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

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    Mum Khiara holding up baby Poppy after giving birth after an exam
    Khiara Darbyshire completed her exam in labour hooked up to a tens machine (Picture: Argus/Sax Rohmer Ltd/Terry Applin)

    If there was ever a good enough reason to skip an exam, it’s probably being in active labour.

    And yet when that happened to pregnant student Khiara Darbyshire, she still managed to complete a 90 minute exam.

    The 20-year-old, studying at Brighton Met College, was induced two days prior to the finals.

    The media makeup student from Worthing, West Sussex, had to bring a machine into the hall to manage the pain and stayed until the end.

    Hours later she gave birth to healthy daughter Poppy, who weighed seven pounds.

    Khiara holding baby Poppy
    Khiara went into labour two days before the exam (Picture:Terry Applin)

    ‘I told [teacher] that technically I had been in labour for a couple of days and her face dropped,’ Khiara said.

    ‘She told me that if I needed to leave I could just leave.

    ‘I thought it would have been better to do it in labour than to do it with a screaming baby, so I just did it.

    ‘The machine really helped, if the pain got to the point that it was starting to hurt I would turn it up. When I got a contraction I’d focus on my breathing.’

    KHIARA DARBYSHIRE, 20 of Worthing completed her exam in labour hooked up to a tens machine. Daughter Poppie Darbyshire-Tarrant, 11 weeks. Son, Hugo Darbyshire, 4.
    Interestingly, it’s not Khiara’s first time with labour pains in an exam as she had son Hugo, 3, days after her GCSEs (Picture: Terry Applin)

    But it’s not Khiara’s first time braving labour pains in an exam hall. She has another child with partner Sam Tarrant, 23, and went into labour days after her GCSEs.

    The then 16-year-old was pregnant while sitting her finals and started experiencing contractions during her geography exam.

    Five days later, she gave birth to son Hugo.

    Last August she got pregnant again, shortly before she was due to start her advanced diploma in theatrical and media makeup at Brighton Met.

    But Khiara decided to continue with her studies and get her qualification.

    It’s all paid off as the mum-of-two has graduated from her course with a merit grade.

    So none of us have an excuse, really.

    MORE: Woman gives birth on toilet hours after doctors tell her she’s not pregnant

    MORE: Photographer captures perfect moment when mum finds out baby girl is actually baby boy

    MORE: Woman gives birth then goes into menopause after bowel cancer diagnosis at 35 weeks pregnant


    exam in labourexam in labour

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    Illustration of six people, including women and men standing together
    Is true love really about star signs? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Some people argue that the key factor to a successful relationship is compatibility.

    What about if you’re doomed from the start and the stars quite literally don’t align for you?

    If you believe that true love is connected to moons, birth dates and zodiac personalities, we have good news.

    In celebration of Pride, The Book Club in Shoreditch is planning a special speed dating night that will focus completely on star signs.

    All genders and sexualities are welcome for this ‘definitely-not-awkward evening of connection and fun’.

    Star sign speed dating is hosted in partnership with sex+, an independent magazine that regularly organises events to ‘promote empathy, vulnerability and self-love in safe spaces’.

    The host of the event, Chris Nelson – also known as ‘Drag Artist Sue Gives a F***’ – will be teaching guests about which star signs they’re compatible with before they embark on the actual dating.

    Other than that, the evening will operate much like a regular speed dating event.

    Star sign compatibility

    • Aries: Aquarius, Sagittarius, Leo, and Gemini
    • Taurus: Virgo and Pisces
    • Gemini: Aquarius and Libra
    • Taurus: Virgo and Pisces
    • Cancer: Scorpio and Pisces
    • Scorpio: Scorpio and Pisces
    • Leo:Sagittarius, Libra, Gemini, and Aries
    • Virgo: Taurus and Capricorn
    • Libra:Leo and Sagittarius
    • Aquarius: Gemini and Libra
    • Sagittarius: Leo, Aries, Aquarius, and Libra
    • Capricorn: Pisces, Scorpio, Virgo, and Taurus
    • Pisces: Scorpio and Cancer 

    Looking for love this summer?

    Tickets cost £10 (excluding the booking fee) and the event will run for three hours from 7pm to 10pm.

    If you should be unlucky enough to find out that the person you fancy isn’t compatible with your star sign, there’s always the option of being friends instead.

    Or you could tempt fate and become star-crossed lovers.

    It didn’t work for Romeo and Juliet, but maybe you’ll have more luck.

    MORE: Couples are taking ‘make or break’ holidays after just three months together

    MORE: These are the top 10 ‘must-have’ qualities in a partner

    MORE: What’s your love language?


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    Some unclean trainers
    These don’t look like they smell great (Picture: Getty)

    With the weather hotting up, you’re about to get a lot sweatier.

    And with sweat, comes smell.

    If you find that your shoes stink a little at the end of a long day, this hack is great.

    Cleaning blogger Lynsey Queen of Clean recommends using teabags.

    The TV cleaning expert and author says any type will work – but fruity ones sound like a good idea because they have a great scent.

    Just put a few inside the shoe and leave them to suck up moisture and the smell.

    Posting on Instagram, she said: ‘Pop a few tea bags inside your smelly shoes to fight off bad odours that are caused by heat and bacteria.

    ‘Leave to sit over night in a warm dry place. The longer you leave the better.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BzHxJ1PDfBw/

    ‘Any tea bags will work even the minty herbal ones. Tea bags are super absorbent and will suck the moisturiser and smell right out.’

    And don’t worry, the tea bag doesn’t go completely to waste – you can reuse them for cleaning marks of your windows and fertilising plants too.

    People were impressed with the trick and couldn’t wait to try it out.

    One said: ‘I love all these little tips that you do. So many of them that my grandmother taught me that I forgot and now going back to the natural cleaning.. instead of so many chemicals.. thank you..’

    Another added: ‘We swear by this in our house! Such a great tip.’

    Another great hack comes from the man who used a toothbrush and a drill to give his bathroom a deep clean.

    His wife Melanie shared the trick on Facebook and it was pretty popular.

    MORE: Student sits 90 minute exam while in labour, gives birth hours later

    MORE: Man shares genius hack for cleaning bathroom grouting with a drill

    MORE: Woman’s genius plug adaptor holiday hack has people going wild


    High Angle View Of Shoes On FloorHigh Angle View Of Shoes On Floor

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    Bert and Ernie have syndactylism, which means their teeny toes are fused together
    Bert and Ernie have syndactylism, which means their teeny toes are fused together (Picture: Caters News Agency)

    Take a look at these kittens. As with all small cats, they are adorable.

    They are a little different to your average feline, though.

    The kittens have syndactylism, a genetic condition that causes their little toes to be fused together.

    It’s thought that this may be why their mother abandoned them. Cats tend to go down the ‘survival of the fittest’ path of thinking, so kittens with any sort of deformity can be quickly left behind.

    Luckily for these two kittens, they were rescued by Cats Protection’s Gildersome Homing Centre.

    kitten Bert's feet with fused together toes
    Bert’s paws (Picture: Caters News Agency)
    These two adorable kittens have been rescued after their mother abandoned them - because of their peculiar FEET
    Ernie’s paws (Picture: Caters News Agency)

    The siblings, now called Bert and Ernie, were found alone in an abandoned car in Wakefield, Yorkshire. They were just a few weeks old.

    While the condition that causes the kittens’ fused toes is quite rare, it doesn’t cause them any discomfort and won’t require any treatment.

    As they were abandoned so young, staff at the centre weren’t sure Bert and Ernie would make it.

