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

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    pancakes covered with chocolate spread
    Positively sinful (Picture: Dina Blaszczak / EyeEm / Getty Images)

    That’s right pancake lovers – Shrove Tuesday 2019 is here.

    Controversially, a white chocolate easter egg has been voted the best this yearWhite chocolate Easter egg controversially crowned the best of 2019 in a taste test

    One of the best parts about this time of year is the oft-overlooked celebrations which, while having old roots in Christianity, have in modern times come to have a very close association with delicious sweet treats.

    Pancake Day, a precursor to Easter (anyone else just call it Chocolate Egg Day?), is what is also known as Shrove Tuesday, and while pancakes are delicious, wonderful, and totally worth celebrating, let’s not forget the history of Pancake Day, and why we’ll soon be stuffing our faces with yummy pan-fried carbs…

    The meaning of Shrove Tuesday

    Shrove, the past tense of shrive, means to offer yourself up for confession, penance, and eventually, absolution.

    Shrove Tuesday, which falls on 5 March this year, is the day before Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of Lent.

    In the Christian calendar, Lent is the period of fasting that believers will engage in for 40 days until Easter.

    Pumpkin spice pancakes
    Hnnnnnng (Picture: Arx0nt/Getty Images/Moment RF)

    The purpose of this is for Christians to pay tribute to the time Jesus spent fasting in the wilderness.

    Nowadays, fasting usually translates to giving up one particularly strongly-held vice for those 40 days, like chocolate or sweets for example.

    The idea behind eating pancakes on Shrove Tuesday is that people are supposed to get through all of the rich, tasty foods in their houses as a way to help them prepare for the fast.

    The ingredients in pancakes also represent the four pillars of Christianity:

    • Eggs for creation
    • Milk for purity
    • Salt for wholesomeness
    • And flour for sustenance

    MORE: Is Fat Tuesday the same as Pancake Day and what do they both celebrate?

    MORE: How to make healthy pancakes for Pancake Day


    PANCAKE DAY: Strawberries and Whipped Cream Crowned the Nation\'s Favourite Pancake Topping, Reveals Uber EatsPANCAKE DAY: Strawberries and Whipped Cream Crowned the Nation\'s Favourite Pancake Topping, Reveals Uber Eats

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    Controversially, a white chocolate easter egg has been voted the best this year
    (Picture: Lindor)

    Easter is next month and it’s time to start choosing your Easter egg.

    With Lent starting tomorrow, if you choose to give up sweet things, you want a great treat at the end.

    The Good Housekeeping Instiute has carried out one of the biggest ever taste tests on Easter eggs in the UK.

    And the winner is unexpected.

    Rather than a traditional milk chocolate egg, it was a white chocolate egg that was crowned of best egg.

    The panel said: ‘It’s Lindt you need to buy if you love white chocolate.

    ‘Irresistible for a reason, Lindt’s White Chocolate Egg with Truffles were a creamy and smooth win for our panel.

    ‘Plus, this came out as our top scoring egg overall.’

    The team blind-tasted 226 eggs from grocers, department stores, supermarkets, high-street stores and high-end chocolatiers.

    They found an eggs-cellent (sorry) winner in each category including novelty, white chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, egg for kids, showstopping, boozy, free-from, kids character eggs and little Easter treats.

    The winners were then judged against eachother to find an overall winner.

    The Lindt White Chocolate Egg with truffles costs £8 for 285g.

    It scored 85/100 due to the ‘creamy white chocolate egg’ and ‘silky texture’ of the truffles.

    Aldi came in second place with its Moser Roth The Egg Box, while Waitrose’s novelty chocolate teapot and KitKat’s Salted Caramel Fudge egg came in joint third.

    MORE: Pancake Day 2019: The best savoury and sweet vegan recipes for Shrove Tuesday

    MORE: How to make healthy pancakes for Pancake Day


    Controversially, a white chocolate easter egg has been voted the best this yearControversially, a white chocolate easter egg has been voted the best this year

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    (Picturet: @karalyncat)

    Karalyn Henry, from Ohio, U.S., knew she was attracted to boys and girls as a teenager, but upon realising these attractions were often at the same time, the 22-year-old also discovered she was polyamorous.

    When she entered a monogamous relationship with her boyfriend, she decided to tell him about the desire to have intimate relations with more than one partner.

    Boyfriend Justin, who was soon to become her husband, said he didn’t mind Karalyn having a girlfriend on the side.

    After chatting online to Lana, a woman from Northern Ireland, Karalyn realised she had feelings for her. So she invited Lana to her and Justin’s wedding, as a bridesmaid.

    Though Justin didn’t identify as polyamorous, when he met Lana, he was also charmed and the trio decided – on the wedding day where they all met for the first time – to enter a relationship.

    Now Lana goes to the married couple’s house in the U.S whenever she can and lives with them.

    They all take turns to have alone time with another as well as time together.

    They even take turns sleeping in the middle; ‘the best spot in a polyamorous relationship’.

    Instagram Photo

    ‘I brought my worries [about polyamory] up with my now husband, and he nonchalantly said, “well you can just date a girl on the side,”‘ Karlyn told The Daily Star.

    ‘My mind was blown – I didn’t even think that was a possibility to be honest. We gave it a go though, and it just worked so perfectly that it stuck to us.

    ‘I don’t know if I could go back to being monogamous – polyamory just works so well for us

    ‘My relationship with Lana started out as a Poly V Triad; which means that Lana and I were dating, but not Justin and her.

    ‘When Lana flew over for our wedding, though, they both developed crushes on each other and started dating as well. That turned us into a regular Poly Triad (a relationship between three people).’

    Instagram Photo

    Karalyn explained that even though they all have a good time together, there are misconceptions made about them from society as polyamorous isn’t a common practice.

    ‘(A misconception) is that I’m cheating on my husband – that one really gets under my skin,’ added Karalyn.

    ‘Even when I explain to people that it’s consensual between all partners, they still consider it cheating.

    ‘The other one is people saying that I love my husband less because I date other people.’

    But the triad pay no mind to them especially as their families have no problem with it.

    Karalyn hopes to show people and normalise polyamory and has started a YouTube channel to document parts of her life.

    She also answers questions about things people want to know about polyamorous relationships.

    MORE: Polyamorous couple live as vampires, feeding on blood and sexual energy

    MORE: Meet the polyamorous lovers planning to get married and have children

    MORE: ‘I’ve learned a lot about how I function in relationships’: How I became polyamorous and why it works for me


    Polyamorous bride falls for bridesmaid at her wedding? and they now live as a threesomePolyamorous bride falls for bridesmaid at her wedding? and they now live as a threesome

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    Ariana Grande new Starbucks cloud macchiato Picture: Starbucks METROGRAB
    (Picture: Starbucks)

    Starbucks and Ariana Grande have teamed up to create the chain’s latest Insta-worthy drink, and it’s unlike anything they’ve ever made before.

    The American coffee company began posting ambiguous cloud-themed videos on their Instagram, featuring the oh-so-satisfying act of cutting kinetic sand.

    It only became clearer what all of this meant once Miss Ariana stepped in with her own tweet referencing Starbucks.

    In a characteristically emoji-laden message, she simply @ed them, and followed it up with today’s date. Grande also retweeted a Starbucks tweet that matched it from around about the same time.

    From there, a new drink was born, and it came out in the US and Canada today.

    The new Cloud Macchiato is made using an airy microfoam, which is frothed cold and blended – with the idea being that it’ll create a creamy texture without the cream.

