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

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    a daughter hugging her mother
    Mother’s Day isn’t far away… (Picture: vadimguzhva/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

    Mother’s Day, which falls on Sunday 31 March this year, is on a different day to the American Mother’s Day.

    This can result in some confusion surrounding the day to say the least, especially since the UK date also changes every year.

    But worry not – we’re here to explain everything you need to know about why Mother’s Day in the UK is on a different day every year, and why it’s on a different day to American Mother’s Day.

    Why does the date of Mother’s Day change?

    In the UK, Mother’s Day has roots in the church, and was at first utterly unrelated to American Mother’s day, which falls much later on 12 May.

    Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Lent, and exactly three weeks before Easter.

    Therefore, as the date of Easter changes every year with the lunar calendar, so too does Mother’s Day.

    Pink carnation flowers in zinc bucket with happy mothers day letter on wood heart
    (Picture: FeelPic/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

    Why is Mother’s Day different in the UK that the US?

    Mother’s Day, or Mothering Sunday, started out as a day when Christians would take a trip to their ‘mother church’, or the church where they were first christened.

    A side effect of this was that people would often also end up visiting their actual mothers as a result.

    These days, we tend to skip the church part go straight to appreciating our mothers and all the work they’ve done for us with gifts, cards and visits back home.

    This custom started at least partly because we took a leaf out of America’s book – they started celebrating mothers with a national holiday back in 1914.

    The campaign for Mother’s Day to be recognised as a holiday began in 1905, which was the year Anna Jarvis’ mother Ann died.

    Ann Jarvis had been an advocate for peace and cared for wounded soldiers who on both sides of the American Civil War, and when she died, her daughter Anna campaigned to establish Mother’s Day national holiday in America and then later internationally.

    By 1914, President Woodrow Wilson declared it a national holiday, and the rest as they say, is history.

    MORE: What happened on Ascension Day and how is it celebrated?

    MORE: When do kids go back to school after Easter for the new term?


    Mother and daughter at homeMother and daughter at home

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    GOT conference and quiz REX/ Mylo
    (Picture: REX/ Mylo)

    Winter is coming for the last time.

    But before you disappear into your Game Of Thrones hole on 15 April, venture to Shoreditch.

    On Sunday 14 April, the day before the HBO series launches in the UK, the Book Club will host a 12-hour themed event for die-hard GOT fans.

    The experience will include talks, panels, screenings and a quiz to test your knowledge of Westeros and all its characters (dead and alive, we assume).

    The day has been split into two, with doors opening for the conference at 11am.

    Academics will be hosting brief lectures, as well as multiple panel discussions and debates, however speaker details are yet to be announced.

    The venue will also screen key moments from the series – likely to include some of the most famous scenes, such as the horrific events at the Red Wedding.

    After 6pm, it’s time for the big challenge, described as a ‘fiendishly difficult, winner-takes-all quiz’. Guests can sip on themed cocktails while they brag about their GOT skills.

    The prize hasn’t been revealed, but a replica of Jon Snow or Daenerys Targaryen will probably go down well.

    Guests are also encouraged to dress up in their finest Westeros gear.

    Tickets start from £5.92, get yours here.

    MORE: Which Game of Thrones trainer are you? Adidas releases collection ahead of season premiere

    MORE: Game of Thrones season 8 episode one leaks online and fans are kicking off: ‘I haven’t waited two years for this’

    MORE: Winter has already come – you might too with the Game of Thrones sex toy range


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    SIDDY'S BIPOLAR PIECE - Coping with an off-the-scale Bipolar sufferer
    (Picture: Dave Anderson for Metro.co.uk)

    Has there ever been a moment where you wondered: ‘How the f*** did my life get so bad?’

    Mine came in the back of a Ford Transit police van when a young, male PC looked at me with undiluted fear in his eyes, even though I was barefoot, caged, and cuffed so tightly that my wrists were bleeding.

    It had taken about a dozen cops to ‘subdue’ me.

    That came a few hours before I was sectioned for the first time, in 2008. I have had a hard life but nothing prepared me for my brain declaring war on itself, with no escape.

    Today is World Bipolar Day – formerly known as manic depression, it affects 2% of the population.

    I have the disorder myself and want to empower sufferers, not paint a picture of constant misery, because that simply does not tally with my experiences.

    Bipolar is with me at all times – it is part of me, whether I like it or not.

    It’s not a personality disorder, it is a mood disorder. The confusion, I suspect, lies in the erratic and often inappropriate behaviour displayed by sufferers when they are in psychotic ‘episodes’, whether depressive or manic.

    The best way of measuring mood is with a widely-published scale, which displays the symptoms at each level. It starts with ‘suicidal’ (zero) and goes up to ‘feeling like a god’ (10).

    I am 46 years old, a mixed race south Londoner, a former stoner and have been a journalist (sub-editor) on national red-top national newspapers for much of the last 20 years.

    I have been single for the last four years, but I am father to a young daughter.

    I want this piece to be about informing how I, and probably many others, want to be treated during periods when I lose touch with ‘reality’ – whatever that really is.

    Bipolar sufferers are encouraged to write a ‘mood diary’ to track where they are on the spectrum at any given time and to flag up patterns.

    I message my cousin in Germany with my mood levels and what is going on in my life when I feel the urge. At times, it is every night.

    She is super-smart, a scientist no less. I do not always expect or get a reply but I know she is reading, ready to sound the alarm if she has serious concerns. I trust her implicitly.

    Major life events – good and bad – can ‘trigger’ episodes. I have come close a few times since I was last incarcerated, in 2009.

    Most recently this was when I was working at a paper, about five years ago. I functioned okay at work but on pub breaks, I became very intense, to say the least.

    The guy who largely prevented me getting sectioned was a young colleague who stuck close and pretty much just absorbed the crazy stuff I was coming out with. I do try not to freak people out, but I think a few allowances should be made.

    Losing someone you love
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Overt scrutiny is agonising and aggravating.

    Relatives have said things such as how I ‘did something a bit bipolar’. This is so counterproductive, as telling me I am mad is the last thing that is going to stop me being mad.

    Some have even used my diagnosis to take cheap shots at me, accusing me of being in a manic phase when I so clearly am not – that is low.

    An episode can just peter out if I have space to right myself. If that does not work, those in my support network of friends and family should phone my GP, who will probably send over a specialist psychiatrist to make an assessment.

    It first needs to be established whether I am a danger to myself and/or others.

    I am bipolar 1, the most severe level, and it is obvious to mental health professionals when I am in an episode.

    *Please note, the following contains references to suicide that some readers may find triggering.*

    Depression is 90% of the story for me and is usually quietly humming away in the background. But it has become so bad that I have made a few suicide attempts, although not for 11 years. Maybe not totally sincere efforts, although never for attention.

    There have been periods when I would have ended my life if it was just a painless case of flicking a switch.

    I have lived alone for the last four years and that is a key factor in improving my life. I am healing over many things, including my battles with mental illness.

    I am a night owl and a boozer, and it’s liberating to not be monitored and scrutinised.

    Sleep is a major issue I am trying to tackle. I stayed awake for a month when I was incarcerated in 2009. I have a limited number of prescribed sleeping tablets and, therefore, try to use them strategically.

    I do not have an issue in taking my other medication, but for the first few years I was like a zombie with nothing to say. My meds were then switched and I now no longer feel like I am on drugs. I sympathise with those who have not been as lucky.

    Coping with bipolar is a daily struggle; sometimes I have no motivation to get out of bed or shower and I can let the housework slide.

    At other, rarer, times I can spend a whole day manically cleaning, tidying and reorganising my flat.

    I am a man of extremes. What is more extreme than bipolar?

    With the benefit of hindsight, I am glad I did not get diagnosed until late on, because it might have held me back – but now, I embrace it.

    For instance, I used to look for reasons why I was depressed, which aggravated the situation. Now I just try to ride out my ‘mini-depressions’, which usually last a maximum of a few weeks.

    It is often simply a question of brain chemistry.

    There is said to be a phenomenon of bipolar in the media. I was renowned for my headline writing wherever I went and I think it is because I am obsessive – I sincerely believe it is linked to my condition.

    ‘Okay’ is never enough for me in my work.

    I am currently reinventing myself career-wise and have just finished writing a book manuscript (yet to be picked up) which features my mental health issues, among many other things.

    I have also held a series of journalism workshops for people with mental health issues, which was an exciting and challenging experience.

    None of this would be possible without the welfare state.

    I can only just about make ends meet, but the way my illness is factored into my benefits means I have the flexibility I need to thrive in my career and personal life.

    I am happy to have creative freedom again and – much more importantly – to see my little girl grow up. The love of a child is the most precious thing in the world, it’s something worth staying sane for.

