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

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    Illustration of a cup of tea
    Pictures: Getty

    If flirting isn’t your forte, don’t bother.

    All you have to do is learn how to make an excellent cuppa and love will come your way, according to a new study.

    Ahead of National Tea Day tomorrow (21 April), dating app Plenty of Fish has revealed that tea plays a major part in dating.

    Out of 2,500 participants, over a fifth of singles agreed that superb tea-making skills are a major turn-on.

    And making a bad one could cost you a date.

    The criteria is harsh; those surveyed revealed that if someone made them weak tea (37%), put in too much sugar (17%) or over-brewed their cuppa (13%) it would put them off.

    Another 10% said putting in a milk substitute would be a deal-breaker, as would pouring in the milk before the water for 9% of participants.

    If you’re already in a relationship, you might find it worthwhile to memorise how your partner takes their tea.

    The study revealed that 69% thought this was important, among women in particular.

    And if you’re trying to impress your lover, you could always say you’ll have what they’re having – one fifth of participants said this makes you more attractive.

    Then again, you could be forced to forever drink a cuppa that you consider subpar, so do this at your own risk.

    Happy brewing.

    MORE: Green tea KitKats are finally coming to the UK

    MORE: Why do we eat hot cross buns at Easter and what is the cross on a hot cross bun made of?

    MORE: 12 people reveal the small things that put them off dating someone


    Making a cuppa could help you fnid loveMaking a cuppa could help you fnid love

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    You’re either a leg bouncer or someone who gets intensely irritated by leg bouncing. There’s rarely an in-between.

    Leg bouncing, also called leg tapping, leg jiggling, leg shaking, and ‘that annoying thing you do with your leg’ describes the habit of moving one leg up and down at speed while sitting.

    It can happen when sitting on public transport, at work, or at home, watching TV.

    It can be subtle or powerful enough to make the entire bank of desks in the office feel the tremors.

    Very often, it’s linked to anxiety.

    You’ll find leg shakes a commonly referenced symptom of anxiety disorders, or a sign that you’re feeling stressed and aren’t aware of it.

    I’m a leg bouncer. At work I’m always either sitting with my legs up on the chair in a pretzel-like position, or my feet are on the floor but my right leg is furiously shuddering. It can be going for ages without me noticing, until I can suddenly feel the shakes all along my desk.

    I’ve noticed other people leg bouncing too, from the movement I can feel on the ground, so it’s clearly not a habit that’s easily ignored. When I brought the tic up in a chat at work, multiple people responded with how infuriating they find it when they could feel someone rapidly shaking their leg, saying the tremors make them want to hit their deskmate’s leg.

    Why does leg bouncing happen? Why is it more common among those experiencing anxiety? And how can you stop it – or, if you’re part of the intensely irritated party, get someone else to bloody well keep their leg still?

    Counselling Directory member Dawn Templeton says that leg tapping is caused by ‘a buildup of surplus stress hormones in the body, namely adrenaline and cortisol’.

    ‘When we are stressed or feeling anxious, our bodies prepare us to fight the stress, or run away from it, known as the ‘fight or flight’ response,’ Dawn explains. ‘This means that we are flooded with extra energy.

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

    ‘Our fast-twitch muscles fibres become engaged and this energy leaks out, often in the form of foot or hand tapping or shaking.

    ‘Over a long period of time, stress can accumulate and our body can remain in a high state of alert, releasing a constant supply of stress hormones.’

    Essentially, anxiety makes your body think that you’re in danger (blame that super fun lingering feeling that something terrible is about to happen), and makes it get ready to run away in fear. If you spend most of your time sitting – as most of us with office jobs have to do – your body will try to answer your hormones’ calls to run and freak out by jiggling your leg.

    ‘It’s essentially our body getting ready to deal with an anticipated threat,’ says clinical psychologist Catherine Huckle. ‘When we don’t use these up by defending ourselves or escaping they remain in our body and tapping our legs can be one way of exerting the energy that they produce.’

    Leg bouncing can be a way to self-soothe in times of tension, helping you to feel more relaxed when you’re experiencing high levels of stress

    You can also be more prone to leg bouncing if, says Michael Durtnall of Sayer Clinics London, if you’re a ‘high energy, high muscle-tone, tight-ligament’ person.

    The good news is that there’s no evidence to suggest leg shaking does your body any harm, beyond potentially making your muscles a bit tired.

    Santhosh A. Thomas, a doctor at the Center for Spine Cleveland Clinic, suggests that if you only jiggle one leg, there’s a chance your muscles may have a touch more definition on one side than the other, reassures us that the habit is unlikely to cause any longterm damage to our posture, leg, or spine.

    The only real negative outcome of your leg bouncing tic is the annoyance it can cause to others.

    So, how can you make it stop?

    As with all other physical manifestations of anxiety and stress, the key to reducing leg bouncing is to reduce your feelings of anxiety. That might involve self-care, medication, therapy, or other coping techniques learned through cognitive behavioural therapy.

    As vices go, it’s not a bad one, so you don’t need to stop it, but it can be helpful to track when your leg bounces and try out breathing techniques and other methods of self-soothing to see if these are helpful.

    ‘The main focus would need to be on reducing or managing your anxiety,’ Catherine tells us. ‘This might involve identifying and working on the causes of the anxiety.

    What does the ideal healthy working day look like?
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    ‘Leg tapping can also become habitual, so that it starts to happen even when not serving a function to reduce anxiety. In this case it takes time to alter the habit, but finding someone or some way of prompting you to notice when it is happening is the first step, and making a conscious effort to stop once it is noticed.

    ‘It might be that you take up another, less obvious form of fidgeting (such as pencil twirling) but that might come with its own drawbacks.’

    It’s handy to find another outlet for that excess physical energy.

    ‘Jiggling is a sign that you should be doing something physical,’ says Michael. ‘It’s not in our nature to sit for long, as we like to get out and do things and be active and move.

    ‘Shaking and jiggling means we should be doing something physical or practical to use up this extra energy.’

    If you’re not already exercising outside of work, get to it – all those people banging on about endorphins have a point. Finding a physical activity you love can reduce stress and boost your mood as well as reducing your leg shakes.

    While you’re bound to your desk, try to get up and walk about every hour or so – whether that’s making a cup of tea or walking over to someone’s desk rather than sending them a Slack message. Little bursts of activity are an excellent habit to get into.

    If you’re on the other side of leg tapping habit, silently raging as your anxious deskmate rids you of all focus, the best thing to do is have a chat with the leg bouncer in question. It’s likely they’re unaware they’re doing it, and if you don’t bring up your anguish the tension will build, simmer, and eventually boil over.

    Dawn advises approaching the topic gently and asking if the person bouncing their leg needs help reducing stress: ‘It is helpful to gently point it out and make them aware that it could be a sign that they are too stressed and need to look after themselves.’

    Catherine agrees, and adds that a sneaky way of ridding people of the habit is to suggest going for a walk or moving about. We should all be sitting less and moving more, so make it your job to get everyone up and about.

    But ultimately, sometimes those negative tics just won’t budge. Like we said, a leg-bouncer isn’t doing themselves any harm, and anxiety isn’t something you can just switch off at a moment’s notice.

    Offer support, flag it when it’s happening, but if someone’s leg bouncing is driving you round the bend, your best option may just be to move desks. Sorry.

