Articles on this Page
- 06/07/19--01:47: _London is getting a...
- 06/07/19--01:57: _Fed up with your jo...
- 06/07/19--02:17: _London Fashion Week...
- 06/07/19--02:46: _Writers are adding ...
- 06/07/19--02:57: _You’ll need to know...
- 06/07/19--03:20: _Burns survivor nick...
- 06/07/19--03:24: _Harry Potter x Vans...
- 06/07/19--04:01: _It’s okay to want s...
- 06/07/19--04:50: _This 15-minute hote...
- 06/07/19--05:04: _Can you die from sm...
- 06/07/19--05:36: _Reese’s fans, rejoi...
- 06/07/19--06:22: _Poppie’s is serving...
- 06/07/19--06:35: _Heathrow airport wi...
- 06/07/19--06:36: _What is cholesterol...
- 06/07/19--07:00: _Why you should be u...
- 06/07/19--07:02: _National Fish and C...
- 06/07/19--07:56: _Please don’t vacuum...
- 06/07/19--08:28: _Spill it: What a 19...
- 06/07/19--10:56: _Unlock the happines...
- 06/08/19--01:05: _My cats have taught...
- 06/07/19--01:57: Fed up with your job? Move to the Maldives and look after turtles
- Feed the turtles
- Clean holding tanks.
- Observe surgeries and medical procedures.
- Attend rescue missions to collect turtles in need.
- Assist with the release of rehabilitated turtles back into the ocean.
- Interact with guests who visit the centre and giving them information on the turtles staying at the centre.
- Attend any Olive Ridley Project presentation evenings.
- Post on the Olive Ridley Project’s social media platforms, to update on your personal progress and show a behind-the-scenes look of the rescue centre.
- 06/07/19--03:24: Harry Potter x Vans collection is now on sale
- 06/07/19--04:01: It’s okay to want sex after pregnancy loss
- Ideally should wait to have sex until you stop bleeding, which means your cervix has closed.
- If you do have sex before the bleeding stops, you should use a condom to help reduce the risk of infection.
- You can try to become pregnant again as soon as your bleeding stops, provided that you are not undergoing medical investigation for recurrent miscarriages.
- Some experts suggest waiting for one menstrual period to allow your body to recover and because that makes it easier for doctors to correctly date your pregnancy, however that is not essential.
- You are fertile after an abortion or a miscarriage so if you do not want to become pregnant you need to use contraception.
- 06/07/19--04:50: This 15-minute hotel room workout is perfect for your summer holiday
- Complete for one minute
- Complete for one minute
- Complete for one minute
- Complete for one minute
- Complete for one minute
- 250ml of Sarson’s Malt Vinegar
- 375ml of water
- 500g sugar
- 1 bunch of dill
- zest of four lemons
- 60g of drained capers OR 200g of cooked peas
- 25ml Gin (London dry. Bombay, Tanqueray, Beefeater, etc)
- 15ml Dry Vermouth (e.g. Martini dry)
- 15-20ml Lemon Juice, or juice of half a lemon
- 25ml Sarson’s Shrub
- 06/07/19--06:36: What is cholesterol and what are the recommended levels?
- Eat less saturated fat, like that which can be found in cheese, butter, cakes and fatty meat
- Eat more fruit, vegetables, nuts, brown bread, and oily fish, such as salmon.
- Get more exercise
- Stay away from cigarettes
- Cut down your alcohol intake
- 06/07/19--07:00: Why you should be unapologetically honest on dating apps
- 06/07/19--07:56: Please don’t vacuum your vagina to try to end your period faster
- 06/07/19--08:28: Spill it: What a 19-year-old model and poet drinks in a week
- Building flat packed items (including Bergen Coffee 3 Drawer Chest (H)834mm (W)804mm (D)410mm, £119 at B&Q)
- Laying down vinyl flooring (using Grey Oak Effect Vinyl Flooring, 4m² , £24 at B&Q)
- Adding picture rail (using Primed MDF Picture rail (T)18mm (W)44mm (L)2400mm, £4.73 each at B&Q)
- Painting the room using a roller (with Dulux Easycare Overtly olive Matt Emulsion paint 2.5L at £20 at B&Q)
- Adding wallpaper below the rail (using Boutique Sorrento Storm Glitter Wallpaper, £20 per roll at B&Q)
- Handpainted designs (using GoodHome Durable Matt Emulsion paint at B&Q)
- Building flat packed items using power tools and a hammer (including Mixxit White 3 Cube shelving unit (H)1080mm (W)390mm, £30 at B&Q).
- Chalkboard paint used in picture frames to create mini chalk boards (hung in Black Single frame MDF Picture frame (H)400mm x (W)300mm, £5 at B&Q).
- Mounting a mirror, blind and shelves (including Colours Frameless Circular Mirror (H)400mm (W) 400mm, £15 at B&Q).
- Painting the room white using a roller (using Dulux pure brilliant white matt emulsion paint 5l, £16 at B&Q).
- Building flat packed furniture (including Morillo Metal 2 seater Coffee table, £19 at B&Q).
- Hanging heavy wall items such as the mirror (such as Colours kahiwa oak effect framed rectangular mirror (W)920mm, £30 at B&Q).
- Assembling the light (Bernier Black Floor Lamp, £35 at B&Q).
- Creating storage space (Mixxit White 6 Cube shelving unit, £45 at B&Q)
- 06/08/19--01:05: My cats have taught me more about true love than any man
Get a new bikini and ready your Instagram – an infinity pool is coming to London.
This is not just any infinity pool, however.
This is an infinity pool on top of a building in the centre of the city, providing 360-degree views of the area.
The designers, Compass Pools, say the pool is a ‘world first’, describing the concept as ‘the only building in the world to incorporate a 360-degree infinity pool’.
Sounds fancy, right?
The plan is to have the pool sit on top of some hotel rooms at the top of a skyscraper, just to fully hammer home the luxury aspect.
The floors and sides will all be transparent, so visitors will see the swimmers paddling above them. Handy for exhibitionists who want to show off their breaststroke.
In order to keep the pool looking glorious, there are no stairs on the outside of the pool or the building.
How do you get in the water, you may ask? Apparently a spiral staircase will rotate and rise through the pool to provide access. The concept images don’t show how this works, so we’re intrigued to see if this can actually become reality.
We can only imagine how slippery those stairs will be.
Swimming pool designer and technical director Alex Kemsley said: ‘We faced some quite major technical challenges to this building, the biggest one being how to actually get into the pool.
‘Normally a simple ladder would suffice, but we didn’t want stairs on the outside of the building or in the pool as it would spoil the view – and obviously you don’t want 600,000 litres of water draining through the building either.
‘The solution is based on the door of a submarine, coupled with a rotating spiral staircase which rises from the pool floor when someone wants to get in or out – the absolute cutting edge of swimming pool and building design and a little bit James Bond to boot!’
At night time the pool will be lit up with a bunch of twinkling lights. Pretty.
Alex adds: ‘Architects often come to us to design roof top infinity pools, but rarely do we get a say in the building design because the pool is usually an afterthought.
‘But on this project, we actually started with the pool design and essentially said, ‘how do we put a building underneath this?’
‘When we designed the pool, we wanted an uninterrupted view, both above and below the water.
‘Swimming in the SkyPool at The Shard, it’s quite a weird feeling to have helicopters flying past at your level, but this pool takes it a step further.
