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

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    Pics of ramen being cooked in milk
    Would you eat ramen with milk? (Picture: YouTube/hemanshi\’s world)

    When it comes to mixing food, people have strong opinions.

    Sometimes weird food mixes work. Pringles flavoured ramen got all the yeses after a Japanese company started offering it online.

    But even the instant pots with slightly out-there flavours are made with piping hot water… not milk.

    One woman unencumbered by tradition decided to try making ramen with milk instead of water and naturally, people have thoughts.

    YouTube channel Hemanshi’s World released a video cooking Maggi noodles in the dairy mixture two years ago.

    People on social media recently stumbled upon the creation and expressed their horror. Many were enraged by the simple swap and one person even called for an exorcism of the recipe.

    Tough crowd.

    The video has circulated on Twitter and Instagram, which has caused a resurgence of views.

    In the video, Hemanshi, who has more than 700,000 subscribers, is seen skipping the spices that come with the noodles and adding in her own ingredients, such as rose flavouring.

    She mixes a full mug of milk with half a cup of water and two packets of Maggi. Hemanshi explains that the staple is popular in her household and that followers can substitute rose flavouring for whatever takes their fancy.

    A generous helping of sweetened condensed milk is added to the pot to make the noodles creamy. Hemanshi then adds finishing touches with rose petals.

    The finished product - ramen in milk
    The finished product (Picture: YouTube/hemanshi\’s world)

    But it’s unlikely that many Twitter users are going to be reaching for the condensed milk and ramen to satisfy hunger pangs, considering the reaction to the dish.

    One person wrote online: ‘Yuck, how do I unsee this?’ while another said: ‘I am genuinely concerned for her family’.

    Another went to a lot of detail to describe her dismay: ‘You missed the last step. Double bag this rubbish, dig a grave 20 feet deep, set this on fire and throw it in. When it’s burnt, pour water, fill the grave and then call priests to purify the spot.’

    While many replied with gifs and outrage, some pointed out that the dish was similar to another – kheer.

    Kheer or Firni is a dessert from south Asia, made by boiling milk and sugar with rice, broken wheat, tapioca, vermicelli, or sweetcorn.

    Sweet vermicelli in milk is a popular traditional food among the group, particularly on special occasions such as Eid.

    But perhaps none celebrating have tried it with ramen yet.

    MORE: People are horrified by this deep fried BBQ chicken layered taco with a pizza on top

    MORE: The secret good stuff in food that’s bad for us


    Ramen noodles made with milkRamen noodles made with milk

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    A packet of Marathon bars which have been rebranded from Snickers
    Are they Marathon bars or are they Snickers?

    If you pop to the shops for a pack of Snickers bars in the coming weeks, you might just be in for a surprise.

    That’s because the popular chocolate bar has decided to give us all the nostalgic feels and revert back to its original name of Marathon – nearly 30 years after it was changed to the Snickers that we all know and love.

    So just what’s going on? Just what is our favourite chocolate and peanut treat playing at? And is it going to be like this forever?

    Here’s what you need to know…

    Why is Snickers changing its name back to Marathon?

    There’s no sinister reason behind the name change – it’s simply one way of Mars celebrating over 85 years of bringing chocolate to our shelves.

    ‘Bringing the Marathon bar branding back for a limited time really was a no brainer,’ said Gemma Buggins, brand director of Mars.

    A tweet with reaction to Marathon Bars being renamed Snickers

    ‘It’s a great way to celebrate over 85 years of Mars making chocolate in the UK and we hope this serves as a wonderful treat for fans of Snickers who remember when it was called Marathon.’

    Despite the retro wrapper, there will be no change to the recipe – so it’s basically the same name only with a different product.

    However, the renamed bars are only being made available for three months before they revert back to being called Snickers again.

    So you’d better be quick if you want to get your hands on a bit of nostalgia in chocolate form.

    Why did Marathon change to Snickers in the UK?

    A pile of Snickers bars
    The bars first came on to the market in 1930 (Picture: Getty Images)

    Snickers, which were first produced in the US in 1930, are believed to have taken their name from a beloved horse owned by the Mars family.

    Until July 1990 they were sold in the UK as Marathon bars, when Mars decided to change the name of the product to bring it in line with the rest of the world.

    The product remains the biggest selling chocolate bar in the world, with annual global sales of $2bn a year.

    Where can you buy the rebranded Marathon bars?

    The rebranded Marathon bars are now for sale at Morrison’s stores across the country.

    MORE: Snickers have been trolling New York by pointing out life’s many mistakes


    PRC_84901132PRC_84901132

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    Sam Smith performs on stage during the Lollapaloosa Sao Paulo 2019
    When celebrities like Sam speak out about their non-binary identity, it spreads awareness on a huge platform (Picture: Alexandre Schneider/Getty)

    When I saw that Sam Smith had come out as non-binary, I was thrilled not just for them, but for the whole community.

    Like Sam, I identify as non-binary (unlike them, I am also trans). My gender identity does not match with the binary that society broadly adheres to – I see myself as neither a man nor a woman.

    To me, gender is a wide spectrum and non-binary people exist somewhere within it. I see it as a pole with male and female on either end – some people are in the middle of the pole, and some lean closer to one than the other (I am closer to the female end, for example).

    Non-binary people already face hardship and rejection on a daily basis. We are constantly told we don’t exist. We are casually mocked by people like Piers Morgan on television as if our entire existence is a huge joke. Work colleagues and peers misgender us on a daily basis.

    When celebrities like Sam speak out about their non-binary identity, it spreads awareness on a huge platform. Even if it educates one new person, that’s fantastic. 

    Sam Smith has millions of fans and they’ll be opening all those people’s minds.

    They will also help young people who are struggling with their identity have a better understanding of the different ways people experience gender. 

    I transitioned four years ago, aged 16. I had the privilege of being surrounded by non-binary friends as well as being in a relationship with another non-binary person. 

    This was so lucky as it gave me the chance to explore the feelings I’d had about my gender that I’d pushed aside while as I tried to process and accept my identity.

    At a younger age I didn’t have the vocabulary to explain my gender identity. I was assigned male at birth but knew that the pronouns he/him didn’t feel right to me. I identified as trans and began to transition, but I also knew that exclusively she/her didn’t quite make sense. That was when I realised that trans femme non-binary person – with they and she pronouns – best suited my gender identity.

    This essentially means that I have a very feminine look but I do not subscribe to conventional ideas of what gender should look like.

    If I’d had non-binary role models growing up I definitely would have recognised my identity sooner. It gives me hope for younger non-binary people that representation on this scale with help them understand their identity more easily.

    It’s hard to see Sam Smith already being subject to abuse – even death threats – since coming out. Across social media they are being misgendered, something that’s incredibly painful for a non-binary person.

    For me, the pronouns used are vital: they are a way of representing my identity. When people use them correctly, I feel seen, respected and loved – when I am misgendered it’s dehumanising, as if my entire existence has been invalidated.

    Of course, my main inner circle of friends are trans and non-binary people so it was really easy coming out to them and they understand these struggles.

    But when I told other people (including my close family) that I was non-binary, they were a little confused. They understood my identity as a binary trans woman and were very supportive of that. While they support me being non-binary, they don’t really understand what it means, which is hard for me to see. 

    When I identified as a trans woman and went by strictly she/her pronouns, my identity was broadly respected. When I came out as non-binary I noticed a shift. 

    Now I state my pronouns and people hear ‘they’, I’m often told this doesn’t make sense – even though we’ve been using ‘they’ as a singular genderless pronoun for centuries (‘everyone loves their mother’).  

    People don’t understand the power using the right or wrong pronouns can have. It matters to me that people get it right, not only for me but for all trans and non-binary people. 

    A lot of abuse and intolerance comes from a place of ignorance, and to combat that, it’s important for us to be represented in mainstream culture. 

