Articles on this Page
- 03/11/19--03:23: _Mum spots rare canc...
- 03/11/19--03:32: _Woman’s tweet shows...
- 03/11/19--04:23: _Scottish distillery...
- 03/11/19--04:51: _Why do men keep nom...
- 03/11/19--04:53: _You can now get a s...
- 03/11/19--05:00: _Attention, millenia...
- 03/11/19--05:05: _Please stop telling...
- 03/11/19--05:20: _UK cheater’s top se...
- 03/11/19--06:12: _Fashion Nova’s extr...
- 03/11/19--06:17: _Couple perform spec...
- 03/11/19--06:51: _Turning 30 is somet...
- 03/11/19--07:28: _Mum has double D br...
- 03/11/19--08:09: _The inflammatory bo...
- 03/11/19--09:02: _Get paid £200 a wee...
- 03/11/19--09:25: _Morrisons launches ...
- 03/11/19--09:43: _Man teaches student...
- 03/11/19--10:11: _Dancer, 18, who sai...
- 03/11/19--23:15: _A property next to ...
- 03/11/19--23:21: _Auntie asks whether...
- 03/12/19--00:21: _Photos capture the ...
- 03/11/19--03:23: Mum spots rare cancer in her baby’s eye
- 03/11/19--04:23: Scottish distillery offers refill service for vodka, gin and rum
- The average first time mum in the UK is 28.8 years old.
- A woman’s fertility starts to decline in her 30s.
- The oldest woman to conceive without IVF in the UK was 59.
- Raising a baby costs £11,498 including childcare and start up costs.
- 03/11/19--05:20: UK cheater’s top sexual fantasies have been revealed
- Having a threesome
- Shaking things up (generic expression for sex being different)
- Public sex
- Open relationships
- Meaningful sex
- Same sex encounters
- 03/11/19--09:25: Morrisons launches meat pack which will make 14 meals for just £10
- 03/11/19--09:43: Man teaches students with Down’s Syndrome how to play music
- 03/11/19--23:21: Auntie asks whether she’s in the wrong for feeding vegan nephew meat
- 03/12/19--00:21: Photos capture the pure joy of life’s happiest moments
A mother spotted a rare and aggressive cancer in her baby’s eye and now she is urging other parents to look out for symptoms of the disease.
Indiana, who is an identical twin, was just a few months old when her mum Alison Lawler spotted a strange glow in one of her eyes.
After a series of tests doctors discovered she had retinoblastoma, a rare cancer which mainly affects babies and children under the age of six.
‘Her eye looked like a cat’s eye or a marble – but only in a certain light,’ said Alison.
Alison noticed that as well as the white glow, baby Indiana also had a slight squint and her eyes pointed in slightly different directions. It was only later that she realised they were all signs of cancer.
‘I feel terrible now, but before she was diagnosed, my husband and I were joking that Indiana looked a bit cross-eyed, which we did check with the health visitor and were reassured all was fine.’
Indiana’s condition was confirmed by doctors at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London in January last year, when she was four months old.
Only 40 to 50 cases of retinoblastoma are diagnosed every year in the UK, the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust said.
Alison has said that having twins is difficult enough without finding out that one of them has an extremely serious illness within months of being born.
‘On top of the stress of being a new mother and learning to cope with twins, to hear the news that one of them has cancer, is absolutely terrifying.
You never think it will happen to you – it’s always someone else’s child you hear about – never yours.’
Indiana, now 17 months old, is doing well. She has responded well to chemotherapy and her tumour has shrunk.
‘We’re now spending periods of time covering her good eye with an eye patch to try and improve the vision in her other eye,’ explains Alison.
‘However she’s now sneakily discovered how to remove it. Indiana is certainly the rowdier of the two.’
Indiana’s twin sister Aurelia has a clean bill of health. Luckily, Indiana’s condition is non-hereditary, but Aurelia is being monitored for symptoms as a precaution.
Almost all children who are diagnosed survive this kind of cancer but early diagnosis is essential to save their sight, according to the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust.
But around half of children with this condition will have to have an eye removed to stop the cancer spreading.
Patrick Tonks, chief executive of the charity, said: ‘Retinoblastoma is rare, with around 50 cases diagnosed in the UK each year, so many doctors will never come across it in their career.
‘The symptoms can be quite subtle and children often seem well in themselves which makes it hard to diagnose.
‘Unfortunately this can lead to alarming delays and we know that early diagnosis can potentially offer more treatment options and a better outcome for the child.’
Mother spots baby\'s cancer in eye
We know the nightmare of trying on clothes in a changing room; the lighting, the small space, all the hangers.
Then there’s the moment where you actually try to pull the clothes on.
Isn’t it super annoying when the jeans you try on the same size as another store but this time they barely go over your thighs.
Like most of us, Chloe Martin, a teenager from Scotland has experienced high street size discrepancies. And, again like the rest of us, she’s tired of it.
The 18-year-old tweeted a picture of seven pairs of jeans, all in size 12 and yet they all look so different from one another.
She wrote: ‘In case you’ve ever wondered why women get so frustrated with our clothing sizes – every pair of jeans pictured is a size 12.’
It’s not the first time brands have been called out for their inconsistency in sizing and companies last year said they would be signing up to the Shape GB campaign to make standardised clothing happen.
But we are yet to see results.
Chloe spoke to Metro.co.uk about how frustrating it is to find that your size changes according to each shop and how that can lead to body dysmorphia whereby a person spends a lot of time worrying about flaws in their appearance.
‘I’m surprised that a tweet about jeans could reach so many people, but honestly, I feel like women are so sick of being made to feel larger than they are because clothing stores sizes are terrible,’ she said.
‘A lot of high street stores target young women to buy their clothes and they’re giving young women the impression that they need to go up a size when in reality it’s the store’s fault. There doesn’t seem to be an ideal size 12 or any other size because from the picture we can all see clearly that they are totally different,
‘There are two pairs of size 12 jeans from the same shop in that picture and they are both different sizes.’
Chloe added that brands have a responsibility to have some sort of consistency when it comes to sizing.
If they can achieve that then finally, maybe we can stop taking three of the same pair of trousers in different sizes with us to the changing room.
Womans tweet shows how different a UK size 12 looks in different shops
Getting to the end of your bottle of booze is a sad time.
