Articles on this Page
- 04/12/19--05:35: _Mum slams Poundland...
- 04/12/19--05:45: _Let’s face it prose...
- 04/12/19--06:07: _Teapigs launches te...
- 04/12/19--06:12: _Exciting news: Aldi...
- 04/12/19--07:28: _Spill It: how much ...
- 04/12/19--07:59: _Couple shamed onlin...
- 04/12/19--09:08: _What is at the Game...
- 04/13/19--01:30: _Strong Women: ‘I wo...
- 04/13/19--01:49: _Stuck between a siz...
- 04/13/19--03:35: _Oh joy, people will...
- 04/13/19--04:12: _Mum says ever-growi...
- 04/13/19--04:54: _The world’s first f...
- 04/13/19--05:24: _Godiva unveils £10,...
- 04/13/19--05:39: _ASOS comes under fi...
- 04/13/19--06:28: _Fancy living in a £...
- 04/13/19--07:27: _Cheese lovers, rejo...
- 04/13/19--08:43: _Asda is now selling...
- 04/13/19--09:31: _Woman creates her o...
- 04/13/19--09:40: _How does practicing...
- 04/14/19--01:10: _You Don’t Look Sick...
- 04/12/19--05:45: Let’s face it prosecco is the worst drink
- 04/12/19--06:07: Teapigs launches tea-inspired chocolate range
- 04/12/19--06:12: Exciting news: Aldi has relaunched its halloumi fries for £2.29
- 04/12/19--07:28: Spill It: how much a 29 year old marketeer from Zurich
- 04/13/19--03:35: Oh joy, people will keep cheating on their partners during Easter
- 04/13/19--04:12: Mum says ever-growing boobs are ruining her life
- 04/13/19--04:54: The world’s first fully vegetarian city can be found in India
- 04/13/19--05:24: Godiva unveils £10,000 chocolate Easter ‘Atelier’ egg
- 04/13/19--05:39: ASOS comes under fire for deactivating customers’ accounts
- 04/13/19--07:27: Cheese lovers, rejoice: A fromage festival is coming to London
- 04/13/19--09:40: How does practicing yoga in a cold environment affect the body?
- slowness of movement
- falls and dizziness
- muscle cramps and dystonia
low blood pressure
bladder and bowel problems
skin and sweating
eating, swallowing and saliva control
speech and communication issues
mild memory and thinking problems
hallucinations and delusions
A mum has slammed Poundland for selling a babygrow featuring the words ‘Lock Up Your Daughters’, claiming it teaches boys how to be ‘sex pests’.
Rebecca Roache has accused the budget retailer of being misogynistic and sexist after she spotted the £1.50 babygrow while shopping at their store in Oxon.
She took to social media to share a photo of the clothing with the caption: ‘It’s never too early to start training boys to be sex pests, eh @Poundland? #everydaysexism’
Rebecca, a senior lecturer in philosophy at Royal Holloway University of London, claims the slogan sends out an irresponsible message to young children.
She has branded the outfit ‘depressing’ due to its ‘sexual context’ that ‘men dominate women’ which could influence the child’s attitudes towards women in later life.
Parents have flocked to support the furious mun online saying the clothing ‘places the male infant as a sexual aggressor’ but others have branded her an ‘oversensitive snowflake.’
Mum-of-two Rebecca said: ‘It sends out this message that boys will be boys – they can just run wild and do not need to take responsibility for their actions or whatever they do.
‘It is a subtle message but implicitly there is a sexual context to it that men dominate women.
‘It is just inappropriate and sends out a misogynistic message when they cannot even speak or walk yet.
‘If this is the first message they are getting told, then when they do reach the age when they are sexually active, it is sending out the wrong message.
‘It is also assuming that everyone is heterosexual and to be sold to children under a year old is depressing.’
The blue baby grow is sold for £1.50 in Poundland and is available for newborns to infants up to 12 months.
It was sold alongside a pink baby grow aimed at girls with the slogan ‘mummys [sic] little diva.’
Danielle Gillett, 33, from Colchester, Essex, who is mum to four-year-old son Albert said: ‘It is just awful because it places the male infant as a sexual aggressor.
‘It would not be put the other way around saying “lock up your sons.”
‘If I saw one of my relatives putting their child in it I would feel the need to explain why it is wrong – it makes me feel uncomfortable.
‘All clothing for boys tends to have vehicles on and it can be hard to get gender neutral clothes.
‘It is not a joke – everything affects you and especially things in the media.
‘These messages massively affect your children – my son even recognised the Cadbury font and knew it meant chocolate.’
Mother-of-two Jessica Bentley, 35, from Hertfordshire added: ‘They are just stereotyping what girls and boys should be.
‘It is putting girls as the victims and I agree it paints boys as sex pests.’
However others have spoke up in support of the babygrow on a forum for parents online and described it as ‘a bit of fun’.
One wrote: ‘Get over yourselves, you oversensitive snowflakes. It is just a bit of fun and nothing else. The world really has gone made.’
Another mum said: ‘I think it’s cute. There are far worse things going on in the world than implying your child is handsome.’
Another added: ‘Not to my taste but I don’t think it is promoting the wrong idea.
‘People are just looking for a reason to be offended these days, bigger problems to worry about in the world than this vest.’
Poundland has been contacted for comment.
SEXISM ROW - Mum blasts Poundland for selling \'lock up your daughters\' babygrow which \'teaches boys to be sex pests\'
Going out tonight?
Heading to the pub/club/bar with your mates?
Already dreaming of a frosty bottle of prosecco?
If so, I regret to inform you that you are deeply, unquestionably, irredeemably wrong.
Prosecco is disgusting. It’s the worst drink you can get, apart from milk coke which is less of a drink and more of an abomination.
Prosecco, a sparkling wine from Italy, is sweet, lacking in depth of flavour and often served at room temperature.
It’s a drink which smacks of paper cups and standing awkwardly around because Karen from marketing is leaving after two years of diligent service or lukewarm bottles in a budget Airbnb because Laura is getting married for the second time but let’s not mention that it’s round two because it’s her hen and it’s her night.
Once upon a time prosecco was somewhat bearable. I remember drinking it in Italy in the noughties and thinking it was fine. But as with all nice things, the Brits got addicted to it and then ruined it.
Back in the 1990s, thanks to Bridget Jones, Chardonnay was the drink du jour. Initially it was a nice, oaky wine. But the demand for it was so high that production became less about quality and more about shoving a load of oak in, to try and create a buttery flavour.
That poor production of Chardonnay, combined with the Footballers Wives character, meant that popularity tanked, giving rise to the expression ‘ABC’ (anything but Chardonnay.)
The same thing happened with prosecco. Suddenly people all over the UK were bonkers about a wine considered average to okay in Italy, and they couldn’t make enough of the stuff. The result? Soil erosion and pesticides.
So it’s not just an overly sweet and ubiquitous. It’s also bad for the environment. Our thirst for prosecco has ravaged the Italian countryside.
We should probably feel a bit embarrassed that we as a nation can’t just enjoy a nice thing for what it is. Buy a couple of bottles of prosecco a year, sip on it and accept it.
No no, we’re British. We have to start putting prosecco in cans so we can take it to festivals and drink it on trains.
We make t-shirts and tea towels and tote bags proclaiming our love for it. Start calling a sociable hour to start drinking ‘prosecco o’clock!’
We’re really not people who calmly enjoy things with dignity.
There’s not much we can do about the mountain of prosecco tat we’ve accumulated (prosecco pong, REALLY?) but come on guys. Let’s just admit it. Prosecco is okay at best, and grim at worst.
If you like sparkling alcohol but can’t afford champagne, why not go for a cava?
