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

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    Lego space sets have come a long way since the '70s
    Lego space sets have come a long way since the ’70s

    Half a century after humans first set foot on the Moon, Lego has revealed a new range of toys meant to inspire kids to explore even further.

    It’s the 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing on Saturday, 20 July and a chance for the whole world to look back at one of mankind’s greatest achievements. Society and technology has changed almost beyond belief in that time and yet manned space exploration has all but stopped.

    There are plans to visit Mars in the future but for the last few decades exploring outer space has happened largely only in fantasy, blurring the lines for children who in their lifetime have never seen anyone go further than an orbiting spacestation. It will be down to them to kickstart a new era of discovery and inciting that wanderlust is exactly what Lego has been trying to do for the last 41 years.

    Lego Space themes are almost as old as the Moon landings themselves, starting in 1978 with simple sets that featured no antagonists and no weapons – just peaceful exploration. That changed over the years, to the point where Star Wars is now amongst Lego’s most popular products, but this summer they’re launching a new range of Lego City sets that are both more realistic and more educational.

    There are more adult-orientated sets to celebrate the Moon landing specifically, with expert models recreating the Saturn V rocket and Lunar Lander, but the Lego City sets are aimed at Lego’s core child audience and set in the near future with new space shuttles and a manned mission to Mars. The vehicles aren’t based on specific real-world technology but they have all been designed with the help of NASA itself.

    ‘We had some of our team travel over to NASA to get inspiration’, explains design manager Martin Klingenberg to Metro. ‘It was very educational for us, learning about the way they think and the limitations of space travel and design. The idea that you only have very limited space and everything has to be modular, and that the colours of vehicles are all functional – white is meant to reflect heat and black is meant to absorb.’

    Although the sets may not be based on existing vehicles they are inspired by ongoing projects at NASA, as Klingenberg explains.

    The Lunar Space Station set was designed with NASA's help
    The Lunar Space Station set was designed with NASA’s help

    ‘They made us aware of something they’re developing that we were able to put in a set: a small helicopter being tested for the Mars rover. It’s a little drone that can fly in Mars’ atmosphere and is able to scout the terrain and then give feedback to the rover to find out if there’s anything worth going after’.

    Details like that help with the educational aspect of the sets but they also mean they don’t feature any kind of implied violence. ‘It’s not only conflict play that can trigger kids’ imagination’, says Klingenberg. ‘For our space line specifically it’s all about preparing for the mission, where kids can disconnect and recombine modules and customise their creations. Are they launching a satellite? Do they need a robot? Does the spacestation need repairing? There are many layers to the play that sparks a child’s imagination.’

    The new People Pack set shows space exploration is about more than just astronauts
    The new People Pack set shows space exploration is about more than just astronauts

    The sets are also designed to be as inclusive as possible, not just in terms of male and female minifigures but the actual roles they perform. ‘We’ve got the People Pack that shows the different careers that you can do’, says Klingenberg. ‘There are fitness trainers, there are people that are into robotics, there are engineers, there are biologists… we want to show kids that there’s a lot more needed for travelling to space than just the astronauts.’

    ‘Whenever we create a Lego City line we ensure there are aspirational roles for all children, no matter their gender. And this is also reflected in the roles and careers that are possible within NASA or any space organisation.’

    Whatever the future of real-life space exploration Lego will continue to make space sets, both realistic and fantastical, but according to Klingenberg they both have the same underlining purpose.

    ‘We haven’t been to Mars yet in real-life, we’ve just sent robots, but our sets are always about giving kids an aspiration for the future and making them believe in what’s possible and what they can achieve. It’s all about sparking their creativity and getting them to dream.’


    Lego space sets have come a long way since the '70sLego space sets have come a long way since the '70s

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    Angela pictured with her daughter Arielle.
    Angela is always being chatted up by younger men (Picture: MDWfeatures / Angela Paul)

    A mum in her sixties says she is constantly getting mistaken for her daughter’s sister – who is half her age.

    64-year-old model and relationship coach Angela Paul, from Bradford, started taking care of her health in her twenties after she was diagnosed with systemic lupus erythematosus, a long-term condition which causes inflammation in the joints, skin and other organs.

    Angela decided to start taking better care of her health, and her lifestyle helped stop her symptoms without using medication. Instead, she meditated, exercised and followed a healthy diet.

    She was 30 when she gave birth to her daughter, Arielle, now 34, and dedicated her life to raising her daughter and travelling with her husband, Alan, 69.

    Angela, who now lives in California, USA, worked as a full-time model since she was 16 years old but decided to quit when she became a mother.

    With her lucky genes and healthcare ritual, Angela has managed to age seriously well. The only product she uses to enhance her look is blonde hair dye.

    She says the secret to looking young is practising meditation and staying away from meat or poultry, which she has been doing for 38 years.

    Angela posing in a field
    She’s gorgeous! (Picture: MDWfeatures / Angela Paul)

    ‘There really is no big secret to ageing gracefully at 64; genetics help, but more than that lifestyle is a big predictor on how well one ages,’ Angela said.

    ‘In my early twenties I felt full of life, with confidence and energy, but in my late twenties I was diagnosed with lupus that fortunately I was able to treat without medication.

    ‘It was however a wakeup call to significantly pull back on my high paced life.

    ‘I was 30 when I gave birth to my only child after a grueling 36 hour labour and emergency caesarean birth. It was an absolute joy to be a new mother and most of my thirties were dedicated to raising her and traveling with my husband and daughter for his work.

    Angela posing in a dress
    She’s had a very healthy lifestyle since her twenties (Picture: MDWfeatures / Angela Paul)

    ‘While it was a beautiful chapter in my life, it was also a time of transition of not really knowing who I was besides being a wife and mother.

    ‘I had no desire to model full time anymore as I’d been doing it since I was 16 – but I was trying to figure out how to define and express the next version of myself in this new chapter.

    ‘My mum had beautiful skin and thick hair which runs in the family, so I had good genetics early on. Growing up in England with a lot of rain I didn’t have much exposure to sun which was a blessing really.

    ‘I never smoked or drank much in my teens and twenties so that helped, and I was always big on getting adequate sleep. To me sleep is my number one health and beauty aid.

    ‘Also, as a model I knew all about the benefits of skincare; staying out of the sun and the best and most effective beauty products to use.’

    Angela says that she is often mistaken for being her daughter’s sister when they’re out together and she often receives flattering attention from men ‘decades younger’ than her.

    She believes living this healthy lifestyle is for her own benefit, and isn’t bothered how people see her.

    ‘I think that we have to take care of ourselves from the inside first and foremost beyond the outer superficial means,’ she said.

    ‘I eat organic as much as possible and prefer several small meals a day as it’s easier on the digestion. I eat an avocado a day, drink fresh ginger with hot lemon first thing in the morning and limit myself to one coffee a day before noon.

    ‘I don’t drink much alcohol but when I do, I prefer a little vodka than wine as it is cleaner and has less sugar.

    Angela posing for a face shot
    Can you believe she’s 64? (Picture: MDWfeatures / Angela Paul)

    ‘Turning fifty was fabulous and in many ways I’m in better health physically and emotionally in my sixties than I was in my forties.

    ‘I’ve always loved to dance, but about five years ago I started taking Zumba dance classes four to five times a week. I absolutely love it and it makes me feel radiantly alive, youthful and sexy.

    ‘People often comment that my daughter and I look more like sisters than mother and daughter. On Instagram men are often over the top with compliments.

    ‘Unfortunately, most of the judgement comes from other women which I find sad and a bit disconcerting even though on some level I get it.

    ‘People react to my age usually with astonishment or with the subtle/not so subtle suggestion that I must have had a lot of cosmetic surgery done or must be anorexic – both of which is untrue.

    ‘If people ask, I readily share my lifestyle choices and it does take commitment and dedication that some people just don’t want to do.. They want the end results but are not willing to do the work it takes.’

    Angela, who has written two books based around the beauty of ageing, says she is actually against the concept of cosmetic/plastic surgery and has deliberately avoided it at all costs.

    ‘I’m personally against cosmetic surgery for a few significant reasons; one – I want to look like myself naturally as best I can. Two – I try to avoid surgery of any kind as much as possible,’ she said.

    ‘Three – vanity for me includes not having people wonder what I’ve done to myself if the surgery turns out strange and clearly like I’ve had some major work done.

