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

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    Caption: Picture: NCLA Barbie 90s themed make up Photographer: NCLA Provider: NCLA
    (Picture: NCLA)

    If you were a 90s child, seeing anything with the Barbie branding will probably give you a warm, tingly feeling.

    The nostalgia is real.

    And now, thanks to a collaboration between NCLA Beauty and Mattel, you can relive your childhood with a limited-edition Barbie make up collection.

    Overwhelmingly pink and quintessentially girly, the collection includes vibrant nail polishes, fun nail wraps, and pink and purple lipsticks. It is 90s incarnate.

    It even boasts the retro Barbie logo to keep it feeling truly authentic. You need to add it to your Christmas list, now.

    Picture: NCLA Barbie 90s themed make up
    (Picture: NCLA)

    Choose from press-on nail wraps, with classic 90s prints, or go for one of the pink nail varnishes – baby pink, hot pink, or lilac – there really is a pastel shade to suit any mood.

    And for your face there’s the cute jelly balm lipsticks. They go on clear and instantly combine with your natural PH levels for a perfectly dewy pink pout.

    Picture: NCLA Barbie 90s themed make up
    (Picture: NCLA)

    For a little touch of luxury, go for the So Rich Bubblegum Pop cuticle oil. If you want your hands to smell like a sweet-shop (who doesn’t?), use this oil to help revitalise and hydrate your nails. It’s great for a touch of self-care.

    And when your nails in the best condition possible, whack on a layer of the Barbie Party glitter varnish – perfect for a sparkly touch this party season. Wear it alone or use it as a sparkly top coat over the hot pink.

    It’s limited edition, so it might not be around for ever. Snap up your favourites so you can truly prove your 90s kid credentials.

    MORE: Beauty Bay Black Friday 2018 up to 30% off everything from The Ordinary, Makeup Revolution, Ofra and ZOEVA

    MORE: What is palm oil, is it bad for you and where does it come from?

    MORE: You could be paid £500 to taste test pigs in blankets


    Picture: NCLABarbie 90s themed make upPicture: NCLABarbie 90s themed make upnataliemorris88Caption: Picture: NCLA Barbie 90s themed make up Photographer: NCLA Provider: NCLAPicture: NCLA Barbie 90s themed make upPicture: NCLA Barbie 90s themed make upPicture: NCLABarbie 90s themed make upPicture: NCLABarbie 90s themed make upnataliemorris88Caption: Picture: NCLA Barbie 90s themed make up Photographer: NCLA Provider: NCLAPicture: NCLA Barbie 90s themed make upPicture: NCLA Barbie 90s themed make up

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    Gold colored vector circles and shiny star reflections illustrating a glitter gradient texture background
    (Picture: FIREFOX)

    If you want to get in the Christmas spirit you might opt for a sparkly jumper, or put some tinsel in your hair – but now you can seriously up your game.

    Fairy lights for your beard have arrived – because twinkly lights shouldn’t be exclusively reserved for the tree this Christmas. No. They should be on your face.

    Prove to the world just how much you love Christmas by proudly displaying these multi-coloured lights in your beard – somehow they manage to be both intensely masculine and adorably festive.

    (Picture: FIREBOX)

    If you have a beard, you probably like people to notice it. Maybe you like to loudly talk about which styling products you use, or stroke it fondly when you’re concentrating. These fairy lights mean that your beard will always be the centre of attention.

    And it’s perfect if you can’t fit a proper tree in your little flat, now your own face can be a portable homage to the Christmas period – you’ll be spreading joy wherever you go.

    The set of 18 multi-coloured nano LED lights are suspended on a 90cm cable that clips onto your beard painlessly. And they’re heat-less, so you don’t have to worry about any impromptu beard blazes.

    Each of the tiny lights flashes and changes colour, and they’re small enough to nestle in your facial hair without getting in the way.

    The company, Firebox, do however warn that you should avoid wearing the lights when your beard is wet, and you might want to carry an umbrella in case of sudden downpours.

    They only cost £10.99 – making them a perfect stocking-filler for any beard-sporting people in your life.

    MORE: You can now buy limited-edition Barbie make up

    MORE: Why not celebrate International Men’s Day by grabbing your balls

    MORE: When is Thanksgiving and why is it celebrated?


    Gold glitter texture vector gradient backgroundGold glitter texture vector gradient backgroundnataliemorris88Gold colored vector circles and shiny star reflections illustrating a glitter gradient texture backgroundGold glitter texture vector gradient backgroundGold glitter texture vector gradient backgroundnataliemorris88Gold colored vector circles and shiny star reflections illustrating a glitter gradient texture background

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    sarah saunders family
    My family wouldn’t be the same without blood donors (Picture: Sarah Saunders)

    I have always loved the run up to Christmas, the excitement and preparation during the month of December.

    I love wrapping carefully chosen presents for loved ones, imagining the looks of excitement and joy on their faces when they are unwrapped.

    I’ve always wondered whether the people who donated the three units of blood I received just before Christmas 2010 ever thought about who they’ve helped.

    That year, they gave me and my family an amazing Christmas gift.

    My boys were four and 22 months at the time, and I was almost 12 weeks pregnant.

    We had a busy week planned – I had my scan booked for the Thursday, and my oldest was going to be one of the three wise men in his playgroup nativity the day after.

    I always tell my boys how generous blood donors are – as without them, our family would not be what it is now.

    The night before the appointment, I woke up in the small hours. I was restless so I decided to settle in front of the TV downstairs.

    At about 1.30am, I felt a strange popping sensation. At that moment, I knew I was miscarrying.

    I made my way to the bathroom, but it was like someone had turned on a tap. I was in tears; the blood just kept coming.

    I’m not sure how long I was trying to contain the flow but when my husband Neil came down, a scene of blood-soaked bath towels and clothes met him.

    He phoned the midwife who called 999.

    A paramedic came just as I was beginning to feel light headed. A canula was inserted, and I was sick. And then I passed out.

    When I came to, I was in the ambulance. My feet felt like ice.

    The paramedic was hovering over me. She had numbers scribbled on her blue gloves – my blood pressure – and it was low, very low.

    In the front, her colleague was radioing ahead to advise A&E we were on our way. All I thought was that I hadn’t said goodbye to my boys.

    At the hospital, Neil was taken to the relatives’ room.

    I was surrounded by staff and my clothes were cut off while the staff worked.

    Once I was stable, they let Neil in to see me just before I was taken to surgery. The only thing he said was ‘I love you’.

    Fortunately it was a success.

    When I woke up in the recovery room, the first thing I saw was a bag of blood hanging above the trolley. An oxygen mask was over my face and I had cannulas in the back of both hands and arms.

    The anaesthetist explained that I had received three units of blood, and that my haemoglobin levels were rising but not yet back to normal.

    It was 6:55am; the boys were usually awake. I would get to see them again thanks to the kindness of strangers.

    Having previously donated blood, it was very moving to experience things from the other side.

    I was well enough to be discharged the following day. My dad picked me up as the rest of the family were making their way to the playgroup nativity.

    I really wanted to be there to see my wise man’s performance. I knew it would be tight due to the traffic but we made it with five minutes to spare.

    sarah saunders son
    My oldest as the wise man (Picture: Sarah Saunders)

    I can’t describe how glad it made me to be able to be there. The smile on his face when he saw me brought tears to my eyes.

    I often wonder how it would have been without the blood donation as I know that around Christmas, stocks can run low.

    We spent that Christmas quietly, together as a family – I was still easily tired. But it was a gift from people who we could never personally thank that brought hope and joy to us.

    The following April, I miscarried again and required two further transfusions and surgery.

    Fortunately we went on to have a third boy and I always tell my boys how generous blood donors are – as without them, our family would not be what it is now.

    So please make and keep a date to donate as part of your festive preparations. It may be the greatest gift you give this Christmas and you won’t even know it.

    Find out where and when you can donate blood here.

    MORE: I saved a girl’s life by signing up to be a bone marrow donor – then she became the flower girl at my wedding

    MORE: 10 reasons you should give blood for World Blood Donor Day

    MORE: Hundreds of Britons received organ transplants from former cancer patients


    Family 2018 Cropped-0135Family 2018 Cropped-0135qinxiesarah saunders familysarah saunders sonFamily 2018 Cropped-0135Family 2018 Cropped-0135qinxiesarah saunders familysarah saunders son

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    Gingerbread, gin and tonic and cosmo cheese
    (Picture: Shirevale)

    We love a Christmas cheese board – and it’s a perfect time to be indulgent.

    Now you an combine your favourite alcohol and cheese.

    Or if you don’t fancy that, you can try a gingerbread flavour.

    Ocado is selling the three new flavours, mixed with white stilton, from this Friday.

    You can pick up a 200g block for £2.49.

    Shirevale
    (Picture: Shirevale)

    The cheese is made by Shirevale in Nottinghamshire: one of just seven dairies licensed to make white stilton.

    It doesn’t make any of the better known blue variety on site, meaning that their white stilton has a lovely subtle, creamy taste and crumbly texture.

    Robyn Figueira, Senior Buying Manager at Ocado, comments: ‘Gingerbread and cheese might seem like a strange mix at first, but thanks to the white stilton’s clean and fresh taste, this flavour combination really works.

    ‘More traditional types of white stilton include apricot, mango and ginger, from which gingerbread is the natural fun and festive step up.’

