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- 03/24/19--08:35: _Muslim teenager ent...
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- 03/24/19--09:38: _Mum told she had po...
- 03/24/19--10:37: _Matalan launches ad...
- 03/24/19--10:44: _Goop is selling lin...
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- 03/25/19--03:24: _Tesco trials removi...
- 03/25/19--04:43: _Grab your reusable ...
- 03/25/19--04:52: _Bride gets married ...
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- 03/25/19--08:57: _People are fuming a...
- 03/24/19--08:35: Muslim teenager enters boxing competition wearing a hijab
- Persistent bloating – not bloating that comes and goes
- Feeling full quickly and/or loss of appetite
- Pelvic or abdominal pain (that’s your tummy and below)
- Urinary symptoms (needing to wee more urgently or more often than usual)
- Changes in bowel habit (eg diarrhoea or constipation)
- Extreme fatigue (feeling very tired)
- Unexplained weight loss
- 03/24/19--10:37: Matalan launches adorable matching dad and daughter outfits
- 03/24/19--10:44: Goop is selling lingerie at prices only Gwyneth Paltrow can afford
- 03/25/19--03:02: The weird and wonderful journey our water takes before we drink it
- 03/25/19--03:24: Tesco trials removing plastic from 45 fruit and veg items
- 03/25/19--04:43: Grab your reusable cups, the London Coffee Festival is returning
- 03/25/19--04:52: Bride gets married just four days after finding out she has cancer
- 03/25/19--05:58: Let us come together to defeat the horror of Oreo rice
- 03/25/19--06:31: Men go after women who are a lot like their mums
- Exclusivity – your attitudes toward monogamy.
- Agreeableness – being empathetic to others’ problems
- Affectionate – whether or not you’re tactile or vocal about your feelings
- Altruism – being selfless and helping others
- Accommodation – your willingness to allow for other people’s opinions and feelings.
- Alienation – feeling downbeat or despondent without reason
- Religious Values
- Emotional Stability
- Obstreperousness – being opinionated, and vocal in opinions.
- 03/25/19--08:57: People are fuming about this ranking of crisps
Returning home from holiday, Rachael Harland had decided to stop off to see her dad.
Her parents had divorced when she was eight and she lived in North Yorkshire near her mum, while her dad lived in Berkshire.
Still incredibly close, she tried to spend time with him when she could and she couldn’t wait to see him in the arrivals lounge at Heathrow.
But when her flight landed, she couldn’t find her dad anywhere.
Taking a walk around, she realised she’d missed him because he was bent over in pain.
He explained that his doctor told him he had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and had started a special diet but the pain just wasn’t going away.
The family had no idea that Martin’s pain was actually pancreatic cancer and just nine months later, he would die at the age of just 55.
Now Rachael, 28, and her brother Mike, 24, are fighting to raise awareness of the condition described as a silent killer.
Most people with the condition don’t experience symptoms until it has progressed too far.
Only 3% of people who develop pancreatic cancer survive. Three in four people with the condition die within a year of diagnosis – the lowest survival rate of all common cancers.
Rachael is now speaking out to try to make a change and ensure that people with pancreatic cancer are classed as an emergency and receive treatment within 20 days of diagnosis.
Rachael tells Metro.co.uk: ‘People haven’t heard about pancreatic cancer. I admit we hadn’t before dad was diagnosed.
‘He was fit and healthy and only in his 50s and his doctor thought he had IBS. We knew something was up but we never imagined it would be cancer.
‘By the time he got treatment, it was too late. We can’t bring our dad back but we want to demand faster treatment and to raise awareness of the symptoms to prevent this happening to anyone else.’
After spending a few days with her dad on that initial trip, Rachael went back up North, promising to see him again soon.
In two weeks, Martin deteriorated drastically.
Rachael says: ‘Mike went to see dad and a few days later he called me and said he thought there was something really wrong.
‘In about two weeks, dad had lost about a quarter of his body weight. He had gone back to the doctor and they realised it was was more serious.’
Facing a two to three week weight for a scan on the NHS, Martin decided to pay for a private scan and a few days later, on 4 May 2017, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
‘It was a huge shock. Dad was really healthy and we never thought it would be cancer. He was only 54, which is the young end of the spectrum for pancreatic cancer.
‘We used to joke about dad being a hypochondriac so we felt quite betrayed by what had happened to him and that they had missed something so vital,’ she says.
Rachael and Mike were determined that their dad could fight this – he agreed to chemotherapy and they looked at surgery, including specialist nano knife surgery that was not available on the NHS. They raised over £11,000 for the treatment.
But just on his second session of the intensive chemotherapy, Martin had a reaction to the drugs and suffered a heart attack.
He was told that the treatment could continue after a two week break but they would have to give him much lower doses.
She explains: ‘The chemotherapy had only given him a 5% chance of reducing the tumour.
‘We tried to say to him that he could be in that 5% but when he had that reaction they had to give him smaller doses over a longer period of time and it wasn’t as strong.
‘It really knocked him and delayed his treatment.’
During that time, Martin started to deteriorate quickly. He lost a lot of weight and was struggling to eat because of the position of the tumour.
After the first round of chemotherapy, the family were told that the tumour had grown around an artery and it was now stage four, meaning there was nothing more they could do. Unfortunately it was no longer operable.
Rachael adds: ‘It was a massive shock to us – he seemed to be ok and we thought it would be like stage two.’
In the months that followed, Rachael and Mike tried to do as much as they could to spend time with their dad.
He continued to suffer complications, including a gall bladder infection and sepsis, which left him very weak.
With Christmas approaching, they knew it would probably be the last one they would spend together.
‘He was losing his way with everything,’ Rachael says. ‘He came home and he was just so ill.
‘Just before Christmas, he was taken back into hospital. He had lost about half his body weight at that stage. We would go away for a week and come back and he would be worse.
‘We had planned Christmas as a really big thing. He loved Christmas. It was his favourite time of year. He discharged himself and got home for Christmas day. That day he was like a new person. He was lively and he ate a bit more.
‘We knew it would be the last Christmas but we just didn’t want to address it.
‘On Boxing Day, he sat down with us and said “When I am not here, this is what I want you to do.”
‘It was really hard to accept but we knew we needed to talk about it.’
On New Years Eve, Martin was taken back into hospital and Rachael and Mike were told he had just weeks left.
Martin decided he wanted to die in a hospice, rather than at home and the family supported his decision.
He was taken to Thames Hospice and Mike and Rachael knew they had to prepare themselves.
Rachael says: ‘Hospital just wasn’t the place for him but it was hard going to a hospice knowing that that meant.
‘I remember getting a call from him and he said “Rach, they are moving me to a hospice, does this mean it’s the end?”
‘I didn’t have the heart to say yes.’
Martin was very weak, frail and in a lot of pain but he wanted to maintain a sense of independence.
Sadly on 20 January 2018, he had a fall while going to the bathroom and hit his head.
Rachael explains: ‘They asked him if he wanted to go to hospital as there could be a bleed but at that stage, he knew the trip to hospital would be too much and they wouldn’t be able to do something.