Not only are you likely nursing a serious hungover, but it also means adding to your towering pile of recycling that you still haven’t gotten round to taking out yet.
Gone are the student days when empty bottles of vodka could adorn your flat as badges of honour, or vaguely abstract pieces of art – now, empty bottles littering your flat just make you look like you’ve got a bit of a problem.
But one Scottish distillery thinks there’s a better way.
Rather than the endless cycle of chucking away your empty bottles and buying new ones, NB Distillery is now offering a refill service where you can take your empty bottles and get more booze. Result.
The hope is that it will cut down on waste and pollution by reducing the number of glass bottles that are being thrown away or recycled. So it’s good for the environment too.
Owners Vivienne and Steve Muir are on a mission to make their business as sustainable as possible.
The pair use solar panels at their custom-built premises to help power the distillation process, while rainwater is collected to run the distillation condensers.
They have also switched from a bottle manufacturer in Italy to one in the UK to cut the climate cost of transport.
The latest project means customers can bring in their old bottles and restock their favourite drink, which will be cheaper for them and better for the environment.
‘Our aim is simple and that’s to do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint,’ said Vivienne.
‘Many people keep hold of their empty NB bottles as they think they are too nice to throw away.
‘So we felt it was quite appropriate to offer a refill service. We’re doing an official refill Saturday each month but people can come and fill up their bottles any time.’
We think more companies should adopt this refill policy. We definitely want to feel more eco-friendly next time we restock the booze cabinet.
Scottish distillery offer refill service for vodka gin and rum
With social media becoming such a huge part of our lives, we’re used to posting about everything from what we had for dinner to the banal and silly things we do everyday.
But you might find that these silly stories are tagged with the letters DHOTYA.
It stands for Didn’t Happen of the Year Awards – the premise of which is simple; call bullsh*t on whatever you think didn’t happen.
The 100,000-strong group self-described as the ‘people’s page’ retweeted plenty of viral tweets they’d deemed as fake news.
Recently, it happened to me – and I had no idea what it meant.
Tweeting in a sad but extremely on-brand way, I wrote that I wore two pairs of underwear and only realised when I’d gone to use the toilet (yes, it was a Monday),
It was a dumb moment and a dumb tweet. And yet a stranger with whom I’d never interacted before tagged DHOTYA. I deleted the tweet because I felt silly.
Looking through the account and the tag, I found hundreds of tweets. Most of them were pretty un-extraordinary, much like other tweets that go out every day.
There are some that are genuinely fake.
The first ‘winner’ of the award back in 2016, for example, was Keith Adams tweeted: ‘Just took 93-year-old mum to vote [in the referendum], she’s registered blind. In a very loud voice, she said, “which box for out?” A cheer went up from waiting voters.’
He later admitted, after deleting the initial tweet, that he’d over-egged the cheer and it was more of a nod and smile from people.
Deputy leader of the Green Party Amelia Womack won a DHOTYA the following year when she wrote that her nephew asked why naked women had to be on book covers to sell them.
But through the hundreds of nominations, there was one trend.
For some reason though when women write about their everyday experiences like these, some men choose not to believe it, no matter how innocuous the stories.
— Chris Michael (@CHRISMD98) February 24, 2019
The account admin, Harry, told Metro.co.uk that there’s no targeted approach from DHOTYA supporters and that both men and women are called out for their ‘lies’ or fabrications.
And while that may be true for the winners (of which there have been both sexes) there are more women nominated overall, with the single highest demographic accused of lying being ordinary, non-famous young women, making up for 44.8% of all people accused as found by Vice.
Perhaps that’s because followers of the account – of which 93% are male according to Harry– are immune to nominations. So, the page which was originally very popular with football fans, and therefore aligned with lad culture, is unable to nominate any of its fellow male followers.
But instead of using the page to debunk lies and treat internet stories with a bit of caution like we all should, members and non-members have started tagging people on the most banal things.
— Richard (@richardbrown31) February 21, 2019
When asked whether these kinds of tedious nominations cheapen his brand – a brand set to debunk obvious lies – admin Harry tells Metro.co.uk that he doesn’t see it like that.
‘There’ll be a lot of reasons behind the “tedious” DHOTYA tags and it’ll depend on the relationship between the two people. Sometimes it’s a bit of banter between mates, sometimes it’s possibly a passive aggressive comment in a debate.
‘For these ones, you’ll usually find they’re not genuinely trying to get them nominated, but more so to make a statement or joke around – I can’t really answer for the people who tag though.’
— Rhys Widdett (@RhysLightning19) February 18, 2019
Harry insists that everyone is fair game when it comes to nominations and that the account discourages anything other than having a laugh or poking fun at something that’s, in DHOTYA’s opinion, unlikely to have happened.
‘The main thing to remember is, DHOTYA is for entertainment so if we get it wrong, from an integrity point of view, it’s irrelevant,’ he adds.
‘The other side of DHOTYA is where it’s taken fully out of my control, and can be used as a tag in somebody’s tweet, can be used for comedy or for abuse, or heckling or whatever it may be used for, and has no association with me or my brand.
‘I wouldn’t say these scenarios [tedoius nominations] cheapen my brand though.’
But Harry wonders why it always comes back to feminism when the question of whether his account makes it that bit harder to be a woman on the internet arises.
‘I do find it very interesting how some women (some including feminists) make comments feeling they’re targeted by men because they’re a woman,’ he says.
‘It’s the women who make these claims that bring gender into it, making themselves victims in something that doesn’t exist.
‘For me, it harms the ability for people to have a genuine conversation around equality when the sexism or patriarchal or “white male privilege” card is drawn out whenever some of these women get upset at DHOTYA being tagged.’
But being tagged made me feel more uncomfortable to be a woman on the internet, by questioning my integrity. In comparison, men being tagged for banal posts are much fewer.
Women are already harassed, mocked, belittled and memed on the internet daily. Women seeing a DHOTYA tag are reminded that another little part of their existence is not worthy of being believed or worthy of people’s time.
There is something insidious and damaging to be told that our stories don’t belong, especially when you consider that I found a few women had deleted their comments altogether, not necessarily because their lie has been caught out but over the embarrassment of having their integrity questioned.
Those who do the tagging don’t think it’s all that serious. Nick Palmer, who nominates people for the award, tells us: ‘Its just a laugh. If people are offended by strangers on the internet they need to have a look in the mirror.