    MORE: Why you have so many tabs open

    MORE: What happens when decluttering becomes an obsession?

    MORE: People with mental health issues wear their thoughts on their faces for powerful photo series


    Why do I have an anxious leg tap and what is it doing to my body?Why do I have an anxious leg tap and what is it doing to my body?

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    Unfortunate M&S bikini
    (Picture: Getty/M&S)

    We do enjoy a design fail.

    Today we must thank Marks & Spencer for the joy, as they’re selling a pair of bikini pants that, well, make you look like you’ve had a bit of an accident. An accident of the period genre, to be clear.

    The bikini bottoms in question are a lovely light pink, with a leaf design on one side. So far, so lovely.

    But right on the crotch, there’s a red patch. The patch emanates from the vagina area, spreading upwards and giving the distinct look of a period stain.

    Because who doesn’t want to hit the pool looking like they forgot their menstrual cup?

    The product description reads: ‘This sophisticated bikini bottom will have you ready for the poolside or beach in no time. Featuring a chic ombre print with a placement leaf design on it, they’ll instantly make you feel like grabbing your beach towel, sunglasses and enjoying the sunshine.’

    M&S aren’t wrong there. We do indeed feel like grabbing a towel when there’s a red stain on our pants – mostly to cover up our lower half, run to the bathroom, and sort ourselves out.

    The design fail was brought to our attention over on Twitter, when Bex Renshaw tweeted: ‘I think the M&S designer was having a bad day, not a look I want to go for this summer.’

    Us neither, Bex.

    Now, to be clear, there’s no shame in a period stain or in free-bleeding at large. Menstruation is perfectly natural and it’s silly to pretend it doesn’t exist.

    But we can’t help but think the M&S design team didn’t quite think this one through.

    Or perhaps they’re advocating to free the period and free-bleed on the beach this summer.

    We’ve reached out to the brand to ask, but haven’t head back yet.

    MORE: Woman orders Boohoo dress online, gets one that leaves her vagina ‘totally exposed’

    MORE: Oh, this ASOS dress looks like a vagina

    MORE: Tampons in schools is progress but won’t end period poverty


    Unfortunate M&S bikiniUnfortunate M&S bikini

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    Picture of the West Midlands Fire Service with Jesus the dog
    (Picture: @WestMidsFire)

    Some coincidences simply fill you with joy.

    Like when you run into your ex on a day when you look amazing or find a tenner on the floor of the pub after you’ve finished your drink.

    Others, like the story of Jesus the dog, are just downright hilarious.

    On Good Friday, the religious day that commemorates Jesus’ crucifixion and death, a dog was saved by firefighters in Sutton Park, a nature reserve outside Birmingham. The Staffordshire bull terrier mix was pulled from the water by the West Midlands Fire Service.

    The coincidence? His name was Jesus.

    That’s right – Jesus the dog was saved on the same day that Jesus the saviour allegedly died.

    And people are loving the coincidence, with many referencing the claim that Jesus walked on water and wondering if the dog was trying to test out this theory.

    ‘There were about 100 members of the public on the bank when we get there, some threatening to jump in to get the dog,’ the watch commander, Nigel Fox, told the BBC.

    ‘The dog had been in the lake for about 30 minutes and was going underneath the water and reappearing, so a decision was made to get a fire fighter into the water to retrieve him. The rescue only took five minutes but the owners were overjoyed to have him back.’

    Jokes aside, thanks to the excellent work of the firefighters, Jesus the dog is alive and well.

    But you have to admit, it’s one hell of a coincidence.

    MORE: Woman suspects her husband wants to have sex with their dog

    MORE: Gorillas put our selfie game to shame as they pose with anti-poaching officers

    MORE: Deaf man adopts deaf dog and teaches him commands with sign language


    Dog named Jesus saved on Good FridayDog named Jesus saved on Good Friday

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    Coppa Club surf shack illustration
    (Picture: Coppa Club)

    Despite arguably being one of the best cities in the world, London is lacking in one area – it doesn’t have a beach.

    Most of the capital’s residents have to travel to Brighton to get their sun and surf on, but not anymore.

    Well, sort of.

    Coppa Club, made famous for its riverside igloos overlooking Tower Bridge, is set to transform these into surfer shacks for the summer. The area will also be decorated in a surf theme, with tropical plants, surf boards and a vintage Volkswagen van modified into a pop-up bar.

    The new experience will launch on 2 May with the brand hosting a summer launch party to celebrate the occasion, and the first 100 guests will be given complimentary cocktails.

    ‘The wait is nearly over, it’s almost time for cocktails in the sun and dining riverside in your very own Surfer Shack,’ Coppa Club wrote on its Facebook page.

    ‘The Insta-famous Igloos will be transformed into laid-back Shacks, complete with sliding doors to soak up the summer sunshine. The surrounding terrace will be covered in tropical plants, surf boards, colourful furniture and will feature a vintage VW van pop-up bar with riverside views.

    ‘Along with a totally Instagram worthy surfboard swing.’

    Count us in.

    MORE: If you want to find love, learn how to make the perfect cuppa

    MORE: 420 Day: Why do we get the munchies when we smoke weed?

    MORE: Holland & Barrett launches three new vegan ice creams


    SEI_63468066SEI_63468066

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    Happy smiling toddler girl holding small chocolate eggs
    Happy Easter (Picture: Getty)

    Hopefully by now you’re ready to tuck into a breakfast consisting solely of chocolate eggs.

    You may also be going to see family and friends later to tuck into a roast or attend a service.

    If you can’t make it to be near your loved ones in person, however, why not share some of these quotes and pictures and spread the Easter love?

    Easter quotes

    ‘There would be no Christmas if there was no Easter.’ – Gordon P. Hinckley

    ‘Easter is the only time of year when it is safe to put all your eggs in one basket.’ – Evan Esar

    ‘A true friend is someone who thinks you’re a good egg, even if you’re cracked.’ – Anon

    ‘You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.’ – Pablo Neruda

    ‘Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song.’ Pope John Paul II

    ‘There are always flowers for those who want to see them.’  Henri Matisse

    ‘April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.’ – William Shakespeare

    ‘The great gift of Easter is hope.’ – Basil Hume

    ‘It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.’ – Rainer Maria Rilke

    ‘The bright eyes of song sparrows sitting on spotted eggs / Peer restlessly through the light and shadow / Of all Springs.’ – Amy Lowell

    Easter pictures and memes

    MORE: UK to have hottest Easter weekend in Europe as temperatures soar to 27C

    MORE: Why do we eat hot cross buns at Easter and what is the cross on a hot cross bun made of?


    Happy child holding Easter EggsHappy child holding Easter Eggs

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    a shopping trolley full of groceries
    Have you got all your Easter shopping done? (Picture: Getty)

    Bank holidays are pretty great all round, and the Easter bank holiday is no different.

    People have more time on their hands, the sun is shining (this time round at least) and the beer gardens are a-calling.

    But if there’s one thing Easter Sunday isn’t so great for, it’s getting any shopping done.

    You don’t want to get caught out if you find yourself in need of anything on Easter Sunday, when many shops will be closed for the occasion, so here’s everything you need to know about the opening times of four popular supermarkets…

    Tesco Easter Sunday opening hours

    On Easter Sunday in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, expect all Tesco Extra, Superstores and Metro stores to be shut.

