Articles on this Page
- 03/14/19--08:33: _Morrison’s unicorn ...
- 03/14/19--08:39: _Woman who thought s...
- 03/14/19--09:02: _Working class, blac...
- 03/14/19--09:02: _Woman finds postcar...
- 03/14/19--11:24: _KFC is inviting you...
- 03/14/19--16:49: _12 reasons why Sout...
- 03/14/19--23:37: _Cave made of 18,000...
- 03/15/19--01:14: _What men and women ...
- 03/15/19--01:43: _Does cheating run i...
- 03/15/19--02:38: _Should you pop beta...
- 03/15/19--02:58: _Nine beauty product...
- 03/15/19--03:09: _Embrace the Danish ...
- 03/15/19--03:55: _Photographer mum ca...
- 03/15/19--04:08: _Woman writes open l...
- 03/15/19--04:10: _Woman’s friends tur...
- 03/15/19--04:21: _Signs of heart atta...
- 03/15/19--04:23: _Meet the man who or...
- 03/15/19--04:27: _Feminist poster wor...
- 03/15/19--04:31: _Woman discovers hor...
- 03/15/19--04:46: _Beauty product-fill...
- 03/14/19--08:33: Morrison’s unicorn flowers for Mother’s Day are just magical
- Partial or complete paralysis of (usually) one half of the face (including the inability to close the affected eye), sometimes accompanied by a ‘drooping’ of the affected side of the face, depending on the severity of the nerve damage
- In approximately 1% of cases, both sides of the face are affected
- Sharp pain in the inner ear during the onset of paralysis
- Impaired or altered sense of taste
- Sensitivity to loud noise
- A drying of the eye on the affected side, where the eye cannot be closed properly. Sometimes the inability to close the eye properly can result in the eye watering, as it over-compensates for being too dry. It’s important to use drops/ointments to keep the eye lubricated.
- Difficulty with eating, due to loss of control of the lips and cheek on one side; food may get trapped in some areas as a result, and there may be involuntary drooling
- Difficulty with speaking clearly, particularly with pronouncing particular sounds and letters, such as ‘B’ and ‘P’.
- Streaming nostril on the affected side, due to loss of muscle control around the nose.
- 03/14/19--09:02: Woman finds postcards sent to her grandparents in the 1930s on eBay
- 03/14/19--16:49: 12 reasons why South Africa is a Wanderluster’s playground
- 03/15/19--01:14: What men and women lie about when it comes to sex
- Reducing the real number of men they have slept with
- Faking an orgasm
- Saying I love you when I don’t mean it
- We have sex all the time
- I never fantasise about sex with other men
- I’ve got a headache
- I never cheat on a partner
- The sex was great!
- I don’t enjoy porn
- I don’t masturbate
- I never cheat on a partner
- I never watch porn
- I rarely masturbate
- You look great!
- Increasing the real number of women they have slept with
- I usually last a lot longer
- Saying I love you when I don’t mean it.
- The sex was great!
- I just want to sleep – honest!
- I never fantasise about sex with other women
- 03/15/19--01:43: Does cheating run in the family?
- 03/15/19--02:38: Should you pop beta-blockers for first date nerves?
- churning feeling in your stomach
- feeling light-headed or dizzy
- pins and needles
- feeling restless or unable to sit still
- headaches, backache or other aches and pains
- faster breathing
- a fast, thumping or irregular heartbeat
- sweating or hot flushes
- problems sleeping
- grinding your teeth, especially at night
- nausea (feeling sick)
- needing the toilet more or less often
- changes in your sex drive
- having panic attacks
- feeling tense, nervous or unable to relax
- having a sense of dread, or fearing the worst
- feeling like the world is speeding up or slowing down
- feeling like other people can see you’re anxious and are looking at you
- feeling like you can’t stop worrying, or that bad things will happen if you stop worrying
- worrying about anxiety itself, for example worrying about when panic attacks might happen
- wanting lots of reassurance from other people or worrying that people are angry or upset with you
- worrying that you’re losing touch with reality
- rumination – thinking a lot about bad experiences, or thinking over a situation again and again
- depersonalisation – feeling disconnected from your mind or body, or like you’re watching someone else (this is a type of dissociation)
- derealisation – feeling disconnected from the world around you, or like the world isn’t real (this is a type of dissociation)
- worrying a lot about things that might happen in the future
- a pounding or racing heartbeat
- feeling faint, dizzy or light-headed
- feeling very hot or very cold
- sweating, trembling or shaking
- nausea (feeling sick)
- pain in your chest or abdomen
- struggling to breathe or feeling like you’re choking
- feeling like your legs are shaky or are turning to jelly
- feeling disconnected from your mind, body or surroundings
- losing control
- going to faint
- having a heart attack
- going to die
- 03/15/19--02:58: Nine beauty products you should try for a good night’s sleep
- 03/15/19--03:09: Embrace the Danish concept of ‘pyt’ to deal with daily stresses
- 03/15/19--03:55: Photographer mum captures incredible photos of her own son’s birth
- 03/15/19--04:21: Signs of heart attacks in young people and what to do
- Chest pain (sometimes feeling like an intense pressure, and sometimes radiating from the chest to the jaw, neck, arms and back)
- Struggling to breathe
- Feeling weak
- Feeling extremely anxious
- Suddenly feeling or being sick
- 03/15/19--04:23: Meet the man who orgasms from sliding metal rods into his urethra
- 03/15/19--04:46: Beauty product-filled Easter eggs are a thing now
Flowers on Mother’s Day are a given. Whether you’re planning to make her breakfast, take her out for brunch or any other sweet gestures, you probably want flowers to go with it.
Good thing then that Morrison’s is launching the perfect Mother’s Day bouquet.
The supermarket is selling a bouquet of flowers that have been inspired by the magic of unicorns.
The bloom comes in pastel pink, blue and creamy white, wrapped up with pink tissue paper and a unicorn horn, tied together with a cute little bow. And it comes in a sweet little box with a blushing face.
You’ll get white roses, daisies, small chrysanthemums, and gypsophilas, and together it looks wonderful.
You can get it as a gift for your mum or, you know, if you love unicorns you can bag it just for yourself.
And it’s pretty affordable too (as far as Mother’s Day flowers go) at £15.
But those who want to get their hands on it whether for their dear mums or themselves will have to hold off until it’s launched on 27 March, ahead of the big day on 31 March.
Morrisons has a range of other flowers perfect for the day too, including a spring gift basket, a tulip gift bag, a bright bouquet, and more.
And they all range from £10 to £15.
Though most people opt for flowers on the special day, not everyone has a mum sadly and florist Bloom & Wild have been praised for their inclusiveness towards such people.
Being bombarded with cards, flowers and gifts everywhere, including in your inbox, can be distressing for those without a mum.
So the florist sent an email to customers to explains that customers can opt out by signing up to the service. They will continue to receive other Bloom & Wild emails but not those mentioning Mother’s Day in case it’s too sensitive.
Morrisons unicorn flowers
Amy Green woke up for work on a Monday morning two years ago, feeling slightly groggy.
The night before, she’d gone to bed with a headache and felt like her tongue was numb but she was sure she just needed some rest.
When the alarm went off for another day at her job as a recruitment consultant, she rolled over and realised something was really wrong.
She couldn’t move her face at all. It felt completely paralysed.
Overnight, Amy, now 36, from Leeds, had developed Bell’s Palsy, where an inflammation forms around the facial nerve and this pressure causes facial paralysis on the affected side.
Although she knew she needed to see a doctor, Amy remained calm. She went straight to her GP and received a diagnosis Bell’s Palsy.
At that stage, it didn’t seem too severe but her doctor asked her to come back later that afternoon and as she felt fine, she decided to go to work.
But a few hours later, she got much worse. She started slurring her speech and her face drooped on the right hand side.
She explains: ‘It was almost as if I was drunk. I was tripping over my words. I looked like I had been punched in the face and I was really hot and bothered.’
Amy went to A&E, where she was told that her palsy – a temporary weakness or paralysis – was now level five (out of six). She was told that they didn’t know how long she would have the condition.
The treatment involves a 10-day course of steroids, after which the person just has to wait for the nerves to repair themselves. Most people make a full recovery within nine months but some people are left with slight paralysis for longer.
If the damage is more severe, physiotherapy may be required or in some rare cases, when severe symptoms are still present after two years, surgery may be needed.
