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

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    Olympic icon Jo Pavey shares her favourite running spots in London
    (Pictures: PA/Getty)

    Jo Pavey is an unbelievable woman.

    She has raced at the last five Olympic Games and the 45-year-old mother of two now has her sights set on Japan 2020.

    If anyone is going to inspire you to get off the sofa and do some exercise this Easter weekend – it’s Jo.

    And with the London Marathon just around the corner, now is the perfect time to dust off the trainers and get back into running. Or, if you’re already deep in to your marathon training, maybe you’re after a change of scenery as you start to taper off.

    London is largely a concrete jungle – but there is hidden beauty, greenery and rolling hills that are perfect for runners, you just have to find them.

    Dodging the worst pollution spots, the cars and the crowds can be tricky in London, luckily Jo has given us her top tips on where to run in the city.

    South West London

    ‘Between 2001 and 2011 I lived in Teddington in South West London. I moved here for logistical reasons, but it was also because the running is so good in this part of London,’ Jo tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘In fact, many people don’t realise just how great London is for running.

    ‘I specifically moved house to be as close as possible to Bushy Park. There are various running routes I used during my time in London.

    ‘For a long run of 15km or longer, I would often combine Bushy Park and Richmond Park.

    ‘I would start at the Laurel Road Gate, close to my house, and do a lap of Bushy, but leave the park at the end of Chestnut Avenue and head through Teddington, cross the Thames at Teddington Lock and then head via Ham Common into Richmond Park for a lap.

    ‘I would enter Richmond Park via Ham Gate and do a full lap and then head back out and over Teddington Lock and back to my house.

    Google
    (Picture: Google)

    ‘Another run I enjoyed was to combine Hampton Court Park with Bushy Park.

    ‘Bushy Park is great if you want to run on the flat and Richmond is better if you want to incorporate some hills.

    ‘Look out for the Parakeets – they’re there all year round – but give any red deer stags a wide berth during the rutting season, which is September – October.’

    North East London

    ‘Hampstead Heath is a lovely place to run in this part of London,’ says Jo.

    ‘Parliament Hill is often the host to big cross country races and it’s amazing to have this terrain combined with views right across the city.

    ‘I love running here and whenever I’m in this part of London I try and get a run in.

    ‘I normally enter Hampstead Heath near the Parliament Hill Athletics Track. You can then head around the perimeter of the park but it’s also nice to vary the route and head along some of the many paths that criss cross the park.

    ‘I have also done a hill session here before and it’s a fantastic setting with the extensive views across London including Canary Wharf, the Shard and St Pauls Cathedral.

    ‘Hampstead Heath has trails through open fields, woodland and there are lots of up and downs along the way. You can also link this run with a detour into Highgate Woods.

    Google
    (Picture: Google)

    ‘Another brilliant area for running in North East London is Epping Forest. This is an extensive woodland near Loughton. It’s in Essex but lies inside the M25.

    ‘At nearly 6000 acres there are many routes to choose from. The forest is only about two miles or so wide, but twelve miles in length and so it allows you to run a long loop.

    ‘Even though it’s a forest there are also areas of open grassland.

    ‘As well as runners you’ll see lots of horse riders and mountain bikers.’

    Google
    (Picture: Google)

    Central London

    ‘Hyde Park is a great place to get a run in if you’re in central London. Most of the routes are tarmac, but it’s a nice little loop if you want to escape the pavements.

    ‘The park is slightly sloping, but there no steep hills. For your shorter, sharper efforts, I would go for the two-mile loop of the Serpentine.

    ‘Victoria Park is quite a busy park but a nice run. It’s just under 5K a loop, so you can get a short 5K run done here, or do a couple of loops to go further. It’s very picturesque with the Chinese Pagoda, boating lake, etc. It’s also pretty flat.

    ‘I have run the Regent Canal a few times. It’s a nice peaceful run and I love running along waterways. The best starting point is probably near Limehouse Station. You can run up to about 15K here.’

    North West London

    ‘Dollis Valley Green Walk is an amazing long run route to follow if you are training for bigger events such as the London Marathon.

    Dollis Valley nature trail sign
    (Picture: Getty)

    ‘If you follow it to the book, it will be a simple case following the walk route, (look for the green discs and the wooden finger posts). By doing this you will experience a great combination of woods, fields, great views and the added bonus of seeing some cute farm animals.

    ‘Golders Hill Park is another great location for shorter efforts, I have run here a few times as part of my visits to Hampstead.

    ‘Given its location, perhaps unsurprisingly there are quite a few small climbs that will get your heart rate going.

    ‘It is roughly a two-mile effort around the perimeter and can easily be built up to 5K if you add a sprint through the middle of the park. There is also a free zoo which is great if you’re running here with your kids.’

    The London Marathon is on Sunday 28 April.

    MORE: Two-in-one fitness classes could be the most effective way to work out

    MORE: Study debunks the sleep myths that are wrecking your health

    MORE: People tell us all the horrible ways they’ve been evicted


    Olympic icon Jo Pavey shares her favourite running spots in LondonOlympic icon Jo Pavey shares her favourite running spots in London

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    ASOS has launched a modest collection
    (Picture: ASOS)

    ASOS is the latest brand to embrace modest fashion after H&M made the move last year.

    The retailer said the modest clothing industry is worth over $240 billion (£184m) and wants to make it more mainstream.

    The Verona Collection – which sells in Macy’s stores in the U.S – has been shown off on a Muslim model who tweeted the news.

    Asha Mohamud, a mental health and beauty blogger, became a model for the brand, wearing hijabs and long dresses on the site.

    For those who don’t know, the term modest fashion describes clothing that is on-trend yet relatively covered. It can include hijabs and burqas as well as tops, trousers, cardigans and dresses that feature a modest cut.

    Asha was applauded, as well as ASOS, on social media for making leaps in modest fashion representation.

    Asha showing off the  Verona long-sleeved maxi dress with button detail in black
    Asha showing off the  Verona long-sleeved maxi dress with button detail in black
    (Picture: ASOS)

    Founded by fashion photographer Lisa Vogl and fashion designer Alaa Ammuss, who struggled to find modest fashion at an affordable price, the Verona Collection began with a small investment.

    A few months after launch, the founders partnered with British entrepreneur and philanthropist Hassan Mawji to grow the collection.

    Verona Collection’s Director Hassan Mawji said: ‘Our partnership with ASOS marks a big milestone for Verona and the modest fashion industry – we’ve carefully curated this collection with ASOS and we’re excited about the opportunities this opens up’.

    The collection also includes plus size options
    The collection also includes plus size options (Picture: ASOS)

    The collection will include a variety of hijabs, modest tops, dresses and trousers that range from £11 to £55.

    Asha debuted some of the range on her Instagram where she wrote: ‘Catch me rocking my hijab on ASOS’s new modest collection, just in time for Eid!’

    Her posts got thousands of likes and comments, both on her Instagram and Twitter.

    After other brands like Nike which introduced its Pro Hijab line and Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY and Dolce & Gabbana who have also embraced modest fashion, we’re excited to see which other labels follow.

    MORE: ‘Be fiercely you’: Halima Aden says it’s a great time to be a Muslim woman at International Somali Awards

    MORE: Halima Aden turns fashion designer as she launches 27 new headscarves

    MORE: H&M’s full-coverage clothing line is great, but the term ‘modest’ really isn’t


    ASOS modest wearASOS modest wear

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    Lidl
    (Picture: Getty – Lidl)

    Parenting is expensive, especially if you are about to have a baby or have just welcomed your little one.

    Well, good news – Lidl is having a nationwide mother and baby sale with prices starting at 99p.

    The sale includes everything from books, travel cots and activity gyms to maternity leggings, nursing bras and baby bodysuits.

    You can also pick up Lupilu baby essentials from 39p.

    The Ladybird Peppa Pig or Topsy & Tim storybook is 99p or you can get a My First Words book for £1.99 and a bath friendly book for £1.29.

    Bright Starts Activity Gym is £19.99 (Picture: Lidl)
    Bright Starts Activity Gym is £19.99 (Picture: Lidl)

    The discount supermarket is also selling the Galt Jungle Play Nest, which has an recommend retail price of £29.99, for £17.99 and the Bright Starts Activity Gym is £19.99.

