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

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    Man eating ice cream at the gym
    You probably shouldn’t get your nutrients from ice cream (Picture: Getty)

    The CICO diet stands for ‘calories in, calories out’ and is based on the premise of eating fewer calories than the amount you burn.

    Scientifically, burning more calories than that you consume causes weight loss.

    But the idea that you can eat whatever you want and lose weight still has some limitations.

    Fitness trackers and apps all tell you how much you’ve burned off and how much you’re consuming so the diet is popular among lots of people.

    The concept isn’t entirely new but interest in it has regurgitated following popular Reddit threads vouching for its success.

    The CICO subreddit even has more than 16,000 followers.

    It certainly sounds easy – you get to munch limited portions of whatever you like and then burn it all off, shedding weight.

    It’s not the most sustainable though as it means you’re not focusing on quality and the types of foods you’re entering into your system.

    Does the CICO diet really work?

    Users on social media have said they’ve noticed changes. And while it can be a useful tool for quick weight loss, it’s not the healthiest.

    Since it’s about eating whatever you want, it might mean getting your calories from unhealthy snacks instead of healthy fats and proteins.

    It might leave you feeling hungry too if you set calorie targets for yourself and aim to burn more than that.

    ‘At the core of it, it’s true that calories will rule things when it comes to weight loss,’ says Dawn Jackson Blatner, author of The Superfood Swap.

    ‘If you’re eating just a tonne, you’re not aware of calories, you will not be successful. That is true in the crudest, raw possible way.’

    The aim of his diet is to create a calorie deficit but not all calories are created equal.

    So if you chomp 1500kcal of Mars bar throughout a day and then work it off, it doesn’t mean it’s a healthy choice.

    The issue with calorie-counting

    If you live an otherwise healthy life full of exercise and a balanced diet and need to lose weight in a short amount of time, CICO might work for you.

    But consult with a dietician before starting it to ensure you’re getting all the right nutrients.

    Many have been critical of CICO as it forces people to count calories in each item consumed rather than enjoy the food they’re eating.

    The obsession with calorie-counting may even lead to problems like eating disorders which was the issue with Ocado’s saver option.

    Ultimately, food is also about enjoyment and not about meticulous consumption.

    CICO might produce weight loss but getting your calories from any old food item can cause other problems to the body such as skin breakouts and lethargy.

    Calorie-counting may help, but it’s also important to look at where you’re getting it from and the benefits of it.

    MORE: Should vegans bother having a go at eating a plant-based keto diet?

    MORE: People are slamming Forever 21 for sending out Atkins diet snack bars with clothes

    MORE: Now you can look like Thor as Chris Hemsworth’s strict diet plan is revealed


    Man Eating Ice Cream While Sitting In GymMan Eating Ice Cream While Sitting In Gym

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    Stef and Natasha
    Stef has now found love (Picture: Mercury Press)

    A male model named ‘Mr Tinder’ after becoming the dating app’s most swiped right man in history has finally found love – and no, he didn’t find it on the app.

    29-year-old Stefan Pierre-Tomlin was announced Tinder’s most swiped man back in 2017, after the app announced 14,600 people had swiped right for him in two years.

    However, he’s now dating former X Factor contestant Natasha Boon, and fell for her in a completely traditional way after they met through a mutual friend on a night out.

    Stefan, who spent five years looking for love on dating apps before meeting Natasha in April this year, said: ‘When I first saw Natasha, she instantly reminded me of Marilyn Monroe – she wore a tight red dress, red lippy and her trendy blonde hair was styled amazingly.

    ‘She knocked me off my feet and that rarely happens with me.

    ‘I had butterflies in my stomach, which left me thinking “this isn’t normal for me”!

    ‘After we spent an hour or so hanging out and chatting that night, I grabbed her number before my manager ushered me home.

    ‘We ended up texting all night long and the rest is history – now we’re totally in love.

    Stefan's tinder profile
    Stefan was the most right swiped guy on Tinder (Picture: Mercury Press)

    ‘Usually people these days use modern technology to find love but Natasha and I just have that natural chemistry, so it was nice to have met her the “old-fashioned” way.

    ‘After the whole Mr Tinder hype I kind of thought the universe would help me meet “Miss Right” offline, and there we have it!’

    After becoming ‘Mr Tinder’ thanks to an average of 20 women a day swiping right for him over 24 months, Stefan, from South London, hit the small screen on TV dating shows like Celebs Go Dating.

    But he struggled to build a connection with girls through the app, despite it leading to 15 dates over the two years, including one during a lads’ holiday to Marbella.

    Stefan did get into two relationships from his Tinder matches, but said generally the they didn’t work out as the women were more interested in fame than his personality.

    So he fell head over heels when Natasha first caught his eye this April at London’s Opium nightclub, where she was performing for the Big Narstie wrap party.

    He didn’t get the chance to speak to her that night, but luckily soon after a mutual friend who was singing at a private rooftop party in Croydon invited Natasha along when he was there too.

    After swapping digits and texting non-stop, the couple met up for their first date in July at Hampstead Heath Park – and have been inseparable ever since.

    The couple together
    The couple have already moved in together (Picture: Simon Jacobs/Mercury Press)

    Stefan came to the date straight from a charity football match in Scotland and was armed with a ‘Mr Tinder’ branded suitcase, which was when Natasha found out about his unique accolade – and prompted some awkward questions.

    Natasha, from Camden, said: ‘At first, Stef’s nickname was weird for me because I didn’t understand why he would need to use an online dating app – he’s so handsome.

    ‘I do get a little jealous when I think about all the women he’s matched with, but I appreciate that a lot of people fancy him and I feel privileged to be with him.

    ‘I’ve never used dating apps myself, but I think they’re great for people who are looking for love in the modern era because these days people seem to be busier than ever before, so they deliver convenience in the mix of people’s busy schedules.’

    When Stefan was first dubbed Mr Tinder by a women’s magazine, he thought it was all a big practical joke but reckons the key to his successful swipe right stats was his TV appearances and modelling.

    While he was active on the app, he found it challenging to find people who wanted to get to know him for him.

    Stefan added: ‘When I was still on dating apps, I got the impression that people just wanted to speak with Mr Tinder so that didn’t make it easy for me, in the sense of working out who genuinely liked me versus those who wanted to be a bit of a roadie.’

    Now Stefan, who is also a trained pilot, is head over heels for Natasha.

    The former dating app addict claims he’s now matched more than 10 couples by introducing them to each other at club nights and events, who are now married or enjoying solid relationships.

    Natasha added: ‘I love his outgoing, witty and humorous personality, and his respect for people – it’s really endearing, which allows me to think of a future with him as I hold respect real high.

    ‘He surprises me with different red lipstick all the time too, and I bought him a moonstone for his birthday which represents protection and his pure personality.

    ‘I also love that he’s a pilot – that’s a winner for me as I love flying.’

    Since their first date, the couple have gone from strength to strength after becoming official in July and have already moved in together.

    Stefan said: ‘We’d like to start making music together and vlogging, and if things continue to go well in the future we’d like to get engaged, buy a house and start a family together.

    ‘I love the way Natasha is so patient and that she’s a great team player, she’s kind, importantly she understands my industry and work because she’s a signed singer and been on national television.

    ‘I also love her voice so much – it makes my hair stand on end, not that I’ve got much.’

    MORE: Mum reveals how bulk buying allows her to feed family of four for 76p per meal

    MORE: How to have anal sex that’s safe, pain-free and enjoyable


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    ASOS has a new weird face mask made from silver chain
    ASOS has a new weird face mask (Picture: ASOS)

    This week on dysfunctional fashion items, we bring you ASOS’ chain mail face mask.