    It’s topped with espresso, and topped with the classic Starbucks caramel drizzle crosshatch you’ll find on a normal macchiato. It comes in two flavours; caramel and cinnamon, and can be bought hot or cold.

    Starbucks told Metro.co.uk: ‘We’ve long been fans of Ariana Grande’s and we’re both fans of Clouds – so we were excited to work with her to celebrate the debut of Cloud Macchiato.’

    They also say it’s ‘so light it might just fly away’ and ‘an exhilarating treat that will jumpstart your taste buds’.

    This is the second cloud-based product released by the Thank U, Next singer, after her Cloud perfume came out earlier this year.

    She posted pictures of her enjoying the beverage with her friends and dog, and hashtagged asking people to try the soy version – fitting, given she’s a vegan herself.

    Unfortunately, Starbucks confirmed that it isn’t currently going to be available here in the UK.

    Given that Arianators got her to get the world record and occupy the top three spots in the Billboard Top 100 simultaneously, stan power might just bring it across the pond.

    MORE: White chocolate Easter egg controversially crowned the best of 2019 in a taste test

    MORE: A cafe is selling Creme Egg and Ferrero Rocher cheesecakes inside Easter eggs

     


    Ariana Grande new Starbucks cloud macchiatoAriana Grande new Starbucks cloud macchiato

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    Walking your dog is not always easy – they pull and aren’t always obedient – so imagine walking 26 at once.

    This man has walked over 50,000 and earns thousands of pounds every week doing it.

    He has released fetching photos of his pack of posing pooches.

    The dogs all belong to Tim Pink’s school ‘Saratoga Dog Walkers’, a small business offering pack walks to community dogs in Saratoga Springs, just a few hours north of New York.

    Tim, 33, – who started his business in 2011 after realising that if somebody was going to be paid for walking his dog, it might as well be him – explained how he was able to get all his dogs to pose for the staggering photos, regardless of their species or temperament.

    ‘It all starts with our relationships with the dogs – trust, respect, and love,’ he said.

    USA: The #middaypack are a common sight around Saratoga Springs in New York, USA. A SUPREME dog walker who has walked over FIFTY-THOUSAND dogs in the last eight years and earns thousands of pounds every week has released fetching photos of his pack of posing pooches. The incredible images show over 30 dogs arranged neatly on a set of stone steps, posturing around a statue of 1955 ???Horse of the Year??? Native Dancer, and enjoying a day at the park. A fascinating video also shows how attentive the dogs are as a group of cantering canines circles another group of their patiently sitting furry friends. The docile dogs all belong to Tim Pink???s ???Saratoga Dog Walkers???, a small business offering pack walks to community dogs in Saratoga Springs, just a few hours north of New York, New York, USA. Tim (33) - who started his business in 2011 after realising that if somebody was going to be paid for walking his dog, it might as well be him ??? explained how he was able to get all his dogs to pose for the staggering photos, regardless of their species or temperament. Mediadrumimages/Tim Pink
    (Picture: Mediadrumimages/Tim Pink)

    ‘Then we have to effectively communicate what we want with calm, confident, clear, consistent communication.’

    The 33-year-old entrepreneur typically walks about 40 dogs a day, around 200 dogs a week, and has walked over 50,000 dogs since starting his business eight years ago.

    He typically walks his dogs in a pack of 15 but he has managed as many as 26 dogs at once. He charges $25 for each dog walking session but with discounts for households with more than one dog or dogs enjoying multiple sessions. Regardless, Tim will still earn over £2,000 every week.

    The line ups aren’t just an adorable crowd pleaser though, they also serve a crucial purpose in the program, as Tim explained.

    ‘Sit-and-stays in tight groups is one of the pack training exercises we use to work on sharing space, distractions, impulse control, and focus,’ he said.

    ‘The program works with the dogs’ natural instincts to travel in a pack.

    ‘With each walk, which averages 45 minutes, the dogs receive exercise, structure, socialisation, potty time, and affection.

    ‘By meeting these needs on a daily basis, we start to see more well behaved, healthy, and well-rounded dogs.

    ‘Exercising a dog’s body and mind is the lifeblood to feed his soul.’

    MORE: White chocolate Easter egg controversially crowned the best of 2019 in a taste test

    MORE: Bride and groom fall in love with the bridesmaid and enter a polyamorous relationship


    Extreme 50K Dog WalkerExtreme 50K Dog Walker

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    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle)

    This photographer was able to get up close and personal with a fox for this incredible photoshoot.

    Rhiannon Buckle has worked in a portrait studio for three years now but started specialising in pet photgraphy last year.

    When she came across these foxes, rescued by Joy’s Pets, based in Gloucestershire, UK, she decided she wanted to show their true character.

    She explains: ‘I always photographed pets when they came in with their families but I wanted to produce some work that was solely mine, and minus the humans.

    ‘I’ve always loved animals and as soon as I started doing this solo I knew immediately this was for me.

    ‘My work is completely studio based which I’m passionate about. I love that you are able to create the entire picture; the lighting, the background, the composition and the way the subject is photographed.

    ‘There are no short cuts with studio-based photography and every element of the image has been created deliberately. I guess the only thing you can’t always control is the animal!

    Rhiannon found the owner of the foxes through a Facebook post shared on a photography page. He was offering sessions for photographers to come and take pictures of the animals and she decided to get in touch to see if they could work with a studio setting.

    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)

    She adds: ‘Working with wild animals is a rare treat and to hear that there were foxes that were partly domesticated was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

    ‘Sadly foxes aren’t always portrayed in the best light; the fur industry, the hunting bans and the notorious annoyance of the urban fox. They are such beautiful creatures and should be appreciated for this.

    ‘These particular foxes have been brought up in an outdoor environment and have the freedom to live out their normal foxy habits.

    ‘The bonus is that they share the same comforts any pet might, like the sofa or a human cuddle.

    ‘I wanted to portray both their wild and tame characteristics as well as capture moments that brought compassion to them as an animal.’

    But Rhiannon was more used to dogs and cats in her studio and she had no idea if she would be successful.

    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)

    ‘There was no pressure on them and I was happy to go with their pace and make sure they were relaxed and got used to the studio and the equipment before I even started taking photos, she says.

    ‘Building a relationship and gaining their trust was crucial from the onset, if I made one wrong move or did something to scare them in any way then it would’ve been impossible for them to settle in the studio.

    ‘Their behaviour is neither like a cat nor a dog so this was a new experience, trying to understand fox emotions is definitely complex.

    ‘Getting them to keep still was also another challenge, as is with most animals I work with.

    ‘There were loads of times that the foxes jumped out of the set or looked the wrong way. Like most animals, you can keep them motivated by their favourite treats or toys.

    ‘With the foxes, it was raw meat which we ran out of. Unfortunately for me, this meant using my chorizo I had saved for lunch, and yes they ate it all!’

    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)

    For other photographers wanted to photographs animals, Rhiannon explains you need patience and show them respect.

    She adds: ‘Don’t assume you can make your subject do everything you want, I’ve found particularly with dogs that they can get confused with being over commanded and you can see their frustration from this.

    ‘Giving yourself time to sit down and interact with the animal will help you suss out what they’re curious about and what they’re unsure of.

    ‘Slowly introducing any animal to your equipment is crucial, give them space and freedom to look around and approach you when they’re ready.

    ‘Be passionate about the subject you’re photographing and don’t be afraid to try new ideas. I always look for new inspiration from other artists and photographers.

    ‘It’s okay to get deflated after a shoot that didn’t work, this has happened more than once to me but if anything it pushes me to try harder next time.

