Articles on this Page
- 06/10/19--05:29: _A 12 week abortion ...
- 06/10/19--05:45: _Jeremy Irvine: ‘I d...
- 06/10/19--05:58: _Student designs ‘se...
- 06/10/19--06:07: _There are some amaz...
- 06/10/19--06:55: _This is why you get...
- 06/10/19--07:14: _Four of Aldi’s whis...
- 06/10/19--07:30: _Straight people are...
- 06/10/19--07:36: _Tesco has just star...
- 06/10/19--22:07: _Morrisons is sellin...
- 06/10/19--22:09: _A hotel is giving a...
- 06/10/19--23:17: _Mum shares wise way...
- 06/10/19--23:59: _Mum saves son’s lif...
- 06/11/19--00:00: _Disabled people wan...
- 06/11/19--00:07: _People are puzzled ...
- 06/11/19--01:46: _The B-word you can ...
- 06/11/19--01:56: _What I Rent: Fiona ...
- 06/11/19--02:11: _My dad came out as ...
- 06/11/19--02:21: _Bride whose dad is ...
- 06/11/19--02:57: _Mum slams Claire’s ...
- 06/11/19--03:28: _You could get a sch...
- 06/10/19--05:29: A 12 week abortion limit would be a disaster for vulnerable women
- 90 per cent of UK abortions take place before 13 weeks.
- Four in five UK abortions takes place before 10 weeks of gestation.
- In 2015, 2,877 out of 185,824 abortions were performed at 20 weeks or above.
- Of these, 23 (0.8 per cent) were performed to save the life of the pregnant woman, 1,801 (63 per cent) were performed for mental or physical health reasons, and 1046 (36 per cent) were performed because of foetal abnormalities.
- Campaign for better sex education in schools
- Donate to charities who provide free contraceptives
- Donate to Marie Stopes so that they can help women in need of terminations earlier in their pregnancies
- 06/10/19--06:55: This is why you get ‘groated’ (grumpy when you’re bloated)
- Carbonated drinks can be one of the most common culprits, so swap that for a glass of water.
- When you’re on your period, you will experience hormonal changes which can cause water retention, among other factors, which cause bloating.
- Bloating is really common in IBS sufferers. Generally, smaller meals, regular exercise and reduced fibre consumption are the common recommendations.
- I often recommend giving different yoga positions a try, especially happy baby pose.
- There are a number of gastrointestinal supplements that can help – Soloray Bloat-X capsules my favourite.
- A relaxing warm bath or a walk can both help out as well, while you might want to avoid chewing gum if you have a tendency of doing so, due to the increased swallowed air.
- 06/10/19--07:14: Four of Aldi’s whiskies have been named among the best in the world
- 06/10/19--07:30: Straight people are very confused about these Pride manicures
- 06/10/19--07:36: Tesco has just started selling Parma Violets Rekorderlig cider
- 06/10/19--22:07: Morrisons is selling a Mighty Meat Feast for £5 for Father’s Day
- 06/10/19--22:09: A hotel is giving away a free night’s stay to all types of carers
- 06/10/19--23:17: Mum shares wise way she taught her children about consent
- 06/10/19--23:59: Mum saves son’s life after spotting unusual sign of sepsis
- 06/11/19--00:00: Disabled people want to work but so much is stopping us
- 06/11/19--02:11: My dad came out as gay – and then my mum did too
I’ve tried to avoid as much of the Tory party leadership nonsense as I can.
I don’t care if one of them took coke in the 90s. I don’t really care if one of them smoked a magic pipe of pixie dust in a forest, with a wizard.
However I do care that men like Jeremy Hunt are taking this opportunity to make edicts about how they see the future of women’s rights.
Speaking on Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Jeremy Hunt said: ‘My view hasn’t changed on that [reducing the abortion limit from 24 weeks to 12]. What I can guarantee is this will be a matter for the House of Commons, not a matter for government policy.’
This afternoon he then provided a statement to say his belief in the reduction of the abortion limit was a ‘personal view only’, saying: ‘No government I lead will ever seek to change the law on abortion.’
Which should be reassuring, but we live in a world where abortion is still illegal in Northern Ireland and has been effectively banned in Alabama, so the time to rest easy has really gone.
So forgive me if I don’t rest easy as a result of a 13 word statement from a wannabe prime minister.
Hunt might have said he won’t seek to change the law, but do we really want someone leading the country who thinks the legal limit for abortion should be cut in half?
It’s hardly an endorsement of his attitude towards reproductive freedom.
Reducing the abortion limit from 24 to 12 weeks would be a disaster for vulnerable women.
Jeremy said in a 2012 interview he had reached his view after reviewing the evidence on abortion.
So, seeing as the evidence on second trimester abortion apparently made JH’s mind up on the topic, let’s review it.
12 weeks might sound like a long time to work out that you need an abortion, but it’s not.
A woman is considered to be two weeks pregnant at the moment of conception, as pregnancy is dated from the first day of your last period. So you’ve only got ten weeks.
Factor in the reality that women don’t always have regular periods and you can easily end up in a situation where a woman only has a couple of weeks to make an enormous decision.
Then there’s the problem of fetal development.
When a woman is 12 weeks pregnant she is offered a scan, where the fetus is first checked for abnormalities. It’s during this scan that it is possible to tell whether the pregnancy is developing in a safe and healthy way.
Before 12 weeks it is difficult, if not impossible, to tell whether a fetus has a variety of illnesses, disabilities or life limiting conditions.
At 20 weeks a woman is offered an abnormality scan, which is where the pregnancy is checked for major medical issues.
In Jeremy Hunt’s ideal world, the limit for abortions would be 12 weeks. So, by the time a woman finds out that her pregnancy is non viable, it would be too late for her to have a termination.
In this world, women would be forced to continue with pregnancies knowing their child would be born in pain and unable to survive.
Does’t that sound just peachy?
I sat next to a man at a dinner party a few months ago, and while talking about US politics I mentioned my fears for reproductive freedoms. He told me I was being foolish to worry, that abortion would never be taken away in the US.
I’ve rarely wanted to be wrong about anything more.
A few years ago it seemed unlikely, perhaps unthinkable, that Roe vs Wade could be overturned and that women in one of the richest countries in the world could be returned back street abortions.
These days it seems more likely.
We must not become complacent about reproductive rights. There are people who do not understand why we need access to abortion, and right now one of those people is trying to become prime minister.
No one likes late stage abortions. No one thinks that they’re fun, or that they’re cool. We don’t aim for them.
In an ideal world no woman would never need an abortion, and any woman who does want one would get instant access to early healthcare and the pregnancy would be swiftly terminated.
That’s not what happens in the real world. Abortions post 12 weeks have always been a reality and will always be a reality.
If you don’t like the idea of late stage abortions then here are some practical steps you can take to prevent them:
That said, no matter what you do, you will never change the fact nature can be incredibly cruel and some pregnancies will not go safely to term. Could Jeremy Hunt, who sits on national television decreeing his views, really tell a woman that she has to continue her pregnancy to term and then give birth to a baby who will die in terrible pain?
Could he really tell a 14 year old girl who is 13 weeks pregnant because she didn’t know how to recognise the signs that she has to become a parent because it’s just too late?
I doubt it.
It’s easy to talk about abortion when you’re never going to need one. Which is exactly why people like Jeremy Hunt, who’ll never know what that feels like, should keep their mouths shut on the subject.
Cabinet meeting, London, UK - 21 May 2019
On MenTal(k) Health we speak to men about various aspects of their own health, the physical, mental, sexual or emotional.
Men don’t always speak about their concerns when it comes to their health and it is time to open up the dialogue.
This week is Diabetes Awareness Week and to mark it we spoke to actor Jeremy Irvine.