    The dairy previously launched a mint chocolate chip flavour.

    It’s certainly something different.

    MORE: You can wear these Christmas fairy lights in your beard

    MORE: You can now buy limited-edition Barbie make up

    MORE: This is the amazing moment a baby who was born deaf hears her mum’s voice for the first time


    Gingerbread, gin and tonic and cosmo cheeseGingerbread, gin and tonic and cosmo cheeselauraabernethy6Gingerbread, gin and tonic and cosmo cheeseShirevaleGingerbread, gin and tonic and cosmo cheeseGingerbread, gin and tonic and cosmo cheeselauraabernethy6Gingerbread, gin and tonic and cosmo cheeseShirevale

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    ROCHDALE - JANUARY 9: A shopper pushes her cart outside a Morrisons supermarket January 9, 2003 in Rochdale, Lancashire. The mid-size British supermarket chain, Morrisons, announced its bid to overtake rival Safeway in a 2.9 billion pound deal that would combine the firm with 589 stores and a 16 percent market share. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
    (Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

    On Black Friday, it can be easy to spend money on things we don’t really need.

    Round about this time of year though, there are plenty of things we do need for the coming festive weeks.

    Morrisons always has a brilliant Black Friday sale, and the 2018 edition has already begun.

    They’re calling their pre-sale ‘Black Five-Days’, and will have new offers going up each morning until Friday itself.

    Here’s everything you need to know to get your hands on some bargains.

    There’s all sorts of goodies already on sale (Picture: Getty)

    The sale has technically already started, although not fully.

    Each day, new deals will be going live in store, so keep an eye out if there’s anything you need and want.

    Current bargains include a beer advent calendar for £30, a 70cl bottle of gift-boxed Jura for £18, or a 1.75 litre bottle of Boodles Gin for £40.

    If you’re after something a bit more practical, there’s 480 Yorkshire Tea bags for £5, a 5 litre bottle of Comfort fabric softener for £5, or 84 Fairy dishwasher tablets for £8.

    Gifts galore can be purchased too, with big discounts on fragrance, toys and cosmetics.

    You can check out of the rest of the offers here.

    You will need to hot-foot it into the store to actually purchase them, however, as Morrisons currently doesn’t offer an online shopping service.

    Find your nearest Morrisons store here.

    MORE: You can now buy limited-edition Barbie make up

    MORE: When do the John Lewis Black Friday offers start and what to expect?


    Mid-Size Morrisons To Take Over SafewayMid-Size Morrisons To Take Over SafewayjessicacvlROCHDALE - JANUARY 9: A shopper pushes her cart outside a Morrisons supermarket January 9, 2003 in Rochdale, Lancashire. The mid-size British supermarket chain, Morrisons, announced its bid to overtake rival Safeway in a 2.9 billion pound deal that would combine the firm with 589 stores and a 16 percent market share. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)Mid-Size Morrisons To Take Over SafewayMid-Size Morrisons To Take Over SafewayjessicacvlROCHDALE - JANUARY 9: A shopper pushes her cart outside a Morrisons supermarket January 9, 2003 in Rochdale, Lancashire. The mid-size British supermarket chain, Morrisons, announced its bid to overtake rival Safeway in a 2.9 billion pound deal that would combine the firm with 589 stores and a 16 percent market share. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

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    Close up of the bubbles in a freshly poured glasses of champagne. The glasses are in front of a black background that allow for ample copy space. Image can be flipped horizontal to accommodate alternative composition needs. Shot with a very shallow depth of field.
    (Picture: Getty)

    T’is the season to drink carbonated alcohol, so if you’re thinking of picking up a bottle of bubbly, you should probably head to co-op.

    Traditionally more associated with ‘Oh wait, we need milk’ than high quality booze, Co-op’s own brand champers did better than Moet in recent taste tests by Which?

    Moet retails for around £29, and Co-op’s own brand costs just £19, so you’re making a nice saving there.

    Overall, the Co-op Les Pionniers NV champagne came in joint first in the taste tests, with Mumm Cordon Rouge, which retails for around £35.

    You can look at Which?’s full list of the best champagnes for 2018 here.

    Anyone know how you get a job being a champagne taster, by the way? Asking for a friend.

    MORE: You can wear these Christmas fairy lights in your beard

    MORE: Modern Etiquette: I think my mate has a drinking problem


    rebeccacnreidClose up of the bubbles in a freshly poured glasses of champagne. The glasses are in front of a black background that allow for ample copy space. Image can be flipped horizontal to accommodate alternative composition needs. Shot with a very shallow depth of field.rebeccacnreidClose up of the bubbles in a freshly poured glasses of champagne. The glasses are in front of a black background that allow for ample copy space. Image can be flipped horizontal to accommodate alternative composition needs. Shot with a very shallow depth of field.

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    We've all been eating corn on the cob wrong
    (Pictures: Getty)

    Corn on the cob is one of the best foods – but it’s notoriously hard to eat.

    Most of us opt for the wild-animal tactic – grabbing it with both hands, butter sliding over our fingers, gnawing away at the cob, corn flying everywhere – it’s not pretty.

    But is there a better way?

    One Twitter-user has posted a video revealing an ingenious life hack – that could change the way we all eat corn, for good.

    As you can see, the technique couldn’t be simpler. All you need is a long skewer – the wooden kind with a pointy end – and messy meal times could become a thing of the past.

    The simple hack could revolutionise BBQs and roast dinners – providing a hygienic alternative for people who get squeamish about getting food all their face.

    All you do is slide your skewer along one row of corn, making sure to pierce the corn as you do it. Then just lift it up and the corn should come away cleanly – no fuss, no mess.

    We've all been eating corn on the cob wrong
    (Picture: Getty)

    One of the hardest things about eating corn on the cob is getting it stuck in your teeth.

    If you just go to town on the cob, inevitably half the vegetable gets stuck in your teeth, with the other half refusing to come off at all. For all the effort it takes, you really don’t get to eat that much of it.

    Using the skewer trick is way more efficient – and ensures that no piece of corn gets left behind. Just think how satisfying it will feel to have a completely clean cob on your plate at the end of your meal.

    Make sure you set an extra piece of cutlery for your next Sunday dinner – knife, fork, skewer.

    MORE: Co-op Champagne beats top brands in taste test

    MORE: Dominos launches a cheeseburger pizza

    MORE: Vegan twins open plant-based Caribbean cafe


    We've all been eating corn on the cob wrongWe've all been eating corn on the cob wrongnataliemorris88We've all been eating corn on the cob wrongWe've all been eating corn on the cob wrongWe've all been eating corn on the cob wrongWe've all been eating corn on the cob wrongnataliemorris88We've all been eating corn on the cob wrongWe've all been eating corn on the cob wrong

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    Barbie fan dresses dolls in runway replica outfits
    (Pictures: @McCarbie/REX)

    A 17-year-old has recreated high-fashion, runway looks for her Barbies – and made an Instagram account to show off the designs.

    Caroline Helsen, a student from Antwerp, Belgium, was bored of seeing Barbie exclusively in pink, sparkly outfits – so she decided to modernise her wardrobe.

    The young designer makes beautiful, miniature outfits, replicating classic catwalk looks from Dior and Miu Miu. She has been making the outfits since she was just 13, and her recreations are stunningly accurate.

    Instagram Photo

    Her Instagram account now has almost 6,000 followers, and Caroline is posting new designs regularly.

    The teenager draws inspiration from the latest catwalk designs, with recent side-by-side images showcasing her versions of a Versace mini dress worn by Gigi Hadid, and a white tweed outfit worn by model Luna Bijl at the Chanel Paris Fashion Week show.

    Instagram Photo

    And her followers are consistantly blown away by her talents.

    ‘Wow wow wow!!!’ wrote one user on Instagram.

    Another follower added, ‘You’re a very talented young woman. Congrats!’

    Instagram Photo

    Speaking to Love magazine, Caroline explained more about why she started the project.

    ‘We really disliked all the pink, glittery outfits the Barbies wore, so I started making cooler outfits that reflected more what I wanted to wear, designer outfits,’ she said.

    ‘I taught myself how to sew and with a lot of patience I ended up sewing the way I do now.

    ‘I usually first find a look in a magazine or on Instagram that I’d love to wear or that intrigues me. While looking for an outfit I keep in mind what kind of fabrics I need to recreate it.

    ‘My mini outfits are always recycled from old clothes or jewellery. Every outfit is a new challenge because of the differences in fabric, structure…but I love a little challenge. I choose a doll, make a pattern and sew along.’

    The young student says she doesn’t have a favourite designer, so she gets her inspiration from watching loads of different shows.

    So don’t be surprised if you see Barbie rocking this season’s must-have look.

    MORE: You can now buy limited-edition Barbie make up

    MORE: Boohoo is selling thonged bows so you can wrap yourself up like a Christmas present

    MORE: Halsey wears the same sheer catsuit as Bella Hadid, also looks amazing


    Barbie fan dresses dolls in runway replica outfitsBarbie fan dresses dolls in runway replica outfitsnataliemorris88Barbie fan dresses dolls in runway replica outfitsBarbie fan dresses dolls in runway replica outfitsBarbie fan dresses dolls in runway replica outfitsnataliemorris88Barbie fan dresses dolls in runway replica outfits

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    (Picture: JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/AFP/Getty Images)

    Once you’ve been to see Santa, and headed for the Winter Wonderland ice rink, it’s hard to think of what else to do with the kids during the festive season.

