Articles on this Page
- 01/21/19--04:39: _Transgender teen ha...
- 01/21/19--05:29: _KFC launches gravy ...
- 01/21/19--06:25: _Poundland’s Valenti...
- 01/21/19--06:49: _Samaritans takes ov...
- 01/21/19--07:02: _Women needlessly bl...
- 01/21/19--07:11: _10 skincare product...
- 01/21/19--08:06: _Modern Etiquette: M...
- 01/21/19--08:09: _Guy baffles the int...
- 01/21/19--08:11: _Puppy born with ups...
- 01/21/19--08:13: _Someone’s created a...
- 01/21/19--09:22: _Themed funerals: Mc...
- 01/21/19--09:33: _Papa John’s is laun...
- 01/21/19--09:38: _Please look at this...
- 01/21/19--22:20: _James Bond’s fictio...
- 01/21/19--23:08: _You can swim naked ...
- 01/21/19--23:44: _Someone’s leaving p...
- 01/22/19--00:00: _When I was born, th...
- 01/22/19--00:20: _TRX suspension trai...
- 01/22/19--00:30: _My cancer diagnosis...
- 01/22/19--00:51: _Photographer captur...
- 25% of plastic produced globally is packaging
- 14% of plastic is recycled
- By 2050, according to 5 Gyres, there will be more plastic than fish in the sea if figures continue to rise
- In 2014, we were consuming 311 million tonnes of plastic – a number which is set to double in the next 20 years
- The 2017 United Nations Clean Seas Campaign estimates that there were 51 trillion microplastic particles in the ocean today – 500 times more than the number of stars in our galaxy
- 01/21/19--07:11: 10 skincare products to help hydrate your dry winter skin
- 01/21/19--08:09: Guy baffles the internet with mirrored selfie optical illusion
- 01/21/19--08:13: Someone’s created a vegan Cornish pasty and non-vegans aren’t happy
- 01/21/19--09:33: Papa John’s is launching a vegan pizza due to popular demand
- 01/21/19--22:20: James Bond’s fictional home is on the market for £6.85 million
- 01/22/19--00:30: My cancer diagnosis made me suicidal
When parents find out the sex of their baby, they throw a gender reveal party, sometimes extravagent, sometimes not.
So why shouldn’t someone who chooses to change the sex assigned to them at birth get the same treatment?
That’s exactly what mother of transgender teen Jazz Jennings thought.
Jazz, an 18-year-old American Youtuber and LGBT rights activist, is having her gender confirmation surgery – in which a person’s physical appearance and existing sexual characteristics are altered to resemble their identified gender.
In short, the party was to celebrate getting rid of her penis and welcome her new vagina.
The cake might be more phalic than you’re used to as it came in the shape of a penis. But it was mostly to make her dad feel uncomfortable, explained Jazz.
Speaking on the teen’s reality TV series I am Jazz, her mother Jeanette said: ‘I wanted to do this party because I want to have fun with the idea that Jazz is having surgery.
‘This is not fun, there’s nothing fun about this, but laughter is the best medicine. Jazz is having the surgery; let’s not freak out; let’s say goodbye to her old penis.
‘This quirky and fun idea seems like a cool thing,’ added Jazz, ‘but also, I love making my dad uncomfortable, and if this penis party is going to do just that, then we have to have a penis party.’
When all her guests arrived, Jazz made a speech saying: ‘I just wanted to thank you all for coming to this farewell penis party.
‘For 17 and a half years, I have lived with this body part that I have not wanted.
‘And even though I’ve grown to love my penis for what it is, I’m happy to say goodbye. So let’s cut it off.’
Jazz isn’t the only transgender person to have a gender reveal party. Last year transgender man Corey Walker had a ‘it’s a boy’ party, thrown by his friends.
These are the sort of gender reveal parties we can really get on board with.
Transgender teen has 'penis farewell' party before transition surgeryTransgender teen has 'penis farewell' party before transition surgeryfaimabakar1Transgender teen has 'penis farewell' party before transition surgeryInstagram/ Jazz Jennings
You might want your house to smell of roses or fresh linen but have you ever wished it was filled with the scent of KFC gravy?
No, us neither but it seems there’s a market for it because KFC has launched a candle that smells of their famous accompaniment.
There are 230 up for grabs on a first-come, first served basis.
Previously, the fast food brand has released chicken scented candle and a bath bomb with the smell of their famous five herbs and spices mix, but this is the first time a KFC scented product has been released in the UK.
And if you really want to immerse yourself in a chicken-themed chill, KFC also offers a dedicated site with the soothing sound of simmering gravy, falling fries or frying chicken, if that is your thing.
A spokesperson at KFC commented: ‘You’re not dreaming. You really can now fill your home with the incredible aroma of KFC gravy with this limited edited candle… it’s staggeringly nose stimulating.’
The Colonel’s trusted parfumier said: ‘What an honour it was to create a candle with such a highly-beloved scent. Initially the different ingredients within the gravy were split into their constituent parts and fragrances matched to each. Then the scent was built component by component in the similar ratios as KFC’s iconic gravy.
‘The artisanal approach to creating the candles was crucial to ensure the familiar and evocative aroma of gravy was perfectly captured.’
KFC launch gravy scented candleKFC launch gravy scented candlelauraabernethy6KFC Gravy Candle (Picture: KFC)
When it comes to birthday presents or finding a sweet gift for your loved one on Valentine’s Day, you might believe that less is more.
Operating under that philosophy, Poundland launched an empty gift; a plastic heart with nothing inside it, and labelled it ‘the gift of nothing.’
While you might think of it as a quirky little present, some had concerns over its waste. After all, the ‘gift of nothing’ comes in plastic packaging.
The Gift Of Nothing, made entirely from plastic, is accompanied with the slogan ‘exactly what you asked for’ and ‘less is more’.
But environmental campaigners like A Plastic Planet and Friends of the Earth criticised the move from the budget store for creating unnecessary plastic waste.
Sian Sutherland, A Plastic Planet co-founder told Metro.co.uk about the harmful effects of plastic on the environment.
‘How can Poundland possibly think this okay? This product is designed to go straight into the bin but will last for 500 years.
‘It is a symbol of everything that is wrong with our view of the world. We are treating our beautiful planet like it is disposable when it is all we have.’
We’ve reached out to Poundland but they have yet to reply. But they did issue a statement in defence of their decision to sell the product.
‘Our customers love it as do loads of others online,’ the company said in a statement to Sky News.
‘They all know it’s a bit of fun and we understand that’s still allowed in moderation.’
A quick recap on the plastic problem
Social media users were also not impressed with the supposedly romantic gift. One person tweeted: ‘This is an absolute disgrace from Poundland. I’ve never seen something which so perfectly describes the phrase pointless plastic.
‘This is a disgusting waste of our earth’s precious resources. Please take it off your shelves.’
Whether the item uses up small amounts of plastic or not, we should all be mindful of just how much we consume and aim to reduce that.
Anyone considering buying this for your significant other, word of advice; buy them literally anything else.
Poundland's plastic 'gift of nothing' doesnt go down well as its a waste of plasticPoundland's plastic 'gift of nothing' doesnt go down well as its a waste of plasticfaimabakar1Poundland's plastic 'gift of nothing' doesnt go down well as its a waste of plastic
Apparently it’s Blue Monday, which has been labelled the most depressing day of the year – but there is very little evidence behind the suggestion and actually it was something that was invented to make us buy things.
But the Samaritans are using the idea to raise awareness of depression and loneliness and how to tackle them in more constructive ways.
They have taken over Blue Monday and replaced it with Brew Monday, a campaign to encourage people to chat over a cup of tea.
Brew Monday encourages people to get together with friends, family and work mates.
All over the UK and Ireland in communities and workplaces, people will be getting their mugs out to support Brew Monday, whilst raising vital funds to support Samaritans’ life-saving work.
Over 150 rail stations events will take place with volunteers talking to people about the service on their daily commute and across the rail industry, over 70 tea parties will be put on to join Brew Monday celebrations.
Unlike Blue Monday, the campaign focuses on an important message – loneliness can affect everyone, including young people.
A report launched today by Samaritans looked at the role loneliness can play in suicide risk.
Researchers spoke to 18-24 year olds about their experiences of loneliness and suicidal feelings.
They found that loneliness played a significant role in young people’s suicidal thoughts, with many citing the stigma around loneliness as the main reason preventing them getting the help they needed.
