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


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog



Channel Description:

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

older | 1 | .... | 1484 | 1485 | (Page 1486) | 1487 | 1488 | .... | 1849 | newer

    0 0

    Christmas presents needn’t cost the earth.

    Billions of gifts are exchanged across the globe each year, and many of these are discarded.

    To make sure your present doesn’t end up in landfill/trash the plant, a) choose wisely and b) go for a gift that’s eco-friendly, ethical and/or sustainable.

    It’s cool to care about the planet and your fellow human beings, so forget everything you know about ethical gifts. Below are some gems which we would very much like to receive in our stockings.

    Wink, wink, Santa.

    Oh, and don’t forget to wrap them in an eco-friendly manner, too…

    1. Deep Blue Dreams tea gift set, T2, £38

    T2 Deep Blue Dreams tea gift set
    (Picture: T2)

    The majority of tea bags contain plastic, would you believe? This is a real blow to environmentally conscious tea lovers, but all is not lost.

    What did humans do before the tea bag was invented? Loose leaf, that’s what.

    Treat your tea bagging friend to a cute teapot and some loose leaf loveliness from tea afficionados, T2 – how about this Deep Blue Dreams set which features a limited edition fine bone china teapot/cup and a box of Sweetest Dreams herbal infusion?

    If that doesn’t float your boat, T2 make plenty other teapot/tea flask options, and all are cute as hell. They’re the sort of thing you might not justify buying for yourself, so make a lovely festive gift.

    Heads up, their Sleep Tight infusion is (in our humble, yawning opinion) the nicest bedtime brew we’ve ever tasted.

     

    2. S’well rose geode reusable water bottle 260ml, John Lewis, £25

    S'well rose pink geode drinks bottle 250ml
    (Picture: S’well)

    S’well makes some of the prettiest drinks bottles we ever laid our eyes on, and this one is no exception. Its smaller size means it’s perfect for someone who doesn’t drink much water on the move, or who just wants a mini bottle to stash in their bag on a night out.

    As with other S’well beauties, it’s vacuum sealed and keeps drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12.

    Despite its mini dimensions, it can still fit ice cubes through the bottle’s mouth.

    Also available in 500ml and 750ml if your recipient is on the parched side.

     

    3. SteriPen Ultralight UV water purifier, Hill and Dale Outdoors, £64.95

    SteriPen UltraLight UV water purifier
    (Picture: SteriPen)

    The SteriPen Ultralight is a portable UV water purifer that makes one litre of tap, water butt or creek water safe to drink in just 90 seconds.

    It’s the perfect gift for backpackers travelling in countries with dodgy tap water, who don’t want hundreds of plastic bottles on their conscience, especially in developing countries with no recycling systems.

    Simply USB charge the device, wave the wand around in your reusable water bottle and you’re good to go. The device kills 99.9% bacteria, viruses and protozoa in clear water.

    The pen hardly takes up any room in your bag, and it really is super light, so you’ve got no excuse for not taking it on your adventures.

    The lamp lasts for around 8,000 one litre treatments, and a fully charged battery will clean 20 litres. So, you’ll save yourself a pretty penny as well as the environment.

     

    4. Ibex coin pendant necklace, Boodi, £45

    Boodi jewellery sustainable recycled gold Ibex coin pendant necklace
    (Picture: Boodi)

    Boodi is a small, independent jewellery brand, by Sarah Marafie.

    All Boodi jewellery is made from recycled gold or silver scraps, meaning no unnecessary, environmenally harmful mining took place. Gemstones are sourced from mines with carefully monitored working conditions.

    Sarah works closely with her supplies to ensure her brand is ethical and sustainable.

    Her coin necklaces are made using old coins, and make unique, ethical gifts.

    Plus, 10% of sales from this necklace are donated to Friend Animal Sanctuary in Kent.

     

    5. Muhle hexagon safety razor, Executive Shaving, £45.50

    Forest green Muhle hexagon safety razor
    (Picture: Muhle)

    Disposable razors are a burden on the environment as the majority can’t be recycled, ending up in landfill once they go blunt.

    Go old school with a safety razor – the only bit which gets thrown away is the blade once blunt.

    This one’s pretty chic and will impress anyone having a nosey while taking a leak in your bathroom.

    You just need a bit of practice getting used to safety blades, but once you do, you’ll be away!

    6. Dalit mens shaving gift set, Ethical Superstore, £21.95

    Dalit ethical mens shaving gift set
    (Picture: Dalit)

    Want an ethical cosmetic set to go with that eco razor?

    What about this fair trade, cruelty-free shaving brush and soap set? The brush is made with high quality, man made bristles, and the mositurising sandalwood scented soap is handmade with natural ingredients by women in Kerala.

    The wooden shaving bowl is crafted by workmen in Kerala.

    Buying from Dalit means you are contributing to their work with the Dalit people of India, particularly their support of street children. Lovely.

     

    7. Foreo Issa 2 sensitive silicone sonic toothbrush, John Lewis, £169.99

    Foreo Issa 2 senstive pink silicone sonic toothbrush
    (Picture: Foreo)

    Bamboo toothbrushes are all the rage for eco-friendly manual toothbrush users, but what about those of us who don’t feel like a regular toothbrush does the job?

    We’ve been searching long and hard for an environmentally friendly electric toothbrush option and while we discovered that there isn’t a 100% perfect option (most brush heads can’t be recycled) there are a few worthy of your attention – including this one.

    The Foreo Issa 2 only needs charging once a year (yes, once a year) off a one hour charge. That’s pretty epic. It also has a ‘lock’ system, meaning it won’t accidentally go off in your bag when in transit.

    The sensitive version contains two brush heads – one with a hybrid of bacteria-resistant silicone and polymer, and one with pure silicone bristles, which are much kinder on your gums.

    Upoing the eco factor – each silicone brush head lasts an entire year (compared to other electric toothbrushes which require a head change every three months), while the hybrid head lasts six months.

    Unfortunately, the heads can’t be recyled – if Foreo create versions that can be, they’ll have a powerhouse of a toothbrush – but the fact they last longer than most means less landfill.

    The brush heads have a built in tongue cleaner on the back, which sounds great but is actually pretty useless, unfortunately.

    However, the Foreo Issa 2 is rare in that it looks damn good in your bathroom, as well as doing a solid job on your teeth, making it the perfect gift.

    Also comes in mint, and the non-sensitive version comes in a whole host of colours.

     

    8. Sustainable round yoga mat, The Form, £79

    The Form pro round spring sustainable ethical yoga mat
    (Picture: The Form)

    It’s ironic that yoga is all about being at one with the world, yet many modern yoga mats are made with toxic, environmentally harmful materials that can’t be recycled.

    Enter The Form – these mats aren’t just carbon neutral – they’re carbon negative.

    The mats are made from 100% recycled materials, including natural tree rubber and plastic bottles, which is pretty epic. The mat is also fully recyclable, as is the packaging it comes in.

    This is the world’s first round yoga mat, but it doesn’t just look good – it does a cracking job too. It’s thick enough to cushion your creaking joints, and grippy enough to stop you slipping over and looking like a fool (the top layer is actually designed to get grippier the more you sweat, which is handy when you’re leaking from every pore).

    The grid on the mat is super useful for getting your alignment right, and the circular design is perfect for a home practice. It means you don’t have to keep moving your mat/craning your neck to see the YouTube video you’re doing, as you can lie on it any which way.

    If you’re buying this for someone who practices at a studio, you’re best off getting them one of The Form’s regular shaped mats, so they don’t piss anyone off taking up too much space in class.

    The range of cool designs make these mats perfect for a gift. Plus, the carry strap doubles up as a yoga strap.

     

    9. Elephant Branded recycled rice wash bag, Ethical Market, £30

    (Picture: Ethical Market)

    Sadly, many products made from recycled rice sacks are pretty naff but this is an exception.

    The main body of this bad boy is made from recycled rice sacks from Cambodia, while the handle is created with upcucled off cuts of motorbike seat covers. Pretty damn cool.

    On top of this, the product is ethically made, and for every wash bag purchased, a school stationery set is hand delivered or a child in Asia or Africa.

    Elephant Branded also do a selection of rice sack laptop cases, holdalls and totes, if they’re more your thing.

     

    10. Vegan collection chocolate hamper, Seed & Bean, £40

    Seed & Bean vegan dark chocolate hamper
    (Picture: Seed & Bean)

    If you’re looking for a gift for a food-loving vegan, then look no further – dairy-free chocolate daddies Seed & Bean have outdone themselves with this collection of 12 vegan chocolate bars.

    That’s every single flavour in their dark chocolate range. *drools*

    This cute (and reusable) wicker basket hamper gives the lactose intolerant/vegan in your life the chance to try some wild flavours like chilli and lime, lemon and cardamom, and lavender. There’s also classically delicious options like coffee espresso, Cornish sea salt, and mint.

    The coconut and raspberry bar is also a really good time.

    We can confirm that the orange and thyme flavour is basically a vegan Terry’s Chocolate Orange substitute. You’re welcome.

    Seed & Bean chocolate is made in the UK in small batches, is fair trade and organic, and the packaging is fully recyclable and compostable.

     

    11. Ethical vegan skincare, Novel Skincare, from £15

    Novel Skincare ethical beauty
    (Picture: Novel Skincare)

    Not only is this unisex skincare brand 100% vegan and cruelty-free, but 10% of all profits is given to charities like Room to Read, a charity supporting female literacy in the developing world.

    Products come in a (optional) recyclable cardboard ‘book’ – which is actually way too cute to recycle and should be kept to fill with trinkets – making a cute gift for the ethical beauty lover in your life. Each jar is fully recyclable.

    The products are made from natural ingredients, and free from stuff like sodium laurel sulfate and artifical colours. Plus, they’re all made in the UK, using ingredients mostly sourced from the UK, thus lessening their carbon footprint.

    Try the Modern History treatment which plumps skin and promotes cell renewal or Drawings, a black clay mask which draws out all the gunk your polluted city has deposited on your skin, without leaving it feeling tight and dry.

     

    12. Organic cotton long kimono, Very Kerry, from £120

    (Picture: Very Kerry)

    It’s surprisingly hard to find a kimono that’s a) pretty and b) made from natural fibres (why oh why do people make robes from sweaty synthetic fabric?) so we were pretty excited to find these.

    Very Kerry kimonos are made from either organic cotton or bamboo, so you can lounge around in a breathable manner.

    Plus, these kimonos are made under working conditions that are ethical, hygienic and safe so you can swan around in your fancy robe guilt-free.

     

    13. Enlighten natural radiance collection gift set, Nude by Nature, £38

    Nude by Nature Enlighten Christmas highlighter gift set
    (Picture: Nude by Nature)

    Nude by Nature is an ethical Australian beauty brand, that’s PETA-certified cruelty-free, and uses only natural ingredients.

    Now, Nude by Nature foundations and BB creams are bloody excellent, but buying someone foundation as a gift is a terrible idea unless you know their exact skin type and colour.

    So, instead, we’ll suggest to you this gorgeous gift set featuring a highlighter stick, bronzer and brush (made from synthetic fibres instead of animal hair), that comes in a cute bag that you’ll happily use as a makeup bag, or a weekend washbag.

    This gift set is cruelty-free, but isn’t vegan as the products conatin beeswax. The majority of Nude by Nature’s products are vegan, but some contain lanolin/beeswax, so check the ingredients before you purchase.

     

    14. Reusable customisable coffee cup 295ml, Frank Green, £24.99

    (Picture: UK Frank Green)

    We love a reusable coffee cup here at Metro.co.uk, but these Frank Green ones are pretty special.

    The stainless steel cup keeps your drink hot for 10 hours, and unlike the ones that emulate takeaway coffee cups, this one’s a flask so you can chuck it in your bag when you need your hands to hold on for dear life when standing on the bus.

    This is better than your average flask though, as it can be sipped from withut unscrewing the lid – all you need to do is push the button in the lid, and you can drink away. This leaves you one hand to hold onto the bus/train for dear life.

    Importantly, these cups look the part, and the best bit is that they’re customisable, allowing you to mix and match the colours of the lid, button and base of your cup.

    In as little as 15 uses, you’ll have offset the environmental impact it took to make your cup, and all components are recyclable at end of life. Winner.

    15. Insulated wide reusable drinks bottle 592ml, Klean Kanteen, £27.95

    (Picture: Getty/ Klean Kanteen)

    Looking for a gift for an eco adventurer in your life? This insulated bottle is practical yet cool, in its array of bright colours and larger than average size.

    The wide mouth means it’s perfect for throwing ice cubes in or for hot drinks, and leak-proof ‘café cap’ means you can take a sip in one twist, rather than having to to take the whole lid off.

    Drinks are kept hot for 14 hours and iced for 48 hours thanks to double wall vacuum insulation.

    Klean Kanteens used to chip like hell (which kind of added to their charm) bit this one has a powder coat finish making it four times as durable, so you can rest easy in the knowledge that your gift will be used for years to come.

     

    16. Root, Nurture, Grow: The essential guide to propagating and sharing houseplants, Wordery, £11.19

    Root Nurture Grow by Caro Langton and Rose Ray
    (Picture: Ro Co)

    Know someone who loves plants and spend every Sunday at the garden centre? Plants are great for the environment, but even better when you propagate your own.

    Instead of buying a new plant every time you fancy a green addition to your house, why not make the most of what you already have, by growing new ones from cuttings?

    If that sounds daunting, this beautiful book from Ro Co founders Caro Langton and Rose Ray will teach you how, using beginner-friendly techniques such as stem cutting, rooting in water, runners, offsets, grafting, division and more.

    Propagating from what you already have means you avoid buying plants that may have been grown using harmful pesticides.

    Share the love by nurturing cuttings and then distributing among friends. A great gift for a green-fingered, eco soul.