    Bert the kitten with fused toes
    Cute, right? (Picture: Caters News Agency)
     Ernie the kitten with fused paws
    Those little paws (Picture: Caters News Agency)

    But they survived and now they’re thriving. They’re staying at a volunteer’s home until they’re old enough to be adopted out into a loving family.

    Jennifer MacVicar, Cat Protection’s Central Veterinary Officer, says the kittens’ eventual owners will need to give them regular checkups.

    She said: ‘he condition is unlikely to cause problems but Bert and Ernie will need to be monitored as they grow for any sign of lameness.

    ‘Syndactylism is potentially inherited and could be passed on to their offspring so, like all the cats in our care, Bert and Ernie will be neutered when they reach four months.’

    Cat Week

    In honour of Catfest, we will be partnering with the festival to bring you seven days of the funniest, cutest, coolest and most amazing cat content.

    Until Saturday 29 June, read stories about all things cats, including kittens abandoned on rubbish dumps to fantastic cat art, and everything in-between.

    Catfest will include cat-themed literature and film plus live music, poetry and crafts. There will be rescue kittens, talks from cat experts, Instagram cats and an auction as well as cocktails, cake and much more. Tickets have sold out, but you can still get involved on social media.

    Part of the proceeds from the event will benefit Erham Rescue and International Trash Cat & Dumpster Dogs to help cats and kittens as well as street animals in need.

    Are you the owner of a fantastic cat? Then tweet us your cutest kitty pics @MetroUK and @MetroUK_Life for a chance to be featured!

    MORE: 16 stunning black cats who are looking for their forever homes

    MORE: Jeffree the cat helped young boy with Asperger’s cope with the sudden death of his father

    MORE: Animal charity offers students the chance to hang out with cats while they revise for exams

    MORE: Five ways to get your cat into shape

    MORE: Chubby sphynx cat Boo lost over a third of his body weight, going from chunk to hunk

    MORE: Teeny kitten gets rescued after getting her head stuck in a toy


    CATS WITH WEIRD FEETCATS WITH WEIRD FEET

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    Aubergines at various stages of growth
    Which one are you? (Picture: Getty)

    No penis is the same – but there are certain characteristics that we define male genitals by.

    There’s the shape (of which apparently there are seven types), the taste and smell, and the ball to dick ratio. A man’s penis once erect can also look dramatically different compared to when it’s flaccid.

    A certain level of growth is anticipated as the blood rushes to the organ, but some men experience a significant increase in size when their dick gets hard.

    In other words, he’s a ‘grower, not a shower’.

    There’s long been a debate on whether this is a real thing and what constitutes as a ‘grower’ and a ‘shower’ – thankfully, new research has emerged to settle the argument once and for all.

    The study – titled ‘Grower or shower? Predictors of change in penile length from the flaccid to erect state’, published in the International Journal of Impotence Research, has revealed key facts surrounding the topic.

    To qualify as a grower, a man’s penis needs to extend four centimetres when he gets an erection, while a shower is any figure below this.

    Out of  274 participants, it was found that 26% fit the bill and displayed an average growth of 5.3cm.

    The showers on the other hand had an average growth of 3.1 centimetres.

    A variety of factors were considered including race, smoking history, erectile function and co-morbidities, however it was found that these did not influence the penis size.

    Overall, age did play a part – growers were found to be somewhat younger than the showers – the average age for growers was 47.5, while the average shower was 55.9 years old. However, do bear in mind that a man’s penis changes as he gets older and is likely to shrink.

    The study isn’t conclusive for all men, as those who took part were specifically being treated for erectile dysfunction issues.

    Furthermore, another piece of research found additional factors to why a man may be a grower or a shower, including the elasticity and level of collagen fibers in the penis, which are affected by age, health and genetics.

    In the end, whether you have a smaller or bigger penis, a curve or a straight dick and are a grower or shower, it doesn’t matter.

    All penises are amazing.

    MORE: What happens to your penis as you age?

    MORE: Penis enlarging surgeries ‘don’t work’ and ‘should almost never be done’

    MORE: Do you need penis cleaner?


    Yes, being a grower or a shower is a real thingYes, being a grower or a shower is a real thing

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    cute baby toddler wearing a bow in her hair
    What are parents naming their babies this year? (Picture: Getty)

    What are the kids getting called these days?

    BabyCentre has revealed their list of the most popular baby names of 2019 thus far, as we’re half way through the year already.

    They analysed tens of thousands of baby name registrations on their site from the last six months to find out the baby names parents are loving right now.

    They also discovered some pretty interesting trends.

    In the UK, influences on what we’re naming our offspring range from politics to Love Island – although Yewande doesn’t make the list just yet.

    BabyCentre reckons that Brexit and the general mess of UK politics has made parents opt for ‘strong and stable’ names, such as Jason, John, Hannah, and Emma.

    Top girls' names for 2019 so far:

    1. Olivia
    2. Sophia
    3. Lily
    4. Ava
    5. Mia
    6. Isla
    7. Amelia
    8. Freya
    9. Isabella
    10. Emily
    11. Aria
    12. Evie
    13. Grace
    14. Isabelle
    15. Ella
    16. Ivy
    17. Sophie
    18. Willow
    19. Charlotte
    20. Elsie

    David is also on the rise, which the site thinks is down to environmental concerns. When in doubt, look to David Attenborough, right? Registrations for Greta have increased this year as well.

    As we mentioned a few weeks back, plant-themed names are also big right now, perhaps indicating our deep need to return to nature in these increasingly digital times. Or we just like the name Ivy. Whatever.

    And as usual, the TV we watch is filtering through to what we fancy calling our kids.

    Maisie and Emilia have rocketed up the charts thanks to the Game of Thrones actresses, Otis, Evie, and Maeve have all increased in popularity (that’s Sex Education, in case you missed it), and Matteo, from Jane the Virgin, is newly in the top 100.

    Brooklyn Nine Nine is getting the recognition it deserves, with Jake, Rosa, Charles, and Amy all on the rise, while Love Island is having an impact too – especially as previous seasons became available to watch on demand.

    Kady, Scott, Nathan, Cara, Amber, Kem, Camilla, Jamie, Chris, Marcel, and Georgia have all seen a boost.

    Top boys' names for 2019:

    1. Muhammad
    2. Noah
    3. George
    4. Oliver
    5. Charlie
    6. Harry
    7. Leo
    8. Arthur
    9. Jack
    10. Freddie
    11. Jaxon
    12. Ethan
    13. Jacob
    14. Theo
    15. Oscar
    16. Alfie
    17. Henry
    18. Archie
    19. Joshua
    20. Thomas

    Despite all this year’s trends, the top names on the list aren’t a massive surprise.

    In 2018 the most popular girls’ names were Sophia, Olivia, and Emma – two of which remain in the top three this year.

    And for boys, Noah came in at number two last year. Muhammed, however, has raced up the rankings, going from number 14 to number one.

    MORE: Kittens rescued after mum abandoned them because of their fused paws

    MORE: Royal baby name meaning and who Harry and Meghan’s baby is named after


    Endearing female toddlerEndearing female toddler

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    For 14 years Farah Khaleck has been living with scleroderma – a rare autoimmune disorder which causes hardening of the skin.

    The 32-year-old from Nairobi, Kenya, was a teenager when she started experiencing symptoms – discoloured knuckles, facial swelling and general stiffness.

    But seven years ago, Farah who is Muslim, decided to wear a headscarf. With the act of putting on a hijab, Farah felt beautiful.

    ‘I loved what I saw,’ she said. ‘That’s when I was like, “this is me, you’re beautiful and you’re amazing”.’