‘Pop your goggles on and with a 360-degree view of London from 220m up, it really will be something else – but it’s definitely not one for the acrophobic!’
The precise location of the pool hasn’t been confirmed, but if all goes well construction could start in 2020.
Death Defying Swimming Pool Boasts 360 Degree Views of London
It’s Friday. It’s raining. Summer apparently came and went over that bank holiday weekend in May.
If you’re feeling a bit fed up, who can blame you? But, rather than just feeling miserable, why not head to the Maldives and look after turtles?
It might sound like the plot of a Lifetime movie where you fall in love with a single parent marine biologist and become a step parent to a sassy demi-orphan, but it’s actually a real job opportunity.
The Marine Turtle Rescue Sanctuary are looking for what they call an ‘in-turtle-ship’. Let’s hope that they’re better at saving turtles than they are at puns.
Anyway, the charity are searching for someone who can do the following:
The job is only for two weeks, and it’s unpaid. However, the lovely turtle people will have full board in a villa, their flight paid for and get to look after turtles for a fortnight.
Starting in August, applications are open now. So if you’d like an all expenses paid trip to the Maldives to help save some amazing aquatic life, then you’d better get on it.
We have a feeling that they’re going to have a lot of applications to sift through.
Animals facing extinction for Georgia Diebelius
Community, diversity and culture – all words that come to mind in a new campaign to celebrate London Fashion Week Men’s 2019.
Over the industry star studded event this weekend, designers and models alike will showcase the influence that London has on menswear.
Just in time for the illustrious weekend, a photo series has been created called ‘This is London’, documenting the people who are influencing the way we approach menswear.
The campaign was shot by London-based photographer Markn featuring all kinds of creatives from model David Gandy and designer Oliver Spencer to actor and model Dennis Okwera and Dylan Jones, editor of British GQ and British Fashion Council’s Menswear Chair.
Dylan Jones said: ‘The This is London campaign shines a light on the incredible pool of talent that makes London the creative capital of the world.
‘From rising stars to established names, the campaign features a diverse mix of individuals, celebrating the eccentricity of our capital while illustrating that LFWM is a global platform for innovation and culture.’
For the campaign the talent were asked questions about London, what they love about the city and how the capital defines them.
David Gandy said: ‘All the clothing brands I support, work and collaborate with are British and mostly also based in London so it’s fair to say that the city has been hugely influential for me.
‘London can break you but the energy and opportunities here can also inspire you creatively like no other city in the world. Nowhere else has the same mix of historic and contemporary fashion working so closely alongside each other.
‘London is a world leader of technology, fashion and finance. I believe it’s the creative hub of the world.’
When asked if London was a difficult place to love, poet James Massiah said: ‘Like everywhere else I guess this city has its pros and cons, relative to each individual.
‘I think there’s a lot to love about London but it can become harder to love if at any point things aren’t going your way.’
Caroline Rush, BFC Chief Executive commented: ‘London is a city that is globally recognised for its creative talent and businesses.
‘We’re extremely excited to launch this campaign for LFWM June 2019 and to celebrate not only the designers, but also the broader creative community who all play a vital role in our industry’s culture and reputation.’
The series rolls out to launch London Fashion Week’s Men’s in June 2019 and is to be promoted at the Truman Brewery 8-10 June.
A new project has brought women’s sports writers together to address the lack of representation of women’s sport on Wikipedia.
Ahead of the Women’s World Cup, which starts on Saturday, adidas has partnered with Wikimedia UK to ensure that the history of the women’s game is properly recorded.
The team identified more than 200 women who have had significant impact on the women’s game and are currently absent from the site – and they have already updated the first 100 names.
The project was started after research found that just 18% of biographies on the site are of women and only 3.5% of football-related biographies are of female players.
Men make up 96.5% of all football-related biographies on Wikipedia. The current men’s English national squad have 150% more words devoted to them than the women’s side.
The person with the most extensive biography in the women’s squad is Phil Neville. Of course.
The disparity in the Scottish team is just as bad.
The Scottish men’s team hasn’t even qualified for a World Cup since 1998, and yet they still have 79% more written about them than their female counterparts who will appear in France this weekend.
But this summer has seen a notable shift in the representation and coverage of women’s sport – there is more interest in the women’s game than ever before, and the Women’s World Cup is set to captivate the nation.
A huge part of building the foundation for equality in women’s sport is recognising and celebrating the women who make up football’s rich history – and this is what this project is trying to do.
The team of Wikipedia editors, female sports writers and journalists and athletes were invited to take part in a live ‘edit-a-thon’ in which the stories of these women were researched and added to Wikipedia to start the process.
One of the first stories uncovered by the writers was Florrie Redford, striker for Dick, Kerr Ladies F.C., the most successful football team of all time, which chalked-up a 300-game unbeaten run.
Florrie made her name scoring 170 goals for the team in a single season and yet her story was not previously recorded at all on Wikipedia.
‘We’re delighted to be partnering with adidas for this project, to shine a light on women footballers and their achievements,’ says Lucy Crompton-Reid, CEO of Wikimedia UK.
‘As the UK charity for the global Wikimedia movement we are well aware of the gender gap online – which reflects systemic bias and historical inequalities – and are working with a wide range of partners to increase the representation of women on Wikipedia.’
During the FIFA Women’s World Cup, adidas has will be supporting a series of events with fan organisation, This Fan Girl, and will hand out sets of ‘How to’ edit guides to all attendees so the achievements of players from across the tournament can be recorded on the platform.
Nicole Vollebregt, SVP Global Purpose at adidas said: ‘We know that girls are dropping out of sport at 1.5 times the rate of boys and one of the big drivers of that is the lack of visibility of female athletes.
‘We firmly believe that “you need to see her to be her,” so we decided to bring the history of women’s football to Wikipedia – and make a collective commitment to keep writing the inspiring stories of women’s sport and sportswomen as they happen.’
Women editing the Wikipedia pages
Fancy a free Krispy Kreme doughnut today?
Well, we wouldn’t say no.
If you’ve got a craving for carbs and sugar, you’re in luck, as 7 June (that’s today) marks National Doughnut Day; a glorious occasion when Krispy Kreme hands out Original Glazed dougnuts for free.
Getting your greedy paws on the treat isn’t as easy as showing up to your nearest Krispy Kreme, though.
You’ll need to know the secret password and have a voucher staff can scan.
The good news is that we know the password, and we’re willing to share it. We also have the voucher.
The password is: ‘I believe the world is shaped like a doughnut’.
Say that to the person at the Krispy Kreme counter, present them with the voucher below (you can also get it online), and enjoy a free doughnut for your troubles.
Be warned, there are some terms and conditions.
You need to go to a proper Krispy Kreme location, not just your usual little shelf in your local supermarket.
The offer isn’t available in Selfridges, Bentalls, Tesco, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Moto, Universities, Welcome Break, Roadchef, EuroGarages, or Center Parcs.
You also can’t redeem it for online orders, at Krispy Kreme mobile events, or at Krispy Kreme Occasions.
Your best bet is to find your nearest store and head over.
Oh, and as with all freebies, the deal is subject to availability. When the doughnuts are gone, they’re gone, and you’re not allowed to throw a tantrum.
