Articles on this Page
- 04/19/19--07:53: _Ikea opening times ...
- 04/19/19--08:37: _You should have sex...
- 04/20/19--00:31: _People tell us why ...
- 04/20/19--00:36: _My children have bl...
- 04/20/19--01:16: _Strong Women: ‘My l...
- 04/20/19--01:43: _420 Day: Why do we ...
- 04/20/19--01:50: _A stunning conversi...
- 04/20/19--02:30: _People are celebrat...
- 04/20/19--02:58: _What is 420 day, wh...
- 04/20/19--02:59: _Eight people tell u...
- 04/20/19--03:12: _Easter Saturday ope...
- 04/20/19--03:41: _Gorillas put our se...
- 04/20/19--03:54: _Why do we eat hot c...
- 04/20/19--04:07: _All hail the train ...
- 04/20/19--04:27: _Easter Saturday ope...
- 04/20/19--04:48: _Bride swaps engagem...
- 04/20/19--06:01: _No, millennials are...
- 04/20/19--07:02: _How parents can dea...
- 04/20/19--07:43: _Expert warns not to...
- 04/20/19--07:45: _Six of the best tin...
- 04/19/19--08:37: You should have sex before bed for better sleep, says study
- 04/20/19--00:36: My children have blind parents, but we’re just like any other family
- 04/20/19--01:43: 420 Day: Why do we get the munchies when we smoke weed?
- 04/20/19--01:50: A stunning conversion of a church is up for auction at £200,000
- 04/20/19--03:12: Easter Saturday opening times for Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Aldi
- 04/20/19--04:07: All hail the train tinny, a vital part of British culture
- 04/20/19--07:45: Six of the best tinnies to sip during the Bank Holiday heatwave
Easter weekend is officially here, which means time off work and plenty of chocolate eggs.
What it also means, however, is that there’s likely to be shop closures over the Bank Holiday, so that staff in stores can enjoy the celebrations themselves.
Ikea is always a big hit in the Spring, as people seek to brighten up their homes and gardens (and take full advantage of the cheap meatballs and ice creams).
If you’re planning on visiting the Swedish furniture shop, find out the opening times first.
Ikea Easter opening hours
Opening times for Ikea will vary from store to store.
To find out about your local branch, you can visit the chain’s store locator where there should be an alert for specific times listed.
Most will be closed on Easter Sunday (21 April), with some exceptions in Scotland. Some may also have reduced opening hours on Good Friday and Easter Monday (19 and 22 April)
Even if your local store is shut on the day itself, however, there’s plenty of fun to be had around the time, with some running egg hunts and others having Easter arts and crafts focuses in the creche areas.
To participate in the egg hunts, simply pick up an entry form at the front desk as you go in, but make sure to check that the one nearest you is participating.
Visit our Opening Times page for more information on other store and shop opening hours.
(FILES) - A picture taken on February 29
If you’d like a decent night’s sleep, it might be worth slotting in some sex before you slide under your duvet.
Having sex before bed can improve your sleep, suggests a new study from Central Queensland University.
It’s long been thought that an orgasm pre-snooze is a wonderful thing, but now this bit of research adds some evidence to back up those claims.
Researchers surveyed 800 men and women about their sex lives, and found that in 59% of women and 68% of men, sex before bed improved overall sleep quality.
Having an orgasm helps quite a bit, 68% of women and 74% of men report better sleep if they climax during sex. This can also help people nod off more quickly rather than tossing and turning for ages.
Don’t stress if you don’t have a sex buddy, though, as masturbation will do the trick.
Lead researcher Michele Lastella is interested in the gender differences in the study’s results: ‘This study is the first to explore the perceived relationship between sexual activities, sleep quality and sleep latency in the general adult population to specifically identify whether any gender differences exist.
‘A difference between males’ and females’ perceptions of sleep quality, particularly following sex with a partner, was apparent.
“’ignificant gender differences existed in perception of sex with a partner and impact on subsequent sleep quality and sleep latency.
‘Specifically, a higher proportion of males reported perceived improvement in sleep quality and sleep following sex with a partner.
‘The reason for the difference between males and females was not explored in this study, but it may be explained by the gender gap in orgasm frequency; that is, men, when compared with women, are more likely to orgasm during sex with a partner.’
We know that there’s an orgasm gender gap, and that straight women are having the least orgasms out of everyone, so it makes sense that they would see the least benefit from sex before sleep – as they’re likely to be having sex without an orgasm.
Lastella adds: ‘These findings suggest that sex with a partner involving an orgasm may serve as a means to promote and improve sleep for both genders.
‘Engaging in safe and satisfying sexual activity – either alone or with a partner – together with other sleep hygiene strategies before attempting sleep, may offer the general adult population a healthy behavioral approach toward improving their subsequent sleep.’
Researchers believe that the sleep benefits provided to sex are due to the release of feelgood hormones oxytocin and prolactin, as well as the power of sex to reduce feelings of stress.
The tricky thing is that stress doesn’t just impact your sleep, but it can also prevent you from having sex. Plus, your sleep affects your sex life, so it’s not as simple as relying on sex to remedy sleeping troubles.
It’s easy to get into a damaging cycle of stress, poor sleep, and no sex, all feeding into each other and making you miserable.
It’s vital to tackle stress first to allow you to enjoy sex and help you get to sleep more easily, which will then allow for lower stress and better sex, which will lead to better sleep. Hooray.
If sex helps you reduce your stress levels, then go for it. And if you need another reason to get busy, it’s worth listening to Candice Brown, a skin aesthetician at London Bride Plastic Surgery and Aesthetic clinic, who says having sex – and improving your sleep as a result – can make a massive difference to your skin.
‘Sleep is really important when it comes to looking after your skin,’ says Candice.
‘Our skin cells have their own internal body clocks and when we sleep, this is the time they’re able to rejuvenate and repair themselves.
‘As we snooze, our body instigates an increased blood flow to the skin, which aids this healing process. And sleep deprivation actually decreases this blood flow, having a knock-on effect on our complexion.
‘And there’s also some evidence to suggest that sex can also improve skin health.
‘Like sleep, intercourse also increases blood flow to the skin, providing a boost in oxygen.
‘Sex also leads to a reduction in cortisol levels – aka the stress hormone – which can in turn improve collagen production.
‘It’s this collagen that helps keep our skin supple and smooth and a lack of it can lead to wrinkles and creases.
‘Other studies have found that the regulation of hormones like oxytocin, prolactin, and estrogen – released during sex – also help to prevent acne flare-ups.
‘In effect, sex leads to a ‘double whammy’ of skin protection – not only is it good for the complexion in its own right, by boosting sleep it has a secondary effect, too.’
Okay, so lower stress, have some sex, then get plenty of rest. That’s our weekend plans sorted.
i slept with my best friend and it ruined everything
We’re a long way from thinking weed is just about getting high.
According to Project CBD, cannabidoil can be therapeutic for many conditions, including acne, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, fibromyalgia, MS, spinal cord injury and more.
Another study suggests that ‘small doses of smoked cannabis may improve pain, mood and sleep in some patients with chronic pain.’
