Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog

Channel Description:

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

older | 1 | .... | 1838 | 1839 | (Page 1840) | 1841 | 1842 | .... | 1849 | newer

    0 0

    Jaffa Cake doughnuts
    Meet Morrisons’ new Jaffa Cake doughnuts. (Picture: Morrisons)

    For £1.50 for a three-pack, you can now get Morrisons’ new Jaffa Cake doughnuts.

    The sweet treats have an orange and chocolate filling, a chocolate glaze and a Morrisons jaffa cake on top. They’re also iced in-store.

    Morrisons recently announced the launch of their new doughnut on Facebook in a post that featured images that said: ‘What’s better than a delicious Jaffa Cake? One with a Jaffa doughnut attached.’ It has since clocked more than 3,200 comments.

    ‘They taste amazing! Definitely one of the best doughnuts I’ve ever had. Nearly as good as Krispy Kreme doughnuts,’ wrote one Facebook user.

    This news comes right after the supermarket chain rolled out a few other offerings for the silly season. Vegetarians and vegans can now sink their teeth into a plant-based pork pie this Christmas, thanks to Morrisons’ ‘secret recipe’. These no-pork pork pies will hit the aisles on 9 December, so have that brown sauce at the ready.

    Morrisons also decided to one-up good ol’ Greggs with a vegan sausage roll of their own, except they’ve added a few more inches. The chain recently launched a monstrous foot long version using soya mince blended with tasty herbs and spices.

    If you’re still seeing orange and jaffa cakes are the only treat for you, you can turn to Aldi for their new dessert-inspired candle range which includes a jaffa cake candle. Imagine kicking back in the tub with that wafting through the air.

    If scented candles are a little too delicate for your liking, you can step things up a notch with this Irish chip shop’s deep-fried jaffa cakes.

    MORE: Unicorn cake fail was so bad it’s ended up in a court case

    MORE: Bride orders dog-themed wedding cake, ends up with one that looks like a ‘dead porcupine’

    MORE: KFC proposal prompts hunt for couple, with donations pouring in to fund their wedding

    Jaffa Cake doughnutsJaffa Cake doughnuts

    0 0

    The McVegan
    The McVegan is now sold in Finland and Sweden. (Picture: McDonald’s)

    PETA has just launched a petition to ‘urge’ McDonalds to launch the McVegan burger in the UK.

    The animal rights group hopes that the chain will help introduce ‘fast, affordable vegan food’ to a wider customer base and ‘make eating vegan even easier.’

    It’s been a big year for vegan developments in the fast food world. Greggs released its £1 sausage roll in March, and KFC trialled the Imposter Burger in the UK in June. The limited-edition burger ended up having sales figures 500% higher than other new KFC burgers.

    While these new fast food options are certainly helpful for vegans and customers seeking plant-based alternatives, it also makes financial sense for these companies to meet the growing demand for plant-based food. In 2018, the total value of the UK plant-based market was £443 million.

    So why is the most successful chain restaurant in the UK not keeping up with its competitors? While McDonald’s currently have a selection of menu items approved by the Vegetarian Society, there are no products classified as vegan friendly.

    ‘Successful businesses adapt to the times, and as more people than ever are opting for vegan meals, they’re now the UK’s fastest-growing takeaway option,’ PETA’s petition reads.

    ‘The nation’s largest bakery chain – Greggs – saw a 58% increase in profits after adding a vegan sausage roll to its menu.’

    McDonald’s vegetarian burger, the Veggie Deluxe, is a mainstay on the UK menu, and this year McDonald’s rolled out a vegetarian happy meal featuring a vegetable goujon, shredded lettuce and ketchup in a toasted tortilla.

    The chain has steadily introduced McVegan burgers in European stores over the years.

    In December 2017, Sweden and Finland were the first to get the vegan offering on their menu. The soy-based patties were well-received, with customers saying they tasted ‘surprisingly’ good.

    Germany got theirs in April 2019 and in September, the chain began trialling the Beyond Meat burger – the PLT (Plant Lettuce Tomato) – in Canadian restaurants.

    You can sign PETA’s petition here.

    MORE: New research reveals the best and worst drinks to order during a flight

    MORE: Bride orders dog-themed wedding cake, ends up with one that looks like a ‘dead porcupine’

    MORE: KFC proposal prompts hunt for couple, with donations pouring in to fund their wedding


    0 0

    Sufferers of Body Integrity Identity Disorder Psychology therapy life body beauty mental health mind Ph?be Lou Morson for Metro.co.uk Phebe
    Arthritis doesn’t just affect the elderly (Picture: Phébe Lou Morson for Metro.co.uk)

    Arthritis can affect anyone, at any age.

    So why is it that adverts and leaflets frequently show images of greying, elderly people with the condition?

    The NHS states that around 15,000 children and young people in the UK are affected every year by arthritis. But that figure doesn’t take into account people in their 20s and 30s who are diagnosed, too.

    The winter months can be particularly difficult for those living with arthritis, as the cold weather can often cause ‘flare ups’ – particularly bad, painful episodes.

    We spoke to three young people living with arthritis, who shared their experiences of coping day-to-day, as well as their thoughts on the stigma around invisible illnesses.

    Hayley Woodland, a 27-year-old teacher, was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis at the age of three.

    Doctors originally dismissed her swollen knee thinking it was just a bump – but when she returned to the hospital a year later, the arthritis had spread.

    Hayley tells Metro.co.uk: ‘In 1994 there was still a bit thing around the fact that it wasn’t a “young person’s disease” and it wasn’t very likely to be that. We were lucky that we found someone a bit more specialised and I started getting treatment from about the age of three – but by that point it had spread from a knee to literally everywhere.

    ‘Luckily, that isn’t the case now for children being diagnosed, as they are spotting it so much earlier. But back then it was ignored, which was frustrating.

    ‘I have swan neck in my fingers. It’s a condition where the tendons in the fingers couldn’t develop properly because of the arthritis, so they are in the wrong place. So I can’t bend my fingers pretty much at all and that happened from very young age.

    hayley woodland
    Hayley was diagnosed at the age of three (Credit: Hayley Woodland)

    ‘It’s now proven that no child being in that situation will get swan neck. There is no reason for that to happen anymore because they know how to stop it.

    ‘I do sometimes reflect back and think “Oh I’m angry that wasn’t the case at the time”, but that’s how medical research goes. You can’t always be lucky enough to be born at the time when things can be stopped. But I am lucky enough to still be young enough that we are able to find treatments.’

    Growing up Hayley says she was only in school around ‘30-40% of the year’, due to her arthritis. The rest of the time she was either in hospital or at home with her mum. Reflecting on her experience now, she says her school showed a lack of understanding towards her condition.

    She says: ‘I used to think it was the older teachers and older generation at the time who didn’t understand it – who saw it as “not a thing children get” and that my mum was exaggerating.

    ‘I think it was my Year 4 teacher – quite a young girl, probably a few years into teaching – she was atrocious to me.

    ‘One day I had to go in in my wheelchair – I used it sometimes but that often – but I had to go in my wheelchair that day because I wasn’t feeling well. Then the next day it wasn’t so bad, so I didn’t need it and I went in as normal and she had a massive go at me. She was adamant that it was proof that we were lying about everything.

    ‘It’s that attitude that we face quite a lot – this idea of either you have it or you haven’t.

    ‘There’s no awareness of the fact that that’s not how arthritis works. I think that’s something everyone with arthritis faces, people seem to find it hard to get their heads around the fact that it isn’t a consistent disease.’

    Hayley says advances in medicine – compared to when she was diagnosed in the 90s – make things a little more promising for those living with arthritis. She recently underwent a hip replacement – which was something she was told 10 years ago would never really be an option.

    Her new ceramic hip will last her around 30 years.

    chloe elliot lives with arthritis
    Chloe has psoriatic arthritis (Picture: @Sarahellen_photography)

    Chloe Elliott was diagnosed with arthritis in 2013 – at the age of 23.

    She visited the doctor after suffering with severe body pain, leaving her unable to walk, lift her head or use her hands. Following a blood test and a session with rheumatologist, she was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis – which develops from skin psoriasis.

    Chloe says: ‘I had to leave my job in fashion buying and move back home as I was completely unable to do anything for myself.

    ‘Now, I still have daily pain, some days are better than others. I take an anti-TNF injection once a month to help with my symptoms which include joint pain, extreme fatigue, and nausea.

    ‘I try to keep as comfortable as possible, sleep as much as I can and as often as I need to. I’m lucky to be self-employed so I sleep when I can.

    ‘I have no idea how people in full time work – in an office for example – cope with having arthritis and not being able to rest when they need to. I also take pain relief which helps.

    ‘Keeping warm is absolutely vital too, as my body is definitely more likely to flare in cold weather.’

    In terms of day-to-day activities, Chloe says living with arthritis has changed aspects of her life, such as socialising with friends and exercising.

    She says: ‘It takes a lot of my social life away. I am forever having to cancel plans or rearrange because I never know how I’m going to feel on the day.

    ‘I’m unable to exercise like I used to – I still try but it’s really painful for the entire week after I do any exercise.

    ‘I think many people with arthritis will agree with me when I say that you can go out and do one nice thing you’ve really been looking forward to, and you then pay for it for a solid week because it has taken everything out of your body.’

    Chloe agrees with Hayley that more needs to done in terms of education around invisible disabilities, such as arthritis. She believes this is the best way to tackle the stigma and attitudes that the condition only affects ‘older people’.