    Instead of being an ordinary mark that protects you against all those germs in the air and pollution, this silver mask is more of a sartorial statement.

    The retailer debuted the quirky item on Twitter saying: ‘Festival season/flu season/dealing with close-talkers, meet your fave new year-round piece’.

    We’re not sure how much of a year-round fave it’s going to be considering it has holes in it which kind of defeats the point of a protective mask.

    And followers on social media pretty much said the same thing (but harsher obviously, ’cause it’s Twitter).

    ‘Fire the designer’ cried one person while another said it was ‘ridiculous’.

    Another felt it was a bit pointless: ‘This will categorically not prevent the transmission of influenza’.

    But at least you’ll look trendy on the streets?

    Over on its website, ASOS describes it as having a ‘silver-tone finish, draped front’ with ‘stretch elastic straps’.

    If you do feel like stunting in this mask, be sure to check the weather first as the retailer states you should avoid contact with liquids.

    So, probably not very suitable for British rainy weather then.

    ASOS has a new weird face mask (Picture: ASOS)
    The mask has holes… (Picture: ASOS)

    If you’re still keen, the glitzy mask will set you back £12.

    People online weren’t feeling it though, saying: ‘They make actual medical-grade masks for sickness prevention… this is weird,’ and: ‘It’s got holes in it, and besides that looks completely ridiculous.’

    But the look did win over one person who wrote: ‘Bad but I love it’.

    No matter how stylish you think it is, don’t forget to use tissues, wash your hands, use sanitiser to protect against the flu.

    MORE: Unfortunate ASOS trousers with brown tie-dye streaks make it look like you’ve pooed yourself

    MORE: People think this £350 ASOS dress looks like a sack of onions

    MORE: ASOS is selling a latex dress that’ll make you look ‘like a condom’


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    Polly Collins who is keeping up her family tradition
    Polly Collins who is keeping up her family tradition (Picture: John Aron/SWNS)

    A grieving daughter is honouring her late mother by carrying on her tradition of giving flowers to strangers in the street every week.

    Polly Collins, 39, handed out bunches of flowers to people she passed, just the same way her mum Lynn had done for six years before her death last week.

    Polly intends to keep the tradition going – and said people burst into tears when she tells them why she is giving out the impromptu gifts.

    The tradition started when Polly’s grandma, Betty, was in a care home and Lynn would take her a fresh bunch each week.

    After Betty’s death aged 84 in 2013, Lynn, 69, continued to take flowers to the care home for staff to distribute to patients.

    She then decided to spread the joy beyond the care home by handing bouquets to strangers in her hometown of Louth.

    Lynn would stop people and give them flowers in the street and explain why.

    Polly Collins with Mum Lynn Collins in 2013 at her Granson's christening
    Polly Collins with Mum Lynn Collins in 2013 (Picture: SWNS)

    Polly, a hairdresser, said: ‘When you lose someone you want to keep a bit of them alive.

    ‘This is my way of keeping my mum’s memory alive.

    ‘I used to get really embarrassed when she used to do it.

    ‘But when I got past that embarrassment I thought that could make someone’s day.

    ‘It usually ends in tears. Happy tears – well I hope they are happy tears. People hug me and burst into tears.

    ‘I had one lady try to give me them back the other day. She said I should have them for my mum, but I’ve got enough.

    ‘I say to them “Can I give you these flowers in honour of my mum?” and I explain to them the story.

    ‘One lady I gave a bunch of flowers to said her mum was really poorly at the minute and she was so grateful they had cheered her up so much.’

    Polly holding flowers
    Polly Collins with the flowers she gives away (Picture: John Aron / SWNS)

    Polly’s mum wrote a Facebook status in 2015 explaining why she gives away the flowers.

    Polly added: ‘It had been shared a few thousand times and she was so happy she had gone viral.

    ‘A few years ago she gave them to this lady but didn’t explain the story.

    ‘The lady wrote a letter to the local newspaper and asked if anyone knew what it was about.

    ‘Mostly she did explain “this is Betty’s bunch, I can’t buy my mum flowers so now I need to buy someone else flowers”.’

    Lynn, who married husband Ken Hives on her sick bed in hospital in June, passed away from cancer on 7 August.

    Determined to keep her mum’s memory alive, Polly posted on Facebook asking her friends to donate a bunch of flowers to strangers in her mum’s honour – and her salon in Cleethorpes has been inundated with flowers for her to distribute.

    She added: ‘A lot of people had messaged me after they had heard about my mum.

    ‘My close friends were asking if they could do anything to help.

    ‘Before my mum passed away, a lot of people knew my mum was poorly.

    ‘Seven weeks before she passed away we were told this is the end of the road for her and she needed end of life care.

    ‘I had a lot of messages offering for people to do something for me.

    ‘I kept saying I was ok and politely declining, but after she died I thought “I do want people to do something for me”.

    ‘I put my status up asking people to get involved.’

    Polly’s status was shared widely and sparked a worldwide trend where people would buy a bunch of flowers to give to strangers to spread the kindness.

    She added: ‘It’s been amazing, it has had more than 11,000 shares.

    ‘I have had random people message me saying it’s a lovely thing to do. I’ve had so many messages I can’t reply to everybody.

    ‘My mum would be well chuffed by all this – she always wanted to go viral.

    ‘Her husband Ken thinks it’s wonderful, it keeps mum’s memory alive.’

    MORE: Mum reveals how bulk buying allows her to feed family of four for 76p per meal

    MORE: How to have anal sex that’s safe, pain-free and enjoyable


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    A party-goer dressed in a colourful carnival outfit during Notting Hill Carnival in 2018
    It’s always a colourful celebration (Picture: David Cliff/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

    If you want to immerse yourself in Caribbean culture, head to Notting Hill Carnival.

    Thousands of people will descend upon the area to drink, dance and watch performances by carnival entertainers, dressed in glittering outfits.

    Many people also go for the food, with people selling jerk chicken and fried dumplings in street food stalls.

    The event is a fantastic celebration, but it can also be daunting for first-time visitors so it’s best to plan out when and how to get there before you head over.

    When is Notting Hill Carnival 2019?

    The festival will run during the Bank Holiday from 6am on Sunday 25 August until 10pm on Monday 26 August.

    Anyone is welcome to attend, however it is recommended that families go along to the first day, which is considered much more family-friendly and is known as ‘Children’s Day’.

    Cgukdreb dressed in orange and yellow carnival outfits during Notting Hill Carnival in 2007
    Families are recommended to come along on the first day, which is known as ‘Children’s Day’ (Picture: Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)

    In contrast, day two will see parties taking place across the entire area, as well as food traders selling Jamaican cuisine and local pubs hosting events during the day and night.

    The Grand Finale Parade with its carnival dancers, steel drum music groups and street performers will also take place during the second day.

    There will also be a 72-second silence at 3pm during both days, held in memory of the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire.

    As for how to get there, the closest tube stations include Holland Park, Notting Hill Gate, Westbourne Park and Ladbroke Grove.

    If you’re driving or taking a taxi, note that many roads will be closed down because of the festival so public transport is likely your best bet.

    Be safe, plan out a travel route and organise a meet-up point, should you lose your friends in the crowd.

    It’s also recommended that you keep a close eye on your belongings, as pickpocketers are known to frequent the festival.

