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

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    Sunset swimming on the west coast of Barbados
    Sunset swimming

    The mention of Barbados conjures up images of white beaches, #nofilter sunsets and celebs sunning themselves at Sandy Lane.

    But while we’re here for all of the above, Barbados – which also happens to be the birth place of Ri-Ri and rum – has much more to explore.

    Top tip: Befriend your taxi driver the moment you land as they’ll become your guide on the island, helping you to discover the best rum cocktails, beach shacks, restaurants and views.

    Here’s some of our favourite discoveries:

     

    1. Visit the caves

    Harrison’s Cave is situated in the heart of Barbados and is one of the island’s greatest natural wonders. Accessed via a tram, the caves are naturally formed by water erosion through the limestone rock, creating the purest water and stunning formations that were seen for the first time in 1970 when explorers managed to enter the caves, after trying repeatedly to access the interior since they were first discovered in the 1700s.

    Peaceful and mesmerising, with undulating white rock waterfalls and giant stalagmites and stalactites, the caves have also been used as a backdrop to wedding ceremonies.

    The pure water is also thought to hold the secret to youth on the island – and it is also one of the key ingredients for the island’s own Mount Gay rum. Be warned though if you are afraid of small spaces as these ones are pretty tight.

    Harrison's Cave Barbados
    The caves were only entered in the 1970s after being discovered some 200 years earlier (Image Harrison’s Caves website)

    Harrison’s Cave, local tours rate BDS $50.00

    2. Rent a boat

    Enjoy the island by renting a boat and watch the sunset. Feeling flash? Rent a luxury catamaran and explore the island with Seaduced, who will take you on a majestic experience including sunset swim.

    Alternatively, if your budget won’t stretch that far, you can also enjoy cheaper adventures on sea with companies such as Cool Runnings that are just as fun and have packages including snorkelling with turtles and buffet lunches or sunset dinners, both with unlimited drinks.

    A boat trip to swim with turtles or have cocktails at sunset is one of the highlights of a holiday in Barbados
    A boat trip to swim with turtles or have cocktails at sunset is one of the highlights of a holiday in Barbados

    Seaduced, luxury Catamaran hire price available upon request.

    Cool Runnings, Sunset snorkel dinner cruise from US $85.00 (BDS $170.00) per adult

    3. Hit a local rum shop

    Rum is synonymous with Barbados and its culture so expect to see rum shops everywhere – there are apparently around 1,800 on the island. 

    Ju Ju’s, the rum shack on the beach by Holetown, is said to do some of the best rum cocktails on the island. We had a few and can vouch for the fact they are definitely the strongest.

    Judy’s watering hole in Saint Thomas’ is fab for a classic rum and coke and delicious local snacks such as fried chicken and macaroni pie.

    To hang with the locals or do a bit of celeb spotting head to John Moore rum shop on the west coast. This legendary rum shop is also a very good spot for sunset rum.

    All of the rum shops are very reasonable priced – there are no airs and graces at any of these places, just a service with a smile against the beautiful backdrop of the sea with the island’s spirit served to your taste, as a punch or with a mixer.

    Judy's rum shop in Barbados
    Judy’s rum shop in St Thomas is the one for laidback rum punch, rum and coke and fried chicken or macaroni pie

    4. Party with the locals at Oistins on a Friday

    Join in the fun local-style at Oistins fish market. The longstanding Barbadian tradition of the fish fry is a great way to get involved. There’s tons of stalls to occupy you as you walk around with a beer or rum punch in hand, enjoying the buzzy atmosphere. Take a seat at shared long tables and order fried fish and chips from the nearest stall.

    The locals dancing is a treat to watch, with kids and couples of all ages dancing the night away. This sleepy little fishing village truly transforms on the weekend and it’s one party you don’t want to miss. Oh, and what’s more, it won’t break the bank. A plate of fish and a beer will cost you about BDS$30 – $35 (US$15 – 17.50).

    5. Best for wellness

    Coco Hill Forest have created a blissful, magical setting amid 53 acres of rainforest on a farm overlooking the East Coast of Barbados. Bamboo groves, hundreds of royal palms and tree ferns, this is the place for a little zen. Try a guided hiking tour exploring the rain forest or have a yoga session.

    The farm grows its own coconuts, bananas, coffee, cocoa, pineapples and numerous tropical fruit trees, herbs and spices. Its mission is to create food security through permaculture and organic farming.

    Be sure to visit them at the farm, or try a tasty farm-to-table experience at Mamu’s Cafe located at Ocean Spray Beach Apartments in Inch Marlow, Christ Church.

    General admission BB$20, Guided tour & hike BB$40

    6. Grab a coconut and look out for monkeys

    Sandpiper Hotel is one of the most awarded hotels in Barbados and what a treat it is too. Hidden away on a beautiful beach on the west coast in Holetown, this is the place to go monkey spotting and to grab a complimentary coconut which the talented bartenders at Harold’s bar will chop open for you.

    We spiked ours with a shot of rum and sat at the bar chatting to our mixologist, wondering if we’d ever see the monkeys everyone keeps talking about.

    Cocktails aren’t cheap (though the coconuts are free) but they are worth it for possible monkey spotting and a guaranteed view of the Caribbean sea.

    Barbados beach with coconut and rum - you better be quick as the coconuts are very popular and run out fast
    You better be quick the coconuts are very popular and run out fast

    7. Best beaches

    No beach in Barbardos is private, by law, but the beaches that run in front of the 5-star hotels don’t always make it particularly easy to get to them. When you’re on the beaches outside 5-star hotels – Sandy Lane is one example – you can swim in the sea or sit on the sand, but the sunbeds and anything above the tide line is private and out of bounds unless you’re a guest.

    Whichever beach you want to visit, there should be a small alleyway with a signpost to the beach. Some hotels have more visible access than others.

    The West Coast is the choice for the archetypal Caribbean beach experience, with white sand and turquoise waters, particularly at the ‘luxury’ end, around Sandy Lane and Holetown. We especially enjoyed Paynes Bay – known to be one of the best swimming spots in Barbados. Paddle boarding and kayaking is negotiable and depending on where you are staying some may even be included. We were staying at Tamarind Hotel which included a 30 minute paddle boarding or kayaking session as part of the package.

    South and South West Coast is where the locals go for sunbathing so if you are looking for authenticity this is the side to hit. Here they have Carlisle Bay, a public beach with white sand on the island, tonnes of sunbeds for hire, people selling cold beers straight to your sunbed plus lots to do in the water, from jet skis to paddle boarding and more.

    Go to Copacabana at Carlisle Bay for service on the beach for sundowners and then head to Lobster Alive for long lunch or dinner – you can pick your own lobster from the pool ready to go into the pot.

    The East Coast faces the Atlantic and is a surfers paradise, though it is not safe for swimmers as the water is too rough. However, the rugged beaches are beautiful to visit and take photos. Bathsheba Beach in particular has some spectacular rock formations that make for great pics.

    View along the West Coast of Barbados
    View along the West Coast

    8. Pick your own lobster supper

    Lobster Alive on Carlisle beach is a brilliant find. You can pick your lobster from a tank (look away if you’re squeamish). It has a laidback atmosphere and serves great white wine and fresh, meaty, lobster (unlike the unsatisfying, muddy-tasting lobsters we often get back home). A medium lobster (around 750gm in weight) will set you back BDS$150 and is par-boiled in seawater and served grilled with garlic butter with rice or spicy chips.

    Pick your own lobster at Lobster Alive (Picture: Lobster Alive)
    Pick your own lobster at Lobster Alive (Picture: Lobster Alive)

    9. Dining on the Island

    Cobbler’s Cove for gorgeous lunch – this 5-star boutique hotel set in a beautiful 1940s country house has stunning gardens running down to the beach and is decorated in a very photogenic pink and white theme. Camelot restaurant is the perfect spot for a very relaxed lunch or evening meal and cocktail, if you can tear yourself away from the beach – snorkelling around the rocks will reveal plenty of tropical fish – or taking photos of the gorgeous interiors.

    Primo is a new-ish place in the South-West of the island, right on the edge of the bay at St Lawrence Gap. A younger crowd, open-plan restaurant arranged across multiple levels and hugging the coastline. Come for anything from a quick snack to full dining.

    Cobblers Cove in Barbados
    Cobblers Cove in Barbados

    The Fish Pot at Little Good Harbour is a must – great sea food, right on the beach, candle lit. Posh but relaxed. The place to eat fresh fish and drink white wine with your toes in the sand. Be sure to book as it’s tough to get a table last minute.