    By having someone like Sam talking publicly and openly about this, we will begin to see being non-binary and something we all understand, especially with Sam being so often discussed in mainstream media. Hopefully we can begin to normalise different types of pronouns so that one day soon ‘they’ sounds as normal as ‘he’ or ‘she’.

    My hopes for the future is that we will soon live in a society where trans and non-binary people’s rights are recognised and seen, and we are made to feel safe and secure for being ourselves. That’s all I want for our community, and Sam Smith’s coming out just got us one step closer. 

    MORE: For gender non-conforming people, dressing for summer presents a whole new challenge

    MORE: I urgently need the government to talk about trans rights

    MORE: Why you should wear your ballgown to the supermarket


    Lollapalooza Sao Paulo 2019 - Day 1Lollapalooza Sao Paulo 2019 - Day 1

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    April Griffiths, 29 from Nuneaton with cheese sandwiches, crisps and orange juice
    April Griffiths’ food phobia causes her panic attacks if she even thinks of eating anything other than a cheese sandwich (Picture: Dilantha Dissanayake/Caters News

    Every day, April Griffiths starts her morning with a cheese sandwich or two slices of toast. Then she has a cheese sandwich for lunch. And one for dinner too.

    April, 29, has a severe food phobia, and experiences intense anxiety at even the thought of eating food that isn’t a cheese sandwich.

    The mum-of-two has been living off a diet of cheese sandwiches and crisps since she was a child, only mixing things up with melted cheese on toast on special occasions.

    April, from Nuneaton, Warwickshire said: ‘Every time I attempt to try new things, I have a panic attack, my whole body begins to shake, and I am terribly nervous.

    ‘The fear of choking and experiencing a different texture of food scares me and even though I have tried to eat pea-size portions of rice, pasta or vegetables, I have never been able to swallow it without throwing up.

    ‘It has become very awkward for me to go out for meals with new people as I have to explain why I am ordering a cheese sandwich and it often becomes the talk of the table.

    ‘When I first met my partner of nine years, Leigh Kendall, 34, I had to pre-warn him about my food phobia to save myself of the embarrassment on our first date.

    ‘I chose a fancy restaurant that I have been before where they are ok with me ordering the usual, whereas I have been out for dinner before and they have refused which was awkward.

    ‘Leigh used to always try and encourage me to eat something new but it is impossible, I think this will be my diet for the rest of my life.’

    * A mum-of-two with a fear of food has revealed shes lived off a diet of cheese sandwiches - for almost 30 years
    April alternates between cheddar and red Leicester (Picture: Dilantha Dissanayake / CATERS NEWS)

    April is – as you might expect – pretty bored of eating cheese sandwiches, but she can’t stomach anything else.

    She’s tried hypnotherapy sessions to soothe her anxiety and try something new, but couldn’t afford regular appointments. After two meetings with a hypnotherapist in 2014, April was forced to return to her diet, alternating between sandwiches filled with mature cheddar and red Leicester.

    ‘Sometimes I have a cheese toastie to mix it up, but I must eat it when the cheese is hot because I start to gag when it cools down and the texture changes,’ April explains.

    ‘It sounds silly but if I have sliced cheese I have to avoid thinking about it because the texture is completely different to my usual grated cheese sandwich.

    ‘But I don’t have a panic attack because I know it is still cheese and I can eat toast as I know bread is safe to eat.

    ‘I would love to eat a roast dinner, but I couldn’t face it – the vegetables, potatoes and meat all touching makes me feel sick.

    ‘The only other thing I can stomach is crisps and that is the only excitement my taste buds get so I always pick a flavoured pack.

    ‘I usually eat cheese and onion crisps or prawn cocktail and treat myself to sour cream pringles on special occasions.’

    Raising a child with healthy eating habits is tough enough, but when you can’t lead by example it becomes even trickier.

    April's food diary:

    • Breakfast: two slices of toast
    • Lunch: Grated cheese sandwich with a packet of cheese and onion crisps
    • Dinner: Grated cheese sandwich with a packet of cheese and onion crisps
    • Special occasions: Melted cheese on toast and sour cream Pringles

    April has noticed it’s becoming difficult to feed her two-year-old son Charlie, because he has noticed she isn’t eating the same thing as him and would like crisps for dinner too.

    The mum now has to eat in a separate room so her children don’t copy her dietary habits.

    Her food phobia has caused April years of stress and anxiety, having tried all sorts of counselling to no result.

    After two hypnotherapy sessions allowed her to eat rice, April is desperate for more of the treatment, and wishes it could be available on the NHS.

    For now she has to make do with the foods she’s comfortable eating, plus three cartons of orange juice a day to get essential vitamins.

    April said: ‘When I was a baby and moving from milk to solid foods, my parents became extremely worried as I wouldn’t eat or vomit straight away.

    ‘A lot of people say my parents weren’t tough enough but that isn’t the case, I am genuinely scared of food and always have been.

    ‘They have had so many nights crying and stressing over it, they took me to our GP but there wasn’t anything medically wrong with me and there still isn’t – I have been told by doctors I am healthy.

    ‘I have been in and out of counselling since a child, but it has never worked, the only time I have been somewhat ‘cured’ is when I had hypnotherapy.

    ‘I had two sessions and I managed to eat rice a couple of months after which was a massive deal for me, I was so proud.

    ‘But it was £300 a session and I simply couldn’t afford it; I hope one day something will be available on the NHS.’

    MORE: World’s first cheese conveyor belt is now open in London

    MORE: You can get a bag that locks up your food to stop colleagues nicking your lunch


    ONLY EATS CHEESE SANDWICHESONLY EATS CHEESE SANDWICHES

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    Two teenagers felt an instant romantic connection after meeting at a Wendy’s in 2006, but with one of them soon heading to prison, they didn’t take it any further.

    Personal trainer Nina Hoffler from Arizona, U.S, took a shining to Michael Hoffler when she was 16 and he 17.

    But with a likely prison charge looming over assault, Michael, now 30 didn’t think to ask her out.

    However, Nina, now 29, decided she would write to him, a promise she stuck to when he eventually ended up in prison.

    Michael got involved in an armed robbery in Northern California which led to him being sentenced to 23 years.

    During the first three years of his sentence, their relationship blossomed and Nina knew she was in love. Although she feared judgement from others she continued writing daily letters to him.

    It wasn’t until 2012 that they kissed for the first time during their first in-person prison visit. After this, they became even closer and Nina started to visit Michael more regularly.

    Michael proposed to Nina on in the summer of 2016 and the couple tied the knot at Ironwood State Prison in January the following year, consummating their marriage in prison after ten years together.

    Michael and Nina on their wedding day in Ironwood State Prison on January 6, 2016.
    Nina and Michael became a couple while he was in prison where they had their first kiss (Picture:MDWfeatures / Nina Hoffler)

    Although he was the youngest out of the group who committed the crime, Michael was given the harshest sentence due to being tried as an adult.

    He is now 13 years into his sentence and hoping to have his sentence examined since a law passed in California reevaluating youth offenders.

    It took Nina some time to accept her feelings at first but now she documents their journey together on Instagram.

    She explained: ‘Michael had clearly made significant emotional and behavioural changes and it was clear to me that he was becoming the man I always believed he would be.

    ‘On May 4, 2017 we were able to consummate our marriage, and this meant for the very first time ever we could have conjugal visits and be intimate with each other, after a decade of correspondence.

    ‘This was incredible for both of us.’

    Michael and Nina in a selfie
    They consummated their marriage ten years after starting to chat (Picture:MDWfeatures / Nina Hoffler)

    Married couples can request conjugal visits and enjoy unsupervised visits in units that have two small bedrooms and a bathroom.

    The kitchen has a sink, fridge/freezer, toaster oven, microwave and cabinets. The living room has a small couch, TV and a small music player for radio or CDs.

    There’s also a small dining table and a few chairs. There is a shower and a bathtub in the bathroom. The main bedroom has a queen-size bed and the other room has two twin beds.

    Nina added: ‘I have to bring my marriage license every time I visit and can bring a small canvas duffle bag with clothes for three days.