Samaritans CEO Ruth Sutherland said: ‘Days like Brew Monday can help raise awareness of loneliness as a national issue but, for too long, loneliness in young people has not been taken seriously. It’s time to put this right and listen to what they are telling us.
‘Local areas desperately need more funding for appropriate services and opportunities across our communities that support young people to be listened to and to get any help they need.’
Let’s make today less about buying things and more about supporting eachother and building relationships that are there whatever the time of year.
Need support? Contact the Samaritans
Brew MondayBrew Mondaylauraabernethy6Photo Of Positive Aged Man And His Grandson Resting In The Cafe During Winter Day. Joyful Delighted Man And His Grandfather Resting In The Cafe.
Until now, the idea the Pope was the reason women needed to take a break at the end of each combined contraceptive pill packet seemed like an urban myth.
Surely, doctors wouldn’t do anything as ridiculous as tailor guidelines for how millions of women all over the world should take a medicine to please one man in Rome? Surely no serious medical body, no drug company would allow it, right?
The seven day break was only ever introduced because a Catholic gynaecologist called John Rock, who was involved with the development of the pill back in the 1950s, hoped that if the pill mimicked a woman’s natural cycle with a monthly bleed then the Pope would accept it.
The Pope did not accept it, and Rock ceased to be a Catholic, but the seven day break remained standard.
Over half a century later, the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (FSRH) have finally come out and said there’s no health benefit whatsoever to the break.
What’s more, the new guidelines have been approved by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) which state that doctors should advise their patients against the seven day break because, wait for it, the pill is more effective when being taken back to back.
The truth was always out there if you were fortunate enough to speak to the right experts, as I did back in my first article on this subject way back in 2013. But, let’s face it, most women aren’t able to call up expert women’s health consultants and separate the urban myths from reality.
The so-called ‘Pope rule’ is yet another example of all that we don’t know and aren’t told about women’s health.
If women were advised to take a seven day break and bleed unnecessarily, reducing the effectiveness of their pill, for over 60 years because of one man then what else hasn’t been looked at properly?
The short answer is, a lot.
Perhaps the most egregious example of this is the mental health side effects of hormonal contraception.
If you’ve ever experienced them, you’ll be convinced that they’re real but, if you haven’t, you might be tempted to suggest that women are making them up.
In 2017 I wrote about this as part of an investigation called Mad About The Pill. I found that many women who have reported experiencing mental health side effects of contraception have felt dismissed by their doctor.
I interviewed experts who said that while more research is needed, there is no doubt hormonal contraception can cause depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and loss of libido for some women.
I also found out that the NHS didn’t have any plans to update its guidelines on the matter.
In 2018, I travelled to Denmark for an episode of the BBC’s science programme, Horizon, to interview Professor Øjvind Lidegaard, a gynaecology expert at the University of Copenhagen, who lead the largest ever data-based studies on this issue which found a potential link between hormonal contraception and mental health problems.
His team found that women taking the combined oral contraceptive pill were 23 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with depression, while those using progestin-only pills were 34 per cent more likely.
He too agreed that more research was needed. His work has since been backed up by a similar study conducted by researchers in Sweden.
The more you look into what we know about hormonal contraception the more you discover how much we still don’t know because, simply, the research has never been done on a big enough scale.
The truth about women’s health is that it’s complicated. All women are different and it’s possible that no two will respond to the same pill in identical ways.
Leading experts like Dr Michael Craig, who is the clinic lead and consultant psychiatrist at the National Hormone Clinic, have told me that we know, for certain, that a ‘sub group’ of women experience negative side effects when they take hormonal contraception but, because there has been a lack of research in this field ‘we don’t know how big this group of women is or what’s different about them’.
All of this matters now more than ever.
We know that women are frustrated with traditional methods of contraception, and are instead turning to apps like Natural Cycles which are failing them. But, when doctors haven’t been giving us the right information, is it any wonder?
The ‘Pope rule’ is the tip of the iceberg. It’s an example of how misinformation about women’s health spreads and becomes fact. Monday’s revelation that those women who questioned the seven day break were right all along won’t do much to make women trust their doctors when it comes to contraception.
We don’t want more women to turn to apps or go off the grid and try the withdrawal method only to find that they are let down.
We need to strike a better balance so that women who have positive experiences of hormonal contraception aren’t scared off it while those who experience negative side effects feel listened to and supported.
Women can’t make informed choices if they aren’t given the right information by their doctors.
It’s time to look again at how women respond to the hormones in their contraception, and to do the research properly once and for all so that we can be presented with the facts before we make decisions about our health.
If you have any concerns about your contraception you should speak to your GP immediately.
Two empty oral contraceptive blister packsTwo empty oral contraceptive blister packsaimeepm
Is winter drying out your skin? Unfortunately cold weather, freezing commutes and central heating can wreak havoc, causing dry patches, tightness, fine lines, breakouts and more.
So, as the chill sets in, it’s time to step up your skincare regime.
Now is the moment to shelve lightweight moisturisers and go for products that are a little more substantial, to ensure your skin is hydrated and protected.
From The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid to Summer Fridays’ Instagram-famous Jet Lag Mask, we’ve whittled down 10 of the best dry skin saviours that keep moisture under lock and key.
Balm cleansers are rich, comforting, hydrating and the perfect addition to your winter routine
To get the most out of your balm cleanser, take a 10p-size piece and massage it into the skin to loosen dirt and makeup.
The ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Rose Cleansing Balm transforms into a silky oil with a subtle scent of rose, thanks to its formulation of plant extracts, botanicals and rose-water and leaves no greasy, or tacky residue on the skin.
For seriously thorough removal, we recommend using a cloth to buff off dead skin cells, for a deep clean and gentle exfoliation.
The result? A nourished, renewed and glowing complexion
ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Rose Cleansing Balm, £48, lookfantastic.com
It’s important to avoid harsh cleansers with drying ingredients during colder months.
And you don’t necessarily need to splurge to bag yourself a decent skincare product.
Enter: Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser.
Beloved by dermatologists and beauty journalists alike for its simplicity and effectivity, Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser cleans, moisturises and helps to protect your skin’s natural moisture.
Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, £5, amazon.co.uk
After cleansing douse a couple of cotton pads in a toner containing hydrating ingredients such as, glycerin, vitamin E, aloe vera, and hyaluronic acid and swipe over the skin.
And no, it isn’t an unnecessary step – or a splash of additional water. A good toner will act as a humectant, helping to reduce the loss of moisture.
We love: Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Toner which leaves your skin feeling softer and tightness-free.
Trust us, your skin will thank you for it.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Toner, £15, feelunique.com
Containing rose and coconut water, this refreshing yet hydrating, lightweight spritz will take care of your sensitive, dry or irritated skin.
Bottled in glass, the Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist has all-natural ingredients, is vegan and most importantly looks nice on your vanity.
It’s unsurprisingly invigorating – so much so you’ll want to tone at your desk.
Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist, £28, spacenk.com
Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is naturally present in our skin, but sadly as we get older our ability to both produce and hold on to it decreases.
Why is this so sad, you ask? Well, Hyaluronic Acid is a miracle worker ingredient as it immediately hydrates, plumps, and reduces the appearance of fine lines (HA absorbs up to 1,000 times its weight in water).
So, if you have dehydrated skin, even sensitive or breakout-prone skin, it’s worthy of a space on your skincare shelf.
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, is an absolute steal and is still as effective as a lot of other, more expensive HA serums on the market.
To slot it into your skincare routine, just apply a couple of drops to your skin and follow immediately with your moisturiser.
The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5, £5.99, cultbeauty.co.uk
It’s expensive, but undoubtedly one of the best oils on the market. Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil is chock-full of vitamin C, vitamin E and omega 9 fatty acids, helping to improve elasticity in tired and dry skin.
Two drops does the job. And, as the consistency is surprisingly light, it be used in the morning mixed with your moisturiser for an additional boost of hydration.
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil, £61, spacenk.com
Speaking of all-natural and vegan skincare, this moisturiser from Australian skincare brand Dr Roebuck’s works a treat at feeding thirsty skin.
Packed with macadamia oil, hyaluronic acid and glycerin, it leaves skin softer, suppler and non-greasy.
Dr Roebuck’s No Worries Hydrating Face Moisturizer, £30, spacenk.com
If you have very dry skin that’s flaky, tight and even a little sore, changing to a seriously hydrating moisturiser is one of your best bets for better skin.
For creamy nourishment, Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré can be applied morning and night and gives life to dry, lacklustre skin.