‘I think men and woman generally have a different type of humour and always have. But social media has just put a spotlight on it and is visible for all to see. Some might call it “lad culture” I suppose. Most people just see it as a bit of a laugh.’
But is it all that funny? On other end of the scale, the highly popular posts that get hundreds and thousands of nominations can be quite funny and even harmless in certain cases; they’re hyperbolic, satirical, made to be laughed at.
It could even be argued that it’s good to practice such skepticism in the age of fake news and alternative facts.
— Glenn Richards (@GlennR2511) February 19, 2019
But these types of posts – the viral ones intended to warrant some type of reaction – though are not deserving of the abuse they get, do open themselves out for skepticism by their very nature, especially when they align with a political stance (often young people saying unlikely things we’re used to hearing).
When people who merely use social media to talk about their day and their experiences get tagged as lies, it feels almost intrusive.
When women talk about their everyday experiences and have it hijacked by a group or a person crying ‘lies’, it reduces them to attention-seekers and questions their credibility – things that are reminiscent of rape culture.
The internet should be a fun space to have a laugh but tagging your mates and DHOTYA to say you think a story about children not wanting to step on dog poo or the like (very, very believable) is a lie, doesn’t make you funny.
It makes you just another a*sehole on the internet.
Why do we love stories of scammers?
Sex toys can be great. Pleasure for all the single people out there or maybe just a way to entertain yourself when you aren’t with your partner.
But you can miss the intimacy of being with another person.
Well, a sex toy company in America has a solution.
They’ve created a bobblehead sex toy – basically a hand-sculpted cartoonised figure, based on a picture you send to them, with a sex toy attached.
Wobbly Willy takes the picture of our partner (or I guess someone you fancy if you are single) and creates the bobble head out of polymer clay.
You need to upload photos of different angles of somebody’s head and then select their hair color, eye color, and skin color
They then send you pictures of the head to allow you to suggest any changes.
From the pictures, it’s weirdly life like.
According to their website, it doesn’t quite nod like other bobble heads but ‘with firm and distinct shaking the head will ”bobble” due to the elasticity of the silicone neck.’
The dildo doesn’t vibrate so it’s pretty low-tech.
But the head is completely removable so if you find it a bit off putting (or if you need a head that looks like someone else), you can buy the heads without the toy.
Bad news though – they do say they won’t create one of someone famous.
The website says: ‘Generally we cannot make a Wobbling Willy of any person who profits from their own image, including but not limited to professional athletes, musicians and actors.’
The Wobby Willy costs $99 (£76.22) and can be shipped worldwide for $25 (£19.25).
You can now get sex toys with bobble heads that look like your partner attached
Attention, hip millennials: Waitrose has re-launched its sell-out chocolate avocado Easter egg.
The Waitrose Chocolate Avocado Egg was a huge hit last year, and was actually the supermarket’s fasted selling Easter egg ever as avocado lovers went wild for it.
It proved so popular in 2018 that it had to be restocked over and over again.
The egg, which is shaped like an avocado and costs £8, features a Belgian chocolate shell, white chocolate ‘flesh’ made with green natural colouring, and a chunky cocoa-dusted chocolate ‘stone’.
As well as reintroducing this egg to the Waitrose shelves, the store is also stocking miniature versions of the egg this year.
2019’s ‘Baby Chocolate Avocados’ are smaller versions of the giant egg, and are perfect for Easter egg hunts.
A pack of three costs £4.
Waitrose has also added a vegan avocado-shaped treat to its shelves (no we’re not talking actual avocados).
They’ve created lime flavour vegan jelly avocados selling for £2.50 for a pack of six. Yum.
Kate Kind, Waitrose & Partners Easter egg product developer said: ‘We know our customers love avocados, but we never realised quite how much until we launched our Chocolate Avocado last Easter!
‘The avocados were a huge hit with avo-lovers hunting for them in Waitrose & Partner shops across the UK.
‘They sold out much quicker than expected and were such a talking point among family and friends that we wanted to recreate them with some fun, mini versions this year to make sure our shoppers had a whole array of avocado treats to choose from.’
The old saying goes that to ‘everything there is a season’.
Except, apparently, when it comes to making the single biggest decision that a person can make: having a baby.
We as women are bombarded time and time again with messages about how mothers are getting older and therefore giving birth to less biologically optimal babies, if we can manage to spawn any kind of life from our ancient arid wombs in the first place.
Similarly we grow up being told over and over again that teenage pregnancy is a life ruining car crash. You know what we don’t get? Any guidance about when we actually should be trying to get pregnant.
If feels like life as a woman goes like this: don’t get pregnant, you’re too young, don’t get pregnant, you’re too young. OH, wait, now you’re too old and you’re barren.
It’s a bit like trying to eat an avocado on the one day it’s ripe but not brown.
Given how complicated deciding to have a baby is, you’d have thought that there would be loads of dialogue dedicated to it. But no.
The moment you say the words, ‘I’m not sure when the right time is’ or, ‘I’m thinking about when we should start trying,’ someone will pop up and shout, ‘THERE IS NO GOOD TIME TO HAVE A BABY. YOU ARE NEVER REALLY READY.’
Apparently, once upon a time there was a meeting where everyone got together and agreed that there was no good time to have a baby, that women should never expect to be ready, and that was just going to have to be good enough.
I had sort of accepted this as general wisdom until I started to think about trying to get pregnant.
Pretty much every time I’ve launched into a conversation about whether or not I’m ready to become a mother, someone will interrupt by saying, ‘you’re never ready, though’ or, ‘there’s never a right time.’
I’ve been married for almost two years, I’m 28, and I’m not quite as poor as I once was. Plus I’m pretty sure my hormones are pulling for it because every time I see a newborn I want to either lick it or cry.
Whenever I’ve thought about making any other life changing decision, like taking a gap year, applying for a job, publishing a novel, getting married, moving house or getting a fringe, I’ve done the research in an attempt to work out the best method and time to achieve my goal.
I’m sorry but I refuse to believe it. If there can be a wrong time (birth during your GCSEs, birth when you’re drawing your pension) then there must be a right time. Or at least a better time.
When I spent hours on The Student Room working out what universities to apply to no-one jumped out from behind a wall yelling, ‘there is no right university, you’re never ready to go to uni.’
Similarly, when I wanted to move in with my boyfriend (now husband) there was no Greek chorus of ‘there is no right time’.