    ZSL London Zoo has got you covered, though, with their special Christmas events schedule.

    There’s something for all ages, but you’ll likely need to buy tickets ahead of time, so here’s everything you need to know.

    The fun begins on 22 November, and continues until 1 January 2019.

    The main event is an after-dark experience, featuring one huge fairy-lit path winding through the zoo.

    There will be light projections, Santa and his elves, and plenty of other surprises along the way.

    You can grab a mulled wine, hot chocolate, or some food at the end, and ride the special carousel too.

    Ticket prices vary depending on whether you go at peak times, with an off-peak adult ticket at £16.50, and a peak adult ticket at £19.50.

    Child tickets are between £10.50 and £13, and under 3s go free.

    You can also get discounts if you buy family tickets, or are a member.

    If you’re going to the zoo during the day, there are combined tickets available, and you can also stay at the zoo’s Gir Lion Lodge afterwards.

    Get your tickets here.

    MORE: Have we all been eating corn on the cob the wrong way?

    MORE: What it’s like to have postnatal depression when you’re in the public eye


    FRANCE-ANIMALS-CHRISTMAS-MONKEY-FEATUREFRANCE-ANIMALS-CHRISTMAS-MONKEY-FEATUREjessicacvlFRANCE-ANIMALS-CHRISTMAS-MONKEY-FEATUREFRANCE-ANIMALS-CHRISTMAS-MONKEY-FEATUREjessicacvl

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    (Picture: Very)

    Do you ever wish you had a little helper when it comes to doing the chores?

    Your kids might love their toy kitchen or vacuum cleaner but that’s not actually much help.

    Usually they’re more interested in making mess than helping you clean it up again.

    That is, until now.

    You Can Now Buy A ??22 Dyson For Kids That Actually Works
    (Picture: Very)

    You can get this toy replica of a Dyson cleaner for just under £22 – and it really works.

    It’s reduced in size, as you would expect for something made for kids.

    The toy makes realistic sounds and has a cylinder filled with plastic balls that spin when it is turned on.

    There’s also a dust compartment so you can empty all the dirt your little one picks up.

    There’s even a smaller handheld unit so they can help you reach every spot.

    You can pick it up from Very.

    MORE: Barbie fan dresses dolls in modern runway replica outfits

    MORE: Have we all been eating corn on the cob the wrong way?


    You Can Now Buy A ?22 Dyson For Kids That Actually WorksYou Can Now Buy A ?22 Dyson For Kids That Actually Workslauraabernethy6You Can Now Buy A ??22 Dyson For Kids That Actually WorksYou Can Now Buy A ?22 Dyson For Kids That Actually WorksYou Can Now Buy A ?22 Dyson For Kids That Actually Workslauraabernethy6You Can Now Buy A ??22 Dyson For Kids That Actually Works

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    (Picture: Not Just/ Metro.co.uk)

    Christmas jumpers are often very silly.

    Just look at this one, which is designed for a couple to wear together. But this year, there’s a different Christmas jumper on offer. A Christmas jumper with some class. A Christmas jumper with some dignity.

    (Picture: Not Just)

    It’s inspired by Gareth Southgate, our collective beloved, the man who nurtured us and held us close during the shining weeks in the summer when it was warm and we all pretended we really believed that football was coming home.

    There’s no need to dwell on how that worked out, but instead, imagine this. It’s cold outside, and you’re swathed in the very essence of Gareth himself.

    (Picture: Not Just)

     

    The jumper features a waistcoat and tie design, made popular by GS, a snappy dresser even in the most stressful moments of his career.

    It’s made by Not Just and it costs £34.99. Not Just say that it comes up quite fitted, so if you want space to fit some mince pies under your Gareth tribute, you might want to size up.

    MORE: Have we all been eating corn on the cob the wrong way?

    MORE: Boy, 7, takes on McDonald’s to get them to ditch plastic toys from Happy Meals


    gart-cba8gart-cba8rebeccacnreidgart-cba8gart-cba8rebeccacnreid

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    (Picture: Getty)

    High intensity interval training is, as the name suggests, intense.

    HIIT involves explosive moves and quick bursts of power, followed by short breaks – repeated over a set amount of time.

    Think squat jumps, dynamic lunges, press ups and endless burpees.

    It’s normally reserved for the gym floor where you have enough space and access to battle ropes, plyo boxes, resistance bands and other horrible torture devises.

    But can it be done at home?

    We all have those days where we just can’t face getting to the gym – particularly as the nights draw in. The good news is that we can still get our fitness fix – even if we really can’t be arsed to leave our living rooms.

    (Picture: Getty)

    Tig, fitness expert and co-founder of Strongher, has put together a fool-proof HIIT workout that you can do from the comfort of your home.

    ‘What we are going to be doing here is a pyramid, meaning you will have various different exercises and with each exercise you do the amount of repetitions will go down,’ Tig tells us.

    ‘In this particular pyramid, we will go down and up the pyramid twice through. Every time you reach the end of a pyramid you can take a wonderful 30-45 seconds rest.

    ‘This pyramid makes HIIT a little more interesting that just 45-seconds on and 15-seconds off.’

    14 x cross over squats

    Feet hip-width apart and slightly turned out. Making sure your core is tight, send your hips back whilst bending your knees (like sitting down).

    Once your hips are 90 degrees or lower, tap your right hand onto your left foot, then stand back up driving through your heels, squeezing your bum at the top.

    Then repeat the movement, but the next time take your left hand and tap on your right foot.

    What is HIIT?

    High-intensity interval training (HIIT), also called high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE) or sprint interval training (SIT), is a form of interval training, a cardiovascular exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods.

    Typically it continues until the participant is too tired to continue.

    Though there is no universal HIIT session duration, these intense workouts typically last under 30 minutes, with times varying based on the participant’s fitness level.

    12 x jumping lunges

    Start with a standard forward lunge. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, then take a big step forward and lower until both knees are bent at a 90 degree angle.

    Make sure your torso is kept upright and as straight as possible throughout.

    From this position, use all that wonderful energy and explosively lift off the ground, switching the positions of your legs whilst in the air so that you land and can immediately drop into another lunge but with the opposite leg forwards.

    Make sure you land as softly as possible.

    10 x burpees

    From a standing position, drop down, place you hands on the ground next to your feet and kick your feet out behind you so you’re in a top press-up position.

    Then jump your feet back up to your hands, stand up, and jump into the air – repeat this movement.

    8 x push ups
    Position hands palms-down on the floor, approximately one hand span outside of your shoulder width, with your elbows pointed outward slightly toward.

    Extend you legs out so that you resemble a high plank position. Squeeze your bum and make sure your core is tight and begin to bend the elbows and lower chest to the floor – be sure that your elbows are are at 45 degrees to your body.

    Then making sure everything is tight push back up to start the movement again.

    6 x plank thrusters

    In a high plank position, shoulders over hands and glutes squeezed, spring your legs forward to the outside of your hands and take your hands off the floor.

    Then replace your hands and jump the legs back to the start position.

    The benefits of HIIT

    This training method is fantastic to do at home, the gym, park – even on the tube it you really fancied it.

    You are not bound by time, as by training this way you can do as little as four minutes, and I personally recommend no more than 30 minutes. Once it’s done it’s done.

    Push as hard as you can then recover.

    Because this type of training uses big muscle groups, elevates your heart rate and keeps it up there, you can build more lean muscle and burn more body fat.

    There is a great effect called EPOC (excessive post-exercise oxygen consumption), which means that after your body has performed HIIT, you still need oxygen to recover meaning more energy is required after its done – you’ll carry on burning calories.

    Tig, fitness expert

    4 x russian twists

    Sitting on the floor, place your feet down in front of you with bent knees.

    Make sure chest is lifted and shoulders are pulled back. From here you will rotate through your torso from left to right, making sure to tap both hands on the floor on either side.

    To increase the difficulty, take both feet off the floor whilst performing the movement.

    2 x v-ups

    Lie on your back and extend your arms behind your head. Keep your feet together, toes pointed and make sure your back is in contact with the floor before you move.

    Keep your legs straight and lift them up as you simultaneously raise your upper body off the floor. Keep your core tight as you reach for your toes with your hands.

    Slowly lower yourself back down to the starting position.

    MORE: Going to the gym should never be about guilt

    MORE: When is the best time to work out?

    MORE: How many times a week should I run?


    Netherlands, Tilburg, Young woman working out in living roomNetherlands, Tilburg, Young woman working out in living roomnataliemorris88Netherlands, Tilburg, Young woman working out in living roomNetherlands, Tilburg, Young woman working out in living roomnataliemorris88

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    Meltem I??k, Twice into the stream (Untitled #4), 2011, pigment-based archival print on fine art paper, 210 x 140 cm. Credit: Meltem I??k
    (Picture: Meltem Isik)

    Body dysmorphia is an illness that can be tricky to understand from the outside.

    What you see is not what they see.

    To capture what it’s like to live with the condition, photographer Meltem Isik took pictures of people holding up photographs of how they see their bodies, using images of body parts enlarged to give them more emphasis.

    Meltem says: ‘The complexity that originates from the capability of our bodies to see and be seen simultaneously provides the basis of the work that I construct using different viewpoints.’