‘Seeing that happen, we knew it was getting to the end. We had a talk and we said: “Do you know what is going to happen?” He said: “Yes I do but I just don’t want to die.”
‘We told him we didn’t want him to either. It was a horrific time. To see your dad so poorly at 55 years old was just horrendous.’
Preparing themselves, Mike and Rachael decided to speak to the hospice about exactly what would happen when he came to the end.
She says: ‘I went to the doctor and said I didn’t want to be deluded. I thought we had days left.
What are the symptoms of pancreatic cancer?
Tummy (abdominal) and back pain
Unexplained weight loss
Loss of appetite
Changes to bowel habits – including steatorrhoea (pale, smelly poo that may float), diarrhoea (loose watery poo) or constipation (problems emptying your bowels)
Jaundice (yellow skin and eyes, dark urine and itchy skin)
Recently diagnosed diabetes
Problems digesting food – such as feeling full quickly when eating, bloating, burping or lots of wind
Feeling and being sick (nausea and vomiting)
‘We asked what we should expect and she told us about the death rattle, that the breathing changes and that the hearing was the last thing to go.
‘We had that conversation that afternoon, after the fall, and I knew something wasn’t right but we weren’t able to stay overnight.’
At 2am that morning, the siblings received a call to say they needed to get back to the hospice as soon as they could as Martin was getting worse.
She says: ‘I have never driven to fast in my life. We got straight back and we got there and the nurses were running towards us. We knew we had to prepare ourselves.
‘The fall could have accelerated it, we don’t know but on 21 January, he passed away at 7.15am.’
Rachael and Mike were devastated and distraught that this disease had taken their dad just eight months after diagnosis.
She adds: ‘We wish we could have had more time but we wouldn’t have wanted him to be in pain any more.
‘Watching him physically deteriorate in front of you was difficult
‘We are thankful that we did get time with him – we know four other people that got diagnosed after him and died before he did. I am glad we did have time to accept what would happen but it has left an enormous hole in our life.
‘I do feel like a part of us died with him.
‘All Mike and I want to do now is raise more awareness. We had never heard of this cancer and we knew nothing about it. We’ve had lots of support from Pancreatic Cancer UK but not everyone has heard about them.
‘It is a silent cancer. Quite a lot of people don’t have symptoms until it is quite late. It is just so underfunded, under researched and unknown.
‘We want to change that, for our dad and for everyone else who has died from this awful disease.’
Last month, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) lifted a ban on hijabs and other full-body uniforms that fighters wear for religious reasons.
This meant Muslim teen Safiyyah Syeed, who wears a hijab, can take her love of boxing to the next level.
The 18-year-old from Bradford began boxing a year ago. When she was suffering from from anorexia and bulimia, she wrote a bucket list, which included becoming a boxer.
Overcoming the conditions, Safiyah said she wants to show people that it’s possible to overcome mental health issues and have a positve relationship with your body.
Now she wants to be one of the first Muslim women to compete nationally and hopes to take her boxing to the Olympics one day.
To prepare, Safiyyah, who is studying a leadership program at university, has begun training twice a day.
‘I was a bit worried at first about being a hijabi girl going into a boxing gym. It’s not what people are used to,’ said Safiyah.
‘But everyone has been so nice and supportive. No one minds that I wear a hijab in the ring.
‘It doesn’t affect my boxing at all, some people think it might make it hard to move but I forget I’m even wearing it.’
Safiyyah, who volunteers at a mental health charity, spars with both men and women during training.
‘I remember the first guy I sparred with, he winded me,’ she added. ‘He didn’t realise he had done it because I hid it because my coach has always said don’t show any emotion.
‘They don’t go easy on me but I always say “just because I’m a girl don’t think anything different of me”.’
During her struggle with eating disorders, Safiyah was bed-ridden. She decided when she got better, she would start boxing.
‘I decided that two years of being ill was enough. I wrote a list of things that I wanted to do with my life like start a YouTube channel and go sky diving.
‘Boxing was on the list and as soon as I felt strong enough I started doing it.
‘I want to show people that mental health problems don’t have to hold you back.’
Restrictions on wearing a hijab while competing in boxing has been an ongoing issue in boxing affecting female Muslim boxers in the past.
The ban had prevented Amaiya Zafar, an 18-year-old boxer from Minnesota in the United States, from competing at international level.
The ban excluded her from qualifiers for the 2020 Olympics, but the rule change will allow her to attempt to become an Olympian in 2024.
Who knows, Safiyah could even be joining her.
Safiyyah (Saf) Syeed, 18, wants to become the first hijabi boxer to compete in the Olympics, pictured training in Bradford, West Yorks. An 18-year-old Muslim girl has set her sights on breaking stereotypes in boxing -- by becoming one of the first in the UK to compete wearing a HIJAB. See SWNS story SWLEboxer. Feisty Safiyyah Syeed, 18, plans to enter the ring for her debut official amateur fight later this year sporting the traditional veil. The International Boxing Association (AIBA) last month lifted a ban on hijabs and other full-body uniforms that fighters wear for religious regions. Safiyyah, from Bradford, West Yorks., began boxing a year ago after writing a bucket list while suffering from an unidentified illness that stemmed from anorexia and bulimia.
If you’re a woman on the internet there’s a chance you’ve had someone mansplain something to you. And by someone, of course, we mean men.
So you might as well use it to your advantage and get them to help you with things that we poor women just can’t get our heads around, like technology.
One woman decided to do that and prove that Tinder doesn’t just have to be a place for unsolicited dick pics and people just being awful.
Twitter user Megan decided to ask for help on how to fix her Wii.
The beauty blogger shared her bio which read: ‘Please help me with my Wii, it’s only showing up in black and white’ to which she got plenty of helpful responses.
One man, however, decided to add an extra comment to his tech support making the whole thing sexual, as you do on Tinder.
After Megan swiftly thanked the match, he casually dropped the words: ‘Can I powerwash your teeth with my cum?’
No, internet guy, she does not owe you any sexual favours just because you helped fix her Wii.
my wii is finally in color so i’d like to take a moment to thank the men of tinder, really helped a girl out pic.twitter.com/8jUEqOZiKe
— megz (@meggzsalad) March 20, 2019
Megan shared a bunch of responses from guys but one of them was unlike the other.
She got lots of useful tech advice, one of whom wrote: ‘Sounds like your Wii is on the wrong TV output, I know that happens with my game cube sometimes.’
A tech engineer also suggested she try ‘dusting off the jacks that plug into the screen’. See, nice normal response.
Even the creepy dude gave a useful tip to Megan, telling her to plug her Wii into the HDMI.
Once she’d responded, he decided to try his luck and see if she would fall at his feet with gratitude and repay him with a sexual favour.
She did not.
Instead, she tweeted it which got over 98,000 likes with others sharing their stories of men coming to their ‘rescue’.
At least Megan remembers the incident as the time Tinder almost became a wholesome community full of well-meaning and helpful friends. Almost.
Claire Thompson, 38, began struggling with extreme tiredness, low mood, bloating and bleeding after giving birth to her daughter, Eirwen, now six.
