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- 03/14/19--01:01: _My Label and Me: Ca...
- 03/14/19--01:18: _Toddler with rare f...
- 03/14/19--01:29: _Students create gla...
- 03/14/19--01:30: _Lean On Me: How do ...
- 03/14/19--02:29: _The Maybelline Eras...
- 03/14/19--02:36: _Adult acne: symptom...
- 03/14/19--02:51: _Should you wash raw...
- 03/14/19--03:13: _‘Double-jointed’ do...
- 03/14/19--03:24: _Boy, 11, receives m...
- 03/14/19--03:39: _Woman orders Boohoo...
- 03/14/19--03:54: _Ikea teams up with ...
- 03/14/19--04:19: _If you’re an early ...
- 03/14/19--04:26: _Mum says she was as...
- 03/14/19--05:10: _People share the mo...
- 03/14/19--05:34: _PLT top so small it...
- 03/14/19--06:12: _If you’re an unmarr...
- 03/14/19--06:45: _Mother cat and kitt...
- 03/14/19--06:55: _I missed my wedding...
- 03/14/19--07:57: _How will you celebr...
- 03/14/19--08:28: _Grandma, 61, with 3...
- 03/14/19--01:29: Students create glamorous photoshoot in their local Lidl
- 03/14/19--02:36: Adult acne: symptoms, causes and best treatments
- 03/14/19--02:51: Should you wash raw chicken before cooking it?
- 03/14/19--03:13: ‘Double-jointed’ dog wins fans thanks to contorted sitting position
- More likely to work in an office
- More likely to use Facebook
- More likely to have better sleep
- Describe themselves as clean, confident, energetic, friendly, happy, organised and sociable
- Hobbies include cooking, walking/hiking, playing sports and exercising at the gym
- More likely to believe in love at first sight and have tried online dating
- More likely to talk, snore and move around in their sleep
- Wake up at 6:15am
- Average income of $38,000 (£28,537)
- Less likely to work in an office
- More likely to use Instagram
- More likely to have trouble sleeping
- Describe themselves as perfectionists, sarcastic and shy
- Hobbies include reading and sleeping
- More likely to prefer sleeping with pets on the bed
- Go to bed at 2:55am
- 03/14/19--05:34: PLT top so small it doesn’t even fit on woman’s ‘pea head’
- Hodgkin lymphoma is an uncommon cancer that develops in the lymphatic system, is a network of glands and vessels that spread throughout your body.
- The most common symptom of Hodgkin lymphoma is a painless swelling in a lymph node, usually in the neck, armpit or groin.
- Around 2,100 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in the UK each year.
- The only way to confirm a diagnosis of Hodgkin lymphoma is by carrying out a biopsy, a minor surgical procedure where a sample of affected lymph node tissue is removed and studied in a laboratory.
- 03/14/19--07:57: How will you celebrate Steak and Bl*wj*b day?’
I was a teenager when I decided that I wanted plastic surgery.
My best friend at the time and I hated our noses and joked that as soon as we turned 18 we would get both get nose jobs.
We never did end up getting the surgery together, and I think it’s amazing that she learnt to love herself the way she is, but I will never forget that she is the person who first called me ‘plastic.’
A few years ago she commented on an Instagram post saying how plastic I looked post nose surgery and lip filler. Of course she meant it in a jokey kind of way, but I knew that there was some truth in it.
The comment has stayed with me, especially as it came from someone I was so close with.
I had worked so hard to save up the money for the surgery and I had wanted it for so long, but yet when I posted my first picture debuting the new nose, there was a lot of hate.
The same thing happened after I left Love Island.
I wasn’t naïve. I knew that with reality shows there’s an element of pantomime and I thought I would get stick for some of my actions, or even my previous jobs, but I didn’t realise how much negativity and hate I would receive based on my looks and decision to have surgery.
We live in a society where there are adverts for surgeries on TV in between programmes that target teenagers, which offer finance, making it so easily accessible.
Then, when a woman does decide to get something done she’s ridiculed by people for being fake or plastic!
It’s a lose-lose situation. Our bodies are shamed regardless.
My biggest message to my younger audience is that if you are considering surgery, make sure you only do it if you love yourself from within first.
Cosmetic procedures will only change the outside shell – not how much you value yourself on the inside.
I give myself the confidence I need by making sure I am thinking good thoughts and telling myself positive things in the morning to set me up for the day.
Knowing that I did love myself made the comments and the people making before-and-after collages of me a little bit easier to take.
I wouldn’t have put myself on a reality show if I wasn’t mentally strong enough but let’s face it, at 14 very few of us will look back and love the fashion choices we were rocking back then, so to have them shared in magazines and across the internet is unpleasant!
I mean there’s one picture where it looks like I’ve stolen glasses from the TV show Bo Selecta!
But to be honest, the most upsetting part of being labelled as ‘plastic’ or ‘ugly’ is that 95 per cent of the comments came from women.
There’s more to me than how I look, so being called ‘plastic’ doesn’t get to me, what does is the malice behind it.
I’ve been shamed for being a dancer and a glamour model, for my looks, my body – people were so cruel that I had gained weight since Love Island. I’m constantly slut shamed.
I would love to see less judgement and hate between women. Not many people have our backs, we need to have each other’s.
Whether you are completely natural, had a little tweak here and there, or have gone all out then let’s support each other and empower each other to do whatever the hell we want with our own bodies.
Not conforming and owning your own body is my definition of feminism.
It’s something I’m trying to teach to my young following, too. I’m working with Avon on their Stand4Her campaign as it aims to tackle the issues that are holding women back from their full potential.
One of the ways that it’s doing this is by challenging traditional beauty ideals and archaic stereotypes of how a woman should look, earn money, or behave.
I hope the more that we talk about it, the less taboo these subjects will become, especially for the next generation.
I want them to know that there’s no such thing as a perfect woman, we are all different and beautiful in our own way.
If you want to be covered in tattoos, want to shave your head, want to have multi-coloured hair, want to walk around in stripper heels and the tiniest dress, or wear a tracksuit with no makeup, then do whatever makes you feel beautiful and empowered!
I would love for us as women to support and admire each other for our uniqueness.
Megan has joined forces with beauty giant Avon to launch its Stand4her global initiative, which aims to tackle the issues that women feel are holding them back in all areas of their lives – find out more here.[/metro-fact-box]
Labels is an exclusive series that hears from individuals who have been labelled – whether that be by society, a job title, or a diagnosis. Throughout the project, writers will share how having these words ascribed to them shaped their identity — positively or negatively — and what the label means to them.
If you would like to get involved please email email@example.com
Plastic - Labels
Charlotte Patt has shocked doctors by making it past her second birthday.
The toddler was born with Shprintzen-Goldberg Syndrome (SGS), an extremely rare condition characterised by craniofacial, skeletal and cardiovascular deformities. Only 50 people worldwide have been recorded with the illness.