    ‘Four – There are many non-invasive and natural products and procedures that can help with ageing, for example I do facial yoga every day to tighten the jowls and chin.

    ‘Fifth – I feel that encouraging women (especially young women) to age naturally is part of the message I espouse and strive to live by.

    ‘Apart from the caesarean surgery the only cosmetic procedure I’ve done was to get braces on my teeth in my thirties.

    ‘I’d have say that my best advice is to start looking after yourself as young as possible and you will reap the rewards later in life.

    ‘It’s also not about looking like anyone else, including me or any celebrity of the moment, or being thinner etc. It’s about being the healthiest version of you that you can be.

    ‘In popular culture and social media women are inundated with messages on how they should look so I really believe that it’s important to stop comparing ourselves to anyone, and for me that has included not comparing myself to myself at a younger age.’

    MORE: Stroking a cat or a dog for just 10 minutes can reduce stress, study finds

    MORE: These sisters are each other’s total opposite and now they’re Twitter famous


    Mistaken For My Daughter???s SisterMistaken For My Daughter???s Sister

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    The sweet note left by the mum
    The sweet note was found on a baby changing table (Picture: Facebook)

    A kind woman’s gesture has gone viral after she left a note and babywipes on a public changing room table for another mother to find.

    The note and wipes were found by Tiffany Daniels at a Chili’s restaurant in Tennesee on Saturday.

    She’d taken her young daughter to the bathroom to change her nappy when she found the wipes.

    At first, Tiffany thought the wipes had been left behind by accident, but then she found a note.

    The picture left by the kind mum
    The note left by the kind mum (Picture: Facebook)

    The note read: ‘Hey there mom! We’ve all been there…ran out of wipes or even forgot them.

    ‘If that’s you today, we hope this helps! Take what you need and leave the rest! Remember you’re awesome!’

    Tiffany was so touched by the gesture that she shared it to Facebook, explaining what had happened.

    She wrote: ‘I went to Chili’s in Hermitage today and took my daughter to the restroom to change her and once I opened the changing table this was there.

    A photo of Tiffany
    Tiffany found the note and shared it to Facebook (Picture: Facebook)

    ‘Although I didn’t need them it warmed my heart to see this act of kindness. Very Hip! It made my day so I could only imagine how it could make another momma feel if she did need them at the time.’

    The post received more than 700 likes and lots of comments from people who also thought the gesture was lovely.

    One person said: ‘Potty training for us took ages and I was caught without wipes an embarrassing number of times. This is truly a blessing!’

    Another wrote: ‘I love how people make generous choices completely of their own free will!’

    Someone else commented: ‘I like that she does it without anyone having to know she did it. Now we all know who did it. I think this is a great thing to do. I’ll have to come up with 51 things to do this year.’

    MORE: Bracken the dog gets £5 pocket money every week to spend on toys and treats

    MORE: How to get comfortable having sex with the lights on


    Mum's kind gesture with the baby changing tableMum's kind gesture with the baby changing table

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    @inflatableisland
    Unicornzilla is on its way to Oz (Picture: @inflatableisland)

    In the modern age, the word ‘unicorn’ has become synonymous with rarity. The word has taken on its own meaning in the realm of $1 billion start-ups, polyamory, and beyond. So ready yourself for the unicorn of unicorns, the rarest being of them all.

    The largest inflatable unicorn in the world is heading to Australia. Its name is Unicornzilla.

    The beast is 15 metres tall, with a bouncy back for aspiring trampoliners and a sloping tail for a summer splash.

    According to theunicornzilla.com, the unicorn will be the star of a new summer festival ‘inspired by Croatia’s yacht week’. From January to March next year, yachts, revellers and DJs will take to Sydney Harbour.

    These are big plans. It could be the next Fyre, but with the same giant unicorn having recently been part of the popular Inflatable Island in The Philippines – Asia’s largest floating playground – Unicornzilla’s star power is to be believed.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bx1PfF3lEY_/

    In other unicorn news, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has issued a warning regarding Unicornzilla’s tiny counterparts i.e. regular-sized unicorn inflatables.

    In 2018, the RNLI was involved in 479 sea rescues involving inflatables, nearly double the number of those in 2017.

    ‘There has been a spike in the number of people having to be rescued from a wide range of inflatables – ranging from unicorns, flamingos to inflatable boats,’ the RNLI said in a statement on its website.

    ‘The RNLI is reminding people that blow-up toys and airbeds are designed for pools and not the sea where they can easily be swept out.’

    The head and horn of the unicorn can act as a ‘sail’, thrusting unsuspecting swimmers out to sea.

    Last month, an eight-year-old North Carolina boy was swept out into the Atlantic Ocean on his inflatable unicorn.

    The lesson here: If you’ve got an inflatable unicorn, stick to the pool.

    MORE: These sisters are each other’s total opposite and now they’re Twitter famous

    MORE: Spotted: A Gossip Girl reboot we really don’t need

    MORE: This crust-only pizza may be pure evil, but it’s a rapper’s favourite thing


    Giant unicorn coming to AustraliaGiant unicorn coming to Australia

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    A picture of EBV infection
    The signs and symptoms you could have glandular fever (Picture: Getty)

    Sore throats are common – but what if there’s something else causing your throat to hurt, such as glandular fever?

    Glandular fever, or infectious mononucleosis, is a common infection among teenagers and young adults, and is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which is a highly contagious herpes virus.

    But no – before you start to worry – it is not the same as genital herpes. It is not a sexually transmitted disease.

    EBV is actually thought to be present in 90% to 95% of people worldwide, and does not always cause symptoms nor does it always lead to glandular fever.

    Glandular fever is usually nothing to worry about, but it can make you feel absolutely rubbish.

    The symptoms of glandular fever take around one to two months to develop after the infection becomes active.

    The most common symptoms include a high temperature, a painfully sore throat, swollen glands in your neck, severe fatigue – which can last for months after the infection has disappeared – aching muscles and chills and sweats.

    In less common but more serious cases, the virus can cause the spleen and the liver to become inflamed, and you may experience some abdominal pain.

    A person with glandular fever's throat
    Your throat can become incredibly sore and swollen

    If you do experience these more severe side effects, it’s important that you go to the hospital to get checked out – but otherwise the infection goes away on its own due to it being viral, meaning there is no medication that can treat it and unfortunately, you just have to sit it out.

    If you think you have glandular fever however, do go to your GP. They’ll ask you about your symptoms before carrying out a physical examination, and might ask for a blood test to help confirm the diagnosis and rule out other infections.

    As mentioned, there is no cure for glandular fever – and it will go away on its own – but there are some things you can do to help soothe the symptoms.

    This includes drinking lots of fluids, taking painkillers and getting as much rest as possible. Don’t push yourself back into normal activities too quickly, because it may end up making you feel worse.

    Oh – and you need to be careful, too, because glandular fever is easily spread.

    Often referred to as the ‘kissing disease’, the virus is spread through saliva.

    It’s important that you don’t cough and sneeze near anyone, nor share eating or drinking utensils.

    However, the chances of actually passing on the virus are incredibly low – so don’t worry too much.

    EBV may even be found in the saliva of someone who has had glandular fever several months after their symptoms pass – and some may have the virus in their saliva on and off for years.

    But if you’ve had glandular fever once, it’s very unlikely that you’ll have it again. According to the NHS, this is because people develop lifelong immunity after the initial infection.

    If you’ve had glandular fever for a while and your symptoms seem to be lasting, don’t worry too much as this the symptoms can take quite a while to pass – but do go back to your GP if you are worried.

    You need to go to A&E or call 999 if you develop a rash or have breathing difficulties, find swallowing fluids difficult or develop severe abdominal pain – because you may need to be admitted to hospital for a few days.

    But again, these are very rare instances and often glandular fever doesn’t lead to this – so if you have been diagnosed with it or are worried that you have it, try not to panic too much.

    Glandular fever is fairly common and as mentioned it does take a while to get over all of the symptoms – so if you are suffering with it, rest, drink lots and look after yourself.

    That’s really all you can do until it passes.

    MORE: Why figuring out your arguing style is the key to a happy relationship

    MORE: Polycystic ovary syndrome: What are the signs and symptoms of PCOS?


    What are the signs and symptoms you may have glandular fever?What are the signs and symptoms you may have glandular fever?