     

    17. Scented rapeseed wax candle pot, Aerende, £45

    Aerende scented candle
    (Picture: Aerende)

    Aerende make chic as hell sustainable homeware gifts, all made in the UK by people facing social challenges, who are unable to access or maintain regular employment.

    This limited-edition, wax candle has a soothing mix of organic essential oils and is made using rapeseed wax as it’s more sustainable than other options.

    The pot is handmade at a residential community supporting adults with learning disabilities in Gloucestershire and the wax has been scented and poured by a social firm employing adults with learning disabilities in Brecon, Wales.

    The packaging is recyled and recyclable, and Aerende claim this is the most ethical candle available in the UK.

    Plus, you can give the beautiful pot a new life once your candle has burned through.

    MORE: Samaritans offers ‘listening vouchers’ as Christmas presents

    MORE: The eco-friendly guide to Christmas gift wrap

    MORE: Christmas gifts for the eco-conscious beauty lover in your life


    Ethical Gift GuideEthical Gift GuidelisambowmanT2 Deep Blue Dreams tea gift setS'well rose pink geode drinks bottle 250mlSteriPen UltraLight UV water purifierBoodi jewellery sustainable recycled gold Ibex coin pendant necklaceForest green Muhle hexagon safety razorDalit ethical mens shaving gift setForeo Issa 2 senstive pink silicone sonic toothbrushThe Form pro round spring sustainable ethical yoga matSeed & Bean vegan dark chocolate hamper Novel Skincare ethical beautyNude by Nature Enlighten Christmas highlighter gift setRoot Nurture Grow by Caro Langton and Rose RayAerende scented candleEthical Gift GuideEthical Gift GuidelisambowmanT2 Deep Blue Dreams tea gift setS'well rose pink geode drinks bottle 250mlSteriPen UltraLight UV water purifierBoodi jewellery sustainable recycled gold Ibex coin pendant necklaceForest green Muhle hexagon safety razorDalit ethical mens shaving gift setForeo Issa 2 senstive pink silicone sonic toothbrushThe Form pro round spring sustainable ethical yoga matSeed & Bean vegan dark chocolate hamper Novel Skincare ethical beautyNude by Nature Enlighten Christmas highlighter gift setRoot Nurture Grow by Caro Langton and Rose RayAerende scented candle

    0 0

    ‘Are you going to the fun cock museum?’ the waiter asks.

    Amsterdam is hardly known for being shy, with its red light district and Sexmuseum, but this one’s new to me. I look at him quizzically.

    ‘Vun koch,’ he repeats, ‘the sunflowers?’

    The first thing I learn about the Amsterdam art scene is that I’ve been pronouncing the name of its most famous son all wrong. And, later, that if you want to get into the Van Gogh Museum, it’s best to book your tickets online in advance.

    But there’s a lot more here for art-lovers than Vince and his iconic blooms.

    Whether you’re after old masters, new galleries or street art there’s creativity in abundance.

    Celebrating the opening of a new wing, the Van Gogh museum installed a maze of 100.000 sun flowers in Museumplein, Amsterdam.
    Sunflowers outside the Van Gogh museum (Picture: Getty)

    Head to Museumplein early to avoid the crowds – although you’re unlikely to ever find it quiet due to the big-hitters, aka the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum, plus the excellent Moco Museum.

    Key works at the Van Gogh Museum are Self-portrait As A Painter, The Bedroom and Sunflowers.

    There is also an exhibition featuring the works of Gauguin and Laval at the museum until Sunday, January 13.

    Tickets cost £16 – you have to book a time slot on the museum website.

    The Rijksmuseum (Picture: Getty)

    The Rijksmuseum is the impressive building beside the giant I Amsterdam letters, which you should also get to early if you are Instagram-inclined.

    Unmissable paintings include Vermeer’s The Milkmaid, Rembrandt’s The Night Watch (technically called the less memorable Militia Company Of District II Under The Command Of Captain Frans Banninck Cocq) and self portraits, although the whole place is a timeline of Dutch art.

    Tickets cost from £16 – you can book them here and get them on your phone.

    Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, international museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art and design.
    Head to Stedelijk Museum for modern and contemporary art (Picture: Getty)

    Stedelijk Museum features international pieces by artists such as Jackson Pollock, Rothko and Picasso, plus there’s a few Van Goghs too.

    Highlights for me were photos by Cindy Sherman and Diane Arbus, Yves Klein’s Resonance, classic Warhol pop art and a recreation of a bar during the Vietnam War by Edward Kienholz called The Beanery.

    There’s also a red escalator that takes you up to Orwell quotes and a cinema showing works including Tracey Emin’s Why I Never Became A Dancer.

    A temporary exhibition of Lily Van Der Stokker’s doodle-inspired creations, called Friendly Good, is on until February 24.

    You can buy tickets for £16, here.

    Moco Museum (Picture: Getty)

    Moco Museum is a smaller but equally unmissable addition to the area. The pink house is home to Keith Haring’s Subway, a Yayoi Kusama Pumpkin, Jeff Koons’ Balloon Venus, and a shed load of Banksys.

    There’s also a fun Lichtenstein room and sculpture garden. You can download the museum’s app while you’re there to see some of the works dance about and such.

    Tickets cost £11.

    While you’re in this area, check out some small modern art galleries such as Jaski Gallery, Gallery Delaive, Flatland Gallery and Okker Art Gallery, all less than 10 minutes’ walk from the Rijksmuseum.

    For a nose inside a 17th century canal house, with plenty of paintings, try Museum Van Loon, (tickets £9) or for photography head to Foam (tickets £10).

    The fashionable Jordaan district is home to many small, modern galleries you can browse for free and possibly buy something (even if your budget only stretches to a postcard).

    The Amsterdam canal system is the result of conscious city planning. In the early 17th century, when immigration was at a peak, a comprehensive plan was developed that was based on four concentric half-circles of canals with their ends emerging at the IJ bay.
    Homes by the canal in Jordaan (Picture: Getty)

    I found Go Gallery a very friendly place, and it will be displaying a Disney and older masters-inspired exhibition by RJ Halls called I F***ed Mickey until mid January.

    A few streets along, KochxBocs has an exhibition starring works by Claire Partington, Ray Caesar and Zoe Byland.

    Other galleries within walking distance include the Suzanne Biederberg Gallery, Torch Gallery, Annet Gelink Gallery and Galerie Fons Welters.

    One highlight for me in this area was The Electric Ladyland – Fluorescent Art Museum, a basement gallery with a £5 entry fee and a slot which must be booked in advance.

    You’ll either love or hate this unique basement run by eccentric/artistic hippies – I thought it was great.

    Further out, in the Nieuw-West district, you can take a two-hour tour of local street art with the Street Art Museum Amsterdam tour, which includes 200 pieces and costs £14.

    Street art in Amsterdam Nord (Picture: Yvette Caster)

    Fans of street art should also head over on the ferry to Amsterdam Nord, where many artists have studios and there’s plenty of colour.

    It’s mostly based round NDSM wharf, a slightly bleak former shipyard, where you can pay to get into a huge flea market or just admire the art outside.

    A huge street art museum, called Lasloods, is also set to open here in 2019.

    Thanks to this, and quirky spots such as Noorderlicht Cafe and Cafe de Ceuvel, the area looks set to become even more of a hit next year.

    Where to stay in Amsterdam and how to get there:

    I stayed at Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam, a few minutes’ walk from Amsterdam Centraal train station, across the square.

    It had the vague feel of spa – there’s flavoured water on reception, pleasant scents spritzed into the air as you enter and Elemis smellies.

    This was paired with a smart and serious black and gold colour scheme.

    Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam (Picture: Park Plaza)

    One highlight was the food – I had a preview of dishes from Carstens, a brasserie set to open next year serving traditional Dutch food with a twist, using ingredients from local farms and breweries.

    My favourite dishes were the chopped steak with cheese and chives, shrimp and local Dutch cheeses – more adventurous souls may wish to try smoked eel and calf’s tongue.

    The hotel bar, Vic’s, had a solid range of gin cocktails and, of course, the absinthe-based Vincent Van Gogh.

    There’s also great food and a stylish party atmosphere next door at 5&33, where I enjoyed the steak and chocolate fondant.

    Rooms at Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam cost from £159 per night.

    I flew with easyJet from London Stansted to Amsterdam Schipol then took a train to Amsterdam Centraal.

    Flights run three to four times a day and cost from £40.55 return.

    Return train tickets to the airport cost from £9.60 from The Trainline.

    Where to stay in London before you travel:

    I stayed at the Radisson Blu Hotel London Stansted Airport – within walking distance of the terminal.

    The design is attractive – built around its Wine Tower Bar you can people-watch, have a drink or shuffle off to your room depending how sociable you’re feeling.

    It also has a small gym and swimming pool.

    You can book via Holiday Extras, which also sells parking, lounge entrance and insurance, from £87 per night online or on 0800 1313 777.

    (Top image: Getty)

    MORE: Design in Italy: How to see Genoa through Renzo Piano’s architecture

    MORE: Cliff camping – the ideal Christmas gift for an adrenaline junkie or the height of eccentricity? I slept on a ledge 10 storeys up to find out

    MORE: Winter in Morocco: It’s time you tried a crash course in kitesurfing on the windy beaches of Essouaria


    Statues of Johnny Jordaan and band.Statues of Johnny Jordaan and band.yvettemcasterCelebrating the opening of a new wing, the Van Gogh museum installed a maze of 100.000 sun flowers in Museumplein, Amsterdam.Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, international museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art and design.The Amsterdam canal system is the result of conscious city planning. In the early 17th century, when immigration was at a peak, a comprehensive plan was developed that was based on four concentric half-circles of canals with their ends emerging at the IJ bay.Statues of Johnny Jordaan and band.Statues of Johnny Jordaan and band.yvettemcasterCelebrating the opening of a new wing, the Van Gogh museum installed a maze of 100.000 sun flowers in Museumplein, Amsterdam.Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, international museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art and design.The Amsterdam canal system is the result of conscious city planning. In the early 17th century, when immigration was at a peak, a comprehensive plan was developed that was based on four concentric half-circles of canals with their ends emerging at the IJ bay.

    0 0

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD Tenants (left to right) Peter Immisch, Kurt Schlomm and Jordan Mercieca are pictured in the living room of their three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Pete (white T-shirt), Kurt (the blonde one), and Jordan (on the right) share a three-bedroom house in Earlsfield (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)

    How do you make a rented property feel like home?

    It’s tricky to relax and settle in when you’re paying absurd amounts on a one-year contract.

    Throw in the bans on proper decoration and painting the walls, and renting can feel like you’re staying in a hostel for months on end.

    Our weekly series, What I Rent, sets out to show the reality of renting in London, looking at what we’re paying and what we’re getting in return.

    But it also allows us to look at how people make places they rent feel more homely – blu-tacked artwork, bits and bobs lining the shelves, fancy rugs, and so on.

    This week we’re seeing how three men – Jordan, Kurt, and Pete – have made a three-bedroom house in Earlsfield their own.

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD Tenants (left to right) Peter Immisch, Kurt Schlomm and Jordan Mercieca are pictured in the living room of their three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    From left to right: Pete, Kurt, and Jordan (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)

    Hey, Jordan! How much are you paying to live here?

    We pay £2020 divided evenly amongst the 3 of us – so £673 each.

    Earlier in the year we were paying £1950 and when our agreement expired, the landlord requested an increase to £2050 on the new agreement. However, Pete was able to negotiate this down to £2020.

    Bills work out to be £85 each a month – which includes unlimited internet.

    And what do you get for what you’re paying?

    The house has a kitchen, living room, three bedrooms and amazingly three bathrooms (two are en suite). The non en suite bathroom is Pete’s and is usually used by guests when they are visiting.

    I’d say all the rooms are quite even in terms of pros and cons.

    Pete’s room has the big courtyard but the least privacy as people walk through his room to dry clothes outside and guests use his bathroom.

    Kurt has the only room downstairs, which stays coolest in summer, but cops the most noise if anyone is in the kitchen or living room.

    My room lacks a courtyard but doesn’t have the cons of the other rooms (people walking through and noise levels) which I think makes up for it.

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    They each pay £673 to live in their house in Earlsfield (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)

    How did you find the house?

    Kurt and Pete have been here since August 2017. I moved in replacing their friend who moved back to Australia in March.

    I found the guys posting on a Facebook group (Aussies in London) looking for someone to fill the vacant room. The Facebook group has a weekly post with hundreds of comments with people looking for Australian flatmates in London.

    I think I found a great deal with the price I pay for an en suite room and the quality of my flatmates!

    Do you like the area?

    We’re in Earlsfield – South West London. It’s a quiet area between the busier and more well-known areas Wandsworth, Wimbledon, Tooting and Clapham.

    I really like our current location – mainly for its accessibility. We’re a short 7 minute walk to the train station which is just one stop to Clapham or Wimbledon and only 3 stops from Waterloo. There’s also a bus right outside our place which takes you straight to Tooting.

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Jordan met Kurt and Pete through a Facebook group for Australians living in London (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)

    I’d say we are very well connected and when I’m working in South Bank it’s only 30 minutes door-to-door.

    It’s a 15 minute walk to the gym in Wandsworth and I usually do my shopping at the big shopping complex there after a session. There’s also a

    Tesco and Sainsbury next to Earlsfield station if I need to grab something quickly.

    Do you feel you have enough space?

    Definitely. The rooms are all about the same size and with our own bathrooms I feel there is a generous amount of space for everyone. Pete and Kurt even have their own courtyards.

    The living room is big; however, the kitchen feels a bit small when more than one person is cooking at once.

    What’s it like living with Kurt and Pete?

    Before this year I was renting in Melbourne, Australia in a 2 bedroom with one my good friends. It was a different experience as I was the lead tenant and able to set the house rules.

    Moving in with Kurt & Pete was a bit daunting as I’d only met them once when inspecting the room and I was moving into a household with already established rules and expectations.