It’s a great buy if you’re on a budget and it also beautifully preps the skin for makeup.
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré, £20, lookfantastic.com
It’s important to continue using face masks during winter, but remember to opt for hydrating masks over those that are clay based.
Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask is a hardworking treatment that provides an intense boost of moisture to parched skin.
The balmy cream has a list of skin-loving ingredients including; shea butter, vitamin C and E and niacinamide (vitamin B3).
It can be left on for 10 minutes or worn overnight (we prefer the latter) and you’ll wake up with smoother, softer, and more hydrated skin.
Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask, £42, cultbeauty.co.uk
PIXI Peel & Polish
When you have dry or sensitive skin, you have to be exceptionally careful when it comes to the products you use to exfoliate dead skin, as over-exfoliating is only going to irritate (and therefore dry out) your skin more.
However, it is essential to remove dead skin cells to reveal soft, clear and glowing skin.
And this fruit enzyme mask from PIXI does just that, by gently removing surface dullness using natural enzymes and lactic acid
Applied twice a week for 10 minutes it will leave your complexion looking fresh as a daisy.
MoisturizerMoisturizeremilyknott17ELEMIS Pro-Collagen Rose Cleansing BalmCetaphil Gentle Skin CleanserKiehl's Ultra Facial TonerHerbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face MistThe Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial OilDr Roebuck's No Worries Hydrating Face MoisturizerEmbryolisse Lait-Crème ConcentréSummer Fridays Jet Lag MaskPIXI Peel & Polish
Modern Etiquette is back for a second season, when we’ll be asking all the most pressing questions about modern life. This week, we’re going to talk about what happens when you arrive at your Tinder date to realise that the person you’re meeting looks nothing like their photo.
First things first, we need to understand why they don’t look like their picture.
Is this a case of someone is using old or super flattering photographs on their dating profile, which has led you to believe that you’re meeting Matthew McConaughey in How To Lose A Guy in Ten Days, but you’re actually meeting Matthew McConaughey in Gold?
Or has the person in question used totally fake photographs to get you to meet them?
If you arrive on a date and it’s a totally different person, it’s probably smart to leave because there no great reason for a person to do that, the trust is already broken and you might well feel unsafe.
But let’s say you’ve arrived on a date and the person at the bar is clearly the same one who you were chatting to on Tinder, only spottier or much, much shorter than they said they were. What do you do?
Two options. You can stay and give them a chance, even if they are uglier/fatter/don’t really have cat ears, or you can be honest and say ‘You don’t look how I thought you’d look, that’s a problem for me, so I’m going to go.’
There’s nothing wrong with being honest if you don’t want to stay on a date with someone, but you should probably be aware that your date will be hurt. They might not even realise that their pictures are that out of date.
Karon, 33* favours the honest policy: ‘I went on a date once where they guy turned up and his Match.com pictures were clearly out of date by about ten years. I didn’t fancy him, and I’ve got plenty of mates already, so I said I was going home. He looked shocked, but later on he changed his pics, so he clearly learned!’
On the other hand, George,* 23, found that it was worth sticking around when his date wasn’t as advertised. ‘I went on a date with a guy whose picture were really out of date. When I got there he was less conventionally attractive than I thought he was going to be. But I stuck around for a few drinks and we got on like a house on fire. We ended up dating for a few months, and (not to be TMI) we had great sex. So I’m glad I stuck it out.’
There are lots of reasons why someone might keep old photos on their profile.
Rachel, 27* says: ‘I’ve got a couple of photos of myself on my Tinder which are very, very flattering. They’re a couple of years old and I’m thinner, tanned after a holiday and yeah, it’s me on a really good day. I keep them on there because it means I get more matches, and often when we meet they don’t seem bothered. But when I go on dates I feel guilty and I worry that I might end up being told I’m catfishing.’
‘I’ve got a lot less hair now than I had when I started Tinder’ says Rob, 36*, ‘I like the photos, so I haven’t changed them. Sometimes people are surprised that I’m bald, and I think it’s put a couple of people off in the past, but honestly I can’t be bothered to update all of my profiles.’
If you want to save yourself the potential stress of meeting someone who is disappointed by how you look, keeping your profile up to date with recent pictures which show you on a good day, rather than an extraordinary day, is your best bet. There’s nothing wrong with a filter, but if you’re Photoshopping your entire face then you might find your date is somewhat confused.
After all, the idea is to find someone who fancies the actual you, not you who has been stretched, smoothed, tanned and teeth whitened.
Modern Etiquette is a weekly series. Rather than telling you what to do with a salad crescent or which shoes are most appropriate for Ascot, we’ll be working out how to navigate shared houses, drugs, ex-boyfriends and that moment when you send the screenshot of the person you’re bitching about to them.
your tinder date doesn't look like their pics-413cyour tinder date doesn't look like their pics-413crebeccacnreidYour tinder date doesn't look like their pics
A guy has gone viral after baffling the internet with an optical illusion which showed him having a fifth reflection.
A confusing video shows Shawn Reischauer looking at himself in a shop’s mirror, before zooming out and showing a third version of himself – and then somehow a fourth.
However what has left millions scratching their heads is that at the last moment the camera moves to the right to reveal a fifth version of Shawn stood in the middle of the store, seemingly nowhere near the mirror.
The video instantly went viral on Instagram where it racked up more than 1.2 million views in days and hundreds claimed it was done with the aid of a twin.
However the 22-year-old claims that while his brother Christian, 24, filmed the illusion, they are not twins and the only person who features in the video is Shawn.
Shawn says he and his brother were also confused by the illusion in the final video, which was performed using two changing room mirrors.
Shawn, from Illinois, said: ‘As silly as it may sound, boredom inspired us to make this video.
‘We were home for the holidays and were shopping with our mom. In order to keep ourselves entertained while she was checking out, we made the video.
‘Sometimes the best ideas come out of the most mundane or simple circumstances.
‘My brother and I made [the] illusion using mirrors to record what appears to be several different versions of myself.
‘While it seems quite entertaining at first, it is the last appearance of myself that seems to be the most surprising.
‘Since we recorded it, we didn’t realise how confusing the illusion actually appeared.
‘It was exciting to see how strong of a reaction we would get out of our friends and comments on the internet.
‘Many people would have to watch it over and over again in order to try and figure out how we did it.
‘The best part was hearing all the theories behind how the made the video with the use of a twin being the most entertaining for sure.’
The video sent Instagram users into meltdown as they tried to figure out how it was done.
One person wrote: ‘What sorcery is this?’
Someone else added: ‘I’ve watched this so many times and every time it hurts a little more.’
But numerous commenters were adamant the trick had to include the use of a twin.
Shawn said: ‘Many speculate that my brother Christian and I are twins, but he is actually two years older than me.
‘There was no real planning that went into the video. We simply saw two mirrors facing each other and decided to make the video after messing around with it for a while.
‘What the viewers can’t see is that my brother was recording into one mirror, and that I was leaning on the opposite mirror behind him.
‘The reflections make it appear that I am either in front of him, or next to him, which is why the last ‘me’ seems confusing.
‘From our perspective, it didn’t seem that complicated, but after viewing the video, we realised that we had pulled off something that was quite interesting.’
The two brothers say they always have lots of ideas and are regularly creative together, regularly making music or short videos.
Shawn said: ‘Truthfully I am not quite sure why it attracted so much attention. My guess is that, since its a clever illusion, people need to watch it multiple times.
‘It is also a bit comedic and other may want to share it with their friends to see how they think we did it.
‘We loved the reactions we have gotten out of those who have seen the video.
‘Christian and I loved see how everyone seemed to enjoy our video and that it was quite the incredible experience.
‘Seeing your own face all over the internet, and getting messages from old friends asking if that was me was super weird, but I am happy that it happened and that others got to appreciate our hobby.’
A puppy born with upside-down front paws has been given life-altering surgery to help him to walk properly.
Five-week-old mongrel Milo was abandoned at an animal sanctuary after his owners saw his deformity – a rare condition called congenital elbow luxation.
Carers at the Oliver and Friends Farm Rescue and Sanctuary in Luther, Oklahoma, USA, then raised $4,000 to get Milo the operation he needed, to turn his paws the right way round.
Before the operation, all Milo could do was an ‘inefficient and seemingly uncomfortable army crawl’.
But now, he can walk properly for the first time – and you can see him do just that in an adorable video.
Dr Erik Clary, of Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, said: ‘With both elbows out of joint, Milo was unable to walk.
