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- 02/12/19--04:05: _14 things you’re do...
- 02/12/19--05:17: _Alternative gifts t...
- 02/12/19--05:27: _A bull’s eye rash m...
- 02/12/19--05:57: _The best Valentine’...
- 02/12/19--06:07: _Woman called ‘gross...
- 02/12/19--07:27: _Family look for ‘Na...
- 02/12/19--08:21: _What are smart moto...
- 02/12/19--08:47: _This tiny rabbit lo...
- 02/12/19--09:01: _Mattel launches Bar...
- 02/12/19--23:42: _Mum proudly shows o...
- 02/12/19--23:48: _Greggs confirms lau...
- 02/13/19--00:00: _Mixed Up: ‘I’ve bee...
- 02/13/19--00:00: _How to get Valentin...
- 02/13/19--00:15: _This Valentine’s Da...
- 02/13/19--00:33: _For the bargain pri...
- 02/13/19--01:00: _Mocking my Scouse a...
- 02/13/19--02:00: _What is HPV, what a...
- 02/13/19--02:07: _You can go speed da...
- 02/13/19--02:24: _You can name a salm...
- 02/13/19--03:13: _Photographer Laura ...
- 02/12/19--04:05: 14 things you’re doing that are seriously annoying your hairdresser
- 02/12/19--05:17: Alternative gifts to buy and things to do on Valentine’s Day
- A red ‘bull’s eye’ rash around the bite. This usually appears within the first four weeks of the bite, but can appear up to three months later
- A high temperature
- Feeling hot or shivery
- Muscle and joint pain
- Tiredness and loss of energy
- Pain and swelling in joints
- Nerve problems such as pain or numbness
- Heart problems
- Trouble with memory or concentration
- 02/12/19--05:57: The best Valentine’s Day gifts for him from Game of Thrones to Lego
- 02/12/19--08:21: What are smart motorways and how do they work?
- 02/12/19--08:47: This tiny rabbit loves his girlfriend who’s four times his size
- 02/12/19--09:01: Mattel launches Barbie in a wheelchair and one with a prosthetic leg
- 02/12/19--23:48: Greggs confirms launch of vegan sausage roll in all stores
- 02/13/19--00:00: How to get Valentine’s Day flowers delivered on Thursday in the UK
- 02/13/19--01:00: Mocking my Scouse accent isn’t funny, it just makes you a snob
- 02/13/19--02:00: What is HPV, what are the symptoms and can it be treated?
Getting your hair done is a strange experience.
Yes, emerging with a bouncy blow dry is glorious, but first you have to sit and read old magazines while catching glimpses of yourself in the mirror and wondering if you really look like that (don’t worry, you’re not the only one who feels like a drowned rat).
There are a tonne of awkward questions to ponder and a load of etiquette by which to abide.
But even if we do our best to sit still and turn up with hair that isn’t absolutely filthy, there are still things customers do that can really piss off hair stylists.
We asked a bunch of hair stylists and colourists what they wish clients would stop doing. Please take note.
1. Turning up late for your appointment
Sophia Hilton of Not Another Salon doesn’t mind lateness too much, but ‘lateness with a fresh Starbucks in your hand’ will always cause some annoyance.
Try not to be late. Appointment times are planned to a tee and you rocking up 20 minutes later than you should will throw everything out of wack.
If you are going to be late, call and let the salon know. And if you’re stopping for snacks, bring some for the team.
2. Lying about your hair history
‘Oh I’ve never used box dye.’
‘I hardly use heated tools.’
‘Yeah, I can definitely come back every six weeks for a top up.’
There’s really no point in lying to your hair stylist or colourist. They’re not going to shame you for whatever you’ve done, but they really do need to know all the facts so they can know what can be done.
Telling fibs will harm you, not them, as you’re the one who will end up with a cut you can’t maintain or a colour you didn’t want.
‘You can never hide your hair history with a hairdresser,’ says Sophia. ‘Just five minutes with bleach on will tell us everything and anything you didn’t. It’s like lying to your doctor, but on this occasion it’s only you that loses.’
3. Keeping quiet when you’re not happy
We know, we know, it’s awkward to say you’re not pleased with someone’s work. But when a stylist asks if you’re happy, it’s so important to answer honestly.
A hair stylist from The Wig Experts told us: ‘If you’re not happy with the results you are seeing it is much better to speak out mid style rather than go home and be upset or write a negative review.
‘It is acceptable to be picky since it is your hair, expressing your likes and dislikes will allow us to create a style which fits into your lifestyle so it’s best to be as honest as you can during the consultation, not at the end.’
When someone’s trying to cut your hair, it’s quite important for you to sit still. Your stylist will notice when you fidget and it will piss them off.
5. Asking for an appointment ‘after work’
Ree of Rockalily Cuts makes a very good point: ‘I obviously don’t know what time they finish work nor how far away they work!’
Just ask for an appointment at a set time. At a time you know they’re open and that you can actually make.
6. Taking phone calls
Not only is this rude, it also makes cutting hair difficult when there’s a phone held to your ear.
‘It distracts the other clients and can be a pain if we need to ask you questions,’ say The Wig Experts.
7. Falling asleep
Yes, it’s tempting to have a quick snooze when you’re having a head massage, but try your hardest to stay awake – especially if you’re a heavy sleeper.
It’s unbearably awkward for your stylist to try to wake you up without being rude. They can give you a gentle nudge or a subtle ‘so now let’s head back to the chair’, but if you won’t open your eyes it all gets a bit uncomfortable.
Try to stay conscious throughout your appointment.
8. Offering vague descriptions of what you want
Sorry, general gestures in the direction of your hair aren’t going to work.
Try to be specific – save pics of what you like on your phone, talk about trims in terms of inches, and go into detail about your hair’s natural state.
‘We’re not mind readers,’ says creative director Bradley Smith. ‘If you’re after a specific look, cut the vague-inaccurate description of the hairstyle and show your stylist an image of your desired look.’
9. Having unrealistic expectations
Going from dark to bleach blonde will take time, care, and money. Sometimes your dreams of pastel pink can’t be realised – at least not in one session.
Be reasonable and don’t go into a salon expecting that whatever look you choose will be possible. Consultations are always a good shout so you can work together and find a solution you’re happy with.
10. And not accepting your stylist’s expert opinion
If your colourist says that going blue isn’t the best idea for your hair type, don’t throw a strop – they’re telling the truth because they want you to be happy with your appearance.
Sophia tells us: ‘There are times that a client will get angry with stylist if they are told they can’t have what they want. I’m talking arms folded, refusing to look you in the eye, biting your head off angry; It really is challenging.’
Don’t be that person. If something won’t work, chat with your stylist to find a way to give you the hair of your dreams. Don’t kick off or refuse to listen – they really do know best.
11. Trying to touch your hair when it’s being cut or dried
Your stylist needs to easily access that hair. Stop fiddling.
12. Asking for a lookbook
‘The year is 2019 not 1999,’ says Bradley. ‘No, we do not have lookbooks in the salon, please consult Google.’
That’s us told.
It’s probably wise to do some research about what you’d like before you head to your appointment, unless you really are open to absolutely anything.
13. Cutting your own hair
If you’re after a minor trim, you might be able to get away with cutting your own hair. But it’ll drive your stylist mad if you arrive with layers you’ve chopped in yourself, badly.
Bear in mind that stylists and colourists are professionals and they know their stuff. Unless you’re trained, it’s unlikely you’re more skilled than them.
Please don’t follow a YouTube tutorial for cutting a fringe or try that ‘twist and snip’ hack. It’ll take so much time and work to fix whatever mistake you make.
14. Using your hair appointment as a therapy session
Chit-chat is fine, but you have to be tuned in to your stylist’s reactions.
Are they trying to focus? Or are they responding enthusiastically and asking engaged questions?
Remember that this is not the time or place to go on a rant about your day or discuss your boyfriend’s failings at length. It’s difficult for your hairdresser to tell you to be quiet, but there is such a thing as too much information.
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Switch it up this Valentine’s Day with an alternative night out whether you’re die hard romantic, FUN is your middle name or you’re an utter cynic.
Toilet humour aside, new bar Ladies & Gents in Camden is nothing to be sniffed at. It is an ex-public loo that has been stylishly converted and now serves delicious craft cocktails with plenty of candlelit booths for footsie action or just a catch-up with friends.
They will be serving a series of non-judgemental highball drinks for the week around V-day with an event called #RelationshipStatusPending in association with Sekforde botanical mixers . Try the Single – Plantation 3 Star rum with bittersweet lime, rose, mint and cacao, In An Open Relationship – Vestal vodka, raspberry, sage and rose or the Divorced – Bruxo X Mezcal, fig prickly pear and chocolate bitters.
From 11 to 16 February. Beat the clock: £5 drinks 5pm – 6pm, £6 drinks 6pm-7pm then £8 all other times. Ladies & Gents Camden – The junction of Camden Road and Royal College Street, London NW1 9NL. Open 5pm to midnight.
Temporary Tattoo Parlour
Get matching tats and ditch the morning after fear at Drink Shop & Do in Kings Cross, super-kitsch vibes, banging drinks and a free tats with your cocktail of choice. We’re rooting for the Front Garden – gin, elderflower, basil lime or Lilac Love – gin, violet liqueur and lemon. Maybe finishing with a Unicorn – cognac, cherry brandy, whipped cream and rainbow dust…well, just because!
Drink Shop & Do, 9 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross, London, N1 9DX. 6pm to 1am
A date bouncing to Barry White
A very alternative date – and nothing gets the heart racing like bouncing around on a giant trampoline! Not just for kids, Flipout Wandsworth is the UK’s largest trampoline park, a giant pleasure dome of 76 trampolines (including 4 Olympic-sized ones!), 2 foam pits, 4 metre drop slide and a go-karting track. Perfect for an adrenalin-filled date and the chance to show off your butt in Lycra.
£12 per person/1hr jumping with a 2-4-1 exclusive for V-day with ‘love tunes’ from 6-9pm. FlipOut, Bendon Valley, Earlsfield, London SW18 4LZ. Open 10am to 8pm on Valentine’s Day
Sip whisky in the dark
Need a wee bit of Dutch courage? Then Drams in the Dark at Mac & Wild, Liverpool St, is the date of choice for you. A sensory experience laced with plentiful whisky sippers and canapés. Apparently darkness quietens people’s inhibitions and leading whisky author Blair Bowman is going to show you the way. Just make sure you’re caressing the right person, ok?