The mum-of-one says doctors diagnosed her with postnatal depression and generalised tiredness after she explained her debilitating symptoms.
Although she was worried, she trusted her doctor.
But she began suffering from periods that were so bad, she would need to take a spare pair of clothes to work each day and wear layers of incontinence pads.
After visiting her doctors and A&E over 20 times with fears that she would ‘bleed to death,’ Claire was finally referred for further tests as her bloated stomach made her appear seven months pregnant.
Doctors eventually detected a 10cm mass on her left ovary and fallopian tube but Claire claims they reassured her that it was likely to be a cyst.
But Claire says she pushed for surgery and was later diagnosed with ovarian cancer – she then underwent a full hysterectomy in a bid to save her life in 2016.
Claire from Conway, Wales, is now sharing her story to raise awareness of the disease after celebrating her three years of being all clear last month.
The civil servant, said: ‘Something changed after the birth of my daughter. At the time I was told it was postnatal depression and was just part of me getting used to being a new mum.
‘I felt really low and my stomach was extremely bloated and even when my periods stopped for a short while I was told I was probably just depressed.
‘Looking back, I had all the symptoms of ovarian cancer but it was all just passed off as part of my new life as a mum.
‘Gradually my periods became heavier and I was using two layered maxi size incontinence pads every hour. At one point I was visiting my A&E department every two to three weeks for around 18 months.
‘Finally I was referred to gynaecology and diagnosed with a mass.
‘It took weeks before I was actually diagnosed with cancer as they thought it was just a cyst and it was so frustrating.
‘I wanted to scream from the rooftops, ‘I have been telling you this for years, why didn’t you listen?’
‘The word cancer is such a huge thing. After the initial diagnosis, my whole world crashed around me, I didn’t know where to turn.
‘Thankfully my husband, Mark, 38, was really supportive and we got through it together.
‘After a full hysterectomy which threw my body into early menopause, I was cancer free and was given three years all clear in May.’
Claire was told she had three tumours removed after her life-saving surgery but was thankful it hadn’t spread.
She added: ‘My biggest tumour was 10cm by 6cm, we named him Gerald.
‘I couldn’t believe it when they told me I had two other smaller tumours too, it’s a miracle it didn’t spread in two years.
‘I was also so overwhelmed with information. One day I was out walking with my husband, and I was thinking about our daughter, Eirwen, living her life without me. Suddenly, the image of a banana popped into my head.
‘It sounds strange, but I can honestly say that it stopped me from breaking that day.
What are the symptoms of ovarian cancer?
Occasionally there can be other symptoms:
‘After that, bananas became kind of a symbol of hope for me and my family. They were a reminder to us that no matter what you go through, there’s always a ray of light.
‘When I got told I was in remission, we threw a Christmas party to celebrate – in September!
‘I decorated the entire house and left it up for the rest of the year. I want my daughter to look back and remember that as the year her mum was crazy enough to celebrate Christmas for four months, rather than the year mummy was ill.’
Claire is sharing her story to raise awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer.
She said: ‘I also want women to know that, just because the person in front of you has a doctorate of medicine, it doesn’t mean they know more about your body than you do.
‘If you know something is wrong, go back and question things. You know your body better than any doctor.
‘I didn’t have postnatal depression, I had cancer.
‘I’m not angry about my misdiagnosis but I hope my story helps other women in the future.’
Claire has been supported by Target Ovarian Cancer – a leading UK charity for the disease.
Alexandra Holden, Director of Communications, Target Ovarian Cancer, said: “Eleven women die every day from ovarian cancer in the UK. There is no screening and one in five women is too ill to treat by the time they receive a diagnosis.
‘Raising awareness of the disease and its symptoms is key, so this March, for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, Target Ovarian Cancer is calling for a government-funded symptoms awareness campaign.
‘Our research shows that one in five women mistakenly think a smear test can detect ovarian cancer. In reality, with no screening programme, it is even more important that women know the symptoms.’
Need support? Contact the Samaritans
PIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED:Claire Thompson, 38, from Conway, Wales, in hospital) - A mum who was misdiagnosed with postnatal depression instead of cancer for TWO YEARS after struggling with low mood and bloating has finally been given the all clear. Claire Thompson, 38, began struggling with extreme tiredness, low mood, bloating and bleeding after giving birth to her daughter, Eirwen, now five.The mum-of-one says doctors diagnosed her with postnatal depression after she explained her debilitating symptoms.SEE CATERS COPY
Matalan is selling shirts for dad with the same print as outfits for his son or daughter.
With plenty of famous mums and daughters embracing the twinning trend, the adorable combo means dads can coordinate with their kids too.
A floral print with a white background and delicate pink, purple and green flowers, is carried across the entire range so the whole family can wear whatever suits them.
The long-sleeve shirt for dad costs £16. The brand says the bold print is ‘perfect for smart-casual events’ and adds ‘this piece will work well with smart denim or trousers’.
For girls, there are three styles of dresses.
For boys, there are two shirts – one in a plain fabric with a cute floral bow tie and pocket square, for between £8 and £9 and one in the floral fabric with a plain bow tie and pocket square, costing between £7 and £8.
Although there aren’t currently any ladies outfits to match, the website does promise ‘girls’, ladies’ and men’s designs also feature this charming floral print so that the whole family can match’ so look out for more designs coming soon.
It’s not the first time the store has created a range for everyone in your family.
Last year, they released a range of matching pyjamas in men’s, women’s and kid’s sizes.
Let’s hope they release more coordinated designs.
We love twinning for the whole family.
Matalan launches matching outfits for dads and daughters
Remember that time Gwyneth Paltrow’s brainchild Goop was telling everyone to burn their bras to get over their ex? Well, now the lifestyle brand is flogging its own underwear.
Goop is selling lingerie in the form of a nude leather bra and underwear and a flogger to go with it.
Gwenny’s brand is offering the Nude Web Bra for an eye-watering £296 while the matching O-Ring Cutout Knickers is up for £302.
And the Studded Handle Flogger which is ‘for the naughty list’ can be yours for the sweet price of £231.
So, you can now amp up your sex life by wearing very, very expensive leather lingerie and whipping your partner while potentially crying over spending so much money on underwear.
Why save up for a mortgage when you can frolic in 100% cowhide leather?
Sadly anyone bigger than a medium will not be able to fork out for the stuff as the bra and underwear only come in sizes XS to medium.
Goop is offering the lingerie and flogger from a company called Fleet Ilya which sells leather restraints, harnesses and more for men and women.
Fleet Ilya, which makes its products by hand in England, also has similar prices to Goop.
Those with cash to splash won’t find the lingerie on the Goop website by entering the word, instead, they’ll have to type in Fleet Ilya to be able to look through the three items.
According to the website, the nude lingerie ‘ is what BDSM fantasies are made of’.
It adds: ‘O-ring details, racy demi cups for freeing the nipple, buckles to be undone, this piece—paired with the matching knickers—is prepped for full speed ahead. Layer an easy tee underneath for a more subtle statement.’
Meanwhile, the underwear is ‘shocking, sexy, and just the right amount of submissive’.