This means that when she arrived into the world with severe deformities of her face and body, and needed resuscitation, life support, and a tracheotomy just hours after she was born.
Her mum, Tammy Patt, found out that there were complications with Charlotte’s health when she was 20 weeks pregnant, in November 2016.
She was told that her growing baby had several abnormalities, but they couldn’t say what or why.
Charlotte was showing restricted growth, with small head measurements, small facial features, short femur bones, and abnormal shapes in both her feet. Tammy’s uterus also contained large amounts of amniotic fluid.
The child was born at 35 weeks in February 2017. She didn’t cry and came out floppy.
Tests in the neonatal intensive care unit diagnosed Charlotte with Shprintzen-Goldberg Syndrome.
Tammy and her husband, Dustin, felt relief at knowing what was going on with their daughter, but faced uncertainty and isolation when it came to raising their child with such a rare condition.
Doctors didn’t expect her to survive, but two years and ten surgeries later, Charlotte is still here.
Tammy is sharing Charlotte’s story so that other parents won’t feel so alone when their child is diagnosed with a serious disorder.
Tammy says: ‘It was overpowering to know that our child had such a rare disorder with little data. It was also a very hard thing to navigate because so much was happening to our baby all at once.
‘It was so far from the normal that we had experienced with our first two children; it felt like we were floating through the motions many times.
‘Doctors still did not know how to manage the severity of Charlotte’s care and we found many doctors who were not willing to work with us and be Team Charlotte.
‘I honestly thought and was led to believe that Charlotte would not live long, but I’ve since seen her progress and pushed to get her the treatment she needs.
‘You never expect to become a special needs parent. There was a lot of grief after Charlotte was born.
‘We were so incredibly happy that she was alive, but it hurt to know that she would face challenges her entire life, that we did not have what we knew as normal with her to any degree.
‘It hurt to have to explain to family and friends the things that were hard to understand ourselves. It pushed Dustin and I into roles we never knew we would have to be a part of.
‘We had to remain very realistic with our situation and discuss hard topics.
‘No parent should ever have to talk about the ‘what ifs’ to their child who may be dying.
‘My role as mom became more like a role of a nurse and that made bonding with Charlotte hard at first. I struggled on how to do both.’
Charlotte is non-verbal, and gets sick more easily than other children, so constant monitoring is essential.
Her siblings and parents make all the adjustments Charlotte needs to survive, and see the toddler as beautiful.
‘We had to learn ways to explain Charlotte’s differences to our littles,’ says Tammy. ‘It was a very hard balancing act of being there for Charlotte and also being there for Novella and Wyatt.
‘Novella was three-and-a-half when Charlotte was born, while Wyatt was one-and-a-half, so they didn’t understand a lot in the beginning,” she said.
‘As they have grown, and Charlotte has gone through several surgeries we try our best to explain things to them.
‘They understand that they need to treat Charlotte differently than other babies her age, for example, they can’t hold her the same, they need to be gentle and that their sister’s facial expressions let them know how she is feeling.
‘They understand that their sister was born this way and needs help from the doctors. You can tell it affects them at times and they get sad or upset.
‘The one thing that melts my heart is that they see Charlotte as beautiful and see passed her physical features.’
Raising a child with serious health difficulties is challenging, but Tammy feels lucky that Charlotte has survived.
‘Throughout the last two years I’ve tried to focus on the fact that we were lucky enough to become Charlotte’s parents and family and the best advocates she could have,’ says Tammy.
‘I know that sharing my most vulnerable feelings can not only help me work through it, but it could bring strength to others that may be facing disheartening situations and it will also spread awareness for all that we endure.
‘There are still very hard days when all I want is for all the medical issues to disappear. I get frustrated that I can’t comfort my child at times, that we can’t do the things we want.
‘Charlotte has shown so much improvement since some of her larger surgeries in the last year. To most, it is still very minimal improvement, but these inch-stones are so exciting for us.
‘When we see Charlotte happy and smiling, that’s all we can ask for. We want her to enjoy her life. We also hope that we are past some of these large lifesaving procedures so we can focus more on Charlotte’s interactions.
‘We still need to wait it out for surgery on her head/neck instability and potentially a second large cranio-surgery. It’s a fine line of waiting for her to grow bigger and keeping her safe in the meantime to prevent spinal injury.
‘As much as we love seeing her grow, her immobility and low tone are becoming more difficult as she gets taller and heavier.
‘I’ll always worry that I can’t give Charlotte everything she needs. I worry that doctors won’t have the treatments or knowledge she needs, and something will get missed that could threaten her life.
‘Charlotte has made a miracle journey so far and proved so many medical professionals wrong and everyone that sees her can tell that things keep getting better and better.
‘She is a warrior through and through.’
Who says you need a studio and high tech cameras to carry out a glamorous photoshoot?
Student Elsa Papa grabbed a bunch of her friends, an iPhone, and headed to the local supermarket to get the job done.
The 22-year-old from the University of Aberdeen went to a new Lidl store and posed away in aisles holding props such as milk and sitting next to bottles of wine. As you do.
Elsa, who took the snaps on her iPhone 7 Plus, said the opening of Lidl had delighted Aberdeen students and become a ‘big talking point’.
Elsa and three of her friends wanted to celebrate the cheap and cheerful supermarket where they have become regulars.
They were delighted with how the pictures came out and Elsa was encouraged by her mum to send the photos to Lidl.
If she does decide to send them to the supermarket head office then who knows, we might just be seeing the students in other Lidl stores.
‘I asked a few of my friends if they wanted to do a big photo shoot at Lidl. They were all up for it, so we all chose outfits that we thought were striking,’ Elsa told The Tab.
‘I just thought it would be a good idea because since Lidl has opened here, it has been a big talking point.
‘It’s near the student houses and it’s nice and cheap, everything is just fresh. Therefore, the photo shoot was just the perfect fit.’
Elsa, who studies English literature and German, added: ‘It was so funny doing this. I had no idea what I was even saying or doing.
‘At one point I was saying strange stuff like ‘put your leg there’ just because it looked good in the shot.
‘I’m so surprised how well the pictures turned out.
‘The portrait mode on my iPhone 7 plus was really good, we just had some fun and wanted to be carefree.’
Elsa has never been into photography but her mum thinks she should send her pictures to Lidl.
She said: ‘I showed my mum the pictures and she said “they are great, you should send them to Lidl”.
‘I just laughed and told her that it’s a big company I doubt they would need my pictures. But it was nice of her.’
We wonder what the other customers thought of the whole shoot.
Here’s an issue I have come across a lot during my life with different friends – wanting to see people, but struggling with the friendship wage gap.
What I mean by this is having friends who earn more than me or having friends in a group who earn different amounts.
Wanting to see them but then finding it difficult when higher earning friends suggest things that might be slightly unaffordable for those who don’t earn as much!