    ‘I can bring most toiletries which has to be ready and open for inspection. I also have to bring all bedding. I can even bring some nice lingerie so long as it doesn’t have any underwire in it.’

    In 2014, the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, a non-profit organisation helped to pass a new law which allows youth offenders in California to appear before a Youth Parole Board on their fifteenth year served.

    This is giving the couple renewed hope of being together on the outside.

    ‘This brought new hope to me and Michael and many others who were locked up as children. We are patiently waiting for his date of hearing.

    Nina, posing in her gym gear, works as a personal trainer and can't wait to hit the gyms with her husband when he leaves prison.
    Nina, a self-employed personal trainer drives four hours to see Michael in prison (Picture:MDWfeatures / Nina Hoffler)

    Nina is incredibly excited about Michael coming home and whether it’s sooner or later, she says she’s in this for the long haul.

    ‘A huge sense of relief will completely consume me when I see him take his first steps as a free man. It will be like I am living in a dream I have been locked into since I was just 16 years old,

    She also added that the U.S justice system needs to address its attitude to young offenders.

    ‘We need to stop locking up children and throwing away the key. Children have a greater capacity for change when given appropriate rehabilitation.’

    ‘I don’t know yet when Michael will be coming out. Either way, I’m here and we will always be fighting this together. I signed up for better or for worse, not always roses and daises.’

    MORE: Couple who moved in together after one date are now having their third child

    MORE: Couple who met at birth celebrate their ruby wedding anniversary

    MORE: Couple who met at 16 and 44 defend relationship on Age Gap Love


    Wedding Night Sex Behind BarsWedding Night Sex Behind Bars

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    Illustration of three women doing a plank
    Group class or solo sweat session? (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    How would you describe yourself? Introverted or extroverted? We know that introverts need time to themselves and extroverts like the spotlight, but your personality type could also affect how you workout.

    If exercise feels like a chore then the workout you’re doing might not suit your personality type – according to new research conducted by health and wellbeing app, MINDBODY.

    Choosing the wrong kind of workout for your personality might make working out harder, less enjoyable and less effective – so it’s important to choose a fitness option that is going to inspire you.

    So if the thought of a group bootcamp makes you shrivel up in fear, or if the idea of a lone jog inspires nothing but boredom, try these alternative workouts that have been tailored to suit different personality types.

    The experts at MINDBODY have come up with six classes to try, depending on whether you view yourself as an introvert or extrovert.

    Classes for introverts

    HIIT

    Tom Jenane, nutrition and fitness expert at Natures Health Box, says: ‘For introverted individuals, I strongly recommend giving HIIT workouts a try. These are great for burning calories in a minimal amount of time, plus you do the exercises solo.

    Illustration of woman boxing against a bag
    ‘Great for burning calories in a minimal amount of time, plus you do the exercises solo.’ (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    ‘If you don’t fancy attending a public class, there are plenty of YouTube videos you can follow at home, just make sure you choose the appropriate level  (beginner, intermediate or advanced) so you can progress and meet your goals.’

    If you’re working out from home, Tom also recommends switching the HIIT session you follow, so it stays fresh and you workout your body in different areas.

    Yoga and Pilates

    Interestingly, a large majority (81%) of introverts say they often feel worn out after exercise. So, why not try a Yoga or Pilates class?

    The classes are not as vigorous as other forms of exercise, yet they still improve strength and flexibility.

    Whilst there will be other people taking part in the class, you do have your own mat which you can place in a space you feel most comfortable.

    Luke Hughes, CEO of Origym, explains: ‘Most Yoga and Pilates classes are also very welcoming and relaxed in nature, so individuals should have no trouble fitting in and feeling comfortable.’

    Barre

    When taking part in a barre class, you work on ballet moves, but within your own space.

    Founder of Xtend Barre London, Catie Miller, explains: ‘Although barre is a great class to express yourself and be vocal if you wish, it is also a space well suited to someone who prefers to channel their energy inwards or have little interaction.

    ‘We work on ourselves in barre and despite the good energy in class, it can also feel like you’re the only one in the room.

    ‘Classes are often smaller in capacity than other exercise classes too and much of the instruction can be based at the barre, which might appeal to someone who prefers their own space or a more intimate environment.

    ‘The famous burn from barre comes from repetitions of ballet-inspired movements and isometric strength training, so whatever happens, you’ll be sure to challenge your body!’

    Illustration of woman doing a downward dog yoga pose
    ‘Most Yoga and Pilates classes are also very welcoming and relaxed in nature.’ (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Classes for extroverts

    Boot camp 

    According to YouGov, more than half (51%) of extroverts say they seek out challenging situations.

    Boot Camp requires teamwork and offers a variety of challenging exercises that change every session.

    ‘Extroverted individuals can bounce off others to push each other and ensure they both get optimal results,’ says Tom Jenane.

    ‘For this reason, bootcamp workouts are brilliant, as you can ensure you’re all pushing each other to your maximum limit and minimising breaks.

    ‘With the added pressure of working out with others, this means you are less likely to back out early, until the session has completely finished.’

    Gym bike illustration
    ‘Extroverted individuals can bounce off others to push each other.’ (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Dance 

    Extroverts would do well in dance classes, such as Zumba, as these are very social, with a huge focus on having fun whilst working out with others.

    Luke Hughes recommends: ‘If you’re looking for a group exercise that isn’t gym-based, a dance class is a great option to consider.

    ‘Dance class attendees feed off the high-energy environment that is created when they all come together, which only makes them push harder and most importantly, enjoy themselves.’

    Unique classes

    More than half (52%) of extroverts claim they’re not afraid of taking risks and seeking out challenging situations. Therefore, extroverts are more likely to try new exercise classes, even if they have never attempted them before.

    For this reason, they’re the perfect candidate for new exercise concepts such as aerial yoga and pole fitness.

    ‘Consumers are always looking to use their time more efficiently when working out combined with keeping their attention during their sessions,’ says Shara Tochia, co-founder of DOSE.

    ‘Combination workouts can be the best way to satisfy that demand, especially for those who fit the more “extroverted” personality file.’

    Commenting on the research, a spokesperson from MINDBODY, said: ‘While people have different fitness levels, it’s also important to remember that people have different personality traits too, and these can impact the way we work out.

    ‘If you’re struggling with motivation, or you’re simply just not enjoying your workouts, then it’s important to understand whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert to determine what type of fitness plan/class will work best for you.

    ‘Whilst it’s important to stay fit and active, it’s just as important to enjoy yourself whilst working out too.’

    MORE: Wife opens up about ten year relationship with husband who is in prison for 23 years

    MORE: Slow fashion: How changing the way we buy clothes could save the planet

    MORE: Frogs who married ‘to bring rain’ to Indian village get divorced because of too much downpour


    metro illustrationsmetro illustrations

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    Illustration of woman covering vagina with hands
    We’re not going to remember what your pubes look like, I promise (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    First thing’s first – please stop apologising about your pubic hair.

    There is literally not a single nurse, doctor or health care assistant working in any sexual health clinic in the country that cares about your pubes.

    Unless you’ve got a lump, a bump, irritated skin, discharge or a funny smell down there, we are immediately deleting the image of your bits from our memory banks. You’re normal. I promise. Even if you haven’t shaved or waxed. An hour after your appointment and we wouldn’t be able to pick you out of a genital line up.

    How do I know this? Because I’m a sexual health nurse.

    It’s my job to look at your bits. To run tests, to take blood, swabs, a detailed sexual history and to reassure you as much as I can that even if there’s something wrong, that it will be OK.

    It’s probably the best job I’ve ever had. Sure, it takes a while to acclimatise to the environment – in the beginning I saw a fair few patients that had cheated on their partners and it made me a bit paranoid, but it passes. Yes, we treat chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV, genital herpes and genital warts but what we deal with more than almost anything else is emotions. Namely guilt, shame and fear.