As it’s 4/20 today, we spoke to people who smoke weed to manage their chronic pain. These people have a range of conditions which they use cannabis to self-medicate.
We asked them why they use it, how it helps and what they’d like others to know about smoking weed to help with chronic illness.
27-year-old Madeline started smoking weed when she was going through a bad breakup because it helped her mood.
She would only smoke socially, and would never buy marijuana herself. But after being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, she started smoking it to reduce her symptoms, such as severe stomach pain and joint pain caused by the inflammation in her bowel.
She says her UC, which is a form of inflammatory bowel disease, can sometimes give her trouble walking, and the weed gives her ‘more mobility’, while also calming her mind and making her less anxious.
She said: ‘I want people to know that it isn’t a bad thing to smoke weed, especially for an illness, some people use CBD oil or whatever but weed is the full thing and helps even more. It gives me parts of my life back, it gives people with more severe issues their whole lives back.’
Chloe, 23, used weed to self-medicate while going through cervical biposies and invasive treatment to diagnose and treat what turned out to be pre-cancerous cells on her cervix.
She says smoking really helped her ‘madly intense cramps’.
Chloe explained: ‘It takes the sharp side of pain away, it doesn’t cure me but it makes the pain a lot more manageable.
‘I’d like people to know that a LOT of people in this country smoke weed to help with pain and they’re not all snoop dog esque ‘stoners’.
‘I was working for the BBC when I smoked it the most for pain, and I still managed to hold down my job and get promoted despite smoking every morning before I came in to soften the pain.
‘Also, you don’t have to smoke weed to get the benefits, there are so many cannabis products out there now you can take it in pretty much any way.’
Kenny, 38, started smoking weed properly at 19 after being diagnosed with social anxiety disorder.
He tells us: ‘I feel it helps give me confidence and a spring in my step at times when I need it, as well as helping me relax on the evenings.
‘Social anxiety is quite an isolating illness at times and I feel weed allows me to change my perspective for a couple of hours at a time when I feel I could use it.
‘For people using weed to help with an illness, there’s no all night raves or wild parties related to the weed use – we’re not underworld criminals, we just feel the benefits of using something which helps our condition and assists us in living a happier and more productive life.’
22-year-old Dan smokes weed to help with his chronic pain. He has small fibre neuropathy that was triggered by a back injury in high school, and it causes redirected pain from his back to his feet, causing them to have a burning sensation.
He tells us: ‘I started smoking it as another alternative to the prescription medication I’m taking.
‘The medication is not as strong as it once was and so my pain has slowly returned, so I needed to find an alternative I could rely on until I could visit my doctor to look at my pain plan.
‘How it helps is by reducing my awareness and sensitivity to the pain I suffer. I’m able to do things and I’m not need to worry about if my feet are in pain. Coincidentally, it also helps with my insomnia, so it’s two birds with one stone.
‘What I would like people to know I’m merely just trying to live my life like they are. Pain-free and as fulfilling as possible.’
Alex, 30, started smoking weed recreationally as a teenager.
A few years back she was diagnosed with endometriosis. It took years to get a proper diagnosis for it.
Her GP suggested different things to help with pain, but they all made her physically sick.
She used to smoke around the time of diagnosis to help with the pain, and later realised it was the best thing.
She said: ‘It actually allowed me to be more active as the pain was genuinely numbed. It helped with my mentality as well.
‘It gave me a bigger picture of things and helped me out of my slumps when the pain, lack of motivation, and physically unable to do things was getting me down.
‘There’s too big a stigma on cannabis still. People don’t bother to read new research as a lot of people’s minds are made up already, sadly.
‘If they understood the true structure of cannabis and how it can be used to help they would understand its benefits.’
Danielle, 27, says she started smoking weed because she was on a high dose of morphine.
She said: ‘I knew someone who also smokes it, who recommended I tried it for my chronic bowel disease and chronic pain.
‘It also helps my sleep paralysis – now I don’t get it at all.
‘I feel naturally calmer from it. The side effects are nowhere near as horrible as morphine. I’ve cut my morphine intake massively. I was taking 35mg a day but now I’m only on 15-20mg.
‘I would like people to understand that people smoke weed for certain illnesses because it’s a natural way of relieving someone’s pain and it genuinely helps me.’
Online prescribing doctor service says: ‘Medical cannabis is an umbrella term that encompasses any cannabis-based product that’s used to relieve symptoms of some conditions.
‘Medical cannabis is already used in some circumstances to treat muscle spasticity in patients with MS, which suggests that it may also be useful with other chronic or painful conditions, especially if it involves the muscles.
‘The psychoactive effects and muscle-relaxant properties of the cannabis plant may well help patients that suffer with chronic conditions, but it’s still incredibly difficult to obtain a prescription in the UK.
‘There are several methods of using medical cannabis, but those that are able to access it already often ingest it as an oil or oral spray, with some people preferring to vaporise the raw ingredient.’
I'm pro medical CBD, but please stop recommending that I cure my mental illness with weed
As a blind mum I am always being asked ‘how do you manage?’.
The real truth is the same as for most parents – a little bit of organisation, a bag full of food and drink, and mostly just winging it.
My world consists of my husband, William, our little boy, Jordan, six, and girl, Nikyta, two and a half, and our two guide dogs.
I have been a guide dog owner now for exactly 10 years, my husband for longer.
Both of us have been blind for most of our lives; I was born severely premature and lost my sight a few days after birth, so it’s all I’ve ever known.
William and I met at a residential college for the blind, and married in 2011. We both wanted a family – there was never any question that we wouldn’t try and face up to the challenges as they came.
Before my son was born I made it my mission to find out the safest and easiest way of getting out and about with a tiny baby.
I knew it would be too easy for me to sit at home and not go anywhere or do anything if I didn’t put a plan in place.
Guide dogs are trained to work in front of their owner and so pushing a buggy in the traditional way wasn’t an option for me. But I am a fiercely independent person, so I needed to know I would be able to manage on my own.
I settled on having a sling and finding a buggy that I could pull behind me – and just got on with it.
Over the years I’ve gone from a baby and a guide dog to two children and a guide dog – which is a lot more complicated. Jordan might have his scooter too, and Nikyta will be chattering away. It’s a lot to think about.
Even with my guide dog I must still know where I am in my route and when we will be coming up to a crossing or steps.
A member of the public started talking to my guide dog and disrupted her concentration. I often equate this to someone putting their hands over a driver’s eyes when they are in the car with their family.
Mobility with a dog or a cane is a very intense process because you are constantly listening – to your environment, to your children and to the people around you.
Can you imagine then how difficult it is managing all of that with someone coming up and distracting your dog, the very thing that keeps you and your family safe?
I will say this now: it is never OK to distract a working guide dog.
It doesn’t matter how cute they look, or whether they are just sitting at a bus stop or crossing.
They are trained to a very high standard, but at the end of the day they are still dogs and will respond to people talking to and touching them.
I have been at the receiving end of this many times, and it often jeopardises not only my safety, but my children’s, too.
One very memorable experience was when I was trying to cross the road with my son and daughter, all of us holding hands in a chain.
