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

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    METRO GRAB - Police officers photoshoot goes viral From @GrapeVinePolice/Facebook
    (Picture: GrapeVinePolice/Facebook)

    Police officers in Texas have started a new hashtag that’s all about using flower power to support the force.

    Cops from the Grapevine Police Department are posing with bluebonnets – the state flower of Texas – in a viral challenge.

    Now, other police departments around the state have gotten involved.

    The hashtag #BacktheBLUEBonnet has seen many a cop spread across fields of the purple flowers and posting the results on Instagram and Facebook.

    The challenge is about making the force more accessible to Texans and showing that police officers, who are often met with resistance, are people too.

    But what’s a cop hashtag without some crime information?

    While the officers have been having fun with the images, they have also reminded citizens how to safely and legally pose with the flowers and make sure they’re not trespassing on personal property.

    METRO GRAB - Police officers photoshoot goes viral From @GrapeVinePolice/Facebook
    (Picture; @GrapeVinePolice/Facebook)

    Some of the photoshoots include men and women in blue sitting back to back, laid across the field, and even pandering to stereotypes of them by eating doughnuts.

    They’ve also been leaving funny captions on the pictures, such as ‘felt cute, might arrest someone later, idk’, and ‘doughnut mess with Texas’.

    Even adorable guide dogs took part in the challenge.

    METRO GRAB - Police officers photoshoot goes viral From @GrapeVinePolice/Facebook
    (Picture; @GrapeVinePolice/Facebook)

    ‘It’s a fun way to show our community that we do have a humorous side and are just normal men and women behind the badge,’ said Detective Jory Jimenez, to the Abilene Reporter News.

    ‘It’s important to us to have that dichotomy between humour and information. Establishing that relationship with the citizens is helpful when the tables are turned and we need their help with receiving information on investigations or sending out widespread information.’

    METRO GRAB - Police officers photoshoot goes viral From @GrapeVinePolice/Facebook
    (Picture; @GrapeVinePolice/Facebook)

    The hashtag has taken off on Instagram and Facebook with cops using it to be fun and informative.

    The Grapevine Police Department wrote: ‘We hope you’ve enjoyed our #BackTheBLUEbonnet photos. If you plan to snap a photo yourself, remember to always be aware of your surroundings, keep your eyes out for any dangers, and never run across a highway or block traffic. Have fun and stay safe!’

    MORE: The next-best viral egg photo of 2019 has arrived

    MORE: Viral challenge #TrashTag encourages teens to pick up litter

    MORE: People are using mugs and toilet seats to pretend they’re on a flight for fake plane challenge


    METRO GRAB - Police officers photoshoot goes viralMETRO GRAB - Police officers photoshoot goes viral

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    (Picture: Twitter/Getty/Metro.co.uk)

    An image shared on Twitter shows that even greeting cards can ascribe to gender ideals.

    When a pink card was seen with the words: ‘You’re the kind of girl I’d buy flowers for’ and a blue card saying: ‘You’re the kind of boy I’d make a sandwich for,’ many people criticised the cards for being sexist.

    The image was shared by artistic director Natasha Hodgson and quickly went viral, with people calling it ‘insidious’ for normalising gendered ideas about boys and girls.

    It’s certainly not the first time colour and words have been used to set up gender roles as another image went viral after showing a little girl wearing pink scrubs saying ‘nurse in training’ and a boy wearing ‘doctor in training’.

    Natasha decided to leave out the name of the store selling the cards.

    The mention of sandwiches irked some of the commenters who said they were used to sandwich jokes deployed by sexist men who believe a woman belongs in the kitchen.

    Others also had a problem with the infantilisation of adults on the cards as they refer to boys and girls instead of men and women.

    Producer Rachel Prior wrote: ‘It is insidious. Worming its way under the skin of generation after generation. Burn it all’.

    One person raised a good point, asking: ‘Why would you buy them a card that says you’d buy them flowers? Why not just buy them flowers?’

    Another user noticed that a lot of items have a similar theme, saying: ‘Toys, books, clothing for boys are often occupation themed. Girls are dancing, prancing, princesses. I’m not railing against princesses, but we need more balance and more gender neutral options.’

    In response, other commenters shared images they’d seen reinforcing gender roles.

    The image has gotten over 16,000 likes on Twitter.

    While the cards probably won’t be the last time we see gendered products, at least people are calling sexism out when they see it.

    Brands might want to take note.

    MORE: Picture of children dressed as ‘nurse’ and ‘doctor’ slammed as sexist

    MORE: Student says people assume she’s ‘sexist and racist’ because she lives in a 1940s time warp

    MORE: ‘Sexist’ clothing line told boys to ‘ride bikes’ and girls to ‘pick flowers’


    Sexist cardsSexist cards

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    (Picture: Backgrid)

    A maang tikka is a traditional piece of head jewellery that is worn by South Asian women on their wedding day or for other significant cultural events.

    It is a centrepiece that is latched onto the forehead, attached to a chain that is pinned into the hair.

    It has cultural significance and is aligned with Indian folklore. So after an image of Kim Kardashian wearing the jewel was spotted on her Instagram, many users called it appropriation.

    It is not just a pretty jewel to Indian women. It has meaning.

    The maang tikka is intended to sit on the forehead, the Agya Chakra – this is the third-eye, one of the six primary chakra in the body according to Hindu tradition.

    This area signifies one’s capacity to control feelings and perceptions, thoughts, and actions are said to originate from the point between the eyebrows.

    A model presents a creation by Indian designer Reynu Taandon during the India Couture Week 2018 in New Delhi on July 29, 2018. (Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)
    (Picture: Sajjad Hussain / AFP)

    It is considered mandatory for a bride to wear a maang tikka on their wedding day to concentrate on their spiritual eye.

    The spot where it sits, the Agya Chakra, also signifies the holy union of man and woman on a spiritual, physical and emotional level.

    Traditionally, women wear a maang tikka for the first time on their wedding day. The wedding tikka may differ to one worn to another event, with two strings attaching it to the head.

    The design varies among different subcultures. Brides in Rajasthan, for example, wear a borla, – a round shaped solitary maang tikka – while Muslim women wear a jhumar tikka, which sits on the side of the head.

    The south Indian maang tikka, however, is much more elaborate.

    Modern day brides or those going to a fancy event add extras to their tikkas which can include valuable stones such as rubies, jewels, or sapphires.

    Portrait of young gorgeous Indian bride in traditional style.
    A bride wearing a maan tikka in red – the traditional colour of weddings (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

    The tikka worn by Kim Kardashian seems to be a lighter version of a traditional one. She wore it to a Sunday church service.

    Many feel that the ceremonial headpiece should be reserved for Indian brides and those who follow its culture.

    Others are divided on whether it was cultural appropriation or not – something Kim has been accused of in the past, mainly for her hairstyles.

    MORE: Artist and designer Babbu The Painter criticised for using poor Indian people as ‘props’ in photoshoot

    MORE: In Kerala, the only thing that needs purification is a culture that oppresses its women

    MORE: Indian couple travel the world by selling tea and saving £3.30 every day


    What is a maang tikka that Kim K was spotted wearing?What is a maang tikka that Kim K was spotted wearing?

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    As the birthplace of NASCAR, Daytona Beach is a mecca for motorsports fans like me.

    But when you take a closer look under the hood, the area has so much more to offer.

    I love food. On the drive into the hotel I like to scope out each bar and restaurant to note down for later exploration. Right from the get-go, I notice unique looking spots which I found a welcome sight in the land of Big Brand franchises.

    Just the drive in on the first night is enough to make my mouth water, but I’ll get back to food later.

    My first stop is the Hard Rock Hotel, to get settled in and get some much-needed shut-eye. I wake up early the next morning to be blessed with an incredible sunrise, spanning all 23 miles of Daytona Beach.

    I can tell you how beautiful that sight is – deep orange tones glistening off the sea as dolphins leap from the water – but you really should see it for yourself. Pair the sight with beginner’s yoga with a backing track of Foghat’s Slow Ride, as I did, for the ultimate start to your morning.

    (Picture: Aaron Crowley)

    If yoga’s not for you, start the day with shopping at Tanger Outlets, just a short drive away.

    After yoga or shopping, you’ll need to get some swings in at the LPGA International. Don’t worry if you’re not experienced in golf – I’ve never swung a club in my life. But Malcolm’s Bar & Grill, located on the green, is a must-visit.

    There, I tucked into locally sourced fish, homemade dips, and the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten, The Hills Club.

    (Picture: Aaron Crowley)

    Yep, among the incredible sights of Daytona Beach, it’s a sandwich that I’ll wax lyrical about. Turkey and ham beautifully layered with smoked crispy bacon, a mild cheddar cheese, juice tomatoes, crisp lettuce, all held together with thick cornbread and a flawless fried egg set inside the top layer. Each element of this sandwich is put there with the specific intent to not overpower individual flavours, by some kind of Leonardo DaVinci of the chef world.

    Other noteworthy food options on offer include the atmospheric southern hospitality at the Rose Villa along West Granada Boulevard. Built in the late 1800s, the building has a uniquely quaint setting to chow down on their signature crispy fried chicken and waffles.

    (Picture: Aaron Crowley)

    Then there is the local burger paradise of Daytona Taproom on Seabreeze Boulevard; the perfect spot for an authentic American dive bar vib. Opting for the Big Richard Burger I wasn’t disappointed as I bit into two succulent Smashburgers with bacon, a layer of mac and cheese, served between two grilled cheese sandwiches.

    If you believe less is more, try this and see if it can change your mind. It also makes for a great place to get shots for the ‘gram.

    For dessert, head along to Angell & Phelps Chocolate Factory on Beach Street, where a free tour of their factory includes samples of chocolate covered bacon, of which they sell 1.5 tonnes a year.

    While you’re there, check out the crowning jewel of Beach Street: Brownie, the town dog’s statue. He lived out here as a stray during the 1940s and was loved by the town, who paid for his care and even opened a bank account in his name. Original good boy material.