Amy told Metro.co.uk: ‘My body needed to regenerate and recover. I describe it as a broken face.
‘I was told I needed to rest to allow it to do that. I am a million mile an hour person. I work hard, do lots of social things outside work and I always have lots going on. I knew I needed to take care of myself to help it heal.
‘They explained that I needed to take care of my eye because I couldn’t close it at all. My eye doesn’t tear up so it gets really dry. When I tried to go to sleep, I couldn’t close it and I had to learn to tape that shut. You don’t realise how many times a day that you blink until you can’t do it.
‘I was scared and I cried but I couldn’t cry out of my broken eye. I still can’t cry sometimes.
‘I had to learn that this is a new normal for me. I had to learn how to eat and drink differently as I couldn’t move that side of my mouth. It was difficult and I had to have smaller portions, cut things up really small or have softer foods. It took longer to eat anything.’
As well as having to adjust to the changes to her face, Amy soon realised that the healing process would cause her a lot of pain.
She explains: ‘The pain was unbelievable and I think that is something they don’t tell you about. The nerves are essentially regenerating and regrowing.
‘When I was experiencing the nerves trying to regenerate, I would have horrific pain in my ear as if it was an earache, tooth pain, jaw pain, neck pain.
‘It almost made me want to rip my head off. I also suffer with endometriosis, which is quite a painful condition, but I had never experienced anything like the pain in my face.
‘The only relief was to lay my face down on a hot water bottle or heat pad. The heat would soothe the pain.
‘The good thing was that you knew after the pain there would be slightly more movement. So in a strange way, I would look forward to experiencing bouts of pain. At the time it was horrific.’
Amy took 10 days off work but felt she needed to go out and face the world to avoid slipping into depression.
‘I wanted to get back to normality,’ she explains. ‘I have suffered with depression in the past and I could feel myself slipping back into that dark place.
‘I learned early on that I was going to have to control this illness and not let it control me. I didn’t know how long I would have this for but I just had to get on with things.
‘I do feel I should have been more open with my employer. I tried to put a brave face on it and said it was fine – I was getting better daily.
What are the symptoms of Bell's Palsy?
Bell’s palsy often comes on suddenly, without warning, over a number of hours, peaking at 72 hours. In eight out of ten cases, recovery will take place over a period of weeks or months. Below, you will find a list of the main symptoms of Bell’s palsy:
‘I was affected by the internal stuff that people don’t see. People just think it’s that you can’t smile but it was the pain, anxiety and depression that were hardest.
‘In November last year, I started a new job with the charity United Response and they have been so supportive.
‘I think it’s so important for employers to be understanding. I do still have bad days. Recently I was struggling and I explained to my manager that I wanted to take the day off but I was worried that it was short notice.
‘She asked if everything was ok and I explained that I wasn’t sleeping well and that affects my physical appearance and the way I was feeling. I just needed some time to myself to rest. She was so supportive and that is so good.
‘I do think companies need to be more willing to give staff those wellbeing days because taking that one day avoids it getting worse and having to take a long time off sick.’
Now, two years on, Amy is 95% recovered. She has developed synkinesis, a consequence of long-term palsy where the nerves rewire themselves incorrectly. It means that sometimes Amy’s face moves in a way that is different to what she expects.
But despite everything, Amy says she almost feels glad this happened because it has given her a new outlook.
She explains: ‘I developed this on the same day as the Manchester Arena attack and although it was difficult, I just always took the outlook that it could be worse. I felt like this was a sign that I needed to slow down, take care of myself and understand the value of life more.
‘I want to raise awareness of the condition because I don’t think there is enough of an understanding of what it is and I didn’t really know where to go for support. I recently found the charity Facial Palsy UK, who are fantastic.
‘Doctors don’t know what the cause of this is but there is believed to be a link to stress. I was living a very high pressure life and this has made me change my lifestyle and outlook on life.’
Woman reveals what it was like waking up with a broken face
Performer, creator and London native Lanre Malaolu has anxiety.
As a working-class, black male, he has found that reconciling his identity with his mental health struggles has been difficult.
Now he is expressing this journey through a unique, one-man movement show, The Elephant in the Room, which is set to run for three weeks in the capital this April.
He wants to shine a light on the unique stigma faced by young, black men when it comes to their mental health.
Lanre is excited to start this conversation. But practically, the pressures of pulling together an emotionally and physically draining performance, while dealing with his own anxiety, hasn’t been easy.
‘I always thought I knew how to manage it, and manage myself with it. But now, in the run up to the show, it’s feeling tough,’ Lanre tells Metro.co.uk.
‘It’s not just a massive show for me, but it’s a massive thing that I’m doing physically and mentally for three weeks,
‘With that comes the doubts and false, bullsh*t, lies that anxiety starts to whisper in my ear.
‘It’s a proper spiral. And then I get in to this place, I call it, “the ditch”.
‘It’s literally like lying in a ditch. I’ll be looking up and I just can’t climb out.
‘So creating this show and knowing that I have to keep it together and perform for three solid weeks – this is making me really disciplined. Not only in managing it, but really understanding and dissecting the false narratives it tells me.’
Lanre has been in “the ditch” before.
It took him a while to realise exactly what was going on. And even when he did, help wasn’t necessarily that easy to access.
‘It was 2016. There was this week that I had – I just felt this overwhelming heaviness. I would struggle to just get out of bed,’ Lanre tells us.
‘And I was like, rah, OK this is weird.
‘The moment I knew something was really up was when it became a struggle for me to get to the gym.
‘For me, the gym is a religious thing that I do four or five times a week – not just for my body, but it also gets out a lot of negative energy. It was one of the infallible structures of my life, and suddenly I couldn’t go. Or if I did go I would get these overwhelming headaches.
‘And then another thing happened. I contracted shingles. Now, I don’t get sick – I look after my body, I eat well – I think I have only had the flu once or twice.
‘When the doctor told me I had shingles and that it was likely because of stress – I couldn’t believe it.
‘The fact that your emotions can make you physically ill, can give you actual diseases – that was just crazy to me.
‘And that was the point where I went to the doctors and asked for help.
‘To be honest it was like getting blood out of a stone. She basically told me to stay positive because things can get tough some times. I had to really, really push to even get a support number out of her.
‘I do wonder if the response would have been different if I had walked into that doctors office as a white man, or white woman – rather than a black guy in a tracksuit. Maybe I would have been listened to quicker.’
Mental illness is experienced differently by different societal groups. For young, black men there are stigmas, cultural pressures and in-built stressors that can contribute to anxiety and depression, and make it harder to articulate these issues.
‘Being a working class, black man, there are a lot of things in our lives that can have a detrimental effect on mental health,’ explains Lanre.
‘Things like poverty, the pressures of masculinity, daily racism and microaggressions.
‘For a lot of young, black men who have had mental health problems, they either don’t know that they’re experiencing it, or just brush it off, put a brave face on and keep going.
‘I think an element of that is a cultural thing. I’m Nigerian – and for many traditional, Nigerian families – in some strict households – speaking about emotions is unheard of. Any mention of depression or anxiety is treated in a very flippant way.
‘Additionally there is the stigma. Particularly in black and working class communities. There is this image of mental health problems meaning that you’re shaking in a corner, wearing a straight jacket. That old image still exists.
‘And then there’s the fear of losing your sense of self. If you admit that you have depression or anxiety – do you change in the eyes of other people? Can you still be the wife, the husband, the artist, the guy on road who’s chilling with his friends?
‘It’s almost like you are tainted. You’re seen as damaged, different, weak.’
The negative connotations of mental illness have played on Lanre’s mind for a long time. The importance of unlearning this ingrained way of thinking is a theme that makes it in to his show.
‘Elephant in the Room is a day in the life of one guy, Michael.
‘I play Michael and I also play the characters who are responding to Michael – which actually makes up the bulk of the performance – because so much of this struggle is about how we are perceived by others.’
For Lanre, the simple fact of being able to articulate that he has anxiety has been a revelation.
Now he is immersing himself in podcasts and literature, proactively doing everything he can to understand this illness and how best to get through the worst moments.
‘Anxiety for me is like a vibration,’ says Lanre.
‘I find myself stuck between fight, flight or freeze – I feel like I’m about to fall off a ledge – and that feeling just vibrates through me.
