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

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    When it comes to chronic illnesses, every Tom, Dick and Harry thinks they’ve got an answer.

    Their aunt ‘cured’ their IBD by going gluten-free. Their mate ran a marathon and is no longer depressed.

    And none are worse for un-scientifically backed advice on these kinds of conditions than ‘health’ bloggers. It’s these charlatans who prescribe plant-based diets as a cure for chronic illness who have tarred the very real health benefits of veganism with quackery.

    Let’s get one thing straight: plants can only do so much. Drugs and surgery will likely do a lot more for certain illnesses than cutting out meat products. And if you do have a chronic illness and you are thinking of going vegan, you’re best off chatting with your GP or specialist first.

    But having chronic illness doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to compromise on your ethics. It’s just important to proceed with caution.

    Emma has Crohn’s and she turned vegan ‘officially’ two years ago after experimenting for a while.

    She tells Metro.co.uk that she first mate the switch in order to better her health as her previous diet was becoming increasingly hard to digest. Then after researching into the farming industry, ethics started to take over.

    Instagram Photo

    ‘I have been diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease since December 2014 after about six years of visiting the doctors with bad symptoms,’ Emma says.

    ‘Honestly, I could write a whole book on how it has affected me; day to day however, the hardest things to deal with are constant chronic fatigue making it hard to do simple tasks, keep up a job and education (I had to leave university during my second year), as well as socialise and maintaining relationships. I have to cancel or say no to things I would love to do knowing I am in too much pain or too fatigued to participate.

    ‘My disease also makes me feel self conscious as I get painful bloating which makes me look almost nine months pregnant and feel gigantic.’

    Surely the condition would make a diet packed with fibre hard to digest too?

    ‘Personally, my condition makes it easier to be vegan. I feel I am quite an anomaly to the stereotype of what someone with Inflammatory Bowel Disease should eat; we are recommended mostly to stick to a low fibre diet with low dairy, good meat intake and avoid beans, legumes and vegetables especially with peels on. However, I am completely the opposite.

    ‘I struggle so much with eating meat and dairy and white bread etc; vegan food is perfect for me, the fibre helps me a lot as I tend to get an impacted bowel and suffer with painful bouts of constipation.

    ‘Adopting this lifestyle and learning more about the food I eat and what is in it has made me feel so much more confident in being able to eat without too much fear.

    ‘The only advice I got from a qualified dietician at hospital was to rid myself of a vegan diet and up my dairy intake for calcium and meat for protein.

    ‘I wanted the dietician to help me make sure I was getting the correct nutrients from my food especially B12 and protein as I didn’t want to be depriving my body, however, she was unhelpful and I eventually discharged myself from that service.’

    Instagram Photo

    As for ‘wellness bloggers’ and ‘nutritionists’, Emma says that she feels that some people ‘don’t even question their diet and lifestyle once diagnosed and how it can play an enormous factor in the control of your disease’.

    ‘However, I also think that certain ‘wellness bloggers’ or ‘nutritionists’ are going to another extreme, promising that plant-based living and whole foods can cure your illness – that is not a fact.

    ‘There is some correlation between changing your diet and feeling better but no definitive, evidential proof, but this is a medical condition that requires professional advice to manage. As a whole, community advice is great but you have to find what works for you and your body as everyone is so different.’

    Her advice to anyone else living with IBD and thinking about going vegan?

    ‘Try it! Small steps; don’t expect yourself to fall straight into a fully plant-based diet as even those with healthy guts can suffer the effects of a high fibre diet.

    ‘Experiment, take things one step at a time (try to replace your milk for soya/oat/cashew/rice for example), prepare steamed vegetables and see which settle in your stomach.

    ‘Just try things out! But don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work, we all have different needs and in no way should you feel bad for not being able to become vegan. There are so many other ways you can support the animals and the environment.’

    Daisy is another vegan living with Crohn’s since the age of 21. She was told that she had fibromyalgia shortly after being given her IBD diagnosis.

    Why we should care about children?s mental wellbeing - and what we can do to help (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk) Metro Illustration Illustrations
    Daisy went vegan a couple of years after being diagnosed with Crohn’s (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk)

    She claims that her first episode was kicked off after eating a chicken lunch which was followed by ‘two weeks of horrendous gastroenteritis’.

    ‘My Crohn’s is severe and I had my first operation at 25 – and have had three more since. I became a vegetarian after watching a video when 25, and it helped my digestion a fair bit I noted. Then I became a vegan a couple of years after that and it helped enormously.

    ‘I honestly didn’t do it with my illness at the forefront, I simply wanted to stop animal cruelty and if as a side effect of that it helped my Crohn’s, then great.’

    Daisy goes so far as to say that her surgeon has credited her change of diet as potentially life saving: ‘They told me that had my gut been in the kind of mess they had been when I ate meat, I’d have been a goner. I can’t digest meat without getting severe pain and dairy always made me feel horribly sick.

    ‘There’s the chronic fatigue too, and depression which both comes hand in hand with long term illness and for me is hereditary too.

    ‘I’ve been treated for depression since I was thirteen and there’s no doubt it improved when I became vegan, though how much that was due to feeling happier about making more ethically sound choices, I’m not sure.’

    For many people, chronic conditions co-exist alongside others.

    32-year-old Becky has been a veggie for over half of her life and a vegan for three years. She lives with IBS, Raynaud’s syndrome, psoriasis and sicca syndrome (an autoimmune issue).

    ‘I’d say that my IBS has improved – I’ve had less frequent episodes after giving up wheat. But since being vegan, I haven’t had a serious episode.

    Instagram Photo

    ‘It’s had no effect on my psoriasis but it’s not made it worse.

    ‘Sicca syndrome causes me constant tiredness and painful joints. My energy levels have slightly improved being vegan and the painful joints vary, but overall slight improvement or the same, but certainly not worse.’

    When I ask her about whether her diet is ever blamed for her illnesses, she says: ‘I don’t tend to talk about my illnesses much as that is a fear as my vegetarianism used to get blamed when I had regular bouts of labyrinthitis.

    ‘However, when I get any other illnesses eg cold, stomach bug etc, I tend to get told I’m ‘missing things from my diet’. Because non-vegans never get bugs!’

    Of course, a large part of living with chronic illness is the mental health aspect.

    It’s estimated that up to a third of people who have a serious medical condition also have depression. There’s mixed evidence that veganism can both help and hinder mental wellbeing. Back in April it was reported that a plant-based diet may help to reverse symptoms of depression, but that’s counterbalanced against eco-anxiety – something which many of us would argue gets worse the more into green living you get – and other research that suggests veggies are more likely to suffer with poor mental health.

    It makes sense that if you’re following a diet that makes you feel good about yourself, your mental health would improve – which could then have an effect on your physical mood.

    Instagram Photo

    Emma used to have severe dysmenorrhoea (very painful periods), and she claims that since eating vegan made her eat healthier, her symptoms were reduced.

    ‘My symptoms of dysmenorrhoea were reduced as I wasn’t eating as many fatty foods and dairy foods that seemed to make me worse.’

    But it’s depression that she lives with now and while she’s clear that it’s not a cure for mental illness, she says that being vegan has given her something positive to focus on.

    ‘I find veganism gives me a sense of identity, purpose and something to feel good about.

    ‘Additionally, in the recent years with the rise in vegan fast food and ready meals available in supermarkets, it’s easier to stay vegan and eat well on “down days” as I don’t have to cook everything from scratch anymore!’

    Veganism isn’t possible for everyone – even if they share the same conditions as some of these women. Chronic illness is so highly personal, what works for one definitely won’t for another.

    The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, for example, explicitly says that no diet has been scientifically proven to prevent or control IBD, and that people living with an IBD should never attempt to change their eating patterns before talking to a medical professional.

    Diabetes UK also says that while veganism can ‘fit well’ with the dietary guidelines for people with diabetes, it’s important that people discuss the move with their diabetes team if they have any queries or concerns, and that it’s really important to plan where your nutrients are coming from – and in what doses.

    There are many chronic illness survivors out there living their best plant-based lives, so if you do want to explore veganism but are concerned about your health, know that it might be possible.

    Talk to your GP or medical team first and if they give you the go ahead, there are plenty of vegan forums out there dedicated to people living with illness.

    MORE: From dinosaur nuggets to meeting in the middle – a week in vegan news

    MORE: People want Brussels sprouts more than they fancy pigs in blankets this year

    MORE: The eco-friendly guide to Christmas gift wrap


    5 common myths about nutrition (and the truths)Ella Byworth5 common myths about nutrition (and the truths)Ella ByworthmkylWhy we should care about children?s mental wellbeing - and what we can do to help (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk) Metro Illustration Illustrations5 common myths about nutrition (and the truths)Ella Byworth5 common myths about nutrition (and the truths)Ella ByworthmkylWhy we should care about children?s mental wellbeing - and what we can do to help (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk) Metro Illustration Illustrations

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

    One particularly cringe-worthy aspect of being in a couple is when you enter that lovey-dovey stage and decide that using each other’s real names is no longer a viable option.

    Suddenly, we feel the need to conjure up ridiculous pet names that make others find it hard to keep their breakfast down.

    But, next time someone casts an evil eye in your direction as you call your partner ‘baby’, you can tell them that researchers support it – new findings show that couples who give each other endearing pet names could have stronger relationships.

    Whether it’s honey, babe or something more unusual like an actual pet name – kitten and chicklet, perhaps – the study reveals that you have a higher chance of being happy with your partner, if you do use one.

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

    Conducted by Superdrug Online Doctor, it surveyed over 1,000 adults from a variety of countries, with US participants more likely to use a pet name (87%), compared to Europeans (74%).

    Odds of relationship happiness were also higher among the American participants (16%), compared to Europeans (9%).

    Interestingly, male participants were more likely to concoct a special name for their partner; 85% versus 76% of women.

    So what do gents call their ladies?

    ‘Bobblehead or Bobble Wizard,’ Zak Edwards tells Metro.co.uk. ‘We’ve been together 20 years and I have no idea how it came about.’

    Keith McNiven, who has been together with his girlfriend for five years, calls her ‘cookie’, because she’s ‘sweet and small’.

    Others use more unconventional phrases.

    ‘I call her hunmine, and she calls me hunariah,’ said Peter.

    ‘It’s done ironically – it started about 7 years ago because our friend used to call everyone hun, so we just sort of started taking the piss to each other and it’s stuck around. We’ve been together 10 years.’

    Perhaps the research is legit.

    (Picture: Phébe Lou Morson for Metro.co.uk)

    But remember, just because you have the all clear to piss off your pals by reminding them you’re doing this ‘because research said so’, it doesn’t mean you should.

    If you must, you should know that some pet names are more acceptable than others. In Europe, ‘cutie’ and ‘hun’ top the list, along with ‘Schatz’ – a German phrase translated as ‘treasure’.

    Americans preferred ‘pretty’, ‘beautiful’ and ‘gorgeous’.

    As for the most hated phrases, stay away from ‘papi’, ‘daddy’, ‘sweet cheeks’ and ‘muffin’.

    ‘Each to their own, but to me the pet name daddy is purely sexual and for the bedroom only,’ said Emmie Harrison, who has been together with her hubby for four years.

    The most hated pet names, ranked by percentage

    1. Papi (73%)
    2. Daddy (72%)
    3. Sweet cheeks (66%)
    4. Muffin (61%)
    5. Cutie Pie (57%)
    6. Sweet Pea (56%)
    7. Princess (54%)
    8. Sweetie Pie (54%)

    If you’re wondering why you just can’t seem to help yourself, there’s actually a reason.

    Our own names are uniquely personal, but pet names can add an extra layer of intimacy,’ relationship expert at eharmony, Rachael Lloyd tells Metro.co.uk. 

    ‘Whether flippant or sweet, they can act as a uniquely-shared language between two people.

    ‘Often the nicknames are flattering too – words like “beautiful” and “gorgeous” – which when used time and again act as a source of continued positive affirmation for the person in question.

    ‘The softness of a pet name can also help diffuse tension in periods of stress or act as comfort when one person in a relationship is in need of some extra reassurance.’

    We can’t argue with experts and science.

    Go forth with your pet names – just not in public, please.

    MORE: Why you can’t stop calling your partner ridiculous pet names

    MORE: How to deal with the curse of cuffing season insomnia

    MORE: Couples who constantly say ‘we’ are in ‘happier, healthier relationships’


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  • 11/30/18--05:35: How do Muslims have sex?
  • (Picture: Getty/ Metro.co.uk)

    Welcome to a new series where we ask the question: how do people from different religions have sex?

    We’ll be finding out about how Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and hopefully Zoroastrians (if we can find one who’ll talk to us) have sex.

    We’ll be asking the same questions about each religion in an attempt to better understand how your faith can shape your sex life.
    This week we’re looking at how Muslims have sex.

    This series is based on the official teachings of the religion, not what individuals might choose to do.

    Can you have sex before marriage?

    Nope, like a lot of other mainstream religions, having sex before marriage is forbidden – or ‘haram’. As Muslim and Metro.co.uk writer Faima Bakar explains: ‘No matter how ‘practicing’ or non practicing you are, the two things that are taken quite seriously as a Muslim are not eating pork and not having sex before marriage, though some are more relaxed with the latter.

    ‘There’s lots of Muslims who date but generally without having sex because that’s considered a big deal – one to be saved for marriage. And those who do have premarital sex are most likely very quiet about it, though I do believe they’re in the minority.’

    What is sex like within marriage?

    Extramarital sex is a big no-no, but within marriage sex is considered to be positive and important.

    Emphasis is placed on the importance of foreplay. Muslims are forbidden to act like animals, and sex without foreplay is considered to be acting like an animal, therefore foreplay is extremely important.

    Can you use contraception?

    Yes. Islam is supportive of the use of contraception for family planning purposes. The morning after pill is also permitted, as long as the woman taking it doesn’t feel that she has conceived.

    Women have the right to use whatever contraception they want, without their husband’s permission, however they should not force their husband to wear a condom or pull out before ejaculating, each gender should have control over their own contraceptives.

    Abortion?

    Abortion is not freely permitted – but can be allowed, specifically if the pregnancy poses a real threat to the mother’s health.
    It is also considered permissible to prevent the suffering of the fetus if it is fewer than 120 days old.

    In Iran, Grand Ayatollah Yusuf Saanei issued a fatwa which permits abortion in the first three months, saying: ‘…Islam is also a religion of compassion, and if there are serious problems, God sometimes doesn’t require his creatures to practice his law. So under some conditions–such as parents’ poverty or overpopulation-then abortion is allowed.’ – Grand Ayatollah Yusuf Saanei quoted in Los Angeles Times, December 29, 2000

    Oral sex?

    A grey area. Some scholars say that while it’s undesirable, it’s acceptable.

    Anal sex?

    Big no-no. Anal sex is considered to be ‘the sin of Lot’s people’ and is not acceptable between hetero or homosexual couples.

    Period sex?

    No – not on the menu. Muslims are not supposed to have sex during a woman’s period or during her afterbirth, largely because it’s considered to be unpleasant for the woman.

    Homosexuality?