Jeremy has starred in numerous productions from War Horse to The Woman In Black, and has earned his reputation as a method actor for undergoing two months without food for a role, and performing his own torture scenes.
More recently, he was a contestant on SAS: Who Dares Wins in April.
But what you might not know about Jeremy is that he also has Type 1 Diabetes.
He told Metro.co.uk: ‘I found out I had diabetes when I was six years old.
‘I think at that age you just get on with things and don’t question it too much.
‘The technology I use now to treat my type 1 diabetes (the Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) System) is amazing compared to back then, it feels close to not having diabetes at all.
‘It was much more worrying for my parents when I was a child. I’m only really realising now what an enormous stress it is on parents who have children living with diabetes.’
Many people are aware that there are two types of diabetes, Type 1 and Type 2, but there are many other different kinds of diabetes that are rarer.
According to Diabetes UK, there still is less understanding about what causes Type 1 diabetes. This type of diabetes has nothing to do with lifestyle or diet.
Type 1 diabetes attacks the cells in the pancreas that make insulin, so you can’t make insulin at all – an essential hormone that allows the glucose in the blood to enter cells and fuel the body.
Without this, once the body breaks down the food and drink and turns it into glucose, the glucose just builds up in the bloodstream and is not distributed to the body’s cells.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that causes the level of sugar in the blood to become too high due to the pancreas not being able to produce insulin sufficiently.
It is often linked to being overweight or inactive, or having a family member with a history of type 2 diabetes.
As an actor, Jeremy is always active and when it came to being diabetic, he tells Metro.co.uk that ‘there are worse things’ that people can go through.
He said: ‘I’ve always had the opinion that everyone has something to deal with and there are worse things than being diabetic.
‘Being in the career I’m in, never having two days be the same is what I love about my job, but it does make things more complicated when it comes to my diabetes management.
‘I just have to work a little harder and make sure I’m on form when it counts.’
Just because he has diabetes, Jeremy says he doesn’t eat or train any differently to anyone else and working hard to manage his diabetes is paramount.
He said: ‘Fitness always helps but with blood sugar control it’s a big part of it, whether you’re diabetic or not. I don’t like the stigma that diabetics are fat or unfit, it’s just not the case.
‘Type 1 diabetes is an invisible condition and can often be hard for people to understand.
‘I remember watching Steve Redgrave, who also is a Type 1 diabetic, winning gold for rowing at the Sydney Olympics when I was about 10 years old. He was a great role model for me. Our current Prime minister is a Type 1 diabetic too.
‘I don’t eat or train any differently than anyone else would. I’m currently filming on a job where I’m in the gym training six days a week and sometimes twice a day.
‘It can be frustrating when you want to train and your blood sugar is low which means you have to stop or you’re feeling a bit rough, but I’ve never let that stop me.
‘I usually take 20 minutes and then I try and get back on with it. You might not feel great, but just because you’re diabetic doesn’t mean you can’t train as hard as anyone else, sometimes you just have to train a bit harder.’
The training had a positive impact on his mental health, and Jeremy is doing everything he can to make sure he’s in the best possible shape for his job.
‘I think there’s a lot of stigma left over from when there wasn’t as much education and awareness around the condition.
‘Nowadays, with things like continuous glucose monitoring technology and great tech like the Dexcom G6 system and insulin pumps, I can check my glucose levels on my phone and haven’t had to do a proper injection for about 10 years.
‘The problem is that not all of the latest treatments, like CGM devices, are readily available to everyone on the NHS – which they really should be!
‘CGM technology has been completely life changing for me and we need to spread awareness and educate the masses on the benefits of investing in life-changing diabetes tech.’
For more information about diabetes and the Diabetes Week campaign, you can visit Diabetes UK for more information on diabetes and how to manage it.
What is MenTal(k) Health?
MenTal(k) Health is a weekly series that speaks to men who have a lot to say on a range of health issues from mental and physical health to fitness, sexual health and emotional intelligence.
If you know someone who might be great to speak to, please email: email@example.com or connect on twitter @AlexReads__.
Last week’s MenTal(k) Health was with founder of Fika, Nick Barrett who discussed suicide, and why it was important for men to have friends and listen more.
Keep a look out for next week’s feature of MenTal(k) Health.
\'The Wife\' Film4 Summer Screen film premiere and opening gala, Somerset House, London, UK - 09 Aug 2018
Sian Hickey, a student at Leicester De Montfort University, has designed what is said to be the first period-proof lingerie.
The 21-year-old researched, tested, and designed all the materials herself to produce lingerie that can be washed and worn during periods.
Sian, from Hinkley, Leicester, said although period pants – which are an alternative to pads and tampons – exist already, they weren’t always the most attractive.
Likening existing designs to ‘Bridget Jones style pants’, Sian wanted more options for women to feel sexy while menstruating.
Period poverty has also been a big concern for the youngster, so she wanted to create something that could benefit women and make them feel good.
She recently debuted her line with four complete outfits at the university’s Contour Fashion Show in London.
‘Period poverty is something I’m really passionate about, and I was researching ideas for my final project but I realised that all the period proof pants that had been done before weren’t that attractive, they looked like Bridget Jones pants,’ said Sian.
‘I wanted to try and make period-proof lingerie that I’d be proud to wear, something that makes people feel sexy despite the fact they’re on their period.
‘I tested the materials for the leak-proof gussets in the university labs and I even designed and created the lace for the garments myself, using inspiration from the leaves in the stained glass windows at the MET Museum in New York.’
Sian has paired up with British charity Freedom4Girls, whose mission is to end period poverty globally and encourage women to tackle their period in more environmentally friendly ways.
‘There’s still a huge waste problem,’ she added.
‘Even if period waste is disposed of correctly, using bins rather than flushing, plastic wrappers and applicators are not biodegradable and just sit in landfill for centuries. Something needs to change.
‘The reaction has been good. Once you explain how the underwear works and how they are more comfortable than and just as hygienic as disposable sanitary products, disguised as regular lingerie, people see around the issue of absorbent knickers. People are definitely listening.’
Sian, will receive her final grade when she graduates in September this year but has gotten a first for her lingerie line.
With a bright future ahead, she is set to fly off to Stockholm for an internship at fashion giant H&M after her degree.
She said: ‘It’s been really hard at times, I’ve questioned myself and thought why have I chosen this as my final project.
‘But the tutors at the uni have been amazing. As soon as I told them I wanted to do a period proof underwear line they were right behind me, and they have really pushed me to get it right.’
If you want to see Sian’s designs take off, you can support her Crowdfunding page here.
Is there anything better than buying a load of new makeup? Yes: When the makeup is all on sale.
Revolution Beauty has launched a new sale including up to 70% off its products, and there are loads of goodies on offer.
We love Revolution, not only for its cheapness but for its quality, too – the concealer is definitely one of the best on the market and the pigment of the eye shadow palettes is always brilliant.
But there’s more than just eye shadow and concealer in the sale – there are also all the tools you need to get your face ready for anything.
Here are a few of our favourite things from the Revolution Beauty sale, which we’re sure you’ll love:
Revolution Ultra Sculpt & Blend Collection
This brush set is £4.50 down from £14.99. It features a collection of synthetic hair brushes for contouring, sculpting and blending.
I Heart Revolution Chocolate Heart
This gift set is £25 down from £33. It features a Red Velvet Eye Shadow Palette, Peanut Butter Cup Eye Shadow Palette, Praline Face Palette and a Chocolate Heart Shimmer Bronzer.
Revolution Soph’s Favourites
£60 down from £100, this gift set features a variety of Revolution products, including highlighter, eye shadow, matte liquid lipsticks, blush, bake and finish powder and a pink and rose gold brush set.