    MORE: What to do during the August Bank Holiday

    MORE: The best costumes from the Notting Hill Carnival

    MORE: Notting Hill Carnival pictures reveal incredible and adventurous costumes


    A reveller seen in a costume during the event.Hundreds ofA reveller seen in a costume during the event.Hundreds of

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    The mirror before and after
    Before and after the mirror was decorated (Picture: Facebook)

    If you want your basic homeware to look a little more luxurious, you need to use your imagination.

    An Australian woman has completely transformed a standard mirror using a cheap placemat.

    Sharing the pictures on Facebook, the woman revealed she transformed the $39 (£21) mirror by unwinding the $3 (£1.86) hyacinth placemat and using a hot glue gun to wind it round the frame.

    She explained: ‘I knew eventually that I’d have to get the gorgeous arch mirror from Kmart! I love the size and shape but wanted to change the black edge.’

    The woman had already used a similar technique to decorate a basic lamp.

    She added: ‘I’ve already used the hyacinth (placemat) trick with another hack – the glass base Kmart lamp – so why not use the same principle for the mirror!

    ‘I did use a plastic ring to give a 3D effect and covered it with a Hyacinth strip.

    ‘Really happy with the end result and all I really needed was one $3 placemat, ring and some glue!!’

    The plastic ring
    The plastic ring (Picture: Facebook)
    Adding hyacinth to the the ring
    Adding hyacinth to the the ring (Picture: Facebook)

    The placemat and the mirror were bought at Australian store Kmart but you can buy similar placemats in the UK to transform your homeware.

    JD Williams currently has a set of four placemats and four coasters for £13.99, meaning you have enough for all sorts of projects.

    Adding lines to the mirror
    Adding the lines (Picture: Facebook)
    The finished mirror
    The finished mirror (Picture: Facebook)

    Or you can pick up this set of four placemats for £10 at Morrisons and you can find individual placemats on eBay.

    To complete a similar look, you’ll need a glue gun, super glue and a plastic ring.

    The woman started by unravelling the placemat, then sticking it around the edges with a glue gun. She used a double row of the twine.

    She covered the ring using the same technique and stuck it to the mirror using superglue.

    Then she added a cross from the ring to the edges and stuck down any loose bits with superglue.

    Time to get crafting.

    MORE: Woman honours late mother by giving away free flowers to strangers in street

    MORE: ASOS is being mocked for its ‘ridiculous’ face mask that won’t protect against germs


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    William in hospital
    William had an unfortunate Veet mishap (Picture: SWNS)

    A man faces weeks in hospital after he gave himself chemical burns on his groin by leaving hair removal cream on for double the recommended time.

    William Bishop, 26, was getting ready for a first date with a woman he met on a night out when he decided to use the hair removal cream.

    But he admits he left it on for too long and used the Veet cream variety designed for body and legs, rather than the delicate groin area.

    Two days on he was left with huge blistering open wounds, which you can see in the graphic pictures below, and took himself off to A&E.

    Property developer William, from Cheltenham, was admitted to the burns unit so that doctors could repeatedly burst the blisters, and has been in hospital for two weeks.

    William, who faces another three weeks in hospital, said he’s postponed his big date.

    He said: ‘I was getting ready for a date that night, so I decided to get prepared – just in case anything good happened.

    William in hospital
    He’s been in hospital for weeks (Picture: William Bishop /SWNS.COM)

    ‘This wasn’t the first time I was going to use Veet, though. I’d used the product around six months earlier, and that went absolutely fine.

    ‘So I applied the hair removal cream to my lower half. I left it on for around 10 minutes, and it felt rather sore when I took it off.’

    William used Veet’s Body and Legs Hair Removal Cream – not Veet Men Hair Removal Cream or the sensitive variety for ‘bikini lines’ – on July 27.

    He said he coated the area with a spatula and left it for around than ten minutes – more than the recommended three to six minutes.

    He ought to have removed a small test area of cream after three minutes, and removed the rest of the hair if it had come away easily.

    Instead, William left the product on his groin for 10 minutes, then removed the cream and rinsed with lukewarm water.

    He adds: ‘Potentially I left it on for longer than I should have, as I was applying it to a larger area.

    ‘I didn’t think much of the stinging to start, but it got increasingly worse – and it wasn’t until two days later that I saw it had burned a hole in my crotch.

    ‘For two weeks now, I’ve been in the hospital burns unit. It’s been extremely painful because of where it is. I can barely walk, sleep, or sit.

    ‘Hospital staff have been treating the wound, and done everything they can to minimise infection – though it’s still pretty bad.

    ‘They have been daily cleaning and dressing it, and have applied a cooling cream.

    ‘Cleaning is the worst part, though, as they like the blisters to burst.

    ‘I can’t really do anything here. I’m really hoping to be released soon.’

    The chemical burn
    Ouch! (Picture; William Bishop /SWNS.COM)

    He said he told his date he’d had an accident, and that they’d have to postpone their get-together for at least three more weeks.

    So no, he didn’t have the balls to tell her that he’d burned his balls.

    Veet’s website advises: ‘Any kind of reaction is extremely rare, but we always recommend testing on a small area of your skin 24 hours ahead of intended use.’

    William confessed: ‘I didn’t know there was a men’s bottle.

    ‘It was a little stupid of me, I know, and laughable I guess. Initially I found the whole thing funny, until I realised how bad it is.

    ‘The pain and discomfort it has caused is far from funny.

    ‘I guess I’ve formed a kind of anger towards Veet.

    William in hospital
    William in his hospital gown (Picture: William Bishop /SWNS.COM)

    ‘But I’m also shocked that such bad injury can occur from a product readily available.

    ‘If you deviated slightly from the instructions, you can cause serious damage.’

    A spokesperson for Reckitt Benckiser, which makes Veet, said: ‘We are sorry to hear of the reaction a customer has had to a Veet hair removal cream product and we wish the gentleman a speedy recovery as soon as possible.

    ‘As the health and safety of our consumers is a top priority for us, we ensure all Veet products meet stringent safety standards.

    ‘We strongly recommend that customers read and follow all the instructions on the packaging and product labels for safe use.

    ‘Although it’s rare, if customers experience a reaction to the product we advise they seek advice from a healthcare professional.’

    MORE: ASOS is being mocked for its ‘ridiculous’ face mask that won’t protect against germs

    MORE: What is the CICO diet and is it healthy?


    GREAT BALLS OF FIRE! - A man faces weeks in hospital after he gave himself chemical burns on his groin by leaving hair removal cream on for DOUBLE the recommended timeGREAT BALLS OF FIRE! - A man faces weeks in hospital after he gave himself chemical burns on his groin by leaving hair removal cream on for DOUBLE the recommended time

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    Samosas come in weird flavour like bacon and cheese
    Oh no, what’s happening here? (Picture: @kiimberlynaidoo)

    They say you can tell how gentrified your neighbourhood is by the number of joggers running around at all hours.

    And you can tell how gentrified your food is when it’s been appropriated by the masses with their own take on it (PSA, leave hummus alone).

    Samosas are the latest food to be adopted by a crowd that, err, don’t know much about samosas.

    That’s because the ubiquitous Asian snack was seen at a market in some rather interesting flavours that are usually not put into the fried goods.

    Twitter user Kimberly Naidoo from South Africa spotted it and felt it was ‘the gentrification of samoosas’ as it came in bacon and cheese flavours as well as a questionable ‘Punjabi’ filling.

    In true gentrification fashion, the prices were also higher than samosas should be, said Kimberly.

    An image of the stall has circulated online and many, for whom the food is part of their culture, felt it was too far changed from the original.