    ‘Enjoy what you’re photographing and if you’ve had a shoot where you’re screaming inside because you just nailed it then you’re doing something right.’

    Let’s take a look through all the images:

    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)
    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)
    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)
    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)
    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)
    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)
    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)
    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)
    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)
    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)
    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)
    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)
    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)
    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)
    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)
    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)
    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)
    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)
    Fox photoshoot www.rhiannonbuckle.co.uk Instagram: @rhiannonbuckle_petphotography Picture: Rhiannon Buckle
    (Picture: Rhiannon Buckle/Zzzone Studio)

    MORE: Bride and groom fall in love with the bridesmaid and enter a polyamorous relationship

    MORE: McDonalds Monopoly 2019 start date revealed and there isn’t long to wait


    Fox photoshootFox photoshoot

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    Backstage makeup tips from Paris Fashion Week AW19
    (Picture: Paul and Joe)

    Fashion Week serves up some serious wardrobe inspiration, but it’s also a hot-spot for beauty innovation, creativity and makeup artistry.

    At Paris Fashion Week, Inge Grognard took charge of the makeup for the Paul & Joe AW19 show and said the inspiration behind the look was not only the collection, but the TV show Twin Peaks, best known for its grungy ’90’s style.

    The beauty looks were boyish and undone, with brushed-up brows, blotted lips and fresh, dewy skin.

    As for hair, hairstylist Ramona Eschbach said her inspiration was ‘dark glamour’. She braided the hair and then used flat irons to create loose curls. While other models with shorter hair had bends added also using a flat iron.

    To mark the end of Paris Fashion Week and to help you get ahead of the beauty trends, we spoke to Jo Martin of Paul & Joe Beauté to reveal a handful of backstage makeup tips to inspire you for Spring 2019.

    Backstage makeup tips from Paris Fashion Week AW19
    (Picture: Paul and Joe)

    How to create a blotted lip

    At the Paul & Joe AW19 Show we applied the Paul & Joe Lip Treatment (£11), first to prime the lips then used a brush to apply two shades of red.

    Once the colour was right you use a tissue to blot it and then your finger tip to soften out the edges and it make it look more worn in.

    How to make your eyes look bigger

    This all depends on the eye shape and look desired but some simple pointers would be not to use black eyeliner on the lower lash line as that makes the eyes look smaller.

    Use a white eyeliner on the bottom lash line to make it look bigger. Stick with light colours as they lift the eye lid.

    Using highlighter under the brow to lift and in the inn we corner of the eye and curl your lashes and use a good mascara because if your lashes look long and lifted your eyes immediately look bigger and rounder.

    (Picture: Paul and Joe)

    How to seamlessly blend eyeshadow

    This one takes patience and time. Make sure your eye is prepped first by using an eye primer and the eye shadow you are using is soft.

    Then it’s a case of apply with a light hand and building it up as you go. Have a clean fluffy blending brush to just keep buffing over the edges so there are no harsh lines.

    You just have to keep building and blending until you have the desired look.

    (Picture: Paul and Joe)

    How to create wearable brushed-up brows

    You need to get a mascara wand brush and spray hairspray directly onto the brush and just brush up through the brows.

    If you aren’t blessed with good brows you can fill them in first before brushing upwards.

    How to give the complexion natural looking luminosity

    An Illuminating Primer is the first step. The Paul & Joe Illuminating Foundation Primer (£27), has lavender pearls which brighten up the skin and reflect the light.

    This makes your skin is glow. Then only apply foundation and concealer where it’s needed so you aren’t covering the whole face.

    This allows your natural skin to so though so it looks more natural and glowing.

    Finish by using a highlighter that isn’t sparkly. It should be more pearlescent.’ the colour was right you use a tissue to blot it and then your finger tip to soften out the edges and it make it look more worn in.

    MORE: Glossier Play has arrived: here's everything you need to know

    MORE: Charlotte Tilbury The Icon Palette has arrived and it’s electric

    MORE: Eight must-have new beauty buys from Glossier, Charlotte Tilbury, Milk Makeup and more


    Backstage makeup tips from Paris Fashion Week AW19-643bBackstage makeup tips from Paris Fashion Week AW19-643b

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    (Picture: Simrah Farrukh)

    There aren’t a lot of platforms dedicated solely to celebrate the achievements, journeys, and experiences of Asian women.

    To try and change that comes the aptly named Asian Woman Festival – a one-day event based on the theme of identity explored through culture, conversation, and art.

    You can expect to see spoken word poets, singers, and live discussions on topics close to the diaspora experience.

    And what’s an Asian event without food? You’ll be fed all the good stuff, including hot samosas and sweet jalebis.

    The event is the brainchild of Shani Dhanda, a columnist and disability rights activist, who wants to shed light on British Asian lives.

    She wants more representation of South Asians who make up one of the largest ethnic groups in the UK.

    Part of the event is also about acknowledging the past and the racism that early migrants to the country faced and how it manifests today.

    Disability rights activist Shani Dhanda is the person who’s bought the cultural festival together (Picture: Shani Dhanda)

    Shani was born with a rare genetic condition known as Brittle Bone Disease and often feels physically otherised. Because of other facets of her identity which make her different from the norm, Shani says she has learned the importance of being intersectional.

    That means when talking about the Asian community, mentioning the good and the bad, whether that’s the lack of support for disability rights, colourism, conversations on sex and sexuality.

    ‘I regularly speak on discussions around disability, intersectionality and inclusion matters,’ she told Metro.co.uk, ‘I’m driven by the impulse to challenge perceptions and create positive change by my everyday lived experience of feeling excluded and underrepresented in society.

    ‘I’ve never had a space to talk about all the features that make up my whole identity, so I created it – because true diversity is intersectional.’

    Shani also explained that a lot of British Asian attitude to things is due to how they were parented,

    ‘From the 1950s onwards, due to racism and being few in number, many Asians lived in a tight-knit community in order to support each other and hold on to their sense of identity in a foreign land.

    ‘Their values and cultural traditions passed down to their British born children, which is why as a community we find it difficult to talk about topics such as disability, sexuality, and relationships even amongst the younger generations.

    ‘These are still massive taboo issues in our community.’

    But the Asian Woman Festival hopes to be a safe space to tackle these subjects, giving attendees to discuss, network and celebrate the ever-vibrant culture and traditions of being Asian.

    Special guests include singer-songwriter Amrit Kaur Lohia and spoken word poet Jaspreet Kaur, and it’s hosted by Shay Grewal from BBC Radio London.

    It’ll be held in Birmingham on 30 March and you can buy tickets here. And remember, you don’t have to be Asian – or a woman – to attend.

    MORE: Muslim women explain why it’s so hard for them to find a partner

    MORE: Shisha lounges are important community spaces that are uniquely welcoming for Muslims and other minorities

    MORE: British Asians still have a complicated relationship with sex


    Asian Woman FestivalAsian Woman Festival

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    kids feeding a dog food from the dinner table
    If you forgot it was Pancake Day or you’re saving yours for the weekend, don’t worry, there’s still time to share them with your pets (Picture: RubberBall Productions/Getty Images/Brand X)

    If you’re an animal owner, it can be really nice to mark special occasions with your pet.

    And if you, like many, forgot it was Pancake Day and didn’t have eggs or flour in your cupboard – or you just decided you’d save the tasty treats for the weekend – you might be wanting to share some crepes with your beloved animals this weekend.

    But when it comes to treating your pets to some pancakes, is it safe?

    Here’s the info you need on whether or not you can give your finned or four-legged friends a little taste of pancake.

    Can dogs eat pancakes?