    There’s also a car seat for £69.99 and the travel cot is £49.99.

    The travel cot is £49.99 (Picture: Lidl)
    The travel cot is £49.99 (Picture: Lidl)

    There also plently of branded items for less. The Motorola 3.5” digital video baby monitor with an RRP of £130.99, will be £79.99 and the audio monitor is £15.99.

    Tomme Tippee closer to nature bottles are £8.99, the bath and room thermometer is also £8.99 and the baby healthcare kit is down from an RRP of £17.99 to £9.99.

    This car seat costs £69.99 (Picture: Lidl)
    This car seat costs £69.99 (Picture: Lidl)

    You can pick up sipper bottles for £3.99, cups for £2.99, section plates for £2.99 and bibs are £2.79.

    There’s also a range of maternity clothes for anyone who is pregnant and bodysuits for when the baby arrives.

    The mother and baby range will be available in that magic middle aisle from 22 April but get in quickly to grab the best bargains.

    You can view the full range online already so you can plan out what you want.

    MORE: ASOS launches modest range with Muslim model showing off hijabs and dresses

    MORE: Is EL James’ new book The Mister really based on Meghan Markle?


    SEC_62905627SEC_62905627

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    As a whole, the real estate business isn’t particularly sexy.

    Sure, there are fantastic properties that give you the equivalent of a house buyer orgasm, but that’s about as close as it gets – the rest revolves around money, contracts and making sure there isn’t mould hiding behind the walls.

    But a new ad from real estate agency LJ Hooker Bankstown (such a fitting name, really) shows that buying a home in Australia can most definitely be a sexual experience.

    In the video, which has since gone viral, an attractive couple can be seen doing a sultry dance together in the property, walking around half-naked and overall doing some light grinding on different surfaces of the home before jumping into bed together.

    An equally seductive dance track accompanies the video.

    It was uploaded to YouTube and so far has 59,719 views, which is pretty impressive from a sales point of view – however people on Twitter are less inclined to buy the house, and more interested in severely mocking the video.

    Located in Padstow, Sydney, the property itself presents the ultimate setting; luxurious with a contemporary style, with a well-lit L-shaped swimming pool for late night fun.

    This is of course showcased by the man taking a swim, and then handed a glass of champagne by his female companion.

    One Twitter user also mocked the property’s description, which claims to offer ‘the ultimate family lifestyle’ and said: ‘Not when the breakfast bar comes pre-sexed’.

    Another said it was important to him to see his real estate agents ‘rooting’ (Australian slang for f***ing) before he buys a house.

    The video has since been removed from LJ Hooker Bankstown’s social media and website, and the firm has also issued an apology for its overtly sexual sales pitch.

    But it’s still circulating on Twitter and one fan has re-uploaded it to YouTube so that no one misses out on this masterpiece.

    ‘LJ Hooker Bankstown is always looking for new ways to market our listings; however, this time we missed the mark,’ it said in a statement.

    It’s still a pretty fabulous home, though, and it should be – it costs nearly £1.8million.

    Still from LJ Hooker Bankstown real estate video advert shows man jumping into bed
    (Picture: YouTube/Opticool Studios)
    Still from LJ Hooker Bankstown real estate video advert shows man lifting woman onto kitchen island
    (Picture: YouTube/Opticool Studios)

    Sam Nader, the estate agent who commissioned the video, told Guardian Australia he was happy with the level of attention the property has received through the video. He has also previously commissioned a similar one for another home.

    ‘I just wanted to do something different in the industry, and it really, really worked,’ he said.

    ‘I did one for a house in Illawong and it broke the record for the area. $3,205,000 [£1,767,779], sold before auction.

    ‘Video gets attraction to the property, and the whole point of real estate is to get as many eyes as possible on the property. It was supposed to be funny.

    ‘Whether it’s funny, it’s rude or its sexy, every video I do is different.’

    Well, we can’t argue with that.

    The video is definitely different.

    MORE: The ruined home of a Satanist is on the market for more than £500,000

    MORE: Fancy living in a £850,000 cottage once featured in a Terry’s Chocolate Orange advert?

    MORE: Sinking country house with guide price of £1 sparks bidding war


    Real estate adReal estate ad

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    Subway's new vegan sub filled with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onions and a vegan patty
    (Picture: Subway)

    Vegans rejoice, for you now have a new option to order from Subway.

    The sandwich joint has just announced two permanent vegan additions to its menu, including a vegan sub and a salad, both of which will be available from today (17 April).

    First up is the sub, featuring a vegan patty made from red pepper, spicy chilli, garlic and red onion flavours.

    Since this is Subway, so you can add whatever vegetables or sauce you prefer, but the brand has created a new vegan aioli for the occasion.

    It’s tasty, but also incredibly garlicky – skip it if you’re on a date.

    Thankfully, there are other vegan sauce options such as BBQ, sweet chilli and hot chilli.

    Subway's new vegan sub filled with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, onions and a vegan patty
    (Picture: Subway)
    Subway's new vegan salad
    (Picture: Subway)

    Prices for the vegan dishes start from £3.80 and if you’re famished, you can also get a side of vegan hash browns.

    The salad is pretty similar, minus the bread; choose your ingredients, add bits of the vegan patty on top and chuck on some garlic aioli.

    As for what the vegan sub tastes like, the collective response from those who tried it in the Metro.co.uk office was ‘it’s not half bad’.

    Whether it’ll beat Greggs’ super popular vegan sausage roll as the nation’s new favourite vegan snack remains to be seen.

    MORE: M&S criticised after vegan customer spots beef collagen in Super Water juice

    MORE: Easter 2019: The best vegan Easter eggs

    MORE: Burger King is giving out free Whoppers this Wednesday


    Vegan subwayVegan subway

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    The messages Amy received
    (Picture: Getty – Amy Bottrill)

    Anyone who has been on Tinder has probably experienced a slightly awkward date.

    There’s no real conversation, you both know you haven’t got a connection and you realise it’s not worth meeting up again.

    You move on – there’re plenty more dates out there.

    Except one man did that and then six months later, he felt the need to go back to his date and tell her she was disrespectful for not getting in touch again and added that he thought she was ‘dressed like she was at a funeral’.

    His date Amy Bottrill challenged him about holding a grudge for so long, but he insisted she had ‘some making up to do’ before telling her he wasn’t opposed to reconciling.

    Amy told Metro.co.uk: ‘It was just one of those where it was kind of awkward and I thought it was clear that we both weren’t really into it, I was polite but didn’t feel the need to pursue him OR explicitly reject him/explain why I didn’t want to see him again

    ‘Neither of us reached out, he didn’t make any effort to see me again or contact me/even ask how I was.’

    In screengrabs posted on Twitter of their Whatsapp conversation, their last message was on 29 October, after their date when they sent a few messages thanking each other for the evening.

    The messages Amy received
    (Picture: Amy Bottrill)

    Then the conversation went cold, with neither of them saying anything else until Monday evening, over six months later, when he messaged her saying: ‘Do you know how disrespectful it is to have someone take you out on a date, pay for everything, drop you home, then to never call or text that person back.’

    Amy replied: ‘Have you really been holding that grudge for nearly 6 months?’

    Despite his abrupt message, it seems he thought it would somehow persuade her to see him again.

    He said: ‘Nope. Life is too short for grudges darling… However, don’t let that stop any reconciling you may have been considering.’

    Amy said: ‘I don’t get what this is about but I wasn’t disrespectful in any way, if you wanted to see me again you could have said… but that didn’t happen and I assumed we both didn’t feel much chemistry so I kept it moving.’

    He told her she had some ‘making up to do’ before asking her how she is.

    When she replied with a pleasant ‘I’m fine’, he tried again to see if they could get chatting again.

    He said: ‘Babe. Blow the dust off my number and be nice to me. It took alot for me to reach out to you after the way you behaved so you should be making much more of an effort right now.’

    Clearly not taking the hint, Amy spells out that she is not interested but the guy wants to know why.

    The messages Amy received
    (Picture: Amy Bottrill)

    She explained: ‘Because we had 1 fairly awkward date and you didn’t seem to fancy me or want to see me again, now it’s nearly 6 months later and you think the way to get my interest/attention is by being hostile and entitled and calling me disrespectful? Nah I’m good thanks.’