‘I don’t think there’s ever a place where you are completely rid and healed of anxiety. It’s something that you will always have and something that you just learn to manage and understand.
So how does this personal experience translate into a one-man performance?
Lanre doesn’t call it dance, he would rather refer to it as a movement piece – because he says the meaning you can ascribe to the movement of body can be essentially infinite.
‘Elephant in the Room is about mental health, masculinity and what happens when all of that conflict is kept inside the pressure tank of our minds and bodies,’ he tells us.
‘Movement is at the heart of it. Our main character, Micheal, you only see him speak physically – not through words. We speak so much with our bodies, without having to actually say anything.
‘I want to leave people with a feeling. A vibration in their core. I want that vibration to then spark a conversation.
‘The piece has a lot of humour in it as well.
‘I’m talking about life. And if I’m talking about the darkness, I’m going to talk about the light – I want to bring those out through physical moments, in the absurdity of the simple things. It really takes you on a journey.
‘The conversation around mental health has made huge leaps forward in the past few years – which is amazing. But I do question where people like me fit in to that. Or whether we fit in to it at all.
‘I look at young, 17, 18-year-old boys, living in council estates in the big cities – the violence and danger they are exposed to daily. No one’s talking about that, or the effect that is having on their mental health.
‘We need to go into the crevices of each community, in the working class, black communities, talk to the young boys on the streets who are going through these crazy things – and open up the conversation to include them as well.’
Elephant in the Room will run from the 2nd-20th April at the People’s Theatre in Camden, north London.
Lanre Malaolu performing on stage
What’s your best ever eBay find? A pair of pre-loved designer shoes at a quarter of RRP? An old record they don’t stock at your local store?
For Trudy Shillum, it was something extra special; a pair of postcards originally sent to her late grandparents.
The 42-year-old graphic designer who lives in Glasgow was using Google to look back through her family history when she spotted the listing on eBay.
Trudy told Metro.co.uk: ‘I typed in my surname and Leytonstone and it came up with a google search result that was the postcard in question which I found weird.
‘I clicked through to see that it was for sale on Ebay and found there was two of them for sale, one addressed to my nanny and one to my nanny and grandad (which is the wedding anniversary one) from a lady called Rose.’
Immediately she decided to purchase the precious items, at the price of £3.49 each, and got to work to find out who the sender was and how they came to be in the seller’s possession.
Trudy posted on Facebook and asked family who Rose might be. Her dad told her: ‘Aunt Rose was a friend of my mum and dad. She often visited us and was a jolly lady. She remarried quite late in life to a lovely man called Ben.
‘However, the postcard may have been from another Rose as it is quite formal. The address is a house further down Oakdale Road number 47 which we left in about 1951.’
One postcard wishes the couple a happy wedding anniversary saying ‘Just a card wishing you all the best of luck, hoping you will have many more days of love’.
The other one was more generic and says: ‘I am sorry I did not come last night, but my brother and his wife came so I could not very well come as I had not seen them for some time.’
The seller wasn’t so keen to chat, and when Trudy got in touch she says, ‘unfortunately they specialise in selling old postcards and weren’t as enthusiastic as me to find them’. It remains a mystery as to how they got them, though.
Remembering her wonderful grandparents, she continues: ‘My grandparents were wonderful people, both London born and bred, they were a bit older as my Dad was born just after the World War two when my Nanny was in her 40’s.’
It also turns out Trudy’s knack for finding hidden gems was passed down: ‘Grandad loved discovering treasures – finding things on the street, going to jumble sales and picking up bargains in junk shops, which is a trait I have most definitely inherited from him and I have an online vintage shop to sell my finds, something which I think he would have loved to help out with.
‘He had many jobs from door to door salesman, driving a bakery truck, insurance salesman and eventually a civil servant for Cable and Wireless. He loved playing football and cricket. Grandad made up for lack of monetary riches with a wealth of generosity. He just loved giving people gifts.
‘Nanny would always present me every weekend with dresses for my dolls which she had knitted which my Mum would immediately take home and fix so they didn’t unravel as Nanny didn’t know how to cast off, she also loved spy novels and reading people’s tea leaves.’
It would have been Trudy’s Spiritual Minister grandfather’s 115th birthday today, and what a perfect memento she has for all the happy times they spent together.
Woman finds postcards sent her grandparents in the 1930s on eBay
Love KFC? Well you can now cook your own. And no, we’re not talking buying rip-off KFC and shoving it in the oven.
We’re talking actually going behind the scenes to make your own meal at KFC stores.
KFC is opening its doors to the public to offer people the chance to make their own iconic fried chicken.
Up to 300 KFCs across the country will be opening up their kitchens on Saturday 30 March, and those who go will be given an exclusive look behind the scenes to see first hand how KFC cooks make their Original Recipe chicken fresh in restaurants every day.
The Open Kitchen will also offer a hands-on experience, with ticket holders getting the chance to make the chicken themselves.
And of course, after all the hard work you’ll get the chance to eat your chicken creation, as well as extra chicken and fries, a drink and a side.
Oh, and you’ll also be gifted a KFC apron and hat. Lovely.
Rob Swain, Chief Operations Officer at KFC UK & Ireland, said: ‘We’re really proud of the food we serve, and of all the care that goes into making our chicken taste as incredible as it does.
‘We want to welcome everyone in to give them the chance to see what makes it so finger lickin’ good, and invite them to try keeping pace with our amazing team members. We can’t wait to show the nation how it’s done.’
Tickets for KFC Open Kitchen cost £5 and are allocated on a first come first served basis, so grab yours quick and apply here.
All profits will go to the KFC Foundation, which supports local charities who are passionate about developing and nurturing young people.
We’ve become an adventurous bunch; not so long ago we were happy lounging around a pool on a cheap-as-chips package deal, but in 2019, the travel pack are a different breed.
While most of us have had a crack at being an influencer (harder than it looks), there’s a gang that anybody who enjoys maximising living can join: the Wanderlusters.
And there’s not many places on Earth that instils such a strong desire to get discovering than South Africa. From ferocious safari-stalking giants to whale-packed waters, pristine beach paradises to rugged, lush mountains – this is Mother Nature’s most magnificent playground.
So, Wanderlusters, let us break it down for you…
1) It’s wildly beautiful
Not only are the South Africans masters at safaris (we’ll get to that) but it is a country packed to the rafters with accessible reserves. Your wanderlust will satiated with a visit to the epic Kruger Park – where you can walk through the bush on guided tours. But a walk on the wild side is possible even away from organised activities; you will be surrounded by nature from the native Black Oystercatcher chirruping in the trees to seals taking a rest from the Great White Shark infested waters off the coast of Mossell Bay.
2) The landscape is picture perfect
You’ll struggle to find a more Insta-worthy landscape. From the titanic Drakensberg range rising out of the mist to the flora-filled view of Table Mountain standing majestically behind the cityscape of Cape Town, you’ll want to take a good gawp at the vista before bothering with your social media.
3) You can see the Big Five
Lions, rhinos, buffalos, elephants and leopards – oh my! And the best bit is that at sites like Kruger and Sabi Sands, they are basically guaranteed to be sighted within a couple of days. High five indeed.
4) Cuisine to write home about
You don’t often hear people boasting about going out for a South African meal, but this rustic cuisine is on the rise. A heady mix of indigenous recipes combined with Indian, French, Dutch, you can dine on dried game (biltong), Cape Malay curry, a cold mixed veg dish (Chakalaka) and a sweet, sticky pudding (malva). Or, go simple and enjoy an al fresco braai – otherwise known as a BBQ.
5) Whale watching is a daily occurrence
Think you’ll need a bigger boat? Forget it, you don’t even need to get in the water. South Africa is one of the only places in the world where you can see the mammoths of the deep jumping out of the surf while you’re on land.
6) The wine is divine
All that adventuring can work up a thirst. Luckily, South Africa knows how to wine and, well, wine its guests. Just half an hour from Cape Town you will find the beginning of the Cape’s wine land – the perfect place for wanderlusters to sip a Sauvignon Blanc as the sun sets over the mountains.
7) The hotels have high standards
By high we mean in the tree tops. Not short on quirky, eclectic accommodation, one of South Africa’s most incredible places to stay is in a tree house at the Lion Sands Game Reserve in Kruger. It’ll be just you, a picnic dinner, a bed with a mosquito night and a two-way radio. It might not be exactly relaxing to try and sleep while the laugh of hyenas fills the air, but it’ll certainly be exhilarating.