    However, all Express stores will stay open, and in Scotland, all Tesco stores will be open as usual.

    a person carrying tesco shopping bags
    (Picture: PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

    Sainsbury’s Easter Sunday opening hours

    If you’re after a Sainsbury’s tomorrow, you could be out of luck because the Sainsbury’s Supermarkets in England, Wales and Northern Ireland will be closed.

    However, most of their petrol stations and convenience stores will remain open

    Lidl Easter Sunday opening hours

    If you’re in England or Wales on Easter Sunday this year, don’t expect to be able to pop down your local Lidl, because their website clearly states that you should expect their shops to be closed tomorrow.

    Aldi Easter Sunday opening hours

    The same story goes for Aldi unfortunately, as these supermarkets are slated to be closed for Easter Sunday as well.

    Please note that opening times will sometimes vary from store to store. If you want to double check, go to the Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Aldi websites and look for info on your local branch.

    MORE: When should you give Easter eggs and why do we give them?

    MORE: Easter egg makeup: People are turning themselves into Creme Eggs for Easter weekend


    Woman grocery shoppingWoman grocery shopping

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    This week, new figures revealed that 93% of people would challenge someone who looks ‘healthy’ for using a disabled toilet.

    There’s a huge problem around invisible conditions as people don’t realise that not all disabilities are visible

    Thousands of people suffer from debilitating symptoms but because you can’t see them, they face abuse.

    Our series, You Don’t Look Sick, speaks to a different person with a different condition every week to show the reality of living with an invisible illness or disability.

    Rachael Jarvis, 23, from Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, has sickle cell anaemia.

    It is an inherited blood condition that means the body produces red blood cells that are an unusual shape that don’t live as long as normal red blood cells.

    It causes painful episodes called sickle cell crises, which can last up to a week. People with the condition suffer from tiredness and shortness of breath because of anaemia and an increased risk of serious infections.

    It mainly affects people of African, Caribbean, Middle Eastern, Eastern Mediterranean and Asian origin.

    Rachael Jarvis at home
    (Picture: Alison Jenkins for Metro.co.uk)

    Rachael says the condition affects her every day but as she works as a nurse and as she is only in her early twenties, she feels people don’t always understand that she is ill.

    She said: ‘Sometimes when I tell people I have sickle cell they pause for a moment and say “But you don’t look sick”. It’s a backhanded compliment, in some ways. I think “Yes, great, that’s the goal” and other times I think “Should I try and look more sick tomorrow?”

    ‘There are times when I think that maybe people think I am lying about having this condition but I would never do that. It’s not something cool enough to lie about. I have had people say “But how can you be ill, you look so pretty.”

    ‘I live in Hertfordshire and the bus in my area is quite expensive, they have a card reader on the bus and everyone with a free bus pass has a card that they can tap on a reader so only older people and disabled people use the card reader. Other people would pay cash because it’s an old style bus.

    ‘I tap my disabled bus pass and when I do I sometimes feel like people are judging me because I don’t look ill.

    ‘I even had a bus driver look me up and down and say “Let me see your bus pass” as if he couldn’t believe that I had a disabled bus pass or was in fact disabled.’

    Rachael was born with the condition and diagnosed at two days old, so it is something she has lived with her entire life.

    Rachael when she is feeling well
    Rachael has good and abd days (Picture: Rachael Jarvis)

    She explains: ‘The doctors told my parents that because they were both carriers that I might have the condition. When I was born they did a blood test which confirmed that I had sickle cell anaemia. I started to experience symptoms of the condition when I was six months old.

    ‘I was a baby so obviously I don’t remember what it felt like, if anything it was like my parents were being diagnosed and they felt a mixture of sadness and guilt.

    ‘I only realised that I was a bit different and had sickle cell when I was at school one day and suddenly felt this excruciating pain in my tummy, I didn’t want to tell anyone because I thought I was having this pain because I had done something wrong so I did not want to get in trouble but I finally ended up telling my dad and that’s when he told me I had sickle cell and I would get this pain

    ‘I just remember feeling quite said.’

    Now 23, she tries not to let it hold her back but says that there are days where it causes debilitating symptoms.

    Rachael's medication (Picture: Rachael Jarvis)
    Rachael’s medication (Picture: Rachael Jarvis)

    She explains: ‘On a good day I take 10 tablets a day; four different medications. This medication won’t cure me, it will only help keep me as “well” as possible.

    ‘When I feel well, I can get ready all by myself, and even do my makeup. I go to work and will usually complete a 12 hour shift. If it is a day off I may meet up with friends for food or cinema. I can do a bit of cleaning around the house – just normal things.

    ‘Although I can do all of this, I do have fatigue and often wake up feeling quite tired, I have as many naps as I can during the day and I even take naps during my lunch breaks.

    ‘I do always have chronic pain, its constant and I have had this pain since I was 11 years old. It feels like a headache but in different parts of my body, it’s always there and I am always aware of it but I can do my normal daily activities.

    ‘On a bad day I take 50 tablets a day (sometimes more depending if I have an infection or complication) which is 12 different medications.

    ‘I can’t wash myself, I need help to get to the toilet, I can’t walk or sometimes find it hard to talk.

    Rachael when she is well (Picture: Rachael Jarvis)
    Rachael has sickle cell anaemia (Picture: Rachael Jarvis)

    ‘As a result I don’t leave the bed. I can’t even use my phone as it takes too much energy and strength.

    ‘The pain is so debilitating it leaves me feeling extremely tired and weak – to the point where I am unable to open a bottle of water or a packet of crisps (just for reference).

    ‘My chronic pain is still there but it is often masked by the debilitating acute pain. I don’t eat properly due to lack of energy and pain. I have to really force myself to drink something.

    ‘Due to the pain being so severe my body does not allow me to sleep even though I am extremely tired, so I end up going through this cycle of my body being in severe pain and feeling really tired, like extreme jetlag tired and needing to sleep in order to rest my body, to being in such severe pain that I am unable to sleep.

    ‘It drives me crazy, at times it feels so bad that it doesn’t feel real, I start to think that I am not alive because how can I be? No ones body can go through this torture. Much like cluster headaches, a sickle cell crisis makes you feel suicidal, death becomes the nicer option than to endure this pain.. A bad day is a physically, mentally and emotionally draining roller coaster.

    Rachael in hospital (Picture: Rachael Jarvis)
    Rachael in hospital (Picture: Rachael Jarvis)

    ‘Everyday with sickle cell is so varied. To the point where I could be having a good morning but by the afternoon it turns bad. A crises can happen anytime anywhere and I can go from feeling really good to really bad in a matter of seconds.’

    Having a crises in public has been particularly difficult for Rachael as she feels people judge her because they don’t realise that she is actually in pain.

    She adds: ‘I was walking to the bus stop and I began to have a crisis, the pain was intense to the point where I was basically crawling to the bus stop.

    ‘When I finally got there I had to lay across the red bench, I was trying to hold down the pain so on the outside I looked normal but because I was laying across the bench and not giving anyone else the chance to sit down, they were looking at me like I was selfish and rude and it was the worst because I couldn’t even tell people that I was too unwell and that I would normally allow others to sit down.’

    Rachael has frequent trips to hospital (Picture: Rachael Jarvis)
    Rachael has frequent trips to hospital (Picture: Rachael Jarvis)

    Throughout her life, Rachael’s friends and family have been able to support her and she’s also a big fan of Jessie J, who has a heart condition. Rachael says that seeing her speak out about it has really helped her feel more confident about telling people about her own condition.