    Unfortunately not. Like a lot of other major religions, homosexuality isn’t permissible under Islam. Men who have sex with other men should be punished, claims the Koran, though no punishment is specified.

    Women having sex with women falls under the same umbrella.

    Masturbation?

    Masturbation is not permitted for for men or women, but different areas of Islam take slightly different stances on how wrong it actually is. 

    How sex positive are Muslims?

    There are quite a lot of rules, but if you’re having heterosexual sex with a married partner, and she’s not on her period, it’s considered to be an important and valued part of a marriage.

    It’s the women in Islam who have ‘rights’ to sex. Men are supposed to sleep with their wives a minimum of once every four months, though women can waive their right to it.

    Next week we’ll be asking how Sikhs have sex.

    MORE: Can women take Viagra?


    MORE: Can women take Viagra?


    Elegant rubies gemstones vector jewelry religious symbols pendants for necklace or bracelet set. Good for jewelry gift design.Elegant rubies gemstones vector jewelry religious symbols pendants for necklace or bracelet set. Good for jewelry gift design.rebeccacnreidElegant rubies gemstones vector jewelry religious symbols pendants for necklace or bracelet set. Good for jewelry gift design.Elegant rubies gemstones vector jewelry religious symbols pendants for necklace or bracelet set. Good for jewelry gift design.rebeccacnreid

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    In an Asian community, when it comes to knowing other people’s business, not a lot is out of bounds.(Picture: Jaz Rabadia)

    I’d always had a particular view of the way my life would go.

    I was convinced I would follow the same path as many others in my family and wider Indian community; complete my education, secure a lucrative job, get married and then go on to start a family.

    Three out of four of those were fairly straightforward – I graduated with a first-class degree in mechanical engineering, started a job within the energy industry straight after university and married the love of my life.

    But accomplishing the fourth milestone took us nearly three years of struggle and heartache.

    As a British Indian, I’ve always felt like I’ve have the best of both worlds.

    The freedom and opportunities of the west and the amazing traditions and culture of the east. And, being part of the wider Asian community, I was never too far away from a helping hand.

    Whatever I needed, I knew there was always someone who would be willing to support me at the drop of a hat.

    However, there is a pay-off.

    In an Asian community, when it comes to knowing other people’s business, not a lot is out of bounds.

    When I started working, aunts and uncles would ask me how much I earn.

    Before I got married, there were constant remarks that I wasn’t getting any younger.

    Unsurprisingly, soon after the wedding, the expectation of having a baby began.

    My husband and I had tried to conceive naturally, and after three years of trying, I could feel the pressure mounting.

    I think the best way for infertility to become less taboo – both in Indian communities and others – is for more people to talk about their experiences so that we can learn from, understand and connect with one another.

    I’d had people incorrectly congratulate me, unnecessarily quiz me and awkwardly put me on the spot when it came to my pregnancy status.

    Aunties asked when I’d be starting my own family (as if I wasn’t already trying), elders commented on the weight that I had put on (because of all the medication I was taking) and people assumed that I had put my career ahead of starting a family (even though we had been actively trying for years).

    Regardless of how common fertility issues are, there is still a social stigma attached to them. In the Asian community, this is amplified.

    There is a huge lack of awareness of just how many couples it impacts, and more importantly the physical and emotional toll it takes.

    Many are curious about who is at ‘fault’ and often the assumption is that the woman is lacking.

    When you’re in the emotional tornado that is infertility, this especially can be so detrimental. It’s one of the reasons I couldn’t face talking about it with people – I couldn’t face them talking about me.

    Big families are part of the Indian identity, and by not being able to realise that dream, I could feel my own identity eroding.

    My journey to motherhood consisted of years of trying to conceive naturally, a miscarriage and a failed round of IVF. It was a voyage of heartache, hope and self-discovery.

    After a second round of IVF, I had a successful pregnancy and am now the proud mother of a beautiful baby boy.

    Earlier this year, I decided it was time to take action and share my story in the hope that it would help others in a situation akin to mine and perhaps confront the taboo.

    I was shocked at just how many women from the community responded to say that they had gone through something similar but had never discussed it with anyone.

    Many said they felt inspired to talk more openly about the subject and to share their own stories.

    One mother even told me that she had shared a blog I had written on the topic with her 16-year-old daughter, to help de-stigmatise the subject from an early age.

    I think the best way for infertility to become less taboo – both in Indian communities and others – is for more people to talk about their experiences so that we can learn from, understand and connect with one another.

    It is the most powerful tool we have to normalise the subject and makes it easier for those who might undergo similar experiences in the future.

    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, 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: Menopause at 17: How I came to terms with finding out I couldn’t have children as a teenager

    MORE: Miscarriage is cruel and unfair, and I need to tell you about what happened to me

    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: Brown men don’t cry: How a culture of shame stops South Asian men talking about mental health

    MORE: Why there’s so much silence around being sexually assaulted in the Asian community

    MORE: The shame of not being able to handle spicy food when it’s a huge part of your culture


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    Wetherspoons Is Selling A Festive Pigs In Blankets Pizza For Christmas Wetherspoons
    (Picture: Wetherspoons)

    Wetherspoon has added a pigs in blankets pizza to its menu and it sounds amazing.

    The pizza is super festive, featuring sliced brie, cranberry sauce and pigs in blankets as well as rocket.

    You can also get a side of pigs and blankets if you want to go all out.

    Yes, it sounds incredibly sickly but Christmas is for indulging, right?

    (Picture: Wetherspoons)

    The pizza has 1,077 calories, and will be available until Christmas Eve.

    A little while ago, we also announced that a company was looking to pay someone £500 to taste test pigs in blankets.

    Yes, it sounds like the best job in the world. And we want it.

    The Oast House in Manchester is looking for someone to taste test mini sausages wrapped in bacon.

    The chosen candidate will be paid £500. Yes, £500 to eat sausages and bacon. Yum.

    The advert was listed on Airtasker and all you need to do to apply is share your best Christmas story.

    The restaurant says: ‘The applicant with the story that makes us laugh or cry the most will be given the chance to join us at the tasting session.’

    You have until 16 December to apply.

    MORE: Can you manage a chronic illness and be vegan at the same time?

    MORE: Costa has suspended their meal deal until after Christmas


    WetherspoonsWetherspoonshattiegladwellmetroWetherspoons Is Selling A Festive Pigs In Blankets Pizza For Christmas WetherspoonsWetherspoonsWetherspoonshattiegladwellmetroWetherspoons Is Selling A Festive Pigs In Blankets Pizza For Christmas Wetherspoons

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    (Picture: Getty)

    The tale of the menstrual cup cleaning gone wrong.

    Earlier today, a woman stands in her kitchen with her menstrual cup, a.k.a. mooncup.

    She boils some hot water, pours it into a mug and pops her cup inside to sterilise it.

    After she’s finished, she lifts the cup out with a pair of tongs and takes it upstairs, before rushing to get the kids to school.

    ‘The End’ – right? Wrong.

    As far as nightmare scenarios go, this story likely tops the list for most men.

    ‘This morning, I sterilised my mooncup (hasn’t been sterilised since last period) in boiling water in a mug,’ the woman tells users in a Mumsnet forum.

    ‘Used the tongs to get it out and took it upstairs but in rush of getting DCs [darling children] out of the door for school forgot to get rid of the boiling water and put the mug in the dishwasher.

    ‘DH [darling husband] has recently taken to drinking hot water plain – he alternates it with coffee as he says it makes his breath better. He drank the mooncup water and was finishing the mug as he left for work.

    ‘There’s no point in telling him is there?.’

    We’ll give you a moment to process that before we continue.

    There was a mixed response from Mumsnet users – some were grossed out, including FissionChips, who said the story made her ‘retch’.

    Staffiegirl, another user, agreed and added: ‘Me too. I can now feel my (late) breakfast gurgling away trying to make an appearance.’

    Others shared helpful advice on how better to sterilise a menstrual cup.

    ‘You need to boil it in a pan on the bob for five to seven minutes, or use sterilising liquids like Milton (same stuff used for baby equipment),’ said user Holstenlane.

    The story was also later shared on Twitter by an account known as Mumsnet_Madness.

    One Twitter user nicknamed the nightmare scenario ‘#MoonCupWatergate’.

    However, while the story might make some people cringe, you needn’t worry – there’s nothing dangerous about drinking the water as it would have been sterilised when boiled.

    As for whether the woman should tell her partner that he drank her menstrual cup water, most people are definitely a strong no, including men who responded to the story on Twitter.

    What do you think?

    MORE: 11 things that happen when you start using a menstrual cup

    MORE: Woman covers her face in period blood before rolling around in the grass

    MORE: Modern Etiquette: I got period blood on someone else’s sofa, what do I do?


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    How to do coital aligment technique during sex
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Should you be doing it all day, every day for optimal chances of having a baby?

    Will that quickie five minutes before you leave work make a difference?

    Is it best if you both find jobs where you can work from home, strip naked and bone 24/7?

    Yes – if we’re to believe recent findings.

    According to research published by Indiana University in two journals’ including Fertility and Sterility’ and in ‘Physiology and Behavior’, having more sex causes changes in the immune system that could help you get pregnant.

    The findings relied on data from a study of 30 female participants, all with similar lifestyles, barring one defining factor – their sex lives. Half of them were actively having sex at the time (and using some form of birth control, as none were trying to get pregnant) and the other half went without.

    Results showed changes in the immune system for the women who were being sexually active, which could improve fertility odds, while the other women saw no change in cells.

    But given this research didn’t take into account conception, illness or infection, is it really accurate and can frequent sex help you along the way to having a baby?

    Fertility expert, Emma Cannon, encourages her clients to get jiggy regularly because it can improve sperm quality.

    ‘It is important for couples to have sex throughout the month and not just target ovulation,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘This is because it is healthier for sperm to turn over regularly, which is achieved through ejaculating regularly. Many couples make the mistake of just having sex around the fertile window, which is very variable and hard to pinpoint accurately; by doing so they may also be impacting on the quality of the sperm.

    ‘With couples having frozen embryo transfers, I always encourage them to have sex before 8am in the morning of transfer and the morning after transfer; research suggests that substances in sperm may prime the woman’s body aiding implantation of the embryo.’

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

    Keeping the swimmers fresh is key, it seems.

    It may seem obvious, but the frequency a couple is having sex can make a real difference,’ said Dr Victoria Walker, an expert at the infertility centre, Insitut Marques, tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘Couples who have sex a couple of times a week are more likely to conceive than those who have sex once a week.

    ‘This is because your partner’s sperm count and quality is negatively affected if it’s retained in the body for more than three days.

    ‘Studies have shown that the best way to maintain a high quality of sperm is to have sex every 48 hours – however, I don’t recommend that couples put pressure on this so that sex becomes a chore.’

    But having a baby isn’t just down to sperm quality. Let’s not forget about the all-important menstrual cycle.

    ‘For women there are approximately six days per menstrual cycle during which sexual intercourse can lead to pregnancy,’ said Dr Lucy Buckley, from Dr Fertility.

    ‘This period of time is known as a woman’s fertile window. Ovulation itself only last for 12-24 hours, meaning there is only a finite time per cycle when conception can occur.

    ‘However, your fertile window is a six-day period of time commencing five days before ovulation and including the day you ovulate, because sperm can live inside the female body for up to five days.

    ‘Having sexual intercourse regularly (every one to two days) during your fertile window is a relaxed way to increase your chances of getting pregnant. But, if not possible, having sex two to three times per week is adequate.’

    Thankfully, there’s tech to help you on your way, including ovulation test kits and fertility monitors.

    Do bare in mind that this is general advice on fertility that won’t apply in all scenarios – if you’re experiencing fertility issues, for instance.

    Before you decide to go on a sex spree, chat to your GP or other healthcare professional, please.

    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, 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: Menopause at 17: How I came to terms with finding out I couldn’t have children as a teenager

    MORE: Miscarriage is cruel and unfair, and I need to tell you about what happened to me

    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?


    How to do coital aligment technique during sexHow to do coital aligment technique during sexallieabgarianHow to do coital aligment technique during sexFertility SeriesHow to do coital aligment technique during sexHow to do coital aligment technique during sexallieabgarianHow to do coital aligment technique during sexFertility Series

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    (Picture: Getty)

    News broke today that as many as 17% of children have some of the symptoms of Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).

    A study by Bristol and Cardiff Universities analysed previous records to get their findings, which stated 79% of mothers had drunk alcohol at some point when they were pregnant and between 6% and 17% of the children in the study had symptoms consisted with FASD.

    This umbrella term focuses in a variety of foetal abnornalities caused by alcohol – one of which is Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.

    We take a look at what this is, and how you can spot it.

    (Picture: Getty)

    Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a condition that affects children whose mothers drank while they were in the womb.

    The alcohol can pass through the placenta into the baby and, since foetuses can’t process alcohol in the same way an adult can, it can cause problems.

    It may disrupt the baby’s brain or spinal cord development, and sometimes results in the loss of the baby.

    For the babies that do survive, there may be issues that last into adulthood.

    Symptoms

    Some of the symptoms of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome can be physical while others are mental.

    One of the first things that a doctor may examine is the size of the child’s head. Some children with FAS can have a smaller head than average. Other children may also be smaller in height.

    Certain distinct facial features may also be present, such as small eyes, a thin upper lip, and a smooth area between the nose and upper lip (philtrum).

    The mental and behavioural symptoms can include the following:

    • movement and co-ordination problems
    • learning difficulties (including thinking, speech, social, timekeeping, maths or memory issues)
    • mood, attention or behavioural problems
    • problems with the liver, kidneys, heart or other organs
    • hearing and vision problems

    Although these symptoms will be permanent, there is plenty of support on offer for children with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome.

    If you think your child may be affected, speak to your GP or health visitor.

    MORE: Can you prime your body for pregnancy by having sex regularly?

    MORE: Woman’s partner drinks her menstrual cup water by mistake (and doesn’t know it)


    Pregnant Woman Reaching for Glass of WinePregnant Woman Reaching for Glass of WinejessicacvlPregnant Woman Reaching for Glass of WinePregnant Woman Reaching for Glass of Winejessicacvl

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    How to do coital aligment technique during sex
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    For some people this time of year is about Christmas. But if you’re high minded and like bad euphemisms for sexual organs then you’ll know that the best thing about the end of the year is the Bad Sex Award.

    The Literary Review put together a list of the absolute worst, most vagina shriveling writing from the year so that we can all be horrid and laugh at it.

    Some of them aren’t that bad. Some of them may make you want to donate your genitals to medical science.

    Connect by Julian Gough

    He drops the bra to the floor, looks up, into her eyes, it’s too much. He kisses her chin, her mouth, and their tongues touch, oh, too much, he slips his lips free with a soft suck. Moves up to kiss her strong nose, on one side, then the other, it’s hard and soft at once. He moves back down, till he is level with her breasts.

    ‘They’re small,’ she says, surprisingly shy, apologetic.

    ‘They’re perfect,’ he says.

    He kisses them. Teases a nipple with his lips. It’s so soft; and then, suddenly, hard.

    Wow.

    He sucks on the hard nipple.