The voucher only entitles you to an Original Glazed, so if you have a hankering for sprinkles you’ll need to pay for a second doughnut. Or perhaps a third. No judgement here.
krispy kreme doughnut-b1fb
A burns survivor who was nicknamed ‘burnt chicken’ by horrible bullies is baring her scars for the first time, to show how they make her a ‘strong and sexy woman’.
23-year-old Narika Bladen has severe scarring from third degree burns down her entire right leg and across her stomach and right arm, after a horrific accident in the bath aged just six months old.
Boiling water ‘melted her skin’ and left her stuck to the bath, meaning she spent six months on life support in hospital and didn’t come home for two years.
Throughout her childhood, Narika underwent more than a hundred skin grafts and spent so much time in hospital instead of school that she couldn’t read, write or tell time properly until she was 16.
Her scars, which cause immense physical pain to this day, have also taken an emotional toll as Narika has been severely bullied.
But now, after years of feeling ‘ashamed’ of her burns, Narika is bravely baring all to inspire other survivors to be proud of their scars as they show the world ‘you survived’.
Narika, of Cwmbran, Wales, said: ‘I think I was about six the first time I realised it wasn’t normal to have scars.
‘I was getting changed for school and I looked at my skin and understood I wasn’t born this way.
‘Other kids would bully me and call me burnt chicken because of my scars. They would tell me my mum mistook me for a chicken when she burnt me.
‘People had always stared at me. When I was about eight, I went to the swimming baths and two old ladies told me I shouldn’t be there. It was horrible.
‘It has been really hard. I’ve really struggled with my self-confidence and self-worth.
‘For years I was ashamed of my scars. I never felt beautiful because of them and I felt like I had to hide them from the world.’
Narika’s mum had placed Narika in the bath with the water still running when her older sister Kanisha cried out from downstairs, as she’d jammed her fingers in a door.
In a panic, the girls’ mum rushed to help Kanisha but when she came back into the bathroom just moments later, the tub had filled with hot water with Narika still inside.
Narika’s dad came home to his wife’s screams as she struggled to get their baby girl out the bath because her ‘melted skin’ was stuck to the plastic.
The terrified parents finally managed to lift Narika from the water and she was rushed to hospital.
Narika said: ‘The water was so hot it even melted off my toe nails. I don’t have any left.
‘When they managed to get me out, all my skin came off. They thought I was going to die.
‘The whole of my life, I’ve been in and out of hospital. It’s my second home.’
The scar tissue across her stomach and down her right leg pulls on the surrounding skin which leaves Narika in agony most days.
Narika is unemployed as the scarring on her leg pulls so much she cannot walk or stand for more than a few minutes.
But the 23-year-old is refusing to give up and has just endured her first round of painful laser surgery in the hopes it will break down some of her scar tissue and improve her mobility.
Narika said: ‘I can’t do most things. I can’t go to the gym, I can’t walk for a long time. Day to day activities are quite painful.
‘I’m in a lot of pain most the time because my scars pull on my skin. Where the scars on the back of my leg pull, they hurt so much I can’t stand for very long.
‘My friends come round to help me with the cooking and around the house because I can’t stand for long enough to do things.
‘It feels like I’ve banged against something really hard – but ten times worse. It’s like I’m covered in bruising.
‘Hopefully the laser surgery will help break down the scar tissue.
‘It is really painful. It feels like someone is dragging a hot needle across my scars but I survived the first round which I’m really proud of.’
Narika’s determination doesn’t stop there, as she now wants to inspire other burns survivors to accept their scars.
Despite years of bullying and people staring at her in the street, Narika has learnt to embrace her scarring with the help of her friends and family.
Instead of hiding her body under tights and layered clothing, Narika wants to show the world that she is proud of her scars.
Narika said: ‘I took me years to accept my scars and be proud of them.
‘I didn’t want people to stare at me so I would never wear skirts without tights – even in the summer. I’d be boiling.
‘I have struggled with boyfriends because I felt like I needed to warn them about my scars before they saw them.
‘But after so many years of trying to hide, I realised that I needed and deserved to be seen.
‘My friends have been a huge help. They’re so supportive it’s amazing. They have been there to pick me up every time my insecurities have got me down.
‘And my sister Kanisha has been amazing too. She always tells me I’m beautiful as I am.
‘It has taken time but now I am so proud of my scars. They made me who I am today and they show people how strong I am.
‘People still stare and they always will but now I don’t let it get me down. I feel awesome. I feel beautiful and sexy. I feel amazing.
‘A scar tells a story and it’s a story that says ‘I survived’. I am so proud to have survived everything I’ve been through.
‘Every burns survivor should be so proud. They shouldn’t let their scars or how other people look at them define them.
‘We survived and we are here for a reason.’
Burns survivor bares her scars
The epic magical saga will venture into the realm of high street fashion in a new collaboration with Vans.
Vans has released its collection of Harry Potter goodies and while previous fashion exploits from the Potterverse might dabble too closely to the explicitly ‘nerdish’, these could be the subtle fashion picks that fans have been waiting for.
The shoe brand collaborated with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to create the magical collection of limited edition footwear.
As you would expect, the majority of the new collection is named and styled after each house from the majestic Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Signature colours blue for Ravenclaw, green for Slytherin, red for Gryffindor and yellow for Hufflepuff all show up in the sleek designs.
There is a Sk8-Hi shoe for Gryffindor, which has red and gold stripes against black suede and features an embroidered version of the house’s lion crest on the side.
Ravenclaw has an Authentic checkerboard blue and white shoe with matching blue laces (£57) .
For Slytherin there’s a swamp green and black coloured Era trainer, which has the snake emblem on the tongue, costing £65.
Elsewhere, Hufflepuff (£57) is a Classic black slip-on shoe, with its yellow crest stitched across the front along with its namesake.
The styles aren’t limited to the Hogwarts houses, with some styles such as the Era silhouette covered in clippings from the fictional newspaper The Daily Prophet.
You can mix and match with accompanying accessories so you can show your fanhood without causing too many head turns and eye rolls.
Hop on your broom and get kitted out.
There is an assumption that after a pregnancy loss – through abortion or miscarriage – a woman will not want to have sex for a long time.
The majority of advice online certainly perpetuates this sentiment, with hundreds of articles telling women that it’s okay to wait, that you won’t feel like it for a very long time, and that there is no pressure to go back to sex.
It’s good advice – for the women it applies to.
It’s completely okay to reject sex following pregnancy loss, for as long as you like. And it’s good that women are told that they are not obliged to have sex at any point.
However, there are women for whom sex is a part of the healing process and those women seem to be largely ignored.
After you lose a baby the main thing you want (at least in my experience) is to feel like yourself again. For some of us that means a return to drinking and partying, for some it’s extreme sports and for others it will mean having sex.
Message boards on Mumsnet, Reddit, Babycenter and Netmums are filled with posts from women trying to understand why they want sex following abortion or miscarriage, and whether that’s okay.
One woman writes: ‘My sex drive has gone through the roof the last few days. I had my miscarriage last Friday and bleeding stopped Thursday. We’re on holiday and I can’t get enough of my husband.
‘Even having constant naughty dreams… Sorry TMI! This is really not like me… Anyone else have increased drive after miscarriage? I’m feeling slightly guilty about it, which is probably quite irrational.’
Another writes: ‘I miscarried last week and I dealt with that as well, pretty much as soon as I was home from the hospital all I wanted was sex.