    Getting to help people deal with some of those feelings is actually pretty great. So know that if you’re walking through the door of your local GUM clinic, that the people working there want to help you, not judge you. Sex is a part of life.

    The number of people testing regularly throughout the UK has declined over the last few years which can be put down to a few big reasons, like funding cuts and bad sex education.

    But here’s the thing: Most sexually transmitted infections have no symptoms. Sometimes it’s obvious that there’s a problem but most of the time the only way to know for sure to take a test.

    You might have to wee in a pot or take some swabs and have a tiny blood test (warn your nurse if you’re frightened of needles and they will take extra care) but it’s so worth it.

    Finding out early that you’ve got an infection can stop complications like painful symptoms or infertility happening to you, as well as lowering the risk that you’ll pass the infection on to someone else. You don’t even have to come and see us in a clinic to get tested anymore either, you can order a testing kit through the post and do it all in the privacy of your own home.

    There’s been a lot of big, exciting developments in sexual health over the last few years, not just things like postal testing and much faster result times, which can make it easier and less embarrassing to check yourself.

    PrEP, (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a medication that you can take before having sex to prevent HIV infection, and has drastically reduced the number of new HIV cases in the UK in the last three years. In London, the numbers have dropped by half.

    Not everyone is eligible for the drug right now, only certain higher risk groups but PEP, (post-exposure prophylaxis) is free through the NHS for anyone who has had high risk unprotected sex. It has to be taken within 72 hours of the risk though, so if you’re worried, head to your GUM clinic asap.

    Our HIV transmission rates are falling but London still accounts for a quarter of the country’s sexually transmitted infections.

    Even if you don’t live in the big smoke, if you’re having unprotected sex, then you are at risk of an infection. Obviously, condoms are great for reducing your risk but regular testing is crucial.

    So this sexual health week, take a friend, a friend with benefits or the love of your life and go get tested. We promise, we won’t remember your pubes.

    MORE: The only STI we should be ashamed of is socially transmitted ignorance

    MORE: My Label and Me: I wear my bisexuality as a badge of honour

    MORE: Children need to be taught that consent is about so much more than sex


    SOCIALSOCIAL

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    Side View Of Pregnant Woman Running By River In City
    The researchers hope the news will reassure pregnant women. (Picture: Getty)

    New research reviewing studies on exercise in pregnancy has found that vigorous exercise is ‘safe and healthy’ for women in their third trimester.

    It has long been established that moderate physical activity can be hugely beneficial for pregnant women, with active expectant mothers being less likely to suffer health complications.

    But there has been conflicting information about more intense exercise, particularly in the third trimester of pregnancy, with many women choosing to stop running or going to the gym for fear of causing any damage.

    However, the new research, collated by The Conversation, found that vigorous exercise appears to be safe for a pregnant mother and her baby, even when it’s continued into the third trimester.

    The review looked at the results of 15 studies in total – which covered 32,703 pregnant women. Across the studies, none showed any meaningful increase in risk when it came to vigorous exercise.

    For expectant mums who were overweight to begin with, continuing vigorous exercise did appear to reduce maternal weight gain – although it didn’t have an effect for women who were already at a healthy weight.

    The research also found that exercise was associated with a slightly lower chance of a baby being born premature.

    So what counts a vigorous exercise?

    It basically means exercising to an intensity where you struggle to maintain a conversation, but can still manage a sentence. Like jogging, circuits, or interval training on a spin bike.

    High intensity training is where you’re working at 90% of your maximum heart rate or above, and you can’t speak a full sentence. The researchers don’t know what risks high intensity training carries for pregnant women.

    MORE: How to find the perfect workout for your personality type

    MORE: Wife opens up about ten-year relationship with husband who is in prison for 23 years

    MORE: Slow fashion: How changing the way we buy clothes could save the planet


    Side View Of Pregnant Woman Running By River In CitySide View Of Pregnant Woman Running By River In City

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    Newlywed lesbian couple being congratulated
    ‘Thanks so much for coming, I hope you bought your own chair’ (Picture: Getty)

    No one enjoys guests turning up late to important events.

    While most of us might direct a passive-aggressive snarky comment to latecomers, or quietly kiss our teeth, one engaged couple decided to take preemptive action.

    In the run-up to their big day, the bride and groom-to-be told guests that if they couldn’t arrive on time, they’d be missing out.

    And they specified exactly what they’d be missing – food and chairs.

    In their wedding invite, the happy couple told guests that if they failed to RSVP within the given time frame, they’d have to bring a chair and a sandwich.

    An image of the invite was shared on Reddit saying: ‘Please respond by September 10 2019,’ alongside the standard ‘decline with regret’ and ‘accept with pleasure’.

    The post racked up more than 1,000 comments with some hailing it as ‘sassy’ while others thought the couple had no right to be issuing such threats.

    Wedding invite
    (Picture: Reddit)

    A few people supported the couple’s decision saying: ‘Good for them. That’s why you RSVP.’

    Some people didn’t think of it as a bad thing, arguing that the bring-your-own service meant they could opt out of a gift.

    One wrote: ‘More comfortable chair, and your choice of sandwich? Sounds like a no brainer to me. And you wouldn’t have to give them a gift because you are saving them money. It’s a win win really.’

    In the same vein, another wrote: ‘Does that mean I don’t have to RSVP, and then I can bring a chair and a sandwich and not buy the bride and groom a gift cuz I’m broke (and cuz I’m not eating their expensive food)?’

    Of course, as with Reddit comments, some users had jokes.

    One person quipped: ‘Don’t RSVP and bring a La-Z-Boy chair and one of those extremely long subway sandwiches. Assert dominance.’

    Another had some more useful advice, telling couples to reveal the address only when they RSVP but give then an idea of whereabouts it would be held.

    A perfect solution.

    MORE: Bride refuses to provide ‘special food’ for vegan guests and says they can bring their own

    MORE: Two-page wedding invitation tells guests to eat beforehand as only cookies will be served

    MORE: Wedding guest shames ‘rude’ vegan who bought her own food to the ceremony


    Wedding couple tell guests to bring own sandwiches and chairWedding couple tell guests to bring own sandwiches and chair

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    An illustration of three pairs of blue eyes on a beige background with a white sperm-like liquid spot in the middle
    Do not aim for the eyes (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

    Sperm facials, otherwise known as when a man ejaculates on his sexual partner’s face, are difficult to perfect.

    Good aim is obviously key, but if it’s an unintentional orgasm or the other person isn’t prepared for the delivery, the sperm can end up in all kinds of places, including your very delicate eyes.

    Beyond being a painful and messy experience, a semen facial gone wrong can also lead to an infection or even an STD.

    If you’re currently reading this through a swollen eye full of cum, don’t panic – we’ve got you.

    What happens if you get sperm in your eye?

    Semen in itself is harmless but it contains components such as citric acid, fructose, zinc and enzymes that will irritate your sensitive eye tissue.

    The pain levels will vary from person to person, but expect some redness, stinging or burning sensations.

    Due to its gel-like consistency, the sperm may also feel as if it has placed itself like a film over your eye, blurring your vision.

    What to do when you get sperm in your eye

    Start by gently washing out your eyes with lukewarm water. You can also use saline solution if you have it handy.

    If the semen is in both eyes and you can’t see, ask your sexual partner for help finding the bathroom (accidentally walking into a wall will only make you feel worse).

    The important thing is to get the semen out of your eye(s), so take your time and as tempting as it may be, do not rub your eyes. 

    If you’re wearing contacts, remove them after you’ve cleaned your eyes as they can work as a protective layer.

    ‘As with any liquid splash to the eye, I would recommend to keep rinsing your eye with water for about 20 minutes,’ Dr Stephanie Ooi, a GP with special interest in women’s health from My Healthcare Clinic, tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘Once you have patted the eye dry with a face cloth, take a little time to see how you feel. If you feel further irritation then try rinsing again.