    This really turned out to not be a problem as I found that we are all pretty laidback with similar lifestyles and expectations of how the house should be run. Naturally we became good friends and try to hang out on the weekends and plan trips around Europe together.

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    They reckon they’ve got a pretty sweet deal (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)

    Are there any major issues with the house you have to put up with?

    Nothing worth complaining about. The house has thin walls so can usually hear what everyone else is up to – however, this is rarely a problem as we all have early starts for work so are in bed early.

    We don’t have a cleaning schedule for the living room and kitchen so there a few small disputes about keeping these areas clean. Everyone is quite tidy, so this gets resolved quickly.

    How have you made the house feel like home?

    Coming to the house late I really haven’t contributed much to the house in the living room or kitchen. However, for my room I brought a lot of my stuff from Australia so it kind of feels like my old room.

    I like how I’ve hung up the Australian flag that I brought to Tomorrowland festival in Belgium as it reminds me of both home and the great summer I had travelling in Europe.

    The guys put up a nice flag of Gandhi for some Saturday night inspiration.

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    The friends have made the place their own with small bits of decoration (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)

    Any plans to move again?

    I’d love to stay here until at least after summer, however, Kurt and Pete are planning to move back to Australia in March next year, so this has created a problem. I will either find new roommates or find a short-term option which would be closer to my current client sites at Heathrow Airport and Uxbridge.

    After summer I would like to move in with my girlfriend when she returns to London from a secondment. She is currently renting a one-bedroom apartment in Farringdon.

    Have you considered buying?

    Definitely not in London. I’m trying to save money at the moment and am not quite sure where I’ll end up settling. Maybe in 5 years I’ll have a better idea.

    Shall we have a look at the place?

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    The living room is pretty big for three (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD Tenants Peter Immisch, Kurt Schlomm and Jordan Mercieca are pictured in the living room of their three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    The TV’s on the smaller side though (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of a snowboard in the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    The living room leads into the kitchen (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the kitchen of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    The kitchen feels a bit cramped when more than one person is cooking (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the kitchen of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Interesting cereal choices (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD Tenant Jordan Mercieca pictured in his bedroom in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Let’s look at Jordan’s room first (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bedroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    It’s not massive, but Jordan’s happy with it (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Check out the Australian flag (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bathroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Jordan has an en suite bathroom (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bathroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    All of the housemates have their own bathroom, apart from Pete who uses a third bathroom that doubles as the one for guests (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bathroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    So there are new queues for the shower in the morning. Dreamy. (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bathroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD Tenant Kurt Schlomm pictured in his bedroom in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Here’s Kurt in his room (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bedroom of tenant Kurt Schlomm in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Again, he’s got an en suite bathroom (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Kurt Schlomm in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    And an impressive collection of hats (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bedroom of tenant Kurt Schlomm in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Kurt Schlomm in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Kurt Schlomm in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Does anyone else judge people based on the books on their shelves? (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the en-suite bathroom of tenant Kurt Schlomm in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Here’s Kurt’s bathroom. Nice, right? (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD Tenant Peter Immisch pictured in his bedroom in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Finally, Pete’s bedroom (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bedroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Pete’s room leads out to a courtyard (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bedroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bathroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    And here’s the guest bathroom, which works as Pete’s (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bathroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)
    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bathroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland
    Behold: Pete’s toothbrushes (Picture: Susannah Ireland/Metro.co.uk)

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

    How to get involved in What I Rent

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

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

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

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

    MORE: What I Rent: Stephanie, £650 a month to share a two-bedroom flat in Streatham Hill

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

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


    What I Rent: EarlsfieldWhat I Rent: EarlsfieldellencscottLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD Tenants (left to right) Peter Immisch, Kurt Schlomm and Jordan Mercieca are pictured in the living room of their three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD Tenants (left to right) Peter Immisch, Kurt Schlomm and Jordan Mercieca are pictured in the living room of their three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD Tenants Peter Immisch, Kurt Schlomm and Jordan Mercieca are pictured in the living room of their three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of a snowboard in the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the kitchen of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the kitchen of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD Tenant Jordan Mercieca pictured in his bedroom in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bedroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bathroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bathroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bathroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bathroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD Tenant Kurt Schlomm pictured in his bedroom in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bedroom of tenant Kurt Schlomm in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Kurt Schlomm in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bedroom of tenant Kurt Schlomm in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Kurt Schlomm in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Kurt Schlomm in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the en-suite bathroom of tenant Kurt Schlomm in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD Tenant Peter Immisch pictured in his bedroom in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bedroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bedroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bathroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bathroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bathroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandWhat I Rent: EarlsfieldWhat I Rent: EarlsfieldellencscottLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD Tenants (left to right) Peter Immisch, Kurt Schlomm and Jordan Mercieca are pictured in the living room of their three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD Tenants (left to right) Peter Immisch, Kurt Schlomm and Jordan Mercieca are pictured in the living room of their three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD Tenants Peter Immisch, Kurt Schlomm and Jordan Mercieca are pictured in the living room of their three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of a snowboard in the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the combined kitchen and living room of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the kitchen of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the kitchen of tenants Jordan Mercieca, Kurt Schlomm and Peter Immisch, three bedroomed house in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD Tenant Jordan Mercieca pictured in his bedroom in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bedroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bathroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bathroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bathroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bathroom of tenant Jordan Mercieca in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Peter Immisch and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD Tenant Kurt Schlomm pictured in his bedroom in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bedroom of tenant Kurt Schlomm in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Kurt Schlomm in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bedroom of tenant Kurt Schlomm in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Kurt Schlomm in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Kurt Schlomm in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the en-suite bathroom of tenant Kurt Schlomm in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Peter Immisch in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD Tenant Peter Immisch pictured in his bedroom in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bedroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bedroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bedroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of the bathroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bathroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah IrelandLONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, DECEMBER 2ND 2018. WHAT I RENT: EARLSFIELD General view of details in the bathroom of tenant Peter Immisch in the three-bedroomed house he shares with housemates Jordan Mercieca, and Kurt Schlomm in Earlsfield, London, 2nd December 2018. All three tenants pay ?2020 a month plus ?85 in bills. Each tenant also has a bathroom each. Photo credit: Susannah Ireland

    0 0

    Annie, left, with daughter (Photo: Annie Makoff-Clark)

    Like any five-year-old, my daughter wants more Barbie dolls for Christmas.

    Her beloved collection is, for the most part, characterised by white, pasty-faced, make-up clad Disney princesses with the odd nod to slightly darker skin colours thanks to Pocahontas and Moana.

    They all have long hair and ‘perfect’ bodies. This year, I decided that would change. I’m a parent with a physical disability and I want my daughter’s play world to reflect reality.

    I have various limb deformities and sight loss in one eye. For my daughter, this is entirely normal.

    But recently, she’s started noticing the things her mummy can’t do. I’m the ‘only mummy’ who can’t run, I’m the ‘only mummy’ who has seven fingers and an ‘arty-fish-al’ leg.

    This is an entirely normal developmental process for her to go through, but it’s made me more determined to find toys that represent disability in some way.

    Toy manufacturers are slowly waking up to the importance of diversity representation in their products.

    There are a few token non-white dolls around as well as slightly (but not much) plumper ones. But when it comes to disability, options are distinct lacking.

    I have trawled for hours online looking for some kind of disabled Barbie. And there did use to be one – Wheelchair Beckie – but she was eventually pulled from the shelves despite her popularity because her wheelchair didn’t fit into existing Barbie houses.

    Obviously, accessibility doesn’t exist in the toy world.

    Play is central to a child’s world, so it’s obvious that toy manufacturers have huge influence over a child’s early experience.

    Some toy manufacturers are at least attempting to better represent disability, albeit with a medical and mostly temporary point of view.

    PlayMobil have Child in Wheelchair and Our Generation have brought out a so-called wheelchair medical set, although most disabled people would cringe at this. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the only acceptable form of disability is the temporary, broken-leg kind.

    So what is all this teaching our kids? Children aren’t born prejudiced. When they’re young, they quite happily accept difference, maybe even embrace it.

    I used to attract a small crowd of curious little ones when I took my daughter to and from pre-school, fascinated with my hand and artificial leg. Yet I suspect that give these kids a few years and they’ll view disability as something to be wary of.

    ‘Disability with all its nuances needs to be normalised.’ (Photo: Annie Makoff-Clark)

    Play is central to a child’s world, so it’s obvious that toy manufacturers have huge influence over a child’s early experience.

    We’re only starting to realise the impact that gender bias in toys has on children’s self-esteem and their view of the world (and if I’m entirely honest, I admit I’d rather my daughter was playing with construction sets rather than pretty-witty Barbie dolls but that’s an issue for another day).

    So just as Barbie and the like are finally helping to rectify stereotypes with their new ‘career dolls’ range, and other toy brands are starting to represent different ethnicities and cultures, disability with all its nuances needs to be normalised.

    For children with disabilities, dolls that look like them reminds them that they’re part of society, not outside it – disabled dolls can be powerful role models. And for non-disabled kids, it just becomes…well, normal.

    Children need to play with toys that reflect society’s rich diversity instead of stick-thin, pasty faced, make-up clad versions of the idealised woman.

    I get that play is an escapism – there’s nothing wrong with having a few sparkly princess dolls and a fairy tale palace, but do all these dolls need to be white, thin or able-bodied?

    Why can’t you have a blind princess and her guide dog gallivanting around a castle or a prince with a walking stick?

    Toy manufacturer’s take note: if we’re to really normalise disability, toys are the first place to start.

    And my conclusion from my fruitless search to find my daughter a disabled doll?

    Apart from the Lottie doll with cochlear implants, there are just no Barbie-style disabled dolls on the market.

    Not unless you’re willing to pay over £100 for Wheelchair Beckie as a collector’s item.

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

    MORE: I campaigned Tesco to stock bigger nappies for disabled children like my son and I won

    MORE: Since retiring as a Paralympian, I’ve learnt how hard it is to be disabled in our society


    cofcofrmve86cofcofrmve86

    0 0

    (Picture: @mckellogs)
    (Picture: @mckellogs)

    Meet Tango – he’s been crowned the ‘stupidest horse’.

    His owner posted on Twitter about how they’d built him a barn, filled it with hay and feed but even when he’s cold, he doesn’t know how to use it.

    The post led to an incredible thread about Tango and all the silly things he did – and people love him for it.

    Even though he might not be the most intelligent, it seems that everyone who meets him instantly becomes a huge fan.

    One tweet says: ‘Yesterday my mom said some lady came to the door to tell her how pretty tango is and the lady started crying about it. This is normal. We don’t know why everyone is obsessed with the horse.’

    And best of all, Tango’s owner even managed to find pictures of him on Google Street View and they really prove her point.

    Don’t worry though, a further update showed that they’d managed to get him into the barn and the gate was keeping him in one place, safe from the snow.

    We love you, Tango.

    MORE: What I Rent: Jordan, Kurt and Pete, £673 each for a three-bedroom house in Earlsfield

    MORE: Luton Airport holds biggest Christmas lights show in the world


    Stupid horseStupid horselauraabernethy6(Picture: @mckellogs)Stupid horseStupid horselauraabernethy6(Picture: @mckellogs)

    0 0

    (Picture: David Simons)

    You’re probably one of two types of people by this time in December.

    Either you’re embraced the Christmas music and you listen to nothing else from the moment you wake up, or you are so fed up hearing the about mistletoe and wine, you are just counting down the days until it will be over.

    If you fall into the second camp, Christmas shopping is probably your worst nightmare right now.

    Instagram Photo

    Every store plays the familiar songs on repeat again and again.

    But luckily for you, a mystery person is sticking packets of earplugs wrapped in Christmas paper to lamp posts and phone boxes in London so you can get some peace and quiet.

    These posters were spotted around Oxford Street.

    The campaign seems to be targeted at All I Want For Christmas singer Mariah Carey with the hashtag #SilenceMariah at the bottom, but obviously you can use them to block out any tune.

    Although it’s undoubtedly a classic, hearing it for the fifteenth time in a few hours can be a bit much.

    The poster on a phonebox in London (Picture: David Simmons)

    One poster says ‘Want to shop in silence? Take one,’ beside a picture of Mariah.

    Another says ‘When all you want for Christmas is to not to hear All I Want For Christmas.’

    Below there are 10 slots for packets of the ear plugs, wrapped in red and white paper and once you remove one, it says ‘Santa loves you’ underneath.

    And if you’re still enjoying Christmas music, you can always save them to block out the inevitable family argument on Christmas day.

    MORE: Meet Tango the incredibly stupid horse who loves his snackies

    MORE: The ethical, sustainable and eco-friendly Christmas gift guide


    Someone is giving out free ear plugs for people to escape Christmas musicSomeone is giving out free ear plugs for people to escape Christmas musiclauraabernethy6Someone is giving out free ear plugs for people to escape Christmas musicSomeone is giving out free ear plugs for people to escape Christmas musiclauraabernethy6

    0 0

    (Picture: Getty)

    You know us Brits – we’re not usually the type to get angry.

    We do love a grumble, though. And we do love tea.

    So it’s not surprising that it’s Yorkshire Tea’s new teabags that have pushed us over the edge into pure rage.

    Yorkshire Tea has introduced new biodegradable teabags in an effort to make their products more environmentally friendly.

    In case you didn’t know: Most teabags have plastic in, so take longer to break down. Making the switch to biodegradable packaging is a good move environment-wise.

    Yorkshire Tea used to use an oil-based plastic to seal the teabags. That plastic has now been replaced with a plant-based material.

    Sadly, what sounds like a great idea hasn’t worked out particularly well.

    Tea fans are ranting online after reportedly experiencing the ultimate tea disaster: the new biodegradable teabags splitting in hot water.

    Imagine the horror. You’re stressed and exhausted, and know that a cup of tea will soothe your soul. You pop in the teabag and sugar, pour in the hot water, and are just trying to remove the bag when it splits, wrecking your cuppa with loose bits of leaves. Devastating.