Revolution Renaissance Illuminate – Radiant in Rose
This costs £4, down from £8. It features a trio of rosy pressed shimmer powders that can be used as blush, highlighter or eyeshadow to give skin incredible glow.
I Heart Revolution NOW That’s What I Call Makeup 80s
This palette is £5 down from £10. It features loads of 80s themed pigmented eye shadows to make your eyes pop.
Freedom Makeup London Pro Blush Palette Bronze and Baked
£3 down from £6, we’re in love with these colours.
Revolution Retro Luxe Lip Vault 2018
Love liquid lipsticks? You’ll love this box of lip kits, which costs £30 down from £50. It includes four matte lip kits, four metallic lip kits and two gloss lip kits.
Revolution HD Palette Amplified 35 – Luxe
This one is a bargain at £7.50 down from £15 – especially as it won gold at the Pure Beauty Awards in 2017.
It features 35 highly pigmented shades in one palette. We love the neutrals and muted pops of colour.
Freedom Makeup London Pro HD – Fair Medium
Sick of brow pencils? Try out this palette. It’s £5, down from £10.
Revolution Cream Highlight and Contour Kit
This one’s a huge bargain at £4.50 down from £15.
Use the creamy concealer to add light under your eyes and down the nose, and then maximise the glow with the pearlescent highlighter.
You can also add contour under the cheekbones, jawline and around the nose.
The kit also has a double-ended tool for easy blending, and a soft beauty sponge for precision work.
Revolution sale deals
Bloating is uncomfortable, unpleasant and it can even be painful.
You don’t feel good in your clothes, you might struggle to eat your favourite foods, and being physically active is definitely not appealing.
But do you ever get particularly grumpy when you’re bloated? Irritable, snarky, quick to anger?
Don’t worry, it’s really common. You’re feeling groated (both grumpy and bloated) – and there’s a simple explanation for why it happens.
Abdominal bloating is the feeling of fullness, tightness or distension in the stomach area.
It can be caused by eating a particularly big meal, sensitivity to certain foods, and there are some health conditions that can trigger persistent or recurring bloating.
It’s really important to talk to your doctor if you notice any changes to your digestive health, your GP will be able to rule out any more serious conditions that could be causing your bloating.
Most of the time, the causes of bloating are pretty harmless, but that doesn’t mean it won’t make you feel uncomfortable, lethargic and annoyed.
So why do we get groated? It turns out our brains and our guts are much more closely connected than you might have realised.
‘There is an actual connection between your intestinal functions and the emotional centres in your brain, known as the gut brain axis (GBA),’ explains nutrition expert Tom Jenane.
‘Comprising several neurohumoral components, there are an increasing amount of studies showing the communication between the brain and the gut and how bloating could be causing a negative emotional effect.
‘Many of us struggle with bloating, but there are a number of ways we can tackle this. It involves working out the reason for bloating for you personally and finding the ideal solution.
‘Bloating can be caused by an excess amount of gas being produced in the gastrointestinal tract, or any movements in the digestive system that cause a disruption.’
Nutritionist Resource member Sonal Shah, says there is a really specific reason why bloating can make you grumpy.
‘One reason why abdominal discomfort can lead to irritability is that the liver has more toxins to deal with from the colon, which can negatively impact the brain, leaving one feeling tired with a brain fog that impacts our ability to think clearly,’ she explains.
‘The fullness also leads to a lethargic feeling in our mental state.
‘We know that the gut and the brain are in constant communication and 80% of the brain’s neurotransmitter serotonin – responsible for a good mood – is manufactured in the gut.
‘The bacteria in our gut also influences the communication between the brain and the gut. When the gut is full of healthy bacteria, it has the potential to regulate mood and positive feelings.’
Tips to beat bloating
Tom Jenane, nutrition expert
So our stomachs are incredibly powerful and do so much more than just deal with the food that we eat. This integral connection between the brain and the belly seems to be at the heart of this unpleasant phenomena.
To banish the brain fog, lethargy and irritability – we have to tackle the bloating first.
‘It is important to establish the cause of the bloating in conjunction with your GP,’ says Dr Petra Simic of Bupa UK.
‘Bear in mind that the cause could be quite complex and difficult to pinpoint, so it can take some time to identify and may need a multi-faceted approach. Your GP may be able to recommend some medications that may help to ease bloating.
‘Some people find that it can be useful to cut down on fizzy drinks and foods that are known to cause excess wind, like beans; onions and greens like broccoli, cabbage, spouts and cauliflower. Other people find increasing fibre and water in their diet helps.
‘Additionally, making the effort to avoid swallowing too much air can be helpful. Small changes to your habits, like sitting down to eat and chewing with your mouth closed can lead to a reduction of excess air in the gut.
‘There’s an especially sensitive relationship between the brain, stomach and intestines; emotions, both positive and negative, can trigger symptoms in the gastrointestinal tract. Likewise, this relationship can work both ways, so changes to the gut can send negative signals to the brain, affecting your mood.
‘The brain and gut are so intimately linked that stomach or intestinal troubles, like bloating due to the discomfort associated with it can actually be the cause a negative shift in mood.’
It’s important to know what’s normal for you. If you’re feeling more bloated than usual, or regularly having bad reactions to certain foods – talk to your doctor, establish the cause, and take the necessary steps to improve your symptoms.
That might mean changing your diet, trying new medication, or something as simple as chewing your food more slowly and taking smaller mouthfuls.
What’s important is knowing that you’re not alone. Bloating can make everyone feel irritable, upset and just generally off-kilter. Feeling groated is incredibly common.
Remember the link between your brain and your stomach – you can’t fix one without fixing the other.
10 symptoms of IBD most people don't realise exist (Jenna Farmer)
Four of Aldi’s whiskies have been named among the best in the world at an international awards ceremony.
The whiskies won four gold medals at the highly acclaimed Spirits Business Scotch Whisky Masters – a global competition that pits spirits against each other in a series of rigorous blind taste tests – and the only awarding body comprised of completely independent judges, including experienced bartenders and educators.
The award-winning whiskies include the £13.49 Malt Black Scotch Whisky, the £17.49 Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky, the £17.49 Single Malt Scotch Whisky and the £14.99 Hogwash Blended Malt Scotch Whisky.
The supermarket also added a Silver medal for its Highland Black Scotch Whisky, £13.49, to its ever-expanding trophy cabinet.
This isn’t the first time Aldi’s whisky range has been given the nod of approval by experts – this is actually the second consecutive year that the Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky has won a gold medal.
This year alone, Aldi’s spirits range has been awarded an impressive 17 medals at international competitions.
Julie Ashfield, Managing Director of Buying at Aldi UK, said: ‘These results are a testament to our dedicated buying team’s ongoing hard work to bring great-value spirits to our shelves and Aldi’s unwavering consistency in sourcing only the highest quality spirits for our shoppers.
‘We’re delighted that all five of the whiskies entered were awarded medals, and even more thrilled that four of them achieved Gold.’
Aldi's own brand whiskies win FOUR gold medals
There are still some very innocent souls in this world, as a picture of a ‘Pride manicure’ has demonstrated.
Various women shared pictures over the weekend of their ‘Pride manicure’ which features long pointy nails, bar one hand which has short nails on the middle and index finger.
My nails for Pride pic.twitter.com/foJqnpIbB2
— princess 💗💜💙 (@_actualprincess) June 8, 2019
While most people appreciated the humour, there were plenty of people commenting saying ‘shame about the broken nails’ or ‘I don’t get it.’
Well sweet souls, we’re sorry to shatter your innocence but the shorter nails are to allow the nail-wearer to engage in girl-on-girl sexy time without causing any discomfort to a vulva.