    The main message I want to get across is that I am in a good place and that it is possible, even when you have bipolar.

    Having a mental illness does not define me.

    Need support?

    For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

    MORE: What happened when I attended my first bipolar support group meeting

    MORE: Having bipolar doesn’t mean I’ll go home with you

    MORE: What I wish I’d known before being diagnosed with bipolar disorder


    Metro IllustrationsMetro Illustrations

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    Aldi's supersize steaks are back for mother's day 16oz, 21 day matured rump steak
    (Picture: Aldi)

    Mother’s Day is tomorrow – if you’d forgotten all about it, you may want to run to your local supermarket to grab a bouquet of flowers and a box of chocolates for your mum.

    Or if there’s an Aldi local nearby, pop in and buy one of the brand’s huge steaks, which are re-launched for Mother’s Day.

    Of course, we’re not suggesting you hand over a steak to your mum first thing tomorrow morning.

    But a nice lunch could be the perfect way to show her how much she means to you.

    Aldi's supersize steaks are back for mother's day 16oz, 21 day matured rump steak
    (Picture: Aldi)

    The ‘Mother of All Steaks’ is a huge 16oz 21-day matured rump and costs just £4.99.

    We know, it’s a bargain.

    The steak is already available in stores, but be quick if you want to get your hands on one because it will no doubt be incredibly popular, given the price.

    In other, non-Mother’s Day related news, Aldi’s super cheap hot tub is also back for the summer. The £349.99 spa pool has been a bestseller for the past two years.

    It’s the same deal this time around; if you want one, head to the Aldi website and pre-order it from 31 March.

    If you’re feeling really generous, get your mum both?

    MORE: Melted Easter bunnies create ‘horror show’ display at Aldi

    MORE: Aldi is selling bottles of glittery Parma Violet gin for just £9.99


    Aldi's supersize steaks are back for mother's dayAldi's supersize steaks are back for mother's day

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    M&S prosecco afternoon tea Provider: M&S Source: https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/worklife/a26984791/marks-spencer-ms-afternoon-tea-prosecco/
    (Picture: Marks & Spencer)

    Haven’t planned an outing for Mother’s Day yet?

    Fret not, for Marks & Spencer – a British institution for some mums – is hosting an afternoon tea at over 100 of its cafés tomorrow.

    And as a special treat, the retailer is throwing in free prosecco as part of a new deal.

    Each guest who orders an afternoon tea today or tomorrow will receive a 20cl bottle of M&S own brand prosecco to go along with it, worth £3.80, for just £15.95.

    Also included is eight quarter sandwiches and two each of the following: scones with jam and clotted cream, macarons, fruit tarts, profiteroles and pots of tea.

    M&S prosecco afternoon tea
    (Picture: Marks & Spencer)

    ‘Our afternoon tea experience is already a huge hit with customers who absolutely love the varied selection of luxurious treats at a bargain price,’ said Alex Laverick, product developer at Marks & Spencer.

    ‘This Mother’s Day, we wanted to add that extra touch of decadence by throwing in a free glass of Prosecco per person for an extra special treat for mum.’

    And while you’re in the store, why not take advantage of some other Mother’s Day M&S deals, such as discounted Percy Pigs or colour-changing gin?

    Or grab an extra prosecco bottle, just in case.

    MORE: A vegan afternoon tea launches in London with tuna salad and smoked salmon on the menu

    MORE: A pub is serving afternoon tea in Yorkshire Puddings

    MORE: A phone box gin portal is coming to the UK and giving you free tipples


    METROGRAB M&S prosecco afternoon teaMETROGRAB M&S prosecco afternoon tea

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    Mum and daughter hugging on mother's day
    (Picture: Getty)

    Got your presents and cards at the ready for Mother’s Day?

    The big day is tomorrow, and people all over the UK will be bringing breakfast in bed to (and doing the washing up for) their mums.

    It’s a good time to think of all the mother figures in our lives do for us, but you may have noticed it doesn’t actually fall at the same time each year.

    That’s because it has too be celebrated on a specific Sunday in relation to Easter and Lent.

    Why does Mother’s Day change each year?

    In this country Mother’s Day always falls on the fourth Sunday in Lent, the 40-day period of Christian fasting that leads up to Easter.

    The event always falls on a Sunday because it’s technically known as ‘Mothering Sunday’ in the United Kingdom.

    Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, the day after Pancake Day, which is also a different date each year.

    Mothering Sunday is very much a religious festival in the UK, and began as a tradition of Catholics and Protestants visiting their ‘mother’ church (the one they went to as a child).

    Despite this, however, plenty of people celebrate Mother’s Day without any religious association, and simply use it as a day to spoil their mum rotten.

    When is Mother’s Day 2019?

    Mother’s Day this year falls on Sunday, 31 March.

    There isn’t much time to get your mum a present, but we’re sure she’ll be happy with some petrol station flowers and a home made card. It’s the thought that counts after all.

    MORE: Marks & Spencer launches Mother’s Day afternoon tea with free prosecco for £15.95

    MORE: What it’s like to cope with an off-the-scale bipolar disorder

     


    Portrait of mother and daughter embracingPortrait of mother and daughter embracing

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    The majestic farmhouse on the remote Isle of Gigha that has gone on the market for just under £800,000 - with views of the ocean and a library and a games room..See SWNS story SWSCisland.A farmhouse on the remote Isle of Gigha has gone on the market - with no neighbours and views out onto the ocean.Leim Farm, on the Isle of Gigha, Argyll and Bute, has a library and a games room, as well as a lavish 17ft exercise pool with a sauna.Only 160 people live on the idyllic island, the southern most island in the Southern Hebrides, and it is famed for its low crime rate.The tiny island is only seven miles long, and 1.5 miles across at its widest point.
    (Picture: Right Move /SWNS.COM)

    A farmhouse on the remote Isle of Gigha has gone on the market for £775,000.

    The property is very isolated – with no neighbours and beautiful views out onto the ocean.

    Leim Farm, on the Isle of Gigha, Argyll and Bute, has a library and a games room, as well as a lavish 17ft exercise pool with a sauna.

    The tiny island is only seven miles long, and 1.5 miles across at its widest point.

    Only 160 people live in the idyllic spot, the southern most island in the Southern Hebrides, and it’s famed for its low crime rate.

    The majestic farmhouse on the remote Isle of Gigha that has gone on the market for just under ??800,000 - with views of the ocean and a library and a games room..See SWNS story SWSCisland.A farmhouse on the remote Isle of Gigha has gone on the market - with no neighbours and views out onto the ocean.Leim Farm, on the Isle of Gigha, Argyll and Bute, has a library and a games room, as well as a lavish 17ft exercise pool with a sauna.Only 160 people live on the idyllic island, the southern most island in the Southern Hebrides, and it is famed for its low crime rate.The tiny island is only seven miles long, and 1.5 miles across at its widest point.
    (Picture: Right Move /SWNS.COM)
    The majestic farmhouse on the remote Isle of Gigha that has gone on the market for just under ??800,000 - with views of the ocean and a library and a games room..See SWNS story SWSCisland.A farmhouse on the remote Isle of Gigha has gone on the market - with no neighbours and views out onto the ocean.Leim Farm, on the Isle of Gigha, Argyll and Bute, has a library and a games room, as well as a lavish 17ft exercise pool with a sauna.Only 160 people live on the idyllic island, the southern most island in the Southern Hebrides, and it is famed for its low crime rate.The tiny island is only seven miles long, and 1.5 miles across at its widest point.
    (Picture: Right Move /SWNS.COM)

    The modernised house is on the market for offers over £775,000, and estate agents selling the six-bedroom home suggest it could be used as a posh B&B.

    The home overlooks Leim beach and has a terrace surrounding it. It features a jacuzzi in the bathroom, a screen, projector and surround sound system in the living room, and underfloor heating.

    There’s also an exercise room and the games room has a built-in pool table, as well as sinks and fridges.

    Included in the sale is a jeep to be used on the island and a big garage that can accommodate more vehicles.

    Planning permission is also in place to allow two self-catering buildings to be constructed in the courtyard.

    The majestic farmhouse on the remote Isle of Gigha that has gone on the market for just under ??800,000 - with views of the ocean and a library and a games room..See SWNS story SWSCisland.A farmhouse on the remote Isle of Gigha has gone on the market - with no neighbours and views out onto the ocean.Leim Farm, on the Isle of Gigha, Argyll and Bute, has a library and a games room, as well as a lavish 17ft exercise pool with a sauna.Only 160 people live on the idyllic island, the southern most island in the Southern Hebrides, and it is famed for its low crime rate.The tiny island is only seven miles long, and 1.5 miles across at its widest point.
    (Picture: Right Move /SWNS.COM)

    An advert from estate agents Strutt & Parker said: ‘The property would make a wonderful home, holiday home or a charming boutique bed & breakfast for those seeking an income and the advantages of the island way of life.’