    TV Vet & animal welfare campaigner Marc Abraham has told Metro.co.uk that pancakes are completely find for dogs to eat, as long as they’re only given occasionally as a special treat.

    However, the pancake cannot contain chocolate, raisins, sultanas, grapes or anything containing the sweetener xylitol, as these can all be poisonous to dogs.

    Can cats eat pancakes?

    Similar to dogs, cats can have small amounts of pancakes, but they should only be given sparingly, and as an occasional treat.

    Black kitten sitting on cushion meowing.
    Maybe a little bit of pancake would improve this guy’s mood? (Picture: Suzanne Marshall/Getty Images/Moment RF)

    You shouldn’t go overboard with feeding your kitty pancakes because cats are lactose intolerant, so your cat’s digestive system wouldn’t know what to do with a large amount of pancake, which traditionally contains two dairy products in the form of milk and butter.

    Vegan pancakes would be a better option, however they won’t provide your cat with the nutrients it needs, so should still be given sparingly.

    Can hamsters eat pancakes?

    Yes, as long as you only give your hamster a small amount, keep it plain, and serve it cold, your hamster could have a little bit of pancake.

    Can rabbits eat pancakes?

    Pancakes are high in carbohydrates, which can make your rabbit sick, as their digestive system is not built to handle that type of food.

    So it’s best to err on the side of caution and steer clear of giving your rabbits pancakes. Instead, you might try offering them a piece of your refined-sugar-free fruit topping, like banana or apple slices.

    a rabbit in a hutch
    (Picture: SWNS)

    Can your fish eat pancakes?

    Starchy, carby foods like bread and pancakes can give your fish an upset stomach, as, similar to rabbits, their digestive systems aren’t built to cope with that kind of food.

    So play it safe, and keep your pancakes away from your fish.

    If you really want to give your fish some table scraps, you’d be better off giving them a small amount of partly cooked and cooled pea or zucchini, or chopped up shrimp if your fish is a carnivore.

    MORE: Is Fat Tuesday the same as Pancake Day and what do they both celebrate?

    MORE: How to make healthy pancakes for Pancake Day


    Can you give pancakes to your dogs?Can you give pancakes to your dogs?

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    Deliveroo launches Game of Thrones painted dragons eggs for Easter Picture: Deliveroo PICS SUPPLIED TO METRO.CO.UK
    (Picture: Deliveroo)

    Two exciting things are coming next month – Easter and the Game of Thrones season 8 premiere.

    To celebrate, Deliveroo will launch a range of Easter eggs shaped like the ones that famously hatched in season one.

    The eggs are available for delivery to customers in London, Manchester and Leeds.

    Although they weigh a hefty 1kg and measure 20cm in height, they cost just 80p, in honour of the eighth and final series.

    They are made from white chocolate and handpainted to get the distinctive dragon egg look.

    Deliveroo launches Game of Thrones painted dragons eggs for Easter Picture: Deliveroo PICS SUPPLIED TO METRO.CO.UK
    (Picture: Deliveroo)

    You can get your hands on one from 14 April (the day the new season begins) until 21 April (Easter Sunday).

    Even if you’re not the ‘Mother of Dragons’, you can still slay this Easter by getting your hands on edition Game of Thrones-inspired chocolate dragon egg, created by Deliveroo and inspired by the cult TV series.

    Joe Groves at Deliveroo said: ‘Easter is coming and so is the final series of our favourite blood-soaked romp.

    ‘We see huge spikes of orders around season premieres and finales and we thought what better way to celebrate hardcore fans than with these amazing scaley creations.’

    MORE: White chocolate Easter egg controversially crowned the best of 2019 in a taste test

    MORE: A cafe is selling Creme Egg and Ferrero Rocher cheesecakes inside Easter eggs


    SEI_55381507SEI_55381507

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    METRO GRAB - taken from the PR TIMES - PR material - must include link to shop website You can get creepy masks to match your pet's face Picture: PR Times
    (Picture: PR Times)

    We all get a wee chuckle when we see pets that look like their owners on the internet, especially when they’re doing the same expressions.

    But we can’t imagine any one ever wanting to look identical to them. And yet a Japanese company has started making masks that are uncomfortably realistic and mirror your cat or dog’s face.

    The Masayoshi Shindo Masaki Planning Office is the company behind the creation and has decided to call it ‘My Family’ which might be the perfect name if you’re trying to trick your pet into thinking you are their kin.

    The cat masks are especially uncanny but slightly off-putting in a human head size.

    But the folks at the brand are super proud of their work (and they should be, it’s excellent work) and even revealed a behind the scenes image of a Bengal cat who lives in Kyoto by the name of Rui.

    While we think Rui is indeed cute, we don’t really want to be wearing a mask that looks like a much bigger version of her head.

    METRO GRAB - taken from the PR TIMES - PR material - must include link to shop website You can get creepy masks to match your pet's face Picture: PR Times
    (Picture: PR Times)

    Once you’ve decided on a picture that perfectly resembles your pet’s face, you send the image to the Planning Office who pass it off to modelling workshop 91.

    The folks at 91 do the heavy lifting and create a 3D mould of your beloved pet.

    METRO GRAB - taken from the PR TIMES - PR material - must include link to shop website You can get creepy masks to match your pet's face Picture: PR Times
    Here is a mask of Rui being made (Picture: PR Times)

    But if you have a little gander on their website, you’ll notice it’s not just pets they do, they also offer pretty realistic orangutan, demon, and rhino masks, perfect for Halloween.

    Whether you want to wear it for an occasion or just to show your pet how much you love them and want to be accepted as one of their own, the masks do cost a pretty penny.

    The price of one mask, depending on the order is set to cost 300,000 Japanese Yen, that’s £2,044.20.

    But still, we’re sure there’ll be a few pet-lovers interested.

    It’s a shame there are no human heads for pets to wear though.

    METRO GRAB - taken from the PR TIMES - PR material - must include link to shop website You can get creepy masks to match your pet's face Picture: PR Times
    You could have quite a party if all your mates get in on it (Picture: PR Times)

    MORE: Urban Outfitters is selling caps for cats and they’re so adorable

    MORE: Extreme dog walker reveals how he can work with up to 26 pets at one time

    MORE: Dog owners warned about ‘kissing’ pets on a raw meat diet


    You can get creepy masks to match your pet's faceYou can get creepy masks to match your pet's face

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    Las Vegas bomb shelter house for sale 3970 SPENCER Street Picture: Jeremy Fishell
    (Picture: Jeremy Fishell)

    With the recent warm weather and breakdown of our political landscape, you’d be absolutely forgiven for thinking that we’re on the brink of some sort of collapse.

    Since failure to prepare is preparing to fail, why not do doomsday in style when it finally comes, and get a mansion that sits underground in a bomb shelter?

    There’s one currently for sale in Las Vegas, Nevada, that has Cold War cum Club Tropicana vibes out the wazoo, and it only costs $18 million (£13,567,950).

    The property is nestled under the desert 26 feet underground and has all sorts of things that you wouldn’t need during the apocalypse like a car garage and two spas.

    It’s just two miles from the Vegas strip, and has four bedrooms and four bathrooms set across 5,000 feet.

    There’s also a guest house, a swimming pool with waterfall, an outdoor barbeque, and a games room.