    (Picture: Aaron Crowley)

    A 15-minute drive or Uber south and you’ll find yourself in Ponce Inlet which feeds into the Halifax River. Here you will find the tallest lighthouse in Florida, which is open to the public and has a viewing platform at the top with grand 360-degree views. It turns out the majority of people get freaked out if you lean over the banisters in the staircase as you climb it, so try to avoid doing that.

    The area is also home to an amazing marine life centre that works on rehabilitating turtles and seabirds. Their aquatic touch pool houses hermit crabs and stingrays that seem to love the attention and flap against the walls until someone pets them. Based in an area with over 4,000 different species of wildlife along the water, nature lovers will find a lot to view.

    (Picture: Aaron Crowley)

    Across the road is Ponce Inlet Watersports that provides dolphin and manatee boat tours. Be warned that during the winter months the manatees won’t be around due to the cold weather, but you’re pretty much guaranteed dolphin sightings on any tour – I saw around a dozen.

    Food and nature visits sorted, let’s get to NASCAR.

    Starting out as races along Daytona Beach, NASCAR was solidified as one of Americas’ greatest sports when Big Bill France organised a meeting with fellow drivers to hash out a standardised rule set at the Streamline Hotel. If you’re into cars, this is a spot you have to visit.

    (Picture: Aaron Crowley)

    Following the original track on the beach, you will find a great sports bar called Racing’s North Turn, which was originally the northern turn of the race track. Go here for original cocktails including a shot with an oyster inside.

    The Daytona International Speedway, as it’s known today, was opened in 1959, when the races moved from the beach to the track. Recently the speedway has undergone a $400 million reimagining and regular tours run, with the more adventurous visitors given the option to pay extra for a quick three laps around the track at 175mph.

    With over 100,000 seats and the roar of a single car going around the track during my tour, I can only imagine what the atmosphere must be like on a race day.

    (Picture: Aaron Crowley)

    At the end of the tour you can have a butcher’s around the Motorsports Hall Of Fame Of America. They have a very impressive selection of cars and motorcycles and it’s nice to be able to check them out at your own leisure.

    Daytona Beach is an area of the USA that still feels untouched by mass tourism. Honestly, I can’t wait to go back for a second visit.

    How to get there and where to stay:

    Flights:

    • Norwegian operates a year-round service direct from London Gatwick to Orlando
    • All flights are operated by a fleet of brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft with two cabins – Premium and economy.
    • Fares start from £155 one-way and £275 return in LowFare economy and £519 one-way and £959 return in Premium including all taxes and charges and subject to availability

    Hotel: 

    I stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach in the Oceanfront Deluxe room, which is available from $139 to $259 per night, depending on the dates.

    The hotel is covered in rock memorabilia from guitars to outfits, and the bar puts on live performances each week.

    They also have a spa, offering a rhythm and motion treatment that uses bass and treble of music to enhance your massage.

    MORE: Eating, bathing and stroking cats: How bustling Istanbul can be the most relaxing weekend break

    MORE: NASCAR defies Trump in row over standing for national anthem


    1 Photo, Header Photo-b9dd1 Photo, Header Photo-b9dd

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    A female epilating her legs
    Is epilating the hair removal for you? Is it? Is it? (Picture: Getty)

    Ah, body hair removal.

    If you choose to do it, the choices are endless – well, actually that’s a lie. You’ve got a few options, including shaving (quick but doesn’t last long), waxing (messy if you go DIY, expensive if you go to the salon) and hair removal cream (smells like it could kill you).

    Then there’s epilating, which always causes a few gasps when brought into conversation, as people often assume it’s akin to torture.

    Epilating is a process of body hair removal where you use a hand-held gadget with rotating tweezers to remove the hair from the root.

    Kinda does sound like torture, yes, but come into my lair and let me tell you all about it, and show you otherwise.

    How long does it last?

    Epilator brands claim that hair removal lasts for up to four weeks. Mine definitely doesn’t last that long, but maybe I am just an Incredibly Hairy Being™.

    That being said, hair definitely stays away way longer than after shaving, without all that grim stubble.

    Hair grows back softer and thinner, and after years of doing it, some don’t grow back at all. I’ve been epilating for 15 years and now have patchy hair on my legs, with some of them even growing back blonde (I’m brunette). Result.

    Does it hurt?

    Yes. That’s like asking if piercings or tattoos hurt – of course they do. With epilation, you’re ripping the hair out from the root, so there’s obviously some element of pain. However, it gets less painful with time, and for those with an average pain threshold, it’s totally manageable.

    Close-up of the tweezer head on a Philips Satinelle Soft Epilator
    Close-up of the tweezer head on a Philips Satinelle Soft Epilator (Picture: Philips)

    How long does hair have to be?

    Epilators can grab hair as short as 0.5mm, which is shorter than waxing, so you don’t have to go through that hairy period – unless you want to, of course.

    That being said, epilation actually works best (and is less painful) on shorter hair, so if you’ve let it grow, consider shaving it first, and then epilating when it’s grown back a little.

    What parts of my body can I epilate?

    Technically, anywhere, but with varying levels of pain. Legs below the knee are small fry, underarms and thighs are for intermediates, while face and pubic hair areas are for those who love pain.

    You might want to avoid using an epilator on your face if you have sensitive skin, or are using Retin-A, or products containing retinoids.

    Braun Silk-épil 9 SkinSpa SensoSmart™ 9/980 epilator rose gold - 4-in-1 epilation, exfoliation & skin care system + 13 extras
    Epilators range from basic, to fancy with loads of attachments you may/may not need (Picture: Braun)

    What should I do pre-epilation?

    Make sure your epilator is clean – you don’t want to be running a dirty head over hair follicles as this can cause infection. Rinse and dry your epilator head (unplug it first, obviously, and take it off if it’s detachable). You can also run a cotton wool ball soaked in surgical spirit over the head.

    Ingrown hairs and epilation go hand in hand if you don’t exfoliate, so make sure to scrub the area gently a day prior to epilation. This will slough off any dead skin cells, which might block new hairs from growing in the right direction.

    Rinse the area and dry off right before hair removal (unless your epilator is waterproof and designed for use in the shower) so your skin is clean. This enables those little tweezers to get a better grip.

    Having a warm shower or bath prior to epilating may make the process slightly less painful as hair follicles will loosen. You’re welcome.

    What about after epilating?

    First off, clean your epilator. Get rid of the hairs and dead skin cells (your epilator might come with a little brush to do this).

    Then, moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. Exfoliating and epilating can dry out your skin, so make sure you gently pop on a layer of unscented, non-comodegenic (non-pore blocking) moisturiser to keep it hydrated and minimize irritation. Aloe vera gel is a good one.

    Skin can appear irritated with little red bumps right after epilation, so avoid doing it on the day of a big event, and stay out of the sun until irritation subsides.

    Exfoliate every few days to prevent ingrown hairs.

    Which epilator should I get?

    There are a lot of epilators on the market, ranging from, ‘Yeah, that’s a good price’ to, ‘Holy hell, should I remortgage my house?’

    Some come with just the standard epilator, while others have different attachments, massage heads, exfoliating brushes and more.

    It all depends on what you’re using the epilator for – if you want to use it on the face or bikini line, it may be worth looking for a device that has special attachments for those areas.

    Some have special massage or ice cooling heads which claim to reduce pain, others have exfoliating brushes which help prevent ingrown hairs.

    One thing I would advise is to get one with a light, as it highlights all the hairs you wouldn’t see in natural light.

    You also need to figure out where you’re going to be doing your epilating – if you’re a ‘hair removal in the bath’ kinda human, then get a waterproof device you can use on wet skin.

    I’ve always used a mid-range epilator, and my last one worked like a dream for about eight years, until the battery started to die, and it didn’t pull hairs out as well as it used to.

    I recently upgraded to the Braun Braun Silk-épil 9 9/980 SkinSpa SensoSmart Epilator which is pretty damn fancy, with lots of different heads, brushes and a bikini trimmer, and retails at £209.99 but is usually on offer for much cheaper.

    I thought the SensoSmart technology was a bit of a gimmick until it made me realise I’d been epilating wrong my entire life – the epilator’s sensor flashes red when you press too hard. And I was pressing way too hard.

    Other epilators and epilator brands are obviously available, you just need to shop around and decide whether you want the basic package, or the fancy extras.

    Then it’s time to take a breath, grit your teeth and take a one way trip into epilation town.

    Population: smooth.

    MORE: Can you get a bikini wax when you're on your period?

    MORE: Woman ditches shaving and waxing to embrace her natural body hair

    MORE: Bring back the bush! Why you should stop waxing your pubic hair


    Female hair removal, electric epilatorFemale hair removal, electric epilator

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    (Picture: Jacob Mathews/Caters News)

    Eddison Bodell, who is only six months old, has a genetic disorder that is said to be the first of its kind in the UK.

    The condition, known only as 1p21.1p13.2 x 4 duplications, means Eddison’s body has created additional genes leaving him developing slower than he should.

    But despite his condition, Eddison, from Derbyshire, has already landed a modelling contract.

    After mum Lauren tagged designers on pictures of Eddison on Instagram, they started to take notice.

    Though Eddison is small for his age and struggles to hold his head up, he has been doing fabulous work with fashion labels and modelling agencies which includes modelling for designer baby clothing brand Jacob Matthews.

    Little Eddison has even become an ambassador for the brand.

    His parents are enjoying the attention he gets but also worry for his precarious future.

    PIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Eddison Bodell, 6 months old, from Swadlincote, Derbs, with mum Lauren Dickinson, 23, dad Luke) - The Uks first baby born with an ultra-rare genetic disorder has become a model thanks to his doting parents.Little Eddison Bodell, who is six months suffers from a genetic condition known only as, 1p21.1p13.2 x 4 duplication - something that has left doctors baffled after his diagnosis last year. But despite being the only person in the UK with his rare condition which causes his body to create extra chromosomes Eddison, from Swadlincote, Derbs, has already landed a modelling contract.SEE CATERS COPY
    Eddison with mum Lauren Dickinson and dad Luke (Picture: Caters News/Pete Goddard)

    ‘There was no indication that there was anything wrong, throughout the entire pregnancy or the birth – his only problem seemed to be the acid reflux and he was a little small,’ said mum Lauren, a doctor’s assistant.