However, in this situation, there is nowhere for me to turn.
I’m sorry but I refuse to believe it. If there can be a wrong time (birth during your GCSEs, birth when you’re drawing your pension) then there must be a right time. Or at least a better time.
There are statistics, yes.
But that doesn’t actually tell you anything about what the ‘right’ time is. Perhaps if we stopped allowing ourselves to be fobbed off with the ‘there is no right time’ myth then we’d have some harder evidence about what the right time actually looks like.
What I want to know is what your life is supposed to look like before you have a child in order to give you the best possible chance of being a decent parent, and I don’t want it to just be a list of requirements that I made up on the Notes app of my iPhone.
Does it matter that I’m not a homeowner? That I don’t know baby first aid yet? That last weekend I drank a bottle of wine to myself on Friday, Saturday and Sunday?
I realise that ‘there is no right time’ is designed to dispel the idea that you’ve got to have your life in perfect order before you can start a family, but I’ve found it feels like a complete shutting down of legitimate concerns.
It’s not helpful to be told that there’s nothing you can do to prepare for motherhood and that whatever age you are it will always feel like a terrible mistake.
Deciding to start a family is terrifying enough without people coming up to you and telling you that it’s an experience that you cannot mitigate for on any level.
Perhaps what people mean when they say ‘there is no right age’ is that there is no one, singular right age. Not everyone has their life together at 30, and not everyone is a feckless mess at 15. But if that is what we mean, perhaps that’s what we should actually say.
It might be well intended, but honestly when people say ‘there is no right time’ it sounds a bit like they’re saying, ‘you’re f**ked whatever you do, lol, enjoy your bankruptcy and bleeding nips.’
Instead of saying ‘there is no right time to have a baby’, tell your friends, ‘no matter how well you plan it, having a baby is difficult.’
Rather than saying ‘you’re never ready’, wouldn’t it be more helpful to say, ‘even if you’re ready, there are challenges’.
If a woman is talking about not knowing about whether or not it’s time to have a baby, don’t shut them down by saying that there is ‘never a right time.’
She’s not asking you to pull a number out of the air, she’s asking you to listen to her work it out.
Woman who got pregnant through natural insemination
The website IllicitEncouters.com has compiled the top ten sexual fantasies of people who cheat.
Designed for those who wish to have extramarital sex, the website polled 2,000 of their users to find out what their most popular fantasies were.
The UK's favourite fantasies
1. Sex with the ex – 55%
2. A sex scene on TV or online
3. Sex with a celebrity
4. Sex with my current partner
5. Sex with a stranger
6. An affair with a work colleague
7. Sex with a friend
8. Group sex
9. Sex in a public place
10. Sex with someone in authority – police officer or traffic warden
IllicitEncounter’s finding were somewhat more vanilla than the average worldwide fantasies, which according to sexpert and academic Dr Justin Lehmiller are:
Most common sexual fantasies
Maybe people who are cheating on their partners require less additional naughtiness to make sex feel exciting, or perhaps people who cheat on their partners are just less kinky overall.
How to do coital aligment technique during sex
Fashion Nova has shared an image of its metallic bodysuit to Instagram, and it’s so high cut that people have been saying they can ‘feel the wedgie’ just through the phone.
The fashion brand released a photo of the silver body suit, which comes with a high neck, a cropped hole cleavage and bottoms so high they stretch up to the model’s rib cage.
And people have agreed it doesn’t look at all comfortable – and we’d have to agree.
One person wrote: ‘I can feel the wedgie through the phone’.
Another said: ‘Jane Fonda looking ahh…issa hard pass for me’.
Someone else wrote: ‘Yeast infection’.
The bodysuit, which received 16,000 likes, is meant to be paired with some metallic biker shorts.
But we’d have to admit, the idea of riding a bike in a bodysuit that sits so far up your butt doesn’t sound very comfortable at all.
This release follows the fashion retailer’s barely-there jacket, which they also posted to Instagram.
Fashion Nova posted the set on Instagram, captioning it ‘Not Your Boyfriend’s Hoodie’.
But we have to say, it doesn’t look much like the model’s hoodie either – given it’s barely there.
The outfit is available in sky blue and features a ‘bolero’ top and pants.
It has contrast piping, a front zipper, drawstring detail and an elastic waist, and costs £38.40.
But, much like the metallic bodysuit, customers aren’t the biggest fans of this jacket, either – with one person saying you might as well go ‘topless’ instead of wearing the ‘jacket’, and another adding: ‘What’s the point of the top if u aren’t covering anything? Just go without it’.
Fashion Nova launches highest cut one-piece EVER and women joke they can already ?feel the wedgie?
The first dance between a husband and wife is always special, no matter whether it’s a two-step or a seven-minute choreographed spectacular.
When former gymnast Lana Bolender was asked by her fiancé if she wanted to do a duo Lyra dance – which involves spinning on a hoop suspended in the air – she decided to go for it.
Though this type of dance is normally performed by professional aerial acrobats in circus acts, Lana and husband-to-be Chris, who also trained in gymnastics as a child, knew they could pull it off.
And they did just that – performing a beautiful five-minute choreography in the air while Lana wore a short white dress and Chris wore braces, as it was their special day after all.
The surprising part wasn’t just their carefully orchestrated routine either, it was that Lana was 11 weeks pregnant at the time she performed. But their guests were none the wiser.
Lana, from New York, spoke to Metro.co.uk to tell us how they managed to pull it all off.
‘Chris and I are not professional aerialist or dancers. I was a competitive gymnast for 15 years,’ she explained. ‘Chris practiced gymnastics until he was 10, and is now an avid climber, surfer, free diver, and all around talented man.
‘I have practiced Lyra on and off for the last few years, while Chris had no experience at all. We practiced, choreographed and trained this routine for two and a half months.
‘We did not choreograph this ourselves. Teresa Shogren is our choreographer. We were inspired to collaborate with my dear friend Moorea who performed the song I Can’t Tell live at the wedding.
‘This dance was made to share as a gift with our guests. They were all surprised by it and so supportive. The cute secret of it all is I was 11 weeks pregnant in the video, (currently 14 weeks).’
Though it looked amazing, rehearsing the choreography while pregnant wasn’t easy. But partner Chris got her through the tough times.