    Now Farah is a positive body image advocate and has become an inspirational blogger, amassing 16,000 followers on Instagram.

    A posed picture of Farah Khaleck at home.
    Farah Khaleck hopes to spread love and positivity by sharing her story online (Picture: Juozas Cernius / Barcroft Media)

    ‘Scleroderma has changed my life immensely,’ said Farah. ‘It has done a whole 360. I used to hate seeing the mirror, I hated myself and I was like, “who I am I?”.

    ‘I started social media very reserved at first, taking pictures from really far away and have a gazillion filters on it. I would never show my hands.

    ‘Adapting to this new version of me has been a journey for me; and for my mum how to handle me now.’

    farah Khaleck photographed at home applying make up.
    She has 16,00 followers on instagram (Picture: Juozas Cernius / Barcroft Media)

    Farah has struggled to find employment in Nairobi because of her limited movement.

    In her time spent at home, she started following bloggers online, eventually becoming one herself.

    ‘That became my channel to express myself,’ she said.

    ‘I was just at home, I didn’t have any friends and life was basically very boring for me.

    ‘I found some blogs and I was just like “woah is this a thing? I want to blog as well”.

     A posed picture of Farah Khaleck at home
    (Picture: Juozas Cernius / Barcroft Media)

    ‘There were some comments like saying I look different. But I thought, you know what, this is me – take or leave it.

    ‘Now I get so many messages on a daily basis and people just send so much love. It makes me humble every single day.’

    Farah is using her social media presence to encourage others to embrace their beauty.

    She hopes one day she can start her own foundation to support people dealing with poverty and have access to expensive treatments for rare conditions.

    You can follow her Instagram here.

    MORE: Dancer with birthmark covering third of her body finally embraces her beauty

    MORE: What it’s really like to have sex when you’ve got alopecia


    Farah KhaleckFarah Khaleck

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    Model with hair in one pic and with falling hair in the other
    This model’s career was almost ruined when he suddenly developed alopecia and lost 70% of his hair (Picture: Mediadrumworld)

    Model Jonah Adefay had a promising career, modeling for fashion retailers ASOS and Very.

    But when the 24-year-old from Stockport was a year into the career, he discovered a coin-sized hairless patch on his head.

    Assuming that it was temporary and the hair would grow back, Jonah didn’t think anything of it.

    A few months later Jonah was diagnosed with alopecia areata, which was a bittersweet relief as he was finally able to understand what was happening to him.

    Two years since seeing that small patch, Jonah lost 70% of his hair, leaving him in a ‘vulnerable place’.

    Since then though, the model has had different treatments and has seen his hair grow back. Now he says he’s glad it happened because it made him take his health seriously.

    Jonah modelling in red jumper
    Jonah has modelled for ASOS, Very, JD (Picture: MDWfeatures / @jonahadefay)

    Jonah, who doesn’t understand what triggered the condition, has a twin brother Jordan who has a full head of hair.

    ‘After being diagnosed with alopecia, the doctor suggested I see a dermatologist, however, I was put on a waiting list and I was waiting for about eight months,’ explained Jonah.

    ‘By the time I got an appointment in, I’d lost much more hair and at this point, I wasn’t in a great place.

    ‘Once I saw the dermatologist, he suggested several different treatments and one of the treatments that stood out for me was the steroid injections, straight into the scalp.

    ‘So, I went for my first treatment when he injected 100 needles into my scalp to promote hair growth.’

    The coin-sized patch where Jonah's alopecia began is seen on the side of his head.
    The coin-sized patch where Jonah’s alopecia began is seen on the side of his head (Picture: MDWfeatures / @jonahadefay)

    But the treatment didn’t promote any growth after a few months.

    Jonah then started a DPC treatment, which is a chemical that’s applied to the scalp to create rashes to distract the immune system from focusing on the hair follicles, so it focuses on the rash instead (this treatment comes with some risks).

    He claims that after three months of DPC, he started seeing growth.

    ‘I was in a really vulnerable position mentally and physically,’ he said.

    The hair loss became more apparent with larger patches occurring.
    The hair loss then started becoming more apparent (Picture: MDWfeatures / @jonahadefay)

    ‘My alopecia did affect my modelling career massively as it stopped me from getting really big jobs. When I lost a lot of hair, I was using black sprays and black follicles to cover the bald patches.

    ‘Casting clients could clearly see there was something wrong with my hair however I was too scared to tell them my situation.

    ‘I knew that they knew that there was something wrong, so I just felt awkward and self-conscious on every casting.

    ‘When I was losing my hair, someone commented on one of my pictures saying that my hairline was dead, which really affected me because they didn’t know the actual reason behind it.’

    The hair loss became more apparent with larger patches occurring.
    Comments about his hairline left Jonah in a bad place (Picture: MDWfeatures / @jonahadefay)

    The comments affected Jonah’s self-esteem, making it difficult for him to leave his house.

    But he has words of encouragement for anyone who may be going through a similar thing.

    Jonah models for Very and JD.
    Since having DPC treatment, Jonah has seen his hair grow back (Picture: MDWfeatures / @jonahadefay)

    ‘For anybody suffering with alopecia, I know it’s hard but try and have faith and don’t let it take over your life,’ he said.

    ‘Staying positive is a key factor. Always speak to people close to you if you ever feel down.’

    If you want more information, advice and support on alopecia, you can contact Alopecia UK.

    MORE: Model who suffered months of ‘horrific’ hair loss and seizures is inspiring people to embrace their differences

    MORE: Teen with alopecia finds love after being scared she’d be alone forever

    MORE: 70% of women experience hair loss – how do you prevent it?


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    Alexis and Charles, who have a 55-year age gap, kiss
    Alexis and Charles (Picture: Cayley Shields Photography / Caters News)

    Alexis Tadlock, 24, met Charles Tadlock, now 79, alongside his wife Kathy at church back in 2015.

    Although they got on, she never imagined she would end up married to him.

    Sadly, Kathy, 77, died in September 2017 from lung disease and Alexis was worried about Charles being lonely.

    They started hanging out together and became friends but a year later, funeral director Alexis, from Sheridan, Arkansas, USA, began developing feelings towards retired school principal Charles.

    She learnt that he felt the same way and they started a romantic relationship, getting engaged in October 2018 and married just two months later.

    They have faced some backlash due to their over half-century age gap, but they are happier than ever.

    Charles has two grown up children aged 48 and 54 but now Alexis and Charles are planning a baby of their own.

    Alexis said: ‘Kathy and I were good friends, and I was very sad when she passed away.

    ‘I never had much to do with Charles, but one day I saw him sitting alone at church and he was crying.

    ‘I went to comfort him, and we talked for ages. We became good friends after that, and we would go do things together and just hang out.

    Alexis and Charles in a car
    The pair met at church (Picture: Alexis Tadlock/Caters News)

    ‘Eventually, I think we became dependent on each other and my feelings really started to grow the more time we spent together.

    ‘But I never thought anything could happen between us. I tried to set him up with an older lady, but he flat out refused to even go on a date.

    ‘Then he asked whether I wanted to go meet a younger guy. But I just couldn’t imagine ever leaving him and finding a younger man.

    ‘One day, he told me how much he missed me. I asked him if he ever felt that way towards anyone else, and he said, ‘only my wife’.

    ‘We admitted our feelings towards each other, and our relationship just blossomed from there. I was over the moon when he popped the question and we got married just two months later.

    ‘He is the best husband I ever could have asked for and we love each other deeply. We’re very happy.’