‘Try as he might, the best he could do was an inefficient and seemingly uncomfortable “army crawl”.’
The complex operation took a team of five specialists almost four hours to complete.
‘I’ve been doing surgery for 27 years and I’ve only seen three cases of this,’ added Dr Clary, Associate Professor of Small Animal Surgery, at the center’s Veterinary Medical Hospital.
‘Many people will never see a case of it in their whole career.’
Milo awoke to find himself in rigid, front body splints following the life-changing surgery on 9 January 2019.
Dr Clary added: ‘We had to put pins in each of his elbows, so it’s going to take a while for him to heal and be mobile.
‘We have to change the casts once a week because he’s growing so fast, but so far so good. It’s going to be another couple of weeks until I can take the splints out.
‘He stands a good chance. I felt encouraged at his last bandage change that he was progressing well. He has a good shot.’
Milo has developed a loving fan base at the university’s animal hospital, as well as at the sanctuary.
Dr Clary added: ‘Milo’s a very sweet and resilient dog. There are dozens of people going to check up on every day.
‘He had no shortage of student and staff volunteers willing to hold him and help him get outside when needed.’
Donations for Milo’s ongoing medical care can be made to Oliver and Friends Farm Rescue and Sanctuary in Luther, Oklahoma, via their website.
Someone has created a vegan Cornish pasty and people aren’t happy.
Sam Grady, from the Saint Agnes based Cornish Vegan Pasty Company, started to make Cornish pasties without the traditional steak and totally egg and dairy-free.
But many Cornish people are adamant they shouldn’t be called Cornish pasties.
Sam said: ‘I started the company in 2016 when I realised there wasn’t much out there for vegans apart from a bland trio of veg.
‘Most pasty companies have upped their game when it comes to a vegan offering since then but we’re the only one rivalling the traditional pasty for flavour.’
Sam’s pasties contain the traditional vegetables, potato, onion and swede, but the chunks of steak have been replaced with seitan – a meat alternative.
After news of the new pasties was shared online, many were quick to voice their disgust.
Ben Paul wrote on Facebook: ‘Eat whatever you like, but don’t call it what it isn’t.
‘If it’s vegan, it ain’t steak. If it’s steak, it ain’t vegan!’
And Anthony Martin said: ‘They can keep it, it’s not traditional or Cornish, leave our food alone.’
Malcolm Martyn wrote: ‘It’s not traditional steak if there is no bloody steak in it.
‘It’s minced potato peelings, fungus and quorn pasty. Our forefathers and mother’s spinning in their graves’
In 2002, Cornish pasties were granted protected geographical indication status, meaning only a pasty made the traditional way in Cornwall could be called a Cornish Pasty.
While some locals were able to accept the vegan pasty, they weren’t happy with it being referred to as traditional.
Vix Louise wrote: ‘It ain’t traditional steak if it’s bloody vegan.’
And Stephen Griffiths added: ‘Just call it a vegan pastie, better still don’t bother and have the steak.’
Row breaks out among Cornish pasty traditionalists after a bakery unveils a VEGAN versionRow breaks out among Cornish pasty traditionalists after a bakery unveils a VEGAN versionhattiegladwellmetroLee Trewhela meets Sam Grady from the Cornish Vegan Pasty Company. See SWNS story SWPLpasty; Row breaks out among Cornish pasty traditionalists after a bakery unveils a VEGAN version. A row has broken out among Cornish pasty traditionalists after a bakery unveiled a VEGAN version. As the number of vegans rises throughout the country, a bakery in the South West decided to jump on the trend and adapt the traditional pastry. Sam Grady, from the Saint Agnes based Cornish Vegan Pasty Company, now makes Cornish pasties - without the traditional steak and are totally egg and dairy-free. Now, Cornish residents are up in arms saying that. Sam said: "I started the company in 2016 when I realised there wasn?t much out there for vegans apart from a bland trio of veg. ?Most pasty companies have upped their game when it comes to a vegan offering since then but we?re the only one rivalling the traditional pasty for flavour.?(Picture: Cornish Vegan Pasty Company)
Nadine knew her 87-year-old grandad Walter wasn’t a traditional funeral type of man.
So when they were told in March last year that Walter had terminal cancer, she knew they needed to talk about what he wanted when the time came.
Christmas had always been his favourite time of year and he told her he wanted it to be the theme of his funeral – even though he knew he wasn’t likely to make it until winter.
So when he passed away on 26 June last year, Nadine, her sister Natasha and their grandma Margaret began to plan the festive funeral complete with Christmas jumpers, an undertaker dressed as Santa and a full Christmas dinner at the wake.
Nadine, from Colchester, Essex, is not alone – funerals with a slightly unique twist are becoming increasingly popular but both older and younger people according to Co-op Funeralcare.
Over the last three years, the funeral provider has seen the number of requests for unique hearses increase by a fifth (21%)*. These range from a Rainbow hearse to land rovers to a hearse showered with 100 red poppies.
In a survey of 30,000 people, they discovered that two fifths (41%) would like their funeral to be a celebration of life, rather than a sad occasion.
A further one in five (20%) want mourners to wear bright colours at their funeral.
Last year, the company helped to put together funerals including a McDonald’s themed celebration for Joshua Connolly-Teale, a teenager who was a huge fan of the fast food company.
The funeral procession drove via the local McDonald’s, through the drive-through and parked in the car park to allow family and friends to let off personalised balloons.
After the funeral, the family returned to the fast food restaurant for the wake – a place where the teenager spent a lot of his time with friends and family.
The family chose McDonalds as this is somewhere where they feel close to Joshua, as he spent a lot of time catching up with his friends and making memories with his family here.
Another funeral involved a magician theme for a man with a lifelong passion for magic.
His wife decided to organise a clown themed funeral with lots of personalised touches.
For the funeral, Co-op’s rainbow hearse was chosen for his final journey whilst his white coffin was personalised with four aces to signify his first date with his wife.
Instead of having a traditional funeral service, he had a ‘broken-wand ceremony’. The ceremony is a ritual performed at the funeral of a magician in which a wand is broken indicating that, with the magician’s death, the wand is no longer needed.
For Nadine, the choice to have a Christmas themed funeral for her grandad made sense. It had always been a big part of his life.
She explained: ‘We’d always joked about a Christmas funeral over the years so when I spoke to him about it he immediately said “It’ll be Christmas themed, won’t it?”
‘I didn’t question it. I just said OK. Christmas was his favourite time of year. He looked forward to it all year and would get into it from early October.
‘Once we had decided on the theme, he picked out a red coffin and asked for the Christmas wreath from the year before to be placed on top of it.
‘He wanted everyone there in their Christmas jumpers. He chose a cardigan with jingle bells all over it for him to wear.
‘That meant that when the time came, it made it much easier. I didn’t have to plan anything because he knew what he wanted.
‘Having the theme meant that on the day, it was more of a celebration than a funeral and it showed his personality.
‘There were things like we had jumpers on during the hottest day of the year and we had Rudolph the red nose reindeer playing, which made you giggle as well as being sad.
Everyone got behind the theme, including the funeral directing team who found their own costumes and dressed as Santa, an elf and reindeers.
‘It was a lovely day. The staff were amazing and I had just asked them to wear green and red ties but they took the theme and went with it.
‘The decorated the chapel of rest with a Christmas tree and lights and just put his personality throughout everything.’
After the funeral, his family got together at his wake and enjoyed a full Christmas dinner, another one of his requests.
‘It was sad but it was what he wanted and it felt like we had really done him proud,’ Nadine adds.
‘I do think that seeing how perfect it was for him has made my nan start to think about what she wants as well.
‘I think we shouldn’t be scared to talk about what we wanted. I wanted to make sure I got it right for him.
‘It brought us both comfort – he knew I knew what he wanted and I knew I was doing the right thing.’
Marie Dykes lost her husband Alan at the age of 55 on 10 October last year.
Although he died very suddenly from a ruptured peptic ulcer in his stomach, she knew what he wanted for his funeral.
Marie, from North Shields, Tyne and Wear, explains: ‘We had been together for 22 years and we loved having fun and playing tricks on each other.
‘He had always said “If anything happens to me first, I want it to be fancy dress.” I would always dismiss it and don’t say that but when he died, I knew I had to do that.
‘He’d never said what fancy dress he wanted so we just went with a general theme.
‘Our son Joseph went with Elvis because his dad loved him.
