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

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    Macmillan cancer support are ranking cakes ahead of their coffee morning fundraiser
    Do you agree? (Picture: Macmillan Cancer Support/Getty)

    We should know by this stage that ranking any type of food is going to cause controversy.

    People were outraged by recent rankings of biscuits, crisps and British cuisine.

    And now cancer charity Macmillan has ranked types of cake.

    In aid of the annual Coffee Morning fundraiser taking place on 27 September, they’ve rated 20 cakes from legend tier to soggy bottom tier.

    At the top is the red velvet, Victoria sponge, Jaffa cake, lemon cheesecake and Colin the Caterpillar.

    The next level – top tier – includes Battenberg, coffee and walnut, cherry and almond bake, carrot cake and Black Forest gateau.

    Mid-tier is a chocolate cake, panettone, banana bread, Basbousa and particularly controversially, they’ve included the savoury fish cake. Is it really fair to compare a savoury patty with a slice of sweet cake?

    And the final soggy bottom tier includes raspberry cake, school dinner cake, pear and ginger cake, rocky road and sticky toffee pudding.

    The tweet had hundreds of comments, with some disagreeing about the rankings and others asking why their favourite had been left out altogether.

    Cathy commented: ‘Where’s the lemon drizzle?!’

    And of course, the old Jaffa Cake debate kicked off with people arguing whether it’s a cake or a biscuit.

    One said: ‘I think we’ve long accepted that Jaffa Cakes are biscuits. Or cakes. Or maybe both.’

    The fish cake was the most controversial inclusion but it might have drummed up some support for the charity.

    Elena said: ‘Ok just donated only to get fish cake the hell outta there.’

    But Steph had perhaps the most valid point: ‘Every cake is legendary tier, cake is cake and cake is delicious.’


    Cake rankingCake ranking

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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
    Hit your G-spot and your daily fitness target. Win-win (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    To be clear – sex is not about burning calories. It should be about fun, pleasure and intimacy.

    But, any vigorous activity that makes you break a sweat counts as cardio. Which includes sex. Good sex at any rate.

    If you’re time-poor and want to find ways to sneak some extra fitness into your weekly routine, why not try one of these positions next time you’re getting busy? They could help you hit your G-spot and your daily fitness target. Win-win.

    Emma Sayle, founder and CEO of Killing Kittens worked with Clementina De Gregorio, Triple Threat Trainer at 1Rebel to pull together a comprehensive sexercise guide with a different position for every day of the week. Ambitious.

    ‘Exercise releases endorphins, which puts you in a state where you feel good about yourself,’ explains Emma. ‘If you are in that headspace then you’re much more likely to have more confidence to fully let yourself go and have endless fun with your partner, in the moment.’

    Monday: Crouching cowgirl

    Think about holding a squat and pulsing in the gym for 30 minutes – technically that is what you are replicating here.

    It’s so good for sculpting the legs and booty, guys you get to take a back seat on this one and enjoy.

    Men: Muscles worked – core

    Women: Muscles worked – quads, glutes, hamstrings, core, lower back, calves

    Tuesday: Reverse piggyback

    This requires strength and balance, and you will feel like you’ve had a full-body workout. Definitely one to try if you haven’t made it to the gym that day.

    Ladies, support your man by working your inner thigh strength and wrapping your legs tight around his waist.

    Men: Muscles worked – full body

    Women: Muscles worked – full body

    Wednesday: Standing splits

    This position requires a lot of effort from both parties – strong form and posture from the man is particularly important here to stay standing.

    It will help to build stamina and endurance, pretty much hitting every muscle in the body at some point.

    Ladies, you can test your flexibility here by lifting your leg over your man’s shoulder. Others who are not so flexible can lift the leg, knee bent and have your man stabilise you. Great for balance and stability.

    Men: Muscles worked – full body

    Women: Muscles worked – full body

    Thursday: Lotus

    You’re going to create a lot of heat once in this position, this is a good one to work on rhythm, and getting in sync with your partner.

    Ladies think of the inner thigh strength gains to be had from this position.

    Men: Muscles worked – core

    Women: Muscles worked – core, glutes, inner thighs

    Sex and dating illustration
    Lots of positions work your core and thigh strength (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Friday: Shoulder stand

    This is one for the Yogis, great for core stability and increasing flexibility.

    Men: Muscles worked – arms, abs, lower back, glutes

    Women: Muscles worked – shoulders, upper and lower back, core, hamstrings

    Saturday: Crabwalk cowgirl

    Again another position where the ladies will be getting the greatest gains, quads glutes and core feeling it the most but getting to use the arms behind for some support.

    Men: Muscles worked – core

    Women: Muscles worked – core, quads, glutes and arms

    Sunday: Missionary plank

    Another position where the men will get the most gains.

    Great for core strength and you can expect to feel some serious shoulder burn too. Ladies lift your hips and squeeze your butt for an added glute workout here.

    Men: Muscles worked – arms, shoulders, chest, abs, lower back

    Women: Muscles worked – glutes and abs

    MORE: Jessica Ennis-Hill shares her top tips on how to keep exercising through Autumn

    MORE: The fitness industry is overwhelmingly white – and that needs to change

    MORE: What’s the best fitness equipment to use at your desk?


    sex-illo-1-0119-0814sex-illo-1-0119-0814

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    Molly-Mae pictured in her new PLT line alongside the note scaring customers
    PLT has faced backlash this week over its warning (Picture: PLT)

    If you were horrified by PrettyLittleThing’s warning of cancer and birth defects on their products which went viral this week, then don’t worry, there’s a reason for it.

    The fashion brand was criticised by shoppers online after one person tweeted them.

    The label read: ‘WARNING: Some Products on our online store from time to time may contain chemicals that are known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm and may be included on the Proposition 65 chemical list.’

    Other brands such as ASOS and Fashion Nova as well as PLT’s sister brand Boohoo also have a similar note on their U.S sites.

    So what does Proposition 65 mean?

    This statement written on the fashion items complies with California’s Proposition 65 which requires businesses to provide warnings to Californians about significant exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

    According to Cancer.org, California’s Proposition 65, also called the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act first became law in the state in 1986

    All companies trading in California have to include this label on their products or risk being sued.

    Stores, restaurants, hotel rooms and even car parks in the state have this warning in clear view at times.

    Tweet of a person calling out Pretty Little Thing after the online fashion retailer warned their products could kill.
    Horrified shoppers hit out at PrettyLittleThing after the online fashion retailer warned their products could kill (Picture: Twitter/PLT)

    What do cancer warnings mean for British shoppers?

    Under Proposition 65, there are more than 900 naturally occurring and synthetic chemicals and the list is always changing.

    These chemicals or ingredients are typically found in pesticides, common household products, food, drugs, dyes or solvents.

    Fashion brands may contain them in the dyes used. Using these items doesn’t mean that you’re at a significantly higher risk of having health problems but that even with the lowest possible chances, brands are required to mention it.

    The warning is there for American shoppers who may buy from the British site. In the UK no such law has the same requirement.

    How to find out more about what’s in an item

    Cancer.org encourages finding the name of the manufacturer by checking the package and any written information that comes with the product.

    The contact information is often on or in the package as well, but if it isn’t, you can look it up online by searching the manufacturer’s name.

    Contact the manufacturer to find out what potentially hazardous substance(s) the product contains. You might also want to ask what part of the product it’s in.

    You can ask them how a person might be exposed to the chemicals of concern from this product.

    Some common exposure routes include inhalation, contact with food, transfer to food or drink from unwashed hands, or a baby or child putting the product in his or her mouth.

    Find out what the manufacturer knows about the hazards of the chemicals in the product. Do the risks include cancer, reproductive harm, or both?

    Ask the manufacturer if there are ways to reduce any risk of exposure to the hazardous substance while using the product.

    What did PrettyLittleThing say about the backlash?

    The retailer mentioned some of the points made above, releasing a statement which read: ‘This [label]  is in compliance with California’s Proposition 65.

    ‘It is a legal requirement for all e-commerce sites that sell to the state of California. The list contains a wide range of chemicals that can be found in common household products, food, drugs, dyes, plastics etc.’

    MORE: Girl opens PrettyLittleThing order only for live spiders to crawl out

    MORE: Love Island’s Molly-Mae Hague lands Times Square billboard thanks to £500k PrettyLittleThing deal

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


    Pretty Little Thing products could killPretty Little Thing products could kill

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    Savannah with the donated breast milk
    Savannah with the donated breast milk (Picture: SWNS)

    When Marcy Morgan had to take medication for an eye condition she was devasted because it meant she would have to stop breastfeeding her five-month-old daughter.