‘There were many days of extreme nausea and difficulty,’ added Lana. ‘In so many ways this practice got me through it. While dry heaving and being very emotional. I’m so glad we stuck through and it all worked out so beautifully.’
‘My love Chris, this would have never been a reality without your idea to do a duo Lyra performance. You remained so solid, loving and supportive during all the intense ups and downs of the first trimester. I’m so thankful to share this life with you,’ she wrote on her Facebook.
They have certainly raised the bar for first wedding dances.
I am now three months into my fourth decade of life.
I turned 30 in November last year and the overwhelming swell of negativity, fear-mongering and anxiety from everyone around me as I approached this milestone made it, at times, hard to breathe.
It felt like everyone wanted me to be terrified of turning 30. As though the only appropriate way to feel about entering this new decade was apprehensive, sad and crushed by the ‘loss of my youth’.
‘I’m fine about it! Honestly. I’m actually excited!’ I would bleat to anyone who mentioned my looming birthday – until I started to smell the desperation on my breath with every, ‘it’s really no big deal!’.
Who was I trying to convince? And when had I internalised society’s fears about the big 3-0?
I became obsessed with the ages of celebrities.
Rihanna is, comfortingly, a year older than me. She always will be. Which for some reason feels like a lifeline. As though being slightly younger tethers me in some way to her fountain of seemingly endless, celebrity youth.
And from the depths of my famous dates-of-birth research I realised something – even the most glamorous, enviable superstars aren’t immune to the fear of 30.
If these rich, famous, globally successful women don’t feel 100 per cent OK about turning 30 – what hope is there for the rest of us?
The use of language is so important in framing the narrative around 30. To reduce the needless pressure and anxiety of this birthday we need to start by looking at how we actually talk about it.
Try it. If you’re about to turn 30, mention it to someone.
They will usually begin their response with a sharp intake of breath, a grimace and then some variation of, ‘oh god – are you scared?’, ‘how are you handling it?’ or, ‘wow – that’s a big one!’ The tone isn’t celebratory, it’s always commiseratory.
The reason we do this is because we have been so conditioned to fear this stage of life.
Youth is our currency – particularly for women. And for many millenials – it is our only currency. We certainly don’t have much in the way of monetary currency, nor, in the most part, property, stable career prospects or the makings of a new family.
In fact, we have been robbed of most of the markers that in previous generations would have signified real, proper adulthood.
The relentless spiralling of property prices, the chronic instability of the job market and the looming shadow of Brexit have created the perfect conditions to trap millennials in a perpetual state of almost-adulthood. And maybe that’s why 30 feels so scary. The crushing inadequacy of not having achieved enough.
In the weeks leading up to my 30th birthday my internal monologue became almost unbearably self-critical.
Rather than judging myself on my achievements and what I had accomplished, the little voice in my head was doing the inverse – summing up my worth based on what I hadn’t achieved.
And slapping an arbitrary time-limit on myself was the opposite of helpful. I watched the final weeks of my 20s flash by, the days pouring through my fingers with the sand-like quality we so often ascribe to the passage of time.
What struck me the most in these weeks is how external these pressures actually are. I had felt fine about turning 30 until I started discussing it with friends and colleagues.
We are perpetuating these societal anxieties through how we talk to each other. Whether it’s transferring your own fears about turning 30 on to someone else, or a well-meaning joke about being ‘over the hill’ – our language is stressing people out and only works to put youth on a pedestal over all other qualities.
I’m not saying that turning 30 isn’t a big deal. Any birthday with a ‘0’ at the end of it is important and will inevitably warrant a certain amount of self-reflection. But these landmarks should be celebrated, not mourned.
A 2015 study found that age 25 is the lowest point for a woman’s sexual confidence. Advancing age means experience, wisdom, fewer insecurities, better relationships, stronger friendships – your bosses might even stop asking you to make the tea quite so often.
The most notable change between my early 20s and hitting 30 is that I am much closer to knowing who I am. And I finally back myself.
Our 20s are characterised by discovery – we spend much of the decade working out what we don’t like or won’t accept – in the workplace, in the bedroom, in our friendships.
And that means we end up putting up with a lot of sh*t while we are figuring it all out. The 30s is the decade of decisiveness. It no longer takes us months, or years, to realise that we are being treated badly. We now have enough experience to know our worth – and that alone is worth celebrating.
A 29-year-old friend recently told me that she isn’t planning on having any kind of party for her 30th because it ‘isn’t cause for celebration’. This made me so sad. We really need to unlearn this idea that turning 30 is the end of all things.
A new decade means nothing more than new possibilities. OK, you will now never make the Forbes 30-under-30 list, but the validation of having your name on a list probably isn’t the healthiest way to judge your personal success anyway.
For my 30th I took 11 of my best friends to Las Vegas for the party of the decade. I would hugely encourage anyone who is feeling nervous about this birthday to embrace it with your whole heart and do something wild.
Four months in, I am loving being 30. It certainly feels like something to celebrate.
***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** Why friendship is so important when life gets difficult
Erika Rae Ritschard had surgery seven years ago to get implants to increase the size of her breasts to double Ds.
But after the cosmetic procedure, the 28-year-old noticed that she was experiencing anxiety and depression.
The mum-of-three from Mississippi, says she had symptoms which included weight loss, heart palpitations, memory loss, extreme fatigue, skin rashes, anxiety, depression, and even suicidal feelings.
As a result, Erika decided to get rid of the sillicone implants as she believed they were poisoning her. She paid $5,000 (£3,831.30) for the explant procedure.
The photography editor believed she was suffering from ‘breast implant illness’ after stumbling on a Facebook support group for the condition.
Although there is no official connection between breast implants and the condition known as ‘breast implant illness’, thousands of women have joined online support groups reporting similar symptoms.
‘It’s horrifying to think that what I had chosen to put into my body was making it wither away.
‘I wanted to cut them out of myself. During my worst times, I even contemplated suicide.
‘After breastfeeding two babies and losing some weight, I wasn’t really into the appearance of my breasts.
‘My husband told me I looked perfect but I was really set on getting implants. I felt like I had given my body to my kids and this was something just for me.
‘Within three months, I was dealing with anxiety and depression.’
She reported going to the ER over extreme migraines, she lost 40 pounds, had aching muscles and her hair also became very brittle.
Erika says she was tested for parasites, had pelvis and stomach ultrasounds, MRIs and CAT scans but doctors never diagnosed her.