    The advert describes the location as ‘a fabulous, elevated position, a stone’s throw away from Leim beach’.

    It also said: ‘The property’s wonderful, internal courtyard provides shelter and benefits from decking, a small pond, flowerbeds and lawns.’

    If you’re tired of always being surrounded by people and have just under £800,000 lying around, this could be the perfect property.

    MORE: A property next to the royal family’s estate is on the market for £750,000

    MORE: This derelict London home is on the market for a staggering £1.8 million


    ISLAND HOME - A farmhouse on the remote Isle of Gigha has gone on the market - with no neighbours and views out onto the oceanISLAND HOME - A farmhouse on the remote Isle of Gigha has gone on the market - with no neighbours and views out onto the ocean

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    PupsOfJay
    (Picture: @jhardesty)

    Having an office dogs is the ultimate work perk that we all want – but what about if you don’t have an office?

    Jason Hardesty didn’t let that stop him from getting his weekly dog fix.

    The UPS driver has taken to cuddling up to friendly pooches on his route every week and shares pics of his new pals on Instagram. And people are loving it – he currently has 26,400 followers.

    Every Friday, Jason posts a photo of a new dog and tags it with #PupsofJay.

    View this post on Instagram

    Jay and spot @ladyseamonster #pupsofjay

    A post shared by Jason Hardesty (@jhardesty) on

    View this post on Instagram

    Jay and Cusha @vagabond.realness #pupsofjay

    A post shared by Jason Hardesty (@jhardesty) on

    ‘My old route that I was on, the dogs in that area weren’t really too friendly,’ he told INSIDER.

    ‘The would always want to be guard dogs, or aggressive dogs because it was more of a family area. But when they moved me to a certain part of town which has not as many families, the dogs are a lot nicer.’ [sic]

    He first started sharing the photos a few years ago, when he realised the dogs were up for a close-up and a cuddle.

    Jason said: ‘I realized they would let you pick them up and pet them. So I guess maybe a few years ago I started throwing up a dog on it every week.

    ‘Just a cute pup.’

    The hashtag has become very popular in Jason’s local area of Louisiana, but he doesn’t want his account to just be about dogs, so he limits himself to one post a week.

    ‘I don’t want my account to be known as a dog account, but I’ll still find a cute dog and post it that week,’ he said.

    View this post on Instagram

    Jay and Prince #pupsofjay

    A post shared by Jason Hardesty (@jhardesty) on

    View this post on Instagram

    Jay and Marty #pupsofjay

    A post shared by Jason Hardesty (@jhardesty) on

    Pups aside, Jason’s Instagram account is still pretty spectacular with vibrant pics of colourful homes and buildings in the area, as well as snaps of his family.

    Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a dog of his own, but has made plenty of new friends to play with throughout the years.

    Jason said: ‘I don’t have the time to take care of a dog.

    ‘That’s why I play with other people’s when I can.’

    He doesn’t have an exact time for posting, but prefers to do so around 6pm on Fridays, as a treat ahead of the weekend.

    Jason isn’t actually the first UPS driver to get attached to adorable pooches; there’s an entire Facebook page dedicated to UPS/dog meetups.

    And in 2017, the Dodo shared a story of a driver named Doniel Kidd, who loves to pet, play and give treats to doggy friends that he meets on the job.

    Basically all we’re hearing is that being a UPS driver is the best job ever.

    MORE: We can’t stop looking at this senior dog with separation anxiety who cuddles a mannequin when his owner is away

    MORE: Why it’s so important to adopt not shop when it comes to dogs

    MORE: It’s National Puppy Day, so here are nine fantastic dogs who need a new home


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    (Picture: ASOS/Twitter)

    A woman has left people on Twitter in hysterics after she posted a photo of a corset belt from ASOS.

    The outfit barely fit around her ‘skinny mate’s leg’, let alone her waist.

    India McCall shared the photo earlier this week and in it, her friend can be seen wearing the red, size eight corset around her thigh.

    She wrote: ‘I ordered a red corset belt in a size eight and it just about fits round my skinny mate’s leg. Not happy.’

    BELOW THE BELT Shopper blasts ASOS for size eight red corset belt that ???just about fits round my skinny mate???s leg??? Provider: Twitter/xindiamccall Source: https://twitter.com/xindiamccall/status/1109503132487294976/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1109503132487294976&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.thesun.co.uk%2Ffabulous%2F8749786%2Fshopper-blasts-asos-for-size-eight-red-corset-belt-that-just-about-fits-round-my-skinny-mates-leg%2F
    (Picture: Twitter/xindiamccall)

    India bought the ASOS PU Leather Underwire Corset in a size eight for £11.

    She might not have been happy about her order, but she managed to entertain her followers – with many tweeting to say the photo had left them in tears.

    Luckily, ASOS saw the tweet and responded.

    The brand has agreed to look into the mishap for India.

    ‘We’re sorry to hear your corset belt isn’t suitable,’ ASOS replied in a tweet.

    ‘Please pop over a DM with your nine-digit order number and your email address that is registered to your ASOS account and we’ll be more than happy to look into this for you.’

    In other fashion blunder news, PrettyLittleThing has recently been accused of selling Fruit of The Loom joggers with the label ripped out.

    A woman took to Twitter to explain how she’d bought the jogging bottoms from the brand only to find the remains of a Fruit of the Loom label inside.

    She then went on Amazon and found the same pair of joggers going for for £6 to £12, while she had purchased them for £20.

    It just goes to show that while there are many joys to online shopping, there are also many pitfalls.

    If you’d like to give the red corset belt a try for yourself, there are still some available in a size six to eight.

    Buy at your own risk, though – you might end up with a really fancy thigh belt.

    MORE: ASOS is being mocked online after releasing very bizarre lilac bomber jacket

    MORE: ASOS is looking to cast new models of all shapes and sizes for its site

    MORE: If you’re bored of your denim, why not get this £3,025 skirt made of jeans waistbands?


    BELOW THE BELT Shopper blasts ASOS for size eight red corset belt that ?just about fits round my skinny mate?s leg?BELOW THE BELT Shopper blasts ASOS for size eight red corset belt that ?just about fits round my skinny mate?s leg?

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    (Picture: Karen Alpert/Baby Sideburns)

    Karen Alpert, a parenting blogger, took to Facebook over the weekend to share how she took revenge on her husband after he refused to help out around the house.

    She sent him to the shop with a fake shopping list and shared a photo of it on Facebook to to give her followers a laugh.

    ‘OMG my hubby has been lying on the couch all morning while I’m doing sooooo much stuff so I finally got super annoyed and send him to the grocery store with a special shopping list,’ she captioned the post. [sic]

    ‘And yes I turned my ringer off.’

    Fake shopping list Karen Alpert/Baby Sideburns Provider: Facebook Source: https://www.facebook.com/BabySideburns/photos/a.482197265144242/2369850383045578/?type=3&theater
    (Picture: Karen Alpert/Baby Sideburns)

    People are loving the hilarious prank.

    On the list, Karen had written: ‘3% milk, seedless strawberries, fat-free hummus, wheat thins (the ones in the blue box) unsour cream, diet diet coke (you might have to ask because it’s new), mellow cheese, organic Pop Tarts’.

    The post went viral with over 64,000 likes and 18,000 comments.

    It’s also had over 55,000 shares.

    Thousands of people have commented to say how much they relate to Karen’s prank, as they have the same problem with their husbands.

    Fake shopping list Karen Alpert/ Baby Sideburns Provider: Facebook Source: https://www.facebook.com/BabySideburns/photos/a.482197265144242/1924417717588849/?type=3&theater
    (Picture: Karen Alpert/Baby Sideburns)

    One person said: ‘The thing is, my husband calls me no matter what I send him for, every time. Part of what makes this funny!’

    Another said: ‘Knowing my luck, my husband would order it all off Amazon.’

    However there were also some men who related to the husband.

    One said: ‘Like any guy, we’d glance at it go sorry love but I did get a crate of beer, two nerf guns and £20 of chocolate.’

    What would you put on your prank shopping list?

    MORE: Mums dreading clock changes as they lose an hour’s sleep on Mother’s Day

    MORE: Mum has five children naturally after being told she’s ‘100% infertile’


    Fake shopping listFake shopping list

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    Woman with body dysmorphia raises money to lose excess skin about weight loss
    (Picture: Joanna Pearson/Caters News)

    Through ‘hard work, grit, perseverance, and dedication’, Joanna Pearson, 37, lost half her body weight over three years.