    And then he turned nasty and told her she was ‘dressed like you was attending a funeral of someone you didn’t like…’

    Amy later clarified that she wore a low cut black dress with poppers all the was down and four inch heels, so we’re not sure what sort of funerals this guy is attending.

    At that point Amy ended the conversation but she took some screengrabs and posted them on Twitter.

    She told Metro.co.uk: ‘I frequently share dating experiences on Twitter because it’s something that a lot of single women have to go through, especially when the age of apps and social media has changed how people communicate.

    ‘I tweeted that without thinking too much because I found it comical how ridiculous it was for him to reach out over so much time in such a hostile/aggressive way to provoke a reaction from me.’

    Although she said she thought they were funny, she said that she wants to raise a more serious point about the way men treat women they go on dates with.

    She added: ‘Sadly I don’t think this is unusual at all and that’s probably why it’s been shared so much – thousands of women seem to have very similar experiences or even worse.

    ‘I can laugh about these messages but straight men’s entitlement to women’s time and attention is a real problem and can actually be very unsettling or threatening.

    ‘This is an example of a wider symptom that literally hurts or kills women every day – a perceived slight against someone’s ego or a polite rejection can lead to harassment, abuse, stalking or violence.’

    The Tweet she posted went viral, with lots of people relating to her experience but she’s received some nasty comments as well.

    ‘Seeing the reactions has also been infuriating because for all the support, there are dozens of responses saying I brought this upon myself by not being grateful enough to receive a free meal on a first date, not being polite enough afterwards, etc,’ she said.

    ‘Ultimately people can behave like this whether or not you pick up the bill, no matter how ‘polite’ you are during or after a date, no matter what you wear (and whether it looks like you’re dressed for a funeral or not lol).’

    MORE: Subway launches vegan sub and salad

    MORE: Lidl launches huge mother and baby sale with prices starting from 99p


    Woman roasted by a man she went on one date with six months agoWoman roasted by a man she went on one date with six months ago

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    Illustration of a woman's running shoes on grass
    (Picture: Ella Byworth)

    The annual London Marathon is less than two weeks away, but it’s not just runners that are prepping for the big event.

    Pubs and bars across the capital are also getting their ducks in a row for the celebratory extravaganza that will follow.

    The automatic response to an exhausting workout is usually to reward oneself with a treat, and after conquering a feat like a marathon a drink feels well-deserved.

    But is it OK to drink after a marathon and if you do, should you limit yourself to one or two – or can you go all out and party the night away?

    Doctor Ralph Rogers, former team physician for Chelsea First and advisor to the NBA, tells Metro.co.uk that there are no benefits to drinking after a marathon.

    ‘There are no pros to drinking after a marathon; alcohol dehydrates the body and post-marathon, when you’ve lost a lot of fluid, you need to rehydrate [with non-alcoholic beverages] and replace electrolytes,’ he said.

    ‘But don’t over-drink, as too much fluid can be bad for you – but for most runners there is a bigger risk from dehydration than overhydration.

    ‘Alcohol increases urine output and the goal in the first few hours after a marathon is to rehydrate. Try to give your body a chance to recover.’

    Becky, 32, is running the London Marathon this year and intends to have a few afterwards.

    She has run the Manchester marathon a few years ago and struggled to drink alcohol once she passed the finish line, but has a plan in place for this year’s event.

    ‘My stepdad had a beer waiting for me when I finished the Manchester 2016 marathon and I couldn’t handle it due to the need of glucose afterwards,’ she said.

    ‘It took a couple of hours and a lot of Lucozade, but I made up for lost efforts. This time around I’ve got my Lucozade tabs on standby, so there’s no delay for a binge after a month of alcohol detox.’

    Should you drink after a marathon?
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Nutritionist Sonal Shah disagrees with doctor Rogers, and believes it’s ok to have alcohol after an intense workout – but only a few glasses.

    ‘In my opinion it’s fine to have one or two units of alcohol after a marathon, as long as you have eaten food and drunk water beforehand,’ she tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘The whole body is utilised during a marathon, including the muscles and joints. Sweating means salts and water is lost, which means adequate hydration with water and electrolytes is important.

    ‘Therefore you don’t want to deplete yourself further which can lead to you feeling more tired and your immune system below par.’

    As for what beverages you should go for, it’s recommended that you stay away from red wine to avoid upsetting your stomach.

    Having a pint of beer is a far better idea or a spirit and sugary mixer.

    But most fitness experts agree that drinking on an empty stomach is a bad idea, so it could be worthwhile to add a bowl of peanuts to your pub order (or indeed a full meal).

    ‘Have a meal before drinking, as otherwise you will be drinking on an empty stomach which is never a good idea,’ Matt Durkin, a nutritionist at Simply Supplements, tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘Add some salt to the meal to help replace some of the electrolytes lost through sweating. If the meal naturally has a low salt content and no salt is available, snacking on salted peanuts is a good alternative.

    ‘Alcohol with a mixer may also work in your favour. For example, rum and coke or gin and lemonade have a high sugar content due to the mixer.

    ‘As glycogen stores will be very low following a marathon, the sugar can help to kick-start the recovery process.’

    However, some people argue that the issue with drinking after a marathon has less to do with enjoying a pint, and more to do with the ingrained culture of celebrating a major event with alcohol.

    Natalie, 30, is an avid gym-goer and also plays netball twice a week.

    She tells Metro.co.uk that having a drink after exercise has been part of her workout routine since university.

    ‘Drinking after exercise was something that was instilled in me when I was at uni,’ she said.

    ‘It was very much the culture. We would play netball and almost immediately afterwards we would start drinking.

    ‘Now I often do similar at the weekends. It’s great for bonding with my team and makes getting up at the crack of dawn to run around feel much more worth it.

    ‘I find that when I drink after intense exercise the alcohol tends to go to my head much more quickly. It basically makes me a lightweight, but it feels pretty great.

    ‘It’s almost as though my heart is still pumping faster than normal so it carries the booze around my bloodstream in lightning-quick time.

    ‘Understandably I am thirsty after sport. My body needs water, but if I reach for the beer first, I will often forget that I also need some non-alcoholic hydration – which can lead to a seriously killer hangover.’

    ‘Another issue is the potential for injury. Once, I went drinking straight afterwards and twisted my ankle. The alcohol stopped me from feeling the pain and swelling, so I ended up putting weight on it and not being careful – which definitely made my injury worse.’

    Whether to drink or not to drink on the big day, that’s up to you.

    But please, have some water and a salty snack – and don’t down an alcoholic drink at the finish line (especially if the weather is also punishing).

    And if you’re concerned, speak to a health professional or your local GP.

    MORE: If you’re a runner you need to be doing these stretches

    MORE: How does practicing yoga in a cold environment affect the body?

    MORE: Olympic icon Jo Pavey shares her favourite running routes in London


    now that summer is over, it's harder to harness that springnow that summer is over, it's harder to harness that spring

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    A chubby cat has been put on a strict diet, but his owners are using one thing to their advantage – that he was born with thumbs, meaning his paws are too big to steal snacks.

    Tabby Bronson, four, has the genetic abnormality polydactyl, where the first digit of a cat’s paw is longer and separated, resembling a human thumb.

    Cat lovers Mike Wilson, 35, and his girlfriend Megan Hanneman, 30, from Michigan, USA, adopted Bronson in April last year as a pal for their two other cats and were shocked at his 2st 3lbs weight.

    Ever since, the couple have been helping Bronson to lose weight – and he’s already lost 4lbs, which is 20% of his bodyweight – adding that his unusual deformity means he can’t fit his paws into the food they bought him.

    This chubby cat has very big paws
    (Picture: Caters News)

    Mike said: ‘We were originally going to the shelter to look for a new kitten, but when we walked into the place, we were blown away by this large cat in the front room.

    ‘We had never seen a cat his size and after getting over the awe while hanging out with him, it was a little sad to see that he lacked so much mobility.

    ‘But he can definitely grab objects a lot better than cats with his opposable thumbs.

    ‘His paws are very big so when he catches a toy, he has quite a grip.

