Barber Shop, Beths condition got so bad that it left her body red-raw and caused her to scream out in pain at the slightest movement, forcing her to quit her job. SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. 16/11/18. Pictured: Beth Cusacks hands before she started using the CBD oil. A young woman who was left housebound due to the severity of her eczema has thanked CBD oil for clearing up her condition. Beth Cusack, 29, has suffered with eczema, that was so bad it left her housebound, for the past four years. Whilst working as a manager at a Barber Shop, Beths condition got so bad that it left her body red-raw and caused her to scream out in pain at the slightest movement, forcing her to quit her job. SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. 16/11/18. Pictured: Beth Cusacks skin before she started using the CBD oil. A young woman who was left housebound due to the severity of her eczema has thanked CBD oil for clearing up her condition. Beth Cusack, 29, has suffered with eczema, that was so bad it left her housebound, for the past four years. Whilst working as a manager at a Barber Shop, Beths condition got so bad that it left her body red-raw and caused her to scream out in pain at the slightest movement, forcing her to quit her job. SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. 16/11/18. Pictured: Beth Cusack, 29, with the CBD oil. A young woman who was left housebound due to the severity of her eczema has thanked CBD oil for clearing up her condition. Beth Cusack, 29, has suffered with eczema, that was so bad it left her housebound, for the past four years. Whilst working as a manager at a Barber Shop, Beths condition got so bad that it left her body red-raw and caused her to scream out in pain at the slightest movement, forcing her to quit her job. SEE MERCURY COPY