Those pointy nails look great, but they’re a bit on the stabby side to be putting in your most intimate areas.
After all, it doesn’t matter how hot the girl is, no-one is worth getting vag lacerations for.
Happy pride everyone!
Straight people are confused by this pride manicure
The nostalgic Parma Violets flavour is everywhere right now – you can’t go into a Wetherspoons without ordering the violet gin and lemonade.
A little while back, Brothers Cider used the classic flavour in one of their drinks – and now Rekorderlig has followed suit.
Rekorderlig has launched a new pear cider blended with blackberries, violet and juniper, and it’s currently available in Tesco.
The cider comes in a violet colour and has an ABV of 4%. It’s also gluten free and vegan-friendly (yay!).
The cider is currently exclusive to Tesco, and comes as part of a ‘buy three for £5.25’ deal.
If you don’t fancy buying three (um, why?), then you can buy just the one for £2 each – though using the deal means you can get a bottle at £1.75 each.
The offer also includes Rekorderlig’s other new cider flavours, such as grapefruit and rosemary, peach and basil, and rhubarb, lemon and mint.
So far, people who have tried the cider have said it’s ‘delicious’.
One person said: ‘If you enjoy a “weird” cider the @rekorderlig botanicals are delicious! Particularly recommend the blackberry, violet & juniper flavour.’
Another wrote: ‘New from @rekorderlig in @Tesco – blackberry, violet and juniper cider. Seemed an unusual flavour combination, but it’s delicious. Perfect refreshing treat after a day gardening in the sun.’
If you don’t fancy heading into your local Tesco, the ciders are also available online.
Father’s Day is fast approaching, so if you haven’t already, it’s probably time to start looking for a present.
If you fancy cooking him dinner instead, Morrisons has launched the ‘Mighty Meat Feast’ just for dads, which features the most popular items from Morrisons’ meat counters. It weighs 650g in total, and is all meat.
Because dads love meat, we think.
The meat feast includes a rump steak, lamb chop, pork chop, three sausages and two pieces of black pudding – and it all costs just a fiver.
It is designed to be a ‘blowout breakfast or the daddy of all dinners’. Add an egg and tomato and you’ve got yourself a traditional mixed grill.
Morrisons Meat Buyer, Joshua Brockbank, said: ‘Our Mighty Meat Feast is the perfect treat for carnivorous dads this Father’s Day. We hope they can rise to the challenge.’
The Mighty Meat Feast will be available from Morrisons Market Street butcher counters UK-wide for a limited time, from Monday 10 June 2019.
In other Father’s Day meat news, Aldi has launched The Bigger Daddy Steak.
The new steak, which will be in stores from 13 June, is a supersize version of the already massive (16oz) Big Daddy Steak.
This rump steak weighs 28oz and comes 21-day matured and extra thick – and it only costs £7.99.
MORRISONS LAUNCHES ???MIGHTY MEAT FEAST??? IN TIME FOR FATHER???S DAY
Are you a carer who’s in need of some relaxtion time? Well, you’re in luck, because a hotel company is offering you a free night stay.
Hallmark Hotels is offering all carers a free night stay to recognise the millions of people across the UK who provide care to others.
This comes as recent figures show that there are more than 6.5 million carers in the UK, with predictions that the numbers will increase a further 60% before 2030.
Hallmark Hotels has launched the initiative to create an opportunity to relax at 21 of its hotels between now and December.
The free overnight stay is valid every Sunday throughout June to 1 December, when carers spend £50 on food and drink in the hotels’ bars and restaurants.
Debbie Neate, from Hallmark Hotels said: ‘Figures suggest that three in five people are set to become carers at some point in their lives – it’s more important than ever that they are given a helping hand and rewarded for their hard work and dedication.
‘We want to try and make things a little easier in some small way by offering a chance to unwind.’
The hotel group is also making ten further one night stays available, without the £50 minimum spend – and one lucky carer who has been nominated will be selected.
The offer is available to all student nurses, NHS workers, private nursing staff and other members of the emergency services who care for people in the community.
HALLMARK HOTELS INVITE ALL CARERS FOR A FREE STAY IN 2019
The importance of consent is a lesson a lot of parents want to impart on their children early.
But it can be tricky to know how to bring it up without the context of consent in regards to sex.
While some might use the example of hugs, one mum has shared a story of how she taught her children about consent in the scenario of her son going into her daughter’s room.
The mum of three explained that her 11-year-old daughter had asked her younger brother, 10, to stop going in her room at night.
The kids had always been close and often hung out in the daughter’s room to watch videos and read books, but as the daughter had grown older she no longer felt comfortable having her brother barge into her room. Fair.
When the ten-year-old got in trouble for going into his sister’s room again, his 14-year-old brother came to his defence with an argument that comes up a lot in discussions of consent: the sister had been okay with her brother coming in her room before, so how could the rules suddenly change?
The parents took this moment as an ideal time to talk about consent, and how saying ‘yes’ to something once doesn’t mean you’re saying ‘yes’ forever.
‘This week she was upset that he, yet again, went into her room after she was asleep, and took the phone off the charger to charge his iPad,’ wrote the mum on Reddit.
‘At that point we gave him an ultimatum that if it happened again he would lose device time for a week.
‘My oldest son (14) overheard and came to his brother’s defense and said “that’s not fair, she’s always telling him to come to her room so they can watch videos and I hear them talking and laughing in there and now she’s gonna suddenly say he can’t and he’s gonna get in trouble?”
‘And that’s when I piped in: it IS fair and he will get in trouble, because this is an issue of consent!
‘Just because somebody invites you over one time, doesn’t mean you’re invited over forever. They are allowed to tell you when it is and isn’t ok for you to come over, and you have to respect that.’
The mum went on to explain that in all situations, anybody has the right to say ‘no’, even if they were previously saying ‘yes’ – and you have to respect that.
She wrote: ‘Before doing something with someone, you need to get consent, every time, and sleeping/passed out people can’t give consent.
‘So while it wasn’t about sex because it’s not a sexual issue, conversations about boundaries and respect and privacy are ultimately conversations about consent and we have to keep having them over and over so the lines never get blurred.’
It’s an important lesson for all of us. Consent doesn’t just apply to sex, it’s important in every part of life.
Keep an eye open for opportunities to chat about consent and instill those ideas of respect and listening early.
Children Holding Hands
A woman saved her young son’s life after spotting a rare sign of sepsis and getting him the treatment he needed.
Alexandra realised that a faint red mark on her son’s wrist could be a symptom of the potentially deadly blood condition.
Eight-year-old Ewan fell over when he was at the zoo and hurt his hand, but it wasn’t until the mark appeared a week later that Alexandra’s concerns began to grow.
Doctors quickly confirmed that Ewan had a sepsis infection, a condition which kills around 15,000 people in England every year.
They placed him on antibiotics and he has already made a full recovery – thanks to the quick and decisive actions of his mum.
Alexandra, a law firm director from Jersey, posted about the scary ordeal on Facebook to warn other parents about the dangers of sepsis.
‘A week or so ago the littlest fell over at the zoo,’ she wrote.
‘He took quite a bashing but once we got home I cleaned him up.
‘I rang school on farm school day to make sure he washed his hands after digging and I tried hard to ensure it was kept clean (hand and elbow). He’s an eight-year-old boy however.
‘The wounds didn’t look infected – they’d got bigger so I was concerned but they weren’t gunky etc. Yesterday on our way to the beach he showed me his hand.
‘I wasn’t happy as I noticed red tracking down his vein. I then checked his elbow – the same. I took him down to the out of hours feeling a bit silly but when the doctor saw it he commended me on recognising it and getting down ASAP.
‘This is blood poisoning/sepsis. It isn’t something you can leave until Monday when the doctors are back in the office.