‘The funeral was on 26 October, which was just before Halloween. I went to the fancy dress shop and it was filled with people. They asked me what it was for and I had to explain it was my husband’s funeral. That was a bit weird.
‘But everyone embraced it and that was great. His best friend turned up in a psychedelic suit. My best friend was red riding hood and we had the Men in Black there.
‘They’d all heard him joke about it over the years. We never thought we would have to do it this quick but it made it easier because we did what he asked.
‘It was awkward telling people because it’s not what people expect but it showed his personality.
‘His music choice was great too. He wanted Elvis going in, which was normal but he’d made us promise that we’d play be Chumbawamba’s I Get Knocked Down. As soon as the song came on, all of the mourners had a little laugh amongst themselves.
‘He didn’t want people to be sad and miserable. I don’t think he ever thought we would go through with it but we were so pleased with how it turned out.
‘When I spoke to the funeral directors, they said they all wanted to dress up too. We had a Scooby Doo driving the hearse.
‘It was a difficult day but those little moments of laughter that helped us get through it. It was a true celebration of his life.’
David Collingwood, Director of Funerals at Co-op, commented: ‘We all lead unique lives and our final goodbye should definitely reflect that.
‘Personalised touches don’t need to be extravagant – it can be something as small as changing the funeral directing team’s ties.
‘The trend really highlights the importance of planning ahead and having conversations with our friends and family about our wishes.
‘Not only so that we take our final journey in the way we would’ve wanted, but also to alleviate some of the pain for our grieving families by removing those important decisions when the time comes.’
Themed funeralsThemed funeralslauraabernethy6
Thank God we live in the 21st century where there are vegan alternatives to old faves that those on a plant-based diet might be missing (even fried eggs).
Any vegan who craves a bit of cheesy goodness in the form of a pizza will be delighted to know then Papa John’s is finally offering a non-dairy alternative.
The decision from the American pizza giant comes after heavy petitioning from those who want options suitable to their lifestyles.
A petition from last year amassed 29,000 signatures plus campaigning from animal rights organisation Animal Aid and vegan news website Vegan Food UK also put the pressure on the franchise to go vegan.
‘At Papa John’s, we are completely committed to our customers, and ensuring that we deliver better pizza with better ingredients,’ said a Papa John’s spokesperson.
‘We were pleased to see the positive response to the recent vegan cheese alternative petition, as this is currently an area that we are developing, and hoping to roll out in the not-so-distant future.
‘We are thrilled to see that Papa John’s has reacted positively to our petition, and that they are looking to introduce a vegan cheese alternative very soon, said Tod Bradbury, Animal Aid Campaign Manager in a statement to Plant Based News.
‘We thank them for taking our comments and those of almost 30,000 others on board. By adding vegan cheese to their menu, Papa John’s will be showing that they are up to date with the fast-growing vegan movement.
‘They will appeal to a much wider audience – be they vegans, those wanting to try vegan food or indeed those who have allergies to dairy products. We hope that Papa John’s decision not only has a positive effect on their sales, but also encourages other pizza chains and restaurants who have not yet introduced a vegan cheese to do so.’
Close-Up Of Pizza On TableClose-Up Of Pizza On Tablefaimabakar1
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live with an alpaca?
Well, photographer Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek is here to show you.
Daniel often places animals in front of the camera for eye-opening photoshoots, and this one will make you look twice as he’s put alpacas into front rooms and walk-in showers to show you how life is Better Living With Alpacas.
Yes, that’s the title of the series and we love it.
Daniel’s latest series was for a 2019 calendar, and it features furry alpacas doing their best to model and look super cute for the camera.
Daniel describes himself as being somewhere between a ‘photographer, artist and children’s book writer’, though we think he should add Alpaca expert to the list – in terms of knowing how to help them get comfy within houses.
He created the calendar for adults wanting to bring the ‘infinite’ fantasy of childhood ‘back to grownup brains’ – and it certainly does that.
He told It’s Nice That: ‘Every day was different as the alpacas are different characters by themselves too.’
He adds: ‘The only thing they have in common is their fine taste for interior design and architecture.
‘They are real masters and I love all the places they picked to get their pictures taken.’
Take a look at the calendar below.
Here’s an alpaca looking very comfy on an incredibly fancy bed
And here’s one modelling in front of a doorway
This alpaca works at reception
Here’s one looking sultry near the window
This alpaca was caught playing peek-a-boo…
Have you ever seen an alpaca taking a bath?
This one is a masterpiece
What a beautiful alpaca
Spot the alpaca!
And finally, can this alpaca take your drink order?
It’s official: Alpacas are our new favourite animals.
sei_46845104-35dasei_46845104-35dahattiegladwellmetroPhotographer documents living with an alpaca Picture: Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek we must add this: https://gebhart.dk/alpacas/ and his insta handle: @doublekoekPhotographer documents living with an alpaca Picture: Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek we must add this: https://gebhart.dk/alpacas/ and his insta handle: @doublekoekPhotographer documents living with an alpaca Picture: Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek we must add this: https://gebhart.dk/alpacas/ and his insta handle: @doublekoekPhotographer documents living with an alpaca Picture: Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek we must add this: https://gebhart.dk/alpacas/ and his insta handle: @doublekoekPhotographer documents living with an alpaca Picture: Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek we must add this: https://gebhart.dk/alpacas/ and his insta handle: @doublekoekPhotographer documents living with an alpaca Picture: Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek we must add this: https://gebhart.dk/alpacas/ and his insta handle: @doublekoekPhotographer documents living with an alpaca Picture: Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek we must add this: https://gebhart.dk/alpacas/ and his insta handle: @doublekoekPhotographer documents living with an alpaca Picture: Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek we must add this: https://gebhart.dk/alpacas/ and his insta handle: @doublekoekPhotographer documents living with an alpaca Picture: Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek we must add this: https://gebhart.dk/alpacas/ and his insta handle: @doublekoekPhotographer documents living with an alpaca Picture: Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek we must add this: https://gebhart.dk/alpacas/ and his insta handle: @doublekoekPhotographer documents living with an alpaca Picture: Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek we must add this: https://gebhart.dk/alpacas/ and his insta handle: @doublekoekPhotographer documents living with an alpaca Picture: Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek we must add this: https://gebhart.dk/alpacas/ and his insta handle: @doublekoekPhotographer documents living with an alpaca Picture: Daniel Gebhart de Koekkoek we must add this: https://gebhart.dk/alpacas/ and his insta handle: @doublekoek
You can now live like James Bond as 007’s fictional home is now on the market for £6.85 million.
Royal Avenue is where secret agent 007 James Bond lived, according to author Ian Fleming, who included the location in his books.
Now, you can live there… if you have a spare £6.85 million.
The five-bed house seems more like a family home than a spy pad. There are no secret doorways or a bar stocked with martini ingredients.
Instead, there are five large bedrooms, living areas with enough space for everyone to watch TV, a modern kitchen, a study, and a cute terrace.
The five-bed house is located on Royal Avenue, London and is currently listed by Strutt and Parker for £6.85 million.
‘A stunning five bedroom Grade II listed Freehold house located on a prime Chelsea square, and extending to some 3,000 square feet,’ states the listing.
‘The property is on the preferred western terrace and was completely remodelled to an exacting standard, using the finest quality finishes to recreate period elegance with innovative and exciting design.
‘The house offers a classic first floor drawing room with beautiful high ceilings and views over Royal Avenue, providing generously proportioned and well-balanced accommodation throughout, where the space has been organised to create maximum flexibility for comfortable family living.
‘Royal Avenue was the fictional home of James Bond, but historically designed by Sir Christopher Wren on behalf of William III in the 1690s as part of a proposed carriageway linking the Royal Hospital to Kensington Palace.’
The property is ideally situated just off King’s Road, within an easy walk of Sloane Square and Sloane Street, and is located around the corner from the open grounds and tennis courts of Burton Court – which the owner of the home will have access to for a separate fee.