    But luckily friends stepped in and donated an amazing 200 bags of their own breast milk.

    The mother-of-three posted a plea on Facebook asking if anyone could donate any surplus breast milk.

    Marcy, of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, USA, wrote: ‘I am looking for any of you who might have an oversupply of frozen breast milk or know of someone trustworthy who has extra milk.

    ‘I know I can go for donor milk but I would feel so much more comfortable if I knew the mom who produced it.’

    She added: ‘Her getting breast milk is so important to me.

    ‘It’s all I know.

    ‘I’m so heartbroken that I have to stop nursing her.

    ‘Between all three of my kids, I can say I’ve breastfed for 35 months and it’s something I’m so proud of.’

    Marcy's appeal on Facebook for breast milk
    Marcy’s appeal on Facebook (Picture: Marcy Morgan /SWNS.COM)

    But five friends Jill Eggert, 28, DeAnne Green, 27, Lavonne Burgess, 25, Megan Samland, 26, and Jordan Stockwell, 30, stepped in to offer their own milk for her baby Savannah.

    Later Brittney McCarthy, 27, also pitched in and donated a whopping 500 ounces.

    Marcy knew Brittany, a hairstylist, Megan, a nurse, Jill, a dance studio owner, and DeAnne, a jeweller, from high school.

    She knew Lavonne, a makeup distributor, through mutual friends and Jordan was a nurse at Marcy’s children’s pediatric clinic.

    Marcy said: ‘I was overwhelmed that these women I had gone to school with came through for me.

    (Standing L-R) Jill Eggert,28, DeAnne Green,27, Lavonne Burgess,25, Brittney McCarthy,27. (Sitting L-R) Megan Samland,26, Marcy Morgan holding Savannah, and Jordan Stockwell,30.
    (Standing L-R) Jill Eggert,28, DeAnne Green,27, Lavonne Burgess,25, Brittney McCarthy,27. (Sitting L-R) Megan Samland,26, Marcy Morgan holding Savannah, and Jordan Stockwell, 30 (Picture: Marcy Morgan /SWNS.COM)

    ‘Some of them I hadn’t talked to for a while, it was amazing.

    ‘Jill delivered the first batch, she bought bags upon bags to my car.

    ‘I was floored by how much milk these moms gave me.’

    Marcy started to experience blurred vision soon after giving birth to Savannah.

    ‘I thought it was just hormones after the pregnancy and the delivery,’ she said.

    ‘But it got worse. It felt like I was looking out of a glass bubble.

    ‘When I was driving, straight lines appeared curved.’

    She visited an ophthalmologist who informed her that a blood vessel was growing near the macular at the back of her left eye.

    She needed an injection to stop it growing and affecting her vision even more but the medication meant she couldn’t breastfeed for six months and she thought she was going to have to switch to formula.

    ‘I broke down, I was devastated,” Marcy said.

    ‘I remember sitting in my living room and writing out a Facebook status.

    Baby Savannah surrounded by the donated milk
    Baby Savannah surrounded by the donated milk (Picture: Marcy Morgan /SWNS.COM)

    ‘I reached out to my friends and said that if they had any extra breast milk, I would gladly take it off their hands.

    ‘I knew that formula was an option but breast milk is best for the first six months of life.

    ‘My other two children had breast milk for at least six months and I wanted to give Savannah the same thing.’

    The donations mean Marcy will be able to keep giving Savannah breast milk while she was taking the medication as she had around 1500 ounces.

    She said: ‘I breastfed my eldest for 17 months and my second daughter for 14 months.

    ‘I planned to do the same with Savannah.

    ‘I am very passionate about breastfeeding.

    Matthew Morgan, 32, Gracelynn Morgan,6, Kennedy Morgan,3, and Marcy Morgan holding baby Savannah
    Matthew Morgan, 32, Gracelynn Morgan,6, Kennedy Morgan,3, and Marcy Morgan holding baby Savannah (Picture: Marcy Morgan /SWNS.COM)

    ‘I just know that breast milk is the best thing I can give my baby because my body made it.

    ‘It also creates a bond you can’t really describe.’

    DeAnne, one of the women who donated, confessed that her heart “ached” when she read Marcy’s Facebook plea.

    She said: ‘In today’s society, mothers are under so much pressure to be the ‘perfect mom’.

    ‘I am so proud of Marcy that she reached out and asked for help and was so vulnerable.

    ‘My heart absolutely ached for her.’

    DeAnne admitted she did hesitate about donating her milk but soon thought of little Savannah.

    She said: ‘I thought: ‘what if I get sick or I lose my supply?’

    ‘I would need that frozen ‘liquid gold’.

    Picking up the breast milk
    Picking up the milk (Picture: Marcy Morgan /SWNS.COM)

    ‘But if I was in Marcy’s situation, I would want nothing more than to know that my baby was getting safe milk from a loving mother who I actually know.’

    Brittney also said she felt compelled to donate when she read Marcy’s emotional Facebook post.

    She said: ‘I saw Marcy’s post and decided it was time to donate.

    ‘I gathered it all up and realized I had over 500 ounces.

    ‘I can’t even count the amount of time pumping that took to accumulate.

    ‘Because it is a lot of work and because it’s something so priceless, I had a hard time letting it go.

    ‘It wasn’t easy for me. It was emotional.

    ‘When she came to pick it up, Savannah was sleeping peacefully in the back of her car and I was loading it into coolers.

    ‘Seeing a baby that you get to help is indescribable.’

    MORE: What does PrettyLittleThing’s cancer and birth defect warning mean?

    MORE: Types of cakes are being ranked and people are outraged that fish cakes have been included


    Breast milk donationBreast milk donation

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    Sarah Hickson truth the power cafe and theatre event
    Inspired by the concept of speaking truth to power and the Nobel prize winning poet and playwright Harold Pinter, the show offers people of all ages and backgrounds a platform to tell their story (Picture: Sarah Hickson)

    ‘Who has power over you and what do you want to say to them?’

    The question Jeremy Goldstein asks the participants of his internationally acclaimed Truth to Power Café sounds relatively straightforward, at first listen.

    But the answers to the question couldn’t be more varied, colourful, heart-wrenching and eye-opening: Whether it’s social constructs, HIV, government austerity, the fashion industry, or the French school system, the answers to the question always hit the core of humanity and all of what is going on in the world.

    Truth to Power Café is a unique theatre show touring the UK this fall and winter, with its London premiere on 20 October. The production aims to empower marginalised communities and their allies and offer them a voice – by making them the main performers in the show.

    Goldstein has been touring the UK, Australia, Croatia and The Netherlands with his show since 2016. It consists of poetry, memoir, music and – at its core – ten participants answering the question posed by Jeremy: ‘Who has power over you and what do you want to say to them?’

    One of them is Regina, from Leeuwarden, who answers the question: ‘My son Jim was my soulmate, but he died when he was 19. The greatest gift he gave me is the power to be me’.

    Another is Otto, from Canterbury, whose answer is: ‘I am Down’s Syndrome and I prowl like a lion. I speak up for people with disabilities. Don’t hide in the shadows.’

    Colourful, heart-wrenching and eye-opening: The speeches of the participants tackle different subjects and are open to anyone. (Image: Jerome Whittingham)
    Colourful, heart-wrenching and eye-opening: The speeches of the participants tackle different subjects and are open to anyone (Picture: Jerome Whittingham)

    To date, more than 200 people have delivered moving speeches at the performances, with participants including holocaust survivors, immigrants, and people coming out in front of their family about their sexuality for the first time.

    ‘It’s so important for people to be able to tell their stories,’ says Jeremy Goldstein a few weeks ahead of his London premiere. ‘Especially when coming from marginalised communities that don’t often get a platform because of the political situation that is silencing them.’

    The concept of the show is based on speaking truth to power, which was a mainstay of the civil rights and Vietnam anti-war movements. Many grassroots movements like #MeToo, #MarriageEquality and #BlackLivesMatter are based around the same concept.

    ‘To be able to stand up and share your story when you’re living on the fringes of society is something that is unbelievably valuable and that so many people can learn from,’ Goldstein says.

    The idea for his show came to Jeremy after the death of his father, Mick Goldstein, in 2013. His father was part of the Hackney Gang and close friends with Nobel prize winning writer and playwright Harold Pinter, but Jeremy didn’t learn the details of their relationship until after his death. Before that, Jeremy and his father had an estranged relationship.

    After his death, letters between Jeremy’s father and Harold Pinter surfaced and were acquired by the British library.