In contrast, there are other more inclusive lingerie brands that won’t break the bank.
While the lingerie prices might feel like daylight robbery at least they’re not harmful.
Goop had to recently pay out $145,000 (£110,000) for claiming that their vaginal eggs, once inserted into the vagina, ‘could balance hormones, regulate menstrual cycles, prevent uterine prolapse, and increase bladder control’.
Gwyneth paltrow's Goop sells lingerie and whip
When Imogen Jones, now 10, was born she was given the heel prick test, which is offered to all babies as standard to detect several different conditions.
It detected one of the gene mutations known to cause CF – which sees the lungs become clogged with a sticky mucus, making it difficult to breathe – but it was initially thought that she merely carried the condition and would not develop it.
Five years later, when her brother Zachary, now five, arrived, he had the same test but this time, it raised red flags with medics.
He was referred him to west London’s Royal Brompton Hospital for further investigations, where a sweat test led to him being diagnosed with CF in May 2013.
Their mum Jo, who is speaking out as Five Feet Apart, a film about two teenage CF patients who try to maintain a relationship while being forced to stay apart is released in UK cinemas, said: ‘We were absolutely dumbstruck.
‘We weren’t expecting it at all and assumed he would be a carrier, too. It was all such a whirlwind that my memory of that time is very hazy, even now.’
Right away, Zachary began treatment and the family were invited to attend a series of education days to learn more about the condition and its implications for the rest of his life.
Coincidentally, this process led to Imogen’s diagnosis four months later, in September 2013.
Jo continued: ‘At the education day, they were talking about all the signs of CF, and I kept thinking, ‘That sounds like Imogen.’
‘Over the years, she’d had symptoms like persistent infections and unexplained weight loss. I’d taken her to see doctors, but they weren’t especially worried, figuring she was just picking up bugs like any kid.
‘She’d usually put weight back on again too, so we were reassured that it was just her size fluctuating as she grew.
‘Plus, they’d already done the heel prick test, so in fairness, they weren’t even thinking about CF.’
Armed with new information, Jo returned to the doctor with Imogen who, just like her little brother, was then referred to the Royal Brompton.
Sadly, her parents watched history repeating itself, as a sweat test confirmed she had CF a week before she was due to start school.
‘Nobody knows why that happened,’ explained Jo, whose husband Neil is a sign engineer. ‘I’m not angry with the doctors though. After all, CF is such a niche area of medicine. Plus, these people are saving my children’s lives.
‘You never think things like this will happen to you. I still remember every single detail of that day – what I was wearing, where I was when I found out.
‘We went into survival mode. As a family, we aren’t panickers, but I went into overdrive, phoning the school she was due to start, trying to organise everything for her and let her teachers know.
‘Imogen herself was amazing. When Zachary had been diagnosed, we’d shown her a video to help explain it. We then said to her, “You have CF too.” And she just said, “Okay.” That’s what I love about kids – they take everything in their stride.’
Having two children with the condition has not been easy for the family.
Due to the risk of cross-infection, cystic fibrosis (CF) sufferers are usually advised to keep apart – but, being brother and sister, that is simply not possible for Imogen and Zachary.
Instead, their parents Jo and Neil, both 36, of Worthing, West Sussex, must ensure each piece of equipment, from inhalers to nebulisers, is kept separate and meticulously disinfected after every use.
Despite facing daily difficulties, the children are ‘amazing,’ according to Jo and share an unbreakable bond with each other and their brother Archie, seven, who does not have the condition.
She said: ‘It would be impossible to keep Imogen and Zachary apart, so we manage as best we can.
‘The risk of cross-infection is always in our minds but, generally, they are both doing really well. They amaze us every single day.
‘Imogen is great with Zachary, encouraging him to do his treatment and stay healthy, but they are equally close to Archie. It’s made them all so strong and we are very happy to have them.’
Despite their unflinching bravery, life with CF for Imogen and Zachary, who both take medication and have regular physiotherapy, is not without its challenges – particularly because the risk of cross-infection is so high.
According to the charity Cystic Fibrosis Trust, people with CF are vulnerable to different types of bacteria that grow in their lungs.
Usually harmless to people without the condition, they can be easily transmitted from one CF patient to another through meeting, sharing rooms, cutlery, or medical equipment, or by kissing – and the risk heightens the longer they are in close proximity.
Because of this, it is normally recommended that someone with CF does not come in to close proximity with another patient.
Being brother and sister, though, that is not possible for Zachary and Imogen who, after years of avoiding cross-infection, have just both been struck down by a bug for the first time.
Jo said: ‘We managed years without cross-infection, which shows we were doing something right, so it was gutting for them to both fall ill.
‘We manage as best we can, keeping all of their equipment completely separate and sterilising it after every use. We label absolutely everything and also make sure they do their physio separately, so they aren’t coughing all over each other.
‘In the past, when one has caught a bug, it’s been agreed that the safest course of action is just to put them both on a course of antibiotics.
‘That’s about as far as we can take it.’
While the pair are poorly at the moment, they normally maintain an overall good lung function and stay active, with Imogen even competing in trampolining at a national level.
Jo is sharing her story in support of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust’s #LifeSavingDrugsNow campaign.
It aims to make life-changing medicines available on the NHS, including Orkambi, a drug shown to slow the decline of lung function, thus extending patients’ lives, which is currently the subject of a price dispute with manufacturers Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
Earlier this month, the Health and Social Care Committee held a public hearing – the first of its kind – on the availability and pricing of Orkambi and other CF drugs, with Vertex, NHS England and NICE all involved.
Jo, who has praised her remarkable family and called for more funding for research to find a cure for the condition, said: ‘The future is brighter for CF patients than it used to be, but more still needs to be done. Orkambi won’t help my children in particular, but I truly hope it becomes available for those in the community that need it.
‘I’ll never stop fighting for awareness, funding, research – and ultimately, a cure.’
Dr Keith Brownlee, our Director of Policy, Programmes and Support at the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, said: ‘Parents with two or more children with cystic fibrosis have the added anxiety that if one child picks up an infection there is a risk that the other child, or children, will also get an infection.
‘Having two children with cystic fibrosis is at least than double the care, anxiety and emotional stress.’
Sussex siblings who both have cystic fibrosis
We’ve written about some pretty deviant sexual behaviours here at Metro.co.uk.
And yet only now have we found something truly shocking from the bedroom. Please, prepare yourself. This is a big one.
Last week a man named Steve O’Rourke admitted to something which blew the minds of men and women all over the world.
He tweeted this: ‘We were just chatting in work and apparently it’s weird that Amy and I don’t sleep on the same side of the bed every night. Some nights I like to sleep by the window, some nights the door. It’s not really that unusual, is it?’
We were just chatting in work and apparently it's weird that Amy and I don't sleep on the same side of the bed every night. Some nights I like to sleep by the window, some nights the door. It's not really that unusual, is it?
— Steve O'Rourke (@steveohrourke) March 22, 2019
Cue incensed horror from all corners of the internet.
‘I just read this aloud to Mrs J and we are clutching each other in horror. What do you do about all the shite beside the bed?!’ asked Jack Monroe.