Live like James Bond as his fictional home goes on the market for 6.85millLive like James Bond as his fictional home goes on the market for 6.85millhattiegladwellmetroLIVE LIKE James Bond in 007???s fictional home after the stunning five-bed Royal Avenue house went on the market for ??6.85m. Incredible images show the exterior of the sought-after 3000-square-foot terrace house as well as the luxurious interior including large living areas, spacious bedrooms and a modern kitchen. Other striking shots show the sleek bathrooms, cosy study and open dining areas as well as a lovely terrace. The five-bed house is located on Royal Avenue, London and is currently listed by Strutt and Parker for ??6.85m. mediadrumimages / Strutt and ParkerLIVE LIKE James Bond in 007???s fictional home after the stunning five-bed Royal Avenue house went on the market for ??6.85m. Incredible images show the exterior of the sought-after 3000-square-foot terrace house as well as the luxurious interior including large living areas, spacious bedrooms and a modern kitchen. Other striking shots show the sleek bathrooms, cosy study and open dining areas as well as a lovely terrace. The five-bed house is located on Royal Avenue, London and is currently listed by Strutt and Parker for ??6.85m. mediadrumimages / Strutt and ParkerLIVE LIKE James Bond in 007???s fictional home after the stunning five-bed Royal Avenue house went on the market for ??6.85m. Incredible images show the exterior of the sought-after 3000-square-foot terrace house as well as the luxurious interior including large living areas, spacious bedrooms and a modern kitchen. Other striking shots show the sleek bathrooms, cosy study and open dining areas as well as a lovely terrace. The five-bed house is located on Royal Avenue, London and is currently listed by Strutt and Parker for ??6.85m. mediadrumimages / Strutt and ParkerLIVE LIKE James Bond in 007???s fictional home after the stunning five-bed Royal Avenue house went on the market for ??6.85m. Incredible images show the exterior of the sought-after 3000-square-foot terrace house as well as the luxurious interior including large living areas, spacious bedrooms and a modern kitchen. Other striking shots show the sleek bathrooms, cosy study and open dining areas as well as a lovely terrace. The five-bed house is located on Royal Avenue, London and is currently listed by Strutt and Parker for ??6.85m. mediadrumimages / Strutt and Parker
‘So for this you should be naked,’ says my spa assistant, Fridrika.
I’m about to step into a 280 litre tub made of Kambala wood filled with a combination of young beer, brewers yeast and hops.
This is the beer bath at Bjorbodin Beer Spa in Arskogssandur, Northern Iceland.
It’s the brainchild of the Bragi family, who founded Kaldi, the first microbrewery in the country, and it attracts couples who can share a bath, men on their stag dos, fans of beer and anyone who loves a spa.
You can come just for the beer bath, their restaurant and bar or for a brewery tour but I used the main spa as well as the tub.
I begin by showering (no swimsuits allowed), before heading to huge outdoor hot tubs (thankfully swimsuits allowed).
It’s about zero degrees and I soak in the water-filled tubs, looking up at the stars and out at the Kotlufjall and Krossafjall mountains, admiring Boggvistadarfjall Island, the town of Dalvik and a hint of the Northern Lights.
Then it’s on to a sauna shaped like a beer barrel and an infra red sauna.
The main event is, of course, bobbing around in beer like an old cigarette butt.
Fridrika leads me to a small room a bit like a cabin, with wooden steps leading up to a huge wooden bath, fashioned to look like a barrel, with a standard beer barrel and tap beside it.
After giving me my instructions – get naked, pour the beer like this, press the buzzer for help – I’m left to my own devices for 25 minutes.
The water looks like a muddy puddle, white bubbles on top, flecked with green bits of hops.
I clamber in – the contents warm even for me (my general preference is ‘hotter than the sun’).
I can’t smell much beer. You’re not supposed to drink the bath water but of course I do. It’s not unpleasant – like weak, flowery, soapy beer.
There’s no alcohol in the bath though – the young beer hasn’t fermented.
I try beer from the barrel – Kaldi’s Christmas offering.
My first go results in 90% head.
It still tastes ok, with biscuit-coloured foam and a bronze hue, but the bath is so hot I’d rather have water.
I buzz for Fridrika, who pours my second pint. The most she’s seen anyone drink within the allotted time here is nine, which sounds like a challenge if you ask me.
I fully submerge myself in the tub, as the contents are supposed to be great for your hair, skin and nails.
I’m advised not to shower for three to five hours to get the benefit of the Vitamin B, protein, potassium, iron, zinc and magnesium in the brewers yeast, the antioxidant properties of the hops and the softening properties of the young beer.
After the bath I’m led up a soft, white carpeted staircase to lie wrapped in a sheet and blanket in a dark room with a few twinkly lights and your classic spa relaxation music.
I feel very calm but I also smell like I’ve been on a bender. Thankfully I don’t feel sticky.
After 25 minutes’ relaxation, I’m taken back to the small communal women’s changing room then, after dressing, head to the lounge and restaurant.
They serve fish and chips, chicken wings and deep fried Camembert, with a classic burger costing £16.20 (I found food expensive everywhere in Northern Iceland – even the supermarkets – so this isn’t too bad).
Fridrika brings me a flight of Kaldi beers all from the tap, unfiltered.
Their 5% blonde lager is the most popular in Iceland. Gold and bitter, I’m not a fan as it’s very sour.
Their 5% dark smells and tastes like coffee, while the 6.7% chocolate porter smells like toffee and tastes like sugary black coffee.
The 6% IPA is my favourite – a light gold with sweet aromas of tropical fruits.
The 6% black IPA smells like treacle and is the richest, while the 4.7% wheat beer smells of Christmassy fruits and spices.
Another not in the flight, Stinnings Kaldi, is a popular choice. It’s made with Arctic Angelica, which one local told me was a natural Viagra.
After my beer spa experience, as directed, I didn’t wash the concoction off – postponing a shower til the next morning.
The skin on my face felt reasonably soft but, as it’s not prone to dryness, the difference wasn’t dramatic. The skin issues I have – rosacea and the odd spot – were no worse but no better.
My hair felt quite soft but lacked the glacial shine I dream of – it pretty much looked the same.
As an experience, though, this was great fun and certainly unusual. It’s perfect for a beer-mad couple.
Also it’s much less sticky than filling your bath with warm Stella.
What else to do in Northern Iceland
Swim in Akureyri swimming pool
For £7 you can swim in large heated outdoor pools, hot tubs and plunge pools.
You have to shower naked in communal showers first – or likely be told off, as I was.
Visit Akureyri church
You can’t miss this imposing structure, built in 1940.
It’s usually locked but if, you visit on Thursday before their noon service, you can admire the stained glass windows, organ and small model ship hanging from the ceiling.
Admire Akureyri’s art trail
This walk is a beautiful way to see the area.
Pick up a map from the North Iceland tourist information centre, on the ground floor of the Hof Centre or print one off here.
Go in search of the Northern Lights
I was underwhelmed – they only looked exciting in my photos because the camera picks up colours differently to the eye.
So while I saw interesting but not stunning grey arcs and smudges, I’ve got fancy pics of green streaks.
Go with low expectations and a good camera, or the NorthernLights app for your phone.
Visit waterfalls, boiling mud pools and frozen lakes
I went to Godafoss waterfall, Namafjall and Lake Myvatn – alien landscapes with lava formations, steam and colourful skies.
As a Game Of Thrones nerd I would also have enjoyed a tour of filming locations – this is north of The Wall country and THAT Jon and Ygritte cave scene was partly shot near Myvatn.
Swim in Myvatn Nature Baths
These geothermally-heated pools are surrounded by stunning views.
In winter they’re open from noon to 10pm, entry costs £29 and there’s also a cafe.
Where to stay and how to get there
I travelled with Superbreak on their Incredible Iceland package.
This includes three nights at Hotel Kea, return flights and airport transfers in Iceland as well as two excursions – Lake Myvatn Adventure – Land Of Fire And Ice and Search For The Northern Lights.
Hotel Kea was small but stylish, with compact rooms and fancy TVs on which you could watch your Netflix and listen to Spotify.
Their breakfast buffet included everything from traditional porridge and bacon and eggs to waffles.
I flew from Bournemouth to Akureyri but you can fly from a choice of 16 airports until 15 March.
The Incredible Iceland package costs from £399.
Superbreak’s optional excursion to the beer spa costs an additional £88.
Where to stay in Bournemouth
I stayed at Bournemouth West Cliff Hotel.
The hotel was within easy walking distance of the beach, and had a pool and gym.
Spa access cost £8 per person and parking £10 per night.
Rooms cost from £44.20 per night.
Top image: Getty
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There are few things more likely to ruin your day than stepping in dog poo.
So we understand why one mysterious vigilante has taken it upon themselves to leave notes next to piles of dog poo they spot in Edinburgh’s Breadalbane Street.
We are impressed that they took the time to type out and print such detailed letters to the poo-petrators, though.
The signs, printed on A4 paper (not laminated, sadly) and stuck into the grass with metal wire, read: ‘Hello! I notice you’ve decided not to pick
up your dog’s sh*t.
