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

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    (Picture: Getty)

    Fertility struggles lead women and men down different paths – IVF, egg and sperm donation, adoption – and in some cases, trying to improve odds of conception with special diets, yoga and acupuncture.

    Another tool that is claimed to boost fertility is hypnosis, also known as hypnotherapy. But before you start listening to the sound of a therapist’s voice, there are a few things to bare in mind.

    Firstly and probably most importantly, UK law isn’t specific on the training required to perform hypnosis, meaning you could end up with a bogus hypnotherapist out to make a quick buck.

    In other words, do your research before booking an appointment.

    Though the service isn’t readily available through the NHS, you can easily find a private hypnotherapist through the Professional Standards Authority.

    That way, at least you know they come recommended by healthcare professionals.

    But what about the practice itself – does it actually work?

    ‘The mind is a very powerful tool that we have at our disposal; much of the work I do is encouraging women to have an optimist and hopeful outlook and to identify their resources,’ fertility expert Emma Cannon tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘It is important to get the mind working for us rather than against us.

    ‘Among one of the tools I recommend is hypnotherapy for it’s ability to change our outlook. When we have a more optimist outlook it literally changes the brain chemicals to feel safer. In turn, this releases brain chemicals that support fertility and our nervous system to operate from feed or breed (rather than fight or flight, which is a response to danger).’

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

    Clare Maddalena, a senior yoga teacher and doula tells Metro.co.uk that it’s about changing your ‘subconscious’ mindset.

    ‘Research has shown that hypnotherapy tends to work for around 72% of people in relation to fertility,’ she said.

    ‘It can fail when it meets resistance held as a limiting belief deep within the subconscious mind; beliefs you might not have any awareness of within your conscious thinking or indeed your aspirations.

    ‘To give a wider example – in our conscious mind we might say things like “I’m going to go on a diet” or “I’m not going to eat that cake”, but unless the subconscious mind has also changed, we will still eat that piece of cake. The subconscious pattern will always win, and it’s hard to change that programming.

    Clare promotes integration therapy as an alternative to hypnosis.

    She said: ‘A massive leap forward from hypnosis, integration therapy provides a modern and refreshed approach to neuro-linguistic programming, using tried and tested processes developed over 20 years in a talking-therapies setting.’

    Does that mean you can trick your brain into getting pregnant? Yes and no, depending on your view of alternative medicines.

    The release of anxiety or stress in the mind could create a more beneficial environment for the pregnancy to occur.

    Lynsey Eastburn, a board-certified hypnotherapist and instructor in the US, tells Metro.co.uk: ‘Hypnosis transforms that fear and frustration you’re feeling, providing you with the tools that enable you to achieve the relaxation necessary for a calm, peaceful, positive, and viable pregnancy.

    ‘Often what I see in my office are women so desperate to have a baby that their lives are an emotional roller coaster.

    ‘Many women are obsessed with cycle days and basal body temperature to the exclusion of almost everything else. Age 35 is automatically deemed high-risk in the infertility world, and women 35 and older are considered “advanced maternal age”.

    ‘Paralysed with fear, dreading the start of another menstrual cycle and consumed with thoughts of yet another failed attempt, marriages often end in tatters and shredded self-esteem, and with the body in a perpetual state of fight or flight, is it any wonder pregnancy doesn’t occur?.’

    As always, before trying a new treatment, consult with your GP or other trained healthcare professional.

    Fertility Month

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    MORE: How to get super sperm like the Danish Vikings

    MORE: What it's like to have an eating disorder while you're pregnant

    MORE: Can you get over not having children when you really wanted to have children?

    MORE: Could fertility massage help you conceive?

    MORE: Can yoga help with fertility issues?

    MORE: Can acupuncture help you get pregnant?


    Twilight Zone SpiralsTwilight Zone SpiralsallieabgarianElla Byworth for Metro.co.ukTwilight Zone SpiralsTwilight Zone SpiralsallieabgarianElla Byworth for Metro.co.uk

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    (Picture: SWNS/KMG)

    The house where Henry VIII first courted Anne Boleyn is up for sale for £2.5 million.

    Shurland Hall was owned by one of the famous monarch’s most trusted courtiers, Thomas Cheyne, who hosted Henry VIII and his most famous wife for three days in 1532 on their way to meet the King of France.

    The pair stayed at the medieval gatehouse, on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, on their way to meet the King of France, just weeks before they secretly wed.

    Thomas Cheyne, who was a favourite of Anne Boleyn, served every Tudor monarch after beginning his service to the English Crown during the reign of Henry VIII’s father – Henry VII.

    The property is currently on the market with a guide price of between £2.5 and £2.75 million.

    Exterior of Shurland Hall, a palace that hosted Henry VIII and is on the market for ?2.5 million.See National News story NNhenry.A magnificent Tudor palace which played host to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn could now be yours for a hefty price tag of ?2.5 million.Shurland Hall was owned by one of the famous monarch's most trusted courtiers, Thomas Cheyne, who hosted Henry VIII and his most famous wife for three days in 1532 on their way to meet the King of France.The pair stayed at the medieval gatehouse, on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, on their way to meet the King of France, just weeks before they secretly wed. Thomas Cheyne, who was a favourite of Anne Boleyn, served every Tudor monarch after beginning his service to the English Crown during the reign of Henry VIII's father - Henry VII.
    (Picture: SWNS/KMG)

    It offers almost 10,000 square feet of living space and includes seven acres of beautiful grounds.

    Shurland Manor is currently home to retired advertising executive Daniel O’Donoghue and his wife Suzanne, who run Andromeda Boru – a champagne importing business.

    Remembering moving in, Daniel said: ‘It was a very, very cold spring morning.

    ‘The house still didn’t have any gas or electricity and although it had one bathroom we had no water.’

    Suzanne said: ‘Because it was so cold we camped on the floor of the dining room in front of a log fire.’

    Inside Shurland Hall, which is on the market for ?2.5 million.See National News story NNhenry.A magnificent Tudor palace which played host to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn could now be yours for a hefty price tag of ?2.5 million.Shurland Hall was owned by one of the famous monarch's most trusted courtiers, Thomas Cheyne, who hosted Henry VIII and his most famous wife for three days in 1532 on their way to meet the King of France.The pair stayed at the medieval gatehouse, on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, on their way to meet the King of France, just weeks before they secretly wed. Thomas Cheyne, who was a favourite of Anne Boleyn, served every Tudor monarch after beginning his service to the English Crown during the reign of Henry VIII's father - Henry VII.
    (Picture: SWNS/KMG)

    Wrought iron entrance gates hung upon stone pillars give way to a sweeping tree lined driveway, passing a boating lake en-route to a parking area.

    The entrance hall has a double height ceiling, and is found in the north wing, which also includes three double bedrooms.

    The south wing showcases a dramatic stone Tudor fireplace on the ground floor which leads onto the great hall, while the upstairs offers panoramic views of the gardens, orchard and boating lake.

    The building’s distinctive octagonal towers and battlements resemble the Tudor Palace gatehouse at Hampton Court, which became home to Henry VIII during the mid 1520’s which he used as a sign of his wealth and power.

    Substantial 16th century stone and brick remains at the grade II-listed house which is built on the site of a 13th century castle created for the de Shurland family.

    Dan Donoghue and his wife Suzanne, the current owners of Shurland Hall.See National News story NNhenry.A magnificent Tudor palace which played host to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn could now be yours for a hefty price tag of ?2.5 million.Shurland Hall was owned by one of the famous monarch's most trusted courtiers, Thomas Cheyne, who hosted Henry VIII and his most famous wife for three days in 1532 on their way to meet the King of France.The pair stayed at the medieval gatehouse, on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, on their way to meet the King of France, just weeks before they secretly wed. Thomas Cheyne, who was a favourite of Anne Boleyn, served every Tudor monarch after beginning his service to the English Crown during the reign of Henry VIII's father - Henry VII.
    (Picture: SWNS/KMG)

    Estate agents Fine & Country are marketing the five-bedroom detached house for sale, which they describe as ‘one of the region’s, if not the United Kingdoms finest homes.’

    It fell into ruins after WII when it was abandoned by the Army and was saved by the Spitalfields Trust in 2006 with the help of an English Heritage grant and a loan.

    Five years of extensive renovations and £1.8 million were ploughed into the property which now boasts three bathrooms, four reception rooms and a converted barn with kitchen, WC and bar.