Even rounds at the pub – I prefer to pay for my own drinks so I can stagger my drinking and be kind to my wallet, but many people go the rounds system.
How can I be polite about this and still have a good night out with my mates?
Remember that episode of Friends? The one where Monica, Ross and Chandler keep suggesting expensive restaurants and Phoebe, Rachel and Joey can’t afford it?
Phoebe orders a side salad and the whole thing unravels when the higher earners suggest just splitting the bill.
This is a timeless, delicate, stubborn dilemma.
The friendship wage gap is real – but not everyone is aware of it. Like Monica, Ross and Chandler, your higher earning friends may be completely oblivious to it.
They probably spend and think about money differently to you, and it might not even occur to them to be considerate about it.
They probably don’t realise it would be courteous to factor this in when choosing a pub, settling the bill or, as you say, shouting rounds.
You’ll just need to be gently vigilant about it and wriggle out of any feelings of shame or guilt or awkwardness.
Money remains one of the most taboo, shame-laden topics we can speak about with our friends, particularly for women. We’re taught not to talk about it – or if we have to, to whisper.
If someone is relying on expensive drinks or activities to get enjoyment and delight out of seeing their friends, they’re doing it wrong.
That’s why so many of us wouldn’t even know what our best friends make in a year.
We could all do with being more open and vocal about our financial situations; it would take the fear out of it.
I’m going to suggest you summon a bit of courage and push past that awkward feeling. Be the one in your group to broach the topic of money.
Do it politely, sure, but just do it.
Being with your friends shouldn’t need to be expensive. If it is, you need to alert people to it and get them to change the budget of your hang-outs.
If someone is relying on expensive drinks or activities to get enjoyment and delight out of seeing their friends, they’re doing it wrong.
Some of the most glorious outings are picnics in a park where you get the Tesco meal deal and split some wine in a box.
Hopefully, you’ll only need to bring it up once, but ignorance and privilege are powerful, so unfortunately you may need to keep raising it.
If your higher earning mates don’t get it or refuse to change – in short, get new friends.
Sensitivity around earning capacity should be compulsory among people who truly care for each other.
So, practically speaking, if someone suggests a fancy Soho restaurant for your next girls’ night out, jump onto that WhatsApp thread and recommend a more affordable option.
If you’re organising a hen do for your girlfriend and someone proposes a ridiculous engagement gift and a week in Madrid, tell them that’s just not something you can cover.
If someone offers rounds, either make it clear that you’d rather buy your own drink or slink off to the bar and just do it.
Be proactive and invite people on outings that are entirely within your budget. Be the person to suggest a location, a time and an activity – that way you have a little control over it.
Everyone appreciates an organiser.
You can only really control your own behaviour here, so be clear and polite and resolute about it. Let’s hope your mates understand and act accordingly.
You could make excuses, lie, use euphemisms and make up other reasons for your preferences.
But I say, try not to.
Set the trend in your group of friends for being open and unapologetic about your finances.
Real friends should respect you, understand where you’re coming from and change their behaviour to make you more comfortable.
The onus, truly, should be on them to be considerate of all budgets – but as I say, they may not even realise what they’re doing.
Assuming that everyone can afford extravagant things is a rudeness, so do not apologise or allow yourself to feel small if you have to negotiate.
Know that you are in the right here, for wanting to be able to afford social interaction with people you like.
Flag it as many times as you need to and try not to judge yourself harshly in the process.
Kylie, you got this.
About Lean On Me
Kate Leaver is the author of The Friendship Cure and she will be answering your friendship woes in her weekly Metro.co.uk column.
If you’d like to submit a question or problem, email LeanOnMe@metro.co.uk with ‘Lean on me’ in the subject line.
Submissions are anonymous and you can follow the discussion on Twitter #LeanOnMe.
Lean On Me
Concealer is a godsend.
Sure, foundation can help even your complexion, but when you need a little help in the coverage department, you can always rely on concealer.
They cover late night induced dark circles, hormonal breakouts, imperfections and redness. In short, concealer is the solution to all your skin discoloration woes.
So if you’re looking for the best-selling concealer, that does everything that luxury formulas do, but at a fraction of the price, we can help.
According to Amazon the Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer is the best concealer your money can buy.
It’s that good. But don’t take our word for it.
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"Oh my gosh, this concealer is one of my holy grails, it is so good. So full coverage and just applies beautifully to the face. It also wears really well throughout the day. Great concealer option!" – devanw1, maybelline.com review. Comment your shade to find your shade twin! 🖤#instantagerewind
On Amazon the Maybelline Eraser Eye Concealer has racked up over 1,000 reviews with a star rating of 4 out of 5, making it the best-selling concealer on the site.
The high street concealer is dubbed as being just as creamy and blendable as more expensive counterparts, while also offering long-lasting coverage.
Plus you won’t have to fork out a load of cash, as this concealer is only £6.25 a pop.
But don’t let the price fool you. Reviews on Amazon confirm the hype with one customer stating: ‘They might have nailed it. I think I pretty much love everything about this concealer from the colour matching, to the coverage, all the way to the time it lasts and even the applicator.’
Another customer agreed saying: ‘It brightens any areas of discoloration and dark under eyes, hides eye bags as if by magic and covers up any spots and pimples perfectly.’
And one review simply stated ‘I cannot recommend the concealer enough.’
The fan favourite, that’s been hailed as Britain’s No.1 concealer, comes in a decent range of shades, has a demi-matte finish and is enriched with goji berry, haloxyl and caffine to help hide a bad night’s sleep in a swipe. Maybelline also claims it visibly diminishes under-eye puffiness.
The sponge tip makes application dead easy.
Just twist the collar of the applicator until the concealer is on the sponge (FYI this may take some time on first use) and using the applicator apply directly to the under-eye area in an outward motion. Blend in with your fingers, Beautyblender, or makeup brush of choice.
If you need a concealer in your makeup bag, what you waiting for?
This is the most popular concealer sold on Amazon
Acne isn’t just for teenagers.
Yep, we hate to break it to you, but it is possible to have blemish-free skin throughout your childhood and teen years, only to enter adulthood and be plagued with spots. Unfair right?
Adult acne is actually fairly common in women, mainly due to hormonal shifts. In fact over 650,000 female Metro.co.uk readers suffer from acne – so you’re not alone.
We spoke to Swedish skin guru and founder of skin care line Verso, Lars Fredriksson, who revealed what can cause acne in adults and how you can help clear up your skin and keep breakouts at bay.
What is adult acne?
It’s an inflammation caused by clogged pores. Teen acne appears on the forehead and cheeks but adult acne appears around the jawline.
Can you only get adult acne if you suffered with acne in your teens?
No. Due to hormonal changes such as menstruation, pregnancy, breast-feeding etc, acne can appear in later stages of life.
Where can it appear?
All over the face but more likely around the jawline.
How long does it last?
Hormonal changes may continue off and on for various reasons all the way up to your 50s and 60s and but will gradually be less over 40.