    ‘It’s probably best to avoid any makeup, wearing contact lenses or constantly rubbing or touching the eye until it feels better.’

    Bacteria within the sperm can cause conjunctivitis or a stye (inflammation of your eyelid), so if the pain and redness hasn’t disappeared within 24 hours – or gets worse – see a doctor or other medical health professional as soon as possible.

    If the symptoms aren’t that bad but you would like some pain relief, swing by your local pharmacy and get some eye drops.

    While it’s more unusual to contract STDs through the eye, it does happen. You could get herpes, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhoea, hepatitis B or C and HIV.

    After your eyes have improved, get tested. It’s recommended you wait three months to ensure the results are accurate – with one exception.

    If the ejaculating partner has HIV, see a doctor urgently.

    The risk of you contracting the virus through the eye is very low, but you can take post-exposure prophylaxis up to 72 hours afterwards to reduce the risk of it taking hold. However, there are no guarantees that the pill works.

    You can’t get pregnant by getting sperm in your eyes, but if you have had unprotected sex during or after the incident occurred, you may also want to get a pregnancy test.

    There is no shame in enjoying sperm facials, but play safe.

    To avoid future accidents, decide on an orgasm signal so you know when to expect the sperm or wear a blindfold to minimise the risk to your eyes.

    Alternatively, there are always other body parts to cum on…

    MORE: What happens to your penis as you age?

    MORE: Men warned not to rub toothpaste on their penis to last longer in bed

    MORE: How to tell the difference between a high sex drive and sex addiction


    What to do if you get sperm in your eye?What to do if you get sperm in your eye?

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     seaturtles with spikes in their mouth
    These are not teeth (Picture: Anatomika Science)

    We interrupt your day to bring you a haunting image of the mouth of a sea turtle.

    Yes, the picture looks like something straight out of Jaws but it is, in fact, the interior of the mouth of a turtle, a normally sweet and majestic creature.

    The spikes are not vicious fangs to terrorise their prey and rip them to shreds, they’re actually to stop them from releasing all their food.

    In fact, they’re not even teeth. The spikes, found in turtle species like leatherbacks, loggerheads, and green sea turtles, are called papillae.

    Artist and biologist Helen Kairo, who runs the Anatomika Science Instagram account and website, drew some illustrations to explain why they have them.

    She explains that they are anti-vomiting spikes.

    ‘Sea turtles swallow a lot of seawater while eating. As they eat, their stomach fills up with food and seawater.

    ‘They then vomit out all the water. The spikes trap food and keep it from coming out. It’s basically a reverse filter’.

    Close up of seaturtles mouth, showing spikes
    These spikes stop sea turtles from going hungry (Picture: Anatomika Science)

    But plastic ocean pollution is having a dangerous effect on these creatures, adds Helen.

    The natural spines in their mouth make it much harder for them when they ingest plastic as it often gets stuck.

    ‘This is why they have such a problem with plastic bags,’ she writes on Instagram. ‘It’s because the unique structure of their oesophagus makes it so that they can’t get rid of them.’

    Illustration of sea turtle with plastic bags in its mouth
    But the mouths mean plastic can’t get out (Picture: Anatomika Science)

    In other images she created, Helen shows other animals who have similar methods of expelling excess water.

    Fish for example, push out water from their gills and only swallow food.

    Whales use baleen – fringed plates hanging in their mouth that are used to strain seawater for food.

    Helen comments that these methods have worked pretty well, until now.

    That’s because the plastic gets trapped inside them and is unable to be pushed out as a result of the papillae, meaning they’re stuck there.

    These creatures then end up with the toxic chemicals in their guts.

    Which is why we need to be mindful of the problem with plastic as it can take as long as 600 years to biodegrade.

    Currently, there are five trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans. A plastic bag was found 36,000 feet below the surface, at the ocean’s deepest point, the Mariana Trench.

    That’s worrying for sea life, birds, animals, and humans.

    MORE: Diver’s video shows the horrifying amount of plastic in the sea

    MORE: Famous rescued sea cow dies from plastic pollution

    MORE: You can now get reusable cotton buds to help tackle plastic pollution


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    Harry Potter
    O.W.L.S are coming… (Picture: Warner Bros)

    Potterheads, we’ve got some exciting news for you: an Indian university is now offering disciples of J.K. Rowling’s fantasy epic the chance to study the magical world’s textbook laws.

    ‘An Interface Between Fantasy Fiction Literature and Law: Special Focus on Rowling’s Potterverse’ course, which launched in December 2018 at the National University of Juridical Sciences in Kolkata, is yet again calling on muggles to enroll to ‘encourage creative thinking’.

    What will you learn? The current curriculum asks senior students to apply both Indian and wizardry legal terms and principles to all sorts of fun topics such as ‘unforgivable curses’ – torture, murder, and possession of another person, along with the rules of Quidditch and the alleged murder of Sirius Black.

    In addition, the course explores all the ways in which the novel’s creatures – centaurs to elves and giants – are marginalized by mainstream society and how magical newspaper, The Daily Prophet, has become an outlet for official propaganda.

    Discrimination, torture and slavery often make headlines throughout India and it’s hoped that the Potter course will encourage students to think critically about wider Indian social problems.

    Professor Shouvik Kumar Guha, the absolute gem who put the course together told the Guardian:

    ‘I am trying to use something on which our students will not have any previous value judgments.

    ‘Our students believe the discrimination voiced in the Potter-verse is something they all agree is wrong. But in real life there will be things that some see as discrimination and which others do not.’

    Will you be the next big guy or gal at The Ministry? Who knows, but at least you’ll get to relive your childhood fantasies again.

    We’ll see you at Ollivander’s.

    MORE: Boots launches Harry Potter themed beauty advent calendar

    MORE: Harry Potter’s JK Rowling donates £15.3m to Edinburgh MS research centre named after her mother

    MORE: Enjoy Christmas dinner in the Hogwarts Great Hall this year


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    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Photofusion/REX (2280758a) Union disco, Freshers week, Hull University Youth
    Do we still need Fresher’s Week? Some students think we don’t. (Picture: Photofusion/REX)

    University data obtained by the ex-health minister Norman lamb reveals that UK students are having to wait up to 12 weeks to access mental health care, prompting fears that some may take their own lives during the delay.

    According to the statistics, undergrads at the Royal College of Music in London saw the longest waits, with some members of the student body having to wait 84 days to see someone.

    Commenting on the data, which was obtained based on responses to Freedom of Information requests, Sir Norman Lamb said such severe delays could prove fatal and seriously damaging for those suffering with anxiety and depression.

    ‘Twelve-week delays to start counselling are scandalous, particularly when we know that so many students are taking their own lives…That’s longer than a university term’, he said.

    ‘It’s extraordinary that some universities are subjecting students to such long waits and failing their student populations so badly.’

    On the responsibility universities have towards providing care for their students Lamb continued:

    ‘Universities with these long waiting times need to remember that students suffering from mental health conditions very often need help as a matter of real urgency. The risk is that their mental welfare will decline even further while they wait and wait for care and support.’

    The damning findings come as hundreds of thousands of young people prepare to start their degree courses up and down the country.

    With mental health firmly now in the public eye and despite the growing demand for care throughout the country’s academic institutions, one in four universities have cut or frozen their budgets for mental health, found Lamb’s data.

    Other institutions who didn’t fair well included Edinburgh Napier University (57 days) the Royal College of Art in London (56 days), Bournemouth University (44 days in the term until December 2018), and the University of Salford (42 days).

    The average delay time of 52 days was reported at the University of Bristol where 12 of its students have died of suicide or suspected suicide over the last three years alone.

    In response to Lamb’s findings, Tom Madders, campaigns director at the charity YoungMinds, said:

    ‘It is very worrying that there is considerable variation in the level of mental health support offered at universities around the country. Counselling for students should not be a postcode lottery.

    ‘Many young people start university expecting to have the time of their lives. But for some it can be a stressful experience: moving away from home, financial difficulties, problems with your course, making new friends and changes to your support network can all pile on the pressure.’