    The addition of bacon particularly irked some as many of South Asian descent are Muslim and don’t eat pork.

    The staple was spotted at The Oranjezicht Farmers Market in Cape Town where it was being sold three for 25rand (£1.34).

    Traditionally, samosas are filled with potato or minced meat and mixed with chillies. So the market version, with ‘roasted butternut’ and ‘cheese and leek’ didn’t go down well for some.

    Kimberly found the whole thing hilarious. She told Metro.co.uk: ‘The sellers were definitely white. Those are the most ridiculous samosa fillings I’ve ever seen. The worst part is they were super busy.

    ‘Mostly tourists were buying though because the locals know better.

    ‘As funny as it is though, I do think it’s gentrification and I think that spot in the market deserves to belong to a person of Asian descent making real samosas.

    ‘Also 25 rand for three samosas is very expensive even in a South African context.’

    Others felt the same, with one saying: ‘R25 for three potato samoosas, lmao my grandmother would straight up smack me’.

    One person asked: ‘What in the seven alternate universes is “Punjabi” flavour?’

    Others replied in the only way millennials know how to express disgust and outrage; via gifs.

    And if all that talk of food has got you craving bacon and cheese, it’s a pasty you’re looking for, not a samosa.

    MORE: Vegan tells meat-eater they’re appropriating veganism by eating tofu

    MORE: Food brand creates ‘green hummus’ using edamamae, not chickpeas and people accuse it of ‘gentrification’

    MORE: Uncle Ben’s and Tasty’s one pot ‘biryani’ is an insult to all biryani


    Gentrification of samosasGentrification of samosas

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    The historic island
    The property might be turned into a luxury hotel (Picture: JLL / SWNS)

    A historic six-acre island fortress has been sold to a property developer and may become a luxury hotel and spa.

    Drake’s Island is named after Sir Francis Drake who set sail from there to circumnavigate the globe in 1577.

    It has been on the market for some time and has now been bought by property developer Morgan Phillips.

    A view of the property
    There may also be a spa (Picture: JLL / SWNS)

    Morgan, who runs Guardian Industrial UK, said he originally planned to turn the 16th century fotress island into a living museum complete with heritage centre.

    He now plans to restore the island, which currently features a series of underground tunnels, ‘for the people of Plymouth and visitors’.

    The island, off the coast of Plymouth, Devon, has planning permission for a luxury hotel and spa – and Morgan said a water sports centre was also being considered.

    The historic island
    The island has just been given planning permission (Picture: JLL / SWNS)

    He said: ‘I’m under no illusions that the people of Plymouth regard Drake’s Island as the jewel in the city’s crown and they want to enjoy it as soon as they possibly can.

    ‘Indeed, we want the island to be open to the public as often as possible.’

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    MORE: Cure for obesity could be a brain implant zapping people when they think about food


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    Made's homeware collection for dogs
    Want (Picture: Made)

    Who are we? Humans. And what do we love doing? Buying things for our pets.

    Whether our cats and dogs appreciate it or not, we all take great enjoyment in buying adorable and definitely necessary climbing frames or sun loungers for our furry companions.

    And now that we’ve spotted a great selection of goods for our four-legged friends, we want to share the gift with you.

    Online furniture retailer Made has a homeware section for dogs (and cats but with fewer options), so you’ll want to put some time aside.

    You can scroll through dog beds, fancy rose gold food bowls, teepees, containers, storage units and more.

    Here are some of the faves we’ve picked from Made:

    Rex Large Double Pet Bowl Stand, copper, £55

    Made has a homeware collection for dogs (Picture: Made)
    (Picture: Made)

    Bali Square Small Pet bowl, wood and copper, £25

    Made has a homeware collection for dogs (Picture: Made)
    (Picture: Made)

    Kyali Medium Dog Sofa, natural ash and grey small/medium, £159

    Made has a homeware collection for dogs (Picture: Made)
    (Picture: Made)

    Kyali Square Cat Bed, natural ash and grey, £99

    Made has a homeware collection for dogs (Picture: Made)
    (Picture: Made)

    Terri Pet Teepee, grey, £49

    Made has a homeware collection for dogs (Picture: Made)
    (Picture: Made)

    Hyko Felt Large Round Pet Bed, grey, £49

    Made has a homeware collection for dogs (Picture: Made)
    (Picture: Made)

    Saskia Extra Large Pet Food Storage Set Of 2 With Scoop, grey and copper, £45

    Made has a homeware collection for dogs (Picture: Made)
    (Picture: Made)

    Moxie Small Pet Bowl, copper, £19

    Made has a homeware collection for dogs (Picture: Made)
    (Picture: Made)

    Kyali Oval Pet Bed Small, natural walnut and navy, £99

    Made has a homeware collection for dogs (Picture: Made)
    (Picture: Made)

    Dogtooth Doormat 45 x 75cm, teal, £15

    Made has a homeware collection for dogs (Picture: Made)
    (Picture: Made)

    MORE: You can now buy your dog a luxury home with in-house treat dispensers

    MORE: You can now buy bridesmaid dresses for your dog but it’ll cost you £114

    MORE: You can now win a rooftop wedding for your dog


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    The puzzle
    Can you spot the aubergine? (Picture: Gala Bingo)

    Mondays are a drag, but we’re here to make the next five minutes (or however long it takes you) a little more fun with a rather difficult brainteaaser.

    The puzzle, created by Galabingo, is hiding an aubergine somewhere among a load of flip flops.

    Apparently 70% of those who have taken part in the puzzle so far have struggled to spot the aubergine in under three minutes.

    So, if you can find it in under 180 seconds you’ll be in the elite 30%.

    That’s if you haven’t already given up before actually finding the vegetable.

    So, here’s the puzzle. Can you spot the aubergine?

    The puzzle
    Can you spot the aubergine? (Picture: Gala Bingo)

    Here’s a clue: You’re not looking for a purple vegetable. The aubergine has actually been sliced and grilled to look like a flip flop.

    Sneaky, we know.

    ……………

    But if you’ve given up, scroll down below to find out what you were looking for:

    The answer to the puzzle
    Here’s the answer… (Picture: Gala Bingo)

    Yep, it was pretty difficult to find, wasn’t it?

    Unless of course you were in the 30% of eagle-eyed people able to spot it in under three minutes. Show offs.

    MORE: Man seriously burns his balls after leaving hair removal cream on for too long

    MORE: People think these ‘bacon and cheese’ and ‘Punjabi’ samosas are gentrified


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    The broken down AC Cobra with the groom posing with police men
    Groom Ben Williams nearly missed his wedding (Picture: SWNS)

    One thing always goes wrong during weddings.

    Groom Ben Williams almost missed his big day when his car, an AC Cobra classic, broke down on the way to the venue.

    The 34-year-old from Essex was left stranded after a quick trip the pub for a pint.

    He was due to marry his partner of five years Chloe, 33, but a few miles away from Sparrow Hill horse rehab centre where they planned to marry, the car broke down.

    With just an hour and a half to meet everyone, he worried about leaving his wife-to-be waiting at the altar.

    Thankfully, two officers came to his rescue and made sure Ben made it to his wedding just in the nick of time.

    They towed his car to a safe place and gave him a lift.

    The broken down AC Cobra being ready to be towed
    Ben had been excited to drive the classic car – a family heirloom  (Picture: SWNS)

    Ben, from Newport, said: ‘I just couldn’t believe that this was happening! My first thought was initially my poor car!’