    MORE: Cheapest house in UK is on market for just £1

    MORE: What I Rent: Elly and Alex, £600 each for a one-bedroom flat in New Cross


    HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS - Henry VIII's love nest where he courted Anne Boleyn is up for sale - for a whopping ?2.5 millionHOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS - Henry VIII's love nest where he courted Anne Boleyn is up for sale - for a whopping ?2.5 millionhattiegladwellmetroExterior of Shurland Hall, a palace that hosted Henry VIII and is on the market for ?2.5 million.See National News story NNhenry.A magnificent Tudor palace which played host to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn could now be yours for a hefty price tag of ?2.5 million.Shurland Hall was owned by one of the famous monarch's most trusted courtiers, Thomas Cheyne, who hosted Henry VIII and his most famous wife for three days in 1532 on their way to meet the King of France.The pair stayed at the medieval gatehouse, on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, on their way to meet the King of France, just weeks before they secretly wed. Thomas Cheyne, who was a favourite of Anne Boleyn, served every Tudor monarch after beginning his service to the English Crown during the reign of Henry VIII's father - Henry VII.Inside Shurland Hall, which is on the market for ?2.5 million.See National News story NNhenry.A magnificent Tudor palace which played host to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn could now be yours for a hefty price tag of ?2.5 million.Shurland Hall was owned by one of the famous monarch's most trusted courtiers, Thomas Cheyne, who hosted Henry VIII and his most famous wife for three days in 1532 on their way to meet the King of France.The pair stayed at the medieval gatehouse, on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, on their way to meet the King of France, just weeks before they secretly wed. Thomas Cheyne, who was a favourite of Anne Boleyn, served every Tudor monarch after beginning his service to the English Crown during the reign of Henry VIII's father - Henry VII.Dan Donoghue and his wife Suzanne, the current owners of Shurland Hall.See National News story NNhenry.A magnificent Tudor palace which played host to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn could now be yours for a hefty price tag of ?2.5 million.Shurland Hall was owned by one of the famous monarch's most trusted courtiers, Thomas Cheyne, who hosted Henry VIII and his most famous wife for three days in 1532 on their way to meet the King of France.The pair stayed at the medieval gatehouse, on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, on their way to meet the King of France, just weeks before they secretly wed. Thomas Cheyne, who was a favourite of Anne Boleyn, served every Tudor monarch after beginning his service to the English Crown during the reign of Henry VIII's father - Henry VII.HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS - Henry VIII's love nest where he courted Anne Boleyn is up for sale - for a whopping ?2.5 millionHOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS - Henry VIII's love nest where he courted Anne Boleyn is up for sale - for a whopping ?2.5 millionhattiegladwellmetroExterior of Shurland Hall, a palace that hosted Henry VIII and is on the market for ?2.5 million.See National News story NNhenry.A magnificent Tudor palace which played host to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn could now be yours for a hefty price tag of ?2.5 million.Shurland Hall was owned by one of the famous monarch's most trusted courtiers, Thomas Cheyne, who hosted Henry VIII and his most famous wife for three days in 1532 on their way to meet the King of France.The pair stayed at the medieval gatehouse, on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, on their way to meet the King of France, just weeks before they secretly wed. Thomas Cheyne, who was a favourite of Anne Boleyn, served every Tudor monarch after beginning his service to the English Crown during the reign of Henry VIII's father - Henry VII.Inside Shurland Hall, which is on the market for ?2.5 million.See National News story NNhenry.A magnificent Tudor palace which played host to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn could now be yours for a hefty price tag of ?2.5 million.Shurland Hall was owned by one of the famous monarch's most trusted courtiers, Thomas Cheyne, who hosted Henry VIII and his most famous wife for three days in 1532 on their way to meet the King of France.The pair stayed at the medieval gatehouse, on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, on their way to meet the King of France, just weeks before they secretly wed. Thomas Cheyne, who was a favourite of Anne Boleyn, served every Tudor monarch after beginning his service to the English Crown during the reign of Henry VIII's father - Henry VII.Dan Donoghue and his wife Suzanne, the current owners of Shurland Hall.See National News story NNhenry.A magnificent Tudor palace which played host to Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn could now be yours for a hefty price tag of ?2.5 million.Shurland Hall was owned by one of the famous monarch's most trusted courtiers, Thomas Cheyne, who hosted Henry VIII and his most famous wife for three days in 1532 on their way to meet the King of France.The pair stayed at the medieval gatehouse, on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, on their way to meet the King of France, just weeks before they secretly wed. Thomas Cheyne, who was a favourite of Anne Boleyn, served every Tudor monarch after beginning his service to the English Crown during the reign of Henry VIII's father - Henry VII.

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    (Picture: In The Style)

    Ariana Grande’s new song, Thank U, Next, is the anthem for any woman who has found herself single this year following pain or heartbreak.

    It’s for any woman who now decided to love herself and learn lessons from the breakups, who is ready to focus on herself and how amazing (as Ari says) she is.

    If you’ve found yourself in this position – or you just love the song – you can now wear it on a T-shirt.

    A 'Thank U, Next' t-shirt exists and we all need it immediately METRO GRAB taken from: https://www.inthestyle.com/thank-u-next-black-slogan-t-shirt?utm_source=Skimlinks&utm_medium=affiliate&awc=7717_1543066809_324e841402ad422b588f3171eacea5e1 Credit: In The Style
    (Picture: In The Style)

    In The Style has released a black tee with the words ‘Thank u, next’, written across it in swirly writing.

    The shirt is oversized and is limited edition – meaning if you want one, you better act fast.

    Instagram Photo

    It’s so limited, in fact, that it’s subject to one t-shirt per order.

    The description reads: ‘Girl, we are totally loving this oversized t shirt! Featuring a soft cotton fabric and ‘Thank U, Next’ slogan, this is a must have!’

    The tee, which Dani Dyer has been pictured wearing over on Instagram, is available for £17.99. You can get it here.

    MORE: Victoria Beckham is launching a YouTube beauty series because you really really want it

    MORE: You can now have Christmas dinner at the Downton Abbey castle


    A 'Thank U, Next' t-shirt exists and we all need it immediatelyA 'Thank U, Next' t-shirt exists and we all need it immediatelyhattiegladwellmetroA 'Thank U, Next' t-shirt exists and we all need it immediately METRO GRAB taken from: https://www.inthestyle.com/thank-u-next-black-slogan-t-shirt?utm_source=Skimlinks&utm_medium=affiliate&awc=7717_1543066809_324e841402ad422b588f3171eacea5e1 Credit: In The StyleA 'Thank U, Next' t-shirt exists and we all need it immediatelyA 'Thank U, Next' t-shirt exists and we all need it immediatelyhattiegladwellmetroA 'Thank U, Next' t-shirt exists and we all need it immediately METRO GRAB taken from: https://www.inthestyle.com/thank-u-next-black-slogan-t-shirt?utm_source=Skimlinks&utm_medium=affiliate&awc=7717_1543066809_324e841402ad422b588f3171eacea5e1 Credit: In The Style

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    (Picture: Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin/San Antonio)

    Poor little Hamish has had a tough time, but things are looking up.

    When the cocker spaniel was found in the middle of the road, he was covered in thick, matted fur, so heavy and tangled he struggled to walk.

    He was so badly neglected that it was difficult for staff at Santonio Animal Care Services to tell what animal he was, let alone his breed or gender.

    They knew it was vital to clear his body of all that tangled fur. They carefully snipped away the matted hair, eventually removing 6lbs of fur.

    Underneath all that, Hamish was an underweight cocker spaniel with a load of health issues.

    He weighed just 12lbs (just over half of what a healthy dog his age should weigh), was severely malnourished, and because he hadn’t been fed properly his teeth were in dire condition.

    (Picture: Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin/San Antonio)

    When the shelter posted the dog’s story on social media, little Hamish caught the attention of Cocker Spaniel Rescue, who raced over to get him sorted.

    The poor pup needed surgery to remove his teeth, leaving him with just 11 chompers (a dog typically has 42 teeth, so this is quite a loss). He desperately needed to eat and put on weight, but his dental situation made things difficult.

    But with a lot of care and patience, Hamish started to recover.

    6lbs of matted fur removed from cocker spaniel picture: Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin/San Antonio METROGRAB AWAITING PERMISSION LOW RISK ref: https://www.facebook.com/AustinCocker/posts/2119821881363355?__tn__=-UC-R
    (Picture: Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin/San Antonio)

    He was put on a diet of soft food and weight gain supplements, and made special jumpers so his emaciated body would stay warm.

    ‘No doubt about it, his previous humans failed him,’ said the shelter. ‘He still needs a bit of a touch-up, but you can tell how much better he already feels.’

    6lbs of matted fur removed from cocker spaniel picture: Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin/San Antonio METROGRAB AWAITING PERMISSION LOW RISK ref: https://www.facebook.com/AustinCocker/posts/2119821881363355?__tn__=-UC-R
    (Picture: Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin/San Antonio)

    Hamish is currently being fostered to make sure he gets healthy, but soon he’ll be up for adoption.

    Here’s hoping the dog gets the loving home he deserves.

    MORE: Disabled dog that was stepped on as a puppy gets a wheelchair

    MORE: Benny the dog looks a bit pleased with himself after chewing a door to bits

    MORE: Cat won’t leave firefighter alone after he rescued her from a fire


    cocker spaniel-3aa7cocker spaniel-3aa7ellencscott6lbs of matted fur removed from cocker spaniel picture: Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin/San Antonio METROGRAB AWAITING PERMISSION LOW RISK ref: https://www.facebook.com/AustinCocker/posts/2119821881363355?__tn__=-UC-R6lbs of matted fur removed from cocker spaniel picture: Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin/San Antonio METROGRAB AWAITING PERMISSION LOW RISK ref: https://www.facebook.com/AustinCocker/posts/2119821881363355?__tn__=-UC-Rcocker spaniel-3aa7cocker spaniel-3aa7ellencscott6lbs of matted fur removed from cocker spaniel picture: Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin/San Antonio METROGRAB AWAITING PERMISSION LOW RISK ref: https://www.facebook.com/AustinCocker/posts/2119821881363355?__tn__=-UC-R6lbs of matted fur removed from cocker spaniel picture: Cocker Spaniel Rescue of Austin/San Antonio METROGRAB AWAITING PERMISSION LOW RISK ref: https://www.facebook.com/AustinCocker/posts/2119821881363355?__tn__=-UC-R

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    (Picture: Photolibrary/Getty)

    As we’re sure you’re aware, we’re big proponents of trying out new sex positions at the weekend.

    The time pressure is gone, you’re more relaxed, and you can lounge about in bed afterwards rather than hopping in the shower to go to work.

    We’ve already explained the bouncing spoon and the coital alignment technique (plus the Thanksgiving themed turkey).

    Now it’s time for the crab.

    No, this one does not involve walking sideways.

    Instead it’s a pleasurable twist for anyone who likes girl on top.

    Be warned, though: this position does involve some careful arranging and a bit of penis flexability. It’s vital not to make any sharp, sudden movements unless you want to induce injury.

    Go slow and steady – that’s the trick.

    So, how do you do it?

    How to do the Crab
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    This is a sex position designed for penis or dildo in vagina penetration. If one of you doesn’t have a penis, a strap-on is ideal. We wouldn’t recommend trying this for anal as it can be a little tricky to get everything correctly placed.

    The one with the penis or strap-on lies down on their back. Easy.

    The other person gets on top and inserts the penis or dildo into their vagina. Once it’s inside, they slowly lean back and support themselves by extending both arms behind them.

    Person on top: You can rest your hands on the bed or on your partner’s knees, and for extra support get them to bend their knees as a sort of back rest.

    Once you’re in position, the person on top goes up and down. Again, slow, steady movements are best. Make sure not to lean back too far to keep it comfortable for your partner. They can also grind by thrusting their hips back and forth for extra stimulation.

    The person lying down doesn’t have to do much – just speak up if it starts feeling uncomfortable, because – as we mentioned – this position can easily cause injury if you’re not careful. They can also hold their partner’s ankles to keep everything in positioned.

    Done correctly, the crab can be brilliant, with the position of penetration providing plenty of stimulation to the G-spot. Enjoy, weekend sesh-ers.

    MORE: What it’s like to be in a sexless relationship in your twenties

    MORE: People share tales of having sex in cinemas

    MORE: Getting Freaky: Are ‘blue balls’ real?