    She says: ‘I have been challenged whilst sitting in the accessible seats on a train and I have a disabled person’s railcard. I have also been challenged when parking in a disabled bay and I have a blue badge.

    ‘Unless I use my crutch – which I have to use a lot of the time – people don’t see the illness so they automatically assume that one isn’t there. Being challenged on your illness is absolutely humiliating and a complete violation. You can not determine someone’s health at face value.

    ‘I think it’s about more education, more people talking about it and more people purposefully educating themselves about invisible illnesses. It’s not my job as a disabled person to educate you – you should be doing it yourself.

    ‘I must admit that I myself thought that arthritis was for the elderly before I was diagnosed with it.

    ‘I remember phoning my mum after I’d seen the rheumatologist and telling her I thought we needed a second opinion and it couldn’t be arthritis. Thankfully, marketing is finally changing to show a range of people with the condition thanks to charity Versus Arthritis. This isn’t a condition purely reserved for the elderly. ‘

    Paige Joanna was diagnosed with Enteropathic Arthritis
    Paige was diagnosed at the age of 27 (Credit: Paige Joanna)

    Paige Calvert’s arthritis derives from Crohn’s Disease – an auto-immune condition. At the age of 27, she was diagnosed with enteropathic arthritis – which causes inflammation surrounding the tendons and soft tissues around the joints. She has this in her wrists, knees, shoulders, elbow and lower back.

    The winter months can be particularly challenging for Paige, as her arthritis tends to flare up when the temperature drops.

    She says: ‘Coping day-to-day depends on the pain level, as some days I can feel achy and it’s bearable and other days it can really affect my mobility and the pain can be disabling.

    ‘On a fairly good day, I just try to keep warm, rest when I feel fatigued and stay as active as possible.

    ‘On a bad day, it can be mentally challenging but I manage it the best I can. I use joint pain relief gels, hot baths, hot water bottles and pain relief, as well as lots of rest. It’s about knowing your body is responding in the right way so that you don’t injure yourself or make the pain worse.

    ‘It can mean making sacrifices on bad days and canceling plans but it’s important to put your body first.’

    She adds: ‘In winter, I find my arthritis really flares up and I have learned to invest in good thermals when going out and keeping warm wherever possible. The change in temperature from cold to hot can also make inflammation and pain worse for me so it is challenging most days.

    ‘It doesn’t stop me on good days, but on bad days it definitely has a huge impact on my activity level.

    ‘Having it in my knees is the most disabling because I struggle to walk without it being painful, so when that flares I have to have help getting up and down the stairs.’

    Paige says arthritis is a misunderstood condition and that people with invisible disabilities (such as arthritis) often struggle day to day, due to a lack of awareness.

    She says: ‘Since being diagnosed I have had many reactions where people assume I am too young to have arthritis. I have to explain that anyone at any age can develop it as it’s a form of autoimmune disease.

    ‘It’s getting better with the help of charities like Versus Arthritis but there is still a way to go. I also carry around a “please offer me a seat” disability badge from TfL and I wear it on bad days. I’ve been glared at and even had negative comments made when people see me with it on, waiting for someone to kindly offer their seat. People can assume you are putting it on because it’s invisible.

    ‘I’d love to see people understanding invisible illness and invisible disabilities because it would make our lives a little bit easier to not have to explain our struggles constantly.’

    Charities such as Versus Arthritis are working to tackle this stigma around arthritis. They also offer advice for anyone living with the condition, such as how to cope with seasonal flare ups.

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘My bowel twisted and died inside me – the doctor had no idea how I was still alive’

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘You might think I look better but I still feel horrible every day’

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘Crohn’s is more than just lots of trips to the toilet’

    Metro IllustrationsMetro Illustrations

    0 0

    motonosumi inari shrine in japan
    A view of the Motonosumi Inari Shrine (Picture: Adam Bloodworth/Metro.co.uk)

    If Japan’s familiar urban hubs like Tokyo are there to offer peak stimulation, then the lesser-visited samurai castles and pristine Japanese gardens will lull you into a sense of deep relaxation in a way your millennial sleeping app never could.

    The contemplative, peaceful attractions of rural Japan have typically been attractions for third or fourth-time visitors to explore. But with a new British Airways route directly from London to Osaka now running, it’s easier than it has ever been to dip into the untouched western Japanese countryside.

    My idea of rural Japan before I visited was formulated from cliched images on television. Perhaps James Bond in You Only Live Twice, when Connery’s Bond visited a traditional Ryokan, the Japanese term for an overnight inn. The film depicted serene natural settings and striking traditional architecture – but could reality live up to fiction?

    The westerly region of San’in stretches from the cities of Osaka to Fukuoka, on the north coast of western Japan. You’ll need to hire a car, or book onto an Inside Japan Tours trip to get the best from the region, as there are long journeys between destinations, but that’s kind of the point. Route Romantique, as the area is known, might just be the Route 66 of Japan, only with better food and more surprising attractions.

    inari shine in japan
    Inari shrine (Picture: Adam Bloodworth/Metro.co.uk)

    San’in has samurai castles, trinkety towns, hot thermal springs, dramatic coastlines and spiritual shrines, each one devoted to a specific God. To this day, the remote region is famous among locals as Japan’s mythological romantic heartland, and acts a pilgrimage spot for young Japanese singletons who go here to look for love, and to get a dose of Japan ye olde.

    Start your trip at Ohana Residence in Yanagawa, a grand former residence a few hours’ drive from the gateway city of Fukuoka, reachable from Osaka or Tokyo by bullet train.

    The regional dish popular in this part of Japan is smoked eel, and stopping for lunch at Ohana is the best way to enjoy the attraction. The Ohana restaurant, with traditional floor-level seating and paper-thin sliding ornate doors, offers views of the chocolate-box residence gardens while you dine.

    ohana residence
    Head to Ohana Residence for a traditional meal (Picture: Adam Bloodworth/Metro.co.uk)

    Japanese gardens are internationally famous for their beauty, which is achieved by combining various assortments of geometric shapes: dumpy, neatly preened bushes that look like grown-up bonsai trees, gently-arching bridges over streams, and manicured lawns so carefully kept and fantastical in appearance that the whole thing seems fake: more like the inside of Willy Wonka’s factory, (‘If you want to view paradise, take a look around and view it!’) than natural gardens, only these have clear-running water, not chocolate. These gardens become a common theme as we explore the region further.

    We drive through Jurassic vistas of rocky outcrops, skirting near the coastline and up through rural Japan for a few hours, until we reach the Motonosumi Inari Shrine, a mid-century mythological monument in dazzling red.

    With the shrine’s dainty red arches leading the way toward the dramatic rocky coast, it’s hard to resist filling your phone with photos – try to resist too much hedonism and just switch off to get the most of the picturesque setting and enjoy it in the spiritual way it was intended as you wander beneath the arches towards the sea.

    Nearby, in the town of Nagato, the region’s natural thermal water is used by a number of hotels that have hot public baths, which are available for a range of different budgets.

    the inari shine in japan
    You’ll want to snap a load of pictures of the Inari Shrine (Picture: Adam Bloodworth/Metro.co.uk)

    We stayed at affordably-priced Yumoto, which had hot spring baths (in which you’re required to bathe naked), a bowling alley and multiple karaoke rooms. Karaoke is popular across the generations in Japan, so expect to see groups of older men and women sitting uniformly and singing come nightfall.

    The hotels in Nagato are a real local find; guests typically treat them like getaways from the grind of city life, and will come here for the weekend (sometimes longer) to do absolutely nothing other than soak in the baths, eat local food, and take walks in the neighbouring verdant countryside. Think of it as similar to a visit to Butlin’s or Centre Parcs.

    Karaoke rooms are fitted with a pleasingly kitsch Nineties television sets, complete with Teletext-like display. I was, without doubt, the only westerner in residence that night, I realised after we’d hung up our mics and I began to fall asleep on my futon bed, laid on a bamboo floor in a traditional Ryokan room. Outdoors, beyond the decorative sliding wooden shutter doors, the rich, dense forestry was mapped out below.

    An hour’s drive north, with views which peeped onto stretches of coastline, through dense forestry and past local’s homes, we stopped for lunch at Tsuwano, a historic village lined with samurai houses. The town, which is easily walkable, has chocolate box cuteness. One example being that the locals bred multi-coloured carp for food centuries back, but now they outnumber villagers nine to one and swim in narrow streams along the edges of the roads. They’re fun to look down on as you pass over tiny bridges over the stream, (this is also a great excuse to get an artsy photo including the carp).

    clear ramen broth in fukouka
    Some tasty ramen broth (Picture: Adam Bloodworth/Metro.co.uk)

    Tsuwano is a bit like a British Lake District town: quaint while being authentic and touristic at the same time. That said, tourists are nearly entirely Japanese, because the San’in region hasn’t become familiar to western tourists yet.

    In Tsuwano, visitors buy local pottery, sweets and freshly-brewed sake from locals who offer a generous smile. Take in samurai history if you’ve got a while before you hit the road, otherwise wander the colourful carp-littered lanes for an hour or so. Struggling with language barriers when making purchases is all part of the fun, but it’s within the Japanese culture to be incredibly helpful, so you’ll never find yourself too stuck.

    A few hours further up the coast and you’ll hit Matsue Castle in the Shimane prefecture, one of the last medieval castles left standing in Japan. Ascending three or four flights of stairs, I removed my shoes and put on simple white slippers to protect the original wooden flooring.