1.5 hr sessions, £40 per person (includes 4 drams and canapés) Mac & Wild 9A Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4YN
Valentine’s at The Ritz
For the ultimate grown-up V-Day surrounded by spectacular garland chandeliers and romantic candlelight, The Ritz’s Valentine’s Day dinner involves plenty of champagne and a decadent four-course set menu created by John William MBE and his talented team. Fabulous dancers will provide entertainment for the evening and guests can take to the dancefloor to the sounds of a live swing band.
Alternatively, if you like to get your festivities underway a little earlier, a delightful Rosé Champagne Afternoon Tea is will be served in the Palm Court. You’ll find 18 different loose leaf teas, finger sandwiches, scones and pastries galore. Ambience will be provided by soprano Miranda Heldt and guests will take home a red Ritz rose.
St Valentine’s Day dinner is priced from £295. The St Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea is priced from £90 and has four sittings available. For more information visit theritzlondon.com
The food of love – an oyster masterclass
Aw, shucks. The oyster masterclass from Wilton’s is the perfect gift. A truly classic London institution, Wilton’s has been shucking oysters for 275 years and continue to serve the freshest oysters in town, shucked by some of the fastest and most knowledgeable shuckers in the world. The restaurant’s 90-minute master class, held at 6pm on the first Monday at every month, has oysters to taste from around the British Isles as well treating you to a host of intriguing facts about oysters.
Price for a class is £85 including a glass of champagne, a dozen oysters and two glasses of white wine. Visit Wiltons.co.uk
Sexy cabaret show Ibiza style
Pacha Ibiza’s ultra-sexy cabaret show Lio is coming to London – and you need to be in the front row. The tickets start at £180 – which is pricey, no doubt – but it includes three-course meal, live show, plus entry to the club afterwards, which runs til 2am on Wednesdays and Thursdays and 5am on a number of special event nights. The pop-up runs from 21 February through March and after initially selling out in a flash, there are more tickets available to buy now. A super sexy V-day gift.
Get tickets and find out more at Liolondon.co.uk
Say it with cheese!
Cheese Geek are one of our absolute favourite cheesemongers and a real go-to for any gift occasion. Christmas? Obviously say it with cheese. Birthday – cheese. New baby? You get the picture – cheese. So why not Valentine’s Day, arguably the cheesiest day of them all?
Cheese Geek’s special Valentine’s Day box has not just cheese – they have teamed up with chocmongers Seed & Bean to pop some fairtrade chocs in there too. So what does your Valentine’s Day cheese order get you? The ‘Turner & Hooch’ – a cheese and chocolate box filled with creamy Cornish Kern (the very cheese that made us fall in love with Cheese Geek, a mature, earthy, aged gouda-style hard cheese), an Isle of Wight blue, plus Cornish sea salt extra dark chocolate, a chilli and lime extra dark (that CG say goes well with the blue cheese) and espresso fine dark chocolate.
The price for all of this joy is £40, and you can find it here. We can vouch for the fact that this is well worth the spend. If you don’t fancy the chocolate part, check out Cheese Geek’s website at thecheesegeek.co.uk for plenty of solo cheese options. Visit thecheesegeek.co.uk
A cutting edge V-day gift
For anyone into their cooking, this will be the gift that keeps on giving. Every time they chops a tomato or butternut squash with total ease, they will remember your little face.
Blenheim knives are genuinely beautiful craft pieces that have to be seen in person to be truly appreciated. The knives are made by artisan steelworkers in a railway arch in Peckham Rye. They use traditional Japanese methods to craft exquisite knives with carbon steel blades and smooth walnut wood and copper handles. The blades have a unique patina that will improve with age. A truly sexy gift for a foodie.
Santoku £245, blenheimforge.co.uk
You’re My Lobster
If you’re a fan of Friends, you’ll know just how romantic this lobster biscuit really is. It comes in a cute little tin and tells your Valentine all they need to know.
You’re my lobster biscuit, £12.95, Fortnum & Mason
Become a master of cheese
Another cheesy gift – do we sense a theme? This time it’s an incredible gift for a true cheese aficionado: the first industry-recognised cheese training programme. Partnering with the Academy of Cheese, Paxton & Whitfield’s course is designed for amateur foodies and professional cheese lovers alike and covers 25 key cheeses, how to taste cheese like a pro, how to select, present and what to match it with and the production process.
Level 1 training programme at Paxton & Whitfield is available at £195 on 20 February, 15 March, 10 April, 15 May, 21 June and 24 July.
You can also find a Valentine’s cheese selection at Paxton & Whitfield that includes a heart-shaped Neufchatel and a Pic with white fig confit and charcoal crackers for £18.50.
Create a bespoke perfume
Make your own bespoke perfume, make one for a loved one, or get it as a gift. Over this 2-hour course hosted by specialist perfumers at the Floris, you will learn about fragrance notes, choose the aromas you love and blend them together to make your perfect scent. At the end, you’ll take away a one-of-a kind Eur de Parfum with a certificate of provenance.
Even better, the fragrance created is added to Floris’s private perfume ledgers dating back nearly 300 years and started by founder Juan Famenias Floris – meaning it is protected for future generations (and you of course!) to re-order.
Book worm’s dream gift – a handpicked book delivered to their door each month
A visit to London’s oldest bookshop is enough of a Valentine’s day outing, in our minds. But you can go one further with a book subscription – a bespoke personalised Valentine’s gift from Hatchards.
The annual subscription can be tailored to the reader’s interests – whether fiction, non-fiction, art, travel or a mix of genres.
Following a consultation with one of their expert team, a beautifully gift-wrapped hand-picked book will be delivered to the door each month for a year.
Prices start from £150. Visit hatchards.co.uk.
Sourdough bread kit
This beautiful kit will help even the least able bakers make utterly brilliant sourdough – and it’s simpler than you think.
Crumb’s 13-piece kit has no-nonsense instructions and ingredients portioned out to simplify the process and demistify breadmaking.
Founder Jeremy Calvert honed his own breadmaking skills by trial and error at home – and he would take one of his loaves with him when visiting friends for dinner. Turns out he started getting invited to a lot of dinners.
You too could be the sort of dinner guest people invite back, just to get their hands on a loaf of your bread.
Sourdough starter can be bought for £12 if you have your own kit but want to get started with sourdough.
Sourdough making kit, £49.95, Lovecrumb.com
Personalised Whisky, The Whisky Exchange
This blended malt Scotch whisky from Isle of Islay can be ordered with your loved one’s name on it along with a personalised message.
It’s a good price, too.
£29.95, The Whisky Exchange
Valentine's Day booze gifts
Get them in for your loved one, get them in to enjoy on the night, drink them with a pal, drink them alone.
Here is a lost of celebratory drinks that are just as good given as a gift as shared with a special someone. Or two.
Chapel Down Rose Brut, £24.99, waitrose.com
Chapel Down’s sparkling was served at Kate and Wills’ wedding (CD themselves are too classy to confirm this fact, but believe us, it was) – but that’s not the only reason to serve Chapel Down fizz on V-day. It’s also fresh and crisp with a light note of raspberry and strawberry.
Plantation ‘Stiggin’s Fancy’ Pineapple rum, £34.95, Amazon.co.uk
Turn up the heat with this marriage of sweet and spiced rums that’s macerated with Queen Victoria pineapple rinds to give tropical flavours of ripe banana, pineapple and a touch of smoke.
Chapel Down English Classic non-vintage brut, £24, waitrose.com
The blanc version of the Chapel Down rose, this is an elegant English sparkling with fine bubbles, light and very easy drinking.
Bruxo X Mezcal, £35.95, The Whisky Exchange
Sealed with a ‘X’ this citrussy, floral Mezcal number will be sure to bring a slice of latin spirit to the occasion. Where there’s smoke there’s fire right?
Chapel Down Rose Brut sparkling wine and truffles, £47 inc delivery, chapeldown.com
A gifty one for the chocolate lovers among you. The truffles are rose wine flavour, people. Of course, you could just buy it for yourself – no judgement.
Cocchi Rosa, £18, waitrose.com
For a delish upgrade on a Spritz, this Italian aperitivo wine tastes of wild roses and summer berries, just mix with good tonic or Prosecco, you are welcome!
Pink glittery Raspberry & Rose Gin, £10, Asda
It’s sparkly, it’s pink, it’s raspberry and rose flavour – what more could you want? We wrote about it here, in case you want to know more. Most importantly, it’s only £10 for 50cl, down from £12, so it’s a bit of a bargain too.
Hortus Pomegranate & Rose Gin Liqueur, £11.99 for 50cl, Lidl
Another pretty pink bottle with a blush gin inside. Good price too. Perfect for pressie or for serving on the night.
You're My Lobster biscuit from Fortnum and Mason-2babYou're My Lobster biscuit from Fortnum and Mason-2babakismet-2fcb28243f975bb512a587b829a23dfdLadies & Gents bar CamdenThe beautiful dining room at the Ritz An oyster masterclass at WiltonsLio London Cabaret Show Cheese and Chocolate from thecheesegeek.co.ukBlenheim Forge Santoku knife (Picture: Blenheim Forge)You're My Lobster biscuit from Fortnum and MasonThe Floris store on Jermyn street is a beautiful place to while away the hours making a bespoke perfumeCrumb sourdough kit (Picture: lovecrumb.com)Elements of Islay personalised whisky
It’s official: if you have a bull’s eye rash you should receive immediate treatment for Lyme disease – no need to wait for a blood test.
New research from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) found that early tests might not detect the infection, and waiting around for the results could slow down treatment and worsen outcomes.
Nice states that a bull’s eye rash (or erythema migrans, if you’d like the medical term) is present in around two thirds of cases, so if a rash is visible it’s worth treating patients are quickly as possible.
Typically a course of antibiotics will be effective in knocking out the disease.
‘It is important we diagnose and treat people as soon as possible,’ said Professor Gillian Leng, director of health and social care at Nice.