    How to do the CrabHow to do the CrabellencscottHow to do the CrabHow to do the CrabHow to do the CrabellencscottHow to do the Crab

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    (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

    Horror flatmates are hellish to live with, but at least they make great stories.

    And so while we wouldn’t recommend moving in with this mystery renter, we would greatly enjoy hearing tales from any of his housemates.

    Twitter account @rxdazn shared screenshots of what they say their friend received after applying for a flat visit on SpareRoom.

    Those screenshots show a truly glorious list of detailed requirements for any person lucky enough to live with the current resident.

    These requirements include not laughing after 11pm, not cooking elaborate meals, and to be out of the house from nine to five during the week.

    The rest are… well, to really *get* the brilliance of these rules and regulations, you need to read them, which is handy because we’ve taken the time to type them out the key bits below.

    All the key requirements to live in this house:

    On timing: 

    ‘I need you to be out of the flat on week days during normal working hours (9-5) because I work from home 5 days a week and I need the place to myself. If you have a proper job, this shouldn’t be a problem. Students who go to university on random days for a few hours or stay at home all day long and chill out unfortunately can’t live here.

    ‘I’m not fussy about the weekends, I just want to know you have somewhere to be Mon to Fri from the morning till late afternoon.’

    On noise levels: 

    ‘My new flatmate has to be a quiet and considerate person. Which means you should use door handles rather than push the doors to slam, and try to behave quietly, especially when it’s late or early in the morning, so as not to disturb others.

    ‘I’m not looking for a ‘bull in a china shop’ kind of flatmate, I don’t want you to be always running around, throwing things around. And I expect your guests to act respectably when here. Both me and the other flatmate are quiet and rather gentle people.’

    On phone calls: 

    ‘I used to have this flatmate who was on Skype for 2-3 hours every day (5 hours on weekends). I won’t have that. This is a quiet building in general, and I usually read or watch something in the evenings, and the other flatmate has to study. So I don’t want to hear noise coming from your room all the time.

    ‘It doesn’t matter if you talk on Skype/phone ‘quietly’ (or so you think). I won’t tell you for how long you’re allowed to talk a day, it’s nonsense, if you need to call someone just do it. But you should know if you use the phone a lot every day or you don’t. People who don’t don’t cause me problems.

    ‘As soon as someone start interpreting my words to suit themselves, the problems begin.’

    On laughter:

    ‘If you’re laughing at loud after 11pm or sleep with the radio on – still the same thing. Basically, I’d like you to use common sense. You’re living with other people, who want to be able to rest and to sleep, and do whatever else they need to do after a long, noisy day.’

    On socialising with other flatmates:

    ‘This isn’t a very sociable house. We don’t do parties and we don’t have time to cook together or watch TV together, mainly because people always have different schedules and they’re busy.

    ‘But I expect my flatmates to be friendly towards each other, which means that sneaking around behind each other’s backs is NOT fine.

    ‘This is a home, not a hotel, there are no strangers here.’

    On how you spend your time: 

    ‘If you spend all your free time hanging around the house, streaming TV show and talking on the phone for hours, we’re not gonna like each other.

    ‘When I’m not working in my part-time job, my life revolves around my laptop when I work at home because I’m a very busy person. But I don’t want my new flatmate to assume that just because I spend so much time here, it’s OK for them to do the same.’

    On bowel movements: 

    ‘If you have to run to the toilet 15 times a day or every 15 minutes, don’t move in here. If you say you don’t spend much time in the bathroom because you don’t take long showers but then you sit on the toilet several times a day (like the flatmate who’s moving out), and only your morning bathroom runs take almost one hour in total, this definitely isn’t a place for you.

    ‘If all you eat is canned beans and cooked lentils and drink beer, you’re not my kind of flatmate. I need someone a little more sophisticated here.’

    On cooking: 

    ‘There’s no cooking in this flat before 8.30am and after 11pm. Occasionally I will allow it, and you can also make some porridge or use the microwave. But anything that requires pots and pans and a lot of washing-up afterwards is not allowed, and if it smells so much that it wakes everybody else up – it’s also not OK.

    ‘I don’t like people spending a lot of time cooking in general. If you ONLY eat cooked/fried meals because you don’t know how to make a sandwich, and you hang around the kitchen for hours a day (and I do mean HOURS) or spend every weekend preparing elaborate meals and baking, etc, this isn’t a place for you.’

    On cleaning:

    ‘I don’t want to point out that the toilet needs to be flushed every time, the bathtub needs to be rinsed of hair, and the dirty dishes need to be washed sooner rather than later. I won’t tolerate dishes lying in the sink for 2 days.’

    On guests:

    ‘I don’t want to constantly see your friends hanging around the flat. If you have guests 3 times a week, it’s too much.

    ‘Sometimes you may have a guest coming over for the weekend or a few days – that’s fine as long as it’s not every month, although it also depends on what kind of flatmate you are and who your friends are. But there are gazillions of places in London where you can socialize, and the flat is for the flatmates.

    ‘Boyfriends and girlfriends are OK as long as they’re not sleeping here 3-4 times a week because that means that half the time we’d have a fourth person living with us, and in that case they should be paying the rent like everyone else. If you must see your partner that often, you should live with them, not with us.’

    On booze: 

    ‘As for alcohol, drugs, and other such things, I don’t really want to see people here ‘under the influence’. Beer, wine etc in reasonable amounts are obviously fine, we’re all adults here, but apart from that I don’t want any crazy stuff here.’

    On your new housemate:

    ‘I’m quite easy-going.’

    We have so many questions.

    What happened to the previous housemate?

    What could be more sophisticated than eating beans and lentils, without cooking ‘elaborate’ meals?

    If you need to be out of the house from 9-5 every day, can you pay less rent?

    Sadly we do not know who this mystery flatmate is, so we cannot seek answers to these questions.

    Please, housemate, if you’re reading this, give us a message. We just want to talk about how ‘easy-going’ you are.

    MORE: Fancy renting a Beijing flat with a toilet you can stare at in the kitchen?

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    SEI_41329226-d18fSEI_41329226-d18fellencscottSEI_41329226-d18fSEI_41329226-d18fellencscott

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    (Picture: Boohoo)

    Dog owners, rejoice: You can now wear matching Christmas jumpers with your pup, and we’re so ready to start shopping.

    Boohoo has just launched a matching dog and owner festive jumper range and it’s all super cheap, with prices starting at £10.

    The human jumpers are £15 and the pup versions are £10, and they come in a number of colours including green, red, blue and burgundy, and come covered in reindeer and snowflakes.

    Unsurprisingly, you’ll need to be quick if you want to buy your pooch an early Christmas present, as the jumpers are selling out fast.

    Boohoo is selling matching dog and human Christmas jumpers priced from ??10 Credit: Boohoo
    (Picture: Boohoo)

    If you want to really treat your dog this weekend, Pets at Home currently has a Black Friday sale.

    They’re selling loads of items with massive discounts on things such as dog food, treats, bones, toys and bedding.

    MORE: How to do the crab sex position

    MORE: There’s now a ‘thank u, next’ tee for anyone going through a breakup


    Boohoo is selling matching dog and human Christmas jumpers priced from ?10Boohoo is selling matching dog and human Christmas jumpers priced from ?10hattiegladwellmetroBoohoo is selling matching dog and human Christmas jumpers priced from ??10 Credit: BoohooBoohoo is selling matching dog and human Christmas jumpers priced from ?10Boohoo is selling matching dog and human Christmas jumpers priced from ?10hattiegladwellmetroBoohoo is selling matching dog and human Christmas jumpers priced from ??10 Credit: Boohoo

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    Now that Black Friday is over, is it time to start putting presents under the tree? (Siri Stafford, Getty Images)

    It’s the age-old question: when should you put up your Christmas tree? You don’t want to put it up so early that the pines are all off before Christmas, but you also don’t want to leave it too late.

    So when is the right time? Well, there’s a few options.

    In Victorian times, Christmas trees were always put up on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, however, this tradition has fallen out of favour as most people want to start feeling festive a bit earlier in the season these days.

    A more popular tradition which still lingers is to put your tree up 12 days before Christmas on December 13.

    However, even this seems a little close to the day itself – if you go to the effort of picking a tree, decorating it and routinely picking up the pines, then surely you want to reap the benefits of it for a little longer?

    The 'Spirit of Christmas' display at the Regent Street Christmas switch on event in partnership HeartFM in Regent Street, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 15, 2018. See PA story SHOWBIZ Regent. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
    The Chrismas lights are already on in most places, but is it too early to get out the trees? (Picture: PA Wire)

    People who share this sentiment may opt to put their trees up at the beginning of Advent – the fourth Sunday before Christmas.

    In 2018 this falls next week, on 2 December, giving you just about enough time to clear some space in your house and your diaries.

    If you opt for a real pine tree, The British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) recommend buying from the beginning of December and advise that trees can survive for more than four weeks if looked after well.

    If you tend to pick the artificial variety then we say any time from today is fine, TBH.

    MORE: When was the last white Christmas, and is there likely to be one this year?

    MORE: Boohoo is selling matching Christmas jumpers for you and your dog


    Christmas tree in living roomChristmas tree in living roomannapaul144The 'Spirit of Christmas' display at the Regent Street Christmas switch on event in partnership HeartFM in Regent Street, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 15, 2018. See PA story SHOWBIZ Regent. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA WireChristmas tree in living roomChristmas tree in living roomannapaul144The 'Spirit of Christmas' display at the Regent Street Christmas switch on event in partnership HeartFM in Regent Street, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 15, 2018. See PA story SHOWBIZ Regent. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire

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    Claire Frewin with baby Artemis, who was born after 18 months of trying to conceive (Picture: Claire Frewin)
    Claire Frewin with baby Artemis, who was born after 18 months of trying to conceive (Picture: Claire Frewin)

    My Infertility journey was, in retrospect, mercifully short.

    From the first day of January 2016 when we began TTC (Trying To Conceive – the acronyms of fertility are a new language in themselves) I had a gut feeling we would find things hard but we were determined to be casual and not resort to ‘trying’, timing sex or worse, using ovulation kits.

    We tried for four months before I gave in and skulked into Boots to buy my first ovulation kit. Later I realised you could buy kits online for a fraction of the cost and ‘trying’ began in earnest as the rest followed like a landslide.

    All the frantic peeing on sticks in work toilets, home toilets and holiday toilets cost a fortune – but brought me no bundle of joy.