It’s dryer, nicer and less environmentally troubling, the only problem with cava is that it’s hard to buy in bars because all the fridge space is taken up by its overrated Italian cousin.
Oh, and while we’re on the topic, gin is only okay and tonic is gross. Soz.
Best Prosecco right now
There is nothing better than a cup of tea and a square of chocolate as an afternoon pick-me-up.
But what if you could combine the two?
That is exactly what teapigs has done with the launch of its new tea-inspired range of chocolate bars.
They are a tea-lovers dream.
The specialist tea brand has joined forces with Creighton’s Chocolates to create three special bars inspired by teapigs teas.
And you can pair each flavour with a matching cup of tea for the fully immersive experience.
Chai chocolate is inspired by teapigs’ chai tea; milk chocolate with a cinnamon, ginger and pepper kick. Try it with a chai latte for a double whammy of flavour.
The peppermint chocolate is inspired by their super minty fresh peppermint leaves tea and it features dark chocolate, nibbed cocoa beans and natural peppermint oil.
The Super fruit chocolate bar draws influence from teapigs’ favourite summer tea, with the addition of some buttery biscuit for that extra crunch. Perfect with a cup of iced tea when the weather gets warmer.
All the ingredients in the new chocolate range are completely natural, and the peppermint dark chocolate bar is completely vegan – so there is something for everyone.
It costs £4.50 for a 100g bar, making it the perfect treat for your daily sugar hit.
Teapigs is famous for its luxury teas and quirky flavours including, jelly and ice cream tea, popcorn tea and chocolate flake tea.
So it’s only natural that the brand has decided to take its flavour experimentation to a different format.
The only thing left to do is put the kettle on.
teapigs chocolate range
Attention, cheese lovers: Aldi has just relaunched its halloumi fries, and we’re in heaven.
Boxes of the cheesy fries are selling in the budget supermarket for £2.29 – which is a little higher than its original price of £1.99, but still worth it.
The fries were first launched back in May 2018, after the supermarket spotted just how popular they were in Nando’s.
Aldi’s Specially Selected Golden & Crispy Specially Selected Halloumi Fries are available in stores already and can be found in the frozen foods aisle.
Aldi says: ‘Inspired by a similar offering from popular Portuguese chicken eatery, Nando’s; Aldi’s Specially Selected Haloumi Fries are made with scrumptiously soft – and salty – halloumi cheese from Cyprus and a lightly seasoned crispy coating making them the perfect side or snack for sharing.
‘So, get the sauce ready, start dipping and say hallou to halloumi heaven!’
The halloumi fries were so popular last year that Aldi had to limit shoppers to two packs per purchase, so we’re expecting them to sell out pretty fast – meaning if you want to get your hands on some, you had better act quick.
However, according to Aldi the fries are seasonal, so they’ll only be available from spring until summer, so don’t get too attached to them.
Aldi Just Brought Back Its Halloumi Fries
Spill it is a series where we get people to anonymously tell us about their drinking habits.
We’re talking to men and women from all over the UK (unless anyone volunteers from abroad in which case we’re going international) about how much they really drink.
Not how much they tell their doctor they drink, or a rough guesstimate – but the unvarnished boozy truth.
This week we’re hearing from Hannah, a 29-year-old marketeer from Zurich (international Spill It!)
I met my boyfriend and his friend in the city he works in (halfway through my two-hour commute), so had a very expensive cider in a ‘British’ pub.
I drank a can of lager on the train home, then three glass of prosecco at home before I fell asleep.
My boyfriend and his friend stayed up another couple hours with beers, but I was done.
I have a two-hour commute each way until we move in a couple months and that plus work really takes it out if me.
We went to the lake and then to a waterfall to fly the friend’s drone. Quite fun.
I know my boyfriend wants one now, though I did not think about having to consider the airspace.
When we came back I had a can of cider as we got everything ready for Raclette. I love Raclette. It’s the best thing about Switzerland.
During and after dinner (which lasted hours) I had a bottle of Prosecco, then some water, before going to bed at about 11.30 pm.
The friend was flying home that evening, and my boyfriend was flying to London for a week for work.
I took them both to the airport. I got back to the apartment at about 6.30 pm.
I had the last can of cider, but I was feeling pretty low at the prospect of a week on my own, so I only drank water after that. I played Spyro, messaged my boyfriend, and went to bed.
Finally managed to hand in my permit application for living here. I needed a job first. Even though the city with the office of migration in is only 20 minuted away, it took three hours. When I got back I did a lot of work (home office) then felt a bit low.
I made myself an espresso martini (which became almost two because I put too many shots in the cocktail shaker). Then I made myself my ultimate comfort food: baked potato with cheese and beans.
Only Switzerland just does not do big potatoes, so I had to use three little ones. I wondered about four, but that’s just greedy. I had a glass of Prosecco.
I fully intended not to drink at all for the rest of this week, but I had a fair amount of creative writing to do today and I just couldn’t feel creative at all, so I had a beer.
Then I had half a cider, before I vomited everywhere. Food poisoning. I never want to see soup again. That was the worst night of my life.
I slept most the day.
Only drank water and peppermint tea. I was still getting stomach cramps.
My boyfriend wasn’t geting back until Friday and suffering alone is so much harder.
I was in bed all day. This is not really a typical week.
Still only on water, though now I ate almost a whole slice of dry bread. I lost 6kg on Tuesday night. I’m kind of glad no one was there to see me groaning in the shower so I didn’t have to switch which end was pointing at the toilet.
And now the food poisoning cramps are almost gone, the period cramps are coming in. Perfect.
I managed to meet my boyfriend at the airport, but I was still was really not up to anything. We went home, where he cooked me a really nice dinner that I struggled to eat, and then I went back to bed.
NHS recommended units: 14
Hannah drank: 26.1 units
Spill it - 29 year old from Zurich
A couple have been mocked online after a guest posted photos that they had secretly taken of their ‘pathetic’ wedding spread.
Posting a bunch of pics of the, er, less than appealing food, the guest wrote: ‘A wedding feast for your eyes’.
The anonymous guest, believed to be from the US, posted the photos in a wedding shaming group – so it was pretty obvious what was going to happen after other users saw the photos.
The images showed hundreds of slices of unwrapped ‘plastic cheese’, sticks of celery and carrots, melon, chopped up oranges – which still had the stickers on them – and a try of iced brownies.
Obviously, users of the group took the golden opportunity to mock the wedding food, which most agreed looked pretty awful.
One person said the spread was basically what they served at their ‘three-year-old’s birthday party’ – except they had quiche and strawberries, which is a little fancier than what the bride and groom served up.
Others commented on the lack of effort gone into the catering, with some joking that the couple’s family must have cooked for them – while others suggested they must be watching their budget.
Which, of course, is totally fine. Why spend obscene amounts of money on food when you can put it towards a wedding dress or honeymoon? But come on – at least take the stickers off the oranges, right?
Others continued to make jokes about the photos, with one saying: ‘This makes more sense for toddlers than a wedding, in my humble opinion.’
Another labelled the food ‘pathetic’, adding: ‘This looks like a catering spread for work – a low budget one.’
Others were confused by the effort gone into some foods but nopt others – such as the fact the couple were happy to unwrap hundreds of slices of cheese, but couldn’t ‘be bothered’ to take the sticker off the fruit.
Someone else said: ‘I don’t even know how they cut orange that way. It must have made it harder as usually, you cut in half then into quarters. That looks like a third.’
Alongside the food, users commented on the fact the couple had also left out a massive pile of napkins that hadn’t even been folded.
Honestly, we just hope more effort went into the actual wedding than it did the food.
We’re gutted we didn’t get to see the wedding cake.
