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

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    Ostrich reading beach chair
    Although we can’t see her face, we can wager she looks pretty chill there (Picture: Ostrich/ Amazon)

    Reading on the beach is one of life’s small pleasures, but it’s often hampered by awkward sun loungers or the need to tan your back.

    Be hampered no more, however, as there are now loungers specifically designed to allow you to recline on your belly while imbibing whichever Summer romance you bought at the airport.

    The Ostrich Lounge Chaise is equipped with a cushioned hole for your face – reminiscent of a massage table – and gaps you can put your arms through.

    It’s available on Amazon, and costs UK shoppers around £70 including shipping (depending on which colour you choose and which method of shipping you go for).

    Reviews of the lounger have called it ‘just the greatest idea’ and an ‘awesome tanning chair’, and it rated particularly highly by those who like to watch Netflix or read a book in the sun.

    That said, some people have noted that it’s a little hard to put up, and doesn’t last too long. Plus, if you’re here in the UK, you’ll have to deal with the wait to get the thing.

    Reading Lounge Chair from Amazon
    How much would you give to be laying on this right now? (Picture: Ostrich/ Amazon)

    So, there are some other options if you’re hooked with the idea.

    This Outsunny version is £26.99 and comes with free delivery from Prime Members. It’s available in black, neon green, or brown, and has the same adjustable design with the face holder.

    Or, if you’re feeling fancy, there’s a deluxe Ostrich option, with extra padding, a lumbar pillow, and a cup holder. It will set you back £108, though.

    You don’t even have to be a book lover to choose this ingenious design. Instead, you can just have a more comfortable nap, rather than waking up with a sandy, sweat-stained face that was squished into your towel.

    It’s not the first time a simple cutout has saved the day on holiday. Pregnant women were delighted when a company made lilos that accomodated their bump.

    Plus, last year a bra company made a similar version but with a higher-up hole for those more chestally endowed. We salute you all.

    MORE: Enjoy your hot girl summer with this Louis Vuitton volleyball for £2,113

    MORE: Influencers have been swimming in a toxic dump lake for Instagram


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    After Renovation Owlwood Estate Marilyn Monroe?s Old Hideaway Lists For $115 Million In Los Angeles
    Owlwood Estate has an iconic history (Picture: Compass)

    A stunning nine-bedroom mansion that was a hideaway for Marilyn Monroe is now on sale.

    The historic Owlwood Estate, which boasts 10 acres of land in an exclusive Los Angeles neighbourhood, has been inhabited by some of the world’s biggest names.

    Jay-Z recently hosted a Grammy’s brunch there attended by Rihanna, DJ Khaled, Nick Jonas and more,

    Now it’s on sale for a cool $115 million (£92.1m).

    While most of us can’t afford that, we can gaze at the pictures of the property and dream of roaming hallways walked by the greats.

    one of the stunning Owlwood Estate bedrooms
    Look at this beauty. There’s nine of these bedrooms (Picture: Compass)

    The Italian Renaissance-style property was constructed by architect Robert D. Farquhar in the 30s.

    Since then, it’s been frequented by many a star, most notably Marilyn Monroe, who is rumoured to have used it with Joseph Schenck, the founder of 20th Century Fox.

    In the 70s Sonny and Cher took over it while filming their comedy show. But even when they broke up they were able to reside in separate wings of the home before eventually moving out.

    Yep, it’s that big, 12,201 square feet to be precise.

     dressing room with floor to ceiling mirrors and marble accents
    Sonny and Cher also resided here (Picture: Compass)

    The mansion is in need of a new owner.

    Anyone would be pretty lucky to be able to afford the massive home that comes with ten bathrooms, a guest house and staff quarters.

    PICTURESQUE SWIMMING POOL
    A swimming pool designed by Olympic swimmer Esther Williams (Picture: Compass)

    It’s located in the biggest and most grand residence in the Holmby Hills county.

    As expected, it comes with fancy trimmings: regal marble fireplaces, crystal chandeliers, hand-carved mantles and 24-karat gold fixtures and fittings.

    To get around all that space, there is a grand spiral staircase. If you can’t be bothered to climb, a lift connects all three floors and also goes to the basement.

    Not only is there an outdoor pool, but there’s also a gorgeous pool house to go with it. The pool was built by Olympic swimmer and actress Esther Williams.

    Pool house
    And a pool house to match (Picture: Compass)

    It’s currently listed at $115 million and is represented by Tyrone McKillen, Sally Forster Jones and Tomer Fridman of Compass, and Drew Fenton of Hilton & Hyland.

    Here are more images of the breathtaking property:

    Owlwood Estate passage
    One of the hallways (Picture: Compass)
    Owlwood Estate study
    The study (Picture: Compass)
    White living room in Owlwood Estate
    A living room (Picture: Compass)
    One of the rooms
    And another lounge area (Picture: Compass)
    Owlwood Estate from the outside
    From the outside (Picture: Compass)
    Owlwood Estate in the evening
    Gorgeous (Picture: Compass)

    MORE: Sadie Frost puts infamous ‘House Of Sin’ Primrose Hill mansion on sale for £6 million

    MORE: Plot of land which is set to be turned into an 80-roomed mansion is on sale for £20 million


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    Soulti Surf sustainable Wakame high top bikini bottoms
    Sustainable and chic is what we should all be demanding from our swimwear (Picture: Soulti Surf)

    Unless you’ve been too distracted by Love Island, you’ve probably noticed that the world is burning.

    We’re ditching plastic straws, going vegan and sipping drinks from reusable water bottles to save the planet, but how many of us have thought about our wardrobes?

    According to Common Objective, the fashion industry is responsible for around 5% of all manmade greenhouse gas emissions. Most of these emissions come from producing raw materials i.e. the fabrics that make up your new clothes.

    Swimsuits are made from synthetic fibres like polyester and nylon (more on that below) and these make up 65% of all fabric production, causing a huge burden on the planet.

    Luckily, there are now swimwear brands making use of recycled synthetic fibres to produce their suits – but sadly, it’s not just fabric we need to think about.

    The sustainable swimwear world is a minefield, so here are some key questions to ask when shopping for summer.

    What fabric is sustainable swimwear made of?

    When you think of sustainable fashion, you think of organic cottons and natural fibres, but these are a no-go when it comes to swimwear.

    Natural fibres absorb water – which is why they make great summer clothing, as they suck up all that delicious sweat – but this isn’t great for swimming. You really don’t want to be dragged down by holding half the ocean in your bikini bottoms now, do you?

    Swimwear is usually made from synthetic fibres as these repel water, but synthetic fabric is terrible for the environment.

    Polyester and nylon are by products of petroleum, and creating them uses a huge amount of energy and water. They’re also non-biodegradable. Two thumbs down.

    So, what’s the solution? Recycled synthetic fibres, that’s what.

    Using recycled materials saves on raw materials and energy, as well as preventing waste materials going to landfill. Win.

    It usually takes less energy to transform waste into recycled material than it does to make a whole new material. Double win.

    Econyl regenerated nylon is a hugely popular choice for many companies making sustainable swimwear.

    The company collects waste like fishing nets, old carpets and industrial plastic from landfill and the ocean, before sorting and cleaning to recover any nylon.

    It’s then recycled back to its original purity, meaning it has the same properties as virgin nylon.

    Ideally, garments made with Econyl will last forever, but there’s always the option to recycle them over and over, closing the loop.

    For every 10,000 tonnes of Econyl raw materials, 70,000 barrels of crude oil are saved, and 57,100 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions are avoided.

    Smaller, independent swimwear brands have the advantage of using old fabric scraps (waste from the fashion industry) to make new products.

     

    Who made it?

    You can use all the eco fabrics in the world, but if you’re taking advantage of fellow human beings to make your clothes, you’re hardly being sustainable.

    Is your new swimwear made by people with fair contracts, wages and working conditions? Or is the company greenwashing, and exploiting vulnerable communities to produce its ‘eco’ bikinis?

    Look into where your favourite swim brands are being produced – it’s often a lot easier to locate the end of the supply chain with smaller, independent brands.

    To create truly sustainable swimwear, it should be made in a way that doesn’t harm the environment i.e. the factory should comply with environmental regulations.

     

    How far did it travel to get to you?

    Unfortunately, most of the swimwear I fall in love with comes from independent brands based on the other side of the world in Australia.

    While I might be helping out the planet by purchasing a beautiful suit made from old fishing nets, I’ll also be adding to its carbon footprint by having it flown halfway across the world to me.

    So it’s always worth trying to find eco swimwear that’s manufactured closer to home, stocking up while you’re on holiday somewhere that sells it, or getting an order in when a friend travels from that country.

    You’ve also got to think about what the swimwear is sent to you in – do they use recycled/recyclable packaging? Or a whole load of unnecessary wrapping that will head straight to landfill after you’ve ripped it open?

    To be honest, the sustainable swimwear world is a bit of a minefield. It took a long time to find some of the brands I now have in my swimwear collection, so to help you on your way, here’s a selection I discovered.

    Batoko

    Batoko cockatoo swimsuit
    (Picture: Batoko)

    Batoko is a small, independent brand based on the North West coast of England, specialising in one pieces with fun, bold prints. It also does matching suits for kids – adorable.

    The fabric Batoko uses for its swimwear is made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic waste i.e. the most common type of plastic, used for bottles, food containers and textiles.

    The plastic is sorted, shredded into clean flakes, melted, extruded and then spun into polyester yarn, which is pretty neat.

    Each swimsuit prevents the equivalent of around 10 plastic bottles going to landfill.

    Batoko suits are manufactured in China, in an audited factory that ‘takes necessary measures to avoid both environmental degradation, along with following and respecting the labour principles set out in the BSCI Code of Conduct which ensures a fair and safe working environment for all it’s workers’.

    The swimwear is digitally printed, allowing them to pre-cut fabric and use the exact amount of ink needed, meaning minimal waste.

    Batoko keeps packaging to a minimum, using only compostable paper bags and recycled plastic mail bags when required.

    I have the cockatoo swimsuit, £50, which most definitely isn’t for watery wallflowers, and is a refreshing change from dull, sporty swimwear.

    Sure, £50 seems quite a lot for a swimming costume but you’re usually going to pay a premium for buying from independents as their unit costs will always be higher than a fashion giant, as they’re not mass producing.

    Batoko gives comprehensive advice on prolonging the life of your cossie, to ensure you keep it in your swimming arsenal for years to come, and avoid unnecessary clothing waste.

    Fast fashion, this is not.