    ‘We’ve gotten him food puzzles that are designed for cats to work harder to get their treats and promote activity and he wasn’t able to fit his paws in any of the areas.

    Bronson has now lost 4lbs
    (Picture: Caters News)

    ‘Luckily he hasn’t managed to get into any food cupboards yet!’

    Mike and Megan believe Bronson, who was brought into a shelter when his previous owner passed away, previously belonged to someone with memory issues who accidentally overfed him.

    Mike added: ‘There’s something very charming about Bronson’s large size, and if he could stay big and still have a healthy fulfilled life, we would love him to stay like this, but that’s not the case.

    PIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Bronson the cat) - This chubby kitty has been put on a diet but his owners are using the fact he was born with THUMBS to their advantage as his paws are too big to steal snacks. Tabby Bronson, four, has the genetic abnormality polydactyl, where the first digit of a cats for is longer and separated, resembling a human thumb. Cat lovers Mike Wilson, 35, and his girlfriend Megan, 30, from Michigan, USA, adopted the moggy in April last year as a pal for their two other cats and were shocked at the porky pets 2st 3lbs (15kg) size.SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Caters News)

    ‘We’ve done a lot of research of feline enrichment and exercise, and hope to get him to a healthier point where he has the urge to get up and explore.

    ‘Every time we see him do something he wasn’t able to do before, it really makes our day – things like jumping up to our bed, fitting under our couch and standing on his back legs for treats, to racing around the house, when he previously just slept all day.

    ‘He also inspires us to stay more active and healthy.

    ‘He’s spent a lot of his life laying down and watching life go by, so it’s really important for us to now keep him on his feet.’

    MORE: Chubby cat strolls into Tesco to steal some treats and take a nap

    MORE: Chubby cat tries to sneak in through cat flap – fails miserably


    Chubby thumbed catChubby thumbed cat

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    Cat and old man fall asleep together holding hands
    The kitty we need in our corner for every recovery (Picture: @andrewfalloon)

    Post-operation recovery means a lot of bed rest and taking it easy.

    One dad from South Island, New Zealand who went to rest his head for a bit woke up with a new friend.

    Member of parliament Andrew Fallon tweeted that his dad was left to rest with the door open after an operation.

    But when they went to check in on him, a cat had climbed onto his shoulder and also fell asleep, holding hands with the old man.

    The only thing is, they don’t own a cat.

    The hilariously sweet story went viral on Twitter, amassing almost 500,000 likes and even inspired a couple of memes.

    Just like the Fallon family, we’re not sure whose cat it is but we can all agree a bit of kitty therapy is the kind of recovery we all need.

    The cat walked in through the window and napped with the old man on a couch
    How peaceful do they look? (Picture: @andrewfalloon)

    Andrew, a 36-year-old MP for Rangitata, wrote: ‘My dad is recovering from an operation. Mum went out and left a door slightly ajar. My parents do not have a cat.’

    Others joked about whether anyone ever really owns a cat.

    One person wrote: ‘You never own a cat, a cat owns or claims you – animals are very clever and this animal realised your dad needed some love.’

    It seems cats have some sort of sixth sense as others wrote how a mysterious feline creature turned up by their side in unexpected moments.

    One person wrote: ‘Our next door neighbour’s cat hung out with me when I was bed ridden with flu one Christmas.

    ‘It was particularly touching because our cat had recently died. I’m sure I read somewhere that cats purr to speed their own healing process – and maybe ours too?’

    Similarly, another person shared: ‘Not my cat but it appeared when I was going out of my mind waiting for surgery, she was a constant visitor whilst I recovered.

    ‘She moved on a year ago and rarely even gives me a second glance so I guess I’m better now.’

    We’re now convinced cats have healing powers.

    MORE: Juju the cat was born with no elbow joints, so she walks around like a T-rex

    MORE: Kitten the size of a tennis ball is determined to grow the same size as his siblings

    MORE: Harry the cat returns home after getting himself stuck in two car engines


    Random cat walks in to comfort old man post-surgeryRandom cat walks in to comfort old man post-surgery

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    Nate has a condition which means he pulls his hair out
    (Picture: Nate Roscoe /SWNS.COM)

    A man has told how years of bullying over his sexuality at school left him so traumatised that he now can’t stop pulling out his own hair.

    Nate Roscoe, 32, suffers with trichotillomania – a condition which means he can’t resist the urge to pull out the hair from his head, eyebrows, arms and chest.

    The former telecoms operator, who is gay, said he started pulling out his hair to cope with years of being taunted by boys at his Catholic high school.

    At its worst, he would lock himself in the bathroom for eight hours at a time every day and pull from his scalp, leaving bald patches the size of tennis balls on his head.

    Nate has tried everything to resist the urge – from medication, to stress balls, cognitive behavioural therapy, and even constantly wearing a hat.

    But nothing has abated his uncontrollable condition, and said his illness has even caused friction with friends, family, and ex boyfriends.

    He’s quit two jobs because he finds the ordeal so humiliating and couldn’t stand being asked: ‘Why can’t you just stop doing it?’

    But he said he has finally embraced his condition after a loved one encouraged him to shave his head.

    Though he still pulls his hair almost daily, he spends no more than 20 minutes doing it, and wants to raise awareness of the condition amongst other men.

    Nate Roscoe from Salford said: ‘I used to feel a bit of pain when I was 16, but now I’m immune to it.

    ‘It’s gotten past that point, and now it’s not painful anymore.

    Nate during the start of the escalation of his condition, with his hairline receding.
    (Picture: Nate Roscoe /SWNS.COM)

    ‘If there’s a particular hair that I can’t get to with my finger, then I dig under my skin with a pair of tweezers to get to the root of the hair to pull it out.

    ‘I enter a sort of trance. I’m not really thinking anything when I pull my hair out.

    ‘It gives me relief doing it because it lowers my anxiety.

    ‘It’s something that I know that I have no power over, and unless you’ve been in my shoes with this particular condition you can’t truly understand what it’s like.

    ‘There are times where I don’t feel like I have a choice, because it consumes me.

    ‘The bullying was pretty much every day for five or six years at high school.

    ‘That’s a certain level of emotional trauma, and even as an adult I still have flashbacks to being bullied.

    ‘I’m anxious because of all that. The experience of being at that school affected my mental health, and triggered my trich.’

    Nate said he was bullied for being gay every day for nearly five years, between the ages of 12 and 16, and it stopped him making friends.

    He said his peers ganged up on him, taunting him and calling him homophobic names, and he quickly became the school pariah – and teachers did nothing to stop it.

    He said he started pulling his hair out aged 15, to deal with the stress.

    Trichotillomania, also known as trich, is when someone can’t resist the urge to pull out their hair, and sufferers often feel a sense of relief afterwards.

    ‘I wasn’t physically bullied, but it was constant name calling,’ he said.

    Nate today, with a shaved head
    (Picture: Nate Roscoe /SWNS.COM)

    ‘I was bullied for my sexuality before I even understood more about my sexuality — they were calling me “gay boy” and I didn’t know I was gay until I was 15.

    ‘I know that a lot of people are called names at school, but no one even wanted to befriend me – especially the boys, because they didn’t want to be seen with me.’

    Nate said PE classes were the worst, because he’d be taunted by large groups of boys in the changing rooms and was frequently picked last for teams.

    ‘Twenty years ago, sexuality wasn’t something that was talked about especially in school – particularly in a Catholic school,’ he said.

    ‘The teachers heard the names that I was being called, and they’d see the kids throw rubbers and pencils at me in class – but they never intervened.

    ‘They never took me to one side to ask if I was okay.

    ‘Looking back, I wonder if as a Catholic school, the staff didn’t think they could raise the subject of sexuality with me too much, if at all.

    ‘I truly believe those authority figures were complicit in the bullying because they could have done little things to stop it — and they didn’t.’

    Nate came out as gay when he was 15, and began to pull out clumps of hair from his scalp, arms, chest, and eyebrows.

    Nate, who also has OCD, was officially diagnosed when he was 22.

    Now he’s pulled so much hair out from his head over the years that some patches won’t grow back.

    And Nate has done so much damage to the follicles on his brows that he had them tattooed on last year.

    He described the experience as a mental illness over which he has no control, and said he was addicted.