    Las Vegas bomb shelter house for sale 3970 SPENCER Street Picture: Jeremy Fishell
    (Picture: Jeremy Fishell)
    Las Vegas bomb shelter house for sale 3970 SPENCER Street Picture: Jeremy Fishell
    (Picture: Jeremy Fishell)
    Las Vegas bomb shelter house for sale 3970 SPENCER Street Picture: Jeremy Fishell
    (Picture: Jeremy Fishell)
    Las Vegas bomb shelter house for sale 3970 SPENCER Street Picture: Jeremy Fishell
    (Picture: Jeremy Fishell)
    Las Vegas bomb shelter house for sale 3970 SPENCER Street Picture: Jeremy Fishell
    (Picture: Jeremy Fishell)

    Probably the eeriest part of the property has to be the floor-to-ceiling murals on the outdoor walls to simulate the sky, and the lighting that mimics different times of the day.

    It’s still bedecked with the same mid-century features and furnishings it was built to have originally by Avon Cosmetics executive Girard Henderson.

    Back in the 60s during the Cuban Missile Crisis and Cold War, a number of wealthy Americans built underground shelters, but he wanted to go one better.

    His aim was to have everything you might want in a luxury lifestyle, just in relative safety if a nuclear bomb were to drop.

    It’s unlikely you’d be able to come up for air much, but at least you could have a sauna while everything up above is in chaos. Silver linings, eh.

    If you want to live out your ‘humans of late-stage capitalism’ dreams, you can book a viewing here.

    MORE: A seaside property used in World War II is on the market for £1.5 million

    MORE: You could own one of these two windmills for sale in the UK


    Las Vegas bomb shelter house for saleLas Vegas bomb shelter house for sale

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    Mixed Up is a series that addresses the highs, lows and unique experiences of being mixed-race.

    Mixed-race is the fastest-growing ethnic group in the UK. And it can be complicated.

    Alongside the unique pleasures and benefits of being exposed to multiple cultures, it also comes with complexities, conflicts and innate contradictions.

    These weekly installments aim to elevate the narratives of mixed-race people and take a closer look at the nuanced realities of being part of this rapidly growing ethnic group.

    Shara Tochia is the founder of wellness brand DOSE, and she is half Irish and half Indian. These days, her family are spread out across the globe.

    Mixed Up - Lifestyle - Natalie Morris
    (Picture: Jerry Syder)

    ‘My father is Indian, but he was born and raised in Kenya,’ Shara tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘My family are everywhere now. Australia, US, Ireland, Canada, UK, France and more. And that’s only aunts, uncles and first cousins.

    Like many mixed-race people Shara’s appearance is somewhat ambiguous. Her ethnicity isn’t immediately apparent on first glance – and that leads to questions. But that isn’t something that frustrates Shara – she finds other people’s uncertainty rather entertaining.

    ‘It’s really fun asking people to guess where you’re from by looking at you. I have had it all – Spanish, South American, Persian, Italian, Thai, Philippino. The list is endless,’ she explains.

    ‘It also entertains me greatly when I have a sun tan – I obviously tan very easily and quickly with my skin – people who don’t know me well, or are obsessed with being tanned, ask me, “how did you get so brown?”, where I respond, “I’m half Indian!”

    ‘Maybe don’t assume that I just spend my days lying in the sunshine.

    ‘As a mixed-race person, I do not identify as white. Some mixed people may do, but people should not assume.’

    Shara with her mum and dad
    Shara with her mum and dad (Picture: Shara Tochia/Metro.co.uk)

    Shara has experienced racism both directly and second-hand – hearing the stories from her parents. But she is confident that attitudes in this country have improved since she was a child.

    ‘My first experience of racism was in primary school; being called a derogatory name by a boy in my class. I was horrified and confused,’ Shara tells us.

    ‘My father and mother experienced a lot of racism in their early time dating before they got married. It’s really sad to hear those stories from them.

    ‘Racism to me is a sign of the lack of education and world experience a person has had. I hope with more exposure to different cultures that racism will eventually be eradicated.

    ‘As a child, it was very strange as you learn so much from other people’s reactions.

    ‘My mother was born in the countryside of Ireland. In the late 80s and 90s we were stared at a lot by the locals when we visited as a family.

    Little Shara with her two sisters
    Little Shara with her two sisters (Picture: Shara Tochia/Metro.co.uk)

    ‘Now, I don’t mind at all. It’s a talking point and you notice other characteristics you have inherited from your parents and family instead – your smile, temper, patience – it’s about so much more than simply inheriting an ethnicity.

    ‘You never escape racism, and I still experience it from time to time. Fortunately, I’m older and wiser now, and I am able to know how to respond to a person if they make a racist remark.’

    But it wasn’t always easy to swallow the differences in her family. Growing up in a white area of Essex, Shara often struggled to comprehend why she looked different.

    ‘I found it difficult as a child understanding that I didn’t look like either of my parents,’ she explains.

    ‘My school friends used to tease me, saying I was adopted. I asked my parents multiple times to prove to me that I was not adopted.

    ‘I wish I had learnt to speak Gujarati so that I could communicate with my grandparents when they were alive. My sisters and I were the only children on my dad’s side of the family who did not speak the language. We used to have to ask my cousins, aunts and uncles to translate.’

    And that is where the real contradiction lies. Feeling ‘other’ in both environments – your Indian family and your white school friends. But being mixed-race is as much about abundance as it is about lacking.

    For Shara, her enormous family and huge variety of cultural influences is a gift that she will always cherish.

    ‘I love the cultural differences from both sides of my heritage, but I particularly love the food on my Indian side,’ says Shara.

    ‘I have an enormous family, with over 40 first cousins across both sides and they are spread all over the globe.

    ‘I know all of them and love to visit them all over the world.

    ‘I think having mixed-race heritage and parents who are not from the UK has definitely formed part of my interest to travel and live in different countries – and my parents encourage it.

    Shara and her many, many cousins
    OK, that’s a lot of cousins (Picture: Shara Tochia/Metro.co.uk)

    ‘I wish I could say I have learnt to cook Indian food, but I am the world’s worst cook.

    ‘My dad’s cooking is my favourite thing about going home. I can eat his food all day every day.

    ‘But I have definitely learnt that you can add spice to everything to make it taste better! I love curry a lot more than I love bacon and cabbage.’

    Looking to the future, Shara feels really positive about the change in conversation around mixed-race people – in particular the increased awareness and acknowledgement of our growing existence.

    ‘With the growth of mixed-race people in this country – there is now even a hashtag on Instagram #thefutureisbrown – we now have a tick box which is great to see.

    ‘Previously on all applications to dentists, sports teams, events, when asked for our ethnic origin, we would have to tick the box “OTHER” box. Now, there is “MIXED-RACE” and in some cases, I have seen “ASIAN + WHITE”.

    ‘The simple fact of giving us a box shows that people are listening to us – that they know we are here. That’s a huge step in allowing mixed people like me to forge our own identities, rather than being lumped as “other”.

    ‘In London, attitudes are improving overall in my opinion. I live in London so I can see that.

    ‘London is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world and living there is like living in a bubble. Every day I see people, businesses and initiatives supporting diversity and driving awareness to diversity which is great.

    ‘Seeing advertising campaigns from Nike about being a “LDNR” focus on diverse communities really was a massive step in the right direction.’

    But Shara knows there is still more to be done. She thinks representation in advertising and in the media is crucial – and brands still have a long way to go, particularly in the beauty sector.

    ‘I work in the wellness industry and DOSE, my business, has an advertising based business model.

    ‘It’s important to me to ensure that we use photography and creative visuals that represent a diverse range of people through our platforms.

    ‘It’s fantastic to see global and national brands genuinely representing different ethnicities and cultures to allow real people from all over the world to buy into the lifestyles that brands are showcasing – creating equal opportunity through advertising.

    ‘It’s about breaking the mould and not about ticking a box.