    He has never done this before, and yet; no, wait, of course, it is totally familiar.

    The first thing he ever did.

    He feels the huge change in meaning, in status; it is as though he had grown up in a single suck. Everything transformed. And yet nothing has changed at all; he sucks at a nipple as he lies on a bed, and it’s eighteen years later, and he sucks at a nipple as he lies on a bed, and his childhood falls away from him like a burned-out booster stage from a rocket. Its fuel used up. He is now in orbit around a different planet.

    The Paper Lovers by Gerard Woodward

    He was aware that she was making a mewling sound as he put his lips to her tightened nipple and sucked. Her mouth was at his ear, her tongue travelling along its grooves, voice filling it. His mouth tugged at her, extended her, she snapped back, there was a taste of something on his tongue. In his mind he pictured her neck, her long neck, her swan’s neck, her Alice in Wonderland neck coiling like a serpent, like a serpent, coiling down on him. She had found a way through his clothing and her fingers had lightly touched his cock, then slowly began to take a firmer hold. He wanted to cry like a baby. He felt helpless, as though his body had come undone and she was fastening it. He felt as though he was bleeding somewhere. Then he felt powerful, gigantic. He would have kicked a door down.

    Katerina by James Frey

    I’m hard and deep inside her fucking her on the bathroom sink her tight little black dress still on her thong on the floor my pants at my knees our eyes locked, our hearts and souls and bodies locked.

    Cum inside me.

    Cum inside me.

    Cum inside me.

    Blinding breathless shaking overwhelming exploding white God I cum inside her my cock throbbing we’re both moaning eyes hearts souls bodies one.

    One.

    White.

    God.

    Cum.

    Cum.

    Cum.

    I close my eyes let out my breath.

    Cum.

    Grace’s Day by William Wall

    He’s almost weightless. When he enters me it hurts and my pain belongs to the subterranean world, primitive as the clay. His body is slacker than I expected, a small paunch begins at his waist and settles in a downward parabola to his groin. His pubic hair is red. His erect penis is a surprise although I had imagined what they would feel like, read about them, seen them represented on toilet walls and magazines. I didn’t see it before he entered me, but afterwards it is small and sticky and amusing. I want to touch it but I don’t dare. I don’t know the etiquette. He is twenty or more years older than me. This is sex.

    Kismet by Luke Tredget

    She shuffles her head closer to his cock, close enough to smell her own residue, and then takes it in her mouth, with the vague idea of cleaning it. Geoff mirrors this gesture by burying his head between her legs, and gradually she can feel his cock pumping up with blood, one pulse at a time, until it is long and hard and filling her wide-open mouth. They stay in this position for a long time, Anna sucking and slurping with the same lazy persistence you’d use on a gobstopper or a stick of rock. Eventually she loses her sense of the context altogether – of what she is doing or who she is with or where they are – and becomes an empty vessel for what feels like disembodied consciousness. She looks at the window and wonders how the glass feels encased within its wooden frame, what the shaggy clouds feel like being blown across the sky, what the walls felt like being splattered and smeared with wet paint …

    Scoundrels: The Hunt for Hansclapp by Major Victor Cornwall and Major Arthur St John Trevelyan

    “Empty my tanks,” I’d begged breathlessly, as once more she began drawing me deep inside her pleasure cave. Her vaginal ratchet moved in concertina-like waves, slowly chugging my organ as a boa constrictor swallows its prey. Soon I was locked in, balls deep, ready to be ground down by the enamelled pepper mill within her.

    Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami

    My ejaculation was violent, and repeated. Again and again, semen poured from me, overflowing her vagina, turning the sheets sticky. There was nothing I could do to make it stop. If it continued, I worried, I would be completely emptied out. Yuzu slept deeply through it all without making a sound, her breathing even. Her sex, though, had contracted around mine, and would not let go. As if it had an unshakeable will of its own and was determined to wring every last drop from my body.

    The winner will be announced on the 3rd of December. They have an award ceremony and everything – though the author doesn’t always feel the need to go…

    MORE: Can you prime your body for pregnancy by having sex regularly?

    MORE: Calling your partner a cringe-worthy pet name could make your relationship stronger

     


    Bouncing spoon sex positionBouncing spoon sex positionrebeccacnreidHow to do coital aligment technique during sexBouncing spoon sex positionBouncing spoon sex positionrebeccacnreidHow to do coital aligment technique during sex

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    (Picture: Kellogg’s)

    Kellogg’s is launching a new Rice Krispies cereal but like all amazing sounding foods in the world, it’s not going to be available in the UK.

    Sigh.

    Launching in America, the cereal brand has released a new flavour for the first time in more than 10 years: Strawberry Krispies.

    According to Kellogg’s, the Rice Krispies will have a naturally-inspired strawberry flavour, and pink in colour.

    Instagram Photo

    But, according to Delish, the flavour was actually first released in the 80s, but is now made from a new recipe.

    So far, there have been mixed reviews about the cereal on Twitter, with some wondering why Kellogg’s felt the need to launch (or re-launch) a classic with strawberry flavour.

    We’re super sad that the cereal isn’t coming to the UK. Why does America always get the good stuff?

    The new cereal will hit the shelves in January 2019, and will be sold in two sizes for £3.12 and £4.46 respectively.

    But, if you’re heading across the pond in the New Year, you could always bring a packet back with you.

    Here’s hoping the rest of us can at least get it on Amazon.

    MORE: Can you manage a chronic illness and be vegan at the same time?

    MORE: Burger King now offering dog food

    MORE: Wetherspoon adds a pigs in blankets pizza to its menu


    Kellogg?s Has Launched A New Pink Rice Krispies Cereal, But It's Dividing PeopleKellogg?s Has Launched A New Pink Rice Krispies Cereal, But It's Dividing PeoplehattiegladwellmetroKellogg?s Has Launched A New Pink Rice Krispies Cereal, But It's Dividing PeopleKellogg?s Has Launched A New Pink Rice Krispies Cereal, But It's Dividing Peoplehattiegladwellmetro

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    Eggnog is a Christmas staple – for some, anyway (Picture: Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/UIG via Getty Images)

    Eggnog is a bit like Marmite – it’s either your festive staple and provides you with an instant Christmas hit, or the pure fact it not only has ‘egg’ in its name but also involves drinking raw egg is enough to put you off so much you’ve never tried it.

    It’s been around for centuries but, while it’s generally known to be rich, creamy, pale-coloured drink, there’s often confusion over what’s actually in eggnog.

    Whether you’ve never tried the stuff and want to know more, you’ve had a few sips and don’t really understand the hype or you’re addicted and want to make your own at home, here is your essential eggnog guide…

    What is eggnog?

    Essentially, eggnog is a delicious (well, that bit is subjective), mix of beaten egg, sugar, cream, milk, nutmeg and booze – typically brandy, rum or whiskey, sometimes all three.

    There are tonnes of recipes for making festive eggnogs (check out our ultimate boozy kind below), and the fresh is most def the best.

    However, Or perhaps you’ve tried the ready-made supermarket variety and vowed never to let it pass through your lips again.

    Eggnog with Cinnamon and Nutmeg at Christmas Time in front of the fireplace

    Why do we drink it at Christmas?

    Much like mulled wine or excessive amounts of sherry and Bailey’s, eggnog is very much a drink that only comes out to play during the festive period.

    The history of eggnog states that the first recorded recipe of the drink was in 1775.

    Brits used to enjoy a drink called posset, which was a mix of hot milk, ale and spice. However, then the wealthy upper classes go involved and started adding expensive sherries or brandy to the mix. This helped stop the milk from spoiling without the use of fridges.

    Eggnog can be made at home and it’s more delicious than the shop-bought varieties (Picture: Getty)

    Eggnog soon made it across the pond to the America, which is when rum was used instead of sherry, brandy or, at times, whisky.

    It became known as a Christmas drink as it was originally served warm but also because spices and certain liquors were hard to come by in the year, so people savoured it at Christmas as a special treat.

    What’s the best recipe?

    There are various eggnog recipes around, some not using vanilla extract, some not using cream. They also use varying amounts of alcohol – or none at all – but we find the boozy one the best.

    Metro.co.uk’s Hazel Patterson used to be averse to the idea of eggnog until she made her own and discovered its potent creamy awesomeness.

    Forget eggnog lattes and go the whole nog hog. (Picture: Sarsmis)
    • 8 very fresh organic eggs, separated into yolks and whites
    • 400g caster sugar
    • 500ml double cream
    • 500ml milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
    • 300ml bourbon
    • 200ml rum
    • 100ml brandy
    • freshly grated nutmeg

    Beat the egg yolks with the caster sugar until thoroughly combined, gradually beat in the alcohols, the vanilla, the milk and 250ml of the double cream. Ideally you should then cover this mixture with cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for 2 hours. (The mixture can be left in the fridge for up to two weeks – when first American president George Washington used to make his, he insisted on it being refrigerated for at least two days to let the flavours mellow). When you’re ready to serve, beat the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff peak stage. Remove your mixture from the fridge and give it a good stir. Stir in the whipped egg whites then whip the remaining double cream and stir that in also. Serve in glasses topped with freshly grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick (or you could serve with a chocolate flake instead!). This recipe will serve around 10-12 guests.

    MORE: 25 festive cakes and cookies to bake over Christmas

    MORE: From worst to best – the definitive ranking of Christmas food


    Eggnog Christmas milk cocktail with cinnamon, served in two glasses on vintage tray with shortbread star shape sugar cookies, decor toys, fir branch over white wooden plank table.Eggnog Christmas milk cocktail with cinnamon, served in two glasses on vintage tray with shortbread star shape sugar cookies, decor toys, fir branch over white wooden plank table.amyduncanukmetroEggnog Christmas milk cocktail with cinnamon, served in two glasses on vintage tray with shortbread star shape sugar cookies, decor toys, fir branch over white wooden plank table.Eggnog Christmas milk cocktail with cinnamon, served in two glasses on vintage tray with shortbread star shape sugar cookies, decor toys, fir branch over white wooden plank table.amyduncanukmetro

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    (Picture: Mercury Press)

    A Beauty and the Beast fan has dedicated 30 hours to creating a stunning Christmas tree inspired by her favourite Disney film.

    Mum-of-one Sian Teesdale, 29, spent eight hours a day for three days making the red and yellow decorations for her tree by hand.

    It features hand-painted baubles in the same shade of yellow as Belle’s ball gown, as well as rose baubles, red and yellow silk satin bows and a scarlet skirt to sit under the tree.

    After perfecting her decorations and paying around £120 for some official Disney ornaments, Sian then devoted six hours to dressing the 7ft snow-dusted artificial fir.

    ‘Last Christmas was the first time I decided to look into having a Beauty and the Beast themed tree but this year I wanted it to be bigger and better,’ said Sian, of Swansea, Wales.

    MERCURY PRESS. 30/11/18. Pictured: Sian Teesdales amazing Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas tree. A Princess Belle mega fan has dedicated 30 hours to creating this stunning Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas tree. Mum-of-one Sian Teesdale, 29, spent eight hours every day for three days handcrafting red and yellow decorations for her Disney-inspired tree. As well as hand-painting baubles to get them the same shade of yellow as Belle's iconic ball gown, Sian made rose baubles, red and yellow satin bows and a scarlet skirt to sit under the tree. SEE MERCURY COPY
    (Picture: Mercury Press)

    ‘I couldn’t find any yellow baubles, so I had to paint loads of baubles myself to get them the same shade as Belle’s dress.

    ‘I stuck red roses to some baubles and glitter on others, and made all the yellow and red bows. It didn’t cost me a lot but it took me about 24 hours over three days to get all the decorations perfect.

    ‘The Disney ornaments on the tree were quite expensive. I have ten in total and they cost about £10 to £12 each. Some of them are from Disneyland.

    ‘I would love to have more. I’m collecting them as I go along.

    ‘It then took me six hours to dress the tree, so it’s had a lot of time dedicated to it but I’m so happy with how it’s turned out.’

    MERCURY PRESS. 30/11/18. Pictured: Sian Teesdales amazing Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas tree. A Princess Belle mega fan has dedicated 30 hours to creating this stunning Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas tree. Mum-of-one Sian Teesdale, 29, spent eight hours every day for three days handcrafting red and yellow decorations for her Disney-inspired tree. As well as hand-painting baubles to get them the same shade of yellow as Belle's iconic ball gown, Sian made rose baubles, red and yellow satin bows and a scarlet skirt to sit under the tree. SEE MERCURY COPY
    (Picture: Mercury Press)

    Sian also said she loves the tree so much she wants to keep it up all year – and that the yellow and red look in particular is her favourite.

    Next year, she hopes to create another Beauty and the Beast-inspired tree, but a blue and yellow one to represent the Beast.

    ‘My little girl is too young to appreciate the tree just yet. She loves all the lights. I’m sure when she’s a bit older she will be like “wow mummy”,’ she said.

    Sian, who lives with her husband Lee Teesdale, 34, and their little girl Arabelle Teesdale, one, has adored Belle since she was four years old.

    MERCURY PRESS. 30/11/18. Pictured: Sian Teesdale, 29, is a professional princess and Belle is her favourite princess to dress up as. A Princess Belle mega fan has dedicated 30 hours to creating this stunning Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas tree. Mum-of-one Sian Teesdale, 29, spent eight hours every day for three days handcrafting red and yellow decorations for her Disney-inspired tree. As well as hand-painting baubles to get them the same shade of yellow as Belle's iconic ball gown, Sian made rose baubles, red and yellow satin bows and a scarlet skirt to sit under the tree. SEE MERCURY COPY
    (Picture: Mercury Press)

    She even named her daughter after the Disney princess and has turned her ‘obsession’ into a career, dressing as Disney princesses for kids’ parties, events and to visit children’s hospitals.

    All the children in her community ‘know’ that Belle lives in Sian’s house, which is filled with an ever-growing collection of Beauty and the Beast trinkets.

    Sian said: ‘Since I was four years old I have been obsessed with Disney, and Belle has always been my favourite Disney princess.

    ‘I just love Beauty and the Beast – its story and its message.’

    MERCURY PRESS. 30/11/18. Pictured: Sian Teesdale, 29, is a professional princess and Belle is her favourite princess to dress up as. A Princess Belle mega fan has dedicated 30 hours to creating this stunning Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas tree. Mum-of-one Sian Teesdale, 29, spent eight hours every day for three days handcrafting red and yellow decorations for her Disney-inspired tree. As well as hand-painting baubles to get them the same shade of yellow as Belle's iconic ball gown, Sian made rose baubles, red and yellow satin bows and a scarlet skirt to sit under the tree. SEE MERCURY COPY
    (Picture: Mercury Press)

    ‘Belle is so kind and she changes the Beast to be more kind. I love the message of not judging a book by its cover and how beauty is found on the inside,’ she said.

    ‘I love how strong Belle is and she doesn’t just go for the hunky guy who loves himself.’

    Sian added: ‘Instead she’s all about reading books, learning new things, going on adventures and looking after her dad. She really cares about her family. It’s lovely.

    ‘And I really love her yellow dress. When I get to put it on I feel absolutely amazing. Being Belle just feels really natural.