    Meltem I??k, Twice into the stream (Untitled #18), 2011, pigment-based archival print on fine art paper, 210 x 140 cm. Credit: Meltem I??k
    (Picture: Meltem Isik)

    Meltem’s photo series, Twice into the stream, will be shown as part of the Identity exhibition at Zebra One Gallery in Hampstead, London, from 24 November to 9 December.

    The exhibition will donate a portion of profits to the BDD Foundation, a UK-based charity designed to increase understanding of body dysmorphic disorder.

    Meltem I??k, Twice into the stream (Untitled #12), 2011, pigment-based archival print on fine art paper, 210 x 140 cm. Credit: Meltem I??k
    (Picture: Meltem Isik)

    ‘Identity examines how our (often distorted) self-perceptions are shaped by experience, society and the media as well as its impact on mental health, the importance of talking about these anxieties and the transformative power of self-expression, such as art,’ says the gallery’s website.

    Their exhibition will also feature work exploring the idea of how we see ourselves from Bruno Metra and Laurence Jeanson, Leigh de Vries, Derek Santini, Bartosz Beda, James Green, Scarlet Isherwood, and Daniela Slater.

    Meltem I??k, Twice into the stream (Untitled #15), 2011, pigment-based archival print on fine art paper, 210 x 140 cm. Credit: Meltem I??k
    (Picture: Meltem Isik)

    What is body dysmorphia?

    Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) or body dysmorphia is a mental health condition that means you spend a significant amount of time worrying about perceived flaws in your appearance.

    Often those ‘flaws’ aren’t seen by others.

    Signs of BDD include:

    • Worrying a lot about a specific area of your body or face, whether it’s believing it’s out of proportion, too big or too small, or it’s lacking symmetry
    • Being unable to stop looking at yourself in mirrors
    • Avoiding mirrors all together
    • Obsessively comparing your looks with other people’s
    • Picking at your skin to ‘fix’ perceived flaws
    • Going to a significant amount of effort to hide perceived flaws
    • Experiencing anxiety and low mood as a result of how you view your body

    BDD shares symptoms in common with OCD, as it’s related to obsessive worries and compulsive behaviours and routines, such as excessive use of mirrors or picking at skin.

    If you’re concerned you may be experiencing body dysmorphia, it’s important to talk to your GP, who may recommend talking therapies and/or antidepressants.

    Need support? Contact the Samaritans

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

    MORE: What do men worry about?

    MORE: What it’s like to have postnatal depression when you’re in the public eye

    MORE: What it is like coping with IVF at work – and how employment law is failing women trying to conceive


    Body dysmorphia photo seriesBody dysmorphia photo seriesellencscottMeltem I??k, Twice into the stream (Untitled #4), 2011, pigment-based archival print on fine art paper, 210 x 140 cm. Credit: Meltem I??kMeltem I??k, Twice into the stream (Untitled #18), 2011, pigment-based archival print on fine art paper, 210 x 140 cm. Credit: Meltem I??kMeltem I??k, Twice into the stream (Untitled #12), 2011, pigment-based archival print on fine art paper, 210 x 140 cm. Credit: Meltem I??kMeltem I??k, Twice into the stream (Untitled #15), 2011, pigment-based archival print on fine art paper, 210 x 140 cm. Credit: Meltem I??kBody dysmorphia photo seriesBody dysmorphia photo seriesellencscottMeltem I??k, Twice into the stream (Untitled #4), 2011, pigment-based archival print on fine art paper, 210 x 140 cm. Credit: Meltem I??kMeltem I??k, Twice into the stream (Untitled #18), 2011, pigment-based archival print on fine art paper, 210 x 140 cm. Credit: Meltem I??kMeltem I??k, Twice into the stream (Untitled #12), 2011, pigment-based archival print on fine art paper, 210 x 140 cm. Credit: Meltem I??kMeltem I??k, Twice into the stream (Untitled #15), 2011, pigment-based archival print on fine art paper, 210 x 140 cm. Credit: Meltem I??k

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    Wilbroda was initially distraught when she found out she was HIV positive (Picture: mothers2mothers)

    My name is Wilbroda Akuro. I am a 26-year-old woman from Nairobi. I am also HIV-positive.

    When I was 20, I met my first love and it felt like everything was possible. But things changed when I became pregnant in 2015 and he told me to get an abortion.

    I didn’t understand why – we were in love and I felt we could embark on this new journey together.

    Then I found out that he had gotten another woman pregnant. I knew her, and she was five months pregnant, while I was three months along.

    I felt so betrayed and hurt – I didn’t want anything to do with him and most of all, I didn’t want his baby.

    I remember sitting in a makeshift clinic where an unqualified doctor asked me three times if I was sure I wanted to end the pregnancy.

    The first two times I said yes. But, the third time, I suddenly wasn’t so sure anymore.

    I went back home and my boyfriend kicked me out. My sister took me in but I kept quiet about the pregnancy as I knew she would be ashamed.

    When I was five months pregnant, I visited a clinic for antenatal care. Once again, my life was turned upside down as I found out I was HIV-positive.

    I remember telling the nurse to test me five more times. I was so shocked – this could not be my result.

    The organisation helps HIV positive mothers. (Picture: mothers2mothers)

    In Kenya, HIV is seen as a death sentence so I didn’t think I would live long, and thought for sure I would infect my unborn baby.

    To spare both of us, I decided to get an abortion.

    Fortunately, the nurse took me to meet mothers2mothers, a charity that employs HIV-positive women from the community as mentor mothers, who in turn support women like me by getting them the health advice and support they need.

    Here, I met Rahab, who helped me understand that my diagnosis was not a death sentence.

    Crucially, she told me I could have an HIV-negative child.

    She sat with me for as long as I needed and let me cry, while explaining what I needed to do to ensure my child would not be infected and that I could lead a healthy life, too.

    Rahab was healthy, smart and had four HIV-negative children. I couldn’t believe she was also HIV-positive.

    She became my confidante, friend and sister.

    The hardest part of my journey was sharing my status with my family. They didn’t have a lot of knowledge about HIV and separated the utensils I was using in the house; I had my own cup, plate and cutlery.

    But then came the happiest moment of my life, when my son Giovanni – which means gift from God – was born HIV-negative.

    He was the biggest ray of sunshine and the greatest reward after all my hardship.

    I wanted to help other HIV-positive mothers like myself and became a mentor mother, too.

    Now, I educate women so they can make informed decisions about their sexual lives, stay healthy and feel understood, accepted and appreciated.

    I know how important this is, and that is why I am now dedicating my life to it. I also used what I learned to educate my family about HIV, who started treating me like a human being again.

    In a cruel twist of fate, Giovanni was diagnosed with severe pneumonia and died when he was only 14 months old.

    Words cannot describe the hurt. I had put so much into ensuring that he was safe from HIV, only to lose him to this.

    I now draw on my heart-breaking experience when I talk to clients, to explain how painful it is for a mother to lose her child and why they must do everything they can to protect their unborn baby from HIV.

    Today, I am part of a movement and team working to turn the tide against HIV in eight African countries, and helping women and their families be healthy.

    I am living proof that a woman with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa can be a role model.

    My hard start to life has become a blessing for my entire community. And Rahab is still my very best friend.


    Wilbroda1 002-c3e3Wilbroda1 002-c3e3allieabgarianWilbroda1 002-c3e3Wilbroda1 002-c3e3allieabgarian

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    Earlier this year, I decided to try skiing for the first time – and I went in hard, signing up for three separate ski trips in just a matter of weeks.

    The first was to Courmayeur where, tempted by the promise of very good food in the Italian Alps, I donned a pair of skis and proceeded to slide (read fall) down the gentlest of nursery slopes in the Aosta Valley.

    Next came a luxury ski trip to Andermatt in the Swiss Alps. Thanks to some excellent snow conditions and a private instructor for the day, I started to get the hang of stopping and turning, and I managed a successful glide down an actual slope for the first time.

    I fell in love with skiing a bit, and was genuinely excited for my final trip of the season – to South Tyrol in the Dolomites, another region in the Italian Alps.

    But as I was soon to discover, with some of the most challenging black runs in Italy, South Tyrol is the ultimate ski destination for adrenaline junkies.

    And for those with adventurous tastes, the challenges aren’t just on the slopes – and that’s what makes it a destination I can’t wait to get back to.

    Our host at Naturhotel Miraval pouring us glasses of schnapps (Picture: Qin Xie)
    Our host at Naturhotel Miraval pouring us glasses of schnapps (Picture: Qin Xie)

    Bordering Austria, South Tyrol isn’t quite like anywhere else in Italy.

    Having once been part of the Austro-Hungarian empire, the Austrian influence is deep rooted.

    This can be seen in the local architecture, food and drink and the traditional dress donned by staff at some of the restaurants and hotels in the region.

    But it also extends to the language – while Ladin is the indigenous language, German and Italian are both taught in schools, with German often being the dominant language.

    So prepare for a one of a kind experience.

    Chillin on the slopes (Picture: Qin Xie)
    Chillin on the slopes (Picture: Qin Xie)

    With around 30 different ski areas in the region, skiing and snowboarding are obviously the most important winter sporting activities in South Tyrol.

    For the serious adrenaline junkies, some of the most challenging slopes can be found in Kronplatz. There are five black runs to test your mettle – Sylvester, Herrnegg, Pre da Peres, Erta, and Piculin.

    Though if you’re not quite ready, it’s worth heading to the top of Mount Kronplatz anyway for the stunning views, and to visit the Messner Mountain Museum.