    Some of the original fixtures which date back centuries are on display inside, but save extra time to appreciate the view from the top, which sets out the low-lying land’s tapestry of lakes, gardens and rice fields.

    local seafood in matsue
    Head to Matsue for delicious local seafood (Picture: Adam Bloodworth/Metro.co.uk)

    Spend the night in Matsue and go that step further by having dinner at Minami, that does excellent local food in a setting to dress up for. The various components of dinner are served all on one large plate, and eaters are encouraged to get interactive as they boil seafood in a broth above a fire burner (known as steam bowl cuisine), with cold sushi on the side, made with an assortment of local fish. Warning: some, including the large conch shells and vinegar shellfish, are not for the faint-hearted.

    White mackerel, flounder, red snapper, shimeji mushrooms, ponzu, miso soup and ginger and sea bass are typical western Japanese ingredients, and are way more approachable if removing a large shellfish from its conch shell, raw, and eating it, sounds not like your thing.

    The nearby Adachi Museum of Art is a spectacular place to draw your trip to a close. Founded by the late Zenko Adachi, the art inside the gallery responds to the formal Japanese gardens outside (the most impressive of our tour). Different shaped windows expose fragments of the garden outside, putting them into the context of the museum, as if the views are paintings. It’s mesmerising stuff.

    Like all Japanese gardens, the Adachi’s is precisely engineered to be as close to perfect as is humanly possible. The tumbling waterfalls in the distance, blossoming trees in the foreground and rocky outcrops create the feeling of nature, while also offering an odd juxtaposition: what you’re looking at is so manmade, it arguably isn’t natural at all.

    Here, the Japanese will meditate, think deeply, or just sit calmly for hours – it’s the sort of peaceful contemplation that’s engrained into the Japanese culture and celebrated in the rural regions at shrines, gardens, ancient towns and in pristinely-made Ryokan inns.

    San’in is where Japanese tourists go on holiday to escape the inescapable noise of Japan’s overcrowded cities. Being privy to that as a British tourist is an incredibly powerful experience.

    British Airways fly to Osaka from £572 return. Inside Japan Tours offer trips around Western Japan which include the attractions I visited. 

    MORE: Home-swapping lets me trade in my London flat for a pool-side villa in San Diego

    MORE: Why Bury St Edmunds should be your next weekend break


    Motonosumi Inari Shrine-09ebMotonosumi Inari Shrine-09eb

    0 0

    You could spend months exploring the beautifully diverse coastline of Western Australia, with its incredible wildlife and colourful scenery.

    Unfortunately, most of us don’t have the annual leave allowance to splurge on that kind of trip, but there is good news, however, because as of this year it’s possible to hire a car one way from Exmouth to Perth for a fraction of the price.

    Meaning a two-week road trip along the WA coast is now an achievable and affordable holiday – and one I can’t endorse enough.

    western coast of australia
    Take a trip along the Western coast of Australia (Picture: Hayley Lewis @alovelyplanet)

    If you’re not familiar with this stretch of coastline, you will be forgiven, as it’s much less known and visited than drives on the east coast. But this part of Australia can certainly match its eastern counterparts.

    Not only does the WA coast contain two UNESCO World Heritage Sites and some of the most beautiful scenery you’re likely to come across in Australia (and further afield), it’s also one of the best places in the world to swim with whale sharks, as well as humpback whales, manta rays and plenty of other incredible marine life.

    ray in western coast of australia
    Spot rays and whales (Picture: Hayley Lewis @alovelyplanet)

    We flew into Perth, Western Australia’s largest city and the gateway to the rest of the state. The city has changed a lot in recent years with the development of Elizabeth Quay – a precinct on the banks of the Swan River, and there is a great selection of new hotels and plenty of bars and restaurants popping up.

    We slept at QT Perth, a recent addition to the quirky QT portfolio of hotels. With a rooftop bar and beautifully designed rooms with enormous baths, it’s a great base for a stay in Perth.

    A few minutes walk away is Elizabeth Quay where you can find a number a public artworks including First Contact, a cast aluminium sculpture by renowned indigenous artist, Laurel Nannup, depicting the arrival of the European settlers to Perth.

    queen elizabeth quay
    Go to Elizabeth Quay to see gorgeous artwork (Picture: Hayley Lewis @alovelyplanet)

    Following a day and night in Perth, it was back to the airport for our two-hour flight to Exmouth, the northern gateway to the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area. After picking up our hire car, we headed straight into the Cape Range National Park – home to stunning beaches, rugged limestone ranges and canyons and an abundance of wildlife.

    sight of cape range from the flight
    Cape Range is beautiful (Picture: Hayley Lewis @alovelyplanet)

    As a protected national park, you won’t find big hotels lining the coast. If you want to stay here the options are camping, camper vans or glamping at Sal Salis. We were lucky enough to be staying at the third option, a luxury eco property made up of en-suite tents nestled amongst the sand dunes, moments from the Ningaloo Reef.

    You will, of course, spot kangaroos (Picture: Hayley Lewis @alovelyplanet)

    This is the place to come to really unwind – no phone reception or wifi means you can really disconnect and immerse yourself in the beautful surroundings. All meals and drinks are included in your stay, including a delicious three-course dinner each evening on the deck overlooking the ocean. Heaven!

    a heavenly meal in the western coast of australia
    A three-course meal in heaven (Picture: Hayley Lewis @alovelyplanet)

    If you’re not the laying on the beach type, there is plenty to do in the Cape Range National Park. Hike the Mandu Mandu Gorge or Yardie Creek and admire the park’s local residents which include kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas, emus and over 100 species of birds.

    bird in western austrlia
    (Picture: Hayley Lewis @alovelyplanet)

    Then, of course, there is the main attraction – the Ningaloo Reef. Snorkelling off the beach at Sal Salis or Turquoise Bay, a short drive north, you are likely to see reef sharks, colourful corals, turtles and more.

    If you’re visiting between March and August, you can join a boat trip for the chance to swim with whale sharks, and between August and October with humpack whales. The latter is a relatively new opportunity and something that has been trialed since 2016, in order to ensure the interactions don’t cause any interference with the whales and their migratory patterns.

    turtle in the sea
    The water is so clear you can spot loads of nature (Picture: Hayley Lewis @alovelyplanet)

    We were visiting in September and headed out with Live Ningaloo in search of humpback whales. The operators use a spotter plane in order to locate the whales, meaning the chances of seeing them are high. Once sighted, we sailed in their general direction before entering the water, continuing radio communication with the plane, who told us when the whales were approaching.

    Sure enough, the whales swam underneath and then around us before continuing on their journey. It was a magical experience, and although I’ve been on whale watching boats in the past, I never truly appreciated how large and magnificent humpback whales are until having one swim past me and make eye contact.

    Making eye contact with humpback whales was a magical experience
    Making eye contact with humpback whales was a magical experience (Picture: Live Ningaloo – Katia Benini)

    Back on land we spent a night in Exmouth. This is the place to stay if you’re not into camping, with a number of hotels and lodges to suit different budgets.

    Exmouth is a resort town with a holiday feel and a small but good selection of cafes, restaurants and bars. One of these is Whalebone Brewing Company. Located in a funky shed, with an enormous beer garden, the company makes their own brews as well as serving pizza and offering a great spot to unwind with a little live music.

    shed converted into a bar
    Head here for brews and tasty treats (Picture: Hayley Lewis @alovelyplanet)

    After departing Exmouth we began our journey south. Coral Bay was the next stop, a tiny holiday resort at the southern end of the Ningaloo Reef. Companies at Coral Bay also offer whale shark and humpback swims, as well as manta ray and snorkelling tours. We sailed out into the lagoon with Ningaloo Marine Interactions for a day of fantastic snorkelling.

    As with Exmouth, spotter planes are on the lookout for whales and manta rays, along with other marine animals, including, to my surprise, tiger sharks, or stripeys, as they are affectionately known.

    Not only did we see these incredible animals from the boat, but we were also able to get in the water and see them from below the surface – an experience which sounds far scarier than it actually is.

    underwater with sharks in australia
    Get up close and personal with sharks (Picture: Ningaloo Marine Interactions – Jake Wilton)

    We were soon back in the water again, this time with the manta rays. We were fortunate enough to witness a courtship dance between two males and a female, who elegantly circled around each other below us.

    manta rays
    Manta rays performing a courtship dance (Picture: Hayley Lewis @alovelyplanet)

    After a whirlwind few days of exciting marine interactions, it was time to continue the road trip south. After stopping in Carnarvon for lunch, we drove to Shell Beach, which is exactly as it sounds, a beach made up of tiny shells.

    shell beach in western coast australia
    As its name suggests, Shell Beach is made up of tiny shells (Picture: Hayley Lewis @alovelyplanet)

    World Heritage listed Shark bay was the next stop and it was time for another national park: Francois Peron. You need a 4WD to explore the park, so if you don’t have one, the best way to see it is with a tour.

    We spent the day with Garth from Shark Bay Coastal Tours, who told us about the traditional owners of the area; the Malgana Aboriginal people. He had an excellent eye for spotting wildlife and we saw thorny devils, goannas and dugongs during our day in Francois Peron.