    But despite now physically feeling like an ‘athlete’, the lawyer from Tempe, Arizona is dealing with body dysmorphia because of the excess skin that remains on her body.

    She explains feeling as if her body consists of strange parts and compares herself to Frankenstein, the fictional monster created by author Mary Shelley.

    Joanna, who works as a full time carer for her dad, wants to get skin removal surgery and has launched a GoFundMe page with the hopes that people will help her by donating funds towards the procedure.

    ‘Physically I feel like an athlete now, I have control over my body and can own the space my body takes up,’ she said.

    ‘I’m strong and can walk into the gym without feeling self-conscious, but I am battling body dysmorphia and body image issues every day.

    ‘When looking at myself in the mirror I feel like it looks like the body of Frankenstein’s monster because it’s weirdly put together of strong muscle hidden by all this excess skin. It looks like a body pieced together with lots of parts but hidden beneath is something strong, powerful and muscular.

    ‘If I turn to the side, I can see this outline of a beautiful female body hidden underneath all the stretchmarks and scars from where my skin expanded and the weight loss.

    ‘That can’t be seen because of all the ugly skin that is covering it and shouldn’t be there.

    ‘The three big areas for my excess skin are my arms, legs and stomach, I’ve battled it for seven years.’

    PICS BY JOANNA PEARSON / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: At her heaviest Joanna weighed a whopping 29st 4 from years of poor nutrition including a lot of sodas and up to three fast food meals a day at times - after needing a seat belt extender on a flight the embarassment spurred her into weight loss) - An attorney is hoping for skin removal surgery after being left with the body of Frankensteins monster after losing 14 stone (195lb). Joanna Pearson, 37, from Tempe, Arizona, struggles to deal with the loose skin as she feels her body looks like has been pieced together from unusual parts. She weighed 29st 4 (410lb) at her heaviest over a decade ago, after eating up to three fast food meals a day and drinking large quantities of fizzy drinks. But after needing a seatbelt extender on a flight, the embarrassment caused to cut-out soda and start cooking healthier versions of her favourite meals. - SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Joanna Pearson/Caters News)

    At her heaviest, Joanna weighed 29.2st and used to eat three fast food meals every day, as well as drink a lot of soda.

    But after an incident on a plane, where a flight attendant had to get her a seatbelt extender, Joanna decided to get healthy.

    In addition to changing her diet, she also started walking every night until she felt comfortable enough to hit the gym.

    She has lost over 14st in total, but the skin still remains and it’s taking a toll on her mental health.

    Joanna said: ‘I have looked at a few surgeons but it’s quite expensive and considered aesthetic by insurance companies because I don’t have many physical symptoms like rashes.

    ‘On social media people share before and after pictures, they get a lot of compliments about how people can’t tell they ever lost weight.

    ‘But for me you can tell I used to be heavy and I can’t hide that, no one would ever say “I never knew you were overweight” because of all the skin I have.’

    PICS BY JOANNA PEARSON / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: Joanna has lost 14 stone but struggles with body dysmorphia describing her body as like frankesteins monster due to it looking so odd and made of so many different mismatching parts - shes hoping to fundraise for surgery) - An attorney is hoping for skin removal surgery after being left with the body of Frankensteins monster after losing 14 stone (195lb). Joanna Pearson, 37, from Tempe, Arizona, struggles to deal with the loose skin as she feels her body looks like has been pieced together from unusual parts. She weighed 29st 4 (410lb) at her heaviest over a decade ago, after eating up to three fast food meals a day and drinking large quantities of fizzy drinks. But after needing a seatbelt extender on a flight, the embarrassment caused to cut-out soda and start cooking healthier versions of her favourite meals. - SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Joanna Pearson/Caters News)
    PICS BY JOANNA PEARSON / CATERS NEWS - (PICTURED: Joanna has lost 14 stone but struggles with body dysmorphia describing her body as like frankesteins monster due to it looking so odd and made of so many different mismatching parts - shes hoping to fundraise for surgery) - An attorney is hoping for skin removal surgery after being left with the body of Frankensteins monster after losing 14 stone (195lb). Joanna Pearson, 37, from Tempe, Arizona, struggles to deal with the loose skin as she feels her body looks like has been pieced together from unusual parts. She weighed 29st 4 (410lb) at her heaviest over a decade ago, after eating up to three fast food meals a day and drinking large quantities of fizzy drinks. But after needing a seatbelt extender on a flight, the embarrassment caused to cut-out soda and start cooking healthier versions of her favourite meals. - SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Joanna Pearson/Caters News)

    Joanna said: ‘When I needed a seatbelt extended on that flight I remember trying to hide it and being very embarrassed, the flight attendant noticed and had to get a seatbelt extender.

    ‘It was a really horrible moment, if I could have gotten off that plane and gone home, I would have.

    ‘I felt dreadful about myself and didn’t even feel worthy to be on a plane, at that moment I realized I couldn’t be the size I was anymore.

    ‘Surgery would finally end this last chapter in my weight loss journey, I’ve been waiting for the final curtain to fall for years but it hasn’t happened.

    ‘I feel discouraged as I worked so hard and have come so far to see the marks of my old life still weighing me down.

    ‘It’s a constant reminder of what I have had to battle and brings up horrible memories. I’ve not been able to think back over all the goals I have achieved and the ways my body has changed because I’ll always be haunted by loose skin.’

    Most of Joanna’s money and time goes towards taking care of her father, who is battling end stage renal disease and also suffers from severe diabetes.

    So, she’s hoping to pull together over £38,000 through fundraising in order to realise her dream – and finally say goodbye to the old Joanna.

    MORE: Dancer, 18, who said she hates her body says ‘all ballerinas have some sort of body dysmorphia’

    MORE: What it’s like to have body dysmorphic disorder and be chronically ill

    MORE: Woman becomes a model after rare cancer led to urgent leg amputation


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    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Adventurous (and horny) diners will descend upon Shoreditch next weekend for a supper club where the theme is food, sensuality and sexuality.

    The evening is hosted in a townhouse at a secret location, revealed to guests via email a few days before the event, which has been designed into a 70s-themed Tokyo hotel for the occasion.

    Guests will be treated to a three-course meal, while entertainers mingle in the room as part of an immersive experience ‘designed to tease and stimulate more than just the taste buds’.

    After several hours of a foreplay-esque performance, we anticipate you’ll be able to cut the sexual tension with a knife – but the night isn’t over.

    From 10.30pm to 2am, guests can drink, flirt and make good use of the rooftop hot tub.

    Two evenings are planned this coming weekend, for Friday 5 April (for singles only) and Saturday 6 April (open to all). Saturday’s event is already sold out.

    The sensual supper club will be held quarterly – each time in a different decadent venue – with dates confirmed until 2020.

    All genders and sexualities are welcome and tickets cost £85 per person, which includes the experience, dinner, a bottle of wine and a welcome cocktail.

    How to do the Crab
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    ‘Our Sensual Supper Clubs are daring and dramatic, a chance for guests to journey through quality cuisine and sensuous pleasure in a luxurious and safe space,’ said Haneen Khan, production director at Unforbidden, organisers of the event.

    ‘Everything is beautifully tantalising but tasteful.

    ‘Guests will be enchanted and entertained, and our aim is to help people challenge their personal boundaries and unlock a new side to themselves.

    ‘While the night has to be experienced to be described, it is unlike anything anywhere else in London.’

    Here’s the best part – we’re attending.

    Check back in next week to find out just how racy things can get when you combine food, sex and sensuality.

    Excited yet?

    MORE: What I learned from going to a squirting workshop

    MORE: Meet the man who gets turned on by acting and dressing like a cat

    MORE: Six men open up about what it’s like to be pegged by women and why they loved it


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    Sprawling property with old landing strip and nine-hole golf course up for sale Ashington Lodge near Colchester, Essex Provider: Rightmove SOurce: https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-74961818.html
    (Picture: Rightmove)

    A country estate so huge that it can fit a private nine-hole golf course with fairways you can land planes on is up for sale for £4.25 million.

    Ashington Lodge stretches across 76 acres of land less than five miles from the country’s oldest town, Colchester.

    Built in 1989, the property features five bedrooms and three bathrooms.

    The 8,000 sq ft, fully air-conditioned brick home also has five reception rooms and a coach house that can fit five cars.

    Sprawling property with old landing strip and nine-hole golf course up for sale Ashington Lodge near Colchester, Essex Provider: Rightmove Source: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/sprawling-property-old-landing-strip-14203718
    (Picture: Rightmove)
    Sprawling property with old landing strip and nine-hole golf course up for sale Ashington Lodge near Colchester, Essex Provider: Rightmove SOurce: https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-74961818.html
    (Picture: Rightmove)

    ‘The garden and grounds are just beautiful, and they are what set this house apart from all the rest,’ said the owners.