    Jeremy says: ‘I went to the library and started reading these letters, and it was like I met him as he was as a young man, a completely different person. I saw him full of so much promise and hope and fear, and that’s when I found this love and empathy for him which I had never experienced before.’

    Reading his father’s letters and learning more about the philosophical and political beliefs of his and the Hackney Gang is what led Jeremy to start working on the show.

    He tells us: ‘After coming across the letters, it all happened organically. Over a course of two or three years. I came up with the question “Who has power over you and what would you like to say to them”, and it all developed from there.’

    The show evolved organically after Jeremy Goldstein discovered letters between his deceased father and Nobel prize winner Harold Pinter. The letters are now on public record as part of the Harold Pinter archive at the British Library in London. (Image credit: Dylan Evans)
    The show evolved organically after Jeremy Goldstein discovered letters between his deceased father and Nobel prize winner Harold Pinter. The letters are now on public record as part of the Harold Pinter archive at the British Library in London (Picture: Dylan Evans)

    The play is an homage to his father Mick Goldstein, the Hackney Gang and Harold Pinter, Goldstein says. “Harold Pinter’s plays were all about power and occupation, and now we’re inviting the disempowered and their allies to take part in this piece. In a way, they are metaphors for Pinter’s characters.”

    Poetry by one of the Hackney Gang’s original members Henry Woolf was added in 2017, and the whole show was developed with director Jen Heyes while Goldstein spent six months in the hospital for a bone marrow transplant.

    Jeremy tells us: I took the alone time to write the show from my lived experience, and I actually felt really inspired.’

    Being able to play their London premiere at Conway Hall as part of Bloomsbury Festival in October is something that fills Goldstein with gratitude and excitement.

    ‘Getting to do the show in Conway Hall feels very site-specific and emotional as it’s the building where my dad and the Hackney gang hung out in the 1950s,’ he says.

    The tickets for the London event are completely free but require booking.

    sarah hickson photo of truth to power cafe featuring jeremy goldstein
    This project has been my journey from self-loathing to self-love” – Jeremy Goldstein performs Henry Woolf’s poem ‘Spider Love’ as part of the show. (Picture: Sarah Hickson)

    After their London show, Truth to Power Café will embark on a world tour, with stops in Australia and US, making it ‘a global platform for speaking truth to power’.

    ‘This project has been my journey from self-loathing to self-love,’ says Jeremy. ‘It allowed me to repair the relationship with my father, and it gave me the freedom to be myself.’

    Goldstein hopes that this experience is something that his participants can share – and that their stories can help them to connect to the world around them.

    The next Truth to Power Café shows will take place in Leeds, Cambridge, Halifax, Rochdale and London.

    MORE: Rat who made brilliant paintings with his feet has died

    MORE: Artist makes elaborate contraptions with pasta then smashes them all up

    MORE: Artist sets up passport photoshoot with hilarious unseen background details


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    Trans Pride 2019
    The trans community is riddled with trauma due to the discrimination and abuse we face, and this can mean we often take our frustration and anger out on each other (Picture: Guy Smallman/Getty Images)

    According to who you speak to, popular YouTuber and trans woman Natalie Wynn has now been ‘cancelled’. But was this strong reaction the best way to address what she said?

    The backlash against Wynn came after she made comments about ‘pronoun circles’ (when people go round introducing themselves by name and pronoun). Much of the criticism she received was valid – pronoun circles are crucial for those who struggle to have their pronouns respected, and many felt she overlooked this. But I don’t necessarily think canceling her outright is the answer.

    The term ‘cancelling’ is used when fans turn on and then shun a celebrity for being unjust, bigoted or just plain ridiculous.

    Being cancelled can have a hugely negative impact on people and create real rifts within communities. In Wynn’s case, the backlash led to her deleting her Twitter account. Her grievances were certainly poorly worded, and she should have been more sensitive. However, when we immediately denounce someone as cancelled, it leaves no room for honest, meaningful discourse.

    The trans community is riddled with trauma due to the discrimination and abuse we face, and this can mean we often take our frustration and anger out on each other. This comes out in aggressive and abusive communication, people exercising their power over each other by yelling ‘cancel!’ or an opportunity to showcase perceived intellectual superiority.

    This is cancel culture at its most toxic. If we, as a community that often faces severe levels of abuse from wider society, are also cancelling each other when conflict arises, our progress and mental well-being will inevitably continue to suffer.

    Criticism, particularly online, can easily become abuse. I think that anyone that has put their head above the parapet can testify to this. Things can quite easily be misconstrued or taken out of context online, and before you know it something you said has misunderstood and twisted.

    While it’s important to remain critical and call out injustice where we see it, we have to be mindful of each other’s boundaries, and where our communication stops being assertive and honest, and just becomes toxic.

    An important part of growing as a community is to be able to have difficult conversations.

    That isn’t to say that people should be able to say whatever they want – sometimes people are just being absolute pr**ks. There are definitely trans people out there that say really awful and prejudiced things. That should always be addressed and never tolerated.

    An important part of growing as a community is to be able to have difficult conversations. We should be able to hold each other accountable and be assertive in our criticism towards each other.

    This means challenging things we don’t agree with by ‘calling in’ instead of ‘calling out’ as well as being open to being challenged for saying things that can have negative consequences for others, and not dismiss it as pointless drama and sensitivity.

    We need to have space to be angry, to be assertive, just as much as we need space to reflect on how we might have done or said something wrong or hurtful, and acknowledge that others might experience certain things differently than we do.

    What we cannot do is let conflict result in abuse or toxic cancelling, otherwise disenfranchised and marginalised communities aren’t creating spaces where we can all learn and grow together, but rather even more spaces where we constantly feel on guard, tense and unsafe.

    Personally, I quite enjoy Wynn’s videos and even often feel envious of the platform she holds. She engages with topics from many different sides, even sides that she vehemently disagrees with, by embodying different characters.

    This has opened her up to praise as well as criticism. I far from 100 per cent agree with her on everything but I do believe she holds a platform that can be used for good. Cancelling her would be counter-productive.

    It’s time to cancel toxic cancel culture and the way it is mercilessly used to hurl abuse at one another within marginalised communities. If we are to move forward as a community, we need to find better ways of communicating with each other, so that we can hold each other accountable, be assertive, be angry, be upset – but also be caring and mindful of each other.

    We need to be mindful of where we are all coming from, because not everyone has the same access to the same level of in-depth discussions, the same access to education, and everyone has their own individual experience.

    That’s the only way we can truly build a diverse, inclusive and intersectional movement. Otherwise we simply end up perpetuating and enforcing the same systems of abuse that keep us all marginalised and disenfranchised.

    MORE: I embraced minimalism and now all my belongings fit into one suitcase

    MORE: Gender reveal parties are outdated and ignore the complexity of gender

    MORE: Unless you understand what it is to be trans you’ve no right to question my existence


    London Trans Pride 2019London Trans Pride 2019

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    Spending illustrations Money spending cash wallet man broke quid pound pounds rich control lifestyle skint Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk
    Start saving now (Picture: Ella Byworth)

    Now it’s less than 100 days until Christmas, it’s officially time to start thinking about all the money you’re about to spend.

    If you don’t fancy obliterating your savings or going into your overdraft, it’s wise to start saving a special pot for the purposes of Christmas shopping and socialising.

    If you start right now, you could have £600 saved in time for the big day.

    Actually, you can wait a little longer if you’re the procrastinating type, as this plan saves you £600 for Christmas if you start on 1 October.

    It’s a simple strategy: At the start of each week, move £50 over to your savings.

    From 1 October there are still 12 weeks until Christmas Day, so by ensuring you save £50 a week from now ’til then, you can rack up £600 in time for last-minute shopping (or to protect your wallet on New Year’s Eve).

    If £50 sounds tricky, break it down into £10 for every weekday. Let’s say you ditch your morning coffee and start bringing in lunches from home from now until Christmas, and put away all the money you save from doing that.

    For anyone who wants to aim a little lower, try saving £30 a week – or £4.30 a day – from 1 October ’til Christmas. That’ll get you £364.

    Now, if you want to berate yourself for not starting earlier (sounds fun), it’s worth noting that if you had started saving back in January you’d have to save money in much smaller increments. Shocker.

    The people over at NimbleFins put together a report to show that if you start by saving just £10 a week in January, you’ll have £511 by Christmas. If you start off the year by saving £20 a week, you’d have £1,023 to spend on all those presents.

    The later you start, the more you’ll have to save to get a decent Christmas cushion… as you’d expect. If you put off tweaking your budget until November, you’ll need to save £66 a week to get near that £600 Christmas target.