    ‘It was my dad’s car before mine and he passed it down to me so it’s kind of a family heirloom so I wanted to drive it to my wedding.’

    With panic beginning to rise, Ben called the AA as his wedding party desperately tried to revive the car.

    But help came from an unlikely source when two police officers pulled up to help.

    The police then towed the car to the next safe stop while Ben jumped in with his wedding party.

    Ben and Chloe Williams on their wedding day at the aisle
    Fret not, he made it to the venue in time (Picture: SWNS)

    He added: ‘I didn’t tell my wife until we were down the aisle. I did speak to my father-in-law who said he couldn’t believe it!

    ‘He did tell me before not drive to the wedding in that “bloody car”!’

    ‘It ended up being a lovely day, we had a marquee wedding, we had a really amazing band and we all got very drunk!’

    Ben and Chloe Williams on their wedding day.
    He got to the wedding in time, with Chloe none the wiser (Picture: SWNS)

    It was later revealed that the car, which has been in Ben’s family for 34 years, had suffered damage to its oil sump.

    While most may have skipped a trip to the local boozer on their wedding day, for Ben it has some special memories as he first met Chloe at the pub.

    Ben and Chloe Williams on their wedding day.
    Cute (Picture: SWNS)

    Since the near-miss, Ben has praised PCSO Mike O’Donnell-Smith and PCSO Andy Wallis who rushed to his aid and hopes to thank them personally.

    He added: ‘The police officers were absolutely amazing.

    ‘I was ready to cry when we broke down but I managed to get there on time!’

    MORE: Bride carries premature baby down the aisle as she weds groom in the hospital

    MORE: Groom wears shorts that make him look like a ‘toddler’ on his wedding day

    MORE: Widowed bride and her mates drink beer in their wedding dresses in Friends-inspired photoshoot


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    Bicycle crunches are tough on the abs.

    Not only are you crunching, you’re also twisting your upper body to target those hard-to-reach muscles.

    Keep going for 45 seconds to really feel the burn and build strength through your core.

    Throughout this Staying Active summer series, fitness experts Elia and Amanda – both qualified instructors at Flykick – will be on hand to show you how to do each challenge and give you their top tips.

    Our daily challenges are perfect to try at home, at the gym or in the park. They are designed to get you moving every day.

    Check back every day to see what the next challenge is – you could even film your progress to make a record of how far you’ve come.

    The aim is to be active every day for six weeks over summer. Today’s challenge will test different muscle groups and help to improve your muscle performance.

    These daily challenges can be done on their own, or you can include them in larger workout – it’s totally up to you. As long as you’re moving, that’s what matters.

    Man doing bicycle sit-ups on mat at gym
    Make sure you keep your movements slow and controlled. (Picture: Getty)

    We know doing the same fitness routine every week can get really tedious, trying a new challenge every day will keep your fitness fresh and fun – and you might even learn some new moves.

    How to do bicycle crunches

    Lie on your back. Make sure your lower back is flat against the floor.

    Put your hands behind your head without pulling on your neck. Bend your knees in towards your chest and lift your shoulders off the ground.

    Straighten your right leg to a 45-degree angle to the ground, at the same time, turn your upper body to the left, bringing your right elbow towards your left knee.

    Switch sides and do the same motion on the other side to complete one rep.

    You want to make sure you’re moving your ribs when you twist, not just your elbows.

    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


    Man doing bicycle sit-ups on mat at gymMan doing bicycle sit-ups on mat at gym

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    Woman working out with a kettlebell in a gym
    Hit every muscle group with one bit of kit. (Picture: Getty)

    The best workouts are all about efficiency.

    Condense a class into 30 minutes? Yes please. An exercise that’s both cardio and toning? Sign us up. None of us want to spend more time than we have to working out.

    That’s why kettlebells are such a great piece of kit. They are incredibly versatile and allow you to get a serious sweat on while also working on strength. All in a few simple moves.

    ‘Kettlebells are an awesome invention,’ says Joshua Pearson, fitness expert at Exercise.co.uk.

    ‘They’re an incredible way to spice up your training from the standard dumbbell and barbell combination.

    ‘They’re ever-growing in popularity, and if you find out the best ways to use them, you’re onto a winner.’

    The full-body kettlebell workout

    Josh loves kettlebells so much he’s created this bespoke workout, designed to tackle every muscle group – in less than half an hour.

    Six exercises, three times in 24 minutes.

    For each exercise, work for 45 seconds and rest for 15 seconds. And do the whole thing three times.

    Group squatting with kettlebells in a fitness class
    Kettlebells are easy to use and simple for beginners to try. (Picture: Getty)

    Goblet squats

    Squats in any format are an excellent way to hit almost all of the muscles in your legs in one fell swoop.

    They’re often known as the king of lower-body exercises, and they’re an absolute titan in their own right, really hitting your quads, hamstrings and glutes.

    Try and make sure you dip below a 90-degree angle for full effect, but all progress is good progress.

    Bent rows

    Bent rows are an incredible way to hit your upper back muscles. They’re one of the best for it, in fact.

    With a kettlebell in each hand and standing bending forward at the waist, pull the weight up to your chest and slowly release it back down again.

    Make sure you aren’t building momentum, and keep your elbows close to your sides to prevent using other muscles and cheating. It’s one of the staple lifts in an awesome workout.

    What are the benefits of kettlebells?

    Unique exercises

    Kettlebells have their own unique exercises, which you just can’t copy with other equipment, like kettlebell swings and Turkish get-ups.

    Distribution of weight/angles/variation

    Kettlebells provide fantastic ways to change up old exercises.

    The way that they distribute weight below the handle and the way that they’re shaped in general, makes them perfect for some new takes on old exercises like, push-ups, lunges, farmers walks and deadlifts.

    Beginner friendly

    Whether you are new to exercise in general or you’re just trying to learn something new, it’s not hard to master your technique with a kettlebell.

    Even spicing up your standard routine with new equipment, in general, is an incredibly effective way to boost your progress and keep your body on its toes. Kettlebells really are the full package.

    Joshua Pearson, fitness expert, Exercise.co.uk

    Kettlebell Swings

    Taking the kettlebells into their element is the swing.

    Kettlebells are the only equipment for the job really. They’re a great exercise to hit your whole posterior chain, a lot like the deadlift, but it tends to be a much easier exercise.

    Don’t build up too much momentum again either.

    If you want to take things to the next level, try using one arm and swapping hands after every swing.

    Front to side raises

    This is a great move for the shoulders. In particular, your front and side deltoid muscles.

    This is a mix of two exercises, but that’s one of the best ways to use a compound exercise to make the most of your efforts and your time.

    Start by raising your arms forwards, which is a front raise. Bring them back down in a controlled way, get back to a resting position, and then lift your arms out to your sides in a T-like stance. Go back down and repeat.

    You’ll really feel this one.

    Kettlebell push ups

    This one is simple – place the kettlebells on the floor and hold on to them as you do a push up. You go lower on each rep than in a standard push up, which increases the muscle contraction.

    You’ll likely find that it’s a lot more comfortable to hold onto the handles too, which is always a win.

    Lunges with a pass

    We’ll end with another lower body exercise, because why should your upper body get all the attention?

    Lunges are an iconic leg exercise and for a good reason. They hit your upper leg muscles hard, and with a kettlebell, they’re even harder.

    With just one kettlebell in one hand, lunge, and then pass the kettlebell to your other hand under the leg. That way, you’re using your core to balance too and hitting even more muscles.