    ‘UK doctors have had to seek advice from specialists from all over as he’s so rare, we’re yet to meet anyone else in the world with his exact genetic condition but we know he’s the only one in the UK.

    ‘Eddison also can’t hold his own head up but as it’s so rare we’re really still unsure how his condition will affect him long term.

    ‘Despite all the constant worry as we don’t know what the future holds, he makes us so proud. I love seeing his little face on the designer’s website.’

    *MANDATORY BYLINE* PIC FROM Jacob Mathews/Memory Box Pictures/Caters - (PICTURED: Eddison Bodell, 6 months old, from Swadlincote, Derbs, modelling) - The Uks first baby born with an ultra-rare genetic disorder has become a model thanks to his doting parents.Little Eddison Bodell, who is six months suffers from a genetic condition known only as, 1p21.1p13.2 x 4 duplication - something that has left doctors baffled after his diagnosis last year. But despite being the only person in the UK with his rare condition which causes his body to create extra chromosomes Eddison, from Swadlincote, Derbs, has already landed a modelling contract.SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Jacob Mathews/Memory Box Pictures/Caters)

    As the condition is so rare, it’s not known how it will affect Eddison as he grows.

    Lauren said she was particularly worried about his mental development. At first, the family weren’t sure what was wrong but noticed that Eddison didn’t gain weight as he should have, had acid reflux, and the soft spot on his head was low.

    Lauren worries he may be bullied at school when he’s older, too.

    For the time being though, the family are delighted to see Eddison’s modelling career take off.

    ‘I scroll past the adverts when I’m on a social media feed and my [other] son, Kenley, gets excited when he sees his brother pop up,’ added Lauren.

    ‘It gives us a lot of pride, it’s amazing he’s achieved all of this with everything going on.

    ‘All we want for Eddison is the most normal life possible.’

    MORE: Strange white spot in photo of baby’s eye was a sign of rare form of cancer

    MORE: Parents of baby with rare skin condition couldn’t touch her in case she died

    MORE: Little boy with Down’s Syndrome and a breathing condition models for Primark


    The UK's first baby born with an ultra-rare genetic disorder has become a modelThe UK's first baby born with an ultra-rare genetic disorder has become a model

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    Mum Rachael Reynolds, 43, has a rare skin condition known as NF1 which causes lesions all over her body, but now says she feels confident enough to wear a bikini in public on holiday, pictured at home near Huddersfield, West Yorks. See SWNS story SWLEskin: A mother-of-four who suffers from a rare skin condition that covers her body in bubble-like lesions is finally embracing her appearance -- and now even has the confidence to wear a BIKINI in public. Rachael Reynolds, 43, endured years of cruel taunts and rude insults which made her so self-conscious that she often kept her body from view. The genetic disorder, known as neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), covers her face, neck, arms, back, stomach and legs.
    (Picture: Alex Cousins / SWNS)

    Every body is a bikini body – but beauty standards dent our confidence enough to make us feel that isn’t the case.

    Rachael Reynolds, 43, spent years covering up her body due to a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), which covers her body in bubble-like lesions.

    Now, she’s finally learned to embrace her appearance, and has gained the confidence to wear a bikini out in public.

    Appearing on House of Extraordinary People, a show which saw nine people live together in a Yorkshire cottage for 10 days, massively helped Rachel to feel more comfortable in her own skin. During her time on the show she stripped down to her swimwear to get in the hot tub on camera.

    She said: ‘When I went in the house I never ever thought I would take my top off for the cameras, and filming.

    Mum Rachael Reynolds, 43, has a rare skin condition known as NF1 which causes lesions all over her body, but now says she feels confident enough to wear a bikini in public on holiday, pictured at home near Huddersfield, West Yorks. See SWNS story SWLEskin: A mother-of-four who suffers from a rare skin condition that covers her body in bubble-like lesions is finally embracing her appearance -- and now even has the confidence to wear a BIKINI in public. Rachael Reynolds, 43, endured years of cruel taunts and rude insults which made her so self-conscious that she often kept her body from view. The genetic disorder, known as neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), covers her face, neck, arms, back, stomach and legs.
    (Picture: Alex Cousins / SWNS)

    ‘They didn’t know it either as part of it was in secret, so they were shocked when I went in the hot tub with a bikini top.

    ‘I am able to not be as conscious about what I wear and not care as much what others think and be more comfortable in my own skin.

    Mum of four Rachael inherited NR1 from her dad, who also experienced lumps on his body.

    At 13, lesions started to appear on her stomach, arms, and legs, and the condition worsened with each of Rachael’s pregnancies.

    Her condition attracted cruel taunts in the street from strangers who said she looked like she’d been bitten by a crocodile.

    Rachael Reynolds, who has a rare skin condition which causes lesions all over her body, pictured in 1990 aged 15 with her stepdad Martin on holiday in Cornwall. See SWNS story SWLEskin: A mother-of-four who suffers from a rare skin condition that covers her body in bubble-like lesions is finally embracing her appearance -- and now even has the confidence to wear a BIKINI in public. Rachael Reynolds, 43, endured years of cruel taunts and rude insults which made her so self-conscious that she often kept her body from view. The genetic disorder, known as neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), covers her face, neck, arms, back, stomach and legs.
    Rachael in her teens (Picture: Alex Cousins / SWNS)

    Rachael’s self-esteem was so low that she thought she would never meet a partner who could love her the way she was.

    But in 2003 she reconnected with an old friend, Mike. They fell in love and tied the knot in April 2013, now sharing a home in Yorkshire with their four children.

    Rachael has undergone painful surgeries and laser treatment to remove the lumps on her body, but she knows that her neurofibromatosis will likely worsen as she gets older, and there’s no cure.

    Thankfully she’s now able to accept her body the way it is, and refuses to hide on her upcoming holiday.

    ‘I hope to be able to get out there and wear a bikini, because I’m always covered up, regardless of what people think,’ says Rachael. ‘It’s my holiday, not theirs.’

    MORE: Baby born with a rare disorder becomes a model

    MORE: 10 skincare products to help hydrate your dry winter skin

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘I get told to take the stairs because I look healthy but I have stage four cancer’


    Mother-of-four who suffers from a rare skin condition that covers her body in bubble-like lesions is finally embracing her appearanceMother-of-four who suffers from a rare skin condition that covers her body in bubble-like lesions is finally embracing her appearance

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    (Picture: Malfeitona)

    Helen Fernandes, from Brazil, wasn’t always a tattoo artist. After graduating from university, she became a mechanical engineer.

    But that didn’t make the 26-year-old happy. What did were her drawings.

    When her fiancé enjoyed a doodle she created of a bat with pointy teeth, Helen was asked to tattoo it on him.

    Helen was already familiar with the procedures, safety, and equipment required to do tattoos due to some of her friends being in the inking business.

    Since then, she has inked many other people with her signature scribbles which have gone on to become popular among her circle and beyond.

    Helen decided to open her own Instagram page dedicated to the art, naming it Malfeitona – Portuguese for ‘badly done’.

    And fans can’t get enough. The Malfeitona account has amassed more than 70,000 followers who tune in to see Helen’s latest dodgy doodles.

    People love this woman's badly done tattoos Provider: Malfeitona Source: https://www.instagram.com/malfeitona/
    (Picture: Malfeitona)

    Helen tells Metro.co.uk she started drawing as a child when her parents would take her to church three times a week.

    ‘To keep me quiet they give me paper and pen,’ she explains. ‘I kept drawing because I like it.

    ‘I never want to draw realism. It was really something that I like to do because it makes me happy and makes people happy.

    ‘I never thought I could be an artist. My parents had struggled a lot in life so they thought art careers are for rich people that have connections.’

    People love this woman's badly done tattoos Provider: Malfeitona Source: https://www.instagram.com/malfeitona/
    (Picture: Malfeitona)

    Helen explains how she started embracing her unique style and now teaches art classes as an illustrator.

    But she still finds the time to upload her latest creations on Instagram and doesn’t just stick to tattoos to show off her work.

    People love this woman's badly done tattoos Provider: Malfeitona Source: https://www.instagram.com/malfeitona/
    (Picture: Malfeitona)

    ‘I have given as gifts for friends the things I was doing, from zines, comic books, to T-shirts, bags and mugs with my drawings on it. I have even sold it for those who asked for it. I have painted walls and made flyers for events like small concerts or parties. I have even drawn on nails.

    ‘When I hurt myself and have a plaster, I draw on it. I love customizing things, even pencils and stuff.’

    People love this woman's badly done tattoos Provider: Malfeitona Source: https://www.instagram.com/malfeitona/
    (Picture: Malfeitona)

    Though initially, it started off as a hobby whereby Helen would ink her close friends, it soon became a business venture and Helen started charging for the tats.

    She has been featured on tattoo publications and her work is loved all over social media.

    ‘I think my customers are captivated by the cuteness or fun. They get so happy, like, they smile when they look at it. Maybe it’s nice to feel it daily and forever.

    People love this woman's badly done tattoos Provider: Malfeitona Source: https://www.instagram.com/malfeitona/
    (Picture: Malfeitona)

    ‘Customers have told me that people stop them on the streets and say: “Oh, is this an original Malfeitona”? Some customers have even asked me to sign the tattoo with M.

    ‘Also, tattoos are a very personal and invasive process so when choosing a tattoo artist, most people don’t just think about the style but who is marking them forever. I take care so that the whole experience is very personal.

    Helen also notes that Brazil is facing a complicated political moment now and is very polarised. She hopes to use her art to bring people together.