A member of the public started talking to my guide dog and disrupted her concentration. I often equate this to someone putting their hands over a driver’s eyes when they are in the car with their family.
I’ve taken a proactive approach throughout my time as mum, always trying to think ahead.
With both of the adults in our house unable to see, we have to take extra steps to make sure the children are safe. I have gates across the kitchen for when I’m cooking tea, and I’m much more cautious with illnesses.
Jordan and Nikyta both know to be vocal and chatty, and understand why mummy and daddy don’t drive.
But it is extremely important to me that my children are able to be children. I read Braille storybooks to them and let run them about in the park and we do all sorts of activities as a family.
Most of all, I hope they feel no responsibility for their own safety bar an age-appropriate understanding. And they certainly don’t have to worry about me.
Contrary to what some people believe, my children are not and will not be my carers. My son is often told he’s a good boy for looking after his mum, which really stings.
In reality, we’re a normal family – just with a different way of doing things.
Hetal, 33, shares the ups and downs of parenting with celebrity mum Alex Jones and paralympian mum-to-be Libby Clegg MBE as part of Guide Dogs’ new podcast series.
What does it mean to be strong?
It’s not all about muscles, even when it comes to sport.
In our series, Strong Women, we celebrate women who show their strength in all kinds of ways, and look at how being active shapes their life.
A study by Sport England found that 75% of women say fear of judgement puts them off being active.
So it is more important than ever that women reclaim their definition of strength and find ways to make fitness part of their lives.
Any woman can find their strength, love their body and be physically fit – regardless of outward appearance.
Rebecca Willcox was dignosed with cancer and told that it was terminal. Fitness, specifically yoga, has been a lifeline for Rebecca – reconnecting her to her body in ways she didn’t know were possible.
Tell us about your diagnosis
It was August 2016 when I developed a sudden pain in my right breast. I went straight to my GP, who gave me an urgent referral.
It seemed overly cautious: I was fit, had no other symptoms, and no family history of breast cancer. However, following a biopsy and ultrasound, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had already developed three areas of breast cancer on my right side, as well as a little cancer in the lymph nodes under my arms.
My medical team agreed that I could cope well with an aggressive treatment plan, with the objective being that, at the end of treatment, I would be cancer-free and never have to think about it again.
I had a mastectomy and a lymph-node clearance operation, together with 18 chemotherapy sessions and 15 fractions of radiotherapy to the chest wall.
I was given all the treatment I could have been given at that time, and I came out of it with the reasssurance that there was no detectable cancer left in me.
Finishing treatment was tough – a lot of people assume that you’re now ‘fine’, cancer-free and back to your old self, but I found that to be far from the case.
For me, the possibility that the cancer would return was always at the forefront of my mind.
The emotional challenge really started once the major treatment stopped.
I was put on a 10-year treatment plan, which involved taking daily pills and being given regular injections and check-ups. This was designed to prevent the cancer coming back, but I also felt that I should do what I could to minimise the chances of recurrence.
I got involved with the incredible charity Breast Cancer Care. I started to explore how I might best help myself in my new, post-cancer world.
I realised that I had to allow myself time and space to get used to my new body – which had been left pretty scarred and beaten as a result of treatment – and accept my revised mindset that we have to cherish every moment we’re on earth.
Having been a pre-cancer fitness nut, I returned to my long-distance running and, in December 2017 I went for a lovely 11-mile run along the Thames on a crisp winter’s day. Halfway round, I developed a terrible back pain. I thought I had pulled a muscle.
My oncology physio had been treating me regularly at this point and so I went straight to her for help. She diagnosed a dislocated rib and a bit of bad luck.
However, when the pain failed to dissipate, she liaised with my oncologist and arranged an MRI just to be certain it wasn’t anything more sinister.. Unfortunately it was.
What happened when the cancer came back?
I was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer. It had spread from the original site down into my bones, spine and pelvis.
A secondary cancer diagnosis has many names. It is also known as a diagnosis of metastatic cancer, stage 4 cancer, terminal or incurable cancer.
Because it has now travelled beyond the primary site, doctors take the view that it could be anywhere in your body, even in microscopic form. Therefore, they say it can’t be cut out, poisoned or irradiated as with primary cancer, and you will never truly be rid of it.
These are really difficult ideas to come to terms with, and I couldn’t believe that I had only managed about six months before my cancer returned.
Secondary cancer requires an entirely new mindset, and I for one have found it tough.
Unlike primary cancer, where you have a treatment plan that has an end date, secondary cancer treatment involves the daily management of symptoms caused by the cancer. You’re put on a long-term management plan that aims to extend your life where possible.
Like many secondary cancer patients, I have had to accept that from the point of diagnosis onwards, my health is likely to deteriorate bit by bit, necessitating an increasing reliance on painkillers and palliative care.
Of course, miracles do happen and some people can live with secondary cancer for years without much bother, so I continue to live in hope, even though time is ticking on.
I have been given a revised life expectancy figure, which I haven’t shared with many people. It’s tragically short and I don’t consider myself bound by it.
Instead, I’m doing all I can to work with my medical team and ensure that my symptoms are kept to a minimum.
Frustratingly, I find I can be relatively fine one day, and then be crippled by nerve pain the next. What this has taught me, though, is that I mustn’t wait to get sick: if I feel OK right now, I get up and go out.
Every minute that I’m symptom free, I’m able to enjoy life and I do so.
Tell us how yoga has helped you
Prior to my cancer diagnosis, I’d never really contemplated yoga. However, as soon as I tried a session of yoga for people with cancer, run by the charity Trekstock, I was hooked.
Yoga moves are adaptable, so you can challenge yourself physically, or simply enjoy the idea of ‘being present’ in your own body for a while.
On days when I feel good, I’ll concentrate on engaging the muscles and holding a strong posture – vital when the strength in my spine and core is compromised by the cancer in my bones.
If I’m weaker, though, I’m more likely to pause and just concentrate on my breath.
This enables me to feel more connected with my body, so I can detect new symptoms and niggles. I have become quite good at identifying when a new pain is just a normal pull or strain, as opposed to when it feels like there’s an underlying, more insidious cause.
Just recently I developed acute pain in my hip that felt akin to the rib pain that alerted me to the secondary cancer in the first place.
Several scans later and I learn that sadly I am correct – the cancer has spread and intensified yet again in my bones and vital organs. This is bad news, sure, but I’m pleased that my connection to my body, enabled primarily through my yoga practice, helped to prepare me for the diagnosis I knew would be coming.
Yoga also provides a fantastic mental escape.
In these moments, you’re not thinking of your next scan, your previous diagnosis, your upcoming medical or the prescriptions you need to order. No. You’re just thinking of your breath. I’m no scientist but I’m sure that must be good for my overall well-being, blood pressure and so on.
When I’m breathing deeply, I imagine that my inhale is the crisp seashore air of a beautiful beach, while my exhalation is the black smoke of cancer leaving my body.
Clearly this visualisation hasn’t cured my cancer, but it always makes me feel stronger and more positive, and this in turn must surely be better for my overall health.
Yoga is also wonderfully non-judgmental. Nobody has ever tutted at me because I’ve opted for a few minutes of child’s pose to catch my breath.