    ‘It is important to me as a mixed-race person to support diversity through my business, in my social circles and with the voice I have to affect the future world of opportunity to other mixed-race and non-white people.

    ‘I am different because of the upbringing I have had with my family and exposure to different cultures. I am proud of being mixed-race and it will always be an integral part of my identity.’

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘Saying you love mixed-race babies is creepy’

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘People try to guess my ethnicity – they always guess wrong’

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘I’ve been called a liar because I look so much whiter than my brother’


    Mixed Up - Lifestyle - Natalie MorrisMixed Up - Lifestyle - Natalie Morris

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    Students dressed up for World Book Day
    (Picture: Getty)

    World Book Day is tomorrow, which means bargain books at your child’s school and a great chance to read some fun stories.

    It also possibly means your little one will have to get dressed up as their favourite book character at school, which is all fun and games until you get to today and realise you’ve forgotten.

    Thankfully, children are pretty imaginative and don’t normally mind helping you put together something they can impress their pals with.

    So, instead of heading down to a costume shop and forking out plenty of cash for something, here are some easy costumes you can source tonight for free (using household items you already have) or for very cheap.

    Oliver Twist

    (Picture: Chris Ware/Keystone Features/Getty Images)

    To emulate the world’s most famous orphan, you’re going to need to have clothes you don’t mind getting a bit tatty.

    Use old light-coloured t-shirts and trousers and given them a rip or cut at the seams to make them seem worn out. You can even give them a rub with some soil if you want your child to get the full Victorian look.

    Then, lightly rub some some dark eyeshadow on the cheeks and teach them their best ‘Please sir, can I have some more?’ face.

    Harry Potter or Hermione

    US Potter C...Actor Daniel Radcliffe, who portrays Harry Potter in the film adaptation of J.K. Rowling`s best-selling novels shows his lightning scar. Radcliffe beat Oscar nominee Haley Joel Osment for the part. The trailer for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is being unveiled in the UK soon, and will be on the www.harrypotter.co.uk website from Thursday, with the film being released in the UK on November 16, 2001. The all-British Warner Bros blockbuster also stars Robbie Coltrane, Dame Maggie Smith, Alan Rickman, Richard Harris and John Hurt, with Harry's friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger played by Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. Director Chris Columbus has promised fans that the movie will be as close to the book as possible. See PA story US Potter....A...LONDON...UK
    (Picture: PA/Warner Bros)

    This costume is great because you can use your child’s school uniform as part of it.

    For Harry, use lipliner to draw a lightning-bolt scar on their forehead. If you have any round-rimmed glasses hanging around, they’re a perfect addition, but you could also draw them on with black eyeliner if you’re short.

    If you’re going with Hermione, you’ll want to stretch our your backcombing hand first, as big hair is the main thing.

    Of course any Gryffindor colours (burgundy and gold) should be added if possible, as well as a dark coloured house coat or dressing up cloak. A chopstick makes a great wand.

    Pippi Longstocking

    (Picture: Getty)

    Ginger children will have been typecast into a life of dressing as Pippi Longstocking, but the fact of the matter is that you’d be hard-pressed to find anything easier.

    If your child’s hair is long enough, pop it into plaits high at either side of their head. If you can’t get it into plaits but can make bunches, simply backcomb each ponytail to give it some texture and height.

    Clothing wise, stick to primary colours, and then pop on bright and patterned unmatching socks. The final touch is simply drawing on some freckles.

    Gangsta Granny

    Instagram Photo

    David Walliams’ Gangsta Granny is a perfect costume for any age or gender child.

    Cardigans, blouses, and longer skirts are what you’ll need for the clothes part, as well as a grey wig. If you can’t get to a shop with one of those, however, a healthy dose of talcum powder or dry shampoo (don’t brush it out) on your little one’s hair should make it look grey.

    You could also make a SWAG bag with any plain fabric tote or pouch and a Tipp-Ex pen for the writing.

    Dennis the Menace

    (Picture: Getty)

    Is your child Dennis is personality already? Why not dress them up like the menace himself for World Book Day?

    Depending on your kid’s hair colour, you might need help getting it to Dennis’s signature jet black. Most big pharmacies and beauty shops will sell wash-out gel or spray to get you there, and you can spike the hair up in stark points.

    PE shorts and trainers or school shoes will do for the bottom half, but you will need to source a black and red striped tee for the occasion.

    Peppa Pig

    (Picture: Tristan Fewings/Getty Images)

    Young kids absolutely love Peppa Pig, and would likely be delighted to dress up as her for the day.

    If you have a pink under-shirt and leggings, that’s great. If not, you can still get the effect you need with face paint and some ears.

    The ears can be made by folding an oval shaped piece of pink paper or fabric in half over an alice band and gluing in place.

    Drawing on a piggy snout and Peppa’s rosy cheeks should make the costume clearer, but a red or pink dress or tunic and wellington boots are a wonderful finishing touch.

    Fantastic Mr. Fox

    (Picture: Jim Spellman/WireImage)

    Fantastic Mr. Fox as a costume is a great excuse to dig out any formal clothes your child might have got for events like weddings or Christenings.

    A suit and a shirt is ideal – and if you don’t have these to hand you can usually find good stuff in charity shops.

    Using face paint, draw pointy ears onto your child’s forehead, shading the face with orange and brown. Finish off the face with white fur strokes as you get down to the cheeks, whiskers, and a black fox nose.

    The Worst Witch

    (Picture: Getty)

    We’ve all spent Halloweens as a bin-bag witch at some point, and that’s because it was such a good last-minute costume.

    To get the Mildred Hubble look, you can incorporate a black school jumper and shirt and tie with more spooky elements.

    Grab a witch hat if you have one, or make one with black card by rolling it into a cone shape and sticking to a circular base with a hole in the middle.

    Check out the bargain basement at costume or discount stores, as they may have broomsticks and toy cats going cheap from Halloween.

    MORE: World Book Day 2018: The best costumes from children and adults

    MORE: World Book Day: 11 stories that make bedtime with the kids more bearable


    Students in circus costumes performing in theaterStudents in circus costumes performing in theater

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    Craig and Elisabeth (Picture: Collect/PA Real Life)

    Diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer four months before his wife was due to give birth, Craig Fountain was told that the chemotherapy could make his bodily fluids, including saliva, toxic to their unborn child.

    He wasn’t able to kiss his wife or have sex and when baby Lottie was born, he couldn’t even kiss her because of the risk of poisoning her.

    Wine shop manager Craig Fountain, 32, of Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, who married vet Elisabeth, 29, in 2014, says having to keep his distance from her, Lottie and their older daughter, Rosie, two, was the most difficult part of his illness.

    He added: ‘Having cancer and going through chemo is tough, but by far the hardest part was not being able to be intimate with my wife.

    ‘It felt as though all of a sudden there was a barrier placed between Elisabeth and me, like we were having a relationship from afar, and that can have quite a negative impact on a relationship.

    ‘Even silly things like giving her a kiss before going off to work or going to sleep at night was something I started to really miss like mad.’

    Finally, when his treatment ended three weeks after Lottie was born, Craig – who is speaking out ahead of Bowel Cancer Awareness Month in April – was able to give his wife and children the kisses he had been longing for.

    ‘Kissing is such an important part of bonding with a newborn baby and I wanted so badly just to give Lottie a big kiss, ‘ he recalled.

    ‘The first time I was able to kiss her was such a wonderful and poignant moment for me and just goes to show that some things are worth waiting for.’

    Elisabeth, who met Craig eight years ago through friends, was pregnant when he became concerned about his health in July 2018, after noticing blood in his faeces.