    MORE: Woman with alopecia gets a tattoo covering her whole head to help her embrace being bald

    MORE: Game Of Thrones tattoo free to those who dare pledge allegiance to Iron Throne

    MORE: Your tattoos don’t have to have a deeper meaning and that doesn’t mean you’ll regret them


    People love this woman's badly done tattoosPeople love this woman's badly done tattoos

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    (Picture: Glitter + Lazers)

    Ah, the internet. A place where something that should be positive quickly turns into a burning pile of garbage.

    This week razor brand Gillette Venus shared a photo of a woman wearing a bikini at the beach, with the words: ‘Go out there and slay the day.’

    So far, so standard. We’re used to seeing women splashing around in the sea to sell hair removal products.

    But the woman in the photo wasn’t the standard model you might expect on a brand’s social media feed. Instead it was body-positive influencer and author Anna O’Brien – also known as Glitter and Lazers.

    Many members simply couldn’t handle the idea of a woman with Anna’s body being used to promote razors, and so flooded the tweet with fatphobic rhetoric, comparing Anna to a whale, writing that they would boycott the brand, and offering their opinions on Anna’s health.

    Why? Because fatphobia is alive and kicking.

    Someone’s size doesn’t prohibit them from wearing a bikini or going to a beach. It also has no bearing on their hair removal, so there’s really no need for all those promoting razors to be a certain size.

    It’s quite difficult to tell from looking at someone how healthy they are. A very slim model could be incredibly unhealthy on the inside.

    But again, you don’t need to be healthy to promote hair removal tools. Someone’s blood pressure doesn’t prevent them from using or selling a product – that’s why you don’t feel the need to ask for a model’s medical history in every advert you spot.

    And yet, this photo attracted hundreds of comments debating Anna’s health – because for reasons that don’t make sense, people are really bothered about the physical health of someone they don’t know.

    One person wrote: ‘99% sure the woman in the photo is on an anti-depressant and/or statins. I have several loved ones that are obese. I’m all for making ppl feel comfortable in their skin, but let’s not glamorize obesity, please. It is NOT healthy. Supportive is fine. Encouragement is cruel.’

    Another said: ‘Promoting heart disease is so cool.’

    Again, we have no clue how healthy Anna is. That’s not something you can tell based on a photo.

    But even if she were unhealthy, why is that an issue when it comes to the promotion of razors?

    It all comes down to fatphobia – a dislike of people defined as obese, simply because of the size of their body.

    In response to the trolls, Gillette Venus tweeted: ‘Venus is committed to representing beautiful women of all shapes, sizes, and skin types because ALL types of beautiful skin deserve to be shown.

    ‘We love Anna because she lives out loud and loves her skin no matter how the “rules” say she should display it.’

    Thankfully, among all the hate came some positive messages.

    ‘Thank you for representing the diversity of beauty of women in this AMAZING, joyous, dynamic photo,’ one woman wrote on the Instagram post.

    Another wrote: ‘ALL THE YES!’

    We’ve explored the negative reaction, so here’s a quick explainer on the positive: it’s so rare to see brands celebrating bodies that don’t fit the ‘model’ norm that when they do, we feel overjoyed. Representation is important.

    In other good news, it’s clear that Anna doesn’t give a toss what random people are saying about her on the internet. She’ll keep posing in bikinis no matter what fatphobic nonsense is thrown her way.

    Last year we shared her story of facing down body-shaming when wearing a bikini in a hotel lobby, and the year before we applauded her reaction to accusations of ‘glorifying obesity’.

    View this post on Instagram

    I find it ironic that I’ve taken photos in swimsuits all over the world and the one place I was told to cover up was Las Vegas. Sure, thin girls in thongs and pasties are A OK but a plus girl in a full coverage suit, trying to take an epic editorial shot- now that’s just too much. Jokes on them though, I’d already gotten the perfect photo. They can’t erase this happened. I’m learning as I push myself to do more editorial type concepts, the push back is greater. But that’s why I push. It’s more than just a girl in the city of sin in a bikini, It’s a statement. We will be seen. We’re not hiding anymore. And we’re going to wear whatever we want, wherever we want. Not just in Vegas. EVERYWHERE. Change is coming; the question is are you going to stand in the way or help us push through? Bikini by @curvybeach #lasvegas #plussize #fashion #bodypositive #confidence #idowhatiwant 📸 @larabellenewyork

    A post shared by Glitter (@glitterandlazers) on

    Her Instagram is filled with joyful photos of Anna frolicking on the beach, and she’s previously explained just how she feels about nasty comments online.

    ‘Fun fact: I literally do not care what most people think of me,’ she wrote in a caption. ‘There are a few people close to my heart who’s opinions matter, but for the most part my self-perception, is self-generated.

    ‘One thing that genuinely makes me feel bad is when people go to war with haters for me.

    ‘I appreciate the kindness of strangers and recognize their intentions are 100% good, but get overwhelmed that things I create in love become fuel for so much hate.

    ‘So I have a favor to ask, next time some one writes something terrible about me – please don’t add more to the mix. Report them, correct misinformation, say something positive instead, but avoid name calling, down talking or other forms of hate.

    ‘People can make the choice to be terrible, but I plead with you to make the choice (at least on my page) to be better.’

    And on the health issue, Anna says: ‘I’m not here to give anyone advice about what is and is not healthy. I am however here to show that people can live fulfilling lives full of experiences and happiness at whatever size they are now and will be in the future.

    Don’t wait for anyone else’s permission to live and experience all you can in your body.

    ‘We don’t remember the number on our jeans of the shape of our hips and stomach on a beach.

    ‘We remember the sand between our toes. We remember running into the waves. We remember how cold the water was. We remember how sand got everywhere. We remember how we laughed and forgot for an instant everything we should be. We just were.

    ‘Joy comes from the experience, not from the size of the body we live it in.’

    MORE: Man shares the brutal reality of fatphobia

    MORE: Mum won’t let her rare skin condition stop her wearing a bikini

    MORE: New research raises concerns about the risk of body image disorders and depression in gym-obsessed men


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    METRO GRAB - Flower vending machine A NEW florist has found a home at Clapham Junction ? but it?s not your conventional shop. Rockflower has invigorated flower sales with a new automatic unit, where the fresh hand-tied bouquets are available to customers at all hours. The business was founded by designer Andrew McAlpine, who wanted to create a high-end automated kiosk that makes products available to the customer 24/7. The units are installed with a dry-cooling system to provide the right climate for the flowers need, an intuitive touchscreen and a software system for restocking. The first Rockflower unit is at Clapham Junction station on the walkway between Platforms 7 and 8. High-end: A Rockflower retail unit From http://rockflower.co.uk/about-us/_dsc0472/
    (Picture: Rockflower)

    We’d love to be the domesticated type who always has fresh flowers in a vase on the table.

    But we are lazy. We’re also quite busy, and don’t fancy dedicating our precious spare time schlepping to a market to pick up a new bunch every Sunday.

    This new flower shop could provide an easy solution, allowing us to pick up all the floral decoration we desire on our commute home.

    In Clapham Junction, on the walkway between platforms seven and eight, you’ll find a new stall called Rockflower.

    Rockflower isn’t your standard florist… because it’s made up of a vending machine.

    The automatic unit is open at all hours of the day, every day, to allow people to pick up flowers whenever they’re passing through.

    METRO GRAB - Flower vending machine A NEW florist has found a home at Clapham Junction ? but it?s not your conventional shop. Rockflower has invigorated flower sales with a new automatic unit, where the fresh hand-tied bouquets are available to customers at all hours. The business was founded by designer Andrew McAlpine, who wanted to create a high-end automated kiosk that makes products available to the customer 24/7. The units are installed with a dry-cooling system to provide the right climate for the flowers need, an intuitive touchscreen and a software system for restocking. The first Rockflower unit is at Clapham Junction station on the walkway between Platforms 7 and 8. High-end: A Rockflower retail unit From https://www.rockflower.london/
    (Picture: Rockflower)

    Think how handy that’ll be at 2am, when you’ve drunkenly pissed off your other half and could do with a romantic gesture, or after work when you’re racing to dinner with your mum for her birthday.

    As the stall is a machine, you also don’t have to put up with any human interaction to get your flowers. There’s a touchscreen to let you order, while the system allows the kiosk’s owner to track sales live and restock speedily if bunches run out.

    The flowers on offer include dramatic bouquets, small bunches, and potted plants, so the machine will also be handy if you forgot your colleague is leaving and needs a gift before the end of your lunch break.

    With this and the short story vending machine, we’re entirely ready for machines to take over. Please, add this technology to every station so we never have to remember anything again.

    MORE: Boys With Plants book celebrates men’s love for their leafy pals

    MORE: If you needed proof that fatphobia still exists, just look at the responses to Gillette’s tweet

    MORE: Experts tell us how surrounding yourself with plants can help your mental health


    METRO GRAB - Flower vending machineMETRO GRAB - Flower vending machine

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    (1) Photographs of the last ten years parents spent together. Paddy Summerfield photographed his parents for years - his mother developed Alzheimers disease, and his father was her sole carer. It is a story of love, of friendship, of loss.
    (Picture: Paddy Summerfield)

    Photographer Paddy Summerfield’s parents were married for 60 years.

    Their relationship was one of friendship, fun, care, and love.

    Over the course of their final years together Paddy decided to document their bond in more than 1,000 photographs, eventually compiling the best 83 images taken from 1997 to 2007 in the Mother And Father photo series.

    There are hundreds of photographs of the couple that the public has never seen.

    Each one takes place at his parents’ home in Oxford, and is taken in black and white so the focus is entirely on his mother and father’s relationship. The pair spent a lot of time in their garden, which is why you’ll see that as the main backdrop. Paddy took a lot of his photos from a window on the second floor of the house.

    There, in the pictures of mundane moments full of joy, Paddy captures the wonderful relationship that united his parents for decades – as they dance, garden, and walk hand in hand.