    ‘Belle is a really big part of my life.’

    MORE: Wetherspoon adds a pigs in blankets pizza to its menu

    MORE: People want Brussels sprouts more than they fancy pigs in blankets this year

    MORE: Tesco is selling Christmas jumpers for two people ‘to combat loneliness’


    A Princess Belle mega fan has dedicated 30 hours to creating this stunning Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas treeA Princess Belle mega fan has dedicated 30 hours to creating this stunning Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas treehattiegladwellmetroMERCURY PRESS. 30/11/18. Pictured: Sian Teesdales amazing Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas tree. A Princess Belle mega fan has dedicated 30 hours to creating this stunning Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas tree. Mum-of-one Sian Teesdale, 29, spent eight hours every day for three days handcrafting red and yellow decorations for her Disney-inspired tree. As well as hand-painting baubles to get them the same shade of yellow as Belle's iconic ball gown, Sian made rose baubles, red and yellow satin bows and a scarlet skirt to sit under the tree. SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. 30/11/18. Pictured: Sian Teesdales amazing Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas tree. A Princess Belle mega fan has dedicated 30 hours to creating this stunning Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas tree. Mum-of-one Sian Teesdale, 29, spent eight hours every day for three days handcrafting red and yellow decorations for her Disney-inspired tree. As well as hand-painting baubles to get them the same shade of yellow as Belle's iconic ball gown, Sian made rose baubles, red and yellow satin bows and a scarlet skirt to sit under the tree. SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. 30/11/18. Pictured: Sian Teesdale, 29, is a professional princess and Belle is her favourite princess to dress up as. A Princess Belle mega fan has dedicated 30 hours to creating this stunning Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas tree. Mum-of-one Sian Teesdale, 29, spent eight hours every day for three days handcrafting red and yellow decorations for her Disney-inspired tree. As well as hand-painting baubles to get them the same shade of yellow as Belle's iconic ball gown, Sian made rose baubles, red and yellow satin bows and a scarlet skirt to sit under the tree. SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. 30/11/18. Pictured: Sian Teesdale, 29, is a professional princess and Belle is her favourite princess to dress up as. A Princess Belle mega fan has dedicated 30 hours to creating this stunning Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas tree. Mum-of-one Sian Teesdale, 29, spent eight hours every day for three days handcrafting red and yellow decorations for her Disney-inspired tree. As well as hand-painting baubles to get them the same shade of yellow as Belle's iconic ball gown, Sian made rose baubles, red and yellow satin bows and a scarlet skirt to sit under the tree. SEE MERCURY COPYA Princess Belle mega fan has dedicated 30 hours to creating this stunning Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas treeA Princess Belle mega fan has dedicated 30 hours to creating this stunning Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas treehattiegladwellmetroMERCURY PRESS. 30/11/18. Pictured: Sian Teesdales amazing Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas tree. A Princess Belle mega fan has dedicated 30 hours to creating this stunning Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas tree. Mum-of-one Sian Teesdale, 29, spent eight hours every day for three days handcrafting red and yellow decorations for her Disney-inspired tree. As well as hand-painting baubles to get them the same shade of yellow as Belle's iconic ball gown, Sian made rose baubles, red and yellow satin bows and a scarlet skirt to sit under the tree. SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. 30/11/18. Pictured: Sian Teesdales amazing Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas tree. A Princess Belle mega fan has dedicated 30 hours to creating this stunning Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas tree. Mum-of-one Sian Teesdale, 29, spent eight hours every day for three days handcrafting red and yellow decorations for her Disney-inspired tree. As well as hand-painting baubles to get them the same shade of yellow as Belle's iconic ball gown, Sian made rose baubles, red and yellow satin bows and a scarlet skirt to sit under the tree. SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. 30/11/18. Pictured: Sian Teesdale, 29, is a professional princess and Belle is her favourite princess to dress up as. A Princess Belle mega fan has dedicated 30 hours to creating this stunning Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas tree. Mum-of-one Sian Teesdale, 29, spent eight hours every day for three days handcrafting red and yellow decorations for her Disney-inspired tree. As well as hand-painting baubles to get them the same shade of yellow as Belle's iconic ball gown, Sian made rose baubles, red and yellow satin bows and a scarlet skirt to sit under the tree. SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. 30/11/18. Pictured: Sian Teesdale, 29, is a professional princess and Belle is her favourite princess to dress up as. A Princess Belle mega fan has dedicated 30 hours to creating this stunning Beauty and the Beast themed Christmas tree. Mum-of-one Sian Teesdale, 29, spent eight hours every day for three days handcrafting red and yellow decorations for her Disney-inspired tree. As well as hand-painting baubles to get them the same shade of yellow as Belle's iconic ball gown, Sian made rose baubles, red and yellow satin bows and a scarlet skirt to sit under the tree. SEE MERCURY COPY

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    (Picture: Getty)

    Christmas time means it’s basically mandatory at some point to wear a Christmas jumper.

    Not only are they super cosy, but often hilarious and/or cute.

    There’s even a Christmas jumper day on 14 December, where you can wear yours to school or work and donate some money to Save The Children.

    If you want to make sure you have the best get-up at the office party, we’ve got some options here that won’t break the bank.

    Tesco

    (Picture: Tesco)

    Pal up and get into this double Christmas jumper from Tesco.

    It’s designed along with the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), and is supposed to help highlight loneliness – particularly among young men who are at risk.

    All of the profit from the £18 jumpers goes towards CALM. They’re available in stores now.

    H&M

    (Picture: H&M)

    If woolly jumpers isn’t really your bag, this festive hoody from H&M might be for you.

    It’s £14.99, and you can either get the pictured snowman one or a Santa version.

    Personally, we like the carrot detailing on here, though.

    Asda

    (Picture: Asda)

    A real jumper with bells on, this.

    Be the cheekiest elf in town with the cosy knit from George.

    It’s £16, and sure to see you through many Christmas parties in the future.

    Asos 

    (Picture: Asos)

    Wear this if you want to get straight to the point when it comes to mistletoe.

    It’s only £10, but sizes are selling out fast, so if you want it you’ll need to be quick.

    Jacamo

    (Picture: Jacamo)

    Down from £30 to £18 is this bad Santa sweater.

    It’s available up to a 5XL.

    Boohoo

    (Picture: Boohoo)

    For something a little less in-your-face, why not go for this Boohoo jumper.

    There are plenty of colourways for the knit, and with 25% off it’s only £15.

    MORE: Instagram introduces ‘close friends’ feature which could add yet more anxiety to your online life

    MORE: Real life Disney princess creates Beauty and the Beast-inspired Christmas tree


    Funny Christmas coupleFunny Christmas couplejessicacvlFunny Christmas coupleFunny Christmas couplejessicacvl

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    Adoption is not 'just' the easy way for infertile couples to have a family (metro.co.uk)
    Adoption is not ‘just’ the easy way for infertile couples to have a family (Illustration: metro.co.uk)

    The head of the public body representing children in care said recently that a drop in the rate of children being adopted is partly caused by the growing success of IVF.

    Anthony Douglas, head of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) said that, ‘adoption is competing with lots of other ways of having children’, as a result of a threefold increase in the success of IVF.

    Admittedly, he did go on to suggest that it’s not just the fault of big bad IVF, and that he believed a major factor is that the adoption process is ‘far too slow’.

    Unsurprisingly the interview sparked backlash among those affected by these issues, with many pointing out that adoption is not merely a quick fix for infertile couples, but about finding the best possible family for a vulnerable child.

    Dr Krish Kandiah, head of adoption charity Home For Good, said Douglas’s words were a ‘misunderstanding of the very essence of adoption’.

    ‘Ultimately, adoption is not about family completion but the flourishing of vulnerable children. Conflating infertility and adoption is not helpful,’ he said.

    There are many, many reasons that make ‘Why don’t you just adopt?’ one of the most unhelpful things you can say to someone struggling with infertility.

    As Anya Sizer of Fertility Network UK  – who has personal experience of both IVF and adoption – explains:

    ‘We are talking about two very different issues and two very different types of family. As a mother of two IVF children and one adopted son, I know this is the case all too well.

    ‘I know the enormous joy and hope that adoption brings, and I will never regret adopting our amazing, resilient, wonderful son.

    ‘But neither will I see the decision as a ‘just’. Our lives are testimony to adoption being anything but simple or straightforward. Adoption has been the hardest thing we have ever been through and has tested us far beyond what we thought we could deal with. We have had to fight time and again for any state support and it has been exhausting.

    ‘What it hasn’t been is a “just”, a second best or an easy choice. All this, along with headlines [like the words of Anthony Douglas] reduce an immensely complicated issue down to a false equation.

    ‘The children within the care system and those facing infertility deserve more than that.’

    How/exactly when I realised family must come first (Jamie Roberts)
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    The double standard

    The problem with the ‘IVF is to blame’ argument is that it positions the declining rate in adoption as an issue that’s solely down to people with fertility problems to solve.

    Newsflash:The responsibility to adopt children does not automatically fall to those suffering with infertility. Fertile couples can adopt too.

    Look at any article about IVF and you’re guaranteed to find comments arguing that children are a lifestyle choice, not a right — and the NHS shouldn’t be funding people to have biological children when there are already so many children waiting to be adopted.

    Allow me to make clearer what they are actually trying to say: The NHS shouldn’t be funding treatment for infertile people to have biological children, when there are already so many children waiting to be adopted.

    It seems to be perfectly fine for NHS funds to be used for fertile people to have biological children, even though there are so many children waiting to be adopted.

    I know lots of couples with two or three birth children — the cost to the NHS for just the pregnancies and births of those extra children is pretty hefty (and that’s before you get on to their healthcare and schooling).

    I’ve heard many argue that money shouldn’t be spent on IVF when there are so many children in need of homes.

    But I can’t recall many, if any, articles suggesting that NHS funds spent on the maternity care for fertile couples’ easily conceived children would have been better spent on the existing children already in care.

    (This also applies to the ‘IVF money could be spent on lifesaving cancer treatment’ argument. How often do you hear ‘Oh, you’re having your second/third child – have you not thought about the cancer budget?’)

    How about a compromise*

    *For the avoidance of any doubt, what follows is a purely rhetorical argument, I’m in no way advocating for this as a genuine suggestion. 

    Given there’s so many children needing homes, why don’t we say that any couple can only have a birth child once they’ve already adopted, and there are no more children left in the care system?

    Plus — think of the valuable NHS resources currently used for maternity care that could be used to fund lifesaving cancer drugs instead.

    No? Thought not.

    Children may be a privilege, not a right — but they’re deemed by society to be a pretty essential privilege, because we recognise that reproducing and raising the next generation is necessary to keep society going.

    Infertile couples’ children are just as likely to grow up to make positive contributions to society as fertile couples’ children.

    Which, given the latest news that plummeting fertility rates are creating a so-called ‘demographic time bomb’, seems pretty salient.

    Stop making IVF the scapegoat

    The issue of adoption is really difficult and really complex and there are no easy answers.

    But can we please stop blaming ‘selfish’ couples pursuing IVF.

    Infertile couples are asked ‘why don’t you just adopt?’ To which I would respond, ‘Why didn’t you just adopt?’

    Fertile couples aren’t chastised for choosing to have a biological child — so we should stop criticising infertile couples for wanting to make the same choice.

    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, 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: Menopause at 17: How I came to terms with finding out I couldn’t have children as a teenager

    MORE: Miscarriage is cruel and unfair, and I need to tell you about what happened to me

    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?


    Adoption is not 'just' the easy way for infertile couples to have a family (metro.co.uk)Adoption is not 'just' the easy way for infertile couples to have a family (metro.co.uk)akismet-2fcb28243f975bb512a587b829a23dfdHow/exactly when I realised family must come first (Jamie Roberts)Adoption is not 'just' the easy way for infertile couples to have a family (metro.co.uk)Adoption is not 'just' the easy way for infertile couples to have a family (metro.co.uk)akismet-2fcb28243f975bb512a587b829a23dfdHow/exactly when I realised family must come first (Jamie Roberts)

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    World AIDS Day isn’t just for remembering those who lost their lives to the disease.

    As well as this, it’s a day to spread awareness of HIV and AIDS, and encourage people to get tested.

    Testing has come on in leaps and bounds over the years, and there are now quicker and easier ways to find out your status.

    There are even now home test kits you can get, which will show you the result in around 15 minutes.

    We tried out some of the kits from the Terrence Higgins Trust, and found that even the ‘worst’ part – the finger-prick – was done in a flash and not painful at all.

    These tests include a safety lancet, which you use to prick your finger.

    From there, all you need to do is hold the test onto the blood drop for a second, and pop that into the included cap of solution.

    The tests take up to 15 minutes to show a result; one stripe means negative, and two means positive.

    Then, you can either go about your business as usual, or call the Terrence Higgins Trust to find out your next steps.

    You might also wish to get tested by a medical professional rather than using the home service.

    These tests involve blood being taken. In some cases, you will have an instant result, and in others it will be sent to a lab with results sent in a few days.

    How to get a test

    You can see if a home test is available to you through the NHS or Terrence Higgins.

    These test kits will be free if you’re in an at-risk group and/or live in one of the eligible areas.

    If you find you’re not in either of these categories, but live in London, you can check the Sexual Health London page to see if you can get a home kit that way.

    Alternatively, the NHS website allows you to search for any HIV testing centres here.

    You can purchase home HIV tests online for a fee, but it’s important to check that any test you buy has a CE quality assurance mark and is licensed for sale in the UK.

    BioSure sell the tests we used in our video, and are the Terrence Higgins Trust’s preferred partner.

    Their kits are normally £29.95, but you can use discount code ISWMHST  to get £10 off.

    How often should you be tested for HIV?

    If you’re a man who has sex with men, it’s recommended to have an HIV test at least once a year, or every three months if you’re having unprotected sex with new or casual partners

    Similarly, if you’re a black African person who has sex with multiple new or casual partners, The NHS recommend regular testing.

    Other at-risk groups include intravenous drug users.

    If you think you’ve been exposed to HIV, it’s important to seek a test as soon as possible. This is because knowing sooner means you can start treatment if necessary, and also because new drugs can be administered up to 72 hours after exposure to help prevent you becoming infected.

    Check the It Starts With Me website, where they have a test to see when you should be tested.

    MORE: Where to buy a World Aids Day ribbon 2018

    MORE: Labour MP praised for announcing he is HIV positive during Commons debate


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    In March 2016, Tommy Donbavand, 51, was diagnosed with inoperable stage four throat cancer.

    He underwent intensive courses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy which made him incredibly unwell, and caused the skin both inside and outside of his neck to be burned.

    In the days following the end of his treatment, he began to feel confused and acted clumsily. He fell over, sent his brother text messages filled with strings of gibberish, and didn’t know – for example – that the district nurse had been out to visit him, even though she had just been chatting with him while she took a blood sample.

    On that same day, Tommy went to bed around 4pm. He says he doesn’t remember anything else, only what his wife and other family members have told him.

    What is sepsis?

    Sepsis is a serious complication of an infection, that, without quick treatment, can lead to multiple organ failure and death.