    The real highlight though is the scenery, with orange dunes and white sand contrasting with the stunning aquamarine ocean.

    stunning coastline
    Stunning (Picture: Hayley Lewis @alovelyplanet)

    Continuing south our next stop was Kalbarri, home to the Kalbarri National Park. Chances are you may have seen a picture of ‘nature’s window’, the most photographed spot in the park, but there is plenty more to explore, 186,000 hectares in fact, including river gorges, rock formations and coastal cliffs.

    nature's window
    Nature’s window is the most photographed spot in the park (Picture: Hayley Lewis @alovelyplanet)

    Another exciting marine experience awaited us in the next town, Jurien Bay. We took a boat trip out with Turquoise Bay Safaris to see Australian sea lions playing in the surf. Known as the puppies of the ocean, the sea lions are curious and keen to interact. The water really was turquoise, and incredibly clear so you could get a really good look at the sea lions in the water.

    seal under the sea
    Oh hey (Picture: Hayley Lewis @alovelyplanet)

    Our final leg of the journey awaited us as we made our way back to Perth, where we checked into Crown Metropol. Crown Perth is a complex of hotels, a casino, a theatre, two ballrooms and 32 restaurants and bars. It’s the perfect place to unwind after a long road trip, with everything you need located in one place.

    It’s also a great place for a culinary treat, as the impressive list of restaurants include Nobu and Rock Pool. We ended our trip with a delicious dinner at Silks, a stunning Cantonese restaurant with opulent décor and fantastic service.

    silks restaurant
    Delicious food at Silks (Picture: Hayley Lewis @alovelyplanet)

    Where to stay:

    Stay in the funky QT Perth, one of the city’s coolest hotels, perfectly located for exploring Elizabeth Quay and the city centre. Rooms start at £117 ($220 AUD)

    Crown Metropol, part of the Crown Perth complex has luxe rooms rooms from £162 ($304 AUD) per night.

    Stay in the stunning Cape Range National Park at Sal Salis from £490 ($900 AUD)per person twin/double share or £610 ($1125 AUD) single occupancy. Prices include breakfast, lunch (except on check in/out days) and dinner, plus all inclusive bar.

    How to get there:

    Fly London to Perth in economy with Qatar Airways via Doha from £741 from Gatwick and £773 from Heathrow.

    Qantas flies 12 times per week between Perth and Learmonth (Exmouth Airport). A one-way flight costs from £130 ($246 AUD).

    Launched in April 2019, Avis Australia is now offering seasonal one-way car rentals between Perth and Exmouth from 1st April to 31st October in 2019 and 2020, starting from £132 ($250 AUD).

    Hayley Lewis is a travel writer, blogger and producer. For more on the Perth to Exmouth road trip head to alovelyplanet.com or follow Hayley on Instagram, YouTubeTwitter or Facebook.

    MORE: A guide to Sydney’s underground speakeasy bar scene

    MORE: How to have an outback adventure in the Kimberley, Western Australia

    A Lovely Planet - Hayley Lewis - Perth to Exmouth - Sal Salis Kangaroo -12a7A Lovely Planet - Hayley Lewis - Perth to Exmouth - Sal Salis Kangaroo -12a7

    0 0

    Deliveroo x Kellogg's new menu
    Deliveroo x Kellogg’s new menu offerings including the cornflakes pasta and Bran Flakes falafel wrap (Picture: Rich Fairclough)

    Remember when you’d beg your parents to let you have cereal for dinner? Well, now you can eat Rice Krispies risotto or cornflakes pasta any night of the week.

    Kellogg’s Kitchen Creations, a delivery-only kitchen on Deliveroo, has just been launched in Manchester and London. In the company’s 97-year history in the UK, this is the first time the company has done anything like this. And we can see why, it’s a little wild.

    It’s not bowls of cereal on offer, but vegetarian and vegan meals created by a team of chefs and all containing cereal.

    Deliveroo launches vegan Kelloggs menu
    Deliveroo x Kellogg’s new cheesecake bars (Picture: Rich Fairclough)

    There’s roasted miso squash and Rice Krispies risotto, pasta with corn flakes, and bran flakes served up with porcini mushroom, spring onion and lentils.There are even hot dogs made from All-Bran, beetroot, oats and lentils or cheesy corn flakes cheese bites.

    If the whole savoury cereal thing messes with you, the dessert range includes bubble crepes made with Coco Pops served with dark chocolate, coconut cream and tart cherries, plus waffles made with corn, wheat, peanut butter, honey and Crunchy Nut.

    ‘We’re excited to see how people react to the food we are offering and if it’s something we can continue to do in other parts of the UK in the future,’ Ben Ellis, manager at Kellogg’s Kitchen Creations, said.

    We’re also excited to see how you’ll react. This menu is either genius or horrifying. Let’s see.

    MORE: Morrisons launches a Jaffa Cake doughnut

    MORE: PETA launches petition to ‘urge’ McDonald’s to sell their McVegan in the UK

    MORE: KFC proposal prompts hunt for couple, with donations pouring in to fund their wedding


    0 0

    Horrifying pumpkins show stages of dilation during childbirth. Set up by midwives at the Royal Oldham Hospital in Lancashire, England as part of a pumpkin decorating competition.
    Yes, that last one is to size (Picture: Pregnant Chicken/Facebook)

    Nurses at the Royal Oldham Hospital in Lancashire have taken a much-loved holiday – Halloween – and made it even more scary.

    They turned the humble pumpkin into an educational tool on childbirth, with frankly horrifying results.

    The picture of the pumpkins, which is now going viral on various Facebook groups, shows ten in ascending order.

    The mouths of each gourd is carved to be a stage of dilation of a cervix during birth, with 10cm being the optimum dilation.

    It’s at this point midwives will tell you you’re ready to push, as the body is ready to exacuate the child in a dramatic fashion.

    At the start of the photo, the Jack-O-Lanterns look adorable, like an emoji or a tiny surprised baby kitten.

    As they move on, though, they become frightening creatures with gaping mouths. You could fit hands (plural) in there.

    For anyone with a cervix, it’s a scary thought that it might one day transform like that, but such is the miracle of life.

    Commenters were similarly terrified of the jaunty-hatted squash. One, on the Real Hooswives of Glasgow Facebook page said: ‘It’s official, never having kids’.

    Another said, ‘The expression on 10 says it all OUCH!’ while someone else added that it ‘brings tears to the eyes’.

    One person did offer a differing viewpoint, arguing, ‘It’s not scary it’s absolutely brilliant! Well done to those midwives for coming up with such a great visual’.

    While that’s certainly true, it’s still a visual that might make you want to cross your legs in anticipated pain (and maybe stock up on birth control).

    It’s not the first time midwives have used visual aids to show what happens when a baby is born.

    The Royal Devon and Exeter maternity service posted the picture of the ‘Eggstraordinary Cervix’ chart on Facebook at Easter, using different eggs to illustrate the dilation process.

    A nurse also made a board to labour (hehe) the point, holding it up to a baby’s head as a stark reminder of what the human body can do.

    All we can say is, props to anyone who has the guts to do it.

    MORE: Deliveroo and Kellogg’s launch menu of Rice Krispies risotto and corn flakes pasta

    MORE: PETA launches petition to ‘urge’ McDonald’s to sell their McVegan in the UK

    Horrifying pumpkins show stages of dilation during childbirthHorrifying pumpkins show stages of dilation during childbirth

    0 0

    joseph colour block boots
    Fancy a trip to the pool? (Picture: Tk Maxx)

    Fashion is strange. This is something we must all acknowledge.

    If you dive inside the fashion world you’ll find trainers filled with holy water and asymmetrical jeans that are clearly pure evil in denim form.

    Now the stylish thing to wear appears to be those little shoe covers you find at the local lido. You know, the little blue plastic things.

    You can’t just pick up a stash on your way into the gym to win style points, mind you.

    Everyone knows that high fashion means taking something ridiculous and slapping a bizarre price tag on it.

    In this case, you can now buy heeled boots that recreate the look of those little blue plastic things from TK Maxx for the bargain price of £100, down from the original price of £520.

    Boots that look like those shoe covers you get at the swimming pool
    Lido chic (Picture: TK Maxx)

    They’re the creation of Joseph, who describes them as ‘colour-block boots’ rather than a name referencing the swimming pool.

    The label does not, however, provide any explanation for why little blue covers are now so stylish or why the look is worth £520.

    TK Maxx has since sold out of the boots, but if you’re desperate to get your hands on a pair, they’re also being sold through Farfetch for £297.

    Or you could get creative with some blue fabric paint, or really commit by grabbing shoe covers from your local lido and gluing them to your ankle boots.

    It’s called fashion. Look it up.


    Boots that look like those shoe covers you get at the swimming poolBoots that look like those shoe covers you get at the swimming pool

    0 0

    Heated underwear
    Try this heated underwear on for size (Picture: Amazon)

    Tired of toiling away at the gym in a mission to get a hot butt? Want real results? Well, look no further than this innovative pair of heated underwear.

    Thanks to QQA’s ‘smart’ heated panties, you can warm your delicates for just £41. We’re yet to see any reviews so we can’t vouch for the quality of this product, so let’s start with the whys.

    Some of us just run a little cold. There’s a range of heated clothing on the market including heated gloves, jackets and even ‘dumpling’ slippers, so perhaps it makes sense to turn our attention to the nether regions.

    The product description also reveals that shoppers might like this product for its medical properties. However tenuous these might sound. The panties apparently regulate the uterus environment, soothe menstrual pain, and protect health and fertility, particularly in the field of ‘cold infertility’.