    In the final years of the project, Paddy’s mother developed Alzheimer’s and struggled with memory loss. His father cared for her until her death, in 2000.

    For the seven years after that, Paddy took care of his dad, and continued photographing his existence without the love of his life. Paddy’s father died in 2008, but both he and his wife will live on through shared memories, stories, and photographs.

    (2) Photographs of the last ten years parents spent together. Paddy Summerfield photographed his parents for years - his mother developed Alzheimers disease, and his father was her sole carer. It is a story of love, of friendship, of loss.
    (Picture: Paddy Summerfield)
    (3) Photographs of the last ten years parents spent together. Paddy Summerfield photographed his parents for years - his mother developed Alzheimers disease, and his father was her sole carer. It is a story of love, of friendship, of loss.
    (Picture: Paddy Summerfield)
    (4) Photographs of the last ten years parents spent together. Paddy Summerfield photographed his parents for years - his mother developed Alzheimers disease, and his father was her sole carer. It is a story of love, of friendship, of loss.
    (Picture: Paddy Summerfield)
    (5) Photographs of the last ten years parents spent together. Paddy Summerfield photographed his parents for years - his mother developed Alzheimers disease, and his father was her sole carer. It is a story of love, of friendship, of loss.
    (Picture: Paddy Summerfield)
    (6) Photographs of the last ten years parents spent together. Paddy Summerfield photographed his parents for years - his mother developed Alzheimers disease, and his father was her sole carer. It is a story of love, of friendship, of loss.
    (Picture: Paddy Summerfield)
    (7) Photographs of the last ten years parents spent together. Paddy Summerfield photographed his parents for years - his mother developed Alzheimers disease, and his father was her sole carer. It is a story of love, of friendship, of loss.
    (Picture: Paddy Summerfield)
    (8) Photographs of the last ten years parents spent together. Paddy Summerfield photographed his parents for years - his mother developed Alzheimers disease, and his father was her sole carer. It is a story of love, of friendship, of loss.
    (Picture: Paddy Summerfield)
    (9) Photographs of the last ten years parents spent together. Paddy Summerfield photographed his parents for years - his mother developed Alzheimers disease, and his father was her sole carer. It is a story of love, of friendship, of loss.
    (Picture: Paddy Summerfield)
    (10) Photographs of the last ten years parents spent together. Paddy Summerfield photographed his parents for years - his mother developed Alzheimers disease, and his father was her sole carer. It is a story of love, of friendship, of loss.
    (Picture: Paddy Summerfield)
    (11) Photographs of the last ten years parents spent together. Paddy Summerfield photographed his parents for years - his mother developed Alzheimers disease, and his father was her sole carer. It is a story of love, of friendship, of loss.
    (Picture: Paddy Summerfield)
    (12) Photographs of the last ten years parents spent together. Paddy Summerfield photographed his parents for years - his mother developed Alzheimers disease, and his father was her sole carer. It is a story of love, of friendship, of loss.
    (Picture: Paddy Summerfield)
    (13) Photographs of the last ten years parents spent together. Paddy Summerfield photographed his parents for years - his mother developed Alzheimers disease, and his father was her sole carer. It is a story of love, of friendship, of loss.
    (Picture: Paddy Summerfield)
    (14) Photographs of the last ten years parents spent together. Paddy Summerfield photographed his parents for years - his mother developed Alzheimers disease, and his father was her sole carer. It is a story of love, of friendship, of loss.
    (Picture: Paddy Summerfield)
    (15) Photographs of the last ten years parents spent together. Paddy Summerfield photographed his parents for years - his mother developed Alzheimers disease, and his father was her sole carer. It is a story of love, of friendship, of loss.
    (Picture: Paddy Summerfield)
    (16) Photographs of the last ten years parents spent together. Paddy Summerfield photographed his parents for years - his mother developed Alzheimers disease, and his father was her sole carer. It is a story of love, of friendship, of loss.
    (Picture: Paddy Summerfield)
    (17) Photographs of the last ten years parents spent together. Paddy Summerfield photographed his parents for years - his mother developed Alzheimers disease, and his father was her sole carer. It is a story of love, of friendship, of loss.
    (Picture: Paddy Summerfield)
    (18) Photographs of the last ten years parents spent together. Paddy Summerfield photographed his parents for years - his mother developed Alzheimers disease, and his father was her sole carer. It is a story of love, of friendship, of loss.
    (Picture: Paddy Summerfield)
    (20) Photographs of the last ten years parents spent together. Paddy Summerfield photographed his parents for years - his mother developed Alzheimers disease, and his father was her sole carer. It is a story of love, of friendship, of loss.
    (Picture: Paddy Summerfield)

    MORE: Couples living together in care homes share their love stories

    MORE: Photo series explores what it’s like to be non-binary


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    I’m not a very good swimmer. Scratch that. I’m dismal. I only learned properly a few years ago. I can get to point A to point B just as long as it’s a short distance with absolutely no stopping on the way. Treading water wasn’t included in the lessons which means I’m terrified of deep water and that’s anything I can’t stand in.

    This means a trip to the Maldives presented me with a dilemma. It’s one of the most beautiful places in the world with stunning marine life that you can see from the shallowest of depths. Just whack on a mask and fins to go snorkelling. Easy. You don’t need to know how to swim really, it’s all about floating.

    But for someone uneasy in water, it’s hard to relax. A never-ending barrage of questions keep on bubbling up. Is that water leaking into my mask? Did I just brush past a jellyfish? How long can I hold out before I need to clear my tube? Let’s say it somewhat dampens the experience.

    So, an underwater excursion on a submarine was a godsend. No anxiety, I get to stay dry and see lots of glorious fish in a dazzling array of colours. Winner.

    Not only that but it’s a relatively cheap outing – a rarity in the islands, which count as one of the most expensive places to go on holiday. Plus it’s something you can squeeze in on your day of arrival or departure on your way to or from your resort as it’s a five minute ferry trip or taxi ride from Velana International Airport in Malé to get to the meeting spot.

    Spot the eels! (Picture: Ann Lee)

    First a boat takes you to the submarine in the middle of the ocean. Wedged between two floating platforms, it’s a dinky white and yellow vessel that can seat up to 50 people. Nothing like the hunk of metal I had in my mind from war films. That’s because it’s never seen any navy action but instead it’s a recommissioned tourist sub originally used by the French in Martinique, explains the captain Aishath Amira.

    To get in you need to clamber down some steps into the main vessel. With its purple seats and navy blue interior it’s like being in a lurid club but with neon coloured fish not beats punctuating your consciousness.

    We submerge quickly until we’re 40 metres deep. One side of the boat faces a reef called Tear Drop while the other side has less action although we swap mid-way so everyone gets a chance to see their own Finding Nemo in action. It’s nothing short of jaw-dropping.

    Amira describes the most spectacular marine life that she spotted on a trip. ‘We saw a whale shark. It was 30 foot long. Normally they don’t come inside the atoll but he or she may have got lost on their way eating planktons.’

    But she has a personal favourite: ‘I’ve seen dolphins a couple of times. We were lucky to see a school of them. Sometimes they’re attracted to the vibrations or noise made by the submarine so they come with us in the water and they spin around and around and then go away.’

    A man calls out the names of the fish as they appear. Surgeon fish, grey with a shimmer of neon blue and yellow fins, start nibbling at the food they throw down to attract the marine life and circle the submarine. Unlike snorkeling where you’re just floating on by, you get a chance to really study them up close so you can notice the tiniest details.

    In the middle of the chaos of the feeding frenzy, a stubborn little unicorn box fish coloured with dark spots and cute in its angular ugly looks – the Sly Stallone of the fish world – pops up with a determined pout trying to get in on the action. Blue tail trigger fish, a shock of deep navy with wide fins, glide on by serenely.

    There are tiny little orange fish twitching around and hiding in holes when they’re away from the giant pack but my favourite is the moray eel and the even rarer honeycomb moray eel, which is yellow with a distinctive pattern on its skin. They emerge like sea monsters, shy and cautious from their underwater crooks, their mouths gaping open and shut continuously.

    The submarine is small and compact (Picture: Ann Lee)

    The explosion of sea life glide, float and circle around each other; a gorgeous, vibrant cacophony of colours, stripes and patterns.

    Sure, snorkelling and diving may be the most adventurous option but if you can’t or won’t swim or want a family outing, this is a great compromise.

    ‘There are so many,’ a little girl keeps on screaming in delight. It’s not just her though. The submarine has turned us all into big kids, wide-eyed with wonder at the magic of the ocean.

    Tickets for Whale Submarine tours start from £57. 

    Where to stay

    The spacious rooms at Robinson Club Noonu (Picture: Robinson Club Noonu)

    Watching a chicken peck at the delicate grains of sand as the sky behind it explodes in a riot of warm orange at sunset is one thing I didn’t expect to see in the Maldives. But here I am at Robinson Club Noonu, a relatively new resort that was once the site of a chicken farm.

    Many resorts in the Maldives can feel a bit intimidating; there’s so many couples floating around that you feel like you’re encroaching on their love bubble. But not at Robinson Club Noonu. This is a 5 star resort complete with all the luxuries you’d expect but with a far more down-to-earth approach. That’s because of its family friendly policy which means it has the wholesome air of a European retreat.

    Not that it scrimps on the exclusivity you’d expect from the Maldives. From the moment you step onto the jetty, you’re completely pampered. It has pristine beaches with the softest white sand and milky azure blue sea that glistens with colourful sea life. Make no mistake, this is your fantasy island come alive.

    You can wake up to an amazing view like this (Picture: Robinson Club Noonu)

    The whole resort takes just 20 leisurely minutes to walk around. It’s tiny but outrageously pretty. Dark pink, purple and orange flowers burst from every corner amid a tangle of palm trees. Rooms are well proportioned with high ceilings and most have their own pools whether they’re in the garden, on the beach or on the porch of the water villas. The latter even comes with a hammock over the ocean strung up in a hole in the bathroom floor to hit that sweet spot between thrill-seeking and relaxation.