    The symptoms happen very quickly, and often include having pale or bluish skin, feeling abnormally cold to touch, having a rash that does not fade when you press it, and feeling lethargic and difficult to wake.

    It is often described as seriously feeling like you are going to die.

    He tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I fell out of bed in the early hours of the morning, and my wife was unable to rouse me.

    ‘I was completely unresponsive. She called an ambulance and I was rushed to A&E at Blackburn Hospital. There, doctors unsuccessfully tried to revive me in the resuscitation room.

    ‘I’m told my vital signs were dropping fast, my blood pressure and oxygen levels plummeted, and my wife, brother and sister were told that unless I began to respond to their treatment, I had approximately two hours left to live.

    ‘At one stage, the doctors considered putting me into a medically induced coma, but were reluctant to do so as it was unlikely I would ever emerge from it. Around this time, I was also diagnosed with double pneumonia.

    ‘I came round in ICU the following day. I don’t know what time, but it was dark. I spotted a nurse in the room and asked which hospital I was in. That conversation was the first thing I remember after telling my wife I was going up to bed for a nap as I felt unwell.

    ‘I can’t say that I was terrified or thought as if I was going to die, as I had no idea what was going on even in the days leading up to my ‘attack’.

    ‘However, I remember telling my wife that “something was wrong”, and that “I needed to be in hospital”. I just couldn’t explain why.’

    Tommy on his first day in ICU (Picture: Tommy Donbavand)

    Tommy remained in ICU for a week, before being transferred to a general ward where he stayed for a further month to recover.

    He is now cancer free in his throat, but discovered in January this year that the cancer had spread to his left lung. He underwent surgery to remove the part of that lung with the tumour, and the surrounding lymph nodes.

    More recently, his oncologist has advised him to ‘get his finances in order’, as it is almost certain the cancer will have spread elsewhere, but he won’t know where until he starts to get sick again.

    Tommy said: ‘This news, while not the worst it could have been (we’re hopefully talking years rather than months), was devastating for me and my family – my wife, Kirsty, and my two sons, aged 19 and 12.’

    Tommy says every part of his life was turned upside down by the cancer and the sepsis. He now walks with a cane, and can only do so for short distances. He struggles to use stairs and sleeps in a hospital bed in the living room.

    He said: ‘My advice would be not to ignore any unusual symptoms, such as sudden confusion or clumsiness, and have others watch out for those as well, as you may not realise they are happening to you.’

    Harriet, 23, from Kent, had sepsis in 2016, after she had given birth to her daughter.

    She was Strep B positive during pregnancy, but thankfully during labour was given crucial antibiotics that protected her baby.

    However, Strep B infected her through a small tear which was caused during labour, and is suspected to have caused the sepsis.

    Harriet tells us: ‘Due to being so unwell after having my daughter anyway, I already felt pretty awful. My Mum has told me that day she was scared for my life on multiple occasions.

    ‘I’d just come around from medical interventions and had a little while of feeling okay, all things considered. Then in no time at all I had low blood pressure, but a comparatively high pulse, my skin looked mottled and I was so pale I was a grey blue. I had a fever, but I felt so cold I couldn’t stop shivering.

    Harriet after giving birth, in intensive care (Picture: Harriet Filmer)

    ‘I ached for almost a week afterwards in my jaw and my arms where I was shivering so badly.’

    Luckily, Harriet had a midwife who had already ensured that her haemorrhage, transfusion and recovery were being dealt with.

    She said: ‘He did some observations when I was finally moved from intensive care recovery back to the labour ward and noticed that my pulse and blood pressure wasn’t right. He sent off some bloods and within the hour I was put on a series of IV antibiotics and diagnosed with sepsis.’

    Harriet says that she’s thankful it was her who had to fight the sepsis instead of her baby.

    She’s also pleased she cannot fully remember the experience.

    She explained: ‘It pains me that my mother and my daughter’s father will probably always remember it all.

    ‘I suffered with PTSD as a result of my labour. Every time I get a fever and I start to shiver, it gives me serious flashback and anxiety that it could be happening all over again.

    ‘Because I have had sepsis, my GP is always very wary when I have signs of infection, particularly when I had calculus gallbladder disease soon after my labour and ended up back in hospital for suspected sepsis again.’

    Harriet says her experience has made her very wary of infections, in herself and her daughter and others too. If any symptoms sound similar to sepsis, she will immediately jump to the worst possible outcome.

    She feels it’s important to talk about sepsis experiences, because it’s good to talk about the trauma.

    ‘You never know who you could be helping or who you could be saving,’ she said.

    Nicky, 50, had sepsis for the first time five years ago. It was caused by a cellulitis infection in her leg, which she was told could have been caused by an insect bite, a slight scratch or anything that could break the skin.

    She said: ‘I started being sick on a Friday, couldn’t stop crying. When it continued into Monday my Mum asked the doctor to come out to me.

    ‘They refused saying I had to go to the clinic. When my mum said I couldn’t stand I was so ill, they said phone an ambulance.

    ‘She did, was asked my symptoms, told it wasn’t life threatening and to get the doctor out.

    ‘The next day my mum had to fight to get doctor out. He came, gave a prescription for dioralyte and was too busy giving me an obesity lecture!

    How to spot sepsis (Picture: Sepsis Alliance)

    ‘My mum asked if the rash on my leg (growing by the minute) could be cellulitis, he said maybe and gave a prescription for 3 days minoxodil.

    ‘One hour later, the rash was continuing to spread, temperature 103 and breathing very ragged. Mum phoned an ambulance, they sent a first responder who sent for an ambulance and I was then rushed to hospital where I was told I had multiple organ failure and a suspected collapsed lung.’

    Nicky says she was ‘pretty much out of it’ for two weeks. Her mother was petrified she was going to lose her daughter.

    She spent five weeks in hospital on IV antibiotics and fluids, and took morphine for severe pain.

    She says at the time she wasn’t terrified, because she can’t remember feeling anything apart from joy when her mother and husband came in to see her.

    However, she was hallucinating pretty badly – and saw Lord of the Ring’s Gollum climbing across the ceiling and vines growing everywhere tying her to the bed.

    She explained: ‘I had cold sores the size of two strawberries growing in my nose, and my mouth was so full of ulcers didn’t want to eat for four weeks.

    ‘I had to have calorie shots and drinks. Had to to be on a constantly moving bed. Lost so much fluid that when I could drink I couldn’t move without needing a sip of water.’

    It took Nicky five weeks to start recovering, but now having once had cellulitis, she is more vulnerable to it – and has already had it six times, five of which have resulted in sepsis.

    Nicky is currently confident about her health, because she knows to act quickly and take herself to the hospital.

    It has taken her five years of worry, anxiety, pain, discomfort and depression to get to this point.

    74-year-old Janet Morgan contracted sepsis in October 2016 and spent almost eight weeks in hospital.

    She is diabetic and had an ulcer on her foot for roughly ten years, which doctors say was the initial cause of the sepsis.

    She explained: ‘I can’t remember much about it as I was pretty much out of it and had no control. Luckily my son was here and said I was disorientated and hot, he asked me the time every 15 minutes and I didn’t know so he knew I wasn’t right.’

    Sepsis wasn’t diagnosed for 25 hours, and medical professionals weren’t sure she was going to survive.

    Janet says: ‘It was terrifying and still is for the fear of it returning, my mobility was just okay before but now it’s terrible, I never regained the strength or balance I had before it.

    ‘I had six operations and intravenous antibiotics for over seven weeks. My sight and hearing were affected too. I’m more scared than ever about my health now.’

    James Bedford was diagnosed with sepsis after having surgery to remove a kidney stone which was stuck in his ureter. During the surgery a stent was installed which was removed seven days later in a second surgery.

    During the surgery to remove the stent, the surgeon claimed Meningococcal bacteria had entered his body.  Within 48 hours the bacteria had turned into sepsis.

    James tells us: ‘Two days after the second surgery I noticed I had to keep rushing to the toilet to urinate but I couldn’t go.  Seeing as I’d had two surgeries and a stent removed from my penis, I assumed this was just part of recovering from the surgeries and I put it down to internal swelling.

    However, after four hours of constantly needing to go to the toilet and not being able to urinate, I knew something was wrong.

    ‘I felt exhausted, my body was very hot to touch but I felt cold as though I’d been outside in the freezing cold.  My hands started trembling which then turned into full body shivers.

    (Picture: James Bedford)

    ‘My first thought was that I had picked up a virus in hospital but because I couldn’t urinate, I decided to call the private hospital where I had surgery.’

    When James arrived at the hospital, the sister on duty tried to send his mother and himself to A&E next door. His mother refused and demanded that a doctor immediately see him. He says his mother’s determination is what truly saved his life.

    James continued: ‘Within five minutes of the on-duty doctor viewing me he immediately admitted me and I was hooked up to fluids, antibiotics and painkillers.

    ‘Within the hour, the surgeon who had performed my two surgeries had travelled from his home at 11pm at night to see me. He diagnosed suspected sepsis.

    ‘Blood was taken from my body every hour for two days until the cultures came back, providing detailed information on the infection and the best course of treatment.

    ‘My temperature was 42.5 degrees, oxygen levels in my bloody were dangerously low and I was slipping in out of consciousness.

    ‘Apparently the surgeon commended my mother for bringing me in and standing her ground. He commented that if she had not brought me to hospital, I would have slipped into a coma overnight.

    ‘I was in hospital fighting the sepsis for six days.  I only remember snippets of it. My standout memory is seeing my dead father in the room and feeling his presence. In a lucid moment I told my mother that dad had “come to take me”.

    ‘I firmly believe my father was with me and at this stage I was gravely ill because they had not found the right concoction of medication to give me.

    ‘I don’t remember feeling scared but I did wonder if I was going to survive. It was 72 hours before I was given the correct medication to fight the sepsis.’

    James says the reality of the seriousness of the sepsis only hit him when he was leaving the hospital.

    He said: ‘The consultant shook my hand and said “You are a very lucky man.  In my 40 year career, I have never seen someone so sick with an infection”.

    ‘It took me a year to fully feel better, I was exhausted all the time and it’s the mental aspect post-sepsis that is hard.

    ‘I’ve read articles and seen programmes about people who have died or lost limbs from sepsis. This greatly affected me.

    ‘I was lucky to come through unscathed and I still can’t believe it happened. 18 months on, I need at least nine hours of sleep every night otherwise I am fit for nothing.’

    Experiencing sepsis has made James ‘braver’ in many aspects of his life. He has travelled alone and is moving to another country for a job.

    He’s also volunteering with Crisis this Christmas at the homeless shelter in Bermondsey – something he has always wanted to do but never did.

    ‘We don’t know how long we’ll be alive and I want to live my best life,’ he said.

    As words of advice for other sepsis survivors, James says: ‘You made it.  Live your best life in honour of those that didn’t.’

    Dr Michael Porter, lecturer in molecular genetics at the University of Central Lancashire, says there are a number of ways to spot sepsis.

    He tells Metro.co.uk: ‘If you’re concerned that you or somebody you know might have sepsis, the signs to watch out for are: slurred speech or confusion, extreme shivering or muscle pain, not passing urine in a day, severe breathlessness, skin discolouration or a feeling of impending doom.

    ‘It’s just as important to be watching out for sepsis in children, where symptoms can include: fast breathing, fits or convulsions, pale or bluish mottled skin, a rash that doesn’t fade when pressed, lethargy or cold skin to the touch. Under fives may have sepsis if they aren’t feeding, vomit repeatedly, or haven’t passed urine for 12 hours.’

    He says raising awareness of sepsis is incredibly important, because the signs are often spotted by friends or relatives first, before medical professionals.

    Michael, who has himself had sepsis, said: ‘If my brother had not spotted the critical signs of my sepsis in time, or my treatment had been delayed by even an hour, I would have died.

    ‘Instead, I spent three months in a coma and still consider myself to be one of the lucky ones who survived.

    ‘Of the 200,000 cases of sepsis in the UK each year, somewhere between 44,000 and 80,000 will die, and the numbers of undiagnosed sepsis sufferers may be as high as 1.7 million. Even in survivors, 40% will have ongoing moderate or severe health problems.

    ‘The earlier that sepsis is spotted the better, since its impacts can be very serious, with sufferers spending long periods in ICU and undergoing amputations in an effort to save their lives.

    ‘The more awareness we can raise about sepsis, the more lives we can save and the more we can reduce the impact that sepsis has on those that survive. Every minute counts, so the best advice is to just call the NHS – just dial 999 and ask, “could this be sepsis?”’

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    ‘If we saw a range of Muslim women across mainstream media, we wouldn’t be questioning ourselves.’ (Photo: Getty Images)

    ‘Why are you Muslim?’ was one of the countless direct messages I received (and am still receiving) for commenting on Dina Tokio’s photograph two weeks ago.

    My comment read ‘It actually upsets me how judgmental the Muslim community can be’.

    Tokio is one of the most influential hijabi and modest fashion vloggers in the world, and one of the first YouTubers to represent Muslim women online.

    But the Modestly writer has faced an online uproar for all the wrong reasons, after starting to show more of her hair by removing her hijab.

    The frequent comments underneath Tokio’s videos, Instagram and other social media posts are of disappointment. Real people are trolling her decision to the point where some comments underneath her posts have been disabled.

    Critique and hate mail range from the simple ‘unfollowed’ to ‘sell out…sad to see this’ to ‘I prefer you with a scarf’, along with various comments telling the mother of two to die and how much of a bad person she is.

    These trolls argue that she is guiding Muslim girls down the path of evil, even though there’s much doubt about how showing an ankle or two could ever do that.

    Instagram Photo

    Tokio’s followers appear to be angry at the modest influencer for taking off her headscarf, but if you look closer, that’s not really the reason why.

    She is undoubtedly one of the handful of recognisable Muslim faces. Part of large adverts, interviewed by the biggest of publications: whatever Tokio promotes, it sells.

    When she first started out, her appearance and identity automatically represented the many Muslim women and people who were rarely given the spotlight. She is part of the ‘good Muslim’ narrative that is so sparse in mainstream media. With her large following, she is now undeniably powerful.

    And so, it seems clear why her Muslim followers  or those who are physically ‘modest’ — are unhappy. Now Tokio is choosing to show her hair, they suddenly can’t see themselves in British Vogue, nor in YouTube campaigns.

    But, putting the weight of visibility for Muslim women on one person’s shoulder is as toxic as only seeing Tokio’s worth for her headscarf.

    If you think about Muslim women the connotations are usually negative, with TV shows often showing us as terrorists – or the wife of one. We’re deemed to be passive and without agency, as a number of us globally choose to cover what we have instead of flaunting it.

    These claims are also false: intersectional feminism (and the Quran) teaches us that it is up to women what they put on their body – be it an all-veiling niqab or G-string.

    Instagram Photo

    Nobody should be up in arms at Tokio: she is one tiny cog in a steel factory. They should be angry at the system that keeps Eurocentric beauty ideals and only one kind of woman at the top.

    Screaming at her through a screen about her modesty or faith gives into this idea that there is only one way to be a Muslim woman; even though there are over half a billion of us worldwide.

    It ignores the history of Islam, and how it had to live and move through several cultures to be the fastest growing religion in the world.