‘Obviously I wasn’t able to do that, and my boyfriend was too afraid of hurting me to touch me at all… which was honestly a massive source of frustration for me, all I wanted was to be close to him after all that, and I didn’t like being treated like I was “broken”, I needed to feel like I am still a woman, for some reason I desperately needed to still be desired, despite what had happened…
‘…I felt like I was a freak for feeling that way though, I was even embarrassed by it. I didn’t know it was apparently fairly common.’
The official NHS advice focuses on protecting yourself from infection and making the most medically safe choice. It is as follows:
The official advice around post pregnancy loss sex is all very sensible, but it doesn’t reflect with the fact number of women on various message boards asking why they have a high libido given that they’ve been through a physically gruelling and often emotionally draining experience.
It’s frustrating that when looking for advice about sex after pregnancy loss, the majority of results assume that sex isn’t something you’ll be interested in for a long time.
While wanting sex during a time of emotional pain might sound counter intuitive, grief and sex do in actually often fact go hand in hand.
According to clinical sexologist and sexuality educator Patti Britton, ‘it’s really about filling the void — literally and figuratively.’ She explains: ‘The grief trajectory is about a loss of closeness — a loss of intimacy. That’s why our libido kicks in: To fill that void.’
Grief sex isn’t necessarily unhealthy.
Dr Stephanie Sarkis writes: ‘When people are numb from grief, they find that sex helps them feel something.
‘It’s also life-affirming at a time when coping with death has become part of one’s every day life. In addition, orgasms release oxytocin, the “bonding” hormone, and endorphins, the “feeling good” hormone, which also reduces your perception of pain.’
Ultimately there is no ‘right’ way to deal with pregnancy loss. If the idea of sex makes you feel sick then that is totally fine.
But it’s also okay to be aroused.
Wanting sex doesn’t make your grief any less legitimate or any less real.
Maybe it’s because you want to feel like yourself again.
It could be that your hormones are hiking your libido.
Perhaps you’re desperate to conceive another pregnancy.
Or – just as reasonably – maybe you’ve had a really horrible time of it and you just want to enjoy sex and forget about everything else for a moment.
Whatever the reasoning, as long as you follow the NHS advice to protect yourself from damage and infection, there is no wrong way to go back to sex following a pregnancy loss.
Holidays are for relaxing.
But everyone relaxes in different ways. Some of us need to lie down with a book and cocktail and not move for a week. For others, relaxation is a tad more active.
If you have a fitness regime that you want to stick to, holidays can really mess up your rhythm – particularly if your hotel doesn’t have a gym or fitness facilities.
Thankfully, the fitness experts at Loughborough University have devised a simple, 15-minute workout that can be done in your hotel room – or Air Bnb.
It means that you can work towards your fitness goals even when you’re off the grid – which is great news if you’re working towards an event like a marathon or a hike.
Now all you have to do is prise yourself away from the all-inclusive bar, and don’t forget to pack your sports bra.
Equipment: Floor space
This exercise will act as a warm up.
Start in the plank position with the arms and legs straight. Whilst engaging the core, bring the right knee forward under the chest with the right foot just off the ground.
Return to the start position and then switch legs, bringing the left knee forward. Keep switching and up the tempo until it feels like running whilst in the plank position.
Mountain climbers work the whole body, including the shoulders, biceps and triceps, chest, abdominal muscles, quadriceps and hamstrings.
Equipment: Floor space/bed
Start on the floor chest down, with the palms on the floor shoulder-width apart and the balls of the feet just beneath the toes on the ground.
Push up, keeping the back straight and the elbows pointed towards the hips.
The weight should be supported by the arms. Lower the body back into the starting position and repeat.
If push-ups are difficult, the knees can be placed on the floor to support the weight or the hands can be placed on the edge of the bed to support the weight.
Press ups work the upper body, specifically targeting the chest, shoulders and triceps.
Equipment: Floor space/bed/chair
Start with the feet slightly wider than the hips and toes turned outward.
Tense the abdominal muscles to engage the core. Inhale and push the hips back and sit into the mid-foot.
The knees should be bent until the thighs are parallel with the floor.
Then exhale and press into the mid-foot to straighten back into the start position.
The legs, hips and torso should rise at the same time. Beginners should squat onto a chair/edge of the bed to begin with.
To make the exercise more difficult, single leg squats can be performed.
Squats help to strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, buttocks and abdominals.
Equipment: Floor space/towel
Place a towel on the floor to provide cushioning.
Lie on your back with the knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
Place the hands behind the head so the thumbs are behind the ears and elbows are out to the side.
Tilt the chin so that the gap between the chin and chest is only a few inches.
Gently tense the abdominals and curl up so that the head, neck and shoulder blades lift off the floor.
Hold for five seconds and then return to the starting position. Avoid pulling on the neck with the hands.
Crunches help strengthen the core region of the body.
Equipment: Floor space
Stand tall with the feet hip-width apart. Engage the core taking a big step forward with the right leg and start to move the weight forward.
Lower the body until the right thigh is parallel to the floor and the right shin is vertical. The right knee should not go past the toes of the right foot.
Press into the right heel to drive back up to the starting position and then repeat on the other side.
Throughout the exercise, make sure the upper body is upright and does not drop.
Lunges work the hamstrings, quadriceps, calves and buttocks.
Repeat the circuit exercises three times.
‘All of these exercises can be done in the comfort of your own hotel room, when there aren’t facilities available,’ says Matthew Roberts, a PhD student in Physiology, in the university’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences.
‘The exercises will be effective for burning calories and building muscle mass for the full body.
‘Now there aren’t any excuses for not doing your workout when there are no facilities to use or if you don’t have time to go to the gym.’
Woman stretching on a hotel room bed
The first ever death caused by a cannabis overdose has been recorded in the US however it’s proved to be a controversial decision.
A Louisiana coroner ruled a 39-year-old woman died of a ‘THC overdose’ prompting skepticism from cannabis experts who claim it was an ‘incredibly unlikely’ cause of death.
Here’s what you need to know about the risk of death from cannabis use.
Can you die from smoking weed?
In theory, yes. Too much of any substance has the potential to kill a consumer however there had not been a single recorded death caused by overdose until days ago.
Put into perspective, 7,697 people died from alcohol-related causes in the UK in 2017 while 95,800 died of smoking-related deaths in 2016, according for the Office of National Statistics.
This is in contrast to the three UK deaths in which cannabis was noted on the death certificate – without the mention of other drugs or alcohol – in 2017.
While there has only been just one (questionable) case of overdose, smoking cannabis is not without its risks.
The NHS advises it could induce feelings of paranoia, increase risks of developing a psychotic illness – such as schizophrenia – or exacerbate symptoms of existing ones.
How long does THC stay in your blood?
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is a chemical found in the cannabis plant. It’s the primary psychoactive ingredient and almost entirely credited for creating a high.
Detection differs from person to person and is dependent on a number of factors including how much a person has consumed and how often they do so.
THC can remain in the bloodstream for two to seven days dependent on the person, but can be detected in urine and saliva past this time frame.
What is medical cannabis used for?
Medicinal use of cannabis was legalised in the UK in November, allowing doctors to prescribe cannabis-based products to patients.
The decision finally came about after the cases of two epileptic children who benefited from its use were thrust into the spotlight.