    ‘The house sits right in the middle of the grounds and the views in every single direction are just amazing.

    ‘We have a more formal area by the house that incorporates a large patio terrace and tiered lawns that lead up to a huge Koi pond, then the rest of the grounds are well-stocked with a huge variety of wonderfully mature trees, so it’s like living in our very own park.’

    The current owners transformed an old light aircraft landing strip into a practice fairway with nine holes.

    There’s space for a full 18 hole golf course, should you want to extend it, and it already has its own full-size tennis court.

    The owners said: ‘We have a more formal area by the house that incorporates a large patio terrace and tiered lawns that lead up to a huge Koi pond, then the rest of the grounds are well stocked with a huge variety of wonderfully mature trees so it’s like living in our very own park.

    ‘We also had two fields that both extend to around 15 acres and when we came here I was struggling to know what to do with them, then my father had the brilliant idea of turning one into a nine-hole golf course.’

    Can we live here, please?

    MORE: A property next to the royal family’s estate is on the market for £750,000

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

    MORE: Hate people? A farmhouse on an island with close to no neighbours is on the market


    Sprawling property with old landing strip and nine-hole golf course up for saleSprawling property with old landing strip and nine-hole golf course up for sale

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    (Picture: Getty)

    Once you’ve bought your present and card for Mother’s Day, you’ll need to write something brilliant inside said card.

    It’s pretty difficult to articulate your gratitude to the person who brought you up, and the words never seem to cone when you want them to.

    Unfortunately that’s just not a valid excuse, however, so you have to come up with something.

    Thankfully, we’ve got you covered here, so you can spend the day safe in the knowledge your mother figure knows you love them (and hopefully doesn’t realised you plagiarised).

    Mother’s Day quotes

    ‘All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.’ – Oscar Wilde

    ‘Biology is the least of what makes someone a mother.’ – Oprah Winfrey

    ‘My mother is a walking miracle.’ – Leonardo DiCaprio

    (Picture: Getty)

    ‘She was of the stuff of which great men’s mothers are made. She was indispensable to high generation, feared at tea-parties, hated in shops, and loved at crises.’ – Thomas Hardy

    ‘A little girl, asked where her home was, replied, “where mother is”.’ – Keith L. Brooks

    ‘Acceptance, tolerance, bravery, compassion. These are the things my mum taught me.’ – Lady Gaga

    ‘She raised us with humor, and she raised us to understand that not everything was going to be great—but how to laugh through it.’ – Liza Minnelli on Judy Garland

    ‘Whatever else is unsure in this stinking dunghill of a world, a mother’s love is not.’ – James Joyce

    ‘Every beetle is a gazelle in the eyes of its mother.’ – Moorish proverb

    ‘A mother’s arms are more comforting than anyone else’s.’ – Princess Diana

    (Picture: Getty)

    Mother’s Day messages

    You’re my one and only mum, and I’ll always have a special place in my heart for you.

    Right from the start, you were the one who nurtured me, worried about me, guided me and supported me in every pursuit. Thank you for being there every day with just the love I needed.

    Now that I’m older, I realise I don’t just feel gratitude for you, but admiration. I’d want to pattern my life after yours even if you weren’t my mother.

    Raising me took a lot of patience. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

    I could sure use a mum hug right now.

    You are the heart and soul of our family. Love you, mum.

    Mum, your love has shaped me in lasting ways.

    There’s simply no one else like you. I feel so blessed that we’re family – and that we’re friends.

    Happy Mother’s Day to an amazing woman I’ll always admire, appreciate and love!

    With love to an amazing lady…from someone who hopes to be one someday.

    MORE: Nigerians are ‘ordering pizza from London and using British Airways to deliver it’

    MORE: ‘Porridge and good sense of humour are keys to long life’ says Scotland’s oldest man


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    Do you know someone who is disabled?

    You probably do but you might not even realise.

    Thousands of people across the UK live with invisible illness and disabilities.

    They suffer from symptoms and deal with the condition every day but because they don’t have any visible sign of their condition, they hear comments like ‘you don’t look sick’, when they use disabled parking spaces, priority seats or disabled bathrooms.

    You Don’t Look Sick is a series that looks at the issues around invisible illness and disability.

    Each week we speak to someone with a different condition about how it affects them.

    You Don't Look Sick - Tas Picture: Dave Phillips for Metro.co.uk
    (Picture: Dave Phillips for Metro.co.uk)

    Tasneem Patel, 27, from Bolton, Greater Manchester, has Ulcerative Colitis, a form of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

    She suffers from symptoms like chronic diarrhoea, cramping pains in the abdomen, tiredness and fatigue.

    She admits that when she uses a disabled bathroom, she sneaks out because she’s worried someone will judge her for using the facility as her condition is invisible.

    She explains: ‘I remember an occasion of having to use the disabled toilet at work when I was suffering with a flare up.

    ‘I remember almost crawling to the bathroom that day and getting ‘tuts’ from a colleague because a seemingly healthy individual (on the outside) was using the disabled toilet… if only she knew.

    ‘I still find myself sometimes sneaking out of the disabled toilets for fear of judgement from others.

    ‘I don’t have the courage yet to ask for a seat on the train, even when I’m struggling. The awareness of the condition is not great and when you’re on a peak time commuter train it’s hard to pluck up the courage to ask for a seat.’

    What is Ulcerative Colitiis

    Ulcerative Colitis is a condition that causes inflammation and ulceration of the inner lining of the rectum and colon (the large bowel). In UC, ulcers develop on the surface of the lining and these may bleed and produce mucus.

    The inflammation usually begins in the rectum and lower colon, but it may affect the entire colon. If UC only affects the rectum, it is called proctitis, while if it affects the whole colon it may be called total colitis or pancolitis.

    It’s one of the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The other is Crohn’s Disease.

    Ulcerative Colitis is a chronic condition. This means that it is ongoing and lifelong, although you may have long periods of good health known as remission, as well relapses or flare-ups when your symptoms are more active.

    Chron’s & Colitis UK

    Tas was diagnosed in January 2018 after years of suffering from symptoms but never getting answers.

    She explains: ‘I’d been suffering with symptoms of Colitis for almost four years and consistently been told by the doctor that I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which is different to Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

    ‘As I’d been working and travelling a fair amount, I convinced myself this was true until I collapsed a couple of months earlier due to debilitating stomach cramps on the train.

    ‘I pushed my doctor for my diagnosis as I felt it was really affecting my quality of life – so having someone acknowledge my symptoms actually felt like a relief.

    ‘At this point I don’t think I understood or was educated on how serious Colitis can become if not managed properly and this is one of my regrets to this day. I wish I had pushed for more information at the point diagnosis.

    ‘I was diagnosed at hospital following a colonoscopy. I was sent home with some tablets and enemas to relieve the inflammation.

    Tas enjoying a day out with friends (Picture: Tas Patel)

    ‘Initially I felt that these tablets and enemas had ‘fixed’ me. Being so uneducated on the condition, I frequently skipped my medication, didn’t order my prescriptions because as silly as it sounds, I didn’t realise I had been diagnosed with a condition that required lifelong maintenance medication.

    ‘That said I have now been picked up by the gastroenterology clinic at my local hospital and my IBD nurses are truly my heroes. They respond to my every worry / query / random questions and nothing is ever too much for them.’

    Each day is different for Tas and she has flares where her symptoms become more severe and she is in so much pain, she struggles to stand up.

    She explains: ‘On a good day, i have very few symptoms. I can exercise (including high intensity exercise). I almost forget I have the condition on the good days.

    ‘I can do everything a ‘normal, healthy’ person can do with no issues. On my good days I am still constantly reminded of my condition with the tablets I take daily to keep it under control.

    ‘On average I take six tablets a day. I’m also reminded by the extraintestinal symptoms I experience due to having Colitis, like the pains in my knees and hips, the random hair loss, and the extreme fatigue.

    ‘Some days I feel like I’ve hit a brick wall and could sleep for hours.

    ‘On a bad day with a flare I struggle to stand up straight. The trips to the loo are frequent, and keeping food down is almost impossible.

    ‘I remember on my worst days sitting on the bathroom floor close to collapsing. At my very worst I was vomiting due to the pain in my stomach and emptying my bowels almost every five minutes.

    ‘I’ve been admitted into hospital once, but this wasn’t identified as a flare up, but gastroenteritis. It only came to light once I’d left the hospital that it was actually a flare I was dealing with.

    ‘When I was in hospital, only morphine was helping to relieve the pain. I actually spent three days in hospital on that occasion hoping that the gastroenteritis diagnosis was right and that I’d be fighting fit within a week.

    Tas in hospital (Picture: Tas Patel)

    ‘ Less than two weeks after leaving the hospital I was doubled-over with pain again.