    I spent almost £700 or more on fertility ‘kits’ during the 18 months of trying, with a slightly bewildered DH (Dear Husband – I still use the acronyms to the confusion of many friends not in the know) trailing along and trusting I knew what I was doing.

    I didn’t. At least, I didn’t for a good few months, and then I became an expert on fertility. At one point, even my GP took notes.

    My infertility, as I saw it, was always on my mind. I couldn’t even get to the point where I would think about what it might be like to actually have a baby; it was all about managing to get pregnant. It coloured everything I did.

    I timed our social life around my ovulation. On one memorable occasion, I even made my husband have sex with me at 3am before a work flight to the US.

    Looking back my husband was a saint – he literally Kept Calm and Carried On.

    Frantic Googling on how to get pregnant bought me to fertility forums filled with other women in similar situations. Worry and desperation, whiling away frustrated hours at work in a fury of panic and female solidarity, studying each other’s charts and ‘symptoms’.

    I rattled like a pill bottle from all the supplements and remedies I took daily, I began to see an acupuncturist and reflexologist weekly, and soon learned that very early pregnancy ‘symptoms’ are exactly the same as normal period ones and only a pregnancy test could tell me the answer to the question so many women ask daily, ‘Am I pregnant?’.

    Month by month my desperation grew at how long things were taking and I started to think something must be wrong with me.

    More sticks than I care to have peed on later, we got our first BFP (Big Fat Positive) in November 2016.

    Our joy was immense, until I started to bleed slowly but steadily a few days later. While I had been carrying myself more gently after those lines had appeared on the stick, believing I was finally harbouring life within, I was now informed that it was likely I was undergoing a miscarriage and I should prepare myself for the worst.

    At that moment, the efforts of the last 11 months, with all the frantic research and the heartache I had thought was finally over, were literally being flushed down the toilet.

    I was pregnant for just under a week but it didn’t make things seem any less unfair.

    My attitude to other women who were lucky enough to be pregnant shocked me with its bitterness. I avoided pregnant friends and actively crossed the road so I wouldn’t pass a pregnant woman on the street. It wasn’t that I didn’t feel happy for them, I was just so unhappy for myself I didn’t have room for their joy, or to feel joy for them.

    A word to the wise for newly pregnant people with infertile friends: when you break your happy news to them, don’t corner the infertile. Instead, send a nice text so they can go and get their shit together in private.

    The most degrading night of my life was being told by our lovely best friends in a games café that they were expecting their first baby.

    I speedily excused myself and spent 20 minutes in the unisex toilet crying as though my heart would break.

    We had been trying for seven months; they became pregnant their first try. I’m not proud of my reaction but it was what it was. It was a very tough time for my husband and me. He felt I overreacted, I felt he was being unsupportive.

    Neither of us was right, but at the time that wasn’t clear to either of us. It was rock bottom for me and I began to see a counsellor.

    Eventually my GP realised the mental strain of trying had gone far enough and referred us to a fertility clinic.

    I had received the referral letter for our first appointment the day after that first positive pregnancy test, but some gut feeling (there it was again) told me to keep the appointment. We had our first appointment three weeks after the miscarriage started.

    Several internal ultrasounds and a HyCoSe later (whereby dye was inserted through my fallopian tubes to check they were open), all looked normal. My husband provided a sperm sample which again looked normal. I was prescribed clomid for my long cycles.

    Another early miscarriage followed over Christmas 2016 and by January 2017 we celebrated a year of trying along with the official label of being infertile.

    My last miscarriage was possibly the worst. I had taken the clomid which had shortened my cycles as promised and had viewed the two pink lines on the pregnancy test with a measure of sad cynicism.

    A trip to the walk-in centre at six weeks after the test lines began to fade confirmed there was no visible sac, and I returned to an empty house, my husband having gone away on business, to call my parents and await the inevitable bleeding alone.

    It was only the second time I have heard my father cry as I begged him on the phone not to jump in the car and come up to see me. Like a wounded animal, I just wanted to be alone for a few days to lick my wounds and lie in a pool of pads and blankets.

    Clomid has a half life, and some crafty seduction of my husband the month after the last miscarriage when we weren’t meant to be trying resulted in my fourth positive pregnancy test in seven months. My body was bloated from the roller coaster of hormones it had been subjected to but I had grim determination on my side.

    Maybe good things come in threes, as this time my gut told me it would be ok. By now I had a private consultant looking after me as well as the local recurrent miscarriage department at our local hospital and was on a cocktail of drugs to help support future pregnancies.

    The six-week scan showed a sac with a gloriously strong heart beat which developed into a tadpole with arms and legs and eventually, by the 12-week scan, a fully formed baby.

    Artemis, the 8-month-old baby of Claire Frewin
    Artemis, the 8-month-old baby of Claire Frewin

    Artemis is now eight months old. I am a happy mum with a healthy baby.

    Not a day goes past when I don’t offer up thanks to whoever is listening for her. I am now fully conscious of the miracle a baby represents. When she is difficult I sometimes wonder if I find it easier to cope with her temper than I would have if I had got pregnant with her on the first try.

    I have been vocal enough about my miscarriages and infertility that a few friends feel that they can chat about their own issues with fertility or miscarriage openly with me. I have a couple of friends who are struggling or have struggled.

    Every day I think about them and how they are feeling, crossing everything for them.

    From multiple miscarriages, PCOS and IVF, they are all living with something uncontrollable in a world which is constantly trying to sell you the promise of control.

    I believe they will all get there in different ways, but I know everyone’s journey is different.

    We may never have another child and we shall continue to be happy with Artemis, the baby a year ago I though I would never have.

    I never forget that in an alternative universe I could be the mother of a 15, 12 or 10-month-old baby, or I could still not be a mother at all.

    I will never again take creating a life either for granted or as a right.

    It is a privilege I am honoured to have been given.

    Fertility Month

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    MORE: How to get super sperm like the Danish Vikings

    MORE: What it's like to have an eating disorder while you're pregnant

    MORE: Can you get over not having children when you really wanted to have children?


    Claire Frewin with baby Artemis, who was born after 18 months of trying to conceive-95b4Claire Frewin with baby Artemis, who was born after 18 months of trying to conceive-95b4akismet-2fcb28243f975bb512a587b829a23dfdClaire Frewin with baby Artemis, who was born after 18 months of trying to conceive (Picture: Claire Frewin)Artemis, the 8-month-old baby of Claire FrewinClaire Frewin with baby Artemis, who was born after 18 months of trying to conceive-95b4Claire Frewin with baby Artemis, who was born after 18 months of trying to conceive-95b4akismet-2fcb28243f975bb512a587b829a23dfdClaire Frewin with baby Artemis, who was born after 18 months of trying to conceive (Picture: Claire Frewin)Artemis, the 8-month-old baby of Claire Frewin

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    Bi-polar pregnancies – how bi-polar people go through hell during pregnancy
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Deciding to have a baby is a momentous decision in anyone’s life, but women suffering with bipolar disorder have to make the decision knowing they will be at an increased risk of serious symptoms.

    They are at much greater risk of having a serious episode of the illness during pregnancy and have a one in five risk of suffering psychosis.

    There is a 40-50% risk of experiencing mental illness, such as increased depression and anxiety, after the baby has been born.

    Mental health charities including Bipolar UK, APP and MMHA are demanding the government provide specialist perinatal psychiatrists for pregnant people with bipolar disorder.

    Claire Dolman, from Bipolar UK, told Metro.co.uk: ‘Pregnancy and childbirth is a time of high risk for women with bipolar with over 20% of us likely to suffer from postpartum psychosis, as I did after the birth of my first child.

    ‘However, research in this area is at last increasing, and there is a lot you can do to avoid getting ill (as I did with my second child).

    ‘It’s imperative to see a specialist perinatal psychiatrist for advice – preferably before you become pregnant – so you can decide on the best approach to help you stay well.’

    How does getting pregnant affect bipolar disorder?

    Pregnancy naturally involves hormonal changes that can affect your mental wellbeing. When you already have a mental health condition, such as bipolar disorder, the prospect of more erratic moods can be troubling.

    Like other mental illnesses, bipolar disorder can become more prominent during pregnancy. The risk is greater if it’s left untreated.

    What’s tricky is that those with bipolar disorder may have to alter their treatment when they fall pregnant.

    Some mood stabilisers are thought to be dangerous to developing foetuses, although the research is limited.

    When you become pregnant, it’s vital to be honest with your doctor about any mental health issues you’re dealing with and any medication you’re taking. A GP will likely recommend that you stop taking medications during pregnancy, which may mean you’ll need to rely on other forms of treatment, such as therapy. Close attention is needed throughout this time.

    After giving birth, the elevated risk continues. Bipolar disorder increases your risk of experiencing postpartum psychosis.

    She added: ‘Look at our website www.bipolar.org and search “pregnancy” for more information or visit our e-community to talk to other women in the same situation.

    ‘This is something that we at Bipolar UK, APP and the MMHA  have been campaigning for for the last eight years and which has now been agreed by the government as perinatal mental health services used to be very patchy but should be universally available by 2020.’

    A Metro.co.uk reader, who suffers from bipolar disorder, revealed the mood swings and migraines she suffered during her pregnancy were just part of the problems she faced.

    The 33-year-old said: ‘I had three major manic episodes during my pregnancy, I did not know I would be more susceptible to mood swings before I got pregnant.

    ‘It was incredibly scary and it has really put me off having a second child.’

    Another woman, aged 38, said: ‘I was wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar during pregnancy though I did suffer hugely with depression after my child’s birth.

    Symptoms of postpartum psychosis:

    Postpartum psychosis is a serious mental illness and needs urgent care.

    Symptoms can include:

    • Hallucinations
    • Delusions
    • A manic mood – talking fast, feeling ‘high’ and powerful
    • A low mood
    • Loss of inhibitions
    • Feeling suspicious or paranoid
    • Confusion
    • Restlessness

    ‘Having said that, I know from examining my own behaviour that I’ve had bipolar disorder for many, many years (long before baby).

    ‘The trouble is I think that mental health services are on their knees at the moment and there are not resources to help women.’

    She added: ‘I think all parents to be should have their mental wellbeing made a priority. The hormonal changes that take place during and after pregnancy are quite something.

    ‘The social and economical changes that occur in a parents lives are immense.

    ‘There should be better support and care, without judgement or fear.’