On a practical level, yoga is manageable, and this is important. I used to take part in fantastically energetic gym classes – circuits, HIIT, Step, spin – but nowadays, I’d struggle to even complete the warm-up. If I attended a class, I imagine I would rapidly become demotivated by how much my physical strength and stamina has deteriorated.
As much as I would like to return to long-distance running, my bones are a bit too crumbly now because of the cancer.
Why is keeping your body fit so important for you?
Time and time again I was told by my medical team that I coped well with the primary cancer treatment regime because of my pre-existing level of fitness.
Some of the chemo in particular was frightfully difficult to face, causing long periods of nausea, and yet I managed to keep up a good fitness regime during the time I was undergoing treatment.
Cancer treatment inevitably involves being pumped full of meds, and I believe it helps your body enormously if you have a system that is flowing and active. It seems to me that if you are generally stronger and fitter, you are more likely to cope well with some of the stronger treatments.
I’m pro-active in my treatment and care, and have attended many medical talks about cancer treatment, recurrence and so on.
I feel that if I expect my medical team to do all they can to keep me well, the least I can do is try and maintain a good blood pressure and heart rate, even if I’m not up to any more marathons for the time being.
What does the term ‘strong woman’ mean to you?
A strong woman is someone who perseveres even through the most challenging of circumstances. Despite side winds, bad luck and misfortune, she maintains her position and ultimately triumphs over adversity.
I think there are elements of being a secondary cancer patient that make me strong.
I live every day in the knowledge that I may not be around much longer, and that the rest of my life may be taken up with treatment, hospital visits and doctors. Getting out of bed and carrying on each day with that burden hanging over my shoulders is quite a challenge, so I suppose in that respect I am strong.
However, I struggle a little to respond when people kindly tell me that I’m so brave for undergoing all the treatment, scans, bad news, etc.
It feels to me that these are just part and parcel of cancer treatment, and I don’t see how I’m brave in just letting a nurse or doctor do their job while I sit or lie down.
How do you maintain your positivity?
My husband, my family, my friends keep me going. I’m so blessed to have a life with them in it, I can’t bear the thought of letting go.
I chose to undergo treatment for my cancer and I choose to keep going, even though the cancer continues to spread aggressively.
Secondary cancer has given me an entirely new perspective on life that I actually feel quite blessed to have.
I’m not worried about the small stuff anymore and I try to let go of negative feelings as much as possible, because they simply don’t help.
I try to metaphorically drown myself in exciting, fun and beautiful things that make life worth living: a nice meal out with a loved one, a walk in the park, a phone call with an old friend, a manicure. It doesn’t matter what it is, it’s just anything that reminds me how good life can be.
And it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy because, the more niceness I discover in the world, the more convinced I am that it’s easy to find once you start looking.
Find information and support here, or call Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now’s expert nurses on 0808 600 8000.
Strong Women is a weekly series that is published every Saturday at 10am.
Strong Women: Rebecca - fitness and terminal cancer
This 420 Day, also known as 4/20, let’s talk about one of the common side-effects of hitting a blunt.
If you’ve ever visited a McDonald’s drive-thru after smoking weed, you’ll know that the munchies are a very real thing.
But why exactly do the munchies happen?
Well, a study in Nature Neuroscience explains a few things, which help us understand how marijuana’s acitive ingredient THC makes us extra hungry.
A team of European neuroscientists led by Giovanni Marsicano of the University of Bordeaux used mice to find out why we feel so peckish after a joint.
To do this, they exposed mice to banana and almond oils as a test of sensitivity to scent.
The mice sniffed the oils deeply at first, and then stopped showing interest in them.
However when they were dosed with THC, they kept on sniffing, and ate much more when they were given the chance.
According to the scientists, THC fits into receptors in the brain’s olfactory bulb, significantly increasing the animals’ ability to smell food and leading them to eat more of it.
It seems that a part of the reason why you eat more when you’re high is because you can smell and taste more acutely.
THC fits into receptors that are part of the brain’s natural endocannabinoid system, which helps to control emotions, memory, pain sensitivity and appetite.
Our brains do produce their own chemicals that fit into these same receptors – but THC can alter them in big ways.
In theory, the study found that the reason our appetites are so big when we’re high is simply because the THC increases our sensitivity to the smells of food, and because smell and taste are closely related, it allows us to taste better, too – which could also explain why we fancy certain foods more when we’re high, because certain smells and tastes are stronger than others.
So basically, we get the munchies because we are super aware of the smells around us, and the THC offers stronger tastes, too.
A previous study suggests that smoking marijuana can make us crave food even when we’ve just eaten, by chucking in endorphins when our body is telling us we’re full.
That leads to more frequent, small meals rather than a big dinner – hence all your grazing on tortilla chips and salsa.
The munchies as a concept are also backed up by analysis from March this year, which found that the legalisation of recreational marijuana in states like Colorado, Oregon, and Washington led to a 3.1% increase in ice cream purchases, a 4.1% increase in cookie purchases, and a 5.3% increase in crisp purchases soon after weed was made legally available to buy.
A stunning conversion of a church is selling for less than the price of a one-bed flat in London.
The historic chapel, which is up for auction at £200,000, is described as a ‘masterclass on how to transform an iconic chapel into a stunning home.’
The Bethany Baptist Church in Treherbert, in the heart of the Rhondda Valleys in Wales, is an iconic building which used to be filled with singing Welsh voices.
It has now been transformed into a beautiful modern home, though it still has some of the church’s features.
The pulpit is still in place and stained glass windows can be found in the walls.
The original chapel organ has been used to create a walk-in wardrobe in the master bedroom.
The balcony wood panelling has been restored and the carved ceiling is a show-stopping original feature.
A clever design means that the conversion has created a modern open-plan living area.
There is also a lovely kitchen in the heart of the home, which is central to the downstairs quarters.
Upstairs an open seating area can be found at the front of the church balcony.
The dining area is on a raised platform in front of the pulpit – which has restored original features.
There are also three double bedrooms, an ensuite and a family bathroom on the first floor.
Under the balcony downstairs there are two more bedrooms, a bathroom and a utility room.
A Paul Fosh Auctions spokesman said: ‘The property is situated at the foot of Rhigos mountain just a few miles from the world renowned Brecon Beacons National Park and other attractions.
‘The property is ideal for either a homeowner or indeed a investor and it has been used both as a family home and most recently a holiday let accommodating up to 10 guests.
‘The property fuses both the old and new perfectly with many original features.’
Conversion of a church for less than price of a one-bed flat in London
It’s the Easter weekend, and along with shovelling the remains of a Lindt bunny into your mouth and vaguely thinking about religion, you’ll want to decorate your body to fit the Easter theme.
If you didn’t fancy turning your face into a Creme Egg, never fear, for there’s another beauty trend you can jump on.
You’ll still need to commit to painting your cheeks, though.
The hot trend for the chocolate-eating season is painting your buttocks to resemble two colourful Easter eggs.
The look actually started back in 2016, when the good people of BuzzFeed did a photoshoot entirely dedicated to men’s bums with Easter designs. They even stuck baskets underneath the crease, which we think is a delightful addition.