    But mostly, it keeps women in a box. A limited space that doesn’t allow women to live how they freely want to. And now being a Muslim woman, whatever that may look like, is gaining recognition, this isn’t what the general public and the Muslim communities are used to.

    For those who have a multifaceted background, having only one public representation of a Muslim woman is dangerous because it makes you question your experience through only one other example. It can make you ask yourself: am I Muslim enough? 

    The real issue is if we saw a range of Muslim women across mainstream media  differing in their sexuality, their take on modesty, their connection with their faith and what they do day to day  we wouldn’t be questioning ourselves.

    We’d be making space for our own communities and identities, showing larger companies by example how lucrative we truly are.

    We don’t ever judge other influencers on their beliefs according to their personal changes, so why are we doing it with a Muslim woman, who has done nothing but put Muslim women on the map? If anything, we are only hurting ourselves.

    MORE: If you voted Anne Hegerty to do a trial because of her autism you need to get in the bin

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    (Picture: SWNS)

    A real life Matilda scenario has happened as a teacher has changed her student’s life by adopting him.

    Just like Miss Honey, 43-year-old Lourdes Lopez has adopted her 12-year-old student Scott White.

    She first met him when he joined her fifth grade class at Miami Heights Elementary in September 2017.

    Scott had been in foster care for three years and was left without a home after going through a failed adoption in 2016, when he was in the fourth grade.

    Lourdes was heartbroken when she discovered a second adoption had fallen through in Spring 2018 and decided to speak to her husband George Lopez, 50, about helping.

    She’d always had a soft spot for Scott, who was separated from his four siblings after they were taken out of their birth mother’s care when he was five.

    Scott, Adrian and George. See SWNS story SWNYadopt; A kindhearted teacher changed the life of her favorite student when she ADOPTED him one year after he joined her class. Lourdes Lopez, 43, first met Scott White, 12, when he joined her fifth grade class at Miami Heights Elementary in September 2017. Scott had been in foster care for three years and was left without a home after going through a failed adoption in 2016, when he was in the fourth grade. Lourdes was heartbroken when she discovered a second adoption had fallen through in Spring 2018 and decided to speak to her husband George Lopez, 50, about helping. The teacher said she always had a soft spot for Scott, who was separated from his four siblings soon after they were taken out of their mother?s care when he was five. Lourdes and George, an exterminator, discussed the adoption with their sons Adrian, 10, and George, 14, before officially adopting Scott in August 2018. She said: "It?s been wonderful. He gets along so great with my boys. They fight sometimes like all brothers do but they really get along so great.
    (Picture: Lourdes Lopez / SWNS.com)

    Lourdes wanted to change Scott’s life, and spoke to George about the adoption, discussing it with their sons, 10-year-old Adrian and George, 14.

    Scott officially joined their family in August this year.

    The adoption will be finalised on 10 December – making Lourdes a real-life version of Miss Honey, the lovely teacher who adopts Matilda Wormwood in the book.

    She said: ‘It’s been wonderful. He gets along so great with my boys. They fight sometimes like all brothers do but they really get along so great.

    ‘He started with Fs and but now he’s getting As and Bs.

    ‘He’s so much more social, he’s lost weight, he’s really interested in soccer. He’s just a completely different child.

    ‘This was completely meant to be. It’s amazing. Scott was meant to be a part of our family.’

    Scott said: ‘I liked her class because she treated me good and was nice. She was different because she treated me like I was one of her kids.

    Scott and Lourdes. See SWNS story SWNYadopt; A kindhearted teacher changed the life of her favorite student when she ADOPTED him one year after he joined her class. Lourdes Lopez, 43, first met Scott White, 12, when he joined her fifth grade class at Miami Heights Elementary in September 2017. Scott had been in foster care for three years and was left without a home after going through a failed adoption in 2016, when he was in the fourth grade. Lourdes was heartbroken when she discovered a second adoption had fallen through in Spring 2018 and decided to speak to her husband George Lopez, 50, about helping. The teacher said she always had a soft spot for Scott, who was separated from his four siblings soon after they were taken out of their mother???s care when he was five. Lourdes and George, an exterminator, discussed the adoption with their sons Adrian, 10, and George, 14, before officially adopting Scott in August 2018. She said: "It???s been wonderful. He gets along so great with my boys. They fight sometimes like all brothers do but they really get along so great.
    (Picture: Lourdes Lopez / SWNS.com)

    ‘When I found out about the adoption I was excited to have a new family and I was happy.’

    Lourdes and George will officially adopt Scott in a ceremony on 19 December.

    She said the moment she met him after his case worker broke the news was special.

    She explained: ‘When I heard that the second adoption had failed, that was devastating.

    ‘I called his case manager and she basically said I had two options: give Scott a forever home or consider fostering him.

    ‘I discussed it with my husband and he thought it was a good idea.

    ‘We have two sons together so we also had a chat with them about it because it would impact their lives.

    ‘They were ecstatic.

    ‘We started the background checks at the beginning of the summer.

    Geroge Sr, Lourdes, Scott Adrian and George Jr. See SWNS story SWNYadopt; A kindhearted teacher changed the life of her favorite student when she ADOPTED him one year after he joined her class. Lourdes Lopez, 43, first met Scott White, 12, when he joined her fifth grade class at Miami Heights Elementary in September 2017. Scott had been in foster care for three years and was left without a home after going through a failed adoption in 2016, when he was in the fourth grade. Lourdes was heartbroken when she discovered a second adoption had fallen through in Spring 2018 and decided to speak to her husband George Lopez, 50, about helping. The teacher said she always had a soft spot for Scott, who was separated from his four siblings soon after they were taken out of their mother?s care when he was five. Lourdes and George, an exterminator, discussed the adoption with their sons Adrian, 10, and George, 14, before officially adopting Scott in August 2018. She said: "It?s been wonderful. He gets along so great with my boys. They fight sometimes like all brothers do but they really get along so great.
    (Picture: Lourdes Lopez / SWNS.com)

    ‘Scott’s case manager told him, but when we met during a visitation, he just gave me the biggest hug.

    ‘That day was so perfect he spent it playing with my sons.

    ‘We started with week day visits, which turned into sleepovers as the summer progressed. He moved in with us officially on August 15 2018.’

    Lourdes says Scott’s confidence and personality have completely changed since he was adopted. He’s happier and doing much better.

    She said: ‘Scott was five years old when he was taken away from his mother.

    Scott and his new brothers. See SWNS story SWNYadopt; A kindhearted teacher changed the life of her favorite student when she ADOPTED him one year after he joined her class. Lourdes Lopez, 43, first met Scott White, 12, when he joined her fifth grade class at Miami Heights Elementary in September 2017. Scott had been in foster care for three years and was left without a home after going through a failed adoption in 2016, when he was in the fourth grade. Lourdes was heartbroken when she discovered a second adoption had fallen through in Spring 2018 and decided to speak to her husband George Lopez, 50, about helping. The teacher said she always had a soft spot for Scott, who was separated from his four siblings soon after they were taken out of their mother?s care when he was five. Lourdes and George, an exterminator, discussed the adoption with their sons Adrian, 10, and George, 14, before officially adopting Scott in August 2018. She said: "It?s been wonderful. He gets along so great with my boys. They fight sometimes like all brothers do but they really get along so great.
    (Picture: Lourdes Lopez / SWNS.com)

    ‘He was in foster care for three years, luckily with the same foster mother but he had two failed adoptions.

    ‘I knew from the beginning that Scott was special. All my students used to joke that I loved Scott the most. I just knew he needed love.

    ‘When he first started in my class, he sat right next to me and wore this hoody 24/7.

    ‘He really hated group work and buddy work and he didn’t start opening up until the middle of the year.

    ‘I had spoken to my mom quite a lot about Scott and I told her I wished I could just take him home.

    ‘I knew underneath it all the infamous Scott was a really sweet, good boy.’

    Scott added: ‘It’s been really good since I moved in. I get along with Adrian and George really good.’

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    Scott White. See SWNS story SWNYadopt; A kindhearted teacher changed the life of her favorite student when she ADOPTED him one year after he joined her class. Lourdes Lopez, 43, first met Scott White, 12, when he joined her fifth grade class at Miami Heights Elementary in September 2017. Scott had been in foster care for three years and was left without a home after going through a failed adoption in 2016, when he was in the fourth grade. Lourdes was heartbroken when she discovered a second adoption had fallen through in Spring 2018 and decided to speak to her husband George Lopez, 50, about helping. The teacher said she always had a soft spot for Scott, who was separated from his four siblings soon after they were taken out of their mother?s care when he was five. Lourdes and George, an exterminator, discussed the adoption with their sons Adrian, 10, and George, 14, before officially adopting Scott in August 2018. She said: "It?s been wonderful. He gets along so great with my boys. They fight sometimes like all brothers do but they really get along so great.Scott White. See SWNS story SWNYadopt; A kindhearted teacher changed the life of her favorite student when she ADOPTED him one year after he joined her class. Lourdes Lopez, 43, first met Scott White, 12, when he joined her fifth grade class at Miami Heights Elementary in September 2017. Scott had been in foster care for three years and was left without a home after going through a failed adoption in 2016, when he was in the fourth grade. Lourdes was heartbroken when she discovered a second adoption had fallen through in Spring 2018 and decided to speak to her husband George Lopez, 50, about helping. The teacher said she always had a soft spot for Scott, who was separated from his four siblings soon after they were taken out of their mother?s care when he was five. Lourdes and George, an exterminator, discussed the adoption with their sons Adrian, 10, and George, 14, before officially adopting Scott in August 2018. She said: Scott White. See SWNS story SWNYadopt; A kindhearted teacher changed the life of her favorite student when she ADOPTED him one year after he joined her class. Lourdes Lopez, 43, first met Scott White, 12, when he joined her fifth grade class at Miami Heights Elementary in September 2017. Scott had been in foster care for three years and was left without a home after going through a failed adoption in 2016, when he was in the fourth grade. Lourdes was heartbroken when she discovered a second adoption had fallen through in Spring 2018 and decided to speak to her husband George Lopez, 50, about helping. The teacher said she always had a soft spot for Scott, who was separated from his four siblings soon after they were taken out of their mother?s care when he was five. Lourdes and George, an exterminator, discussed the adoption with their sons Adrian, 10, and George, 14, before officially adopting Scott in August 2018. She said: "It?s been wonderful. He gets along so great with my boys. They fight sometimes like all brothers do but they really get along so great.Scott White. See SWNS story SWNYadopt; A kindhearted teacher changed the life of her favorite student when she ADOPTED him one year after he joined her class. Lourdes Lopez, 43, first met Scott White, 12, when he joined her fifth grade class at Miami Heights Elementary in September 2017. Scott had been in foster care for three years and was left without a home after going through a failed adoption in 2016, when he was in the fourth grade. Lourdes was heartbroken when she discovered a second adoption had fallen through in Spring 2018 and decided to speak to her husband George Lopez, 50, about helping. The teacher said she always had a soft spot for Scott, who was separated from his four siblings soon after they were taken out of their mother?s care when he was five. Lourdes and George, an exterminator, discussed the adoption with their sons Adrian, 10, and George, 14, before officially adopting Scott in August 2018. She said: "It?s been wonderful. He gets along so great with my boys. They fight sometimes like all brothers do but they really get along so great.hattiegladwellmetroScott, Adrian and George. See SWNS story SWNYadopt; A kindhearted teacher changed the life of her favorite student when she ADOPTED him one year after he joined her class. Lourdes Lopez, 43, first met Scott White, 12, when he joined her fifth grade class at Miami Heights Elementary in September 2017. Scott had been in foster care for three years and was left without a home after going through a failed adoption in 2016, when he was in the fourth grade. Lourdes was heartbroken when she discovered a second adoption had fallen through in Spring 2018 and decided to speak to her husband George Lopez, 50, about helping. The teacher said she always had a soft spot for Scott, who was separated from his four siblings soon after they were taken out of their mother?s care when he was five. Lourdes and George, an exterminator, discussed the adoption with their sons Adrian, 10, and George, 14, before officially adopting Scott in August 2018. She said: "It?s been wonderful. He gets along so great with my boys. They fight sometimes like all brothers do but they really get along so great.Scott and Lourdes. See SWNS story SWNYadopt; A kindhearted teacher changed the life of her favorite student when she ADOPTED him one year after he joined her class. Lourdes Lopez, 43, first met Scott White, 12, when he joined her fifth grade class at Miami Heights Elementary in September 2017. Scott had been in foster care for three years and was left without a home after going through a failed adoption in 2016, when he was in the fourth grade. Lourdes was heartbroken when she discovered a second adoption had fallen through in Spring 2018 and decided to speak to her husband George Lopez, 50, about helping. The teacher said she always had a soft spot for Scott, who was separated from his four siblings soon after they were taken out of their mother???s care when he was five. Lourdes and George, an exterminator, discussed the adoption with their sons Adrian, 10, and George, 14, before officially adopting Scott in August 2018. She said: "It???s been wonderful. He gets along so great with my boys. They fight sometimes like all brothers do but they really get along so great.Geroge Sr, Lourdes, Scott Adrian and George Jr. See SWNS story SWNYadopt; A kindhearted teacher changed the life of her favorite student when she ADOPTED him one year after he joined her class. Lourdes Lopez, 43, first met Scott White, 12, when he joined her fifth grade class at Miami Heights Elementary in September 2017. Scott had been in foster care for three years and was left without a home after going through a failed adoption in 2016, when he was in the fourth grade. Lourdes was heartbroken when she discovered a second adoption had fallen through in Spring 2018 and decided to speak to her husband George Lopez, 50, about helping. The teacher said she always had a soft spot for Scott, who was separated from his four siblings soon after they were taken out of their mother?s care when he was five. Lourdes and George, an exterminator, discussed the adoption with their sons Adrian, 10, and George, 14, before officially adopting Scott in August 2018. She said: "It?s been wonderful. He gets along so great with my boys. They fight sometimes like all brothers do but they really get along so great.Scott and his new brothers. See SWNS story SWNYadopt; A kindhearted teacher changed the life of her favorite student when she ADOPTED him one year after he joined her class. Lourdes Lopez, 43, first met Scott White, 12, when he joined her fifth grade class at Miami Heights Elementary in September 2017. Scott had been in foster care for three years and was left without a home after going through a failed adoption in 2016, when he was in the fourth grade. Lourdes was heartbroken when she discovered a second adoption had fallen through in Spring 2018 and decided to speak to her husband George Lopez, 50, about helping. The teacher said she always had a soft spot for Scott, who was separated from his four siblings soon after they were taken out of their mother?s care when he was five. Lourdes and George, an exterminator, discussed the adoption with their sons Adrian, 10, and George, 14, before officially adopting Scott in August 2018. She said: "It?s been wonderful. He gets along so great with my boys. They fight sometimes like all brothers do but they really get along so great.

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    A bulldog in Swansea was rescued by the RSPCA after she got stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    The RSPCA were contacted after the dog got trapped in a back garden, between a wall and a fence, on Heol Cleddau in Waunarlwydd last Tuesday, 20 November’.