    ‘Sleep is something you don’t get during a flare because of the cramping and bowel movements.’

    After her last and most serious flare, Tas turned to the internet for support and found the charity Chron’s & Colitis UK.

    She explains: ‘During my last flare, my mental health took a knock, probably more so than my physical health (which was harnessed into control with the steroids).

    ‘I started reading A LOT on Google which made me feel worse.

    ‘I then started browsing the Crohn’s & Colitis UK Instagram page (recommended by my fiancé) which helped me relate to other people whose stories sounded very similar to mine.

    ‘This was a means of reassurance for me because I then realised that you can live a good life with Colitis and do all the things you previous enjoyed.

    ‘I took control of my mental health by reaching out to a few people who had been featured on the page for advice.

    Tas takes six different types of medication every day (Picture: Tas Patel)

    ‘I’ve made some really good friends through the Crohns & Colitis UK Instagram page – one of which suffers with Crohn’s disease and is my friend/counsellor/sound board for all the complexities that come with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

    ‘She’s also a great person to laugh with about our dodgy bowels with and I think being able to laugh is a coping mechanism for both of us. Friends with IBD play a huge role in your recovery, I know they did for me and they always remind you that better days are coming.

    ‘My family and fiancé have been amazing especially since this last flare in supporting me with all the changes that have come with the condition, especially more recently and encouraging me on the bad days.

    ‘My biggest worry was the impact my condition would have on my fiancé, as we’re due to get married in July but he has been nothing but caring and accommodating.’

    After realising reaching out to others could be a source of support, Tas started her blog Tummy Troubles and Me to raise awareness of her condition.

    Tas and her fiance (Picture: Tas Patel)

    She made it public for the first time in January 2019.

    ‘Writing down how I’m feeling was something that I was told to do when I struggled most with my mental health,’ she says.

    ‘I’d never had the guts (excuse the pun) to make this public, for fear of what people might think but I took the plunge in January 2019 and the response was amazing.
    ‘My blog doesn’t have a huge number of followers or the most views, but I had a few people reach out to me and tell me that it made them feel less alone.

    ‘If by me writing I’ve managed to help even one person feel less lonely on their IBD journey then it’s worth doing.

    ‘Having a chronic bowel condition is never going to be the ‘topic’ that people want to talk about.

    ‘It’s a stigma for most cultures and communities to talk about ‘poo’ so if I can get people to talk a little more about this condition and not feel ashamed then I’ve achieved what I wanted.

    ‘Whilst my friends and wider family knew I had the condition, I never openly talked to most of them about how severely it affected me and the blog was a good way of getting my story out there and probably raising awareness for them too about how I struggle day to day.’

    Tas has also started to use exercise again when she can. She stresses that it is not a cure for Colitis but it does help ease some of the symptoms.

    She says: ‘I attend yoga weekly, not because I think it’s the miracle cure for Colitis, but because it helps me relax and helps with the joint ache I now frequently experience.

    ‘I also try to practice mindfulness using Headspace but genuinely not very good at this and should probably do this more often.’

    Even though her condition can make her very ill, Tas says she is regularly told she doesn’t look sick.

    You Don't Look Sick - Tas Picture: Dave Phillips for Metro.co.uk
    (Picture: Dave Phillips for Metro.co.uk)

    She explains: ‘I’ve found myself lying to people about having intolerances / food allergies because it’s just easier to say this than to explain that I have a chronic bowel condition and sometimes can’t tolerate the same foods as everyone else because it’ll probably trigger a flare up.

    ‘One thing the condition has taught me most recently is to respect my body. It’s ok to say no if I’m not feeling up to it.

    ‘This flare up has seriously thrown me because I’ve found my ‘bounceback-ability’ has been knocked. I’m now four months post-flare and probably still experiencing some of the effects of recovering from the flare, but that’s ok.

    ‘Everyone is different and my body just needs some time to recover.

    ‘Because my condition is not ‘visible’ I tend to be treated no differently thankfully.

    ‘The parts I have struggled with is being open with my condition at work and asking for the flexibility I require when I’m having an ‘off’ day.

    ‘I’m extremely fortunate that I have a very understanding manager so I’m able to have the flexibility I need but I know that my frequent ‘working from home’ isn’t always received well by others.

    ‘The working world is still coming to terms with agile working so having a team member work from home regularly probably isn’t something most are used to.

    ‘The guilt with having a chronic condition has been the hardest bit for me to come to terms with at work.

    ‘The guilt of not being able to be ‘present’ as often I previously was, the guilt of not being able to give my work 110% as I would previously, the guilt of needing to put my career goals on hold because right now my health is a priority.

    ‘I’ve come to terms with putting my career on hold for now until I feel like I can go back to it in the future and that’s ok.’

    Tas is fighting to raise more awareness of bowel conditions, particularly when it comes to using disabled toilets.

    She says: ‘Disabled toilets need to have signs on them, which Crohn’s & Colitis UK have been implementing through their Not Every Disability campaign, which is about changing public perceptions on who can use disabled toilets.

    ‘I think generally society needs to start being more conscientious and understanding that everyone has their own personal struggles and people may be dealing with something that isn’t necessarily visible.

    However, I appreciate that only comes with awareness. We need to get people talking, chronic diseases don’t discriminate and the stigmas around Crohn’s and Colitis need to be lifted.’

    You Don’t Look Sick is a weekly series telling the stories of people with invisible illness and disabilities. Next week, we speak to Lisa who has secondary breast cancer.

    How to get involved with You Don't Look Sick

    You Don’t Look Sick is Metro.co.uk’s weekly series that discusses invisible illness and disabilities.

    If you have an invisible illness or disability and fancy taking part, please email laura.abernethy@metro.co.uk.

    You’ll need to be happy to share pictures that show how your condition affects you, and have some time to have some pictures taken.

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘My period pain left me housebound but people don’t believe I’m ill’


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    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘My skin condition causes a lot of pain but I gave up my blue badge because of abuse’


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    You Don\'t Look Sick - TasYou Don\'t Look Sick - Tas

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    It took a bad experience with a loved one’s funeral to make me realise I wanted to care for the deceased.

    I wanted to make sure other people would be treated better and didn’t have to go through the same experience my family and I did.

    So, aged 20, I joined Co-op as a funeral arranger working closely with families to arrange the funerals of their loved ones.

    Whilst I loved my job working directly with families, I wanted to help them in a different way.

    ? Joel Goodman for Metro - 07973 332324 . 14/03/2019 . Oldham , UK . Embalmer RACHEL CARLINE (28 , from Rochdale) at Co-op Funeral Care branch in Oldham . Photo credit : Joel Goodman
    When people first meet me they’re usually shocked to find out I’m an embalmer (Picture: Joel Goodman/Metro.co.uk)

    I wanted to preserve and restore their loved ones so when they saw them for the final time, they were left feeling comforted and reassured their loved one looked like themselves and was at peace. I trained to become an embalmer.

    My initial training involved five theoretical and two practical embalming exams. I then applied and became a member of the British Institute of Embalmers (BIE).

    Embalming itself is a valuable process that slows down the natural changes that occur after death, and restores a natural appearance.

    The process can vary, as all cases are treated on an individual basis with many factors to consider.

    A few examples would be whether or not the person underwent a post-mortem examination, the circumstances in which they passed away and how long it has been since they died.

    ? Joel Goodman for Metro - 07973 332324 . 14/03/2019 . Oldham , UK . Embalmer RACHEL CARLINE (28 , from Rochdale) at Co-op Funeral Care branch in Oldham . Photo credit : Joel Goodman
    I had a poor experience with a funeral director and it made me think I could do more for other families (Picture: Joel Goodman/Metro.co.uk)

    Ultimately, embalming involves the insertion of an arterial and cavity solution and the removal of fluids within the body. The process has three main aims: presentation, preservation and sanitation.

    On first arriving into my care, a deceased person will rest in a clean and suitable environment. Their body is washed, preserved and then presented according to their own or their family’s wishes.

    Families will often provide me with photographs of their loved ones so I can make sure I style their hair, paint their nails or create their makeup exactly as they would have had it when they were alive.

    Once dressed, and resting inside their coffin for families to visit, my role is to continue to check they remain looking their best.

    People generally think being an embalmer is just preserving a deceased – it’s not.

    My role is to care for the person from the moment they first enter the funeral home until the day they embark on their final journey.

    It can be demanding, both physically and mentally. There have been many times when the work has taken a great deal of emotional strength to overcome.