A few years later, Erika came across Facebook group Breast Implant Illness and Healing and felt like she finally had her diagnosis.
She said: ‘The description in the group fitted with exactly what I was experiencing. I felt like I was reading about myself.
‘I thought: “Holy crap, that’s why the doctor can’t find anything wrong with me!”
‘I posted a bit of my story on the page and hundreds of women wrote to me and said it was definitely breast implant illness.’
Just three months later, Erika had her breast implants removed at a surgery in Alabama.
She said: ‘I immediately felt myself again but at first I was worried it was the pain medication I was on after the operation.
‘But two weeks in, I knew this was a real heal. I put on forty pounds in four months. All my muscle pain was gone. I could sleep through the night.
‘My skin was soft again, no more alligator patches. All of my symptoms subsided in the first two months.’
Dr Diana Zuckerman, President of the National Center for Health Research in Washington D.C, said that just because breast implant illness is not recognised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) it doesn’t mean that the condition is not real.
‘When there’s a new pattern of a group of symptoms that seem to all cluster together for a group of people it often takes a long time until the medical community accepts that it is a real thing,’ said Dr Zuckerman.
‘We certainly have seen and talked to many women who have experienced this cluster of symptoms that are referred to as breast implant illness.
‘What they have in common is that they are symptoms that could be caused by their immune system going out of whack.’
You can find more information about breast implants in the UK, costs, risks, and side effects here.
Despite the fact we all do it, pooing is still a very taboo subject.
It’s not something we like to bring up over the dinner table and ‘how are your bowels?’ doesn’t seem to something that you can just ask.
But we should be able to talk about it more – because many of us struggle with bowel problems.
We get so embarrassed, many of us don’t talk about any issues or try to get help – instead we just hope it will resolve itself.
However, it’s important that if you notice changes in your bowel habits, you do go to your GP, because going to the toilet can be a big indicator of what’s going on with your overall health.
While you could just be suffering with a hemorrhoid – something that is very common – or perhaps a case of gastroenteritis – you could also be suffering with something more serious, such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease, affecting more than 300,000 people in the UK.
Ulcerative colitis is inflammation and ulceration in the large intestine and rectum, while Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal system, from mouth to anus.
Sadly, IBD is still a largely hidden disease due to the stigma, fear and isolation around bowel problems. And, it still goes misdiagnosed, with some people told they have IBS, and some people’s symptoms being dismissed completely.
But due to how many people IBD does affect, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms so that you can get help, because inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic illness with no cure, and some cases result in surgery, with many sufferers having stoma bags to help them live a better way of life.
According to Crohn’s and Colitis UK, people with IBD may experience drastic changes in their bowel habits – from chronic constipation to chronic diarrhoea, including needing the toilet multiple times throughout the day, and being unable to hold it.
One vital sign of inflammatory bowel disease is blood coming from the digestive tract – with dark blood being something to worry about as this signals internal bleeding.
Mucus and pus may also accompany it.
If you have IBD, you may also experience cramping, tiredness and fatigue and having a loss of appetite and a loss of weight.
Weight loss can be due to the body not absorbing nutrients from the food you eat because of the inflammation in the gut.
You may also experience anaemia and joint pain, while mouth ulcers alongside other symptoms may be an indicator of Crohn’s disease.
The problem is that each of these symptoms can be quite common without IBD, with some people experiencing the occasional bleed or mucous, or some cramps.
Which is why often many people with IBD will be misdiagnosed with IBS – an unpleasant, but not life-threatening syndrome – first.
While it may be nothing, it’s always important to have your gut health checked out, as when inflammatory bowel disease is left without treatment it can get worse, and can be life-threatening.
But it’s important to remember that IBD can be controlled, with medication.
In some cases, inflammatory bowel disease can also be managed by diet – for instance, some people find cutting certain things like meat and dairy out of their diet helps them manage their symptoms.
But this isn’t the case for everyone, it can vary person to person.
For some people, diet has no effect on their symptoms. There is also a common misconception that healthy diet can help inflammatory bowel disease – but for many people, fruits and vegetables can actually make symptoms worse for them, so they stick to blander foods like bread, pasta and potatoes.
For some people with IBD, a healthy diet is impossible, while others manage it easily.
Though IBD may sound scary, it is very manageable and hundreds of thousands of people live with it. Living with it can be unpleasant and it is important to have help, treatment or support for it.
So, don’t be embarrassed, and if you have one or more of the symptoms listed above, book an appointment with your GP, who will be able to examine you and discuss further steps.
Don’t be ashamed of having bowel problems – as alongside the IBD statistics, two in 10 people in the UK have IBS.
The more we talk about bowel problems, the less stigma there will be around them, and hopefully more people will feel brave enough to seek help instead of suffering in silence.
Let’s be more open, less embarrassed and accepting of the fact everybody poos. Some of us just have a bit more trouble with it.
10 symptoms of IBD most people don't realise exist (Jenna Farmer)
A travel company, Busabout, has launched a global search for six content creators to go off on all-expenses paid trip around the world worth up to £8,000.
But of course, like all things that sound far too good to be true, there is a catch.
Those who apply must be prepared to leave their holiday experience in the hands of Instagrammers.
So, essentially, you’ll get to travel around for free – but you’ll have to constantly update your travels on social media, and must leave the holiday decisions up to Busabout’s followers.
The trips will vary from six to 11 weeks, and winners will get to travel as a duo through USA, South East Asia or Europe.
And, while travelling, those watching the experience from Busabout’s Instagram will get to choose your every step – making decisions like whether you should go skydiving or water rafting n Lauterbrunnen, and whether or not to swallow a deep fried insect in Bangkok,.
Instagram users will have the total power to decide what happens next.
Busabout will be offering their followers polls to vote in, to decide what you should do on your travels, and you have to stick to what they vote for.
Last year, Busabout assembled an Ultimate Travel Squad of four content creators who took over Busabout’s social platforms for three months while travelling across Europe.
This year, you’re competing to get to experience The Great Travel Experiment while capturing every piece of content for the travel company’s social media channels.
There are two positions up for grabs in each destination – an Instagram Storyteller who is confident in front of a lens, passionate about travelling and has a knack for telling a great story, and a Videographer with creative flair and experience filming and editing brilliant video content.
All successful candidates, no matter their chosen position, will be required to get involved in the challenges set by Instagram’s audience.