    An RSPCA animal collection officer came and said Roxy the bulldog seemed ‘remarkable pleased with herself to have got into such a pickle’. What a cutie.

    A plucky bulldog found herself stuck between a rock and a hard place - when she became trapped in a tiny garden gap. Adventurous Roxy managed to squeeze into a garden wall and a fence but couldn't work her way out. Her owner tried to pull her free but Roxy was stuck in the garden in Swansea, South Wales for around three hours. Pictured here is Roxy with Ellie West from the RSPCA. ? WALES NEWS SERVICE
    (Picture: RSPCA/WALES NEWS SERVICE)

    Footage of the rescue was captured by action camera, as two RSPCA officers – inspector Julie Fadden and ACO Ellie West – were able to lift her out, run precautionary welfare checks and return Roxy to her owners.

    Roxy spent approximately three hours trapped – but, fortunately, RSPCA officers were able to reach the Waunarlwydd property and free Roxy within 40 minutes of receiving the call.

    A plucky bulldog found herself stuck between a rock and a hard place - when she became trapped in a tiny garden gap. Adventurous Roxy managed to squeeze into a garden wall and a fence but couldn't work her way out. Her owner tried to pull her free but Roxy was stuck in the garden in Swansea, South Wales for around three hours. ?? WALES NEWS SERVICE
    (Picture: RSPCA/WALES NEWS SERVICE)

    Ellie said: ‘Poor Roxy was unable to move free – but she was very calm, and seemed remarkably pleased with herself to have got into such a pickle!

    ‘Thankfully, we were quickly able to get to her, securely pull her from the tight gap, and return her to her very relieved owners.

    ‘It was very awkward to free her, so we needed two officers – but, thankfully, Roxy was absolutely fine. We love nothing more than a happy ending and RSPCA Cymru is just happy we were able to help this dog in her hour of need.’

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    0 0

    Harry Potter fans can now have the ultimate Hogwarts experience in this Harry Potter-inspired tiny home. Located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, the Hogwarts Inn Express is a 204-square-foot tiny house on wheels that is completely decked out in Harry Potter-themed memorabilia, and currently on sale for $99,000. The cabin was created by a mother and daughter who had no construction experience - In fact they're backgrounds were both in finance. Jan Cheves and her daughter Emily decided to turn their hand at construction after they both experienced a tragic amount of loss of family members in rapid succession. Jan explained to Cover Images; "I'm not sure we would ever have taken the risk to try this adventure without a few family tragedies over the last seven years. I lost my husband, both in-laws, my only sister, two brothers and a sister-in-law in fairly rapid succession. And needless to say, Em lost her dad, grandparents, two aunts and two uncles." She continued; "When we started this project, we needed a new life, something fun, different and happy. Nothing could have been more fun than working on this home." The duo decided that building tiny homes was more suited as there was only the two of them, and so started up a construction business designing and building fantasy-themed homes. The pair spent 9 months building The Hogwarts Inn Express which is decorated with over 100 licensed Harry Potter products along with many handmade items. The interior is laid out to represent each House of Hogwarts, with touches of the popular book series on display throughout the living space. Even the black and red exterior has a welcoming plaque that pays homage to Platform 9 ?? ??? the fictional train platform located in King???s Cross Train Station in London. The tiny home is a fully functional home on wheels. The dark black and wood ???Gryffindor??? living room has a convertible sofa, a smart TV and coffee table. A small chair next to a mini wood-burning chimney
    (Picture: Jan Cheves/Cover Images)

    You can now buy an actual Harry Potter inspired house. Yes, really.

    The tiny home is in Asheville, North Carolina. So yes, it does mean moving thousands of miles away – but any Harry Potter fan will know it’s worth it.

    The Hogwarts Inn Express is a 204-square-foot miniature home on wheels that is completely covered in Harry Potter themed memorabilia. It’s on sale for $99,000 (£78,000).

    The cabin was created by a mother and daughter who had no construction experience – In fact their backgrounds were both in finance.

    Harry Potter fans can now have the ultimate Hogwarts experience in this Harry Potter-inspired tiny home. Located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, the Hogwarts Inn Express is a 204-square-foot tiny house on wheels that is completely decked out in Harry Potter-themed memorabilia, and currently on sale for $99,000. The cabin was created by a mother and daughter who had no construction experience - In fact they're backgrounds were both in finance. Jan Cheves and her daughter Emily decided to turn their hand at construction after they both experienced a tragic amount of loss of family members in rapid succession. Jan explained to Cover Images; "I'm not sure we would ever have taken the risk to try this adventure without a few family tragedies over the last seven years. I lost my husband, both in-laws, my only sister, two brothers and a sister-in-law in fairly rapid succession. And needless to say, Em lost her dad, grandparents, two aunts and two uncles." She continued; "When we started this project, we needed a new life, something fun, different and happy. Nothing could have been more fun than working on this home." The duo decided that building tiny homes was more suited as there was only the two of them, and so started up a construction business designing and building fantasy-themed homes. The pair spent 9 months building The Hogwarts Inn Express which is decorated with over 100 licensed Harry Potter products along with many handmade items. The interior is laid out to represent each House of Hogwarts, with touches of the popular book series on display throughout the living space. Even the black and red exterior has a welcoming plaque that pays homage to Platform 9 ?? ??? the fictional train platform located in King???s Cross Train Station in London. The tiny home is a fully functional home on wheels. The dark black and wood ???Gryffindor??? living room has a convertible sofa, a smart TV and coffee table. A small chair next to a mini wood-burning chimney
    (Picture: Jan Cheves/Cover Images)

    Jan Cheves and her daughter Emily decided to turn their hand at construction after they both experienced a tragic amount of loss of family members in rapid succession.

    Jan explained: ‘I’m not sure we would ever have taken the risk to try this adventure without a few family tragedies over the last seven years.

    Harry Potter fans can now have the ultimate Hogwarts experience in this Harry Potter-inspired tiny home. Located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, the Hogwarts Inn Express is a 204-square-foot tiny house on wheels that is completely decked out in Harry Potter-themed memorabilia, and currently on sale for $99,000. The cabin was created by a mother and daughter who had no construction experience - In fact they're backgrounds were both in finance. Jan Cheves and her daughter Emily decided to turn their hand at construction after they both experienced a tragic amount of loss of family members in rapid succession. Jan explained to Cover Images; "I'm not sure we would ever have taken the risk to try this adventure without a few family tragedies over the last seven years. I lost my husband, both in-laws, my only sister, two brothers and a sister-in-law in fairly rapid succession. And needless to say, Em lost her dad, grandparents, two aunts and two uncles." She continued; "When we started this project, we needed a new life, something fun, different and happy. Nothing could have been more fun than working on this home." The duo decided that building tiny homes was more suited as there was only the two of them, and so started up a construction business designing and building fantasy-themed homes. The pair spent 9 months building The Hogwarts Inn Express which is decorated with over 100 licensed Harry Potter products along with many handmade items. The interior is laid out to represent each House of Hogwarts, with touches of the popular book series on display throughout the living space. Even the black and red exterior has a welcoming plaque that pays homage to Platform 9 ?? ??? the fictional train platform located in King???s Cross Train Station in London. The tiny home is a fully functional home on wheels. The dark black and wood ???Gryffindor??? living room has a convertible sofa, a smart TV and coffee table. A small chair next to a mini wood-burning chimney
    (Picture: Jan Cheves/Cover Images)

    ‘I lost my husband, both in-laws, my only sister, two brothers and a sister-in-law in fairly rapid succession. And needless to say, Em lost her dad, grandparents, two aunts and two uncles.’

    ‘When we started this project, we needed a new life, something fun, different and happy. Nothing could have been more fun than working on this home.’

    Harry Potter fans can now have the ultimate Hogwarts experience in this Harry Potter-inspired tiny home. Located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, the Hogwarts Inn Express is a 204-square-foot tiny house on wheels that is completely decked out in Harry Potter-themed memorabilia, and currently on sale for $99,000. The cabin was created by a mother and daughter who had no construction experience - In fact they're backgrounds were both in finance. Jan Cheves and her daughter Emily decided to turn their hand at construction after they both experienced a tragic amount of loss of family members in rapid succession. Jan explained to Cover Images; "I'm not sure we would ever have taken the risk to try this adventure without a few family tragedies over the last seven years. I lost my husband, both in-laws, my only sister, two brothers and a sister-in-law in fairly rapid succession. And needless to say, Em lost her dad, grandparents, two aunts and two uncles." She continued; "When we started this project, we needed a new life, something fun, different and happy. Nothing could have been more fun than working on this home." The duo decided that building tiny homes was more suited as there was only the two of them, and so started up a construction business designing and building fantasy-themed homes. The pair spent 9 months building The Hogwarts Inn Express which is decorated with over 100 licensed Harry Potter products along with many handmade items. The interior is laid out to represent each House of Hogwarts, with touches of the popular book series on display throughout the living space. Even the black and red exterior has a welcoming plaque that pays homage to Platform 9 ?? ??? the fictional train platform located in King???s Cross Train Station in London. The tiny home is a fully functional home on wheels. The dark black and wood ???Gryffindor??? living room has a convertible sofa, a smart TV and coffee table. A small chair next to a mini wood-burning chimney
    (Picture: Jan Cheves/Cover Images)

    The pair decided that building tiny homes was more suited as there was only the two of them, and so started up a construction business designing and building fantasy-themed homes.

    The pair spent 9 months building The Hogwarts Inn Express which is decorated with over 100 licensed Harry Potter products along with many handmade items.

    Harry Potter fans can now have the ultimate Hogwarts experience in this Harry Potter-inspired tiny home. Located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, the Hogwarts Inn Express is a 204-square-foot tiny house on wheels that is completely decked out in Harry Potter-themed memorabilia, and currently on sale for $99,000. The cabin was created by a mother and daughter who had no construction experience - In fact they're backgrounds were both in finance. Jan Cheves and her daughter Emily decided to turn their hand at construction after they both experienced a tragic amount of loss of family members in rapid succession. Jan explained to Cover Images; "I'm not sure we would ever have taken the risk to try this adventure without a few family tragedies over the last seven years. I lost my husband, both in-laws, my only sister, two brothers and a sister-in-law in fairly rapid succession. And needless to say, Em lost her dad, grandparents, two aunts and two uncles." She continued; "When we started this project, we needed a new life, something fun, different and happy. Nothing could have been more fun than working on this home." The duo decided that building tiny homes was more suited as there was only the two of them, and so started up a construction business designing and building fantasy-themed homes. The pair spent 9 months building The Hogwarts Inn Express which is decorated with over 100 licensed Harry Potter products along with many handmade items. The interior is laid out to represent each House of Hogwarts, with touches of the popular book series on display throughout the living space. Even the black and red exterior has a welcoming plaque that pays homage to Platform 9 ?? ??? the fictional train platform located in King???s Cross Train Station in London. The tiny home is a fully functional home on wheels. The dark black and wood ???Gryffindor??? living room has a convertible sofa, a smart TV and coffee table. A small chair next to a mini wood-burning chimney
    (Picture: Jan Cheves/Cover Images)

    The interior is laid out to represent each House of Hogwarts, with touches of the popular book series on display throughout the living space.

    Even the black and red exterior has a welcoming plaque that pays homage to Platform 9 ¾ – the fictional train platform located in King’s Cross Train Station in London.

    Harry Potter fans can now have the ultimate Hogwarts experience in this Harry Potter-inspired tiny home. Located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, the Hogwarts Inn Express is a 204-square-foot tiny house on wheels that is completely decked out in Harry Potter-themed memorabilia, and currently on sale for $99,000. The cabin was created by a mother and daughter who had no construction experience - In fact they're backgrounds were both in finance. Jan Cheves and her daughter Emily decided to turn their hand at construction after they both experienced a tragic amount of loss of family members in rapid succession. Jan explained to Cover Images; "I'm not sure we would ever have taken the risk to try this adventure without a few family tragedies over the last seven years. I lost my husband, both in-laws, my only sister, two brothers and a sister-in-law in fairly rapid succession. And needless to say, Em lost her dad, grandparents, two aunts and two uncles." She continued; "When we started this project, we needed a new life, something fun, different and happy. Nothing could have been more fun than working on this home." The duo decided that building tiny homes was more suited as there was only the two of them, and so started up a construction business designing and building fantasy-themed homes. The pair spent 9 months building The Hogwarts Inn Express which is decorated with over 100 licensed Harry Potter products along with many handmade items. The interior is laid out to represent each House of Hogwarts, with touches of the popular book series on display throughout the living space. Even the black and red exterior has a welcoming plaque that pays homage to Platform 9 ?? ??? the fictional train platform located in King???s Cross Train Station in London. The tiny home is a fully functional home on wheels. The dark black and wood ???Gryffindor??? living room has a convertible sofa, a smart TV and coffee table. A small chair next to a mini wood-burning chimney
    (Picture: Jan Cheves/Cover Images)

    The tiny home is a fully functional home on wheels. The dark black and wood Gryffindor living room has a convertible sofa, a smart TV and coffee table.

    There are two sleeping lofts, a master Ravenclaw loft that has enough space for a double mattress and a smaller loft over the bathroom that fits a small twin mattress. This cosy space is reached by ‘Cupboard Under the Stairs’, which adds plenty of storage space.

    Harry Potter fans can now have the ultimate Hogwarts experience in this Harry Potter-inspired tiny home. Located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, the Hogwarts Inn Express is a 204-square-foot tiny house on wheels that is completely decked out in Harry Potter-themed memorabilia, and currently on sale for $99,000. The cabin was created by a mother and daughter who had no construction experience - In fact they're backgrounds were both in finance. Jan Cheves and her daughter Emily decided to turn their hand at construction after they both experienced a tragic amount of loss of family members in rapid succession. Jan explained to Cover Images; "I'm not sure we would ever have taken the risk to try this adventure without a few family tragedies over the last seven years. I lost my husband, both in-laws, my only sister, two brothers and a sister-in-law in fairly rapid succession. And needless to say, Em lost her dad, grandparents, two aunts and two uncles." She continued; "When we started this project, we needed a new life, something fun, different and happy. Nothing could have been more fun than working on this home." The duo decided that building tiny homes was more suited as there was only the two of them, and so started up a construction business designing and building fantasy-themed homes. The pair spent 9 months building The Hogwarts Inn Express which is decorated with over 100 licensed Harry Potter products along with many handmade items. The interior is laid out to represent each House of Hogwarts, with touches of the popular book series on display throughout the living space. Even the black and red exterior has a welcoming plaque that pays homage to Platform 9 ?? ??? the fictional train platform located in King???s Cross Train Station in London. The tiny home is a fully functional home on wheels. The dark black and wood ???Gryffindor??? living room has a convertible sofa, a smart TV and coffee table. A small chair next to a mini wood-burning chimney
    (Picture: Jan Cheves/Cover Images)

    The kitchen comes with a large sink, fridge, and portable oven and the large bathroom with standard shower.

    Built on a RV-compliant trailer, the Hogwarts Express is also ready to travel.