    Naturally this horror has pushed people to share their misery and anger on Twitter.

    Unlike many recent issues in British culture, this one can’t be blamed on Brexit.

    Back in June Yorkshire Tea announced that they would be getting rid of the plastic in their teabags, stating that they had started the switch and planned to completely convert by the end of 2019.

    ‘Our new tea bags will be renewable and biodegradable and will use a plant-based material for sealing,’ the brand said months ago. ‘It doesn’t have any effect on the tea’s flavour or its shelf life and won’t cost you any more to buy.

    ‘The new tea bags will be compostable, too – though because the new material only biodegrades fully in industrial composting, the best way to dispose of them will be to pop them in your garden waste or food waste bin rather than home compost.

    File photo dated 06/05/15 of a cup of Yorkshire Tea being poured from a teapot. The brand's new biodegradable tea bags have left customers stewing - after they complained the flimsy bags were ruining their cuppas. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday December 18, 2018. Tea lovers contacted the company in despair, reporting that the once-reliable tea bags were splitting in their brews.See PA story CONSUMER YorkshireTea. Photo credit should read: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire
    (Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire)

    ‘You might actually have already tried them, as we’ve had some on shop shelves since May as part of a first trial run. The results have been great, so we’re now beginning a full switch.’

    It appears that the new bags have been rolled out more widely, and issues with teabag breakage are starting to pop up.

    In response to Darren Fletcher, Yorkshire Tea tweeted: ‘Yikes – sorry Darren! Yorkshire Gold has switched to biodegradable bags, replacing the oil-based plastic that used to seal them.

    ‘It’s early days so we’re very keen to hear feedback. Fancy telling our customer services team at hello@yorkshiretea.co.uk so they can put this right?’

    So hopefully the backlash will encourage some improvements.

    We’ve reached out to Yorkshire Tea to find out what’s going on, and will update this article if we hear back.

    MORE: Sainsbury’s launches Brussels sprouts and pigs in blankets flavour teas

    MORE: Can you drink coffee when you’re pregnant?


    Yorkshire TeaYorkshire TeaellencscottFile photo dated 06/05/15 of a cup of Yorkshire Tea being poured from a teapot. The brand's new biodegradable tea bags have left customers stewing - after they complained the flimsy bags were ruining their cuppas. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday December 18, 2018. Tea lovers contacted the company in despair, reporting that the once-reliable tea bags were splitting in their brews.See PA story CONSUMER YorkshireTea. Photo credit should read: Lynne Cameron/PA WireYorkshire TeaYorkshire TeaellencscottFile photo dated 06/05/15 of a cup of Yorkshire Tea being poured from a teapot. The brand's new biodegradable tea bags have left customers stewing - after they complained the flimsy bags were ruining their cuppas. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday December 18, 2018. Tea lovers contacted the company in despair, reporting that the once-reliable tea bags were splitting in their brews.See PA story CONSUMER YorkshireTea. Photo credit should read: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire

    0 0

    Both Offset and Thomas Markle made public gestures designed to make a woman so uncomfortable she has to embrace the relationship (Picture: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

    If you love someone, let them go.

    Don’t go on a massive platform and publicly beg them into loving you back.

    In the last week we’ve seen two high-scale incidents of men shaming women into giving them the attention they believe they’re entitled to.

    First Offset got on stage at Rolling Loud festival to beg Cardi B, who recently announced their marriage was over, to take him back.

    Then Good Morning Britain had Thomas Markle video call into the show to beg Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, to reach out after ‘ghosting’ him.

    These are two very different men – a 27-year-old rapper trying to win back his wife and a 74-year-old estranged father hurt about not going to his daughter’s wedding – engaging in the same toxic behaviour: making a public gesture designed to make a woman so uncomfortable she has to embrace the relationship or risk being judged as mean.

    This behaviour is manipulative, cruel, and damaging.

    It takes what should be a private matter and makes it an event with audience participation, inviting strangers to pick sides and offer their opinions.

    It ignores any initial wrongdoing that caused the breakdown of the relationship.

    It positions women so they look cruel if they turn down what pretends to be an attempt at reconciliation, but is in fact just a means of control; a statement that if a woman doesn’t return their affections they deserve to be publicly called out and shamed.

    Offset took a time that should have been all about Cardi B and made it about him – what he wants, what he needs to say.

    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 15: Singer Cardi B (L) is presented a 'Take Me Back' card onstage by her husband Offset (R) during day 2 of the Rolling Loud Festival at Banc of California Stadium on December 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)
    ‘Offset took a time that should have been all about Cardi B and made it about him – what he wants, what he needs to say.’ (Picture: Getty Images North America)

    Her show was her first headline slot at a festival at the end of an incredible year in her career. It should have been an amazing moment, celebrating her talents and what she’s achieved. Instead it was hijacked by her ex-husband rolling flowers on stage, shutting down the music, and taking the mic.

    Cardi B has previously confirmed that Offset cheated on her during their relationship. In response to her Instagram announcement that the marriage was over, he tweeted ‘y’all won’, as if it were not his decision to cheat on his wife that led to their breakup, but comments from fans.

    If Cardi does decide to take her ex back, that’s her decision. But by taking his demands public, Offset has robbed his wife of the ability to think things through and process her emotions privately.

    That’s not an act of love. It’s knowing full well that the relationship is a sensitive area, and dredging it up in front of an audience so it has more power to induce guilt and shame.

    I truly hope that the event was a publicity stunt masterminded by Cardi and Offset. That’s the ideal solution.

    But Cardi’s reaction – the hurt on her face, her request to turn out the lights – made it seem that she had no idea what was coming.

    Someone must have known what Offset had planned, though. Stage shows at festivals have layers of management and security – no one’s getting up there without the knowledge of someone on the star’s team. That suggests that someone working with Cardi allowed her ex to interrupt her set.

    That’s problematic, because it’s not these men alone who shame women into returning their love – when we give these men a stage (literally and metaphorically), we’re all complicit.

    Likewise with Good Morning Britain’s choice to allow Thomas Markle on the show, in full knowledge that he would discuss his daughter, Meghan. He was positioned as the poor old man asking for a chance that needs their backing to make mean Meghan listen.

    ‘From the outside it just seems so incredibly sad,’ said Piers Morgan as he introduced Thomas Markle on GMB.

    He’s right. It does seem incredibly sad… if you’re listening to one side of the story.

    We don’t know why Meghan isn’t speaking to her father, but there must be a reason. That reason is private and personal, and dismissing her feelings as ‘ridiculous’ shows that this public act isn’t a proper attempt at reconciliation, which must come from a place of understanding and acceptance of what went wrong, but a way to portray her in an unflattering light.

    Thomas and Good Morning Britain know full well that Meghan isn’t able to come on the show and offer her side of the story with the same candour. They know she has to remain silent, and have weaponised that silence against her.

    Just like Offset, Thomas Markle blames other people – he says the problem is that Meghan and Harry believe everything they read in the tabloids, skimming over the fact that he has taken part in at least five interviews about his daughter – all to get the public on his side and skim over the emotional complications of a real-life relationship, which, again, will be healed through one-on-one conversation rather than a very public, very embarrassing gesture.

    Both cases come down to entitlement.

    These men believe they are entitled to the love, affection, and attention of the women in their lives, and that it’s perfectly fine for them to use whatever means necessary to get those things.

    There’s a complete lack of respect for these women’s thoughts and feelings, their reasons for cutting off a relationship, or their right to continue their lives free of the people they’ve chosen to let go of.

    No one is entitled to a woman’s love or attention. No one is entitled to communication from someone who has shown that they aren’t interested in continuing a relationship.

    We have to respect that when a woman chooses to end a relationship – whether that’s romantic or familiar – she has reasons that she has no obligation to share with the wider public.

    Pushing that conversation into the public sphere and forcing them to respond to your version of events without the woman’s consent is truly toxic behaviour. It’s deeply embarrassing and designed to hurt and shame. We must stop letting it happen.

    MORE: Proposing on Christmas is a manipulative act of pure evil

    MORE: It is not a woman’s responsibility to make a man a better human being


    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 15: Singer Cardi B (L) is presented a 'Take Me Back' card onstage by her husband Offset (R) during day 2 of the Rolling Loud Festival at Banc of California Stadium on December 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 15: Singer Cardi B (L) is presented a 'Take Me Back' card onstage by her husband Offset (R) during day 2 of the Rolling Loud Festival at Banc of California Stadium on December 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)ellencscottLOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 15: Singer Cardi B (L) is presented a 'Take Me Back' card onstage by her husband Offset (R) during day 2 of the Rolling Loud Festival at Banc of California Stadium on December 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 15: Singer Cardi B (L) is presented a 'Take Me Back' card onstage by her husband Offset (R) during day 2 of the Rolling Loud Festival at Banc of California Stadium on December 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 15: Singer Cardi B (L) is presented a 'Take Me Back' card onstage by her husband Offset (R) during day 2 of the Rolling Loud Festival at Banc of California Stadium on December 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)ellencscottLOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 15: Singer Cardi B (L) is presented a 'Take Me Back' card onstage by her husband Offset (R) during day 2 of the Rolling Loud Festival at Banc of California Stadium on December 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

    0 0

    (Picture: Mercury Press)

    A poem written by a homeless man has melted the hearts of thousands online after his heartfelt words described what it is like to live on the streets with his wife.

    Jamie and his other half have been living on the streets of Manchester for the last three years, selling poems and friendship bracelets after he lost his job as a plasterer.

    They were helped by a stranger, Luke Askew, after he spent his lunch break chatting with the pair.

    23-year-old Luke set up a GoFundMe page to help Jamie and his wife after they suffered several attacks on the street, with Jamie’s only goal of being able to raise £27 a day to make sure his wife could sleep in a hostel for the night.

    After a recent post showing one of Jamie’s poems went viral, the GoFundMe page has started to take off and now Luke aims to gather enough money to get the pair back on their feet.

    Luke, who works as a life coach, said: ‘I first met Jamie last year when I decided on my lunch break that I should try and spend sometime with a homeless person.

    MERCURY PRESS. 18/12/18. Pictured: Luke Askew with Jamie who is currently homeless. A poem written by a homeless man captured the hearts of thousands of people online after his heart felt words described the perils of living on the streets with his wife. Jamie and his other half have been living on the streets of Manchester for the last three years selling poems and friendship bracelets after he lost his job as a plasterer but were helped by stranger, Luke Askew, after he spent his lunch break chatting with the pair. Luke, 23, set up a Go Fund Me page to help the husband and wife after they suffered several attacks on the street, with Jamies only goal being to raised ?27 a day to make sure his wife could sleep in a hostel for the night. SEE MERCURY COPY
    (Picture: Mercury Press)

    ‘As soon as I saw him I felt drawn towards him and knew I had to help. He was holding a sign that said he wasn’t begging just selling his poems.

    ‘It was pouring with rain and I asked if I could buy him a coffee, somewhere warm.

    ‘He said that it was a very kind offer but that he would need to stay outside to keep on eye on his wife who was a few yards down the road, selling friendships bracelets she had made, as he was worried that she may be attacked.

    ‘So I sat with him and he told me all about how they had ending up sleeping on the streets.’

    Luke, who worked in a restaurant at the time, spent his two hour lunch break with Jamie and was so inspired by his story that he set up a Go Fund Me page to try and help the couple who were currently sleeping in tent.

    Since their first meeting, Luke has visited Jamie a further three times to give them a couple of hundred pounds raised through donations, to help them get food and a few nights in a hostel.

    The former plasterer says that being hungry and cold is not the the worst part about sleeping rough but the fact that he can no longer keep his wife safe and provide for her.

    MERCURY PRESS. 18/12/18. Pictured: Luke Askew with Jamie who is currently homeless. A poem written by a homeless man captured the hearts of thousands of people online after his heart felt words described the perils of living on the streets with his wife. Jamie and his other half have been living on the streets of Manchester for the last three years selling poems and friendship bracelets after he lost his job as a plasterer but were helped by stranger, Luke Askew, after he spent his lunch break chatting with the pair. Luke, 23, set up a Go Fund Me page to help the husband and wife after they suffered several attacks on the street, with Jamies only goal being to raised ?27 a day to make sure his wife could sleep in a hostel for the night. SEE MERCURY COPY
    (Picture: Mercury Press)

    Luke says that Jamie has found a passion for writing and after a stranger gave him some spare change she later posted one of his heartfelt poems online.

    The poem read: ‘Sat on the edge of society, Wonderin why am not a priority.

    ‘What’s come of my life an come over me, my life’s in tatters can’t you see.

    ‘Beggin at the bank everyday, get a job get a life people say.

    ‘I get no benefits, just what people give, to buy food + drink to help me live.

    ‘I live in the streets doorway’s my bed, people think am thick in the head.

    ‘It’s just me, myself and I, nobody wants me do you know why.

    MERCURY PRESS. 18/12/18. Pictured: One of the poems written by Jamie who is currently homeless. A poem written by a homeless man captured the hearts of thousands of people online after his heart felt words described the perils of living on the streets with his wife. Jamie and his other half have been living on the streets of Manchester for the last three years selling poems and friendship bracelets after he lost his job as a plasterer but were helped by stranger, Luke Askew, after he spent his lunch break chatting with the pair. Luke, 23, set up a Go Fund Me page to help the husband and wife after they suffered several attacks on the street, with Jamies only goal being to raised ?27 a day to make sure his wife could sleep in a hostel for the night. SEE MERCURY COPY
    (Picture: Mercury Press)

    ‘Don’t deserve to live with a smile, to make my life worth the while.’

    The post went viral and Luke has now started the hashtag #homelessbutstillhuman in the hopes that one day Jamie will be able to publish his poems.

    Luke said: ‘I wanted to raise some awareness and for people to realise what it is like for those living on the streets.