    Nate was heavily bullied because of his sexuality
    (Picture: Nate Roscoe /SWNS.COM)

    Nate takes antidepressants, undergoes cognitive behavioural therapy, and even has a psychotherapy treatment called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.

    But he said the biggest turning point came when a friend of his finally convinced him to shave his head and accept his condition.

    ‘John was the first one to encourage me to shave my head, and to embrace it and accept it as a part of me, rather than as something to be ashamed of.

    ‘When I was 22 I was diagnosed with OCD — I used to be obsessed with checking locks on doors, and leaving the house made me anxious.

    ‘I was weird about taps being left on, so I used to turn the taps really tight.

    ‘A lot of people know what OCD is – but as soon as you mention hair pulling they think it’s disturbing and a really weird thing to do.

    ‘It has been hard to speak about it with people because I have had people question if I’m really ill — that’s been with friends and colleagues.

    ‘They would say “Why don’t you just stop doing it?”

    ‘That’s just about the worst thing you could say to someone with trich.’

    He finally felt able to tell his parents about the school bullying he endured two months ago.

    ‘It was like this massive weight off my shoulders that was being lifted,’ he said.

    ‘But I don’t think it would’ve made a difference if I’d told them earlier, because they’d have told the school – but the bullying wouldn’t have stopped.’

    Nate now shaves his head every two to three days to curb his urge to pull but has learned to accept the condition rather than fight it too much.

    He said there’s a lot of pressure amongst trich sufferers to stop, and though he’d sometimes last 24 hours not pulling, he’d relapse and beat himself up about it.

    ‘I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to ‘stop’ doing it, but I’d definitely say that I’m a step closer to making peace with it,’ he said.

    According to UK charity Trichotillomania Support, the disorder is now a recognised body-focused repetitive behaviour alongside skin picking.

    Nate wants to set an example for men in the UK who suffer in silence with trich.

    He said the media hasn’t done enough to address the issue among men, and treat trich largely as a female affliction.

    ‘It’s mainly a female affliction so I don’t think that men have been well represented in the media about OCD and hair pulling,’ he said.

    ‘It’s an emasculating thing for a man to go through because it’s kind of accepted that women remove their hair through waxing or with tweezers.

    ‘And women who pull hair wear wigs and put on false eyelashes, but it’s uncommon for a man to wear false eyelashes or wear a wig – and I never would.

    ‘There’s probably a lot of men that suffer from it and don’t talk about it.

    ‘But now I’m finally ready to talk about it — and to help other sufferers by showing them that you can get through it if you have good people around you.’

    MORE: 5 things you might not know about Trichotillomania

    MORE: Woman with compulsive hair pulling disorder ditches wigs to embrace her beauty


    Nate RoscoeNate Roscoe

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    Jeremy and Ahrielle Biddell on their wedding day
    (Picture: John Snipes)

    Weddings take meticulous planning and can be emotionally and physically draining for those involved.

    So one couple decided to keep it super low-key, low maintenance and just cut back on costs.

    Jeremy and Ahrielle Biddell didn’t even bother with the wedding dress, a suit, or even a venue.

    The newlyweds decided to have their big day in a field, exchanging their vows on the back of a pickup truck and then rolling around in the mud for kisses afterwards.

    Ahrielle wore a white bikini top and bottoms while Jeremy wore denim dungarees.

    The pair tied the knot at the Redneck Mud Park in Punta Gorda, Florida and pictures of their ceremony quickly went viral after they were posted on Facebook.

    Though it received some negative comments, the couple are paying no mind to the haters.

    Jeremy wearing denim overalls and Ahrielle Biddell in a white bikini
    (Picture: John Snipes)

    ‘It was spring break in South Florida so the bikini had to be a part of it,’ Jeremy told Metro.co.uk.

    ‘As far as the overalls I wore, that was me just wanting to yee yee it up.

    ‘There were a few people who stopped and watched but we had no idea it was going to go viral as it did.

    They exchanged vows in a truck
    (Picture: John Snipes)
    Jeremy carrying his new bride
    Just married (Picture: John Snipes)

    ‘There’s been a little bit of negative feedback mostly just stupid inbred jokes but none of it really bothered us at all. Being atheist we knew we weren’t getting married in a church.’

    After seeing the popularity of the post, Jeremy decided to use the attention to raise funds for his honeymoon.

    They wrestled in mud afterwards
    Not your traditional wedding kiss (Picture: John Snipes)

    So he set up a GoFundMe page. He wrote: ‘Since our recent redneck wedding has gone viral, I thought I would reach out to our fans to help me give my beautiful bride the honeymoon she deserves.

    ‘We love all of our fans! Please help me make her dream come true.

    ‘We have so many years to come and millions of memories to make. We promise forever to each other and show all of our fans our future together.’

    Just married
    (Picture: John Snipes)

    Jeremy also told Metro.co.uk that bold new ideas will always get attention but it’s okay to just do your own thing.

    He said: ‘It’s okay to step away from tradition and do things your own way. A wedding is about the love you have for one another and not what any other c***s think.’

    Wise words.

    Jeremy carrying his wife
    And they lived happily ever after (Picture: John Snipes)

    MORE: Bride is urged to burn ‘awful’ wedding dress after sharing photos on Facebook

    MORE: Woman thinks her pregnant bridesmaid should pay for a second wedding after ‘ruining’ her big day

    MORE: Bridesmaid cuts off long luscious hair for cancer patients but bride says the look will ruin the wedding


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    It turns out Tinder has more uses that just finding someone to hookup with.

    One woman used the app, as well as Facebook, to track down a place that was very special to her late father.

    Kailey Dominque, 34, from Seattle, U.S. said her dad Kevin O’Hearn had travelled to Ireland in 2001 and there was one town he fell in love with.

    But after he died, she realised that she had never asked him where it was exactly.

    After he died in July 2012 at the age of 57, Kailey knew she wanted to spread his ashes in Ireland.

    She finally went on a trip this year – but she planned the trip still not knowing exactly where the place her dad had fallen in love with was.

    Kailey told Metro.co.uk: ‘My dad raised me on his own from when I was two. My mum was still in my life but my dad raised me. He was the most selfless, kind, funny, brave, honest, compassionate, non judgmental man I knew.

    Kailey's dad Kevin in 2001 (Picture: Kailey Dominque)
    Kailey’s dad Kevin in 2001 (Picture: Kailey Dominque)

    ‘He was so proud of his Irish heritage and St. Patrick’s Day was his favorite holiday. He went to Ireland in 2001 with two of his closest friends and it was the trip of his life. He met a man called Clinton Kiernan and his family there. It was the highlight of his trip. He couldn’t believe the kindness the afforded him and what great people they are.

    ‘He talked about it a lot and i know it meant a great deal to him. I wanted to spread his ashes there knowing how much it meant to him.’

    The week before her trip Kailey decided she had nothing to lose by trying to track down the place that her dad loved that appeared in some of the photos.

    She posted in a group called Girls Love Travel to see if anyone had any idea where it was.

    The picture Kailey's dad took of Clint and his mother in 2001 (Picture: Kailey Dominque)
    The picture Kailey’s dad took of Clint and his mother in 2001 (Picture: Kailey Dominque)

    She said:  ‘I know this is a long shot but I need your help ladies! I’m going to Ireland to spread my dad’s ashes next week and there is a place in Ireland he fell in love with.

    ‘A man named Clint fixed his rental car, fed him, took him in and wouldn’t take a dime of his money for all he did.

    ‘I have three photos of the place but no idea where in Ireland it is.

    Kailey's post on Facebook (Picture: Kailey Dominque)
    Kailey’s post on Facebook (Picture: Kailey Dominque)

    ‘I’ve tried reverse google image.

    ‘Does anyone by chance have any idea where this may be? I’d love to spread his ashes there.

    ‘It meant a great deal to him. Thank you guys so much!’

    She shared two pictures her dad had taken of some colourful Irish streets and one of the man who had helped her dad, Clint, standing with his mum.

    Mara's Tinder profile (Picture: Kailey Dominque)
    Mara’s Tinder profile (Picture: Kailey Dominque)

    Initially, she didn’t have much luck but one of the ladies in the group added the pictures to her Tinder profile with a message asking her potential matches if they had any ideas.