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    Family playing soccer in sunny park
    The national sports day encourages everyone to get active (Picture: Getty)

    Games Makers are the incredible volunteers that will help to facilitate the nation’s biggest annual sports day this summer.

    Led by Team GB – the national fitness event will take place on the 24th August and will feature a wide range of free and fun activities to get people of all ages and abilities active.

    But it wouldn’t happen without the help of the Games Makers – dedicated fitness enthusiasts who will be sacrificing their time to make the day as brilliant and inclusive as possible.

    We spoke to some of these inspirational volunteers to find out why they’re so passionate about making their communities more active.

    Rashidat Yusef is a sports therapist in a mental health hospital and a qualified personal trainer.

    She will be leading outdoor running, weights and ball games for the local community in Acton, London.

    Rashidat Yusef headshot
    ‘Sports and fitness acts as a social inclusion for communities, a joint hobby and a sense of unity’ (Picture: Team GB)

    What is it that you love about sport?

    I think it’s fair for me to say I was born to play sport. It’s in my blood!

    I love the challenge, the competitiveness and of course the social aspect of participating in something that brings you joy and satisfaction, it’s such an amazing feeling.

    How did you get into sport?

    From a very young age, l have always loved playing sport, but running in particular.

    At school, PE was my favourite subject and my teachers would always encourage me do better and take my running further.

    As I got older, I started competing in organised running events and I have continued to take part in 5Ks, 10Ks and marathons over the years.

    Why are community events like this so important?

    An event like this is important as it brings the community together to improve the health and well-being of individuals, regardless of their social background, race, religion or disability.

    Sports and fitness acts as a social inclusion for communities, a joint hobby and a sense of unity.

    More people need to be more active because as nation, we need to focus on our health and general well-being.

    We need more physical activities, better diet and nutrition and as a community we can support and motivate one another in understanding the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

    Tell us about being a sports therapist in a mental health hospital

    I am passionate about my job as a sports therapist working within a mental health hospital.

    Being a sports therapist requires me to deliver and supervise structured exercise and sports sessions within the hospital and around the community to inpatient service users.

    Sports therapy is part of a multidisciplinary clinical team which involves liaising with doctors, nurses, occupational therapist and other therapists.

    Inpatient service users are referred to us as part of their rehabilitation and ongoing treatment in the hospital.

    There is evidence that sports and exercise plays an important role in treatment of depression and other mental health conditions and this is why there is a huge focus on providing physical activities within the mental health organisation.

    I am Team GB

    Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.

    Inspired by the achievements of Team GB athletes and the amazing efforts of local community heroes, Team GB has created ‘The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day’, which will take place on the 24thAugust.

    Over the weekend, there will be hundreds of free and fun activities across the country, put on by an army of volunteers; the ‘I am Team GB Games Makers’.

    To Join the Team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day sign up at: www.IAmTeamGB.com


    Rashidat Yusef headshotRashidat Yusef headshot

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    Love, Or Something Like It

    In Love, Or Something Like It, our new Metro.co.uk series, we’re on a quest to find true love.

    Covering everything from mating, dating and procreating to lust and loss, we’ll be looking at what love is and how to find it in the present day.

    In the crowded members’ bar of an agricultural show I was ducking behind my drunk friend, fighting to explain to her why I needed to hide. Across the dance floor, beer in hand, stood a man with whom I had spent a tedious first date at a medieval castle.

    I’d not expected to see him again – we lived at opposite ends of Wales – but with a small, sparse population and few young people, dating in the countryside is a small world.

    Although I grew up in Carmarthenshire, Wales, my first foray into the rural dating world didn’t come about until I moved back at 23. I soon realised that it was a world apart from the scene at my agricultural college, or the Jilly Cooper romance anticipated by my city-bound friends.

    Anna Bowen stands amongst a herd of cows
    Phone signal is patchy, and dates outside of pubs and the tourist season can be very isolated (Picture: Anna Bowen)

    The dating narratives of millennial memoirs and magazine columns centre around Uber rides and pop-up restaurants and cocktails on rooftop terraces, so much so that it can be easy to forget that singletons in rural areas are also swiping right and left, and being set up by their friends, in the hope of finding love (or something like it).

    Despite the supposed bucolic idyll of country life, the dating scene can still be cruel, tedious, and exhausting in equal measures.

    I know people who log on to Tinder to a message telling them they have exhausted all potential matches in their catchment area, regardless of the range of their searches. It’s not uncommon to date someone who has previously dated your friends.

    You are more likely to receive a reference for someone before you meet – news travels fast and anyone with a bad reputation will bear a red flag – though even if a prospective match is unknown there are other issues.

    Anna Bowen riding a horse
    I don’t know any women who have retained their surname after marrying, although a few vets have kept theirs professionally (Picture: Anna Bowen)

    Phone signal is patchy, and dates outside of pubs and the tourist season can be very isolated. I had a policy of telling my brother where I was going and with whom – without the protection of a crowd of people and 3G it seemed too risky to meet strangers without a plan.

    Rural communities also love gossip, which means that years after a short-lived relationship you will still be linked to that person. I once turned up to a work meeting and was asked ‘Didn’t you date X three or four years ago? You were one of the ones we never met!’

    We’d been on a handful of dates but it was enough to be remembered in a county where people deep dive into the minutiae of their social network.

    Before meeting my boyfriend on Bumble I had mostly dated men who were friends of friends, usually met at parties.

    His profile photo looked familiar, and I soon found out that we had met a few months earlier at a work event. It can be very easy in the countryside to become immersed in local life and industries; I wanted someone with an open mind and a broad outlook, my boyfriend has both. Finding out that he binged podcasts on a wide range of subjects, and that he didn’t subscribe to rigid gender stereotypes made him a keeper.

    Anna Bowen poses in a tree
    Pub suppers were spent avoiding eye contact with an acquaintance at the bar (Picture: Anna Bowen)

    Still, we spent our first date at a local beach overlooked by someone I knew who was out cantering her pony through the waves.

    That’s dating in the countryside in a nutshell: it brings its own unique challenges, and takes an acquired sense of humour, but at heart it’s the same messy, wavering quest for love as anywhere else.

    In a smaller community with fewer young people it may be that scarcity makes people work harder at their relationships, but I’d like to think that the ethos of country life, which typically revolves around hard work and a certain amount of loyalty, ensures that the majority aren’t looking for a quick win.

    And young people in the countryside are as busy as their counterparts in urban areas: jobs are still stressful; hours can be long, and often irregular or seasonal in farming and tourism industries; people pack out their evenings with PT sessions, socialising, side hustles, caring, and aimless scrolling through Instagram. Dating still has to fit around life, rather than being a substitute for it.

    The logistics of maintaining a relationship in the country may have made me a little more realistic, and perhaps a little less romantic as a result. Though perhaps it’s harder to get jaded when you look out at the changing seasons marked by harvest and newborn lambs and the first cows turned out to grass, rather than herds of humans migrating through grey streets.

    Rural life is marked by the endless cycle of nature, and whatever happens in love, subconsciously you know that the fallow of winter will always be followed by the new life of spring.

    Last week in Love, Or Something Like It: Being a matchmaker has taught me what true love really is

    Write for Love, Or Something Like It

    Love, Or Something Like It is a brand new series for Metro.co.uk, published every Saturday. If you have a love story to share, email rosy.edwards@metro.co.uk

    MORE: What 15k Tinder matches has taught me about true love

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    MORE: I’m marrying below my expectations and I couldn’t be happier


    ILLO REQ Love Or Something Like It: Anna Bowen: dating in a rural communityILLO REQ Love Or Something Like It: Anna Bowen: dating in a rural community

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    Mental health series: Is a diagnosis that important?
    How do you explain depression to someone who hasn’t experienced it? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Anyone who has depression will be the first to tell you it’s an absolute hoot. A LOL-riot. A gala of pleasure. A carnival of tomfoolery. A fun jamboree!

    Realistically… not so much. If you’re friends with someone who’s suffering then they probably find it pretty difficult to talk about it at all, let alone explain what it’s actually like to live with.

    Even more confusingly for anyone who’s never experienced it themselves, it affects every sufferer completely differently and at different levels of intensity.

    As someone who has suffered pretty badly in the past, I’d describe it the same as any other illness you can think of, in regards to it sometimes being very bad, and sometimes it eases off a bit if it’s treated properly.

    Unfortunately, sometimes it also never goes away and can end in fatality, just like other illnesses that can often be terminal.