9) The locals are phenomenal
To really get under the skin of a culture, you need to live it – and South Africans are passionately proud to show visitors the ropes! Learn every aspect of the country from the people who know it best; from the food created by local chef Abigail Mbalo in her Cape Town restaurant, 4Roomed EKasi Culture, to the adrenaline junkie activities beloved by South African entrepreneur James Seymour, there’s a never-ending supply of patriots who will happily give you tips on what to do, see, eat and enjoy.
10) They drive on the left!
Yes, and the signs are in English. No panicked, lent-over-the-wheel driving here!
11) Breathtaking beaches
So you’ve done your safari, hiked a mountain, roamed free through a nature reseve, it’s time to hit the beach. And South Africa is jam-packed with coastal gems. On the Western Cape, you’ll find Buffels Bay, where turquoise surf laps on to golden sands – and is home to frolicking dolphins in winter and spring. Or, you could have a go at surfing at Ballito beach which boasts a laid-back, festival vibe and is home to the Mr Price Pro surfing competition.
12) Cape Town is just wow
From shark-diving to sunset-soaked meals for two, street art culture to high end boutiques, Cape Town is the epitome of a playground for locals and travellers alike. A must-do while in town is to take a visit to the historic Robben Island, home to the prison that housed many political prisoners under apartheid, including a certain Nelson Mandela. But if you really want to see this city, take to the skies in a helicopter to see the landscape and cultural hotspots from an unparalleled viewpoint.
For more information on your trip to South Africa, click here…
Amazing deals for Wanderlusters
Johannesburg flights + 5 nights hotel from £549pp
T&Cs apply.Subject to availability. Valid for travel on selected dates between 1 – 31 May 2019. Book by 31 March 2019. Price correct as of 15 February 2019. British Airways Holidays standard terms and conditions and conditions of carriage apply, please refer to ba.com.
Cape Town flights + 5 nights hotel from £699pp
T&Cs apply. Subject to availability. Valid for travel on selected dates between 1 – 31 May 2019. Book by 31 March 2019. Price correct as of 15 February 2019. British Airways Holidays standard terms and conditions and conditions of carriage apply, please refer to ba.com.
Durban flights + 5 nights hotel from £639pp
T&Cs apply. Subject to availability. Valid for travel on selected dates between 1 – 30 September 2019. Book by 31 March 2019. Price correct as of 15 February 2019. British Airways Holidays standard terms and conditions and conditions of carriage apply, please refer to ba.com.
It’s easy to dismiss one discarded plastic cup as, well, just one discarded plastic cup.
But every bit of plastic waste adds up, taking hundreds of years to decompose and causing harm to our ocean life in the meantime.
To give us a shake and remind us of the true extent of the issue, artist Von Wong gathered volunteers and created Plastikophobia, an immersive art installation made of 18,000 plastic cups collected from food centres in Singapore.
Plastikophobia is a giant cave made entirely of wasted plastic cups. The idea is that people can walk through, take selfies, and enjoy the art, but be left with a simmering worry about the impact of plastic pollution.
Perhaps being presented with thousands of cups will make us rethink using and chucking just that one bit of plastic.
This isn’t the first time Von Wong has tackled the issue of plastic waste.
Back in 2016 he sent mermaids swimming through a sea of bottles, and earlier this year he created an 11 foot wave made of 168,000 straws, inspired by the phrase: ‘It’s just one straw, said 8 billion people.’
To create Plastikophobia, Von Wong, social impact strategist Laura Francois, fabricator Joshua Goh, and a team of volunteers spent just a day and a half collecting used plastic cups.
They spent two long days cleaning those cups, then crafted them into a crystal-like cave with tiny lights for a glow.
Von Wong then captured photos of dancer Jialin Neo moving around the cave and Max Pagel dressed as an underwater diver, to show people the reality of the plastic filling our oceans.
But the cave is best experienced in the flesh. Plastikophobia is on view at the Sustainable Singapore Gallery, Marina Barrage, Singapore, until 18 April, inviting people to explore with its welcoming glow, only for selfie-takers to realise the horror of this mini world once they’re inside.
‘We don’t even think twice about how little sense it makes to use take-out cups within a dine-in setting,’ says Von Wong.
‘Together we can spread this feeling of Plastikophobia and start by saving our world one cup at a time.’
Ever told a little fib about your sex life?
Perhaps, during a game of Never Have I Ever, you were ashamed of having done something particularly kinky.
Maybe you pretended someone was the best you’d ever had when, well, they weren’t.
Some lies are harmless, others, not so much. But if you have been less than honest about your sexual activities, you’re not alone (although that doesn’t mean you’re morally safe and sound).
Illicit Encounters surveyed 2,000 men and women to find out the most common sex-related things they lie about.
As you might expect, there are differences between the genders.
Women’s most popular sexy lie is the reduce the number of people they have slept with, while men’s most popular is to deny ever cheating on a partner.
Women's most common sex lies:
Men's most common sex lies:
Other common sex lies for women include faking orgasms and saying ‘I love you’ when they didn’t mean it, while men like to deny watching porn.
Out of those surveyed, 44% of men said they had hidden previous infidelity because they were worried it would put off a new partner, while more than half of women (52%) said they had cut the real figure of their past sexual partners.
Illicit Encounters spokesman Christian Grant said: ‘Both sexes like to tell sex lies but it is interesting to discover just how different those lies are.
‘While women are keener to downplay their number of previous partners, men are more likely to inflate their total.
‘Men are most keen to lie about their previous infidelity – probably rightly deducing that this will be a big turn-off to new partners.
‘Women also lie about cheating but not quite as much as men. This doesn’t mean that they are being more faithful.’
There are some lessons to be learned from these stats and lists.
First off, this suggests the shame around women having multiple sexual partners is still alive and kicking, while men continue to be praised for having sex with more women.
But also, a lot of us aren’t comfortable with the reality of our sex lives, and would rather keep our partners in the dark than reveal the truth. That seems worrying – shouldn’t we all own our choices and our history without an ounce of embarrassment? Why are we lying to protect people’s egos, buy into gender stereotypes, or erase our poor behaviour?
We say it a lot, but honest communication really is key.
If you’re not satisfied in bed, speak up and work together to get pleasure. If you’ve cheated previously, work to understand why so you can assure your next partner it won’t happen again.
And, please, let’s stop pretending we don’t masturbate, watch porn, or fantasise about other people. These are all perfectly normal behaviours and by staying silent, we make people feel weird and alone for partaking.
people tell us the things people said during sex that instantly killed the mood
The last thing you want to do when your partner tells you that one of their parents had an affair, is think about yourself.
But, if a little voice in the back of your head is whispering ‘does it run in the family?’ then you can’t help that.
According to a 2014 study of 2,000 British men and women by Illicit Encounters, just over half of men who cheated said their fathers were cheaters, and three quarters of women who had extramarital affairs said that their mums were unfaithful.
Could it be that our ability to commit to one person sexually for our entire lives is genetic?
Not so, according to Dr Kelberman, of the Great Ormond Street Institute.
Flower company Bloom and Wild got Dr Kelberman to look into which human behaviours are genetic and which are a result of our conscious choices.
He firmly believes that there is no cheating gene, saying: ‘Such behaviours are acquired and nothing to do with genetics.
‘There are lots of studies on the genes involved in inheritance, most of which are contentious. There are potentially thousands of genes involved, and our estimates at present only account for a very small amount of what is inherited.’
Therefore if cheating does run in your family, it is a result of either coincidence or nurture rather than nature.
It is worth noting that the leading study on this question was taken by people on an extra marital affairs website, therefore everyone taking the test was already inclined towards cheating, which skews the sample.
If your partner had a cheating parent and you’re starting to worry then you can take a look at our guide to the signs that someone is cheating, as well as having an honest conversation with your partner about your concerns.
The pressure of having sex on Valentine's (when you've got erectile dysfunction)
Earlier this week a shiny promoted post in neutral tones popped up on people’s Facebook and Instagram feeds.
This one wasn’t promoting a new concealer or a type of tights, but propranolol, a type of medication prescribed to decrease the activity of the heart.
The advert, from pharmaceutical brand Hers, read: ‘Nervous about your big date?
‘Propranolol can help your shaky voice, sweating and racing heart beat.