Slices of 'plastic cheese', orange wedges with the stickers still on and sad looking brownies: Wedding guest shames newlywed couple's 'pathetic' catering
We’re two days away from the big event – the premiere of the final season of Game Of Thrones.
But for hardcore fans in Belfast, the fun has already begun as the city hosts a must-see exhibition at the NEC with props, costumes and other tidbits from the popular HBO show.
The GOT exhibition arrived on 11 April and will remain in Northern Ireland until 1 September 2019.
What is at the Game Of Thrones Exhibition in Belfast and how to get tickets
Not only will you be able to examine the characters’ costumes, props, weapons and armour, but organisers have also designed areas to resemble settings from the show.
That way you can pretend that you’re living in Westeros for a day (or several, if you visit more than once).
According to the official exhibition website, scenes will include the ‘wintry landscapes of the North’, ‘the tree-lined pathway of the Kingsroad’, ‘King’s Landing’ and more, such as Castle Black, home to the Night’s Watch.
And of course, the pièce de résistance: the Iron Throne.
Through April and May, opening hours will be from 10am to 7pm. From then onwards it’s 9am to 8pm.
Ticket prices depend on when you choose to go. During April and May, it varies from £15 to £17.50, but during June to September it’s £17.50 regardless of which day you choose.
Fancy a trip to Belfast? You can get tickets online or alternatively try your luck on the door (but we wouldn’t recommend it).
Game of Thrones
It’s shocking to hear that 75% of women are put off from being active because of a fear of judgement.
But when you think about it – it isn’t surprising.
In the media and on films and TV, we are repeatedly presented with an image of one kind of woman. We are taught that only young, slim, able-bodied women are allowed to be fit, active and love their bodies.
Strong Women aims to change this and challenge the accepted social norms. We want to remind women that strength can be found in women of any age, size or race.
Michelle Mudhar is strong. She was left paralysed after a freak climbing accident, but now she is pursuing her dream of climbing a 137m rock in the middle of the North Sea.
Tell us about your accident
It was a beautiful, sunny Easter bank holiday weekend on a low cliff side in the Welsh countryside. I called dibs on the first climb. I picked out a route I liked the name of, which was an easy grade for a warm-up.
I focused on my foot placement as I climbed, trying to be precise and making it look effortless like I had seen the pro-climbers do. I clipped my rope in at the top of the climb. I shouted down, ‘safe’. I leaned back, ready to be lowered off.
I woke up in hospital, paralysed.
My first question was, ‘what happened?’ Apparently I had asked that question 20 times but I hadn’t retained the memory of the previous 19.
I was wearing a helmet so my head was intact, but I had a serious concussion which has scrambled the timeline in my head somewhat. The boys told me that the route we thought was 15m was in fact 17m long. The 30m rope was too short. No knot had been tied in the end.
As I was being lowered down, the belayer went to grab more rope, but found none. The rope slipped through the belay plate like spaghetti. I fell four metres, my back was broken and all I knew was I would never climb again.
Initially I treated it like any other injury, I would do everything in my power to create the optimal conditions for healing. I would eat right, put the right fuel into my body. I would do exactly what the doctors told me to.
But months later, my feelings shifted. I felt overwhelmed and frustrated with my new body.
I looked over at the wheelchair by my hospital bed with contempt, hating the sight of it, hating the change it represented.
I felt trapped in my hospital bed. I had to wait for a nurse to answer my bell anytime I wanted to get out of it. And with a ward full of people needing the same level of support, mornings certainly started off slowly.
I learnt that I am not a patient person, which came as a surprise to me, but to no one else I knew.
I had to learn everything from scratch. It was like being a baby again. I needed help washing, toileting, being lifted from bed to chair. One particular triumph was the day I managed to put my own sock on – what a day that was!
I came out of hospital, out of that protective cocoon, and the learning started all over again.
First day back at work, first day driving with hand controls, using a hoover in a wheelchair (which ended up with a backward somersault). Everything was new. I had to learn to live again.
My chair became my freedom, my trusted friend. Not the hated symbol it once was. Now the only trauma is when someone takes it away from me and with that comes the fear of it being given back broken or damaged.
What does outdoor adventuring mean to you?
Adventuring means freedom. It’s the freedom to explore, to challenge yourself, to appreciate the beautiful world we live in. It is the place I feel most at home, the place I would go to if I needed to de-stress, the place where my most memorable memories have been made.
Climbing to the top of Cinque Torre in the Dolomites, gazing across the valley and picking out the next day’s climb. Swearing at my climbing partner on the Isle of Lundy, urging him to go faster as the sea’s tide threatened to take over my belay standing place.
But when I fell, I didn’t really have a good understanding of what my relationship with the outdoors would be as a wheelchair user.
I didn’t know if my love of the outdoors was enough to overcome the sense of loss of what I was unable to do.
So when I found out a charity named The Calvert Trust specialised in helping people of all abilities adventure in the outdoors, I had to find out more. It meant the opportunity to find out how wheelchair users get up that steep hill, or how to get into a kayak without your legs.
The Calvert Trust opened up a world of adaptive adventure to me and introduced me to some new ones too.
I wanted to give back to that charity who had helped me through that hard time in the only way I knew how.
I am now challenging myself to conquer an almost unconquerable dream. I want to climb the Old Man of Hoy, a 137m tower of rock in the middle of the North sea, and raise money for the charity in doing so.
I’ve called my mission Route to the Sky, which means so much to me.
It’s part of my journey to heal. I will prove to myself – and to others – that I can climb where I want to. It may not be in the way I thought it would be, but more things than you can imagine are possible if you’re focused on the ‘how’ and not the ‘if’.
What setbacks have you had to overcome?
I think I could write a memoir about the set backs and lowest points, coming through a trauma like a spinal cord injury is like living life on steroids. Everything is bigger, more dramatic.
Every setback has much bigger repercussion than when I was able bodied.
Learning to live again with a different body in a world which is no way set up to accommodate it will be a never-ending learning experience.
But which low would I choose? The tears and fears over being homeless, having nowhere to live which would meet the needs of a paraplegic. The inevitable second home move, away from the bubble of safety I had created following my injury?
Being plied to drugs to manage pain and the process of weening myself off of them with all the side effects, never knowing if coming off them would even be possible, if the pain would be too much?
The fight to be able to drive again, the fight for basic equipment like a wheelchair which met my needs?
The mental breakdown when it finally dawned on me this wasn’t going to change?
The visits to A&E after replacing the cushion I sit on, something so simple which affects my health even one year on?
The constant fight over a blue badge parking and disabled toilet usage?
How do I pick one?
Or do I just focus on where I am? That after four years I have somehow managed to resume my life where I left off. Or perhaps in some ways a bit richer.
I guess I get through it the only way anyone can, one day at a time.
Why do you think of yourself as a strong woman?
I am more para than paraplegic, or at least that’s how I think of myself.
I love to adventure. Conventional wisdom might suggest that it wouldn’t be possible as a paraplegic, but paratroopers do it effortlessly.
I think it takes strength to challenge conventional wisdom, to test the boundaries of what is possible. To test your own personal boundaries as well.
Before my injury, I was fiercely independent. Following my fall, it became very obvious that I needed to get better at asking for help.
But, crucially, it is always my choice about when I would like help and all of my friends know that.
It has taken me time to know my limits and a lot of soul searching to find the strength to ask for help. My strength comes from my ability to adapt and change, which includes knowing when to ask for help.
Whenever there is a big decision that I need to make I often imagine my 90-year-old self looking back at me now.
Would she be happy with my decision or would there be regret that I wasn’t bolder, more open and eager to embrace change?