    Fertility Month

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    MORE: How to get super sperm like the Danish Vikings

    MORE: What it's like to have an eating disorder while you're pregnant

    MORE: Can you get over not having children when you really wanted to have children?


    Bi-polar pregnancies – how bi-polar people go through hell durBi-polar pregnancies – how bi-polar people go through hell duradamsmithmetrocoukBi-polar pregnancies – how bi-polar people go through hell during pregnancyBi-polar pregnancies – how bi-polar people go through hell durBi-polar pregnancies – how bi-polar people go through hell duradamsmithmetrocoukBi-polar pregnancies – how bi-polar people go through hell during pregnancy

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    When I think of Provence, I always think of perfumes.

    Those endless fields of lavender and historic perfumeries in Grasse certainly do a lot to fortify that image.

    But after a weekend break to this beautiful part of southern France, I think that vision has been firmly replaced with good food.

    Then again, it’s not hard when your pilgrimage is to a pair of gourmet inns owned by the legendary Alain Ducasse.

    And legend is the right moniker, because since gaining three Michelin stars at Louis XV decades ago – the first hotel restaurant to do so at the time – Ducasse has gone on to open dozens of restaurants around the world.

    Currently, he has more Michelin stars to his name than any other living chef and, as it happens, both of his inns hold a coveted star each.

    I started my journey at L’Hostellerie de L’Abbaye de La Celle, a small property that’s adjacent to the Benedictine abbey dating to the 12th century.

    Provence Credit: Qin Xie
    The lucky cat that gets to roam in the vegetable gardens at L’Hostellerie every day (Picture: Qin Xie)

    The abbey had once been home to some debauched nuns – or so I was told – though the most scandalous thing that happened to me was the scent of chicken stock wafting through its corridors.

    I’m not sure how the abbey’s visitors staved off the hunger pangs that inevitably ensued, but I never had to find out – for shortly after getting in, I sat down for a light lunch.

    Of course, in France, a casse croute is rarely small.

    I was treated to starters of crudités with dips and barbagiuan (a pastry stuffed with chard and cheese), followed by hake with bouillabaisse and a selection of goat’s cheeses. And to finish, an absolutely heavenly Gran Marnier soufflé.

    Provence Credit: Qin Xie
    Simply heavenly (Picture: Qin Xie)

    I tip my hat to Nicolas Pierantoni, the chef leading the team at L’Hostellerie.

    The food was gorgeous and delicious of course – but more so because it was so regional, and filled with anecdotes of Ducasse’s life.

    Barbagiuan, for example, is Monaco’s national dish – because Ducasse is both French and Monegasque.

    But if lunch was good, dinner could only get better.

    During my visit, the restaurant was on the tail end of their annual Tous au Restaurant (Your guest is our guest) event, where they offer two tasting menus for the price of one, so the restaurant was exceptionally busy.

    Provence Credit: Qin Xie
    The fanciest pie I’ve ever had (Picture: Qin Xie)

    Even so, the team managed a steady stream of dishes, including crayfish with a cep veloute, Swiss chard ravioli, roasted sea scallops and a divine duck and foie gras pie, followed by cheeses, a chocolate dessert and petit fours.

    For 105€ – plus the same meal for your mate, free of charge – it’s a total steal.

    And fortunately, after my second feast of the day, it was just a short stroll to the characterful rooms on the property.

    The most wonderful thing about waking up in a property owned by a chef is that they really put thought into your breakfast.

    At L’Hostellerie, that meant freshly baked croissants, cakes and breads, confitures and honey from the estate, eggs to your liking and some seriously good coffee in the airy breakfast room.

    Provence Credit: Qin Xie
    L’Hostellerie’s lovely breakfast room (Picture: Qin Xie)

    If that doesn’t set you up for the day, I don’t know what will.

    It wasn’t long before lunch rolled round again. I know – it feels like breakfast was only a second ago.

    Not to be outdone by the previous day’s ‘light lunch’, the team at L’Hostellerie created a picnic feast to be enjoyed under the shade of the olive trees in the garden.

    With the autumnal sun still casting a warm glow, a spread featuring cold cuts, freshly made bread, salads, fruit tarts, and generous pours of the local wine made for a lovely afternoon.

    A picnic in the gardens is only available by request, but for a dining experience that makes you feel right at home – if your home was a French chateaux in Provence – it’s definitely worth thinking about for a special occasion.

    Provence Credit: Qin Xie
    (Picture: Qin Xie)

    For the second part of my journey, I headed to La Bastide de Moustiers, a property that Ducasse had originally envisioned as his family home.

    What a home it would have been; the rooms are charming and chic and full of character while the grounds is home to a vegetable garden and some friendly donkeys.

    Despite the smaller kitchen space at La Bastide – it wouldn’t look amiss inside a family home in the country – the food somehow feels more formal.

    Still taking on the essence of Ducasse’s cuisine, the chef in charge here, Frédéric Garnier, combines more challenging flavours to create his tasting menu of delights.

    While I was there, the team served up a menu that featured foie gras with parsnip and cocoa nibs, green avocado with sea bream, and venison with jugged cabbage – all accompanied by the cellar’s very quaffable wines.

    Provence Credit: Qin Xie
    Jus in action (Picture: Qin Xie)

    If croissant and coffee the morning after didn’t help blow the cobwebs away, an excursion to nearby Gorges du Verdon certainly did the job for me.

    Of course, if you organised your trip through La Bastide, you also have a lovely picnic lunch to look forwards to.

    Red mullet with grains and lamb with seasonal vegetables, both presented in adorable tiffin boxes, followed by a fig tart of epic proportions – helped with another splash or two of wine – is quite a treat in the wilderness of the mountains.

    But that’s the thing about staying in a hotel owned by a chef, especially one with so many accolades – whatever you do there, the theme will be deliciously indulgent.

    Provence Credit: Qin Xie
    THAT fig tart (Picture: Qin Xie)

    Other things to do in Provence:

    L’Hostellerie is surrounded by the charming commune of La Celle, which is easy to explore on foot. You can also visit the abbey next door, which sometimes hosts art exhibitions.

    For more art in the area, drive to Venet Foundation, where Bernar Venet has his home and studio. There are guided visits during the summer season, and you might just see the artist himself at work.

    If wine is your thing, there are many wineries to choose from in the area – but at Château Peyrassol, an estate once owned by the Knights Templar, you’ll also find works by Venet as well as other artists.

    La Bastide is just outside the commune of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, considered one of the most beautiful villages in France. It’s easy to explore on foot and is known for the Faience style of pottery.

    It’s also near the Gorges du Verdon, a canyon that’s popular with hikers but just as easy to explore via a lazy drive.

    Provence Credit: Qin Xie
    The gorgeous Gorge (Picture: Qin Xie)

    Where to stay in Provence and how to get there:

    L’Hostellerie de l’Abbaye de la Celle offers superior double rooms from €239 (approx. £210) per night based on two sharing.

    Their tasting menus start from €77 per person. They can also accommodate other foodie experiences, such as the picnic I enjoyed, on request.

    La Bastide de Moustiers offers superior double rooms from €270 (approx. £237) per night based on two sharing.

    Their tasting menu starts from €90 per person. They also offer excursions to Gorges du Verdon with a picnic.

    Both also have lunch and a la carte menus – in case you’re already staying nearby and are looking for a bit of a treat.

    The nearest airport for the two properties is Marseille. EasyJet has return flights starting from £64.

    (Top picture: Qin Xie)

    MORE: Magic on the St Lawrence River: Go whale watching in Quebec – it will leave you in awe

    MORE: China with a Portuguese flair: Why it’s time you visited Macao

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


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    woman lying down
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    As I write this, I am sitting at home waiting for my third miscarriage to start.

    The hospital confirmed yesterday that this baby won’t survive. The medical options for getting it out scare me, so instead I’m just sitting at home waiting to bleed.

    It’s a horrible place to be.

    But I need to talk about this. I need people to understand why I’m in pain, and I need other women who are going through similar experiences to know that it is okay to be heartbroken.

    I want to share my story to show other women they’re not alone.

    As much as I want to normalise discussions around miscarriage, I know that not everyone wants to share their experience.

    Every miscarriage is painful, but not every miscarriage is the same. That’s why when I read pieces urging women to tell their story to end the taboo, I understand why someone wouldn’t want to.

    But since it’s pretty much all I’ve thought about for almost a year, I don’t understand how I’m supposed to keep it a secret anymore.

    My first two miscarriages happened naturally, the first at six weeks and the second at five.

    The day I found out my third baby wouldn’t live I should have been 10 weeks pregnant.

    I was so excited to have made it past the six-week stage, but as it turns out, the baby never did. It stopped developing at six weeks and my body just didn’t figure it out.

    I might have only known there was a baby inside me for two, one and six weeks respectively, but each one of them I have loved and cherished.

    My husband and I have created them, I have lovingly grown them and I have had hopes, dreams and plans for them.

    Each of these babies will always have a piece of my heart, however small and short-lived they may have been.

    There is so much of this experience that has been difficult for me, and so many different things I want to talk about.

    The truth is that miscarriage is common – around 1 in 4 of pregnancies end in loss. So many, many women have gone through the same thing.

    Recurrent miscarriage however, (that’s the loss of three babies consecutively) only happens to around 1% of women.

    The first time I went through it, it broke my heart, but I knew and understood that this was common – it happened. I thought my next baby would be fine.

    It is for this reason I think I handled it well. Physically it was tough on me, but mentally I processed it and moved on.

    Miscarriage number two however, well that one hit me like a tonne of bricks.

    I went through a real grief process; I went through all the classic stages. I was angry at the world, I was angry the silence surrounding it, and I felt so alone and unable to share how I felt.

    It’s ok to get annoyed when people say, ‘I know how you feel’ – because they don’t.

    I realised that there was no guarantee that this wouldn’t happen again. It dawned on me that I may never give birth to my own teeny tiny human.

    I’ve been pregnant, but it came with all the horrible symptoms of the first trimester – including sickness, pain and fatigue – without the joyful gift of the baby at the end.

    Looking back, I knew deep down within me that these pregnancies weren’t going to result in a baby.

    They say you should trust a mum’s gut instinct in pregnancy – and in my case I was right.

    Pregnancy number three has been different. I believed from the start that this was the one.

    We named it Baby Malnutt 3.0, we planned the announcement and we were ready to explain to the world why this was version three.

    I knew I would share what happened to us, and babies one and two, regardless of whether the pregnancy was a success, but I decided to trust my gut that this one would be the one.