    Another newish one is La Cabane on the West Coast just before Bridgetown – a great hippy vibe addition and great on a Sunday. Expect barbecue and spit roast pigs.

    Tapas on the South Coast on the boardwalk is great for casual dining – expect to find anything from casual cocktails to fine dining. Also, try bread-fruit, it’s a staple food for Barbadians and tastes nothing like bread so don’t let the name fool you. It does however grow on trees like a fruit. One of the most authentic way of enjoying this is by roasting it on an open fire, and breaking open the charred outside to reveal delicious yellowish inside that is best paired with butter.

    Roasted breadfruit with butter, beans, chicken and fish mix, mango and salad
    Roasted breadfruit with butter, beans, chicken and fish mix, mango and salad

    10. The restaurants with the best views

    To be honest, quite a lot of places in Barbados offer great views – that’s one of the perks of the Island. So, these are a few that are either new to the island or so classic it’s not to be missed. In high season, it can be hard to find a table in the most popular restaurants – so book ahead, choose a new restaurant, or go for less popular times.

    You might be able to get lunch at The Cliff beach club, probably the most famous restaurant on Barbados, if dinner is all booked out, for instance.

    Hugo’s in Speightstown is a recently opened restaurant and bar that serves delicious food on the sea front to enjoy while sipping on pina coladas or rum punches. Appetisers start at BDS$38 for a chopped salad and mains from around BDS$90 for meaty options.

    Cin Cin by the sea is another newbie to try. We recommend a selection of small bites (around $30 a pop and some champagne $195 for the bottle) to enjoy the view.

    The Cliff is so famous you might want to check it out. It bears witness to nine proposals a week on average, so if you are looking to ‘impress’ this is the restaurant with the reputation – but it’s reflected in the price. Oh – and they have sharks swimming around the restaurant, so if you get a good spot you’ll see quite a few of them.

    11. World’s first Rum distillery

    Finally, you can’t go to Barbados without drinking some rum. Mount Gay is the rum of the island and is embedded into the Barbadian culture – you see it everywhere. The distillery here is said to be the world’s first – they have paperwork dating back to 1703 – and they have been making rum ever since.

    It is worth a trip to see where it all started and to put all the rum punches you’ll likely be drinking into context.

     

    Mount Gay Rum's sugar cane fields (Picture: Mount Gay Rum)
    Mount Gay Rum’s sugar cane fields (Picture: Mount Gay Rum)

    The tour at the Mount Gay distillery is useful in teaching the process and history of the brand. We loved visiting the sugar cane fields and hearing about the monkeys stealing this precious treat.

    If you have an interest in learning about spirits you’ll enjoy learning about the passion and commitment that goes into making Caribbean rum.

    In fact, Mount Gay Visitors Center offers an array of experiences, from a signature rum tasting for $20, a cocktail-making workshop for $70 or an all-out traditional Bajan lunch with local specialties and unlimited rum punches, including the signature rum tasting, at $75.

     


    IMG_2951-fc75IMG_2951-fc75

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    The rise in singlehood is unprecedented.

    In the UK, unmarried make up about 50 per cent of the adult population. In the United States, research predicts that approximately one-quarter of young adults will never marry.

    In Japan, love and sex are simply out of fashion: a 2015 survey shows that one-third of Japanese adults under the age of 30 had never dated and over 40 per cent were virgins.

    There are many explanations for these numbers: women’s growing independence, demanding careers, individualism, growing mobility and urbanisation processes – but does this mean single people are lonelier than married people?

    The Wall Street Journal recently published a piece titled The Loneliest Generation. Its authors argue that we are in the midst of an epidemic in which people feel lonelier than ever before. As always, we, the unmarried people, are the usual suspect.

    Illustration of a woman holding two cats
    Single people, especially long-term single people, are the most networked and socially active individuals (Picture: Ella Byworth for metro.co.uk)

    The authors’ argument is simple: singles have no one in their lives to whom they can turn to in times of need and, therefore, they are lonelier than married couples.

    However, a quick look at existing data reveals something that might surprise some: single people, especially long-term single people, are the most networked and socially active individuals.

    My analysis of more than 300,000 people from 31 countries shows that singles meet their friends more frequently than their married counterparts. Accounting for all other variables (age, gender, education, income, etc.), widowed, divorced and never-married individuals meet their friends 17, 20 and 45 per cent more frequently than married people, respectively.

    One of the main explanations for these findings is that those who choose to marry enter into what researchers call a ‘greedy’ marriage, in which couples turn inwards and cut ties with friends and relatives. This, in turn, frequently leaves them feeling lonelier than their unmarried peers.

    In the interviews I conducted for my book, Happy Singlehood, I have found that many singles develop strong social networks that support them in their everyday lives as well as in times of need.

    Phil, a 47-year-old single man from Indiana, told me: ‘I cast a pretty wide net of friends, I have a network of people I can see and socialise with on a regular basis.’ Sometimes, these kinds of networks were even the exact reason the singles I met yearned to be alone at the end of the day.

    When they returned home from an evening with friends, full of laughter and joy, the only thing they needed is the chance to balance that joy with some quiet time.

    John Cacioppo, who died in early 2018, served as the director of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago. In 2006, he published his book Loneliness, which is considered to be one of the most comprehensive books on the subject.

    Illustration of a single man
    The growing single population has been adapting and even flourishing in recent decades (Picture:Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    In an interview, Cacioppo explained that ‘being alone and being lonely are not the same thing, but they’re both stigmatised in our society… People who prefer solitude nevertheless look for relationships out of guilt – but feel even guiltier once they’re in one. A happy single person is just as healthy as a happy married person.’

    When comparing differences in social behavior between couples in 1980 and 2000, researchers found that couples in the year 2000 were less likely than the 1980 group to participate in a broad array of social activities, including visiting friends, working on shared hobbies and going out.

    At the same time, the unmarried population has become more adept at building personal networks. Apparently, married individuals are those who have become increasingly exposed to the risks of loneliness and social isolation over time, not the unmarried population.

    In contrast, the growing single population has been adapting and even flourishing in recent decades.

    I asked Jacqui 32, whether she feels lonely being a single parent. She immediately said: ‘I have to say that I don’t use the term “single parent” as to me it infers loneliness, which in many situations is very inaccurate.

    ‘With such a wide range of friends and family, it is very hard to have a moment to feel lonely or single. In fact, I feel like I have more support as a sole caretaker than I would have had had my circumstances been different.’ Jacqui revealed to me a very basic truth: being alone does not mean one is lonely or wants to couple up.

    All of this only means that the trend of going solo might be a reason for hope, not for despair. The explanation behind this remarkable trend lies in what researchers call the ‘networked’ individual.

    Whereas the household was once the cornerstone of one’s support system, there has been a shift toward organising one’s life in personal networking units.

    The role of friendship in everyday life has strengthened among singles, and the support traditionally provided by the family has been transferred to social networks.

    This is not only the case among young people; singles of all ages have parents, siblings and friends in their lives who love and care for them. These circles of support solidify the growing population of networked individuals, young and old singles alike.

    It might well be that today’s singles are not the problem, but the solution. If the world becomes more single-oriented, then we might actually have a reason for hope.

    Today’s singles are more likely to socialise and enjoy shared experiences with friends and family, to help raise others’ children and to care for those who cannot look after themselves.

    It is time to consider singles an asset instead of blaming them for not partnering up.

    Last week in Love, Or Something Like It: I’ve had people un-match me for being bisexual

    Write for Love, Or Something Like It

    Love, Or Something Like It is a new series for Metro.co.uk, covering everything from mating and dating to lust and loss, to find out what love is and how to find it in the present day.

    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

    MORE: What heartbreak taught me about love

    MORE: Being a matchmaker has taught me what true love really is


    Illo req for Ella: Love Or Something Like It: Professor Elyakim KislevIllo req for Ella: Love Or Something Like It: Professor Elyakim Kislev

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    A black and white photograph of Enid Blyton sat in front of her typewriter in 1952
    I don’t need Enid Blyton on my money and she’s not woven so sweetly into my memories that I need her for nostalgic pick-me-ups (Picture: Popperfoto via Getty Images/Getty Images)

    The Magic Faraway Tree was one of my favourite books growing up.

    Its fantastical lands stirred my imagination and the whimsy of its characters always made me laugh, so seeing Enid Blyton trending on Twitter earlier this week was pleasantly surprising.

    That is until I delved further and found out the reason for the children’s author making headlines was because she was being snubbed of a commemorative 50p coin due to ‘concern over the [potential] backlash’ of her racist and homophobic views.