    The landscape is straight out of Instagram, I promise.

    If you’re more of a beginner, head to Alta Badia instead.

    There are lots of blue runs where you can practice your turns and handling of the slopes.

    And if you’ve already got the hang of things, there are also areas where you can try jumps safely.

    Both Kronplatz and Alta Badia are both part of the Dolomiti Superski area, which means you only need one ski pass to access around 1,200km of slopes.

    If you’re not a confident skier, you can also get a cheaper local pass, which allows you to access the slopes in just one region.

    What the different piste colours mean:

    Ski slopes around the world are assigned a colour according to their difficulty.

    In Europe, greens are the easiest, though only found in a small number of resorts.

    Blues are moderate and can be found in most resorts.

    Reds are intermediate and are similarly widely available.

    The hardest pistes are black, and there are usually only one or two at most in a resort.

    If you want to go slow and see the most spectacular views in the area, go snowshoeing.

    You’ll probably want to get the skiing out of the way first though, because snowshoeing is a serious workout for your legs.

    Snowshoeing in Alta Badia (Picture: Qin Xie)
    Snowshoeing in Alta Badia (Picture: Qin Xie)

    You need water-resistant hiking boots that cover your ankles for this, then you just strap on your snowshoes – which you can hire – and off you go.

    There’s an easy hike from Utia de Borz to Maurerberghutte Rifugio Monte Muro, which takes around two hours at a good pace. The route is self-guided, with lots of sign posts along the way, and you can hire the snowshoes from Utia de Borz.

    From Maurerberghutte Rifugio Monte Muro, you get a panoramic views of the Dolomites and can even spot the flat peak of Kronplatz.

    Trio of dumplings for lunch? Yes please (Picture: Qin Xie)
    Trio of dumplings for lunch? Yes please (Picture: Qin Xie)

    Make sure you return in time for lunch at Utia de Borz and order the local dumplings – they are positively moreish.

    Save room for the apple strudel though; they have two different versions to choose from and both are delicious with vanilla cream. Think apple pie and custard.

    As promised, the thrills aren’t just found on the slopes – it’s a place for an adventurous palate too.

    Brain, tongue and bull’s penis were just some of the things I tried at a ‘barbecue under the stars’ hosted at the family-run Hotel Ciasa Salares.

    It’s just as well the evening started with a tasting of some of the interesting wines and cheeses from the region in the cellar.

    seafood
    By far some of the poshest barbecued food I’ve had (Picture: Qin Xie)

    There were also tasters of speck (a local bacon), roast beef, burgers and seafood available – all equally good but not nearly as shocking.

    The hotel is home to La Siriola, a two Michelin-starred restaurant with Matteo Metullio – the youngest Michelin-starred Italian chef – at the helm.

    It was Metullio who gathered a few of his fellow chefs from around the country to put on the gourmet evening, which will hopefully be the first of many.

    Food and wine are so central to the Alta Badia region.

    wine skisafari (Picture: Qin Xie)
    Perks of a Wine Skisafari (Picture: Qin Xie)

    The most rewarding thing, for those of us who are better at falling over than gracefully gliding from top to bottom, is the fact that you can try some seriously good wines on the slopes.

    There are two events that run during the ski season – Wine Skisafari and Sommeliers on the Slopes – where you can ski between various huts to try different local wines.

    While the region is known for its fresh, crisp and aromatic white wines, there are some great examples of sparkling and robust reds to be found too.

    Instagram Photo

    Several of the huts also offer dishes designed by Michelin-starred chefs from the region so it’s definitely worth seeking them out.

    Lunch on the slopes:

    There are lots of mountain huts to choose from for lunch. You can’t really go wrong – just make sure you remember where you left your skis.

    The ones below are fairly accessible to beginner skiers in Alta Badia:

    And in Kronplatz, Corones is right on the plateau and offers great views and very hearty portions – and you can walk there from the ski lifts.

    For wine lovers, a highlight has to be the Mahatma (yes, as in Gandhi, but meaning soul in this case) wine cellar in the Hotel La Perla.

    It’s a rock n’ roll experience where the Euro-centric collection of some 20,000 bottles, worth millions, are presented like performers at a wine theme park.

    All the great names are there behind the vaulted door – from Bordeaux first growths to Italy’s cult favourite, Sassicaia, of which Mahatma has the largest collection in the world.

    Ask for a tour before you dine at the equally eccentric and Michelin-starred La Stua de Michil upstairs; you won’t want to miss it.

    Like South Tyrol, it’s so magical, you’ll feel like Alice in Wonderland.

    Where to stay and how to get there:

    Serious views at Naturhotel Miraval (Picture: Qin Xie)
    Serious views at Naturhotel Miraval (Picture: Qin Xie)

    I stayed at Naturhotel Miraval, a cosy, family-run hotel with fabulous views of the Santa Croce peaks in the heart of Alta Badia.

    It’s within walking distance to a cable car that connects into the Dolomiti Superski area and there’s a small wellness area with a sauna, steam bath and Jacuzzi to relax in at the end of the day.

    If you don’t fancy driving out for dinner, the gourmet restaurant on site is a great place to try some of the local specialties.

    Rooms there start from €108 per night.

    The easiest way to get to Alta Badia from the UK is to fly into Innsbruck. Easyjet has regular flights departing from London Gatwick, with fares starting from £29.22.

    From Innsbruck, it’s a two-hour transfer.

    The next Wine Skisafari is on March 24, 2019, while there are seven Sommeliers on the Slopes planned for the 2018/2019 season.

    For more ideas on what to do in the region, visit Sud Tirol’s official tourism website.

    MORE: Skiing for beginners: A gourmet weekend in Courmayeur is perfect for every foodie who has never skied

    MORE: Skiing for beginners: How a long weekend in Andermatt made me fall in love with skiing

    MORE: Wiltshire’s charming villages are brimful with good restaurants – and it’s about time you visited for a gourmet weekend


    20180325_130656(0)-01-5c4920180325_130656(0)-01-5c49qinxieOur host at Naturhotel Miraval pouring us glasses of schnapps (Picture: Qin Xie)Chillin on the slopes (Picture: Qin Xie)Snowshoeing in Alta Badia (Picture: Qin Xie)Trio of dumplings for lunch? Yes please (Picture: Qin Xie)seafoodwine skisafari (Picture: Qin Xie)Serious views at Naturhotel Miraval (Picture: Qin Xie)20180325_130656(0)-01-5c4920180325_130656(0)-01-5c49qinxieOur host at Naturhotel Miraval pouring us glasses of schnapps (Picture: Qin Xie)Chillin on the slopes (Picture: Qin Xie)Snowshoeing in Alta Badia (Picture: Qin Xie)Trio of dumplings for lunch? Yes please (Picture: Qin Xie)seafoodwine skisafari (Picture: Qin Xie)Serious views at Naturhotel Miraval (Picture: Qin Xie)

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    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS Tenant Eleanor Lazarizes pictured in the combined kitchen and living room of her one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex Rees pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Elly and Alex share a one-bedroom flat in New Cross (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)

    It can be tricky finding a decent place to live with someone you’re dating.

    If you’d like enough privacy to smooch on the sofa without p*ssing off your housemates, you might need to up your budget.

    If you don’t have a load of cash to spare, you’ll either need to put up with some strangers sighing every time you do date night in the kitchen, accept the tiny size of a studio, give up and move out of London, or be one of those very, very lucky few who manage to find an affordable flat with enough breathing space for two people.

    Eleanor (known as Elly) and Alex are two people in that lucky few… sort of.

    They’ve managed to find a flat in London with a bedroom, a kitchen, and even some outdoor space, for £600 each a month.

    That’s not cheap compared to anywhere else in the country, but it’s alright for London – even if it is a bit of a trek to get to New Cross.

    They have a kitchen/living room combo, though, and their bedroom is on the smaller side.

    We chatted to the couple as part of What I Rent, our weekly series in which we take you around different people’s rented properties in the city.

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS Tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and her boyfriend Alex Rees, pictured in the combined kitchen and living room of their one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    They pay £1,200 a month, so £600 each (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)

    Hi Elly and Alex! Let’s dive right in. How much are you paying for this place?

    Elly: £1,200 a month – so £600 each excluding any bills.

    We’re on a meter for our gas, and recently our electric. We reckon we get through £20 for gas and £25 for electric a month, although we only check it once a week and top up in turn so that’s not really accurate.

    Water £25, wifi £20 and council tax £75, split in half. So £57.50 each plus gas and lecky. We split the £150 for the TV licence when we moved in.

    And what do you get for that price? 

    Elly: Three rooms – the living room/kitchen, the bathroom, and the bedroom. Plus the bonus outdoor bit.

    How did you find the flat?

    Elly: I take personal umbridge with agency fees after a certain agency taking the Michael. I don’t know if you can say which agency it was. Can you? Foxtons. It was Foxtons.

    We found this place on Open Rent, and met with the landlord together when we saw the flat. He said when we first saw it, if other people offered more money who viewed after us, he wouldn’t just give it to the highest bidder. He’s pretty sound.

    We moved in on 1 April. Six and a half months, but it feels a bit like we just moved in. Is that a good thing?

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the hallway of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    The couple have been living in the flat since April, but say it still feels new (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)

    And are you happy where you live?