‘Thankfully the antibiotics are working and he is well in himself! If you spot this red line running from a wound along the vein get yourself/your child seen straight away.
‘Hopefully my post might help someone the way my friend’s post from two years ago helped me.’
The picture showed the telltale marks that led to the diagnosis.
There was a small red line going from the bottom of Ewan’s forearm and stretching to his wrist. There was also a black mark on the red line which was made by the doctor, who then told Alexandra that if the mark increased width she was to bring him back.
Alexandra’s post has been shared more than 35,000 times and loads of people commented to say how thankful they were that Alexandra had brought this important issue up.
‘Wow scary, thanks for posting and glad he’s on the mend!’ said one.
‘Gosh, well done Alex for spotting it and getting medical attention. Glad Ewan is recovering well,’ added another.
Speaking today, Alexandra said she knew the mark was something to act on, but didn’t initially realise the severity of it.
‘I wasn’t actually that shocked, but just didn’t think it was as serious as that,’ she said.
‘My friends told me to make people aware as the wounds weren’t very gunky. A couple of them wanted me to share it and it just snowballed from there.
‘It’s an example of social media being used for good. Ewan was at school on Monday and then took part in a triathlon the following week.’
Dee Carruther, who set up Mannin Sepsis after her 18-year-old daughter died from the condition, praised Alexandra’s quick response.
‘Most mums will know when there is something wrong with their children. I think we’ve got to take it into our own hands and ask more questions from our doctors.
‘It was called the hidden killer, but we’re getting better at spotting it and treating it quickly.
‘People need to look out for the symptoms and go with their gut if they feel unsure.’
Mum saves son\'s life after spotting unusual sign of sepsis
In a time of great political and economical uncertainty, most of us crave stability and security more than ever.
But for many of the 13.9 million disabled people living in the UK, working – maintaining an independent life with a stable income – can be almost impossible.
I always knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, even as young as girl I’d proudly say that I wanted to go to university and be a teacher, or become an actress, which is exactly the path I took.
From family members and teachers to medical professionals, few shared my optimism and my declaration was often met with patronising words such as ‘oh bless her’.
My abilities were constantly underestimated and although I eventually landed my dream job, success did not come easy. To this day I battle against prejudices, barriers and lack of understanding of my needs by work colleagues, sentiments felt by many disabled people today.
So many disabled people, including myself, are more than capable of work – and more importantly, they are desperate to work. Yet there were an estimated 3.7million disabled people of working age (16-64) in the UK in employment in January-March 2018 – an employment rate of 50.7 per cent (compared to 81.1 per cent for people without disabilities).
This is an issue being tackled by MDUK Trailblazers, a network group of 750 young disabled people and their supporters who campaign for change, as well as the Young Disabled Persons’ Working Group.
They’ve highlighted that one of the first barriers many disabled people face is the simple act of disclosing their disability.
This quote comes from a 28 year old member of the Young Disabled Persons’ Working Group: ‘I did an experiment with a friend with an identical CVs and cover letter other than disability I disclosed I was disabled. I didn’t even get an interview and my friend got the position.’
Although I am working and in a job I love I still feel the need to downplay my needs or requirements to support me, I often hide when I am in pain or need longer to complete tasks to avoid being seen as incapable or unable.
Every member of the group has faced similar struggles, and the fear that this disclosure may lead to discrimination were felt by all, even though discrimination on the ground of disability is illegal under the 2010 Equality Act.
Employers are also under a legal obligation to provide reasonable adjustments for their disabled employees, but what is provided varies from employer to employer.
The government’s Access to Work grant goes some way to covering specialist equipment and support but many aren’t sure what support employers should supplement and Access to Work is only available for paid employment – those working on a voluntary base do not receive any help.
It has become almost a mandatory requirement in today’s job market to have some work experience before your first paid job and even more so for young disabled people.
I have had a number of voluntary positions working in the charity sector to gain experience and build up my confidence. They laid the foundations of my career and were a vital stepping stone for my own personal development but costly taxis to get there and back led me into financial hardship.
In addition, some disabled people rely on Personal Assistances (PAs) or carers and require some level of care during the work day but frequently care packages, provided by Health and/or Social Care within a local authority, aren’t enough to cover them.
I know of one young person received only eight care hours a week and otherwise relied on family, which would not be possible if they were in work themselves. If young, disabled people are going to have any hope accessing employment, they must have what they need to get through the working day.
Disability Awareness or lack there off continues to be a major barrier to employment too. Disability charity SCOPE identified that the majority of disabled people (62 per cent) feel they are treated differently because of their impairment, increasing to a shocking 76 per cent of disabled people aged between 18 and 24.
Disability Awareness training is therefore vital: the Young Disabled Persons’ Working Group felt they would be more content if employers had an accurate understanding of disability and would not judge them during the recruitment process.
It could also make employers aware of what is and isn’t appropriate to ask and say to a disabled person, including how to approach sickness absences and other disability related absences.
Tanvi Vyas, a trustee of MDUK believes that disability should be treated as any other diversity issue. She said: ‘Diversity in the workplace didn’t seem to include disability and there was so much awkwardness around disability – it was almost comical at times!’
It is an injustice to say that disabled people don’t want to work when in reality attitudes, financial and physical barriers are stopping them.
Although I am working and in a job I love I still feel the need to downplay my needs or requirements to support me, I often hide when I am in pain or need longer to complete tasks to avoid being seen as incapable or unable to do something out of fear from not getting more work.
For me, going to work is much more than having a steady income: it gives me a sense of achievement, self-worth and pride. I feel part of society.
That sense of belonging and feeling valued is paramount for someone with a disability as we can often feel isolated, pushed to the side, patronised, underestimated or simply forgotten about.
*ILLO REQUEST* Sam Renke - column
What should you get someone for a housewarming gift?
It’s tough to know what someone already has – your well-meaning kitchen drawer organiser might be the third one they’ve been given.
Flowers feel passé, decoration might not be to their taste, and anything too practical can feel a bit boring.
It’s a tad stressful, and so we can understand how one woman may have ended up choosing this incredibly odd present.
An Australian woman has been criticised on social media for her housewarming gift: a load of fresh eggs placed in a large glass jar.
That jar doubles as a water dispenser.
The woman wrote: ‘Fresh eggs in a 3 dollar jar from a garage sale is a great prezzy for an egg lover, and a housewarming gift. This jar happens to be a water dispenser as well.’
A photo of her ‘gift’ was shared on Facebook groups, where people were absolutely baffled.
We don’t blame them. We have many questions.
Does the recipient absolutely love eggs? Enough to get through that many in a week or so?
Why are the eggs in a glass jar, instead of in their practical cardboard box?
How are you supposed to scoop the eggs out of a glass jar without them all bashing into each other and smashing?
Why are eggs in a water dispenser? Is the idea to smash them all in the jar and pour out little servings of omelette?
And surely, wouldn’t the recipient quite like to have the box the eggs came in so they can check the use by date?
It’s all very strange.
The post received over a thousand comments from people just as confused by the gift.
One person wrote: ‘Who gives EGGS as a housewarming gift?’
Another said: ‘I would literally stop talking to a person if this was their house warming gift to me. I’m talking complete cut out of my life. Bye bye.’
Of course, we can’t know how the gift was received. Maybe the person who’d just moved house really, really loves eggs. They could bake a massive housewarming cake with that stash.
We still reckon it’d be wise to keep the eggs in their boxes, though. Or if you have your heart set on filling a jar with something, try sweets or homemade iced tea – something that will actually be used in a dispenser.
A nice homemade loaf of bread always works as a gift, too.
Extremely weird housewarming gift
When was the last time you took a last-minute road trip to the coast?