    This is the reality of being Black in Britain – on any given day, you might stumble upon something you once cherished and find out it was created by someone who disagrees with your very existence.

    To be Black is also to be perpetually ready for confrontation – of your idols, the nation’s idols, your pastimes and treasures.

    As an example, I grew up surrounded by Dr. Seuss’ books, only to find out he drew racist advertisements before he became a world-renowned illustrator. Over his professional career, only 2 per cent of his characters were people of colour and all of them were stereotypes.

    I’ve also had to confront the fact that Bjork, the artist who wrote the song Unravel – which was pivotal to my emotional healing and was instrumental in my artistic development as a musician – has uttered the words ‘sound is the n***er of the world’, twice.

    I’ve even had to confront that John Kellogg, who invented cornflakes and established the modern cereal breakfast, was the founder of a racial segregationist institution called the Race Betterment Foundation and was a fervent eugenicist. It makes it pretty hard to get through a bowl of Frosties.

    Many people are lucky to never know how profoundly disturbing it is to type a beloved figure’s name into Google with the word ‘racist’ next to it and find confirmation that this person, who is idolised by so many, would have hated you on an existential level.

    I always wonder what this does to the psychological health of Black people – we’re not meant to carry the hatred of others.

    From Enid Blyton to Winston Churchill, the common, knee-jerk reaction to racism of a historical figure is: ‘they were a product of their time’.

    This statement is insulting to those who existed at that very same time and fought tirelessly to the recalibrate their country’s moral compass.

    There were abolitionists when slavery was the norm.

    There were opponents to scientific racism when eugenics was the norm.

    If these public figures are ‘products of their time’, then accountability for their sins is simple: to leave them in the past. The dead cannot defend themselves or change their ways and they do not need advocacy from the living.

    If the ‘product’ in question is bigotry then we should refrain from memorialising them as heroes.

    Why should their virtues allow them to be remembered respectably on our nation’s currency, when their beliefs and actions should have them relegated to museums?

    I don’t need Enid Blyton on my money and she’s not woven so sweetly into my memories that I need her for nostalgic pick-me-ups. There are enough talented, anti-bigoted writers in the world, past and present, to bring my children joy.

    I would rather unearth and memorialise the people who were ahead of their time, than commemorate someone who was a product of theirs.

    MORE: The Royal Mint is right, Enid Blyton’s racism tarnished my childhood

    MORE: To stop racism we need to rewrite our history books

    MORE: Dark skinned women are now being celebrated, but don’t blame us for scepticism


    1952. A picture of British author Enid Blyton in deep thought about her new book.1952. A picture of British author Enid Blyton in deep thought about her new book.

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    Mums with their new babies
    Mumsnet analysed 170,000 posts (Picture: Getty)

    This week, the ONS released their list of the most popular baby names of the last year.

    Among them were Oliver and Olivia, with both of the similar-sounding monikers taking the top spot for boys and girls respectively.

    The rarest names of the year were also released, with a number of absolute crackers in there. Basically, if you know a baby called Noomie or Vulcan, they’re pretty special indeed.

    Another great way that the names we call our children can be analysed is via how we talk to our pals online. For mums, that often comes in the form of posting on the forum, Mumsnet.

    The company recently analysed 170,000 posts on their platform that were about baby names, and as a result have stratified them into 13 different ‘tribes’.

    Mumsnet's baby name 'tribes'

    • Divinely inspired, with most popular names including Mary, Joseph, Isaac and Noah
    • Grandparent chic, with most popular names including Dorothy, Wilfred, Ava, Alfie and Evelyn
    • Royal babies, with most popular names including George, William, Elizabeth and Victoria
    • Shortened and sweet, with most popular names including Ben, Katie, Charlie, Theo and Teddie
    • Tried, trusted traditionalists, with most popular names including Olivia, John, Jack, James and Oliver
    • Cautious Celts, with most popular names including Rory, Angus, Siobhan and Caoimhe
    • Disney divas, with most popular names including Elsa, Aurora and Belle
    • Hidden gems, with most popular names including Ruby and Jade.
    • Old schoolers, with most popular names including Sharon, Sarah, Claire, Paul and Keith
    • Last names first, a boys-dominated list with most popular names including Hunter, Tyler and Taylor
    • Super moderns, with most popular names including Bear, Jaxon, Leilani and Canary
    • Classy classicists, with most popular name including Ptolemy, Persephone, Aristotle and Atlas

    Given the number of royal babies being born in the last few years, there’s no surprises that people are trying to emulate mini monarchs.

    With people’s newfound love of gems, we’ve also seen a resurgence of crystalline names like Agate and Amethyst coming to the fore.

    Mumsnet founder and CEO Justine Roberts said: ‘Parents searching for a baby name usually have an idea of the kind of name they’d like, and often they will search within their ‘tribe’ looking for that sweet spot: a name that has good associations, is personally meaningful for them, and is a little bit unusual without being completely off-the-wall.

    ‘Knowing which names tend to be associated with your ‘tribe’ could be a shortcut to finding a name that’s just the job.’

    MORE: Lucky Voice Karaoke launch ‘marryoke’ package, inviting two lucky lovebirds to get married for free

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    Portrait of Four Young Mothers with Their BabiesPortrait of Four Young Mothers with Their Babies

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    Molly Sanghera has always been a rugby fan. She loved watching England play but had never played herself.

    When the 31-year-old spotted an advert for an England Rugby Warrior Camp she knew she had to give it a try.

    ‘I was worried that I might be too old or that I wouldn’t fit in as an Asian person,’ says Molly. ‘But what I realised straight away is that everyone is welcomed in rugby no matter your background or ability.

    ‘I was coming up to turning 30 and, really, I had nothing to lose by giving it a go.

    ‘Overall, fitness and sport is of course a great way to stay fit and healthy. But for me, it’s about more than that – it’s a release.’

    Molly is a lawyer and has a really intense and stressful job. Playing rugby has helped teach her how to unwind and how to manage that daily stress. It brought a sense of balance back to her life.

    Molly Sanghera head shot
    ‘I was worried that I might be too old or that I wouldn’t fit in as an Asian person.’ (Picture: Molly Sanghera)

    ‘It has also played a fundamental role in meeting new people, and in establishing some of the most brilliant friendships that I have today – the teams are like a family,’ she says.

    ‘After I tried it out for the first time at a Warrior Camp local to me, I was invited back to train with the team at Handsworth Rugby Club – and I’m now in my third season of playing rugby, today I play for Lichfield Ladies.’

    When Molly recieved a shock diagnosis of lupus, she was absolutely gobsmacked. It came completely out of the blue and she wasn’t sure how to respond.

    ‘I had thought that I had a skin allergy or something, that it was linked to my new rugby kit,’ says Molly. ‘I had even switched my washing detergent to try to combat it.

    ‘To go from that, to suddenly being in hospital and having biopsies carried out, to then being told that you have an auto-immune disease – and this was all two days after my 30th birthday. I felt so incredibly down.

    Molly playing rugby
    ‘I’m getting better at knowing and understanding my body, and seeing the signs that I need to rest and take things slower.’ (Picture: Molly Sanghera)

    ‘Fortunately for me though, it wasn’t as bad as it can be.’

    Lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease where your body’s immune system attacks your own tissues and organs. It can cause really painful inflammation in loads of different parts of the body.

    ‘I have poor joints and I have episodes where my back and my hands, can just completely go, and I can get really awful rashes all over my body which are pretty uncomfortable,’ explains Molly. ‘But I’m getting better at knowing and understanding my body, and seeing the signs that I need to rest and take things slower.

    ‘Rugby is, for me, an escape from all of this. It’s the one time when I don’t even think about it, it’s no longer an issue for me.

    ‘Your team help you to keep going and to push you on – I play with some amazing ladies and they always keep a smile on my face.’

    Molly has always been fit and active. She enjoys going to gym, but playing rugby takes her enjoyment to a whole new level.

    ‘I have honestly never experienced anything that makes me feel the way that rugby does. I’m so glad that I found out about the Warrior Camps and got started with the sport.’

    Molly playing rugby
    I’m always advocating the importance of looking after your mental well-being and that we should talk openly about it.’ (Picture: Molly Sanghera)

    With her lupus, Molly knows that she has to be careful with her body and ensure that she is getting enough rest and recovery. There will be times when she won’t be at her best to play sport, but her team are always there for her.