    That goal might seem steep, but according to research it’s a pretty good figure to aim for.

    A survey from Halifax found that the average UK household spends £735 in total on Christmas expenses, including gifts, meals, and decorations.

    NimbleFins also put together some tips for saving cash in time for the festive season, which you can take a gander at below.

    Three tips for saving money for Christmas:

    Create a plan: It’s easy to just make it up as you go along, but to make sure you don’t get into debt it’s worth spending some time jotting down ideas and a budget for everyone on your gift list.

    Set a spending limit: As well as deciding on budgets for individual gifts, work out a total amount you can comfortably spend on Christmas. You really do need to have that number in mind when shopping. If you are doing any Christmas shopping on a credit card, only spend what you can afford to immediately pay off in full.

    Open a dedicated savings account: This is one that’s worth doing next year, as a way to make sure you don’t fritter away money and end up short when Christmas rolls back around.

    Erin Yurday, CEO of consumer research site NimbleFins, said: ‘Christmas is hailed as the most exciting time of the year, but for many the holidays can be stressful because of the overwhelming costs of buying gifts, food, drinks, decorations, etc. for friends and family.

    ‘One of the simplest ways to avoid going into debt for Christmas is saving money throughout the year.

    ‘While it’s certainly easier to cover your Christmas budget when you start saving early in the year, even those who actively put money aside each week from 1 October can still build up a nice pot of money ready to help with Christmas expenses.’

    Best of luck for the spending season.

    MORE: Using loyalty cards and taking lunch to work among signs you’ve reached ‘financial maturity’

    MORE: How I Save: The 40-year-old business consultant in Croydon with £143,000 saved

    MORE: People share what makes them feel like a proper adult


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    jack skellington frappuccino
    It’s spooky season (Picture: kelsalyn/Instagram)

    Autumn might mean the start of basic bitch season, but it’s also the time to get spooky.

    For all those who prefer Halloween to Christmas (or who wish to have their Halloween on Christmas), there’s a seasonal drink to rival the ubiquitous Pumpkin Spice Latte.

    Behold the Jack Skellington Frappuccino, and the complementing Sally version.

    As with the Cinderella Latte and the violet drink before them, Jack and Sally Frappuccinos aren’t official Starbucks menu items.

    Instead, they’re fan-created options that have swiftly popped up all over the internet thanks to a catchy name and appealing visuals.

    To order one, you’ll need to get detailed. You can’t just ask for a ‘Jack’ and expect your barista to know what you’re on about.

    So, how do you order one?

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B21N7G6AuSf/

    Let’s start with the Jack Skellington Frap. This one has all the pumpkin and spice you’d expect from an autumnal drink, but with a boost of chocolate.

    You simply need to ask for a Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino with a shot of Chai Syrup and a short of espresso, then ask for mocha drizzle in the cup. Ask for the drink to be topped with whipped cream and java chips, and voila – you’ve got your Jack Skellington frappuccino.

    Does it look obviously like Jack Skellington? Not at all. It’s just a nice brown drink. But it’s got pumpkin flavours and darkness, so that’s how it links to The Nightmare Before Christmas.

    If you’re more of a Sally than a Jack, never fear, for there’s an option for you.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BSV5dqng3UI/

    The Sally Frap is more of a sweet treat, combining caramel with matcha and strawberries. If that sounds sickly, you may want to skip this drink.

    Ask for a Frappuccino with a caramel drizzle in the cup, filled with a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with matcha powder. Ask for it to be topped with whipped cream, strawberry puree, and strawberries (most Starbucks will have little freeze-dried pieces).

    Whichever one you choose, do make sure to snap a pic. If you don’t Instagram your Starbucks order, did it really happen?

    MORE: How to save £600 for your Christmas shopping

    MORE: Cancel culture can be toxic in the trans community

    MORE: Truth to Power Café offers a voice to marginalised communities


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    Husband and wife team Jason & Claire Grant have converted a former horsebox into a mobile grilled cheese toastie stall
    Husband and wife Jason and Claire Grant have converted a former horsebox into a mobile grilled cheese toastie stall (Picture: BPM Media)

    If you love cheese toasties and eating out of quirky establishments then good news, there’s a food truck that lets you do both.

    GG’s Nosh Box – a horsebox transformed into a sandwich truck – is hoping to make a name for itself with its offerings of gourmet sarnies.

    You can expect to eat off the horse-inspired menu which includes Last Fence (tomato and mozzarella), Bucking Bronco (chorizo, salami and mozzarella), and One Trick Pony (cheese and ham).

    And now you can hire it for your wedding, parties, festivals and literally anywhere that can host a semi-large truck.

    The former horsebox, made in the 1960s, has been transformed by chef Jason Grant, who’s been in the catering industry for 25 years.

    Now Jason and his family, from Stoke-on-Trent, are dedicated to feeding the people out of the mobile kitchen.

    He’s even managed to get his teenage daughters involved in the venture.

    Man and woman wearing horse mask
    Not alarming at all (Picture: BPM Media)

    Jason, who will be tending to the business on weekends, said: ‘I am such an outgoing person and this will enable me to be on the front-line with the most important people, the paying public, instead of being stuck in the kitchen all day.

    ‘Most chefs hide away. But I like to get involved. I like to be seen.

    ‘This has always been a dream of mine and it is a bit different than a normal burger van.’

    To fund that dream, the entire family chipped in, paying £6,000 to buy the box and another £6,000 to get it up to standard.

    The man behind the venture - Jason Grant
    The man behind the venture – Jason Grant (Picture: BPM Media)

    Jason added: ‘We decided on toasties as there are so many different flavours people can choose. It is something different instead of burgers and hot dogs

    ‘This will be part-time to begin with but hopefully, it will take off and I can do it full-time.’

    If you want to support an independent business or just really like horses, you can hire GG’s Nosh Box by ringing Jason on 07825 321366.

    MORE: New York’s favourite food truck The Halal Guys is now available on Uber Eats

    AD FEATURE: How one family-run dog food brand is leading the pack in a packaging revolution

    MORE: You can get free beer for helping to tackle food poverty


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    Archie in the dungarees and the image from the H&M website
    Archie in the dungarees and the image from the H&M website (Picture: Pool image/H&M)

    Baby Archie isn’t even five months old and he’s already got style.

    The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have taken Archie on tour with them in South Africa and during a meeting with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the baby wore a pair of striped dungarees.

    The outfit was from H&M and cost just £12.99, and it looks like it’s just been restocked in all sizes.

    The organic cotton dungarees are part of the H&M’s Conscious range and they come with straps across the back and decorative buttons.

    Under the dungarees, he wore a plain top and he wore ribbed baby socks in ecru, by French fashion house for children and babies Bonpoint. The socks cost £13 a pair and are still available online.

    Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, holding their son Archie, meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa, September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool
    The Sussexes with Archbishop Desmond Tutu (Picture: Reuters)

    Followers of the duchess’s fashion at Mad About Meghan wrote on their blog: ‘I think the little man has his mother’s eyes, otherwise he reminds me very much of a young Harry.’

    It’s not the first time Meghan has shown that she’s a fan of high-street brand H&M. In January, she wore a £25 maternity dress from the store.

    On this trip, she went for a matching blue and white outfit featuring a £232 silk Dremah dress by Club Monaco.

    The dress, which is described by the brand as ‘Easy, breezy. A blue brushstroke pattern gives a flowing dress a distinctly spring-like feel’, is also sold out online in all sizes.

    Harry opted for a smart navy suit with white shirt and navy tie.

    MORE: How to save £600 for your Christmas shopping

    MORE: Mum who had to give up breastfeeding to save her sight receives 200 bags of donated breast milk


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    METRO GRAB - with permission Wedding photos crashed by black bear https://www.facebook.com/gypsysoulknoxvilletennessee/ Picture: GypsySoul Photography & Salon
    Can you see him? (Picture: GypsySoul Photography & Salon)

    We do enjoy stories of animals photobombing at couples’ wedding days.

    But we’d far prefer a cute little raccoon, deer, or dog to an animal that could potentially tear us to shreds. Getting mauled would put a bit of a dampener on an occassion.

    Thankfully one couple’s surprise bear only wanted to intrude in the photos, and left without doing any harm to the bride, groom, or the cake.

    Corey Brewer and Sarina Thompson were posing for photos right after tying the knot in the Great Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg when photographer Leah McMahon spotted an uninvited guest: a wild black bear wandering into the wooded area.