    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


    Woman exercising in gymWoman exercising in gym

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    Graziella with her dog, Lola, before she was dyed
    Graziella with her dog, Lola, before she was dyed (Picture: Graziella Puleo)

    A woman has criticised a grooming salon in Lake Worth Beach, Florida, for dyeing her dog’s eyebrows green.

    To be clear, Graziella Puleo hadn’t asked for her goldendoodle Lola to have her fur dyed. She’d left her dog at Amore’s Pet Salon Dog Grooming Day Care Boarding Spa with a request for a buzz cut, nail trim, and teeth cleaning.

    When Graziella returned nine hours later to collect her pup, she says her dog’s teeth hadn’t been cleaned, her nails hadn’t been trimmed, but the groomer had decided to dye Lola’s eyebrows and the tip of her tail neon green, and her ears bright pink.

    Graziella wasn’t pleased with the surprise transformation.

    Lola's eyebrows were dyed green and her ears pink
    Lola’s eyebrows were dyed green and her ears pink (Picture: Graziella Puleo)

    ‘I almost cried,’ Graziella told the Palm Beach Post. ‘I was like, “You dyed my dog’s hair?”

    ‘I noticed they’d shaved her eyebrows off and tried to fix the mistake by drawing green eyebrows on her. She looks like you painted on her and were trying to turn her into a clown.’

    Graziella also said her dog’s underside was pink from infection and had to be taken to the vet.

    The owner of the grooming business, Raquel, refunded the $150 Graziella paid, but said that the dye job was an attempt to ‘make her happy.

    The tip of the dog's tail got dyed green too
    The tip of the dog’s tail got dyed green too (Picture: Graziella Puleo)

    ‘The young lady, she’s very sweet,’ said Raquel. ‘We wanted to make her happy. We beautify the dog… If we see it’s missing something, we do color, sometimes, the dog.

    ‘We did wrong about the color. We should have offered her first.’

    Raquel explained that Lola’s teeth hadn’t been cleaned because she didn’t react well to the treatment, and said the infection was due to Lola licking herself.

    Graziella says she plans to contact a lawyer, and that Lola has been traumatised by the experience. She’s sharing her story to warn other dog owners to be careful and do their research before leaving their pets at a groomers.

    Multiple baths haven’t washed the green and pink dye out.

    ‘It was definitely a traumatizing experience for my puppy,’ she wrote on Facebook. ‘I hope this grooming service has learned their lesson and no other dog out there has to go through the pain they cause mine.

    ‘So glad it’s over, BUT the hair dye still has yet to come out. ‘

    MORE: Put some time aside, there’s a homeware section for cats and dogs on Made

    MORE: Hilarious dog photobombs his owners’ engagement pictures

    MORE: Hero dogs can sniff out cystic fibrosis before it takes hold


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    Sexual assault survivor Catriona Morton stands in sunlight under a tree
    I felt like I was stranded in the ocean, with only a punctured life raft and no rescue in sight (Picture: BBC Sounds)

    I am a survivor of both childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault in adulthood.

    When I was young, I was abused by someone close to me but I only opened up about what had happened to me when I was 17 years old – and had a breakdown soon after.

    As an adult, I’ve been sexually assaulted twice; once when I was travelling abroad and again when I was on a date a few years ago.

    I went to therapy, I’m on medication and I have great friends, but about a year ago I realised that there was still something missing. I felt like I was stranded in the ocean, with only a punctured life raft and no rescue in sight.

    Everything I had found online up until this point was similar to standard therapy. I wanted something that would allow me to connect with others who had gone through something similar.

    So, I decided to build my own life raft, and create a space for survivors myself.

    I began by launching Life Continues After, a website for people who have experienced sexual trauma, with the aim to help those who were looking for general life advice. Somewhere they could, for instance, share TV shows that aren’t triggering or podcasts that are good if you can’t sleep.

    A place they could visit anytime, day or night, with unlimited access, so that they knew they weren’t alone in the confusion that follows surviving sexual violence.

    When I started sharing information about Life Continues After on social media, the response was great. I was really happy to see people’s reactions because it showed that this was something that was needed.

    Sexual assault survivor Catriona Morton stand in front of a coloured wall
    Everyone’s experience is valid and this could happen to anyone (Picture: BBC Sounds)

    So many of them wanted to get involved too, to get their personal stories out there and heard – both as a means of catharsis but also as a way to help others.

    The more I speak to fellow survivors, the more I believe it’s important for us to have a safe space to share our stories. Together, we can talk about all the pain, awfulness and confusion that can come with surviving something so terrible.

    And we can also talk about the positive things that have helped us get through it, and the friendships that we’ve made along the way.

    Speaking to fellow survivors through the website – and now on my podcast After: Surviving Sexual Assault – has been incredibly therapeutic.

    On a personal level, it’s been so special spending sometimes hours talking in-depth to each of these people. I hope that it’s also been therapeutic for those who have told me their stories and for those who have been able to read or listen, and recognise themselves in them.

    A big problem among survivors is feeling that your story isn’t ‘bad enough’ or that it wasn’t ‘violent enough’ – especially because of the way rape and sexual assault is often misrepresented in the media, with an emphasis on the violent and sensational.

    Yet everyone’s experience is valid and this could happen to anyone.

    I have spoken to female, male, and non-binary survivors, to those whose experiences resulted in conviction, and those whose did not.

    I have been inspired by people who survive through climbing physical mountains, those who have had to rebuild family relationships, people who have turned their experiences into comedy, and those who have found empowerment through BDSM.

    It’s been beautiful to see the commonalities that come up between survivors. Some of us come from completely different walks of life and different cultures, and yet we still recognise this thing inside one another that keeps us surviving.

    Even those people who think they don’t know any survivors, the chances are, they definitely do, especially considering 20 per cent of women and four per cent of men have experienced some kind of sexual abuse since turning 16.

    The main message I’ve taken from every survivor I have spoken to is about the lifelong journey of being kind to yourself. When I’ve asked people what they do when they’re feeling down this is always the constant, and to allow yourself to do whatever you need to in order to get through the day.

    It’s important that people hear what we go through and what we live with.

    The more we can all help each other and ourselves by sharing our experiences and supporting each other, the better we can keep surviving.

    MORE: Only 3% of rape allegations in London lead to convictions

    MORE: More than 1,000 female McDonald’s workers have been sexually harassed, say campaigners

    MORE: I saw my fake porn and it made me laugh. Then I felt creeped out


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    A mum has revealed how she feeds her family of ten for £150 a week with glorious Nando’s and McDonald’s ‘fakeaways’.

    Caroline lives with her husband John and children Ellena, 21, Joshua, 18, Daniel, 15, Finlay, 11, Henry, 10, Sophia, eight, Florence, six, and Emilia, two, in Evesham, Worcestershire.

    Yes, that’s a lot of kids to feed. You can imagine how tricky it is to sort out meals that will please everyone and that stick to a budget.

    Caroline manages it with plenty of batch cooking and making everything from scratch. She regularly recreates takeaway favourites like sausage and egg McMuffins and Nando’s style chicken to please picky eaters without having to ever buy ready meals or pre-prepared food from the shops.

    Caroline insists that her tight budget doesn’t limit the range of what she can whip up for her family and uses her creative touch to let the family enjoy fun meals that they’ll remember – like homemade fish fingers and jars of special, home prepared sweet treats.

     Caroline Barnett, 45, mum of 8 makes fakie nandos chicken in Evesham, Worcester
    Caroline plans every meal for her family of ten with expert precision (Picture: Dilantha Dissanayake/Caters News)

    She said: ‘I’m a mad planner, I plan everything. My motto is: Failing to plan is planning to fail.