    However, anyone that’s ever had miscarriages knows that any pregnancy will be accompanied by fear of what might happen and grief for the babies that never were.

    The joy of pregnancy was sapped away by the very real knowledge that despite my hope and belief, it still might not be the one.

    Miscarriage is cruel and unfair, it is heart-breaking, soul destroying, and fills your head with ugly thoughts you would never usually think.

    It’s frustrating when you see friends announce their pregnancy, and breaks your heart when you see or hear stories about your peers’ kids.

    Rationally, I know that these people may have also struggled with their fertility to get to the point where they are today, but when you so desperately want a baby it’s hard not to let the green monster come out.

    It is normal.

    And that’s what I want to let other women know by sharing my story.

    I want to hide in my bed – and that’s fine.

    I want to talk about it, but I understand why others don’t. No one should feel pressured to share their experience unless they want to.

    It’s ok to get annoyed when people say, ‘I know how you feel’ – because they don’t.

    Miscarriage happens often, but everyone’s story is different.

    If you have experienced miscarriage, know that I don’t know how you feel, but I know how I feel and felt.

    I know you feel crap, but I can’t understand the intricacies of that.

    And you don’t have to tell me.

    All I can say is I’m sorry. It isn’t your fault and you will get through this one day, one hour, on minute at a time, because that is all we really can do.

    Fertility Month

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    MORE: How to get super sperm like the Danish Vikings

    MORE: What it's like to have an eating disorder while you're pregnant

    MORE: Can you get over not having children when you really wanted to have children?


    Self harm awareness day: How mental health can become competitiveSelf harm awareness day: How mental health can become competitivejessrubyaustinwoman lying downSelf harm awareness day: How mental health can become competitiveSelf harm awareness day: How mental health can become competitivejessrubyaustinwoman lying down

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

    We might all be coveting a Dyson Airwrap this Christmas for quick curls – but with a £399 price tag, we’ll probably have to keep dreaming.

    But after Florida-based Instagrammer Olivia Smalley posted this clip, we might be able to get quick curls for a fraction on the price.

    Instagram Photo

    Olivia uses a plastic bottle with the top cut off and a slit cut in the side.

    She gathers her hair inside the bottle and then puts her hairdryer in the slit in the bottle before turning it on.

    The hairdryer causes the hair to spin round inside the bottle.

    When she removes the hair and runs her fingers through it, she has lovely loose waves.

    It might be a bit DIY but could be worth a try for the perfect Christmas party hair.

    MORE: Here’s how to plan the most indulgent gourmet weekend you can have in Provence

    MORE: When should you put up your Christmas tree?


    I don't feel like an adult because I can't do my own hairI don't feel like an adult because I can't do my own hairlauraabernethy6I don't feel like an adult because I can't do my own hairI don't feel like an adult because I can't do my own hairlauraabernethy6

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    Shot of a young woman using a mobile phone in a grocery store
    (Picture: Getty)

    Having a romantic crush apparently changes your shopping behaviour, psychologists have said.

    Being loved up makes you want to try new things as it fuels a loss of self-control.

    The discovery sheds fresh light on how affairs of the heart affect our brain – making us giddy, irrational and even ridiculous.

    It also has implications for advertisers with so many young people exposing their relationship status on Facebook and Twitter.

    Those with crushes could be targeted with promotional campaigns involving a high variety of options.

    This would be similar to how pregnant women, who are known to shop more and alter their tastes, are identified by multinationals.

    A series of experiments involving about 700 male and female undergraduates found infatuated individuals were more likely to prefer an assortment of products.

    Young woman with credit card and headphones online shopping at laptop on living room sofa
    (Picture: Getty)

    This is because it acts as a symbolic gesture of recovering poise and dignity, said the team.

    Study author Professor Irene Huang said: ‘Having a variety of choices can create a sense of mastery over one’s environment and serves as a source of personal control.’

    She says feeling the urge to change from your usual foods or bands could be a sign of falling head over heels.

    Irene explained: ‘Crushes often evoke a sense of uncertainty because it is unclear whether an individual’s romantic feelings for another will be reciprocated.

    ‘And ‘variety seeking’ can be a symbolic means of reasserting one’s sense of control.’

    Her team established the trend in a series of tests in which they asked participants to imagine they were planning to buy yoghurt at a local grocery store.

    They could either purchase a variety pack with five different flavours or one where they were all the same.

    Then they were asked to answer questions about their circumstances, including whether they currently had a romantic crush.

    Woman taking photo of clothing with smartphone while shopping in boutique shop
    (Picture: Getty)

    Those who did were more likely to go for the former option.

    In another trial the volunteers were told the researchers were collaborating with a writers’ workshop to generate articles related to the daily lives of different people.

    They were split into two groups which had to provide vivid, personalised accounts entitled either ‘I Am Having a Crush on Somebody’ or ‘My Typical Day.’

    After writing their stories, they were invited to select four pieces of chewy sweets among five flavours as a token of appreciation.

    Likewise, those who had written about romantic crushes made wider choices.

    A third experiment compared how crush behaviour compared to those who had recently fallen in love – so their romantic feelings had been reciprocated.

    After writing about one of the two scenarios, they had to imagine they would be served one snack each week for the next five weeks.

    They selected one a week out of six options, and again, those in the crush condition preferred more variety in their treats.

    Irene, of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, said people often assume they are objective in decisions.

    But the desire for variety may also surface when they feel a lack of control at any stage of a relationship.

    She said: ‘Many contemporary consumers choose to disclose their relationship status through social media, and companies could target those who have a crush with promotional campaigns involving a high variety of options.

    ‘Crushes are also a theme in television and movies, and marketers could promote products with variety during these shows.’

    MORE: Please marvel at this baffling list of requirements for a new flatmate

    MORE: Why do men lie about their age on dating apps?


    Shopping lists in app formatShopping lists in app formathattiegladwellmetroShot of a young woman using a mobile phone in a grocery storeYoung woman with credit card and headphones online shopping at laptop on living room sofaWoman taking photo of clothing with smartphone while shopping in boutique shopShopping lists in app formatShopping lists in app formathattiegladwellmetroShot of a young woman using a mobile phone in a grocery storeYoung woman with credit card and headphones online shopping at laptop on living room sofaWoman taking photo of clothing with smartphone while shopping in boutique shop

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    Back in 2006, my career wasn’t really going anywhere. I was a working actress, doing a range of small jobs that never seemed to lead on to anything.

    Then one night, in 2007, everything changed.

    On a cold February evening, in a basement venue down a side street in Chancery Lane, I stumbled upon something that would change my life forever: burlesque.

    Seeing burlesque for the first time was a revelation. It was creative, powerful, political, sexy and dynamic – I felt as if I’d discovered an art form that had been created just for me.

    Here, for the first time, I was seeing women allowed to be their whole selves – provocative and smart, playful and intelligent, sexual but in complete control of what they showed, when and why.

    It blew my mind.

    In acting, you are always put in a box, sexy and intelligent – you can be the bitch. Curvy? The comedy best-friend. Thin and pretty? The good girl. Burlesque blew all this out of the water and I knew instantly I wanted to be part of it.

    My introduction to burlesque was purely accidental; an actress I knew from drama school was friends with Delores Deluxe, who ran The Kitten Club, then London’s longest-running modern burlesque troupe.

    She felt I would be good at it, so after auditioning, I was invited to join the troupe.

    Tempest Rose, Burlesque Dancer.
    In acting, you are always put in a box – but not in burlesque. (Picture: Matthew Chattle)

    I felt a small thrill that this could lead to something exciting, but I had no idea what the next 11 years was to bring.

    The burlesque scene was tiny in the late noughties – a small handful of underground shows and venues – so I learnt on the job, we all did back then.

    Collectively, we pushed burlesque to be as popular as it is today, playing in huge venues and theatres.

    In the show, we had group numbers and solos, so I learned from those around me and the early pioneers of the revival.

    After a year, I started to push my solos more, and also performed in other shows and abroad.

    The rest is history.

    But for my career to really fly in burlesque, I had to choose between that and acting. It meant letting go of dreams that I’d had since I was a child, for a new path I knew nothing about.

    It felt like I had to let a part of me die in order for Tempest Rose,  my stage persona, to be born. It turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life.

    I chose to quit acting and my day job completely in 2009 and never looked back.

    Tempest Rose, Burlesque Dancer.
    For my career to really fly in burlesque, I had to choose between that and acting. (Picture: Matthew Chattle)

    Now, as well as being a burlesque artist and producer, I’m also the owner of the UK’s top burlesque production company, House of Burlesque Ltd.

    I don’t regret my time as an actress though, as the traditional theatre training I received has helped my burlesque career immeasurably.

    One of the most common misconceptions I get is that burlesque is a style of dance.

    Burlesque isn’t a dance style, it’s an artistic concept that allows us to hold up a mirror to our perceptions of sex, gender and identity.

    In the industry, we find this lack of understanding of what the job really involves both amusing and frustrating. That’s why I prefer the title burlesque artist.

    In general, people don’t realise how multi-disciplinary burlesque performing is; we create and design all facets of our work.

    Any artist worth their salt is also extremely proficient in hair, makeup, costume creation, music editing, basic office skills, choreography, acting, improvising, networking and a million other things.

    There is no Cher waiting at the stage door with your costume, telling you what track to dance to, or a choreographer to teach you the steps.

    We work freelance, so there is no set salary – basically anything from starving artist to Diva Von Teese is on the table.

    Daily life is being dressed in either ballgowns, crystals, exquisite lingerie, vintage power suits, and heels with full hair and makeup; or in comfy underwear and a hooded onesie, with the hard-to-shift residue of last night’s show makeup and eyelash glue still on my face, hair stiff from setting lotion, staring at my laptop doing show admin.

    Tempest Rose, Burlesque Dancer.
    I made the decision to quit acting and my day job completely in 2009 and never looked back. (Picture: Matthew Chattle)

    That, or being followed round my local supermarket by the security guard, who’s convinced that I’m about to steal something.

    If you see a woman, dressed to the nines in full make up and a ballgown dragging a giant suitcase, she’s probably a burlesque artist.

    Please don’t ask us if we are going on holiday, it’s only funny the first 200 times.

    We often get told: ‘You must be really confident to do what you do’.

    As performers, we learn to create an image of our best selves, by our own rules, and then we exaggerate it to make a point.