    The resort has only been open since 2017 with the understated decor looking fresh and modern. But where it really makes a statement is its stunning surroundings – from my room I once spotted 6 or 7 stingrays just casually strolling on by at sunset within 30 minutes. I didn’t even have to break out the snorkel mask but if you want to see the reef up close they have an excellent dive centre which offers guided tours or more daredevil water sports.

    Their in-house spa Dunyie offers a wide range of treatments all carried out by their talented masseuses. The service is outstanding – from the front desk to the waiters at their two restaurants – everyone is falling over themselves to help you have the best trip possible.

    Robinson Club will have you wishing that like it’s other famous namesake Crusoe, you’ll end up being shipwrecked there.

    Room rates at Robinson Club Noonu start from £1,040 per person for seven nights all-inclusive.

    How to get there

    I flew from London Heathrow to Malé via Doha with Qatar Airways. The flight takes around 13 hours and 50 minutes and costs £681. Private transfers to Noonu Atoll can be arranged by Robinson Club.

    MORE: Why Beijing’s hutongs are the best places to eat in China

    MORE: How Tuscany’s hot springs helped me tackle my stress

    MORE: Why the Seychelles should be your next beach holiday


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    If someone had told me that I’d be hurtling down the side of Vermont’s highest mountain at 60 mph an hour, suspended from a zip line, I’d have told them that they were crazy.

    The Stowe Mountain Resort is a major attraction for skiers in the winter but, for the summer, they’ve developed their ZipTour Adventure, one of the longest and fastest zip lines in North America.

    After you’ve donned helmet and safety harness, you take the gondola up to near the top of Mount Mansfield at around 1300m.

    It’s then downhill all the way on zip lines – in three stages – back to where you started.

    Zipline Launch
    The start of the zipline (Picture: Rupert Parker)

    Each stage has two parallel lines so you can experience it all with a friend, or companion.

    The first, the Nosedive Zip, is the third longest in the US at just under a mile – and it seems to go on for ever as you hurtle 55m above the ground.

    You can reach speeds of up to 60mph, but I was so scared that I was constantly pressing the brakes – although that made the ride last even longer.

    The second stage, the Haselton Zip, although shorter, runs high above the trees with stunning views of Smuggler’s Notch, a narrow pass through the Green Mountains. All you see are trees and sky, until you dare to look down and see the resort far below.

    Zipline End
    The end of the zipline (Picture: Rupert Parker)

    The final stage, the Perry Merrill Zip, actually flies into the forest, giving you an exhilarating sense of speed for a scary two thirds of a mile, before ending close to the Gondola station at the bottom.

    Before I came here, the only thing I knew about the state was the rather soporific show tune, Moonlight In Vermont, written by someone who’d obviously never been here.

    I’d no idea that this part of New England, butting up against the Canadian border, was full of forests, with the Green Mountains, running north to south through the middle.

    I’m the timid type yet Vermont spurred me on to all sorts of outdoor craziness.

    Other outdoor activities to do while in Vermont:

    Mountain bike the Cady Hill Climb trail

    Stowe is a world-class mountain bike destination, with a large network of trails that are both fun and challenging, and cater for every ability.

    Take a tour with Ranch Camp, following the Cady Hill Climb up steep paths though the forest to the Green Chair Overlook. Make sure you avoid those concealed tree roots, otherwise you’ll end up in the dirt.

    Mountain Biking
    Mountain biking the Cady Hill Climb trail (Picture: Rupert Parker)

    Take a ride in a hot air balloon

    The Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival takes place every July with 25 hot air balloons filling the sky.

    If you miss the festival, there’s a tethered balloon at the resort which you can ride every evening, depending on the weather.

    Kayak the Lamoille River

    The Lamoille River is perfect for a kayak trip, paddling gently downstream for four miles. There’s no white water here and the greatest hazard is getting grounded in the shallows.

    Best of all, you end up at the Boyden Valley Winery for a tour and a tasting.

    Kayak
    Kayaking on the Lamoille River (Picture: Rupert Parker)

    Cycle round the breweries of Burlington

    Burlington, on the shores of Lake Champlain, is Vermont’s largest city, and has a good craft beer and cider scene. Borrow a bike and get a taste in one of its many microbreweries.

    Cliff jumping at Warren Falls

    The Mad River has a collection of first class swimming holes, and some of the best are just below Warren Falls.

    Jumping off the cliffs into the pools of clear green-tinted water is an exhilarating experience that everyone should try.

    Warren Falls
    Swimmers at Warren Falls (Picture: Rupert Parker)

    Jog the Stowe Recreation Path

    Stowe is the quintessential New England village, with its clapboard houses and tall white church, so start your morning jogging their Recreation Path, a five and a half mile green way criss-crossing the West Branch of Little River.

    Other things to do in Vermont:

    Cruise Lake Champlain

    A 90 minute cruise on the Spirit of Ethan Allen on the 120 mile long Lake Champlain is an opportunity to spot the dreaded Champ, Vermont’s equivalent of the Loch Ness Monster, and, if it doesn’t put in an appearance the glorious views of the Adirondack Mountains amply compensate.

    Lake Champlain Beach
    Views from Lake Champlain (Picture: Rupert Parker)

    Jay Peak waterpark

    Just a few miles from the Canadian border, the Jay Peak Pumphouse indoor waterpark is where you can improve your surf skills, go drifting down their lazy river or ride one of their water slides.

    For adrenaline junkies, the La Chute slide is a must. You climb up 20m and step into an enclosed tube where you cross your arms and legs.

    On a signal, you drop vertically at 45 mph, then you’re thrown upside down through a full 360 loop, before arriving at the bottom six seconds later.

    Visit Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard

    The famous ice cream maker started from a gas station in Burlington but now has moved to Waterbury where, as well as taking a factory tour, you can visit their Flavor Graveyard and vote to resurrect your favourite.

    Where to stay in Vermont and how to get there:

    The Sun and Ski Inn makes a comfortable base in Stowe. King rooms from $194.

    Jay Peak Resort is in the heart of the mountains, in the North of the state. Rooms from $115.

    Hotel Vermont is a boutique hotel in downtown Burlington and offers free bike hire. Rooms from $229.

    United flies to Burlington via Newark or Boston from London Heathrow. Return fares start from £919.11.

    Hertz offers 7 days car hire from Burlington Airport, starting at £260.

    For more information on visiting Vermont, see Vermont Vacation.

    (Top picture: Getty)

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    MORE: The ultimate gourmet adventure: Where to find Italy’s most traditional foods

    MORE: Hot sun, quiet beaches and good food: How a glamping trip to Croatia turned out to be the best of both worlds


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    American politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) was recently filmed giving a speech to a mainly black audience in a ‘fake accent’ that was accused of pandering.

    She hit back at the claims and said she grew up in the Bronx, one of the most diverse places in New York, and her passion led her to talk in a way that some have said is ‘black-sounding’.

    In sociolinguistics, this can be called style switching – though it may be referred to as code-switching – when you alter the way you sound to suit your audience.

    Many people defended AOC, saying she was merely style switching because she felt more comfortable with her crowd and didn’t need to put up her usual work facade.

    Others said she was doing ‘black speak’ and sounded like she was trying to imitate Martin Luther King.

    But whether AOC was wrong or right, is she alone in altering tone when talking to minority groups, specifically black people, whether to gain kudos, solidarity or just to appear ‘cooler’?

    This might include using words like ‘girl’ in conversations with black women or borrowing terms such as ‘bye, Felicia’.

    What is code-switching?

    Code-switching is a linguistic tool used predominantly by minority communities.

    Black, Asian and other minorities sometimes will change the way they speak in work settings as their natural vernaculars may be considered unprofessional.

    White people do not code-switch often as, being the majority, their use of language is considered the norm.

    Anyone can style switch, regardless of background – that’s when we pick up cues from our audience, whether that’s regional accent such as Scouse, Geordie, Scottish.

    This is changing your speech to match or to empathise with your interlocutors. It can be simply intended to make communication faster, clearer, or consciously or unconsciously to bond or indicate solidarity.

    For people of colour, code-switching is often about survival and not being othered. Non-black people who alter their language to ‘sound more black’ are style switching to fit in with black crowds and gain kudos from them.

    Sometimes this is for profit, such as when celebs adopt a ‘blaccent’ to enter the hip-hop scene and find a new audience. While white people might gain popularity for ‘speaking black’, black people commonly have to tone down their blackness to fit into mainstream circles.

    It’s not just white people who are guilty of style switching when talking to black people.

    Other minorities can be guilty of style switching, sometimes doing so under the assumption of shared trauma and experience. Take non-black people believing they’re allowed to use the n-word, simply because they are not white, for example.

    Writer Tasha Pierce says she hates the term ‘talking black’ as it ascribes certain ideas of blackness. But regardless, she doesn’t want non-black people doing it.

    Tasha tells Metro.co.uk: ‘”Talking black” is not a privilege that everyone has – black people can’t even “talk black”, and have to code-switch to the “norm” just to avoid harsh assumptions.

    ‘Code-switching is a natural adjustment to sound like the accepted norm and it is something I do daily just to survive. It is something I was taught in school by teachers who told me that I would not be able to get far in life if I “spoke black”.

    ‘It taught me that sounding like an “urban Londoner” was less than.

    ‘So of course, if somebody [non-black] switches up their accent and uses phrases that they clearly don’t usually use to address me, I feel irritated because whether they know it or not, they are telling me that I am unable to comprehend English. Style switching is very different from code-switching.’

    When people style switch, it’s often done without malicious intent. Instead it’s an attempt to connect and show empathy.

    Tony Thorne, a linguist at King’s College London tells Metro.co.uk: ‘Whatever the reason for style-shifting I would say that it should almost never be criticised. It would only be questionable if it was condescending as with a posh person adopting a “working class” accent when talking to tradespeople for example.