It’s actually believed that we all live within two hours’ drive of the nearest beach in Britain and yet over half of us still book to go abroad for our summer holidays.
But why should we all be so keen to leave this summer? Thanks to Airbnb, there’s more choice than ever on unique homes across the country to suit your next short break.
And they’re not just in cities either; an unparalleled amount of rural retreats, cosy cottages and coastal homes are offered on Airbnb, so whatever your accommodation needs, you’re covered.’
So, with more than 200 glorious beaches on our doorstep, discover the most unbelievable places that will make you want to stay in the UK this summer…
BEST FOR LONG WALKS – Portscatho, Cornwall
Picturesque and unspoiled, Portscatho Beach is best explored on foot.
Situated on the remote Roseland peninsula, this walkers’ paradise is like a breath of fresh air and you’ll find a plethora of smart and stylish homes on Airbnb for your own Cornish escape.
Many of these hosts take so much pride in their homes that Portscato rentals are the perfect option for holidaying couples, families or pals – making them the perfect place to unwind after long days walking by the beach.
BEST FOR ADRENALINE JUNKIES – West Wittering, Sussex
Learn a new water sport on the Sussex coast this summer.
West Wittering has been a hub for windsurfers and kite surfing since the 1970s and in this quaint seaside town, just two hours outside of London, you’ll find a community of thrill seekers much like yourself.
With waist-height waters and a low tide, this surf is ideal for beginners, so if you’re looking for a bit more adventure from your beachside break, a short stay near West Wittering could be the perfect place to escape.
BEST FOR THE ‘GRAM – Wells, Norfolk
Your camera roll will never be brighter than ever after a trip to North Norfolk.
From the candy-striped deck chairs to the rainbow beach huts lining Wells-next-the-sea, you’ll get seriously snap-happy in this picture-perfect beach town.
And then there are the seriously artsy homes that are just waiting to host you at the coast this summer.
Wells property owners clearly have style in spades and have successfully captured the vibrant energy of Wells beach in summertime, to create fun and welcoming spaces for your beach holiday.
You only need scan Airbnb to see the many contemporary homes on offer that would make the ideal backdrop for your Gram-tastic beach getaway.
BEST FOR FAMILIES – Formby, Lancashire
Reconnect with family on a trip to Formby, Lancashire this summer. Make the easy train ride out of Liverpool or a simple drive from Birmingham in under two hours and get the whole family together on a short break, where you can really enjoy some quality time.
When was the last time you got the bucket and spades out and packed a picnic for a very British day out at the beach? Well maybe it’s time to brush off the bodyboards and head for a refreshingly uncrowded spot on Formby’s glorious golden sands.
What’s more, with its very own microclimate, you could be fooled into thinking it’s more Lanzarote than Lancashire!
BEST FOR FOODIES – Luskentyre, Outer Hebrides
The isles of Harris is a haven for food lovers – especially seafood. It’s only two hours from Edinburgh and Glasgow but you’ll instantly recognise the shift to homegrown, line-caught fresh food in the Outer Hebrides.
Once you’ve seen the azure waters of the Luskentyre beach, you’ll wonder how you ate fish from anywhere else. Hebridean salmon and scallops are among the highest prized of the island’s offerings
But the best way to enjoy the delicacies from the seas is overlooking the Atlantic Ocean at one of the Luskentyre’s finest seaview restaurants.
So, whoever said Luskentyre feeds the soul, must not have tried the seafood.
BEST FOR ROMANCE – Bamburgh, Northumberland
When was the last time the two of you took a long, romantic walk on the beach, alone? Or got to enjoy a leisurely breakfast, uninterrupted? Well, Bamburgh in Northumberland, a bolthole just north of Newcastle upon Tyne, could be the ideal place for you to reconnect.
There’s almost 30 miles of beautiful beaches to explore along the Northumberland coast. And, walled by large dunes, Bamburgh beach is so sparse you’ll be sure to find your own private spot.
So, if a spa or hotel seems to overcrowded, discover a little haven made for two with a home on Airbnb that’s got everything you need to hide away for the weekend.
BEST FOR NOSTALGIA – Southwold, Suffolk
Many argue that the charming coastal town of Southwold in Suffolk practically invented the British beach break – and it’s certainly clear why.
With an award-winning pier, a traditional lighthouse and a thriving market atmosphere, Southwold will make you feel like you’re stepping back in time with plenty of charm, and even more nostalgia.
This national treasure has lovingly held onto all of the hallmarks of a vintage seaside town, which keeps people coming back for staycations year after year.
On Airbnb, you’ll find stunning properties that are close to the beach and old town for you to enjoy for a weekend or a longer break.
The town of Southwold feels the way old seaside towns used to feel (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Find your summer staycay on Airbnb
TWO HOURS FROM BRISTOL…
Where to stay: Luxury family cottage, Dartmouth
What to do: Shop your way along the quaint streets, discover Dartmoor National Park or sail on the River Dart
Where to eat: Enjoy a leisurely lunch of fresh calamari or perfectly-cooked fish and chips in the Scandi-chic of Rockfish Dartmouth (8 South Embankment, TQ6 9BH)
What to see: Catch a ferry to Dartmouth Castle, which dates back to the 14th Century
Bonus points for: Taking in the splendour of Star Point lighthouse on a cruise
TWO HOURS FROM BIRMINGHAM…
Where to stay: A cosy secluded cottage in the Peak District
What to do: Mountain bike through the Peaks, hike through along the rolling river at Dovedale or take on the Tissington Trail
Where to eat: Bakewell, the home of the iconic tart. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at The Lavender Tea Room (34 Matlock St, DE45 1EE), a charming cafe offering up home-cooked grub and, of course, the famous sticky sweet pudding itself.
What to see: Chatsworth – a beautiful country estate with a history worth pouring over (and the gardens are just as epic!)
Bonus points for: The natural wonder of Poole’s Cavern, a vast limestone chamber dating back millions of years
Discover thousands of holiday homes on airbnb.co.uk and make this summer one to remember…
Sun setting over beach huts at Wells
In the spirit of fair comparison (and to show that decent places for decent rent aren’t exceptional outside of London), this week’s property is in Leeds, too.
As always, we’re taking you around someone’s rented property to get an honest conversation going about what people get for what they pay.
This time we’re being nosy with Fiona, 28, and Alex, 26, an engaged couple who both work at a vehicle leasing firm in Leeds. They share a two-bedroom house on the outskirts of the city.
Neither of them expected to live in Leeds.
Fiona grew up near Inverness in Scotland but moved to Leeds after leaving York University, while Alex grew up in Huddersfield and was adamant he’d never live in this ‘rival’ city.
Now, thanks to jobs, a relationship, and finding the right home, they’re happy on the south-west side of Leeds.
Hi Fiona and Alex! How much do you pay to live here?
We pay £650 a month for rent.
For bills it’s £70 for gas and electric, £21 for water, £45 for TV and internet, and £120 for council tax.
And what do you get for that money?
We have an open plan living room, dining room and kitchen downstairs, and two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs. There’s also a loft space which is boarded which is great for storage.
Plus a garden with decking area and that all-important garden shed.
Do you think you have a good deal?
Fiona: Our rent feels quite high, but we live in a pretty nice area and we were only paying £25 less for a flat until last year.
Alex: I think we pay below average on bills. The house is fairly-well insulated and doesn’t take a lot to keep it warm. We used to pay more for water but they based it on our usage and reduced our bill considerably recently.
How did you find this place?
Alex: Rightmove. We kept an eye on the site for months and everything we liked was snapped up really quickly.
We saw this one online on the Tuesday and by Wednesday lunchtime it was reserved for us – you have to move quickly!
Do you like the area?