As bums have continued to be trendy (have you seen janties?), Easter bottoms have made a comeback.
Now, we invite all those who have respect for this special day to pull down their pants and ask a buddy to paint on some chicks. It’s the right thing to do.
The good news is that this trend is open to all. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you look like – as long as you have a bottom that can be painted, you can get involved.
We’d recommend pairing your Easter butt with assless chaps for extra Coachella vibes.
The bad news is that you will need to recruit someone to paint your bum, unless you’re particular dexterous and have a multiple mirror setup in your bathroom.
Call a friend and do each other’s bums before the Easter egg hunt. It’s the perfect Easter activity.
People Are Painting Glittery Easter Eggs Onto Their Butts
Today is going to be a scorcher across the UK, and you may also notice the warm air blowing a weedy smell your way too, as today is 420.
420 is celebrated every year on 20 April, and sees people across the world lighting up a spliff and coming together to celebrate the herb.
Events will he held – with the largest taking place in London’s Hyde Park – and some will be aiming to bring awareness to the cause of legalisation of marijuana.
It’s part-celebration and part-protest against what some see as excessive laws against the drug.
Why is it called 420?
According to legend, the date goes back to 1971, where a group of students at San Rafael High School in California would meet at 4.20pm every day for a joint and a catch-up.
The group – who were known as The Waldos – eventually started using the time to describe smoking weed itself, and so 420 was born. Since Americans write the date 20 April as 420, this apparently then just grew into the official day to mark being high.
There are a few other theories as to where 420 was popularised, with some believing it was the police code for cops to signal when they’d caught someone smoking (although it’s actually the code for murder), some thinking it’d to do with the chemical compounds in cannabis, and others coming up with suitably stonerific Bob Dylan based conspiracy theories.
Hyde Park 420 day 2019
According to the Facebook page for the event, it’s all kicking off at 11am today.
All ages are welcome, and last year 11,000 people descended on the part to light up, or simply be among the stoned revellers.
Apparently, as well as plenty of red eyes and chilled out smiles, the park will also play host to performers and influencers.
It’s worth noting that 12 people were arrested at the celebration in 2012, so there will be a police presence. Last year, however, it seemed to be peaceful, with Scotland Yard saying the day had gone by in a ‘well-natured’ fashion.
People puff lots of joints at the annual Smoke Cannabis Day in Hyde Park in London
While some people are munching on chocolate Easter eggs this weekend, others are enjoying a greener kind of treat.
It’s 420 – a day dedicated to marijuana – and will see people smoke up across the globe at 4.20pm – though others may well have themselves a whole weekend of ganja.
Overall, the illegal drug is known for giving people the munchies, as well as making them feel ‘chilled out, relaxed and happy’.
It can give you both a body and a mind high, and the latter sometimes causes people to do peculiar things.
We ask eight people the weirdest things they’ve done while high on weed.
A friend and I got high at home and decided to go out for a walk.
While out walking, we suddenly heard police sirens in the distance and for some reason thought they must be after us.
Freaked out, we started running and I hid behind a brick wall for 20 minutes.
Once got so stoned at a friend’s house on a cold winter’s evening that we thought it would be a nice idea to light a fire and snuggle up in front of the fireplace after she’d gone to bed.
The only thing was the chimney had been blocked up for circa 300 years, so we completely smoked out the house and set the alarms off.
My friend woke up thinking the house was on fire.
I was at a weed festival in Australia and smoked for the very first time with a few friends under a tree in a meadow.
We got absolutely baked and I dreamed up a book that I was going to write titled ‘what it feels like to be high’.
On the way back to our town, we got the munchies but had nothing to eat except raw hot dogs in bread, mushed together with crisps and topped with ketchup.
My friend had never really smoked weed before, but last year went down to Bournemouth beach on 420.
She had a few ciders and a few tokes, and then ended up passing out.
Another friend called a lifeguard for her. They brought her round and asked a few questions like ‘can you tell us your name, what year it is’ etc.
They then asked who our current prime minister was – to which she very confidently answered ‘Margaret Thatcher’.
Seems appropriate when looking at the state of the government.
I remember trying to make cookie dough because I saw it on the TV and it looked super yummy.
I wanted to just munch it out the tube, but I didn’t have any.
So I put a sealed pack of Maryland cookies in the microwave for like five minutes and it blew up and stank and was all black and shit.
I guess my logic was that if the cookies are microwaved then they will revert back to their doughy state – this however is not true.
I’ve not done anything weird on weed, but I did once go to work when I was high on acid.
It was 2013, and I went to my friend’s boyfriend’s house for a Sunday roast one afternoon.
It turns out he was a mixologist and had a house entirely lined with booze. By the time the potatoes were roasted we were absolutely f***ed and proceeded to sack off the food and decided to do some acid (which he had lying around, as you do).
Next thing I know we spend 12 hours tripping balls. I remember the boyfriend and his brother sitting in the bath crying about their dad while my friend and I made out on the bathroom floor while chain smoking.
At 7am I realised it was Monday and I had to go to work. For some reason it did not occur to me to call in sick and I thought I would be fine.
By lunchtime I started coming down and every time I closed my eyes i thought I was in a coffin.
People tell us the weirdest things they've done while high
Easter is great for a lot of reasons – with chocolate arguably being the best one – however it can somewhat complicate your shopping schedule.
Like many other holiday weekends, you might find yourself at a loose end if you find yourself needing something from the shops at the last minute.
And with Easter Sunday roasts at stake, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Here’s what you need to know about the opening times of some of the nations favourite supermarkets this Easter Saturday.
Tesco’s Easter Saturday opening hours
Tesco opening times tend to vary from store to store, so checking the Tesco store locator for the shop in your area might be the best way to go.
However, their stores should be open and closing at their usual times this Easter Saturday.
Sainsbury’s Easter Saturday opening hours
You’ll be safest checking the online store locator for specific Sainsbury’s branches, as the opening times will vary from store to store.
However, the rule of thumb is that all stores will be open as usual today.
Lidl Easter Saturday opening hours
On Easter Saturday, all Lidl stores across England, Scotland and Wales should be open as usual on Easter Saturday.
In Scotland, Lidl stores should be open across the whole Easter weekend.
Aldi Easter Saturday opening hours
Again, your best bet for exact opening and closing times for your local Aldi would be to check their store finder online.
However, we can tell you that the general opening times for Aldi will be 8am until 10pm this Easter Saturday – aka today.
Shopping lists in app format
If you’re feeling like your selfie game is missing something, take your inspiration from these handsome gorillas.
The gorillas live in Virunga National Park – a UNESCO world heritage site in the Democratic Republic of Congo – and can be seen posing in pics with anti-poaching officers.
This is their sanctuary; the magnificent creatures live a dangerous life and are constantly under threat of being hunted and illegally sold as ‘bushmeat’.
Unfortunately, over the last 20 years, the area has been ‘deeply’ impacted by war.
‘Virunga is protected by a dedicated team of over 600 rangers,’ a statement reads on the Virguna website.