It takes strength to push through the rough times knowing that some smooth awaits. It takes strength to keep hope in your heart when everything around you seems hopeless. But I am nothing if not a sum of the people in my life. I draw on their strength and make it my own.
Am I a strong woman? No, I’m just someone who is surrounded by the most amazing people and I have a talent for harnessing their strength and making it my own.
Strong Women: Michelle
When it comes to buying jeans, the struggle is real: most shops have different sizing, and we often find ourselves only finding pairs that don’t fit quite right.
Doesn’t it suck when a size is slightly too big or small, but the other sizes don’t fit at all?
Well, we’re happy to announce that Next has come to the rescue – the retailer has just launched in-between jeans, so if a size 14 is too big but a size 12 is too small, a size 13 will save the day.
Next has launched jeans in sizes 11, 13, 15 and 17.
The new sizes were launched following customer feedback, and the brand has decided to trial the in-between sizes for three of its top jeans styles – Skinny, Slim and Bootcut, as well as its £20 chino trousers.
‘Next are always looking for ways to help women feel amazing in what they wear,’ the retailer said in a press release.
‘After spending time with our customers and listening to their feedback, we have decided to trial in-between sizes in some of our favourite jeans and tailoring pieces to ensure that we are offering them the best fit possible.
‘To start with, we will introduce sizes 11, 13, 15 and 17, and hope to roll this out in more sizes and styles soon.’
The fashion retailer is currently selling six different pairs of £22 jeans available in the in-between sizes.
This includes Next’s Skinny Jeans in Dark Blue, Slim Jeans in Dark Blue and Forever Black and White, and Bootcut Jeans in Forever Black and White.
The £20 chino trousers also come in the new sizes, in shades of khaki, rust, grey, striped and white.
Though we’re pleased with the current selection on offer, the brand will also be releasing more styles at the end of April.
What a time to be alive.
Next inbetweenie sizes
Easter: it’s meant to be a joyous time where you stuff your face with chocolate eggs, spend time with family and get an extra day off work.
Unfortunately, mischievous activities of a sexual nature will also be taking place, according to Victoria Milan – the dating site for people who want to have affairs.
Figures revealed that nine out of 10 men out of those surveyed will be cheating on their partner during Easter. Women were marginally better; 49.6% said they’d abstain from cheating during the religious holiday.
Then again, that leaves 50.4% who would.
More than 4,000 people took part in the survey across 22 different countries in Europe and America, including the UK.
When asked why they wouldn’t stop cheating during Easter, majority (46.1% of men and 36.1% of women) said that they’re not religious and therefore felt no need to be faithful.
As for those who wouldn’t sleep with other people during this time, 26.4% women revealed it’s because this is a time for family, not ‘extramarital sex’. Out of the men, 3.9% agreed that family time is important – but that they would still fool around with others.
Interestingly, 17.1% of men revealed that they would keep cheating in order to keep their mistress happy, because she wouldn’t want them to stop.
How, er, kind?
No explanation was given for why people cheat outside of Easter, but then again the survey was for members of a website for illicit encounters – so we’re not too surprised.
Hopefully, your partner stays faithful to you all year long, but if you notice them sneaking off for a few hours during Sunday dinner, it might be time for a chat.
A mum with ever-growing boobs reveals her life has been ‘ruined’ by the size of her breasts – and that she is now housebound because of them.
25-year-old Fiona Hornby has struggled with the size of her boobs since she was 10 years old; during puberty, they grew from a C cup to a 48 J.
The size of the breasts means Fiona struggles to find clothes to wear and suffers from crippling back pain. She’s unable to stand for more than five minutes at a time. The payroll clerk and mum-of-one also claims she has difficulty leaving the house, because of the back pain.
‘My huge breasts have ruined my life,’ said Fiona, from Bolton, Greater Manchester.
‘They have affected everything. My self-esteem has hit rock bottom, I can’t find any clothes that fit and can’t wear the same things as people my age.
‘I have terrible back pains caused by the weight of my breasts. I can’t hoover or sleep properly. If I do washing up, I have to take a break halfway through because the pain is terrible.
‘I find it difficult to go out in public because people think I’ve got big boobs because I look fat. Some people have even asked if I have had a boob job as they’re that large.’
Fiona was diagnosed with macromastia – a condition that causes abnormal enlargement of the breast tissue – in 2015, after spending years wondering why her boobs were so large in comparison to other girls her age.
The condition has left her with discoloured breasts that are covered in painful sores and rashes.
She said:’From the age of 10 till just past college everything I wore put my boobs on show. When I was still in primary school I was a C cup.
‘I’d be called a “slag” because it always looked like I was trying to show them off but I wasn’t, I just wanted to wear the same things as other girls.
‘The pain sometimes can be horrendous. I once got really terrified because I was getting in the bath and I looked down and my breasts were purple.
‘People say “I wish could swap with you” but I say “you don’t, they’re ruining my life”.
‘I once went to get a bra fitted and I went to the changing room and the lady in the fitting room turned to me and said: “we don’t do your size”.
‘It was very, very upsetting.’
The pain Fiona suffers from her breasts means that she can’t even sleep properly.
She always had an active lifestyle in her teens and early 20s, but is now unable to go to the gym because of the pain she experiences from walking.
Fiona said: ‘When I’m in bed it’s like I’m suffocating. I can’t lie on my front because they’re too heavy.
‘It’s like having a huge weight on my chest. Getting to sleep can be a real struggle sometimes.
‘In 2013, I used to go to the gym and I weighed just seven-and-a-half stone but since my bust has continued to grow it has been impossible to work out. My boobs just didn’t stop growing and just got bigger and bigger and droopier and droopier.
‘If I wanted to wear something the same size as other girls I’d have to get it at least five sizes up so the clothes would at least fit.
‘It’s affected jobs that I can have too. I used to work in retail but I can’t stand up for long periods of time now so I need to have a desk job. I can’t even go on a walk, if I go on a 25-minute walk I’m just in absolute agony.
‘I want people to understand how hard it’s been, I’ve put weight on because I can’t move properly because my boobs are so large. It’s a vicious cycle.’
Fiona recently became a mum to baby William in November 2018 and said her boobs have caused problems when dealing with her newborn, too.
Desperately seeking life-changing breast reduction surgery, Fiona claims she’s unable to get the operation on the NHS. So, she’s appealing to the public and aims to raise £5,500 on GoFundMe.
She said: ‘I wasn’t able to breastfeed him [her son] as a baby.
‘I was terrified I was going to suffocate him because I couldn’t hold him properly, because I was having to hold my boobs. I couldn’t even see his face.
‘If I had the operation I’d feel like a new person. I’d be starting life again, I’d be able to go shopping for blouses and clothes I’ve not been able to wear.
‘I’ve considered moving to have the surgery because it seems like there’s no other option.
‘Having the surgery will give me the ability to live normally.’
A spokesman for NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group said they were unable to comment on individual cases.
Looking for somewhere to go during Easter? If you’re vegan or vegetarian, this could be the perfect spot.
In Palitana, a small city in the Bhavnagar district in Gujarat, India, it’s illegal to sell eggs or meat, and slaughtering animals is a no-no.
It’s the world’s first fully vegetarian city – one of two – and is considered the holiest location for people who follow the Jainism religion.
The city has 863 temples and pilgrims converge here every year, as it’s believed that their saviour, Adinatha, walked its hills.
But why is it illegal to have a BBQ or purchase eggs to poach for your avocado toast?
As it’s such a religious spot, in 2014 around 200 monks went on a hunger strike and said they would prefer death over allowing the continued slaughter or consumptions of animals in the town. The monks also demanded that 250 butcher shops be closed and that ritual animal slaughter be banned.