‘No in-person doctor visits, just an online consultation and delivery can be right to the door.’
The advert prompted outrage for a mixed bag of reasons.
First off, while the brand is meant specifically for women, there is no gendered version of propranolol or other types of beta-blocker. They’re all the same, and you don’t need to buy a ‘women’s version’.
Many have accused the advert of being dangerous, noting that beta-blockers absolutely should not be taken without a doctor’s input.
Others were frustrated by the implication that mental health medication should be used if you’re ‘nervous about your big date’.
Hers has since apologised for the advert, writing on Instagram: ‘Our post about propranolol, a medication sometimes used by doctors to treat the physical symptoms of performance anxiety, really upset a lot of you.
‘We agree that the post was misguided and reductive, and we apologize that this slipped through the cracks.’
In the midst of the backlash and apology, there’s a big question being asked: should we be marketing propranolol as a remedy for first-date nerves? Isn’t it normal to feel nervous for a first date, with sweaty palms and a racing heart considered signs of romance?
Beta-blockers are prescribed to treat multiple conditions, including angina, heart failure, atrial fibrillation, heart attack, high blood pressure, migraines, tremors, glaucoma, and anxiety disorders.
As that list hints, they’re a serious form of medication that shouldn’t be popped willy-nilly. Beta-blockers work directly on the heart, lowing its rate and force.
Fatmata Kamara from Bupa UK explains: ‘When your heart beats, your brain sends a message through the nervous system to your heart.
‘These messages are received by the heart through tiny areas called beta-adrenergic receptors. Propranolol blocks off parts of these receptors, meaning the number of messages received by the heart is reduced.
‘This causes your heart rate to lower and reduces the force with which your heart beats.
‘For people with heart and blood pressure conditions, propranolol makes it easier for blood to be pumped around the body and can ease the symptoms.’
This can be helpful not just for those with heart conditions, but for anyone who experiences severe, debilitating anxiety and panic attacks.
Severe anxiety and panic attacks are not the same as ‘nerves’.
Symptoms of generalised anxiety disorder:
There are different types of anxiety disorders, including phobias, OCD, and PTSD.
Symptoms of generalised anxiety disorder include:
Everyone gets nervous – it’s a normal human reaction to scary or stressful events, whether it’s speaking in front of a crowd or going into an interview.
When you have an anxiety or panic disorder, the physical sensation of nerves, panic, and dread doesn’t just occur in the face of an authentically stressful situation. Instead the experience can feel as though it’s popping up out of nowhere, for no reason.
The physical and emotional experience of someone with an anxiety disorder can also be far more intense than your average case of nerves.
Someone with an anxiety disorder may feel an intense sense of dread, irritability, constant fear, while a panic attack can cause dizziness, trouble breathing, excessive sweating, and even fainting.
Symptoms of a panic attack:
Symptoms of a panic attack include:
During a panic attack you might feel very afraid that you’re:
When these physical sensations become out of control, a doctor may prescribe beta-blockers that a person can use ahead of a situation they know will be stressful. With medication such as propanolol, a sufferer may be able to get through a triggering experience without going through extreme symptoms.
But sometimes, such as is suggested in this advert, people will use beta-blockers to deal with normal responses to stressful situations.
Psychiatrist Dr Cosmo Hallstrom tells Metro.co.uk: ‘Propanolol blocks the physical effects of the adrenaline surge that occurs with anxiety. It block the “fight and flight” physical effects of anxiety, such as a pounding heart or sweating. It reduces tremor.
‘It is most effective in reducing the physical effects of anxiety in normal individuals under stressful situations, such as in driving tests, exam nerves and target shooting. It also helps violin players and snooker players.’
There’s debate over whether this is a good idea.
Should beta-blockers be reserved only for those with severe and debilitating anxiety disorders? Or should people be able to access the treatment to reduce any feeling of nervousness?
One thing we do know with certainty is that unregulated use of beta-blockers is not a good idea, and neither is over-use.
Taking medication without a prescription of a doctor poses serious risks, as does using it when it’s not needed.
‘Beta blockers should only be used if they’ve been prescribed to you by a healthcare professional,’ says Fatmata.
‘As beta blockers impact your heart, you shouldn’t begin using them without being advised to by your GP.
‘Unprescribed use can cause serious issues, especially in people that have low blood pressure, diabetes, heart rhythm problems and lung issues.
‘You should never overuse beta blockers, or double up on them if you have been prescribed them.
‘If you do accidentally take extra doses, you should seek advice from your GP or call NHS 111.
‘Along with the side effects that can be experienced upon taking beta blockers, abruptly ending use of them without consulting your GP can cause withdrawal symptoms that may increase your risk of heart problems; with symptoms including sweating, shaking, heartbeat irregularities and chest pains.’
Dr Cosmo Hallstrom adds: ‘Beta Blockers are powerful drugs.
‘They are safe if used properly, but it is never to good to take too many and not under medical supervision.’
Essentially the issue comes down to knowing the difference between ‘healthy’ nerves and severe anxiety, and knowing that in the case of the latter, any medication should only be taken under the advice of a medical professional.
It’s normal to feel a little anxious before a date. Meeting new people can be awkward.
But it’s vital to learn that feeling nervous isn’t something to be scared of. Breathe deep, reframe those nerves as nervous excitement, and push on.
It’s when that anxiety feels overwhelming that it’s time to chat to a professional. Contact your doctor if your feelings of panic, fear, and worry are holding you back, and they’ll be able to advise whether medication is the right choice.
Need support? Contact the Samaritans
Hers promotes propranol for nerves before a big date/No, beta-blockers are not to get rid of first date nerves
Having trouble sleeping?
Sleep is integral to our health and wellbeing, yet so many of us are getting less than the recommended eight hours.
So while we can’t guarantee they’ll cure you of insomnia, we’ve selected nine products that will give beauty sleep a whole new meaning.
From gorgeous balms that help de-stress your senses, to skincare products that work while you sleep, these products will help you fall asleep and wake up feeling gorgeous this World Sleep Day.
A few spritzes of this cult pillow spray will help send you to dreamland that bit faster and makes tossing and turning a little more tolerable.
This year This Works is joining the fight against bad housing and homelessness by donating £1 from each online sale of its Deep Sleep Pillow Spray (250ml) to UK housing and homelessness charity Shelter, to help those in need of a safe place to call home.
This Works Limited Edition Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, £33, thisworks.com
The Scentered Aromatherapy Sleep Well Balm Stick has a calming blend of lavender, chamomile and ylang-ylang, to help soothe you into a deep slumber.
Just dab a small amount onto your pulse points (neck and wrists), inhale and relax. The scent is seriously relaxing – guaranteed it will become a permanent part of your nighttime routine.
Scentered Aromatherapy Sleep Well Balm Stick, £16.50, amazon.co.uk
Skin regenerates faster as you sleep, so it’s the perfect time to give your complexion a little extra TLC.
Enter Omorovicza Rejuvenating Night Cream, an expensive, but effective overnight treatment that leaves skin smooth, supple and glow-y by the AM.
The rich, luxurious cream has been formulated with plum almond oil and apple pectin, to nourish and strengthen the skin, while vitamin A (retinol is derived from vitamin A ) helps restore and regenerate the skin by boosting cell renewal – say goodbye to fine lines.
Oh K! Sleep Mask
For well-rested skin on a budget, the Korean beauty Oh K! Sleep Mask is a great option.
The creamy mask is brimming with glycerin and hyaluronic acid, ingredients that both help to moisturise and plump up the skin.
It’s the perfect quick fix for a tired, dull complexion. And each pouch contains five to six uses.
Made from real mulberry silk, this sleep mask from Slip is a must-have if you don’t have black-out blinds, or can’t sleep without total darkness.
It’s well worth the investment and will protect your peepers from fine lines too.
Dealing with dry, flaky lips?
Well, this leave-on lip treatment from Kiehl’s will soften your pout overnight.
The Kiehl’s Buttermask For Lips is made with ultra-nourishing ingredients like coconut oil and wild mango butter, to leave lips instantly looking and feeling more moisturised.
And while it’s recommended to be worn overnight, this doesn’t limit us from applying it during the day too. It’s that good.
Not into creams?
This silky and deliciously-scented oil from Sarah Chapman is a true beauty hero and our go-to when our skin is having a crisis.