‘These local men and women go through intensive training, risking their lives on a daily basis to safeguard the park’s exceptional wildlife, including the last of the world’s critically endangered mountain gorillas.’
It’s a special bond, made evident by the loving selfies that the rangers take with the gorillas.
The photos were posted on the The Elite Anti Poaching Units And Combat Trackers Facebook page in an effort to highlight not only the beauty of the animals, but also to showcase the important work that anti-poachers do.
Although the gorillas still have a few selfie lessons left to learn – never take a photo from below, you guys – but look fantastic all the same.
We especially appreciate the full body pic and the facial expressions that say: ‘yes, I know, I’m amazing’.
If only we could all look so good.
Gorillas pose for selfie with anti-poaching officers
They’re a favourite for this time of year, and a marker that Easter and Spring are officially here: Hot cross buns.
With Lent over – and the fasting that comes with it – it makes sense that we would be enjoying rich treats like these and Easter eggs.
But hot cross buns have a lot more significance than just being delicious. We take a look.
Why do we eat hot cross buns at Easter?
Many people easy hot cross buns on Good Friday to mark the end of Lent.
Since dairy products are forbidden during Lent until Palm Sunday, people would eat plain buns during this time, then switch to the richer hot cross dairy-filled version afterwards.
The cross on the top signifies Jesus’ crucifixion on Good Friday, and some people believe that the spices within the buns are there to embody the spices use in his embalming afterwards.
Although they seem to have Pagan roots (with the Saxons eating similar baked goods to honour goddess Eostre), they have become synonymous with Christianity over time.
There are plenty of old traditions and legends regarding the humble hot cross bun, with Queen Elizabeth I banning the sale of hot cross buns and other spiced breads except on Good Friday, Christmas and funerals, believing them to have medicinal and magical properties she feared may be abused.
What is the cross made of in hot cross buns?
Although the traditional way to make the buns calls for a cross to be cut into the top before baking, there is now a more noticable way to create the pattern.
A paste of flour and water is typically made and rolled into strands that are crossed over and placed on top before baking,
Close up of plate of scones
There are many reasons Diane Abbott is an icon and legend.
But today, she wins the hearts of the British public thanks to one particular tweet.
She wrote: ‘A photo of me drinking from a can of M&S mojito on the Overground has been circulated. I’m sincerely sorry for drinking on TFL.’
This is important for many, many reasons.
First off, the tweet has united the British public against one common enemy: whoever dared to be the ultimate snitch and take a photo of someone enjoying a bevvy on public transport (yes, you’re not actually allowed to drink booze on public transport in London, but everyone does it).
Secondly, it has raised the topic of a British tradition that is always worthy of celebration, but especially on a sunny day taking us into Easter weekend.
A photo of me drinking from a can of M&S mojito on the Overground has been circulated. I'm sincerely sorry for drinking on TFL.
— Diane Abbott (@HackneyAbbott) April 19, 2019
If you were to create a collage of British culture, you’d need to cut out a picture of a train tinny and stick it somewhere in the middle.
It is our nation’s greatest ritual; our equivalent of America’s tailgate.
A tinny on the train declares to the world that you’re off the clock and ready to chill.
While Americans may crack open a cold one in front of the TV, the marker of relaxation time for Brits is the satisfying hiss of a G&T being opened on the overground home.
Tinnies are there for us in so many occasions.
They are the way to keep the excitement going all the way up to Manchester to see your uni pals.
They are the elegant alternative to pre-drinks as you head on a night out, the grownup version of an old water bottle filled with vodka and squash.
They are the refreshing welcome into a weekend of picnics, pubs, and strolling around a market looking at collapsible bowls that look like apples.
But there’s one event that has an extra magic to it: when the sun is out after days of rain and grey, it’s the beginning of a bank holiday weekend, and you feel light and free.
A commute feels so much better when it’s taking you into the weekend – it’s filled with potential and joy. And then you pass a shop with a fridge, and feel that undeniable pep of thinking ‘you know what, I’m going to treat myself.’
You look at the rows of beers and ponder your options. Then you see it: a pre-mixed drink in a can, the embodiment of the carefree slide of your train into the weekend.
What will you choose? A G&T, a rum and cola, a pornstar martini? You have so many options, all gloriously boozy but with the class of a decorated tin packaging.
Some have questioned Diane’s choice of a mojito, questioning how she could ignore the lure of a gin and tonic. To these people I say no, you are wrong, for while a G&T is a perfectly fine choice of public transport beverage, when it’s sunny outside and it’s Easter weekend, a proper sugary cocktail is the only proper option.
Come on Diane. We've been through this a thousand times. Mojito on the OVERGROUND? You know that's wrong. Remember the chart I gave you: pic.twitter.com/b9v0XmtoWL
— Michael Moran (@TheMichaelMoran) April 20, 2019
All charts decreeing the correct can of drink for each train line are worth discussion, absolutely. But let us not allow that to distract us from this one unifying fact: all train tinnies are good, and we must not shame those who partake.
A train tinny is a moment of community and connection. It’s an equaliser of humanity.
Have we not all rather fancied a cold can of alcohol when travelling to a destination? Have we not all exchanged glances with someone who has clearly had an exhausting week, raised our blackberry gin bramble, and done a spiritual nod to acknowledge that yes, we have been there?
Yes, sometimes the train tinny can be divisive. Some will down lagers and start chanting loudly on a Virgin train when you’re trying to watch a film, and you will seethe in silence, ready to throw out the holy train tinny tradition entirely.
But stay strong and power through, for this annoyance is just one tiny blip on the otherwise beautiful concept of train tinnies. You will survive this noisy carriage and some day, you will reach for a Pimms and Lemonade and find comfort, calm, and culture in its taste.
All hail the train tinnie, the ultimate British spring tradition
If you’re spending your Easter weekend stocking up your cupboards and stuffing yourself silly with chocolate and roast lamb we don’t blame you.
If tyou find that you need to nip out to the shop for a few things, however, you may be worried about the opening times for your local supermarket.
Here’s when to visit Morrisons, Waitrose, Asda, and Iceland on Easter Saturday 2019.
Morrisons Easter Saturday opening times
Most Morrisons will be open today as usual, with standard store times being from 7am to 10pm.
In England and Wales, all stores will be shut on Easter Sunday (although they will be open in Scotland at reduced hours).
Monday will see most stores staying open from 8am to 7pm. Check your local branch here.
Waitrose Easter Saturday opening times
It’s business as usual at Waitrose today, while tomorrow most stores will be closed.
Most Waitrose shops will be open tomorrow from 8am to 7pm, with some keeping hours of 7am to 9pm.
Asda Easter Saturday opening times
Asda stores will be running with their normal opening hours for Easter Saturday but most of them will then be closed for Easter Sunday (excluding Scotland).
Most stores will then re-open on Easter Monday, although some will have reduced hours that day before returning to normal opening hours on Tuesday 23 April.
Iceland Easter Saturday opening times
Saturday 20 April will see most Iceland stores runing with their usual opening hours.
All English and Welsh Iceland supermarkets will then be closed for Easter Sunday, and will re-open on Easter Monday (but the specific opening hours on that day will vary between stores).