    On stage, we are larger than life; in real life, we are just people who deal with the same fluctuations of self-confidence as most.

    Burlesque has given me a much healthier and broader understanding of what beauty means and how to feel happier in my own skin though.

    We do face prejudices.

    To those who ask, ‘What does your dad think?’, I say: a lot about the gardening, the rugby and whether I’ve sent my Grandma a birthday card.

    As performers, we learn to create an image of our best selves, by our own rules, and then we exaggerate it to make a point. (Picture: Matthew Chattle)

    Sometimes, the job is everything you’d imagine it to be; seeing my face on billboards in Leicester Square, meeting with costume designers, rehearsals, flying to India for 48 hours to do a hotel opening, performing in Vegas, being interviewed in the press and designing shows for beautiful theatres and glamorous cabaret venues.

    But it’s also hand-washing 14 sets of stockings, gluing crystals until the small hours, and never being able to stop working as there’s always someone that needs something.

    Things go wrong too – like the odd nipple tassels falling off. It happens from time to time. So far, the world hasn’t ended because of it.

    And no matter how tired, sad or low you may be feeling, when the show begins, you get on stage and give your all to the audience because that’s why we are here.

    People ask me if I enjoy my job. I say this isn’t a job you can do if you don’t live for it.

    For me, every morning I wake up knowing today will never be like any other day.

    How to get involved with My odd job:

    My odd job is a new weekly series from Metro.co.uk, published every Sunday.

    If you have an unusual job and want to get involved, email aimee.meade@metro.co.uk.

    (Top picture: Matthew Chattle)

    MORE: My odd job: To work at Lego, you have to be good at keeping secrets

    MORE: My odd job: I’m a magician and yes, I can do the rabbit out of the hat trick

    MORE: My odd job: I’m a third generation lion tamer and I’ve been training big cats since I was 15


    My Odd JobMy Odd JobqinxieTempest Rose, Burlesque Dancer.Tempest Rose, Burlesque Dancer.Tempest Rose, Burlesque Dancer.My Odd JobMy Odd JobqinxieTempest Rose, Burlesque Dancer.Tempest Rose, Burlesque Dancer.Tempest Rose, Burlesque Dancer.

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    Caption: Papparazzi penguins

    These adorably fluffy penguin chicks certainly weren’t camera shy as they mobbed photography equipment.

    Derek Pettersson, 56, captured the cute moments when the inquisitive offspring peeked, prodded and pulled at everything from cameras to bags, tripods and even tourists.

    The shots were taken at Volunteer Point, in the Falkland Islands, where there are believed to be over 1,500 breeding adult king penguins and up to 700 chicks raised each year.

    PICS BY DEREK PETTERSSON / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: These penguins appear like paparazzi as they huddle around the camera curiously checking out everything in sight at Volunteer Point in the Falkland Islands, ran by Derek Pettersson) - These adorably fluffy penguin chicks certainly werent camera shy as they mob photography equipment desperate to BEAK in the spotlight. Derek Pettersson, 56, captured the cute moments that inquisitive offspring peeked, prodded and pulled at everything from cameras to bags and tripods. The shots were taken at Volunteer Point, in the Falkland Islands, where there are believed to be over 1,500 breeding adult king penguins and up to 700 chicks raised each year. - SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: DEREK PETTERSSON / CATERS NEWS)

    Grandfather Derek compared the chicks to ‘children seeing a camera for the first time’ as they huddled around the equipment curiously nipping at anything in sight.

    The king penguins are covered in brown-grey down, which is a wool-like coat that they shed up until the age of two when they have hit maturity – revealing their monochrome and yellow feathers.

    Derek, who runs Volunteer House, said: ‘At this time of the season the chicks are hungry and very inquisitive so like to investigate what is going on.

    ‘They have no natural predators on land in this area.

    PICS BY DEREK PETTERSSON / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: The curious king penguin chicks pecked, prodded and peaked at everything including the visitors to Volunteer House in the Falkland Islands, ran by Derek Pettersson) - These adorably fluffy penguin chicks certainly werent camera shy as they mob photography equipment desperate to BEAK in the spotlight. Derek Pettersson, 56, captured the cute moments that inquisitive offspring peeked, prodded and pulled at everything from cameras to bags and tripods. The shots were taken at Volunteer Point, in the Falkland Islands, where there are believed to be over 1,500 breeding adult king penguins and up to 700 chicks raised each year. - SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: DEREK PETTERSSON / CATERS NEWS)

    ‘Visitors are asked to stay well back but if they sit down the chicks come right up to investigate.

    ‘Most of the photographers had large lenses on their cameras but soon had to change to smaller ones.

    ‘While they left the camera bags and tripods the chicks came all around them.

    ‘They remind me of excited young children seeing a camera for the first time

    ‘As long as the wildlife is respected Volunteer Point is one of the best and easiest accessible places to photograph king penguins.’

    MORE: My odd job: A burlesque dancer’s world doesn’t end when the odd nipple tassel falls off

    MORE: This hair hack using just a hairdryer and a plastic bottle could give you perfect curls in seconds


    Papparazzi penguinsPapparazzi penguinslauraabernethy6PICS BY DEREK PETTERSSON / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: These penguins appear like paparazzi as they huddle around the camera curiously checking out everything in sight at Volunteer Point in the Falkland Islands, ran by Derek Pettersson) - These adorably fluffy penguin chicks certainly werent camera shy as they mob photography equipment desperate to BEAK in the spotlight. Derek Pettersson, 56, captured the cute moments that inquisitive offspring peeked, prodded and pulled at everything from cameras to bags and tripods. The shots were taken at Volunteer Point, in the Falkland Islands, where there are believed to be over 1,500 breeding adult king penguins and up to 700 chicks raised each year. - SEE CATERS COPYPICS BY DEREK PETTERSSON / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: The curious king penguin chicks pecked, prodded and peaked at everything including the visitors to Volunteer House in the Falkland Islands, ran by Derek Pettersson) - These adorably fluffy penguin chicks certainly werent camera shy as they mob photography equipment desperate to BEAK in the spotlight. Derek Pettersson, 56, captured the cute moments that inquisitive offspring peeked, prodded and pulled at everything from cameras to bags and tripods. The shots were taken at Volunteer Point, in the Falkland Islands, where there are believed to be over 1,500 breeding adult king penguins and up to 700 chicks raised each year. - SEE CATERS COPYPapparazzi penguinsPapparazzi penguinslauraabernethy6PICS BY DEREK PETTERSSON / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: These penguins appear like paparazzi as they huddle around the camera curiously checking out everything in sight at Volunteer Point in the Falkland Islands, ran by Derek Pettersson) - These adorably fluffy penguin chicks certainly werent camera shy as they mob photography equipment desperate to BEAK in the spotlight. Derek Pettersson, 56, captured the cute moments that inquisitive offspring peeked, prodded and pulled at everything from cameras to bags and tripods. The shots were taken at Volunteer Point, in the Falkland Islands, where there are believed to be over 1,500 breeding adult king penguins and up to 700 chicks raised each year. - SEE CATERS COPYPICS BY DEREK PETTERSSON / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: The curious king penguin chicks pecked, prodded and peaked at everything including the visitors to Volunteer House in the Falkland Islands, ran by Derek Pettersson) - These adorably fluffy penguin chicks certainly werent camera shy as they mob photography equipment desperate to BEAK in the spotlight. Derek Pettersson, 56, captured the cute moments that inquisitive offspring peeked, prodded and pulled at everything from cameras to bags and tripods. The shots were taken at Volunteer Point, in the Falkland Islands, where there are believed to be over 1,500 breeding adult king penguins and up to 700 chicks raised each year. - SEE CATERS COPY

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    (Picture: Brianna Cry)

    Meet Briana and Heidi.

    They became friends on a cruise in 2003 but when it ended, they didn’t speak again – until now.

    Over 15 years later, the pair were reunited after Briana’s twitter post looking for her old friend went viral.

    In less than 24 hours, Heidi got in touch.

    Both girls were on holiday with their families on the Hawaii dinner cruise in 2003.

    As there weren’t many other kids on the cruise, they quickly formed a bond.

    Briana, 19, tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I guess we just found each other and stuck together the whole time.’

    But when the cruise came to an end, the girls said goodbye, they didn’t take eachother’s details.

    ‘We didn’t keep in touch at all. We didn’t exchange numbers or anything. All I had was the picture,’ Briana says.

    But almost 15 years on, a night of reminicising reminded Briana of the girl she met and she decided to use social media to try to find her.

    ‘Last night I was going through old scrapbooks and watching vacation videos and I saw her. So I was like wow let’s see if twitter can find her for me,’ she says.

    She posted a tweet, saying, ‘Hey twitter, I met this girl on a dinner cruise in Hawaii in 2006. We were basically bestfriends for that night so I need y’all to help me find my bestfriend cause I miss her and I need to see how she’s doing now.

    ‘Please retweet this so we can be reunited.’

    Briana said she went to bed and woke up to find thousands of retweets – and luckily it worked.In just under 12 hours, the tweet reached Heidi and she posted a picture of herself now, holding a photograph of her as a child wearing the same dress as the one in the picture Briana posted.

    ‘I thought it would be at least a week until I found her,’ she said.

    ‘I was so shocked. I was in the car scrolling through twitter and I saw her response with her family photos from the Hawaii dinner cruise. We started DMing and really clicked.’

    And they were particularly lucky as Heidi said she doesn’t use Twitter much but some friends had spotted it and asked if it was her.

    Now the pair, who are both college students, are chatting online and hope that some day they might be able to meet up.

    ‘We attend college on two different sides of the county but we plan to meet again once we get our funds together,’ Briana adds.

    But their touching story has inspired others to try to get in touch with the holiday friends they never saw again.

    MORE: Baby penguins mob a photography crew and the pictures are too cute

    MORE: My odd job: A burlesque dancer’s world doesn’t end when the odd nipple tassel falls off

     


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    The script from Christmas favourite It’s A Wonderful life is being painted on train platforms to encourage acts of kindness during the festive period.

    The 1946 film is an uplifting story what follows a man’s struggle to face life when it hasn’t gone to plan.

    Over 7.5km of words from the film will be painted along the yellow line at 14 stations across the UK to encourage those who are struggling with their mental health to seek support. The platform text will direct customers – via a URL embedded in the script – to information, advice, and support around mental health

    The script of the opening scenes of the film were unveiled last Thursday at London Euston.