How can you distinguish the difference between adult acne and blemishes?
A blemish would be more comedones and pimples, adult acne is an inflammatory condition.
What is the cause of adult acne?
Hormonal but some believe that both physical and emotional stress can cause acne.
There are so many product recommendations, what are the formulations, or ingredients to look out for/ stay clear of?
Look for retinoids, niacinamide and salicylic acid. Stay off comedogenic moisturisers (they tend to clog the pores).
What are the big no no’s for treating adult acne?
Do not squeeze or try to scrub, it will only make it worse.
Does exposure to the sun improve the symptoms of acne?
Some sun exposure is good, but too much may make it worse due to the skin drying up and therefore the body produces more sebum.
What sort of regime should I follow?
It’s important to thoroughly cleanse the skin to make sure the pores are unclogged and follow-up with a product that will reduce the inflammation process, control the sebum production and improve the new skin cell renewal.
The acne has left scarring, how can I minimise this?
You should use a Retinol product which improves the skin cell renewal process which can minimise old scars.
Best adult acne treatments
Created with acne-prone complexions in mind, this exfoliating cleanser from Verso contains a high concentration of salicylic acid, which is best known for its antibacterial abilities to unclog pores, ridding them of excess oil and dirt which cause blemishes.
Speaking of salicylic acid, The Ordinary’s stripped back solution of 2% salicylic acid is a great option to targeted blemishes directly.
Just apply a small dot over any angry blemishes to unclog, calm and clear angry spots ASAP.
Plus, it costs less than a fiver – winning.
(Picture: Look Fantastic)
This dermatologically-tested moisturiser from La Roche-Posay has been famed for its ability to reduce acne, unclog pores and fade scarrs thanks to its blend of niacinamide, zinc, salicylic acid.
It’s a great option for oily, blemish-prone skin and a French pharmacy skincare favourite.
There’s no denying it’s pricey, but Allies of Skin Promise Keeper Blemish Sleeping Facial is simply magical.
The hard-working leave-on treatment has been formulated with alpha hydroxy acids (AHA’s), enzymes and probiotics, to effectively unclog pores, fades old blemishes, refine skin texture and brighten the complexion.
Here at Metro.co.uk, we like to use Blemish Keeper during hormonal breakouts to help keep them under control.
For something a little more affordable, Superdrug’s Deep Action range is well-worth spending your pennies on.
One of our favourite products from the range is the Action Pads, which have been saturated in salicylic acid, witch hazel and camomile extract to reduce breakouts, tighten pores sooth the skin for a clearer-looking complexion.
Retinol is a star ingredient and has been in the spotlight in recent years for its anti-aging properties and expert ability to unclog pores. Retinol (also known as vitamin A) has been proven to improve skin discoloration, texture and normalise cell turnover.
It’s a must-have for just about everyone, but particularity for those who want to restore the skin from previous breakouts.
Thanks to it’s bamboo charcoal, green tea leaves and organic tea tree oil enriched formula, The Body Shop Himalayan Charocal Purifying Glow Mask works wonders drawing out impurities and refining the skins texture.
The best-seller – which FYI sells every 15 seconds – has been dubbed as ‘the best face mask ever’ among hundreds of reviews left by happy customers online.
Adult acne: symptoms, causes and best treatments
Although we might take home economics at school or get a Saturday job working the fryer at the local chippy, many of us learn to cook from our parents or older family members.
That means learning all their quirks and habits in the kitchen, whether that’s how to make that amazing sauce or how to burn the bottom of the pan.
There’s one of these habits that regularly comes around on social media, with each faction swearing they’re doing things the right way. That habit is washing chicken.
People who’ve grown up always washing chicken before cooking cannot fathom people not doing it, while those who don’t are adamant that it’s unnecessary and potentially harmful.
We had to find out the truth.
A Food Standards Authority spokesperson tells Metro.co.uk: ‘Don’t wash raw meat. Washing meat splashes bacteria onto your hands, clothes, utensils and worktops. Thorough cooking will kill any bacteria present.’
Raw chicken can carry campylobacter bacteria which can cause tummy pain, severe diarrhoea, and sometimes vomiting for between two and five days.
Though we can’t advocate for going against FSA rules, it can’t be denied that washing chicken has cultural significance for many people, with it being the ‘done thing’ in households across the world.
Blogger and home cook Halima Khatun told Metro.co.uk: ‘I have always washed raw chicken as has everybody in my family – it might be cultural as all Asian people tend to do it, it doesn’t feel clean not to.
‘One of the reasons is because when I buy whole chicken cut into small pieces, it often has small bits of bone so it’s easier to loosen from the chicken when washed.’
Similarly Abbas Kanani, who works for Chemist Click and enjoys cooking at home, says: ‘I do worry that it will spread bacteria as I know they the only way of getting rid of bacteria is by cooking the chicken, but I can’t bring myself to cook the chicken when it has all that slimy stuff on it.
‘I use vinegar as I think it’s better than water but strictly speaking, I am aware that even vinegar will not kill all of the bacteria on the chicken’.
Aidan Mannion, is head chef at Mill&Brew in Mill Hill, North London and has been voted one of the UK’s top chefs under 21. He tells us that he doesn’t wash his chicken due to the risk of splashing contaminated droplets around the kitchen and because he feels that tap water reduces chicken’s shelf life.
He told Metro.co.uk: ‘Interestingly, while it’s traditional in the UK not to wash chicken, it’s a cultural norm of the Afro-Caribbean community to wash their chicken in lemon, lime or vinegar. I have this debate all the time with my friends but there may be some common ground.
‘If you are determined to wash your chicken, it might be beneficial to use the brining method where the meat is soaked in a mixture of water, salt, sugar and spices. Add lemon juice and vinegar at this point so you can clean your chicken while adding flavour and tendering the meat.’
Celebrity Chef Norman Musa – who runs a restaurant in The Hague and teaches Malaysian cookery classes – has a different approach, but still advises caution. He told Metro.co.uk: ‘We wash every ingredient which comes into our kitchens at Wah Nam Hong restaurant in The Hague, as we want to make sure there is no chance of cross-contamination throughout the product chain.
‘Although there is a tradition in certain countries, including Malaysia, to wash chicken before cooking it, I would not recommend it to a home cook, as the risk of increasing contamination of bugs found in raw chicken is high.
‘We use a separate area of the kitchen to wash our chicken and have strict food hygiene rules in place regarding the handling of raw meat. This is not something which could be implemented at home, so is best avoided altogether.’
Honestly, the ‘right’ answer isn’t always going to be the one people go with, and hundreds of years of ancestors doing the same thing is unlikely to be changed by some FSA guidelines.
That said, if you do wash your chicken it’s certainly worth remembering some of Norman or Aidan’s tips. Think about brining instead, or wash the chicken in a separate area that’s thoroughly cleaned afterwards.