Alex: I like it because it’s quiet, but at the same time you feel a sense of security because you’re surrounded by quite a few neighbours. The only issue is that it’s quite far away from amenities – there’s no shop within walking distance if you run out of milk, for example.
Fiona: As far as living in a city goes, I love it here. Because we are right on the edge of the city, you’re can be in the countryside in five minutes.
I wouldn’t always want to live so near to a city though! Growing up in the Highlands, the busyness can feel a little overwhelming. We’re not too far from Alex’s family though, which is nice.
Do you feel like you have enough space?
Fiona: In some ways – we don’t have a huge amount of stuff, but I’d love a bigger kitchen and dining room.
Alex: It would always be nice to have more space, but there’s only us and the cat for now, so this is perfect.
What’s it like living together?
Fiona: It’s always just clicked somehow. We moved abroad to South Korea together having only met six months earlier, and luckily I found that Alex was actually really easy to live with.
Although he does need a gentle nudge now and again to help with the cleaning.
He has the same taste as me decor-wise which is always a bonus!
Alex: It’s easy. Although it hasn’t always been; it was an adjustment for us both, but once things started to click everything just runs smoothly.
Once you have that with somebody, it’s hard not to put a ring on it!
How have you made the house feel like home?
Fiona: The house wasn’t furnished when we moved in, so it helps that everything inside is ours and to our taste. There’s a lot of white furniture which I’m told won’t be so practical if we have children, but it makes the small space feel bigger.
We were allowed to adopt our cat, Patch, too, and he’s really made me feel happy here.
Alex: It’s hard to make big changes when you’re renting, but gardening helps. Planting and growing things in your garden really makes you feel like you’ve added something to the house that’s yours. Having your own furniture helps too.
Are there any issues with the house?
Alex: Only minor things – a few things are quite old and could do with fixing but, as I said, you’re reluctant to do too much when you’re renting. Anything major has been fixed incredibly quickly via our letting agents.
Do you have any plans to move again?
Fiona: I think the long-term plan is to move to the Highlands, but that will be a huge life change. We’re getting married in October, so that’s the focus for now.
Alex: I don’t think we would want to leave this house for another few years. It’s got everything we want for us right now.
And have you thought about buying a place?
Alex: Of course. It’s just a matter of saving up and laying down roots somewhere.
Fiona: Definitely. I’d like to think that we’ll be able to buy in around 3 years’ time, but I suppose we will have to see what the economy looks like by then!
Very wise. Shall we have a look around, then?
What I Rent is a weekly series that’s out every Tuesday at 10am. Check back next week to have a nose around another rented property in London.
How to get involved in What I Rent
What I Rent is Metro.co.uk's weekly series that takes you inside the places in London people are renting, to give us all a better sense of what's normal and how much we should be paying.
If you fancy taking part, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You'll need to have pictures taken of your kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom, plus a few photos of you in your room. Make sure you get permission for your housemates!
You'll also need to be okay with sharing how much you're paying for rent, as that's pretty important.
You could say I had a typical suburban middle-class upbringing.
I grew up in Stanmore, a commuter town in north-west London. Our family was financially comfortable and my dad was a successful businessman. My mother assumed the duty of doting housewife and mother to a slightly spoilt only child – yours truly.
I went to private school all the way up to university and enjoyed a happy, stable and normal childhood.
But as soon as I left home everything changed. My parents separated in my first year of university. It was an amicable split and they soon became closer friends once the stresses and strains of the marriage was over.
Then the first real bombshell: Dad took me out for dinner and told me he was gay. I simply wasn’t expecting it – it was a complete shock. And there was more.
Two weeks later, Mum took me out to discuss the news, except she also had some of her own – she was also gay. Within the space of a fortnight, my perception of both my parents had changed profoundly – it was a lot to take in.
My main emotion though, after I had got past the initial jolt, was happiness. Happiness that they could both be finally true to themselves. They seemed happier, relieved almost, and Mum had even found a partner with whom she was in love.
My father later told me that coming out to his son was the most difficult thing he’d ever done. I’d never seen him so nervous, but then it became clear that a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders.
I realised how difficult it would have been to be gay when my parents were growing up. In the UK, ‘homosexual acts’ were only decriminalised in 1967.
The pressures of society coupled with what friends and family would have thought at that time must have made them feel they had no option.
It was easy for me to understand why they’d kept it a secret, but there was also an existential factor for me – if my parents had grown up at a later time when views were different, they would never have married and I would never have existed. It was a strange thought to ponder.
The only concern I had was with something my father said – he was hinting to me over dinner that he was ‘having fun’ with other men. I found myself reversing the role of the parent-child dynamic by insisting he ‘stayed safe’. It was a strange moment.
As many would agree, discussing sex and sexuality with one’s parents can be uncomfortable to say the least. I think it’s partly because even as grown-ups, deep down we want to imagine our parents as being above the animalistic, carnal instincts of other humans.
They are somehow superior, simply because they’re our own mum and dad and we put them on such a high pedestal when we’re kids.
However, I felt forced to broach that subject because ultimately, my father’s wellbeing was more important than avoiding a cringeworthy albeit necessary conversation. His reaction was dismissive, which made me even more uneasy as the months went by.
The relationship I had with my parents didn’t change that much – if anything I became closer to them. I felt I now understood them better, and for the first time I was more on their level, conversing with them about their new-found sexuality in a mature, adult way.
Of course there were other factors that affected my relationship with them both: my mother’s terminal illness – she was later diagnosed with ovarian cancer – crystallised our time together and we became incredibly tight over the final year and half of her life.
Conversely, the relationship I had with my father was put under immense strain as he fell into drug addiction and drug dealing. Despite all that though, I stuck with him, knowing that I was the only one he could truly rely on. And once he went to prison, I had my old dad back, free from drugs and fully rehabilitated.
He missed my wedding, as well as the birth of my first daughter, and it’s something he’ll have to live with for the rest of his life.
But thankfully, the end of the story is one of redemption – Dad is back to his normal self and enjoying life with his family once again.
James Lubbock is the author of Breaking Dad: How my mild-mannered father became Britain’s biggest meth dealer
It’s no secret that weddings are expensive but if you’re lucky, your parents might help out.
One bride whose sweet old dad started working overtime to help with the costs also took on some side hustles for his beloved daughter.
But there were other expenses – a dress for the reception, dresses for the bridesmaids, hair, makeup, a cake, and a honeymoon – that needed to be covered.
So the bride-to-be decided to crowdfund for the rest of the money. People weren’t too pleased with the request, calling it ‘disgusting’ that her dad was doing the work and she still wanted more help.
A screenshot of her GoFundMe page was shared on a wedding shaming group on Facebook where followers berated the bride for her plea.
Shamers couldn’t understand why the woman insisted on having a ‘dream’ wedding if she and the groom couldn’t afford it, especially as they were already legally married.
The bride wrote on the crowdfunding page: ‘Some things have fell short and most of the financial responsibility has fallen upon my father.
‘I still need a few more things and I don’t want to ask him for more any more money. We still need hair and makeup, a reception dress, bridesmaid dresses, decorations, and a wedding cake.
‘We would like to go on a honeymoon if we can raise enough money,’ she continued.
‘Please consider investing your donation in a couple that will never give up on each other. To a fairy tale.’
Followers of the Facebook page felt the post was entitled and blasted the bride for expecting everyone else to cover the costs.
One person wrote: ‘I find this disgusting, her dad working overtime to pay for her wedding. I would never expect or ask or accept money from my parents for my wedding. She and her husband to be should be ashamed of themselves.’
Others said they should have a wedding they could afford and not rely on other people to help.