‘I thought I was a tolerant and progressive sort. But you have found my limit. A stone throwing mob needs to run you and Amy far beyond the city walls before this contagion spreads’ said Phillip Boucher-Hayes.
‘My husband attempted to entice me down this route until I made it very clear that this was not a lifestyle choice I wanted to engage with’ said Professor Fiona Denney.
‘Steve that’s the weirdest thing ever can somebody think of the pillows?’ said Kathleen Maher. Steve then complicated matters further by clarifying that they MOVE THEIR PILLOW OVER. ‘We move the pillows when we move, not complete monsters’.
Steve eventually defended his choices, writing: ‘I think people should try it before they knock it. So many people are saying they’d never even attempt it. But honestly, 20 years of it and I’ve no complaints. It would be odd to have a set side.’
Speaking with the voice of a nation, Rossa McMahnon replied: ‘Try it‽ Try living a life of instability and constant, unpredictable change? There is enough disorder in the world without inviting it into the dwelling, thank you very much.’
Steve claimed that there was not a constant swap though, explaining: ‘It’s not constant change though. Sometimes we can go days or weeks without swapping. And when we do swap, it’s rarely discussed, just whoever goes to bed first decides.’
In response to the public outcry Steve then posted a further statement, which reads:
1. First one in chooses
2. We’ve never disagreed over it
3. We move pillows and books as we move
4. We don’t change every single night
5. Neither of us are aliens
Surely we call all agree that these two are fortunate to have found each other and contained this extremely worrisome behaviour to the confines of one relationship.
You can read the full extent of the world’s horror towards Steve’s alternative lifestyle here.
White bedding with mattress in the bedroom
Skateboarding is pretty impressive at the best of times.
Just getting your balance and moving in a straight line takes some practice, never mind doing any tricks.
But this man, who is a double amputee, manages to do insane stunts on a board.
Vinicios Sardi, 23, decided to do the sport without wearing prosthetic legs.
After learning to skate while wearing his prosthetic legs, he quickly realised they weren’t designed for the sport when one broke during a trick.
Vinicios, based in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and decided instead to embrace his differences by not using them and skating on his knees instead.
The 23-year-old, who was born with a congenital malformation in his legs and underwent amputations from a young age, shows off his impressive talents by skateboarding on his knees.
Vinicios said: ‘I was born with a congenital malformation on my legs and also my right hand.
‘I’d watch friends and I was influenced by games and skate magazines since I was little so I decided to skate with my prosthetics.
‘I was skating with my friend and my prosthetics broke, because it wasn’t made for radical sports – that’s when I made the most important decision of my life.
‘I skate on my knees, and now skating is my love.
‘It is what make me feel free and alive – today, thanks to sport, I can live a normal life without fears.’
Sustainability is the new black.
As we become more conscious of reducing waste and trying to tackle the pollution crisis, we are increasingly looking for ecologically responsible alternatives for everyday products.
A new company has created the Evolution Hoodie which is made from sustainably sourced materials. Namely, coffee grounds and recycled plastic.
The process is surprisingly simple.
Employees collect used coffee grounds from local shops on their way into work. They dry the coffee, remove the oils, grind the grounds into smaller particles, then mix it with melted plastic bottles to create a type of yarn.
Each hoodie is made from three cups of coffee and 10 plastic bottles.
So you get to be super cosy and feel happy about the fact that you have done something good for the planet. Rather than adding 10 more plastic bottles to the ocean – you’re wearing them.
Salt Lake City-based Coalatree are raising funds to support the production of the hoodies on Kickstarter. So far they have raised more than £182,000.
The hoodies are quick-dry, moisture-wicking and provide UV protection from the sun. You can choose from black, oatmeal, maroon or green and getting one for yourself will cost you $62 (£47).
Not the cheapest, but it’s a small price to pay to do your bit for the planet
These sustainable hoodies are made from plastic bottles and coffee grounds
Every day, each and every one of us uses an average of 143 litres of water.
A steady supply of clean water enters our homes for us to use every day, which is fine because we’re an island and it rains all the time, right? WRONG.
Our supply is not infinite. Salt water is expensive to desalinate, so we’re reliant on freshwater supplies, which is an issue if we’re not getting enough rain – and, believe it or not, London and the Southeast get less rain than Sydney, and have less water available per person than Sudan.
So, to put a few things straight, we show you exactly what happens to water before it reaches your home, so you can be clued up on the entire process and understand why it’s important to start being smarter with our water usage.
A disappearing act
The first step in the water cycle is evaporation.
As it rises, it cools and begins to condense, collecting together into little water droplets.
Here comes the rain
When enough of these water droplets get together – billions, if you want to be technical about it – they form lovely fluffy clouds.
Then, when these droplets get too heavy and the clouds turn grey, it begins to rain.
As rain hits the ground, it flows straight into our rivers and streams. Some will also soak into the soil to reach our underground stores, which are known as aquifers.
Around 70 per cent of the water supplied to London and the Thames Valley originally comes from surface water, such as rivers, while the rest comes from aquifers.
Time to come clean
The freshwater you find in rivers is clean enough to support wild animals and plants, but it’s not safe enough for human consumption.
So, to make sure it is, it needs to be pumped into a treatment plant so that it can be sanitised.
First, the water is screened to capture branches and leaves. Then, it goes through a process of removing particles by inflating them with a special solution to make them easier to identify.
After this, the water is filtered and has a very small amount of chlorine added to it to kill off any remaining organisms or bacteria.
Over half a million tests are carried out on this water every year to make sure it’s of optimum quality before it enters our homes.
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After treatment, clean water is pumped through network pipes – over 20,000 miles’ worth – where we can access it via our taps and other household appliances.
London alone gets 2,100 million litres of this treated water every single day. But by 2050, the Southeast region will need an extra 441 million litres a day just to cope with the growing population – that’s a huge demand for our natural resources.
However, thanks to this thorough process, all of the water that enters our homes is safe to drink – even the water we flush our loos with!
What happens afterwards?
Whether it’s the 2 per cent we actually drink, or the 50 per cent we use through showering and flushing the loo every day, we generate a lot of wastewater on a daily basis.
Once water has been used it becomes wastewater, which needs to be safely transported back into the environment to begin the cycle again.
To do this, it travels through sewage pipes to reach one of the country’s sewage treatment plants. London and the Southeast have over 43,500 miles’ worth of sewage pipes.
At the plant, the wastewater will have large objects removed from it before it goes through a tank that separates any remaining solids from the liquid.
From here, the water will have good bacteria pumped into it to break down the nasty bugs in the water. The more the good bacteria eat, the more they multiply, and they keep going until the water is clean.
Before this water goes back into our rivers and streams, it is sometimes filtered through sand beds to ensure it’s thoroughly clean.
So, why be water smart?
By 2050, it’s predicted that there’ll be 11 million people living in London – 2 million more than there are today.
We will still be reliant on our river supplies and rainfall then, and we won’t have any extra water to help with demand. Add global warming into this mix, and it becomes very clear that we need to find ways to use less water to ensure we’ll always have a supply.