     

    Love & Honor

    Love & Honor Margot long-sleeved sustainable swimsuit
    (Picture: Love & Honor)

    Love & Honor is a small, independent swimwear brand by France-based Marie-Claire, who makes sustainable swimsuits and separates for women and children who love frolicking in the sea.

    I have the Margot long-sleeved swimsuit, £80 which has the (surprisingly rare) ability of looking cute and also being functional. You’d be surprised at the amount of big surf brands who create suits that aren’t fit for purpose i.e. they’re not lined/don’t protect your modesty when you need it most.

    This particular swimsuit also double-lined all over, which is perfect for those of us with dark hair who still want to wear pastel colours on the bottom half.

    The Margot suit is made from recycled polyamide and Econyl regenerated nylon Lycra, and is super comfy to wear, with elasticated legs that stop them slipping up and revealing your vulva in wipeouts.

    Marie-Claire is also trialing an entirely natural alternative fabric made from castor beans that’s biodegradable – but not when swimming – so we could see this put into production in the future.

    Love & Honor goes the whole hog by posting its suits out in recycled (and recyclable) paper packaging.

    The swimsuits are ethically produced in a small factory in Poland.

    ‘Finding a factory to work with was the biggest challenge when started the business,’ Marie-Claire tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘We we finally discovered the one we’re using we were really happy as the team have stayed there for a long time and all work together really well.

    ‘I think manufacturing in Europe where factories have to be checked and certified made it easier to weed out any of the worst potential pitfalls, and small batch production means it’s a friendlier operation anyway.

    ‘Poland isn’t the obvious choice for swimwear but the distance for shipping is really short which is another small victory for the environment.’

     

    Weekday

    Weekday Latitude bikini set in yellow
    (Picture: Weekday)

    Cool Scandi brand Weekday’s entire swimwear collection is now made from recycled materials, such as plastic bottles and production waste, which is hugely impressive for a high street store.

    Weekday stores even allow you to drop off any old textiles you want to send away for recycling.

    I tested the Latitude swim top, £12 and Latitude high-waisted bottoms, £10, both made from recycled polyester. The set is comfy, looks great and has washed really well, despite being splattered with sunscreen on many an occasion.

    Weekday has a huge range of cool one pieces and bikinis and it’s so refreshing to find affordable, sustainable swimwear on the high street.

    However, the Latitude set is made in China, which loses points for its carbon footprint.

    Weekday has an entire sustainability section on their website, detailing their goals for the future, and current information on fabric, chemicals and labour.

    Part of the H&M group, Weekday participates in the Fair Living Wages Strategy, as part of its overall sustainability strategy.

    However, this has been called into question by the Clean Clothes Campaign, who argue that not a single worker producing clothes for H&M is being paid a ‘fair living wage’.

    Part of the ongoing problem – which was discussed at the H&M group Fair Living Wage Summit 2018 – is that the ‘living wage’ hasn’t yet been decided.

    ‘Until workers’ unions and manufacturers agree on a figure, we do not know what a fair living wage is,’ David Savman, H&M’s Global Head of Production told Reuters.

    Savman notes it’s not as easy as swooping in and raising wages for their factory workers, as he doesn’t deem that a sustainable approach. Instead, he believes the problem should be tackled by the whole industry, including other brands who use the same factories.

    Negotiations are still ongoing.

    According to H&M, ‘the average wage at supplier factories producing for H&M group is between 24% (Cambodia) to 93% (China) higher than the minimum wage level’.

    However, according to Reuters, ‘at an average of 49 cents an hour, many staff in H&M’s supply chain were still earning hourly rates that violate Bangladeshi labour laws.’

    The end of the fashion supply chain is a potentially murky world, regardless of which store you shop in, and it’s important to note that just because a price tag is higher, it doesn’t mean quality of working conditions are.

    A £100 sweater could have been made in the same factory as a £10 one, so when it comes to larger brands, if you’re serious about sustainability, it’s a good idea to do your research  and make your own mind up.

     

    Deakin & Blue

    Deakin & Blue Signature swimsuit in navy
    (Picture: Deakin & Blue)

    Deakin & Blue is a London-based swimwear brand founded by Rosie Cook, who was inspired when she couldn’t find any swimsuits that offered both style and substance.

    She wanted to create an ethical and inclusive brand for all body shapes.

    Cook designs each swimsuit/bikini in three different styles to suit the varying body shapes within a dress size – the Hepburn for AA-B busts, the Monroe for C-E busts and the Hendricks for F-HH busts.

    All Deakin & Blue products are made using Econyl regenerated nylon, and are manufactured at a small factory in London.

    The company works with Oeko-Tex® certified suppliers, environmentally and socially responsible manufacturers and partners who pay fairly, use chemicals safely and minimise waste where possible.

    You can read about their sustainability efforts on their website.

    I tried the Signature swimsuit, £105, which looks chic as well as being comfortable to swim in. It’s so great to be able to find a swimsuit that fits in all areas of the body, so you’re not left with tight/baggy cups.

    This suit is made of a supportive thick fabric to give you confidence in the water, and the high neck is great for a bit of extra coverage on the delicate chest area.

     

    Soulti Surf

    Soulti Surf ginger rose bikini and Wakame Salad onezie
    (Picture: Soulti Surf)

    ‘Why create more of an artificial fabric when we have so much nylon laying along our shores and floating in our seas?’ says Soulti Surf founder, Maddison Rose.

    Soulti Surf was born when surfer Maddison realised there was no environmentally friendly swimwear out there that made her feel comfortable in the water.

    She created long-sleeved options to wear when you want to be sun safe/respectful of cultures where frolicking half naked is frowned upon, and bikinis when you’re keen to show a bit more skin.

    Her swimwear is made using either Econyl regenerated nylon or old fabric offcuts, in Bali. The suits are made by a small, local family business, in their home. Maddison is super close to them, visiting every few months.

    The two pieces are reversible – with one side patterned and the other plain – allowing you to switch up your look and reduce the amount of swimwear you buy. A winner for your purse and the planet.

    The only thing that makes Soulti Surf a less sustainable option for us Brits is the air miles it takes for our package to get to the UK.

    However, you can do what I did and send the package along with a friend who’s making the trip anyway.

    I tested the Ginger Rose bralette, $58 (£32) and high top bottoms, $58 (£32), which quickly turned into the most versatile swim set I own. Too often, swimwear isn’t functional i.e. it comes off at the slightest hint of water turbulence, but this set perfectly preserved my modesty while miscalculating duck dives when ocean swimming, and during surfing wipeouts.

    It’s also super flattering and comfy, thanks to seamless stitching (*whispers* it doesn’t cut into the flab on my butt cheek) and is perfect for sunbathing.

    The Wakame Salad onezie, $92 (£50) is another great option for surfers who want to cover up but still look stylish out back. Plus, it has a hidden key attachment – which not enough female surf suits do – so you can safely stow your car/scooter key when in the ocean.

    Monki

    Monki sustainable shirred swimsuit in yellow
    (Picture: Monki)

    Monki is another great Scandi brand trailblazing affordable, sustainable swimwear on the high street, as part of their ‘Monki Cares’ sustainability initiative, which includes an aim to only use recycled/sustainable materials by 2030.

    All Monki stores and offices are powered by renewable energy, and you can take textiles and garments for recycling at all locations.

    A huge amount of Monki’s swimwear is made using recycled fabric – look for the ‘Monki Cares’ icon on their website which highlights such items – including the shirred swimsuit, £30 I own, which is made with 69% recycled polyester.

    A major bugbear with swimwear is how it often loses its shape after a few wears/washes, often meaning it ends up in landfill. However, I’ve had this swimsuit for over seven months now, wearing it regularly, and it’s like new.

    It’s great for swimming or surfing as neither the chest or back is too low, meaning it stays put.

    Just like Weekday, Monki is part of the H&M group, which I’ve gone into detail on above.

     

    Makara

    Makara sustainable swimwear
    (Picture: Makara Wear)

    Makara was set up by Lithuanian, Gerda Mi when she started surfing and couldn’t find anything she wanted to wear in the water. It sells stylish and functional one pieces and separates, most of which are made with sustainable fabrics.

    ‘All was flowery, or super old school cuts or too open and not practical,’ she tells Metro.co.uk. ‘So it was born from the need of comfort, elegance and quality.’

    Gerda spends most of her time in Bali now, where production takes place at a fair trade family-owned factory. Stock is either shipped to you from there, or from Europe.

    I tried the G sleeve leopard long-sleeved swimsuit, $118 (£94) which is a super chic and feminine option for those who want to keep the sun off them, whether they’re swimming or surfing.

    The swimsuit is made from Vita, a super stretchy recycled nylon Lycra from Italy made using Econyl regenerated nylon, also offering sun protection.

    The suit feels really luxe and elegant, and is a far cry from previous visions of sustainable swimwear. Curiously, it’s actually pretty hard to find sustainable surf wear, which is ironic given that you’d think big surf brands would care about the planet.

    I’ve worn the suit surfing and ocean swimming; it fits like a glove, and is ridiculously comfortable. The thumb holes on the sleeves are absolute genius, keeping the sleeves down and the sun off your hands.

    It’s so refreshing to find active swimwear that ticks all the boxes – it looks good, stays on and is kind to the planet.

    MORE: How to make your beauty routine more eco-friendly

    MORE: The high street retailers working hard to cut fashion waste

    MORE: Transgender model and activist Munroe Bergdorf gets real about 'beach bodies'


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    Aimee's natural brows
    Aimee has naturally blonde eyebrows (Picture: KerryHale / SWNS)

    A teenager who says she was bullied for having blonde eyebrows has been excluded from school activities after having them tinted.

    14-year-old Aimee Hale started getting the £25 brow tint after other girls picked on her for the way she looked.

    But after the brows turned out a little darker than she’d expected, bosses at Worden Academy in Leyland put her in isolation, saying they were ‘inappropriate’.

    Aimee’s mum, Kerry, 44, said she was ‘fuming’ after finding out about the punishment.

    She has since taken Aimee out of school in protest against the ‘ridiculous decision’.

    She said: ‘She’s such a quiet, shy girl and she’s never been in any trouble at school before.

    ‘She’s absolutely devastated at what’s happened. I could understand it if she had died her eyebrows pink or something, but they are just a little bit darker than usual.

    ‘Aimee’s natural eyebrows are a pure white and she is very self-conscious about them.

    ‘The eyebrow tinting has given her a real confidence boost and it has really helped with her self-esteem.