‘Have the wedding that you can afford,’ advised one person. ‘If you only have the funds for a dinner with the immediate family then that’s what you have. You don’t ask folks to finance your whims. If anyone should be working overtime and side jobs, it should be the couple to be.’
Some said the wedding was ‘fake’ as they were already legally married. Others called the whole thing pathetic.
Though the shamers on the group slammed her for the cheeky request, her family and friends may have helped her out.
If so, then she’s a lucky woman.
An angry mum has slammed Claire’s Accessories after her daughter’s piercing became so infected it had to be ‘dug out of her ear’, and left her on ‘sepsis watch’.
Katy Jordan spent £45 on the birthday gift piercing for her 10-year-old daughter Isabelle Whitaker.
The 36-year-old mum claims she saw the Claire’s Accessories staff member was serving other customers while still wearing the supposedly sterile piercing gloves.
Nursery deputy manager Katy said despite religiously cleaning her daughter’s ears twice a day with the chain’s £5 aftercare lotion her daughter was left screaming from the pain in her right ear.
After extracting the earring a week later Katy says she discovered a ‘big ball of infection’ containing Isabelle’s hair that had got tangled in the piercing.
Once the embedded earring was removed Katy claims the infection started to spread around and inside her ear and she rushed Isabelle to the doctors.
A concerned GP reportedly issued a strong course of antibiotics to tackle the infection and warned Katy to be vigilant of sepsis symptoms developing – resulting in the terrified mum sitting up all night monitoring her.
Katy, from Keighley, West Yorks, said: ‘Isabelle’s birthday treat ended up with her at the doctors on antibiotics and me on sepsis watch through the night. I didn’t sleep at all that night.
‘The doctor we saw was shocked and said it was quite a bad infection.
‘She put her on a high dose of antibiotics and told us the warning signs for sepsis.
‘The doctor said I needed to be aware that if she started struggling for breath or her temperature rocketed I needed to take her to A&E.
‘Thankfully the antibiotics worked but it could have been a lot worse. If I hadn’t taken her to the doctors that day, you don’t know what could have happened.’
Katy says the issues started when just one person was working in the Keighley Claire’s branch when they got there at 4pm.
They were working on another person’s piercing and stopped part-way to serve customers at the till.
It was then that Katy was offered a sheet detailing the earrings that could be used during a piercing.
Katy said: ‘It was so unorganised and ended up waiting 20 minutes to be served.
‘We were waiting for this other lady to get her ears pierced – she was going between her and serving customers.
‘When she eventually sat Isabelle down something that should have been a two-minute job took 20 minutes.
‘She wasn’t concentrating – she kept going between us and the till with these white gloves on.
‘Obviously she’s been told she’s got to run the shop and pierce ears at the same time.’
Katy and Isabelle chose gold-plated earrings in a bid to ensure the piercing wouldn’t get infected and Isabelle loved her studs.
The next morning Isabelle complained her ear was sore, but her mum thought it was just because it was a new piercing, and cleaned it.
Despite easily twisting the left piercing neither Katy nor Isabelle were able to twist the piercing on the right ear.
Katy said: ‘We cleaned the piercing morning and night but the right earring wouldn’t twist as it was on too tight.
‘The back was pushed into the skin so when it started to heal the skin was trying to heal over the earring.
‘We used salt water on it too because it started to look a bit swollen and it looked as though the back was pushing into the skin.’
Five days after getting her ears pierced Isabelle complained that her ear was still sore so Katy replaced the stainless steel back with a rubber one in the hope of easing her discomfort.
However the following day Katy realised the earring had to come out due to how infected and swollen Isabelle’s ear had become.
Katy said: ‘We hoped it would go down and sort itself out. Isabelle didn’t want me to take it out as she didn’t want to have just one earring in because she said it would look strange.
‘She does dancing as well so she wanted to look nice for her competition.
‘I sat her down and said “we’ve got to take this out”. She was really upset and she obviously screamed when I pulled it out, it was absolutely horrific.
‘I had to dig the earring out from under the skin using a cotton bud and some of the aftercare lotion.
‘I had to scrape the skin off the front of the ear until we could see the head of the earring, it was like doing a mini operation at home.
‘It took 15 minutes as I had to take out a little bit of skin at a time. She was screaming – it was so awful and upsetting.
‘When I took the earring out she had a big ball under her skin of what looked like dry infection or a scab, I don’t know what it was.
‘The infection had already started to spread before I took the earring out but it got worse and worse after.
‘The infection was all down the back of her ear, the front of her ear and going into her ear as well.
‘At some point, while she’s been asleep or her hair’s been down, and it’s obviously got caught in there – in the scab there was a bit of hair in there too.
‘The skin had also grown over the front of the earring – in pictures it just looks like skin but I know under that there was an earring.
‘Who knew an ear piercing could end up in such a disaster?’
Katy continued: ‘I think the GP was being overly cautious but not scaremongering – she was genuinely saying we needed to be careful.
‘Thankfully the antibiotics, an adult dose four times a day, worked really quickly.
‘It was supposed to be a present for her, it was supposed to be something nice.
‘I left the other earring in because I thought if she’s going to get them re-pierced she may as well just get one done – at least she has half of her birthday present in.’
Katy says that her repeated attempts to complain to Claire’s Accessories haven’t been taken seriously.
She said: ‘I’ve been in the store three times to complain and submitted a complaint online and I’ve still not heard anything back.
‘Claire’s Accessories need to train their staff better and they shouldn’t be leaving one person on the shop floor.
‘We should get a refund at least and some kind of compensation for what my daughter has been through.
‘Thankfully the antibiotics worked but it could have been a lot worse. If I hadn’t taken her to the doctors that day you don’t know what could have happened.’
Isabelle said: ‘I’d been really looking forward to getting my ears pierced as I thought they would look nice and my friends also have them done.
‘I was really excited when I was sat in the chair, the earrings I chose had a stone in my favourite colour.
‘It was really exciting to see the earrings in my ears afterwards but soon it felt really bad and really hurt.
‘Mum had to take the earring out because it went all weird. The doctor said we had to watch out for sepsis.
‘I felt a bit scared but then the antibiotics made me feel better.
‘My right ear is feeling ok now but I’m feeling a little bit scared about getting it pierced again.’
A Claire’s Accessories spokesperson said: ‘The safety and wellbeing of every Claire’s customer is our absolute priority.
‘Over the last 40 years we have performed over 100 million ear piercing procedures, and nothing is more important than our record of customer service and satisfaction.
‘We are investigating this matter and have reached out to Ms Jordan to discuss her concerns.’
If you’re desperate for some summer sunshine, these pictures from Croatia probably aren’t going to help you feel any better.
But the good news is that next summer, you could spend four weeks travelling the country – as well as helping to save marine wildlife.
Cruise company Unforgettable Croatia is offering a scholarship for someone to travel the country next July or August, assisting with marine research.
The trip will include a two-week volunteering programme and then a week-long land tour from Losinj to Spilt with four star accommodation.
From there, you will start a seven-night island hopping cruise ending in Dubrovnik.
The winning applicant will volunteer at the Blue World Institute in Losinj – working on scientific research and investigation of the marine environment.
The scholar will help to monitor the populations and behaviours of the marine life in the area.
There’s also lectures to help you learn more about the animals that live in the area and in your spare time, you can enjoy outdoor sports, snorkeling, swimming or just chilling on the beach.
Some meals, all accommodation and private transfers are included so you just need to pay for flights and some spending money.
You can apply online or nominate someone else to take part in the trip.
The applications are open now and close at midnight on 9 July.
You must be available to take up the scholarship between July and August next summer and all applicants must be over 18.
The eventual winner will be chose by the Unforgettable Croatia judging panel.
It really does look dreamy.
You can get paid to travel around Croatia helping to save dolphins and turtles