    As it’s an illness with such differing symptoms in everyone who goes through it, it can be frustratingly difficult to try to empathise with what a loved one is experiencing. Here are a few accounts from those who have suffered or who are suffering – if you’re trying to understand it, hopefully these will help. If you’re trying to explain it, then likewise.

    Me

    My experience of depression right now, as it’s more manageable, is one of just not feeling… anything.

    Having no real emotional change in any major way about anything that happens to or around you, and constantly feeling like nothing is worth any effort and wondering why you continue to exist.

    When it was really horrific it was more like being stabbed in the chest with a giant fountain pen of pain and misery (dramatic, yeah, I know) and feeling the white hot pain coarse through every vein. I manage it now with medication, exercise and therapy, so the pen’s gone.

    Karen

    I’d describe depression as a thick mental fog you have to wade through to get even the simplest of tasks done. Sometimes small jobs like going to the supermarket or making a phone call feel enormous because you’re so exhausted from your internal battle.

    You have to go easy on yourself on the hard days and know that they will eventually pass.

    When depression is combined with anxiety (as it is for many people) it’s like spending every minute of the day with someone by your side who constantly puts you down and tells you the worst case scenario will definitely happen.

    Doomed love: Can an affair ever turn into a healthy relationship?
    Telling someone how you’re feeling is the first step (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Stewart

    Depression is something that can creep up on you. You could be having a great day, and then out of nowhere, you feel like shit. When I went through a bout of depression, how I’d feel in the morning was basically a lottery.

    I always kept questioning why I was feeling so rubbish. Just like with a physical injury, like a bruise, you always try and figure where it came from. But depression is much harder to figure out.

    When you’re in that ‘hole’ – your negative emotions affect everything you’re doing. Whatever you’re working on seems hopeless, all motivation goes and it’s pretty hard to get out of bed.

    Holly

    It’s not your job to fix your friend, but you can still be there for them. Don’t start any sentence with, ‘Have you tried…’ It’s enough to say, ‘This is a turd of a situation for you. I love you and I’m here for you.’

    It’s not having a bad day, feeling a bit down or feeling sad about something. It’s a pervasive feeling of utter worthlessness and inability to feel joy in anything.

    I could go through the motions – smiling, laughing, cracking jokes, doting on my newborn – and would recognise joyful situations and know that I should feel joy, but I wouldn’t actually feel it.

    I was an expert at concealing it and close friends and colleagues were shocked when I finally told them I had felt suicidal for months.

    Melody

    Depression for me is like trying to exist in the same room as a Dementor, credit: J.K.Rowling for creating a creature that portrays this so terrifyingly well. It sucks all of the joy and worth out of life, until all I can see is the negative.

    It’s not that I don’t believe all of the good things about my life, I just lose sight of them completely.

    It’s like swimming in a lake and getting stuck under such a thick amount of pond weed that you don’t actually know which way is up anymore, and you can’t breathe or think or work out which way to swim.

    I get so [bad] that I can’t care about anything, because it makes me too sad. That all I feel I can do is cry. My brain is trying to work out why I don’t need to be around anymore, how I can destroy any shreds of joy that I might be aware of, just so I can check out.

    Logically I know that I have lots of reasons to be happy, and to be around, but it’s so hard to fight the creeping blackness because it offers peace and calm.

    metro illustrations
    A good friend won’t judge (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Rosie

    It’s like trying to describe the colour blue without saying ‘blue’ or pointing to anything blue!

    I have compared it to feeling paralysed or trying to move through mud. Making decisions is extremely difficult and not just big life decisions – I mean deciding to stand up from sitting down, deciding to make a cup of tea, deciding to brush your teeth – the decision switch is always somewhere in the middle.

    In a sentence, on my worst days I feel nothing about everything. I feel nothing about everything, and if I feel no predictable positive consequence of an action or decision then… why bother?

    George

    I didn’t understand depression initially. I thought it was just like being in a bad mood all the time but it’s drastically different.

    The way of thinking about it that made most sense to me is breaking it down to a chemical imbalance, whereby there are a large number of factors all changing constantly that have to be managed and will ultimately dictate your headspace.

    By factors, I mean things like friendships, career/school, relationships, home life, financial situation, exercise/diet, body image, etc.

    Sometimes a large change to one of these factors can trigger depression and other times, the chemicals simply become imbalanced because they just do.

    Just like how a pancreas can inexplicably cease the production of insulin leading to diabetes, neurotransmitters can stop being produced leading to depression.

    If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health, you can find a qualified local counsellor in your area with Counselling Directory. Mental health charity Mind also offer counselling services, and you can call The Samaritans on 116 123 (UK and ROI). The NHS even have a little quiz you can take. If you can, visit your GP for further advice.

    To talk about mental health in a private, judgement-free zone, join our Mentally Yours Facebook group.

    Need support? Contact the Samaritans

    For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

    MORE: How to start exercising to help with your mental health

    MORE: Yes, your hilarious friend can still be depressed


    Mental health series: Is a diagnosis that important?Mental health series: Is a diagnosis that important?

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    Strong Women is a weekly series that champions diversity in the world of fitness and sport.

    Women come in all shapes and sizes and every single one of them can be fit and strong, regardless of how they look.

    This series shines a spotlight on women of all ages, sizes, ethnicities and abilities – who are proving that there is no one way to be fit, strong and love your body.

    We are deep into a fantastic summer of women’s sport, so now is the ideal time to embrace being active – and our Strong Women are the perfect inspiration.

    Mel Bridger is a 42-year-old personal trainer – she teaches women and encourages them to focus on their mental health after dealing with her own battle against depression.

    Mel Bridger headshot on bridge
    ‘During the first few days with my daughter, we should have been bonding but I was too scared to even hold her’ (Picture: Mel Bridger)

    Tell us about your relationship with fitness

    Fitness has been a real lifeline for me, I know that may sound cliched but it’s true.

    I worked in HR for a long time prior to having my daughter, I danced professionally alongside my day job and I taught Zumba.

    When I had my daughter in 2011, I knew I didn’t want to go back to work so I turned my side hustle into my day job.

    My whole outlook on life changed when I became a full-time fitness professional, I started to understand how important it was to take care of myself and that I had a responsibility to raise my children to be the best that they could be, inside and out.

    How has depression affected your life? 

    I was first diagnosed with depression in 2007, I didn’t do anything about it at first because it was such a taboo subject.

    I also come from a Irish and Jamaican family where the older generation didn’t believe in such things. You were just told to ‘pull yourself together’ and that there are people out there far worse off than you, so I felt that I needed to try and deal with it myself.

    I didn’t tell anyone apart from my partner and a couple of close friends.

    Mel Bridger head shot
    ‘As a woman, you are expected to instinctively cope with the responsibility that comes with having a child’ (Picture: Mel Bridger)

    When I finally agreed to get medical help, I had already hit an all-time low, my day job was extremely stressful and I felt completely overwhelmed. I couldn’t see a way out and it was affecting all areas of my life.

    Fitness has always helped, it’s a head-clearer, stress-buster and it helps to be around my students and know that I’m helping them to feel better about themselves.

    If I’m having a bad day, the fact that I’m teaching a class later on can feel like it’s all too much, but I know once I’m there, I feel so much better.

    How did becoming a mother affect your mental health?

    I had a difficult labour with my daughter and ended up having an emergency C-section. This was such a traumatic experience for me and it really knocked my confidence.

    I couldn’t breastfeed either so I ended up feeling like a complete failure. This affected the first few days with my daughter, we should have been bonding but I was too scared to even hold her.

    It wasn’t until I had my son and I ended up back on medication, that I realised I had been suffering from postnatal depression with my daughter and didn’t get the support I needed because I refused to ask for help.

    Why do new mothers need support with their mental health? 

    Becoming a parent is hard!

    Your hormonal state is affected so much, you’ve been growing a child for the last nine months and then all of a sudden, your baby is here and no one has prepared you for the sheer range of emotions that you go through.

    Fear, love, more gear, bewilderment, did I mention fear?

    I feel as a woman, you are expected to instinctively cope with the responsibility that comes with having a child, forget the fact that you’ve just given birth (regardless of how), here’s your baby, off you go.

    The hardest part for me was definitely feeling like I had failed because I didn’t give birth naturally and I couldn’t breastfeed. Man, there are some judgmental people out there.