Want to start being more water efficient?
Discover more water-saving tips at thameswater.co.uk
Getting married is stressful and sometimes the bride’s desire for the perfect big day leads to some questionable decisions.
But we can’t figure out who’s wrong in this wedding where the bride complained about a war veteran who wore their military uniform to the reception.
The bride had felt the veteran had worn it to show off as he posed with other guests who asked for pictures and shared his war stories.
After all, it wasn’t a military wedding, the guest had no reason to wear their work clothes on a day that’s about the bride and groom.
We sympathised with the bride who had to deal with the guest taking all the attention away from her with the same scorn we’d feel for someone else who wore white on the day however, she lost us when she decided to kick the man out of the wedding.
After posting about the event on a Reddit thread, the bride asked if she was being unreasonable.
Most people agreed with her saying it was natural to want everyone to focus on you in your bridal gown but kicking someone out for their clothes was a bit much.
‘I have nothing against anyone in the military but this was a black tie optional wedding and frankly, it felt very out of place and it seemed like he was just trying to show off,’ she wrote.
‘My wedding had over 300 guests and nobody else felt the need to wear something to make them stand out.
‘Many people were thanking him for his service, and frankly, it just felt like the only reason he wore that was to be in the spotlight and make it about him, which I don’t think you are supposed to do at someone else’s wedding.
‘If he wants to wear that to his own wedding then fine, but the whole point of having a dress code at a wedding is so that no one guest will stand out too much.’
She revealed that up until he was kicked out, he was very well mannered ‘like a complete gentleman’ as one might expect from a member of the armed forces.
But his willingness to indulge in the attention made her a little uncomfortable.
So she asked him to leave though she did feel bad about it, she wrote.
A former army sergeant weighed in on the thread, saying: ‘Wearing formal military wear at formal civilian events is allowed per regulations but you have to be a special kind of a*shole to wear it to a non-military wedding without specific permission of the couple.
‘The reason for this is the same as wearing white to a wedding – this puts you in competition with the bride. He should have dressed in civilian wear, or at very least, checked with the couple getting married.
‘But kicking him out of the wedding was a bit much. You probably should have grimaced and just gone with it along with other faux pas.’
Good news for the planet – Tesco is removing the plastic packaging from some fruit and veg products.
The retailer has cut out most of the plastic in the fruit and veg sections of two stores.
For fruit or veg like apples, bananas or carrots that can normally be bought both pre-packaged or loose, the products wrapped in plastic have been removed.
From today, a total of 45 packaged foods will be taken out of stores in Watford and Swindon.
Customers will see fruit and veg including varieties of apples, mushrooms, peppers, onions, bananas and avocados free from their packaging.
This comes as a part of Tesco’s commitments to reduce the amount of packaging in its stores and ensure any remaining plastic has a clear purpose and is recyclable.
The supermarket is working to eliminate all hard-to-recycle materials, reduce overall packaging volumes and make it easier for customers to recycle.
Last year, they committed to stopping packaging products in hard to recycle materials by the end of this year.
They are also aiming to halve packaging weight, make all packaging fully recyclable and ensure all paper and board used is 100% sustainable by 2025.
Tesco will be surveying shoppers in the stores to help understand the reaction to the trial.
It will also be closely monitoring each of the included products to see if there is an increase in food waste.
Tesco’s Director of Quality Sarah Bradbury said: ‘We want to remove as much plastic as we can from our products, only using what is necessary to protect and preserve our food.
‘We hope this trial proves popular with customers. We’ll be keeping a close eye on the results, including any impact on food waste.
‘Whatever happens, we’re going to keep reducing the amount of packaging we use and ensure everything on our shelves is fully recyclable.’
Tesco plastic free
There are coffee shops in every corner of London because let’s face it, where would we be every day without our morning (and afternoon) dose of the stuff?
If the idea of your morning cup of freshly brewed coffee is enough to get you out of bed every day, then you’ll love this festival dedicated to all things caffeinated.
The ninth London Coffee Festival hits the capital this month.
You can rub shoulders with burgeoning start-ups, industry pioneers and a few of old favourites.
And you can bob along to the soundtrack of live DJs and musicians while you sip your espresso martini or hot flat white.
The London Coffee Festival is apparently Europe’s largest gather of coffee aficionados, so it’s a big deal.
The folks organising it have told Metro.co.uk that there’s something for everyone with a penchant for coffee, food, music, and art, whether you’re looking to make your own latte art or watch the experts do it.
And what’s a festival without freebies? You will, of course, get lots and lots of free coffee to hype you up for days.
Latte Art Live is also back this year and it’s delivering exactly what’s on the tin, bringing the world’s top latte art specialists along with it.
You’ve seen them on Instagram, and now you can catch them at work right in front of you; expect a series of throwdowns, showcases, and hands-on workshops.
You can also take part in interactive demonstrations, workshops, talks and artisan tastings.
Or you can grab a drink and sit back while you watch seasoned pros battle it for the title of Coffee Master and a £5,000 cash prize.
New to this year’s festival is Mindful Coffee Tasting, a multi-sensory experience where you can appreciate coffee through meditation.
The London Coffee Festival runs from 28 March to 31 and you can get your tickets here.
A bride who was diagnosed with cancer four days before her wedding decided ‘the show must go on’ so that she could marry the man of her dreams.
27-year-old Ashley Heil walked down the aisle with an IV drip concealed inside her dress.
Less than a week before her wedding to Ben Scheirer, 29, doctors found a 6.5cm tumour on her kidney.
Friends and family advised Ashley to postpone the wedding, but she was determined to tie the knot in front of her 150 guests.
‘I am so glad I just did it and married the man of my dreams,’ she said.
‘When you get sick, you have two options.
‘You can be upbeat and make the best of it, or you can be unhappy and make it hard for you and everyone around you.’
The day after the wedding Ashley was admitted to hospital for two months, and her new husband Ben spent every single night by her side.
‘He held my hand through it all,’ said the former nurse, of Catasauqua, Pennsylvania.
‘Sometimes he took off work to be with me.
‘I married the right man.’
On Ashley’s big day medication had made her body so swollen that it took four people to squeeze her into her wedding dress and she was forced to remove her shoes at the altar.
She said: ‘I was determined to get married.
‘I was going to get that dress on and marry the man I loved, no matter what.’
Warning signs had appeared just one week before the wedding, when Ashley began noticing blood in her urine.
‘I thought it was just stress, I had 150 guests coming to my wedding,’ she said.
‘My priority was looking pretty…but my husband-to-be insisted I went to hospital.’
Blood tests and an MRI scan revealed a 6.5cm tumor on her left kidney.
There was also an abscess on the kidney which was infecting Ashley’s bloodstream.
She said: ‘I couldn’t stop thinking: “Ok, but I’m getting married, this is supposed to be a happy time”.’
Ashley’s parents, Kim, 55, and Barry Heil, 53, advised her to put the wedding on hold, but the bride-to-be would not hear of it.
She said: ‘I thought the show must go on.’
Doctors placed a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) in Ashley’s arm. The long IV drip delivered antibiotics into the vein of Ashley’s heart and her bloodstream.