The government was forced to declare the town a completely meat-free zone, and the holy site has been a vegetarian spot ever since.
Figures vary on how many people practice Jainism, but hover around four to five million.
It’s an old Indian religion that focuses on the welfare of all beings and Jains – as they are known – believe that all humans, animals and plants have living souls, all of which are equal in importance.
Dairy is still allowed to be consumed in the city, but we reckon you can get some amazing plant-based dishes regardless.
Meat lovers, you’re better off heading, well, anywhere else.
Meat and Eggs Are Illegal Here: The World???s First Vegetarian City
If you think chocolate Easter eggs from your local supermarket are pricey, prepare to be shocked.
Godiva, the luxury Belgian chocolatier, has revealed an Easter egg created especially for the occasion and it costs £10,000.
Or, you know, the equivalent of a house deposit outside of London, a small wedding or a snazzy holiday.
The handcrafted 65kg ‘Atelier’ egg is made from the brand’s dark chocolate and was created by Godiva’s development chef, Cherish Finden.
It was unveiled at the Godiva shop in St Pancras International station, and took Cherish and three of her assistant chefs 200 hours to make.
The inspiration for the magnificent art piece (or treat?) was spring blooms; it has been adorned by hand with passion flowers, fuchsia petals and hearts.
And of course, features the signature ‘G’ for Godiva at the top.
‘This is my second Atelier egg with Godiva, and this year we wanted to go even bigger and more extravagant,’ said Cherish.
‘The spring Atelier egg captures the artistic and premium craftsmanship of the brand, whilst celebrating the colour and energy of the season. Godiva is famed for its intricate artistry, and I think that comes across from the level of detail included in the design.
‘I want to thank my team – Quentin Drouet, Jisun Shin and Eu Jing Hooi – for all of their hard work.’
Can’t afford a £10,000 treat?
Go with Lindt’s white chocolate egg instead – it’s been crowned the best in a recent taste test and will only set you back £8.
*** FREE FOR EDITORIAL USE *** Godiva, the luxury Belgian chocolatier, unveils ?10,000 Atelier egg crafted by Cherish Finden and team. The 65kg, 4.6ft chocolate egg took four people over 200 hours to create.*** FREE FOR EDITORIAL USE *** Godiva, the luxury Belgian chocolatier, unveils ?10,000 Atelier egg crafted by Cherish Finden and team. The 65kg, 4.6ft chocolate egg took four people over 200 hours to create.
Earlier this month, ASOS announced that it would be cracking down on serial returners in a bid to fight against fraud.
The brand explained it would be deactivating accounts that had a suspicious number of returns, to stop those taking advantage of the policy.
However, this week ASOS’ social media has been flooded with complaints from customers who claim to have had their accounts wrongly closed.
People have been taking to Twitter and Facebook to express their anger – especially ‘serial returners’ who said they have only made two orders in the space of a year.
One person wrote: ‘ASOS how do you justify deactivating my account due to “a high number of returns” when I rarely order from you and my last two orders have been 10 months apart?
‘If I only ordered from you in December 2019 and before then in January 2018, how can I possibly be a serial returner of items?’
Another woman said it was a ‘disgusting way to treat loyal customers’, while a bride-to-be issued a warning to other brides looking to buy their bridesmaids dresses on ASOS.
She said: ‘Just so you know if you are a bride and you want to order bridesmaids dresses on here I wouldn’t do that unless you want your account deactivated.
‘ASOS is now deactivating a lot of people’s accounts for returning too many items.
‘They won’t listen to the reason why you returned the items, you just get deactivated and ignored. A few brides I know have had their accounts deactivated and have all received the exact same email when trying to explain why they returned the items.
‘This is an online shop, how are you meant to try things on without being scared to lose your account?’
Facebook users aren’t the only ones who are angry. People have also been taking to Twitter to complain that their accounts have been deleted, despite having genuine reasons for their returns.
Absolutely raging that @ASOS had deactivated my account because I have ‘sent too many items back’ well 1) thanks for letting me know there was a limit (NOT) and 2) sorry that I’m a different size in the hundreds of different brands you have on your website!
— Emma Kelly (@EmmaKelly132) April 10, 2019
@ASOS_HeretoHelp Just had an email telling that I’ve had my account deactivated with the below text?
Due to an ongoing pattern of returns behaviour that is against our policy, we have permanently deactivated your account.
I cant quite believe what I’m reading? Totally disgusted
— Joanne Ervine (@jo_erv2812) April 10, 2019
@ASOS_HeretoHelp got an email informing me my account has been deactivated due to “on going pattern of refund behaviour”. Spoke to a member of customer support and they said it would be due to “suspicious activity”. The implication is offensive. I’ve been a loyal customer.
— kate (@dreambiting) April 10, 2019
@ASOS_HeretoHelp WOW. Just had an email to say my account has been deactivated due to 'suspicious activity'. I've been an ASOS customer for YEARS and hv spent hundreds if not thousands of £ (also had lots of A-list vouchers in past) Cant even log in now. What on earth!?
— Lucinder (@lucinderch) April 10, 2019
So to my disgust I receive an email from @ASOS to say my account has been deactivated to which I have to email and ask why see below answer……I was under the impression that Asos offer one of the best customer services in the world and the Customer I.e myself is very important pic.twitter.com/aitHro73th
— clare webber (@ClareWraight) April 10, 2019
@ASOS deactivated my account! Loyal customer who has lost a load of weight and doesn’t know what size she is! And, haven’t delivered when I have paid for next day, on several occasions. Don’t return more than a normal person would. What a way to treat your customers 👍🏻
— Rachel Smith (@rubys440) April 10, 2019
— Sarah Ballantyne (@sarahb871) April 10, 2019
Customers were warned of the changes at the beginning of the month, when ASOS decided to update its returns policy.
Alongside extending the initial returns period, the retailer wrote: ‘We also need to make sure our returns remain sustainable for us and for the environment, so if we notice an unusual pattern, we might investigate and take action. It’s unlikely to affect you, but we wanted to give you a heads up.
‘If we notice an unusual pattern of returns activity that doesn’t sit right: e.g. we suspect someone is actually wearing their purchases and then returning them or ordering and returning loads – way, waaay more than even the most loyal ASOS customer would order – then we might have to deactivate the account and any associated accounts.’
Metro.co.uk contacted ASOS for a comment and the retailer responded:
‘With almost 20 million customers around the world, the business reached a size where we had to make a decision about our free returns offer,’ ASOS tells Metro.co.uk.
‘We could either begin to limit the offer in some way, or we could start to investigate the very small number of customers, a fraction of 1% in fact, who seem to be taking extreme advantage of our free returns service.
‘We chose to protect this amazing proposition, as well as increase the time to return unwanted items to us to 45 days, but we do understand that for the very, very small number of people impacted, there are some who are going to be upset.
‘We apologise for any confusion that our new policy has caused and want to assure the vast majority of our customers that they have nothing to worry about. We will also be introducing an appeals process as well as a warning email to make sure that the few people impacted are not caught by surprise or feel they have been unfairly treated.’
ASOS has changed its returns policy, and there's good and bad news
Got £850,000 lying around?
Really like Terry’s Chocolate Orange?
Then we’ve got just the property for you.
This unbelievably cute cottage on Thorpe Road in Peterborough was featured in a Terry’s Chocolate Orange advert during the 70s and is yours for the taking.
Known as Foxgloves, the grade II listed property was originally part of three stone cottages built in the 18th century, and features a huge garden that could be converted into a badminton court.
Or, if you fancy a spot of gardening, you could add a vegetable plot.