    It took years for me to accept that I am no less a mother because of those things, I did what I could to feed my baby and take care of her and she’s a gorgeous, well-rounded eight year old with a fierce business mind.

    Mel's two young children
    ‘I didn’t get the support I needed because I refused to ask for help’ (Picture: Mel Bridger)

    I also have an incredibly funny five year old son (who I had via an elective C-section) who is also well rounded and they are both fit and healthy.

    I also have an amazing husband by the way, I have to put that out there.

    How did you get through the difficult periods?

    No two days are the same, but then I’m an ‘entrepreneur’ so my job is very varied.

    I no longer take medication and I can identify my triggers so I know how to deal with them.

    I used to have anxiety attacks and they can be very debilitating, I haven’t had one in a long time but if I do, I know how to deal with it.

    I changed my mindset from trying to stop the lows and the attacks and decided to just accept them when I feel them coming on, meditation helps a lot.

    I also have two wonderful children and no matter how low I get, they will always be the light at the end of my tunnel.

    What do you hope to achieve with your work as a trainer?

    I work with a lot of women who suffer with various mental health conditions and through fitness I help them to find a way to channel that frustration or just tune out from all of the worry and anxiety for an hour.

    Mel with one of her classes stood in a big group in a sports hall
    ‘My whole outlook on life changed when I became a full-time fitness professional’ (Picture: Mel Bridger)

    I have started working with families (I run a Family Fitness session every week) and I have worked with children who are autistic, introverted, being bullied etc.

    I give them a safe environment to get fit in, they make friends, learn that everyone is equal and they are incredibly accepting of each other.

    I also talk about mental health and the benefits you can gain from fitness, I want to continue that work and encourage other fitness professionals to include mental and emotional health in their fitness programmes.

    Fitness is about so much more than just the physical aspect that people should be working towards.

    I am Team GB

    Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.

    Inspired by the achievements of Team GB athletes and the amazing efforts of local community heroes, Team GB has created ‘The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day’, which will take place on the 24thAugust.

    Over the weekend, there will be hundreds of free and fun activities across the country, put on by an army of volunteers; the ‘I am Team GB Games Makers’.

    To Join the Team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day sign up at: www.IAmTeamGB.com

    MORE: Strong Women: ‘Menopause left me anxious and overwhelmed – learning to surf made me brave’

    MORE: Strong Women: ‘Having a stoma bag is no hindrance to living life to the max – I’m about to my first Ironman’


    Strong Women: Mel BridgerStrong Women: Mel Bridger

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    In case you were wondering, Chris from Love Island’s favourite sex position is ‘the anaconda’.

    Or so he claims. We don’t entirely believe he knows what it means, especially as his response when asked was that there’s ‘no time to get into that’.

    So, what is the anaconda sex position that Chris claims to enjoy?

    One entry on UrbanDictionary describes it as thus: ‘A sexual move where the male partner is recieving a blowjob then removes the penis quickly and at the same time makes fists with both hands then quickly punches the partner on both sides of the neck at the same time hence causing a swelling action.

    ‘The man then inserts the penis back into the person’s mouth having the feeling of a anaconda around his penis from the swollen neck.’

    …so assault, basically. See why we don’t think Chris means it?

    What is the anaconda sex position Chris from Love Island lists as his fave?
    My anaconda don’t want none unless you’re prioritising my pleasure, hun (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

    An anaconda is also a term for a large penis, which could be Chris’s way of dropping a massive hint about the size of his schlong.

    He may also have confused the anaconda for the python sex position, which is part of the kama sutra.

    The python is all about physical closeness – think about a python wrapping itself around its prey.

    The woman lies on her back with her legs slightly spread, while the man is on his knees in front of her. The woman wraps her legs around the man’s body and her hands around his neck as he penetrates.

    We hope that’s the sex position Chris actually means, as it’s quite a nice one. The closeness of both party’s bodies brings a real intimacy to proceedings, and you can still kiss and make eye contact as you’re going for it.

    Plus the back and forth motion provides plenty of clitoral stimulation.

    If none of this is sounding good, you might want to try Curtis’s favourite sex position, the eagle, instead.

    Curtis also has the right idea in keeping his socks on during sex – maintaining body warmth can help you reach orgasm.

    MORE: Strong Women: ‘Not being able to breastfeed doesn’t make me a failure as a mother’

    MORE: What are the Love Island couples after the recoupling on Friday night?

    MORE: Dating in the countryside takes an acquired sense of humour


    What is the anaconda sex position Chris from Love Island lists as his fave?What is the anaconda sex position Chris from Love Island lists as his fave?

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    The Fckboy Tears gin
    Fancy drinking a fckboy’s tears? (Picture: Firebox)

    Firebox has created a new ‘f*ckboy tears’ gin liqueur to mock those guys who don’t believe in relationships and ghost you out of nowhere.

    The £19.99 gin is pretty and pink and is decorated with pictures of crying men.

    Firebox says the drink is full of empowerment and is ‘best served on the rocks’.

    It’s passionfruit and tropical mango flavoured and it’s also super shimmery.

    The pink gin
    It’s pink and shimmery (Picture: Firebox)

    Currently, the bottle is limited edition – which Firebox adds is fittingly like your f***boy’s ‘love for you’. Ouch.

    Firebox has been having fun with the product, even creating a gift of the gin smashing down on a banana.

    Yes, they’re bitter.

    The description reads: ‘When he doesn’t believe in labels, starts speaking to you after months of silence, sends you ‘you up?’ or ‘Wyd? xx’ at 2 AM, begs for nudes and says all his exes are crazy… He’s a f***boy.

    The pink gin
    We’d like to try it.. Picture: Firebox)

    ‘You don’t deserve that. So we made them cry, then we bottled their sadness.

    ‘All that sweet retribution turned their salty tears into a juicy passionfruit and mango flavoured glittery gin liqueur.

    ‘It’s the perfect partner for prosecco, tonic water and a slice of grapefruit. Swirl their tears around your glass to unlock a torrential wash of holographic shimmer, knowing no f***boy is gonna mess you around again.’

    Honestly, this fruit flavoured shimmery gin doesn’t sound like anything totally new – we’ve seen a lot of these recently – but we’ve got to give it to Firebox for their inspiration.

    Oh, and their absolute savageness.

    MORE: What is the anaconda sex position Chris from Love Island says is his favourite?

    MORE: How to explain depression to people who don’t understand it


    Firebox Has Released A Shimmery Passionfruit And Mango Gin Made From 'F**kboy Tears'Firebox Has Released A Shimmery Passionfruit And Mango Gin Made From 'F**kboy Tears'

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    Spend the night in a wienermobile Hot dog lovers, we?re calling you home. For one night only, you can have the opportunity to eat hot dogs, dream of hot dogs, and yes, live in a hot dog, with an overnight stay in the iconic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile (no, you?re not having hunger-induced visions ? this is real!). For the first time ever, your wildest hot dog dreams can come true with a stay in our 27 foot-long hot dog on wheels. Housed inside an authentic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, this cozy space for two is located in Chicagoland. Complete with a bed for dreaming of wienies, sitting area for discussing at length whether a hot dog is a sandwich (spoiler alert ? it is!) and other amenities like adjacent outdoor spaces for the bathroom and a hot dog picnic zone, this hot dog paradise is the ideal respite for two music lovers in town for the festival weekend? or just those who relish a good story. Amenities include a mini fridge stocked with Oscar Mayer hot dogs and all the Chicago-style hot dog essentials, an Oscar Mayer roller grill to take home, an outdoor space for comfortable hot dog eating and a custom Wienermobile art piece by local artist Laura Kiro. And to help you celebrate your love of hot dogs during your visit, each guest also will receive a welcome kit, complete with all the hot dog-inspired accessories you could want after a music-filled, festival day. Request to book the Wienermobile for what will be a bunderful time!
    Spend the night in a wienermobile (Picture: AlexanDog + Jake N\’ Bacon)

    The millennial obsession with minimalist, Pinterest-perfect tiny houses reached its peak last year, and a new flavour in alternate living has rolled in.

    It’s saucy, with nice buns and a lick of mustard. It’s a 27 foot-long hot dog on wheels: the Wienermobile.

    Almost as good as the vehicular home itself is the title of the Airbnb listing: ‘Relish a Stay in the Real Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.’

    For the first time, American meat brand Oscar Mayer is transforming one of its iconic Wienermobiles into a motorhome.