She continued: ‘I accepted I was going to have this in my arm for my wedding.
‘We got a little backpack to put the IV pump into.
‘Doctors gave me pain medicine so I could go to my wedding for the day.’
Ashley’s best friend, Abby, 28, made an arm band to hide the IV drip from sight.
She said: ‘She cut the underside of my dress and made a band around my arm so the PICC line looked like it was part of my dress.
‘It covered it, so that it didn’t look ugly.’
On the morning of her wedding Ashley took nausea medicine and left hospital, making her way to The Meadows, her wedding venue in Hellertown, Pennsylvania.
She says she was worried about fitting into her wedding dress because she was ‘very puffy’.
Ashley explained: ‘I did fit into the dress but it took four people to squish me into it.
‘I couldn’t breathe much.
‘I still wanted to have a normal wedding and I didn’t want anything to change because I was sick.
‘As soon as I was at the altar, I had to take my shoes off as my feet were so puffy.
‘My fingers were so swollen that we kept the rings on because we were worried about getting them off and on otherwise.’
Ashley has no regrets about going ahead with her wedding.
She said: ‘It was beautiful.
‘Sure, I could have rescheduled it, but I didn’t want to.
‘The theme was Tiffany and Company.
‘There was Tiffany blue lighting, the bridesmaids dresses were black and Tiffany blue and I made 500 Christmas baubles with Tiffany blue glitter inside.’
At the reception, Ashley mingled with guests eating pulled chicken, barbecue sandwiches, mashed potato and corn-on-the-cob, but dashed off every now and again to administer nausea medicine.
She said: ‘I had to inject it into the IV.
‘I wanted to try my wedding cake and I knew it would make me sick otherwise.’
The bride left the wedding party at 10.30pm and the next day, in October 2015, she returned to hospital.
‘Luckily Ben and I went on our honeymoon, a cruise around the Caribbean, three months earlier,’ she said.
‘When I was admitted to hospital Ben lay next to me for 53 days straight.
‘He slept on a little chair or on a bed that he had made on the floor.’
After being released from hospital, Ashley and Ben moved in with Ashley’s parents.
‘Most newlyweds don’t move in with their parents but I was so sick that I needed help,’ said Ashley, who is still recovering from the disease.
‘Whatever happens next, I won’t let cancer hold me back.’
There are more Oreo flavours than you can shake a stick at.
Normally, we don’t mind because Oreos are delicious, though they are definitely not a fashion inspiration.
But one thing we absolutely reject the idea of is Oreo rice, that is cookie cooked with rice.
The monstrosity was seen on Twitter recently where it was rightfully dismissed with passion.
Wahyu Illahi, a graphic designer from Malaysia tweeted some images of Oreo being cooked with milk and rice and it offended pretty much everyone.
The tweet went viral, amassing 8,000 likes and nearly 2,000 comments from people condemning the creation and reacting accordingly with plenty of GIFs.
We’re not masochists so we won’t be trying this at home but for those who are curious, it is pretty straightforward to make.
I call upon all Rice Nation tribes: Asian, African, Latin…..we must unite to defeat this monstrosity known as "oreo rice" https://t.co/t6eMPIipwT
— LaBlaq, the final Fantastic. (@LoveAndShalom) March 23, 2019
Wahyu’s recipe begins with dunking the Oreos in a rice cooker or pot in what looks like the same amount of rice to water ratio you would when cooking normal, yummy rice.
He then uses a spoon to smash up all the biscuits and let it mix with the milk.
After some time the rice is boiled and the Oreos mixed, leaving you with a concoction that would probably taste like crushed dreams.
Understandably though, people aren’t feeling it. One person wrote: ‘Every day we stray further away from God.’
Someone else wrote: ‘This looks like something a pregnant lady would crave!’
Wahyu also showed his love of the cooky mix when he tweeted an image of him eating the biscuit with rice filled inside.
But we’re not judging, go ahead and make the stuff for yourself, who knows it could become a food staple in the future.
Definitely not one for us, but maybe someone out there has a taste for it.
We absolutely reject the idea of Oreo rice
If you don’t like your mother in law then you should probably avoid reading on.
According to a new study, 64% of men are in a relationship with someone who shares significant personality traits with their mother.
The research comes from a personality test created by eharmony, which psychologically evaluates men, their partners and their mothers.
The research compared 18 key personality traits in mothers and their sons’ partners before averaging them out to get an overall similarity rating.
Tolerance levels – respecting and valuing other people’s opinions regardless of differences – came out on top as a shared trait between mums and their sons’ partners.
This was closely followed by the importance placed on monogamy, and willingness to feel empathy towards others.
Rachael Lloyd, relationship expert at eharmony says: ‘The findings of our bespoke personality study completely align with evolutionary psychology. It’s well known that we tend to migrate towards people who share similar traits with us and, to varying degrees, we seek to recreate aspects of our original relationships with our parents.
‘With mums as our primary caregivers in life, it’s no surprise men are attracted to women who possess similar values.
‘From growing up in a tolerant household, to looking up to an empathetic mother as a role model, it adds up that men are drawn to women who embody these very same traits.’
The five things you’re most likely to share with your boyfriend’s mum are:
The five things that you are least likely to share with your mother in law are:
So men with mothers who are devoutly religious, alienated, emotionally unstable, obstreperous or extroverted are likely to date women who are the opposite.
A mum has divided opinion on Netmums by posting to say she's noticed her mother in law keeps kissing her 1 and 2yr old children on the lips
Rory McGuire, who was bullied for his facial deformity, is a disability rights campaigner.
The 25-year-old was born with a birthmark called a venous malformation caused by a gathering of extra veins in one area of the body.
Bullied by school kids who called him ‘sausage face’, Rory was unable to accept his condition for years – which affects his upper lip and right cheek area – and had lots of surgery to make him look more ‘normal’.
Rory had his first operation at four years old to get it fully removed but it grew back meaning he had to have subsequent surgeries.
Though the mark is less prominent than it once was, Rory still gets stares and comments from people.
But he has accepted his difference and now works with Changing Faces, a group campaigning to support and represent children and adults who have a visible difference to the face, hands or body.
The activist says anyone with visible differences who is subjected to any sort of prejudice or abuse should report the incident as a hate crime.
‘I was called ugly, I was told that I was a freak, I was compared to an alien and ‘evil’ film characters,’ Rory told Metro.co.uk.. ‘Sometimes children would corner me and have a competition to see who could call me the most offensive names.
‘It was very hard to deal with growing up due to the reactions that I got at school and in public.
‘People stared and laughed at me, people talked about me within earshot, people called me names such as “sausage face” and made cruel comments directly to my face.
‘I was often left out of a lot of things because other children didn’t want me to get involved because I looked “different”. It was all very hard to deal with and it held me back and affected my mental health severely.
‘People also told me, and implied, that I wouldn’t and couldn’t do certain things because of how I looked and it really affected my self-confidence.
‘When I was 17 and I was about to go for my first operation since I was four, I remember thinking that if everything went well then that would be great but if I died due to complications then all of the prejudice and adversity that I was experiencing at the time would be over.’