    She said: ‘Part personal Tinder account/Part American gal pal playing detective account LOL (see photos 2,3, & 4 for reference) Do you know where those photos were taken?

    ‘A friend’s Dad passed and these photos of a place in Ireland he fell in love with in 2001. A man named Clint fixed his rental car, fed him, and took him in. She’d love to spread her Dad’s ashes there, if she can figure out where these photos were taken. Can you help?’

    From there, a man named Richard matched with Mara on Tinder. He recognised the place in the pictures as Kilmallock in County Limerick.

    Kailey with the Kierans (Picture: Kailey Dominque)
    Kailey with the Kierans (Picture: Kailey Dominque)

    Kailey said: ‘The Girls Love Travel ladies are amazing and I knew if they could help me, they would.

    ‘I posted the three photos I had from 18 years ago and asked for help.

    ‘The girls all went into detective mode and tried to help me find it. Mara went to Tinder (who would’ve thought?) and a man named Richard came forward.

    Kailey spreading her dad's ashes (Picture: Kailey Dominque)
    Kailey spreading her dad’s ashes (Picture: Kailey Dominque)

    ‘From there it was a whirlwind of activity, a woman named Mitzy came forward and said her family is from a Kilmallock and she’d message them to see if they knew of Clinton. The family did indeed know Clinton and his family, the Kierans, reached out to me.’

    ‘When I found it I just cried. It was emotional because I never anticipated finding the village let alone the people who made such an impact on my dad.’

    Dominque was able to make her way to Ireland to see the place her dad had loved. She met up with Clint and his mum Bridie.

    Kailey recreated the picture of Clint and his mother that her dad took (Picture: Kailey Dominque)
    Kailey recreated the picture of Clint and his mother that her dad took (Picture: Kailey Dominque)

    Kailey added: ‘Going there was incredible! It felt like I’ve known the Kiernans my whole life.

    ‘They welcomed me into their home and family immediately. They let me stay in their rental cottage, took me to dinner, lit Chinese lanterns for my dad into the sky, spread his ashes with me, and took me to the abandoned abbey near their home.

    The note Kailey's dad wrote for Clint that he kept in his wallet (Picture: Kailey Dominque)
    The note Kailey’s dad wrote for Clint that he kept in his wallet (Picture: Kailey Dominque)

    ‘I now know why my dad loved Kilmallock and the Kiernans so much. They’re the most beautiful people and it’s the most beautiful place.’

    And after speaking to Clinton, he told her that he had a note from her dad that he had kept in his wallet all this time.

    What a beautiful story. Maybe social media and dating apps aren’t all bad.

    MORE: Woman gets brutal messages from man she went on one Tinder date with six months ago

    MORE: Bride wears white underwear to wedding as couple get married in truck before wrestling in mud


    Woman tracks down her dad\'s favourite place using Facebook and Tinder so she can spread his ashes thereWoman tracks down her dad\'s favourite place using Facebook and Tinder so she can spread his ashes there

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    Someone enjoying the sunshine
    (Picture: Getty)

    The sun is due to make its debut this weekend and we’re horribly unprepared.

    That’s right, temperatures are set to soar to 24 degrees this Easter Bank Holiday, meaning it’s time to prep our pasty limbs as we make the most of the sun (while we have it) and flaunt our pins in our less-covered-up outfits.

    Enter fake tan, the sure way to boost your confidence, banish pasty winter skin and get your bod ready for the Spring sunshine without damaging your skin.

    We spoke to tanning guru himself Jules Von Hep, the brainchild behind vegan self-tan range, Isle Of Paradise, on how to achieve the perfect spring glow ahead of the heatwave.

    ‘If time is of the essence the golden rules of self-tanning can be customised to accommodate a fast tan-around.’ Jules’ explained.

    And this is the golden advice he gave us:

    Swerve oils

    Make sure your skin is free from body or facial oils as these slow down the tans penetration into the skin.

    No scrub?

    Don’t panic – simply grab some brown sugar, a tablespoon of body wash and a squeeze of lemon, mix in a bowl and exfoliate your skin.

    Time

    Set Your Timer and rinse in the shower using only water, pat dry and moisturise with a water-based lotion.

    Application

    If you want your legs darker, apply your tan an hour prior to the upper half of your body.

    Need a tan in minutes?

    Isle of Paradise Ultra Dark Self Tan Mousse
    (Picture: Isle Of Paradise)

    Isle of Paradise Ultra Dark Self Tan Mousse, £19.95, isleofparadise.co.uk and boots.com

    Jules recommends the sweeping Ultra Dark Self Tan Mousse onto the skin using an applicator mitt and even recommended a household sponge if you’re really pushed for applicator tools.

    This one mousse offers six shades in up to 4 hours, meaning a deeper tan every 45minutes. The mousse has a subtle guide colour to help you see where you’re applying, which is ideal for rushed scenarios.

    Bondi Sands 1 Hour Express Self Tanning Foam
    (Picture: Lookfantastic)

    Bondi Sands 1 Hour Express Self Tanning Foam, £18.99, lookfantastic.com

    Although not as dark as their fan favourite Bondi Sands Ultra Dark self tanning foam, but it develops a gorgeous sun-kissed glow within an hour.

    This fast drying foam is so good that Brits purchased 15,000 units within three and a half weeks of it launching last year.

    SKINNY TAN Express Mousse, £27.99, lookfantastic.com and feelunique.com

    This tanning mousse from SKINNY TAN contains smoothing organic oils and guarana for firming and develops in one hour, but can be left on for deeper, darker results.

    It’s also vegan, made with 95% naturally derived ingredients and Paraben and sulfate-free.

     

    Rimmel Sunshimmer Water Resistant Wash Off Instant Tan - Matte,
    (Picture: Lookfantastic)

    Rimmel Sunshimmer Water Resistant Wash Off Instant Tan – Matte, £6.99, lookfantastic.com

    For an instant tan we recommend Rimmel Sunshimmer Instant Tan Matte Water Resistant.

    The wash-off tan imparts an instant glow and veil of believable colour, without any shimmer or glitter, disguising red marks, bruises and pesky razor nicks.

    It’s truly transfer resistant and under a tenner.

    MORE: How to find the perfect red lipstick for you

    MORE: How to find the perfect red lipstick for you


    Woman relaxing and stretching herself up - tan. perfect skin, skin careWoman relaxing and stretching herself up - tan. perfect skin, skin care

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    Some of the cards in the miscarriage cards range
    (Picture: GavMack)

    When someone has a miscarriage it can be difficult to know how to support someone without seeming tactless or insensitive.

    A new range of cards aims to change that.

    The cards have been designed by the Miscarriage Association to provide a way to recognise pregnany loss and show people you are thinking of them.

    In total one in four women who discover they are pregnant will suffer a miscarriage, which can be an intensely distressing and lonely experience.

    Ruth Bender Atik, national director of the Miscarriage Association, said: ‘Shockingly, greetings card retailers stock a card for almost every important life event, except one.

    ‘These cards recognise miscarriage, and give words to those friends and loved ones who can’t find them.

    Some of the cards in the miscarriage cards range
    (Picture: GavMack)

    ‘Losing a pregnancy is heart-breaking and can be very lonely. Close family and friends often don’t know what to say, say the wrong thing, or just say nothing at all.

    ‘The new cards have been launched to fill that gap. They may even become a treasured memento, the acknowledgement of the briefest of lives.’

    The charity consulted women who have had miscarriages themselves and they approved the thoughtful messages inside.

    Miscarriage cards range Picture: miscarriageassociation.org.uk supplied to metro.co.uk https://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/2019/04/we-launch-a-very-special-range-of-greetings-cards-to-honour-pregnancy-loss/
    (Picture: Miscarriage Association)

    Natasha Necati has had eight miscarriages.  She commented: ‘When I had my miscarriages, people meant to be kind, but I did have comments like ‘Sorry for your loss, but at least you know you can get pregnant’ and ‘Don’t worry, you’re still young,’ whereas others just didn’t say anything at all.

    ‘I would have loved to receive cards like these. I especially like the one that says I wish this wasn’t happening to you. I don’t know what to say. But I promise I am here for you.  It says it all.’