    The comfy home-for-two includes a sitting area, bed, a mini-fridge stocked with on-brand hot dogs and condiments, a grill (that you get to take with you), an outdoor picnic area and a nearby bathroom.

    Spend the night in a wienermobile Hot dog lovers, we?re calling you home. For one night only, you can have the opportunity to eat hot dogs, dream of hot dogs, and yes, live in a hot dog, with an overnight stay in the iconic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile (no, you?re not having hunger-induced visions ? this is real!). For the first time ever, your wildest hot dog dreams can come true with a stay in our 27 foot-long hot dog on wheels. Housed inside an authentic Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, this cozy space for two is located in Chicagoland. Complete with a bed for dreaming of wienies, sitting area for discussing at length whether a hot dog is a sandwich (spoiler alert ? it is!) and other amenities like adjacent outdoor spaces for the bathroom and a hot dog picnic zone, this hot dog paradise is the ideal respite for two music lovers in town for the festival weekend? or just those who relish a good story. Amenities include a mini fridge stocked with Oscar Mayer hot dogs and all the Chicago-style hot dog essentials, an Oscar Mayer roller grill to take home, an outdoor space for comfortable hot dog eating and a custom Wienermobile art piece by local artist Laura Kiro. And to help you celebrate your love of hot dogs during your visit, each guest also will receive a welcome kit, complete with all the hot dog-inspired accessories you could want after a music-filled, festival day. Request to book the Wienermobile for what will be a bunderful time!
    Plush with a side a pickles. (Picture: AlexanDog + Jake N\’ Bacon)

    Guests will also receive a welcome-pack featuring some hot dog themed accessories.

    Before you can say ‘Franks a lot!’, the opportunity to be a dreamer in the wiener is a limited time offer.

    The availabilities coincide with Lollapalooza – Chicago’s huge four-day music festival – meaning the Wienermobiles are available for one-night stays over August 1, 2 and 3, 2019.

    So if you happen to find yourself wandering about the Chicago area in early August, in desperate need of some big dog energy, it will be approximately $136 per night for the pleasure. Bookings open on July 24 at airbnb.com/wienermobile.

    MORE: World’s biggest unicorn is on its way to Australia, but the little ones can kill you

    MORE: The kissing disease: What are the signs and symptoms you have glandular fever?

    MORE: Mum leaves sweet note in toilets offering mums baby wipes for if they’ve run out


    PRI_76631338PRI_76631338

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    Taking a quick browse through the wellness corner of Instagram, I’m told that coconut oil will ‘support the body’s natural antioxidant defenses’, that ashwagandha supplements can ‘treat cancer’, and that drinking celery juice on an empty stomach will detoxify my liver.

    This is all nonsense. But when someone who looks super healthy and has thousands of followers is saying it, a claim can start to feel convincing.

    This is the state of wellness – a wild, wild west where there’s no proper regulation and the person who can draw their gun the quickest will win.

    Across the internet you’ll find all manner of misinformation around the theme of feeling and looking better, all preying on the knowledge that most of us feel bloody awful and will jump on anything that promises to soothe our woes.

    The internet has democratised and opened up the world of health, which in some ways is a wonderful thing.

    You can find support groups for your mental illness, Google your symptoms and discover a diagnosis you might not have been aware of, and find methods of self-care that your doctor simply doesn’t have the time or resources to prescribe.

    There are some non-traditional treatments that can help but that professionals aren’t able to research, and the internet can draw our attention to something that’s genuinely beneficial for a chronic condition – especially those that are often dismissed or ignored by the medical profession.

    But that democratisation also means that absolutely anyone can publicly declare that something is a magical remedy.

    Anyone can create a Twitter or Instagram account, make an infographic, and then extol the benefits of whatever supplement they’re selling or DIY fix they’ve stumbled upon.

    There are verified ‘ticks’, but these are no indicator of any medical expertise.

    You can report a tweet for abusive content or copyright infringement, but not for simply being untrue. There’s no quick button to let Twitter know that if someone follows the advice of this tweet with over 20,000 retweets, they’ll likely end up in hospital.

    Misinformation spreads fast and those who start it do so with impunity.

    New claims can pop up at every second, with only a few renegades trying to quell wellness tips from spreading like a virus. We have to rely on publications to debunk products and trends, or Dr Jen Gunter to call out vagina-related myths, and accounts like Estee Laundry for tearing apart bullsh*t beauty promises.

    But it’s like a game of high speed whack a mole. There’s no way every bit of nonsense can be debunked. Most will slip through the cracks and make their way in front of the eyes of vulnerable people desperately looking for a fix.

    Instagram has changed the way we eat
    Misinformation spreads fast and those who start it do so with impunity (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Even those that are disproven with medical evidence won’t be dismissed. Detractors will be accused of promoting big pharma, promoters will double down on their claimed benefits, and people will jump up to say that actually, they tried celery juice/vagina detox balls/jade eggs and it really did make them feel incredible.

    There’s no official body making sure everyone’s following the rules. Wellness is a lawless state in which experts, influencers, customers, and brands are left to fight it out.

    It’s no longer as simple as declaring ‘well, this is true, and here’s evidence, and this is false’. Individuals have to choose who they believe – the professional doctor who perhaps hasn’t listened to their complaints or the glowing influencer with 60,000 followers, who follows all the advice she gives and looks absolutely incredible. Seeing is believing, and all too often it’s whoever looks the best who’ll get our trust – we want to look more like them, so we’ll do as they say.

    A wellness influencer’s perfect skin and toned body are rarely down to the easy fixes they promote, of course.

    They’re blessed with good genes, and more often than not have the time and money to put a lot of work into their appearance – none of which makes it to their social media channels.

    They sell us quick, easy magic bullets because they know that’s what the average person is so in need of.

    The average person doesn’t have time to grow their own organic fruit and veg, make deliciously balanced food from scratch, exercise the perfect amount, socialise, meditate, sleep, and do all the other stuff we know we’re supposed to do to live a longer life.

    We prioritise one thing and another slips. Work is the top, then we know exercise is crucial, then suddenly we’re wandering around like zombies on six hours of rest.

    There’s an uncomfortable reality few of us want to face: it’s impossible to live the dream of total wellness unless you’re extremely wealthy, and can thus justify shifting around your work schedule, paying someone else to cook your food, and having an expert personal trainer around to create the optimal workout plan.

    It’s just not achievable for the average person. We can’t do it.

    But the wellness industry makes us feel like we should, and that’s where the trouble begins.

    Celery
    Drink your celery juice if you want to, but take everything with a pinch of salt (Picture: Getty)

    The second we’re pressured to reach an unattainable goal, we’ll try to cut corners to somehow make it all work. When someone presents us with a juice or a pill or a breathing technique that will solve everything in one go, we’ll snatch it up eagerly.

    Okay, so we can’t stick to clean eating 100 per cent of the time, but we can do a seven day juice cleanse.

    We’re constantly nauseous, the doctor says it’s down to stress and poor diet, but that’s trickier to solve. So we guzzle kombucha and take gut health supplements.

    The stuff we know works – exercise, eating healthily, resting enough, looking after our mental state – takes a long time to deliver results. If someone on the internet promises something instant and minimal effort, of course we’re going to buy into it.

    Wellness influencers know this and they exploit this. There’s no official regulatory body to make them stop, no sheriff to make the wellness cowboys and snake oil salesmen follow the rules. The onus is entirely on us to sift through the nonsense and dodge those wellness bullets coming left right and centre, and it’s getting harder and harder to know who the good guys are, what will hurt and what will heal.

    So what can we do?

    The key is knowing what we’re up against, and knowing when something is a nice thing to try or one that will cause you serious harm.

    That’s difficult to do alone. Who has the time to look through pages of peer-reviewed research, and how can you be certain what’s reputable expertise and what’s glossily packaged fake news?

    That’s why it’s crucial for the higher powers of the internet to step in and stop the shoot-outs. It’s time for sites to stop allowing the sale of dangerous ‘wellness’ products with no evidence to their claims, for Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter to create a way to report and remove untrue and dangerous health recommendations, and for the internet at large to stop giving equal weight to what one self-appointed expert claims and what years of research from medical professionals has discovered.

    The wide majority of wellness nonsense online isn’t harmful. You’ll do a few lime shots, discover no radical changes, and move on with your life.