    ‘She’s been bullied before for her appearance and this isn’t going to help. I’m afraid that it’s really going to knock her confidence.

    Aimee's natural brows
    She got picked on for how light they were (Picture: KerryHale / SWNS)

    ‘To be fair, when she came home from the salon after her treatment, I did think they were a bit darker than usual.

    ‘But there are other girls walking around the school with slugs for eyebrows. I just can’t understand the school’s logic?’

    After learning about her daughter’s punishment, an outraged Kerry pulled her daughter out of school.

    She said: ‘Detention would have been more than sufficient, but isolation?

    ‘I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing when she came home in tears and told me everything that had happened.

    ‘I would never dream of sending Aimee to school dressed inappropriately. But the school uniform policy says nothing about eyebrows.’

    Kerry said she visited the school last week after demanding a meeting with Worden Academy headteacher Chris Catherall.

    Aimee's tinted eyebrows
    She was put in isolation for tinting them darker (Picture: KerryHale / SWNS)

    ‘We had a meeting Wednesday morning with the headteacher and deputy head,’ Kerry added.

    ‘Aimee was crying and very distressed, but I told her she would not be in any trouble as she had done nothing wrong.

    ‘But they stood by their decision and just said it was school policy.

    ‘When I pointed out that there is nothing in the policy about beauty treatments, his response was, “Well we can’t put everything in the policy”.

    ‘I just think the way the school has reacted is unbelievable. I appreciate that there has to be a dress code, but this is going too far. They’ve gone power mad.’

    Worden Academy has a dress code policy which it says must be adhered to at all times.

    The guidebook states that ‘facial hair must be neat and look smart at all times’ and ‘no colourings to hair should be worn’.

    It further emphasises that only ‘the pupil’s natural hair colour’ is permitted, and ‘no makeup, false lashes/nails, false tan or temporary or permanent body art is permitted’.

    According to Kerry, the school told her that Aimee will only be welcomed back into the classroom once her eyebrows are restored to their ‘natural state’.

    Kerry, who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety, said she cannot afford to pay a further £25 for the necessary treatment.

    She said: ‘All this stress and worry because of a pair of eyebrows. What are they thinking?’

    Kerry insists that Aimee will not be returning to Worden Academy until the school reverses its decision.

    Chris Catherall, headteacher at Worden Academy, said: ‘At Worden we try our best to treat all our students as fairly as possible and we understand that our students often feel that they want to follow fashion trends.

    ‘Aimee is a very likeable student and it is to her and her mum’s credit that following discussions the eyebrows did appear lighter.

    ‘It is our fervent hope that by working together, parents, staff and students, we are able maintain our common focus.’

    MORE: The definitive guide to sustainable swimwear

    MORE: Enjoy your hot girl summer with this Louis Vuitton volleyball for £2,113


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    Amber Rose Gill on Love Island
    The most knowing of smiles (Picture: ITV)

    Last night’s episode of Love Island saw contestants participating in a racy challenge that involved a whole load of gyrating.

    It wasn’t quite Magic Mike or Burlesque, but it certainly came close – although that wasn’t where the shock factor laid.

    During the raunchy dances, the islanders’ heart rates were being monitored, and when they were all over, the results made for some juicy reading for Amber Rose Gill.

    The person that got Michael Griffiths’ heart racing was Amber herself, meaning that perhaps his pulse was giving away what he couldn’t vocalise.

    After he dumped Amber for Joanna Chimonides during Casa Amor last week, the public were questioning whether feelings could be turned off so quickly (as was Joanna).

    The court of opinion has now ruled that they definitely can’t, given that Amber gets Michael’s blood pumping more than his new bae. But is this really the case?

    Put simply, yes.

    During sexual arousal, a whole load of things happen to your body. For those with penises, this is outwardly obvious, but everybody will experience inward signs such as higher blood pressure and accelerated breathing.

    The heart rate also increases, as a way to get your brain and body ready for what (hopefully will happen).

    One study claims, ‘erection is closely related to the cardiovascular system and occurs when the erectile tissue relaxes, increasing blood flow, a mechanism controlled by the autonomic nervous system modulation’.

    Michael during the challenge is Love Island
    Michael before Amber rocked his world (Picture: ITV)

    We would never comment on whether a Love Island contestant had an erection, but that is simply biology.

    Another study concluded that ‘arousal intensity… is strongly associated with arousal-related tachycardia’. Basically, the more aroused a person was, the more their heart rate rose. This could suggest that Michael actually is more attracted to Amber than Joanna – at least on a subconscious level.

    That said, there could be another explanation.

    Given Michael’s history with Amber, and his knowledge that Joanna was watching his ex grind all over him, the increase in heart rate may have been due to anxiety. Tachycardia (a heart rate over 100 beats per minute) is a common symptom in those with anxiety, and common among healthy individuals experiencing intense emotions.

    It may actually have been that the awkwardness and tension of the whole thing sent his heart going like the clappers, rather than a secret burning desire.

    That’s the rational answer, but it’s definitely not the most fun one. We’d wager, however, that the guilty smile he gave when the results were read out said more than an ECG ever could.

    MORE: The definitive guide to sustainable swimwear

    MORE: Bookworms rejoice: Amazon is selling a beach chair with a face hole for reading


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    Aaron and Maggie Mimms on their wedding day -
    Childhood sweethearts Aaron and Maggie Mimms on their wedding day (Picture: Ashlyn Cathey / SWNS)

    When they were five years old, Maggie and Aaron Mimms used to have pretend weddings in the playground.

    Now, 19 years later, they’re both 24 and have just married each other for real.

    The new husband and wife first became friends in 2000 after they were enrolled in Alpharetta Elementary School in Georgia, U.S.

    Maggie, a labour and delivery nurse, said her earliest memories involved her ‘chatterbox’ pal Aaron.

    Aaron, a marine, says the first day of school marked the beginning of his life-long crush.

    As an ode to the place they first met, the couple even got engaged at their playground in 2016.

    How sweet.

    Maggie and Aaron Mimms in Kindergarden -
    Maggie and Aaron in Kindergarden where they met (Picture: SWNS)

    The schoolyard sweethearts said ‘I do’ in a touching ceremony in front of 165 guests at a large park in their hometown.

    The day was made even more special with their former kindergarten pals were in attendance. The maid of honour Cassi Lobaugh and best man Michael Schweinbeck had also witnessed the mock weddings as kids.

    ‘We have been friends for most of our lives,’ said Maggie.

    ‘I never, ever thought I would end up marrying someone I met in kindergarten. Our wedding day was awesome.’

    Maggie and Aaron Mimms (back right) in Kindergarden - A pair of playground pals tied the knot 19 years after they first met - in KINDERGARTEN. See SWNS story SWNYschool; A pair of playground pals tied the knot 19 years after they first met - in KINDERGARTEN. Maggie and Aaron Mimms, both 24, first became friends in 2000 after they were enrolled in Alpharetta Elementary School in Georgia, USA. Maggie, a labor and delivery nurse, said her earliest memories involved her ?chatterbox? pal, while Aaron, a marine, says the first day of school marked the beginning of his life-long crush. The pals even became engaged in the playground of their elementary school in 2016 after two years of dating.
    Maggie and Aaron (back right) in school when they had mock ceremonies (Picture: SWNS)

    Aaron added: ‘As I stood there waiting for her on our wedding day I had to slow my breathing. I got butterflies. I couldn’t believe that after four years together I was finally getting to marry her.

    ‘When I saw her walking down the aisle she looked so beautiful and at that moment all the butterflies went away.’

    The pair dated in high school before breaking up in college due to both of them needing to mature.

    Aaron likened the time to eating an unripened banana – good but in need of maturing.

    Maggie and Aaron Mimms in highschool - A pair of playground pals tied the knot 19 years after they first met - in KINDERGARTEN. See SWNS story SWNYschool; A pair of playground pals tied the knot 19 years after they first met - in KINDERGARTEN. Maggie and Aaron Mimms, both 24, first became friends in 2000 after they were enrolled in Alpharetta Elementary School in Georgia, USA. Maggie, a labor and delivery nurse, said her earliest memories involved her ?chatterbox? pal, while Aaron, a marine, says the first day of school marked the beginning of his life-long crush. The pals even became engaged in the playground of their elementary school in 2016 after two years of dating.
    They dated in high school too before eventually breaking up (Picture: SWNS)

    A few years later while at college, they bumped into one another, a time when Aaron was in a relationship.

    The next time Maggie saw him at a supermarket, he told her that he broke up with his girlfriend.

    Feeling their natural chemistry, Maggie and Aaron got back together.

    But with Aaron’s military duties with the Marine Corps, their relationship hasn’t been easy.

    Maggie and Aaron Mimms PICTURED IN 2014 WITH AARON IN MILITARY UNIFORM
    Aaron’s military commitments have made the relationship a little difficult (Picture: SWNS)

    ‘At the beginning, he was training and we basically had seven months with zero communication,’ explained Maggie.

    ‘We’ve been through a couple of stints like that throughout our relationship. It’s always a possibility that he could be deployed which is very scary.

    ‘Aaron’s career meant that we were seriously thinking about our relationship and marriage very early on.’

    Aaron proposes to Maggie on the grounds of their elementary school, 2016 - A pair of playground pals tied the knot 19 years after they first met - in KINDERGARTEN. See SWNS story SWNYschool; A pair of playground pals tied the knot 19 years after they first met - in KINDERGARTEN. Maggie and Aaron Mimms, both 24, first became friends in 2000 after they were enrolled in Alpharetta Elementary School in Georgia, USA. Maggie, a labor and delivery nurse, said her earliest memories involved her ???chatterbox??? pal, while Aaron, a marine, says the first day of school marked the beginning of his life-long crush. The pals even became engaged in the playground of their elementary school in 2016 after two years of dating.
    Aaron proposed at the playground where they met (Picture: SWNS)

    For Aaron, ending up with his kindergarten pal seemed inevitable.

    He said: ‘It’s hard to define what I love about Maggie because yes, I do like her eyes, her smile, her laugh, and how she makes me feel inside.

    Aaron and Maggie Mimms on their wedding day
    Their real wedding day, 19 years later (Picture: SWNS)

    ‘But I love it when Maggie and I argue, I love having to clean her purple shampoo off our shower walls and I love the fact that she freaks out over the pillows not matching the colour of the walls and caring about what is the most hip thing out there.

    ‘Even though those things drive me up the wall, I still get to do those things with her and for that, I feel so lucky.