    ? Joel Goodman for Metro - 07973 332324 . 14/03/2019 . Oldham , UK . Embalmer RACHEL CARLINE (28 , from Rochdale) at Co-op Funeral Care branch in Oldham . Photo credit : Joel Goodman
    Being an embalmer is something I see as a privilege (Picture: Joel Goodman/Metro.co.uk)

    In 2017, I cared for some of the victims of the Manchester terrorist attack. It was extremely difficult. I couldn’t escape the terrible tragedy, but I knew I was there to do an important job and what I was doing would make a difference for those families at such a devastating time.

    Whilst every bereavement is upsetting for those left behind, it really is distressing for parents who lose a child or a baby. You feel the sadness of their loss, and you cannot begin to imagine what they are going through and how they must feel.

    Being an embalmer is something I see as a privilege, it’s heartwarming to know you’re doing the last thing anyone will ever do for that person.

    It is also rewarding your care and presentation of a loved one can provide comfort and lasting memories for those left behind.

    In 2015 I sadly lost my grandad to cancer. I was very close to him growing up, as my parents moved away when I was 18 and I lived temporarily with my grandparents. Even as an adult, I spent every Sunday afternoon with them.

    He was diagnosed in March and became ill rather quickly. During his illness, I spent more time with him and supported my uncle, nan and mum in caring for him. I was sat with him when he passed away in the September.

    ? Joel Goodman for Metro - 07973 332324 . 14/03/2019 . Oldham , UK . Embalmer RACHEL CARLINE (28 , from Rochdale) at Co-op Funeral Care branch in Oldham . Photo credit : Joel Goodman
    One of the things people most frequently ask me, knowing I work with the deceased, is ‘what’s it like to see a dead body?’ (Picture: Joel Goodman/Metro.co.uk)

    As I had done for many families before, I wanted to care for my own family in our time of loss. I arranged his funeral and made sure all the legalities were completed.

    Although I had embalmed people I had known in life, this was the first time I had embalmed a close relative. As much as I was certain I wanted to be the person to care for him, I did feel slightly apprehensive.

    However, I felt at ease as soon as I started the procedure. I was simply doing exactly as I did for other families on a daily basis.

    I found it comforting. I talked to him while shaving his face and combing his hair.

    I felt as though I was getting extra time with him nobody else would, and doing the last thing I could for him. I now feel as though caring for him at that time really helped me to grieve.

    One of the things people most frequently ask me, knowing I work with the deceased, is ‘what’s it like to see a dead body?’

    I always knew I wanted to work in funerals, and so I knew it was something I would be comfortable with.

    It’s not for everyone, but I suppose until you’re in that situation you won’t fully know for sure.

    The first deceased person I ever met was a gentleman whose funeral was arranged by social services because he had no traceable relatives.

    He had passed away a couple of months previously and he had undergone a post-mortem examination to establish his cause of death.

    When I first saw him, I thought to myself, ‘this isn’t how they show it on TV,’ because of the way his appearance had deteriorated.

    But above all, I remember being touched by the fact that although this gentleman wasn’t going to be seen by anyone other my colleagues, he was cared for, dressed in a gown and treated like any other deceased person would be.

    How to get involved with My Odd Job

    My Odd Job is a new weekly series from Metro.co.uk, published every Sunday. If you have an unusual job and want to get involved, email aimee.meade@metro.co.uk.

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    Rachel Carline embalmerRachel Carline embalmer

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    Trans visibility day: Molly Mulready on mother of trans child Sport boys men rugby safety trans transexual sex gender body mind lifestyle happy lgbt lgbtq Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk
    His friends don’t bat an eyelid, he wears the boys’ uniform to school, is referred to as ‘he’ and plays in a boys rugby team (Picture: Ella Byworth/Metro.co.uk)

    My three teenagers can variously be found watching Netflix, pretending to study, disputing when the cat was last fed and never voluntarily putting dirty clothes in the washing basket.

    They’re my pride and joy, and they make my heart sing.

    But when my youngest was on the brink of puberty he started to become incredibly sad, distressingly often. He went from being a sunny child, generous and full of mischief, to bursting into tears, slamming doors and refusing to answer if ever I asked what was wrong.

    I Googled depression in children and worried that there were issues at school, but nothing I read matched up with what we were experiencing.

    After months of this, through sobs, one day he explained – ‘you all think I’m a girl, but actually I’m a boy’.

    I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I could have comprehended him being gay in an instant – I would have known what that meant and how to make it easier for him.

    But trans? Fully understanding that this meant he’s a gender other than the one that matches his body took a bit of work to understand.

    He had a female biology and so we’d spoken of him as a girl – a daughter, a little sister, a niece –  but we were wrong. He was, always has been and is now, a boy.

    I say this with strident unapologetic confidence now.

    It took me longer than it should have done to do so – and to my lovely boy, for that ill-considered delay, I am so sorry.

    It took me time to understand that it was not just a phase and to overcome my fears that he’d be bullied if he told everyone at school.

    But, with his help, and with guidance from teachers who have supported another older trans child in his school, we got there.

    My boy, happily, now lives his truth.

    I always thought of myself as having a progressive outlook on life; I believe gay marriage is right, the gender pay gap is wrong and sex education (including classes about LGBTQI+ issues) is essential in all schools.

    But I knew very little about transgender identity before it crossed our path and started living in our house.

    Since then, it has been a privilege to get to know trans adults and children, to learn from them and to rectify my ignorance.

    Crucially, I have come to understand that trans people do not choose to be trans any more than gay people choose to be gay or left-handed people choose to be left-handed.

    You can fight it, try to ignore it or give in to your parents’ pleas that you wait a bit longer before you tell anyone – because ‘you might grow out of it’ – but you will still be trans.

    My boy, happily, now lives his truth.

    His friends don’t bat an eyelid, he wears the boys’ uniform to school, is referred to as ‘he’ and plays in a boys rugby team.

    When his club announced to his old (girls) team that England Rugby had given him official approval to play with the boys – something they all knew meant the world to him – they cheered him on.

    He also goes to a trans youth club, has inspiring trans role models in his life and is looking forward to the launch of London’s LGBTQ+ community centre  so that there will be another place he can go and be sure of a warm welcome.

    Most importantly, he is content.

    My son is 13 years old now and ambitious for the future – he hopes to be an actor, doctor or barrister – or maybe all three. I’ll be proud of him whatever path he chooses to take, because I know he will stay true to himself.

    I asked him what advice he’d have for his younger self and he said to ‘come out sooner’.

    The relief at being able to live as his true self has been literally life-changing for him and for our family. Our house is a happier place because everyone in it can be themselves.

    It hasn’t been plain sailing every day of course – some people are inexplicably hateful to trans people, but the vast majority have kind instincts, and that goes a very long way.

    So, to my fellow humans who have been good to my boy and his family: thank you – our journey so far has shown us that you, the good guys, are the majority in this great city.

    Please, let’s keep it that way.

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    This year it will be 14 years since she left us (Picture: Georgina Fuller)

    It’s that time of year again – Mother’s Day – which is the anniversary of my beloved mum’s death.

    This year it will be 14 years since she left us.

    She used to dismiss Mother’s Day and insisted we weren’t to go to any trouble or make a big fuss about it.

    ‘It’s just a silly day,’ she used to say. But then, after she died, I found a stash of old, handwritten Mother’s Day cards and pictures from my siblings and me that she had kept and treasured.

    Most years, I just got her a bunch of daffodils or tulips.

    It was just like any other Sunday – she would inevitably end up cooking a big roast and my granny, her mum, would come over.

    After lunch, we’d go for a long walk and then collapse on the sofa.

    We did take her out to lunch on some Mother’s Day occasions though. I particularly remember going to a smart restaurant when I was about 16 and had just started waitressing at a local pub.

    I booked a table for two and relished in having some one-on-one time with mum. And I was so proud, because I had been able to pay for our lunch with the money I had earned from my job.

    I often think about our last Mother’s Day, a few days before she died.

    How I wish I’d known it was the last and had gone to see her instead of just sending her a card. I had just got my first proper journalism job and was flat-hunting with my then boyfriend (now husband) when I got the call.

    Mum was born with a heart murmur but had always made very little of it, and lived a normal, active and full life.

    So it was such a horrific shock when she died of heart failure at just 57.

    It’s lovely when my children come in with their cards and a bunch of flowers and we always mark the day, but we never go out for lunch because I don’t want to be around other women my age with their mothers.

    I think about her every day.

    I think about her love, her voice, her raucous laugh and the feel of her skin.

    I think about how much she would have adored my three children and how proud she would be of them.

    She is with me every day, especially when I chastise the children for something and realise I sound just like her. Sometimes when I catch sight of myself in the mirror, I see her face in mine.

    So Mother’s Day is really no different.

    Or at least it shouldn’t be, but somehow it is because I can’t suppress the lump in my throat when I see pastel-coloured displays of cards and flowers in every supermarket.