‘I’m sure you’re a responsible dog owner and your responsibility to pick up after your pet has slipped your mind.
‘I thought I’d remind you all the reasons why you should pick up your dog’s sh*t.
‘Dog fouling is disgusting, dangerous and illegal. Kids play in these spaces, people eat their lunch in these spaces.
‘This is a shared space that everyone uses; if you are keen to continue not picking up your dog’s sh*t, can I suggest doing it in a private space that
only you use? Perhaps your living room?’
Quite polite, right?
The note does end with a bit of a threat, though: ‘If I see you not picking up your dog’s sh*t, I will pick it up and hand it to you/throw it at you.
‘See! Loads of reasons to pick it up!’
That is a convincing reason to scoop the poop, to be fair.
It’s not known who is taking to word docs and metal wire to cleanse the area of poo, but residents seem to be on their side.
Liam, who lives in the building where the poos have been abandoned in the communal gardens, said: ‘I like it because you should be made aware.
‘If you can be fined for littering then you should be fined for this.
‘It’s not the first time I’ve seen dog mess here but it’s the first time I’ve seen a note about it. Kids play here and they can fall over in it so it’s a responsibility.’
Another resident, Kate, said: ‘I can see why residents get worked up. My son plays here so I’m not happy that there is dog excrement left there.
‘He is a wheelchair user so he could be on his hands and knees [when he is playing]. I’m glad someone is dealing with it. There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be picked up.’
Shockingly enough, no dog owners have responded with their own notes just yet. But here’s hoping.
In the meantime, let’s all remember just how unpleasant it is to start your day by stepping in faeces, and make an effort to protect others from such horror. Pick up your dog’s poo. Do the right thing.
A FED-up resident is planting hilarious signs next to piles of dog mess - threatening to chuck the poo at the culpritA FED-up resident is planting hilarious signs next to piles of dog mess - threatening to chuck the poo at the culpritellencscottA FED-up resident is planting hilarious signs next to piles of dog mess - threatening to chuck the poo at the culprit. The carefully-written and neatly-printed warning notices have appeared in an Edinburgh courtyard where several pooches are kept. This morning alone, two of the signs could be seen next to mouldering piles of dog faeces in the city's Breadalbane Street, where two-bedroom flats fetch over ?200,000. The signs, printed on A4 and stuck in to the grass with metal wire, start off with a passive-aggressive: ?Hello! I notice you?ve decided not to pick up your dog?s s***.A FED-up resident is planting hilarious signs next to piles of dog mess - threatening to chuck the poo at the culprit. The carefully-written and neatly-printed warning notices have appeared in an Edinburgh courtyard where several pooches are kept. This morning alone, two of the signs could be seen next to mouldering piles of dog faeces in the city's Breadalbane Street, where two-bedroom flats fetch over ?200,000. The signs, printed on A4 and stuck in to the grass with metal wire, start off with a passive-aggressive: ?Hello! I notice you?ve decided not to pick up your dog?s s***.
‘All I want is for my baby to be happy and healthy, nothing else matters!’, words uttered by expecting parents.
But what happens when your child isn’t born healthy, what happens if like me you were born with a disability?
To the shock of everyone in the delivery room I was born with multiple fractures to my arms and legs and It became clear very quickly that I wasn’t the healthy bundle of joy everyone had been expecting.
I was born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (brittle bones), a condition not detected during pre-natal tests.
The hours following my birth were filled with doom and gloom, according to my mother. Far removed from the joyous occasion my parents had been anticipating.
Not only were the doctors and birthing staff very apologetic about my diagnosis, I was removed from my family and taken to another hospital whilst my parents were told to pray for me as I wasn’t likely to survive.
With not one word of congratulations simply ‘I’m sorry.’
I can only imagine that my birth seemed more like a wake than a celebration for my family.
Fast forward a good 30 years and the way society welcomes a child with a disability into the world sadly hasn’t changed all that much.
I’ve spoken with countless parents who describe the birth of their children, who were born with additional needs, to be full of sadness, negativity and altogether bleak prospects.
‘They said they, were sorry to be breaking this news to us.’
‘We were tasked with explaining to our friends and family the situation…people didn’t know what to say.’
Actress and comedian Sally Phillips, recalls the birth of her beautiful son, Olly, who was born 12 years ago with Down’s syndrome.
She states that the doctor immediately said sorry and the nurse went as far as to cry. She describes the aftermath of Olly’s birth as though something dreadful had happened, because that what those around you lead you to believe.
I understand the importance of discussing the ins and outs of your child’s condition and any treatments that may need to be considered however, it also needs to me made clear that, ‘disability’ doesn’t mean end of life, end of happiness or success.
It just means life may take on a different shape than first thought. Parents should be given a true representation of disability not one through the eyes of the medical model of disability, which focuses on what that person can’t do and sees disability as a problem.
Labelling a child from birth can be very damaging, as we all know sometimes that label sticks and we end up with a self-fulfilling prophecy.
For many years I felt a burden on my friends and family, I would apologise for being me and resented my life, feeling many of my disabled friends have felt or still feel.
I certainly felt my father’s sadness about my disability, he had been told since my birth that my disability was a bad thing, I would not live a ‘normal’ life and it would be a life of uncertainty.
I almost felt, at times, that my father was grieving for the child I ‘should’ have been, but I did have a normal life and a happy one at that.
This label stuck during my school years, teachers not expecting me to achieve and my peers not inviting me to sleepovers or birthday parties because they assumed I couldn’t. Given a label from birth made me doubt my own abilities and my self worth.
The disabled community is however fighting back and saying STOP to being sorry.
The Canadian Down’s Syndrome Society launched its anything but sorry campaign in 2017, with a goal of showing the people of Canada the only wrong way to welcome a baby into the world is by saying sorry – a word many families hear after finding out their baby has Down’s syndrome, and the apologies extend to more disabilities.
Sorry is the last thing a new parent wants to hear. This is a time to celebrate, so say anything but sorry.
Changing how we view disability doesn’t have to be complicated, all we ask is for an inclusive society. Once where we see authentic representation of disability, on our television screens, in our magazines, in our education system and at our workplace.
Sadly, large parts of society are failing to celebrate and embrace the disabled community. However – social media platforms have fast become fantastic places for changing how we see disability and showcasing how wonderful disability really is, with disabled bloggers to families proudly posting photos of their new born babies and celebrating their first day at school like any other parent.
I wished my parents had been given a little more hope and reassurance at my birth and had been told that, despite my disability, I could and would live a happy and successful life.
If you are a new parent of a child with disabilities or additional needs I urge you to celebrate that child, reach out to other parents and share your beautiful life with the world, start a blog, open an Instagram account or video diary but whatever you do don’t be sorry.
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TRX training is the full-body workout that you probably need to add to your gym routine.
You will recognise the yellow ropes with the black handles, usually found dangling from some rigging in an under-used corner of the gym.
You might have even given them a go. But you’re probably not using them to their full potential.
That’s not a slight on you. It’s a complicated little contraption. There are straps and buckles and clasps – if someone hasn’t shown you exactly how to use the ropes then you might find yourself backing away in shame-faced horror.
But once you nail it, and have a few of the key moves under your belt, the TRX can be an invaluable piece of kit to help you elevate your heart rate and tone your muscles.
TRX stands for Total Resistance Exercise and it uses your body weight and gravity as resistance to help you build strength and tone up.
It also helps you work on your balance, coordination, core strength and flexibilty – so there are plenty of transferable skills to help you improve in sport, or just generally be a better-functioning human.
What we love about TRX is the accessibility. Because you’re not using any additional weight to your body, it’s really safe and easy for beginners or people coming back from injury.
You can always adjust your positioning and movement so that you’re suspending less weight, which makes any move easier.
The principals of TRX are based on a number of key moves – pushing, pulling and lifting.
By tilting your body in a certain way, and either pushing yourself upwards, lowering yourself down, or holding your body suspended – you work your legs, glutes, arms, back, shoulders and core.
Add in some plyometrics and you can hit your daily cardio goals as well. Turn your squats into squat jumps and your lunges into lunge jumps – you’ll be sweating and breathless in no time.
Using the TRX is also a fantastic way to work on your form and perfect some of the trickiest gym moves. From the perfect squat, to a single-leg squat, to a plank, using the TRX can help you push that little bit deeper and really nail the move.