    ‘You have be military when you have a family this big.

    ‘I’m a sergeant major without the shouting, all the children have a role within the house when it comes to washing up.

    ‘I cook everything from scratch, everything we eat I make myself, I never buy ready meals.

    ‘I like to know what’s in our food, the only way to feed a family is to cook from scratch, we all eat the same thing.

    The dinner Caroline made for a cowboy themed party
    The dinner Caroline made for a cowboy themed party (Picture: CATERS NEWS AGENCY)

    ‘When you get into the supermarket you get bombarded with stuff you don’t need. I hate waste, I try not to waste anything.

    ‘If I get to a Friday and my fridge is virtually bare then I’m really pleased because then I’ve shopped well.’

    Caroline does a weekly shop every Saturday morning after sitting down and planning the seven days of meals the family will enjoy.

    She gets enough food for a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, so no family member has to buy quick meals while out and about.

    Caroline said: ‘Breakfast is usually toast, cereal and fruit and porridge.

    ‘Mornings can be a bit crazy getting everyone out on time.

    ‘Lunchtime is mixed, some take packed lunches to school.

    ‘My husband does the sandwiches and I usually add some cakes or sweet treats I’ve made myself, I try to avoid crisps.

    ‘I don’t buy cheap, supermarket alternatives because I know I can save the money by making my own. I make my own bread, cakes and also make my own pizza.’

    Caroline makes everything from scratch and never buys takeaways - star wars themed party
    Caroline makes everything from scratch and never buys takeaways (Picture: CATERS NEWS AGENCY)

    Rather than just sticking to one supermarket, Caroline shops around to find the best bargains.

    She’ll usually start at Aldi to get staples like tinned food, pasta, rice, and passata, then to Tesco for other bits.

    The key to sticking to the budget is knowing exactly what she’ll be cooking each day, with every meal planned to perfection.

    But if batch-cooking is conjuring up images of dull meals of rice and veggies, you’ve got it all wrong.

    Dinner is always the main event, with Caroline making sure to stay creative and make something special for her family.

    Ellena, 21, Daniel, 15, Joshua, 18, Emilia, 2, husband John 46, mum Caroline, 45, Sophia, 8, Florence, 6, Finlay, 11, Henry, 10 in Evesham Worcester
    Caroline and John are raising eight children (Picture: Dilantha Dissanayake/Caters News)

    That might be chicken shawarma, cowboy pie, spaghetti bolognese, or those brilliant fakeaways of scampi, homemade fish fingers, and chip butties with homemade bread.

    Caroline says: ‘I try and make memories for the children by doing extra things to try and make each meal special.

    ‘My idea is that they’ll look back on their childhood and they’ll say: ‘wow, do you remember when mum made that’.

    ‘My main concern for dinner is to make sure it’s healthy. We have treats of course, life is dull otherwise. I want people to come together around the table and chat about their day.

    ‘I cook things that anybody could cook, I’m a home cook, I’m a mum that enjoys cooking. I’ve got only a set amount of time to get food on the table, usually 30 minutes. Nothing takes too long.’

    MORE: Mum reveals how bulk buying allows her to feed family of four for 76p per meal

    MORE: Mum bursts into tears when her son wears his late dad’s shirt for their ‘date night’


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    What I Rent Jes in Manchester's Northern Quarter, in the living room Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk
    Jes rents a two-bedroom loft conversion with her boyfriend, Adam (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)

    It can be tricky to make a rented property feel like a home.

    You can’t paint the walls, any pictures on the wall can’t leave a mark, and all the furniture you buy comes with a lingering awareness that when you move, you’ll have to transport that sofa/table/fancy chest of drawers with you.

    Our weekly series What I Rent takes a look at how people are making the most of renting around the UK.

    Each week we take you inside a different person’s rented property, seeing exactly what they get for how much they pay.

    Last week we hung out with Caspar, who pays £1,100 a month for a one-bedroom flat in Brixton.

    This time we’re up north in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, to check out the two-bedroom flat Jes and her boyfriend Adam share.

    the living room of Jes's rented two-bedroom flat in Manchester's Northern Quarter - What I Rent
    Jes has started an interior design Instagram, @LoftNQ to showcase the space’s transformation (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)

    Hi, Jes! How much do you pay to live here?

    £1,100 a month between the two of us, so £550 a month each.

    Bills are £400 between two of us.

    And what do you get for what you’re paying?

    One main bathroom and one downstairs toilet, two bedrooms, a dining area, two lounges and the flat also comes with parking.

    Do you have a good deal?

    100%, the Northern Quarter is a very sought after area within the city so to be living in a duplex loft conversion for £550 each isn’t a bad deal at all.

    Details of the bathroom of Jes's rented two bedroom flat in Manchester's Northern Quarter
    The couple have accumulated, in their words, ‘a lot of stuff’ (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)

    How long have you lived here?

    15 months.

    We actually viewed one directly across the hall and I knew this was the building we wanted to live in. We were up against another couple who put in a higher offer to us so we lost it.

    I then randomly decided to go on the last page on Rightmove and see what had been missed. We found this place, it had been on the market for ages before we snapped it up – I couldn’t believe it!

    I used to live in an old mill which was all exposed brick and original features and to me, that’s super important. Being able to live somewhere with character and the potential to make it your own.

    Before I lived in here I lived in a super modern, swanky high rise and I hated it, couldn’t do a thing to it to make it homely.

    Are you happy with the area?

    I absolutely love where we live. Being among all the bars, coffee shops, boutique shops is perfect. Adam also has a three minute walking to commute to work so it’s super handy. The building we live in has a real community feel to it too, everyone is really friendly.

    A golden monkey lamp in the living room of Jes' rented property in Manchester's Northern Quarter
    A tight budget required lots of seeking out unusual used and preowned items (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)

    Do you feel like you have enough space?

    We’re guilty of using our spare room as a bit of a dumping ground where we just put everything in there we want out of sight.

    Over the time we’ve lived here we accumulated storage units ourselves, for example the cabinet upstairs (leopard and zebra one!) we got for free which has been a great area to store some things.

    The kitchen has plenty of cupboards and drawers too so we never seem to struggle for storage space at all.

    How have you made the flat feel like home?

    Well as you can see we’ve accumulated a lot of stuff!

    I knew we couldn’t spend tons of money so I turned to Facebook and trawled for hours finding pieces of unique furniture for pennies.

    I also decided to vinyl our entire kitchen, I wasn’t happy with the dull grey boring look so got myself some leopard print vinyl and went mad!

    We’re lucky to have a flexible landlord so we’ve been able to make some changes to the property for example the curtains, blinds and wall lights are all bits we changed ourselves.

    I’ve been running an interior account @LoftNQ where I share how I’ve transformed the space.

    The dining room table - what I Rent, Jes, northern quarter manchester
    The resulting aesthetic is pretty gorgeous (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)

    Are there any problems with the flat you have to put up with?

    The Friday and Saturday night drunks right behind our flat. To be fair, it’s what comes with living in the heart of city but you don’t get used to the noise of an argument at 3am or people singing a questionable version of Wonderwall as loud as possible. I think if we moved into the suburbs the silence would be deafening now.

    Other than that, I simply love living here. It’s my dream home in my dream location with a fantastic estate agent and landlord.

    Do you have plans to move again?

    If we had the option to buy this place then we seriously would consider it however we don’t want to start a family in the city. When the time is right and we’re ready to settle down we’ll consider moving out. Somewhere with a garden – that’s something we certainly miss.