    Initially passing it off as a gluten intolerance, he did not visit his GP until he had suffered progressively worsening symptoms for six weeks.

    ‘It would vary from a few small clots of blood to the whole of the toilet bowl turning pink, but over time the blood became darker and it was clear that it was coming from somewhere quite deep inside me,’ he said.

    ‘That’s when I realised that I really needed to get checked out.’

    Craig and Elisabeth (Collect/PA Real Life)
    Craig and Elisabeth (Picture: Natasha Tidd/PA Real Life)

    Visiting his GP in late August, who noted tenderness in his lower abdomen, he was advised that he most likely had inflammatory bowel disease, but was told to give blood and stool samples.

    At that stage, told he was unlikely to have bowel cancer as he was “far too young,” Craig was not too concerned – especially when his test results failed to reveal anything untoward.

    But, when he pushed for further investigations to diagnose the cause of his bleeding, a sigmoidoscopy – a procedure allowing doctors to view the large intestine through the rectum – revealed that the expectant father did in fact have bowel cancer.

    With the diagnosis confirmed on September 19 2018, four months before Elisabeth was due to give birth, Craig’s “world was turned upside down”.

    ‘It was like having someone hit you over the head with a cricket bat and I walked around in a complete daze for hours,’ he recalled.

    ‘My first thought was, ‘What are my poor family going to do? Is my wife about to have to raise two children on her own?’

    ‘But then I knew that I was going to have to be strong and make sure I did whatever it took to get through this and out the other side.’

    After a CT scan showed that Craig had cancerous polyps on the large bowel, he had a subtotal colectomy at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds – a four-hour operation, during which his large colon was removed and his rectum was stapled to his small intestine.

    Then, six weeks later, in early December, he was put on a 12-week course of chemotherapy and was told by his oncologist that he should not have unprotected sex with his wife, or even kiss her, because of the risk of cross-contamination, which could harm the foetus.

    Craig and Lottie after chemo (Collect/PA Real Life)
    Craig and Lottie after chemo (Picture: Collect/PA Real Life)

    ‘It was tough as we are a very cuddly couple and always have been,’ said Craig, who, with his wife, moved back to her parents’ house in the weeks after surgery as a place to recover.

    ‘But Elisabeth, who has a medical background through her work as a vet, was so supportive, despite being heavily pregnant,and would pick up the slack – doing washing, cooking and cleaning – when I was too unwell to do anything.’

    Then, on January 29, Elisabeth had Lottie’s birth induced, to coincide with a week when Craig was not having chemo, so he could be there and give her the support she needed.

    Welcoming their second child into the world, the couple were overjoyed, although, with a month of treatment still to go, Craig knew he would have to wait before he could give his daughter a kiss.

    And on February 24, six days after his final chemo dose, he was finally able to kiss Lottie without fear of damaging his precious newborn.

    ‘It was one of the most poignant moments of my life,’ said Craig, who is currently waiting for tests that will confirm whether or not he is in remission from cancer.

    ‘It felt like life was finally coming good again after so many months of unhappiness and fear.

    ‘Now, I’m looking forward to the future and to living the life that was almost ripped away from me.’

    Rob Glynne-Jones, Consultant Clinical Oncologist and medical advisor for Bowel Cancer UK, which has found that younger bowel cancer patients have a very different experience of diagnosis, treatment and care to those over 50, explained the toxicity of some cancer treatments.

    He said: ‘Some chemotherapy drugs can be passed on through saliva or bodily fluids. Because of their toxicity, some doctors recommend avoiding intimacy, such as kissing or sex, for a few days after having chemotherapy.

    ‘However this advice is really dependent on what type of chemotherapy you are taking.

    ‘That’s why it is best to discuss any concerns about chemotherapy and sex with your doctor, who’s familiar with your individual situation.’

    MORE: Game of Thrones painted dragons eggs launched for Easter

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘I would ask my parents multiple times to prove that I wasn’t adopted’


    Craig and Elisabeth (Collect/PA Real Life)Craig and Elisabeth (Collect/PA Real Life)

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    World Book Day 2019 costumes from Tesco
    No World Book Day costume? No problem! (Picture: Tesco)

    It’s World Book Day tomorrow, which means all round the country kids will be heading off to school dressed as a classic character from the world of literature.

    And that also means parents might be frantically scrambling around looking for a suitable outfit that their kids can wear in order to join in the fun.

    If you’re still struggling, the good news is there are still options available at supermarkets including Tesco and Asda.

    The big day is Thursday 7 March, so you’ve still got time to pop to the shops after the school run, and a whole host of costumes to pick from.

    Girls’ Little Red Riding Hood costume, £10 from Tesco

    Tesco World Book Day Little Red Riding Hood costume
    (Picture: Tesco)

    The Cat In The Hat costume £14 from Tesco

    Tesco World Book Day Cat In The Hat costume
    (Picture: Tesco)

    Girls’ Alice In Wonderland costume £14 from Tesco

    Tesco World Book Day Alice In Wonderland costume
    (Picture: Tesco)

    Willy Wonka costume £15 from Tesco

    Tesco World Book Day Willa Wonka costume
    (Picture: Tesco)

    All Tesco’s World Book Day costumes are available instore now.

    Disney Princess Cinderella Costume £15 from Asda

    Asdda Cinderella princess costume
    (Picture: Asda)

    Babies/Toddlers’ Harry Potter costume £8 from Asda

    Babies Harry Potter costume from Asda
    (Picture: Asda)

    The Tiger Who Came To Tea costume £10 (reduced from £14) from Asda

    The Tiger Who Came To Tea costume from Asda
    (Picture: Asda)

    Paddington Bear costume £10 (reduced from £14) from Asda

    Paddington Bear costume from Asda
    (Picture: Asda)

     


    Asda and Tesco World Book Day costumes Picture: TESCO METROGRAB https://www.tesco.com/zones/clothing/kids/Asda and Tesco World Book Day costumes Picture: TESCO METROGRAB https://www.tesco.com/zones/clothing/kids/

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    Hair company makes products based on your answers on a quiz Picture: functionofbeauty METROGRAB https://www.functionofbeauty.com/order/index.php?country=GB
    (Picture: Functionofbeauty)

    Everyone wants something different when it comes to haircare and it can be difficult to find something that caters to all your needs.

    One hair company has a solution – a quiz to create a unique shampoo and conditioner based on your answers.

    Function of Beauty has set up a system to determine the kind of hair you have and what you want out of it and then you get to customise your very own shampoo and conditioner.

    Quiz-takers can choose a color, a scent and even the strength of the scent, as well as name their formula so you’re getting a super tailored product.

    You’ll be asked what you want the product to do for your hair, choosing out of 18 possible solutions, such as hydration, shine, straighten, volumize, to define curls, for oil control.

    By the end, you’ll be left with a vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free and sulfate-free product made specifically for you (including hair types for different ethnicities) and shipped in about 13 days.

    If only we could do this with all our beauty products.

    Hair company makes products based on your answers on a quiz Picture: functionofbeauty METROGRAB https://www.functionofbeauty.com/order/index.php?country=GB
    The colour depends on your choices (Picture: Functionofbeauty)

    Function of Beauty began operating four years ago by insightful Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) graduates who’ve said they have created over a thousand different combinations of the stuff, though they expect many more.

    ‘Historically, beauty companies have told you what you need for your hair. We know that you know your hair better than anyone else does,’ it reads on their website.