    Alexis said that when she first told her family and friends about her engagement, there were ‘mixed reactions’ – and while most were happy for them, she said others were ‘totally against it’.

    The young woman added that she never lets the 55-year age gap deter them from public displays of affection – but said this can attract stares from strangers.

    Alexis said: ‘When I told people about Charles and I getting married, a lot of my friends said if he made me happy then I should go for it.

    ‘Most were very supportive, but I did have some people who did not agree with it at all. They became very hateful towards me.

    ‘Usually people think I’m his granddaughter. Or they’ll think I’m his nurse or carer.

    Alexis and Charles cuddling
    They are now hoping to have children together (Picture: Alexis Tadlock/Caters News)

    ‘I am generally the one that tells people that we’re married, and often they don’t really know what to say. They looked very shocked.

    ‘We don’t make a big deal about it. A lot of people in age gap relationships feel that they can’t hold hands or stay close to each other because of what others will think.

    ‘But we don’t act any differently in public. I’ll kiss his cheek and we’ll hold hands.

    ‘I’ll lay my head on him and just act like no one is there. I really don’t care what others think.’

    She knows that Charles is likely to die before she does – but said that having a baby with Charles would be a way to ‘keep a part of him’ with her forever.

    They have faced some negative comments about their desire to have kids, but she has not let it stop them from trying – and added that she has always wanted to be a mother.

    Alexis and Charles who have a 55-year age gap
    They have faced some backlash for their age gap (Picture: Alexis Tadlock/Caters News)

    She said: ‘A lot of people get angry because they assume that Charles can not give me children due to his age.

    ‘But that is not true at all. We’ve gone for tests, and it’s actually me that has some fertility issues that we’re working on.

    ‘We want to have a baby. I’ve been told I’m selfish if I have a child with him because they might grow up without a dad.

    ‘But when he dies, I’ll have nothing of him. I need something from him to carry with me throughout the rest of my life.’

    Charles said: ‘There are some old people that have young souls, and some young people that have old souls.

    ‘I feel much younger on the inside. The age difference doesn’t affect our marriage.

    ‘No matter how old you are, everyone still needs love.’

    MORE: Model who struggled with career after alopecia is ‘glad it happened’

    MORE: ‘My hardening skin doesn’t stop me from being beautiful’: What life with scleroderma is like


    55 YEAR AGE GAP COUPLE55 YEAR AGE GAP COUPLE

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    bride has to order second wedding dress after online shopping fail
    Expectation vs reality (Picture: That’s It I’m Wedding Shaming/Facebook)

    We do take some naughty joy at other people’s online shopping fails.

    We know full well we could fall victim to an expectation vs reality mismatch, and that we shouldn’t cackle at other’s misfortune, but we just can’t help it.

    After all the glorious fails that have made the internet rounds, people really should know better… especially when it comes to buying a wedding dress.

    And yet people still brave the risks of misleading photos and dodgy fabrics to order the outfit for their big day online.

    Such is the case for this anonymous woman, who ordered a dress that ended up looking nothing at all like the Instagram-worthy picture she saw online.

    The reality was so dire that she had to buy a second gown.

    online wedding dress purchase fail
    Oh dear (Picture: @That’s It I’m Wedding Shaming/Facebook)

    Let this serve as a lesson to us all – if a wedding dress seems too good (and cheap) to be true, you probably shouldn’t trust it.

    The woman’s mishap was shared by a friend in the That’s It, I’m Wedding Shaming Facebook group. Along with the glorious side-by-side pictures, the friend wrote: ‘Shared with permission from this gorgeous gal, although I’ve removed her face as a courtesy.

    ‘Left is what she ordered. Right is what she received. She found a new dress and it all turned out OK, but what an online shopping FAIL! Poor lovely gal.’

    As you’d probably expect from a wedding shaming group, commenters weren’t particularly sympathetic to the bride’s plight.

    Instead of wailing on her behalf, most people criticised the choice to order a wedding dress online in the first place.

    One person wrote: ‘Do not order online from non-reputable designers, not for your wedding dress. A bathing suit or everyday wear? Sure give them a shot then but not your wedding dress!’

    Another commented: ‘I have no sympathy for people who order their dress online. You know the risk at this point.’

    Some people did chip in with some advice for fixing the dress, though, pointing out that if the bride were to remove the pads and add in some nude lining, the dress really wouldn’t be so bad.

    But let us all learn a lesson from this: Ordering a wedding dress online really isn’t wise. If it’s super cheap, it will likely look it, too.

    As one wise commenter put it: ‘And there’s a reason people pay thousands for wedding dresses. If it were possible to get a good one for 20 bucks everyone would.’

    MORE: Bridesmaid drops out of wedding after bride refuses to let her wear a black see-through dress

    MORE: Bride slammed for inviting friend to her bridal shower but not her wedding

    MORE: You’re not failing at being strong and independent if you fall to pieces when your partner is away


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    Richie Norton doing yoga
    ‘At first I felt that this was more for women in lycra’ (Picture: Richie Norton)

    Breathing is a pretty fundamental part of being alive.

    We all do it. All day. And usually we don’t even notice it.

    But wellness guru Richie Norton is encouraging people to start paying attention. He says you can unlock endless benefits by simply breathing in the right way.

    His revolutionary new workout, Headstrong, fuses movement and breathwork to bridge the gap between physical and mental health – he says embracing these principles completely changed his life.

    The former rugby player embraced a more mindful life after suffering with a spate of injuries – now he surfs, meditates, practices yoga and focuses on his breathing.

    We spoke to him about why he’s so invested in the idea of ‘whole health’ and encouraging more men to embrace this side of fitness.

    ‘I started my career as a rugby player, which is very physical and traditionally “macho”,’ Richie tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘Due to injuries, I had to end my rugby career and after a couple of turbulent years, I discovered yoga and breathwork.

    ‘At first I, like many other rugby lads, felt that this was more for women in lycra, which did intimidate me. But once I got over that, I found that the benefits – both physically and mentally – were incredible.

    Richie Norton doing yoga
    ‘The way we breathe can have a big impact on how we feel internally’ (Picture: Richie Norton)

    ‘Based on my own personal experience, I believe more men need to channel this movement, as they are the ones who tend to focus more on their physical health but forget about how important it is to be aware of their mental state.

    ‘What many men don’t realise is that breathwork can actually improve physical performance a lot as it can help you to focus and re-energise, while decreasing mental stress.

    ‘The way I’ve found has worked best when working with men and introducing them to this concept, is to step away from the more spiritual words, and use language that they are more familiar with.

    ‘I will say, “move your arm this way to unlock the tension in the shoulder man’s chest” instead of, “open your heart and align your chakras”.

    ‘It’s those small tweaks that can really make a difference.

    ‘I’ve worked with elite athletes, the military and many others who have very physically demanding and what some would deem “macho” jobs, but they are embracing this movement and are seeing the benefits.’

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BwplevDBBkI/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

    So, what exactly is breath-work?

    It’s all about the control of your breathing. Making conscious decisions about how you are breathing is meant to influence your mental, emotional or physical state. Practitioners claim it can have various therapeutic effects.

    ‘Breathing is a given, but are we aware of how we should be breathing?’ asks Richie.

    ‘Breathing properly can positively benefit your mind and body in a number of ways, from increasing or lowering your energy, managing emotional, physical and mental stress as well as increasing performance at work or at a sport.

    ‘The way we breathe can have a big impact on how we feel internally.

    ‘Ideally with breathwork, you breathe in and out through the nose as this has a much more calming effect on the body and helps to slow everything and reduce your stress levels.