Uncooked Chicken Legs
Turns out we’re just as impressed by strange sitting positions when it comes to dogs.
Cheyenne McIntyre was shocked when she turned around and saw her dog, English Mastiff Dudley, sitting with his front legs twisted in front of him.
She snapped a pic (as you would) and posted it online, where it received more than 15,000 likes.
He looks comfortable, doesn’t he?
‘I was cooking dinner and turned around and saw him like this,’ said Cheyenne.
‘I don’t think it hurt him at all. He wouldn’t have stayed like that if it did.
‘He trims his own nails so I’m thinking that’s what he was doing. But it was just the first time I saw him do it.
‘I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, I don’t understand how that could be comfortable.
‘When I caught him like that I couldn’t stop laughing. I thought it was hilarious.’
Of course, any time you post something on the internet, there’ll be some negative comments.
In Dudley’s case, those came with accusations of his unusual pose being down to ‘dodgy backyard breeding’ – which Cheyenne has had to deny.
Cheyenne says twisting his legs is just another one of Dudley’s strange quirks.
‘He often gets himself into strange positions,’ she explains. ‘He likes to lay on his back a lot and his legs are sort of wherever they fall.
‘He’ll also lay on his stomach completely stretched out sort of in a Superman pose.
‘I can’t believe how many likes it received. I thought it was funny, but I didn’t think Dudley would be that popular.
‘Lots of people find the photo really hilarious, but many said they find it a bit disturbing.
‘I think many just can’t work out how his legs are twisted like that.
‘There were also some comments about backyard breeding and inbreeding but Dudley is anything but either one of those. He registered by the American Kennel Club.
‘He makes me laugh every day and I’m so lucky to have him. I just love him to bits.’
Double jointed dog
Meet Jonah Larson, yet another kid who’s going to make you feel a bit rubbish about what you’ve achieved thus far.
Jonah is 11 years old. Not only has he mastered the art of crochet (while we couldn’t get our heads around holding the hooks), but he has become an online legend as a result, with more than 130,000 followers on Instagram.
Jonah learned to crochet at just five years old, watching YouTube tutorials to pick up his skills.
Since watching that first video, Jonah crochets every single day, for between two to five hours.
When he began sharing his creations on Instagram, he was flooded with 4,000 orders from people all around the world, desperate to have a scarf, hat, or blanket made by Jonah.
He’s only 11, mind you, and still has to go to school and do household chores, so wasn’t able to pick up all 4,000 of those requests, instead completing 100.
Alongside commercial orders, Jonah is using his crocheting skills to give back.
Earlier this year he donated a collection of his crocheted items to the Ethiopian orphanage his parents adopted him from, and held an auction of his creations to send hundreds of dollars there, too.
Oh, and he’s knitted his mum plenty of gifts, too – including a custom cardigan.
Jonah is now working on a book about his crocheting adventures, and plans to continue trying out new designs.
But while crocheting will always be an important part of his life, Jonah’s big dream is to become a surgeon.
‘I don’t crochet for the fame or the TV shows,’ says Jonah.
‘I do it because it is a very calming activity that helps me relax. It also unites everyone around the world.
‘I always can find something new to do, the next challenge.
‘My goal now is to design items, crochet on TV shows and teach other people how to crochet.
‘I think my hand dexterity can help me become a great surgeon.
‘I will always crochet on the side but would be nice to also help people that way.’
Oh, we do love an online shopping fail.
Whether it’s an outfit that arrives too small to fit anyone but the dog or a dress that doesn’t fit the way the buyer expected, it’s endlessly entertaining to see the reality that contradicts people’s expectations.
This one’s a classic.
Natalie Norton, a 26-year-old who’s average height at 5ft 4inches, ordered a pair of jeans online from Boohoo.
When the denim arrived, the jeans were a tad longer than she anticipated.
Quite a bit longer, actually. Natalie had to stand on a chair and hold the jeans up against her waste to avoid having the knees on the floor, as the jeans were 45 inches in length.
Natalie orders from Boohoo all the time, so was pretty surprised she was sent jeans that would be better suited for someone wearing stilts.
‘They were the longest jeans I have ever seen, your legs would need to be at least 5ft long just to wear them,’ said Natalie.
‘They were about 14 or 15ins too long.’
Natalie’s friend Hannah snapped the photo of Natalie posing with the jeans, which she tweeted out with: ‘Anyone got 5ft long legs and need some jeans?’
‘We order from Boohoo all the time but those jeans are just hilarious,’ said Hannah.
‘Natalie is 5ft 4ins and they are just so big.
‘She didn’t send them back in the end, she just ended up cutting the legs off and putting a few slits in them and they look really nice now.’
So despite the jeans not being quite what she expected, Natalie’s pretty happy with her purchase, and the experience hasn’t put her off fast fashion.
Boohoo has been contacted for comment but hasn’t got back to us yet.
They’re not the only brand guilty of sending out jeans designed for giants, mind you.
Way back in 2016 ASOS kept being called out for sending absurdly long jeans to customers, while last year a brand made crumpled up hemlines high fashion by selling some super long extendo jeans for £379.
Who needs clothes that actually fit, right?
A WOMAN was horrified when she bought a pair of jeans from Boohoo...only for them to end up being FORTY-FIVE inches long.
Humans aren’t the only beings in need of cosy homes.
To provide local wildlife with warmth and shelter – and to celebrate the launch of their new sustainable Greenwich store – Ikea teamed up with local artists to create a series of animal homes, all made using upcycled Ikea furniture.
Think colourful apartments for birds and bees alongside cosy nesting spots, all popped up around the area so animals in the wild have somewhere to take cover.
As well as being an excellent source of inspiration for your own DIY Ikea attempts, the project is also doing some real good, helping to protect wildlife that can be easily displaced by building works.
Take a look at the tiny homes below.
Bughattan by Adam Nathaniel Furman
This tower block is designed for solitary bees and wasps, who love having a cosy hole to nest in. It’s made using old worktops.
Pipi by Supermundane
Crafted from an old shelving unit, this little house had its surfaces roughened up to provide bats with a good grip.
The Bug Bud by Iain Talbot
This jazzy blue insect hotel was made from chairs and leftover cladding from the store.
Månstråle House by Beep Studio
This one’s for nesting birds such as blue tits and great tits. Each little pod was created from old lamp stands.
Fladdermösshus by Studio Weave’s Je Ahn
Je crafted suspended structures from old metal tables, painted black to provide extra warmth for bats looking to roost.
Honey I’m Home! by Hattie Newman
Look at that little bee village! The little holes are ideal for bees and wasps in need of a nest.
Hachi House by Sash Scott & Tamsin Hanke
Old benches were turned into a fancy bee house fit for a queen.
If you’re the kind of person who gets up early (without snoozing your alarm 17 times) and has energy in the morning, you’re more likely to be confident, enjoy cooking and believe in love at first sight, apparently.