You’ll be clinging to the ropes for dear life at first, but as you progress you’ll find you need less and less support – until you’re single-leg squatting like a pro athlete.
The benefits of TRX suspension training
The two adjustable bands provide a comprehensive workout for every muscle in your body. You can transport them easily and set up the TRX suspension system anywhere once you know the basics.
You can work cardio as well as strength
By changing the speed at which you’re working, you can increase the work out you give to your heart and lungs.
It’s low impact
Because the exercises are suspended, it means your joints aren’t put under much stress. Which means you run a much lower risk of injury.
You challenge different planes of motion
You don’t just go in a straight line with TRX training. There are diagonals, ups and downs, and backwards movements to help challenge your core strength and develop your balance and stability.
All of these benefits sound brilliant. But how do you actually get good at it? If you don’t have a PT on hand, the thought of trying new kit in the gym with no experience can be really daunting.
The best way to go about it is to join a TRX group class. You’ll have an instructor to teach you the basics and plenty of people to hide behind if you don’t feel very confident.
Body Machine is a brand new boutique gym with a specialist TRX studio – they have just opened their first branch in Kensington, London.
Light, airy and open – the space is a refreshing antidote to the current trend for dark, underground gym-caves that are trying to look like nightclubs.
Founder, Dr. Frances Mikuriya, likes to focus on functional movement and stretching alongside the strength and cardio work.
‘The architectural design of the space echoes our training method – which is to focus on performance-based training that achieves optimal results, without fads or gimmicks,’ said Frances.
‘The space is intentionally built with no necessary ornamentation: pure functional elements combined with the best machines – our TRX straps, Schwinn AC power bikes and personal training equipment.’
TRX training is often thought of as a solo activity, but it really works in a group dynamic.
The class on offer at Body Machine lasts for an hour, and Frances was careful to cover every muscle group in that time.
TRX is tough. When you do it on your own, the temptation is to stop when it starts to get really difficult – but that’s where you build strength and make a real difference to your endurance.
Being in a class with an instructor to tell you to keep going can help you dig deep and push yourself beyond your imagined limits.
Group of Women Doing Barre + TRX WorkoutGroup of Women Doing Barre + TRX Workoutnataliemorris88
I’ve always been a mentally strong guy, but when cancer came, it broke me. My dad had Leukaemia many years before and seeing what he had been through terrified me. I didn’t want my family to know how I felt because they had all lived through it once before.
About two and a half years ago, I noticed a lump on my throat and did what 90 per cent of guys do and ignored it.
Eventually, I decided to get it checked out. I was initially told it was not cancer but was advised to have the lump removed.
A couple of weeks after the operation I went to get the results and the doctor dropped a bombshell on me.
I was sitting in the room with my mum and heard the doctor say: ‘It’s a good job we went ahead with the procedure as the lump was cancerous’.
At this point I could feel the room getting smaller. I don’t remember what was said after that, but somehow, I managed to hold it together and go to work.
What really freaked me out is that everyone I told looked more concerned than me.
I started wondering: ‘Am I not dealing with this how I should be?’
I had another operation to remove my thyroid and they found more cancer on the other side. I had to have radio-iodine treatment which involves swallowing a radioactive pill and being in quarantine for 24 hours.
When my treatment was nearing its end, I spiralled into a dark depression that I kept from everyone around me. I decided to host a charity strongman competition to focus on but leading up to the competition I was breaking down crying and I realised I needed help.
On the day, I was an emotional mess and had to ring one of my friends to help me get my head in a better place, so that I could compete.
I was crying as I did the truck pull and when I finished I collapsed on the floor, emotionally drained.
My dad came over, picked me up off the floor, and carried me to the car.
I was in a dark place mentally. I would have visions where I imagined my own death, but I didn’t realise that these were suicidal thoughts.
Around that time, I saw an interview with the singer Chester Bennington who died by suicide, it scared me when I could relate to every word he said.
After that I decided to see a counsellor. It was only when I went to the appointment that I realised how much I had been ignoring my depression.
I went in and cried my eyes out. The counsellor wanted to put me on antidepressants as she believed I was suicidal.
Hearing someone say that made me realise how serious it was.
I didn’t end up taking the pills, but my counsellor gave me other ways to cope and a place to talk about how I was feeling. Every time I went to see her, I felt a bit better.
I had also been previously introduced to a Macmillan nurse who was one of the nicest people I have ever met. She was able to give me information and told me about the online community, which I signed up to and was able to ask questions about my condition.
Along with the sessions with the counsellor, this seriously helped to put my mind at ease.
Depression is a weird thing. You spend more time trying to convince yourself that there’s no reason to be depressed than dealing with the issue.
No one tells you about how you are going to feel after cancer. There’s a lot of talk of how you will feel at the point of diagnosis, and when you’re going through treatment, but then it’s, ‘congratulations, you’re better’. I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel afterwards.
If I was able to go back in time and speak to myself when I was diagnosed, I would encourage myself to cry. Cry for as long as I need to cry and to talk, talk to my family, talk to my friends and not to hold onto the emotion that almost pushed me to the edge.
Need support? Contact the Samaritans
Macmillan Cancer Support has a broad range of cancer support services available, including a community of over 7,700 healthcare professionals, a support line and a 24/7 online community. Macmillan is funded almost entirely by public donations and couldn’t provide vital services without the generosity of the public – to donate, visit macmillan.org.uk/donate. If you’d like support or information or just to chat, call Macmillan free on 0808 808 00 00 or visit macmillan.org.uk.
The loss of a pet is a pain that’s difficult to put into words.
It’s a type of grief that’s all too often dismissed as unimportant or lesser, but can rip through you to the same effect of mourning any loved one.
Our pets are special to us. We love them without complication and they love us right back, unconditionally.
Anyone who has loved a pet will feel the raw emotion of Last Moments, a photo series by Ross Taylor.
Ross has captured the intense moments people say goodbye to their pets, documenting people’s final moments with their beloved family member before and after they are euthanised.
The photos, taken over the course of a year, were made with the cooperation of dog owners in the Tampa Bay area of Florida, who wanted to show the love between dogs and their owners. Each dog was helped by vets from Lap of Love, a pet euthanasia service that allows for peaceful passing at home rather than in a clinical setting, which can cause stress and fear for animals in their final moments.
The resulting images are heartbreaking.
sei_48561964-ec53sei_48561964-ec53ellencscottPhotographer, Ross Taylor, documents the 'Last Moments' with owners and their beloved pets in a series of heartbreaking photographsPhotographer, Ross Taylor, documents the 'Last Moments' with owners and their beloved pets in a series of heartbreaking photographsPhotographer, Ross Taylor, documents the 'Last Moments' with owners and their beloved pets in a series of heartbreaking photographsPhotographer, Ross Taylor, documents the 'Last Moments' with owners and their beloved pets in a series of heartbreaking photographsPhotographer, Ross Taylor, documents the 'Last Moments' with owners and their beloved pets in a series of heartbreaking photographsPhotographer, Ross Taylor, documents the 'Last Moments' with owners and their beloved pets in a series of heartbreaking photographsPhotographer, Ross Taylor, documents the 'Last Moments' with owners and their beloved pets in a series of heartbreaking photographsPhotographer, Ross Taylor, documents the 'Last Moments' with owners and their beloved pets in a series of heartbreaking photographsPhotographer, Ross Taylor, documents the 'Last Moments' with owners and their beloved pets in a series of heartbreaking photographsPhotographer, Ross Taylor, documents the 'Last Moments' with owners and their beloved pets in a series of heartbreaking photographsPhotographer, Ross Taylor, documents the 'Last Moments' with owners and their beloved pets in a series of heartbreaking photographsPhotographer, Ross Taylor, documents the 'Last Moments' with owners and their beloved pets in a series of heartbreaking photographsPhotographer, Ross Taylor, documents the 'Last Moments' with owners and their beloved pets in a series of heartbreaking photographsPhotographer, Ross Taylor, documents the 'Last Moments' with owners and their beloved pets in a series of heartbreaking photographsPhotographer, Ross Taylor, documents the 'Last Moments' with owners and their beloved pets in a series of heartbreaking photographsPhotographer, Ross Taylor, documents the 'Last Moments' with owners and their beloved pets in a series of heartbreaking photographsPhotographer, Ross Taylor, documents the 'Last Moments' with owners and their beloved pets in a series of heartbreaking photographsPhotographer, Ross Taylor, documents the 'Last Moments' with owners and their beloved pets in a series of heartbreaking photographs