    Heated underwear
    A new winter must-have? (Picture: QQA)

    We’re not entirely sold on the scientific claims of these panties, but it does come in five gear settings, so not as many as your bike but likely more than your electric toothbrush. As per the product description, these gears are:

    Gear 1 – 37°C – winter warm
    Gear 2 – 40°C – ‘palace cold’ conditioning
    Gear 3 – 45°C – menstrual conditioning
    Gear 4 – 50°C – relieves dysmenorrhea (period pain)
    Gear 5 – 40-50°C – daily health

    These knickers are handwash only, so not only are you investing your moolah, but your time. The battery must also be removed when washing.

    The heated underwear is suited for daily use and comes in a soft polyester-spandex blend. You can wear them year-round, however it’s not advised that you rock them during summer because ouch.

    You can select pink, if you’re feeling a little more relaxed, or red, if you want to go fast. As we all know, red just makes you go faster. That’s the real science.

    MORE: Horrifying pumpkins show stages of dilation during childbirth

    MORE: Deliveroo and Kellogg’s launch menu of Rice Krispies risotto and corn flakes pasta

    MORE: Morrisons launches a Jaffa Cake doughnut

    0 0

    Kids having a bath
    (Picture: Getty)

    This week, mummy blogger Constance Hall had other parents breathing a sigh of release when she revealed a few of her parenting techniques.

    On the site Mamamia, Constance admitted that she lets her kids eat with their hands, and sometimes even just puts her headphones in to drown out the noise.

    Of these admissions, there was one that appeared to be controversial to some; that she only bathes her six kids around three times a week.

    Constance said in the piece: ‘They don’t have to bath or shower every day. They can quite often skip that part of the routine if it’s getting everyone down. I’m like, “Fine, stinky, go to school and gross everyone out”‘.

    She also said that not having a bath ‘won’t kill them’, which is certainly true.

    But how often should you cajole your little ones into the bath or shower?


    As Constance cited in her post, the American Academy of Dermatology recommend that children should be bathed at least once or twice a week.

    This is really open for interpretation, but does imply that you really don’t need to worry so much about bathing little ones as you would yourself.

    These guidelines are for children aged 6 to 11, and come with the caveat that they haven’t gotten dirty in that time (ie if your kid loves to run around in muddy fields) and don’t have a skin condition.

    It stands to reason, that children don’t produce body odour at this age like adults do.

    For babies, it’s recommended specifically by the NHS that they aren’t bathed every day.

    This is because they have fragile skin, and too much ‘immersive bathing’ (where they’re right in the water) can dry it out.

    What you can do as an alternative is wash your baby with a sponge, and use a damp cotton pad to wash their face, then one cotton pad for each eye, keeping them clean and making sure infections aren’t spread.

    In general, there is no hard and fast rule for kids once they get to toddler age. If they’re still in nappies or training pants, you’re of course going to want to keep them clean, and if daily bathing works best for you, then that’s fine.

    However, if you haven’t managed to wrangle your kiddos into the tub after a busy evening, please don’t beat yourself up.

    As long as they’re not smelly or dirty, the only people worried are the ‘judgy mum-shaming squad’. And who cares about them.

    MORE: TK Maxx is selling boots that look like those little shoe covers you get at a swimming pool

    MORE: Horrifying pumpkins show stages of dilation during childbirth

    two girls splashing in bathtwo girls splashing in bath

    0 0

    Spending illustrations Money spending cash wallet man broke quid pound pounds rich control lifestyle skint Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk
    There is help if you are struggling (Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    If your debts are building and you can’t pay them off, there are places you can go for help and support.

    There are lots of options but choosing the one that is right for you depends on how much you owe and the type of debts you have.

    Firstly, you need to figure that out. Once you have an idea, there are a few places you can go for advice.

    Citizens Advice Bureau

    You can get face-to-face advice at your nearest centre. They can deal with any type of debt, including repossessions and negotiations with creditors.

    You can find your nearest CAB online or telephone 03444 111 444.

    National Debtline

    This service is completely free and available any time from 9 am until 8 pm Monday to Friday and from 9.30 am to 1 pm on Saturday. You can call 0808 808 4000 or speak to them via webchat on their website.

    Money Advice Service

    The Money Advice Service was set up by the government to provide free financial support. You can read through the information on their website at any time or contact the helpline from Monday-Friday 0800 138 7777.

    They also have a Webchat service open from 8 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday and 8 am to 3 pm on Saturday.

    There’s even a WhatsApp service where you can send questions about help sorting your debts, credit issues or pensions guidance. The number is +44 7701 342744.

    StepChange Debt Charity

    This charity offers support across the UK. You can use their debt remedy tool to get an idea of what could work for you.

    They provide advice, budget support and can talk through the solutions to help you deal with debt.

    After completing a budget form, you can call them on 0800 138 1111, talk to them on webchat or email them through their online form.

    Debt Advice Foundation

    Another charity that offers free advice on their helpline 0800 043 40 50 or you can read through some of the information on their website.

    Do you have to pay for debt advice?

    No, there is free advice available at any of the places above. Private debt management companies who charge a fee may promise to cut your repayments in the short term, but in the long term, you will pay much more.

    What options are available if I can’t afford repayments on my debt?

    Once you have spoken to someone about your debt problems, there are several options available to you.

    They might help you learn how to budget better to continue paying off the debts, or they might offer some advice on some of the things available to you.

    These aren’t easy options and will have a big impact on your credit rating so you should think carefully before you consider what you want to do.

    Debt management plan

    Under a debt management plan, you work with your creditors and agree to pay a small amount each month.

    This is done through a debt management company, which must be authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

    You need to give information on your financial situation and they can work on a monthly payment you can afford.

    The company then contacts your creditors and asks them to agree to the plan, though they don’t have to do and if they do not accept it, you will have to continue paying them back separately.

    Every month you make the payment to the company and they then share the money out between your creditors.

    This is suitable for people with non-priority debts (debts which will not cause you to lose your home) like credit cards, overdrafts or personal loans.

    Administration orders

    Administration orders are only available for people who owe under £5,000 and can afford to make regular payments, but crucially you must have at least two debts with one being a County Court Judgement or Higher Court Judgement against you.

    You can apply to the County Court for an administration order if you fit those criteria.

    if they agree to make the order, you make payments to them and they can then distribute it to your creditors. Once the order is in place, the creditors are not allowed to get in touch with you directly.

    Individual voluntary arrangements

    An IVA is a legally binding agreement where you and your creditors agree that you will pay all or part of your debts. You make regular payments to an insolvency practitioner and they then divide the money between your creditors.

    It allows you to pay back what you can afford over a set amount of time and anything that is not paid off by the end if written off.

    Once you have signed an IVA, neither you nor your creditors can back out.

    You need to pay a fee to the insolvency practitioner every month, which is usually taken from your monthly payments and you should not have to pay any upfront charges before the arrangement is set up.

    Debt relief orders

    To qualify for a debt relief order, you must have debts under £20,000 and be able to show you don’t own things of value or have savings over £1,000.

    You must also show that you are on a low income with £50 or less spare each month after paying your household bills. You must also have lived, had a property or owned a business in the last three years in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

    Usually, these orders are only granted if it seems unlikely you will ever be able to clear your debts.

    If the order is granted, it freezes your debt for debt and then writes it off completely if your circumstances haven’t changed.

    You can apply through an intermediary and it costs £90 to arrange the order. You can pay this in instalments over six months but your application won’t be looked at until it is paid in full. A free debt advice service can help you arrange an intermediary.

    Debt Month

    This article is part of a month-long focus in November all about debt.

    Scary word, we know, but we're hoping if we tackle this head on we'll be able to reduce the shame around money struggles and help everyone improve their understanding of their finances.

    Throughout November we'll be publishing first-person accounts of debt, features, advice, and explainers. You can read everything from the month on the Debt Month tag.

    If you have a story to share, a topic you want us to cover, or a question that needs answering, get in touch at MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.


    Metro IllustrationsMetro Illustrations

    0 0

    Illustration of a woman sitting at a desk working on a laptop
    ‘You need to make sure it’s affordable every month as payments will need to be made’ (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    When debts pile up it can feel really scary.

    Credit cards, payday loans, rent arrears; once you start owing money to lots of different places, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, and consolidating your debts into one loan can feel like a way out.

    Paying one lender back rather than loads of different lenders – sounds like a total no-brainer.

    A consolidation loan is where you merge your different debts together into a single loan to lower your monthly payments. On the face of it, it may seem simpler and look like it could save you money – but it isn’t always that clear cut.

    ‘A consolidation loan allows you to consolidate (meaning to combine a number of things) all of your existing debts such as credit cards into one monthly payment plan,’ explains financial adviser Sam Jennings, founder of Jennings & Co, ‘Quite often at a reduced rate with a longer term.

    ‘The general idea is that you take out one loan worth more than the sum of all of your existing loans, and then pay that off, using the money borrowed to pay off previous debt.’

    There are two kinds of consolidation loans:

    • Secured – where the amount you’ve borrowed is secured against an asset, usually your home. If you miss repayments, you could lose your home.
    • Unsecured – where the loan is not secured against your home or other assets.

    So, it’s really important to keep in mind that missing repayments, with a secured consolidation loan, could leave you without a home. It’s also crucial to remember that repayments on one single loan are likely to be higher.

    You should never take out a consolidation loan if you aren’t sure you can afford the repayments.