Visit our Opening Times page for more information on other store and shop opening hours.
Easter Saturday opening times for Morrisons, Waitrose, Asda and Iceland
When Becky Carey got engaged, she knew she wanted Bonnie Turner to do the engagement photoshoot.
But as they discussed options for a date, Bonnie received an unexpected email.
Becky had written to ask if she could postpone the engagement shoot, and instead use the deposit she and her fiancé had paid for the photos towards having pictures taken of her with her dad.
The change of heart was for a powerful reason: Becky had just found out that her dad, who had prostate cancer, would be moving to a hospice. His body could no longer take any more treatment, and it was unlikely that Becky’s father would live long enough to see her wedding.
‘Matt and I will worry about our photos later,’ wrote Becky, ‘because this is more pressing with time.
‘We haven’t had professional family photos taken since my brother and I were little, and this would mean so much to us.
‘Of course this is a very difficult and dark time, but I know how you feel about love and capturing it so beautifully and meaningfully.’
In the email Becky explained that a friend had agreed to film Becky and her father dressed up and doing their first – and last – dance, with the intention of the clips being played on her wedding day.
She asked if Bonnie would take photos of this important moment.
Becky wrote: ‘Dad is getting weaker by the day and unfortunately we have to do this as soon as possible.
‘We are throwing this plan together really fast because we don’t know how long we have before he won’t be able to.
‘I know this is a huge ask and no worries if you can’t do it. It’s not an ideal location, but I know you can make anything look gorgeous. (Except maybe not my ugly crying that I will try to get out before hand.)
‘Please let me know your thoughts.’
Naturally, the photographer agreed.
Becky and her father, Tim, were able to have their wedding dance together five months before he passed away on 29 March 2019.
Bonnie has shared the photos on Facebook and Instagram, where they’ve received tens of thousands of likes and comments. She’s also created a GoFundMe page for Becky’s family, to raise money not just for the wedding but for the expenses the family face for medical care, Tim’s funeral, and looking after their home.
Becky wrote on Facebook: ‘These photos are near and dear to this family and most of all, special to her.
‘She knew he possibly wouldn’t make it to walk her down the aisle or share that father-daughter dance on her wedding day.
‘So she took it upon herself to scratch those engagement photos for a while and share that father-daughter moment in the back yard where she grew up.
‘My heart is heavy today as I have been informed of his passing. He fought so hard for a very long time.’
‘Photographs and memories are EVERYTHING when they are all you have left.’
Millennials, brace yourselves – there’s bad news and once again, we’re to blame.
Apparently, our generation is putting the future of humanity at stake because we’re opting to have pets instead of kids.
Not to worry, it’s not entirely our fault; you see we’re all just broke and lack the responsibility to look after the real deal, and so we settle for substitute children known as ‘fur babies’.
This is the ludicrous message from an article that circulated the web yesterday.
The author, who herself is a millennial and – shock horror – a mum, tells the story of how she was invited to a friend’s home where all the women had children, bar one.
This ‘childless’ woman (because never forget, we must label women who don’t have kids as lesser) is trying to pour herself a cup of tea in the kitchen when the author asks where her ‘little one’ is.
The woman holds up her phone and proudly presents a photo of Buster, her puppy.
And the shaming begins, including a lengthy diatribe on how owning a pet is not the same as procreation, which is ‘allowing an extension of your own body to face the world alone in all its innocent vulnerability’.
Firstly, no one ever claimed it was, and secondly, this type of comparison only serves one purpose – to belittle people who enjoy the pleasures of having a pet and push an outdated ideal that women must carry children to be considered worthwhile.
Secondly, the idea that millennials (why is it always us?) are irresponsible is factually incorrect.
We are a generation of successful idea makers, entrepreneurs and game changers.
Politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, internet celebrity Zoella and pop sensation Ariana Grande – these are just a few examples of successful millennials.
None of them have children, but that’s beside the point – because whether they at some point choose to shoot a human being out through their vagina does not reflect upon who they are as women.
It’s not just celebrities who are paving the way – women like millennial Gina Martin fight to change laws to protect women and others are ‘reverse monitoring’ CEOs and teaching them how to use technology and social media to their advantage.
Sure, some of us might be broke – but bare in mind that we’re paying three times more to get a degree than our ancestors did and will still be renting in our 40s, because the property market does us no favours. We’re doing this while, according to research, being worse off than previous generations and making less money.
But regardless if we have the dough or not, money isn’t the only reason we’re not having kids. Our identity is not tied to bearing children and neither is our self-worth – we are fantastic just as we are – baby or no baby, pet or no pet.
Both men and women have lashed out against the article on social media and rightly so.
This is the dumbest thing I’ve ever read. I’m a responsible human with money to live well, and I chose my rescue dogs because I choose to try to leave the world a better place than I found it. Also—shocker—some people just don’t want kids. They’re sticky.
— Sarah Glenn Marsh (@SG_Marsh) April 19, 2019
Oooh, you mean value women for all their other amazing contributions to society other than childbearing?! What an idea!!— Sarah Glenn Marsh (@SG_Marsh) April 19, 2019
Maybe some people just don’t want kids because they don’t like them. Or they simply want to do something else with their lives besides parent. And then there’s the over population problem. I could go on. 🤨— Alex 🌹🌒🌕🌘🧚🏽♂️🧝🏽♀️ (@FMAlchemist) April 19, 2019
The only way to finally break free from the imaginary baby chains that have been placed on women for hundreds of years, is to accept that some women just don’t want to be mothers.
Not every woman goes gooey at the sight of a toddler taking their first step.
Not every woman holds her stomach, dreaming of the day it will hold her child.
And women certainly do not get dogs because these act as a cheaper replacement to having kids.
As someone who has never felt the need to have children, but has owned a dog (a beautiful beagle named Riley) – I am offended. I am neither broke nor scared of responsibility; in fact, looking after a living being – human or otherwise – is definitely a big commitment.
I dare the author to proclaim this same statement to people who go home every day after work to walk their pets, who devote time and money on them to ensure they are well-taken care of or to approach an animal rescue centre and tell them ‘well, it’s not like you’re looking after kids, is it?’.
The only proof that the author seems to have towards her theory is that people are buying ‘premium nosh’ for their ‘little darlings’, which implies that dog owners are spending their hard-earned cash on their beloved animals instead of, what exactly – saving up for baby toys and a first-rate crib?
Furthermore, the article ignores those women who might be unable to bear children.
According to research, more of us are now choosing to have kids in our 30s instead of our 20s – and the reasons are complex. It may well be that some feel they’re not financially stable enough to have kids or don’t want the responsibility when still figuring out who they are or want to put their careers first.
But then there are others who quite simply do not want kids. Ever.
Those of us who will not ‘change our minds as we get older’ (people love to tell us that) or will ‘get lonely in a few years when the rest of our friends all have kids’.
This phrase is so often met with a cataclysmic reaction and the assumption that something is wrong with women who don’t have the desire to birth babies – it’s seen as a defect.
This couldn’t be more incorrect; it takes a strong woman to look at the expected way of living and say ‘actually, that’s not for me’ and live her life on her own terms.