    She explains: ‘She also has a long term condition and she is so inspiring to me, she has written songs about her condition and hospital stays which I can totally relate with.

    ‘She knew what it was like to be unwell as a child and she spoke openly about it and from there I just fell in love and her voice is amazing.

    What happens during a sickle cell crisis?

    Episodes of pain – known as sickle cell crises – are one of the most common and distressing symptoms of sickle cell disease. They occur when blood vessels to part of the body become blocked.

    The pain can be severe and lasts for up to seven days on average.

    A sickle cell crisis often affects a particular part of the body, such as the:

    • hands or feet (particularly in young children)
    • ribs and breastbone
    • spine
    • pelvis
    • tummy
    • legs and arms

    NHS

    ‘I remember going to concerts 12 hours early just to be able to be at the front so she would see me, I even wrote her letters and got pictures in return.’

    She feels that there needs to me more education and more people speaking out about invisible conditions to help change attitudes.

    She said: ‘I think there needs to be more education in schools. I completed a nursing degree and we didn’t have one lecture on my condition which is crazy because as a nurse you may end up looking after a lot of sickle cell patients, especially if you work in London.

    ‘I think people need to be more aware and not so quick to judge, for example, if a person who may not look “disabled” is sitting in the priority seat, think before you ask.

    ‘Personally for me, if I am in a priority seat and I am having a good day, I will give up my seat to someone who I feel may need it more, but if I am having a bad day, I am physically unable to give up my seat.

    ‘Before you forcefully tell them to get up, just think, can they get up or will it cause them excruciating pain?’

    How to get involved with You Don't Look Sick

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

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

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

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in my thirties’

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

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘I sneak out of the disabled toilet because I don’t want people to judge me’

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


    You Don?t Look Sick / Cheshunt / Rachael JarvisYou Don?t Look Sick / Cheshunt / Rachael Jarvis

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    The Co-op logo is seen outside a Co-op supermarket on a brick wall in London
    (Photo: Reuters/Hannah McKay)

    We’re now halfway through the Easter weekend but there is still plenty of time to relax before the next working week begins.

    The hot weather has provided an enjoyable start to the holiday period with many people across the country stocking up on drinks and food for the BBQ.

    If you’re planning to stock up on supplies today then it might be worth planning ahead before you head out.

    Many stores will be closing their doors on Easter Sunday as they give their staff some rest during the holiday period.

    If you were thinking of going to your local Co-op today, then here is everything that you need to know.

    What are the Co-op opening times this Easter?

    Most Co-op stores remained open on Good Friday and Saturday, and many are set to remain open with their usual opening hours on Easter Sunday and Monday as well.

    However, some stores will be closed throughout Easter Sunday, so some shoppers will be affected if they plan to visit their local shop today.

    If you’re planning to head to you local Co-op for some shopping on Easter Sunday, then it is worth using their Store Finder to make sure that it will be open today.

    Visit our Opening Times page for more information on other store and shop opening hours.

    MORE: Happy Easter! Images, memes and quotes to celebrate this bank holiday weekend

    MORE: What are Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and the rest of the Royal Family doing for Easter 2019?


    Single-use plastic bags scrapped from Co-op storesSingle-use plastic bags scrapped from Co-op stores

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    Santa has his elves and the Easter Bunny has its chief Easter officers.

    In my role I work with Mars Wrigley Confectionery to ensure more than 24million Easter eggs get to the shops in time for Easter each year.

    It’s a very egg-citing job.

    A huge part of my role is co-ordinating new product launches and campaigns. Every year we bring out new Easter eggs, as well as bringing back your favourites, so we start planning new products at least two years in advance. This year’s M&M’s Eggs have been years in the making.

    Work has kicked off for 2021 already and we’ve not even celebrated Easter 2019 yet.

    In fact, I usually start meetings with, ‘which year are we talking about?’ and celebrating new year always feels weird as it’s like I’ve already lived it, being two years ahead.

    Mars confectioners, Chief Easter Officer, Chriag Shah
    My nephew sees me as Willy Wonka (Photo: Matthew Chattle/Metro.co.uk)

    I didn’t always want to get into chocolate, in fact I grew up in Kenya, where chocolate isn’t eaten much, and I’m of Indian origin so didn’t celebrate Easter.

    I think this unlikely upbringing for someone who now works on Easter all year round means I bring a fresh perspective to the season and a curiosity that every chief Easter officer needs.

    It was my love of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the food itself that drove me to Mars’ biscuit department, where I began, three years ago and my nephew likes to call me Easter Willy Wonka.

    To be honest, it’s the only way my friends and family can wrap their heads around what my job actually is.

    And just like Mr Wonka, I am very protective over our recipes and the goings on inside the factory.

    Mars confectioners, Chief Easter Officer, Chriag Shah
    Bounty is my favourite of all our eggs (Photo: Matthew Chattle/Metro.co.uk)

    I can’t tell you how much chocolate I eat every day, but let’s say, if the Easter Bunny drops by with a sample, I will be first in line to test it out.

    Especially if it’s a Bounty – it’s my favourite of all the eggs we make. While they cause debate every year for being included in the Celebrations box, they fly off the shelves at Easter.

    And not just during the bank holiday! Every year there will be some people who are surprised that Easter eggs appear in shops so soon after Christmas, but that’s because it’s when people start to want to buy them.

    It’s great to know that I’m not the only one that celebrates Easter all year round!

    It’s such a special season for so many people and I’m honoured that it’s up to me to make sure Easter remains fun, inclusive and delicious.

    Mars confectioners, Chief Easter Officer, Chriag Shah
    It’s great to know that I’m not the only one that celebrates Easter all year round (Photo: Matthew Chattle/Metro.co.uk)

    Every year we produce millions of eggs, and this year we will be making 24.5million – that’s an egg and a bit for every third person in the UK.

    With this scale comes responsibility but it motivates me to know my work spreads so much excitement over the season.

    Making sure Easter goes off without a hitch is a big job and I balance the hard work by spending my out-of-work time pursuing my hobbies (other than chocolate and Easter) like squash.

    I play squash semi-competitively, and still represent the Kenya national team, so I need to keep fit.

    It’s a good way to burn off all the Malteasers Bunnies I’ve been eating since they came out at the start of this year.

    No day is the same as chief Easter officer. I am constantly juggling the different components, from sales wanting more products faster, to working with supply to make it happen, all the way to creating fun marketing campaigns.

    I love the nostalgia that comes with Easter and something I learnt when I moved to the UK for university was the importance of the season in bringing families together.

    I love how everyone has a favourite chocolate and how when people find out what I do everyone has an opinion they want to share or an idea for a new chocolate that they want me to make happen!

    How to get involved with My Odd Job

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

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    Wickes shop sign outside store in Martlesham, near Ipswich, Suffolk, England, UK
    (Photo by: Geography Photos/UIG via Getty Images)

    The Easter weekend is the perfect time to carry out various tasks that you don’t normally get the chance to do during a normal week.

    For many people this includes doing DIY around their home, whether its painting a room or decorating the kitchen.

    If you’re planning to make some changes to your home this weekend and want to get some supplies, then it’s worth checking ahead of time to make sure your local store is open.