    METRO GRAB - with permission Wedding photos crashed by black bear https://www.facebook.com/gypsysoulknoxvilletennessee/ Picture: GypsySoul Photography & Salon
    The bear even walked down the aisle (Picture: GypsySoul Photography & Salon)

    The bear decided to make its way down the aisle, clearly unbothered by the risk of upstaging the bride.

    METRO GRAB - with permission Wedding photos crashed by black bear https://www.facebook.com/gypsysoulknoxvilletennessee/ Picture: GypsySoul Photography & Salon
    Leah managed to snap some photos of the moment (Picture: GypsySoul Photography & Salon)

    Photographer Leah told Fox News: ‘Being scared didn’t cross my mind, I just wanted the shot.

    ‘However, when I stood up, he made a ‘huffing’ sound at me and started toward me. At this point, I am beyond scared.’

    METRO GRAB - with permission Wedding photos crashed by black bear https://www.facebook.com/gypsysoulknoxvilletennessee/ Picture: GypsySoul Photography & Salon
    Eventually the bear was satisfied with his wedding crashing and headed back into the woods (Picture: GypsySoul Photography & Salon)

    After the bride and groom retreated to a safer distance, the bear eventually left of its own accord, but Leah managed to snap some photos of the memorable moment.

    Perhaps the guest misheard the call for the ringbearer.

    Leah shared the photos on Facebook, where they received hundreds of shares and comments – mostly from people admiring the photographer’s bravery.

    May we all be blessed with a photographer who’d face down a bear to get the perfect shot.

    MORE: Woman falls in love with DJ who played at her wedding

    MORE: Bride-to-be horrified when Facebook troll sends her fiancé pictures of her wearing wedding dress

    MORE: Couples are paying £50K for wedding photoshoots even though they’re not married


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    Two boys drinking milk
    Kids under five get offered free cow’s milk (Picture: Getty)

    Parents of vegan kids and those who are allergic to dairy are criticising a scheme that gives out free cow’s milk to under fives.

    Children in approved daycare get a third of a pint of milk a day under the government initiative that dates back to the 1940s.

    The idea is to give kids a nutritional boost but most nurseries and schools only provide cow’s milk for free, meaning children who drink plant-based milks are left out.

    According to the Vegan Society website, parents have been submitting their opinions and the group has now sent a letter to the Department of Health to ask them to ensure alternative milks are included in the scheme.

    They point out plant milks are fortified with calcium and UK’s Eatwell Guide recognises that fortified plant milks represent a valuable alternative to cows’ milk.

    Testimonies from parents published on their website explained why it was an issue.

    One parent in Whitstable, Kent said: ‘My daughter started school last September.

    ‘She doesn’t drink cow milk and no other alternative was offered so I had to buy oat milk every week and send it in with her.

    ‘Obviously (due to having to remember at least 340 things each morning) I forgot some weeks… So she was given water, which made her unhappy and made me feel guilty.

    ‘It is absolutely ridiculous there isn’t a dairy-free option.’

    Another in Suffolk added: ‘My daughter had cows milk allergy and started reception class in September.

    ‘All reception age children are given carton of cow’s milk and snack at break time. They couldn’t provide her with milk alternative.’

    Dr Jeanette Rowley, The Vegan Society’s legal advisor, said: ‘Law regulating the provision of milk for young children is in urgent need of reform to recognise current scientific evidence on nutrition and a growing consumer trend away from dairy products.

    ‘Public authorities are under a general duty under the Equality Act 2010 to avoid discrimination; by limiting the Nursery Milk Scheme only to cow’s milk, the Department of Health are failing in that duty.

    ‘We are urging the government to include fortified plant milk in its milk schemes nationwide, to ensure vegan children are catered for with a nutritionally adequate and delicious milk alternative.’

    The Department of Health has been contacted for comment and we will update this article if they respond.

    MORE: Black bear photobombs couple’s wedding pictures

    MORE: Baby Archie wears £12.99 H&M dungarees on tour with dad Prince Harry and mum Meghan Markle


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    Airbnb trip to Antarctica
    This could be you (Picture: Airbnb)

    You could be off on a free trip to Antartica with Airbnb.

    The company is sending five people to the world’s most remote continent on a climate research exhibition.

    The chosen few will travel with scientist Kirstie Jones-Williams to collect snow samples and study the impact of microplastics on the environment.

    Before you set off on the expedition, the group will spend two weeks in Chile training and preparing for the harsh climate.

    From there, they’ll head to Antarctica, where they will help with research, ride snowmobiles and have the chance to visit the South Pole.

    In the final week, they will return to Chile to spend a few days processing the findings.

    Airbnb trip to Antarctica Picture: Airbnb
    You’ll collect snow samples and carry out research (Picture: Airbnb)

    If it sounds like something you would be interested in, you have until 8 October to apply. You just need to explain in under 500 words why you want to travel to Antarctica and what excites you about the expedition.

    You don’t have to have a scientific background but should be passionate about the environment. You also need to be able to carry out physical tasks.

    The trip, which will take place from 18 November until 16 December, is a joint project with the Ocean Conservancy – a group working to protect the world’s oceans.

    Airbnb said: ‘As a Citizen Scientist, you’ll have the opportunity to contribute to real scientific research on the impact humans have on the environment.

    ‘These findings could help change public policy surrounding how we use plastic and how to properly dispose of it.

    ‘If it’s a success, this expedition could lead to more studies on how to better protect this unique ecosystem and our planet as a whole.’

    MORE: Vegan campaigners say nurseries are discriminating against kids with dairy-free diet by only offering free cow’s milk

    MORE: Black bear photobombs couple’s wedding pictures


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    The hottest fitness trends for 2020 Getty/Metro.co.uk
    Some of the hottest fitness trend for next year (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

    It’s National Fitness Day which means we’ve got workouts on the brain.

    This year’s big hitters have included HIIT classes, cult spinning sessions and a move towards conscious movement – but what will next year’s fitness calendar have in store for us?

    We asked the experts at ClassPass to predict the hottest fitness trends for 2020 – so you can get a headstart and book in some classes.

    Have a read to see what’s going to popular and to give you some inspiration to mix up your fitness regime.

    Workouts for the soul will go mainstream

    ClassPass predicts a rise in workouts which put mindfulness and mental health at the forefront – not only thinking about exercise during the class but the before and after as well.

    A group meditation session
    Meditation and mindfulness are on the up (Picture: Another Space)

    More studios are now prioritising spiritual wellbeing and ways we can nurture the soul and 2020 will be no different, with studios expanding their offering beyond traditional exercise to therapies like cryotherapy, meditation, breathing, massages and flotation tanks.

    Here’s to more ‘wellness washing!’

    Variety is king 

    As boutique studios continue to boom across the UK and are no longer just an exclusive London offering, we will see more and more consumers seeking variety to keep them motivated in their fitness and wellness regimes.

    Consumers are looking for a diverse selection of ways to use their precious ‘me time’ to nurture their bodies and soul, and fitness memberships that offer access to this variety are helping to connect consumers with this quest for choice.

    Runners sprinting on a treadmill
    Mix it up with HIIT, yoga and spinning all in one week (Picture: Sweat It)

    Fitness lovers are going to be looking for ways to put HIIT, cycling, swimming, dance, yoga, wellness, meditation, cryotherapy and floatation tanks all into their regular fitness routine.

    Group workouts replacing happy hour 

    How we exercise will continue to change, and 2020 will bring a surge in group sweat classes.

    The way we socialise with friends and spend time with work colleagues will change, as we begin to see workouts replacing happy hour and team lunches being replaced with team outings to a spin or trampoline class.

    Working out increases team bonding, productivity and improves culture and we’re seeing studios embrace this trend – with group sweat classes such as The Foundry and Sweat It, where you collectively train and burn off calories as a group.

    Going to classes with your friends or colleagues is a great way to develop friendships too and also reduces some of the self-consciousness and anxiety of exercising alone in a room full of strangers.

    Hybrid yoga

    2020 will see a change in how we practice yoga.

    Over the years we’ve had goat yoga, bunny yoga and even alpaca yoga – and while we won’t be seeing anymore animals (sad times), we will be seeing more ways you can combine the exercise with other practices.

    people doing a plank
    Yoga with added oomph (Picture: Frame)

    Yoga HIIT is the perfectly balanced class of hardworking stretches with sharp bursts of intensity, which ensures you’re using all of your muscles and leaving the room dripping in sweat and buzzing with endorphins.

    Snooze time 

    Something that we’re expecting to see more recognition of in 2020 is needing more shut-eye.