The South East Asia and USA itineraries both last for six weeks over summer, while the 11 week Europe itinerary hits the hotspots across the continent and culminates with beers and pretzels at Oktoberfest in Munich.
All six successful content creators will be paid £200 each week on top of the all-expenses paid trip.
To apply for The Great Travel Experiment simply decide whether you’re an Instagram Storyteller or Videographer, suggest a preferred destination and record a 60 second video showcasing the best bits of your very own hometown – extra points will be awarded for creativity.
Candidates can apply as a dynamic duo with a fellow creative genius, or sign up solo and bond with their new colleague on the road.
Videos can be submitted on the Busabout website and entries are open until 8 April 2019.
The Busabout team will select a shortlist and leave the final decision up to public vote on the Busabout website.
Get paid to travel the world, but Instagrammers will dictate your next move
Morrisons has launched a new meat deal which will make 14 meals per person for just £10.
Morrisons’ butchers are introducing a British Meat Pack for National Butcher’s week, containing enough meat for two weeks’ worth of meals for one person.
The 2.13kg meat pack, which costs just £10, is hand-prepared by Morrisons’ butchers at their Market Street counters, and will include British pork loin, 8 pork sausages, diced beef and steak mince – saving customers almost £4.
The 100% British pack will be available in all Morrisons stores this week.
Products included in the meat pack:
• 8 The Best Pork Sausages
• British Pork Loin Joint, 800g
• Diced Beef, 450g
• Butcher’s Steak Mince, 420g
Matthew Slater, Morrisons Meat Buyer said: ‘Customers have told us it’s important that we make British meat affordable.
‘We’re pleased to be able to offer a pack which can be used to make a whole host of meals for a family, including bolognese, roast pork, bangers & mash and casseroles.’
In other new product news, Waitrose has re-launched its avocado Easter egg.
It was first released last year, and was so popular that it sold out over and over – and we’re expecting it to do the same again this year.
The egg is shaped like an avocado and has a Belgian chocolate shell, a white chocolate ‘flesh’ made with green colouring, and a cocoa-dusted chocolate ‘stone’.
It costs £8.
Or, for half the price you can get a packet of three ‘Baby Chocolate Avocados’, which are just miniature versions of the big egg – and perfect for Easter egg hunts.
Morrisons Meat Pack 2019-1a98
When was the last time you saw a musician with Down’s Syndrome?
Sadly we don’t see a lot of people with an extra chromosome in the mainstream media. But fortunately, in recent years, there has been an attempt to change that.
Rob Mullen, a music teacher, is one of those people working tirelessly to change perceptions.
The teacher has been helping students with learning difficulties, including those born with Down’s Syndrome to learn how to play instruments, sing, and even rap.
The 42-year-old from Hamilton, New Zealand has performed a number of hit singles with students. His duet cover of Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars with one of his students garnered a huge response online.
Through his work, Rob has helped those who had never even considered a musical future to become musicians.
One of his star pupils, Alex Johnsen, 27, who has Down’s Syndrome, went viral after singing with the teacher on their cover of the Snow Patrol song.
‘Alex is definitely the lead singer,’ said Rob. ‘My job is to sit back and support him and help him to focus.
‘Almost immediately when Alex and I started working together, I recognised that there was so much potential with this guy.
‘Since Alex and I made the Chasing Cars video late last year, which went completely viral and blew our minds, others that I work with have expressed interest in making videos of their own.
‘What I love about working with people and music is seeing the joy, confidence and happiness music has the ability to bring out in people.’
Rob has been working with people with learning difficulties for around 17 years, but it was only less than a year ago that he started working specifically with music.
The songs the group play are chosen jointly by Rob and his pupils.
Alex, who also enjoys playing the harmonica, said: ‘Rob has been my friend, he’s been my tutor – he has been here since the start.
‘My future plan is to go travelling with music, make an album, and live my dream.
‘I feel really excited from the things that I’ve done. You always have to believe in yourself – the world is with you.’
Down Syndrome Musicians
Luna Montana is an 18-year-old ballerina from Los Angeles, California, who has been documenting her dance journey on YouTube.
The teenager has made several videos, one of them entitled I Hate my Body to talk about body dysmorphia and the way it affects her life.
She has gained a large following as she vlogs about the behind the scenes aspects of the dance industry, including auditions she’s missed out on, things that she is required to eat.
Her honesty about meeting the physical demands of the industry and how it has had an impact on her self perception and insecurities has also won a lot of praise.
In her latest video, Luna talks about how she deals with body dysmorphia as a ballet dancer, which she says all ballerinas have a variation of.
Luna posted the heartfelt video revealing how she began dancing as a three-year-old and developed body dysmorphia – a mental health condition where you become highly concerned with the way you look or a certain aspect of your appearance.
She told her 120,000 followers that though she isn’t a licensed therapist, she wants people to reach out to her so they don’t feel alone in their body image issues.
‘Ballet is a very, very body-based art form,’ she explained. ‘As you know, the stereotypical ballerina has to be quite thin. I can say that it’s almost a fact that every single ballet dancer has some sort of body dysmorphia – that’s just my experience, and my friends, and what I know about the ballet industry.’
‘To be honest, I don’t have it as bad as many people do. I have never had an eating disorder, never struggled with anorexia, bulimia, any of that, which I am very, very thankful [for].
‘In this day and age it’s crazy the pressures we put on ourselves in what we should look like. Every day we’re scrolling through Instagram. We wake up and start our day scrolling through Instagram and seeing all these face-tuned photo-shopped pictures that we think we’re supposed to look like.’
Luna explained that though she fits the conventional idea of skinny, in the ballet industry, the standards are completely different,
‘In dance, the norm is stick-thin, amazing feet, hyper-extended legs, no crazy waist, no big hips, [being] very narrow, skinny arms, long arms, long neck – there’s so many things to think about.
‘It’s not even “fat” or “skinny”, it’s “are my legs shaped the right way?”
‘It could literally be your pinky finger that doesn’t work right, and you beat yourself up about it. It’s a crazy, crazy art form.’
She also added that you don’t need to be a ballerina to be able to empathise with the body standards that are imposed on people, just looking at Instagram can give you self esteem issues.
Luna revealed that her method to not obsess over what other bodies look like is to block them from her social media.