‘A person with Lyme disease may present with a wide range of symptoms, so we have clear advice for professionals about the use of lab tests for diagnosis and the most appropriate antibiotic treatments.
What is Lyme disease and what are the symptoms?
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted by ticks.
If treatment is delayed, other symptoms may develop. These include:
Some people who are diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease continue to have symptoms that can last for years. We don’t know why this happens.
These symptoms are often compared to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, and include extreme tiredness, aches and pains, and a loss of energy.
‘If a characteristic bull’s eye rash is present, healthcare professionals should feel confident in diagnosing Lyme disease.’
If there’s no rash, doctors should go ahead with blood tests.
This research is a big deal, as the symptoms of Lyme disease can often be unclear, causing a delay in treatment.
Veronica Hughes, chief executive of Caudwell LymeCo, a UK charity for patients with Lyme disease, said: ‘Waiting for blood test results always delays treatment.
‘When a patient has the rash, this delay is unnecessary and reduces the likelihood of total cure.’
Lyme disease, Borreliosis or Borrelia, typical lyme rash, spot.Lyme disease, Borreliosis or Borrelia, typical lyme rash, spot.ellencscottLyme disease, Borreliosis or Borrelia, typical lyme rash, spot. A person, leg bitten by a deer tick. Selective focus.
Valentine’s Day may be the most romantic day of the year, but that doesn’t mean that should limit you when it comes to picking out the best gift for him.
Sure, you can go traditional (or sarcastic depending on whether he’s actually into the big day) and get him flowers, chocolates and a cute teddy bear—or you can treat Valentine’s Day as his second birthday, and get him what he really wants.
Here, we’ve selected the best Valentine’s gifts for him, whether he’s the biggest romantic in the world, or the guy who thinks 14 February is just another day.
Why get him a thing, when you can get both you a Valentine’s Day experience you’ll never forget?
Virgin Experiences features many romantic trips for two that will go down a treat as a Valentine’s Day gift.
Cocktails for two at the top of London Gherkin would be a perfect gift for a drinks connoisseur, or the Ice Bar Experience with cocktails and a two-course meal with Champagne for the guy who loves a night out.
Cocktails for Two at London’s Iconic Gherkin, £36, virginexperience.co.uk
A Valentine’s Day gift for him, but really also for you! Lovehoney’s couple’s sex toy kit comes with eight pieces including a multi-speed vibrator, a vibrating rabbit ring and six other items that are sure to spice up your sex-life.
With such a selection, it’s bound to be a crowd pleaser. There’s also the bonus of free Valentine’s Day delivery for orders over £30. If you want a gift that will continue to surprise you, check out Lovehoney’s subscription box.
Lovehoney’s Crystal Kink Couple’s Sex Toy Kit, £49.99, lovehoney.co.uk
Take him on a trip down memory lane with the modern recreation of the iconic NES system.
The mini replica of the 1980s games console comes pre-loaded with classic games such as Mega-man 2, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda and Kirby’s Adventure.
Nintendo Classic Mini Entertainment System, £47.99, amazon.co.uk
If he doesn’t really buy into the whole Valentine’s Day thing, then a gift from Firebox is one to go for.
The brand is offering hilarious, left-field Valentine’s gifts including a book called ‘How To Live With A Huge Penis’, which features apparently ‘simple ways to tackle penile persecution & tripod tribulations’.
If your partner loves flowers and is of the bearded persuasion, how about Firebox’s Beard Bouquet. Some rose buds for your best bud.
Firebox’s How To Live With A Huge Penis, £9.99, firebox.com
Show you love him and begin mentally preparing him for the end of one of the biggest shows ever made in one go with this Game of Thrones Egg Cup.
Shaped like the Iron Throne and made from a thousand knives, forks and spoons (not really) and crafted in the flames of Balerion the Black Dread (definitely not), this is the off-beat Valentine’s gift for any Game of Thrones fan.
Game of Thrones Egg Cup, £9.99, iwantoneofthose.com
He’s bound to love anything that makes his gaming more convenient.
This kooky can drink holder is designed to fit the two parts of the Nintendo Switch and take his drinking to a hands-free level.
Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Drink Holder Can Grip, £10.39, etsy.com
Warning, this Lego set is not for the faint-hearted.
The famous building blocks are put together here to recreate a part of New York City’s iconic skyline, featuring some of the most famous buildings in the world: the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and One World Trade Center.
LEGO Architecture New York City, £44.99, argos.co.uk
If the way to his heart is through his stomach, then is this the Valentine’s gift to go for.
Marks & Spencer’s gift box covers all the gastronomical and alcoholic bases, including tasty treats such as Sea Salt and Balsamic Vinegar Hand Cooked Crisps, pork scratchings, an IPA, a Pale Ale and several chocolaty goodies.
The Tasty Tuck Box Gift Selection, £25, marksandspencer.com
Does what it says on the money gun.
You can’t go wrong with the absolutely pointless, yet undeniably fun money gun that makes it rain money, or any rectangular paper.
Make It Rain Money Gun, £15.99, firebox.com
Make your love stronger this Valentine’s Day by working together to escape a locked room full of clues, riddles and puzzles.
The Live Escape Game for Two, £44.99, menkind.co.uk
If the Egg Cup is not enough to quench his thirst for Game of Thrones merch, how about a Game of Thrones Monopoly Deluxe Edition boardgame that’s nearly half its usual price?
Every aspect of the game has been given the GoT treatment, including the rules, which are now in the form of an ancient wrapped scroll, and money, which resembles parchment.
Game of Thrones Monopoly Deluxe Edition, £34.99, iwantoneofthose.co.uk
Pull out all the stops for you and your loved one with this 5-star dinner experiences at tallest building in Western Europe.
The three-course meal includes tasty options such as line-caught stone bass and sacher torte.
Three-course Dinner for Two at the Shangri-la Hotel at The Shard, £110, virginexperiences.co.uk
Take his beer game up a level with this engraved glass tankard that can remind him of your everlasting love every time he takes a sip. And it’s two birds one stone as the gift already comes with a bottle of beer. Handy eh?
Personalised Engraved Glass Tankard and Beer, £14.99, findmeagift.co.uk
If he’s scatterbrained and always losing his keys, then this is the gift for him—or rather for you so you can finally stop letting him in back into his own flat with your spare key.
Tile Pro 2018 Item and Key Finder, £19.99, argos.co.uk
Capture his favourite song and frame it with this poster that converts it into visual soundwaves. It comes with free-delivery and if ordered now, will be delivered by the big day.
Personalised Favourite Song Soundwaves Print, £25, notonthehighstreet.com
Help him on his mission, however unachievable, to become the next Tiger Woods with this 10ft-long golf putting mat that features three holes and an incline. A great gift for when the weather outside scuppers his golf plans.
FORB Home Golf Putting Mat, £59.99, amazon.co.uk
Take it to the next level with this undeniably cool Black Panther electronic helmet that lights up, has flip-up and flip-down lenses.
Perfect for watching this year’s Oscars where Black Panther could make history by becoming the first ever superhero film to win Best Picture.
Marvel’s Black Panther Wearable Electronic Helmet, £99.99, iwantoneofthose.com
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It’s 2019, and people still think they have a right to comment on women’s bodies.
Elisha Bakes, 30, welcomed her second son, Kaelen, in January 2019. Now he’s arrived into the world, she’s opened up about the trolling she faced while pregnant, simply because of the size of her baby bump.
Elisha, who already has a son, Kyson, with her partner Tane, started receiving negative comments about her body when she announced her pregnancy on Instagram, at 14 weeks.
Commenters rushed to tell her that she must have her dates wrong, as she was too big to possibly be 14 weeks along.
Elisha explained that she’s only five foot three, so any bump will look pretty large on her small frame, but her partner is six foot three, so her baby may be a little on the larger size.
But that explanation wasn’t enough for the trolls, who wouldn’t stop accusing Elisha of eating too much or criticising her appearance.
Elisha was told she looked as though she was expecting 78 babies, that she must be expecting a horse, and that she looked ‘gross’.
She says: ‘People would also say hurtful things like ‘why is her bump so big? I better not get like this’ and that it was the biggest bump they’d ever seen.
‘People would even comment on my Instagram pictures saying the size of my bump was gross and say, ‘I hope I never get that big’.
‘When people tell you that you look gross or suggest you’re not leading a healthy lifestyle during your pregnancy, it can be hurtful.
‘I think people have an idea in their head about how a pregnant woman should look, sometimes based off their own experiences, so when they see a woman who is carrying larger or smaller, they feel the need to comment and give their two cents.
‘I had hundreds of messages from women who had experienced the same thing. They told me how they would get very anxious about people commenting on their bump and would make them feel very insecure and not be able to enjoy their pregnancy.
‘This would range from women who carried small and they would have people ask if they were even pregnant or telling them that they had looked bigger after eating a pizza. Some women were told they needed to eat more, whereas I was told to lay off the food.’
Thankfully Elisha was able to ignore the nasty comments and focus on enjoying her pregnancy, but she found that even after she gave birth people continued to judge her.
‘People would say ‘oh he only weighed eight pounds’,’ she says. ‘I think a lot of people were eager to see how big he would be, expecting him to be huge.’
Elisha hopes that by sharing her journey online, she’ll encourage people to take more care over the comments they leave regarding people’s bodies.
Everyone’s pregnancy is different, and pregnant women could really do without being told they look ‘gross’ or weird when they’re trying to bring a tiny human into the world.
Elisha says: ‘I get so many messages from women who would tell me how I have given them more confidence and make them feel better about their bumps.
‘Comments regarding a woman’s size can really impact how they feel about themselves. Hormones are already running wild and adjusting to your changing body isn’t easy, so hearing hurtful remarks about your body can only have a negative impact.
‘No matter what size you are, pregnancy isn’t easy.’