    You might even find that some bizarre wellness tip does actually help you feel better, and that’s wonderful.

    But we can’t keep allowing people to declare these tricks miracle cures. We can’t allow ourselves to be scammed into wasting our time and money, and putting our health at risk, because someone online is sufficiently convincing.

    You know what works: a balanced diet (a Mediterranean diet has been found to be the healthiest by multiple studies), moderate exercise, getting enough sleep, looking after your stress levels, and steering clear from downing booze and puffing cigarettes.

    If something isn’t feeling great, talk to a doctor. And yes, the medical industry also needs to step in to sort out this mess, promising to actually listen to patients’ concerns rather than dismissing pain and discomfort and refusing to take certain issues seriously. It would also be great if they had more funding to research non-traditional methods of wellness so we can get a clue about what’s actually reliable.

    Drink your celery juice if you want to, but take everything with a pinch of salt (not literally). Drink it because you like it, not because you really believe in its ‘magical healing properties’ or because you think it’ll make up for working too hard, not eating well, and skipping exercise.

    Oh, and last thing: Anything that claims to ‘detox’ is generally trash. Your kidneys and liver do that all for you. If anyone suggests you need their overpriced product to get rid of all your toxins, tell them to f*** right off.

    MORE: We’ll never achieve ‘true wellness’ if we’re all too hungry to get the job done

    MORE: Your vagina is the easiest target for influencers to sell you self-hate

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    The wellness industry has turned into the Wild WestThe wellness industry has turned into the Wild West

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    A picture of the ASOS dress and Ariel stepping on the shore
    The dress looks quite like Ariel’s (Pictures: ASOS/Disney)

    We’re super excited to see the Little Mermaid live-action remake – but we’re now wondering whether Ariel will wash up on shore in one of ASOS’s dresses, which has been likened to the outfit Ariel wore when she came out of the sea.

    Lauren Harding shared a photo of the cream textured dress alongside Ariel when she was first given legs, writing: ‘£55 to look like the Little Mermaid when she washed up onshore’.

    And we’ve got to admit, she does have a point – they do look strikingly similar.

    The ASOS DESIGN textured maxi dress with grosgrain straps costs £55.

    It’s a long cream dress made with woven fabric, and features black straps, a square neck, a ruched detail and a zip fastening.

    The model wears it with heels – but if you fancy going the full Ariel, you could just go barefoot. And don’t forget the red wig.

    In other ASOS meets Disney news, the fashion retailer has teamed up with Disney to launch a new Lion King themed range.

    The ASOS dress
    The dress is £55 (Picture: ASOS)

    The range launched on 1 July and coincided with the new remake, which was released yesterday, 19 July.

    The collection features summer clothes in amazing prints, with pieces available across the women’s, men’s and pluz size collections.

    Key pieces include a Zazu-inspired printed knit jumper and cardigan and a Simba themed bucket hat and jumper.

    Prices start at just £8 – and yes, we want the lot.

    MORE: Asda releases new Lion King themed bedroom collection

    MORE: Asda is selling extra large paddling pools for £20


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    Conjuring house is legit haunted, says couple picture: leave blank METROGRAB
    The fictional version of Perron House in The Conjuring (Picture: The Conjuring)

    For many, the scariest thing about purchasing a home is that you might be 60 by the time you have the funds, and that you’ll forego years of avocado toast in the process.

    In the case of Cory and Jennifer Heinzen, the most terrifying part of the home-owning journey has been the home itself.

    The pair recently purchased an almost 300-year-old Rhode Island farmhouse, despite it being the inspiration for 2013 film The Conjuring. Here’s what it looks like IRL:

    The hit horror film was based on the terrifying – and true – story of the Perron family, who lived in the home during the 1970s and encountered numerous paranormal incidents such as beds lifting off the floor and the scent of rotting flesh wafting through the house.

    ‘We’ve had a few moments in here that have made us jump a bit,’ Cory told Insider.

    ‘We’ve had doors open on their own, footsteps, disembodied voices, electronic voice phenomena, and some awesome spirit-box sessions.’

    So yeah, very surprised by this. What’s actually pretty unexpected is that the couple are still the smart ones here.

    They’re both delighted with the property’s acreage, ‘serene’ river and pond, and the opportunity to watch the sunset from the back porch. Oh, and they’re going to make bank.

    Cory, who happens to be a paranormal investigator, is currently repairing the house with his wife so they can open it to the public later this year.

    Tours of the property are sure to be a hit with horror-loving visitors and fellow investigators, given that the former homeowner sued Warner Bros in 2015 because of all the trespassing that came after the release of the film.

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    Conjuring ho use is legit haunted, says coupleConjuring ho use is legit haunted, says couple

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    Creme brulee crepe cones
    Millet Crepe makes crème brûlée crepe cone that look absolutely dreamy (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

    Over in Los Angeles is Millet Crepe, a shop making all our dreams come true by selling a crème brûlée crepe cone.

    Be warned: this food porn is so filthy we’re not sure it’s safe for work.

    What is a crème brûlée crepe cone, you may ask?

    Let us break it down for you.

    This magical creation starts life as a freshly made crepe. It’s then topped with fillings and ice cream flavours of your choice – think strawberries, vanilla ice cream, and a drizzle of nutella, whatever you fancy – and rolled into a cone.

    That’s your crepe cone bit. Now comes the crème brûlée.

    Creme brulee crepe cones
    Look at that caramelised topping (Picture: Millet Crepe)

    On top of the already delicious treat the good people at Millet Crepe pile on a layer of custard, sprinkle sugar on top, then use a blowtorch to give the treat that classing crème brûlée hard sugar shell.

    And yes, it’s a proper crème brûlée topping – you have to give the caramelised sugar a good tap with your spoon to get inside the creamy filling.

    If you don’t fancy ice cream, cornflakes, or all the other stuff on offer, you can also ask for your crepe cone to be filled entirely with the custard, giving you a large crème brûlée cone to dive into.

    Sounds delicious, right?

    Of course, the treat is also highly Instagrammable. It’s perfect to be held aloft in front of some cherry blossoms or on the beach.

    Creme brulee crepe cones
    They’re super Instagrammable (Picture: Millet Crepe)

    Sadly, as we mentioned, Millet Crepe is located far, far away from the UK in LA, so if you want to try the real deal, you’ll need to have a plane ticket.

    But if the cravings are too strong to withstand an eight hour plane journey, we reckon you could probably craft a makeshift version.

    Make every ingredient from scratch if you’re fancy, but we’ll just buy some ready-made pancakes and scrape a supermarket crème brûlée out of its ramekin.

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    Creme brulee crepe conesCreme brulee crepe cones

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    The new Signsbury's sign
    The store has put up a new sign (Picture: Sainsbury’s)

    A Sainsbury’s in Bath has temporarily been renamed ‘Signsbury’s’ as it becomes the UK’s first signing store: a supermarket in which staff are able to use sign language.

    The initiative will launch for four days, and was launched on Thursday, lasting until tomorrow.

    It comes as part of a community inclusion initative to encourage people to learn and use sign language.

    The launch of ‘Signsbury’s’ is a part of Sainsbury’s 150th birthday celebrations, which includes 150 days of volunteering for all colleagues across the country to help continue the company’s legacy of putting local communities first.

    Over 100 Sainsbury’s employees took part in the British Sign Language lessons, which were offered by local signing school I Can Sign.

    Employees at this particular store can now sign common words and phrases when interacting with customers – such as asking whether they have a Nectar Card.

    To encourage customers to get involved, the store has also added digital screens to the aisles to offer them the chance of learning sign language for words such as ‘milk’ and ‘trolley’.

    And even children are being encouraged to learn with a new ‘Sign for a Snack’ initiative which offers children a piece of free fruit when they have learned a few words.

    Signsbury’s comes after it was suggested by one employee, Sam Book, who has hearing loss and asked the Bath store manager to make the supermarket more inclusive for deaf customers.

    Bath Store Manager Paul Robertson said: ‘When I heard about our “150 Days of Community” scheme, I thought it was the perfect time to use the opportunity to explore new ways to make our store more deaf-friendly.

    ‘We have many hard of hearing customers in Bath and always want to make their experience as brilliant as possible, and we hope “Signsbury’s” will help better their time in store even more.’

    Actress Rachel Shenton, who is an ambassador of the National Deaf Children’s Society, added: ‘This feels like the start of something exciting and I hope it encourages more people to get involved.’