    ‘When I visited them last, they had had there tent stolen. It’s terrible that they are treated that way.

    ‘I just want to be able to raise enough money to get them a years worth of rent so they can get back on their feet because Jamie has a trade.

    ‘Homeless people are still human.’

    MORE: What I Rent: Jordan, Kurt and Pete, £673 each for a three-bedroom house in Earlsfield

    MORE: How to deal with non-PC relatives this Christmas


    MERCURY PRESS. 18/12/18. Pictured: One of the poems written by Jamie who is currently homeless. A poem written by a homeless man captured the hearts of thousands of people online after his heart felt words described the perils of living on the streets with his wife. Jamie and his other half have been living on the streets of Manchester for the last three years selling poems and friendship bracelets after he lost his job as a plasterer but were helped by stranger, Luke Askew, after he spent his lunch break chatting with the pair. Luke, 23, set up a Go Fund Me page to help the husband and wife after they suffered several attacks on the street, with Jamies only goal being to raised ?27 a day to make sure his wife could sleep in a hostel for the night. SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. 18/12/18. Pictured: One of the poems written by Jamie who is currently homeless. A poem written by a homeless man captured the hearts of thousands of people online after his heart felt words described the perils of living on the streets with his wife. Jamie and his other half have been living on the streets of Manchester for the last three years selling poems and friendship bracelets after he lost his job as a plasterer but were helped by stranger, Luke Askew, after he spent his lunch break chatting with the pair. Luke, 23, set up a Go Fund Me page to help the husband and wife after they suffered several attacks on the street, with Jamies only goal being to raised ?27 a day to make sure his wife could sleep in a hostel for the night. SEE MERCURY COPYhattiegladwellmetroMERCURY PRESS. 18/12/18. Pictured: Luke Askew with Jamie who is currently homeless. A poem written by a homeless man captured the hearts of thousands of people online after his heart felt words described the perils of living on the streets with his wife. Jamie and his other half have been living on the streets of Manchester for the last three years selling poems and friendship bracelets after he lost his job as a plasterer but were helped by stranger, Luke Askew, after he spent his lunch break chatting with the pair. Luke, 23, set up a Go Fund Me page to help the husband and wife after they suffered several attacks on the street, with Jamies only goal being to raised ?27 a day to make sure his wife could sleep in a hostel for the night. SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. 18/12/18. Pictured: Luke Askew with Jamie who is currently homeless. A poem written by a homeless man captured the hearts of thousands of people online after his heart felt words described the perils of living on the streets with his wife. Jamie and his other half have been living on the streets of Manchester for the last three years selling poems and friendship bracelets after he lost his job as a plasterer but were helped by stranger, Luke Askew, after he spent his lunch break chatting with the pair. Luke, 23, set up a Go Fund Me page to help the husband and wife after they suffered several attacks on the street, with Jamies only goal being to raised ?27 a day to make sure his wife could sleep in a hostel for the night. SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. 18/12/18. Pictured: One of the poems written by Jamie who is currently homeless. A poem written by a homeless man captured the hearts of thousands of people online after his heart felt words described the perils of living on the streets with his wife. Jamie and his other half have been living on the streets of Manchester for the last three years selling poems and friendship bracelets after he lost his job as a plasterer but were helped by stranger, Luke Askew, after he spent his lunch break chatting with the pair. Luke, 23, set up a Go Fund Me page to help the husband and wife after they suffered several attacks on the street, with Jamies only goal being to raised ?27 a day to make sure his wife could sleep in a hostel for the night. SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. 18/12/18. Pictured: One of the poems written by Jamie who is currently homeless. A poem written by a homeless man captured the hearts of thousands of people online after his heart felt words described the perils of living on the streets with his wife. Jamie and his other half have been living on the streets of Manchester for the last three years selling poems and friendship bracelets after he lost his job as a plasterer but were helped by stranger, Luke Askew, after he spent his lunch break chatting with the pair. Luke, 23, set up a Go Fund Me page to help the husband and wife after they suffered several attacks on the street, with Jamies only goal being to raised ?27 a day to make sure his wife could sleep in a hostel for the night. SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. 18/12/18. Pictured: One of the poems written by Jamie who is currently homeless. A poem written by a homeless man captured the hearts of thousands of people online after his heart felt words described the perils of living on the streets with his wife. Jamie and his other half have been living on the streets of Manchester for the last three years selling poems and friendship bracelets after he lost his job as a plasterer but were helped by stranger, Luke Askew, after he spent his lunch break chatting with the pair. Luke, 23, set up a Go Fund Me page to help the husband and wife after they suffered several attacks on the street, with Jamies only goal being to raised ?27 a day to make sure his wife could sleep in a hostel for the night. SEE MERCURY COPYhattiegladwellmetroMERCURY PRESS. 18/12/18. Pictured: Luke Askew with Jamie who is currently homeless. A poem written by a homeless man captured the hearts of thousands of people online after his heart felt words described the perils of living on the streets with his wife. Jamie and his other half have been living on the streets of Manchester for the last three years selling poems and friendship bracelets after he lost his job as a plasterer but were helped by stranger, Luke Askew, after he spent his lunch break chatting with the pair. Luke, 23, set up a Go Fund Me page to help the husband and wife after they suffered several attacks on the street, with Jamies only goal being to raised ?27 a day to make sure his wife could sleep in a hostel for the night. SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. 18/12/18. Pictured: Luke Askew with Jamie who is currently homeless. A poem written by a homeless man captured the hearts of thousands of people online after his heart felt words described the perils of living on the streets with his wife. Jamie and his other half have been living on the streets of Manchester for the last three years selling poems and friendship bracelets after he lost his job as a plasterer but were helped by stranger, Luke Askew, after he spent his lunch break chatting with the pair. Luke, 23, set up a Go Fund Me page to help the husband and wife after they suffered several attacks on the street, with Jamies only goal being to raised ?27 a day to make sure his wife could sleep in a hostel for the night. SEE MERCURY COPYMERCURY PRESS. 18/12/18. Pictured: One of the poems written by Jamie who is currently homeless. A poem written by a homeless man captured the hearts of thousands of people online after his heart felt words described the perils of living on the streets with his wife. Jamie and his other half have been living on the streets of Manchester for the last three years selling poems and friendship bracelets after he lost his job as a plasterer but were helped by stranger, Luke Askew, after he spent his lunch break chatting with the pair. Luke, 23, set up a Go Fund Me page to help the husband and wife after they suffered several attacks on the street, with Jamies only goal being to raised ?27 a day to make sure his wife could sleep in a hostel for the night. SEE MERCURY COPY

    0 0

    (Picture: mattjacobi/Instagram)

    Gay couple Matt Jacobi and Nick Caprio from Scottsdale, Arizona were looking for the perfect gift for their young niece to tie in with their upcoming wedding.

    All they could find for eight-year-old Natalie were Barbie dolls that came as a bride and groom.

    So the self-described ‘guncles’ decided to get creative, making their own gift set featuring two grooms, complete with a doll version of Natalie and her sister who are to be flower girls in the wedding.

    After making the set, Matt addressed toy company Mattel on Instagram showing them how easy it is to put Ken dolls together and make their sets more inclusive to the LGBT community.

    Instagram Photo

    ‘We had a difficult time finding a same-sex wedding set to give to my niece for her eighth birthday,’ said Matt in the post.

    ‘She and her little sister are flower girls in our upcoming May wedding. We thought it would be special to give her something with a little meaning behind it.

    ‘What a bummer you don’t make one with two grooms. Anyway, we had to get creative and make a couple purchases. I hope our custom gift inspires you to make a gay wedding set.’

    When Natalie opened up her thought-out present, she was delighted.

    Instagram Photo

    Matt and Nick explained that LGBT representation and visibility are important issues to educate youngsters about.

    ‘It’s going to come up in your family no matter what,’ explained Nick to local radio channel KNXV.

    ‘As more same-sex couples are having kids, your kids are going to have kids in the class that have gay parents and things like that, too. So it’s not this huge shock anymore.’

    So far, Barbie sets only come in heterosexual romantic pairings which have been unchanged since Mattel created it in 1959.

    It’s not the first time Barbie has been given a makeover to reflect gay couples as Australian doll artist Betty Strachan-Otter created a lesbian family set featuring three kids.

    Creating the set ahead of Australia’s successful postal vote on same-sex marriage, Betty said she also wanted positive LGBT representation to educate kids.

    In recent years, Mattel has created more diverse lines of Barbie dolls, making them more inclusive to reflect society better, with different body types, skin colour, hairstyles and more.

    Matt and Nick are now in talks with the design team at Mattel to see what they can do to create a gay couple set, so watch this space.

    MORE: How to deal with non-PC relatives this Christmas

    MORE: Photos show a year behind the scenes at the world’s first LGBT synagogue

    MORE: Children need to be taught that consent is about so much more than sex


    Same sex couple buy gay barbie set for nieceSame sex couple buy gay barbie set for niecefaimabakar1Same sex couple buy gay barbie set for nieceSame sex couple buy gay barbie set for niecefaimabakar1

    0 0

    (Picture: MDWfeatures / Phil Flock)

    Phil Flock transformed his body in just two months by following the controversial ‘snake diet’ – which involves fasting for long periods and fuelling your body with only water and a salt-based drink.

    The 28-year-old from Germany, even followed the plan on Christmas Day last year, eating nothing all day and just consuming one drink in the evening.

    The filmmaker decided to embark on the drastic diet change after realising that his busy work schedule didn’t leave him much time to work out – but is this a healthy or safe way to get in shape? The experts are unconvinced.

    Phil shows off his ripped torso after doing the snake diet. MEET the man who didn???t eat anything last Christmas and claims he can fast for up to EIGHT DAYS straight as part of the SNAKE DIET saying he believes society treats carbohydrates like a drug. Filmmaker, Phil Flock (28) from Haan, Germany, who now lives in California, USA, shows off his nine per cent body fat figure as he reaps the benefits of fasting for multiple days, fuelling his body off only water. For the last eight years, Phil has been dedicated to his career and not found the time to work out. By December 2017, he realised that something needed to change after noticing that he???d lost his toned physique and gained weight. Along with his friends, Phil decided to instigate the change right away, so they cut out all carbohydrates and set themselves an eight-week deadline. Initially, this was going well but Phil???s willpower failed him during a Christmas party on December 23, 2017, as he mistook a diet iced tea with a regular iced tea. Phil admits that this might appear to be a minor detail, but it led his carb withdrawals to return and he felt like he???d have to start over from step one. That???s when Phil found out about the so-called ???snake diet??? which involves fasting for prolonged periods of time and having one meal every few days. MDWfeatures / Phil Flock
    Phil lifts weights every day (Picture: MDWfeatures/Phil Flock

    So what exactly is the snake diet?

    On this diet you basically fast for up to three days at a time, and consume only ‘snake juice’ within a one-to-two hour window.

    Snake juice is made up of water, salt, potassium chloride, baking soda and magnesium sulphate salts. It’s claimed that it helps to deplete sugar levels in the liver, which then encourages the body to burn fat as energy.

    But experts are keen to warn of the dangers.

    Nutritionist Ruth Tongue, founder of Elevate, thinks the diet should definitely be avoided.

    ‘This diet sounds extremely dangerous and at best could leave you feeling horrendous, and at worst could cause serious health consequences,’ Ruth tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘The jury’s out as to whether the benefits of fasting, even for short periods of time, are grounded in solid science. Yet we know that when we don’t eat, our blood sugar levels drop dramatically, leaving us lacking energy, unable to focus and moody.

    ‘On top of this, all of our “non-essential” functions, such as fertility, will shut down as the body tries to conserve energy – so fasting is a no-no for anyone trying to conceive.

    ‘Anyone who’s tried dieting will know that going to bed hungry affects sleep, and the combination of Epsom salts, and baking powder in the ‘snake juice’ will leave you sitting on the loo when you should be enjoying your Christmas dinner. Doesn’t sound much fun to me!’

    Still taken from Snake Diet YouTube channel (Picture: Snake Diet/YouTube)
    Snake Diet  has its own YouTube channel (Picture: Snake Diet/YouTube)

    On the snake diet, Phil was existing on just one meal every few days. He said he started seeing results within just a week, but he also experienced vomiting as his body experienced carb-withdrawals.

    ‘I spent two Christmas dinners without food, so I could get back into ketosis as fast as possible, and they were the hardest days ever, but I made it,’ says Phil.

    Ketosis is the process when the body uses ketones out of fat for energy, instead of carbs – and it only happens when you cut out all carbohydrates entirely.

    ‘It was really hard to not eat anything all day and sit at the table, seeing all of the delicious food, knowing I had to wait 24 hours until I could eat again.

    ‘The longest I’ve fasted for was eight days where I only drank water, which had sodium and potassium.

    ‘I am pretty lean right now, so I have one small no carb meal a day, unless the meal becomes bigger than I intended so then I fast for 48 hours to maintain my body weight.’

    What is snake juice?

    Snake juice ingredients:

    • Water
    • Sodium chloride (Himalayan pink salt)
    • Potassium chloride
    • Baking soda
    • Magnesium sulphate (food grade Epsom salts, optional)

    The Snake Diet website encourages people to drink snake juice within a one-to-two hour window for ‘as long as you feel good’.

    It recommends starting with a 48-hour fast and then repeating with a 72-hour one.

    But experts are certainly not sold on the idea of fasting for long-term health and weight benefits.

    ‘Although I think many of us could benefit from going longer periods without eating in an attempt to control daily calorie intake, fasting for more than 48 hours is not a good idea,’ explains Matt Durkin MSC, expert nutritionist at Simply Supplements.

    ‘There are numerous reasons for this. Firstly, as you are not consuming food you will inevitably be low on energy and it will be impossible to meet all micronutrient requirements.

    ‘This is likely to negatively impact immune function, and metabolism as well as a whole host of other normal bodily functions.