    Alex: Yes! Greenwich and Deptford aren’t far away, as well as all the leafy suburbs around Brockley and Telegraph Hill. And of course New Cross feels very happening, with all the students milling around, and the trendy music nights I never go to.

    I used to live just off Stratford High Street, in the shadow of the Olympic Park, and it had no sense of place at all, only the feeling of being between other places. Here you feel much closer to the community.

    Elly: I’m really happy, near the station, big supermarket, plus lots of independent places, and decent pubs. I like being able to walk to Greenwich and Deptford, and it’s surprisingly quiet despite being spitting distance from the A2.

    And, because I’m bougie, there’s also a farmer’s market round the corner if I’m in need of purple potatoes. It’s a really nice balance.

    I lived in Primrose Hill after graduating so I was pretty wedded to North London, but the combination of New Cross and our friends in South makes it a decent switch.

    Do you feel like you have enough space? 

    Elly: Personally, I reckon we’re at a stage in our life where we don’t need much more than this. I don’t want to acquire too much gubbins to carry round in my late 20s if we need to move again.

    Having no toaster and no microwave is surprisingly alright, but the inability to find a nook to cram a food processor into has thrown my soup based dreams out of the window. You make do.

    Alex: No, but only because in my dream I have a computer battlestation like the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. If I had that, though, we’d have no room for the kitchen table, which you can only fit a few plates on. But at the moment, that’s all we need!

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of the window to the outdoor decking area in the bedroom of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    They’ve been clever with the limited storage options (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)

    What’s it like living together?

    Elly: He brings me a cup of coffee nearly every morning, so I think this is the closest I’ll get to having a butler.

    For a while we worked different hours so we barely saw each other during the week, like ships in the night.

    I’ve never lived with a romantic partner before, and so I feel really lucky it hasn’t gone up the swanney and both had vastly different ideas of what ‘clean’ meant or something. If we have a barney I can just go out to a chicken shop until we’ve both calmed down.

    Alex: There is nothing more relaxing than settling into bed together at the end of the day with her, even if my side of the bed has a sizeable divot in it, because I was impatient when we were setting up the mattress when we first moved in.

    How have I spent this long describing the divot? I love her very much.

    Are there any issues with the flat you’re putting up with?

    Elly: Our landlord can be pretty DIY, for better or worse…

    He replaced our tap because it leaked and the new one is a bit too big, so if you get it at the right angle, it will actually overshoot the tiny sink entirely and go straight onto your feet.

    There are a couple of quirks to the flat for sure, but nothing abominable. Except when our shower leaked into the flat below, but it wasn’t us that had to put up with it, and it was fixed pretty sharpish. And at least out of that we met our downstairs neighbours, who seem very nice.

    Alex: I’m 6’3, so the extractor fan of our cooker is exactly the same height as the dome of my head. I’m forever bumping into it, but Elly says I’m not allowed to put little bits of sponge there to cushion my clumsy bonce.

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the combined living room and kitchen of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Elly’s in charge of the decorating (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)

    How have you made the flat feel like home?

    Elly: I’m very aware most of the decoration in our flat is mine, rather than Alex’s. We do have a picture of Jurgen Klopp we’ve been meaning to put up for ages though.

    Our bedside table was made by my late father and I found our yellow kitchen chair on the street. There’s a picture of me sitting on it on a tube platform somewhere when we moved.

    I’ve made it my personal mission to cover every piece of IKEA flatpack with a loud piece of fabric. Alex’s mum has made us TWO set of curtains, but we’ve only put up one pair so far – hopefully she’ll forgive us when she sees this.

    I’ve also become weirdly attached to the piggy bank I put my spare change in which I’ve had since I was eight, that feels like a very personal thing. Saving for a house!

    Alex: Elly is much more into interior design and I’m happy to let her do that.

    But when I was growing up, there was a radio in every room and I’ve tried to do that here as well. I listened to it to fall asleep as a kid, and somehow a home just doesn’t feel right when there isn’t a voice coming out of a speaker somewhere. Plus, we met while studying radio and it’s a nice reminder of the beginning of our relationship, when we spent hours in a windowless room talking about The Archers.

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the bedroom of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Her piggy bank is a favourite piece (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)

    Any plans to move again?

    Elly: I’ve moved 11 times in six years so I really don’t want to move again for a while.

    Then again if Alex or I start making the big bucks then I’d like a living room. Is stairs too much? Two whole floors! God, that would be exciting. But I wouldn’t move for a microwave/toaster combo.

    Alex: I was extraordinarily lucky to live with my aunt in Palmers Green for six months, while I saved up enough for the deposit for this place. The dream would be to have something like she has; three stories, high ceilings, an Actual Living Room, and a big kitchen for Elly.

    Have you considered buying a place?

    Elly: Unless a secretly rich distant relative I don’t know about passes away and makes an ill-judged will in which I am the sole beneficiary, not in London.

    Alex: In this economy?

    Fair point. Shall we have a look around the flat?

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS Tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and her boyfriend Alex Rees, pictured in the combined kitchen and living room of their one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    As with lots of flats in London, the ‘living room’ is the addition of a sofa to the kitchen (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    The ‘dining area’ is a similar deal (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the kitchen of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Alex likes to have a radio in every room (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    The good news is you can watch TV while you’re cooking dinner (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Elly has jazzed up Ikea furniture by throwing jazzy fabrics on top (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the combined living room and kitchen of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Pretty, right? (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the kitchen of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    We’re big fans of the biscuit tin (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS Tenant Eleanor Lazarizes is pictured looking onto the outdoor decking area from the bedroom window of one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Here’s that outdoor space Elly mentioned (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS Tenant Eleanor Lazarizes pictured in the bedroom of her one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex Rees pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    The bedroom isn’t massive, but Elly says it’s enough (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of a storage cubby hole area in the one bedroom flat of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and her boyfriend Alex Rees in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    A storage nook (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of the bedroom of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of the bathroom of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    The bathroom (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the bathroom of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Ah, the good old ‘chipped mug for toothbrush storage’ trick (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the bathroom of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Extra points for the fake grass soap dish (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)

    What I Rent is a weekly series that’s out every Tuesday at 10am. Check back next week to have a nose around another rented property in London. 

    How to get involved in What I Rent

    What I Rent is Metro.co.uk's weekly series that takes you inside the places in London people are renting, to give us all a better sense of what's normal and how much we should be paying.

    If you fancy taking part, please email whatirent@metro.co.uk.

    You'll need to have pictures taken of your kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom, plus a few photos of you in your room. Make sure you get permission for your housemates!

    You'll also need to be okay with sharing how much you're paying for rent, as that's pretty important.

    MORE: What I Rent: Lee, £825 per month for a room in a two-bedroom flat in Holloway

    MORE: What I Rent: Max, £900 a month for a room in a four-bedroom house in Tooting

    MORE: What I Rent: Chris and Liv, £1,520 per month for a two-bedroom flat in Brixton


    What I Rent: New CrossWhat I Rent: New CrossellencscottLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS Tenant Eleanor Lazarizes pictured in the combined kitchen and living room of her one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex Rees pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS Tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and her boyfriend Alex Rees, pictured in the combined kitchen and living room of their one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the hallway of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of the window to the outdoor decking area in the bedroom of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the combined living room and kitchen of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the bedroom of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS Tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and her boyfriend Alex Rees, pictured in the combined kitchen and living room of their one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the kitchen of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the combined living room and kitchen of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the kitchen of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS Tenant Eleanor Lazarizes is pictured looking onto the outdoor decking area from the bedroom window of one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS Tenant Eleanor Lazarizes pictured in the bedroom of her one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex Rees pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of a storage cubby hole area in the one bedroom flat of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and her boyfriend Alex Rees in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of the bedroom of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of the bathroom of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the bathroom of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the bathroom of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandWhat I Rent: New CrossWhat I Rent: New CrossellencscottLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS Tenant Eleanor Lazarizes pictured in the combined kitchen and living room of her one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex Rees pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS Tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and her boyfriend Alex Rees, pictured in the combined kitchen and living room of their one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the hallway of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of the window to the outdoor decking area in the bedroom of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the combined living room and kitchen of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the bedroom of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS Tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and her boyfriend Alex Rees, pictured in the combined kitchen and living room of their one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the kitchen of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the combined living room and kitchen of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the kitchen of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS Tenant Eleanor Lazarizes is pictured looking onto the outdoor decking area from the bedroom window of one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS Tenant Eleanor Lazarizes pictured in the bedroom of her one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex Rees pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of a storage cubby hole area in the one bedroom flat of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and her boyfriend Alex Rees in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of the bedroom of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of the bathroom of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the bathroom of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, NOVEMBER 7TH 2018. WHAT I RENT: NEW CROSS General view of details in the bathroom of tenants Eleanor Lazarizes and Alex Rees' one bedroom flat in New Cross, London, 7th November 2018. Eleanor and her boyfriend Alex pay ?1200 a month plus bills. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland

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    (Picture: McDonald’s)

    On Christmas Eve, there’s a required tradition.

    To make sure Father Christmas keeps his energy up while he’s delivering presents, we need leave out a snack.

    Cookies and milk if you’re from the U.S., a mince pie in the UK. Perhaps some brandy if you’re feeling generous.

    And, of course, you’ll need to leave out carrots for the reindeer.

    According to the McDonald’s Christmas advert, that last part of the routine is being forgotten. Which is miserable, really – the reindeer need food too.