Baby Bump BulliesBaby Bump BulliesellencscottMELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: THIS STUNNING WOMAN was trolled and bullied for the size of her PREGNANCY BUMP, as people told her it was GROSS, and she must be expecting a HORSE. Personal assistant Elisha Bakes (30) from Melbourne, Australia recently welcomed her second son, Kaelen in January 2019. However, she felt a constant scrutiny for the shape and size of her pregnancy bump which frequently came under fire. Elisha, who already has a son, Kyson (21 months) with her partner Tane, experienced negative comments about her pregnancy starting when she was just 14 weeks along. Elisha shared a photo with her Instagram followers to announce her pregnancy at 14 weeks, and people told her that she must have got her dates wrong because she looked much further along. Whenever she received comments, Elisha would explain that she is only five-foot-three-inches tall, while her partner is six-foot-three-inches tall. Naturally, this would likely cause a bump which looked large in proportion to Elisha???s small frame. People continued to criticise the size of Elisha???s bump, even telling her that she was eating too much and assuming her diet was unhealthy as they thought her bump was far too large. As her pregnancy progressed, as much as she wanted to relish being pregnant again and embrace her changing body, the comments only became worse as people told Elisha she looked as if she was expecting 78 babies, that she was expecting a horse, or it must have been triplets, with some even calling it ???gross???. MDWfeatures / Elisha BakesMELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: THIS STUNNING WOMAN was trolled and bullied for the size of her PREGNANCY BUMP, as people told her it was GROSS, and she must be expecting a HORSE. Personal assistant Elisha Bakes (30) from Melbourne, Australia recently welcomed her second son, Kaelen in January 2019. However, she felt a constant scrutiny for the shape and size of her pregnancy bump which frequently came under fire. Elisha, who already has a son, Kyson (21 months) with her partner Tane, experienced negative comments about her pregnancy starting when she was just 14 weeks along. Elisha shared a photo with her Instagram followers to announce her pregnancy at 14 weeks, and people told her that she must have got her dates wrong because she looked much further along. Whenever she received comments, Elisha would explain that she is only five-foot-three-inches tall, while her partner is six-foot-three-inches tall. Naturally, this would likely cause a bump which looked large in proportion to Elisha???s small frame. People continued to criticise the size of Elisha???s bump, even telling her that she was eating too much and assuming her diet was unhealthy as they thought her bump was far too large. As her pregnancy progressed, as much as she wanted to relish being pregnant again and embrace her changing body, the comments only became worse as people told Elisha she looked as if she was expecting 78 babies, that she was expecting a horse, or it must have been triplets, with some even calling it ???gross???. MDWfeatures / Elisha BakesMELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: THIS STUNNING WOMAN was trolled and bullied for the size of her PREGNANCY BUMP, as people told her it was GROSS, and she must be expecting a HORSE. Personal assistant Elisha Bakes (30) from Melbourne, Australia recently welcomed her second son, Kaelen in January 2019. However, she felt a constant scrutiny for the shape and size of her pregnancy bump which frequently came under fire. Elisha, who already has a son, Kyson (21 months) with her partner Tane, experienced negative comments about her pregnancy starting when she was just 14 weeks along. Elisha shared a photo with her Instagram followers to announce her pregnancy at 14 weeks, and people told her that she must have got her dates wrong because she looked much further along. Whenever she received comments, Elisha would explain that she is only five-foot-three-inches tall, while her partner is six-foot-three-inches tall. Naturally, this would likely cause a bump which looked large in proportion to Elisha???s small frame. People continued to criticise the size of Elisha???s bump, even telling her that she was eating too much and assuming her diet was unhealthy as they thought her bump was far too large. As her pregnancy progressed, as much as she wanted to relish being pregnant again and embrace her changing body, the comments only became worse as people told Elisha she looked as if she was expecting 78 babies, that she was expecting a horse, or it must have been triplets, with some even calling it ???gross???. MDWfeatures / Elisha Bakes
£100 an hour might sound like an incredible wage, but it’s certainly worth asking yourself how far you’d go to make that kind of money.
One family are at the end of their tether with their ‘nightmare’ children, and looking for someone who might be able to put them in their place.
By the parents’ own admission, the kids are so ‘troublesome’ that they’ve scared off seven nannies in the last two years, so it needs to be someone who’s up to the job of disciplining them.
Their ad appeared on Tutor House, with the parents saying they’re looking for a numeracy and literacy tutor for their four children, working 12 hours a week for £100 an hour.
Sounds great to start with, until you hear just how demanding the role might be.
The Birmingham-based parents say: ‘Previously tutors have been subjected to physical fighting, swearing and shouting, and they have been known to play pranks, like throwing flour and eggs.
‘To put it into perspective we’ve had one tutor last only two weeks before because he was locked in the garage for 2 hours, and had another call our children ‘the devil reincarnated’.’
Aged between five and eleven (and including a set of seven-year-old twins), the kids certainly aren’t easy to handle, but the ad does go on to say that the ‘children aren’t ‘devils’,’ and that the parents believe they ‘just haven’t been educationally stimulated by the right people.’
The right candidate needs five years’ experience in a childcare role, but more importantly has to know how to put these unruly children in their place.
Each week will consist of three hours’ individual tutoring with each of the siblings, making sure to ‘take charge of the situation’ so they don’t throw eggs at your head while you teach them their ABCs.
It really is like something out of a movie, but there’s got to be someone out there with the guts to take on the job.
Alex Dyer, co-founder of Tutor House said: ‘When we saw the advert we were stunned, it sounded like something out of Nanny McPhee, but this is always the case with twins – they are hard work!
‘We have hundreds of professionals onsite who specialise in numeracy and literacy subjects, so one of them will be able to help this family out. Alternatively, if a straight-talking, stern tutor is out there and thinks they can take these children on and deliver a good level of service, please sign up and get in touch!
‘The family has assured us that no tutors have been hurt in the past, however, the new candidate must be a strong disciplinarian that demands respect, to put the kids back in their place when they act up.’
Stressed Caucasian father with shouting children in living roomStressed Caucasian father with shouting children in living roomjessicacvl
Highways England could be set to review smart motorways after a huge increase in the number of drivers being caught speeding.Lucas Torreira not in the same league as Chelsea star, claims Arsenal legend
Indeed, since their inception, these so-called smart motorways have garnered a great deal of criticism from members of the police force, professional drivers, and members of the public alike.
So what exactly are smart motorways and why are they causing so much trouble?
What is a smart motorway?
A smart motorway is a section of the highway which utilises active traffic management (ATM) methods, like variable speed limits and using the hard shoulder as a running lane when the road is busy.
It’s through these methods that a smart motorway is designed reduce traffic congestion, and therefore make journey times more reliable, while reducing carbon emissions by getting cars off the road more quickly.
However, ‘smart motorway’ seems to be turning into a bit of a misnomer, as there’s been a disproportionately large increase in the number of drivers who have been hit with speeding fines since the advent of smart motorways in the UK.
According to figures put together by The Times, 72,348 people were fined after being caught speeding on smart motorways last year, having been caught out by the temporary speed limits that are set to below the national 70mph limit.
That’s almost twice as much as the year before, and a tenfold increase on what we saw five years ago.
Meanwhile The Telegraph has quoted officer John Apter, of the Police Federation as saying that the roads are starting to look like ‘The Wacky Races’, because the lack of an emergency lane in the form of a car-less hard shoulder makes it nearly impossible for law enforcement to pull over dangerous drivers.
Larry Axten, a recovery driver, told Sky News that he thinks that smart motorways have the potential to be effective, ‘but at the moment they are not safe enough for both motorists and recovery workers’.
He goes on to say that: ‘Smart motorways will display a lit-up red cross over a closed lane when there is a breakdown, but I will see up to five drivers a minute completely ignoring them … That’s the heart of the issue – the red crosses on smart motorways are not stopping drivers using closed lanes.’
Highways England has responded to criticism by giving drivers more warning about any changes to the speed limit.
The organisation said: ‘We want to ensure that what drivers see also feels relevant to the traffic conditions, so we’ve improved the way we set message signs and signals on smart motorways and have started a comprehensive review of how variable speed limits are set, including the amount of time they are visible to drivers.’
Size doesn’t matter in a relationships, and there’s no better illustration than this than Romeo and his girlfriend Lilly Sunshine.
Lilly is a 16 pound Flemish bunny, and has found love with four pound dwarf rabbit Romeo, caring not one bit for their differences.
When Lilly’s owners noticed she might want some company, they got Romeo last August.
Since then, the pair have become inseparable, and he’s apparently like her ‘shadow’.
In an interview with The Dodo, Sarah Covelli said, ‘Everyone is usually taken aback by Lilly’s size, and then when they see her with Romeo, they are even more surprised’.
They’ve since given little Romeo the nickname ‘tiny husbun’ and share updates about the pair on Instagram, where over 3,400 people follow.
‘Romeo is a sweet, curious little guy,’ continues Sarah. ‘He’ll jump on the couch and climb over us. He is also Lilly’s shadow – he follows her everywhere! I think he knows she’ll protect him.’
The couple’s main hobby is snuggling, whether that’s fitting themselves into small spaces in the house or just generally having naps.
Flemish rabbits are generally considered to be the largest breed of domestic buns, and are known for their docile nature.
The biggest Flemish recorded reached 22 pounds, and the longest was four foot three inches.
Dwarf rabbits, on the other hand, have a maximum weight of 4 pounds, but can be as small as just one or two pounds.
Although they look like an unlikely pair, they look absolutely adorable munching on leaves together, and if that isn’t true love we don’t know what is.
Rabbit loves girlfriend that's four times his size Picture: lilly_sunshine_flemishgirl ref: https://www.instagram.com/lilly_sunshine_flemishgirl/ METROGRABRabbit loves girlfriend that's four times his size Picture: lilly_sunshine_flemishgirl ref: https://www.instagram.com/lilly_sunshine_flemishgirl/ METROGRABjessicacvlRabbit loves girlfriend that's four times his size Picture: lilly_sunshine_flemishgirl ref: https://www.instagram.com/lilly_sunshine_flemishgirl/ METROGRAB
Barbie has launched a more inclusive range of dolls including one who is in a wheelchair and one with a prosthetic leg.
Mattel announced the new additions to the Fashionista line, along with Barbies with different skin tones, body shapes and braided hairstyles.
The new additions aim to help normalise disability and they are a direct response to what customers have said that they want.
Over the past few years, Barbie has been steadily adding to its range to make the toys more inclusive of different women, but these additions are the first dolls with visible disabilities.