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    PRI_76654447PRI_76654447

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    An illustration of a woman with PCOS
    Could you have endometriosis? (Picture: Ella Byworth)

    Do you suffer from severely painful periods? You may have endometriosis.

    Endometriosis is a condition where cells like the ones in the lining of the womb are found elsewhere in the body, such as in the ovaries or the fallopian tubes.

    Each month, these cells react in the same way to those in the womb, building up and then breaking down and bleeding.

    Unlike the cells in the womb that leave the body as a period, this blood has no way to escape.

    It’s a chronic and debilitating condition that causes painful or heavy periods, and it can lead to infertility, fatigue and bowel and bladder problems.

    The condition is fairly common, with around 1.5 million women in the UK living with it.

    It can affect all women and girls of childbearing age.

    Endometriosis is a long-term condition and it can have a significant impact on your life.

    Symptoms include having pain in your lower tummy or back, which usually gets worse during a period, period pain that stops you doing your normal activities, pain during or after sex, pain when peeing or pooing during your period, and feeling sick, constipated or having diarrhoea during your period.

    Illustration of woman with stomach cramps
    It can cause severe abdominal pain (Picture: Ella Byworth/Metro.co.uk)

    With the condition, you might have really heavy periods, and you may also have difficulty getting pregnant.

    However, don’t panic too much, as these symptoms can be managed. It’s also important to remember that the condition is not an infection nor contagious, and is not cancer.

    If you are worried you may have endometriosis, it’s important that you go to your GP, who may examine your tummy and vagina, and may recommend treatments.

    These treatments may include painkillers, hormone medicines and contraceptives.

    If the treatments don’t help, you may be referred for an ultrasound or laparoscopy, which is where a surgeon passes a thin tube through a small cut in your abdomen so that they can see any patches of endometriosis tissue.

    As mentioned, women with the condition may struggle with their fertility, but surgery to remove the endometriosis tissue can help your chances of getting pregnant.

    If you are worried that you might have the condition, make a list of your symptoms and get an appointment with your GP, so that they can start investigating.

    Although it is very scary being diagnosed with a chronic condition, and the symptoms can be very severe and difficult to live with, it’s important to remember that you can, with the right treatment, live a normal life with the condition.

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    MORE: The hairy truth about PCOS – the condition that makes me feel less of a woman


    ella byworthella byworth

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    Inchmarnock is an uninhabited island in Scotland on sale for £1.4million
    Inchmarnock is an uninhabited island in Scotland on sale for £1.4million (Picture: Strutt&Parker/BNPS)

    Inchmarnock, an uninhabited island in Scotland, is now on sale for £1.4million.

    FYI, that’s the same price as a terraced house in London, and you get a full 660-acre Scottish island, your own farmhouse, and a ferry.

    Anyone fancy going halves? Or, um, quarters? Tenths?

    Inchmarnock is the dream spot for anyone fed up of life in the city. It’s right at the northern edge of Scotland, just a ten minute ferry ride from the seaside town of Rothesay.

    Back in its farming days, the island had a bustling population of 46. But its last permanent resident, a farmer, departed in 1986.

    A stunning Scottish island has emerged for sale for just £1.4million - the cost of a London terraced home
    It’s perfect if you’re fed up of living in the city (Picture: Strutt&Parker/BNPS)
    The farm building. A stunning Scottish island has emerged for sale for just £1.4million
    Along with your house you’ll also get a farm and plenty of deserted buildings to do with what you wish (Picture: Strutt&Parker/BNPS)
    Livestock and machinery are transported between Inchmarnock and Bute by a ferry, The Marnock, which is docked on the island
    And there’s a ferry, too (Picture: Strutt&Parker/BNPS)

    Since 1999 the island has been owned by a couple who have used the place’s farmhouse as a holiday home. They’re now selling it to anyone who fancies having an island all to themselves and also happens to have a spare million.

    It’s quite the bargain for the money, though.

     Inchmarnock, at the northern end of the Sound of Bute in the Firth of Clyde
    Just look at all that green (Picture: Strutt&Parker/BNPS)

    If you cough up £1.4million you not only get an entire island (2.5 miles long, half a mile wide, and with 4.75 miles of coastline, in case you were wondering), but also a lovely four-bed house, several uninhabited buildings, a farm, native woodland, a small private harbour, and a ferry.

    The Port House
    Here’s the farmhouse you would call home (Picture: Strutt&Parker)
     Interiors of the Port House
    This is what the Port House looks like at the moment (Picture: Strutt&Parker/BNPS)
    Interiors of the Port House
    You can redecorate if you’re not keen (Picture: Strutt&Parker/BNPS)

    It’s also got quite a cool history, having been a target of Viking raids and used as a D-Day training ground, with bomb craters still visible in its landscape.

    A farmer discovered the remains of a local Bronze Age woman, the Queen of the Inch, on the island in the 1960s. She lay in a stone cist wearing a black lignite necklace and carrying a flint dagger.

    The spot is also rumoured to have been popular with smugglers, thanks to its woodland and craggy shoreline, and there’s legend that back in the 1800s an alcoholic from Bute was sent to Inchmarnock to recover from her addiction.

    A stunning Scottish island has emerged for sale
    The island has an interesting history, having been the site of a Viking raid (Picture: Strutt&Parker/BNPS)

    The owners have put it on the market with estate agents Strutt & Parker.

    Diane Fleming, sales agent for Strutt & Parker in Edinburgh, said: ‘Inchmarnock is a stunning island rich in possibility.

    ‘There is already a successful farming enterprise and a lovely family home on the nearby shore of Bute but there is significant potential to build up the sportings, develop the existing residential offering and to capitalise on the various amenities offered by the island such as the native woodland, watersports and fishing.

    cows on the scottish island of inchmarnock
    Meet your neighbours (Picture: Strutt&Parker/BNPS)
    Redundant houses and buildings on the scottish island of Inchmarnock
    If you want a quiet life, this is the place to go (Picture: Strutt&Parker/BNPS)

    ‘A Scottish island embodies the romance many people associate with the country’s prime estates and farms.

    ‘Inchmarnock is stunning with great heritage and is a peaceful and secluded haven, yet it is relatively accessible from Scotland’s central belt.

    ‘We expect significant interest from national and international buyers.’

    We repeat, if anyone wants to split the cost, we’re down. The island will also be on our Christmas list.

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    MORE: Bask in the glory of these crème brûlée crepe cones


    Scottish island for saleScottish island for sale

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    Inca enjoying her party
    Inca had a great time (Picture: Drayton Manor Park)

    Drayton Manor Park, based in Staffordshire, threw a special party this week for one of its residents who celebrated her 21st birthday.

    The park’s oldest South American tapir, Inca, celebrated in style, complete with a birthday cake and balloons.

    Inca is one of three tapirs who live at Drayton Manor Park’s 15-acre conservation zoo, which partners with the Instituto de Pesquisas Ecologicas in Brazil to help conserve the endangered species.

    Inca eating her cake
    She had her own cake (Picture: Drayton Manor Park)

    Inca celebrated her birthday with her closest friends and family, which included her best friend Fifi and son Obi, also celebrated his second birthday this year.

    Chris Mitchell, Head of Zoo Operations at Drayton Manor Park, said: ‘Inca is our oldest South American tapir so we’re thrilled to be celebrating her 21st birthday this week.

    ‘Conservation is a huge part of our programme at Drayton Manor, so being able to watch our fascinating tapir family grow up knowing we are helping to boost the numbers of a vulnerable species, is fantastic.

    Inca posing for the camera
    She was a very happy girl! (Picture: Drayton Manor Park)

    ‘The birthday cake didn’t last long, and Inca had an early night after all the celebrations – we think she’s looking forward to birthday number 22 already!’

    If you fancy giving Inca her very own birthday gift, the zoo also offers a tapir feeding experience so that you can get up close with her.

    You’ll get to take a selfie with Inca and to give her a bite to eat, with prices starting at £12.50 a person.

    But no, you won’t be able to sneak any birthday cake in there for her – you’ll have to stick to the food on the feeding platform.

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    There ain’t no party like a tapir party! Drayton Manor Park throws 21st birthday bash for zoo resident (3)-bcadThere ain’t no party like a tapir party! Drayton Manor Park throws 21st birthday bash for zoo resident (3)-bcad

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