    We all know that sleep deprivation can impact you at work, your physical appearance and your mental health, and we’re seeing a big focus on studios looking at ways to address this as part of a holistic wellness solution.

    There is a rise in technical equipment that can help combat this lack of sleep, as well as offerings by studios like The Fore – who have a dedicated sleep space for post-workout R&R, and Pop N Rest’s sleep pods for you to take time out and say goodnight… on your lunch break.

    Work hard, play hard

    Increasingly, next year will see people using their gyms and studios as a hub for socialising, chilling out, meditating – or even working.

    Studios like The Fore offer a co-working space for anyone to use, so you can essentially have your whole life’s needs in one place. Take a class in the morning, shower, grab your oat milk lattes or smoothies and crack on with the day’s tasks with no minutes lost.

    Frame and Another Space are both implementing ways they can cater to all needs, with the use of cafes and chill-out zones, which are enjoyable spaces for those to hang out after their workouts.

    MORE: Jessica Ennis-Hill shares her top tips on how to keep exercising through Autumn

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    MORE: The fitness industry is overwhelmingly white – and that needs to change


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    Illustration of couple kissing in front of Christmas tree
    If this was you on Christmas, then there’s a small chance you made a baby (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk)

    It’s no secret that there are loads of hook-ups during Christmas – there’s the office party, lots of gifts to get you in the mood, and just a feeling of joy in the air.

    Naturally, all that makes people horny.

    So anyone who got lucky over the festive period (or unlucky, depending on your life circumstances) might’ve got pregnant.

    And now we’re exactly nine months since last Christmas which means lots and lots of babies will soon be born. In fact, they’ll be born on 26 September, a whole 2,000 of them.

    Data analysed from the Office for National Statistics revealed that September sees a huge boom in baby births, meaning they were conceived around Christmas/Boxing Day.

    In case you have any heavily pregnant friends or family, gift company Thortful.com has even come up with very specific greeting cards to mark the occasion.

    You can get new mums and dads cards that say ‘happy 26th of September birthday’ for their newborn or plenty of other jokes about getting randy on Christmas.

    According to the ONS, 26 September was the most popular day to be born over the last two decades, which falls 39 weeks and two days after Christmas day.

    Eight of the top 10 dates of birth were towards the end of September – with the other two being early October.

    The ONS predicts that this increase in births could be partly due to couples planning to have children at the start of the school year.

    Interestingly, the least popular day for giving birth was 25 and 26 December, with 1,400 births occurring on each.

    Although the ONS results are from 2015 (but the popularity of September has endured throughout the years), the number of babies being born in total is consistently decreasing.

    Figures from August 2019 show that there were 657,076 live births in England and Wales in 2018, a decrease of 3.2% since 2017 and a 9.9% decrease since the most recent peak in 2012.

    card saying 'i guess the chistmas presents weren't the only thing unwrapped that year'
    One of the cards available at Thortful.com (Picture: Thortful.com)

    Making the most of the celebration, the folks at Thortful.com have plenty of cards you can choose from.

    Andy Pearce co-founder of Thortful.com said: ‘This data would appear to suggest that the UK had a very merry Christmas indeed last year!.

    ‘At Thortful we celebrate all birthdays and are delighted to offer unique cards to those celebrating the most popular UK birthday!’

    You can see the birthday card range on the Thortful.com website.

    MORE: These were the most popular baby names of 2018

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

    MORE: Baby Archie wears £12.99 H&M dungarees on tour with dad Prince Harry and mum Meghan Markle


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    GV of 93 Douglas Road, Acocks Green, Birmingham, which is coming up for auction with a guide price of just £1
    Fancy owning this house for £1? (Picture: SDL Auctions / SWNS)

    Fancy fulfilling your dream of owning a property, without having to scrimp and save for the next decade?

    You might be interested in a three-bedroom house in Acocks Green, Birmingham, that’s on sale for just £1.

    The house, sat at 93 Douglas Road, looks pretty lovely from the outside, but there’s a catch. You can’t just get your dream home for a quid without some caveats.

    Take a peek inside and you’ll see why it’s going on auction at such a cheap starting price.

    GV of 93 Douglas Road, Acocks Green, Birmingham, which is coming up for auction with a guide price of just ?1. See SWNS story SWMDhouse. On the ground floor, the property has a hallway and kitchen, plus two reception rooms, both with impressive fireplaces which appear to be later additions installed in the 1930s. The front room has a large bay window, while the rear reception room has French windows leading out into the garden. Upstairs there are three bedrooms ? two with original cast iron fireplaces ? and a bathroom. Outside there is a small yard at the front and a good-sized ? albeit overgrown ? rear garden. Douglas Road is within walking distance of a good range of shops and amenities, including Acocks Green Railway Station, which runs three trains per hour into Birmingham. It is six miles from the city centre and the same distance in the other direction to Birmingham International Airport.
    The property has some lovely 1930s fireplaces (Picture: SDL Auctions / SWNS)
    GV of 93 Douglas Road, Acocks Green, Birmingham, which is coming up for auction with a guide price of just ?1. See SWNS story SWMDhouse. On the ground floor, the property has a hallway and kitchen, plus two reception rooms, both with impressive fireplaces which appear to be later additions installed in the 1930s. The front room has a large bay window, while the rear reception room has French windows leading out into the garden. Upstairs there are three bedrooms ? two with original cast iron fireplaces ? and a bathroom. Outside there is a small yard at the front and a good-sized ? albeit overgrown ? rear garden. Douglas Road is within walking distance of a good range of shops and amenities, including Acocks Green Railway Station, which runs three trains per hour into Birmingham. It is six miles from the city centre and the same distance in the other direction to Birmingham International Airport.
    Just ignore the general wreckage and it’s quite a nice property (Picture: SDL Auctions / SWNS)

    The house has been left looking more than a little shabby, with piles of rubble in the living room, a broken toilet, torn up floorboards and a smashed up kitchen.

    So it’s probably only the house for you if you’re up for a big renovation project.

    If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, the house is a good deal – it has a lot of potential.

    GV of 93 Douglas Road, Acocks Green, Birmingham, which is coming up for auction with a guide price of just ?1. See SWNS story SWMDhouse. On the ground floor, the property has a hallway and kitchen, plus two reception rooms, both with impressive fireplaces which appear to be later additions installed in the 1930s. The front room has a large bay window, while the rear reception room has French windows leading out into the garden. Upstairs there are three bedrooms ? two with original cast iron fireplaces ? and a bathroom. Outside there is a small yard at the front and a good-sized ? albeit overgrown ? rear garden. Douglas Road is within walking distance of a good range of shops and amenities, including Acocks Green Railway Station, which runs three trains per hour into Birmingham. It is six miles from the city centre and the same distance in the other direction to Birmingham International Airport.
    Picture this with new wallpaper and without the pile of rubble (Picture: SDL Auctions / SWNS)
    GV of 93 Douglas Road, Acocks Green, Birmingham, which is coming up for auction with a guide price of just ?1. See SWNS story SWMDhouse. On the ground floor, the property has a hallway and kitchen, plus two reception rooms, both with impressive fireplaces which appear to be later additions installed in the 1930s. The front room has a large bay window, while the rear reception room has French windows leading out into the garden. Upstairs there are three bedrooms ? two with original cast iron fireplaces ? and a bathroom. Outside there is a small yard at the front and a good-sized ? albeit overgrown ? rear garden. Douglas Road is within walking distance of a good range of shops and amenities, including Acocks Green Railway Station, which runs three trains per hour into Birmingham. It is six miles from the city centre and the same distance in the other direction to Birmingham International Airport.
    Yes, the bathroom does need some work (Picture: SDL Auctions / SWNS)
    GV of 93 Douglas Road, Acocks Green, Birmingham, which is coming up for auction with a guide price of just ?1. See SWNS story SWMDhouse. On the ground floor, the property has a hallway and kitchen, plus two reception rooms, both with impressive fireplaces which appear to be later additions installed in the 1930s. The front room has a large bay window, while the rear reception room has French windows leading out into the garden. Upstairs there are three bedrooms ? two with original cast iron fireplaces ? and a bathroom. Outside there is a small yard at the front and a good-sized ? albeit overgrown ? rear garden. Douglas Road is within walking distance of a good range of shops and amenities, including Acocks Green Railway Station, which runs three trains per hour into Birmingham. It is six miles from the city centre and the same distance in the other direction to Birmingham International Airport.
    That’s nothing a trip to Ikea can’t sort out… right? (Picture: SDL Auctions / SWNS)

    The average property price on the same road is more than £200,000, so you’d be getting a decent location for a bargain price.