    Harry Potter fans can now have the ultimate Hogwarts experience in this Harry Potter-inspired tiny home. Located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, the Hogwarts Inn Express is a 204-square-foot tiny house on wheels that is completely decked out in Harry Potter-themed memorabilia, and currently on sale for $99,000. The cabin was created by a mother and daughter who had no construction experience - In fact they're backgrounds were both in finance. Jan Cheves and her daughter Emily decided to turn their hand at construction after they both experienced a tragic amount of loss of family members in rapid succession. Jan explained to Cover Images; "I'm not sure we would ever have taken the risk to try this adventure without a few family tragedies over the last seven years. I lost my husband, both in-laws, my only sister, two brothers and a sister-in-law in fairly rapid succession. And needless to say, Em lost her dad, grandparents, two aunts and two uncles." She continued; "When we started this project, we needed a new life, something fun, different and happy. Nothing could have been more fun than working on this home." The duo decided that building tiny homes was more suited as there was only the two of them, and so started up a construction business designing and building fantasy-themed homes. The pair spent 9 months building The Hogwarts Inn Express which is decorated with over 100 licensed Harry Potter products along with many handmade items. The interior is laid out to represent each House of Hogwarts, with touches of the popular book series on display throughout the living space. Even the black and red exterior has a welcoming plaque that pays homage to Platform 9 ?? ??? the fictional train platform located in King???s Cross Train Station in London. The tiny home is a fully functional home on wheels. The dark black and wood ???Gryffindor??? living room has a convertible sofa, a smart TV and coffee table. A small chair next to a mini wood-burning chimney
    (Picture: Jan Cheves/Cover Images)

    Jan said: ‘It has been challenging to maintain a positive outlook at times, but doing this type of work has truly lifted our spirits and brought us so much fun and happiness. Our motto is ‘choose to be happy.’

    ‘And we really hope this home will bring happiness to one of our fellow Harry Potter fans.’

    MORE: ‘Ghost House of Sussex’ still empty after 33 years, you peasants

    MORE: How does buying a house with shared ownership actually work?


    Tiny Home Is Turned Into The Ultimate Hogwarts ExperienceTiny Home Is Turned Into The Ultimate Hogwarts ExperiencehattiegladwellmetroHarry Potter fans can now have the ultimate Hogwarts experience in this Harry Potter-inspired tiny home. Located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, the Hogwarts Inn Express is a 204-square-foot tiny house on wheels that is completely decked out in Harry Potter-themed memorabilia, and currently on sale for $99,000. The cabin was created by a mother and daughter who had no construction experience - In fact they're backgrounds were both in finance. Jan Cheves and her daughter Emily decided to turn their hand at construction after they both experienced a tragic amount of loss of family members in rapid succession. Jan explained to Cover Images; Tiny Home Is Turned Into The Ultimate Hogwarts ExperienceTiny Home Is Turned Into The Ultimate Hogwarts ExperiencehattiegladwellmetroHarry Potter fans can now have the ultimate Hogwarts experience in this Harry Potter-inspired tiny home. Located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, the Hogwarts Inn Express is a 204-square-foot tiny house on wheels that is completely decked out in Harry Potter-themed memorabilia, and currently on sale for $99,000. The cabin was created by a mother and daughter who had no construction experience - In fact they're backgrounds were both in finance. Jan Cheves and her daughter Emily decided to turn their hand at construction after they both experienced a tragic amount of loss of family members in rapid succession. Jan explained to Cover Images; "I'm not sure we would ever have taken the risk to try this adventure without a few family tragedies over the last seven years. I lost my husband, both in-laws, my only sister, two brothers and a sister-in-law in fairly rapid succession. And needless to say, Em lost her dad, grandparents, two aunts and two uncles." She continued; "When we started this project, we needed a new life, something fun, different and happy. Nothing could have been more fun than working on this home." The duo decided that building tiny homes was more suited as there was only the two of them, and so started up a construction business designing and building fantasy-themed homes. The pair spent 9 months building The Hogwarts Inn Express which is decorated with over 100 licensed Harry Potter products along with many handmade items. The interior is laid out to represent each House of Hogwarts, with touches of the popular book series on display throughout the living space. Even the black and red exterior has a welcoming plaque that pays homage to Platform 9 ?? ??? the fictional train platform located in King???s Cross Train Station in London. The tiny home is a fully functional home on wheels. The dark black and wood ???Gryffindor??? living room has a convertible sofa, a smart TV and coffee table. A small chair next to a mini wood-burning chimneyHarry Potter fans can now have the ultimate Hogwarts experience in this Harry Potter-inspired tiny home. Located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, the Hogwarts Inn Express is a 204-square-foot tiny house on wheels that is completely decked out in Harry Potter-themed memorabilia, and currently on sale for $99,000. The cabin was created by a mother and daughter who had no construction experience - In fact they're backgrounds were both in finance. Jan Cheves and her daughter Emily decided to turn their hand at construction after they both experienced a tragic amount of loss of family members in rapid succession. Jan explained to Cover Images; "I'm not sure we would ever have taken the risk to try this adventure without a few family tragedies over the last seven years. I lost my husband, both in-laws, my only sister, two brothers and a sister-in-law in fairly rapid succession. And needless to say, Em lost her dad, grandparents, two aunts and two uncles." She continued; "When we started this project, we needed a new life, something fun, different and happy. Nothing could have been more fun than working on this home." The duo decided that building tiny homes was more suited as there was only the two of them, and so started up a construction business designing and building fantasy-themed homes. The pair spent 9 months building The Hogwarts Inn Express which is decorated with over 100 licensed Harry Potter products along with many handmade items. The interior is laid out to represent each House of Hogwarts, with touches of the popular book series on display throughout the living space. Even the black and red exterior has a welcoming plaque that pays homage to Platform 9 ?? ??? the fictional train platform located in King???s Cross Train Station in London. The tiny home is a fully functional home on wheels. The dark black and wood ???Gryffindor??? living room has a convertible sofa, a smart TV and coffee table. A small chair next to a mini wood-burning chimneyHarry Potter fans can now have the ultimate Hogwarts experience in this Harry Potter-inspired tiny home. Located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, the Hogwarts Inn Express is a 204-square-foot tiny house on wheels that is completely decked out in Harry Potter-themed memorabilia, and currently on sale for $99,000. The cabin was created by a mother and daughter who had no construction experience - In fact they're backgrounds were both in finance. Jan Cheves and her daughter Emily decided to turn their hand at construction after they both experienced a tragic amount of loss of family members in rapid succession. Jan explained to Cover Images; "I'm not sure we would ever have taken the risk to try this adventure without a few family tragedies over the last seven years. I lost my husband, both in-laws, my only sister, two brothers and a sister-in-law in fairly rapid succession. And needless to say, Em lost her dad, grandparents, two aunts and two uncles." She continued; "When we started this project, we needed a new life, something fun, different and happy. Nothing could have been more fun than working on this home." The duo decided that building tiny homes was more suited as there was only the two of them, and so started up a construction business designing and building fantasy-themed homes. The pair spent 9 months building The Hogwarts Inn Express which is decorated with over 100 licensed Harry Potter products along with many handmade items. The interior is laid out to represent each House of Hogwarts, with touches of the popular book series on display throughout the living space. Even the black and red exterior has a welcoming plaque that pays homage to Platform 9 ?? ??? the fictional train platform located in King???s Cross Train Station in London. The tiny home is a fully functional home on wheels. The dark black and wood ???Gryffindor??? living room has a convertible sofa, a smart TV and coffee table. A small chair next to a mini wood-burning chimneyHarry Potter fans can now have the ultimate Hogwarts experience in this Harry Potter-inspired tiny home. Located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, the Hogwarts Inn Express is a 204-square-foot tiny house on wheels that is completely decked out in Harry Potter-themed memorabilia, and currently on sale for $99,000. The cabin was created by a mother and daughter who had no construction experience - In fact they're backgrounds were both in finance. Jan Cheves and her daughter Emily decided to turn their hand at construction after they both experienced a tragic amount of loss of family members in rapid succession. Jan explained to Cover Images; "I'm not sure we would ever have taken the risk to try this adventure without a few family tragedies over the last seven years. I lost my husband, both in-laws, my only sister, two brothers and a sister-in-law in fairly rapid succession. And needless to say, Em lost her dad, grandparents, two aunts and two uncles." She continued; "When we started this project, we needed a new life, something fun, different and happy. Nothing could have been more fun than working on this home." The duo decided that building tiny homes was more suited as there was only the two of them, and so started up a construction business designing and building fantasy-themed homes. The pair spent 9 months building The Hogwarts Inn Express which is decorated with over 100 licensed Harry Potter products along with many handmade items. The interior is laid out to represent each House of Hogwarts, with touches of the popular book series on display throughout the living space. Even the black and red exterior has a welcoming plaque that pays homage to Platform 9 ?? ??? the fictional train platform located in King???s Cross Train Station in London. The tiny home is a fully functional home on wheels. The dark black and wood ???Gryffindor??? living room has a convertible sofa, a smart TV and coffee table. A small chair next to a mini wood-burning chimneyHarry Potter fans can now have the ultimate Hogwarts experience in this Harry Potter-inspired tiny home. Located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, the Hogwarts Inn Express is a 204-square-foot tiny house on wheels that is completely decked out in Harry Potter-themed memorabilia, and currently on sale for $99,000. The cabin was created by a mother and daughter who had no construction experience - In fact they're backgrounds were both in finance. Jan Cheves and her daughter Emily decided to turn their hand at construction after they both experienced a tragic amount of loss of family members in rapid succession. Jan explained to Cover Images; "I'm not sure we would ever have taken the risk to try this adventure without a few family tragedies over the last seven years. I lost my husband, both in-laws, my only sister, two brothers and a sister-in-law in fairly rapid succession. And needless to say, Em lost her dad, grandparents, two aunts and two uncles." She continued; "When we started this project, we needed a new life, something fun, different and happy. Nothing could have been more fun than working on this home." The duo decided that building tiny homes was more suited as there was only the two of them, and so started up a construction business designing and building fantasy-themed homes. The pair spent 9 months building The Hogwarts Inn Express which is decorated with over 100 licensed Harry Potter products along with many handmade items. The interior is laid out to represent each House of Hogwarts, with touches of the popular book series on display throughout the living space. Even the black and red exterior has a welcoming plaque that pays homage to Platform 9 ?? ??? the fictional train platform located in King???s Cross Train Station in London. The tiny home is a fully functional home on wheels. The dark black and wood ???Gryffindor??? living room has a convertible sofa, a smart TV and coffee table. A small chair next to a mini wood-burning chimneyHarry Potter fans can now have the ultimate Hogwarts experience in this Harry Potter-inspired tiny home. Located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, the Hogwarts Inn Express is a 204-square-foot tiny house on wheels that is completely decked out in Harry Potter-themed memorabilia, and currently on sale for $99,000. The cabin was created by a mother and daughter who had no construction experience - In fact they're backgrounds were both in finance. Jan Cheves and her daughter Emily decided to turn their hand at construction after they both experienced a tragic amount of loss of family members in rapid succession. Jan explained to Cover Images; "I'm not sure we would ever have taken the risk to try this adventure without a few family tragedies over the last seven years. I lost my husband, both in-laws, my only sister, two brothers and a sister-in-law in fairly rapid succession. And needless to say, Em lost her dad, grandparents, two aunts and two uncles." She continued; "When we started this project, we needed a new life, something fun, different and happy. Nothing could have been more fun than working on this home." The duo decided that building tiny homes was more suited as there was only the two of them, and so started up a construction business designing and building fantasy-themed homes. The pair spent 9 months building The Hogwarts Inn Express which is decorated with over 100 licensed Harry Potter products along with many handmade items. The interior is laid out to represent each House of Hogwarts, with touches of the popular book series on display throughout the living space. Even the black and red exterior has a welcoming plaque that pays homage to Platform 9 ?? ??? the fictional train platform located in King???s Cross Train Station in London. The tiny home is a fully functional home on wheels. The dark black and wood ???Gryffindor??? living room has a convertible sofa, a smart TV and coffee table. A small chair next to a mini wood-burning chimneyHarry Potter fans can now have the ultimate Hogwarts experience in this Harry Potter-inspired tiny home. Located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, the Hogwarts Inn Express is a 204-square-foot tiny house on wheels that is completely decked out in Harry Potter-themed memorabilia, and currently on sale for $99,000. The cabin was created by a mother and daughter who had no construction experience - In fact they're backgrounds were both in finance. Jan Cheves and her daughter Emily decided to turn their hand at construction after they both experienced a tragic amount of loss of family members in rapid succession. Jan explained to Cover Images; "I'm not sure we would ever have taken the risk to try this adventure without a few family tragedies over the last seven years. I lost my husband, both in-laws, my only sister, two brothers and a sister-in-law in fairly rapid succession. And needless to say, Em lost her dad, grandparents, two aunts and two uncles." She continued; "When we started this project, we needed a new life, something fun, different and happy. Nothing could have been more fun than working on this home." The duo decided that building tiny homes was more suited as there was only the two of them, and so started up a construction business designing and building fantasy-themed homes. The pair spent 9 months building The Hogwarts Inn Express which is decorated with over 100 licensed Harry Potter products along with many handmade items. The interior is laid out to represent each House of Hogwarts, with touches of the popular book series on display throughout the living space. Even the black and red exterior has a welcoming plaque that pays homage to Platform 9 ?? ??? the fictional train platform located in King???s Cross Train Station in London. The tiny home is a fully functional home on wheels. The dark black and wood ???Gryffindor??? living room has a convertible sofa, a smart TV and coffee table. A small chair next to a mini wood-burning chimneyHarry Potter fans can now have the ultimate Hogwarts experience in this Harry Potter-inspired tiny home. Located in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, the Hogwarts Inn Express is a 204-square-foot tiny house on wheels that is completely decked out in Harry Potter-themed memorabilia, and currently on sale for $99,000. The cabin was created by a mother and daughter who had no construction experience - In fact they're backgrounds were both in finance. Jan Cheves and her daughter Emily decided to turn their hand at construction after they both experienced a tragic amount of loss of family members in rapid succession. Jan explained to Cover Images; "I'm not sure we would ever have taken the risk to try this adventure without a few family tragedies over the last seven years. I lost my husband, both in-laws, my only sister, two brothers and a sister-in-law in fairly rapid succession. And needless to say, Em lost her dad, grandparents, two aunts and two uncles." She continued; "When we started this project, we needed a new life, something fun, different and happy. Nothing could have been more fun than working on this home." The duo decided that building tiny homes was more suited as there was only the two of them, and so started up a construction business designing and building fantasy-themed homes. The pair spent 9 months building The Hogwarts Inn Express which is decorated with over 100 licensed Harry Potter products along with many handmade items. The interior is laid out to represent each House of Hogwarts, with touches of the popular book series on display throughout the living space. Even the black and red exterior has a welcoming plaque that pays homage to Platform 9 ?? ??? the fictional train platform located in King???s Cross Train Station in London. The tiny home is a fully functional home on wheels. The dark black and wood ???Gryffindor??? living room has a convertible sofa, a smart TV and coffee table. A small chair next to a mini wood-burning chimney

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