    Aaron and Maggie Mimms on their wedding day -
    So cute (Picture: Ashlyn Cathey / SWNS)

    ‘It turns out the thing that I desired most in life was that girl in my elementary school class.’

    Cute. If you’ll excuse us, we have to text some old school mates.

    MORE: Childhood sweethearts who met at nursery school marry and have a child together

    MORE: Childhood sweethearts marry 75 years after they first met

    MORE: Newlyweds discover they were childhood sweethearts after spotting each other in 20yo holiday snaps


    Maggie and Aaron Mimms (back right) in Kindergarden - A pair of playground pals tied the knot 19 years after they first met - in KINDERGARTEN. See SWNS story SWNYschool; A pair of playground pals tied the knot 19 years after they first met - in KINDERGARTEN. Maggie and Aaron Mimms, both 24, first became friends in 2000 after they were enrolled in Alpharetta Elementary School in Georgia, USA. Maggie, a labor and delivery nurse, said her earliest memories involved her ?chatterbox? pal, while Aaron, a marine, says the first day of school marked the beginning of his life-long crush. The pals even became engaged in the playground of their elementary school in 2016 after two years of dating.Maggie and Aaron Mimms (back right) in Kindergarden - A pair of playground pals tied the knot 19 years after they first met - in KINDERGARTEN. See SWNS story SWNYschool; A pair of playground pals tied the knot 19 years after they first met - in KINDERGARTEN. Maggie and Aaron Mimms, both 24, first became friends in 2000 after they were enrolled in Alpharetta Elementary School in Georgia, USA. Maggie, a labor and delivery nurse, said her earliest memories involved her ?chatterbox? pal, while Aaron, a marine, says the first day of school marked the beginning of his life-long crush. The pals even became engaged in the playground of their elementary school in 2016 after two years of dating.

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    Cyber flashing - What to do if you're a victim and how to report it Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk
    The average dick pic sender says they do so to get the recipient aroused (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Men who like sending unrequested dick pics are more likely to be self-obsessed sexists.

    Shocking, isn’t it?

    This is no longer just a shared opinion, but something backed up by science.

    Researchers surveyed 1,000 straight men about their predilection for sending photographs of their penis to women, and their personality traits.

    In news that will surprise absolutely no women, the men who had sent at least one dick pic had higher levels of narcissism (so they’re vain and think they’re generally wonderful) and sexist values.

    Essentially, men who send dick pics no one asked for do so because they think they’re absolutely brilliant – so why wouldn’t someone want to see their penis – and because they don’t have proper respect for women.

    We repeat: shocking.

    The sexist values expressed by the dick pic senders included both benevolent sexism (holding women to unfair standards) and hostile sexism (thinking women are terrible).

    So it’s not necessarily that you can spot someone who would send you a dick pic by checking if they hate women – the seemingly chivalrous chaps who say they worship women could end up cyberflashing you too.

    How to compliment a woman without being a dick
    They also tend to be sexist and self-obsessed (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    The research found that sending dick pics without being invited to is pretty common, with 48% of those surveyed saying they had sent an unsolicited image of their genitals at least once in their lives.

    The averages gathered paint a picture of the typical dick pic sender: a 31-year-old white male who’s either married or in a longterm relationship.

    The men who sent dick pics were no more or less sexual than those who don’t, and didn’t watch more or less porn. There was also no relationship between how likely a man was to send a dick pic and how often they masturbated.

    And why, pray tell, do these men decide to send images of their undercarriage?

    82% of those who send dick pics said they did so to give the recipient ‘sexual excitement’, so they genuinely believe that receiving a surprise photo of a penis will send women mad with untamed arousal.

    Spoiler: in most cases, it will not.

    Again, it comes down to a man thinking very highly of himself.

    Psychologist Jo Hemmings previously told Metro.co.uk the same thing, explaining that men send dick pics because of exhibitionism.

    ‘The technology is there, so they use it to show what they’ve got to offer, assuming women will be impressed by their manhood,’ said Jo.

    ‘Sexualising themselves via their erect penis is a crude “mating device”.

    ‘In their naiveté, they’d obviously like to see a picture of you naked, so why wouldn’t you want to see the same?

    ‘And it might prompt you to send one back. Unlikely, but there’s always that possibility lurking in their Neanderthal minds.’

    MORE: Grandma wears grandson’s sex toys thinking they’re thermal socks

    MORE: Why you keep dating people who are just like your ex, study reveals

    MORE: Why you should be unapologetically honest on dating apps


    How to compliment a woman without being a dickHow to compliment a woman without being a dick

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    Kayley at her stand
    Kayley giving out her lemonade (Picture: Stacey Cross/SWNS

    A family who lost everything in a house fire has been overwhelmed by the kindness of their nine-year-old neighbour, who raised funds to help by opening a lemonade stand.

    Little Kayley Cross was devastated when she saw the fire destroy the home of Brooke and Josh Rummonds while they raced to safety with their young sons.

    The fire started in the bins outside and destroyed all of their possessions. Two days later Kayley set up a stall outside their homes to take donations for homemade lemonade.

    Kayley, from California, sat opposite the remains of the home for two days and sold 100 cups in return for donations, raising $1,000.

    People even drove over from far away after hearing about how dedicated Kayley was.

    Kayley at her lemonade stand
    She sold lemonade to raise funds for her neighbours after the fire (Picture: Stacey Cross/SWNS

    The Rummonds are being helped by friends and family – but said Kayley’s thoughtful gesture touched them the most.

    Kayley said: ‘We know our neighbours really well. They live right across the street.

    ‘I sat on the front step and watched the fire, people stood outside, and firefighters.

    ‘I watched the whole thing, and wanted to help in some way.

    ‘I had already planned to raise money for a dog shelter.

    ‘But after the fire, I wanted to donate that money to our neighbours instead.

    The home after the fire
    The home was completely destroyed (Picture: Brooke Rummonds /SWNS.COM)

    ‘I went out with lemonade, and my mum gave me around 100 cups.

    ‘We didn’t expect so many people to donate so much money.’

    Brooke, a saleswoman, added: ‘It was just so horrible having to watch our beautiful home – the memories we’ve made – go up in flames.

    ‘But as we turned around, we saw our neighbours come out their homes and instinctively rally to our side and look after us.

    ‘They’ve been so wonderful to us.

    ‘I guess that spirit of friendship was summed up in Kayley, who is a wonderful girl.’

    Brooke, 36, and her husband Josh, 38, were tucking sons Jack, one, and Cam, one month old, into bed when the smoke detector beeped, on June 24, at around 6pm.

    She and Josh ran across the landing and saw flames coming out of an air conditioning vent, so grabbed the kids, two dogs and ran outside, calling emergency services.

    The Rummonds together
    The Rummonds are now being helped by friends and family (Picture: Brooke Rummonds /SWNS.COM)

    The City of Fresno Fire Department, City of Clovis Fire Department and County of Fresno Fire Department rushed to the fire with 15 trucks and 40 firefighters.

    But the fire hydrant across from the house failed, she said, and caused a 15 minute delay in getting water on the fire.

    Brooke said the fire department reckon the fire started in one of the garbage bins, igniting the attic and coming through the air conditioning vent.

    Once the fire was in the attic, it spread fast and the fire department apparently told Brooke and Josh they couldn’t do anything to save the house.

    While the firefighters set to work protecting the neighbours’ homes, the ‘whole neighbourhood’ came out to take care of the Rummonds.

    Two days later Kayley set up her stall, serving dozens of cups between 3pm and 8pm after school.

    Brooke said: ‘It’s going to be hard for a while, but we’re so humbled by these wonderful people who’ve come together for us in such a big way.’

    MORE: Couple who had mock wedding ceremonies as children get married 19 years later

    MORE: The definitive guide to sustainable swimwear


    A little girl selflessly set up a lemonade stand to raise money for her neighbours who lost everything in a house fireA little girl selflessly set up a lemonade stand to raise money for her neighbours who lost everything in a house fire

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    This cat is gorgeous
    Isn’t she beautiful? (Picture: @milkyblvck)

    We’ve fallen in love with a black cat who has one blue eye, and one yellow.

    Niu Nai, whose name means ‘milk’ in Mandarin, lives with his owner Clare Zheng, in China.

    Niu Nai has heterochromia, a genetic condition which means she has mismatched eyes, according to INSIDER.

    The condition occurs when a specific gene prevents melanin from reaching one of the eyes during development. This means one of the eyes changes to green, yellow or brown, even though kittens are traditionally born with blue eyes.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/By2B3mfADta/

    But don’t worry – the condition doesn’t affect vision or anything, and it’s not a medical problem – it just means Niu Nai has very pretty eyes.

    So pretty, in fact, that she’s become somewhat of an Instagram celebrity.

    Clare set up an account for her cat back in March, and it already has over 38,000 followers. It’s filled with adorable photos of Niu Nai poking her tongue out, taking baths and dressing in cute hats.

    According to Clare, all Niu Nai loves to do is ‘eat and sleep all day’. She’s not a fan of normal cat toys and just enjoys lazing around the house. Don’t we all?

    Though apparently she is a little bit of a princess – as she absolutely loves all the attention she’s getting from her followers.

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

    And of course, her followers are absolutely head over heels for her, and have been leaving lots of lovely comments to say how much Niu Nai brightens their days.

    And we can see why, because she’s absolutely beautiful!

    Here’s Niu Nai just chilling at home

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BzwG3JdAk3w/

     

    Here she is showing off her hat

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BznGPUNgxz2/

     

    Look at those big eyes!

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BzqoWFlgs-F/

    Isn’t she just gorgeous?

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

    Now, where do we find out own Niu Nai?

    MORE: Photo series captures the wonder of cats standing on their back legs

    MORE: Why do cats love boxes?


    Cat with different colour eyesCat with different colour eyes

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    Rosie the sitting cat
    She’s doing her best trick right there (Picture: Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia)

    Every pet deserves a home, but some stories of animals in need of new owners have extra potential to tug on our heartstrings.

    Take little Rosie, for example, who went viral this week after a shelter posted her pictures.

    Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia shared the photos of Rosie on the Facebook, in the hopes that someone would see it and want to rehome her.

    She’s an 8-year-old sweetheart, and her favourite activities are eating dry food and being brushed.

    The charity also mentioned that she’s got some ‘extra lovable weight’, but when has that ever been a problem for die-hard cat lovers? More to love, we say.

    The most interesting thing about Rosie, however, is her incredible talents.

    Update: Rosie has been placed in a new home but ACCT Philly has many adorable cats including some chonks available….