    ‘When you breathe through your mouth, that tends to have a much more active stimulation on the body.’

    Breathwork exercise to help you sleep

    • When in a lying position, find a breathing rhythm that is right for you, which will start to help your body relax.
    • Next, take a full breath in through the nose, and out again. Repeat 5 times and start to monitor how controlled your breathing is.
    • Place your hands on your stomach, with your elbows by your side. As you breathe in, breath into your lower lungs. Next, let the breath out nice and slow. Keep going with that rhythm at a pace that feels comfortable.
    • Next, whilst still lying, breathe in for 3 seconds, hold for 4 seconds and out for 5 seconds.
    • Keep repeating, but try and breathe out for one second longer each time, for as long as you feel comfortable.
    • The longer you keep exhaling, the more you will grounded and relaxed, which will help you sleep.

    Richie’s workout Headstrong, developed with AXA PPP healthcare, is all about ‘whole health’ – incorporating both mental and physical health. He says you just can’t separate the two.

    ‘Physical and mental health are two parts of one whole,’ he explains.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BvYuzC_H02B/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

    ‘Our mental well-being is so crucial to how we navigate life and the inevitable challenges we all face – but few of us approach mental fitness in the same way we do diet or exercise.

    ‘The mental assault course that is daily life is not categorised in the same way Tough Mudder or a bootcamp might be, neither is the way we approach mental health or how we celebrate the victories that come with achievement in that space.

    ‘Developing Headstrong is incredibly important work for me, giving people the tools to help themselves at their own pace and on their own terms as part of a single mental and physical health approach.

    ‘A healthy body is lost without a healthy mind and vice versa.

    ‘We’re aiming to change the nation’s mindset around health, getting them talking about and interacting with mental and physical health as a complete concept.’

    MORE: Bride has to order second wedding dress after online shopping fail

    MORE: Model who struggled with career after alopecia is ‘glad it happened’

    MORE: ‘My hardening skin doesn’t stop me from being beautiful’: What life with scleroderma is like


    Ex-rugby star says breathwork changed his life - and it\'s easy to tryEx-rugby star says breathwork changed his life - and it\'s easy to try

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    Six types of sleeper
    What type of sleeper are you? (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

    Ever felt like you’re neither a night owl nor a morning lark?

    Perhaps you’re just tired all the damn time, or feel at your peak in the middle of the afternoon.

    It turns out you’re not a freak of nature if this is the case, as new research suggests there are actually six types of sleeper, not just the night owls and morning larks we know best.

    New research from sleep specialist Arcady Putilov, published in the journal Personality and Inividual Differences, surveyed 1,305 people to see when they felt most awake and ready to get on with things.

    Alongside the expected morning people and night people, researchers also spotted ‘afternooners’ and ‘nappers’.

    If you’re an ‘afternooner’ you’re sleepy in the morning and the evening, but feel great in the afternoon.

    If you’re a ‘napper’, you’re alert in the morning and evening but feel a drop in energy in the afternoon (which may make you take a nap).

    So that’s four types. The researchers then proposed two more: the ‘woodcock’ and the ‘swift’.

    Don’t ask why sleep types always seem to be related to birds, we have no clue.

    Do you really have to wake up at 4am to be successful?
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Anyway, woodcocks are sleepy all day while swifts are alert all day, with a straight line of tiredness rather than drastic peaks and troughs.

    Don’t panic, there’s not yet any data to suggest that one chronotype is better than the other, or that you’re doomed if you’re a woodcock or an afternooner.

    This bit of research is just the beginning of expanding our understanding of the way humans sleep. Now that we know that there are more varieties than just morning and night people, we can get started on adjusting our days to make them fit our needs.

    So… which one are you?

    The six types of sleeper:

    Morning larks feel most energised in the morning. If you’re a lark, you’ll have no problem waking up early in the morning, but might struggle with late nights. You’ll have your best ideas and get the most done before noon, so it’s worth packing your day towards the morning and giving yourself a break when the sleepiness hits later on.

    Night owls are the exact opposite of larks. Owls will feel most creative in the evening and at night, and would far prefer to stay up late than have to get up early. There’s evidence to suggest that forcing night owls into a lark routine can be detrimental to their productivity and their mental health.

    If you’re an afternooner, your peak comes in the afternoon. Perhaps you get your best work done and feel on top of the world at 2pm. The tricky bit is that you’ll feel sleepy in both the morning and evening. Again, some clever scheduling of your work day can help you improve your results – keep more challenging tasks for your afternoon.

    Napper types are those who feel snoozy in the afternoon, but feel awake in the morning and in the evening. They’re the type most likely to desperately want a siesta.

    If you feel sleepy all day, whatever time it is, you might be a woodcock.

    And if you’re alert the entire time you’re awake and don’t have any ups and downs in tiredness, you’re a swift.

    MORE: Do you really need to wake up at 4am to be successful?

    MORE: Parents love this £1.27 Asda massage mist to get their kids to sleep in minutes

    MORE: My Odd Job: I taste 250 cups of coffee a day


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    Douglas the cat who thinks he's a dog
    Douglas now, and Douglas with Phoebe before she died (Picture: Cats Protection/Luci Mahon)

    Douglas sits on command, begs for treats and loves to play fetch.

    Sounds a bit like a dog, right? Well Douglas is a cat – but after years of growing up with his best friend Phoebe the golden retriever, he shows a lot of canine behaviours.

    After a tough life on the streets, being bullied by other cats because he was so weak, he was adopted by Luci Mahon, from Derby, and her husband Geoff Fisher and brought to live alongside Phoebe.

    Realising he could trust her, Douglas started copying Phoebe’s behaviour and they became quite a team.

    Together they helped to care for and comfort Luci when she suffered a brain injury because of medication she was taking for anxiety. She also has Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) – a long-term neurological condition that causes symptoms affecting many body systems.

    ‘We were both lucky because I found him when he needed me and and now he’s there when I need reassurance,’ Luci told Metro.co.uk for Cat Week.

    Luci found Douglas when he was living as a stray in 2015. She spent some time trying to catch and help him to find a new home before deciding they should adopt him.

    Douglas the cat who thinks he's a dog
    Douglas and Luci (Picture: Cats Protection)

    She explains: ‘I got off the bus one day and he just darted out of the bushes. I know most of the cats in our street and I knew he didn’t live around here.

    ‘I was in a bit of a rush to get back but I took a photograph to ask around to see if he belonged to anyone.

    ‘For about three days after that, we would go searching for the cat. We borrowed a cat carrier from our neighbours and got some cat food.

    ‘We found lots of other cats, but not him. We were going out shopping on the Saturday and we were in the car and I just spotted him. I shouted “stop” and Geoff ran back to get the cat carrier.

    ‘We just wanted to get him to a vet and get him checked over. He was so thin and weak, I picked him up and he just fell into my arms.

    ‘We were going to get him rehomed but we just fell in love with him. He and Phoebe got on straight away and it was just all meant to be.’

    Douglas the cat who thinks he's a dog
    Douglas and Phoebe were very close (Picture: Luci Mahon)

    Douglas was covered in fleas and bites from other cats and he was missing fur. He was very underweight but a few weeks of care and attention made him much better.

    Although Luci and Geoff were worried about how he would get on with a dog, he quickly fitted into the family.

    Luci adds: ‘He is a very sweet cat. He puts his paw in the palm of my hand to reassure him and that’s how he falls asleep sometimes still.

    Douglas the cat who thinks he's a dog
    Douglas and Geoff (Picture: Luci Mahon)

    ‘It’s funny that he exhibits dog behaviour. He used to look to Phoebe to figure out what to do.