    ‘My coaches at Lichfield are all aware of my illness and they know that if I step away to the side for a few minutes in the middle of a game, it’s because I need to,’ she says.

    ‘Equally, I’ve always been open about having lupus at work and there is a room at work that I can use if I need to go and have a rest away from my desk.

    ‘If people know about it, then they can support you and help you to manage it, so that open communication is key.’

    Having an invisible illness is difficult, and Molly sometimes finds it hard to convey to people exactly what she’s going through. That’s why she thinks it’s so important to share her story and raise awareness.

    ‘For me, the main thing that is hard for people to understand is the level of fatigue, and the joint pain that I experience. These things aren’t visible and so they are hard to relate to unless you’ve experienced them.

    ‘People think that you’re just tired and that they know how that feels; but the fatigue that comes from a disease like lupus is just on another level and it’s hard for some people to get it.

    ‘I’m actually a mental health lawyer, so I’m always advocating the importance of looking after your mental well-being and that we should talk openly about it.

    Molly playing rugby
    ‘It’s easy to focus on the negatives, but I like to focus on the positives, and that’s what works for me.’ (Picture: Molly Sanghera)

    ‘While some people will agree, there are also some people who will simply never understand.’

    As a rugby player, strength is crucial to Molly’s game. She has to take hits like a champ and get back up, ready to sprint at top speed. But the concept of strength runs deeper than they physical, and Molly knows this more than most.

    ‘I think that it’s mental strength that really makes someone a strong woman,’ she says.

    ‘To be able to pick yourself up, no matter what is thrown at you; to have that strength of mind to just keep going is what makes you strong.

    ‘I think I’m strong because I’m not overly reliant on others. I’m single and I’m doing it all for myself.

    ‘I don’t let my illness define me; I play rugby, I work, I do hair and makeup on the side. I keep going and it’s that ability to manage my mental well-being and my outlook on things that makes me strong.

    ‘It’s easy to focus on the negatives, but I like to focus on the positives, and that’s what works for me.’

    You can register online for a free place at one of more than 100 Warrior Camps taking place across the country this September.

    Strong Women

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

    A Sport England study found that 40% of women were avoiding physical activity due to a fear of judgement.

    But, contrary to the limited images we so often see, women of any age, size, race or ability can be active and enjoy sport and fitness.

    We hope that by normalising diverse depictions of women who are fit, strong and love their bodies, we will empower all women to shed their self-consciousness when it comes to getting active.

    Each week we talk to women who are redefining what it means to be strong and achieving incredible things.

    MORE: Strong Women: ‘I learnt to swim last year, now I hope to be the oldest woman to row the Atlantic solo’

    MORE: Strong Women: ‘The burns almost killed me – strong is being a survivor of life’

    MORE: Strong Women: ‘I was paralysed and pregnant – powerlifting gave me confidence to live again’


    Strong Women: MollyStrong Women: Molly

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    Bucket of KFC's plant-based 'chicken' nuggets on a turquoise background with a dip in front
    They must be ‘finger lickin’ good’ (Picture: KFC)

    Earlier this week, we received the exciting news that KFC would be testing out plant-based ‘chicken’ nuggets and wings at a branch in Atlanta.

    Well it seems the demand for more vegan options is definitely there, because the new menu items were reportedly sold out ‘within hours’ of becoming available.

    This is excellent news for vegans, as prior to launch the fast food chain had said this would be the deciding factor in whether it offered the product elsewhere.

    That’s right, there’s a chance we might get to taste the nuggets for ourselves very soon.

    The plant-based products are made with Beyond Meat, and follow the launch of the brand’s vegan Imposter Burger, which sold out in just four days in the UK. We tried the burger for ourselves and it tasted very similarly to the real stuff, so there’s a good chance the nuggets and wings will too.

    They will be coated with the KFC’s secret blend of herbs and spices.

    The brand announced the news about the popularity of its nuggets and wings in a tweet.

    ‘All of the Colonel’s @BeyondMeat Kentucky Fried Chicken has Kentucky Fried sold out,’ it said.

    ‘Yes, it is truly a Kentucky Fried Miracle.’

    KFC has yet to confirm whether it will be rolling out the new dishes to other countries, but this is definitely a positive sign.

    As for reviews from people who have tried it, there haven’t been many reactions to the taste as of yet, but many are asking for a vegan dip or gravy to go along with the nuggets.

    PETA is also supportive is the launch; the animal welfare charity has started a petition urging the company to offer the vegan options across all of its branches.

    Here’s hoping.

    MORE: KFC tests out vegan plant-based ‘chicken’ nuggets and wings

    MORE: Starbucks announces return of Pumpkin Spice Latte

    MORE: Jam should be applied to scones before cream, so say the majority


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    Bridesmaid with cancer kicked out of wedding party for refusing to wear a wig
    The bride had previously been supportive of her friend (Picture: Getty)

    We’ve seen a fair few stories of bridezillas in our time, but this one probably takes the spot for the most horrific yet.

    While limitations on what the bridesmaids can wear or style themselves are normally a little over-the-top, when the bride’s supposed best mate has just gone through cancer treatment, those demands become completely insensitive.

    One woman shared her experience of this on Reddit, in a post titled ‘I think I was kicked off the bridal party for refusing to wear a wig’.

    She detailed how the bride, Karen, was maid of honour at her own wedding, and invited her to be a bridesmaid around 18 months ago, with the friends both excited at the upcoming nuptials.

    The bridesmaid was then diagnosed with cancer over the last year, having to undergo radiation and chemotherapy and, as a result, losing her hair.

    Despite Karen being supportive and even taking her friend out for a drink to celebrate her ongoing recovery, she then seemed to change.

    Bridesmaid with cancer kicked out of wedding party for refusing to wear a wig
    The poster wanted to know if they were ‘overthinking’ (Picture: Reddit)

    Karen offered to take her friend wig shopping, but the bridesmaid politely declined wearing one for the wedding, as she had felt it was important not to stigmatise hair loss after cancer treatment, and had even done charity work on the topic.

    From there, it all appeared to go south, with the bride calling up the friend and saying that they’d have to cut her from the wedding party due to space issues.

    When asking other bridesmaids (who hadn’t been kicked out) it appeared as if the dropping may have been due to Karen not wishing to have a woman in the pictures with a bald head.

    Understandably, the now ex-bridesmaid was distraught, and looking for advice on whether she should go to the wedding at all, particularly as she’s not been able to get in touch with the bride.

    Commenters came to reassure the poster that she was not overthinking the situation as she had worried, with one replying: ‘You are not overthinking this. I think she is only as supportive as it doesn’t interfere with her life, otherwise she would know and understand your feeling on this.

    ‘I’m not sure you are as close as you think. I’d send a message that you have a good idea what she’s really thinking and that she owes you the truth. I honestly wouldn’t go if she insists on the wig or the lying…’

    Another said: ‘Karen is not your friend. You’ve dealt with the toxicity of chemo, now time to deal with the toxic ‘friend”.

    Our thoughts exactly.

    MORE: KFC sells out of its plant-based ‘chicken’ nuggets ‘within hours’ of releasing them

    MORE: Strong Women: ‘Lupus gives me severe fatigue and joint pain – rugby is an escape from all of it’


    Midsection Of Bridesmaids Holding BouquetsMidsection Of Bridesmaids Holding Bouquets

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    Split image showing mock-ups of the Spider-Man attraction at Disneyland Paris
    The new ride will be inspired by Spider-Man (Picture: Disney/Marvel)

    The Avengers-themed area in Disneyland Paris will be getting a new Spider-Man ride, which will see guests sling webs in order to collect Spider-Bots.

    Disney Parks’ chairman, Bob Chapek, announced the launch of the new attraction at the company’s D23 Expo in Anaheim, California, last weekend.

    He also has plans for other new rides to open across Disney resorts around the world, which will include a Mary Poppins attraction, a Guardians of the Galaxy ride and a Zootopia-themed land.

    The Spider-Man ride will be added to the Marvel-themed land, which was launched last year and is set to be renamed to Avengers Campus.

    The new attraction is coming to Disneyland Paris
    This new attraction sounds amazing (Picture: Disney/Marvel)

    Alongside the new ride, there will be loads of superheroes roaming about the land, including Ant-Man, the Guardians of the Galaxy and Iron Man.

    There’s also a new hotel coming to the park.

    The Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel is opening next summer, and will celebrate 80 years of Marvel art and artists.

    It will host more than 300 artworks, with rooms including themed suites, also featuring Spider-Man to coincide with the new ride.