    Posted by Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 10, 2019

    She’s not just house-trained, but trained-trained, and can come when you call her name, as well as sitting when you tell her to.

    Rosie has the sweetest markings, and one of those adorable sad faces (you can see why she may have been given extra treats).

    Fans of the sweet, clever girl poured in, and in the space of a few hours she’d found a brand home.

    The original post was liked thousands of times, and shared about 600 times, showing just how badly people wanted her to find a family.

    Now that it’s happened, however, No-Kill Philadelphia don’t want other kitties to miss out on the attention. They updated the post, saying: ‘Rosie has been placed in a new home but ACCT Philly has many adorable cats including some chonks available. Check out Kandi, Kiki, and Loop!’

    If you think that might be you – you’ll need to be located in the US – then check out the floofs here.

    MORE: Men who send unsolicited dick pics tend to be self-obsessed sexists

    MORE: Teenager bullied for blonde eyebrows put in isolation after tinting them dark

     


    Clever cat with \'extra lovable weight\' looking for new home Picture: Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia METROGRABClever cat with \'extra lovable weight\' looking for new home Picture: Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia METROGRAB

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    Pilot flies his mum on plane - Ryan McCormick is with Mary McCormick.
    Ryan and mum Mary fly by themselves (Picture: Ryan McCormick)

    In the way that mums always show up to support their children, Ryan McCormick’s beloved ma turned up for him.

    But unfortunately for mum Mary, from Florida, U.S, she had to wait seven hours for her pilot son as his plane was delayed.

    Waiting to board a flight that was due to be flown by Ryan, Mary was told that there was a seven-hour delay.

    All other passengers opted to be rebooked on an earlier journey but Mary stayed put.

    And as patience is a virtue, she ended up flying on the plane as the only passenger with her son at the wheel.

    Mary McCormick as the only passenger on son Ryans flight
    When you have sons in high places (Picture: Ryan McCormick)

    But we know what you’re thinking – having one pilot is kind of dangerous isn’t it? (smaller planes can be manned by solo pilots).

    Ryan had nothing to worry about though because Mary is actually a retired captain herself so she would’ve been fine had anything happened to him.

    ‘After a seven-hour delay yesterday, every passenger opted to be rebooked on an earlier flight except for one – my mum,’ wrote Ryan on Facebook.

    ‘I had the amazing opportunity of being her private pilot while she had the entire airliner to herself.’

    In the end, it turned out to be a private jet type situation as Mary had the whole plane to herself.

    She was even invited to the cockpit for some cute mother and son pics.

    Ryan McCormick is with Mary McCormick on a plane
    Cute (Picture: Ryan McCormick)

    Users on Facebook were amused by the story praising their relationship.

    ‘Mums are the best like that. Very cool.’ wrote one person while another said: ‘What a lovely moment for them after a stressful day. I love it.’

    Others made jokes. One person said: ‘In case of cabin decompression, please assist your children first, since they will be landing the plane for you.’

    ‘”You’re speeding” – mum probably,’ quipped another.

    One person raised a good point: ‘This is super cute. This is also a major waste of fuel’.

    Well, he has a point.

    MORE: Mum’s dream comes true as son with life-limiting condition walks her down the aisle

    MORE: Mum takes hilarious picture when her youngest son doesn’t understand how to hold a fish

    MORE: Grandma wears grandson’s sex toys thinking they’re thermal socks


    Pilot flies his mum on planePilot flies his mum on plane

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    The M&M bars
    These look tasty (Picture: Mars)

    M&M’s fans, rejoice: Your favourite bags of chocolate will now come in bar-form. And yes, we are excited.

    Okay, so the M&Ms chocolate bars aren’t exactly new – they’ve been available in the U.S. and Australia for some time now – but they’re finally coming to the UK.

    The chocolate bars come in four flavours: chocolate, peanut, crispy and a new hazelnut edition.

    Each flavour features mini M&Ms packed into a chunky chocolate bar.

    Cordelia Linacre, M&M’s Senior Brand Manager, said: ‘We’ve been inundated with requests to bring M&M’s Bars to the UK – so we’re extremely excited to announce that the wait is over! We invite existing fans and all chocolate lovers to get stuck in!’

    The chocolate bars are coming to the UK
    They’re finally coming to the UK! (Picture: Mars)

    Of course, we’re so ready to try the new bars – especially as they’ve had amazing reviews from people over in the US, who have said it’s ‘the best candy in the world’.

    We hope they’re right.

    The bars, which will be sold in Tesco nationwide from 17 July before going on to be sold across other retailers from 17 August, will be showcased on shelves standing up, just like the M&Ms mascots.

    They’ll each be selling for £2.49, and come wrapped in bright packaging much like the bags, with the M&M’s characters across the front.

    We can’t wait to try them.

    In other exciting supermarket news, you can pick up tiny toy versions of M&S food with the Little Shop Collection, from this week.

    It’s set to be the trend of the summer and you can pick up a free toy every time you spend £20 in store.

    MORE: Please fall in love with this black cat with different colour eyes

    MORE: Exciting news: McVitie’s Chocolate Orange Digestives have made a comeback


    "Tambov, Russian Federation - August 26, 2012: M&M's candy on M&M's brand. M&M's produced by Mars, Incorporated.""Tambov, Russian Federation - August 26, 2012: M&M's candy on M&M's brand. M&M's produced by Mars, Incorporated."

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    Hunter is releasing Peppa Pig wellies
    Peppa Pig wellies are coming your way (Picture: PA)

    Hunter Boots, most known for its famous Wellingtons, has announced a new collaboration with children’s cartoon Peppa Pig.

    The Hunter x Peppa Pig collection comes after the brand secured a deal with Entertainment One, the studio that owns the rights to the beloved cartoon.

    The limited edition collection will feature the brand’s Grab Handle Wellington boots and umbrellas, and will launch on 19 July across the UK and also in North America, Canada, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Scandinavia, France and Italy.

    The collection, which is aimed at children aged two to five, and will have a price range of between £30 and £45, was announced on Instagram recently by Hunter.

    Alongside a teaser Peppa Pig clip, the brand wrote: ‘@HunterBoots is celebrating the joy of muddy puddles with a limited-edition collaboration with @OfficialPeppa.

    The clip shows a child jumping in the mud wearing a pair of yellow and orange wellies with Peppa Pig on the print.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bzp-zNVhzB-/?utm_source=ig_embed

    Ever since the clip was posted, parents have been getting very excited to buy the boots for their kids.

    One person wrote: ‘Getting my gal some’.

    Another said: ‘My girls would love these’.

    However, one woman wants them for herself, writing: ‘Seriously, where are the adult sizes? I would buy these!’

    Sadly, as you probably guessed, the boots won’t come in adult sizes.

    But hey, hopefully Hunter will see the need for them from the comments section – because adults can like Peppa Pig too, right?

    I mean, most parents have watched it enough thanks to their kids wanting it on repeat – it’s the least they deserve.

    MORE: Clever cat with ‘extra lovable weight’ finds new home

    MORE: Please fall in love with this black cat with different colour eyes


    Undated handout file photo issued by Channel 5 of Peppa Pig, who has been blamed for contributing to patients' unrealistic expectations of what they can expect from their GP. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday December 11, 2017. A general practitioner, writing in the BMJ, also suggested the TV show aimed at preschoolers could be encouraging inappropriate use of services. See PA story HEALTH Peppa. Photo credit should read: Channel 5/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.Undated handout file photo issued by Channel 5 of Peppa Pig, who has been blamed for contributing to patients' unrealistic expectations of what they can expect from their GP. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Monday December 11, 2017. A general practitioner, writing in the BMJ, also suggested the TV show aimed at preschoolers could be encouraging inappropriate use of services. See PA story HEALTH Peppa. Photo credit should read: Channel 5/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

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    Love Island 2019: Here's how to create the Islanders' disco hairstyles from tonight's episode
    (Picture: ITV2)

    Tonight on Love Island there was a shock recoupling and we finally saw Tommy and Molly-Mae spend their first night in the hideaway, after making their relationship official this week.

    But it’s not the couple’s sleepover that got our tongues wagging, rather the disco-worthy hairstyles the Islanders’ rocked during their ‘disco’. From Molly-Mae’s glitter parting, Jordan’s space buns, to Ovie’s glitter beard, the hairstyles were every bit as dazzling as a mirrored disco ball.

    Whether you’re going on a night out, or heading to a special occasion, these looks will leave you ready to boogie all night long. With a little help from VO5,the official hair sponsor of Love Island, here’s how to create dance-floor-worthy disco hairstyles.

    Molly-Mae

    Love Island 2019: Here's how to create the Islanders' disco hairstyles from tonight's episode
    (Picture: ITV2)

    Step 1: To stop your hair from getting frazzled, start by applying VO5 Heat Protect Spray (£4.39) through the hair.

    Step 2: Add a touch of nostalgia by creating crimps through lengths and ends of hair.

    Step 3: Next divide top area from the centre front hair line down to nape in big triangle shape.

    Step 4: Apply a little VO5 Brilliant Shine Cream (£4.39) to top before Dutch Braiding hair – this will make it easier to braid and using ‘Dutch’ technique (weaving sections under NOT over each other) will make braid pop out.

    Step 5: Use glitter fixing spray to prep parted area before applying glitter pink/blue with fine makeup brush.

    Step 6: Finish with a spritz of VO5 No.5 Hairspray (£3.59) to ensure you hair will stay defined all night long.

    Jordan

    Love Island 2019: Here's how to create the Islanders' disco hairstyles from tonight's episode
    (Picture: ITV2)

    Step 1: To create Jordan’s space buns, start by applying VO5 Fizz Free Cream (£4.39) to hair to leave it sleek and smooth.

    Step 2: Create Bantu knots (aka small coiled buns) throughout the hair in large sections.

    Step 3: For a sprinkle of glitter mist knots with VO5 Style Edit Fixing Spray for Glitter (£3.32).

    Step 4: You can also apply coloured glitter by tapping applicator brush (use fine makeup brush) or pinching and sprinkle onto knots directly.

    Step 5: Finish with further misting of hairspray.

    Anna

    Love Island 2019: Here's how to create the Islanders' disco hairstyles from tonight's episode
    (Picture: ITV2)

    Step 1: Apply VO5 Heat Protect Spray (£4.39) to hair and smooth with straighteners.

    Step 2: Use the tip of a comb to brush the hair into middle parting to create pigtail space buns.

    Step 3: Take small piece of tail and wrap around band to hide it then secure with grip.

    Step 4: Next apply generous amount of silver glitter to the parting (because there is no such thing as too much glitter, right?).