However prescription drug Sativex – which contains two active cannabis ingredients – have been used to relieve the symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
Another cannabinoid medication Nabilone- which uses a synthetic form of THC – is also used to relieve sickness in people undergoing chemotherapy.
Old Age Potheads are smoking weed in growing numbers as cannabis is legalised, doctors say
Reese’s fans, rejoice: Asda is now selling your favourite peanut butter chocolate in ice cream form.
The supermarket is now selling Reese’s ice cream cups, which come in the usual peanut butter cup shape but are filled with a peanut butter ice cream swirl. Yum.
The ice cream cups are selling for £3.50 for a pack of four.
They’ve been shared to the NewFoodsUK Instagram account, where shoppers are getting seriously excited for them.
So far, the post has received more than 3,000 likes and loads of comments from people planning to head into their local Asda to buy the ice creams.
One person said: ‘How nice do these look!’
Another wrote: ‘Need these!’
Someone who has already tried the ice cream says they’re ‘amazing’. And we’re inclined to believe them.
Asda has been pretty popular recently because of its new products, including fizzy pink lemonade in a can mixed with rum and coconut liqueur.
The pre-mixed product features a ‘sparkling blend of fizzy pink lemonade with coconut, with a slight sweetness and the distinctive character of Malibu Caribbean rum’.
The Caribbean rum is produced at the West Indies Rum Distillery, which was founded in 1893, and the 250ml cans have an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 5%.
Currently, the cans are available in Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.
We’ll be getting our hands on both the pink rum lemonade and the ice creams – summer is coming, after all.
Reese's Pieces Ice Cream Cups Spotted In ASDA
Alongside being National Doughnut Day (which entitles you to a free Krispy Kreme doughnut, FYI), today, Friday 7 June, is National Fish and Chip Day.
Naturally, we’d recommend celebrating this occasion with a big plate of fish and chips for dinner.
But if you’re keen for a less conventional idea, here’s another option.
Sarson’s has teamed up with Poppie’s to create the Vin & Tonic cocktail.
As you may have guessed from the name, that’s a cocktail containing Sarson’s vinegar. Cool.
The creators reckon it’s the perfect pairing for a serving of fish and chips. So much so that if you get to Poppie’s in Soho or Spitalfields in time, they’ll give you a cocktail for free (there are 100 freebies available).
If you can’t be bothered to trek to Poppie’s but find yourself curious about the concept of a vinegar cocktail, don’t stress, as Sarson’s has shared the recipe with us.
You’ll need to make a shrub (that’s a vinegar based mix) first, designed to replicate the classic chippy flavours of mushy peas and tartar sauce, then pile in your booze.
How to make a vinegar cocktail for National Fish and Chip Day
How to make your shrub
Bring the vinegar, water and sugar to the boil. Turn off the hob and put everything else into the vinegar mixture. Let it sit for at least four hours, up to a day. Strain everything out, and your shrub will stay fresh for two to months.
Once you’ve made your shrub, you can make a Vin & Tonic.
How to make a Vin & Tonic
Pour all ingredients over ice and then top with tonic. Garnish with a lemon wedge.
Anyone else planning to settle for just pouring some vinegar on their chips?
One of the most annoying things about travelling is having to buy extra small bottles for your hand luggages, due to the 100ml maximum rule.
Not only is it time-consuming to pour 100ml of your shampoo into a little bottle (and messy, too), but even buying a ready-made bottle is generally the same price as a large bottle. It’s a rip off.
And so, we were absolutely delighted to hear that London’s Heathrow airport has announced that passengers could soon carry full-sized liquids in their own bottles, without having to pop them in a clear plastic bag.
The new baggage rules come as 3D scanners have been introduced.
Following successful trials of the new equipment, Heathrow airport plans to spend £50 million on new scanners across its four terminals by 2020.
The CT scanners are used in hospitals to scan patients and produce more detailed images – and they will allow security staff at the airport to access cabin bags and to see the liquids inside.
The new machines will stop queue delays, as well as reduce plastic waste.
The technology will relax current rules, such as passengers only being allowed to carry toiletries or medicine in 100ml or less bottles, which are then placed in clear plastic bags – and it may even lead to ending the liquids ban altogether.
Heathrow’s chief operations officer, Chris Garton, said: ‘This cutting-edge equipment will not only keep the airport safe with the latest technology, but will mean that our future passengers can keep their focus on getting on with their journeys and spend less time preparing for security screening.’
The aviation minister, Baroness Vere, added: ‘Passenger safety remains our top priority and this programme clearly shows the huge importance we place on security.
‘This innovative new equipment will ensure Heathrow continues to provide a safe and smooth travel experience for passengers, as we look to roll out this new screening technology at airports across the country.’
You'll soon be able to take full size liquids in hand luggage
Cholesterol has been something of a health buzzword for years, with, it’s safe to say, pretty much everyone over the age of ten able to tell you that having high cholesterol is bad for you.
While everyone from your doctor to the marketing for various brands of imitation-butter spread telling you that keeping your cholesterol levels low is essential, it’s little wonder that some of us might have forgotten to ask exactly what cholesterol is in the first place.
So we’ve put together a simple definition to explain both what cholesterol is and what levels of cholesterol are considered healthy.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance which can be found in a person’s blood.
Having cholesterol in the body is essential, because it helps form the outer layer of your cells, it’s used to make vitamin D – which in turn keeps your teeth, bones and muscles healthy – and it helps produce bile, which is essential for digestion.
However there is good cholesterol (called HDL) and bad cholesterol (LDL and non-HDL), and too much cholesterol can block your arteries, increasing your risk of having a heart attack or a stroke.
What are the recommended levels of cholesterol?
Since there are different types of cholesterol, cholesterol levels are measured in different ways.
A healthy level of total cholesterol, aka all of the different types, is often five or below.
Your good cholesterol should be around 1 or above, meanwhile your bad HDL and LDL cholesterols should sit at roughly 3 or below and 4 or below respectively.
It’s worth noting that these figures constitute more of a guide than hard and fast rules – since every body is different, the levels your GP might recommend for you may differ.
According to the NHS, if you want to lower your cholesterol, you should:
There are also various prescription medications that you can take to help regulate your cholesterol level.
As far as symptoms of high cholesterol go, there are none, and if you want to find out if your cholesterol levels are high, you’ll need to visit a doctor and get a blood test.
Doctor and patient taking notes in surgery
Dating apps are rife with deception. We post filtered photos portraying elevated versions of the lives we want others to think we lead in the hope they might eventually agree to see us naked.
But the most successful users are actually those who are the most honest.
Dating app Badoo analysed 5000 profiles and found that people who revealed niche information about themselves – like living with parents or drinking habits – were more popular than those who didn’t.
Honesty can be terrifying on dating apps. It’s exposing. In a world where dating is framed as a competitive sport, honesty can leave us feeling vulnerable to rejection or hurt.
Reality TV that focuses on dating, like Love Island, doesn’t help. It’s all fun and games for viewers who are happily espoused, but for us singletons reality TV seeps back into our reality.
There is so much pressure on social media and dating apps to conform to aesthetic ideals established on shows like Love Island. People become so obsessed with being ‘100 per cent my type on paper’, they forget that dating is about spending time with a real human being and sharing a genuine connection.
It’s not just personal image that gets distorted. Pressure to portray an idealised ‘Instagrammable’ lifestyle is also building, to the point where photographers are offering social media photoshoot packages including set-ups designed to look like you are travelling on a private jet.