    The Avengers Campus will be coming to Disney’s California Adventure Park too, with the park’s Avengers Headquarters forming the entrance to the ride that features the superheroes on a mission in Wakanda.

    It will open in 2020, just before Disneyland Paris’s version.

    MORE: London to get own version of ‘Disneyland’ boasting attractions of The Godfather, Mission Impossible and Transformers

    MORE: KFC sells out of its plant-based ‘chicken’ nuggets ‘within hours’ of releasing them

    MORE: Mumsnet have identified 13 ‘tribes’ based on popular baby names this year


    Disneyland Paris to get a Spider-Man attraction in its Avengers landDisneyland Paris to get a Spider-Man attraction in its Avengers land

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    Someone scopping guacamole onto a tortilla, which features the words 'Who do you chat to the most and why?'
    Want free food? Just talk (Picture: Old El Paso)

    Fancy free margaritas and fajitas?

    Old El Paso is hosting an event on Friday 20 September where diners can get themselves some complimentary grub – and all they have to do in return is to talk to their dinner mate.

    The pop-up is quite literally fuelled by the chat; the sound is channelled through converters, which will generate small amounts of electricity. This in turn will power parts of the restaurant, including the process where the team warm up your fajitas.

    To ensure that the conversation keeps flowing, Old El Paso has also installed a push button at each table – press it and you will receive a card with a ‘conversation starter’ tip.

    If that’s not enough to loosen your tongue, the fajitas will also have questions ‘toasted’ onto them, to help you along.

    So, how is the electricity generated?

    Old El Paso will be using piezoelectric technology and specialist microphones, which are placed at each table, and linked to a virtual battery.

    The more you chat, the more volts you generate and the more free treats you earn.

    For instance, once you hit a certain voltage level, you might get a margarita tap for your table (in limited amounts) and you can also affect the table lighting. As for the food, guests can munch on nachos, meat or vegetarian faijtas and a tasty dessert.

    It’s a continuous process, meaning that if you stop talking, your battery will stop charging and the goodies will stop coming.

    ‘There are many benefits for family and friends connecting over a meal,’ said Lionel Morgazo, a spokesperson for Old El Paso.

    ‘But we undertook research which revealed that a shocking 22% of British families sit and eat dinner together less than twice a week, with 8% admitting that they never sit and share dinner together.

    ‘And even when they do make the effort, there are distractions from things like mobile phones and the TV.

    ‘So we wanted to create a fun space where friends and family are encouraged, and rewarded for really connecting in a meaningful way with one another over a delicious meal.’

    Got a particularly chatty mate or family member? Bring them along, as the table that generates the most voltage will win a special prize.

    The event, which Old El Paso have dubbed National Fajita Friday, will take place for one day only on Brushfield Street in Spitalfields, London, from 7pm and will be available on a first come, first serve basis.

    MORE: Fanta is launching a jet black version for Halloween

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    MORE: KFC sells out of its plant-based ‘chicken’ nuggets ‘within hours’ of releasing them


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    Pots & Co puddings
    You could get paid £15 an hour to eat pudding (Picture: Pots & Co)

    Fancy getting paid to eat pudding? Well, we’ve found your dream job.

    Dessert company Pots & Co is looking for a professional pudding taster to take on a part-time role for three months.

    You’ll get paid £15 an hour to do nothing but eat pudding – which will be sent to you free, courtesy of the company.

    Oh, and the best bit? It’s a work from home job. Yes, you can actually get paid to cuddle up on the sofa in your pyjamas and eat free pudding.

    The job advertisement was recently posted on LinkedIn by the company.

    The description reads: ‘Do you decide your pudding before your main because it’s the most important course of the day? Do you have a secret sweet treat stash hidden away at all times? Is your idea of heaven puddings sent straight to your doorstep for the rest of 2019?

    ‘If you’re a self-confessed sweet-tooth then we want you to be our official Pots & Co Pudding Taster.

    Chocolate fudge cake
    This is our dream job (Picture: Getty)

    ‘At Pots & Co we create exceptional puddings from our London kitchen for people all across the UK to enjoy. As a pudding connoisseur, your feedback will be crucial to ensuring our puddings remain top notch.

    ‘You’ll also getting an exclusive preview of exciting new recipes in development at our HQ to join our classic favourites, including Salted Caramel & Chocolate Ganache and Lemon & Lime Posset.

    ‘Receiving batches of puddings for you to enjoy at home, you’ll be asked to indulge in these at your own time and pace, noting your feedback as you go.’

    So, what will the role require?

    Well, all you have to do is receive the pudding, eat the pudding and give your honest feedback on the flavour, appearance and texture of the puddings.

    You should also be good with words – as the company asks that you’re able to ‘clearly and consistently describe products and the differences between them’.

    And in terms of candidate requirements, you’ll need ‘a clear passion for puddings in all shapes, sizes and flavours’.

    The company also asks that you’re eager to try its products, and that you’re honest when it comes to giving an opinion. We think we can accommodate that.

    Unfortunately, if you have any dietary restrictions or certain food intolerances or allergies, then this position might not be suitable for you, as there will be products that include gluten, nuts and dairy.

    But if you’re all good to you, apply by emailing jobs@potsandco.com, with 150 words explaining what puddings mean to you.

    MORE: Bridesmaid with cancer kicked out of wedding party for refusing to wear a wig

    MORE: KFC sells out of its plant-based ‘chicken’ nuggets ‘within hours’ of releasing them


    This Pudding Company Is Hiring Someone To Taste All Of Their Desserts For ?15 An HourThis Pudding Company Is Hiring Someone To Taste All Of Their Desserts For ?15 An Hour

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    Viking Cruises - Inside the 245-day long cruise setting sail round the world tomorrow
    (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

    Some very lucky passengers will be setting sail from Greenwich tomorrow on a whopping 245-day long cruise that will visit 51 countries and 111 destinations over its journey.

    Not only are they lucky because they’re about to go on a bumper holiday, but because they could just end up being part of a new entry in the Guinness World Records books.

    They’ll have had to pay a whopping £66,900 each to get on the eight-month trip, which is called the Ultimate World Cruise and is run by Viking Sun.

    If it manages to do the full 245 days, it’ll bag the record for longest continuous passenger cruise once it returns to the UK in 2020.

    The cruise will start off heading round the UK, to destinations like Liverpool and Edinburgh, before heading to Scandinavia.

    Viking Cruises - Inside the 245-day long cruise setting sail round the world tomorrow
    It costs a whopping £66,000 (Photo by Eamonn M. McCormack/Getty Images)

    After that, they’ll head to the Caribbean and South America before hitting South Pacific. The massive ocean liner will then continue its journey to Australia and through Asia, before sailing back to the Mediterranean and Europe.

    Some of the incredible destinations that passengers will be able to visit include the Great Barrier Reef and Machu Picchu, as well as the natural beauty of the Norweigan Fjords and the Amazon rainforest.

    There are resident historians and lecturers who will guide travellers at each destination so they can really make the most of it.

    Viking Cruises - Inside the 245-day long cruise setting sail round the world tomorrow
    Guests can enjoy one of the two on-board pools (Picture: Viking Cruises)
    Viking Cruises - Inside the 245-day long cruise setting sail round the world tomorrow
    The ship sets sail Sunday (Picture: ARCHIMAGE)

    If they’d prefer to stay on the ship, however, they can head to one of the ship’s two pools or its gym, or opt to see something at one of the ship’s two on-board cinemas or their theatre.

    Food-wise, there’s eight different dining options to enjoy, with the menu being specially designed to keep some variety on the go, given how long people will be on the cruise. Organisers say they’ve planned ‘delicious, destination-inspired food at the heart of the 680,000-odd meals that will be consumed’.

    Not many people could get that amount of annual leave (or have £66k to drop on a holiday), so Viking offer somewhat shorter versions (from 119 days, beginning in Los Angeles and starting from £32,990).

    Viking Cruises - Inside the 245-day long cruise setting sail round the world tomorrow
    It will return in 2020 (Picture: Viking Cruises)
    Viking Cruises - Inside the 245-day long cruise setting sail round the world tomorrow
    Food will also be served to match the many destinations been visited (Picture: Viking Cruises)

    Included in that – granted fairly steep – price is food, drinks, wifi, excursions, use of the spa facilities, and all entertainment.

    Torstein Hagen, chairman of Viking, said: ‘For more than 20 years we have been committed to connecting travellers to culturally immersive experiences that allow them to explore the world in comfort.

    ‘Our Ultimate World Cruise is the most extensive itinerary available in the industry, nearly double the length of our previous world cruise itineraries. I am pleased to offer such a unique experience for our guests.’