    ‘You need to make sure it’s affordable every month as payments will need to be made,’ warns Sam. ‘The other key risk is that if you pay off all of those credit cards in order to get a consolidation loan, you become slightly more vulnerable to racking up more debt.

    ‘Mentally, it may feel like you no longer have any credit card debt, so it’s important that once you’ve paid off those cards you cut them up and bin them, otherwise you can run the risk of ending up with new credit card debt alongside the consolidation loan.

    ‘It can be easy to get in a worse position than you started at, which can be very dangerous.’

    Shopping spree, bags.
    ‘It’s important that once you’ve paid off those cards you cut them up and bin them’ (Picture: Ella Byworth)

    A consolidation debt isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free card, and they only really make sense if you are able to use it as an opportunity to cut your spending and get back on track.

    It’s also a good idea to think about scenarios which could stop you keeping up with repayments; what if interest rates go up, or you fall ill or lose your job?

    Consolidation loans also don’t make sense if you don’t clear all your debts with the loan. If you’re struggling consistently with debt you may need help from a debt adviser rather than taking out a new loan – as this won’t address the root of the problem.

    But Sam says consolidation loans can be helpful in certain circumstances.

    ‘They are helpful for people that have a number of outstanding debts especially credit card debt. It’s for individuals who are struggling keep on top of lots of repayments and feel it’s never ending,’ says Sam.

    ‘A lot of people have consolidation loans to combine other debts as quite often they are actually only paying the minimum amount off each month, usually just the interest accrued.

    ‘Therefore they are then unable to pay off any capital and the debt is never actually going down.

    ‘So, the benefit of a consolidation loan is one debt with one bank. All the credit cards can be paid off to give you just one monthly capital repayment date.

    ‘The bonus is that the loan has an end date, unlike a credit card which is never ending. So the consolidation loan brings a structure to debt with an eventual ending, for example over three years, rather than being open-ended.’

    If you’re debts are less than £25,000 in total, it is probably a better option to apply for an unsecured debt consolidation loan  – because that way you don’t have to put your property at risk.

    For larger amounts you would likely have to apply for a secured debt consolidation loan – but this should never be entered into lightly because the ramifications of missing payments can be huge.

    It’s also important to note that debt consolidation loan applications will show on your credit report, and applying for several loans in a short space of time could have a negative effect on your credit score.

    That being said, a consolidation loan can be easier for people who struggle to stick to a budget and it reduces the amount of paperwork you need to do to manage your finances.

    ‘A consolidation loan might be right for you if the loan is large enough for you to pay off mounting debts and is affordable every month for you,’ says Sam.

    ‘With a consolidation loan, the total that you owe will go down, unlike the interest and repayments on a credit card. You need to make sure you have a good credit score though before getting on and not been ignoring debts.’

    Deciding whether or not to get a consolidation loan very much depends on your individual circumstances, but speaking to a financial adviser and having a thorough understanding of the risks involved is a good place to start.

    Debt Month

    This article is part of a month-long focus in November all about debt.

    Scary word, we know, but we're hoping if we tackle this head on we'll be able to reduce the shame around money struggles and help everyone improve their understanding of their finances.

    Throughout November we'll be publishing first-person accounts of debt, features, advice, and explainers. You can read everything from the month on the Debt Month tag.

    If you have a story to share, a topic you want us to cover, or a question that needs answering, get in touch at MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk.


    MORE: Everything you need to know about your credit score including how to check it

    MORE: How do you know if you’re in a ‘debt crisis’?

    MORE: People who’ve paid off debts give their tips on how to do it

    Mental health series #10: I'm still scared about how coming clean about mental health will affect my careerMental health series #10: I'm still scared about how coming clean about mental health will affect my career

    0 0

    David shows off his LEGO arm
    It wasn’t until I was nine years old that I first thought about making my own arm (Picture: Pau Fabregat/National Geographic Spain

    LEGO has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. I was so obsessed as a child that I would play under my bed into the early hours of the morning and was always introducing my parents to a new spaceship, futuristic car or other contraption I dreamed up.

    The fact I was born with one arm didn’t make a difference. I was always very independent and had an innate instinct to use what I was given and make the best of it.

    I have great tactile sensation in the stump of my right hand (it is in fact a ‘hand’ as fingerprints and knuckles are present) so I used it a lot. When I was young, using a prosthesis would have been more of hindrance.

    It wasn’t until I was nine years old that I first thought about making my own arm.

    I managed to create something basic with wire with which I could open and close a pair of tweezers. This was a hugely satisfying moment and that feeling never left me. It just sparked my interest to experiment further.

    I was attempting to build a LEGO ship when I looked at my arm and had a moment of inspiration. ‘Could I build the seemingly impossible?’ I asked myself. Suddenly, the bricks became so much more than a toy.

    Building it took a lot of trial and error, as well as very deep knowledge of the potential of LEGO elements. I had to build a lot, over and over again, following the instructions and then adapting a design to my own needs.

    One of David's early LEGO arms
    The first arm came from a helicopter, the second a plane and both the third and fourth came from a crane (Picture: Pau Fabregat/National Geographic Spain)

    It was like going through an apprenticeship. I’d spend long sessions assembling and disassembling repeatedly to understand what was possible, gaining the knowledge I needed as I went.

    My prosthesis has evolved over time. Each version worked with the same principles as a regular arm: they have a bend at the ’elbow’ and I control the mechanics to varying degrees with my stump, sometimes activating switches or pulling on levers.

    Some of my arms have had the addition of fish wire or a guitar string, or used the battery and engine from LEGO Technic elements, and to date I have always used a single set of LEGO to manufacture each one.

    The first arm came from a helicopter, the second a plane and both the third and fourth came from a crane. The attributes were determined by the set and that made each one special.

    My current arm is the most similar to a human limb since it has five fingers. The fingers cannot move independently yet – this is the goal in future prostheses.

    I have never had to use another prosthesis. I can pick up objects, open doors – I even ride an electric scooter to university with my adapted arm. I like it to stand out and get the limelight so when I’m at a conference or presenting, I make sure to only wear black or white so everyone can get a good look.

    Access to good prosthesis has improved all around the world but while the technology is there, we are a way away from everyone being able to use it. Availability is greatly affected by economic and geographical factors.

    David wearing red and yellow LEGO arm
    When I was growing up and all I ever wanted was to see myself as others saw themselves (Picture: Pau Fabregat/National Geographic Spain)

    Taking an old prosthesis and adapting it for a new person requires a good prosthetist or bioengineer (which is what I am studying at the moment). But the more technologically advanced the prosthesis is, the more expensive this becomes and they are not easy to standardise.

    This means constant measurements, fittings and tests to get an efficient prosthesis suited to its wearer. If you are not from a wealthy country or have a disability that makes travelling difficult, this isn’t very accessible.

    I can understand how difficult this must be for so many people – there were no prosthetics with advanced sensors or motors back when I was growing up.

    I’ve been through many difficult experiences and bullying has been very present in my life – I’ve been pushed, spat on, insulted and more – but I’m fortunate that it’s always been counteracted by the support of my family, friends and teachers.

    They have helped me overcome any obstacles and I always felt that what nature took from me, it gave back in a home with a lot of love, encouragement to explore my creativity and to push my boundaries.

    I certainly don’t think difference is a bad thing and I do not identify with the word ‘disabled’.

    There have always been social barriers for differently-abled people – there may always be – but it’s not like I would call the rest of the world ‘disabled’ for not having the same capability as me!

    As far as I know I am the first and only person in the world who had made their own prosthesis with a LEGO set but everyone has different things they simply adjust or adapt to.

    I hope that my experience will help to break some stigmas around disability but I don’t want short-lived change. I receive messages all the time from people around the world asking me to help them make a prosthesis, which makes me realise how lucky I am to have made this work.

    It’s exciting and heart-warming but not being able to help them all makes me sad. I would love to help children in third world countries overcome trauma and show them how a ‘toy’ can become an arm.

    We are in an exciting era of regeneration and entering one of more human and technological integration with bionic eyes, brain chips and so much more is on the way. The open source and (relative) low costs of 3D printing has opened a new field of development.

    I hope that in the near future, many ailments and physical issues may be curable thanks to advances in science. My story is just the beginning.

    MORE: Londoner becomes world’s strongest disabled woman after life-changing accident

    MORE: Thanks to The Peanut Butter Falcon for making me and so many others feel seen

    MORE: Man who can’t use his limbs illustrates entire children’s book using his mouth


    David_4 CROP NEW-5495David_4 CROP NEW-5495

    0 0

    You Don’t Look Sick is our weekly series about invisible illnesses, showing what it’s like to live with a condition that most people can’t see.

    Paul Stephens, 18, from Surrey, was diagnosed with haemophilia A when he was born. It is a rare genetic bleeding disorder, which means he lacks the factors responsible for blood clotting.

    It means that he bruises easily and can bleed excessively if his skin is cut. He can also bleed from joints and muscles because of a contact injury and this can cause pain and swelling.

    But Paul has never let his condition hold him back.

    He tells Metro.co.uk: ‘Haemophilia doesn’t define me as a person. I’ll always define myself and who I am.’

    Paul’s older brother also has the condition so when he was born, doctors tested for it straight away. 

    He says: ‘I’ve never known any different. It’s always been a part of my life. I feel like I was just a normal kid and I just always wanted to be active. I never really thought about it.

    ‘I knew I couldn’t do contact sports like rugby but it never really interested me anyway.’