As a straight woman, I’d only ever been privy to the profiles of single men. It always amazed me how many men chose selfies of them with David Beckham as their profile photo. As if that would somehow make them look more appealing to the opposite sex. I wondered if there were any recurring themes with the girls.
I had a peek at my straight male friend’s dating app to check out my ‘competition’. I was disheartened. I had no chance. I had never seen women like that in real life. But my mate reassured me that was because they didn’t exist. He eventually decided to steer clear of the apps as it was warping his perspective of reality.
Going on a first date flares up all sorts of anxiety. I live with imposter syndrome and when things are going well I’m convinced I’m going to be found out and exposed. I’ve been on great dates and worried that he’ll find out something about me he would find hideous. It happened once really early on on a date when I ordered vegan food. He couldn’t get his head around my diet choice and tried to feed me chicken. Thank u, next.
I’ve never out and out lied on my dating profile, but I’ve definitely bent the truth. I’ve used photos that weren’t so recent, listed my height a couple of inches short (heaven forbid I might meet a man who wasn’t threatened by my stature) and labelled myself an actress when the only role I was playing was that of a part-time receptionist.
Being upfront and honest and owning what makes you feels terrifying. But if it’s a meaningful relationship you’re looking for, it has to happen at some point. Being transparent on dating apps also means being open about what you’re looking for. Something casual, something temporary, or something to take home to mother. Even saying ‘I don’t know what I’m looking for’ is an honest answer.
As women particularly we are taught to never let a guy know if we are actually looking for something serious as it might scare him off. That all men are terrified of commitment and we must somehow slowly seduce them into it without them realising. I don’t have time for that.
I reckon showcasing what makes you unique pays off in online dating. Quite often, the personal things that we leave off our profiles are the exact things that are most endearing and memorable about us. So show them off.
I once went on a date with a guy who had a six-year-old. We’d hit it off over text and were excited to meet IRL. I could tell he was nervous, (so was I, he was really hot), and after an anxious first hour he blurted out: ‘I’m a dad. I have a daughter. I’m sorry.’
He actually apologised. I confessed that I actually already knew. I’d done a pre-date Instagram stalk and saw photos of them together, alongside all the holiday snaps of him and his ex (not the mother) in Kos 2014. I reassured him that it was because he was a dad, not despite it, that I wanted to go on a date with him. He relaxed. We had a lovely time and dated for a couple of months before he dumped me to get back with Kos 2014. She was the real baggage, not his daughter.
Dating is as much about discovering your own identity as it is seeking the identity of ‘the one’. If you conceal your authentic self then it stands to reason that the people you meet along the way wont be authentic either.
We should be allowing ourselves to own our ‘baggage’ and be proud of what makes us who we are. Being unapologetically honest is liberating, and apparently it’s actually very attractive too.
Meet the women who lie about their age on dating apps-5d1c
On this National Fish and Chip Day, also known as the most important event on the social calendar, we must ask the big questions.
One such big question: Should battered fish still have its skin on? Or should it be delicately removed as part of the boning process?
According to the very animated reaction from our colleagues who grew up in Leeds, this is quite the contentious area – and there appears to be a real north/south divide.
From calling up a bunch of fish and chip shops around the UK, we’ve discovered that in general, London-based fish and chip shops leave the skin on the fish before battering it, while those up north tend to remove it.
As a Londoner (please, don’t throw things at me), I personally do not understand why this debate sparks such passion, as I’ve genuinely never noticed whether or not battered fish has its skin intact. The batter really does most of the work on the taste side of things.
But if you ask someone from up north, they will very likely tell you of the gloriously de-skinned fish from their hometown, then rant at length about how London chippies ‘can’t be bothered’ to remove all the skin from their fish.
To delve into this pressing issue further, we asked some fish and chip experts from both sides of this cultural divide.
Fancy chefs told us that the skin should remain on the fish, even when battered.
James Sommerin, owner of Michelin-starred Restaurant James Sommerin tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I leave the skin on because it has such great flavour but it has to be treated properly – descaled and cleaned!’
Paul Askew, Chef Patron of The Art School in Liverpool (a pleasing midpoint in this north/south divide) adds: ‘Although a lot of people don’t eat the skin of a fish, there’s great flavour and nutrients in there.’
Representing team London is the owner of Toff’s of Muswell Hill, who told us that they keep the skin on, which they describe as ‘a very London thing to do.’ They will remove the skin at request, though, which is nice of them.
Ural Hassan, Director of Poppie’s, tells us: ‘We fry with skin on for a few reasons. Firstly, we believe there is great flavour between the skin and flakes of the fish which is lost if the skin is taken off.
‘Secondly, the natural oils from the skin are very high in omega 3s.
‘And finally, the fish can break apart easily if it has no skin!’
Fish and chip shop owners further north thought we were absolutely mad for asking about the skin on fish, so certain were they that the skin must be removed.
At JR’s Yorkshire Fish & Chips, we were told that the skin is entirely removed before frying. When asked why this is, the owner responded: ‘Don’t know really.’ Fair enough.
Thompsons, in York, removes the skin from the fish, as does Whiteheads Fish and Chips in Hornsea.
Vivek Singh, Head chef and founder of Cinnamon Collection, says it really doesn’t make a difference.
‘The batter coats everything anyway, Vivek tells us. ‘The skin doesn’t add any more interest or flavour. Thin skinned fish like cod, haddock are cooked with skin on for speed/ease while expensive fish like halibut are cooked without skin as you don’t want to have the black skin.’
Unfortunately this isn’t a matter we can resolve with haste. It’s true that no harm will come to you from eating fish skin, as long as it’s cleaned and properly descaled, so there’s no official need to remove it.
It comes down to preference, and whether you’re particularly perturbed by the presence of skin in your fish and chips.
If you have an intense hatred of the stuff, you’re better off heading to a chippy up north or putting in a special request.
But we wouldn’t dare to declare one way or the other the ‘correct’ preparation for battered fish. That’s up to you to decide.
Tradional Fish n chips on the beach
Today in things we didn’t think we had to say: please do not insert a vacuum cleaner inside your vagina for any reason.
Why must we explain this? Because there’s a tweet doing the rounds that claims women are indeed vacuuming their vaginas in an attempt to make their periods end early.
A woman who lists herself as a nurse in her Twitter bio tweeted:’Ladies… Please stop using your vacuum hose to end your period early. You’re gonna wind up sucking out a lot more than blood!
‘There were 2 cases of this so far this week and both women had to be admitted. Just… STOP!’
We reached out to the nurse to ask a general ‘sorry, what?’ (and to find out if these claims are true), but sadly she hasn’t responded.
While we wait to find out more, however, what we can do is warn everyone to never, ever put a vacuum cleaner in their vagina.
Because if someone’s tweeted it, it probably is the case that someone’s done it or has thought about doing it. Thus we must stop them before any terrible damage occurs.
Ladies… Please stop using your vacuum hose to end your period early. You're gonna wind up sucking out a lot more than blood! There were 2 cases of this so far this week and both women had to be admitted. Just… STOP! 🛑🚑
— Twinny 💜🖤 (@OdesseyT99) June 5, 2019
Let us begin by saying that there is no way that vacuuming your vagina would work to speed up your period and bring it to an end.