    Wendy Atkin-Smith, managing director of Viking UK, said: ‘We broke our own Guinness World Record in 2014 when we christened 16 new river ships in one day. We only launched ocean cruises in 2015 so to already be attempting the world record for the longest continuous passenger cruise four years later is remarkable.

    ‘Everyone at Viking UK is particularly proud and excited that the cruise is setting sail from Greenwich. We can’t wait to hear all our guests’ stories when they get back.’

    MORE: A company wants to pay you £15 an hour to eat free dessert at home

    MORE: Mumsnet have identified 13 ‘tribes’ based on popular baby names this year


    Inside the 245-day long cruise setting sail round the world tomorrowInside the 245-day long cruise setting sail round the world tomorrow

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    A peach emoji on top of a background that features spots
    Got a spotty bum? (Picture: Getty)

    We often talk about skincare and how important it is, but there’s one area that people tend to neglect – namely, the bum.

    Perhaps it’s down to stigma; while most of us will happily discuss our skincare routine in detail, it gets trickier when we’re having trouble with a more intimate area.

    Some might feel embarrassed or even compare themselves to photos of smooth, glistening bottoms on social media – the bum is having a moment – but breakouts on your butt is nothing to be ashamed of.

    If you’re regularly seeing spots pop up on your backside, don’t worry. We’ve found out why it happens and how you can treat it.

    Why do you get spots on your bum?

    Let us put your mind at ease and assure you that bum spots is a very common issue, and can happen to both men and women.

    One of the main reasons people develop them is due to hair follicles becoming inflamed or blocked, a condition known as folliculitis.

    This can happen through skin irritation, friction (for instance, if you’re sat with your naked butt on an itchy chair at the office every day), as well as bacterial and fungal infections.

    Note that folliculitis can take different forms; sometimes it might just be small bumps or white or yellow spots, but it can also look like a rash or in severe cases, turn into sores.

    All of us also have hair on our bums, and those with a particularly fuzzy peach may choose to wax or shave the area, which can contribute to the spots being developed if the process irritates the skin.

    Working out on a regular basis in tight clothes can also be a factor, as you’re essentially trapping the sweat onto the area while doing so (especially if you’re sat down on a bike).

    It’s worth noting that getting small spots on your bum is not quite the same as having butt acne or butt-ne, as it’s also known.

    Butt acne normally shows up in the form of deeper cysts, but can also appear as painful boils under the skin – a condition known as Carbuncles – which is the step up from folliculitis.

    How can you get rid of bum spots?

    There are various ways to treat bum spots.

    If your case isn’t that severe, start by making some small changes and see if there is an improvement.

    For instance, wear breathable fabrics – especially while working out – and make sure you wash the clothes between each use. This also applies to underwear, which should be changed daily.

    The products you use to clean yourself with are also important. If you believe that your shower gel might be the issue, try another (perfume-free) brand or invest in a mild cleanser to clear up the skin.

    And make sure that you wipe your butt properly after having a poo.

    If you’re removing hair from your bum, regularly change and clean your razor or swap to wax (or vice versa, depending on the results).

    Alternatively, look into other options such as permanent laser hair removal, though this is not suitable for all hair and skin types and does not always work. There are also other risks, such as the laser damaging the skin.

    If you’re concerned or if the breakouts are severe, see a dermatologist or chat to your GP. They may prescribe a topical acne solution or offer another treatment.

    Just make sure to look after your peach.

    MORE: Simple yoga exercises to soothe anxiety symptoms

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    MORE: New mum says CBD ‘saved her butt’ and cured her of piles


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    A picture of the new Boots advent calendar which features 25 windows and a blue and pink crystal design
    The new calendar features blue and pink crystal doors (Picture: Boots)

    Big news, people: The waiting list for Boots’ No7 25 Days of Beauty advent calendar has just opened.

    Last year, 90,000 people signed up and the calendar sold out in just three days. It is now being relaunched for 2019, with £173.50 worth of products for just £42.

    Boots has shared a sneak peak of the advent calendar on its website, and it features a pink and blue crystal design that looks just perfect for Instagram.

    The brand also offered a sign-up option for those who want to join the waiting list.

    Those who sign up will get 24-hour early access to the calendar, and might just find one of seven golden tickets hidden inside of it (which will give them a chance to win £700 worth of No7 items). Count us in.

    So far there’s no word on which items will be available in the calendar, but last year’s included the Stay Perfect Lipstick and Volume Mascara.

    We do however know that the 2019 calendar will feature both makeup and skincare products.

    Boots isn’t the only retailer to announce its 2019 advent calendars while we’re still technically in summer.

    B&M has also launched one and it comes with a load of bath bombs inspired by alcoholic drinks.

    Cocktail lovers will definitely like it with scents including tequila, mojito and strawberry daiquiri.

    It has 12 windows and costs just £5, which is a lot cheaper than Lush’s calendar.

    The brand’s first-ever calendar will also be filled with bath bombs, but costs £195.

    It is also so exclusive that only 500 will be sold in total.

    MORE: Lush is finally bringing out a bath bomb packed advent calendar for Christmas

    MORE: Glossybox has revealed the goodies in their 2019 Advent Calendar

    MORE: B&M releases bath bomb advent calendar and it’s £190 cheaper than the Lush version


    Boots' No7 Advent Calendar Is Back And Shoppers Can Get Over £173 Of Products For £42Boots' No7 Advent Calendar Is Back And Shoppers Can Get Over £173 Of Products For £42

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    Logos from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, with a broom in front appearing to be sweeping up
    Clean it up now or regret it later (Picture: Getty)

    There’s no shortage of stories of people whose social media past has come back to haunt them.

    An old tweet or awkward Instagram photo isn’t just potentially embarrassing, but it can also have serious consequences, especially if you’re a public figure or celebrity.

    For instance, who can forget when Justine Sacco, a PR executive, sent out an incredibly offensive tweet as she was boarding a flight to South Africa, which not only cost her a job but also saw her make headlines for months.

    More recently, Emmerdale actress Shila Iqbal was fired because of a series of tweets from 2013, that were uncovered just as she had signed a permanent contract with the soap.

    It’s not just famous people who are at risk of being exposed or shamed on social media.

    Let’s say, for instance, that you’re sat in a job interview for a management role for an animal rights charity that strictly opposes the use of fur. Then imagine that the person you’re sat across from decides to Google your name and finds an old Facebook photo of you at a party, wearing a fur coat.

    Or perhaps you lied about your skills and one of your many social media profiles give you away.

    There are many scenarios that can get you into trouble, and even if you might have meant something as a joke, it’s out in the ether for everyone to see. That is, unless you clean up your digital profiles.

    Here is how to do just that on the big three: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

    Twitter

    Unfortunately, it can be very time-consuming to clean up your Twitter profile, for two reasons.

    Firstly, the social media platform doesn’t have a function that allows you to bulk-delete tweets and secondly, your profile only displays 3,200 tweets at any one time (meaning that if you’ve been a member for years, you can’t scroll that far back).

    Thankfully, it’s not a complete nightmare. If you know around what time period you sent out inappropriate memes and cringe-worthy tweets with phrases like ‘live, laugh, love’, you can search for it.

    Through the advanced search method, you can find tweets through date ranges, keywords, phrases and hashtags. Once you’ve set your criteria it will bring up the results that relate to it, but here’s where it gets a tad annoying. You have to click on each of these tweets and manually delete them, a process that could take hours, days or even weeks, depending on how frequently you tweet.

    Do note that there are external mass-deletion programmes that allow you to delete multiple tweets at once, such as Tweetdeleter, but Twitter doesn’t recommend using them as they can mess up your account.

    The choice is yours, but you’ll have to pay for these types of services (though some of them are pretty fairly priced).

    Facebook

    Facebook is easier to clean up, but can also take a long time depending on how much content you have on the site.

    Deleting photos is fairly straightforward, however do remember that it’s not just your albums that you’ll need to sift through.

    Any photos that were uploaded on their own on your wall will show up in the ‘Your Photos’ section, which – if you have hundreds of pics – can lag when you’re scrolling through it.

    Albums on the other hand can be deleted in one go, so that you can easily get rid of the ‘Ibiza memories’ album that features a few dozen pics of you doing body shots and not much else, if you want to.

    Now, for the posts.

    You can choose to hide or delete any post from any date, but we’re assuming you’d rather not start from today and delete them one by one until you get to the post about how much you are ‘like OMG totally crushing on Joshy from the gym’ (who ended up being a dick).