    To make sure the leaders of the sleigh don’t get left out this year, McDonald’s will give out free bags of baby carrots – or ‘reindeer treats’ – on Christmas Eve.

    All you’ll need to do is drop into McDonald’s on 24 December and ask for your free bag of reindeer treats. Then voila, you’re all set for Father Christmas’s visit to the house.

    Alongside the carrot-related promo, McDonald’s is also getting Christmassy with festive cups and a giveaway with more than vegetables on offer.

    If you head to their ReindeerReady website, you have the chance to win Christmas merch and decorations. You will need Snapchat, though, so good luck to anyone technologically challenged.

    What children leave for Santa around the world:

    • Australia: A glass of beer
    • Chile: Pan de Pascua, a sponge cake flavoured with fruit, ginger, and honey
    • Denmark: Rice pudding
    • France: Biscuits
    • Germany: Handwritten letters
    • Ireland: Mince pie and Guinness
    • The Netherlands: Carrots, hay, and water
    • Sweden: Coffee

    MORE: Boohoo is selling thonged bows so you can wrap yourself up like a Christmas present

    MORE: McDonald’s launches Malteasers reindeer McFlurry for Christmas

    MORE: Parents who asked everyone else to pay for their Christmas smash their £2,000 target


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    (Picture: Pandora)

    Black Friday is nearly here – but some deals have even started early.

    Jewellery retailer Pandora launched their free gift offer today – three days before Black Friday.

    (Picture: Pandora)

    If you spend over £125, you will receive a free sterling silver bangle.

    The bracelet is worth around £55 but is a limited edition version and will only be available through the offer.

    After adding your items to your bag, you can go to the checkout and select your perferred size for the bangle, which comes with a snowflake clasp for an added festive feel.

    You can then checkout to receive your free bangle and free standard delivery on your whole order.

    The retailer confirmed that this will be only deal they’ll be offering on their site and in store this year.

    The offer will run until midnight on Monday 26 November.

    MORE: When do the Morrisons Black Friday deals start and what are the current offers?

    MORE: When do the John Lewis Black Friday offers start and what to expect?

    MORE: McDonald’s is giving out free bags of carrots so you can feed the reindeer on Christmas Eve


    chr18-black-friday-04-rgb-d68cchr18-black-friday-04-rgb-d68clauraabernethy6chr18-black-friday-04-rgb-d68cchr18-black-friday-04-rgb-d68clauraabernethy6

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    Alec and Samantha Webster who got married at Severn Hospice, Shropshire. See SWNS story SWMDwedding. Popular teacher Samantha, formerly Beale, was cared for at the hospice. She died a week after her wedding. The wedding was organised by the hospice's day centre and the couple's good friend Stephanie Patterson. It featured delicate paper decorations, rustic wedding favours and photos and chalkboards full of their life together to help set the romantic scene. Today Alec, of Newport, spoke of his pride and love for his wife and how thankful he is for the care she was given by hospice staff. He recently organised a fundraising event for Severn Hospice.
    After being told she had weeks left to live, Samantha had one wish: to get married to her partner Alec (Picture: Sally Ashworth / SWNS.com)

    Samantha Webster’s dying wish came true when her partner, Alec, arranged to have a wedding in her hospital bed – six days before she passed away.

    Samantha, 33, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer of the appendix in June this year, after complaining of stomach pains.

    The ‘fit and healthy’ teacher spent three weeks at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital before being transferred to Christy Hospital in Manchester for specialist care.

    After three weeks there she moved to Severn Hospice for end of life care.

    Knowing she would soon pass away, Samantha had one wish: to tie the knot with Alec before she had to say goodbye.

    Alec, along with help from the hospice, arranged a wedding to take place by Samantha’s bed, with 20 close friends and family in attendance.

    Alec and Samantha Webster who got married at Severn Hospice, Shropshire. See SWNS story SWMDwedding. Popular teacher Samantha, formerly Beale, was cared for at the hospice. She died a week after her wedding. The wedding was organised by the hospice's day centre and the couple's good friend Stephanie Patterson. It featured delicate paper decorations, rustic wedding favours and photos and chalkboards full of their life together to help set the romantic scene. Today Alec, of Newport, spoke of his pride and love for his wife and how thankful he is for the care she was given by hospice staff. He recently organised a fundraising event for Severn Hospice.
    Samantha had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer in her appendix (Picture: Sally Ashworth / SWNS.com)

    The hospice was turned into a dreamy wedding location with delicate paper decorations, chalkboards, and photographs captured by the couple’s friend, Sally Ashworth.

    ‘The wedding was very emotional for us,’ said Alec. ‘It was the hardest day, but beautiful at the same time.

    ‘Sam was so special and during her life touched the lives of many in the community. Over 300 people came to her funeral. She was amazing.

    ‘When she was diagnosed with cancer we just had to pull out all the stops.

    ‘We had already decided we were gong to get married and our friend Stephanie Paterson and the hospice staff sorted everything out for us.

    Alec and Samantha before she was ill. See SWNS story SWMDwedding. Popular teacher Samantha, formerly Beale, was cared for at the hospice. She died a week after her wedding. The wedding was organised by the hospice's day centre and the couple's good friend Stephanie Patterson. It featured delicate paper decorations, rustic wedding favours and photos and chalkboards full of their life together to help set the romantic scene. Today Alec, of Newport, spoke of his pride and love for his wife and how thankful he is for the care she was given by hospice staff. He recently organised a fundraising event for Severn Hospice.
    Alec and staff at the hospice worked hard to make the wedding happen (Picture: Alec Webster / SWNS.com)

    ‘I’m so grateful to them and to my staff for keeping things going.

    ‘Sam was the only person who could smile no matter what was happening and she made others smile – we don’t have a photo where she is not smiling.’

    Ward sister Leeanne Morgan described the details that made the wedding feel so special.

    Alec and Samantha Webster who got married at Severn Hospice, Shropshire. See SWNS story SWMDwedding. Popular teacher Samantha, formerly Beale, was cared for at the hospice. She died a week after her wedding. The wedding was organised by the hospice's day centre and the couple's good friend Stephanie Patterson. It featured delicate paper decorations, rustic wedding favours and photos and chalkboards full of their life together to help set the romantic scene. Today Alec, of Newport, spoke of his pride and love for his wife and how thankful he is for the care she was given by hospice staff. He recently organised a fundraising event for Severn Hospice.
    Flowers, photographs, and chalkboards helped to transform the hospice bed (Picture: Sally Ashworth / SWNS.com)

    ‘When Sam and Alec initially mentioned the idea to me, I knew I had to do all I could to make it happen,’ she explained.

    ‘All the planning and paperwork that takes others sometimes years to organise had to get done.

    ‘Our creative therapist, Amanda, worked with Sam and Alec to create cufflinks for the big day with Sam’s fingerprints on, and to make a plaster mould of their hands intertwined.

    Alec and Samantha Webster who got married at Severn Hospice, Shropshire. See SWNS story SWMDwedding. Popular teacher Samantha, formerly Beale, was cared for at the hospice. She died a week after her wedding. The wedding was organised by the hospice's day centre and the couple's good friend Stephanie Patterson. It featured delicate paper decorations, rustic wedding favours and photos and chalkboards full of their life together to help set the romantic scene. Today Alec, of Newport, spoke of his pride and love for his wife and how thankful he is for the care she was given by hospice staff. He recently organised a fundraising event for Severn Hospice.
    The day was bittersweet (Picture: Sally Ashworth / SWNS.com)

    ‘Absolutely everyone rallied around to help we spoke with our chaplaincy team, the council and our clinical staff to arrange what was needed in regards to the legalities.

    ‘We were all so pleased for them, the day was absolutely magical and full of memories.’

    Alec and Samantha Webster who got married at Severn Hospice, Shropshire. See SWNS story SWMDwedding. Popular teacher Samantha, formerly Beale, was cared for at the hospice. She died a week after her wedding. The wedding was organised by the hospice's day centre and the couple's good friend Stephanie Patterson. It featured delicate paper decorations, rustic wedding favours and photos and chalkboards full of their life together to help set the romantic scene. Today Alec, of Newport, spoke of his pride and love for his wife and how thankful he is for the care she was given by hospice staff. He recently organised a fundraising event for Severn Hospice.
    Alec says he’s ‘heartbroken’ but so happy he could make Samantha’s wish come true (Picture: Sally Ashworth / SWNS.com)

    Six days after the wedding, Samantha passed away with her new husband by her side.

    ‘It was a wonderful day and I was glad we could make it happen as we had always wanted to get married,’ said Alec.

    ‘We had always wanted a family together and we were looking to have a baby. I’m heartbroken but proud we could make this happen.’