    Now Paul is used to dealing with the condition and knows how to manage it so he can still enjoy playing sport. 

    He says: ‘I know how to live with it. I’ve got used to doing injections and it’s just become part of my life. It’s just normal for me now.’

    Paul Stephens
    Paul Stephens (Picture: Why Sit It Out)

    Paul has injections every other day to help the levels of factor VIII in his blood. Without the injections, the level in Paul’s blood is under 1%, while in someone without haemophilia, it is at least 50%.

    The injections help to raise the level of factor VIII and helps his blood clot properly. 

    If he has an internal bleed because of an injury, he needs to take an extra dose of his medication. 

    The bleeds cause him a lot of pain and sometimes it has been so severe, he has gone to hospital thinking that he has broken a bone.

    He explains: ‘It can be confusing and sometimes I need to go to hospital just to check it out and figure out whether I’ve broken it or it’s just another bleed.’

    Growing up with the condition, Paul has had a lot of support from his family and they have always encouraged him.

    ‘I’ve had lots of people helping me,’ he says. ‘When I was younger, I had a great haemophilia centre and that is part of the reason why I am quite independent. 

    Paul as a baby, when he was diagnosed.
    Paul as a baby (Picture: Paul Stephens)

    ‘My family have been great. My mum is very knowledgeable because of my brother having the condition too. We both know what our bodies are like.

    ‘Having a brother with the condition created a sort of rivalry – if he was doing his own injections, I wanted to do mine, for example. 

    ‘I saw him play cricket too and knew that the condition wouldn’t stop me doing things like that either.’

    Paul has always been heavily involved in cricket and although his condition means he does need to be careful to avoid injury, he has moved through the ranks and is now a player for his county.

    He says: ‘I was always playing when I was young with my brother. My brother played and my dad played so I just grew up with it. I played my first game when I was seven.

    Paul with one of the cricket trophies he has won
    Paul with one of the cricket trophies he has won (Picture: Paul Stephens)

    ‘I’ve had loads of people worrying about me and saying, “Surely you shouldn’t play.” It’s good to know they worry about me but I know myself and my body. And I know my limits.

    ‘It’s always in the back of my mind to be careful and if the ball hits me, I just deal with it. It has been part of my life for so long, it doesn’t cause too much damage to my muscles.’

    Paul went to a cricket college for two years and hopes to continue playing at a high level now he has finished.

    Throughout his cricket career, he says he’s only told people that he feels need to know about the condition because he doesn’t want them to treat him any differently.

    He says that when he does tell people, they often say ‘You don’t look sick’ because he is young, fit and looks healthy.

    Paul getting ready to play cricket
    Paul getting ready to play cricket (Picture: Why Sit it Out campaign)

    He says: ‘I know most people would have no idea unless they have seen me have a bleed or something. The condition is invisible to most people.

    ‘I remember when I was at primary school, we were talking about medical conditions in a lesson and when I talked about mine, not many people would believe it.

    ‘It can be really difficult to get people to understand .’

    Paul is part of the Why Sit It Out campaign by global biotherapeutics leader CSL Behring, to raise awareness of the benefits of exercise for those living with haemophilia.

    Paul in cricket white with a cricket bat
    Paul played his first game when he was seven (Picture: Why Sit it Out campaign)

    He feels it’s important to show that those with the condition can still take part in sports and stay active.

    Paul explains: ‘I know other people with the condition who aren’t very active and they have a lot more problems with their joints.

    ‘I wanted to show that you can be active and that it can be a huge help for your body, and mentally too. 

    ‘There are some things you can’t really play but there are loads you can.’

    He also feels that the campaign is important to highlight invisible illnesses and to show that not every disability is visible.

    He says: ‘We need more things on social media and the internet to educate people about invisible illnesses.

    ‘The more educated people are, the more they’ll understand that just because you can’t see a condition or disability, it doesn’t mean that person doesn’t need some help.’

    How to get involved with You Don't Look Sick

    You Don’t Look Sick is Metro.co.uk’s weekly series that discusses invisible illness and disabilities.

    If you have an invisible illness or disability and fancy taking part, please email youdontlooksick@metro.co.uk.

    You’ll need to be happy to share pictures that show how your condition affects you, and have some time to have some pictures taken.

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘My bowel twisted and died inside me – the doctor had no idea how I was still alive’

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘You might think I look better but I still feel horrible every day’

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘Crohn’s is more than just lots of trips to the toilet’

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘I don’t have diabetes because of my diet. It’s an autoimmune disease’

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘My doctor told me to get over my chronic illness’

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘Stop telling me yoga, turmeric or CBD oil are going to magically cure my chronic illness’


    0 0

    Kate Middleton at the Festival of Remembrance and the Zara headband
    Kate wore this £17.99 headband from Zara (Picture: PA/Zara)

    Kate Middleton isn’t afraid to wear something from the high street.

    We’ve previously seen her in an & Other Stories dress and LK Bennett heels.

    And her latest look includes a headband from Zara.

    The Duchess of Cambridge pushed back her trademark glossy blow-dried hair with the black bejewelled headband from the store, and it cost just £17.99.

    The padded rhinestone headband is still available to buy online. 

    She wore the accessory with a dark blue boat neck dress for the Festival of Remembrance service at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Saturday night, hosted by the Royal British Legion to commemorate those who have lost their lives in conflicts.

    Kate finished the outfit with a black velvet belt, black heels and the Queen’s pearl earrings, which she borrowed for the event.

    Kate Middleton at the Festival of Remembrance wearing the £17.99 Zara headband
    Kate the Duchess of Cambridge, and Prince William arrive for the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance (Picture: Chris Jackson/Pool Photo via AP)

    Kate and William were joined at the event by Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

    Although she is also a fan of the high street, Meghan opted to wear some of her favourite designer brands.

    Meghan wore a black brocade midi-dress, which is reportedly a bespoke piece made by Erdem, with navy Aquazzure Deneve bow pumps and ruby earrings from Jessica McCormack, worth £25,700.

    The Duchess of Sussex attends the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall
    Meghan opted for a black brocade dress (Picture: PA)

    Previously, Meghan has worn ASOS and Marks & Spencer at public events – causing the items to sell out quickly.

    She even launched the Smartworks collection with Jigsaw, John Lewis & Partners and Marks & Spencer earlier this year and six-month-old Archie was spotted in a pair of £12.99 H&M dungarees when the family where on tour in South Africa.

    MORE: You Don’t Look Sick: ‘I won’t let haemophilia define me as a person’

    MORE: What support can you get if you are in debt?

    Kate's headband cost £17.99 at ZaraKate's headband cost £17.99 at Zara

    0 0

    The giant gingerbread house replica of Covent Garden Market by Biscuiteers
    It weighs over 10kg (Picture: Biscuiteers)

    If you’re short for inspiration on how to decorate your gingerbread house this Christmas, swing by Covent Garden tomorrow (11 November).

    Just in time for the festive season, Biscuiteers, the boutique which has experts in all things biccies, will unveil a four-foot-wide gingerbread house on Central Avenue, modelled after Covent Garden Market.

    See if you can spot the cookie-shaped retailers and restaurants, such as the Shake Shack, Punch & Judy or The Pantry, or marvel at the mesmerising gingerbread replica of the market’s Christmas tree.

    The creation weighs over 10kg (including 5kg of icing) and is edible, but you’ll have to resist the urge to take a nibble. It took over 100 hours to build and decorate, so the bakers will likely tell you off.

    Instead, pick up a limited-edition Covent Garden Market Building gift set and make your own at home.

    If you start now and spend a few hours on it every day, you could be done by Christmas Day (not really, this version is much smaller).

    You could also wait and visit the market on Tuesday 12 November if you want to see the Christmas lights switch on.

    In other festive news, Covent Garden will be opening an ice rink later this month in partnership with the luxury jewellery shop, Tiffany & Co.

    The installation has been themed after the robin egg blue colour that the brand is known for, with giant Tiffany boxes used as decorations, as well as glittering snow and a four-foot tall bottle of Tiffany Eau de Parfum inside a snow globe.

    To make the experience that much more special, the perfume bottle will release a ‘sparkling floral scent’ on the ice rink throughout the day (no doubt to inspire you to pick one up for yourself).

    Guests will also get New York City feels, as they enter the ice by walking over a bridge inspired by Central Park.

    The experience will open on 28 November until 26 December on the East Piazza. Tickets are free but you have to book in advance.

    While you’re at the market, why not pick up some Christmas presents?

    Or get yourself some hot chocolate and just enjoy the festive joy.

    MORE: Get this turkey-shaped butter for your Christmas table and use it to avoid awkward family conversations

    MORE: Hobbycraft is selling a £7.50 colour-in igloo that’s perfect for when it’s cold outside

    MORE: The best Christmas hampers for 2019

    Giant gingerbread house launches in Covent GardenGiant gingerbread house launches in Covent Garden

    0 0

    What it's like to have one ball
    Check your balls! (Picture: Dave Anderson for Metro.co.uk)

    Apparently men like to check what’s going on in their trousers an average of seven times a day.

    But despite being quite au fait with their own testicles, two-thirds of men have never let a professional check any issues, according to a survey.

    The survey of 2,000 people, carried out by KP Nuts and Movember, said men clutch at their balls when they are nervous and some admitted to rearranging themselves at their desks.

    A quarter (23%) say they have cause to touch them at least 10 times a day and one per cent even say they check on their nuts at least 50 times in 24 hours.