    Many shops will be closed throughout Easter Sunday, or be running with reduced opening hours.

    Here is everything that you need to know about the Easter opening hours for Wickes.

    Wickes Easter opening times

    Most Wickes stores were open for extended opening hours of 6.30am until 9pm on Good Friday and on Saturday.

    All Wickes shops are then closed on Easter Sunday, although customers can still shop online, with click and collect orders available for pick-up the next day.

    They will then open for the extended opening hours of 6.30am-9pm against on Easter Monday before returning to normal opening times from Tuesday 23 April.

    The Easter period also includes various offers at Wickes, including a buy one get one free deal for 2.5L of Emulsion Paint.

    You can check the normal opening times for your local Wickes store by using the store finder.

    MORE: Happy Easter! Images, memes and quotes to celebrate this bank holiday weekend

    MORE: My Odd Job: Just call me the Easter Willy Wonka


    New Wickes store shop opened late 2017, Martlesham, near Ipswich, Suffolk, England, UKNew Wickes store shop opened late 2017, Martlesham, near Ipswich, Suffolk, England, UK

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    Louisa Hunt poses with a Renaissance-era shirt she made by hand
    I decided to recreate a Renaissance-era embroidered shirt by hand (Photo: Louisa Hunt)

    The 16th century social circles of Italy would be shocked at the way clothes are made today.

    Over the years, the fashion industry has largely discarded the attention and appreciation that used to be a part of clothes-making practices in favour of fast fashion, sweatshops and rapid consumerist culture.

    Last year, I decided to recreate a Renaissance-era embroidered shirt by hand to see how different the process of an attitude towards clothes-making has changed.

    The shirt I created was traditionally an undergarment worn by men across different sectors of society. It was usually hand-made by the women in their lives and I used similar materials and methods employed almost 500 years ago.

    One of the most striking differences was in the actual fabric used. In the 16th century, fabric came from natural resources like handwoven silk, linen and lace. Not only did they completely alter the methods of clothes making, they changed the way garments felt on the body.

    A men's 16th century linen shirt
    The shirt I created was traditionally an undergarment worn by men across different sectors of society (Photo: Louisa Hunt)

    Today, we have an overwhelming abundance of different fabric and materials – notably synthetic, mass-produced ones –  and their production is one of the most environmentally damaging aspects of fashion today.

    Over half of all emissions from the fabric industry derive from three stages of fabric production: dyeing and finishing, yarn preparations, and fibre production.

    And according to the European Clothing Action Plan 2015, there are more than 1,900 chemicals used in the production of clothing, especially polyester, of which 165 are classified by the EU as hazardous to the environment.

    One the most challenging aspect of my project was cutting the patterns and constructing the shirt without using pattern resources available to dressmakers today. The entire garment was hand-sewn.

    Embroidery used to recreate a Renaissance-era linen shirt
    The entire garment was hand-sewn (Photo: Louisa Hunt)

    Hand-sewing requires time and attention to detail, and learning the skills from more experienced sewers, making it a very social activity.

    This exchange of ideas created a community among women, and an emotional attachment to our clothing that we seem to have lost today.

    The result is a throwaway culture when it comes to our garments, which has a major impact on the sustainability of the fashion industry.

    Around 30 per cent of clothes belonging to an average UK household have not been used for at least a year and once discarded, over half are binned within a year.

    My next challenge was to recreate the style. During the Renaissance, sleeves were often large and loose, pleated at the shoulder and then pulled in by the stiff cuff. In other garments, they are puffed and gathered at the wrist, often decorated beautifully.

    Sleeves featured expressive details and were one of the most exciting elements in clothing.

    The cuffs of a replica 16th century linen shirt
    Sleeves featured expressive details and were one of the most exciting elements in clothing (Photo: Louisa Hunt)

    The time and skill required to create such garments has been largely lost in fast fashion, and intricate design is becoming largely inaccessible to anyone other than the very rich.

    The fashion industry itself is incredibly difficult to break into, making it an insular and nepotistic space, meaning that many of the skills that used to be widely shared across societies now only exist for the elite.

    There are initiatives working to break down these ‘closed doors’ cultures in the UK, such as The British Fashion Council’s Education Foundation and Scholarship which aims to bring in more skilled and creative individuals from diverse backgrounds, but education in fashion is not prioritised and the importance of sharing skills is lost.

    However not all changes have been negative, and one of the ways in which fashion has become more inclusive is in the breaking down of gender norms when it comes to clothing.

    Today more than ever before there is a fluidity and opportunity to express identity through dress, playing with typically ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ styles.

    Recent red carpet looks demonstrate the array of gender identities being played out, from Timothee Chamalet’s floral suits to Jonathan Van Ness’ dresses and heels.

    Jonathan Van Ness at the Emmys
    Jonathan Van Ness’ red carpet looks demonstrate the array of gender identities being played out today (Photo: FayesVision/WENN.com

    In the 16th century there were much clearer gender boundaries in fashion. Renaissance writer Matteo Palmieri thought male dress should not be ‘too fine, overly neat, embroidered or multi-coloured’ and should be distinctly different to women’s clothing.

    The fashion industry can still be incredibly binary of course, dividing masculinity and femininity as separate entities through fashion shows, publications and advertising.

    When Billy Porter wore a tuxedo gown at the 2019 Oscars, the many negative headlines and social media ridicule he faced suggests there is still a long way to go, and hand-sewing, embroidery and finer crafts continue to be considered as feminine, as they have throughout art history and fashion history. But it’s clear strides are being made to change this.

    The fashion landscape is undeniably vastly different today compared to the 16th century, when the shirt I made was commonly worn.

    The intimacy with materials and traditional practices, as well as a social element towards garment creation, have been lost among trend-driven, ethically dubious clothing production.

    We may not be able to return to Renaissance production methods, but by looking to the past for inspiration we can try and reflect some of these ideas as we strive for a sustainable, equitable, fashion conscious future.

    MORE: New Look is wrong to slash prices – consumers no longer want fast fashion

    MORE: I’m a short, transgender man who modelled at London Fashion Week to show that fashion can be diverse

    MORE: Most of the 11 billion receipts we use every year can’t be recycled but it’s a forgotten environmental problem


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    Three-year-old Lana Michel takes her photography job very seriously.

    The youngster, from Brooklyn, New York, wants to catch all her toys in the best lighting and angles. When Dad Pascal brought some photography equipment home, Lana asked if she could create her own photoshoot.

    She set up a mini studio, using her stuffed bear and Ant-man toy as her muses, and began clicking away.

    Creating some pretty genius shots, Lana made sure her subjects were behaving as she shouted instructions at them.

    Luckily for her, the tripod was adjusted to her wee height and she flashed away while Ant-man and bear stood perfectly still.

    Dad Pascal told Metro.co.uk that she might just have a future in photography.

    Lana shouting instructions at her stuffed bear while she takes pictures of him
    (Picture: Pascal Michel)

    ‘This is something I realised a couple of weeks ago,’ said Pascal. ‘I had my photography equipment out one day, a ring light, a camera and tripod and she just asked if we could take pictures and I let her.’

    The pictures of Lana taking the shots were shared by Pascal on Twitter, where they quickly went viral. But it’s not the first time the daddy-daughter duo gained fame online.

    A picture of Pascal doing Lana’s hair when she was younger was also applauded by the masses on Twitter.