Barbie has come along way since the stick-thin, disproportionate body shapes of 1959, when she first hit the shelves.
Now, little girls and boys can play with Barbie’s blue and chrome wheelchair, or Barbie’s detachable prosthetic limb.
‘As a brand, we can elevate the conversation around physical disabilities by including them into our fashion doll line to further showcase a multi-dimensional view of beauty and fashion‘, Mattel said in a press release.
‘Over the years, the [barbie fashionistas] line has evolved to be more reflective of the world girls see around them. We’re excited to expand our offerings as the most diverse and inclusive doll line in the world.’
SEI_51892049-9420SEI_51892049-9420nataliemorris88New Barbie in a wheelchair and with a prosthetic leg
When you have a baby, it’s totally normal for your body to change.
But thanks to the focus on ‘post-baby bodies’ and snapping back to pre-pregnancy shape, new mums can feel rubbish simply because their body shows they’ve given birth.
Shina Pierce, 29, decided not to buy into the shame.
After giving birth to twins and going through months of postnatal depression, she now competes in fitness competitions where she proudly shows off her loose skin and stretch marks on stage.
She hopes that she’ll inspire other new mums to be proud of their post-baby bodies.
Shina fell in love with fitness back in 2014, training four to five days a week. She’d always wanted to have kids, and two years later was shocked to discover she was expecting twins with her partner, Chris.
Giving birth to two babies was – as you’d probably expect – especially difficult. Shina had to be induced, which took four days, and lost a lot of blood while giving birth, as well as experiencing a second-degree tear.
But after that difficult labour came something wonderful: the arrival of her two daughters, Harper and Nicole.
The challenges didn’t stop there, though.
For the first few months of her daughters’ lives, Shina experienced post-natal depression. She was often crying, felt she couldn’t cope with being a mum, was exhausted by lack of sleep, and couldn’t leave the house.
As a result of that, fitness wasn’t on her radar.
Shina says: ‘Straight after was a bit of a rough time, I did want to get back to my pre-baby body and it was definitely a hard adjustment. Although honestly, I was more concerned about how I was going to get through the sleep deprivation than my body.
‘I had no energy as I was getting up every hour for the first month or two as well as that I had a second-degree tear and I found it hard to just move around or sit down. I spent the first month recovering from the tear and surgery.
‘I found I was often puffed out just going on the floor and having mat time with my girls so getting up was a struggle which was really disheartening as I did remember how fit I was before and how a simple body movement like getting from the floor to standing up was never a problem until then.
‘My midwife also suggested to go outside and take the girls for a walk just to get out but I was too tired and couldn’t comprehend how to leave the house for the first three months.
‘For the first couple or few weeks I’d break down and cry to a point where it was almost every day for a while for a couple of hours. I was so tired, I felt like the worst person in the world because I couldn’t deal with being a mother.’
Slowly, she started to return to the activities she loved, going on walks with her girls in the pushchair and doing 15-minute workouts at home. A year after giving birth she was back in the gym.
She started to enter bikini fitness competitions, baring her loose skin and stretchmarks to encourage other mums to embrace their post-pregnancy bodies.
‘When all the other mums and fit models were back stage, I was a little self-conscious because most of the girls and mums’ tummies didn’t really look like they had babies at all,’ says Shina.
‘I just had to remind myself that I did this for me, I had to remind myself the reason I wanted to go on stage was to prove to myself that I can get out of my comfort zone and that I can do anything I put my mind to.
‘People are inspired which is really heart-warming.’
Shina hopes that her journey will inspire other mums to feel good about their bodies and get back into fitness.
She says: ‘What I’ve learnt about my first year being a stay at home mum and postpartum, I learnt that the best thing you can try to do is stay positive as cliché as it sounds, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
‘I just wanted to share that so if there were any mums out there or any women out there who were going through the same thing, that it is possible to get over hurdles and that the best thing you can do is to embrace it and be positive about it because if you continue to constantly be like I hate this, I hate that, how are you going to be motivated enough to get stronger or lose weight?’
Mum shares sagging skin after giving birth to twinsMum shares sagging skin after giving birth to twinsellencscottAUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: Shina with her daughters. THIS INCREDIBLE twin mum overcame post-natal depression that left her in tears for weeks and unable to leave the house for months and is now competing in fitness competitions and proudly displaying her loose skin and stretchmarks on stage to inspire other new mums to be proud of their post-baby bodies. Insurance consultant, Shina Pierce (29) from Auckland, New Zealand, got into fitness in 2014, training four to five days a week. Having always dreamt of becoming a mum one day, two years later Shina and her partner, Chris, decided to have children and were shocked to discover they were expecting twins. Shina experienced some bleeding after her second month of pregnancy so stopped exercising as she was worried she would miscarry. After a difficult labour involving being induced which took four days and a natural birth in December 2016 where she lost a lot of blood and experienced a second-degree tear, Shina welcomed her beautiful daughters, Harper and Nicole into the world. Like many new mums, Shina had no energy for the first few months and was getting up every hour for her twins throughout the night whilst trying to recover from her tear which made it difficult to move around. Feeling exhausted, she experienced shortness of breath getting down and up off the floor which made her long for her pre-pregnancy body. For the first few weeks of her daughters??? lives, Shina was tearful and felt as though she couldn???t cope with being a mother due to the lack of sleep. Post-natal depression meant she struggled to leave the house for the first three months following the birth. Post-pregnancy, Shina weighed 14st 13lb and was a UK size 14 to 16 but after four months she gradually started to get back into fitness by going on walks with her girls in the pushchair and doing quick 15-minute home workouts before going back to the gym a year after giving birth. Now Shina is back to her pre-pregnancy weight of 9st 8lb and is a UK sizeAUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: Shina two years post-partum. THIS INCREDIBLE twin mum overcame post-natal depression that left her in tears for weeks and unable to leave the house for months and is now competing in fitness competitions and proudly displaying her loose skin and stretchmarks on stage to inspire other new mums to be proud of their post-baby bodies. Insurance consultant, Shina Pierce (29) from Auckland, New Zealand, got into fitness in 2014, training four to five days a week. Having always dreamt of becoming a mum one day, two years later Shina and her partner, Chris, decided to have children and were shocked to discover they were expecting twins. Shina experienced some bleeding after her second month of pregnancy so stopped exercising as she was worried she would miscarry. After a difficult labour involving being induced which took four days and a natural birth in December 2016 where she lost a lot of blood and experienced a second-degree tear, Shina welcomed her beautiful daughters, Harper and Nicole into the world. Like many new mums, Shina had no energy for the first few months and was getting up every hour for her twins throughout the night whilst trying to recover from her tear which made it difficult to move around. Feeling exhausted, she experienced shortness of breath getting down and up off the floor which made her long for her pre-pregnancy body. For the first few weeks of her daughters??? lives, Shina was tearful and felt as though she couldn???t cope with being a mother due to the lack of sleep. Post-natal depression meant she struggled to leave the house for the first three months following the birth. Post-pregnancy, Shina weighed 14st 13lb and was a UK size 14 to 16 but after four months she gradually started to get back into fitness by going on walks with her girls in the pushchair and doing quick 15-minute home workouts before going back to the gym a year after giving birth. Now Shina is back to her pre-pregnancy weight of 9st 8lb and is a UK siAUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND: THIS INCREDIBLE twin mum overcame post-natal depression that left her in tears for weeks and unable to leave the house for months and is now competing in fitness competitions and proudly displaying her loose skin and stretchmarks on stage to inspire other new mums to be proud of their post-baby bodies. Insurance consultant, Shina Pierce (29) from Auckland, New Zealand, got into fitness in 2014, training four to five days a week. Having always dreamt of becoming a mum one day, two years later Shina and her partner, Chris, decided to have children and were shocked to discover they were expecting twins. Shina experienced some bleeding after her second month of pregnancy so stopped exercising as she was worried she would miscarry. After a difficult labour involving being induced which took four days and a natural birth in December 2016 where she lost a lot of blood and experienced a second-degree tear, Shina welcomed her beautiful daughters, Harper and Nicole into the world. Like many new mums, Shina had no energy for the first few months and was getting up every hour for her twins throughout the night whilst trying to recover from her tear which made it difficult to move around. Feeling exhausted, she experienced shortness of breath getting down and up off the floor which made her long for her pre-pregnancy body. For the first few weeks of her daughters??? lives, Shina was tearful and felt as though she couldn???t cope with being a mother due to the lack of sleep. Post-natal depression meant she struggled to leave the house for the first three months following the birth. Post-pregnancy, Shina weighed 14st 13lb and was a UK size 14 to 16 but after four months she gradually started to get back into fitness by going on walks with her girls in the pushchair and doing quick 15-minute home workouts before going back to the gym a year after giving birth. Now Shina is back to her pre-pregnancy weight of 9st 8lb and is a UK size 8. She has been entering b
Rejoice, fans of fake meat, for Greggs has finally announced that their vegan sausage roll will be launched in all their stores across the UK.
This is splendid news, as previously people had been turning up to their nearest Greggs only to have their hearts broken when told their particular branch isn’t selling the treat.
There will be a bit of a wait before we can all start buying vegan sausage rolls with wild abandon.
Greggs announced that the pastry will be available in all shops starting 8 March.
In the meantime, you’ll have to wait and wish. Considering how quickly shops are selling out of the vegan delights, we may be facing a few pastry-less weeks. The horror.
To help you out in your seek and eat mission, however, Greggs has been kind enough to create a new vegan sausage roll locator. You enter your location and are greeted with the nearest branches that sell vegan sausage rolls.
Be warned that this locator doesn’t appear to be updated live, so we’d recommend getting to your chosen store early to avoid disappointment.
If, in the midst of your cravings, you’re pondering what a vegan sausage roll actually *is*, here’s a quick recap.
Greggs is now selling vegan sausage rolls. They’re just like a normal sausage roll, but they’re made without a scrap of animal products.
It costs £1 a pop and has 311 calories. The sausage is made with a special Quorn mycoprotein developed in collaboration with Greggs and mixed with a secret blend of herbs and spices.
The vegan version has slightly less fat than the regular one, with 19.02g of fat per roll versus 22g of fat, but it has slightly more salt, containing 1.85g of salt versus the regular sausage roll’s 1.6g of salt.