    Though damning, Lamb did find progress by some UK universities with many increasing the number of counselors they employ to combat wait times.

    Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jeff Blackler/REX (2303385aj) Royal College of Art Dyson Building, Battersea, London, England, Britain Various
    Student’s at London’s Royal College of Art wait 56 days to be seen by a mental health professional (Picture: Rex Features)

    Lamb’s data comes as a new report drafted by the Higher Education Policy Institute and Unite Students found that one in four UK students say they often, or always feel, lonely.

    The findings which argues loneliness is now ‘endemic’ among UK freshers reveals that first year undergrads who do experience loneliness are becoming increasingly more unsatisfied with uni life.

    In comparison to previous years, students are now less likely to go to a party, the SU or share a meal and admit that they feel that their ‘life is not worthwhile’ than their more social peers, the study found.

    In direct comparison to Sir Norman Lamb’s findings, the report also showed that the proportion of students who say they have a mental health condition has risen from 12% in 2016 to 17% this year – that’s more than a one in six rise.

    Of the 2,500 applicants and 2,500 first year students surveyed, less than a quarter admitted that they trusted their university to provide the adequate mental health care they sought.

    Making friends during Fresher’s Week also came under fire with current students admitting that they view university as a gradual transition into adult life, and argue there is no longer any need for hyped up ‘friends making’ activities like Fresher’s Week.

    Need support? Contact the Samaritans

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

    MORE: Budgeting and mental health among skills we wish we’d learned at school

    MORE: Should we ask our bosses for a mental health break every few months?


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    Sir Rod Stewart performs in Stockholm in 2019
    Sir Rod Stewart has revealed he is now in remission from prostate cancer (Picture: Rex Shutterstock)

    Sir Rod Stewart has urged all men to get regular check-ups as he opened up about his secret three-year battle with prostate cancer.

    The 74-year-old singer was diagnosed with the disease in February 2016 during a routine check-up, but he has been in remission since July.

    He detailed his health battle while at a fundraising event for Prostate Project in Surrey on Sunday, saying: ‘No-one knows this, but I thought this was about time I told everybody.

    ‘I’m in the clear, now, simply because I caught it early. I have so many tests.’

    So what are the symptoms of prostate cancer and how often should men get checked out? Here’s what you need to know…

    What are the symptoms of prostate cancer?

    Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK – and symptoms may not show themselves for many years as the disease develops slowly.

    The first symptoms may only present themselves when the prostate has become large enough to affect the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis.

    An image of a prostate cancer cell
    Prostate cancer is generally a slow-developing cancer which can show no symptoms for years (Picture: Getty Images)

    This can lead to a change in urination habits, with the following possible symptoms:

    • difficulty starting to urinate or emptying your bladder
    • a weak flow when you urinate
    • a feeling of your bladder not having emptied properly
    • dribbling urine after you finish
    • needing to urinate more often than usual, especially at night
    • a sudden need to urinate – you may sometimes leak urine before getting to the toilet.

    If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body the following symptoms may also be present:

    • back, hip or pelvic pain
    • unexplained weight loss
    • problems getting or keeping an erection
    • blood in urine or semen

    Having any of the above symptoms does not necessarily mean you have cancer, as they can all be caused by other health problems.

    Changes in urination habits can also be caused by an enlarged prostate, which is a common, non-cancerous condition.

    A surgeon treating prostate cancer
    Surgery to remove the prostate gland can be an option if the disease is more advanced (Picture: Alamy)

    However if you do experience any of the above it’s a good idea to get checked out with your GP.

    You’re more likely to get prostate cancer if you’re aged 50 or over, there is a history of it in your family (your father or brother has had it) or if you are of African-Caribbean descent.

    What is the test for prostate cancer?

    There is a specific test a GP can do to identify a prostate problem known as a PSA (prostate specific antigen) test.

    This is not routinely offered to men as it is not specific to prostate cancer – but men over 50 can request it from a GP.

    If someone has a raised PSA level they may be referred to a specialist for an MRI scan to help determine the cause.

    A GP may also ask for a urine sample or perform a digital rectal examination to check for any enlargement of the prostate.

    What is the treatment for prostate cancer?

    If the cancer is at an early stage and is not causing symptoms, the doctor may suggest no treatment other than active surveillance or ‘watchful waiting’ – as the disease usually progresses very slowly it’s possible to live with it for decades without needing further treatment.

    If the disease is diagnosed at a later stage treatment can include surgery to remove the prostate gland and radiotherapy.

    For more information visit Prostate Cancer UK or the NHS website.

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

    MORE: Bill Turnbull to try cannabis amid prostate cancer battle for new documentary


    Rod Stewart in concert, Globe Arena, Stockholm, Sweden - 16 May 2019Rod Stewart in concert, Globe Arena, Stockholm, Sweden - 16 May 2019

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    G-A-Y
    I was ready to sneak out and figure out if this was it; that I might definitely, wholeheartedly, completely, probably,100 per cent not be straight. (Picture: Edward Hirst/REX/Shutterstock)

    I remember so clearly the anticipation I had entering my first ever gay bar.

    I was 16. I was in my hometown of Bristol, fake ID readily purchased, outfit possibilities exhaustively tried out and a waterproof alibi practiced to deliver to my mother.

    I was ready to sneak out and figure out if this was it; that I might definitely, wholeheartedly, completely, probably, 100 per cent not be straight.

    Before that point I was almost positive but going to the OMG bar in Bristol on a Wednesday night felt like the last test. To seal the deal.

    I’m trying not to judge that feeling, rather acknowledge that for myself and many people, our first trip to an LGBTQ+ centred space is one we remember.

    The world – in this case my GCSE classroom – was and is painfully straight, grey, limiting and we build a fantasy of what could exist behind the colourful, rainbow plastered walls of our nearest gay venue.

    I’ve fallen in love, thrown up, danced too hard, worn dresses, tried on makeup, made best friends, lost some friends, grieved some friends, thrown up again – all between the walls of many queer clubs and bars.

    What I mean to say is that LGBTQ+ venues and clubs are part of my blood, my history, my present and I would undeniably be a different person without them.

    I have gone from being harassed on the street to the open arms of queer families in Dalston Superstore. I was given my first proper moment on a stage at the variety night Bar Wotever. I found home in black and brown queer communities on the dance floor of Pxssy Palace.

    I walked past the now closed down Black Cap this week. I thought about the campaign to save the RVT as I hear my friends trying to find space for their trans club night.

    I know these venues are disappearing and I know this affects our chances of finding home.

    Research from the UCL Urban Laboratory indicates that, since 2006, the number of venues in London has fallen from 125 to 53 – with some still at risk of closure – and that is not a statistic I want to increase.

    I’ve fallen in love, thrown up, danced too hard, worn dresses, tried on makeup, made best friends, lost some friends, grieved some friends, thrown up again – all between the walls of many Queer clubs and bars.

    It is why with the news of closures, I was particularly interested to collaborate with WhilsteDown products and BBC Radio 4 to create a documentary called ‘Going to the Gay Bar’, which asks the question ‘why are these venues closing and what are we doing about it?’

    I did not want to continue to walk past our venues with boards up, as hate crime only increases.

    But I wanted to understand what our relationship was to the venues we were losing and their history, to see what needs to change in order to have their future.

    In short, and unsurprisingly, it’s complicated. And I knew that before starting the documentary.

    Although I mention finding home within many LGBTQ+ spaces, there is also the disarming moment when you feel the opposite. We are used to the world outside being harsh to LGBTQ+ people.

    However, experiencing violence in spaces set up to support you, or advertised as supporting you, can often sting harder.

    I remember the first (and definitely not the last) time I experienced racism in the gay bar I was so excited to try in Bristol. Two people called me ‘hot for a black’ and I felt my tongue shrink and my shoulders tense.

    Or there was the time I comforted my friend as she was denied entry into a bar because she ‘did not look gay’ (in short: isn’t a white gay man) and my anger boiled hard for her.