    Dad Pascal and Lana after he did her hair for the first time
    (Picture: Pascal Michel)

    ‘She doesn’t have a camera, she uses mine – I put it on the tripod for her because it’s too heavy to hold up right now,’ added Pascal.

    ‘But she will play with the camera for long periods of time taking many photos of her toys. She’s only three so most pictures are all over the place, but she’s happy taking the picture so that’s all that matters to me.

    ‘She’s really bright and loves being both behind and in front of the camera.’

    Lana playing with the ring light
    (Picture: Pascal Michel)

    Other parents commented on the post with the results of their children’s masterpieces. One seven-year-old took a pretty stunning shot of his mother.

    Who knows, these kids might be the future of photography.

    Picture of stuffed bear
    The end result (Picture: Pascal Michel)

    MORE: Matalan launches adorable matching dad and daughter outfits

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    MORE: Why are dads so bad at texting?


    3-year-old's photography shoto with bear and Antman3-year-old's photography shoto with bear and Antman

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    Mum wrote four simple words that made the controller all the more special. She wrote: 'To John, Love mum'.
    (Twitter: @u/afterglow/reddit, Getty)

    It’s hard to get someone a gift if you know it’s the last thing you’ll ever give them.

    For one mum on her deathbed, the gift idea came to her easily. She knew how much her son enjoys playing on the X-Box and decided to gift him a new one.

    But unlike the ordinary games console, the dying mum decided to personalise it.

    Using a sharpie, she wrote four simple words that made the controller all the more special. On it, she wrote: ‘To John, love mom’.

    A picture of the controller was shared on Reddit by John’s wife, who asked Redditors how she could protect the inscription from rubbing off.

    Most people commented to say that unfortunately, John would most likely not be able to use the controller if he wanted to save the special gift.

    Redditors advised the wife to put it in a box to be displayed so the memory could be left intact.

    Picture of controller with words written in sharpie
    (Picture: @u/afterglow/reddit)

    ‘My mother-in-law gifted this to my significant other, and signed it the day she passed,’ the wife wrote.

    ‘It’s very special to him and signed with a metallic sharpie. How can we protect the writing?’

    The post received over 2,000 comments with people weighing in with their advice.

    The most popular choice was to simply display it and purchase a new controller for everyday use.

    ‘A new controller will never cost as much as this memory,’ wrote one person.

    A museum professional also commented, recommending the best way to store things in the way they preserve their artefacts.

    ‘Don’t put any kind of coating on it. Most “clear coats” will discolour over time, and will eventually yellow, flake, or otherwise deteriorate,’ they wrote.

    ‘Museum-grade storage and display items are readily available though they can be pricey depending upon what you need.

    ‘Until you can get something, keep it in its case and somewhere safe with minimal temperature changes.’

    Other commenters advised chatting to Microsoft, creators of X-Box.

    ‘Doesn’t Microsoft do a ton of custom colour layouts on their controllers?’ asked one person.

    ‘Perhaps they can help create a replica that the guy can actually play with. Might be worth a shot. Plus, Microsoft would probably love the PR.’

    The wife didn’t reply to the suggestions but with over 2,000 to sift through, she has plenty of options.

    MORE: Bride finds secret message from her dying mum on her wedding shoes

    MORE: Dying mum, 21, reveals heartbreaking bucket list

    MORE: Husband asks why wife hasn’t lost weight after giving birth just two months ago


    Wife asks how she can get X box remote with an inscription from dead mother-in-law protected as a gift to husbandWife asks how she can get X box remote with an inscription from dead mother-in-law protected as a gift to husband

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    Logos for Morrisons, Waitrose, Asda and Iceland and coloured eggs for Easter
    Happy Easter! (Pictures: Getty)

    For many, Easter Sunday is a day of unashamed idleness, spent eating chocolate, roast dinner or perhaps basking in the record-breaking temperatures outside.

    But others may be worrying about where they can get that emergency pint of milk or shopping for tonight’s dinner.

    Most shops operate reduced opening hours today and tomorrow – but which ones?

    Here are the opening hours for Asda, Morrisons, Iceland and Waitrose for today and tomorrow.

    Morrisons Easter Sunday opening times

    In England and Wales, all stores will be shut today while stores in Scotland will operate reduced hours.

    Never fear though, the store doors re-open tomorrow – Easter Monday – from 8am to 7pm, although this varies across different locations.

    Check your local branch here.

    Waitrose Easter Sunday opening times

    Most Waitrose & Partners are closed across England and Wales for Easter Sunday.

    Again, many stores across Scotland are open during regular hours.

    Most stores will re-open on Easter Monday with their usual operating times.

    Use Waitrose’s store finder to find out specific times.

    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Shopping trolleys at an Asda supermarket on April 29, 2018 in London, England. Major supermarket chains Sainsbury's and Asda have been reported to be in talks over a ??10 billion merger deal which would mean the possible new supermarket group would have 31.4% market share, compared with Tesco's 25.6%. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
    (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

    Asda Easter Sunday opening times

    Once again, with the exception of Scotland, all stores will be closed on Easter Sunday.

    Luckily, most stores will  re-open on Easter Monday, although some will have reduced hours.

    You can check the exact opening times for your local branch by using the Asda store locator.

    Iceland Easter Sunday opening times

    All English and Welsh Iceland supermarkets are shut today for Easter Sunday.

    While specific hours vary across different locations, stores will re-open tomorrow (22 April) for Easter Monday.

    Find out the opening times for your local Iceland using their  their store finder.

    Visit our Opening Times page for more information on other store and shop opening hours.

    MORE: Sunny Easter Sunday could break new temperature records

    MORE: My Odd Job: Just call me the Easter Willy Wonka


    Easter Saturday opening times for Morrisons, Waitrose, Asda and IcelandEaster Saturday opening times for Morrisons, Waitrose, Asda and Iceland

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    Close up of a woman's hands writing with a pen on a notepad.
    (Picture; Getty)

    Bailey Jean Matheson was only 35 years old when she was diagnosed with cancer. Just three months prior, she met her partner Brent Andrews.

    The business owner, from Canada, was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma, a soft tissue cancer in the abdomen, and was given 12 months to live.

    Amazingly, Bailey managed to survive two and a half years and made the brave decision to not go through chemotherapy.

    Writing her own obituary days before her passing, she wrote she wanted to ‘live the rest of my life the way I believed it should be’.

    In the short time she had left, she visited some of the best local and faraway spots that she could with her boyfriend Brent.

    But, she wrote, the decision to live out her last days naturally without treatment must’ve been difficult for her parents, especially as she was an only child.

    ‘My parents gave me the greatest gift of supporting my decisions,’ she wrote. ‘How hard that must have been watching me stop treatment and letting nature take its course.’

    The rest of the self-penned obit follows the same emotional sentiments, so prepare for some waterworks.

    Bailey Jean Matheson wrote her own obituary http://www.inmemoriam.ca/view-announcement-2373429-bailey-jean-matheson.html
    (Picture: InMemoriam.Ca/Bailey Jean Matheson)

    Bailey broke up the obit into five parts: a section for her friends, for Brent, her parents, aunts, and social workers.

    She began: ‘To my parents, thank you for supporting me and my decisions throughout my life. I always remember my mum saying losing a child would be the hardest loss a parent could go through.