Dr Alex Eskander, Consultant Gynaecologist at The Gynae Centre, tells Metro.co.uk: ‘It is not possible to stop your period once it has started.’ That includes trying to quickly rush out all the menstrual fluids.
There are ways that you may be able to speed up your period, but none of them are scientifically proven. The ones on our list, though, are all safe to do, while using a vacuum poses quite a few risks.
First off, you shouldn’t put anything in your vagina that isn’t designed to be there – especially if said thing is used to literally suck up dirt and dust.
‘Vacuum cleaners are used for cleaning the floor and other dirty items, and so harbour bacteria,’ says Dr Alex.
‘Vacuum cleaner hoses should not be inserted into the vagina. It’s very important to keep the vulva area clean as introducing external bacteria could lead to infections.’
So just popping the hose in there is a bad idea.
Turning the vacuum on is an even worse one.
The suction could cause physical trauma to the vagina, ranging from scratches and bruising on the vaginal walls to seriously damaging your cervix.
As gynaecologist Shazia Malik told Vice: ‘It would be completely unsafe. Not just unsafe, but downright dangerous.
‘You could end up with genital trauma. You could damage your cervix and end up in excruciating pain.’
You could also end up perforating or tearing your uterus, or ripping apart the wall between the anal passage and the vagina, allowing for a rush of bacteria to come in.
Plus, a heavy flow isn’t something you want to bring on, as anyone with intense periods will tell you.
Sudden blood loss and the extreme sensation of suction in your vagina could cause shock and a loss of consciousness.
You can imagine the pain and damage possible when applying high power suction to any part of your body. Think blood blisters, cutting off circulation, that kind of thing. Applying this to a sensitive area poses even higher risk.
In short: if you were thinking about putting a vacuum cleaner in your vagina, don’t.
Please don't use a vacuum to end your period early
Each week we get people to anonymously tell us about their drinking habits as part of our series, Spill It.
We’re talking to people all over the UK (and abroad) about how much they really drink. Not how much they tell their doctor they drink, or a rough guesstimate – but the unvarnished boozy truth.
This week we’ve got a 19-year-old model and poet from London, who we’ve called Scarlett.
I’m coming back from a retreat in France, where I spent two weeks recovering after my first year university exams.
I have a couple of glasses of red wine on the plane, they’re free so it would be rude not to.
My boyfriend picks my up from the airport and takes me straight to dinner. I’d rather have gone home to change but I don’t want to hurt his feelings.
We share a bottle of wine at the restaurant, then head back to his place. He prefers staying there as it’s a lot bigger than my flat.
I sleep until around 1pm as I need a lot of sleep to recharge – I find that different people need different amounts and I’m just someone who really benefits from 12 hours of sleep.
We’re hosting a dinner party at my boyfriend’s place, so I spend the afternoon preparing the food. I want to be writing but he doesn’t cook so it’s essential that I make the food. I even cook meat for his friends despite being a vegetarian because I love him.
His friends are a lot older – as is he – so I feel like I have to impress them.
I have three glasses of wine over dinner and one glass of champagne to start because I don’t want to be drunk and embarrass him.
My boyfriend has time with his kids today, but they don’t like me to join them as they’re judgemental of the relationship. I head back to my flat.
I haven’t been home for a couple of weeks so it’s not in a great state. I spend the day cleaning it and trying to cleanse the vibe so that it’s a more positive space.
I go to yoga in the evening at a studio near my flat and get an early night.
I want to write but I’m not having any success. I thought the retreat would help clear the stress from exams which stopped me from feeling creative but I still feel blocked.
Unable to get any words down, I walk for a few hours around London just trying to feel connected. I get home feeling a little more inspired and write for an hour.
No alcohol – I am worried that my drinking may be part of the problem.
On Tuesdays I volunteer which always makes me feel better and clearer.
I have a fight with my boyfriend because he won’t come to my flat because apparently it is too small, he doesn’t like the area. I cave and go to him.
He cooks steak (he knows I don’t eat meat but because it’s a recent development he ignores it).I eat the salad and drink some red wine. He wants to have sex but I say no. He asks if it’s because of the steak. I say no but I mean yes.
I wake up early and go to yoga, then come back to the flat. Boyfriend has gone to work and doesn’t realise that I don’t have keys. Most of my stuff is in the flat, including my house keys.
I ask the doorman to let me in and he confuses me for boyfriend’s daughter. I find this extremely funny but I have a feeling that he won’t.
In the evening I meet up with my girlfriends at a vegan restaurant in central London. I don’t drink and feel better for it.
Spent the whole day worrying about going to boyfriend’s work event in the evening. He invited me, but then kept saying how I had to be on ‘best behaviour’.
As a result I am nervous and drink a lot and end up being too drunk. I have four glasses of champagne I think? Boyfriend is not pleased.
Wake up in the spare room at boyfriend’s flat, feeling guilty and knowing that there is going to be an argument. In the end I sneak out before he wakes up and go back to my place. I know that’s pathetic but I can’t face a hangover and an argument.
Scarlett and her boyfriend have since broken up.
Units recommended by the NHS: 14
Units drunk: 24
If you’d like to take part in Spill It, get in touch by emailing Rebecca.Reid@metro.co.uk.
spill it comp-0732
Nothing beats the feeling of making a home your own.
From adding a greenhouse-worth of plants to our windowsills or a fresh coat of paint in the living room, everyone enjoys a sense of pride when you stamp your personality on your own place.
And according to the new GoodHome Report, a major Europe-wide study of over 13,000 people into how our properties impact our wellbeing commissioned by B&Q in partnership with the Happiness Research Institute, it emerged that our homes are significantly more important to our happiness than our income or even our jobs.
However, is this true for millennials? We speak to three home improvers who certainly believe so. In B&Q’s first Home Improvement Rising Star of the Year competition, launched to celebrate the retailer’s 50th anniversary, this trio of room re-vampers worked on creating a space that represented their personal style – and showed off their practical home improvement skills.
So, who won? Our judges – architectural and design historian and broadcaster, Tom Dyckhoff, B&Q Category Director, Surface and Décor, Iain McColgan, and Metro Home Editor, Liz Burcher – had the final say… but which room do you vibe off the most?
Project Manager Karl from Manchester
What was your vision for the competition challenge?
I wanted to mark B&Q’s 50th anniversary and tried to incorporate 50 into the space. Something or someone hitting 50 years is a massive achievement, so this space is for people to relax in and think about the past 50 years, then also think about what the future 50 years has in store. I feel the area I created was modern, tailored and clean.
What first got you into home improvement?
I bought a derelict house as I wanted a challenge! It was crazy; I had to gut the entire thing. Visually, I am OK with that, but manually, I had never done anything like it before.
So, when I bought this house I was like, ‘What have I done? What have I got myself into?’ Over two years, I learned the skills as I went. I literally had no clue, so just looked at guides and videos on B&Q’s YouTube channel.
How did it feel when you completed your home renovation?
I wanted to take on the challenge and it made me feel proud to know that I’ve basically rebuilt my own house.
It’s so rewarding, especially when people come round and say: “This is lovely.” I’m so proud of it – it’s my dream home and it’s somewhere I can relax and entertain, and it’s where I want to see my family grow up.
Happy home, happy life: GoodHome Report top tip...
Invite people in
Just like Karl, most of us are happier when we invite people over to share our homes with us. The GoodHome Report found that this increases pride in our pads, as well as boosting the emotional connection we feel with where we live.