But more importantly, you’re likely to have more sex and earn more money than late risers, according to research by OnePoll on behalf of mattress company Sleepopolis.
The survey of 2,000 Americans found that self-identified early birds sleep an average of seven hours, have sex three times a week, are more likely to be married, and earn an average income of $42,000 (£31,544) a year.
But despite getting up early and having all that energy in the morning, early risers are more likely to be late to the office. Perhaps they’re busy doing some sort of healthy activity.
In comparison, self-described night owls sleep six hours a night, have sex twice a week, are more likely to be single and earn an income that’s $4,000 (£3,005) less than early birds.
And for some reason, late risers also have more of a tendency to believe in ghosts and cryptids – creatures whose existence or survival is disputed or unsubstantiated i.e Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster.
Maybe it’s because they go to sleep at 2:55 am reading about those things and watching conspiracy videos.
Early bird versus night owls
According to this study, early birds:
OnePoll looked at different sleeping styles and how they correlate to personality traits ahead of World Sleep Day on 15 March.
They found some interesting correlations between sleeping habits and lifestyle choices despite there not being a large difference between the hours of sleep both categories had.
Perhaps early risers are more likely to be lucky in love because they spend longer on dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble.
And that could have a knock-on effect on levels of happiness reported as early birds were 10% more likely to identify as happy, while night owls identified more strongly as loyal.
Interestingly, there was also a gender difference in the results, with men more likely to be early birds and women identifying as night owls.
And not too surprisingly, early risers reported feeling well-rested after a night of kip and were also light sleepers.
Anyway, some of us are off to make some different lifestyle choices.
Do you really have to wake up at 4am to be successful?
Laura Mazza gave birth to her third child and noticed a disturbing trend – no one asked her how she was doing.
Over a hundred questions were asked to the mum from Australia but they were all about her baby.
Even her own first question was how her baby was doing and whether he was breathing.
Laura wondered why no one was asking about her mental and physical state and how she was adjusting to motherhood, an experience that can be challenging no matter how many times you do it.
The blogger wrote an emotional Facebook post urging people to care more about mums post-labour, not just the baby.
‘When a baby is born, so is a mother,’ she wrote. ‘So ask us too, and ask us often, “is everything okay?” Maybe she will say she’s fine, maybe she won’t. But don’t stop asking, even after her kids have long left the nest.’
Laura revealed she had a 12-hour labour and struggled afterward with her emotions. Despite the pain and struggling to breastfeed her ‘piranha’-like child, doctors and nurses left her alone, she said.
And sadly, it’s a common experience, Laura told Metro.co.uk.
‘I met other new mothers and the questions were always about our babies. About their sleep and their routines. I didn’t even know their names,’ she wrote.
‘I had seven appointments. I was asked 100s of questions. All of them about my baby. I was asked once when I was pregnant, but when that baby left my body, I was no longer asked. Not even I dared to ask myself.’
Laura is writing a book penning her experiences but said it was painful to relive it all.
‘I wish someone had just asked me how I was doing,’ she told Metro.co.uk.
‘It may have saved me from months of pain. The reaction saddens me but doesn’t shock me. This is a common narrative for a lot of women, unfortunately.
‘I can only hope it gives mothers that strength to stick up for themselves and be their own advocates when they feel no one else does. After all, a happy mum is a happy baby!’
Laura also opened up about the loneliness of motherhood. She described how you’re not supposed to retch when you see newborn baby poo for the first time, how you can’t complain about not coping, and how you should be grateful for having the child.
She reminded all her followers the importance of a happy mum.
‘Now you listen to me and you listen good; We are not just a body. We are not just a vessel,’ she wrote.
‘We are not just an old life that is discarded once we have served our purpose to make another. We aren’t just so-so’s mum, the invisible woman in the background making everything tick.
‘You are the emotional rock, you are the last kiss goodnight, you are someone’s whole world and if you aren’t coping, if you aren’t happy? No one can be.
‘So what I’ve learned after three children and never being asked “how are you doing” I raise my hand and I say “I am not okay, I can’t do this, and I’m not ashamed”.’
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
New mum says she was asked over 100 questions post-labour
We all love a bit of romance.
For some of us, romance is flowers and fancy dinners. For others, it’s going to the shop in the morning to bring our loved one their favourite pastry.
The beautiful thing about romance is it comes in all shapes and forms.
And so, we asked a bunch of people to tell us the most romantic things their partners have ever done for them. The answers are pretty adorable.
Like something out of a movie
‘He knew that I missed being able to see the stars when I lived up in the mountains, so for our first V-Day, he projected the night sky onto the ceiling of his parents’ boat while we ate dinner on the water.’
This literally is something from a movie…
‘Recreated our favourite scene from our favourite film, Legend, and threw lemon sherbets at my window and cited how much he loved me.
‘Still going strong and I feel the most comfortable and happiest I’ve ever felt with someone.’
When someone’s actions teaches someone everything they need to know about a person
‘Moved to my family home with me when my mum got sick. Drove her an hour to her hospital appointments whilst I worked. Adored her even though we had only been together for less than a year and was heartbroken when she died.
‘Taught me everything I needed to know about his character.’
When romance equals efficiency
‘Due to leaving my old job I’ve literally had NO money for a couple of months and my boyfriend made me a spreadsheet to organise my finances because he knows how much anxiety it’s causing me.
‘It’s the little things.’
This is beautiful
‘When I was really upset he took my hand, we stood in the middle of the room. He played Perfect by Ed Sheeran on his phone and slow danced with me throughout the entire song. Still makes me smile thinking about it.’
‘Still the most memorable gift’
‘On my 22nd birthday, we’d been married a year, we were completely skint, had absolutely no money, she’d only just finished a course of chemo and our house had been burgled, my only watch was stolen.
‘She went to Boots to claim on my insurance and get me a replacement watch, then got our wedding photo printed and mounted it in a tatty old frame we found lying in a cupboard in our house.
‘Still the most memorable gift, and still have it, hung up in our house.’
‘My heel broke at work today and he went to New Look on his lunch break and brought me a brand new pair of boots and lunch to my work.’
‘On our first date, he’d wanted to bring me a bunch of lavender, because it’s one of my favourite plants. He apparently went to “a few places” and couldn’t find any as it wasn’t in season. So he gave me a little bunch of dried lavender… and a packet of lavender seeds.’
This has melted our hearts
‘Bought me a “the night sky” frame for Valentine’s Day with the date and location we first met and fell in love, it has the stars that were in the sky over the location we were.’
When your mental health is super important to your partner
‘Ordered a big boss care package full of all my fave things to be delivered to my house when I was having a really bad time of it mental health wise.
‘Also he kept offering to drive down and see me during but I was doing the pushing-away thing, and he still stuck around.’
This woman is amazing!
‘Being deaf my girlfriend decided to learn sign language to communicate with me.
‘It was so beautiful for her to do. She is amazing.’