    ‘This diet will certainly lead to weight-loss, but a significant proportion of this will be muscle mass, as the diet will provide no protein and therefore lack the essential amino acids.

    ‘In addition to the obvious effects of muscle loss, this will decreases metabolic rate and make maintenance of a healthy weight in the long-term all the more difficult.’

    So the physical risks seem pretty clear, but experts are also concerned about the emotional and psychological effects of long-term fasting.

    ‘As this diet is very extreme, it will likely lead to a poor relationship with food,’ Matt tells us.

    ‘Food shouldn’t be seen as something to avoid and abstain from but seen as essential for health and wellbeing and something to fuel and nourish our bodies.’

    Any new diet should be looked at critically and carefully – particularly extreme ones. The best thing to do is talk to a qualified doctor or nutritionist if you want advice on losing weight safely and effectively.

    MORE: Vegans warned lack of nutrients in some diets could lead to malnutrition

    MORE: Why a soy sauce ‘cleanse’ is a dangerous idea

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


    Man on 'snake diet'Man on 'snake diet'nataliemorris88Phil shows off his ripped torso after doing the snake diet. MEET the man who didn???t eat anything last Christmas and claims he can fast for up to EIGHT DAYS straight as part of the SNAKE DIET saying he believes society treats carbohydrates like a drug. Filmmaker, Phil Flock (28) from Haan, Germany, who now lives in California, USA, shows off his nine per cent body fat figure as he reaps the benefits of fasting for multiple days, fuelling his body off only water. For the last eight years, Phil has been dedicated to his career and not found the time to work out. By December 2017, he realised that something needed to change after noticing that he???d lost his toned physique and gained weight. Along with his friends, Phil decided to instigate the change right away, so they cut out all carbohydrates and set themselves an eight-week deadline. Initially, this was going well but Phil???s willpower failed him during a Christmas party on December 23, 2017, as he mistook a diet iced tea with a regular iced tea. Phil admits that this might appear to be a minor detail, but it led his carb withdrawals to return and he felt like he???d have to start over from step one. That???s when Phil found out about the so-called ???snake diet??? which involves fasting for prolonged periods of time and having one meal every few days. MDWfeatures / Phil FlockStill taken from Snake Diet YouTube channel (Picture: Snake Diet/YouTube)Man on 'snake diet'Man on 'snake diet'nataliemorris88Phil shows off his ripped torso after doing the snake diet. MEET the man who didn???t eat anything last Christmas and claims he can fast for up to EIGHT DAYS straight as part of the SNAKE DIET saying he believes society treats carbohydrates like a drug. Filmmaker, Phil Flock (28) from Haan, Germany, who now lives in California, USA, shows off his nine per cent body fat figure as he reaps the benefits of fasting for multiple days, fuelling his body off only water. For the last eight years, Phil has been dedicated to his career and not found the time to work out. By December 2017, he realised that something needed to change after noticing that he???d lost his toned physique and gained weight. Along with his friends, Phil decided to instigate the change right away, so they cut out all carbohydrates and set themselves an eight-week deadline. Initially, this was going well but Phil???s willpower failed him during a Christmas party on December 23, 2017, as he mistook a diet iced tea with a regular iced tea. Phil admits that this might appear to be a minor detail, but it led his carb withdrawals to return and he felt like he???d have to start over from step one. That???s when Phil found out about the so-called ???snake diet??? which involves fasting for prolonged periods of time and having one meal every few days. MDWfeatures / Phil FlockStill taken from Snake Diet YouTube channel (Picture: Snake Diet/YouTube)

    0 0

    We spoke to three British women who decided not to wait for the toy industry to help Black children see themselves (Picture: Instagram/SewChanti)

    Toys can help with children and young people’s creativity, imagination and their learning skills.

    For me, the reality of growing up Black was playing with dolls and action figures that underscored white, slim eurocentric beauty, watching children’s shows with characters that didn’t look like me, and reading books primarily with descriptions of protagonists with strawberry blonde hair and pale skin that I couldn’t relate to.

    I didn’t have the vocabulary or the framework to understand why I felt like an outsider when engrossing myself in these toys and stories I loved.

    These are often the first interactions that Black children have with a society that does not place value on their needs or experiences and demonstrates why it’s crucial that Black people take it upon themselves to provide these foundational toys and tools to our community.

    We spoke to three Black British women who decided that they weren’t waiting on the toy industry to help Black children see themselves.

    Jodi Vernon, 35, @clarkescloset

    (Picture: Instagram/ClarkesCloset)

    ‘I started to create dolls because of my daughter Clarke. When she was about 4 months old, I went on a hunt for a black rag doll and I just couldn’t find anything that looked like her. The hunt was and is frustrating and even heartbreaking at times.

    ‘I want Black children to be able to be able to run through a toy store with the words that every child has a right to: “This one looks like me!” I make my dolls to empower children with self love and self-acceptance, to let them know that they have right to take up space and be represented everywhere they turn.

    ‘My dolls are entirely handmade, from the sewing, to the stuffing and embroidery. Most if not all my fabrics are sourced locally or upcycled.

    ‘Children mimic what they see and if only one narrative is being told, how will they ever gain insight into how beautiful their individuality is. Black toys help children understand their story because it mirrors their own.

    ‘In the new year, I’m launching my doll making workshop and a book is on the horizon. I also want to bring back sewing into schools children of all ages as it’s such an amazing skill to have. I have so many new products I’m excited about launching and to keep pushing the boundaries of my doll making.’

    Clarke’s Closet dolls range from £20-95 and can be purchased through the online shop and instore at Diverse Gifts Brixton and United 80 Brixton Village.

    Raine Lorraine, 26, @_theraine

    (Picture: Instagram/_theraine)

    ‘I learned how to make my dolls this summer so that I could make some for a friend’s little sister who thought her skin was too dark.

    ‘I want my dolls to be as simple and accessible as possible, something that can be recreated easily.

    ‘I make them using wooden beads, pipe cleaners, thread and yarn. Each wooden bead is hand painted, though when it comes to the colour brown, what is available is extremely limited. I blend tones to my liking and always use a bronze base to create glistening undertones – we’re magical so it’s only right.

    ‘If we don’t see ourselves represented, we won’t know any better. There’s one particularly moment that stood out to me at this year’s Black Girl Fest. There was a little girl looking at my dolls. She kept leaning towards the lighter ones because she thought they were more beautiful. The thought of someone so young dismissing their beauty was beyond heartbreaking.

    ‘I ended up giving her two dolls that looked like her and kept repeating how beautiful she is. A few hours later, she came running back to me and showed me a story she had written about three princesses – the two dolls and her.

    ‘My aim for next year is to broaden my range. I want to collaborate with the women who continue to inspire me to create personalised collections. I would love to get to a point where I could hold workshops on how to make them. Everything I’ve done is self-taught and I want to share that with the community.’

    The Raine handmade dolls range from £3-12 and can be purchased via Instagram.

    Chanti, 34, @sewchanti

    (Picture: Etsy/SewChanti)

    ‘I made my first doll because my friend told me her daughter was asking why there weren’t any dolls in the shops that looked like her. She wanted to know if it was because her hair and skin weren’t pretty; she’s a darkskin girl with 4C hair. I found it painful to hear a 6 year old already feeling this way.

    ‘I already knew how to crochet so set about teaching myself how to make a doll for her. Seeing her with the doll and the joy she felt let me to designing and making more dolls.

    ‘All my dolls and key rings are used making crochet techniques, using either cotton or acrylic yarn. I sell readymade dolls as well as made-to-order dolls with different skin tones, hair and clothing options.

    ‘It’s absolutely essential that black children see themselves in toys, books, and media otherwise their self image and self esteem is negatively impacted, my friend’s daughter being a prime example.

    ‘A Sew Chanti doll that has been particularly popular is the Princess Wavey mermaid doll. It is rare to see a darkskin mermaid character and there’s no reason why there can’t be one since it’s a fictional character. I think it’s important for Black children to see themselves in a variety of characters, such as superheroes and mermaids.

    ‘I’m working towards holding some workshops next year and I’m also in the process of designing a wheelchair to come with a doll. In the same way that it’s important for black children to see themselves, it’s also important for disabled children to see themselves.’

    Sew Chanti handmade dolls range from £35-70 and can be purchased on the online shop.

    MORE: Same-sex couple create gay wedding Barbie doll set for niece

    MORE: I’m a parent with a disability. My daughter’s toys should reflect her reality


    sew chanti 2-f533sew chanti 2-f533ellencscottsew chanti 2-f533sew chanti 2-f533ellencscott

    0 0

    ‘My story began eight years ago, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At that moment the whole world seemed to open up and I fell in.’ (Picture: Jacquie Macleod)

    This Christmas I am hoping to meet the stranger that saved my life.

    My story began eight years ago, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. At that moment the whole world seemed to open up and I fell in.

    After an operation to remove the cancer, a mastectomy and breast reconstruction, I thought I had left cancer behind me, but four years later it came back.

    Just after my 50th birthday in 2014, I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia. When I was first diagnosed with leukaemia all the doctors came into my room to tell me. In that moment, two minutes felt like two hours.

    The second time all the doctors came into my room, I just thought ‘this doesn’t look good’.  They said, ‘I’m so sorry you have a rare type of leukaemia and the only hope for you now is to have a stem cell transplant.’

    After the doctors left my hospital room, I cried in my Macmillan nurse’s arms and continuously asked, ‘Am I going to live?’ That time was hard but having her by my side made the world of difference; Macmillan nurses are angels and they just fold their wings into their uniform.

    I had to wait two months before I found out I had a donor, which was agonising. My friends were saying, ‘We’ll donate, we’ll donate,’ but they were over the age limit.

    That time was hard. I was constantly hoping and praying that they would find someone, but because it was a rare type of leukaemia, I worried that my stem cells might also be rare and finding a match would be difficult.

    The unknown is really daunting and when they told me that they had found a match, it was an incredible moment.

    This will be my fourth year of writing to him since the transplant. I write to thank him for doing something so selfless and kind and ultimately, for saving my life.

    On 16 December 2014, I had my stem cell transplant. It wasn’t what I expected. It was like a blood transfusion (and I’ve had many of these) except the colour was like strawberry milkshake.

    It went to plan. They told me I would be exhausted, and I was. I ended up being in hospital over Christmas.

    I love Christmas, I always buy myself a tree and I love Christmas dinner. I was so upset to miss it all – I was so ill and the drugs I was on were making me sick. I was just so tired of being ill. I kept thinking, ‘when is it going to stop?’

    I ordered Christmas dinner and I was so excited, but when it arrived I couldn’t eat it. I was so disappointed, it just broke my heart and I cried.

    I remember thinking, ‘look at the state of me, what has happened? This really wasn’t in my plan.’

    At that point I set myself targets – to be the quickest out of hospital after a stem cell transplant and to be home by New Year.

    I beat both of these targets; I was the fastest person out of hospital after stem cell treatment by two days and I got home on 30 December 2014. It’s now four years on since my transplant, but I’ve always wondered about my donor. All I know is that he is a man and under 30.

    I write to him every year at Christmas time through the hospital. I wish him a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I don’t know his name or anything about him but I tell him how I’m getting on and let him know that I’m doing well and things are going to plan.

    This will be my fourth year of writing to him since the transplant. I write to thank him for doing something so selfless and kind and ultimately, for saving my life.

    I have never expected a response as regulations say you must wait two years before requesting to have contact details about your donor, and even then they have the right to remain anonymous.

    Recently, I began the process of trying to meet my donor and I’m hoping he will want to see me. For me it will be so emotional if I meet him as we share something very special.

    I feel like I could never repay him for what he has given to me in any way, shape or form. I am forever grateful, and I could never thank him enough.

    That person is now 98 per cent of me and if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here this Christmas.

    The Macmillan nurse who supported me was funded by generous donations from the public. Macmillan relies on these donations to provide vital services for people living with cancer. You can help Macmillan be there for the people who need us by donating to the annual Christmas appeal.

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

    MORE: 30 years after my cancer diagnosis, I finally got to say thank you to the nurse who helped me through it

    MORE: I won’t be buying a single present this Christmas – I don’t see the point


    Macmillan Cancer Support_Jacquie_1-81aeMacmillan Cancer Support_Jacquie_1-81aejessrubyaustinMacmillan Cancer Support_Jacquie_1-81aeMacmillan Cancer Support_Jacquie_1-81aejessrubyaustin

    0 0

    (Picture: PDSA / SWNS.com)

    A cat who survived a horrific attack when he stumbled home after being shot through the mouth has been crowned pet survivor of the year.

    Two-year-old Dexter was deliberately shot in July, leaving him fighting for his life.

    The pellets went through his mouth, leaving his jaw fractured. He also had an exit wound in the back of his neck and metal shrapnel embedded throughout his head.

    Vets said that surviving this shocking act of cruelty was a miracle in itself, but Dexter has continued to amaze everyone throughout the months of his long recovery.

    He recently received the Pet Survivor title after a public poll was held by veterinary charity, PDSA.

    Dexter with his trophy and prize hamper. See SWNS story SWPLcat; A miracle cat from Cornwall who survived a horrific attack when he was shot through the mouth has won a national vote to be crowned PDSA Pet Survivor or the Year 2018. Two-year-old Dexter was deliberately shot in July this year, leaving him fighting for his life. The pellets went through his mouth leaving his jaw fractured. Dexter also had an exit wound in the back of his neck and metal shrapnel embedded throughout his head. Surviving this shocking act of cruelty was a miracle in itself, according to vets, but Dexter continued to amaze everyone throughout the months of his long recovery. The plucky puss is now well on the way to full recovery and has received the coveted Pet Survivor title from the UK???s leading veterinary charity, PDSA. The award recognises his survival spirit, his owner???s dedication, and the skill and expertise of all the vets and vet nurses who helped to save his life. Dexter and his owners have received a trophy, certificate and a luxury Christmas pet hamper, to help him celebrate the festive season at home with his family. Reactions to the award Dexter???s owner, Ruth Lewis, said: ???I entered Dexter in the competition thinking it would be a nice way to recognise his incredible bravery, but I never expected him to win! I???m over the moon, it???s an amazing end to what has been an incredibly difficult year for us all.
    (Picture: PDSA / SWNS.com)

    The PDSA competition was open to pets treated for a life-threatening illness or injury by a vet in the UK between 1 January 2017 and 31 August 2018.