I can understand that it might be difficult to put yourself in someone’s shoes if all you’ve ever wanted is a house filled with children’s laughter. And if you’ve never had the pleasure of owning a dog.
But whether you understand the decision of women like myself who do not want children, respect that we have no obligation to explain ourselves and should not be considered half-witted women or obsessive pet owners because of it.
Don’t do your fellow women this disservice – we’re just as worthy as your baby-loving pals.
No, owning a pet isn’t the same as having a kid – but if it brings the person joy, who has the right to denounce it?
Coping with infertility at work
Easter is here, and while for many of us this means eating our body weight in chocolate or getting the train tinnies in for a four day weekend, parents may have other things on their mind.
Chief among them: how on earth to handle the kids when they’re all hyped up on the excitement of Easter egg hunts and sugar.
While the sugar high may be a myth, any parent will know that all the activity and fun of Easter can send kids’ energy levels rocketing.
Then that joy crashes down, chocolate is squabbled over, and tantrums set in. It can all get pretty stressful – not ideal when you’re trying to have a relaxing weekend.
Thankfully, there are ways to prepare for the emotional rollercoaster.
They key is preparation, and a big part of that is deciding on rules and boundaries in advance.
That’s crucial when it comes to chocolate eggs.
Aideen tells Metro.co.uk: ‘Whenever you’re going into a new, unfamiliar or potentially exciting situation it’s always worthwhile taking a few minutes to think about what tricky moments might arise, so you can put things in place to prevent them from escalating.
‘At Easter, decide in advance what is an acceptable amount of treats and try to ration them out over the day so that kids aren’t bingeing and crashing. Make sure that you and your co-parent are on the same page about this.
‘Be clear with your children about what they’re allowed and stick to it. If you say they can have more after lunch then you must remember to follow through on what you promised. They will remember and feel angry and cheated if you ‘forget’.
‘You can say things like “I know you want to have more know, and you can have more after your lunch. I know it’s hard to wait, but you can do it”.
‘Have clear rules and limits around any activities and communicate them clearly to your children, such as: “You’re only allowed to hunt for eggs of this colour” or “You’re only allowed to find 10 eggs, the rest are for the other children”.’
Aideen also recommends trying to stick to regular routines as much as possible – as tempting as it may be to have a lie-in and laze around all day, or stay up late watching films.
Make sure that even in the midst of chocolate eggs, children are still having proper meals at regular times and getting enough sleep, so their blood sugar and energy levels will remain stable.
And remember that no matter how much you prepare, sometimes kids just won’t be able to handle all the excitement. That’s okay – stay calm and adjust your plans.
‘Remember that the younger children are the less they are able to regulate their emotions and control their behaviour,’ says Aideen. ‘They are much more likely to forget rules and get carried away in the excitement of the moment, so make sure that you keep a close eye on them and use empathy to help them calm down if they start veering towards a tantrum or meltdown.
‘In the midst of the fun and merriment there are bound to be moments when the kids become overwhelmed, overexcited or overstimulated.
‘Have a plan in place for how you can give them space to calm down or the loving connection they need to regain their equilibrium. This might involve cuddles, snacks, baths, books or a break from the activities in a quiet area.
‘If you’re at someone else’s house, you can ask your host in advance where you can retreat to if necessary.’
Most of all, do try to relax and have fun. Your Easter weekend may not go perfectly to plan, but when you’re spending it with your family it’ll be just as joyful. Grab some Mini Eggs and join in the fun.
Why are we so unwilling to admit that children have sexual feelings?
Much like Christmas, Easter is a time when you expect to eat far too much and spend hours lazing around as a result.
But an expert has warned us not to dismiss bloating as just a standard effect of eating too many Easter eggs.
Sarah Hughes, a nutritional therapist with food intolerance testing firm YorkTest Laboratories, notes that feeling bloated and groggy can be a sign of an underlying issue, such as a food intolerance.
She claims that unknown food intolerances can be brought to the surface by heavy eating, especially when it comes to chocolate eggs loaded with dairy.
Sarah says: ‘Following Easter and Christmas my clinic is busy with people feeling ‘not quite right’.
‘Milk chocolate Easter eggs contain far more milk than many people realise.
‘It’s the main ingredient, followed by sugar. Nuts and vegetable oils, such as palm oil, are often in them too.”
‘When food particles enter the bloodstream the immune system can sometimes identify them as ‘foreign’ and produces IgG antibodies to attack them.
‘This is a food intolerance, which causes inflammation and can see people experience digestive upsets like bloating, belching, wind and abdominal cramps.’
Other symptoms of a food intolerance include breakouts, fatigue, headaches, brain fog, and joint pain – all things that many of us just accept as a standard chocolate hangover.
‘If you feel your digestion isn’t working as it should, or you’re sluggish most of the time, you may have an intolerance to something you are eating,’ explains Sarah.
‘Through our tests we find that people can have an intolerance to milk amongst other food triggers, so it’s no wonder they feel rubbish after an Easter egg binge.’
Alongside food intolerances, bloating can also be a sign of IBS, crohn’s disease, endometriosis, and ovarian cancer.
If you’re experiencing chronic bloating, don’t ignore or dismiss it. Chat to a doctor to find out what’s going on.
Expert warns not to dismiss bloating as eating too many easter eggs
Summer has arrived and with it, the ultimate British tradition: drinking tinnies.
Labour’s Diane Abbott has kindly reminded us of that today; the MP was forced to apologise for enjoying a tin of M&S mojito on a train.
But what is more quintessentially British than cracking open a tinnie on your commute home?
To celebrate this time-honoured tradition, we’ve compiled a list of some our favourite boozy beverages.
From the classic G&T to the mojito favoured by Diane, there’s something for everyone.
Gordon’s pink G&T
Like a regular G&T, but better.
Pop in a straw and it’s summer.
Of course, we had to include the M&S mojito.
The delicious beverage, vetted by Diane, contains white rum, lime juice and mint flavouring.
It’s basically a piña colada, but in a tin.
The tasty drink contains Caribbean rum, coconut and fruit flavours.
Pairs brilliantly with coconut nibbles.
Gordon’s Dry London Gin & Tonic
The result of a combined British love of tinnies and gin.
We don’t really need to say more, do we?
Echo Falls Summer Berries
More of a wine person? Echo Falls has created this gem just for you.
If you prefer something less fruity, go for Pinot Pinot from Tesco or Gigglewater Frizzante from Waitrose.
Not all tinnies come in small sizes.
Opt for a traditional pint in a can, with many brands to choose from – like the Belgian Stella Artois.
Is it legal to drink on a train?
It’s worthwhile noting that it’s illegal to drink an alcoholic beverage on a Transport for London (TFL) service.
There is a policy that bans all passengers from either drinking or having an open container of alcohol with them on a tube or train operated by the transport system.
However, rules fluctuate on other train lines and according to Drink Aware, you can consume alcohol on national trains – unless the operators state otherwise.
In Scotland, on ScotRail trains, you’re not allowed to drink between 9pm to 10am and on Northern Ireland’s Translink it’s completely banned.
Tinnie on a train