Say for instance you’ve had one too many late nights, overdone the partying, wine, cheese, chocolate, gin… just massage this oil into your skin and let the antioxidants and oils work their magic. Come morning you’ll skin will appear brighter, healthier and smoother.
We’ve also heard on the grapevine that Meghan Markle is a fan.
Sarah Chapman Skinesis Overnight Facial, £49, spacenk.com
This sleep-friendly candle will help to calm and relax you with its therapeutic fragrance of camomile and lavender – two of the most stood-by calming scents.
Just light the candle, pop on your favourite playlist, slip into a warm bath and let the candle burn in the background for the perfect bath routine.
This works Deep Sleep Heavenly Candle, £25, lookfantastic.com
Speaking of bathing, nothing beats indulging your body and senses in a nice warm Himalayan salt bath just before bedtime.
They’re a sure way to melt away the day’s worries and will leave your skin cleansed and soft to the touch.
Absolute Aromas Himalayan De-Stress Bath Salt, £10.99, amazon.co.uk
It’s only natural to feel a little overwhelmed.
Look at the state of things. We’ve got the uncertainty and confusion of looming Brexit, the knowledge that our planet is being wrecked by global warming, and Greggs keeps selling out of its vegan sausage rolls before we have time to grab one.
It’s a tough time, basically, and while hygge may have helped us in the past, no cosy blankets and cinnamon rolls will do the trick now.
That means we’re ready for a fresh Scandi term to shape our lives around.
Enter ‘pyt’, pronounced ‘pid’.
The World Economic Forum says that ‘pyt’ was recently voted the most popular word by Danes, surpassing ‘dvæle’ (to linger) and ‘krænkelsesparat’ (ready to take offence).
Pyt doesn’t have a direct translation, but essentially it’s something you say after something annoying or stressful happens.
It’s a bit like saying ‘sh*t happens’, ‘oh well’, or ‘life goes on’, accepting that a bad thing has happened, you can’t do anything to change it now, and declaring that you’re ready to move on.
So you drop your phone in the loo and say ‘pyt’. They’re out of hash browns in the work canteen: pyt.
Pyt is a way to take a moment to relax and evaluate a stressful occurrence in the grand scheme of things, instead of immediately reacting with sadness or rage.
Over in Denmark, some people even have ‘pyt buttons’ that they can hit when things go wrong.
Will the concept of pyt remedy genuine life-altering concerns? No. We wouldn’t recommend dismissing wrongdoing or distress with pyt.
But pyt is a good way to deal with those smaller, everyday frustrations that are out of our control, reminding us that not everything in life will be perfect.
There’s a lot to think about when you’re in labour.
Normally, the pain, breathing and pushing take total precedence – but one woman was able to document the entire birth with a series of photos, even managing to take a picture during the final push as her baby boy emerged in to the world.
Megan Mattiuzzo, a professional wedding photographer from New York, was determined to capture this incredible moment on film, and the results are actually stunning.
The photos capture the moment her baby son Easton took his first breaths as he was held up to her by midwifes.
Her friends offered to take photos for her, but Megan was adamant that she wanted to get the unique perspective of the mother’s position looking down at her baby.
To take the incredible pics, Megan balanced the camera on her stomach and looked through the viewfinder to make sure everything was in focus.
Megan’s labour was particularly intense because the epidural wasn’t 100% effective. Her husband held the camera for the majority of the birth, but Megan wanted to be the one to capture the photos at the crucial moment.
Speaking to Buzzfeed News, Megan explained why these images were so important to her: ‘I wanted one photo and it would be from my perspective from what I’m seeing: my son’s first breaths and what he’s seeing in the world,’ she explains.
‘The focus went away from the pain. It’s your son, it’s your child. Seeing him… I can’t describe the feeling.
‘You go nine months not knowing what they look like, who they are. And then to see finally see a healthy baby, you’re just overwhelmed with happiness.’
The moment the photos were taken, Megan gave her husband the camera so she could hold little Easton.
We are sure that Easton’s baby book is going to be seriously impressive with Megan on hand to capture all his big moments.
Photographer captures the moment she gives birth to a son
A woman has written an open letter on her Facebook, thanking a kind stranger who stepped in when her kids overwhelmed her.
Laura Mazza, who runs the blog Mum on the Run, was trying to pick up a prescription when she became overwhelmed by her hyper children and screaming baby. She writes:
‘To the woman at the chemist,
‘Not the one who stared at me and my children like I was a disgusting pile of filth.
‘While I was trying to fill a script and my children who, over tired, started tipping the boxes of cold and flu tablets over while my baby was screaming in my arms. You saved me.
‘You distracted my children and took my baby from my arms. You gave them lollipops and told them a funny story. They were captivated by you.
‘You didn’t know it, but I had been waiting for 45 minutes, I had called up and they told me my script was ready. I thought I’d be in and out, I thought it would be a good opportunity for the kids to get outside and give them a treat. You didn’t know they stuffed up my script, twice. I was there to fill scripts for adhd medication and anti depressants.
You didn’t know it, but my anxiety was through the roof and I was ready to burst into tears.
‘I gave them ice cream and their sugar high was meant to be worn out at the playground, but because it took so long, they used that energy in the chemist. I was trying to talk to the pharmacist and listen because being on your last week of pills is like standing on the edge of a cliff.
‘Everyone heard me, even the pharmacist could hear the panic and my voice quivering. You didn’t know it but it’s a mammoth effort for me to get out confidently with all three. I regretted it as soon as they started screaming and the head shakes and annoyed glances came my way.
‘You told me you had three kids too, but they were all at your mothers that day, you told me you understood and I felt in my heart you did. You didn’t know me but you saved me from my own mind, my feelings of inadequacy and self doubt. I would have never gone back to that chemist and It would have taken me a long time to go out again for fear of the same thing happening again.
‘I’ve been on the other side so many times and have been you, and I’ve been thanked profusely, and I never understood how much it meant to them until today.
‘You didn’t know it, but you saved me. So thank you.
‘Mama village-ing done right.’
People seemed inspired by her post. Samantha Eastwood, also a parent, commented: ‘A lovely reminder to me that when I see another mum having a tricky time it’s ok to go over & see if they’re ok. Usually I give a sympathetic look but don’t feel confident enough to go over & start a conversation.
‘I always want to help! So if you see someone looking at you maybe they are deciding if you want their help or not, or working up the courage themselves to come talk to you.’
Tracey Ott commented that reading Laura’s story made her miss her own time as a new mother. ‘As a 46 year old momma of two adult boys I remember these days all to well. Honestly I miss it so much that I am the women that helped you today.
‘This is something that any mother should do for there fellow mothers instinctively. Unfortunately there are more that judge instead of lifting another mother up or lending a hand. Raising children takes a village and is especially hard when your dealing with anxiety,depression or any metal illness for that fact. Your doing amazing with those lil ones.’
If your child is exhibiting difficult behaviour, you may want to speak to your GP, your health visitor or visit the Family Lives website.
A slimmer says nearly all her friends turned against her after she lost 170 pounds and dropped from a size 28 to a size zero
Jen Beegle, 36, is delighted with her new figure after going from 300-pounds to 130-pounds following bariatric surgery in 2015.
The procedure shrunk the size of her stomach to the size of an egg and helped her lose weight by drastically reducing the amount of food she can eat.
But the home educator, of West Salem in Ohio, says she was shocked to lose around 15 close pals, many of whom she’d known for years, after beating the bulge.
Jen told Metro US: ‘It’s really sad. I lost probably ninety percent of my friends. I don’t know why.What time is the Four Weddings Comic Relief sequel on TV tonight?
‘They just became petty, they just stopped talking to me. It’s not because I’ve changed. My heart is the same. My outside has changed, but my inside is the same.’
She added: ‘They would make fun of me, and pick on me because of what I’m eating. They would say things like “Oh, are you too good to eat pizza now?” I can’t eat the cheese or carbs anymore, since the surgery, because they make me feel sick.
‘Interestingly, it wasn’t always my larger friends who reacted badly. The issue with my slimmer friends was that I started to get more attention. You always look better as a thin person if you go out with less attractive friends, and I think some of them were resentful that I was starting to get attention too.’
Mother-of-two Jen says she loves her new figure and healthy lifestyle, which has seen her swap pizza for oats with flax seed, tuna lunches and healthy meat roll dinners.