    Or when I get a barrage of emails from every retailer and restaurant I’ve ever signed up to (well done Bloom & Wild for the opt-out option) and see placards outside the pub offering a free glass of fizz for mothers.

    It’s bittersweet as I celebrate being a mum while mourning the loss of my own.

    It’s lovely when my children come in with their cards and a bunch of flowers and we always mark the day, but we never go out for lunch because I don’t want to be around other women my age with their mothers.

    I can’t pretend I don’t feel envious or bitter.

    I don’t want to watch young children with their grannies, because it reminds me again how bitterly unfair it is that mine never got to meet theirs.

    I imagine it’s the same for lots of women. Not just other mums without mums like me, but also those who have suffered miscarriages, gone through IVF or perhaps had a difficult relationship with their own mother.

    I am fortunate that I had a pretty wonderful relationship with mine but it certainly wasn’t perfect. We bickered and fought like the rest and there were plenty of Mother’s Days when I was at university or in London and didn’t go to see her.

    I thought she would always be there, as she always was, and therefore didn’t need a special day to mark it.

    So I would urge those of you with mums to do your best to see them this Mother’s Day and tell them how much you love them.

    You never know when it will be their last.

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    Hand laying on the table bunch of roses and box with a gift for mother’s day (Picture: Eleonora Galli/Moment/Getty)

    Mother’s Day is the perfect time to show you mum just how much you appreciate her and everything that she does for you.

    It happens on a different day each year but the sentiment is the same no matter when we celebrate it.

    You can treat you mum in various ways whether it’s with flowers and chocolates, or a card with a poem or quote that expresses how much you love her.

    If you’re wondering what to write in your Mother’s Day card this year, there is plenty of inspiration for the perfect message.

    Here are some of the best quotes and poems based around Mother’s Day.

    Mother’s Day 2019 quotes

    A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take. – Cardinal Meymillod

    The natural state of motherhood is unselfishness. When you become a mother, you are no longer the centre of your own universe. You relinquish that position to you children – Jessica Lange

    My mum and I have always been there for each other. We had some tough times, but she was always there for me – LeBron James

    Mama was my greatest teacher, a teacher of compassion, love and fearlessness. If love is sweet as a flower, then my mother is that sweet flower of love. – Stevie Wonder

    I’ve always wanted to be a mom because I want to give a kid all of the magical gifts my mum gave to me, such as love and friendship. She and I had this incredible connection that was so unbelievable.

    He didn’t realise that love as powerful as your mother’s for you leaves its own mark. – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

    When your mother asks ‘Do you want a piece of advice?’ it is a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway – Erma Bombeck

    Unrecognizable mother holding flowers bouquet on Mother’s Day. (Getty)

    Mother’s Day 2019 poems

    There is no blessing
    Quite so dear…
    As a mom like you
    To love year after year.

     

    The heart of a home is a mother
    Whose love is warm and true,
    And home has always been “sweet home”
    With a wonderful mother like you!

     

    Mom’s smiles can brighten any moment,
    Mom’s hugs put joy in all our days,
    Mom’s love will stay with us forever
    and touch our lives in precious ways…
    The values you’ve taught,
    the care you’ve given,
    and the wonderful love you’ve shown,
    have enriched my life
    in more ways than I can count.
    I Love you Mom!

     

    While we honor all our mothers
    with words of love and praise.
    While we tell about their goodness
    and their kind and loving ways.
    We should also think of Grandma,
    she’s a mother too, you see…
    For she mothered my dear mother
    as my mother mothers me.

     

    When God created mothers,
    All as lovely as can be,
    He made one extra special,
    And saved her just for me!

     

    Best friends forever, mom and me
    picking flowers and climbing trees.
    A shoulder to cry on, secrets to share
    Warm hearts and hands that really care.

     

    Mom, you’re very special;
    I really think you’re great.
    On Mother’s Day,
    It’s time to say
    It’s you I appreciate!

    Your love is never ending;
    It shows in all you do.
    There’s no other mom
    In the whole wide world
    Who’s half as good as you!

    By Joanna Fuchs

    MORE: Happy Mother’s Day messages you can send your mum today

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    roses, gift, mother's dayroses, gift, mother's day

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    Things you only know if your mum is your best friend
    (Picture: Mmuffin for Metro.co.uk)

    This Mother’s Day, we are thinking about everything our mums have taught us.

    They are fountains of knowledge.

    From teaching us how to shave our legs, to helping us make any meal that doesn’t come complete from the freezer, and guiding us through our first heartbreak – mums have been there for all of it.

    Their little nuggets of wisdom are pure gold – but many of them aren’t necessarily grounded in facts.

    You know what we’re talking about – the classic mumisms – the phrases that you’ve heard your mum say so many times you can practically mouth along with her as she says them.

    They could be pure superstition, arbitrary rules that she will apply to any situation, or utterly wild beauty tips – whatever the format, it’s pretty likely that your mum has a whole range of these up her sleeve.

    And as much as you may try to resist – these mumisms can stick with you for life.

    You will be out for dinner, chatting with friends, before you know it one of your mum’s classic phrases has slipped out – everyone stares at you, and in that moment you realise this is not a commonly accepted phrase, but a deeply ingrained mumism.

    But despite the embarrassment and confusion that these odd words of wisdom can cause – we love them, and we will probably pass them on to our own kids one day.

    metro illustrations
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    So which of these mumisms is in your mother’s repertoire? We asked people to tell us the wildest wisdom they have learnt from their mothers – and the answers are really quite something.

    ‘If you drop a glove on the floor, it’s unlucky if you pick it back up. Meaning… you have to wait for someone else to pick it up for you’, Sacha.

    ‘My mum told me that if I play with my belly button, my bum will fall off,’ Ian.

    ‘Put butter on a cat’s feet before they go outside for the first time to make sure they come back,’ Katrina.

    ‘Never trust a man with thin lips (no reason given),’ Georgia.

    ‘It’s always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. Classic,’ Donna.

    ‘My mum has a couple – you must always wear matching underwear in case you get hit my a bus. And if you keep your handbag on the floor you will never have any money,’ Rebecca.

    Why it's bad luck to put your handbag on the floor

    This particular mumism comes from an age-old superstition, and is actually a really common belief.

    Originally it referred to putting your purse on the ground, but since we all carry our purses in our handbags – there is some crossover with what counts as bad luck.

    In many cultures, laying something on the floor is a sign of disrespect for that object. Since a purse holds money, it is believed that you are snubbing those funds if you place them on the ground.

    Putting your handbag on the floor is also thought to be bad feng shui, according to an old Chinese proverb that states, “a purse on the floor is money out the door.”

    ‘My mother used to say; “Don’t look at a boy’s ‘titi’ (that’s Tagalog slang for willy) or fruit will grow on your eyelids and you will turn blind,’ Andrea.

    ‘When I was in primary school my mum told me if I ever cut my own hair it would all fall out,’ Ruth.

    ‘In the great sea of life, don’t let barnacles grow on your bottom – aka don’t stop moving,’ Lucy.

    ‘Never use cheap bleach and never buy carnations” are the two bits of Mum imparted wisdom I live by!’ James.

    ‘Don’t drop a eating utensil during Christmas Eve dinner or someone close will pass away shortly. Don’t know why she says that…’ Urszula.

    ‘If you pick your nose, you’ll grow a pig’s trotter,’ Stephen.

    ‘Peacock feathers in the house are unlucky, as is opening your umbrella indoors,’ Kate.

    ‘Mine told me that if I ever got high I shouldn’t try to bake a potato – either you end up eating an underdone potato or you incinerate it and cause a fire,’ Ellen.

    ‘My mum told us to say ‘Hello Mr Magpie how’s your wife today – if you see a lone bird – or bad luck befalls us all,’ Elaine.

    ‘I’ll catch pneumonia for walking around the house with no slippers on. She actively polices this too,’ Natasha.

    ‘Put on some lipstick- it will make you feel better. Actually, I think it does,’ Luise.

    Why is it that mums are all so superstitious? Maybe it’s something that happens as part of the pregnancy process.

    We’re not sure – but what we are sure of is that there was one mumism that came up time and time again. The mumism to end all mumisms.

    You should never put shoes on the table.

    This appears to be a belief held by an overwhelming majority of mothers – with loads of people citing this as a classic mum phrase.

    Interestingly though – no one could really tell us why they believe it, or what it’s meant to mean. So if you’re a mum and you believe in this shoes on the table thing – please tell us where it comes from?

    And what the hell happens if we do put our shoes on the table? We’re not willing to be the ones to find out.

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    ***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** Things you only know if your mum is your best friend (Becky Excell)***ILLUSTRATION REQUEST*** Things you only know if your mum is your best friend (Becky Excell)

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