    ‘He sits on command, gives his paw, goes around in a circle, begs and retrieves toys for you. He’ll jump up and catch treats in the air. He’s so smart.

    ‘Phoebe would sort of mother him and the interaction between them was lovely. Douglas is much more keen on dogs than cats and we think that might have been because when he was on the street, he was beaten up by other cats.’

    With such a close bond with Phoebe, the pair were an incredible support for Luci when her health deteriorated in 2017.

    Douglas the cat playing drums
    Douglas is a very smart cat (Picture: Luci Mahon)

    Although her ME has always meant that she suffers from severe fatigue, she also suffered an iatrogenic brain injury which meant she became even more unwell and was often bedbound.

    ‘They were both by my side all the time,’ Luci said. ‘They just knew that I was ill and would come and cuddle up to me as comfort. It was incredible how instinctive they both were.

    ‘Even when my husband had a bad day, they would know that he was upset and go to him straight away.

    ‘They were such great companions as well because my husband would be away at work and they were there to reassure me and give me company.

    Douglas the cat with Phoebe
    Douglas and his best friend Phoebe (Picture: Luci Mahon)

    ‘Sadly Phoebe died this year, which was a huge loss for us all, including Douglas, but he’s continued to be a massive support for me.’

    Luci’s health has improved slightly but she still needs a lot of rest – and Douglas is still by her side.

    ‘He still loves to cuddle up to me and he’s just such a positive force to have around,’ she says.

    Douglas has been nominated in the Purina Better Together category at the Cats Protection National Cat Awards, due to take place on 8 August.

    The awards are run by the charity, which helps around 200,000 cats every year through a network of 36 centres and over 250 volunteer-run branches, to celebrate heroism, loyalty and companionship in the feline world.

    Cat Week

    In honour of Catfest, we will be partnering with the festival to bring you seven days of the funniest, cutest, coolest and most amazing cat content.

    Until Saturday 29 June, read stories about all things cats, including kittens abandoned on rubbish dumps to fantastic cat art, and everything in-between.

    Catfest will include cat-themed literature and film plus live music, poetry and crafts. There will be rescue kittens, talks from cat experts, Instagram cats and an auction as well as cocktails, cake and much more. Tickets have sold out, but you can still get involved on social media.

    Part of the proceeds from the event will benefit Erham Rescue and International Trash Cat & Dumpster Dogs to help cats and kittens as well as street animals in need.

    Are you the owner of a fantastic cat? Then tweet us your cutest kitty pics @MetroUK and @MetroUK_Life for a chance to be featured!

    MORE: 16 stunning black cats who are looking for their forever homes

    MORE: Jeffree the cat helped young boy with Asperger’s cope with the sudden death of his father

    MORE: Animal charity offers students the chance to hang out with cats while they revise for exams


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    Illustration of a woman sat on a sofa, cuddling her cat
    Not spending enough time outside could cause your stress levels to rise (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    As the hot weather rolls in later this week, many of us will be staring out of our office windows anxiously awaiting the end of the work day.

    We all love a bit of sunshine – but despite the proven benefits to spending time outside, many of us don’t do so very often. In fact, according to a recent study by Lindahls, 50% of Brits spend less than an hour in the open air every day.

    Out of the 2,000 participants surveyed, it was also found that 70% want to spend more time outside.

    With the rise of technology, such as smart phones and streaming services, we’re giving ourselves less reason to step outside our front door, because we have ‘everything we need’ indoors.

    In reality, not spending enough time in nature could have dramatic side effects, both mentally and physically.

    ‘Research shows that when people spend more time outside, it reduces anxiety levels and improves mood,’ Owen O’Kane, psychotherapist and author of Ten To Zen, tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘But I’m not talking about being on a busy London street. This applies to places like the countryside, parks or open spaces.

    ‘When we spend time in these places the noises, textures, the light and smells of nature are a naturally conducive message for the brain to slow down.

    ‘An added advantage is that it also supports an increase of serotonin and dopamine. These are the feel good hormones, helping you feel calmer and happier.’

    Proximity to nature – whether that’s hiking in a vast open landscape, taking a stroll through a local park or surrounding ourselves with plants – helps us destress.

    The effect is so strong that just looking out of your window and observing greenery can lower stress levels.

    Illustration of someone sitting on a bench
    Even just sitting on a bench in the park can have huge benefits on your health (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    ‘Fresh air and space can give you a better perspective and has been proven many a time to be good for your well-being,’ Shamir Patel, pharmacist and founder of Chemist 4 U tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘Sometimes, spending too much time inside can leave you feeling restricted, agitated and sometimes even claustrophobic.

    ‘Adding to this, being outside can increase your endorphin levels, especially if you’re in a place that makes you feel happy. For some, that might be walking by a river, for others it may be spending time outside with friends, it may even be doing physical sports.

    ‘Endorphins are chemicals that help to relieve pain or stress and boost happiness so they have multiple benefits, all of which can be triggered by spending time outdoors.’

    From a purely physical point of view, we also need sunlight – this triggers the body’s vitamin D production, which in turn helps us fight off inflammation, lowers blood pressure and improves brain function.

    ‘Not spending enough time outside can cause complications,’ said Shamir.

    ‘The biggest one is probably that you’re restricting yourself of vitamin D by not being outside enough. Vitamin D helps to effectively regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. Both of which are essential in bone and muscle health.’

    You can also develop pain in your joints, including back pains from lack of movement or sitting in a fixed position for too long.

    Eyesight is also a factor to consider, according to research.

    One study found that children who spent more time outside were less likely to develop myopia (nearsightedness).

    Generally, when we spend time outside we also move our bodies more.

    ‘Another perk of being outside is that it’s usually linked to exercise of some form,’ said Shamir.

    ‘Even when strolling around, this is still a moderate movement that gets your heart beating faster and blood pumping more frequently.

    ‘This is good for keeping your body healthy, promoting consistent weight loss and management and improving blood pressure and heart health too.

    ‘Taking just 30 minutes a day to take a walk outside – especially if you spend a long time inside – can seriously improve your health.’

    Most of us have busy work and social lives, and are unable to spend the entirety of our day outside. You could however schedule in micro-sessions that add up throughout the day.

    For instance, if you live near your workplace, skip the driving or public transport and opt for walking or cycling. It will energise you and give you a better boost than your morning caffeine fix.

    Throughout the day, try to pop outside for five or 10 minutes – simply walking around the block, taking a seat on a bench or just standing in the sunlight could help reduce anxiety and stress.

    Repeat during the afternoon and evening.

    If you find walking a bit dull, you could bring your phone and listen to an audio book or podcast while you’re outdoors or bring a few friends along and have a picnic.

    Instead of hitting the gym, you could also opt for an outdoor workout or join a local sports team.

    Most importantly, remember to have a healthy balance in life.

    It’s fine to binge-watch TV shows and focus on your career by spending time at your desk.

    But if you can’t remember when you last spent time in nature for a longer period  – the walk to the local pub or shop doesn’t count –  get outside.

    MORE: Woman opens up about being a ‘background friend’

    MORE: Drinking coffee could help you lose weight, says study

    MORE: How to tell if your exhaustion could actually be a symptom of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


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    a man using wet wipes at glastonbury
    Needs must, right? (Picture: ANDY BUCHANAN/AFP/Getty Images)

    The first of the Glastonbury Festival crowds have already arrived at Worthy Farm, and with them comes their supplies for the long weekend ahead.

    Even though the headline acts don’t start performing until Friday, a deluge of festival-goers have already set up camp for Glastonbury – aka one of the most looked-forward-to events in a music fan’s calendar.