    ‘My parents gave me the greatest gift of supporting my decisions with not going through chemo and just letting me live the rest of my life the way I believed it should be.’

    The next bit was for her friends.

    She wrote: ‘Being an only child, I’ve always cherished my friendships more than anything because I’ve never had siblings of my own.

    ‘I never thought I could love my friends more than I did but going through this and having your unconditional love and support you have made something that is normally so hard, more bearable and peaceful.’

    Woman writing emotional letter
    (Picture: Getty)

    Bailey then wrote: ‘To my Brent, you came into my life just three months before my diagnosis. You had no idea what you were getting yourself into when you swiped right that day.

    ‘I couldn’t have asked for a better man to be by my side for all the adventures, appointments, laughs, cries and breakdowns.’

    Next, Bailey thanked her aunts, her palliative care team, and all her doctors and nurses.

    She also urged people to send donations to charities Melanie’s Way or Young Adults Cancer Canada.

    Bailey passed away on 5 April. But she left everyone with one last little message: ‘Don’t take the small stuff so seriously and live a little.’

    MORE: Wife asks how she can get X-Box controller with an inscription from dead mother-in-law protected as a gift to husband

    MORE: Mum writes emotional letter to the daughter she lost to miscarriage


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    Easter Saturday opening times for Tesco, Saisbury’s, Lidl and Aldi
    (Picture: Getty)

    The Easter weekend is coming to an end, but there is still one more day off to enjoy before we have to return to work.

    Fortunately, the warm weather is set to continue into Easter Monday, but if you’re looking to get some supplies for another BBQ then you may want to plan ahead.

    Many shops have had reduced hours throughout the weekend, while some were closed completely on Easter Sunday.

    Here is everything that you need to know about the opening hours for Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Aldi.

    Tesco Easter Monday opening times

    Tesco logo outside the supermarket
    (Photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)

    Most Tesco stores will be opening with their usual hours on Good Friday and Saturday this weekend.

    However, many of their shops are then set to close completely on Easter Sunday, although many of their Tesco Express stores are set to stay open with their normal hours.

    Many of the shops will then re-open again on Easter Monday, although some will be running with their weekend hours.

    Customers are advised to use the Tesco store locator before setting out over Easter as some stores could be affected differently.

    Sainsbury’s Easter Monday opening times

    Sainsbury's logo outside shop
    (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

    Most Sainsbury’s shop were closed on Easter Sunday after being open on Good Friday and on Saturday.

    However, some convenience stores and petrol stations remained open throughout the Easter weekend.

    Easter Monday will see most Sainsbury’s shops open again, although some will have reduced opening hours.

    If you’re planning to make a trip over the Easter period then it is worth checking the Sainsbury’s store locator to see what the opening hours will be for your local shop.

    Lidl Easter Monday opening times

    GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 29: A general view of a Lidl supermarket on October 29, 2014 in Glasgow,Scotland. Discount stores continue to increase their popularity, as Britains biggest supermarkets are challenged by the discounters taking customers. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
    (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

    All Lidl shops closed their doors on Easter Sunday, but they will re-open on Easter Monday.

    Stores will open at 8am and remain open until 8pm, and they will then return to normal opening hours on Tuesday 23 April.

    If you’re not sure what the usual opening hours are for your local store then you can check by using the Lidl Store Finder.

    Aldi Easter Monday opening times

    CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 30: An Aldi shop sign seen on August 30, 2018 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
    (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

    All Aldi stores were closed completely on Easter Sunday, but many of the shops will be open from 8am on Easter Monday and won’t close until 8pm.

    Aldi shops will then return to their normal opening hours from Tuesday 23 April.

    You can also check the usual opening hours for your local shop by using the Aldi store finder.

    Visit our Opening Times page for more information on other store and shop opening hours.

    MORE: When is Greek Easter and why is it different for the Orthodox church?

    MORE: My Odd Job: Just call me the Easter Willy Wonka


    Easter Saturday opening times for Tesco, Saisbury’s, Lidl and AldiEaster Saturday opening times for Tesco, Saisbury’s, Lidl and Aldi

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    Shauna and Tom, who are now engaged, as babies
    (Picture: Shauna Gracey / SWNS)

    Shauna Gracey was born minutes apart and metres away from Tom Maguire 26 years ago – on December 22, 1992.

    Though both Shauna and Tom lived three miles away from one another in Wigan, Greater Manchester, they didn’t meet until they were 18.

    Both on a night out for their milestone eighteenth birthdays, Shauna and Tom were finally acquainted, though at first Shauna wasn’t too keen.

    Tom slid into her DMs though and kept trying.

    Two months after they first met, the two crossed paths again on a night out and ended up sharing a drunken kiss.

    For the next year, they were on-and-off until the spring of 2011 when the couple became official.

    And now, almost exactly eight years later, Shauna and Tom are getting married in their hometown.

    Tom as a baby
    Tom as a baby (Picture: Shauna Gracey / SWNS)
    Shauna as a baby
    Shauna as a baby (Picture: Shauna Gracey / SWNS)

    Shauna, a children’s nurse, said: ‘From the get-go, Tom was so keen. He was adamant we were going to be together and would tell me he loved me.

    ‘I told him that were were just friends and that we would never end up together, I just wasn’t interested.

    ‘But one night we were out and I just looked over and saw him and thought, “oh my God I really like him”.’

    ‘Now more than ever I feel like it was fate that we met.

    ‘I think it’s so nice that we were born on the same day in the same place. I love telling people and seeing their reactions.’

    Shauna Gracey and Tom Maguire taken on the night they met.. See SWNS story SWLEcouple; A couple who were born on the same day at the same hospital met for the first time on their 18th birthdays - and are now set to MARRY. Shauna Gracey came into the world just minutes apart and metres away from her soul mate Tom Maguire 26 years ago - on December 22 1992. Despite living less than three miles apart all their lives in Wigan, Greater Mancs, the two didn't cross paths again until Boxing Day 2010. Both were out celebrating their birthdays when a mutual friend introduced them and Tom, who works as an engineer, immediately fell head over heels. Despite his advances over social media Shauna insisted she wasn't interested and at one point even told Tom to "leave me alone".
    Picture of Shauna and Tom (left) on the day they met (Picture: Shauna Gracey / SWNS)

    Shauna, who was born at the now closed Billinge Hospital, 13 weeks premature, says she thinks Tom arrived seven hours later.

    Both went to school in Wigan and lived close to one another their entire childhoods.

    When they first got to know each other, they realised all the things they had in common.

    Shauan and Tom at the pub
    (Picture: Shauna Gracey / SWNS)

    Tom, who works at the Heinz factory in Wigan, proposed to Shauna on a surprise romantic getaway to Rome in 2016.

    ‘The story of how we met is definitely weird,’ he said.

    ‘I think all the funny coincidences make the relationship that extra bit special, definitely. People we speak to about it love to hear the story.’

    The couple is set to marry on 4 May.