    Step 5: Mist VO5 No.5 Hairspray (£3.59) to smooth any flyaways and lock it all in place.

    Ovie

    Love Island 2019: Here's how to create the Islanders' disco hairstyles from tonight's episode
    (Picture: ITV2)

    Step 1: Creating Ovie’s look is simple. Start by applying a small amount of VO5 Styling Wax (£4.39) to give a smooth finish.

    Step 2: Mist VO5 Style Edit Fixing Spray for Glitter (£3.32) to front hairline area.

    Step 3: Apply silver, blue or pink glitter over the hair – not forgetting down the side of face and jawline.

    Step 4: And to finish, apply a good helping of VO5 Mega Hold Hairspray (£4.39).

    Love Island will continue tomorrow at 9pm on ITV2. 

    MORE: Love Island’s Tommy Fury and Molly-Mae Hague finally spend night in Hideaway after Amy Hart sex revelation

    MORE: Why Michael’s heart rate increasing means he definitely prefers Amber to Joanna in Love Island


    ©ITV©ITV

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    Mum Fran Harvey shares embarrassing problem with Sainsbury's crab print nappies
    Turns out a crab print can have some embarrassing consequences (Picture: Fran Harvey)

    Fran Harvey is a fan of Sainsbury’s nappies.

    They don’t leak, they fit her baby well, they’re reasonably priced and they do the job.

    There’s just one problem: they have a cute little crab pattern, which has led to some awkward moments.

    Fran shared her troubles on Facebook, writing: Why put the animal crabs on your nappies?

    ‘I am now faced with embarrassment when I change my baby’s nappy especially in public changing rooms.

    ‘My toddler thinks it’s great you have chosen the animal crabs, and finds it great to go around saying “Violet got crabs”, “Violet got crabs in her nappy” and also “Mummy gave Violet crabs in nappy”. (Direct quotes from my 2 and a half year old)

    ‘You can only begin to imagine the funny looks I have received.’

    Little Violet likes to declare her mum gave her crabs in her nappies
    Little Violet likes to declare her mum gave her crabs in her nappies (Picture: Fran Harvey)

    Fran has suggested that Sainsbury’s could perhaps choose another animal for their diaper’s print. Some rabbits, maybe. Or lions, to fit the Lion King revival happening right now.

    We’d just steer away from crabs, fleas, insects of any kind, and snakes.

    ‘You could have chosen any cute fluffy animal to put on your nappy, but you chose the crab,’ wrote Fran. ‘Have you thought about changing the animal for future nappies?

    ‘Thank you for the embarrassment and I look forward to hearing a response, an embarrassed crab hating Mum of two.’

    We’ve reached out to Sainsbury’s to find out if they anticipated the potential confusion of printed crabs on nappies, but they haven’t got back to us yet. We’ll update this article if they do.

    Fran shared a Facebook message from Sainsbury’s in response to her complaint. They said: ‘I’m sorry the aquatic design isn’t of liking’.

    Fran has suggested Sainsbury's chooses a different animal
    Fran has suggested Sainsbury’s chooses a different animal (Picture: Fran Harvey)

    On a positive note, at least Fran’s crab debacle has brought joy to others, even if she has had to go through the embarrassment of her daughter telling everyone she has crabs.

    Since sharing her woes on Facebook, Fran’s post has been shared more than 300 times and has been flooded with comments from parents cackling at her bad luck.

    Many parents have noted that the nappies in the next size up have little bunnies on them, so once Violet grows Fran’s problem may be solved.

    Others have shared their own embarrassing moments in parenting.

    One mum commented: ‘Well my little boy shouting out in the Asda toilets “mum why you peeing out your bum” I’m like I’m not and shouting again “yes you are I can hear it”.’

    Another said: ‘Could be worse. My daughter had problems with her ears when young and as a consequence got some words slightly wrong … on holiday one year she saw some Dora the Explorer crocs she wanted.

    ‘Unfortunately she couldn’t say crocs came out as crabs …anyway we bought the crocs then decided to go for meal in restaurant all was going great till the server walked up wearing crocs.

    ‘My darling daughter took one look and started squealing with excitement and pointing at server shrieking …she’s got crabs she’s got crabs.’

    The shame.

    MORE: Mrs Hinch opens up about new mum fears as she shares first photo of son Ronnie

    MORE: Mum takes hilarious picture when her youngest son doesn’t understand how to hold a fish

    MORE: Toddler becomes youngest person to climb Britain’s three highest mountains


    Embarrassing problem with Sainsbury's nappiesEmbarrassing problem with Sainsbury's nappies

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    Evon has modelled for lots of brands in the last three years
    Evon has modelled for lots of brands in the last three years (Pictures: JD Williams/Renaissance magazine)

    When Evon Brennan received a message on LinkedIn asking if she would consider being a model, she assumed it was a scam.

    She had never modelled before and she thought as she was in her fifties, it wouldn’t be something she could do.

    Evon, now 58, was contacted by Fleur Brady, one of the co-founders of Mrs Robinson management modelling agency – but Evon just deleted the message.

    Fleur persisted, sending more messages and trying to contact Evon. She had spotted her on Instagram and thought she would be perfect to sign up for their modelling agency that focuses on representing older women.

    Evon, who lives in London, tells Metro.co.uk: ‘They contacted me, just out of the blue. I kept getting all these messages like in my LinkedIn, and then phone calls, and I was deleting everything as I didn’t know them.

    ‘I thought it was a scam. I heard modeling and I thought “no way”. I just didn’t take it seriously or anything.

    ‘I think maybe I was very frightened. Maybe I didn’t see myself as a model or I had a bad impression of what it means to be a model.’

    Luckily, Fleur persisted and eventually Evon decided to go and meet her.

    Evon adds: ‘She hassled me for about a year. I was studying at the time and eventually found out their offices just around the corner from where I was studying literature.

    ‘Eventually, I thought to get them off my back, I would just go and see them.

    Evon Brennan older model
    Evon was featured in the Primark beauty campaign (Picture: Primark/Sarah Brown)

    ‘I met Fleur Brady, who was Irish and I’m half Irish so that’s a really nice connection. I met her partner Rebi and they were just really nice people.

    ‘The next thing I knew, I’d said ok but I still didn’t take it seriously.

    ‘Within three or four days, I was asked to go to Germany for a shoot with Schwarzkopf.’

    Since then, Evon has featured in campaigns for brands including JD Williams and Primark.

    ‘It’s been great but it’s taken me three years to finally say, I love this,’ she said.

    Evon Brennan older model
    Over the last three years, her work has taken her across the world (Picture: JD Williams Company/Elisabeth Hoff)

    ‘Mrs Robinson is exceptional. They understand what is like to be an older woman. They make sure you are treated respectably, you have rest breaks and you are comfortable. I probably wouldn’t still be doing this if it wasn’t for them.

    Now having worked extensively in the industry, Evon has a much greater understanding of how everything works and says she particularly enjoys seeing everyone bring their talents together for a shoot.

    ‘Everyone is phenomenally talent, from the models, up to the creative director, to the marketing, to the stylists,’ she tells us.

    Evon Brennan older model
    Evon says she loves working with JD Williams (Picture: JD Williams Company/Elisabeth Hoff)

    ‘It takes so much to get one photograph. I don’t think I quite understood the creativity and work behind it before. I don’t think I realised how difficult it was to get that one shot.’

    Evon has also watched her 20-year-old son Callum Stoddart take up a modelling career at the same time.

    ‘He’s doing all the big brands and he loves it. He really loves travelling and the freedom,’ Evon says.

    ‘I think, for me, I like that I have my ‘real life’ to go back to. You are on somebody else’s routine. It can be some very early mornings, long days and sometimes you can be waiting around for hours.

    ‘I am writing a novel at the minute so I can use that time to write so that does suit me.’

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bll21AklYwg/

    Being an older model in this industry does make Evon feel different but says most of the time, her age is irrelevant.

    She laughs: ‘I went for a casting yesterday and I was the oldest person there. The guy went to get me a chair and I said “I’m seven months pregnant but it’s fine”. I think I just had to joke about it.

    ‘But most of the time age doesn’t matter – it’s all about personality. This industry is changing.

    ‘At my first casting, I was just blown away by all the glamourous grey-haired ladies and I thought “gosh, am I part of that?”

    ‘JD Williams is fantastic, for example. Their campaigns really embrace older models and models of different sizes and races.

    Evon Brennan- older model
    (Picture: Renaissance Magazine/ Catharina Pavitschitz)

    ‘They’re just showing people that we can all wear nice clothes and all look good. We can all look trendy if we want to look trendy.’

    Fleur now fits modelling around her job teaching music to children. Her background is as a singer songwriter.

    ‘I love my job. It really is the best in the world and it’s different to modelling but I could never give it up completely for modelling.

    ‘I get to do a job I love that is also flexible so I can do modelling too.’

    Fleur wants to keep up her modelling work for as long as she can, admitting it’s boosted her confidence, income and helped her try so many new things.

    She says: ‘I’m feeling like I am living the life and I feel amazing. I am having a ball and it’s such a laugh. I make extra money and travel.

    ‘I’m doing things that I never would have thought about before. It is incredible.’

    MORE: Couple who had mock wedding ceremonies as children get married 19 years later

    MORE: Teenager bullied for blonde eyebrows put in isolation after tinting them dark


    Models In The Jd Williams Fifty Plus Fashion Week Are From Left: Evon Brennan 55 Brucella Newman 50 Sylvia Gobbel 53 Tanya Drouginska 68 Stefanie Lang 68 Sharron Raynor 52 Valerie 72 Elsa Turnbull 51 And Tracey Bailey 53. Former Vogue Cover Girl AndModels In The Jd Williams Fifty Plus Fashion Week Are From Left: Evon Brennan 55 Brucella Newman 50 Sylvia Gobbel 53 Tanya Drouginska 68 Stefanie Lang 68 Sharron Raynor 52 Valerie 72 Elsa Turnbull 51 And Tracey Bailey 53. Former Vogue Cover Girl And

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    Two queer women at LICK club in London
    We are now about to open London’s first nightclub for queer women, a space where we can feel comfortable every night (Picture: Chanel Moye)

    I don’t remember the last time I went to a straight club and didn’t receive harassment of some kind.

    It has become so commonplace for me that often I would rather tell men I have a boyfriend over telling them that I am a lesbian.

    My most recent experience was during a friend’s music label launch in East London. Within 10 seconds of walking in, my ponytail was yanked and I was dragged backwards to the bar by a drunk man clearly trying to get my attention.