    Preparation is key with a festival of this scale, especially when many people arriving today will no doubt be staying right the way through until Sunday.

    While wet wipes have a reputation for being a festival essential, to help you get passably clean in a pinch, are you allowed to take them with you to Glastonbury?

    Can you take wet wipes and make-up wipes to Glastonbury?

    While wet wipes are not on list of items that are prohibited at Glastonbury Festival, the festival organisers have asked that anyone attending ‘please avoid’ using disposable wipes.

    As the Glastonbury website puts it: ‘Wipes – even biodegradable wipes, which quickly breakdown into micro-plastics – are problematic environmental pollutants.

    ‘Plant fibre-based biodegradable wipes release greenhouse gases when they decompose, so we would like people to really try to use alternatives. A washcloth and a bar of soap works wonders!’

    In addition to the old faithful washcloth and soap option, there are also plenty of environmentally friendly, reusable and washable makeup remover pads out there which could easily be used to clean your body too.

    The prohibited items that you cannot take with you to Glastonbury are:

    • Sound systems or drums.
    • Generators.
    • Portable laser equipment or pens.
    • Sky lanterns or kites, unauthorised fireworks, or wax flares.
    • Nitrous oxide (laughing gas), which is a contraband good under the Psychoactive Substances Act of 2016.
    • Animals (except registered guide dogs).

    Got a showbiz story?

    If you've got a story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk Entertainment team by emailing us celebtips@metro.co.uk, calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page - we'd love to hear from you.

    MORE: America’s Got Talent dancer hits golden buzzer for himself and Simon Cowell’s reaction is priceless

    MORE: What time do the Glastonbury gates open?


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    Alice Pelton from The Lowdown
    Alice is the founder (Picture: The Lowdown)

    Lots of contraceptives come with side effects.

    When you take a new one, you get the leaflet with a list as long as your arm but it’s hard to know which ones are more common.

    A woman has created a solution – a review website for different types of contraception.

    Alice Pelton started The Lowdown two years ago and describes it as ‘TripAdvisor for contraception’.

    She explains: ‘It took me over a decade to realise the impact that taking hormonal contraceptives had on my emotional and mental state.

    ‘I started taking the Pill when I was 16. I always thought I was a very hormonal teenager, but it wasn’t until I stopped taking it a few years later, my personality completely changed. I was calmer and stopped crying all the time at stupid things like my parents wedding anniversary.

    ‘I must have tried over seven different types of pill, but I could never seem to find one that worked for me.

    ‘Every time I got into a new relationship, I’d go back to my doctor and try out a different pill. Every time I struggled to get used to it and had  incredible mood swings.

    ‘In my search for the right contraception I came across a number of problems that have become the foundation of The Lowdown.’

    A diagram showing the types of contraception they cover
    They cover different types of medication (Picture: The Lowdown)

    The site now lists types of contraception and you can submit a short review about how satisfied you were with it and whether you had any side effects.

    They collect information on 15 methods and 48 brands of contraception available in the UK.

    It’s not just the pill – they cover the pill, implant, coil, condoms and fertility-tracking app Natural Cycles.

    They aren’t saying you will experience these side effects as everyone is different but instead just collecting a range of experiences.

    A chart showing the 10 side effects from contraception
    They’ve put together lots of statistics from the reviews (Picture: The Lowdown)

    The website says: ‘A bad restaurant gets mostly consistently bad reviews on TripAdvisor. Why should contraception be any different? We have a theory that some types are generally better or worse than others, and our early results show this.

    ‘And finally, we’re very clear that you should never base your decision solely on someone else’s experience. Any decision should be discussed with a doctor or medical professional first.’

    They’re aiming to get 5,000 reviews for each type of contraception soon.

    So far, they’re able to see that the top side effects for contraception include tender breasts, vaginal discharge, spots or acne, womb cramp, headaches, enlarged breasts, vaginal dryness, better skin, back pain and thrush.

    Well, that’s not really a fun list…

    MORE: Why you need to spend more time outside

    MORE: Meet Douglas – the cat who thinks he’s a dog


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    An illustration of two people holding hands, with only the hands visible and a heart design on top in pink, with a purple background
    I love you? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    I love you.

    This is arguably the most powerful phrase in the English language – or any language, for that matter – because of how much emotion is tied to it.

    When said in a romantic relationship, the scenario can go one of two ways: the person says it back or you’re left hanging without a reply.

    Alternatively, they might say ‘thank you’ or give you a passionate kiss, hoping that you’ll forget all about it.

    If they do say it back, all is great in the world and it will likely bring you both closer together as a couple. However, if for whatever reason they don’t, it could spell trouble in paradise.

    It’s completely natural to reach this stage of a relationship at different times – just because your partner is ready to say it, doesn’t mean you have to be.

    You can’t force yourself to fall in love.

    That being said, is there such a thing as the ideal time to say I love you?

    Psychologist and dating expert Madeleine Mason Roantree tells Metro.co.uk some harsh truths about love and explains that unless you have spent time getting to know the other person, it’s always too soon.

    ‘It’s too early to say I love you if you don’t know the person well,’ said Madeleine.

    ‘And you don’t do that until you have met some friends, family or colleagues, you know their habits and daily routine, learned about their upbringing, they have shared personal details such as painful past experiences or embarrassing moments with you and lastly you both have had a couple of meaningful experiences together, for example a trip somewhere.

    ‘This can take a week or a year. If after a year you struggle to say I love you, consider that you have issues with commitment.

    ‘If you say “I love you” within the first month, consider that you may be in love with the idea of a relationship than the person you claim to love.’

    One of the biggest concerns with dropping the ‘L bomb’ is the fear that it will scare the other person away.

    It can also highlight that you’re on different speeds in the relationship, or that you don’t have the same end goal.

    Unless you’ve been upfront about your emotions while getting to know each other, it’s possible that one person may want a casual fling, while the other was on a trajectory towards ‘true love’.

    If you don’t know how to move forward, it could cause permanent damage to the relationship.

    ‘First, you need to accept that this is a time of discovery – specifically, to discover whether the relationship is based on love or lust,’ said Lianne Young, a sex and relationship guru at House of Ardent.

    ‘Dating someone and not feeling the hot passion you experienced the first time you were together doesn’t mean it’s over.

    ‘It just means the relationship has moved to the next phase – generally a more realistic phase and you should allow this to happen before making the decision if you are actually “in love” with someone.

    ‘So give some thought to this question – is there any other aspect to your relationship beyond sex that makes you want to spend time with her or him?

    ‘If so, stick around to find out and grow.’

    Illustration of a man and a woman, with the woman holding up her hand and looking tense and angry, while the man seems to ask 'but what can I do?'
    If the other person doesn’t respond how you expect, it could cause friction in the relationship (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    As for the the specific timing on when you should utter the words, Lianne recommends three months, as does Michael Blakeley, relationship expert and founder of the dating app, Clikd.

    ‘Too early can cause issues, in the first few weeks you can scare them off,’ said Michael.

    ‘Too long and then you run the risk of making [it] an unspoken thing.

    A reasonable period is three months, but can vary from person to person, but the most important things is do it when you mean it.’

    While three months may be advisable, new research by the dating website eharmony has revealed that one in 10 Brits say it within just a week of dating.

    It was also found that those most likely to do so in this timeframe are men under 35 (22%).

    A quick poll on Twitter however revealed that 41% thought saying ‘I love you’ within a week is too soon, and 12% would hold off between three to six months.

    Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer, because no one understands the exact ins and outs of a relationship except the two people who are a part of it.

    All you can do is listen to your gut and hope for the best.

    And if you’re on the receiving end but don’t feel the same? Good luck.

    MORE: Couples are taking ‘make or break’ holidays after just three months together

    MORE: These are the top 10 ‘must-have’ qualities in a partner

    MORE: What’s your love language?


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    Portable toilet tent with a toilet inside in a park
    When you can’t stand the queues, so you bring your own (Picture: Argos)

    One of the biggest inconveniences of going to a festival is finding a toilet.

    More often than not, you’re stuck in a long queue trying desperately not to pee yourself before it’s your turn.

    Or, if you’re really desperate, you end up hunting out a bush or a tree that you can squat behind while your friend holds up their jacket to cover you from sight.

    It’s Argos to the rescue, as the retailer has just released the perfect product for all your loo-related requirements.

    For £24.99, you can buy your very own pop-up portaloo tent.

    It comes with a toilet roll holder, but sadly it doesn’t actually feature a toilet.

    However, Argos does have a range of portable toilets to purchase on its site, including the Leisurewize Need A Loo Excel, which costs just £24.99.

    Alternatively, if you fancy a luxury bog which fits 10 litres – a good option for groups or families – you can get one for £69.99.

    You can find even cheaper options online at Amazon and eBay, with toilets available for prices as low as £16.

    It’s not just essential for festivals, but also works on beach holidays and camping trips.

    Go to the loo like you were meant to – in private.

    MORE: Aldi is selling mojito sausages and summer is truly here

    MORE: Home Bargains is selling 79p towel-sized wet wipes for your Glastonbury packing list

    MORE: Glastonbury Festival 2019: what are the toilets like?


    Argos selling pop-up portable toiletsArgos selling pop-up portable toilets

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    Some of the gins  - WHitley Neill, Warners, Gordons and Beefeater
    Do you think about the sugar in your bottle of gin? (Picture: Getty)

    Flavoured gins are a perfect summer drink – from strawberry pink gin to chocolate orange.

    But have you ever considered the amount of sugar in your flavoured gin and tonic.

    While most standard dry gins contain no sugar, many flavoured gins contain more that you would expect.

    Some contain up to 15 teaspoons (90g) per 700ml bottle (though of course, you are unlikely to drink that all in one sitting) and because brands aren’t required to list the amount of sugar, like soft drinks companies are, it’s very difficult to even find out how much your drink contains.

    Looking at some of the UK’s most popular flavoured gins, the worst was Whitley Neill’s Raspberry Gin and their Rhubarb & Ginger Gin, with 9.3g of sugar per 100g.

    Although that equates to 2.33g per single measure (25ml), it can add up over the course of an evening.

    It gets worse if you add standard tonic, rather than slimline. A 250ml serving of tonic contains up to 12g of sugar, meaning two single flavoured G&Ts would be almost all your recommend daily amount of 30g of sugar.

    Other gins with a higher sugar content include Warner’s Victoria’s Rhubarb Gin, which contains 9.2g per 100ml or about 2.3g per 25ml serving.

    Gordon’s Premium Pink Distilled Gin contains 1.8g of sugar per 25ml serve or 7.2g per 100ml.

    Beefeater London Premium Pink Gin contains 4.6g of sugar per 100ml, which is 1.15g per 100ml.

    a pile of sugar
    A few spoonfuls of sugar (Picture: Getty)

    A can of Coke contains 11g of sugar so it’s not as much as some fizzy drinks but might be more than you thought you were having.

    To compare, a can of Stella Artois has 0.3g sugar per 100ml, which is 1.3g per 440ml can and a can of cider has 11g per can.

    If you want to try a flavoured gin but don’t want as much sugar, Bloom’s pink gin and their Jasmine and Rose flavour contain zero sugar.

    And Greenall’s Wild Berry and their Blueberry flavours are also free of added sugars.

    Of course, it’s also important to choose something lower in sugar to mix it with – diet tonic or lemonade will be much better.

    Greenall’s Master Distiller, Joanne Moore comments: ‘We don’t use sugar in any of our Greenall’s gins as I prefer to allow the botanical flavours to come through and provide a natural taste and sweetness that complements the juniper character.

    ‘With our flavoured gins, the sweetness comes from the natural berry flavours infused with the gin, which is our Greenall’s Original London Dry.

    ‘We work hard to balance the botanicals and natural flavours to create a smooth taste, so we don’t need sugar to mimic smoothness or mouthfeel.’

    Greenall’s added that their Sloe Gin does include sugar as it is a gin liquer but they are making this clearer on the label and will state the amount of sugar going forward.

    Diageo, the maker of Gordon’s and Tanqueray gins commented: ‘In the recommended 25ml serve of Gordon’s Premium Pink Distilled Gin there are 1.8g of sugar.

    ‘We are committed to ensuring our consumers have the best possible information to make choices about what they drink and so that they can enjoy our brands responsibly.’

    The other gin brands were contacted for comment and we will update the article accordingly.

    MORE: Argos is selling a pop-up portaloo so you never have to queue for a toilet again

    MORE: Why you need to spend more time outside


    Do you know how much sugar there is in your flavoured gin?Do you know how much sugar there is in your flavoured gin?

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    You can get flights to Bangkok, New Orleans and Bologna for the price of a packet of Walkers Sensations
    Bangkok, New Orleans and Bologna (Pictures: Getty)

    If you haven’t booked a summer holiday yet, this is your chance for a cheap break.

    Walkers Sensations (yes, the crisp brand) is selling 100 flights to Bangkok in Thailand, New Orleans and Bologna for £1.99.

    The idea is that it’s the price of a packet of Walkers Sensations but it’s also an amazing deal.

    There is a catch – there are only a limited number available and they are only available during three hour long slots over the next three weeks.

    The first one, for 50 Bologna flights (including VAT, fuel and one item of checked baggage) starts tonight at 7pm through their digital travel agency.

    Next week on 4 July, you can get one of 25 flights to Bangkok from 7pm.

    And the final sale will be for 25 New Orleans flight at 7pm on 11 July.

    Once the hour is up, people will be chosen at random.

    A plane
    Fly for £1.99 (Picture: Getty)

    By paying just £1.99, lucky winners will be able to book flights leaving from any London airport to Bologna Guglielmo Marconi Airport, worth up to £220. Those going to Bangkok will be able to book from London to Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) Airport worth up to £650 and the New Orleans flights are again from London to New Orleans, up to a value of £600.

    All flights have to be booked at least one month in advance, before February 2020.

    If you don’t manage to get a cheap flight, you will get a free one-month Premium trial to Jack’s Flight Club – the largest cheap flights members club in UK and Europe.

    All the proceeds from the sale will be donated to charity.

    Alison Kirk, Brand Manager, Walkers Sensations said: ‘At Sensations our snacks are inspired by flavours and recipes we’ve discovered from around the world. Nearly half of the people questioned said that they want to travel to try new and exciting food, so the launch of Sensations Global Travel aims to help people experience the sights, sounds, tastes and smells of the delicious destinations Sensations are inspired by.

    ‘For those who manage to get their hands on one of the 100 flights, we hope that by reducing the price down to the cost of a packet of crisps, we’re able to unlock an exciting feast for the senses, giving them a chance to explore new and far-flung places.’

    MORE: Argos is selling a pop-up portaloo so you never have to queue for a toilet again

    MORE: When is it too soon to say ‘I love you’?


    You can get flights to Bangkok, New Orleans and Bologna for theYou can get flights to Bangkok, New Orleans and Bologna for the

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