    The street has shops and close links to a railway station and is just six miles from the centre of Birmingham.

    The house has three bedrooms, two with original cast iron fireplaces, and one bathroom.

    On the ground floor you’ll find the hallway, a kitchen, and two reception rooms.

    GV of 93 Douglas Road, Acocks Green, Birmingham, which is coming up for auction with a guide price of just ?1. See SWNS story SWMDhouse. On the ground floor, the property has a hallway and kitchen, plus two reception rooms, both with impressive fireplaces which appear to be later additions installed in the 1930s. The front room has a large bay window, while the rear reception room has French windows leading out into the garden. Upstairs there are three bedrooms ? two with original cast iron fireplaces ? and a bathroom. Outside there is a small yard at the front and a good-sized ? albeit overgrown ? rear garden. Douglas Road is within walking distance of a good range of shops and amenities, including Acocks Green Railway Station, which runs three trains per hour into Birmingham. It is six miles from the city centre and the same distance in the other direction to Birmingham International Airport.
    The house is going up for auction with a starting price of £1 (Picture: SDL Auctions / SWNS)
    GV of 93 Douglas Road, Acocks Green, Birmingham, which is coming up for auction with a guide price of just ?1. See SWNS story SWMDhouse. On the ground floor, the property has a hallway and kitchen, plus two reception rooms, both with impressive fireplaces which appear to be later additions installed in the 1930s. The front room has a large bay window, while the rear reception room has French windows leading out into the garden. Upstairs there are three bedrooms ? two with original cast iron fireplaces ? and a bathroom. Outside there is a small yard at the front and a good-sized ? albeit overgrown ? rear garden. Douglas Road is within walking distance of a good range of shops and amenities, including Acocks Green Railway Station, which runs three trains per hour into Birmingham. It is six miles from the city centre and the same distance in the other direction to Birmingham International Airport.
    If you’re willing to put in the work, it could be the perfect chance to buy your first property (Picture: SDL Auctions / SWNS)

    Outside there’s a small front garden and a larger back garden.

    You’ll need to use your imagination to see how lovely the home could be. Try picturing the interiors without all the smashed sinks and stained walls.

    If you’re excited by the prospect of a major DIY project, you’ll need to get involved in the auction.

    GV of 93 Douglas Road, Acocks Green, Birmingham, which is coming up for auction with a guide price of just ?1. See SWNS story SWMDhouse. On the ground floor, the property has a hallway and kitchen, plus two reception rooms, both with impressive fireplaces which appear to be later additions installed in the 1930s. The front room has a large bay window, while the rear reception room has French windows leading out into the garden. Upstairs there are three bedrooms ? two with original cast iron fireplaces ? and a bathroom. Outside there is a small yard at the front and a good-sized ? albeit overgrown ? rear garden. Douglas Road is within walking distance of a good range of shops and amenities, including Acocks Green Railway Station, which runs three trains per hour into Birmingham. It is six miles from the city centre and the same distance in the other direction to Birmingham International Airport.
    There’s a back garden! (Picture: SDL Auctions / SWNS)

    The terraced house is being auctioned for £1 by SDL Auctions at Villa Park, Birmingham, on Tuesday 29 October.

    Valuer Neal Hume said: ‘This property may be a ghost of its former self but any serious investor will have the vision to see beyond the disrepair and imagine the possibilities.

    ‘It’s actually a really lovely house with some attractive features such as original fireplaces and picture rails.

    ‘With good-sized rooms, an upstairs bathroom and a garden, all the main ingredients are there and I’m sure there are many investors who won’t be able to resist the opportunity to perform a spectacular transformation on the property.’

    MORE: September 26 is the most popular day in the year to have a baby, nine months after Christmas

    MORE: This is how much rent you will pay before you get on the property ladder

    MORE: This 18th century property seen in Holby City and Midsomer Murders is on the market for £1.67 million


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    Blue domed churches at sunset, Oia, Santorini
    This could be all over your Instagram (Picture: Getty)

    We love travelling, we love Instagram and, of course, we love freebies.

    When we heard that a luxury travel company is offering all three – a once-in-a-lifetime paid trip to Greece – we thought ‘where do we sign up?’.

    Such is the offering of Unforgettable Greece, which is asking Instagrammers if they want to be paid for doing what they love already – travelling.

    The brand wants one person to handle their social media account and take enviable snaps on a nine-day trip.

    Once selected, the lucky person gets to stay in some top-notch hotels and go on excellent excursions. Oh, and you get to bring a friend.

    That’s all while being paid £500.

    Now, you’ve seen all the shots of the stunning ivory houses and blue top domes of Santorini as well as the clearest waters of Mykonos on Instagram, so you know what’s at stake here.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B2WqvWRnaIM/

    Unforgettable Greece is making it extremely easy for you to enter (which sadly means that more people are probably going to be in the running).

    But who wouldn’t want to travel for free and get paid to see a private guided tour of the Acropolis, a jeep safari tour of best beaches in Mykonos, and a sunset sailing trip in Santorini?

    It also includes a home-hosted cooking class in Crete.

    We know you’re in already but in case you needed a bit more convincing, the company is also letting you borrow a free Samsung S10 to take photos.

    So don’t worry if your own phone isn’t up to scratch or you’re too embarrassed to bring out a cracked screen.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B21RwcXHJ6J/

    All you have to do is upload your best travel shot on your Insta (which has to be set to public) and then tag @unforgettablegreece.

    Instagram is already awash with stunning travel pics but the company wants someone with an extra passion for travel and photography.

    Unforgettable Greece explained that they want someone ‘who knows how to capture eye-catching Instagram shots and isn’t afraid to throw themselves into different activities and new environments’.

    If that sounds like you then get uploading before 15 November (until 11:59 pm). The competition is global and open to anyone over the age of 18.

    Now get clicking.

    MORE: You can now get paid to defend people against online trolls

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    Blue domed churches at sunset, Oia, SantoriniBlue domed churches at sunset, Oia, Santorini

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    How I Save: Sally
    Lianne is a 28-year-old account manager living in London (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

    In our weekly series, How I Save, we usually learn from the scrimping of experienced savers.

    Or we’re reminded that the key to saving money seems to be, well, earning a lot of money.

    This week’s edition is a little different, in that it’s a lesson in what not to do.

    We really appreciate Lianne being completely honest about the reality of her spending (on the condition of anonymity, so Lianne isn’t her real name), but it’s important to note that alongside the usual not-so-responsible purchases of takeaway coffees and croissants, she also spaffs quite a bit of her income on cocaine.

    As cocaine is illegal and possession can land you seven years in prison, that’s not an approach to budgeting we can recommend.

    So, as you read through this week’s diary of spending and saving, remember that even if Lianne has got more money saved than you do, she’s not exactly a shining example to follow. Don’t worry, we checked she was okay with us saying that.

    On we go.

    How Lianne saves:

    I’m a 28 year-old account manager living in London and earning £55,000 a year.

    In my savings account right now I have £7,860.

    I’ve saved this much money by getting money from my grandparents. I’m notoriously bad at saving because I spend money the second I have it in my account. But once a year my grandparents give me a cheque for £1,000 that I just put in a separate account and try to forget about. I do end up dipping in there when I go into my overdraft, but try to replace the money I take from there the next payday.

    I don’t know what I’m saving for. I’ve given up on being able to buy a house and honestly I don’t care about owning anymore. I know it’s supposed to be important but I could end up moving to Dubai or Australia anyway, so it’s better to not be tied down.

    I’d like to have some money saved for security. If I lost my job suddenly I want enough money to live on while I sort out a new job, or say if I needed to suddenly buy a new laptop or TV, I’d like to be able to do that without panicking.

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for three years now, too, so I imagine one day we’ll need money for a wedding.

    The main way I save is trying to move £1,000 over to my savings account each month, then taking it back into my current account if I end up needing it. I always do.

    I struggle with saving because I’m impulsive and I’d rather spend and have fun now than save for the future. If I see I have money in my account I just want to spend it all.

    Spending illustrations
    Lianne is a self-proclaimed impulsive spender (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    How Lianne spends:

    Monthly expenses:

    • £850 for rent and bills into a joint account with my boyfriend
    • £70 for phone contract
    • £69 gym

    A week of spending:

    Monday: I bike to work so no money spent on travel, then pick up a flat white once I’ve chained up my bike. That costs £2.50.

    I’ve brought in leftover spag bol for lunch and on the way home I get the basics for a week of shopping, £44. I drop everything home then go to the gym for a quick workout.