    Hair company makes products based on your answers on a quiz Picture: functionofbeauty METROGRAB https://www.functionofbeauty.com/order/index.php?country=GB
    A preview of the quiz (Picture: Functionofbeauty)

    ‘Our founding team—world-class MIT engineers and data scientists—spent years building our own algorithm and machines, that pull from hundreds of ingredients to potentially create billions of completely unique shampoo and conditioner combinations.

    ‘Tell us what you want and need for your hair, and we’ll individually formulate and fill a product that is as unique as you.’

    Prices vary depending on the size; if you get 236ml shampoo and conditioner it’s £29 and a 473ml is £39.

    You can also get leave-in shampoo and conditioner. And it all comes in very cute packaging.

    Try the quiz here if you want your own little version.

    MORE: What happens during a hair transplant?

    MORE: Woman asks for undercut design, gets ‘world’s worst haircut’

    MORE: Space NK launching cute beauty bag to support women’s charity Refuge


    SEI_55556694SEI_55556694

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    (Picture: Getty Images)

    Ever wondered what beauty and skincare products Holly Willoughby uses?

    Well, yesterday celebrity facialist Clare Marie Peters (whose clients include Kate Moss and Poppy Delevigne), took to Instragram to share a snap of Holly post facial.

    Her skin looked luminous, birght and smooth, and Clare Marie Peters revealed the exact face mask she used to treat Holly’s skin.

    And it’s not as expensive as you’d think.

    She explained: ‘Wow! Holly Willoughby has seriously amazing skin to work with! Today we did my signature facial with is an uber result as driven cocktail of radio frequency, photonlight therapy, micro needling, skinceuticals, antioxidants and 111skin bio cellulose mask.

    ‘The results is a beautiful discreet lift, luminous glowing dewy skin.’

    Instagram Photo

    This isn’t the first time the 111Skin Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask (which FYI costs a not-too-pricey £20) has cropped up on the celebrity circuit, as Margot Robbie also approved the dew-inducing treatment.

    Sheet masks, which are in fact a Korean beauty trend, have been gaining popularity in recent years for being easy, convenient, one-shot-wonders. And have been seen gracing the faces of numerous celebrities, including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Priyanka Chopra and Kim Kardashian.

    The 111skin Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask used during Holly’s facial, is saturated in hydrating, brightening and anti-aging good-for-you ingredients, such as liquorice root extract, silk amino acids and centella asiatica.

    It is also designed to plump and firm the skin, for an instantly brighter complexion.

    111Skin Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask
    (Picture: 111Skin)

    Unlike regular tissue masks, the product’s fibers are 500 times finer, not only making it a little more luxurious to the touch, but also ensures the bio-cellulose mask can lock in moisture and adhere snugly to skin.

    While sheet masks are not an absolute necessity, they’re great for soothing redness and inflammation and in short, are a great addition to a skincare routine for incremental benefits.

    But surely this sheet mask is well worthy of a place in our routines. Because who wouldn’t want skin as glowy as Holly Willouhby?

    111skin products are available online at 111skin.com, spacenk.com and johnlewis.com.

    MORE: Backstage makeup tips to try from Paris Fashion Week AW19

    MORE: Glossier Play has arrived: here’s everything you need to know about the new dialled-up beauty extras


    This is the £20 face mask behind Holly Willoughby’s glowing skin-c109This is the £20 face mask behind Holly Willoughby’s glowing skin-c109

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    (Picture: Dickatyourdoor.com)

    Sending your friend something in the post is a nice gesture.

    But this might not be quite what you were thinking.

    This gift comes in a lovely floral box or a black luxury chocolate style box – but inside it’s just a chunk of chocolate shaped like a penis.

    Dick At Your Door is a company that posts dicks (in case you aren’t clear by the name).

    Founded in 2014, the company was launched by Adam Hascall when he started making chocolate penises in his garage to send them to friends as a prank.

    The company says they shouldn’t be used in a malicious way, but rather to make your friend laugh or to tease your other half.

    Company allows you to send chocolate penises to people in the post Picture: dickatyourdoor https://dickatyourdoor.com/product/chocolate-prank-the-eat-poop-box/
    (Picture: Dick At Your Door)

    The idea is that they think they are getting a sweet, thoughtful gift but instead it’s a penis and the inside of the lid says ‘eat a dick’.

    The gifts are made in America but they do ship to most countries worldwide so you can get it sent to the UK.

    The dick itself is 11 cm long and three cm wide.

    They come in a range of flavours that are all completely vegan, so don’t worry – you can prank your friends even if they have dietary requirements.

    MORE: You can get shampoo and conditioner tailored to you depending on your answers to a quiz

    MORE: This is the £20 face mask behind Holly Willoughby’s glowing skin


    Company allows you to send chocolate penises to people in the post Picture: dickatyourdoor https://dickatyourdoor.com/product/chocolate-prank-the-eat-poop-box/Company allows you to send chocolate penises to people in the post Picture: dickatyourdoor https://dickatyourdoor.com/product/chocolate-prank-the-eat-poop-box/

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    The best Harry Potter costumes that you can wear for World Book Day
    (Pictures: Amazon/Argos)

    Children across the country will be dressing up as their favourite book characters for World Book Day this Thursday.

    The annual celebration of reading is held at schools around the UK and is aimed at encouraging more kids to pick up a book.

    Wearing character costumes has become a big part of the day and it can sometimes be a stressful time for parents who are sorting out a last-minute costume for their children to wear.

    Harry Potter remains one of the most popular children’s book series in the world and it provides a simple, easy option when it comes to World Book Day outfits.

    If you’re child is a fan of the books, then a Harry Potter or Hermione costume could be the perfect last minute solution, as all you really need is a cloak and a wand, as well as a drawn on scar.

    For those of you looking to buy a costume before tomorrow, here are some Hogwarts-themed costumes that you can buy from various retailers.

    Dumbledore costume

    Asda – £10

    This Dumbledore costume is available in sizes ranging from 5-12 years.

    It includes a cloak and a hat with a beard attached to it, and it is available to order online and should be available in some stores.

    Asda
    Caption: Asda
    Photographer: Dean Noroozi

     

    Harry Potter costume

    Asda – £15

    There is also a child’s Harry Potter costume available at Asda currently for £15.

    Ages 5-10 years are currently available to order online, and you may be able to find the costume available in Asda stores as well.

    Asda
    Caption: Asda
    Photographer: Dean Noroozi

     

    Gryffindor robe

    Amazon – £14.95 – £23.98

    These Gryffindor robes are available in small, medium and large sizes.

    Prices vary depending on the size that you buy.

    Amazon
    Caption: Amazon

     

    Death Eater costume

    Amazon – £16.76 – £18.73

    This costume includes a black hooded robe and a death eater mask that is attached with an elastic band.

    The price of the costume does vary slightly depending on whether you buy small, medium or large.

    Amazon
    Caption: Amazon

     

    Harry Potter costume

    Matalan – £16

    This costume includes a Griffindor tie and glasses, as well as a wand and a hooded cape that includes the Gryffindor symbol.

    This item is currently not in stock online, but it may be available in some Matalan stores.

    Matalan
    Caption: Matalan

     

    Harry Potter costume

    Argos – £15-£17

    Another Harry Potter costume is available from Argos and this one includes a hooded Gryffindor robe, glasses and a wand.

    It also comes with a golden snitch, a train ticket and a Harry potter book cover.

    Argos
    Caption: Argos

    MORE: Last minute World Book Day costumes that you can put together tonight

    MORE: Last minute World Book Day costumes at Tesco and Asda


    The best Harry Potter costumes that you can wear for World Book DayThe best Harry Potter costumes that you can wear for World Book Day

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