    ‘It can be overdone or done inappropriately. Some people might accuse style-shifters of appropriation but it all depends on the speaker’s intention. If it’s to claim the other’s identity to exploit it, it’s bad. if it’s in order to form a bond, it’s good.’

    When you match someone’s style of speaking, it can foster connection and confer kudos.

    But when we assign a certain way of talking to black people and then attempt to imitate it when engaging with them, we reduce and other them.

    Style switching in this context can be seen to suggest that we have to ‘dumb down’ by speaking in language familiar to black people, as though listeners won’t be able to understand our normal way of speaking.

    We cannot forget that black people are berated for being black while we are free to pick parts of their culture that we deem acceptable. Before we take on another person’s style of speech, we have to be aware of our position of privilege and question why we feel the need to switch up how we speak.

    Remember that for people of colour, code-switching can be a means of survival. If your natural style of speaking brings you privilege, why would you need to change it, and what does it suggest when you do?

    MORE: Why Jon Snow was right to say ‘white people’

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘I have been accepted by black people and distanced by white people’

    MORE: Working class, black men are being forgotten in the conversation about mental health


    Presidential Candidates And Politicians Attend National Action Network Annual ConventionPresidential Candidates And Politicians Attend National Action Network Annual Convention

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    METRO GRAB - Toddler in remission from cancer From @chelsea.hughes.9279/Facebook https://www.facebook.com/chelsea.hughes.9279 Pictured of Molly Hughes
    (Picture: Chelsea Hughes)

    At five months old, Molly Hughes was diagnosed with neuroblastoma.

    Doctors treated the childhood cancer with surgery, five rounds of chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

    And now Molly is cancer-free.

    After 130 days in hospital, the now 21-month-old is enjoying running around outside.

    After getting the news, Molly’s mum Chelsea said she just fell to the ground and hugged her daughter.

    Molly, from Kentucky, U.S., was diagnosed with the cancer when she started to seem unwell.

    Symptoms for neuroblastoma include a swollen tummy, breathlessness, difficulty swallowing, a lump in the neck, blueish lumps in the skin and bruising, weakness in the legs, constipation, difficulty passing urine, fatigue, pale skin, weight loss, loss of appetite and bone pain.

    Rarely, children have jerky eye and muscle movements.

    As soon as she was diagnosed, she had surgery to remove her tumour, followed by radiation and chemotherapy.

    The family created the hashtag #MollyStrong, which was spread across the internet, bringing support from across the world.

    Now after 15 months of treatment, there is no evidence of disease in Molly’s body.

    METRO GRAB - Toddler in remission from cancer From @chelsea.hughes.9279/Facebook https://www.facebook.com/chelsea.hughes.9279 Pictured of Molly Hughes
    (Picture: Chelsea Hughes)

    Her mum Chelsea posted: ‘OH HAPPY DAY!!!! Molly has some BIG news to share!!! Her scans were clear & showed no evidence of disease!! (NED!!!) There is NO active cancer left in her little body!!’

    She added that Molly is starting a trial to try to make sure the cancer does not return.

    She said: ‘She will start a trial drug called DFMO to help keep the cancer away & she will have scans every 3 months to make sure there is no relapse. Please continue to pray that the cancer stays away forever!!’

    The cancer treatment has damaged her hearing but she hasn’t let her hold her back.

    Chelsea added that after so long in hospital, she loves spending time outside.

    She added: ‘She is so full of energy and just loves what a baby should be doing.’

    MORE: If you needed proof that fatphobia still exists, just look at the responses to Gillette’s tweet

    MORE: Vending machine in Clapham lets you get fresh flowers 24/7


    METRO GRAB - Toddler in remission from cancerMETRO GRAB - Toddler in remission from cancer

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    Tangle teezer for fine hair
    (Picture: Tangle teezer)

    Fine hair can be prone to damage and most hair brushes aren’t adapted to help.

    Now cult hairbursh brand Tangle Teezer has realeased a hair brush specifically for anyone with fine or coloured hair.

    Tangle Teezer was established 12 years ago and is well-known for the handleless ergonomic brushes in a variety of styles and patterns.

    But the new Fine and Fragile brush has teeth that are 30% shorter to avoid breakages.

    The brush is also great for anyone with coloured hair, which can be drier and more damaged.

    It comes in two colours – mint violet and pink dawn.

    According to the website:’Thinning hair is a condition that can be caused for a myriad of reasons at any time of life. Sufferers are often scared to brush their hair for fear of pulling out hair, but our Fine & Fragile detangling hair brush gently glides through the hair with no pulling or tugging, whilst massaging the scalp.

    ‘The unique two-tiered, soft flex teeth detangle quickly and easily without causing the hair any additional stress. The long teeth detangle and the shorter teeth smooth the cuticle. The results are healthier looking hair.’

    And people are already loving the brush.

    One review said: ‘I love this brush with all my heart. I have thin hair and it has worked wonders for me.’

    Another added: ‘I have very fine hair which is thinning and this brush is the only one I’ve used that doesn’t tug or pull out my hair. Very ergonomic to hold and the multi length of bristles are great for non tugging. Also very soft on my scalp.’

    The brush costs £11 and is available online.

    MORE: Baby diagnosed with cancer at five months celebrates being in remission

    MORE: If you needed proof that fatphobia still exists, just look at the responses to Gillette’s tweet


    Tangle teezer for fine hairTangle teezer for fine hair

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    (Picture: Getty)

    Getting a job can be a tricky business.

    Should you turn up in a suit, or will everyone be wearing leggings at their desks? Does taking a copy of your CV along make you look like you don’t care about paper usage and the environment? Do you have fifteen brilliant questions to finish with?

    One thing you might not have remembered to worry about though, is sending a thank you letter after you’ve been interviewed.

    But according to Jessica Liebman, managing editor of Insider Inc (no, us neither), if you don’t send a thank you note, you’re not getting hired.

    She writes: ‘When I first started hiring, I came up with a simple rule: We shouldn’t move a candidate to the next stage in the interview process unless they send a thank-you email.’

    She goes on to explain why, writing: ‘How someone presents in interviews might not translate to effectiveness in the role.

    ‘While sending a thank-you note doesn’t necessarily guarantee the person will be a good hire, it gives you the tiniest bit more data: The candidate is eager, organized, and well mannered enough to send the note.

    ‘It shows resourcefulness, too, because the candidate often has to hunt down an email address the interviewer never gave them.

    ‘At Insider Inc., we look to hire “good eggs.” The thank-you email is a mark for the good-egg column.’

    Liebman’s policy hasn’t gone down all that well online, with critics claiming it’s arrogant to assume someone is grateful for the chance to spend their time and money being interviewed.

    One person replied to Liebman saying: ‘My simple rule: don’t work anywhere that thinks having access to your talent is a bigger win for you than it is for them.

    ‘Companies that compete on talent recruit to persuade. Companies that view hiring as merely finding workers worry about thank you emails.’

    Another said: ‘I’ve had managers who are annoyed by any extra email in their inbox from candidates, so a thank you email might knock someone off their list just for the perceived inconvenience.

    ‘If a thank you is a requirement then they need to tell candidates to follow up.’

    In a 2017 survey, 58% of HR professionals said that a thank you letter was somewhat helpful to an application, 22% said it was very helpful, but 20% said it was either not very helpful or not helpful at all.

    MORE: There’s a new Tangle Teezer hairbrush designed specifically for people with fine or coloured hair

    MORE: Why the best way to see the Maldives is by submarine

     


    Low Section Of People Waiting For Interview On ChairLow Section Of People Waiting For Interview On Chair

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    (Picture: Aldi, Getty)

    This month, it’s all about the hot cross bun.

    We’ve had a variety of new flavours, wine that tastes like the delicious sweet treat and now, we have the hot cross bun stuffing ball.

    That’s right, Aldi is turning the bun savoury so you can enjoy the flavours with every meal.

    The recipe combines just the right amount of sweet and savoury and are made with outdoor bred RSPCA assured British Pork.

    The flavoursome and juicy Hot Cross Bun stuffing balls are packed with dried fruit, Bramley apple sausage meat stuffing and seasoned with black pepper and cinnamon.

    It’s then finished with a pastry cross to give it more of a bun feel.

    The pack of six Specially Selected Hot Cross Bun Stuffing Balls will be available at the budget supermarket from this Sunday 14 April.

    Each pack costs £2.25.

    Aldi hot cross bun stuffing balls
    (Picture: Aldi)

    Perfect as an accompaniment for your Easter roast dinner – or just for a weekday meal. Hot cross buns all day every day.

    While picking up your savoury spiced delights, have a look down their famous ‘middle aisle of wonders’ to see if they have any pizza ovens left in stock.

    The internet went crazy earlier this month for the £39 oven that attaches to your barbecue.

    Perfect for the summer months (we promise the sunshine is coming!), the oven has a steel exterior with a ceramic stone to char the bottom of your pizza.

    It’ll cook pizzas of up to 12 inches in as little as ten minutes, and can also be used for searing meat and fish in a less messy way compared to usual BBQ fare.

    MORE: There’s a new Tangle Teezer hairbrush designed specifically for people with fine or coloured hair

    MORE: Baby diagnosed with cancer at five months celebrates being in remission


    Aldi hot cross bun stuffing ballsAldi hot cross bun stuffing balls

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    A couple who have been married for 82 years say the key to long-lasting love is to simply be nice to each other.

    103-year-old D W Williams and Willie Williams, 100, recently celebrated their anniversary and their birthdays in a joint party thrown by their daughter and granddaughter at First Mayfield Memorial Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, according to WSOC-TV.

    Together they have gone through the Great Depression and Civil Rights era.

    Reminiscing on their lengthy marriage, the couple say the key to their love is simply kindness.

    Willie said: ‘I don’t have no secret for that, just be nice to each other.’

    The couple’s granddaughter BJ Williams-Greene says she’s learnt a lot from watching her grandparents’ love over the years.