How does the Greggs vegan sausage roll taste?
We tried Greggs vegan sausage roll for ourselves, and were pretty blown away.
Avowed meat fan Jess described the vegan sausage roll as: ‘Almost indistinguishable from the meaty version. Flaky pastry, a hearty bite to the inner, and the savoury tang that keeps me coming back to my local Greggs like an addict in need of a fix.’
While veggie Ellen (that’s me) was overjoyed to finally have a solid replacement for the sausage rolls she’d missed since her childhood.
The pastry is slightly less flaky and greasy, but this just means eating the sausage roll is a less messy experience.
The sausage tastes and feels bizarrely like a regular meat sausage, so much so that biting into it you do question whether you’ve made a terrible mistake and picked up the meat version.
It’s 10p extra, costing £1 while the meat sausage roll is 90p.
But for vegans and veggies, that 10p is worth it. Finally we can dive into a Greggs on a cold, rainy day, and grab a sausage roll. All our dreams have come true.
What's actually in the vegan Greggs sausage roll?What's actually in the vegan Greggs sausage roll?ellencscott
Welcome to Mixed Up, a series looking at the highs, lows and unique experiences of being mixed-race.
Mixed-race is the fastest-growing ethnic group in the UK. It means your parents hail from two (or more) different ethnicities, leaving you somewhere in the middle.
Alongside the unique pleasures and benefits of being exposed to multiple cultures, being mixed comes with complexities, conflicts and innate contradictions.
Mixed Up aims to elevate mixed narratives and look deeper at the nuanced realities of being part of this rapidly growing ethnic group.
George Starkey-Midha is half Indian but looks white. He gets really frustrated because people tend to completely ignore his Indian heritage.
‘One of the things I’ve found hard about being mixed-race, but passing as white, is having the Indian half of me completely dismissed,’ George tells Metro.co.uk.
‘No one would ever know I am Indian unless I told them, and even then, people will often treat me as default white English, who happens to have a “bit of Indian” in me.
‘As I’ve gotten older, I have become more conscious of being treated as just white.
‘Particularly now I work in anti-discrimination, I have been accused of being “another white male”.’
George works for Kick It Out, an organisation that campaigns for equality and better representation within football. Speaking passionately about race can be tough when people assume you’re white.
People tend to take one look at him and question his credibility when it comes to issues of diversity and inclusivity.
‘That’s not to say I don’t have bags of white privilege, of course I do,’ explains George.
‘I don’t have to suffer the daily microaggressions that visible people of colour do. But I still have a strong understanding of the overt and subtle racist abuse that non-white people can suffer in public.
‘I’ve been with my (Indian) father when half a pub full of white people turn and look at him when we walk in. I’ve been with him when he was “randomly searched” twice in 15 minutes in an American airport. I spoke to him when his car was keyed twice in a week by a racist neighbour just three years ago.
‘We owned a restaurant in Greece for 15 years and his “affectionate” nickname from the locals was either “Arabi mou” or “Mavro mou”, meaning my Arab or my Black. The list goes on.’
And it isn’t just his father who George has witnessed being racially abused. Due to the randomness of genetics, George’s brother looks much more Indian than he does. It has even led people to assume that they are not even related.
‘My brother is three years older than me, and he’s brown, he’s visibly mixed race. That led to some interesting situations at school,’ George tells us.
‘One teacher had hated my brother, treated him awfully and had ultimately faced the wrath of my mother because of that.
‘This teacher never taught me, but she once spotted me loitering in the hall, wasting time when I should have been in a lesson, so she came over to take my name, shout at me and report me to my form tutor.
‘I told her my name was George Starkey-Midha and she did a double take, examining this white boy in front of her.
‘”You’re lying”, she said. I told her I wasn’t. She was adamant, “yes you are, give me your real name so I can speak to your form tutor.”
‘With a huge smirk, I said, “Miss, it is my real name, you actually taught my brother and know my mother. Look my blazer even has my brother’s name in it” – it was a hand-me-down.
‘”Oh,” she said, as it dawned on her. “Well you had better get back to class then.”
‘Funnily enough, she never reported me to my form tutor.’
George is passionate about his heritage and his Indian family are an enormously important part of who he is.
‘I love having that dual identity, I love having an interesting background and I love my English, American and Indian family.
‘My great grandmother on my American side came to England because she was a communist and had to get away from McCarthy and the Red Scare.
‘My Indian Grandparents were both from what is now Pakistan, and moved across to India during partition. They moved to England not long after and actually met in London.
‘I love that the only reason I am here is because my ancestors had such completely different stories and life experiences and ended up in the same place – London.’
London is important for George. It is the place where his heritage collided, the melting pot of different ethnicities that allowed his fledgling family to flourish in the 1960s and beyond.
‘I was born in London, grew up in London, all my friends are here, even most of my Indian family live here, so in my day-to-day life I probably identify more strongly with my English side. I go to England football games regularly, I take an active interest in British politics, I have a British passport.
‘But I am fiercely protective over my Indian heritage too and won’t let anyone deny that. I love spending time with my Indian family.
‘I was moved by the coverage of the 70th anniversary of partition in 2017, I feel a sense of pride to see British Indians achieving in this country, I am proud of how popular Indian food is in this country – and I am ashamed to see someone like Narendra Modi lead and represent India across the world.
‘I have never had an issue in feeling that I lack Englishness, far from it, because I am usually just treated as white. But for my Indian side, definitely – and it runs deeper than the fact that I don’t look Indian.’
Racism in Britain today is different to what it was 50 years ago. But the impact of the abuse suffered, even decades ago, can be intergenerational. George can still feel the effects of the racism experienced by his dad and grandparents.
‘My dad was born in London in the 50s, at a time when racism was rampant,’ explains George.
‘My grandparents always wanted him and his brother to “assimilate”, and be a part of British society, so their Indian identity was largely confined to the home.
‘For my uncle and dad, that meant they were the only two Indian boys in the whole school, most of their friends were white and the girls they used to date were usually white too. So naturally, as young people they were keen to take on a more British identity, and they saw the Indian part of their identity as “uncool” family stuff.
‘I don’t blame my grandparents for wanting to keep their heads down and not rock the boat, how can you when stuff like “paki-bashing” was a normal thing?
‘But it meant that I didn’t have a huge amount of my Indian identity passed on to me in my home, because my dad didn’t try to impose it at all.
‘He had it ingrained from a young age that his Indian identity wasn’t something cool or desirable to express.
‘I still have a firm connection with my Indian heritage. I have visited India twice and I have spent a lot of time with close and extended family members. But now that my grandparents have both passed away, it is something I have to actively reclaim for myself, rather than it being second nature.
‘There are times when I wish I had more of it passed on to me directly as a young boy, so it would have been more deeply ingrained into my identity growing up.’
As frustrating as it is when people fail to acknowledge George’s Indian heritage, that doesn’t mean he can’t have any fun with it. He likes to use comedy to subvert people’s presumptions and make them question their underlying prejudice.
‘I love playing on people’s assumptions of me,’ explains George.
‘Whilst it can definitely get on my nerves that people assume I’m just white, it can occasionally be used to my advantage in funny ways.
‘When I was at school, every Monday everyone had to go to some sort of religious service for half an hour.
‘If you weren’t religious, or you were Christian, you went to a chapel service, if you were Jewish, you went to Jewish Circle, and if you were Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain or anything else, you went to an “other” group, where they would discuss moral or philosophical themes.
‘Leaving aside how problematic the “other” group was – putting all those religions in what was effectively a group for the brown people – it was actually by far the most interesting one to go to.
‘The “brown group” was a real mixture of interesting discussion – as my brother had always told me. My brother always went to that one because as a brown person, it was never questioned why he was there. The same went for plenty of other brown kids who were in no way religious.
‘When I joined the school, I did a year of chapel, knowing that’s where I should be because I’m not religious. But then I thought – screw it, this is so boring, I’m going to the same group my brother went to so I can learn something new.
‘I knew what reaction I would face from teachers – when I turned up, all the other kids were smirking with me because we knew the teachers were going to try and kick me out.
‘They let me stay for the first one, but then the deputy head teacher, who was white, told me I had to go back to chapel next week.
‘But I had the ace up my sleeve that they weren’t expecting. I calmly pointed out to them that my brother had spent three years in this group without ever being questioned, and there was only one difference between us – our skin colour. Was it not racist to treat us differently?
‘I was pulled aside by my form tutor the next day. Turns out they were going to let me carry on in the “other” group, as long as I didn’t draw too much attention to it.’
George loves his duality. But what he wants people to understand is that duality doesn’t necessarily mean division. Exploring and identifying with one side of your heritage doesn’t make you any less of the other side.
‘I work in football and there’s a recurring phenomenon where a technically British player, often, a young, black man, will decide to play international football for the country they were born in, or their parents were born in.
‘Wilfried Zaha and Alex Iwobi for example.
‘All of a sudden you get white managers and ex-pros coming out with quite pernicious, critical comments – suggesting that the player is taking the “easy way out”, or that they don’t really have the passion required to play for England if they’re thinking of playing somewhere else.
‘And I just think – who do these critics think they are?
‘How can they, a white person whose only concept of diversity is having a great grandfather from Bolton and a great grandmother from Peterborough, suggest someone doesn’t care about one country they are from, because they choose to represent another part of their identity on the international stage?
‘The people who make these comments have no understanding or idea of what it means to have multiple identities.
‘And, frankly, they should keep their mouths shut on this one, and hand their platform over to someone who might be able to offer a valid insight.’
Mixed Up is a weekly series focused on telling the stories of mixed-race people. Next week we speak to Lara, who has never really felt like she really fit in.
Mixed Up - Lifestyle - Natalie MorrisMixed Up - Lifestyle - Natalie Morrisnataliemorris88Mixed Up - Lifestyle - Natalie MorrisLittle George in bed with his dad and brother.George on holiday with his parents and brotherGeorge on holiday with his parents and brother
Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, which means right now you’re either sitting back comfortably, having already organised the gifts and the Valentine’s flower delivery, or you’re tearing your hair out and freaking out because you completely forgot to send them.