    Or when my friends and I were denied entry for wearing heels. Just as the list of experiences of my joy in these venues could go on and on, unfortunately so could my experiences or knowledge of them feeling quite the opposite.

    Our community is complicated and so are the spaces that hold us.

    It’s why collectives centring marginalised voices like BBZ and PxSsy Palace remain so important and welcomed.

    Bars and clubs that take their queer politics to the dance floor like Transmissions, Dalston Superstore and Bar WOTEVER are needed more than ever.

    It’s why celebrations like Black Pride UK remain one of my favourite calendar events of the year.

    But we know this is not enough. Often these nights rely on the hard and unfunded and un-structurally supported labour of their organisers.

    They are not given permanent space or a home and are often pop ups as a result of the lack of support from the city.

    In doing the documentary I realised this problem is not a binary issue, or anything clear cut.

    Listening to the courageous and committed campaigners of Black Cap fighting to reopen a historic bar, or young queer kids living in rural England wanting a bar to pop up in their town, one thing was clear: It should be our choice as a community what happens to these venues.

    It should be up to us how they run and continue, not up to private companies, contractors, and property developers.

    The dialogue about an LGBTQ+ venue needing work to include all genders, races and accessibility is important and needed. As is the conversation to widen sober spaces for LGBT+ communities.

    I do not think losing these venues to more renovated flats, or straight bars in the meantime is the answer, however.

    I was reminded during this documentary just how complicated, diverse and nuanced our community is – but more importantly, of how rich the history of our fight and tenacity is.

    Clubs and bars have been the homes of protest, of political moments, of iconic performances, of finding love. And for me personally, in finding myself.

    All I know for certain is I do not want any more to close.

    Travis’ BBC Radio 4 documentary Going to the Gay Bar is available to listen to now.


    New LGBTQ+ nightclub LondonNew LGBTQ+ nightclub London

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    Swift in the window
    Swift sitting in the window (Picture: Dan Rowlands / SWNS.com)

    Debbie Nutchey was thrilled when she received a postcard from a stranger thanking her dog for making her smile.

    The card came from a woman named Rachel, who sees five-year-old Swift in the window of Debbie’s house every day.

    Debbie received the card along with a £10 gift card that read: ‘Please ask your human to buy you your favourite treats or a fab toy.’

    The Staffy cross started sitting on the back of a chair in the window of her home in Leeds, West Yorkshire, as she waited for her owner to come home from work.

    Now Debbie, 53, has stopped working but Swift still likes to perch on her dedicated spot.

    Swift sat by the window
    It’s her favourite spot (Picture: Dan Rowlands / SWNS.com)

    ‘Rachel could have been walking by here for years for all I know,’ said former laundry worker, Debbie.

    ‘Swift is always sat there, it’s her spot. She doesn’t bark or anything, she sits as still as a statue.

    ‘She is known round here for being there, some kids will wave as they go by and I have been stopped in the street before with somebody saying: “Is that the dog in the window?”

    ‘I would love to find Rachel to thank her.’

    Swift is a rescue dog that Debbie got almost six years ago, when the pup was just four months old.

    She loves nothing more than chasing rabbits on mammoth walks, but when she comes home, she will sit in her spot in the sunshine and watch the world go by.

    Debbie Nutchey and her dog Swift
    Debbie thought the letter was ‘amazing’ (Picture: Dan Rowlands / SWNS.com)

    Debbie said: ‘It started that she would sit at the window to look out for us whenever we went out of the house, but she now just likes to do it.’

    The card, posted on Tuesday, read: ‘To the doggy in the window, please ask your human to buy you your favourite treats or a fab toy.

    ‘Thank you for making me smile when I walk past. Love Rachel x.’

    Debbie, a mother of four, was very happy when she received the card.

    She said: ‘To say this has made my day is an understatement, what a lovely thing to do for somebody. It’s amazing.

    ‘I’m going to take Swift to the shop with me and let her choose something herself.

    ‘She is a wonderful dog who has got our family through loads of ups and downs. It’s great to see that she makes other people smile too.’

    Debbie’s daughter, Bethany, 20, shared the story on her Facebook page and it has had almost two thousand likes since.

    It attracted many comments with others posting pictures of their pets sat in windows.

    One person said: ‘I love this, we need more of it in this world.’

    Having seen the response on social media, kind-hearted Rachel reached out to Debbie again and said: ‘I walk past now and then and your dog always looks sooooo content and happy, especially if the sun is shining.

    ‘It always makes me happy to see her chilling out, living her best life, so I thought I’d do something to say thanks.’

    Just yet another reason why dogs are amazing.

    MORE: UK students are waiting up to three months for mental health care

    MORE: You can now study Harry Potter law at university

    MORE: Sea turtles have terrifying spikes in their mouths which make it hard to spit out plastic


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    toothrbush COVERED IN PLASTIC
    ‘Zero-waste’ toothbrushes sold on Amazon (Picture: Amazon/Joe Williams)

    The irony of eco-friendly products being delivered in wasteful packaging is lost on no one.

    Even a book about scrapping plastic arrives in unnecessary plastic, which can make buyers feel fed up.

    One man who purchased non-plastic toothbrushes was disappointed to find them wrapped in plastic. And to top if off, each brush was individually wrapped.

    Joe Williams bought bamboo brushes and was astonished to see the packaging.

    Writing on Facebook, the self-employed dad from Essex wrote ‘we can only try’.

    The pack-of-four is sold on Amazon where it’s advertised as being zero-waste and eco-friendly.

    But Joe’s delivery was plenty wasteful.

    Bamboo toothbrushes wrapped in plastic
    Oh the irony (Picture: Joe Williams)

    On the website, it describes the products as ‘Toothbrushes handcrafted from the finest Mao bamboo, which is natural, biodegradable and sustainable.

    ‘Once you’ve finished with your toothbrush, the PBT bristles are recyclable. The handle is reusable in arts and crafts, or use it to guide a young garden plant, or carve yourself some wood chopsticks!

    ‘You’ll get the same clean sensation you’d get from any plastic toothbrush without harming the environment!’

    So you can imagine Joe’s confusion at the whole thing.

    He told Metro.co.uk: ‘I actually laughed when they arrived, I had ordered a few things at the time and was expecting to feel a box in the packaging.

    ‘When I opened the packaging to find four loose toothbrushes wrapped in plastic I was unimpressed.

    ‘I had purposely spent longer ordering these particular toothbrushes as they were featured in a cardboard box on the amazon listing.’

    Joe added that he’d read the reviews beforehand and they’d mentioned cardboard packaging.

    He continued: ‘I had to check to make sure that I had ordered the correct ones. I’m not entirely sure what happened.

    ‘I tried doing my bit for the planet but can’t help but feel this was counterproductive.’

    Online, the item is listed as biodegradable, BPA free and ‘perfect for eco gifts for home and travel’.

    We’ve contacted Amazon asking for more details on the issue.

    MORE: Sea turtles have terrifying spikes in their mouths which make it hard to spit out plastic

    MORE: Mum slammed for buying 144 pre-pasted toothbrushes made of plastic for her kids

    MORE: Loli the dog fetches plastic rubbish from the beach to help her owners recycle it


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    Marilyn Monroe in a scene from Some Like It Hot
    Do you like it hot? (Picture: United Artists/Ashton)

    With London’s most well-heeled members of the fashion elite in town, a tribute to one of Hollywood’s famous starlets and fashion icons seems only natural.

    That’s right, Marilyn Monroe is once again being immortalised in the capital, and this time it’s all about her style.

    Outfits from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, There’s No Business Like Show Business, River of No Return and Some Like It Hot are set to go on display at the May Fair Hotel before going under the hammer at an auction.

    The exhibition is held in collaboration with Beverly Hills’ über-posh Julien’s Auctions, and will run from 24 September to 21 October.