    COUPLE MARRIED 82 YEARS SHARES THEIR BEAUTIFULLY SIMPLE ADVICE FOR LONG-LASTING LOVE D.W. Williams, and Willie Williams
    (Picture: WSOC TV)

    She said: ‘It’s communication and loving each other and working together.

    ‘They are each other’s best friend.

    ‘To see them at this age and still doing well, it’s just a blessing to have them here.’

    As for what the couple would do if they had another 100 years, Willie said they would ‘sit around the house’.

    We couldn’t think of a better answer.

    Another couple celebrated 82 years of marriage back in 2012.

    Then 102-year-old Sun Yucui and her husband Gong Deyun, 99 kept each other strong by doing nice things for each other – for instance Sun would brush Gong’s hair in the mirror.

    He also ensured he stay in her good books by helping to look after their small garden.

    Isn’t endless love lovely?

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    MORE: Bride refuses to provide ‘special food’ for vegan guests and says they can bring their own


    METROGRAB COUPLE MARRIED 82 YEARS SHARES THEIR BEAUTIFULLY SIMPLE ADVICE FOR LONG-LASTING LOVEMETROGRAB COUPLE MARRIED 82 YEARS SHARES THEIR BEAUTIFULLY SIMPLE ADVICE FOR LONG-LASTING LOVE

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    One of England's most historic Tudor manor houses dating back to the 15th century which has gone up for sale - and could be yours for just ??7.5m. See SWNS story SWPLhouse; Athelhampton House (pictured here) is a Grade I listed building, the oldest part of which was built by Sir William Martyn in 1485. The manor house has had many owners, including William Pole-Tylney-Long-Wellesley, the fourth Earl of Mornington, nephew to the Duke of Wellington. In 1957, the house, near Puddletown, Dorset, was acquired by the Cooke family who have now put it up for sale - complete with roughly 29 acres of land.
    (Picture: Savilles / SWNS)

    The ‘finest’ Tudor house in Britain, a Grade I listed 15th century country home, is on sale for £7.5 million.

    Athelhampton House is a Grade I listed building, which was regularly visited by Thomas Hardy.

    The oldest part of the property was built by Sir William Martyn in 1485.

    The manor house has had many owners, including William Pole-Tylney-Long-Wellesley, the fourth Earl of Mornington, nephew to the Duke of Wellington.

    One of England's most historic Tudor manor houses dating back to the 15th century which has gone up for sale - and could be yours for just ??7.5m. See SWNS story SWPLhouse; Athelhampton House (pictured here) is a Grade I listed building, the oldest part of which was built by Sir William Martyn in 1485. The manor house has had many owners, including William Pole-Tylney-Long-Wellesley, the fourth Earl of Mornington, nephew to the Duke of Wellington. In 1957, the house, near Puddletown, Dorset, was acquired by the Cooke family who have now put it up for sale - complete with roughly 29 acres of land.
    (Picture: Savilles / SWNS)

    Thomas Hardy’s father was a stonemason and worked on the house, and during this time he painted a watercolour of the south front including the gatehouse.

    In 1957 the house was acquired by the Cooke family who have now put it up for sale – complete with roughly 29 acres of land.

    The mansion, near Puddletown, Dorset, had the West Wing and a Gatehouse added in about 1550.

    The house features 14 bedrooms, two halls, two dining rooms, five bathrooms and a cinema, alongside an array of snugs, offices and kitchens.

    One of England's most historic Tudor manor houses dating back to the 15th century which has gone up for sale - and could be yours for just ??7.5m. See SWNS story SWPLhouse; Athelhampton House (pictured here) is a Grade I listed building, the oldest part of which was built by Sir William Martyn in 1485. The manor house has had many owners, including William Pole-Tylney-Long-Wellesley, the fourth Earl of Mornington, nephew to the Duke of Wellington. In 1957, the house, near Puddletown, Dorset, was acquired by the Cooke family who have now put it up for sale - complete with roughly 29 acres of land.
    (Picture: Savilles / SWNS)

    There is also lift access, formal gardens, lawns, outbuildings and Woodland, all of which are included in the sale.

    The Great Hall is described as ‘one of the finest examples of 15th Century domestic architecture in England’.

    The hall has a timbered roof which remains as it was built before 1500, with stained glass windows which depict the marriage alliances of the Martyn family.

    The Martyn family connection ended without an heir, and the house eventually passed through marriage to Sir Ralph Bankes who held the family seat of Corfe Castle.

    One of England's most historic Tudor manor houses dating back to the 15th century which has gone up for sale - and could be yours for just ??7.5m. See SWNS story SWPLhouse; Athelhampton House (pictured here) is a Grade I listed building, the oldest part of which was built by Sir William Martyn in 1485. The manor house has had many owners, including William Pole-Tylney-Long-Wellesley, the fourth Earl of Mornington, nephew to the Duke of Wellington. In 1957, the house, near Puddletown, Dorset, was acquired by the Cooke family who have now put it up for sale - complete with roughly 29 acres of land.
    (Picture: Savilles / SWNS)

    Five years later it was sold again and divided into two households, and then became occupied by tenant farmers and became very run down.

    The imposing gatehouse was demolished and the property changed hands with ownership passing to the Earls of Mornington, relatives of the Duke of Wellington.

    The earlier divisions of the estate were reunited and Alfred de Lafontaine, a reputed antiquarian, became the owner.

    He restored Athelhampton to its former glory, and then eventually it passed over to the Cooke family.

    Included in the sale, managed by Savills and Knight Frank, is the Coach House and River Cottage, which are both nestled in the grounds of Athelhampton House.

    One of England's most historic Tudor manor houses dating back to the 15th century which has gone up for sale - and could be yours for just ?7.5m. See SWNS story SWPLhouse; Athelhampton House (pictured here) is a Grade I listed building, the oldest part of which was built by Sir William Martyn in 1485. The manor house has had many owners, including William Pole-Tylney-Long-Wellesley, the fourth Earl of Mornington, nephew to the Duke of Wellington. In 1957, the house, near Puddletown, Dorset, was acquired by the Cooke family who have now put it up for sale - complete with roughly 29 acres of land.
    (Picture: Savilles / SWNS)

    The Coach House is a partly thatched building and sits around a former courtyard that would have once contained stables, kennels, a saw mill and workshops.

    The buildings were refurbished in 1997 and now has a commercial kitchen, and a gift shop.

    River Cottage is a thatched cottage, located in the south west corner of the grounds and accessed over a bridge across the River Piddle.

    It has a sitting room, kitchen, three bedrooms and three en suite bathrooms.

    One of England's most historic Tudor manor houses dating back to the 15th century which has gone up for sale - and could be yours for just ?7.5m. See SWNS story SWPLhouse; Athelhampton House (pictured here) is a Grade I listed building, the oldest part of which was built by Sir William Martyn in 1485. The manor house has had many owners, including William Pole-Tylney-Long-Wellesley, the fourth Earl of Mornington, nephew to the Duke of Wellington. In 1957, the house, near Puddletown, Dorset, was acquired by the Cooke family who have now put it up for sale - complete with roughly 29 acres of land.
    (Picture: Savilles / SWNS)

    Lindsay Cuthill, head of country houses at Savills, said: ‘There is no question, it’s a magical Tudor manor.

    ‘It is magical, its romantic, it’s got the history.

    ‘It’s not full of Henry VIII, but it has got a long and rich history and I don’t think you need to have kings and queens going through the house for it be a very historic place.

    ‘There’s no disputing that it is grand, but when you’re in it I don’t think grand is what you feel.

    ‘I think you feel inspired by it. It’s surprisingly domestic, you don’t feel as if you are standing in an echo-y pace at all – it has a real warmth to it.

    One of England's most historic Tudor manor houses dating back to the 15th century which has gone up for sale - and could be yours for just ?7.5m. See SWNS story SWPLhouse; Athelhampton House (pictured here) is a Grade I listed building, the oldest part of which was built by Sir William Martyn in 1485. The manor house has had many owners, including William Pole-Tylney-Long-Wellesley, the fourth Earl of Mornington, nephew to the Duke of Wellington. In 1957, the house, near Puddletown, Dorset, was acquired by the Cooke family who have now put it up for sale - complete with roughly 29 acres of land.
    (Picture: Savilles / SWNS)

    ‘When it’s not open to the public, it’s a family home. There’s always a hope that a family will live there but I guess it will be what it will be.

    ‘It is very unusual to find a house of this stature, of this quality.

    ‘Of course it would suit a private family who wanted to live in a historic piece of England and pull up the drawbridge, so to speak.

    ‘Similarly, it might be popular with the type of buyers who buy top end houses who would like to see that asset earn its keep a bit.

    One of England's most historic Tudor manor houses dating back to the 15th century which has gone up for sale - and could be yours for just ??7.5m. See SWNS story SWPLhouse; Athelhampton House (pictured here) is a Grade I listed building, the oldest part of which was built by Sir William Martyn in 1485. The manor house has had many owners, including William Pole-Tylney-Long-Wellesley, the fourth Earl of Mornington, nephew to the Duke of Wellington. In 1957, the house, near Puddletown, Dorset, was acquired by the Cooke family who have now put it up for sale - complete with roughly 29 acres of land.
    (Picture: Savilles / SWNS)

    ‘Particularly if it’s the case that the owners of these properties may not be in the country all of the time.

    ‘They could have commitments elsewhere and if they have a property like Athelhampton, that has been run as a very successful business for the past thirty years, they can live in it when they are there but when they are not there is this commercial angle.

    ‘It’s not a house that’s full of great plots, in a way that is one of its charms if you like – I don’t doubt that in its locality it is a much revered property, but I don’t think there was necessarily a great historical moment.’

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

    MORE: Couple married for 82 years share the key to long-lasting love


    HOCK TUDOR - The finest Tudor house in Britain a Grade I listed 15th-century country home regularly visited by Thomas Hardy on sale for ?7.5millionHOCK TUDOR - The finest Tudor house in Britain a Grade I listed 15th-century country home regularly visited by Thomas Hardy on sale for ?7.5million

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