    Four finalists were selected by a judging panel and a public vote was then held to pick the winner.

    The charity says the award recognises his survival spirit, his owner’s dedication, and the skill and expertise of all the vets and vet nurses who helped to save his life.

    Dexter, who was taken in at eight months old by Ruth and John Lewis of Redruth, Cornwall, was found badly injured after he dragged himself home and through the open conservatory door.

    Undated PDSA handout photo of Dexter, a "miracle" black cat who is on the way to an unlikely recovery after being shot in the face, as he has won an award for his bravery. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday December 18, 2018. The two-year-old cat was left seriously ill with a fractured jaw, an exit wound in the back of his skull and metal shrapnel embedded in his face after being struck by airgun pellets in July. See PA story ANIMALS Cat. Photo credit should read: PDSA/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
    (Picture: PA)

    His leg was at an odd angle, he was covered in blood, icy cold and struggling to breathe.

    Ruth, 54, wrapped him in a blanket and rushed him straight to the vets, but said she was terrified that he would die in her arms.

    After he was stabilised x-rays showed he had been deliberately shot with an airgun, through the roof of his mouth.

    He wasn’t able to walk, so vets said it was a complete mystery how he’d been able to drag himself home.

    A few weeks after the final op and Dexter's mouth is healing well. See SWNS story SWPLcat; A miracle cat from Cornwall who survived a horrific attack when he was shot through the mouth has won a national vote to be crowned PDSA Pet Survivor or the Year 2018. Two-year-old Dexter was deliberately shot in July this year, leaving him fighting for his life. The pellets went through his mouth leaving his jaw fractured. Dexter also had an exit wound in the back of his neck and metal shrapnel embedded throughout his head. Surviving this shocking act of cruelty was a miracle in itself, according to vets, but Dexter continued to amaze everyone throughout the months of his long recovery. The plucky puss is now well on the way to full recovery and has received the coveted Pet Survivor title from the UK?s leading veterinary charity, PDSA. The award recognises his survival spirit, his owner?s dedication, and the skill and expertise of all the vets and vet nurses who helped to save his life. Dexter and his owners have received a trophy, certificate and a luxury Christmas pet hamper, to help him celebrate the festive season at home with his family. Reactions to the award Dexter?s owner, Ruth Lewis, said: ?I entered Dexter in the competition thinking it would be a nice way to recognise his incredible bravery, but I never expected him to win! I?m over the moon, it?s an amazing end to what has been an incredibly difficult year for us all.
    (Picture: PDSA / SWNS.com)

    He stayed at the vets for several days but his owners were warned it was still touch-and-go and even if he survived he may never be able to walk again.

    Dexter had a fixator attached to his jaw, which was in place for nearly five weeks meaning his owners had to hand feed him several times a day.

    Luckily, with lots of care, Dexter started to recover and regained the full use of his legs.

    However, the hole caused by the pellet remained in the roof of Dexter’s mouth, leaving it open to his nasal passages – which made eating and drinking difficult, and left him at risk of pneumonia caused by food and water getting into his airways.

    In late November Dexter was referred to Cave Veterinary Specialists to have what is hoped to be his final surgery.

    A ‘transposition flap’ of healthy tissue was placed to close the large hole between his mouth and nose.

    Undated PDSA handout photo of owners Ruth and John Lewis with Dexter, a "miracle" black cat who is on the way to an unlikely recovery after being shot in the face, receiving an award for his bravery from a PDSA representative. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday December 18, 2018. The two-year-old cat was left seriously ill with a fractured jaw, an exit wound in the back of his skull and metal shrapnel embedded in his face after being struck by airgun pellets in July. See PA story ANIMALS Cat. Photo credit should read: PDSA/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
    (Picture: PA)

    Ruth then had to tube feed Dexter six times a day for two weeks to allow the flap to take properly.

    She said: ‘Incredibly, Dexter is now set to make a full recovery, and to look at him you’d never know anything had happened.

    ‘It’s been a terrifying ordeal for all of us, we’re still recovering emotionally from what happened, but Dexter’s patient determination has been an inspiration.

    ‘We’re amazed at how well he’s healed and recovered, he’s our little miracle cat.’

    Dexter and his owners have now received a trophy, certificate and a luxury Christmas pet hamper, to help him celebrate the festive season at home with his family.

    Ruth added: ‘I entered Dexter in the competition thinking it would be a nice way to recognise his incredible bravery, but I never expected him to win.

    Embargoed to 0001 Tuesday December 18 Undated PDSA handout photo of Dexter the cat being treated at Animal Vet Services in Hayle after being shot in the face. The "miracle" black cat has won an award for his bravery. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday December 18, 2018. The two-year-old cat was left seriously ill with a fractured jaw, an exit wound in the back of his skull and metal shrapnel embedded in his face after being struck by airgun pellets in July. See PA story ANIMALS Cat. Photo credit should read: PDSA/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
    (Picture: PA)

    ‘I’m over the moon, it’s an amazing end to what has been an incredibly difficult year for us all.’

    Vet Jemma Gough, who was part of the team at Animal Vets which saved Dexter’s life, said: ‘The team at Animal Vets are all so proud of Dexter and how well he has done.

    ‘Throughout the entirety of his treatment he has been a pleasure to care for, and the brilliant outcome we are seeing pays homage to his resilience, and the true dedication of his owners.

    ‘Dexter is a real character, and well deserving of this recognition. I’m sure his Christmas hamper will go down a treat!’

    PDSA Senior Vet Sean Wensley added: ‘After an uncertain start in life Dexter found a loving home, only to suffer at the hands of those who mindlessly inflict harm on people’s pets.

    ‘It is thanks to the skill and dedication of veterinary professionals that Dexter’s fortunes are, once again, turned around.

    ‘As ever, this was in partnership with his committed and caring owners and, between them, they have achieved this award-winning recovery, giving him the chance of many happy years ahead.’

    MORE: Woman quits her job because she’s making so much money from sharing videos of her My Little Pony toys

    MORE: Baby names inspired by gems, neutral colours, and the letter F will be big next year


    MIRACLE MOGGY - Miracle cat who stumbled home after being shot named as pet survivor of the yearMIRACLE MOGGY - Miracle cat who stumbled home after being shot named as pet survivor of the yearhattiegladwellmetroDexter with his trophy and prize hamper. See SWNS story SWPLcat; A miracle cat from Cornwall who survived a horrific attack when he was shot through the mouth has won a national vote to be crowned PDSA Pet Survivor or the Year 2018. Two-year-old Dexter was deliberately shot in July this year, leaving him fighting for his life. The pellets went through his mouth leaving his jaw fractured. Dexter also had an exit wound in the back of his neck and metal shrapnel embedded throughout his head. Surviving this shocking act of cruelty was a miracle in itself, according to vets, but Dexter continued to amaze everyone throughout the months of his long recovery. The plucky puss is now well on the way to full recovery and has received the coveted Pet Survivor title from the UK???s leading veterinary charity, PDSA. The award recognises his survival spirit, his owner???s dedication, and the skill and expertise of all the vets and vet nurses who helped to save his life. Dexter and his owners have received a trophy, certificate and a luxury Christmas pet hamper, to help him celebrate the festive season at home with his family. Reactions to the award Dexter???s owner, Ruth Lewis, said: ???I entered Dexter in the competition thinking it would be a nice way to recognise his incredible bravery, but I never expected him to win! I???m over the moon, it???s an amazing end to what has been an incredibly difficult year for us all.Undated PDSA handout photo of Dexter, a MIRACLE MOGGY - Miracle cat who stumbled home after being shot named as pet survivor of the yearMIRACLE MOGGY - Miracle cat who stumbled home after being shot named as pet survivor of the yearhattiegladwellmetroDexter with his trophy and prize hamper. See SWNS story SWPLcat; A miracle cat from Cornwall who survived a horrific attack when he was shot through the mouth has won a national vote to be crowned PDSA Pet Survivor or the Year 2018. Two-year-old Dexter was deliberately shot in July this year, leaving him fighting for his life. The pellets went through his mouth leaving his jaw fractured. Dexter also had an exit wound in the back of his neck and metal shrapnel embedded throughout his head. Surviving this shocking act of cruelty was a miracle in itself, according to vets, but Dexter continued to amaze everyone throughout the months of his long recovery. The plucky puss is now well on the way to full recovery and has received the coveted Pet Survivor title from the UK???s leading veterinary charity, PDSA. The award recognises his survival spirit, his owner???s dedication, and the skill and expertise of all the vets and vet nurses who helped to save his life. Dexter and his owners have received a trophy, certificate and a luxury Christmas pet hamper, to help him celebrate the festive season at home with his family. Reactions to the award Dexter???s owner, Ruth Lewis, said: ???I entered Dexter in the competition thinking it would be a nice way to recognise his incredible bravery, but I never expected him to win! I???m over the moon, it???s an amazing end to what has been an incredibly difficult year for us all.Undated PDSA handout photo of Dexter, a "miracle" black cat who is on the way to an unlikely recovery after being shot in the face, as he has won an award for his bravery. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday December 18, 2018. The two-year-old cat was left seriously ill with a fractured jaw, an exit wound in the back of his skull and metal shrapnel embedded in his face after being struck by airgun pellets in July. See PA story ANIMALS Cat. Photo credit should read: PDSA/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.A few weeks after the final op and Dexter's mouth is healing well. See SWNS story SWPLcat; A miracle cat from Cornwall who survived a horrific attack when he was shot through the mouth has won a national vote to be crowned PDSA Pet Survivor or the Year 2018. Two-year-old Dexter was deliberately shot in July this year, leaving him fighting for his life. The pellets went through his mouth leaving his jaw fractured. Dexter also had an exit wound in the back of his neck and metal shrapnel embedded throughout his head. Surviving this shocking act of cruelty was a miracle in itself, according to vets, but Dexter continued to amaze everyone throughout the months of his long recovery. The plucky puss is now well on the way to full recovery and has received the coveted Pet Survivor title from the UK?s leading veterinary charity, PDSA. The award recognises his survival spirit, his owner?s dedication, and the skill and expertise of all the vets and vet nurses who helped to save his life. Dexter and his owners have received a trophy, certificate and a luxury Christmas pet hamper, to help him celebrate the festive season at home with his family. Reactions to the award Dexter?s owner, Ruth Lewis, said: ?I entered Dexter in the competition thinking it would be a nice way to recognise his incredible bravery, but I never expected him to win! I?m over the moon, it?s an amazing end to what has been an incredibly difficult year for us all.Undated PDSA handout photo of owners Ruth and John Lewis with Dexter, a "miracle" black cat who is on the way to an unlikely recovery after being shot in the face, receiving an award for his bravery from a PDSA representative. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday December 18, 2018. The two-year-old cat was left seriously ill with a fractured jaw, an exit wound in the back of his skull and metal shrapnel embedded in his face after being struck by airgun pellets in July. See PA story ANIMALS Cat. Photo credit should read: PDSA/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.Embargoed to 0001 Tuesday December 18 Undated PDSA handout photo of Dexter the cat being treated at Animal Vet Services in Hayle after being shot in the face. The "miracle" black cat has won an award for his bravery. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday December 18, 2018. The two-year-old cat was left seriously ill with a fractured jaw, an exit wound in the back of his skull and metal shrapnel embedded in his face after being struck by airgun pellets in July. See PA story ANIMALS Cat. Photo credit should read: PDSA/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

    0 0

    Metro Illustration
    (Picture: Dave Anderson for Metro.co.uk)

    Arguing with your family on Christmas day is inevitable, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve seen them or how much you love them.

    To be honest, arguing with your family is pretty much inevitable on any given day, if you spend enough time with them.

    You might think Brexit or other politically charged topics might top the list of things British families fight about but according to a YouGov poll, they do not.

    It seems long-standing family tensions are the number one reason you end up in a shouting match with your loved ones on the big day (totally understandable if your parents had a favourite child, or a sibling broke something precious to you).

    After ‘family stuff’ the next most contested things over the festive period are sibling rivalries and money.

    The plans for the day can also contribute to the shenanigans as 18% of arguments are caused by games and activities (will anyone ever win a game of Monopoly?)

    Top reasons families argue on Christmas Day:

    1. Longstanding family tensions – 37%
    2. Sibling rivalries – 22%
    3. Money – 20%
    4. Games/family activities – 18%
    5. Drinking too much – 18%
    6. The cooking – 15%
    7. Politics generally – 14%
    8. Brexit – 13%
    9. Someone’s future plans – 12%
    10. Other – 8%
    11. The food itself – 8%

    Throwing copious amounts of alcohol in the mix also raises chances of a quarrel, and sadly for the cook, the food is 15% responsible for squabbles.

    Unsurprisingly, Brexit and other political topics do make an appearance on the list, causing a combined 27% of arguments.

    Someone’s future plans will be the subject of 12% of rows and 18% will be on how much someone is drinking (do you blame them?).

    Having children in the house also makes it 38% likely to start a fight.

    Though the idea of three generations in one room might mean major arguments with non-PC members of the family, the people surveyed by YouGov were hopeful it wouldn’t come to that.

    Only 9% of the general population thought it would be very likely that things would end badly with their nearest and dearest on Christmas day.

    Those aged 18 to 24 – the demographic most likely to be spending the holidays with their parents (77%) – were a bit more confident there would likely be a fight.