    Here’s what you do: open Facebook, go to your profile and then click on ‘Activity log’, a little button located at the bottom right corner of your cover photo.

    Once you’re on the page, you can choose the year that you want to focus on, and after that you have two options.

    You can either scroll through the entire year and delete or hide posts one by one or alternatively, use the activity search bar in the top right corner and search for keywords, such as your ex’s name, for instance.

    The best part about using this function is that it will bring up any posts that contain the word(s) you’re searching for, including messages that you have left on other people’s walls.

    In the sidebar on the activity log you will also find other categories that could speed up the process, such as only looking at posts that others have tagged you in or other people’s posts on your timeline.

    You can even look at what posts you have liked or commented on.

    Additionally, if you’re tired of the content that pops up on your timeline (like annoying and repetitive ads) or want to amend what people can and can’t see on your profile, you can use Facebook’s privacy cleanup tool, which was launched last year.

    It’s essentially one page where you can find privacy shortcuts.

    Instagram

    If you’ve been using the platform since its inception in 2010, there are probably a wide range of photos on your profile.

    For those who are happy to show off their high school mullet or that time they decided to shave off one eyebrow, we salute you. You do you, be proud and show off that sexy look.

    However, if you’d like to get rid of a few photos or have so many uploaded that the app keeps lagging, there is always the delete button – but once again, you can’t do this in bulk within the app.

    There are some third party apps such as Instant Cleaner that offer such an option, but there are risks when you use an external service (such as giving them access to your information and photos).

    You can also choose to hide photos with Instagram’s new archive tool, which means your followers won’t see them, but you still can. Archiving a photo also retains all of the likes and comments on that pic, in case you ever decide to reverse the process.

    To use the tool, click on any photo on your profile and then proceed by clicking the small grey dots in the top right corner. This will bring up a variety of options, including ‘archive’.

    Note: you can only use the archive tool through the app, not on a desktop.

    Remember, if you don’t like any of the content on your social media platforms then you can always delete them completely and rebuild them from scratch – and be careful with whatever you put out there in the future.

    Alternatively, you could set your accounts to private so that only people you are friends with or allow to follow you will have access, but this still poses a risk.

    If you think that there’s content out there that would embarrass you or offend someone else, do the smart and polite thing, and delete it.

    Everyone makes mistakes and we all say stupid things, but once you’ve written them down and sent them out into the world, they’re out there forever.

    Or, until you delete them.

    MORE: Amazing Twitter thread shows the hypocrisy of what we expect from the rich and poor

    MORE: Are finstas and hidden accounts the answer to pressure to be perfect online?

    MORE: Meet the teens making climate change memes to deal with ecoanxiety


    Twitter_Social-Icon_Round_White-on-ColorTwitter_Social-Icon_Round_White-on-Color

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    A man and woman in the bedroom
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Everybody thinks they know plenty about sex, from the Inbetweeners Jay-a-likes who say they put the balls in to the kinky folks who hit up fetish festivals.

    You might be surprised, though, as the world of sex can be as complex and confusing as any other Mastermind topic.

    It’s certainly more difficult knowing about sex than simply placing body part name on a diagram of a vagina, but then a vast number of people also can’t do that, so…

    If you think you’ve got more going for you in the knowledge stakes, however, we’ve compiled a little quiz with some big questions.

    See how you fare.

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    Share your results

    Try again

    MORE: How to do a social media clean

    MORE: Why do you get spots on your bum and how can you get rid of them?


    Kinky Characters part threeKinky Characters part three

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    Oscar with his owners
    Isn’t he adorable? (Picture: Lexi Quigley /SWNS.COM)

    A young couple spend their nights cuddling up to their pet raccoon, who’s just four months old

    23-year-old Lexi Quigley and Blake Olson, 26, rescued Oscar in May 2019 when he was found abandoned in a friend’s back garden.

    Newborn Oscar, then two weeks old, required bottle feeds of kitten formula and Pedialyte every four hours, which Lexi, an accountant, and Blake, a teacher, juggled between them.

    The couple, from Tampa, Florida, crafted a makeshift incubator out of a storage bin to ensure Oscar stayed warm and safe as he grew.

    Oscar, who once fit into the palm of Lexi’s hand, is now a healthy 5lbs and spends his days playing with the couple’s other pets; yorkie, Bandit, beagle, Weiser, and cats, Kitty and Eleanor.

    A picture of Oscar
    Oscar was rescued as a baby (Picture: Lexi Quigley /SWNS.COM)

    Lexi said: ‘He was two weeks old when he turned up outside my friend’s mother’s house. We think Oscar’s mother was spooked by her dogs and dropped him.

    ‘I grew up on a farm and my boyfriend’s family has rescued a raccoon in the past so I knew I could care for him.

    ‘When we found Oscar he was so tiny. His eyes and ears had just opened. I started him on kitten formula and Pedialyte to keep him hydrated.

    Blake feeding Oscar
    He was bottle fed for a while (Picture: Lexi Quigley /SWNS.COM)

    ‘He didn’t really love the kitten formula so I started mixing it with Pedialyte which he loved. He was so small, he fit right in the palm of my hand. He was the size of a stick of deodorant.

    ‘He was so little he didn’t produce his own body heat so I built him a little incubator using a storage box, heat patches and a duvet cover.

    ‘At the beginning, I was up feeding him every four hours. It was like having a newborn.’

    Oscar playing
    He loves playing with the couple’s other pets (Picture: Lexi Quigley /SWNS.COM)

    ‘As he got older he was like clockwork,’ Lexi says.

    ‘I would give him his bedtime bottle and put him to bed like a baby.

    ‘When he was young, I quarantined him from the rest of my animals because I wanted to make sure he was healthy.’

    Lexi made sure to apply for a permit for Oscar from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission which is required by law.

    Oscar looking cute
    He’s so cute! (Picture: Lexi Quigley /SWNS.COM)

    The accountant said Oscar is an entertaining addition to her family and is lapping up the life as a domestic pet.

    Lexi said: ‘He’s really funny at the moment. He’s entertaining.

    ‘I wake up in the morning and he’s playing with my hair.

    ‘He absolutely loves my beagle. They play together and run around together all the time.

    Oscar in bed
    Isn’t he the sweetest? (Picture: Lexi Quigley /SWNS.COM)

    ‘Oscar acts like a dog, he’ll go outside and go to the bathroom and play with the dogs but he also uses a litter box inside.

    Apparently, this is a real advantage, since raccoons need the loo a whole lot more than dogs. However, he’s more like a baby in a number of other ways.

    ‘He’s supposed to be nocturnal but he’s definitely not any more,’ said Lexi.

    ‘He wakes up before me in the morning and it can be hard to get him to wind down before bed.

    ‘He tucks himself underneath the covers in our bed. He plays on the cat tower and climbs the stools in the kitchen and he will climb trees in the backyard sometimes.’

    Blake with Oscar
    He spends his day eating dry dog food (Picture: Lexi Quigley /SWNS.COM)

    Oscar spends his day munching on dry dog food and fruit like grapes, banana, and his personal top treat, watermelon.

    Although the couple are enjoying Oscar in their family unit, they don’t know if his good nature may change as he grows.

    The couple are currently in talks with their vet to see if neutering their pet might be an option.

    Lexi said: ‘We’re not sure what Oscar will be like when he’s older.

    Lexi, Blake and Oscar
    They make a very sweet family (Picture: Lexi Quigley /SWNS.COM)

    ‘There’s always a fear that when he gets older his male hormones might make him aggressive.

    ‘We never made any definite plans with him, I just wanted to keep him alive.

    ‘We’re looking into whether or not he can be neutered at the moment.

    ‘He’s an important part of our family, but if it came to a point where we had to train him to be released into the wild, we would have to do what is best for him.’

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    RACCOON ADOPTION - Couple spend their nights cuddling up to their fluffy pet RACCOONRACCOON ADOPTION - Couple spend their nights cuddling up to their fluffy pet RACCOON

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    Four people running in nature and wearing t-shirts with letters on them that spell out WINE
    Vino, anyone? (Picture: Bacchus)

    Wine connoisseurs and runners, assemble.

    Run Bacchus is hosting its annual wine marathon next week, so that you can put on your fancy dress, get some exercise and drink some vino (all superb activities on their own but made even more splendid when put together).

    On Sunday 8 September, 2,750 people will descend upon Denbies Wine Estate, England’s largest vineyard, in Dorking to take part in a full or half marathon while sampling six English wines at five ‘refreshment’ stations along the way.