Alternatively, there’s also the option to invest in a swimming pool ahead of summer and host a BBQ (a surefire way to become the favourite neighbour in the area).
The white-walled house has a thatched roof, and inside you can find a quirky farmhouse kitchen, and cosy living room.
It also features a room with a skylight, a fireplace stove and a dining room that gets lots of natural light.
The main house has four bedrooms, but Foxgloves also offers a separate annexe with two bedrooms, as well as an orangery.
Some 40 years ago, its photograph adorned the box of a famous brand of chocolates,’ the listing from online estate agent, Sell My Home, reads.
‘It has undergone much renovation over recent years, in particular a complete re-thatch in 2017 and now is a charming, well-maintained and spacious four bedroomed cottage with a completely separate two bedroom annexe with its own utilities.
‘The annexe is presently used as a separate dwelling, but equally it can be incorporated into the main house with access off the more recently constructed orangery. The heart of the house is perhaps the bespoke cosy farmhouse kitchen with a gas-fired aga.
‘Whilst there is a wealth of quirkiness including beams, inglenooks with open fires, it also has all the modern conveniences including high speed cable broadband to both properties.
‘The property sits in grounds of approximately half an acre with secluded gardens laid to lawn with a pond, water feature and many mature trees and shrubs. The bottom of the garden could potentially be used for a separate vegetable plot or perhaps a badminton court or swimming pool.
‘The rear of the property and the annexe is accessed by a driveway leading to a double garage with automated doors and off road parking for several cars plus a large patio area suitable for entertaining.’
Just imagine telling guests that your home is semi-famous, while you serve them a piece of Terry’s chocolate.
Can’t live without cheese?
Well, you’ll be happy to know that there’s cheese festival coming to the UK very soon. Amazing, we know.
We Love Cheese will be held at the Battersea Power Station on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May, 2019, for a special weekender dedicated to our favourite dairy product.
The festival will feature cheesy street food, special menus and cheese sellers from around the world, as well as all of your favourite fromage board accompaniments such as charcuterie, fresh bread, olives, sauces and speciality produce.
According to Eat Me Drink Me, the company hosting the festival, all the best ‘cheese producers and importers’ will be there, such as Capocaccia, Une Normande à Londres, Alsop and Walker, L’Ubriaco Drunk Cheese and Bath Soft Cheese.
And each of the brands will battle it out to win the coveted We Love Cheese Cup voted for by attendees throughout the weekend.
This year’s event comes in collaboration with Vagabond Wines – because nothing pairs better with cheese than wine.
It will also feature the ‘Battersea Bites’ tent with a curated programme of talks, panels and masterclasses, including matching cheeses with wines and beers, live music, a kids’ craft area and the return of the Wheel of Cheese, where you can be in with a chance of winning special prizes.
If you want to make the most of the event – and help decide who should win the We Love Cheese Cup – you can purchase a ‘Cheese Cup Tasting Card’, which is inclusive with tasters of all the cheeses in the competition and one complimentary drink for the day.
‘We are absolutely thrilled to be bringing our much-loved event, We Love Cheese to the foot of such an iconic London landmark,’ said Kate McKenzie, director of KMC Squared/ Eat Me Drink Me.
‘Following two hugely successful events in 2018, We Love Cheese at Battersea Power Station will be the biggest and best to date, spanning across the whole weekend, and accommodating more visitors.
‘We are particularly excited to be working with Vagabond to give the event a greater emphasis on wine.’
Who doesn’t want to experience an entire day totally dedicated to cheese?
Plus, there’s bound to be plenty of samples…
Easter is next Sunday, so you’ve got one week left to stock up on chocolate treats for your egg hunts.
And if you fancy going all out, you could even make an Easter-themed cheesecake – using the new Milka Philadelphia spread, which has just arrived in Asda.
The new spread combines the flavours of Swiss Milka chocolate and Philadelphia, and according to Asda, it’s perfect for anything.
From waffles and pancakes to bagels and toast, this could be your new go-to spread.
‘At Asda, we love introducing hybrid products for our customers,’ said an Asda spokesperson.
‘We’re excited to stock the indulgent spread, perfect for a chocolate-y treat in the run up to Easter.’
The Milka Philadelphia is currently available in Asda stores and online, and will cost £1 until 24 April, and £1.80 a tub afterwards.
In other Asda news, the supermarket has just started selling avocado on toast jellie sweets, the ideal sweet treat for millennials.
The toast has a cola taste, with lime-flavoured avocado slices and jelly eggs – so you can recreate your own brunch. The 150g bags cost 90p each and are available now.
Although they aren’t quite as healthy as actual avo on toast – but on the upside, the sweets don’t contain any artificial colours or flavours.
Hell, it’s almost Easter, why not treat yourself to both?
Asda has just launched tubs of Milka Philadelphia spread
A woman has created her own naked cleaning company, and she already employs 15 people – including three men – who charge between £55 to £75 an hour depending on the level of nudity.
Victoria, 25, started the company after testing the waters herself by cleaning homes in the buff in Edinburgh, where she lives.
‘I didn’t want to put my staff into any situation I had not experienced myself,’ said Victoria, who lives with her pet Daschund, Louis.
With a degree in events management and a strong work ethic, the entrepreneur was keen to start a business with a quirky selling point and began considering the adult service sector.
When working as a beautician, she toyed with the idea of starting a webcam work business – though she wouldn’t be getting in front of the camera herself – but then stumbled across an American company offering a naked cleaning service and the idea for Glimmer was born.
‘I knew I wanted something in that adult niche which would be fun and risqué but not extreme,’ she said.
‘We are not an escort service. What we offer is fun and flirty.
‘When I did it for a while, I had a laugh and nothing untoward happened.’
Glimmer offers three tiers of adult cleaning with hourly prices – a service in lingerie or underwear costs £55, topless cleaning is £65 and completely naked cleaning costs £75.
Victoria said: ‘None of my staff ever have to do anything they don’t feel comfortable with.
‘The client will choose the option they prefer and I will match the cleaner to that choice.’
The naked dress code has certainly done nothing to deter prospective employees, with Victoria receiving over 100 applications last time she advertised for staff.
‘The most important thing is that someone has professional cleaning experience,’ she said.
‘Then they need to have a good personality, because engaging with the client, chatting to them and feeling comfortable being naked is all part of what makes someone right for this role.’
But Victoria admits that their 20 regular clients and 15 who book an occasional clean, have completely shattered her preconceptions about the type of person she imagined would use the service.
She said: ‘I thought we’d get mostly professional working men in their forties but actually, the clients are much more diverse.
‘We’ve had some as young as 30 and others in their 80s. Many of them live alone and a lot of the older gentleman are quite lonely, so it’s important the experience is fun and that the cleaners like chatting.
‘We have male cleaners available, but women asking for men isn’t something that comes up a lot. We’re definitely trying to work on that side of things and build it up.
‘When I’m recruiting, I’m not worried about what people look like – as everyone has a different idea of what’s attractive – but they do need to be presentable and body confident.’
Despite its saucy theme, Victoria said her friends and family have been very supportive about her business.
‘They understand this is my baby’, she said.
‘I do spend a lot of time explaining to people that this is a serious cleaning business, too. We clean to a very high standard.
‘Most people ask what the client does while the cleaner is working. They imagine they just sit there while the cleaner puts on a show, but that’s not what we do.
‘A lot of clients have never done anything like this before and are often quite shy.
‘So the cleaner will chat and engage with them, but, most importantly, they’ll get on with the job of cleaning the house.’
Social media – especially Instagram – has played a key role in the advertisement for Glimmer.
‘We can’t just put leaflets through people’s doors, as there may be families living there and we don’t want to offend anyone, so we use social media and also advertise in free listings where we can,’ said Victoria.