She took up running after losing weight, which helped her slim down past her 180-pound target weight by 50 pounds. Jen is thrilled by how much energy she now has to devote to her sons, aged six and nine.Woman discovers horrifying amount of mouldy food trapped under kitchen plug hole
But she also revealed how she constantly feels cold since losing most of her body fat, leaving her too chilly to don the skimpy outfits she had dreamed of wearing while obese.
Jen, who had a $4,500 tummy tuck to remove loose skin after slimming down said: ‘I’m always cold now, which was very unexpected. This is the shallow part of the surgery.
‘All these clothes that are cute and fashionable that you couldn’t wear your whole life, I totally wanted them.
‘Now, I have them, except I can’t wear them where anyone can see them, because I’m always so damn cold and I have to wear a jacket over the top of them.’
Jen said that prior to her surgery, she had always been overweight, and believes her inability to slim down was genetic.Jose Mourinho aims dig at Zinedine Zidane and sends warning over Real Madrid return
She ate a balanced diet, stuck to reasonably-sized portions and exercised regularly at the gym, lifting weights and training hard on the exercise bike.
Jen suffers from a rare kidney condition called Alport Syndrom which puts her at risk of diabetes. She says that going on extreme, calorie-restricted diets were ‘the only way in my entire life I could see the scale budge.’
She added: ‘I was doing everything that healthy people told me to do, but it just wasn’t working.’
She finally had surgery in September 2015 after seeing a photo of herself next to her father, who she had always considered far bigger than her, and realizing they were almost the same size.
Jen spent the first month in agonizing pain, but quickly began to lose weight. She began exercising five times a week, and quickly surpassed her target weight of 180-pounds. Jen was stunned 18 months later, in Spring 2017, when she realized she was a pants-size zero.
She recalled: ‘I’m not going to lie. I was so excited. I used to wear size 28 pants so to be a size zero. It means nothing – it literally means nothing, it’s the smallest size there is.’
‘I would go out shopping with and I would be like “Is this right? Is this right?” I wouldn’t believe I was actually that small. I don’t fell small. I feel as big as I was before. It’s body dysmorphia.’
Jen says slimming down helped her overcome decades of bullying about her size – and also gave her the confidence to end her unhappy marriage.
She said: ‘There’s a lot of judgement when you’re fat. You’re either completely invisible or people don’t like you.
‘When I was in middle school, I really liked a boy. When his friends found out they said “Come to the lunch table, he wants to talk to you.”
‘When I went there he wasn’t there, and I said “Where is he?”
‘They were all laughing, and said “He’s hiding under the table, because you’re too fat to sit under there.”
‘It crushed me. It broke my heart. I would always go out with friends. I was very social.. guys would always come up to me, but it was always to get my friends number. It was never because they liked me.’
And explaining how her weight loss helped her escape a bad relationship. Jen continued: ‘I realized my marriage wasn’t really working. I started to love myself more, if that makes sense. When you’re fat, you’re invisible, you don’t love yourself.
‘I always thought I couldn’t do better, and my husband always told me, nobody’s going to want me, and I believed him.
‘I believed him because I was fat, and nobody wants a fat girl.
Jen, who is still shocked when men try to hit on her added: ‘I started to lose weight, and its not that there was any guy waiting for me, or I was cheating, or anything like that.
‘It was just once you start to realize you’re capable of doing by yourself. Even if theres nobody else in my life, I’m okay with that, because I’m happy with myself, and am happy to be by myself.’
Although heart attacks are often considered something that happens to older people only, they can happen to younger people as well.
A recent study in America found that rates of people under 50 are getting higher over time, prompting calls for physicians to make sure they check for signs of heart attacks in all patients who present symptoms.
It’s worth knowing the signs yourself, and learning how to respond so that you’re prepared in the unlikely event you or someone else has a heart attack.
Signs of a heart attack
Many of the signs of a heart attack are similar and most people will experience:
It’s also worth noting that women often experience different symptoms, such as abdominal pain or numbness in the hands or feet.
What do you if you or someone else is having a heart attack
If you feel you or someone else might be having a heart attack, call 999 right away.
The NHS also recommend that the person chew and then swallow an aspirin (as long as they’re not allergic to it) as this can help thin the blood.
From there, the paramedics or phone operator will let you know what to do until you’re treated at the hospital.
Heart attacks from the use of cocaine are one of the most common causes of sudden death in young people, so you should also be sure when talking to the operator that you know whether or not the person you’re calling for has used drugs recently.
Heart attack, conceptual illustration
This is Kinky Characters – a new series that explores unusual fetishes and the people who like them.
If you’re on the ‘vanilla’ spectrum of sexual experiences, be prepared to feel a little uncomfortable by this week’s fetish.
Sounding – the kink where you slip a metal rod into your urethra.
Although spoken about in hushed tones in public, the sounding market is well-developed with toy sizes ranging from a few millimetres to inches, smooth, ribbed and curved styles and full kits (for newbies and experts alike).
One of the main reasons sounding is still considered taboo is safety concerns, because unlike many other fetishes it requires a fair bit of practice, care and research.
There are important dos (be generous with the lube) and don’ts (only use objects designed for sounding, no fingers).
You’re also spoilt for choice when it comes to videos and forums.
There are over 5,000 options on one porn site, including but not limited to animated versions, a particularly graphic ‘sounding and milking’ film and clips of machines with electrodes attached to them – for people who crave that extra buzz.
This week’s Kinky Character is Ben, a former banker in his 50s who has been experimenting with sounding for the last four years.
But it’s just one of his many kinks – he’s also a big fan of humiliating men by sleeping with their wives or girlfriends (as part of a consenting cuckolding scenario) and is a frequent sex club visitor.
We ask him what he loves about sounding, what it feels like and how his lovers react to it.
Tell us about sounding
Sounding works by inserting a stainless steel rod of differing widths into your urethra, as deep as you can go. I normally reserve this type of play for people who share my kink or when I want to cause a stir at a quiet party.
I bought my first sounding rod four years ago. I’m sexually experimental and had seen people do it in sex tapes and porn magazines.
It looked fun, and I thought if others can orgasm with a rod in their urethras, I’m game to try it.
So, I did – and loved it.
What does it feel like to insert the metal rod?
It’s hard to describe.
At first it’s odd, but still pleasurable (though I have bled a couple of times). The taboo aspect, disapproval and sheer decadence of it gets me going.
I can only describe it as how I imagine some women feel with a dildo. The rod rubs and moves inside of you and it feels right, snug and good.
It was physiologically difficult to insert the rod the first time. I did it very slowly, you have to wiggle things around and don’t force it at any point.
Resistance is best beaten by removing the rod, adding more lube and changing the position slightly.
If it’s still painful, I always stop.
How has your kink developed?
I graduated to long thin rods with thicker ends and weighted handles.
When those are used, gravity takes over and you don’t have to risk forcing them.
Surgical lube works wonders and keeps everything clean.
The feeling when it slides in is something else, and I also get a kick out of the horror on people’s faces as they watch me or a playmate insert it.
How do your partners react to your fetish?
My partners have reacted with shock at first, and then with keen interest.
I have a small ridged rod that is about six inches long that’s good fun to use with partners.
I’ll ask them to place their fingers on my penis and feel the ridges as they pass underneath – usually their eyes light up and it brings a whole new level of trust to our relationship.
I’ve also had women ask me to do it to them, and once the rods are sterilised and clean, I oblige.
I’m a member of several fetish and swinger sites, which allows me to expand my mind even further with like-minded people.
Fabswingers is great for meet-ups, but I find people are more tolerant and kinky on FetLife.
What’s your most memorable sounding scenario?
My most memorable time was at a campsite during a sex festival.
My partner, who was in her mid-40s, asked me to do it to her. She was hesitant at first, but quickly got into things as I slid the rod into her urethra.
She took it all, which is about seven centimetres in length and three millimetres wide.
Her orgasm was incredibly intense. Afterwards, she said: ‘Why did I wait so long to try this?’.
Part of the turn-on is doing something so taboo yet mind-blowing for both of us.
We got quite a few comments from the other campers. They had no idea how she came, but all heard it and wanted to experience the same level of joy.
I also had a woman do it to me in a club once. I was lying down on a big bed and we had a crowd of maybe 10 or 15 people watching us until I came.
People’s reactions differed from disgust to fascination, and once I’d finished, they started asking questions.
When did you first start exploring your sexual limits?