    (Picture: Virgin Trains)
    (Picture: Virgin Trains)

    The script will continue through Rugby, Birmingham International, Birmingham New Street, Stafford, Stoke-on Trent, Crewe, Warrington Bank Quay, Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Preston, Penrith, Carlisle and finally Glasgow on 13 December.

    The campaign has been developed by Virgin Trains and Rethink Mental Illness.

    Where will the script be painted?

    London Euston – 22nd November

    Rugby – 23rd November

    Birmingham International – 27th November

    Birmingham New Street – 28th November

    Stafford – 29th November

    Stoke-on-Trent – 30th November

    Crewe – 3rd December

    Warrington Bank Quay – 4th December

    Liverpool Lime Street – 5th December

    Manchester Piccadilly – 6th December

    Preston (Lancashire) – 10th December

    Penrith – 11th December

    Carlisle – 12th December

    Glasgow – 13th December

    Natasha Grice, Executive Director of People at Virgin Trains said: ‘It’s A Wonderful Life is a story of hope, redemption and kindness, which teaches us that having someone there for you when you need it the most is one of the greatest gifts you can receive.

    ‘Many of our people have been personally affected by the issues raised in this campaign or know someone who has been.

    ‘This is why we wanted to get as many of our staff involved as possible, working to create a message of kindness that will touch as many of our customers as we can.

    ‘We want everyone to know there’s help out there, and that if you’re not affected by poor mental health, it’s really easy to help someone who is.’

    James Fletcher, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Rethink Mental Illness said: ‘It is vital at this time of year to let people know that help is available if they need it.

    (Picture: Virgin Trains)

    ‘We have worked closely with Virgin Trains for the last two years to help raise funds so that more people can access support in communities along the West Coast network.

    ‘This campaign highlights the need for this support at a time of the year which can be difficult for some of us, and we are proud to be part of it.’

    Lisbeth Fromling, Chief Health & Safety Officer at Network Rail, said: ‘The ‘It’s A Wonderful Line’ initiative being delivered by Virgin Trains and Rethink Mental illness is another great example of the rail industry seeking to support those in need in the communities it serves.

    ‘It is especially poignant at this time of the year when some of the most vulnerable in society can find themselves particularly isolated.

    ‘It is to be hoped that upon reading the lines from the film or even watching it, passengers will remember that from time to time everyone needs a little help and that they will be inspired to give it when the time presents itself.’

    Throughout December, customers will also be able to watch ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ on Virgin Trains on-board free entertainment service.

    Volunteers from Rethink Mental Illness will also be fundraising at Virgin Trains stations throughout the campaign period.

    MORE: Two friends who met on holiday as kids are reunited through Twitter 15 years on

    MORE: Baby penguins mob a photography crew and the pictures are too cute

     


    it's a Wonderful Life train platformsit's a Wonderful Life train platformslauraabernethy6it's a Wonderful Life train platformsit's a Wonderful Life train platformslauraabernethy6

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    Holly Willoughby next M&S collection
    (Picture: M&S)

    Holly Willoughby’s edits for Marks and Spencer have gone down a storm.

    Her last release saw this tiger print dress become one of the fastest selling items ever for the store.

    Her next collection isn’t due for release until 6 December.

    But M&S has teased a sneak preview on her Instagram – and it’s another gorgeous animal print.

    This time the This Morning and I’m a Celebrity Presenter has chosen a dress in a mustard colour with leopard print.

    It has mid-length sleeves and puffed shoulders and sits just on the knee.

    Instagram Photo

    The first picture shows Holly wearing the dress under a cream coat, while the second shows a full length shot of a model wearing the dress.

    Although the dress hasn’t been released yet, the store is giving someone the chance to win five dresses from her next collection.

    MORE: Baby penguins mob a photography crew and the pictures are too cute

    MORE: Here’s how to plan the most indulgent gourmet weekend you can have in Provence


    Holly Willoughby next M&S collectionHolly Willoughby next M&S collectionlauraabernethy6Holly Willoughby next M&S collectionHolly Willoughby next M&S collectionHolly Willoughby next M&S collectionlauraabernethy6Holly Willoughby next M&S collection

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

    Thousands of us wear the wrong shoes when we go running – and it could be doing some serious damage.

    Running is high-impact. When your foot connects with the pavement, there’s a huge force travelling through your ankle and up your leg to your knee and hip. If you don’t take precautions, the risk of injury can be high.

    When we run, our feet take a pounding. They need real support, and your dirt-cheap, basic plimsolls from Primark just aren’t going to cut it.

    Running has boomed over the last few years. More and more of us are harnessing the power of this attractively accessible sport, and signing up for 10Ks and half marathons.

    But the understanding around injury prevention and having the right equipment hasn’t quite caught up.

    the importance of good shoes for fitness training
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Andy Curtis, YourPhysioPlan Co-Founder and Physiotherapy Director at The Medical, explains why it’s so important to wear proper running trainers – particularly for women.

    ‘The choice of women’s running shoes is now vast, so it’s important to visit a specialist running retailer for advice,’ Andy tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘A specialist retailer will analyse the runner’s gait, understand the runner’s activity and recommend a shoe accordingly, with many of the top retailers and brands now working with physiotherapists to really offer the best advice and overall knowledge to the runner.

    ‘With anything from three to eight times the runner’s body weight acting as a force on the muscles in the leg with each stride, some critical features of a running shoe are comfort and shock absorption.

    ‘Without these two crucial elements, running can be a pretty unpleasant experience and ultimately, women want to enjoy their sport, not have it made harder by wearing the incorrect equipment – specialist running shoes are critical to this process, and can not only reduce the risk of injury, but also aid performance.’

    What is gait analysis?

    Gait analysis is the study of human motion. It is used to analyse the way we run as individuals. It provides runners with essential information about their running style.

    The principal aim of gait analysis is to measure the level of pronation. Pronation is the natural inward roll of the foot as the outside part of the heel strikes the ground. And how much you pronate determines what kind of support you need in a running shoe.

    • Overpronation is when the feet roll inward too much.
    • Underpronation/supination is where the feet don’t roll inward enough.

    There is an assumption that any trainers in the sports department will cater for your needs – but that just isn’t the case.

    Running shoes provide specific balance, stability and support that many basic trainers are lacking.

    We get it – running trainers are expensive. For a top-of-the-range pair you can pay close to £200. So the idea of paying £30 for non-specialist trainers is appealing. Particularly if you’re new to the sport, or you just do it casually.

    Put even non-professionals need the right gear. It could be argued that it’s even more important to wear correct shoes if you’re a weekend warrior because you might be more likely to pick up a niggly injury.

    But you can do it on the cheap. One trick is to buy trainers from last year, or even the year before. The technology will be mostly the same, they just might not have the latest design.

    And you should always get your gait properly analysed before spending your money. When you know your running style and the exact support you need, choosing the best pair becomes much simpler.

    Elite runner, Hannah Irwin, wishes more women knew just how important it was to wear proper trainers.

    ‘It is so important to wear the right running shoes,’ she tells us.

    ‘I am a neutral runner, so it’s extremely important for me to run in a neutral shoe. If I were to run in a supported shoe, it could throw my running style off balance and cause issues further down the line.

    (Picture: Mizuno/Metro.co.uk)

    ‘It is still important for me to have a well-cushioned shoe for continuous easy runs and long training sessions to ensure I am reducing the shock and impact going through my legs. However, when it comes to racing, especially on the road, I opt for the lightest trainer possible, to ensure I am not being slowed down by unnecessary extra weight.

    ‘I have to ensure my trainers are regularly updated as once the cushioning has worn down, they no longer provide the essential shock absorption.’

    And it’s not just running. For any sport that requires sharp turns, stops and starts, or any impact, you need to think carefully about your shoe choices.

    Netball is a killer. Wearing the wrong trainers on court can be catastrophic – and thousands of women are doing it every week.

    Netball is the UK’s fastest growing women’s sport. There are leagues, at all levels, playing up and down the country every night of the week. But too many netballers have no idea of the risks of playing in the wrong shoes.

    Sports brand Mizuno make netball trainers, and they have launched a new campaign to encourage netballers to ditch their unsuitable, generic trainers and switch to shoes specifically made for their sport.

    Netball is explosive, athletic and incredibly demanding – players need to get great elevation off the ground, sprint and stop repeatedly and turn at dangerously sharp angles. Ankle and knee injuries are rife, but you can reduce the risk simply by wearing the right footwear.

    ‘There is a real need and responsibility to educate the netball-playing community on the importance of a court specific shoe,’ explains physio Andy.

    ‘A running shoe is designed purely for forward motion. Less than 40% of a netball player’s movement is forwards, so clearly a running shoe isn’t designed to cope with the stresses of netball’s stop-start nature and sideways movement.

    ‘Netball shoes provide a much more stable base, far more grip and a more supportive upper than running shoes, allowing the wearer to be more confident and secure whilst playing.

    ‘This improves on-court performance and helps protect the player against the common knee and ankle injuries we see so often in the sport.’

    Erin Burger, plays for the South Africa Proteas. She is a veteran player with 107 international caps. She says that adjusting her footwear allowed her to keep playing the game she loves.

    ‘After suffering from consecutive foot stress fractures, I was beginning to lose hope that I would ever play netball pain-free again,’ Erin tells Metro.co.uk

    ‘I had bespoke supportive insoles made to counter my movement issues but these were firm, uncomfortable and caused blisters. Literally every time I stepped out on court I knew I was going to be playing the best part of 60 minutes in discomfort.

    ‘It wasn’t until I swapped to a specialist Mizuno netball shoe that everything changed. Everything about the shoe was different to what I had previously experienced – they were lighter, lower to the floor, more stable and more supportive.

    (Picture: Mizuno/Metro.co.uk)

    ‘Suddenly the blisters went away and I could play my sport with more comfort and confidence – it was a huge relief and has contributed to prolonging my career.

    ‘My advice to any woman playing sport is to try to visit a specialist retailer and get these shoes on your feet. They need to be comfortable and they need to fit well first and foremost.

    ‘It’s crucial that you play netball in a netball shoe – please don’t put yourself at risk of injury by wearing a shoe that is too soft or unsupportive.’

    Where to get gait analysis

    The following brands offer in-store gait analysis – usually it’s a free service.

    Profeet
    South London

    RunnersNeed
    Nationwide

    Nike
    Nationwide

    Asics
    Nationwide

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