    Adam wants to move into the middle of nowhere on a farm, basically the total opposite to where we live now.

    Have you considered buying a place?

    I think because we’re so happy here it hasn’t been something we have thought about too much. Within the first six months of living here we were looking but it’s not the right time financially and we can’t complain about our current living situation. Of course in the future it’s something we 100% will want/need to do but right now we’re happy.

    What I Rent Jes in Manchester's northern quarter - the living room complete with a green sofa
    Here’s the main living room. We like that green sofa (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    The TV in the living room of Jes' rented two-bedroom flat in Northern Quarter, Manchester
    They’ve got room for a big TV (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    What I Rent Jes's side table in the living room
    You’ll spot a lot of leopard print (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    The chairs in the living room of Jes' rented two bedroom flat in Manchester's Northern Quarter
    See? (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    Tapestry on the ceiling of the living room
    The exposed brickwork and beamed ceilings makes the flat feel more homely (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    The dining area, with leopard print chairs
    Here’s the dining area (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    A zebra print cupboard in the rented flat in Manchester's northern quarter
    Complete with a rather cupboard (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    The kitchem complete with leopard print vinyl
    Jes added leopard print vinyl all over the kitchen (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    A recipe book on a book stand in the kitchen, Northern Quarter in Manchester
    It’s quite the statement (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    What I Rent Jes in Manchester Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk
    Of course they have a drinks trolley (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    What I Rent Jes in Manchester Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk
    Don’t ask how they water that plant (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    What I Rent Jes in Manchester Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk
    And look at that cookery book stand! (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    What I Rent Jes in Manchester Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk
    Here’s the second lounge area (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    What I Rent Jes in Manchester Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk
    (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    What I Rent Jes in Manchester Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk
    (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    What I Rent Jes in Manchester Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk
    The bedroom is decked out in tapestries and artwork (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    What I Rent Jes in Manchester Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk
    The bedroom provides some peace from all the prints (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    What I Rent Jes in Manchester Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk
    But there’s still some leopard print, of course (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    What I Rent Jes in Manchester Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk
    Yes, we do want this exact chair and rug combo (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    What I Rent Jes in Manchester Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk
    Finally, the bathroom. Look at the towels! (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)
    What I Rent Jes in Manchester Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk
    And a snazzy toothbrush set (Picture: Robert Binder / Metro.co.uk)

    What I Rent is a weekly series that’s out every Tuesday at 10am. Check back next week to have a nose around another rented property in London.

    How to get involved in What I Rent

    What I Rent is Metro.co.uk's weekly series that takes you inside the places in London people are renting, to give us all a better sense of what's normal and how much we should be paying.

    If you fancy taking part, please email whatirent@metro.co.uk.

    You'll need to have pictures taken of your kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom, plus a few photos of you in your room. Make sure you get permission for your housemates!

    You'll also need to be okay with sharing how much you're paying for rent, as that's pretty important.

    MORE: What I Rent: Ben and Emma, £1,100 for a one-bedroom flat in West Norwood, London

    MORE: What I Rent: Tessa and Rob, £1,400 a month for a two-bedroom flat in Muswell Hill

    MORE: What I Rent: Nikaela, £750 a month for a studio flat in Penge, London


    What I RentWhat I Rent

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    Panties on string
    How often do you wash your underwear? (Picture: Getty)

    In weird news today, a lot of people have revealed that they don’t change their underwear daily.

    A survey conducted by underwear maker Tommy John found that 45% of Americans have worn the same pants for two days or longer.

    The stats are worse for men, who admit to not changing for up to a week.

    The survey of 2,000 people from the US revealed that men are 2.5 times more likely to don the same pair for seven days or longer.

    It seems folks are rather attached to their undergarments as 46% said they kept a pair of pants for a year or longer (yes, they did wash them during that time).

    A further 38% were so sentimental about their undies, they don’t even remember how long they’ve had their faves.

    ‘These results were split fairly evenly between men and women, which throws any theories out the window that women are more hygiene-conscious than men, or vice versa,’ said a spokesperson for Tommy John.

    The brand advises people to swap out their underwear every six months to a year. Otherwise, it can accumulate microorganisms and fungi that can lead to yeast infections or urinary tract infections.

    How to wash your underwear

    Tommy John recommends the following steps:

    • Tumble dry your underwear on low heat for 30 minutes after washing. This will minimise the number of bacteria your underwear gathers after a wash. You can also iron if that’s more your speed!
    • Don’t mix your underwear in the same load with your significant other or children if they’re sick. Doing so only increases the number of bacteria hanging out in your washing machine.
    • Avoid washing contaminated underwear with other pairs and clothing. This is especially important for those who have bacterial infections.
    • Wash your underwear separately from clothing containing other bodily fluids. If any article of clothing is stained, it’s better to wash it separately from your underwear.

    While you might be thinking ‘those Dirty Americans and their grotty “pants”,’ Brits are no cleaner.

    In a survey of 1,000 UK adults by online retailer Banana Moon Clothing, 20% of people admitted to wearing their underwear two or more times before washing them,

    Men were also the worst culprits in this study with 31% saying they would ‘turn them inside out’ in order to keep them feeling fresh.

    But that doesn’t mean women are always clean, fresh things –  26% of them said they would wear their bra five or more times before cleaning.

    We previously spoke to Lingerie buyer from Boux Avenue Lisa Annand who said it’s all about the individual when it comes to bras.

    ‘How often you should wash your bra depends on the person really, though if you wear it more than once you should rest it between wears,’ she said.

    ‘You should get machine washable bras to keep it looking its best for longer, bras should be put in a separate lingerie bag to protect them during a wash.

    Anyone else feeling the need to buy a whole new, clean wardrobe?

    MORE: How often should you change your razor?

    MORE: Be warned, your watch could be ‘three times dirtier’ than a toilet seat

    MORE: How often should you wee every day?


    Panties on stringPanties on string

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    A woman at a Morrisons petrol pump
    Get 5p off per litre with this deal (Picture: Paul Thomas/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

    Going away for the bank holiday this weekend? Well if you are driving, you could save on fuel at Morrisons.

    The supermarket is offering 5p off per litre of petrol or diesel.

    There is a catch in that you need to spend £40 in store to get the token but if you need to do a shop anyway, it’s a good deal.

    The £40 spend does need to be on an actual food shop as spending on things like tobacco, lottery products, gift cards, formula milk, dry cleaning and mobile phone top ups don’t count towards it.

    You could pick up some of the new products the store has launched recently including the ham, egg and chip sandwich, or for non-meat eaters, there’s a vegan cornish pasty.

    The deal is also great for parents to top up ahead of the daily school run which starts again in the next few weeks.

    You need to complete your £40 shop before 25 August but you can use the voucher for cheaper fuel until 1 September.

    You can of course get more vouchers if you do more than one £40 shop in the period but you can only use one per fuel transaction.

    The voucher can’t be used if you pay at the pump so make sure you head to the kiosk and hand it to the cashier to get the discount.

    Ashley Myers, Head of Fuel for Morrisons, said: ‘With the bank holiday and kids returning to school soon, this deal will help motorists save when they fill up.’

    You can read the full terms and conditions online.

    MORE: Mum feeds a family of 10 for £150 a week with Nando’s and McDonald’s ‘fakeaways’

    MORE: Woman honours late mother by giving away free flowers to strangers in street


    UK Ready To Call In Army To Break Fuel StrikeUK Ready To Call In Army To Break Fuel Strike

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