    Tuesday: Uber in because I overslept and can’t be bothered to cycle – £17. I grab lunch from Pret for £4.25.

    I’m meeting uni friends for drinks so I pick up 5g of coke for £250 beforehand. I don’t do this every week, just if I know I’m going out or I’m feeling stressed. If I do pick up, I get more than I’ll need because I hate meeting dealers and would rather just do it in one go.

    I don’t keep track of my drinks and we do rounds, but looking at my online banking I can see two payments for £6, one for £23, and one for £17.

    Wednesday: Cycle in, grab a croissant and a flat white (£4.20). For lunch I grab another Pret sandwich, £4.25. I grab a £9 bottle of wine for my me and my boyfriend to share after work, plus some fresh pasta and sauce (£3.15). We were meant to make a casserole thing so that I could have it for lunch but I’m feeling lazy.

    Thursday: Bike in, flat white (£2.50). Everyone’s doing a night out post-work and I look like shit, so I do a quick shopping trip at lunch to get a new outfit. I find a dress for 20% at Whistles, so that’s £119.20.

    Lunch is a sandwich, £3.59.

    I take it pretty easy money-wise at drinks, just getting a few wines – my online banking says three goes of £6. I do some lines which means I don’t need as many drinks to be on form.

    Friday: Feeling rough so I take in an Uber (£16.80) then grab a croissant and a flat white (£4.20). Lunchtime I get a £10 deal for burger, drink, and chips. Dinner I successfully make from that weekly shop, so no extra money spent there.

    Saturday: We go for brunch, split down the middle so £14.29 each. Heading to a farmers market costs £1.50 on the bus, then I get a nice candle for £8 and some bread for £2. We have that casserole I was meant to make earlier in the week, watch a film at home, and go to sleep.

    Sunday: Whole day spent at home grazing on stuff left in the fridge, so only thing spent is £48 on a weekly shop (including cleaning stuff and toiletries).

    Total spent this week: £638.43

    How Lianne could save:

    We spoke to the experts over at money tracking app Cleo to find out how Lianne can save better (and what we can learn from her spending).

    Note: the advice featured is specific to one individual and doesn’t constitute financial advice, especially for a London budget. 

    So it started promisingly with the cycle and homemade lunch then spectacularly crashed at the Tuesday morning Uber and 5g coke pick up. Lianne, let’s do this.

    Main vices

    A couple lines of coke as a way to save money on booze: not exactly budgeting.

    You’ve also hit the unholy trinity of millennial middle-class spending with Pret, Ubers and flat whites. Add in your trip to the farmers market and you’re one of those generation-shaming articles waiting to happen.

    ‘Millennial buys £2 sourdough bread rather than houses!’

    Although if you’re able to use your flat white as a bribe to stave off the morning Ubers, then you might be onto something?

    Where you’re going wrong

    The intention to spend is there, that’s something.

    But it’s easy to see why that £1,000 a month keeps slipping back into your checking account. You knocked back £620 on one week. You’d need to keep that to around £464 a week to stay within your paycheck and £233 a week to meet your target.

    Subconscious spends form the centrepiece of your diary: the hungover Ubers, last-minute dress. These build up more quickly than you might realise as they’re a bad-mood solution or time shortcuts. Convenience is hard to fight.

    Pick a number you’re allowed to waste. Put that money on a separate card. Stop when you’ve hit it.

    Budget

    This is a breakdown of how much you need to stick to if you want to leave each month with £500. I can’t tell you which category drugs goes into. Because: lawyers.

    Safe to save: £500 monthly / £115 weekly / £16 daily

    Put half of this away in somewhere you can’t touch, and the other you can use as an overdraft buffer.

    Safe to spend: £1,000 monthly / £230 weekly / £32 daily

    Your groceries, travel costs. Any overspill goes on planned nights out.

    Safe to burn: £500 monthy/ £115 weekly / £16 daily

    Put a cap on your unconscious spending. This is for those lazy Ubers and big impulse buys.

    Thanks for being honest and giving us a proper look at your spending.

    How I Save is a weekly series about how people spend and save, out every Thursday. If you’d like to anonymously share how you spend and save – and get some expert advice on how to sort out your finances – get in touch by emailing ellen.scott@metro.co.uk.

    MORE: How I Save: The 32-year-old marketing specialist and mum earning £90,000 a year with £85,150 saved

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    How I Save: SallyHow I Save: Sally

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    The before and after of a dress that was turned into a bridal playsuit that was shamed for causing a wedgie
    The before and after of the dress (Picture: Facebook)

    When it comes to your wedding day, a little bit of DIY can keep costs down.

    But one bride’s attempts to create a more comfortable but still suitably bridal outfit for her reception led to some shaming on Facebook.

    The bridal posted some pictures of a white pageant dress that she turned into a short romper playsuit by cutting the bottom of the dress.

    But when the pictures made their way into a wedding shaming group, commenters said that she had ‘ruined a good dress’ and added that the playsuit gave her a wedgy.

    The post said: ‘The bride wanted something different for her reception attire. Using a favourite pageant dress the bride previously wore, a custom shorts romper was made.

    ‘The romper features beaded straps, and pockets with bead trim taken from along the hem of the original dress.’

    People didn’t hold back with their replies to the post.

    One said: ‘That is the biggest wedgie I’ve ever seen…’

    Facebook
    Caption: Facebook

    Another added: ‘That romper is insanely unflattering on her figure.’

    ‘Not flattering and looks like a super wedgy,’ another said.

    The bride seemed to like the outfit though, posing with her thumbs up and it is her day after all.

    And the wedding jumpsuit is becoming more popular with stores like Ted Baker, Phase Eight and ASOS.

    Last week, people were confused by an ASOS bridal jumpsuit that is completely see through.

    The jumpsuit was a mesh material with just some lace covering the crotch to nipple area.

    MORE: How I Save: The 28-year-old account manager spending cash on cocaine and croissants

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    Dress turned into playsuitDress turned into playsuit

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    Shopping spree, bags.
    ‘The stigma attached to excessive drug or alcohol use in modern society doesn’t apply to compulsive shopping habits’ (Picture: Ella Byworth)

    If you love to raid Zara on pay day you might playfully refer to yourself as a shop-a-holic, but research suggests that being unable to stop buying things shouldn’t be taken lightly.

    One study suggests that as many as 1 in 20 people in developed countries have a shopping addiction – but it is rarely taken seriously.

    But that might be about to change as world famous rehabilitation and healthcare centre the Priory has added shopping addiction to it’s official list of treatable disorders.

    So how do you know if have a shopping addiction or if you’re just a bit partial to a spot of retail therapy?

    What are the signs of shopping addiction?

    Most addictions have physical symptoms related to them, but shopping addictions may not. Your symptoms are much more likely to be emotional.

    • Spending more than you can afford
    • Shopping as a reaction to feeling angry or depressed
    • Shopping as a way to feel less guilty about a previous shopping spree
    • Harming relationships due to spending or shopping too much
    • Losing control of the shopping behavior

    Experts agree that people with a shopping addiction find it difficult to stop and that it results in harm, showing that it is an involuntary and destructive kind of behaviour.

    People with the condition often try to hide it from friends and partners as they feel shame, alienating themselves from the people who are best placed to support them.

    But researchers do struggle to agree on a definition of the condition – largely due to a lack of comprehensive or conclusive research into the problem.

    ‘Shopping addiction, which is also known as ‘compulsive shopping disorder’ or ‘oniomania’, is a socially and financially damaging psychological condition,’ it reads on the Priory website.

    ‘While many people like to shop during time off, at weekends, or during seasonal holiday periods such as at Christmas, shopping addiction involves an overwhelming urge to shop and subsequently spend until it begins to adversely affect your life.

    ‘This may include overspending and taking out several store credit cards in order to be able to purchase items, even if you may be aware that this could incur long-term financial debt.’

    The Priory now offers assessment and treatment for shopping addiction at its centres across the UK. The healthcare provider says that one worrying thing about the condition is that many people do not seek help because it is not widely regarded as a disorder.

    ‘Shopping addiction is considered the most socially reinforced behavioural addiction,’ explains their website.

    ‘The stigma attached to excessive drug or alcohol use in modern society doesn’t apply to compulsive shopping habits, with a consumerist lifestyle perceived as a measure of social status across much of the western world exacerbating the problem for many.’

    The hope is that adding shopping addiction to the list of treatable disorders will result in more research being conducted to help define diagnostic criteria.

    MORE: How I Save: The 28-year-old account manager spending cash on cocaine and croissants

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