    It will also feature dinner movie screenings and a bespoke collection of cocktails served in the hotel’s swanky bar, inspired by Marilyn’s films.

    Sip on the Lorelei Lee – a mash-up of Courvoisier, Moët & Chandon, Cabernet Sauvignon, a cherry reduction and champagne foam – or try the Victoria Hoffman, made with Roku gin, Yuzu, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, spiced honey syrup and egg whites.

    And yes, the tipples are very Insta-friendly.

    For those of you who fancy catching one of Marilyn’s films, the screenings will take place on 27 September (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), 11 October (There’s No Business Like Show Business), 15 October (River of No Return)  and on 18 October (Some Like It Hot).

    Tickets will set you back 20 quid, but if you want to go all out, you can see a movie, have a drink and scoff a load of small plates for £49.

    MORE: A champagne vomiting unicorn is coming to London, obviously

    MORE: An ultra cool exhibition is coming to Instagrammable restaurant Sketch this week

    MORE: Couple tell wedding guests to bring own sandwiches and chairs if they’re late

     


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    Illustration of couple lying in bed together, the woman's skin is pink and the man's is orange and the bed is blue
    Don’t be afraid to ask questions (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Many people, especially when they are younger, find it difficult to ask for help with a sexual health problem.

    It’s understandable to feel awkward as you explain to your doctor that your penis hurts because you rubbed toothpaste on it to make sex last longer or that your brilliant idea of putting garlic cloves inside your vagina to cure a yeast infection backfired (don’t – on both counts).

    Whether you want to ask a medical professional about unusual bleeding or pain after sex, are worried that you might have an STI or urgently need assistance with removing a light bulb from your rectum, rest assured that they have heard and seen it all before.

    So, you have a problem and you need help – but where should you go?

    What to do if you have unusual physical symptoms

    Is there a funky smell down there? Does it burn when you pee? Are your genitals itching so much it feels like they’re on fire?

    You probably know what we’re going to say: go and see your local GP. Most have drop-in hours every week dedicated to sexual health concerns, but it tends to get very busy so it is recommended to get there early.

    If you can’t wait for an appointment or the drop-in hours don’t suit your schedule, swing by a walk-in centre or sexual health clinic instead.

    As always, if you are seriously ill or injured, call 999 or go to the hospital straight away.

    What to do if you need to get an STI test

    If you have had unprotected sex – and it wasn’t with a trusted partner who you know is clean – get an STI test.

    Make an appointment at a sexual health or Genito-Urinary Medicine (GUM) clinic by calling ahead or go to a drop-in. If you don’t make an appointment you could be waiting for hours and it’s not guaranteed that you will be seen.

    Your visit is completely confidential, regardless of how old you are, and it’s free. You will be asked some basic questions, and the nurse or doctor will explain how the results will be sent to you (phone, text, mail). If the results are positive for an STI, you will be asked to come in for treatment.

    Some people feel ashamed or embarrassed to have contracted an STI – try not to. It is very common; 420,000 STI cases were diagnosed in 2017 alone, according to Public Health England, so you are most definitely not the first or only person to have gotten one.

    The most important thing is that you get tested, so that you can’t pass it on to other people and so that you get treatment.

    If you choose to visit your GP instead of a sexual health clinic, they may give you a self-test kit to take home and bring back at a later point for testing.

    You can also buy a self-test kit in the pharmacy or online, but the latter comes with risks. Always make sure that the kit is sealed when it arrives and that it has a CE quality assurance mark, before using it.

    What to do if you have an unwanted pregnancy

    One in three women will have an abortion in their lifetime – you are not alone.

    If you want to terminate your pregnancy or want to talk through your options before making a final decision, there are many services you can turn to.

    Some women find it easier to go to a clinic that deals specifically with abortions, as opposed to visiting their GP.

    When you contact an abortion provider such as the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) or Marie Stopes UK to make an appointment, they will ask you a few basic questions before referring you to a nearby clinic or booking you in directly, depending on what you prefer.

    You can also go to a contraception or family planning clinic, as well as a GUM clinic and ask for a referral to abortion services.

    Having an abortion can be tough on both the body and the mind, which is why after the termination you will be offered counselling options by service you have chosen.

    The people who work in these clinics have been trained to deal with these situations and will approach you without judgement, but if at any point you feel uncomfortable you can ask for another doctor, nurse or medical professional to help you.

    Abortions in the UK are free with the exception of private services, where a termination can cost several hundred pounds (or more).

    What to do if you just want to talk to someone

    Sexual health and GUM clinics are great at tackling all and any conversations around sexual health, including questions about contraception and STIs but also general advice and information about sex.

    There are male and female-specific clinics, as well as a ones that welcome all genders.

    You can ask your GP for help too, but if you’re after a quick chat, you may find it more useful to turn to a clinic.

    There is also a wealth of information online, but if it’s medical advice you’re after, stick to trusted sources.

    Alternatively, if it’s not a medical concern, consider if there is someone in your life that you trust enough to ask for advice – a family member or a close friend.

    MORE: What to do if you get sperm in your eyes

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    MORE: I’m a sexual health nurse and want you to stop apologising for your pubic hair


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    Campus cats are a thing and students absolutely love them.

    Our feline friends have been loitering around university quarters around the world and the latest campus superstar is Professor Doerack.

    The adorable tomcat, of Maine Coone and Persian mix, isn’t actually a teacher but is now officially a student at the University of Groningen, Netherlands (and has his own ID card).

    Eight-year-old Professor Doerak is looked after by former students of the university Sandra and Ekko Ros who live nearby.

    The fluffy kitty regularly roams around the square, delighting students who are not allowed to keep their own pets on campus.

    He likes to stroll in and out of different classes but hasn’t committed to a major yet (sounds familiar).

    Professor Doerak had a mate that would join him on the academic adventures but sadly Mickey passed away.

    But it’s okay, the grieving process was helped by all the staff and students who gave him a cuddle.

    On average, Professor Doerak gets 150 hugs a day from them. Lucky cat.

    Cat with ID card on a lanyard
    Of course, his ID card has a cute selfie. (Picture: Ekko Ros)

    In an interview with the esteemed professor (yes, we interviewed him) he (OK… his owners) told Metro.co.uk about his uni habits.

    He said: ‘I like all students and professors because they are so nice to me. I consider them petting experts and really enjoy their affection.

    ‘I do have a slight preference for female students (sorry guys). I might be neutered, but I still am a casanova!

    Cat smiling
    Smizing. (Picture: Ekko Ros)

    ‘Besides professors and students, there is one group of people who are my favourite. That’s the cleaning crew at the Harmony Building. They have been giving me cuddles from day one.

    ‘They always work really really hard but don’t mind cleaning up the hairs I leave behind. I love them!’

    Sometimes, the lessons make him fall asleep but his classmates don’t mind him snoozing.

    White cat sleeping
    He sleeps 15 hours a day. (sounds like a any other student)

    His owners Sandra and Ekko have even curated an Instagram detailing his best life and have written a book inspired by him.

    As part of their research, the married couple also reached out to other universities with their own campus cats.

    Campus cats are the focus of the text and the married couple has contacted others like Professor Doerak for research.

    They explained to Metro.co.uk: ‘There are more than 10.000 universities worldwide, but only a handful campus cats.

    ‘It takes a special mix of personality traits to become a campus cat: adventurous, curious, easygoing, relaxed and being affectionate.

    Cat in university class
    Don’t think he’s done the background reading. (Picture: Ekko Ros)

    ‘In total, we feature 20 campus cats in our e-book because they are most present on social media.

    ‘Universities seem to be very aware of the fact that they have something special at their university and that’s why they were all so helpful in creating the book.’

    You can purchase the e-book, named Our Campus, Their World on Amazon now. A second edition is hoped to be published in December 2019.

    MORE: Meet Rolf, the Warwick University campus cat in line for an honorary degree

    MORE: Six women tell us how having a cat improves their mental health

    MORE: Students leave notes around campus begging people to stop feeding their university cat


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