Growing up, I fantasised sexually about things I’d seen in magazines, on video and then online.
It’s only in the last 10 years that I’ve had the opportunity to do actually do them.
My day job required convention by the bucket, so I lived vicariously through my kinks.
I can’t list my fetishes, because there’s no end to them – I like and enjoy everything barring anything to do with animals, children and Tottenham.
I have a bag of tricks hidden away with floggers, leather, rubber and fetish wear, toys, a speculum, clothes pegs, pumps and of course, metal rods.
And copious amounts of lube and condoms.
How do you feel about the stigma attached to unusual fetishes?
Vanilla people reading this article will judge me on the headline without ever meeting me or trying it themselves.
If people want to judge me that’s their prerogative. It’s the same for all unusual fetishes, they work for some people, so leave them to have their fun.
With more women (and men) watching porn, there is an increased acceptance of fetishes and kinks, plus a willingness among the under 30s to try new things, which I love.
My generation largely remains constrained by parental disapproval, religion and fear of getting caught.
Once you’ve seen your own rock bottom, nothing scares you anymore.
Give that thing you’ve always wanted to do a try – what have you got to lose apart from fear?
Stepping through and experiencing it could be the bravest thing you will ever do.
Please be very careful if you’re engaging in sounding and read up on how to do it before you start. It’s also recommended that you follow a guide or advice from a trained sex expert or medical professional.
Do you have an unusual fetish?
Want to tell us about your sexual preferences or odd kinks?
Drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for upcoming episodes of Kinky Characters.
Kinky Characters part three
In need of something to do this weekend?
We suggest heading down the Other Art Fair.
If you immediately balked at that idea, take a breath – we promise you don’t need to be a serious arty type to enjoy this.
The Other Art Fair is a yearly event highlighting artists you may not have heard of, offering sales of illustrations and paintings that would look glorious in your reading corner, hands-on workshops, and hand-poke tattoos.
It’s running from 14 March to 17 March at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane, with 140 emerging artists being presented over the course of four days.
Basically, it’s the perfect opportunity to pick up something that’ll make you look cool and ahead of the curve.
If you’re into slightly trippy artwork to hang in your living room, head straight to see Fei Alexeli’s collages.
There’s plenty of millennial pink, cacti, and surreal scenes. We’re into the vibe.
Erin Aniker’s feminist poster workshop
Erin Aniker is an illustrator who’s done work for everyone from The Body Shop to Metro.co.uk. At the Other Art Fair, she’ll be running Protest & Power, a DIY feminist poster workshop open to people of all drawing abilities, on the Sunday.
You don’t need to be super skilled to take part. Erin will provide poster templates featuring her illustrations of feminist icons – including Munroe Bergdorf, Malala Yousafzai, and Tarana Burke – to anyone feeling less confident, while those feeling creative can go all out with blank posters to decorate.
‘I think images are important and the way people and communities are depicting through images is important,’ Erin tells Metro.co.uk.
‘I try to make my artwork and illustration as inclusive as possible and it’s something I’m always working on and checking to see if I’m putting the right message out there.
‘There is a long history of creating images, posters for protest marches, events and to protest against lots of feminist issues which I am drawing inspiration from for this workshop.
‘We’ll be creating our own images and posters to remember and celebrate feminist activists and icons of the past and present who have created and those who continue to create change through their activism and protests.
‘I’m also strongly encouraging people to bring along their own photos of personal feminist icons too so family, friends and any mentors who you see as a feminist inspiration and icon.’
Erin’s workshop Protest & Power workshop will take place in the Illustration Corner of the Other Art Fair on Sunday 17 March. You can choose to take your poster home with you, gift it to a friend or hang it up as part of a poster wall art installation.
Rebecca Mason’s Neon Health Service
Rebecca will host a Sorry Stall at the fair over the weekend, allowing visitors to make apologies for things they regret. A selection will be displayed on the stand, posted on social media, and some will form a new background to Rebecca’s neon artworks.
Sounds cathartic, right?
Rachel Hillis’s plant portraits
Rachel Victoria Hillis will take over the Illustration Corner on Friday 15 March to provide portraits of house plants.
Take along a photograph of your favourite house plant and get an A5 size watercolour illustration of your leafy pal.
Get a handpoke tattoo from Nara Ishikawa
Brazilian-born tattoo artist Nara Ishikawa is taking up residence at the fair throughout the weekend, creating intricate handpoke tattoos starting from £50.
No booking is required, but the tattoos will be done on a first come, first served basis, so we’d recommend getting there early if you have your heart set on one of her designs.
Nara’s flash sheet features tattoo designs inspired by animals, plants, and people, and they’re all rather lovely (and dainty).
Marcelina Amelia will be selling her works inspired by her Polish heritage. Every piece is bold, bright, and interesting.
Get ’em while they’re hot.
Becky McCray’s Full Circle
Becky will be showing Full Circle, an interactive installation made up of a greenhouse packed with hole punches – the little circle bits of paper collected by hole-punchers.
Play around inside, frolick in the paper snow, then remember that this actually holds quite an important message about the waste we generate. Fun.
MARCELINA AMELIA Portrait-4fc9
Your kitchen sink may look clean, but the plughole could be concealing an overwhelming amount of grossness.
Even if your taps are gleaming and every inch has been scrubbed clean of limescale, there could still be tonnes of disgusting old food trapped just out of sight.
One woman, intent on giving her kitchen a deep clean, discovered something horrifying when she prised open her plughole using a 50p coin.
Underneath the metal plug she was faced with old food that had slipped down in to the sink but hadn’t been rinsed away with the water. The leftover food was rotting, congealing and created a disgusting smell.
The houseproud mum took to Facebook to warn others about this secret pocket of germs that could be lurking in the kitchen.
‘I’ve never seen or smelt something so bad,’ she wrote on her post.
After using the coin to open the plug and unscrew the bolt in the middle, the woman then gave the area a deep clean in a bid to finally rid her home of the mysterious smell that had been emanating from the kitchen.
Her Facebook post sparked a bit of a trend, and other people started opening up their plugholes to check out what was going on underneath.
Predictably, the results were grim.
One woman who was inspired to try the 50p coin trick wrote; ‘I took people’s advice and I’m so happy I’ve done it.
‘Used a 50p to unscrew the plug bit and a scrubbing brush to clean, make sure there is something propped under the pipes so there is no leaking water.
‘I’ll definitely be doing this on the regular.’
Another added; ‘I did mine with a screwdriver after seeing it on this page and OMG it was disgusting.
‘I took the pipes apart under the sink and the amount of food and hair was awful.’
Are you brave enough to find out what’s lurking underneath your plughole? All you need is 50p and probably some industrial rubber gloves.
50p trick kitchen sink
Over the last few years advent calendars have gone stratospheric, and now include everything from miniature bottles of booze to candles.
The other chocolatey treat we tend to look forward to – the Easter egg – is also getting a makeover with the advent of Glossybox’s new product.
It’s certainly one way to celebrate the day if you’re off sugar or simply don’t want food as a present.
The limited edition egg will be worth over £80, and cost £30 for non-subscribers to the Glossybox service, and £25 for those who are signed up.
As well as the sweet pastel egg box, you’ll get products from the likes of Benefit, Pixi, Illamasqua, St Tropez, Living Proof and more, with face, body, and hair items included.
Deepa Bamrah, UK Communications Manager for GLOSSYBOX says, “This is the perfect, luxury Easter ‘surprise’ for yourself or a special someone. Not only is the design of the box incredible but what’s inside is beyond exciting!’
You can pre-order the egg here, and it goes on sale from 9 April.
What’s in the Glossybox Easter egg?
Illamasqua Chrome eyeshadow in Passionate – RRP £22 – Full size
Benefit BADGal Bang mascara – RRP £11 – Travel size
St. Tropez Self-Tan Purity Bronzing Water Gel – RRP worth £4 – Deluxe mini
St. Tropez Luxe Applicator Mitt – RRP £5 – Full size
Pixi Glow Tonic – RRP £10 – Full size
Patchology Flashmasque Soothe 5 Minute Sheet Mask – RRP £8 – Full size
Living Proof Style Lab Prime Style Lab Extender – RRP worth £5 – Deluxe mini
Lee Stafford Choco Locks Gloss Boss – RRP £6.99 – Full size
Cink Bare Necessity 3D Strip Eyelashes – RRP £10 – Full size