‘Listen to me right now. You’re going to go on and unfollow every single page that makes you feel bad about yourself. If you somehow don’t want to, then mute their posts, mute their stories.
‘I know it’s hard and I know you want to see it but at the end of the day if it’s making you feel bad about yourself it’s not worth it,’ she said.
‘You have to realise that this the only body you were given to live. Why would I starve it or be mean to it in any way? This is the only place that I was given to live. This is our one chance at life and I’m wasting so much energy feeling bad about the weight on our thighs. That’s crazy.’
Here is the video Luna has shared on her personal battles:
Ballerina, 18, shares ongoing struggle with body dysmorphia, as she admits the accepted 'norm' in dance is to be 'STICK-thin'
A Scottish property – neighbouring the Balmoral Estate owned by the royal family – has gone up for sale.
Craigendarroch House, a grand baronial style home in Ballater, Aberdeenshire neighbours the Queen’s favourite holiday home, Balmoral Castle – and looks quite a bit like it.
It’s described as being a ‘well-proportioned and versatile living accommodation’, with estate agents claiming the house can be used as a ‘unique family home’ or as ‘a Scottish holiday retreat’.
The property will set you back £750,000 and buyers can call The Queen their neighbour. They might even bump into the Royals in the nearby tea rooms.
The mansion is a Grade C Listed home and dates back from 1869 which boasts period features, including granite statues taken from the now demolished Union Bridge in Aberdeen and also has connections to Queen Victoria.
The seven-bedroom home even has its own tower, which is conveniently connected to the master bedroom – with views over the neighbouring area.
There is a gated entrance and tarmac driveway – which allows new owners to enjoy their own regal entrance as the drive is surrounded by gardens.
Director of Residential at Savills, Fiona Gormley said: ‘Craigendarroch House is a most impressive property in a prime position within historic Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms National Park.
‘It’s scale and bed and bath ration make it ideal as a holiday retreat and rental or, of course, as a wonderfully comfortable family home which enjoys the kind of space and dimensions usually only seen in more remote country mansions.
‘Yet here, the everyday amenities of Ballater are all readily available, which only adds to its appeal.’
A Scottish property - neighbouring the Balmoral Estate - has gone up for sale and its a spitting image of the monarchs favourite home
A woman has been voted ‘Not the Asshole’ on a Reddit thread called ‘Am I The Asshole?’ after writing about how she feeds her vegan nephew meat, even though his parents are strict vegans.
On a throwaway Reddit account, the aunt wrote about how her sister has been vegan for many years and is raising her son on a plant-based diet.
Vegan since birth, the boy goes to school with the woman’s son, and she picks them up from school every day.
She explained how she gives the boys snacks and dinner at her house every weekday before her sister picks up her nephew.
She usually makes one dish for her family and a separate vegan dish for her nephew, but a couple of months ago she left the boys alone to do their homework and came back to find her nephew and her son eating chicken nuggets, despite providing vegan snacks.
Ever since, she has been offering him non-vegan snacks as well as vegan options. The boy often chooses the non-vegan option.
She wrote: ‘I usually make a dish for my family and a separate vegan dish for my nephew. A couple of months ago I left them with their homework and snacks and went to do some chores, came back and found nephew & son sharing chicken nuggets.
‘I provided him with vegan snacks but he still ate the chicken nuggets. I told him those weren’t vegan and he told me that he eats meat in school sometimes. His friends share their meals with him sometimes.
‘I thought about telling my sister but decided not to.
‘So basically I continue to give him vegan options but don’t say anything if he chooses the non vegan option.
‘Usually he goes for the non vegan one. Maybe because because he never gets to at home.
‘I know my sister would freak out if she knows he’s eating meat. She’s staunchly vegan and eating animal products goes against her ethical beliefs which I completely understand and respect.
‘My husband thinks IATA (I am the asshole) for not telling her and being dishonest, but I think nephew is old enough to make his own dietary choices (he’s 10 this year).’
Since posting, people have been commenting to tell her that she’s not the asshole in this situation – and that, as the boy is almost 10 years old, it’s up to him to decide what he wants to eat.
One person wrote: ‘Yeah, NTA. He doesn’t want to be vegan. That is his right If he is old enough to consciously understand and decide, then it should be his choice. I wouldn’t tell her. She can give him vegan food at home, and if he wants to eat meat outside the home, that should be his choice. He can tell his mom when he is comfortable.’
Another said: ‘Don’t out the kid! This is basically a huge philosophical difference he has with his mom. If it was that he’s an atheist and doesn’t pray at your house are you gonna tell Mom? Or even what if he was gay? This has the possibility of making the kid’s life way harder at home.’
However, some people are saying she should talk to her sister about the situation.
One person said: ‘NAH but you should really talk to your sister about it, hiding it from her is only going to strain your relationship when she finds out.. because she will eventually find out.’
Someone else added that it might be important to let the mum know for health reasons, writing: ‘Also should tell her just in case he ever gets sick or has a reaction to something- she’ll never know what to tell the doctor.’
Do you think the auntie is in the wrong for offering non-vegan snacks to a mostly vegan boy?
Auntie reveals she feeds her vegan nephew MEAT when babysitting ? but is ?too scared? to come clean to her sister as she?ll totally ?freak out?
Feeling blue? This book might be just what you need.
Joy! Photographs of Life’s Happiest Moments is a new book that does exactly what it says on the cover: It’s a collection of photos capturing moments of pure joy and contentment, curated by author, designer, and gallery director Bruce Velick.
Bruce believes that ‘smiles are contagious’, and that taking a flick through images of other people’s happiest times can brighten anyone’s day.
We’d have to agree – no matter how down you feel, you can’t help feeling lifted by a photo of a giggling grandmother or a baby playing with a dog on the beach.
Take a look at some of our favourite photos from the collection below.
Joy! by Bruce Velick, introduction by Robert A. Emmons is out 12 March (Chronicle Books, £10.99).
A graduation ceremony at NYU, 1978
Women run from the rain in Capri, Italy, 1964
Two children bounce on a trampoline
A post-bath baby
Lovers in California, 1955
Two brothers meet after being separated by the Berlin wall, 1963
Girls jump rope in New York City
A boy and his dog on the beach in New Zealand
Women and girls in Toronto, Canada screaming with joy during a visit by the Beatles
President Reagan laughs following a joke by Queen Elizabeth II, who commented on the lousy California weather
Photos of life's happiest moments