When they’re there for you through thick and thin
‘Stayed awake for 48 straight hours while I was close to death in hospital, next to me every single second. Then after surgery, he brought me a whole care package of stuff to make my bed rest enjoyable.’
When your partner knows every little thing about you
‘He drove me to the cemetery where my grandma is buried when I was having a really bad panic attack because he remembered it’s my peaceful place.’
This is wonderful
‘Being told “I’m sticking with you” after becoming paraplegic 12 years ago and putting up with me despite my mood being so low it couldn’t get any worse after I said I’d not contest a divorce. She really loves me, as do I her!’
When the small things are actually big things
‘He de-ices my car. I know it doesn’t sound romantic but he knows I don’t function in the cold. And he’s rubbish at showing/telling his feelings.’
‘In the midst of a panic attack, came, gave me a hug, talked me through it, and made me dinner afterwards. Also when I’m highly stressed, he leaves little notes to remind me I can get through it.’
‘It made me fall in love with him all over again’
‘Being a great dad. Honestly, it’s made me fall in love with him all over again.’
‘Her first time ever seeing theatre was a play I was in. She came with a huge bouquet of flowers because she thought that was the tradition. Hands down the best feeling and the sweetest thing I could’ve wanted after an exhausting show.’
What a great idea
‘Made me a mix tape of our favourite songs (on a memory card) and hid it inside a Kinder surprise egg, then stuck it pack together and made it look good as new.’
This couple are no longer together… but the romance still stands
‘Still gives a f*** about me even though we’ve been broken up for well over three years. I lost a girlfriend but gained a lifelong friend and they happened to be the same woman.’
It’s getting hard to count the huge amount of gaffes we’ve written about regarding online clothes orders.
There’s been everything from vagina-revealing dresses to wrong NYE outfits to jeans that are more fit for Slenderman than a human (he gets casual Fridays too, you know). Thank god for the returns policy.
Macy Samiloglu, 18, is the latest installment in the fashion fails series, after ordering a top from PrettyLittleThing and getting her head stuck in the hole.
The student, studying in Newcastle, tweeted a video of herself trying to get the top on, which has now been viewed hundreds of times.
Alongside the video she wrote, ‘Honestly @OfficialPLT nobody’s head is that small…’
It’s certainly not Macy’s head that’s the problem, either, as she even gets nicknamed ‘pea head’ by her friends. She said of the manufacturing fault: ‘I’ve always been told I have a pea head and I struggled to get it even halfway over my head. It was ridiculous.’
PLT did later weigh in, replying to Macy’s original tweet saying they were sorry and asking her to DM them. It’s not clear whether they gave her a refund for the £8 top or not, though.
Sizing and quality have been issues for some time now when it comes to women’s clothing, and the differences between items mean it’s never easy to simply choose your size from a list an order.
This woman recently tweeted to show exactly how unpredictable it is, comparing multiple pairs of size 12 jeans against each other. Chloe Martin, the original poster, said: ‘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.’
Remember when we were 12 and thought by the time we were 25, we’d have a husband, a house, maybe a pet or even a child?
Then we hit our 20s and realised we absolutely do not have our sh*t together and that was okay. But the world reminds women every day that the pinnacle of female success is still deemed marriage.
And while the sexist term ‘spinster’ has been used to describe older unmarried women, today we found out there’s another equally misogynistic word to replace it. Enter the thornback.
Writer Sophia Benoit discovered that the word spinster was used to refer to single women between the ages of 23-26 (which is still very young), while thornback is reserved for those 26 and above.
The word is also detailed on the very official Urban Dictionary which describes it as: ‘An old single never married woman. A spinster. I.e she’s so old she graduated from a spinster to a thornback.’
And want to know what the male equivalent of a thornback is? A bachelor. And if they’re starting to grey a bit, then a silver fox.
But womenfolk on Twitter are not letting the word get them down as most agreed it sounds pretty badass, like a Marvel superhero or something.
And we’re on board too.
Omg I just found out that spinster used to be reserved for women 23-26 and that after you turned 26 if you were unmarried you became a…. THORNBACK. How fucking great is that name!?
— Sophia Benoit (@1followernodad) March 13, 2019
Sophia, like plenty of others, made jokes about the term, saying: ‘Be right back, opening a bar called Thornbacks and we only play romcoms and The Bachelor on TV.’
Scientist and writer Hope Henderson joked: ‘Excuse me, I’m not a spinster, the appropriate derogatory term is thornback, k thanx’.
Others said they’d love to watch films and TV shows inspired by the word and one person vowed to use it as a subtle surname for an older female character.
One user gave us a different perspective, saying: ‘At 16 my great-grandma was in a census as spinster too. Also, the term first comes from when women were the weavers and spinners, one of the few ways to make their own money.
‘These badass entrepreneurs had their own guilds and made bank so they didn’t need to get married.’
23-26: Spinster— 🌹 Madeline St. Clair 🌹 (@woke_dicta) March 13, 2019
29-35: Venus Deathtrap
35-40: Lady of the Blade
40-45: Fanged Dowager
45+: terrified silence, shifting eyes, if you speak of her she will know and she will show you no mercy https://t.co/7zLDyY0CJc
Though everyone had a laugh, the term does nod to an idea floating around the internet which claims you should be married by 26.
The ‘37% Rule’ was found in 2017 and claimed that in theory, you need to screen a range of options in a limited time frame. That could be jobs, new flats, prospective housemates or romantic partners.
In other words, by 26 you will have met just over a third of potential romantic contenders which means you’re in the perfect position to choose the best, apparently.
But research also shows that the average age British women are getting married is over the age of 30.
Rsearch from the Office of National Statistics also shows that a lot less people are now getting married as marriage rates for opposite-sex couples in 2015 were the lowest on record.
So by the logic of the word spinster, a lot of us will probably be a thornback.
And we truly do not care.
Women holding a 'not married' sign
We don’t know who would abandon a mother cat and her kitten, and we don’t know why.
But the good news is that the cats were found in time, rescued, and are on track to find the loving homes they deserve.
A woman returned home one evening to find a carry case with a cat and a five-month-old kitten inside.
She called Mayhew Animal Centre for help. When their animal welfare officers arrived, they peeked inside the cage and spotted the cats had been left with a ‘snack’: a dish filled with tortilla chips.
To be clear, tortilla chips and other crisps are not appropriate snacks for cats, as they’re far too high in salt.
The mum and her kitten were huddled together and seemed distressed, having been left alone for at least a day.
Staff at the shelter named the two-year-old mother Linda and her young kitten Stella, and quickly took them in for a health check and a proper meal.
Neither cat had a microchip, so staff have no clue where the animals came from or who abandoned them.
Thankfully neither Linda nor Stella showed any urgent medical issues, but they were both shaken up from being dumped, showing extremely timid and fearful behaviour.
The shelter set about socialising the cats, giving them gentle handling and giving them a warm, cosy cabin to snooze in.