If it’s the latter, take a breath and don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Valentine’s Day may be less than 24 hours away, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost when it comes to sending last-minute Valentine’s flowers and ensuring they are delivered on time.
In fact, Cupid is smiling down on you as there are so many flower delivery shops and companies out there that will deliver flowers tomorrow even if you order today.
Here is everything you need to about which companies offer next day and same day delivery and by what time you have to order.
Valentine’s Day flowers delivered on Thursday, 14th February:
Interflora: Same day delivery – order by 3pm on Valentine’s Day.
Flying Flowers: Same day delivery – order by 3pm for Valentine’s Day delivery.
Serenata Flowers: Free delivery – order Valentine’s Day flowers by 10pm.
Marks & Spencer: Free delivery – order by 7pm.
Bloom and Wild: Free delivery – order letterbox flowers by 10pm today.
Bunches: Free delivery – order by 3pm for Valentine’s Day delivery.
Next Flowers: Free delivery – order by 5pm today for Valentine’s Day delivery.
Prestige Flowers: Order by 10pm today to have flowers delivered on Valentine’s Day.
eFlorist: Order by 6pm today for next day delivery, or by 3pm on Valentine’s Day for same day.
Blossoming Gifts: Order by 6pm today for 14th February delivery.
Moonpig: Order by 7pm for next day delivery.
Valentine's Day 2019
If you’re stuck when it comes to writing the right words in a Valentine’s Day card, here are some sarcastic and funny Valentine’s Day quotes and poems.
Red rosesRed rosesemilyknott17A bunch of red roses
I was abruptly reminded this week as I walked into my local Poundshop that Valentine’s Day is around the corner.
The shelves that used to be filled with lifeless discounted Christmas decorations had suddenly been filled with hearts, cards, feather boas and other items.
I’m really not a fan of Valentine’s Day. As my social media timelines get filled with vomit-inducing love quotes like, ‘I want to be your favourite hello and your hardest goodbye,’ I am starting to understand the philosopher Plato a bit better when he said that ‘love was like a grave mental disease.’
But cynicism and philosophy aside, it really makes me reflect on how far we still have to go when it comes down to love for trans people, and people being allowed to love trans people without shame.
When I was coming to terms with who I was well over 10 years ago, I was entirely convinced that I would never find love.
This was enforced every single time I saw a trans person represented in the media. We were all depicted as objects of disgust, a Greek tragedy or as psychopathic serial killers.
I had a lot of internalised shame and fear before coming out. Once I explained to people that I had little in common with Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs, things got a bit easier.
But trans people are still seen as violent and undesirable in today’s society, and we’re still being compared to perverts and paedophiles that groom children, in the same way gay people in the 80s were.
Regularly there are scandals in the tabloids about famous straight men who are ‘caught’ dating a trans woman, tarnishing their reputation and leading to their sexuality being questioned.
Accepting trans people as they are and accepting they come in all shapes and sizes (some of which you might quite like) isn’t really such an outrageous idea. You’ve probably secretly fancied a trans person at some point without even knowing they were trans.
Even when these stories aren’t in the news I regularly hear people say that they’d never date a trans person. It is usually in the context of, ‘I’m not transphobic, but…,’ which in reality means that whatever comes out of their mouth next is probably transphobic.
Such statements are simply ignorant generalisations fueled by prejudice. Accepting trans people as they are and accepting they come in all shapes and sizes (some of which you might quite like) isn’t really such an outrageous idea. You’ve probably secretly fancied a trans person at some point without even knowing they were trans.
Before you go on about how we’re all deceiving you with our impeccable appearance and you could be tricked into dating a trans person, consider this: I’m generally under the impression that most people are decent and wouldn’t be grossed out by a trans person (call me an optimist).
So perhaps next time you meet someone, you could lay it straight out there before the first date that you don’t want to date a trans person. It would really save everyone’s time, and would be much more effective than just assuming that everyone feels obliged to share with you all details of their medical history on the first date.
But in all seriousness, trans people need acceptance and love more than ever. Any action of inclusion and support by public organisations or institutions is met with ludicrous hostility, and we’re repeatedly targeted by the media with misleading and harmful stories.
Any misgiving committed by a trans person is used as evidence to claim we’re all terrible and dangerous people, resulting in negative public perception, increased harassment, discrimination and hate crime.
So for this Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to reach out to the people around you that might be struggling and remind them that they are worthy of love. I know from experience that trans people certainly need that reminder; they need to know that they are not less desirable because they are trans.
Why spend time and energy trying to keep those pristine white trainers clean when you could drop £615 on shoes that are meant to look dirty?
Gucci is selling trainers that won’t need to be kept in their box, because they look stained. Deliberately.
The Screener leather sneakers – which, we repeat, cost £615 – are described as being ‘inspired by vintage sportswear’, which we suppose is why they look a few decades old.
Behold their ‘off-white’ (also known as grubby-looking) leather, their green and orange webbing with ‘vintage effect’, and their ‘distressed’ finish.
They also come in blue.
We suppose this is the natural next step from ripped up jeans and clothes spattered with fake mud: Filth is in.
The product description of the trainers reads: ‘A pastiche of different influences that span across decades, the Cruise 2019 collection references old school shapes and materials inspired by vintage sportswear.
‘Influenced by classic trainers from the ’70s, the Screener sneakers—named for the defensive sports move—feature the Web stripe on the side and vintage Gucci logo, treated for an allover distressed effect.’
If you’re not convinced, you may be more tempted to drop more than £600 on a pair of dirty shoes once you know that Harry Styles wore them for his Gucci campaign.
But don’t panic if you can’t afford a pair. We imagine you can recreate the look by wearing any pair of white trainers then going for a run in the mud.
Just be warned: parents will not understand your fashion choice and may scrub your shoes clean when you’re not looking.
Gucci charging ?600 for trainers that look filthyGucci charging ?600 for trainers that look filthyellencscottGucci charging ?600 for trainers that look filthy
Outside of Liverpool, people have always poked fun of my Scouse accent.
Sure, the 80s retro jokes about me robbing their car and handbag became tired after a while, but whenever people mimicked my accent, I didn’t mind it so much. I guess I was used to it.
Most Scousers actually enjoy a joke at their own expense; we don’t take ourselves too seriously. But when I moved to London for work at 21 years old, my experience of being a Scouser swiftly became a lot darker than I’d anticipated.
Reflecting on my six-year stint in London, I’ve realised there was a surprising amount of prejudice towards northerners. I was often discriminated against professionally for my accent and social class.
It felt like I was viewed as ‘less educated’ and therefore ‘less able’ by some London employers.
I used to work at a celebrity news agency, and my editor at the time asked if anyone could do the voiceover for the red carpet. When I volunteered, he responded, ‘Oh god no, we can’t have your Scouse voice on the voiceover. Your accent isn’t professional enough for the tape.’
He wasn’t joking. At the time, I just shrugged it off. Little did I know, this would be the beginning of a string of incidents of classism throughout my career.
While working on a culture reporting desk, a colleague questioned what I could possibly know about culture, being from Liverpool.
She often made cutting remarks indicating how surprised she was that I’d ‘ended up’ on this desk as a Liverpudlian. ‘What could you know about culture coming from the north?’ she laughed in front of the team.
It felt like I was viewed as ‘less educated’ and therefore ‘less able’ by some London employers.
Further down the line, while working as a reporter at a newspaper, a senior colleague would continually mock my accent every single time I spoke up in meetings, making crude impressions, largely consisting of sing-song noises like ‘dey do doe, don’t dey doe’.
The prejudice made me feel painfully self-aware. In a previous role at a high fashion magazine, I was even told that I wasn’t ‘on-brand’. Not because of my work, but because I was Scouse.
Not being taken seriously at work often made me feel like I was always on the back foot, fighting twice as hard for my place in journalism as my southern peers.
I hated admitting that being from the north could be a hindrance to my career – I didn’t want that to be the case.
I found myself reluctantly changing the way I spoke, softening my accent just to make sure my accent wasn’t a barrier, in the hope that it would stop people from stereotyping me.
But, although I wanted to make people take me more seriously in the workplace, it always felt like selling out.
I know I’m not alone in experiencing this prejudice either.
Caroline, 42, told me, ‘I am from Grimsby originally and moved down south 17 years ago. I worked for an agency in Hertfordshire and was dragged into the boardroom by the MD one day to be told that the way I pronounced certain words grated on him and that he would prefer it if I changed my tone on the phone to clients.’
Fiona, 30, had a similar experience, ‘I have a West Country accent and when I began a career in TV, I was rejected as an ‘on screen’ person. One of the reasons for this was that fact I didn’t talk ‘properly’ and I didn’t pronounce words like ‘Wiltshire’ properly.
‘What I did was pronounce these “words” as a person who lives in the West Country would pronounce them. It was the first time I was fully aware that my regional accent was seen by others as an issue.
‘It’s horrible to think that something I cannot help actually prevented me from following my chosen path. I had to pick myself up and choose another route.’
Wherever you look, whether it’s in politics, media or the establishment, it’s reinforced that a posh London accent is still considered ‘the proper way to speak’.
We’ve still got a long way to go and a lot of work to do before we change the current climate, even if that means going to the lengths of creating a new law specifically against classist discrimination.
We’ve already triumphantly seen laws change and evolve in how sexism is treated in the workplace. It would be such a win for every northerner out there who’s ever experienced classism, if a law was brought in to stamp out this type of prejudice.
For me personally, I feel like the limitations and constraints that my background and accent have brought in the past, would be lifted and I’d finally be free from worrying about whether my social class is a problem in the workplace.
It’s long overdue for the government to put something strong in place, so future generations don’t have to endure and fight against this type of classism too.
Stop mocking my northern accentStop mocking my northern accentjesshopeevans(Illustration: Dave Anderson for Metro.co.uk)
A study of 2,000 women recently revealed that there is still a huge amount of stigma around HPV, with misconceptions causing women to avoid having screenings.
70% of those asked said they’d be scared to hear they had it, while 40% believed it may mean their partner had been unfaithful.
The research – from Cancer Research UK – also showed that there was a lack of awareness when it came to the link between HPV and cancer, with the majority not knowing there could be any link at all.
This is despite a vaccine now being offered to school-age children, and more awareness being raise through public health campaigns.