    When I protested, the man and his friends proclaimed they ‘just wanted to buy me a drink’. I can’t stand seeing their faces light up and hear the same comments over and over again about how they could turn me straight.

    The recent homophobic attack on a London bus, during which a lesbian couple were forced to kiss, has really hit home.

    It may seem like an extreme case but it is something that my friends and I experience far too often. Being forced to kiss to prove our identity whilst being questioned about our sexuality happens, both within the straight community and, unfortunately, at some gay clubs too.

    Old stereotypes of what a lesbian should look like is still an issue and often femme looking lesbians are denied entry for not looking ‘gay enough’.

    LICK founder Teddy Edwardes looks out at sea from a boat
    I don’t remember the last time I went to a straight club and didn’t receive harassment (Picture: Teddy Edwardes)

    A lot of the big gay clubs don’t actually always let queer women in as they think that we are going to cause trouble. If we do manage to enter we are faced with gay men being annoyed that we are taking up ‘their’ space or even straight men hanging out in gay clubs to try and pull girls (yes, that happens).

    We are sexualised to the point that kissing and holding hands in public often makes us feel uncomfortable. Now a British Social Attitudes (BSA) has indicated that public acceptance of same-sex couples has ‘reached a point of plateau’, suggesting that as a society we have reached the limit of our tolerance for anyone who doesn’t fit into social ‘norms’.

    So where is there left for queer women to go?

    I moved to London three years ago to work in London’s only lesbian bar. I enjoyed working there but expectations didn’t exactly meet reality: the music was a repetitive playlist of cheesy music day in day out, the customer base reflected no kind of diversity and worst of all, it would often be full of men, which completely defeated the purpose of a lesbian bar in the first place.

    I was absolutely devastated to get fired six months later. Little did I know at the time, this would be the best thing that could have happened to me.

    It was these events that prompted me to start LICK, an event for queer women that are inclusive of the trans and non-binary community. I made it exactly how I would want a lesbian club to be: great music, cheap drinks and absolutely no men.

    Two queer women dancing at a LICK event in London
    Our sexual identity is not for anybody’s entertainment and we deserve to be able to express who we love freely (Picture: Chanel Moye)

    For the first year and a half it was a real struggle and everyone told me the only way I’d make money was by letting men in, but I didn’t listen. I had faith that this would work.

    How could it not? How many other women were there out there that had had the same experiences as me and needed somewhere to go?

    LICK went from having 30 people attend the events to 200 people in its first year and this year we set new records. Our most recent Pride event had a record smashing 2000 women in attendance.

    We are now about to open London’s first nightclub for queer women, a space where we can feel comfortable every night of the week and a place to give other women opportunities to start their own events.

    The reaction has been amazing and it has been a huge step forward for our community.

    The more that queer women are represented through safe spaces, the less we will be sexualised by the media and by men.

    Our sexual identity is not for anybody’s entertainment and we deserve to be able to express who we love freely, be that in the day time, on public transport, or on a night out.

    MORE: London’s XXL gay club set to close to make way for luxury flats

    MORE: I knew I wanted to marry my partner the day we met. Finally I can

    MORE: Britain still has a long way to go to achieve true equality for my LGBT+ community


    LICK is London's first nightclub for queer women-746aLICK is London's first nightclub for queer women-746a

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    illustration of two women standing in the sun
    Could your sore skin be a sign of a sun allergy? (Picture: Erin Aniker/Metro.co.uk)

    So you’ve spent too much time out in the sun and are now a fetching shade of lobster red.

    Is that just regular old sunburn, or could you be allergic to the sun?

    Sun allergy is a real thing, and few of us are aware of what it actually entails.

    Being allergic to sunlight isn’t just hating warm weather. It’s a physical reaction on the skin that isn’t usually dangerous, but can cause some pain and irritation.

    Dr Clare Morrison, GP and medical advisor at Medexpress, explains: ‘Sun allergy is a condition in which sun exposure causes a reaction in the skin.

    ‘Polymorphic light eruption is the most common type, particularly in young fair-skinned women.

    ‘It usually starts in spring, and affects parts of the body that have been covered during the winter, but which are now exposed, such as the arms and neck.

    ‘Early signs and symptoms include itching, redness, soreness, and rashes, which may include small red bumps or blisters. These occur within minutes or hours after sun exposure.’

    It can be tricky to diagnose sun allergies, as the symptoms can vary from person to person. While one person might have a rash, another might just have seriously sore skin even if they’re loaded up with SPF.

    a couple at the pool
    Hot weather can be tough on your health (Picture: Erin Aniker/Metro.co.uk)

    The key to recognising sun allergy is noticing that symptoms are triggered by exposure to sunlight. To test this, simple cover up an area of skin and see if the symptoms improve.

    Along with pain and irritation, having a sun allergy can affect your health in another way.

    Having uncomfortable reactions to the sun can make people avoid going outside when the clouds are gone, which can lead to a vitamin D deficiency. Those who avoid the sun due to an allergy may need to take a vitamin D supplement – a GP can perform a blood test to check your levels.

    The way to protect yourself from sun damage, whether in the form of sunburn, an allergic reaction, or otherwise, is to block the sun’s harmful rays from penetrating the skin.

    Wear suitable clothing, use sunblock with a high SPF, and stay indoors on especially sunny days.

    Common symptoms of sun allergy:

    • Redness
    • Itching
    • Painful skin
    • Blisters
    • Hives
    • Tiny bumps on the skin
    • Scaly, crusted, or bleeding skin

    Some sun allergy symptoms can be easily confused with other summer ailments, such as hay fever, eczema, and insect bites. They can manifest in similar ways, so it’s important to work out what’s causing your pain before you go ahead with any DIY remedies.

    ‘Summer is also time when we get hot and sweaty, potentially putting us at risk of yeast infections,’ says Clare. ‘We also spend more time outdoors, increasing exposure to pollens and grasses, which can cause hay fever, urticaria (hives), eczema and itching; and also insect bites.

    ‘To soothe these symptoms, keep out of the sun, wear thin layers of cotton clothing, keep cool, and shower daily in warm water. Itchy skin can be eased by using an unscented moisturiser or calamine lotion.

    ‘Provided the triggers are avoided, sun allergy symptoms will generally go away without treatment within a few days.

    ‘However, if the symptoms are particularly severe or persistent, do check with your doctor, in case medical treatment is required.’

    Summer is tough and your health needs to be a priority. Do all the stuff you know you should – drink plenty of water, take time in the shade, wear sunscreen – but do go to a doctor if you’re concerned.

    MORE: Amazon Alexa to give people health advice from the NHS

    MORE: Exfoliation benefits, tips and best skincare products

    MORE: Woman’s eczema was so severe it was too painful to hold her boyfriend’s hand


    Metro illustrationsMetro illustrations

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    Flavia claims her ability to see fairies and leprechauns is the secret to her age-defying looks
    Flavia claims her ability to see fairies and leprechauns is the secret to her age-defying looks (Picture: PA Real Life)

    Flavia Peters is 50 years old, but reckons she looks much younger.

    Her secret isn’t a fancy night cream or facial massage, but seeing fairies and leprechauns.

    Flavia says she has seen fairies and leprechauns nearly all her life, witnessing her first fairy when she was just three years old.

    Now, she says her connection with fairies is the key to her youthful look.

    The benefits of hanging out with fairies are more than just physical, though, as Flavia now holds regular workshops teaching people how to connect with the fairy realm, as well as casting spells to help them with anything they are lacking in life, from luck to love.

    ‘I’m 50 now – though much older in fairy years – but people always tell me I look younger,’ says Flavia. ‘I am sure it’s because I work with fairy energy.

    ‘Like me, fairies are old souls but appear much younger – I call it their fairy glamour!

     Woman claims her ability to see fairies and leprechauns is the secret to her age-defying looks
    Flavia says she first saw a fairy when she was just three years old (Picture: PA Real Life)

    ‘I can see and communicate with them, and now I am on a mission to bring back some of that folklore magic of ages old to the rest of the world.’

    Flavia has always had a strong bond with fables and folklore.

    She was just three years old when she first saw a fairy, which looked like a ‘mesmerising’ flash of light in the woodland by her family home.

    ‘I was crawling along outside and got to this oak tree which had a little door in it. I peered in and saw this tiny flash of light,’ remembers Flavia.

    ‘Even then, I was sure it was a fairy. It was mesmerising.

    ‘Fairies love sweet things, so I’d leave chocolate or bread dipped in honey.

    Flavia She says people often think she's younger than she is, which she credits to fairy magic
    She says people often think she’s younger than she is, which she credits to fairy magic (Picture: PA Real Life)

    ‘It’s a two-way exchange – if you leave them a gift, then they will, in return, do something for you.’

    It wasn’t until she was 11 that Flavia realised not everyone could see what she did.

    After taking a boy out fairy-hunting, she was teased for believing in the existence of fairies living in the woodland. The embarrassment caused Flavia to try to ignore her connection to the fairy realm.

    ‘I tried to ignore it and hide it away by shutting down completely and stopped thinking magical thoughts,’ she says.

    ‘I just thought I had been stupid and so went about my life with them off my radar.’

    It wasn’t until her thirties that Flavia returned to fairies.

    Flavia's fairy altar
    Flavia’s fairy altar (Picture: PA Real Life)

    She was in a bookshop when she felt strangely drawn to a book about angels. As she flicked through the pages she was reminded of the magical times of her childhood.

    From then, she decided to use her gift to help others. She flew to Laguna Beach in California to train to become an angel therapy practitioner, a type of spiritual healer.

    There, she saw her first fairy since she was 11.

    She remembers: ‘I saw these beautiful flowers and was wondering whether or not to smell them, when I literally heard this voice in my head saying, “Please do.”

    ‘I took a sniff and it was absolutely glorious. Then, I went back inside to my angel practitioner course, and someone said, “You’ve got a fairy on your nose.”

    ‘I could literally feel it there. It was very light and tickly. I had to be careful not to itch my nose and knock it away.’

    Since then, Flavia has sporadically seen, heard and felt the presence of fairies – though they do not always look the same.

    She continued: ‘Everyone is different in the way they connect to the fairy realm. Some can hear them, some can see them and some can even feel them.

    Flavia with some 'fairies'
    Flavia says all fairies look different, but in pictures they appear as flashes of light (Picture: PA Real Life)

    ‘I don’t see fairies every day – they are shy, and not happy with what humans have done to the planet. But to catch a physical glimpse, it is important to go at certain times, like dawn and dusk, or certain locations like places with ancient trees.