    There will also be food on offer, along with some local entertainment by various bands located on the route.

    If running isn’t your thing but wine is, you can join the ‘Bacchus Lite’ marathon, a new option for this year where you can walk, jog or run on a 10km route (but there is only one wine station to visit).

    It’s a family-friendly day and children even get their own Two-Mile Fun Run, where each finisher receives a meal.

    ‘The whole day creates a real festival atmosphere and caters for everyone, young, old, athlete or amateur, the race is perfect for those looking to enjoy the great outdoors in the most fulfilling way possible,’ said Mike Gratton, Events Race Director for 2:09.

    Once they’ve finished their race of choice, runners will be treated to more wine, as well as a hog roast.

    Fancy going along? Registration for the event closes on 4 September, so you better hurry.

    Tickets cost £50 for those who want to do the full or half marathon, while the new ‘Lite’ option is slightly cheaper at £30.

    The kids’ race is free.

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    The couple and Bryony walking down the aisle
    Bride and Groom Hannah and Darren holding Baby Bryony (Picture: Wrexham Leader / SWNS)

    A couple left friends and family stunned after they turned the christening of their baby daughter into a surprise wedding.

    29-year-old Hannah Clayton and her husband Darren Harding-Evans, 39, hatched a secret plan to throw the double celebration midway through the baptism of nine-month-old Bryony.

    Whilst guests took their turn taking photographs with the christening girl, the pair sneaked off and got ready to pull the surprise last Sunday.

    Hannah then reemerged at the back of the church in a flowing white wedding dress much to the amazement of the unsuspecting guests.

    She then walked down the aisle with her grandfather as the best man’s two young daughters sang Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love With You’.

    Many family members were left in tears as Hannah and Darren then exchanged vows on the altar of St Giles Church, in Wrexham, north Wales.

    The couple signing the wedding papers
    The guests were all completely surprised (Picture: Wrexham Leader / SWNS)

    The couple went on to enjoy their reception at Holt Lodge, which had already been set aside for the christening celebrations, with their 74 guests.

    Only a handful of relatives were aware of the top secret plans – with even the flower girls and the best man being taken by surprise on the day.

    Hannah, a support worker from Wrexham, said: ‘We’ve been together eight years and engaged since 2014 so we thought it was as good a time as any.

    ‘We only told a handful of people including parents and the bridesmaids, as we needed a little bit of help organising it. But most of the people just thought they were coming along for Bryony’s christening so they were all in for a massive shock.

    ‘Not even the flower girls or the best man knew until the day. We sneaked off while one of Darren’s friends was being deliberately awkward taking photos.’

    The couple with their parents
    Only a few family members knew (Picture: Wrexham Leader / SWNS)

    ‘I was so nervous I didn’t even look at anyone in the crowd. It was all just a blur but I know a lot of people were very emotional,’ Hannah continued.

    ‘I was actually surprised with how many people turned up and I’m glad to have shared the special day with everyone.’

    The couple were able to organise their big day in just nine weeks with the help of a handful of family and Reverend Jason Bary at the church.

    Darren, who owns a tuning shop, said his best man Ben Jones, 36, was left gobsmacked when he handed him over his tie and pinhole flower.

    He said: ‘We wanted to keep it small and personal but then it grew and we ended up with about 70 guests.

    ‘My best man wasn’t happy at first when I dropped it on him at the altar. His first words were “I hope you don’t expect me to do a speech”.’

    The reverand conducting the baptism
    The reverand was in on the secret (Picture: Wrexham Leader / SWNS)

    ‘I’d seen these done before, but it’s usually people thinking they were turning up for a christening and it actually being a wedding. We wanted to celebrate both.

    ‘I’ve never seen anyone do them with the outfit change half way through, but that’s what we wanted to do…

    ‘We didn’t have the order of service finalised until about 72 hours before. It was a real whirlwind but we managed to get it done.’

    Hannah’s mum, Sharon, 49, said she only found out about the surprise three weeks before the wedding.

    She said: ‘It was beautiful. I’m so happy and overjoyed for them both, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room when people realised.’

    Bridesmaid Kayley McGreachan, 29, added: ‘Hannah was stressing so much and was excited and nervous.

    ‘She had tears in her eyes when she came out, it was very emotional, a lovely afternoon.’

    The couple, who are also parents to four-year-old son George, now plan to celebrate their honeymoon in Thailand later in the year.

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    NAPPY EVER AFTER - Couple leave family stunned by turning the christening of their daughter into a surprise WEDDINGNAPPY EVER AFTER - Couple leave family stunned by turning the christening of their daughter into a surprise WEDDING

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    Cat rescue shelter auctions off 'bottle' that turns out to be a massive bong
    We’re sure they’ll find a buyer (Picture: Feral Cat Rescue Shelburne)

    The internet isn’t always a wholesome place, but today it very much is, as a cat shelter is auctioning off a ‘bottle’ that’s actually a big, giant bong.

    The purity of Canadian cat-lovers has truly melted all our hearts, with shelter volunteers from the Feral Cat Rescue Shelburne proudly sharing their new donation to their Facebook followers.

    In a recent post, which was then shared on various cat groups online, the Ontario-based shelter said: ‘This Stunning Cat Bottle was donated to the Rescue by Mike Vandenberg and has a retail Value of $225.00.

    ‘We are asking 175.00 and it comes with box and bag and all items shown. 100% of the proceeds go to the Feral Cat Rescue Heat Pumps so the cats can keep warm in the shelter this winter.

    ‘Please message in the comments below if you are interested or call 519 278 0707 to view the bottle. It is a true work of art. Thanks so much Mike! Thanks to everyone for your continued support!’

    Picture: Feral Cat Rescue Shelburne Cat rescue shelter auctions off 'bottle' that turns out to be a massive bong
    Thanks so much Mark (Picture: Feral Cat Rescue Shelburne)

    The cat bottle, which is branded with ‘Cheech Glass’ features rainbow colouring and gorgeous feline themed details.

    It also can’t be denied that it was very kind of Mike to donate such a nice cat bottle, although he perhaps should have explained that he was handing over drug paraphernalia rather than a beautiful carafe.

    Commenters seem to have seen the funny side, with people tagging their friends and saying how lovely the bottle is. One said: ‘Bottle? Never heard a bong called a bottle before, but it is indeed a work of art.’

    The adorably naive post was then shared on groups such as the cool fun cat group, with the laugh reacts pouring in, and one user saying ‘The innocence is sweet and hilarious at the same time, and it’s a very cool cat ‘bottle’ haha’.

    Who knows, this might be the best bit of publicity the shelter will get, and we hope they raise the money they need. Just don’t drink any water that comes from this bottle, though.

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    Cat rescue shelter auctions off \'bottle\' that turns out to be a massive bongCat rescue shelter auctions off \'bottle\' that turns out to be a massive bong

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    Split image of Daisy-May Demetre, a child model with no legs
    Daisy-May will be walking the runway at New York Fashion Week (Picture: REX/SWNS)

    Last year, seven-year-old Daisy-May Demetre took the fashion world by storm.

    The double amputee from Birmingham had signed with Zeebedee Management, an agency that focuses on diversity, and was invited to walk at LKFW – London Kids’ Fashion Week, where she was the shining star on the runway.

    It was recently announced that Daisy-May is to become the first double amputee child to take part in New York Fashion Week and just today it was also revealed that she will model at the top of the Eiffel Tower during Paris Fashion Week on 27 September.

    The young girl was born with a condition known as fibular hemimelia, a birth defect which meant she had a tiny fibular bone in one leg and none at all in the other. So, her parents decided the best choice for her was to undergo a double below the knee amputation.

    Daisy-May Demetre stands in the snow out in nature
    Daisy-May is rumoured to be the first double amputee child to walk at Paris Fashion Week (Picture: SWNS.com)

    Daisy-May is also set to become the first double amputee child to walk a runway at Paris Fashion Week, according to Eni Hegedus-Buiron, the founder of Lulu et Gigi.

    Speaking about her invitation to New York and Paris, her dad, Alex, told the BBC: ‘You can’t go any higher, in terms of the people who will be there.

    ‘I told her how big it was and she just said “Dad, it is cool”.

    ‘I asked her if she wanted to practice and she said “I’ve done it before”.

    ‘But she deserves it, she has put the work in.

    ‘When people see her they don’t say “Poor Daisy”, they say “Wow, I want to be like Daisy’ because she has so much energy”.’

    She’s a role model for children across the globe.

    Not to mention, a budding fashion star.

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