Running her business single-handedly, Victoria has high ambitions for Glimmer and is now recruiting naked cleaners in Glasgow and Aberdeen, saying that once she has conquered Scotland, she will clean up across the rest of the UK.
‘I do want to expand across the whole country but for now, we’re expanding by offering Naked Party Hosting,’ she said.
Glimmer is also exploring the idea of offering Naked Handymen, which Victoria believes will appeal more to women, while her current client list is mostly male.
‘I am still working part-time as a beautician doing nails mostly, but I am determined to make a success of this business, so I do work really hard,’ she said.
‘I do socialise with my friends and go out and I love taking Louis for a long walk, but I run every aspect of the business and so, truthfully, I have very little free time outside work.’
Edinburgh entrepreneur launches a naked cleaning firm, charging £75 an hour to blitz in the buff
By now, you will have heard of the benefits of hot yoga.
Also known as Bikram yoga, the practice – which is held in a room heated to 40C (104F) – is apparently better for you than regular yoga (though not everyone agrees) because the heat allows the body’s blood vessels to dilate, which lowers your blood pressure.
But what about doing yoga in the complete opposite environment?
A few years ago, snowga became a thing and yogis grabbed their mats to venture outside. Just this week, a snowga session was held at the indoor ski slope Chill Factore in Manchester – but is there really a benefit to doing yoga in cold temperatures?
Carolyn Billingham, who is a Kundalini and Nigra yoga teacher, tells Metro.co.uk that while extreme temperatures – both hot and cold – can be beneficial during some form of exercise-related relaxation techniques such as ice baths or cryotherapy, cold yoga isn’t particularly advisable.
‘While the benefits of extreme temperatures on our bodies and health are widely documented by fitness and alternative trends, such as ice baths, cryotherapy, hot yoga, saunas etc., practising yoga in cold temperatures has one massive drawback for yogis,’ she said.
‘Our muscles contract and become brittle in the cold, thus making us susceptible for injury which can be a real problem if you are stretching yourself in any asana (yogic postures).
‘Even with a flow of movement and the breath work (pranayama), which would heat up the body, the potential of the immediate drop in temperature when we rest is huge.’
Although there are some positive aspects of cold yoga, Carolyn believes that since these same benefits can be found in regular yoga, it cancels out the need to work out in frosty temperatures.
She said: ‘The argument for cold temperature yoga is reduced inflammation, weight loss and a balanced hormone level, with the production of endorphins a mood enhancer, but all of these things can be experienced in yoga anyway.
‘So you might be better taking the health benefit of a brief cold shower or even ice bath and leaving yoga to a studio or living room where you can better enjoy the benefits of increased flexibility, reduction of stress, lung expansion, heart health and improved glandular and nervous system to name but a few.’
According to Brrrn, pioneers of cold yoga, frosty temperatures can improve endurance and recovery, as well as enhance focus and increase energy.
‘In ambient or hot environments, your perceived rate of exertion is higher,’ Brrrn co-founder Johnny Adamic, said in an interview with Yoga Journal last year.
‘This means your body thinks it’s working harder than it actually is, while in cooler temperatures anywhere from 40-64°F [4.4-17.7C] – your perceived rate of exertion is lower, which means you can work out harder and sustain your maximal best performance for longer.’
But take this with a pinch of salt; the brand is built around cold workouts, so it makes sense it would agree there is a positive side to it.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much research on the topic (as most findings revolve around cold weather sports, as opposed to controlled temperature sessions that take place indoors), however, one study from 2011 on immunological changes in athletes revealed that ‘environmental extremes’ can affect the body’s immune system.
The study admits there is not a certain link between ‘immunological changes’, but that there is a chance ‘vigorous exercise in subfreezing temperatures’ could lead to ‘increased risk of infection’.
However, this study specifically looked at athletes who train and compete during winter months – so it’s unclear how these results would compare to yoga workouts in a controlled environment.
As for doing outdoor exercises in cold conditions, another study mentions a risk of frostbite or hypothermia.
On the topic of snowga specifically, Carolyn doesn’t recommend it, but does admit it could help get the lymphatic system moving.
‘In Kundalini yoga, as taught by Yoga Bhajan, there is a practice that daily cold showers – hydrotherapy or Ishnaan – open the blood capillaries and according to him this clears toxins at the deepest level of the body, which is of course an amazing health benefit.
‘It wakes up our circulation and strengthens the nervous system. However, this is a system where we experience the extreme cold for a short period of time – whereas snow yoga would be for much longer.
‘There are some potential health concerns with yoga in the snow around inadequate layering of clothes, with dangerous drops in temperature causing hypothermia or even frostbite. Those with heart conditions low or high blood pressure would also want to take advice on this beforehand too.
‘Of course, the appeal here is that when it is cold your body regulates its temperature a little better, so you burn more fat. Yoga is also about a flow and extreme hot and cold temperatures are also really good for moving the lymphatic system which helps keep the liver and kidneys free from blockages.’
Overall, there seems to be more downsides to cold yoga than is worth the hassle.
But if you’re considering trying it or any other form of cold exercise, it’s advisable to discuss it with a health professional or your local GP first.
Especially as your individual health could be a determining factor in whether it would be good or bad for you personally.
Winter holiday snow background with snowflakes for design
Welcome to our weekly look at the issues around invisible illness.
Thousands of people have invisible illnesses and disabilities but they are often judged for using disabled bathrooms, parking spaces or asking for a seat on the train because of how they look.
For You Don’t Look Sick, we speak to a different person each week about what it is like to live with a condition that causes debilitating symptoms but to the outside world, it looks like there is nothing wrong.
Heidi Reynolds, 42, who lives in Cornwall, has Parkinson’s, a progressive neurological condition that causes problems with the brain that get worse over time.
She was diagnosed in July 2014, at the age of 37 but started experiencing symptoms four and a half years prior to diagnosis.
She is now medically retired from her work as a Metropolitan Police sergeant and now works as the founder of a voluntary community network for people living with Parkinson’s called Start Living Today PD. She also produces sea glass art.
The condition is much less common in younger people like Heidi – just 1.2% of people with Parkinson’s are under 50.
Because of this and because she looks well to an outsider, Heidi says she is judged for using facilities for disabled people.
She explains: ‘I get told I don’t look sick all the time. In one way it’s a huge compliment. I mean here I am filling my poor body with all this medication every day, not sleeping, and living with a degenerative neurological condition but people are telling me I look well. That’s pretty good really.
‘It’s when it’s judgmental that it becomes an issue or when you’re made to feel as though you need to justify yourself in some way. It’s more comments like “You could do that yesterday “ or “You did that earlier”. Parkinson’s changes sometimes hour by hour.
‘The other real bugbear I have is disabled toilets. I wish people could understand that you do not have to be over 65 or in a wheelchair to use a disabled toilet.
‘That’s right I’m dressed in gym apparel but I’m afraid I can’t catheterise in the normal cubicles and so far as I’m aware there isn’t a dress code. Please just don’t judge.
What are the symptoms of Parkinson's?
The motor symptoms of Parkinson’s include:
The non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s include:
Mental health issues include:
‘If you are unsure ask. No one minds anyone asking but “those” comments under your breath aren’t nice.
‘I’ve had numerous comments on leaving the disabled toilets like “I’ve got a disabled person here who’s been waiting while you did your makeup,” or “Those are for disabled you know”.
‘I normally point out how pleased they should be they can read the sign on the door and then pull out my Parkinson’s card and say: “Now read that just as loudly for everyone please but feel free to add the word sorry at the end.”