    The cards will be launched on 17 April and stocked at PostMark’s London stores and online.

    MORE: Woman uses Tinder and Facebook to find the town her dad loved and spread his ashes there

    MORE: Woman gets brutal messages from man she went on one Tinder date with six months ago


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    Layla's mass was 40cm long
    (Picture: Layla Cummins / SWNS)

    Layla Cummins, a freelance writer from Bristol, noticed that her stomach was swollen and tender so went to see a GP earlier this year.

    The 30-year-old then had an ultrasound at Bristol’s St Michael’s Hospital which revealed a mass – thought to be around 20cm in length – growing on her ovary.

    But when doctors went onto operate on Layla, they found that it was actually a staggering 40cm wide mass which weighed 10 pounds.

    Medics had to cut an extra large hole in her stomach after realising just how big the growth was.

    Layla said the heavy tumour gave her a big belly and left her feeling exhausted and in pain.

    She said that the bump, the size of a small watermelon, made her look pregnant.

    Now she has had it removed and says she feels much better and much lighter.

    Layla Cummins pre-operation when her tumour made her look pregnant
    Layla  said the 10lb mass gave her a big belly and left her feeling exhausted and in pain (Picture: Layla Cummins / SWNS)

    ‘I looked pregnant before it was removed,’ said Layla. ‘My doctors were really shocked because up until that point they thought it was half that size.

    ‘I couldn’t believe it when I saw how big it was, I was so shocked. I’m really pleased I asked for a photo to be taken.

    The mass after it was removed
    The mass after it was removed (Picture: Layla Cummins / SWNS)

    ‘It was really uncomfortable. I couldn’t lay on my front at all. It felt like I had a remote control sticking in my side.

    ‘I lost my appetite completely and just felt really heavy and tired a lot. I had bursts of pain but it wasn’t really painful at all. It wasn’t ideal.

    ‘My stomach looked absolutely massive and I couldn’t wait to have it taken out.’

    Layla after she had the mass removed
    Layla after she had the mass removed (Picture: Layla Cummins / SWNS)

    Last month, doctors removed the mass, her right ovary and fallopian tube which had been damaged by the weight of the growth.

    Tests revealed it wasn’t cancerous and she went home four days after being admitted.

    Layla has been left with a huge scar on her stomach.

    ‘They put a lot of staples in my stomach but they will be taken out,’ she added. ‘Hopefully it heals fine. It doesn’t look great now but it will heal over time.

    Layla says she feels much lighter since having it removed
    (Picture: Layla Cummins / SWNS)

    ‘I was given the all clear for things like cancer which was a relief. The tests came back as all clear. I still have one perfectly fine and functioning ovary.

    ‘I have done my own research and it may take a bit longer for me to get pregnant, but I should still be able to.’

    An ovarian cyst is a fluid-filled sac that is usually harmless and disappears without treatment.

    But in rare instances, they grow large and need to be surgically removed.

    Layla is expected to make a full recovery within the next couple of weeks and says the health scare has given her motivation to get active.

    MORE: Woman with large tumours on her leg that weigh 4 kg says she won’t cover them up

    MORE: Girl, 5, forced to have eye removed after photo revealed 10 tumours

    MORE: Woman thought she was having a ‘miracle baby’ but the bump turned out to be a tumour


    Woman "looked pregnant" before she had a huge tumour the size of a WATERMELON removed from her ovaryWoman "looked pregnant" before she had a huge tumour the size of a WATERMELON removed from her ovary

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    Tesco has slashed its Jack Daniel's prices down to £18
    (Picture: Jack Daniel’s)

    If you love whisky and you’re looking for a bargain, you’ll be delighted to know Asda has slashed the price of its one litre Jack Daniel’s down to £18 – from £32, making it the cheapest one litre bottle of the stuff to date.

    The cheap bottle is available in stores from now until Monday 22 April, with Asda saying the promotion ‘provides the nation with a quality, cost-effective tipple perfect for toasting the long weekend with.’

    The promotion also marks the first time Jack Daniel’s’ one litre bottles have been available at the £18 price-point, coming just in time for the Easter break.

    Lauren Bungay, Asda Spirits Buyer, said: ‘Jack Daniel’s is one of the nation’s most-loved whiskies, so we’re pleased to be providing them with high-quality bottles at great value.

    ‘Easter is a time to gather with family and friends, and we want to help our customers enjoy these moments with the perfect pour, great for enjoying on-the-rocks, blended with a favourite mixer, or as part of a whisky-based cocktail.’

    The one litre Jack Daniel's bottle used to be £32
    (Picture: Jack Daniel’s)

    The promotional offer is now live in Asda stores nationwide (excluding Scotland).

    Alongside the cheap whisky, Asda has also launched another product: Milka Philadelphia.

    The spread combines Swiss Milka chocolate and Philadelphia, and is apparently perfect for ‘anything’, from waffles and pancakes and bagels and toast.

    An Asda spokesperson said: ‘At Asda, we love introducing hybrid products for our customers.

    ‘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.

    MORE: Aldi relaunches halloumi fries for £2.29

    MORE: Aldi is selling prosecco for just £3.99 a bottle


    ASDA DROPS PRICE OF 1L JACK DANIEL?S TO JUST ?18ASDA DROPS PRICE OF 1L JACK DANIEL?S TO JUST ?18

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    Tesco's little willies are £3
    (Picture: Tesco)

    Tesco is selling packs of vegetarian sausages called Little Willies.

    Yes, you read that correctly.

    It’s not the first time we’ve heard sausages compared to willies – mainly cocktail sausages, to be honest – but we haven’t seen it actually on a packet of sausages before.

    Dutch sausage brand The Vegetarian Butcher came up with the name, and we’ve got to give it to them for their sense of humour.

    The pork-free sausages are made from soy and are designed to taste like Lincolnshire-style sausages (which are definitely the best sausages, FYI).

    Litrle Willies, anyone?
    (Picture: Tesco)

    You can get a pack of six at Tesco for £3, and or in Waitrose for £2.99.

    Since the launch, people have been talking about them on social media – mainly to share how amused they are.

    One person said: ‘I grew up in Lincolnshire and sure I saw some willies, but buddy. They weren’t sausages.’

    Another added that ‘vegetarians have little willies’.

    Someone else said: ‘Who on earth decided to call sausages little willies. And why are my parents so immature that they bought them for me just because of it?’

    Honestly, well done Tesco and Waitrose for stocking Little Willies – we’re sure it’ll give their customers a good giggle.

    But to be honest, we can’t really imagine telling guests we’re ‘throwing Little Willies on the BBQ’ this summer.

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    Tesco is selling vegetarian sausages called ?Little Willies?Tesco is selling vegetarian sausages called ?Little Willies?

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    A man has fallen in love with a troll doll - and might even marry it
    (Picture: Caters)

    A man has spoken out about his long term love – a 1990s robot who he started a relationship with after feeling ‘nostalgic’.

    Joey Morris, 29, has been in a relationship with his significant other, RoboTroll, since December 2017 after rekindling his love for the BattleTrollz collection online when he was feeling sentimental about the nineties.

    After coming to terms with the fact he was objectum – meaning attracted to objects – at just 10 years old, Joey has had several partners, including a lamp, a transformer truck and even a Halloween figurine.

    However, after becoming attracted to RoboTroll’s ‘satisfied smile’ and ‘popping’ pink hair, Joey, from Taneytown, Maryland, US, started a serious relationship with the robot.

    Now, the performer is looking forward to the future with his beau – including a trip to Florida and potentially a wedding one day.

    Joey fell in love with the doll after once dating a lamp
    (Picture: Joey Morris/Caters News)

    Joey said: ‘I realised I was drawn to objects when I was 10-years-old, as I wanted to become friends with a lamp at school and would about my day to it.

    ‘But the teacher found out about our relationship and took the lamp away, and I was distraught.

    ‘Over the next few years I fell in love with an animatronic called ‘Donna the Dead’ and also with the transformer Optimus Prime when he was in truck form.

    ‘However my love for these objects never lasted as long as my love for Robotroll, who is my current primary love.

    ‘I ordered him from eBay for $20 (£15) and received him in December 2017 and that’s when our relationship truly began.