    MORE: Couple meet for first time at Gatwick Airport before flying to Las Vegas in wedding gear to get married straight away

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    MORE: Couple who can’t smile because of rare condition fall in love after meeting online


    Shauna Gracey as a baby. See SWNS story SWLEcouple; A couple who were born on the same day at the same hospital met for the first time on their 18th birthdays - and are now set to MARRY. Shauna Gracey came into the world just minutes apart and metres away from her soul mate Tom Maguire 26 years ago - on December 22 1992. Despite living less than three miles apart all their lives in Wigan, Greater Mancs, the two didn't cross paths again until Boxing Day 2010. Both were out celebrating their birthdays when a mutual friend introduced them and Tom, who works as an engineer, immediately fell head over heels. Despite his advances over social media Shauna insisted she wasn't interested and at one point even told Tom to "leave me alone".Shauna Gracey as a baby. See SWNS story SWLEcouple; A couple who were born on the same day at the same hospital met for the first time on their 18th birthdays - and are now set to MARRY. Shauna Gracey came into the world just minutes apart and metres away from her soul mate Tom Maguire 26 years ago - on December 22 1992. Despite living less than three miles apart all their lives in Wigan, Greater Mancs, the two didn't cross paths again until Boxing Day 2010. Both were out celebrating their birthdays when a mutual friend introduced them and Tom, who works as an engineer, immediately fell head over heels. Despite his advances over social media Shauna insisted she wasn't interested and at one point even told Tom to "leave me alone".

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    Mum Laura, Dad Max with their son Wilf with all the food they've got for discounted prices
    (Picture: SWNS)

    Married couple Max and Laura Ansbro, from Salisbury, have managed to cut their monthly grocery shop from £280 to as little as £20.

    That’s because the nifty pair go to local supermarkets most evenings and scour the discounted goods.

    Mum-of-one Laura said that living so close to five different supermarkets and visiting the likes of Aldi, Co-op Food, and even more up-market places like Waitrose has helped a great deal.

    When Laura left her job to become a full-time mum, Max knew surviving on a single income was going to be difficult, so the pair made a decision to live frugally.

    While one parent puts their son to bed, the other buys food which is 80% or 90% discounted, costing as little as a few pennies per item.

    The family search through reduced sections at least four or five times every week and that’s where they buy all their fruit, veg, meat, fish and cheese.

    They have even occasionally taken home roadkill after Max – a former game-keeper – checks it to make sure it is safe to eat. They have taken home dead deer, pheasant, and pigeons.

    Laura, Max, and son Wilf eating some of their super savvy finds
    The small family also forages in the fields near their home for wild spinach and blackberries (Picture: SWNS)

    The small family also forages in the fields near their home for wild spinach and blackberries.

    Buying in bulk, such as a whole pig to be stored in one of their three huge freezers, also helps to keep costs down.

    ‘Some weeks we don’t have to buy anything as we have so much stashed away, so we just don’t spend anything at all on food,’ said Laura.

    ‘Or others it might just be buying a few pints of milk. Some weeks, we can spend as little as £3 or £4, and that would just be on milk if we’ve run out and a few punnets of grapes, salad leaves and cherry tomatoes.

    Buying a whole pig means they can freeze it and eat it over time
    They sometimes buy a whole pig from a local farmer (Picture: SWNS)

    ‘Everything else we’ll already have in the freezer or store cupboards. The cheapest week we have had was when we literally spent nothing.

    ‘We had milk in the freezer and had just used everything we already had. Now that I’m making my own bread that also really helps to keep costs down.

    Pheasant road kill
    Pheasant road kill (Picture: SWNS)

    ‘Before we started this lifestyle we would probably have splashed out on really nice cheeses or a lovely piece of steak every so often.

    ‘The best place that I’ve found for bargains is Co-op convenience stores, their reduced sections are amazing.’

    Discounted prawns, sweet potato, spring onions
    (Picture: SWNS)

    Having three freezers ensures they can store all the finds, explained Laura.

    ‘Our son Wilf adores blackberries so we go for a wander to pick those with him almost every day in the summer to the nearby hedgerows when they’re in season,’ she added.

    Laura says her husband Max is ‘well equipped to asses on sight if the meat is safe’ to take home and butcher.

    She said she has made some lovely meals out of roadkill deer.

    Discounted chicken
    More discounted food (Picture: SWNS)

    And it’s not just food items they save on – the family also recycle and repair clothes rather than buy new ones.

    They have also chosen not to have a television and use an old laptop as well as second-hand furniture.

    The thrifty couple uses a John Lewis credit card, which means that they get vouchers which they can spend in Waitrose for the occasional treat.

    The couple is now in the process of converting an old van so that they can have cheaper holidays too.

    MORE: Family sells four-bedroom home to live in a renovated school bus and travel the country

    MORE: Mum dubbed the ‘coupon queen’ after saving £7,000 a year using coupons

    MORE: Shopaholic becomes coupon queen after selling thriving business to spend more time with her baby


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    Black dress that looks like sari
    (Picture: Missguided/ Getty)

    Western fashion is always taking inspo from the East and other parts of the world.

    Remember when Zara sold a ‘skirt’ for £70 that the savvier among us knew as a South Asian lungi you could get for a £1 at your local desi market?

    Well, it looks like Missguided might have pulled a similar move. The brand is selling a ‘black one-shoulder flare sleeve maxi dress’ or as many of us might know it, a simple sari/saree.

    But unlike the three-thousand-year-old historical and cultural garment, the Missguided version seems to be a one-piece.

    Traditionally, a sari is a three-piece outfit that consists of a drape varying from five to nine yards, pleated in a way that adheres to specific styles of a region.

    It developed in the Indian subcontinent and can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilisation, which flourished during 2800-1800 BC.

    A sari can be draped in over 100 ways and has a lot of cultural significance for certain groups. Styles are passed from generation to generation, and there are specific styles for special occasions like weddings

    Missguided’s dress version, though they haven’t labelled it as a sari, has a style of skirt and blouse with one sleeve, which is also a popular sari style.

    METRO GRAB - Does this Missguided dress look like a sari? Black one shoulder flare sleeve maxi dress From Missguided https://www.missguided.co.uk/black-one-shoulder-flare-sleeve-maxi-dress-10139056
    (Picture: Missguided)

    Their maxi dress – available in black and white – is on offer for £35, while the prices of a sari can vary from cheap up to the thousands, depending on how heavily decorated it is.

    Women of Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani descent are often adorned with bright (often red) saris on their wedding day.

    Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor wearing a similar sari with one sleeve
    Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor wearing a similar sari with one sleeve

    White saris are somewhat ominous within these cultures too as Hindu and Muslim women are expected to wear very plain clothing after their husbands’ passing.

    Once they become a widow, Hindu women are expected to wear white as it is said to give positive energy to a widow to bravely face her life’s challenges.

    Similarly, in Islam, a widow should wear simple clothes.

    Jacqueline Fernandez wearing one of the many styles of the sari
    Jacqueline Fernandez wearing one of the many styles of the sari (Picture: The India Today Group)

    Missguided haven’t listed their influences or whether this was merely an unintentional similarity but non-Asian coopting of the sari has received criticism in the past.

    Brands have been called out in the past for playing fast and loose with cultural items too.

    So while users on social media are slowly starting to call on the similarities, Missguided might want to have a think about how it approaches cultural fashion in the future.

    We’ve contacted Missguided for a comment and will update the article once they have responded.

    MORE: Head & Shoulders accused of cultural appropriation with ‘English braid’ hairstyle

    MORE: Comedian calls a crepe ‘French roti’ and people love it

    MORE: Top chef accuses M&S of cultural appropriation over vegan biryani wrap


    Does this Missguided dress look like a sari?Does this Missguided dress look like a sari?

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