Let’s take a look at the reality of HPV, and cut through some of the jargon that may keep people in the dark about it.
What is HPV?
HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is the term of a group of viruses that can affect moist membranes in your body.
There are over 100 types of HPV, 40 of which tend to affect the genital areas (vagina, cervix, anus). The mouth and throat are also common areas which can be affected by HPV.
It’s passed on through skin-to-skin contact (including oral, vaginal, or anal sex, sexual touching, and sharing sex toys).
Different strains can cause different things, with some being absolute harmless and others causing genital warts or abnormal cells.
Does HPV cause cancer?
Of the 40 strains of HPV affecting the genital area, around 13 may cause cancer.
According to some sources, HPV types 16 and 18 cause 70% of all cervical cancers.
High-risk strains could also result in cervix, vagina, anus, vulva, penis, and some head and neck cancers.
It’s worth noting, however, that a large number of people have HPV, and not all those who have it will end up having cancer.
In most cases, there will be no symptoms at all.
Often, your immune system will get rid of HPV before you’ve ever had a chance to notice it.
However, some low-risk strains can cause genital warts. If you have these, you’ll notice small bumps on your genital area that may look like small cauliflowers. If you’re worried you have genital warts, visit your local GUM clinic.
In terms of high-risk HPV, the symptoms that you may notice are actually those relating to cancers. For a full list of what to look out for, check here.
Can HPV be treated?
Ideally, prevention is better than cure.
Girls of school-age are currently offered a HPV vaccine at school, and from the 2019/2020 school year, it is expected that 12- to 13-year-old boys will also become eligible for this.
Men who have sex with men up to and including the age of 45 are also eligible for free HPV vaccination on the NHS when they visit sexual health clinics and HIV clinics in England.
If you don’t fit into either of these brackets, you can look into getting the vaccine privately.
Although using condoms and dental dams also won’t completely stop you getting HPV, it’s still good practice to reduce your risk.
From there, it’s extremely important to notice any changes in your body, and attend any cervical screenings you’re invited to.
Smears can be vital in detecting abnormal cells before they have a chance to grow into cancer. This can greatly improve your chances of it being cured.
If you’re concerned that you may have HPV, or are due a smear test, contact your GP for more information.
Cervical Cancer VaccineCervical Cancer VaccinejessicacvlHPV infection shown on a cervical smear test microscope
It’s almost Valentine’s Day and this speed dating event means you can get the perfect match.
Don’t worry, you won’t have to spend hours making small talk with strangers but you might want to bring along a few dog biscuits.
Battersea has teamed up with furniture store Heal’s to offer speed dating with some of their longest term residents in the centre of London.
If you are looking to rescue a pet or just want to see some Very Good Boys, the doggos will be at the retailer’s flagship store on Tottenham Court Road between 12.30pm-2pm and 5pm-6pm tomorrow.
Steve Craddock, Battersea’s London Centre Manager, said: ‘At Battersea, we truly believe that there’s a perfect match for everyone.
‘We can’t wait to give our dogs the opportunity to enjoy some time out of their kennels and potentially meet that special someone.
‘We hope the event encourages people to consider bringing a rescue animal in to their hearts and homes.’
Ruth Cotterell, Head of Marketing at Heal’s, added: ‘After working with Battersea last year to raise awareness of their mission, we are delighted to help get their tails wagging once again for Valentine’s Day.
‘At Heal’s, we believe a furry companion can really help to make a house a home, and hope we’ll be able to help the pet residents of Battersea, who have so far been unlucky in love, find a friend for life.’
But be quick, if you want to take part, you need to book a space.
Speed dating with Battersea's loneliest residents for Valentine's DaySpeed dating with Battersea's loneliest residents for Valentine's Daylauraabernethy6Battersea rescue dogs make themselves at home in the windows of Tottenham Court Road's flagship home stores. The animal charity is working with the furniture retailers to show that its dogs are ready to be loved. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday September 13, 2018. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes/PA Wire
Valentine’s Day is a time for love and romance.
It’s also a time to experience deep rage and resentment towards your exes. Which is far more fun.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to source your own salmon or bears.
Wildlife Images, an animal rehabilitation centre in Oregon, is offering a promotion that, for $20 (£16), lets you name a salmon after their ex.
That salmon will then be fed to two of the center’s brown bears, Kodi and Yak, and photos of the carnage will be sent over so you can enjoy the moment to its full potential.
You also get a certificate as a nice memento of what you have done.
The announcement on the centre’s Facebook page reads: ‘Did you fall hook, line, and sinker for someone who broke your heart? Kodi & Yak would love to help you get your revenge! In exchange for a $20 donation, your ex’s name will be on a salmon and served up for dinner.’
Supplies of salmon are limited, so if you want to jump on this petty act of vengeance you’ll need to be speedy.
If you’re feeling more romantic, you can also name a salmon after your current lover, knowing that your donation has helped to feed some hungry bears. Or you can donate to become ‘the special Valentine’ of one of the animal ambassadors, meaning your name will be put up in the gift shop.
Bear struggles to swallow fish, Alaska - 15 Aug 2018Bear struggles to swallow fish, Alaska - 15 Aug 2018ellencscottBrown bear cub eating a salmon in Alaska
WARNING: This article does indeed contain actual pictures of vulvas.
First there was 100 sets of breasts, then there were 100 penises and now photographer Laura Dodsworth has completed what she calls an ‘unexpected trilogy’ by photographing 100 vulvas.
Across the course of a year, Laura took photos of the 100 vulvas for her book Womanhood: The Bare Reality, and spoke to each person about what their vulva means to them.
Some of the women involved have also been featured in a film for Channel 4 called 100 Vaginas.
Laura, a former wedding photographer, started out in 2015 photographing 100 sets of breasts for the project Bare Reality.
Then she examined masculinity by photographing 100 penises for Manhood.
And after that, Laura considered the project complete. She didn’t think she would do a third series, despite suggestions that vulvas were the next step.
But reading about Female Genital Mutilation, the number of women speaking surgery on their vulvas and the language around how we refer to female body parts made Laura reconsider.
Even Laura’s use of the term ‘vulva’ instead of vagina has caused some confusion on social media, with some people misunderstanding that the term is correct to describe what can be seen on the outside.
The vagina is internal, leading from the cervix to the vulva.
Laura told Metro.co.uk: ‘With this series of work, I hadn’t planned any of them.
‘It was more that they were ideas that came from the left field. Each time, it hit me over the head and kidnapped me and each time I was surprised that I did it.
‘When Bare Reality finished, I felt very comfortable in my skin as a woman. I felt very tender, proud and protected.
‘I was surprised that I wanted to do Manhood because I thought my next project would be about women but I felt this gap. I felt like I knew women really well but I didn’t know men really well.
‘People were suggesting that maybe I should do vulvas next. I said “I don’t need to do it. I have done women’s stories.”
‘But I realised that wasn’t true. I think I had some internal self-censorship, some shame and nervousness.
‘The vulva is like a landscape and we generally only know one route through it – that route is sexual and pornographic.
‘When you talk to women about their vulvas, so many stories come up. I felt like I learnt new routes. A lot of the stories that came out were actually very difficult. It was things like traumatic birth, bad sexual experiences or even something innocent like starting your period for the first time.
‘I realised that when I had been batting this project away, I had been batting away taking a really intimate look at myself.’
Within a few weeks of putting the call out for participants, Laura had over 100 volunteers but she took some time to choose a range of people who represented different groups of people and different types of stories.
From there, it was a familiar format with Laura taking the pictures of each vulva and interviewing each person about what it means to them.
Although it followed a similar setup to Bare Reality and Manhood, Laura felt Womanhood was different to the first two.
She says: ‘I think this is the end because I don’t think there is anywhere particularly left for me to go on the body. I have opened up that conversation about being a man and a woman by taking these uniquely male and female body parts.
‘With this, I wasn’t worried about controversy. I don’t think you get more controversial than 100 penises – I was called a whore, a pervert and a cockaholic – but I was worried about the intimacy of this one.
‘During Manhood, men were showing their penises to me in an anonymous space. With women, I felt it was very different. I had a sense that these women were revealing ourselves to ourselves.
‘Lots of women were looking at themselves for the first time or they hadn’t looked at themselves much. Some of them were very well acquainted with their vulva.
‘We tuck away many stories related to the vulva. I was blown away by the number of stories about sexual assault.
‘How many stories do we tuck away just like our vulva is tucked away in our pants? It could be bad trips to the gynecologist or sex that didn’t go quite as we wanted. I think there is a tucking away of the taboo in both senses.’
As part of the project, Laura took her own photograph, partly to test how it worked, but in doing so, she was able to process some of her own thoughts about being a woman.
‘I took my photograph lots of times because I was testing the set up on myself,’ she says.
‘I went through lots of different options. I tried sitting on birthing stools. I tried doing it as a self-portrait, with the women taking their own photograph with an iPad.I tried so many different options.
‘The first time I took it, I felt a bit self-conscious and awkward. The first time I looked at it on my computer screen was quite a moment for me. It was big and detailed and I could see everything.
‘It wasn’t like I thought it was. When you look in a little pocket mirror you don’t see it. The more I looked at myself, the more I felt quite tender and I actually think my vulva is quite pretty now. I’ve also become really tender about my experiences.
‘Bare Reality made me feel comfortable in my skin as a woman. Womanhood made me feel powerful as a woman.’
100 Vaginas will air on Channel 4, Tuesday 19 February.
Womanhood: The Bare Reality by Laura Dodsworth is published by Pinter & Martin. It costs £20
100 vulvas100 vulvaslauraabernethy6Womanhood: The Bare Reality by Laura Dodsworth is published by Pinter & Martin ?20 (Picture: Laura Dodsworth)Laura DodsworthOne of the contributors to the 100 Vaginas project with photographer Laura Dodsworth (right)Womanhood: The Bare Reality by Laura Dodsworth is published by Pinter & Martin ?20 (Picture: Laura Dodsworth)One of the contributors to the 100 Vaginas project with photographer Laura Dodsworth (right)Womanhood: The Bare Reality by Laura Dodsworth is published by Pinter & Martin ?20 (Picture: Laura Dodsworth)