Home improvement skills demonstrated:
Primary School Teacher Lisa from Wolverhampton
What was your thinking process behind your competition set?
My inspiration for this baby’s bedroom was not only the symbol of new life, but also the idea of bringing the outdoors in with the Secret Garden. As I chose my products, I wanted to incorporate the beauty of nature and its vivid colour palette. I dreamed of surrounding the baby with symbols of love and joy, such as the hummingbirds, and growth through the plants and flower prints. Ultimately, I intended to construct a room filled with happiness and love, which it was certainly created with!
What makes a great room for you?
It has to be something colourful and uplifting – I like to think that I may live in Wolverhampton, but my lounge feels like it could be anywhere!
I think sometimes people are scared of colour, but I love the idea of colour contrasting – like the quaint holiday streets of Spain or Portugal – and introduced this to my competition set-up.
Do you think a home can boost your personal happiness?
Yes! The way you choose colours can leave such a lasting, positive impact on you. I think the way we decorate our homes has a huge effect on the way we feel. I love the way people feel when they visit my house and I like to have objects around me that make me feel happy.
Happy home, happy life: GoodHome Report top tip...
Put your own stamp on it
Whether we rent or own, finding ways to add your personality – from painting a wall to hanging a picture of our loved ones just like Lisa has done in her own home and competition set up – will make our homes a little happier (and more interesting!).
Home improvement skills demonstrated:
Student Sumaiyyah from East London
What was your vision for the competition?
I decided to use the space assigned to design a living room. I went for my go-to look, which is inspired by Scandinavian interior design; portrayed through its minimalism, functionality and beauty.
The finishing product was a beautiful, open, fresh, inviting living room. Using a combination of the right B&Q products, an eye for detail and a flair for design, I was able to create the perfect living room, whilst staying within a budget and prioritising functionality.
Why is creating your own space so important to you?
As I still live at home with a large family, having my own space is so important. I actually came back from uni to find my sister had stolen my room! So, my first home improvement experience was changing the spare room into my own oasis.
Do you think it has an impact on your happiness?
Yes! What I really love about interiors and home improvement is that the small changes can make a massive difference.
But what I really think is that your outer space and surroundings have a huge impact on your inner space – your mental and emotional space. So, if you have a clear, fresh room and home, I believe you have a clear, fresh mind.
Happy home, happy life: GoodHome Report top tip...
Make time for change
The GoodHome Report found that investing time and energy into updating where we live and adapting them to our changing needs is an investment in our happiness, the same way Sumaiyyah made an area of her family home her own.
Home improvement skills demonstrated:
And the winner of B&Q's Home Improvement Rising Star of the Year competition is...
Primary school teacher Lisa has the honour of being named the first ever B&Q Home Improvement Rising Star of the Year.
Here’s what our three judges – architectural and design historian and broadcaster, Tom Dyckhoff, B&Q Category Director, Surface and Décor, Iain McColgan, and Metro Home Editor, Liz Burcher – thought…
Tom: There are a lot of elements in the room, which is great. It’s great to see a kid’s room so joyful and full of colour and interest. I like how Lisa demonstrated some key skills, rather than simply styling a room.
Liz: Whether you own your house or you rent it, it would be possible to use Lisa’s ideas as inspiration. Fabulous – and, for me, an absolute clear winner.
Iain: Loving that the inspirational trigger was in symbolising a new life. A great choice of catalyst to drive anyone to do their very best.
Do you want to unlock the happiness in your home? If you want to feel proud of your personal space like our three finalists, head online to B&Q or read more findings from the GoodHome Report here. Co-authored by Meik Wiking, who wrote best-seller The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well, it offers advice and tips on how taking pride in your house can make you happier.
Screen Shot 2019-06-07 at 09.26.29-97a2
Love, Or Something Like It
In Love, Or Something Like It, our new Metro.co.uk series, we’re on a quest to find true love.
Covering everything from mating, dating and procreating to lust and loss, we’ll be looking at what love is and how to find it in the present day.
It didn’t take long for the first man on the dating site to tell me that I was a ‘crazy cat lady’.
He said it one night over the phone as I enthused about my newly adopted cats, Caspar and Winter. It took me by surprise. I suddenly felt like an object of pity who adopted two cats because I couldn’t get a man.
Not only was it unfair – you never hear about ‘crazy cat guys’ – it was untrue. I was not single because I was undesirable.
I had been with my previous partner for six years. It was a devastating blow to find myself single as I approached 40, fearing a future alone as I got older and with all my friends settled down.
You learn a lot about loneliness after a break-up. As the days dragged on sleeping by myself, dining for one each night and with no-one to talk to or meet, the loneliness started to creep up on me.
I started to weigh up my options. I’d considered getting a pet for a long time – the whiter and fluffier the better. So one evening, with little else to do, I found myself logging onto the Cats Protection site.
I saw hundreds of cute kittens and cats. It was a pair of brothers who struck a chord with me though, two tabbies – Caspar and Winter. A few phone calls and a location check later and I was in an Uber to pick them up from foster care. Within days they had made themselves at home.
The cats were not just good company. The responsibility of keeping them fed, watered, warm and entertained gave me the focus and distraction that I needed to put distance between myself and my break up.
They also taught me just how far a little TLC can go. My cats had a hard start life having been abandoned outside by their previous owners. Winter was so timid and nervous when I picked him up but just three days later he was displaying his bits in front of the fire and fighting with Caspar.
What I didn’t expect was that I’d find the confidence to look for love again. After my ex had left, I felt so unlovable. My self-esteem was in my boots, while my ex-partner was out socialising with younger women. I felt old and invisible by comparison.
Simply receiving cuddles from Caspar and Winter made me feel worthy of love once again. In the ‘cat-mum’ role I’m judged beyond my capacity to party, or dissect politics, or for my youth or looks. Not once have I been criticised for a comment or an outfit.
I’m a provider, I give my cats a roof under which they can live, play and explore. They’ve helped me to feel important again, and not just a number on the wrong side of 30.
With my new-found confidence I logged back onto dating sites. I was called a crazy cat lady more than once and it’s a stereotype that can hold women back when it comes to finding love. One man’s Tinder profile specifically stated ‘no Crazy Cat ladies’ so to some we’re seen as women to avoid, which was why it was so important that I reclaimed this label.
If I can find two loving cats to live with online, I’m sure a nice guy and a loving relationship will naturally follow suit.
At the time of reading, I will have had my first date with David, a musically-inclined farmer with a big ginger beard. We bonded over our interest in animals. His profile picture showed him holding a calf and it spurred me on to set up drinks at my local.
I still very much feel that having my two cats come into my home and care was meant to be. A blessing. Fate. I feel more complete and more of a ‘unit’ – we’re like a mini family. They give me the same kind of feeling of ‘oneness’ that I’ve had in past relationships.
It was their regular, reliable and stable affection that helped me move on from my break up. My cats give me unconditional love and in return they get all their needs met (plus a little catnip).
They have taught me that true love is about just being there, at all times, and not just the best or stable times. That a hug after a bad day goes a long way.
They have given me the reassurance that everything is going to work out. Past relationships may not have been right but that doesn’t make me an unworthy candidate for romance and affection.
Caspar and Winter were, like me, abandoned through no fault of their own, and like them, I too deserve love.
Last week in Love, Or Something Like It: For non-binary people like me, true love means loving myself first
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