‘I then calmly explain that not all disabilities are visible. I’m always polite about it. I’d rather they stay, listen and learn something from it. That way it may prevent it happening to someone else.’
Heidi starting experiencing severe shoulder pain in 2010, which led to numerous operations and procedures without any relief.
Over time, she started experiencing other symptoms but they were thought to be side effects of medication.
She explains: ‘Other things just drip fed out – tremor, balance issues, cognitive difficulties, positional hypotension, constipation, stiffness, weakness on one side of my body.
‘Once I finally saw a neurologist,who also happened to be a young onset specialist, she seemed convinced after lots of further tests that I had Parkinson’s.
‘I took the medication for Parkinson’s for eight weeks and was formerly diagnosed at the conclusion of this period.
‘It became very obvious by my response to the medication however what I was facing in my return. They worked and worked well.
‘Being diagnosed was like a washing machine of emotions. It’s not unusual for it to take years because there’s no one diagnostic test.
‘I was relieved but also oddly, I was angry. Anger of “why me?” Fear with questions like “Will I end up in a wheelchair? What does the future look like?
‘There was defiance, sadness, loss, control, loss of control, numbness and round and round it went.
‘Eventually you find your own place because you can never fully accept something that is forever changing.
‘It will never change me though. It may change the packaging and fudge the brain a bit but I’m still me and always will be. Parkinson’s can never take that away.’
Heidi tried to stay fit and enjoys spin classes, paddle boarding and cycling but she feels that because some days she is able to do so much, people don’t fully understand the day-to-day impact of her condition.
She says: ‘For me the difficulty is that I don’t want to be treated differently but there are times I need more time or help, but I look fine.
‘People say: “Heidi, oh she’s fine. Honestly she looks so well she’s doing great.” But did anyone stop to ask me? Or just look at the outer packaging.
‘There’s a mouth wide open moment when you tell someone you have Parkinson’s. After that you get the “Are you sure?” look, the “Aren’t you too young?” question and the “At least you’re doing well” assumption.
‘People don’t see that I take medication crushed and in liquid form around six to eight times per day. I wear patches, I drink thickened liquids and won’t ever have turkey for my Christmas dinner again because I’d choke.
‘My throat muscles don’t work properly any more so it affects my ability to swallow and I choke on my own saliva. I have a special headrest for my bed supplied by occupational therapy.
‘I have to add a thickener to my drinks to make them wallpaper paste style.
‘It’s basically because it slows the drink rolling on my tongue giving my space cadet of a brain time to work out it has to shut off my airway. If I try to eat something like a satsuma, cherry tomato, apple anything that has liquid and food, stand clear.
‘My brain can’t cope with that level of multi tasking so I cough and splutter.
‘The danger with this is as you get older you become more prone to infection because you get weaker ie unable to cough all the liquid up from your lungs and hence pneumonia is a real threat.
‘Having got the liquid in, my body isn’t keen to release it either. My bladder muscles don’t work properly so I can still go to the loo but my bladder doesn’t fully empty.
‘My brain makes me think it has but not long afterwards I’ll be sprinting back to the smallest room in the house. Sadly and all too frequently, it’s too late – another unexpected joy at the age of 42.
‘I catheterise four times per day to get rid of the excess liquid.
‘Cognitively my brain doesn’t function properly either. I can’t read a timetable or if I were to arrive in a station or hospital anywhere with a lot of signs it’s a sea of information and it means nothing to me.
‘It’s like system overload .It’s like my brain just switches off and I see nothing.
‘I have no concept of time and have a clock used for Alzheimer’s patients in my kitchen. I often can’t remember the year.
‘I struggle with financial issues and now have a power of attorney in place. These are hard things to accept at my age.
‘I have memory issues too. My husband and I went to look for new flooring and I literally have no recollection of the first visit we made to the shop. We had to go back. It can be quite good though. I often happily enjoy a meal enthusing over this new culinary delight my hubby has created only to be told we had it last week. Everything is a surprise!
‘It’s not everything though it’s random and my long term memory is sharp as.
‘Insomnia, fatigue, lack of appetite, not being able to pull up the right word mid sentence, constantly losing things if they aren’t put in their specific place, having signs around the house telling me to check my task (I write a board every morning with what I am doing that day so I stay focused because I’m so easily distracted) , turn lights out, turn taps off, know what to do at dinner time.’
The last year has been hard for Heidi after suffering two herniated discs and a knee injury but having to use crutches gave her another perspective on how people with invisible illnesses are treated.
‘Crutches are visible so suddenly you become someone people want to help,’ she says.
‘A visual aid is so powerful to people and also goes to show just how kind people are when they know.’
Heidi tries to be open about her condition but struggles with how people react to the issues she faces.
She says: ‘It’s impossible to fully understand unless you live with us so people just don’t believe things are as bad as we say they are (not that I’m sure why you’d want to say those things about yourself otherwise) but most come out with “oh I do that”.
‘This isn’t just going upstairs and forgetting why you went or forgetting the name of your neighbour’s cat.
‘I know most are trying to make me feel better but it takes quite a lot to admit to issues like these and it just isn’t helpful. People need to understand.
‘It’s the equivalent of saying to someone with a brain tumour “oh I get headaches too”. You just wouldn’t.’
Although the last few years have been hard, Heidi tries to see some positives.
‘I lost my career and it has changed my social life. It takes very understanding people in your life and very special friends.
‘On the other hand it’s also given us some amazing changes for the better. I would trade the lot for my health but if I’m saddled with this you have to look at it from the positive.
‘We moved to Cornwall, which is something we wanted to do for years. I can put my wetsuit in and go for a swim whenever I want and go paddle boarding or body boarding. The fitter I keep myself, the fitter and stronger I’ll stay.
‘I’ve found a real passion in my sea glass art too. I would have laughed if someone would have said that to me but in May I’m set to display my work in the Polpeor Gallery at Lizard Point for one week during half term. Never say never!
‘I’m a volunteer for the National Trust as a Ranger at their wildlife watchpoint at Lizard Point, mainland UK’s most southerly point. I regularly see dolphins, seals and a wide variety of sea birds to share with equally excited members of the public. I love it.
‘Life isn’t all bad and I have adapted it to fit my current needs thanks to the support of my husband.
‘I’m a great believer in a positive attitude and my favourite quote is “It’s not about waiting for the storm to pass it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” That’s exactly how I live my life. Don’t get me wrong I have my down days the same as anyone else but after a short time of feeling sorry for yourself you work out it really isn’t achieving all that much and you’re just missing out on the day so time to get on with living again.
‘Life changes with any chronic or progressive condition such as Parkinson’s obviously but it doesn’t mean you can’t adapt and make things the best they can be.
‘I get so much support from the Parkinson’s community on Facebook and across social media. I founded Start Living Today pd and the three words at the core of everything we do are positive, motivated and happy.
‘I have just under 8k followers across social media now and I speak at global conferences on positivity and my love of exercise.’
Through her group and by working with the Parkinson’s UK Parkinson’s Is campaign, Heidi wants to raise awareness of the condition and of invisible illness in general.
She says: ‘It’s about somehow taking disability out of a wheelchair. Of course disability very much has to do with a wheelchair but it’s so broad and the symbol so narrow.
‘You could name so many all disabilities all nothing to do with wheelchairs.
‘We need education from an early age to make people start to think more broadly in public facing roles so that awareness is greater.’
How to get involved with You Don't Look Sick
You Don’t Look Sick is Metro.co.uk’s weekly series that discusses invisible illness and disabilities.
If you have an invisible illness or disability and fancy taking part, please email email@example.com.
You’ll need to be happy to share pictures that show how your condition affects you, and have some time to have some pictures taken.
Heidi ReynoldsLizard PointCornall