When he was 17, the birthmark was deemed too big to safely surgically remove and so from the ages of 17-22 Rory had around 15 or 16 sclerotherapy operations to reduce the size of it.
Sclerotherapy involves the injection of a solution which is toxic to the extra veins and helps to kill them off therefore reducing the swollen appearance of the affected area.
After about 15 or 16 sclerotherapy procedures he was told that the birthmark had reduced to a level where they could attempt to de-bulk it.
His final operation was at the age of 22 where doctors managed to remove the majority of the mark.
Rory says posting on Facebook about his experiences felt really cathartic to him.
‘All of that gave me a lot of confidence and it felt like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders – it really motivated me to continue to tell my story and try to help as many people as I can,’ he explained.
‘To those like me I say try not to let anyone get you down, as hard as it can be.
‘People can say some very nasty and hurtful things to you when you look a bit “different” to what is considered as “normal” but please never believe that those things are true and try your hardest not to let them affect you.
‘I struggled whenever I heard a nasty comment about me when I was younger, but over time I realised that the things that people said about me are not true and that I’m not “different” for simply being born with something rare and unique.
‘Nobody gets to choose what they’re going to look like when they’re born and nobody should be subjected to any sort of abuse purely because of how they look.’
Changing faces aim to make it easy to report a hate crime – and it can include discrimination based on birthmarks, scars, craniofacial or congenital conditions (meaning a condition you are born with), paralysis, skin conditions, hair loss, and cancer or other diseases.
Over the weekend Mel B went on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories and said that in the 1990s she and fellow Spice Girl Geri Halliwell had sex.
While this might have been mind blowing back when they were two of the most famous women on the planet and sexuality was considered to be less fluid, these days 12.2% of women between the ages of 18 and 29 have had a lesbian experience.
In fact the most shocking part of the whole conversation wasn’t the revelation that two attractive young women decided to experiment sexually together, but what Mel B said just before she made the ‘confession’.
Talking to Morgan she said: ‘She is going to hate me for this because she is all posh with her country house and her husband, but it’s a fact.’
‘She’s going to kill me and so’s her husband. She’s not that posh now, is she?’
According to an insider speaking to The Sun: ‘Since marrying Christian, Geri has worked hard to shake off her old playgirl image and sort of reinvent herself as this perfect Stepford Wife. Mel immediately rang Geri to try to repair the damage.’
Damage? What damage could possibly be done by owning up to something harmless which happened before any of Gen Z were even born?
Sexual experimentation is a normal, healthy, arguably important part of learning about yourself. It is in no way inconsistent with the life that you choose when you settle down.
If anything, Mel B and Geri H have carved out space for a national conversation about just how normal it is to have one night stands and experiment even if you don’t go on to identify as gay or bisexual.
Anything which encourages a public awareness that yes, women do have sex for their own enjoyment and exploration has got to be a good thing because however liberated we might consider ourselves, there is still a stigma associated with being a sexually adventurous woman.
It’s possible to go from wild child playgirl to reserved wife and mother, but it’s also perfectly possible to be both of those things concurrently.
I’ve had sex with numerous women, but I don’t let that stop me from putting on an apron and playing Housewife Barbie when I want to, because I don’t see my sexual past as being at odds with my conventional present.
Unfortunately the shaming of women for having had a sex life before they had kids/ got married is still incredibly common.
From Kim Kardashian to Katie Price, the comments are the same: ‘What will her kids think when they’re old enough to read about her sex tape/ nude photos / multiple marriages?’
Every time a high profile mother posts a bikini picture on Instagram, in pour the comments from people who are unable to hold the concepts of ‘parent’ ‘wife’ and ‘woman with sexual identity’ in their head at the same time.
Apparently you’re allowed to be sexy until you have a child (ironically a result of sex) at which point you must atone for every exciting thing you ever did and start wearing petticoats and Peter Pan collars.
If the insider comment is true and Geri has felt the need to rebrand herself away from ‘playgirl’ to fit in with her domestic bliss in the English countryside, that is incredibly sad. But she wouldn’t be the only woman who has done so.
According to a study by The Tab, 20 per cent of women surveyed would lower the number of sexual partners they’d had, compared with 10 per cent of men. In contrast, only five per cent of female students admitted to upping their number, compared with 12 per cent of males.
Why? Because even in 2019 there is still a stigma attached to a woman having a vociferous sexual appetite.
Nice houses, happy families and domestic bliss are not reserved for women who’ve kept their legs together until marriage.
The more that women whitewash their pasts the worse the problem becomes, because it contributes to the misconception that only a specific type of woman is a successful wife and mother.
The sexual history of the person you’re in a relationship with has no bearing on your current life and certainly has no bearing on what kind of a person you are.
This story might feel like a funny, silly one full of nostalgia, but it comes with a worrying message: that the sex you have while you’re learning who you are can and will define you for the rest of your life. And that just is not true.
You can bake cookies for your six angelic children if you once gave a blowjob in the bathrooms at Infernos, and you can slip up and cheat on your partner for the first time aged 40 having only ever had missionary sex with the lights off.
Having been abstinent before marriage does not guarantee you a happy or successful relationship, and having had a vivid sexual history doesn’t make you any less of a wife.
have a sexual past doesn't make you less of a wife / mother
Last night channel 5 ran a documentary titled ‘Britain’s Favourite Crisps’ which attempted to create a definitive ranking of the nation’s favourite crisps.
The documentary has since become the center of a nationwide debate.
At the bottom of the rankings sit Mini Cheddars (debatable whether they’re actually crisps as not made from potato) Nik Naks, Square and Salt N Shake.
Next up you’ve got a mid tier of Wotsits, Quavers, Monster Munch, Chipsticks and Hula Hoops.
The top tier is occupied by McCoys, the super middle class favourite Kettle Chips, Sensations and Tyrells.
At the top, on the God tier are Pringles, Doritos and Walkers.
But making such a controversial documentary was never going to fly under the radar.
Twitter was set alight by commentators who were horrified by the placement of their favourite crisps.
This is 400% wrong 😂
Where are Skips?
How can Monster Munch be so poorly ranked?
Absolute crisp travesty https://t.co/nOdIWSpEwq
— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) March 25, 2019
What a load of bollocks. If it doesn't come in a packet it's not counted (looking at you Pringles). Doritos are cardboard. Walkers have zero flavour. Nik-Naks are the crisps of the gods. Where the fuck are Skips? Quavers and Wotsits are also Top Tier minimum. #bullshit https://t.co/gS8htrkutb
— Melissa McCarthy (@melissa___) March 25, 2019
And of course there were lots of jokes about Brexit because that’s what we do now.
You can't be surprised that a vote to find Britain's favourite type of crisps gave such poor results. We are so shit at voting for the right thing I'm surprised the top rated crisp wasn't a shoe.
— TechnicallyRon (@TechnicallyRon) March 25, 2019
Theresa May about to make a statement to rectify and reverse the decision on the nations favourite crisps #crisps
— Phil Thompson (@Philphtkelly) March 25, 2019