    MORE: When I feared I’d never get to see my sons again, blood donors saved my life

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    SEI_40862031-37e9SEI_40862031-37e9ellencscottAlec and Samantha Webster who got married at Severn Hospice, Shropshire. See SWNS story SWMDwedding. Popular teacher Samantha, formerly Beale, was cared for at the hospice. She died a week after her wedding. The wedding was organised by the hospice's day centre and the couple's good friend Stephanie Patterson. It featured delicate paper decorations, rustic wedding favours and photos and chalkboards full of their life together to help set the romantic scene. Today Alec, of Newport, spoke of his pride and love for his wife and how thankful he is for the care she was given by hospice staff. He recently organised a fundraising event for Severn Hospice.Alec and Samantha Webster who got married at Severn Hospice, Shropshire. See SWNS story SWMDwedding. Popular teacher Samantha, formerly Beale, was cared for at the hospice. She died a week after her wedding. The wedding was organised by the hospice's day centre and the couple's good friend Stephanie Patterson. It featured delicate paper decorations, rustic wedding favours and photos and chalkboards full of their life together to help set the romantic scene. Today Alec, of Newport, spoke of his pride and love for his wife and how thankful he is for the care she was given by hospice staff. He recently organised a fundraising event for Severn Hospice.Alec and Samantha before she was ill. See SWNS story SWMDwedding. Popular teacher Samantha, formerly Beale, was cared for at the hospice. She died a week after her wedding. The wedding was organised by the hospice's day centre and the couple's good friend Stephanie Patterson. It featured delicate paper decorations, rustic wedding favours and photos and chalkboards full of their life together to help set the romantic scene. Today Alec, of Newport, spoke of his pride and love for his wife and how thankful he is for the care she was given by hospice staff. He recently organised a fundraising event for Severn Hospice.Alec and Samantha Webster who got married at Severn Hospice, Shropshire. See SWNS story SWMDwedding. Popular teacher Samantha, formerly Beale, was cared for at the hospice. She died a week after her wedding. The wedding was organised by the hospice's day centre and the couple's good friend Stephanie Patterson. It featured delicate paper decorations, rustic wedding favours and photos and chalkboards full of their life together to help set the romantic scene. Today Alec, of Newport, spoke of his pride and love for his wife and how thankful he is for the care she was given by hospice staff. He recently organised a fundraising event for Severn Hospice.Alec and Samantha Webster who got married at Severn Hospice, Shropshire. See SWNS story SWMDwedding. Popular teacher Samantha, formerly Beale, was cared for at the hospice. She died a week after her wedding. The wedding was organised by the hospice's day centre and the couple's good friend Stephanie Patterson. It featured delicate paper decorations, rustic wedding favours and photos and chalkboards full of their life together to help set the romantic scene. Today Alec, of Newport, spoke of his pride and love for his wife and how thankful he is for the care she was given by hospice staff. He recently organised a fundraising event for Severn Hospice.Alec and Samantha Webster who got married at Severn Hospice, Shropshire. See SWNS story SWMDwedding. Popular teacher Samantha, formerly Beale, was cared for at the hospice. She died a week after her wedding. The wedding was organised by the hospice's day centre and the couple's good friend Stephanie Patterson. It featured delicate paper decorations, rustic wedding favours and photos and chalkboards full of their life together to help set the romantic scene. Today Alec, of Newport, spoke of his pride and love for his wife and how thankful he is for the care she was given by hospice staff. He recently organised a fundraising event for Severn Hospice.SEI_40862031-37e9SEI_40862031-37e9ellencscottAlec and Samantha Webster who got married at Severn Hospice, Shropshire. See SWNS story SWMDwedding. Popular teacher Samantha, formerly Beale, was cared for at the hospice. She died a week after her wedding. The wedding was organised by the hospice's day centre and the couple's good friend Stephanie Patterson. It featured delicate paper decorations, rustic wedding favours and photos and chalkboards full of their life together to help set the romantic scene. Today Alec, of Newport, spoke of his pride and love for his wife and how thankful he is for the care she was given by hospice staff. He recently organised a fundraising event for Severn Hospice.Alec and Samantha Webster who got married at Severn Hospice, Shropshire. See SWNS story SWMDwedding. Popular teacher Samantha, formerly Beale, was cared for at the hospice. She died a week after her wedding. The wedding was organised by the hospice's day centre and the couple's good friend Stephanie Patterson. It featured delicate paper decorations, rustic wedding favours and photos and chalkboards full of their life together to help set the romantic scene. Today Alec, of Newport, spoke of his pride and love for his wife and how thankful he is for the care she was given by hospice staff. He recently organised a fundraising event for Severn Hospice.Alec and Samantha before she was ill. See SWNS story SWMDwedding. Popular teacher Samantha, formerly Beale, was cared for at the hospice. She died a week after her wedding. The wedding was organised by the hospice's day centre and the couple's good friend Stephanie Patterson. It featured delicate paper decorations, rustic wedding favours and photos and chalkboards full of their life together to help set the romantic scene. Today Alec, of Newport, spoke of his pride and love for his wife and how thankful he is for the care she was given by hospice staff. He recently organised a fundraising event for Severn Hospice.Alec and Samantha Webster who got married at Severn Hospice, Shropshire. See SWNS story SWMDwedding. Popular teacher Samantha, formerly Beale, was cared for at the hospice. She died a week after her wedding. The wedding was organised by the hospice's day centre and the couple's good friend Stephanie Patterson. It featured delicate paper decorations, rustic wedding favours and photos and chalkboards full of their life together to help set the romantic scene. Today Alec, of Newport, spoke of his pride and love for his wife and how thankful he is for the care she was given by hospice staff. He recently organised a fundraising event for Severn Hospice.Alec and Samantha Webster who got married at Severn Hospice, Shropshire. See SWNS story SWMDwedding. Popular teacher Samantha, formerly Beale, was cared for at the hospice. She died a week after her wedding. The wedding was organised by the hospice's day centre and the couple's good friend Stephanie Patterson. It featured delicate paper decorations, rustic wedding favours and photos and chalkboards full of their life together to help set the romantic scene. Today Alec, of Newport, spoke of his pride and love for his wife and how thankful he is for the care she was given by hospice staff. He recently organised a fundraising event for Severn Hospice.Alec and Samantha Webster who got married at Severn Hospice, Shropshire. See SWNS story SWMDwedding. Popular teacher Samantha, formerly Beale, was cared for at the hospice. She died a week after her wedding. The wedding was organised by the hospice's day centre and the couple's good friend Stephanie Patterson. It featured delicate paper decorations, rustic wedding favours and photos and chalkboards full of their life together to help set the romantic scene. Today Alec, of Newport, spoke of his pride and love for his wife and how thankful he is for the care she was given by hospice staff. He recently organised a fundraising event for Severn Hospice.

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    (Picture: Parkinson’s UK)

    Imagine standing in the middle of a crushing rush hour crowd, frozen to the spot. No matter how hard you try, or will yourself, your feet simply will not move. People are pushing past, and no one hears your cries for help.

    This sounds like a nightmare, but situations like this are a reality for so many people with Parkinson’s, like myself.

    A few years ago, I was getting off the Tube in London’s Victoria Station. Because I often walk with a stick, I was wearing a rucksack to keep my hands free.

    I stepped off the train and stopped. I was completely stuck, my feet cemented in place. I was terrified the train doors would close on my bag and the train would depart, dragging me along the platform with it.

    What I was experiencing was something called freezing – or what Parkinson’s researchers technically call ‘freezing of gait’.

    Freezing often happens to people with Parkinson’s when something interrupts or gets in the way of a normal movement. It can get worse if you’re feeling anxious, stressed or if you lose concentration.

    As Parkinson’s progresses, up to 80% of people with Parkinson’s will develop freezing.

    Some people freeze during a repetitive movement like walking, writing or brushing their teeth. It takes different forms for everyone, but something everyone who freezes will tell you is that it can be terrifying.

    And the problem is, it seems to happen at the worst times: it’s rarely when you’re safely seated on the sofa, it’s always mid-motion.

    I’ve heard of people freezing in the middle of a zebra crossing, or at the top of a staircase, off balance.

    While there are a number of methods that can help people with freezing, nothing is fail-safe.

    This is why people with Parkinson’s need your help: sometimes just a friendly face or a reassuring word is enough to distract our brains so we can get moving again, or a helpful hand can get us out of a dangerous situation.

    When I was glued to the Victoria line platform, it took ages for anyone to notice me – everyone was too rushed, or simply thought I was being difficult.

    I kept saying, ‘Can you help me, please?’, but it wasn’t until a little boy, about eight-years-old, saw me and told his parents, that anybody stopped.

    He and his parents led me to the side of the platform, where I could sit down to recover, safely away from the train and the crowds.

    I thanked them at the time, but I want to say to that little boy, if there’s any chance he’s reading this: thank you so much for being the only one to notice a person in dire straits.

    I not only got the physical help I needed, but also the reassurance that there are people out there who want to help.

    My plea to the public is that we all need to be more like this little boy.

    Last week, Parkinson’s UK research showed that one in five millennials who have seen someone experiencing physical difficulties in public said they did not offer to help.

    More than a quarter of those who did not try to help said they didn’t know what to do, while 16 per cent said they would have felt awkward doing so. That’s a shame.

    If you see someone struggling, don’t assume it’s none of your business, or that it would be awkward to offer your help. If the person is alright, they’ll tell you. But if they’re not, they might be terrified, and you could be a lifeline.

    Parkinson’s UK is running a campaign to raise awareness of this little-known symptom that is frightening and devastating to so many people. 

    What are the symptoms of Parkinson's?

    • tremor
    • rigidity
    • slowness of movement
    • falls and dizziness
    • freezing
    • muscle cramps and dystonia

    For more information and non-motor symptoms, click here.

    MORE: Sir Billy Connolly, 75, offers to be a guinea pig for clinical research trials in fight for Parkinson’s disease cure

    MORE: It may be too late for my husband, but he’s determined to use his dementia diagnosis to help others

    MORE: Young man discovers he has dementia at just 23 years old


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