    ‘On camera, they look like little green orbs, but in person, they all look different, just in the same way that people look different too.

    ‘In the past, I’ve seen fairies as little flashes of light, or as physical beings. I remember seeing one during a meditation session with really long legs, almost like a rag doll.’

    Flavia believes that fairies are very environmentally conscious and care deeply about taking care of the planet.

    She finds that they often appear to her after she’s done something eco-friendly.

    ‘Fairies really appreciate it when people are custodians of the planet,’ she says. ‘Pick up a bit of litter and they will love you.

    ‘If you do something for them, you will get some fairy magic in return.

    ‘Once, I was chasing a piece of litter around for ages as it kept getting picked up by the wind. Eventually, it landed on a silver bracelet on the ground, which I know was a gift to say thank you.

    Flavia at a fairy festival
    She hopes to bring some magic to everyday life (Picture: PA Real Life)

    ‘Another time, I was cleaning up some broken glass in a park as I was worried about animals stepping on it. It took a while to do, and when I finished, I looked over to a tree nearby and a leprechaun had materialised, looking exactly as they do in books, with little green tights.

    ‘I was so excited – it’s not the sort of thing you expect to see every day.’

    As well as her fairy workshops, Flavia works as a speaker, crystal healer and also holds angel card reading sessions, which are similar to tarot cards.

    ‘People come to me with all sorts of problems, so I will help them by doing angel card readings, incantations and spells,’ she says.

    ‘I also look into their past life to see if there is a connection with fairies already there.

    ‘I believe that’s why we have so many young people are passionate about the environment now – because they have that past connection with fairies, who are guardians of nature.’

    Flavia understands that not everyone believes in the world of fairies.

    She hopes that by sharing her experiences, she’ll put some magic into everyday life.

    ‘A lot of people struggle with the thought of fairies because they have been brought up to think they only live in the imagination,’ says Flavia.

    ‘So I tend not to tell people straight away, as I know that people can be a bit put off and so I only really discuss it with people I’m close to.

    ‘But the less people believe in fairies, the less energy there is for them to thrive and live off.

    ‘Children are very open-hearted and don’t have the cynicism that adults have and can be much more open to the idea – if I’d had children we’d have been out in the woods searching for fairies.

    ‘Everybody has the ability to connect to the fairy realm, but there are so many distractions these days that we don’t always realise it. With everyone constantly on their phones, they aren’t in the moment and there is a lot they don’t notice.

    ‘At one time, everybody believed in fairies. Ancient folklore is full of stories about how they are the guardians of nature, and as such, people would be quite fearful of them, making sure they left out gifts or asked permissions before walking through meadows and so on.

    ‘It’s not the same world now, and so that fairy magic has dwindled a little, but I am on a mission to bring it back.

    ‘Some people may think I sound crazy and ridiculous, but I genuinely believe I owe every positive in my life to my fairy guides.

    ‘We are taught at school to use our brains and answer questions at the drop of a hat, but we aren’t taught about using our hearts and giving ourselves space to stop and think, which I try to do in my workshops.

    ‘Everyone has that magical connection there – it’s just about opening your mind up to it.’

    Two of Flavia's spells:

    Prosperity spell

    Light a black, brown or green candle and face the direction of north.

    Hold a coin in your hand and say:

    ‘Fae of Abundance, I ask for new peace.

    ‘From poverty, debt, I wish for release.

    ‘Please bring me prosperity and all that I need.

    ‘Adorne me with riches and the chance to succeed,

    ‘In all that I do. I ask you to bless,

    ‘Myself and my life with your vast treasure chest.

    ‘For all that is good, I ask with a kiss,

    ‘Dear faeries, my friends,

    ‘Please grant me my wish.’

    Now bury the coin in the garden, a favourite spot or in a plant pot, for prosperity to grow in your life.

     

    Love spell

    Light a pink candle when the moon is full.

    Face the direction of south and say:

    ‘Flowers of pink, crystals of rose,

    ‘Bring me new romance, so I will not close,

    ‘My beautiful heart, for I’m longing to share,

    ‘Compassion and kindness, to be gentle and fair.

    ‘Desires recognised, I wish to ignite,

    ‘My passionate dreams so that I might,

    ‘Attract beauty and love into my world.

    ‘May deep the love mystery now be unfurled

    ‘To bring about romance, kisses and laughter

    ‘And be of my heart, happily ever after

    ‘Attraction shines brightly, it fills up my heart

    ‘Love now surrounds me, ne’er to depart.’

    Blow out the candle and direct the smoke of extinguished flame over your heart centre and say:

    ‘This spell of love is made and done.

    ‘Thanks to the Fae, with harm to none.’

    MORE: This couple had a magical Harry Potter themed wedding

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    MORE: Woman, 58, thought model agency’s messages were a scam – now she’s working with big brands like Primark


    Woman who sees fairiesWoman who sees fairies

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    Guests throwing confetti on the couple, photo taken by Jack Cook photography
    Cat married Mike wearing a £35 dress she found in a charity shop (Picture: Jack Cook Photography )

    The average cost of a wedding in the UK is £14,740. Quite a sizable sum, we think you’ll agree.

    The pressure to spend on every little detail – the placecards, the bridal lingerie, the flowers – can make what should be a happy occasion deeply stressful.

    But you don’t have to spend a load of money to have a wonderful day.

    That’s the message Cat Wilkinson wants to share.

    Cat, a 29-year-old senior lecturer in education, recently got married to her boyfriend of five and a half years, Mike. For the wedding day she chose to wear a dress that she’d bought in a charity shop for £35 – and it was a huge hit.

    After being asked by guests where the gorgeous dress was from, Cat decided to share the story of how she and the dress met.

    ‘On the day that Mike proposed to me he took me for a night in York,’ Cat wrote on Facebook. ‘The next day I was looking in the charity shops (as I often do) and saw the dress on one of the rails.

    cat wilkinson wearing the wedding dress she found in a charity shop
    Cat found the dress the day after Mike proposed (Picture: Cat Wilkinson)

    ‘It was a charity shop on two floors and I was upstairs. [I] phoned Mike to tell him not to come up while I tried something on and to ask if the shop volunteer could come up to take a photo.

    ‘I bought the dress there and then for the small sum of £35.’

    What was pretty magical was that the dress fit perfectly.

    Cat tells Metro.co.uk: ‘When I first saw the dress hanging on the rail I couldn’t believe it, I loved the lace design and it was bright white.

    ‘I had often spoken to my sister and friends about my dream wedding dress (long before the proposal) and my key criteria were long sleeves and a high neck.

    Cat Wilkinson trying on the wedding dress for the first time in the charity shop
    Cat in the charity shop, trying the dress on for the first time. It fit perfectly. (Picture: Cat Wilkinson)

    ‘I never expected the dress to fit me – my main reason to try it on was to see if the image of what I wanted that I had in my mind for so long was correct – and it was!

    ‘Myself and the lady who worked in the store couldn’t believe that the dress fitted me perfectly, it was as if it was meant to be.

    ‘The lady kindly took a photo of the dress and I excitedly sent it to my sister and mum who gave me the reassurance I needed to buy the dress. Although with the £35 price tag I didn’t need much reassurance!

    ‘I was so pleased and couldn’t quite believe that I had found my wedding dress the day after being proposed to.’

    There was no need to make any alterations, but Cat made a few small tweaks to make the dress absolutely perfect for her big day, replacing a zip for buttons, adding buttons to the sleeves, and moving the placement of some flowers on the front.

    In total the alterations cost £200, bringing the total spent on her dress to a very reasonable £235 – but Cat is quick to clarify that she just as easily could have worn the £35 dress as it was.

    details of Cat Wilkinson's wedding dress, which she found in a charity shop
    Cat had a few adjustments made, including having buttons added to the sleeves (Picture: Jack Cook Photography)

    Intrigued by how the dress had made its way to that charity shop at just the right time in just the right place, Cat took the gown to a vintage bridal store to find out more about its history.

    There she was told that the dress is from the 1950s, and had been made at home rather than by a bridal store. The flower embellishments are even older, meaning they were likely passed down from an older relative.

    ‘Finding out the history of the dress made me love it even more,’ Cat tells Metro.co.uk. ‘I would really love to find the person who donated the dress to Sue Ryder in York to show them photos from my wedding day.’

    Cat would love to connect with the original owner of the dress and find out more about its history, so if you know anything about how it ended up in the Sue Ryder charity shop in York, do contact Cat through Facebook.

    Cat also hopes that by sharing her story, she’ll show other brides-to-be that their perfect dress could be tucked away in a charity shop, and that a wedding dress doesn’t need to be expensive to be perfect for you.

    cat and mike kissing on their wedding day
    As you’d expect, the dress received a lot of compliments (Picture: Jack Cook Photography)

    ‘I shop in charity shops weekly,’ Cat tells us. ‘I would say 95% of my clothes are from charity shops, and our entire house is kitted out in charity shop furniture. I often donate to charity shops too.

    ‘I think buying from charity shops is such an amazing way to give money to charity, and I also love the buzz of finding lovely preloved items of clothing.

    ‘I had no doubts about getting the dress, I knew it was exactly what I wanted. I may have missed out on the glass of prosecco you get when you go dress shopping in bridal stores, but I was delighted with my £35 wedding dress.

    ‘I haven’t quite decided what to do with my dress yet.

    ‘I would either like to keep the dress and have it made into a christening gown if we have children in the future, or I would donate it back to a charity shop so that another bride can have a chance to wear it.

    ‘For now, I would like to keep the dress in case the person who donated it gets in touch and wants to see the changes I had made.

    ‘There are so many charity shops on the high street that people may walk past on a weekly basis.

    ‘I think there used to be a certain stigma attached to buying from charity shops and wearing second hand clothing, but this has never concerned me and I would love for others to be open minded about it too.

    ‘I would encourage any brides-to-be to look in charity shops if they are on a low budget, or looking to be cost-effective, or even if they want to save money on the dress to then spend on other aspects of their wedding.

    ‘My dress was from Sue Ryder in York, but there are other charity shops which have specialist bridal sections, such as Oxfam, which may be a really good place for a bride-to-be to begin their search.’

    MORE: Couple who had mock wedding ceremonies as children get married 19 years later

    MORE: Woman, 58, thought model agency’s messages were a scam – now she’s working with big brands like Primark

    MORE: Christian mum walks gay son down the aisle while wearing a rainbow sash at his wedding


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