    ‘Now I’m looking forward to my future with RoboTroll – I’m going to take him with me on holiday to Orlando, Florida and a wedding could be on the cards one day.’

    After becoming interest in the 90s toy collection, BattleTrollz, Joey fell in love with RoboTroll when he was 27.

    He said: ‘I found RoboTroll while I was doing research into the line of BattleTrollz to satisfy my interest in 90s nostalgia.

    Joey wants people to be more acceping of his sexual attraction to objects
    (Picture: JOEY MORRIS / CATERS NEWS)

    ‘The website I was looking at showed me the entire collection of all of the trolls, and when I saw RoboTroll, I was smitten.

    ‘I think it was his expression that attracted me to him – while most of the other BattleTrollz snarled, RoboTroll seemed to have a satisfied smile.

    ‘His blue eyes matched his silver and blue colour scheme and made his pink hair really pop.

    ‘I knew it was love with him because it made my heart feel right.’

    Despite being comfortable in his sexuality, Joey claims that some people don’t agree with it.

    Though his family and friends do make jokes about it, they are accepting – even though his mum doesn’t really understanding.

    Joey added: ‘However some people haven’t agreed with it – I have been told that my preference is a mental illness and some have even likened it to bestiality.

    ‘I try to ignore these people and distance myself from them, as I’m happy in my relationship with RoboTroll.

    ‘I find it easier to form romantic bonds with objects rather than people, so I’m happy with my sexuality.’

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    Man in relationship with dollMan in relationship with doll

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    A little girl has gone viral after she gave out 1,100 chocolate Easter eggs to poorly children over the past three years.

    Each Easter, nine-year-old Jasmine Parker, from Belfast, personally distributes Easter eggs to children who are of her age or younger at two hospitals and a children’s hospice across the city.

    Proud mum Maggie Johnston, 32, said she has very little involvement – as her role is simply to help load the car and to chauffeur her charitable daughter from one location to the next.

    Baker and mum-of-one Maggie said: ‘Jasmine has always been kind hearted, so I wasn’t surprised when she was six and asked me if the Easter bunny visits children who are in hospital and sick.

    Jasmine with all of the easter eggs
    (Picture: Caters News)

    ‘I said ‘”no” and she came up with this brilliant idea that made me gleam with pride, she is naturally so caring.

    ‘I put a post on Facebook and she received 171 eggs from friends and family.

    ‘Ever since, she has been known for being the Belfast hospitals’ very own Easter bunny and now she gets a lot more donations every year.

    ‘This year, 50 eggs were donated from Scotland alone and local companies also gave us some – Jasmine was over the moon.

    ‘My living room is now full; we can’t even sit down on the sofa, but it is so worth it as the children will be amazed and so thankful.

    ‘Jasmine loves helping other people and you can’t wipe the smile off her face when she has given the eggs out on the wards.

    ‘It is incredible to see how people come together and donate Easter eggs. All I do is write a Facebook appeal on Jasmine’s behalf which gets shared and I organise a collect point for the donations.’

    Jasmine took her appeal to another level this year and reached out to people via a local radio station to help get more eggs for The Royal Victoria Children’s Hospital, Ulster Hospital and a local children’s hospice.

    Incredible photographs show Jasmine surrounded by ceiling to floor stacked boxes of Easter eggs.

    Maggie added: ‘Last year, there were 283 donations and my car was a tight squeeze as it was so full.

    ‘This year, we will need to use my partner’s car too as they won’t all fit in mine!

    Jasmine has gone viral for donating hundreds of easter eggs
    (Picture: Caters News)

    ‘Our pride cannot be expressed in words, her enthusiasm to give to others over herself brings a smile to our faces.

    ‘We ask ourselves how did we get so lucky to have a beautifully kind hearted child.

    ‘Jasmine may have started this but if it wasn’t for the generosity of the people of Northern Ireland and further afield it wouldn’t have been as such as a success.

    ‘Everyone who donated has helped give a child a smile for Easter which is worth far more than anything else.

    ‘We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their donations and their kind messages of support and here is to a bigger campaign next year.’

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    LITTLE GIRL DONATES EASTER EGGSLITTLE GIRL DONATES EASTER EGGS

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    Stereotypes around older people's sex lives are damaging their wellbeing
    (Picture: Ella Byworth)

    We’re all busy, exhausted, and stressed out.

    When we do have a small window of spare time, we need to use it to recharge – although that pressure can make us feel guilty for doing nothing at all.

    But where does that leave us when it comes to our relationships?

    When our list of priorities puts self-care right below work, health, and caring for our family, romantic relationships can slip down further. When you’re a parent, making time for intimacy in a long-term relationship can be put off on loop, leading to sexless relationships and extra stress.

    Micro-dating might be the answer.

    Rather than being an extreme take on speed-dating, micro-dating refers to the art of wedging in tiny pockets of time to spend with your romantic partner. It’s a method aimed to maintain intimacy and romance for people who don’t have time for a full-on date night.

    So couples might spend five minutes snuggling in bed before getting up and starting their day, share a phone call on their lunch break at work, or chat over coffee and cake while the kids are watching TV.

    Micro-dating is all about recognising the love present in those moments and using them as opportunities for quality time… even if that time is minimal.

    The idea is that those little snippets of time add up. It can be far easier to grab five minutes here or there than find a three hour chunk for a film and a meal out, so packing in those micro-dates works as a way to look after your relationship around packed schedules.

    A survey by Legal & General found that 67% of parent couples agreed that date nights were really important for their relationship, but that many found it hard to keep up with regular dates, citing the cost, a lack of time, and tiredness. Micro-dating offers a solution, recognising the importance of intimate moments and balancing that with the strains of being an adult.

    But is micro-dating enough to keep a relationship strong?

    Illustration of woman and man sharing a cuppa and a hug
    (Illustration: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Dr Becky Spelman, relationship expert at We-Vibe, tells Metro.co.uk that while micro-dating can be handy for busy couples and parents, it can’t be a longterm solution.

    ‘The concept of micro-dating can be a saviour during particular periods of a couple’s life,’ Becky explains. ‘For example, when there’s a new baby, it can be extremely difficult for the parents to find any time to spend together at all.

    ‘In this context, agreeing to micro-date when the baby is napping or at grandma’s can be a good way to ensure that they spend at least some quality time together.

    ‘A micro-date might be just half an hour of exchanging back-rubs, sharing a treat and a quiet moment in the kitchen, or just sitting together in the garden and really connecting.

    ‘The main point is to ensure that the couple is truly focused on one another, at least for a while.

    ‘In particular circumstances, this may even be a better approach in some ways than focusing on a weekly “date night”. When we’re tired, over-worked and run off our feet, the thought of having to get all dressed up and go out for a fancy meal can actually serve to add even more stress to an already tense situation. The same can go for any couple who find themselves in a finite period during which time is in extremely short supply because of work or other extenuating circumstances.’

    Micro-dating can work in those limited periods of time when you’re both incredibly busy, but if you dismiss spending proper time together problems could emerge and go unremedied. After all, what issue can you discuss and resolve in the space of a five minute coffee micro-date?

    i slept with my best friend and it ruined everything
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    And when it comes to intimacy, an hour spent laughing together might not always translate to a quick catch-up scheduled over a lunch break.

    Becky tells us: ‘Micro-dating should never become a long-term answer to a couple’s need to spend quality time with one another.

    ‘All couples pass through periods in their lives when they are so busy that it’s very difficult to find time for a date. This could be when they have a new baby, when someone starts a new job or is temporarily struggling with a big project at work, during home renovations, or when a lot of time is devoted to helping an elderly parent, and so on.

    ‘To micro-date during these difficult times makes perfect sense, but if the couple persistently struggles to find time for one another, they don’t need to micro-date, they need to manage their time more effectively.

    ‘For a couple to thrive long-term, both parties need to ensure that they are able to set aside enough time during their normal week to devote their full attention to their partner and to focus exclusively on them. This doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money, but it does call for a sustained investment of time and emotion that micro-dating does not provide.’

    So go ahead and micro-date as a quick fix when you’re struggling to find time for your relationship – loving chats and moments of physical contact can be a lovely thing, even if they’re speedy.

    But remember that when it comes to making things work long-term, it’s important to dedicate some real time and care to the person you love.

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