    One in five of this group (22%) said a row is ‘very likely’, and another one in four (26%) thought it was ‘fairly likely’. Just one in ten of them thought it’s ‘not at all likely’ that things will kick off.

    Life coach Nick Hatter tells Metro.co.uk that there are some handy things you could do to stop everyone ending up mad at each other and storming out of the house.

    ‘Your family members are flawed human beings like everyone else and your time together is very precious. Life can be unpredictable and this could be the last Christmas that you spend together. Appreciate their strengths in spite of their flaws. Use this time to make amends and be civil.

    ‘Set boundaries with them, avoid heavy subjects. If it’s too much, why not go outside for a walk or a run? There can be too much of anything – even those we love. Give yourself some space even if for 20 minutes.’

    Sound advice.

    MORE: There’s no place like home! 6 of London’s best staycations this winter

    MORE: Someone is sticking free ear plugs to lamp posts so you can escape Christmas music

    MORE: Same-sex couple create gay wedding Barbie doll set for niece


    pri_61495652 (1)-a2b3pri_61495652 (1)-a2b3faimabakar1Metro Illustrationpri_61495652 (1)-a2b3pri_61495652 (1)-a2b3faimabakar1Metro Illustration

    0 0

    (Picture: Aldi)

    By this stage in December, you’re probably broke.

    Socialising and Christmas presents certainly add up.

    So when your favourite fragrance gets down to the last few drops, you’re probably praying someone has bought you one for Christmas.

    But for a cheaper alternative, you could try Aldi’s new fragrances, based on some of the most popular scents.

    Instead of £40 or more, these bottles cost just £6.99

    There’s two female fragrances and four for men.

    The 5th Element bottle is a ‘luxury scent that will captivate and enchant’, according to Aldi, and from the bottle, you can see that it’s inspired by the classic Chanel No5 Eau De Parfum.

    (Picture: Aldi)

    The Feminine Eau De Toilette with a woody, fruity aroma, looks similar to another Chanel favourite Coco Mademoiselle, currently priced at over £100 for the same size.

    (Picture: Aldi)

    The male fragrances include Victory Eau De Toilette which has a distinctive amber, mandarin and tonka musk scent, similar to Paco Rabanes 1 Million scent, which costs £42.

    (Picture: Aldi)

    The Masculine Eau De Toilette with a sweet and oriental aroma, is in a bottle similar to Jean Paul Gautier’s Le Male, which costs £48.50 for 75ml.

    (Picture: Aldi)

    Steel, which apparently has herbal and mossy notes, looks a lot like Fierce by Abercrombie & Fitch, which costs £74.95.

    (Picture: Aldi)

    Finally, ‘fresh and citrusy’ L’Eau, which means water in French, is a close match for Giorgio Armani’s Acqua (which means water in Italian) Di Gio, which costs £72 for the same size bottle.

    (Picture: Aldi)

    So if you fancy a treat or still need to pick up some Christmas shopping, Aldi could be perfect for some cheap perfumes.

    The fragrances are available in store or online.

    MORE: What do you argue about with your family on Christmas day?

    MORE: Cat wins pet survivor of the year after being shot through the mouth


    Aldi launches dupe perfumes picture: ALDIAldi launches dupe perfumes picture: ALDIlauraabernethy6Aldi launches dupe perfumes picture: ALDIAldi launches dupe perfumes picture: ALDIlauraabernethy6

    0 0

    (Picture: Daniel Reed)

    Sorry to spoil your fun just as you put the final bauble on your tree, but you might want to give those branches a quick check.

    If you spot a walnut size brown clusters on your tree, get it out of the house right this moment.

    Those little clusters are not cute tiny pinecones. They’re a bunch of more than one hundred praying mantis eggs, known as an ootheca.

    Which means that if you spot one of them on your tree, you’ve got hundreds of praying mantis eggs ready to hatch and take over your house.

    Keen to have a house filled with bugs? We thought not. SO GET THAT TREE OUT NOW.

    Or, you can just snip off the ball of eggs and place it in a bush or tree outside – so it’s off the ground and protected from damp. Just make sure you don’t keep any clusters inside, because the bugs will hatch, they will starve, and they will die.

    Daniel Reed is the person responsible for bringing this Christmas tree horror show to our attention, sharing a photo of the eggs on Facebook.

    Dr Gavin J Svenson, an expert on the praying mantis, told Cleveland 19 that yes, the thing in Daniel’s photo is a ball of praying mantis eggs.

    ‘The warmth would accelerate the time it takes for the egg case to hatch,’ Dr Svenson explained, noting that it would be possible for the eggs to hatch in your house if you keep your tree inside in January.

    ‘Putting the egg case outside quickly is critical if you want them to survive normally to hatch in the spring.

    ‘Going from cold to warm and then back to cold can cause problems and reduce their chances of survival.

    ‘The egg cases are susceptible to rot from too much moisture, so placing on the ground or on a surface will not work out for them. Affixing the case to an elevated branch works best. Many insects in northern climates have adapted to deal with the winter and they can handle the cold just fine.

    Now, before you panic, it’s unlikely you’ll find any praying mantis eggs on your Christmas tree… as praying mantis don’t tend to hang out in the UK.

    The tree spreading all over Facebook is from Philadelphia, so unless you’ve imported your tree from the US or southern Europe, where praying mantis live, the likelihood of spotting eggs is extremely low.

    Our recommendation: Give your tree a quick once over, then move on. If you don’t spot anything you’ll have peace of mind and can feel free to leave your Christmas tree up as long as you fancy.

    MORE: Every Christmas I write a letter to the man that saved my life

    MORE: Homeless man melts the hearts of thousands by writing poems about his life


    cluster tree-da58cluster tree-da58ellencscottcluster tree-da58cluster tree-da58ellencscott

    0 0

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

    Eggnog is one of those drinks you’ll always see at Christmas, but how many of us actually know what it is?

    With a name like ‘eggnog’ It sounds like it has egg in it, but does it actually? And is it boozy?

    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 in the drink.

    So, 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

    0 0

    Stick to simple designs and messages (Picture: Getty)

    So, you’re actually sending Christmas cards instead of forgetting all about them until 2 January. Aren’t you lovely?

    Sending Christmas cards to people you care about is a wonderful thing to do.

    It’s a moment of connection that’s so important for people, especially those feeling isolated.

    If some of your intended recipients have dementia, there are some little steps you can take to make sure they enjoy opening their cards in the run-up to Christmas.

    And yes, we do mean ‘little steps’ – you really don’t have to go out of your way to make Christmas cards better for people experiencing Alzheimer’s.

    Steve McCarthy-Grunwald, senior mental health lecturer at University of Cumbria, who specialises in dementia care, recommends choosing more traditional cards for those with dementia, that will help them go back to the past. Think classic street scenes and shopfronts.

    It’s best to stick to simple, recognisable images, such as Father Christmas or Christmas trees.

    Dementia can affect people’s vision and ease understanding images, so designs that are complicated or elaborate can be tricky. Choose simple cards with bold or contrasting colours.

    The Card Factory is selling a selection of cards with simple designs to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society, so that’s a good place to start.

    Use Christmas cards as a way to trigger positive memories (Picture: Getty)

    When it comes to writing, stick to simple greetings such as Merry Christmas and Happy New Year rather than lengthy poems or anything too complex.

    Steve also recommends avoiding long lists of names (so don’t mention kids’ boyfriends or the new cat), as it can be confusing – just include people the recipient knows well.

    It can also be nice to include a photograph of yourself in the card to help jog the person’s memory.

    Sue Cawthray, chief executive at Harrogate Neighbours, advises being careful around how you send your cards.

    If you’re posting a card to someone with dementia, try not to send it too early, as this can affect their understanding of time. If you’re handing it over in person, use it as starting point for a conversation about past Christmases. It’s a great way to trigger positive memories.

    Don’t let the fear of doing the wrong thing put you off involving those with dementia in your Christmas celebrations. Just reaching out is a brilliant thing, and a little bit of care makes a huge difference.

    Mark Quarmby, Head of Dementia at Orchard Care Homes, a specialist care provider for those with dementia, says: ‘Christmas can be a difficult time for a lot of people causing low mood and loneliness. This is also true for people who suffer with Alzheimer’s. It is important that they know that people are thinking about them.’

    MORE: Throw your Christmas tree away if you spot one of these clusters on its branches

    MORE: The last posting day for Christmas is today! If you only have second class stamps

    MORE: Apparently, only 10% of people can figure out these brain teasers in under 30 seconds


    Womans hands writing Christmas cardWomans hands writing Christmas cardellencscottWomans hands writing Christmas cardWomans hands writing Christmas cardellencscott

    0 0

    (Picture: Getty Images)

    With Christmas just a mere seven days away, many of us are wrapping up our gifts and preparing to return home.

    But if you’ve left your Christmas shopping to the last minute, or you’re one of those people who still have a few names to cross off your Christmas gift list – when will you learn?!

    thumbnail for post ID 8261763Birthday girl breaks up with cheating boyfriend in a speech in front of all their friends

    Judgment aside there’s no need to fret, we’ve got it covered. Whether you’re shopping for your girlfriend, sister, mother, best-friend or work colleague, we’ve rounded up some of the best presents for all budgets, that you can buy in stores and online now.

    Better yet, as the Christmas holidays have arrived, so have the seasonal savings. So you can grab a last-minute gift with a discount – some would say that’s a festive miracle.

     

    Star Cluster Gold Barrette Hair Clip, £12

    (Picture: Oliver Bonas)

     

    Fitbit Charge 3 – Rose Gold/Blue Grey, £129.99

    (Picture: Very)

     

    & Other Stories Soft Lace Underwire Bra, £29

    (Picture: & Other Stories)

     

    Accessorize Z Velvet Star Duffle Bag, £39

    (Picture: Accessorize)

     

    NEOM Organics Reed Diffuser: Tranquillity, £38

    (Picture: Lookfantastic)

     

    Lovehoney Clone-A-Willy Vibrator Create Your Own Penis Moulding Kit, £29.99

    (Picture: Lovehoney)

     

    Benefit Magical Brow Stars Limited Edition Blockbuster Brow Set, £49.50

    (Picture: Boots)

     

    John Lewis & Partners Sheepskin Mule Slippers, Chestnut, £49

    John Lewis & Partners Sheepskin Mule Slippers
    (Picture: John Lewis & Partners)

     

    The Skincare Bible book, £14.99

    (Picture: ASOS)

     

    Liz Earle The Supercharged Ritual, £27

    (Picture: Boots)

     

    Pallo Tinted Glass Champagne Saucers Set of Four, £34

    (Picture: Oliver Bonas)

     

    Hotel Chocolat The Wreath Box, £40

    (Picture: Hotel Chocolat)

     

    (Picture: Anthropologie)

     

    Nasty Gal Strong Link Chain Boot, £20

    (Picture: Nasty Gal)

     

    Nikita Maybe Baby Slogan Jumper, £38

    (Picture: Joanie Clothing)

     

    Becoming by Michelle Obama, £13

    (Picture: Amazon)

     

     

    M&S COLLECTION Pure Cotton Checked Long Sleeve Pyjama Set, £25

    (Picture: Marks & Spencer)

     

    How Millennial Are You? Game, £12

    (Picture: Oliver Bonas)

     

    Crosley Cruiser Pink and Gold Bluetooth Vinyl Record Player, £89

    (Picture: Urban Outfitters)

     

    Gin Made Me Do It Book, £9.99

    (Picture: Oliver Bonas)

     

    Glossier You, £45

    (Picture: Glossier)

     

    Slip’s Silk Pillowcase, £79

    (Picture: Cult Beauty)

     

    The Estée Lalonde Octagonal Necklace from Daisy Jewellery, £139

    (Picture: Daisy Jewellery)

     

    New Look Tan Shearling Suedette Gloves, £8.99

    (Picture: New Look)

     

    OVEROSE Nudesse Candle, £46

    (Picture: Cult Beauty)

     

    OUAI Three OUAI kit, £25

    (Picture: Space NK)

     

    What Do You Meme Game, £29.99

    (Picture: Firebox)

     

    GP Nutrition S.O.S. Me – 3 Days, £9.99

    (Picture: GP Nutrition)

     

    OSKIA Deluxe Travel Collection, £55

    (Picture: Space NK)

     

    GUCCI GG Marmont quilted leather cardholder, £175

    (Picture: Net-a-Porter)

     

    Lululemon Cross Chill Run Earwarmer, £25

    (Picture: Lululemon)

     

    New Look Black Chevron Quilted Camera Bag, £12.99

    (Picture: New Look)

     

    Kado copper metal straws pack of four, £9.99

    (Picture: ASOS)

     

    Unicorn Tears Raspberry Gin Liqueur, £39.99

    (Picture: Firebox)

     

    Autograph Cashmere Bobble Beanie Hat, £39.50

    (Picture: Marks & Spencer)

     

    Charlotte Tilbury Gilded Goddess Kit, £84

    (Picture: Charlotte Tilbury)

     

    Paperchase A5 Pink snakeskin lined notebook, £8.40

    (Picture: Paperchase)

     

    FOREO LUNA™ Play, £29.99

    (Picture: Lookfantastic)

    MORE: There are little things you can do to help those with Alzheimer’s enjoy Christmas cards

    MORE: Aldi is selling dupes of your favourite perfumes for £6.99


    Cropped Hands Of Woman Arranging Christmas Presents On Hardwood FloorCropped Hands Of Woman Arranging Christmas Presents On Hardwood Flooremilyknott17John Lewis & Partners Sheepskin Mule SlippersCropped Hands Of Woman Arranging Christmas Presents On Hardwood FloorCropped Hands Of Woman Arranging Christmas Presents On Hardwood Flooremilyknott17John Lewis & Partners Sheepskin Mule Slippers

older | 1 | .... | 1484 | 1485 | (Page 1486) | 1487 | 1488 | .... | 1849 | newer