Stella bounced back quickly, gaining confidence and learning to play. Unfortunately she kept trying to suckle from Linda out of a need for comfort – which suggests Stella was still feeling stressed – and to help both cats the shelter had to separate them.
Shortly after that Stella was eating regular food and was adopted into a loving family.
Now Linda’s looking for a home.
While she waits for the right family to find her, she’s staying with a foster carer who’ll help her to overcome her nerves.
Linda’s foster carer, Alissa, said: ‘When Linda first arrived with us she was very scared and worried. She hid away a lot, but we would leave out tasty food for her, and as she began to realise she could trust us, she started coming out of her hiding places.
‘She’s now settled in really well, and has started showing us her true personality.
‘She’s such a sweet, gentle cat who loves having head strokes. She doesn’t care much for toys and instead prefers to follow us about the house, meowing away.
‘She’s still shy with strangers, but she’s made huge progress in the short time she’s been here. Once she’s ready for adoption, Linda will make a wonderful friendly companion.’
If you’re interested in adopting Linda when she’s ready, get in touch with Mayhew or sign up to their cat alerts.
The day my boyfriend proposed was one of my happiest.
I had met Wesley eight years before. I was working in the local shop and one day I noticed a piece of paper sitting at the till with this guy’s name and number on it.
It said to give him a text and I thought ‘why not?’ We went on our first date soon after and we’ve been inseparable ever since.
While I couldn’t wait to start planning the wedding, I had a voice in my head telling me that something wasn’t quite right and that I shouldn’t book anything. I had a nagging feeling that I was very ill.
I was working as a supervisor in a nursery at the time, and I had got so weak that I was struggling to even lift the babies out of the high chairs.
I had itchy skin, night sweats and lost a lot of weight. In the end I took myself to A&E when I began struggling to breathe – I felt like I was dying.
My suspicions were confirmed when an X-ray showed I had a 15-centimetre mass in my chest. It turned out to be Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of blood cancer caused by white blood cells behaving strangely.
It goes without saying that we cancelled the wedding.
The impact of my diagnosis was hard on everyone, but Wesley and my family stayed strong and supported me throughout.
Without them I don’t know how I would have gotten through the gruelling six cycles of chemotherapy and 15 sessions of radiotherapy.
All of those feelings paled in comparison to the side effects of treatment. I wasn’t sick but felt constantly nauseous; I had achy bones and sore skin. I also had difficulty eating and was in and out of hospital with infections.
The impact of cancer isn’t just physical. My mental health was also impacted because of my diagnosis, however at the time I didn’t even have time to think about that side of things.
I just wanted to protect my family from my worries and the worst of my treatment. Wes was hit particularly hard as he felt useless in caring for me as I just wanted my mum.
When we got news of my remission back in November 2017, I couldn’t wait to get back to life as normal and plan the wedding Wes and I had always wanted.
Unfortunately, no one tells you it’s very hard to go straight back to normality. After all my body had been through, I couldn’t cope physically with being back at work.
The wedding was a blessing in so many ways. It meant I had something to focus my mind on when I couldn’t leave the house.
We decided to get married on the anniversary of the day I was told I had cancer.
For me, there were so many bad memories surrounding that date – 19th December – and the Christmas period, so we decided to replace them with something good.
And so, two years after the worst day of my life, I had the best day of my life. The wedding was everything we dreamt of.
It was beautiful and all our friends and family came to share our day with us.
Now we are happily married, as we always wanted, and have just found out that we have something else we never believed would happen – we are expecting a little miracle in October this year.
We couldn’t be happier – our lives are finally looking up.
More about Hodgkin lymphoma
What is Hodgkin lymphoma?
Teenage Cancer Trust is the only charity dedicated to making sure young people diagnosed with cancer get the expert treatment and personalised support they need.
Today is Steak and Blowjob Day – an unofficial ‘holiday’ jokingly intended to thank men who’ve showered their partners with Valentine’s Day gifts.
The festivities, dreamt up by American DJ Tom Birdsey in 2002, are supposed to see the man’s partner cook him a steak, before providing oral sex by way of thanks for gifts given on February 14.
British singer James Blunt was among those marking the day, writing on Twitter: ‘Happy Steak and Blowjob Day.’
And British donunt shop Doughnotts, in Nottingham, England have also embraced the day by frying special penis-shaped treats to mark the occasion.
Their donuts have been covered with sweet white, pink or brown icing and finished off with sprinkles.
All their donuts are vegan, providing a possible meat substitute for anyone looking to celebrate with a plant-based partner.
And they have even been kept out of the main display case to avoid causing any offense.
If you don’t fancy a trip to England, multiple restaurants across the US are holding special events – focused only on the steak side of business.
Irish Jack’s Beer Shack in Hastings, New York is letting customers order an $8 steak sandwich, $11 strip steak, and $3 Blow Job shots to wash down their meat.
And adult toys saleswoman Heather Oetzel has also gotten in on the fun, offering 25 per cent off all lubricants at her online store.
But now, the tattoo lover has a new man in her life. No, it’s not Ole Gunnar Solskjær, United’s new caretaker. It’s Jeremy Kyle.
The retired teaching assistant from Leicester added a massive tattoo of the TV presenter wrapping his arms around the show’s security guard Steve, to her upper back.
Viv has watched Jezza’s show every day for 14 years and so naturally wanted the inking of his face as a tribute to him.
And she even got to show it off to the man himsef when she was invited to his eponymous show.
Though he thought the six-inch wide grayscale design, which took six-and-a-half hours, looked like he ‘had wind’.
But Viv loves her tat regardless and wishes she had it done in the summer so she could really show it off.
‘I absolutely love it,’ she said. It’s the only one where I sat down for a straight without any food or drink.
‘At the end of it, my neck and back killed. But it was completely worth it. He’s a British show legend.
‘He portrays himself out to be this arrogant man but there is a sensitive, kind nature to him otherwise he wouldn’t do that type of show.
‘When I show it to people see it they just say “wow”.’
Her great love though, Jose, features way more and the words ‘Mrs Jose Mourinho’ can even be seen on her chest.
Last year the gran-of-four dedicated her Valentine’s Day to Jose by getting a heart-shaped tattoo of him on her upper left arm.
But ever since the Portuguese manager, 55, was given the boot by bosses last December, Viv has had little to celebrate.
So, she’s gone ‘on strike’ from watching the Premier League but still spends all day thinking about Jose and wears ‘Mrs Mouriniho’ pyjamas to bed (her husband doesn’t mind)
‘I was absolutely devastated to hear [Jose] had gone. I just can’t watch them on the telly kicking the ball around as if they haven’t betrayed him.
‘He was just tossed out just like that. I cancelled Christmas because of it. I was so down.’
Though she loves her new Jezza tat, Viv said her heart belongs to Jose and as soon as he returns to football, she’ll get another inking of him.
Someone alert Jose now.