    But the survey also highlights how many men aren’t taking testicular cancer seriously as 62% said they haven’t had their balls checked by a doctor in over 10 years, and 11% said they never check themselves.

    Most said they pay more attention if they suffer an injury to their nether regions.

    Popular injuries included being hit by a ball during sport or being smacked by a child but more unusually, 5% said they’ve injured their testicles by accidentally smearing deep heat on them.

    It found that one in seven (14 per cent) have hurt them simply by sitting awkwardly while one per cent admitted to being a bit red in the balls due to sunburn.

    The 10 most popular testicle injuries

    1. Hit by a ball during sport (35%)
    2. Sat awkwardly and hurt themselves (14%)
    3. Received an accidental smack by their child (13%)
    Snared themselves with a trouser zip (13%)
    5. Slipped and banged them while riding a bike (11%)
    6. Carrying something (9%)
    7. Injury during sex (7%)
    8. Hit by an overenthusiastic dog or pet (6%)
    9. Accidentally smeared them with something that stings, like Deep Heat (5%)
    10. DIY (5%)

    Kevin McNair, Marketing Director at KP Snacks, commented on the findings: ‘Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men and in most cases, if caught early, there is a 95% chance of survival.

    ‘It’s incredibly worrying that only 7% of men talk to their friends about checking their nuts for cancer and only a third of have had them checked professionally in the last ten years.

    ‘We want to raise awareness of how important it is for men to take control of their testicle health.’

    The brand is also holding a comedy night with Omid Djalili for the charity.

    How to check your balls

    Rather than just giving your testicles a squeeze, check them properly for any issues.

    Movember suggests giving your testicles a bit of a feel each month or so. It takes just minutes to do.

    Roll one nut between thumb and fingers to get to know what’s normal and repeat with the other one.

    If you notice a change in size or shape, a lump that wasn’t there before, or if they become painful to touch, see a doctor.

    MORE: There’s a giant gingerbread house popping up in Covent Garden tomorrow

    MORE: Kate Middleton wears £17.99 Zara headband at Festival of Remembrance service

    Metro IllustrationsMetro Illustrations

    0 0

    Four dishes from Asda's Christmas range including a pigs in blankets centrepiece, mince pie cookies, puff pastry and champagne truffles
    Christmas is going to be delicious (Picture: Asda)

    Asda has revealed its 2019 Christmas range and the new treats are sure to get people in the festive mood.

    From savoury delights to sweet treats, it features something for everyone, including vegans.

    The two star dishes from this year’s selection is a 12-piece pigs in blankets centrepiece and a towering turkey burger.

    Don’t let the fact it’s a burger fool you, this is a seasonal snack of massive proportions.

    Bite into smoked and pulled turkey, pork, sage and onion stuffing, Christmas coleslaw and a bubble and squeak fritter, all stuffed in-between two slices of a brioche bun.

    If that’s not festive, we don’t know what is.

    Before you dig into the hefty mains, treat your guests to a selection of minis, such as posh hot dogs, cheeseburgers and fish and chips, paired with a glass of bubbly.

    Or, if you’d rather eat your booze, try the prawn and chorizo puff pastry, which has been coated in prosecco sauce.

    The towering turkey burger from Asda's Christmas range
    Smoked and pulled turkey, pork, sage and onion stuffing, Christmas coleslaw and a bubble and a squeak fritter in a brioche bun (Picture: Asda)
    Pigs in blankets centrepiece from Asda
    Share with others or just eat it on your own (Picture: Asda)
    Asda's Christmas mini treats including hot dogs, cheeseburgers and fish and chips on a plate
    Perfect as a Christmas starter while you wait for the big dinner to begin (Picture: Asda)
    Prawn and chorizo prosecco puff pastry from Asda's Christmas range
    Munch on prawn and chorizo prosecco puff pastry (Picture: Asda)

    For dessert, Asda has created a twist on a traditional snack with its mince pie cookies, as well as moreish champagne truffles.

    The little ones can dig into a sponge cake with raspberry jam and icing, presented in the form of Pip the Penguin or try the ‘elf’-themed ice cream.

    It comes in a festive white, red and green colour, tastes like candy floss and has a raspberry compote.

    Top with some candy canes to make it extra jolly.

    As for vegans, there are two options on offer, starting with a crispy vegan Wellington that looks a bit like a Greggs pasty, jam-packed with chickpeas, cranberries, apricots and spices.

    Then stuff your face full of vegan cranberry and apple stuffing balls.

    Mince pie cookies from Asda's Christmas range
    Don’t forget to leave a few out for Santa (Picture: Asda)
    Champagne truffles from Asda's Christmas range
    Champagne truffles for dessert, anyone? (Picture: Asda)
    Pip the Penguin sponge cake from Asda's Christmas range
    Pip the Penguin is made from sponge cake (Picture: Asda)
    Green, white and red elf ice cream from Asda's Christmas range
    The kids will love the colourful ‘elf’ ice cream (Picture: Asda)

    Still not satiated that festive appetite?

    Pick up some fried Quality Street sweets or a Christmas hamper filled with cheese, crackers and chutney.

    We’ve put together a helpful guide to the best hampers for 2019, including affordable options from Aldi and of course, the holy grail of hampers from Fortnum & Mason.

    It’s going to be a delicious Christmas.

    MORE: There’s a giant gingerbread house popping up in Covent Garden tomorrow

    MORE: Get this turkey-shaped butter for your Christmas table and use it to avoid awkward family conversations

    MORE: Hobbycraft is selling a £7.50 colour-in igloo that’s perfect for when it’s cold outside


    0 0

    A pair of hands holding mince pies on a festive red background
    Forget the chocolate advent calendars, it’s all about mince pies in 2019 (Picture: Getty)

    Christmas is just 45 days away, so if you haven’t chosen an advent calendar yet it’s time to get your festive joy into gear.

    From booze calendars to beauty offerings, you can now start every day in December with a festive treat that isn’t reserved for those with a sweet tooth.

    If the idea of an edible snack for 25 days still appeals but you don’t fancy chocolate, how about something a bit more seasonal, such as a mince pie?

    You’re in luck – Selfridges has released a mini mince pie advent calendar, so you can stuff your face with various flavours every day.

    From the traditional fruity to citrus-topped and even a chocolate-inspired pie, there’s lots to try.

    Behind door 25, there’s also a surprise in the shape of an icing-topped Christmas cake, though we have a feeling you’ll already have plenty of cakes, bakes and other delights on the table – so why not save it until Boxing Day?

    The goodies were handmade in the Cotswolds, but unfortunately the calendar isn’t suitable for those with nut allergies as there is an almond-flavoured mince pie included.

    It is sold in Selfridges but can also be bought online, and will set you back £39.99.

    The Selfridges mini mince pie advent calendar for Christmas 2019
    It will set you back £39.99 (Picture: Selfridges)

    ‘We’ve all been partial to a mince pie or two, but what about a whole advent calendar of them to make December fly by?,’ Selfridges descibed the calendar on its website.

    ‘Your wish is Selfridges Selection’s command. Hidden behind each of the 24 doors is a mini festive pastry.

    ‘Extraordinary flavours include classic, citrus, almond and chocolate (we can almost taste them), and if you can reach the big day without gobbling them at once, there’s a mini Meg Rivers Christmas cake waiting behind number 25.

    ‘We’re counting down already.’

    Pets can also get in on the mince pie fun this year, as Sainsbury’s has launched mince pies for dogs.

    They’re made from carob, a tree from the legume family which has edible pods and come in packs of two, with turkey biscuit stars on the top of each pie.

    If you’d prefer a hamper filled with delectable seasonal snacks, we’ve also put together a helpful guide to the best hampers in 2019.

    Then all you need is a festive jumper, and Christmas is sorted.

    MORE: The best drinks advent calendars for 2019 – where to get them, what’s inside, and how much they cost

    MORE: The best Christmas markets for 2019 so you can get your festive trinkets

    MORE: Get this turkey-shaped butter for your Christmas table and use it to avoid awkward family conversations

    Hands holding mince pies with star pastry decorationHands holding mince pies with star pastry decoration

    0 0

    Two toys from the Wilko sale including an Avengers figure and Monopoly Mario Kart game
    There are discounts online and in-store (Picture: Wilko)

    Fancy getting the Christmas shop done early?

    Wilko has announced up to 50% off toys so parents can grab themselves a bargain, with brands such as Harry Potter, Disney and VTech on offer.

    Superheroes are also available in the form of Marvel figures, Transformers and Power Rangers.

    The sale will continue until Christmas Eve, so there’s plenty of time to browse the selection online, though some products can be found in stores, too.

    Among some of the best deals is the Bildo Frozen Mega Kitchen, which has been discounted from £70 to £35.

    Alternatively, for smaller Frozen-themed toys, there’s also My First Kitchen, now £20, and the Bildo Frozen Tea Serving Trolley, available at £25 (down from £50).

    For the little ones, go with VTech, which features fun and educational items such as the Touch and Teach Tablet – £16.50 with the 25% discount.

    Or save £6.25 on the interactive Feed Me Dino for kids up to four years old, now sold at £18.75.

    Potterheads have four toys to choose from, but the best deal is the Harry Potter Top Trumps Match Game for £12.75, where you have to match five in a row to win.

    You can also save a few quid on the Harry Potter Gryffindor Top Trumps Collector’s Tin, which comes in the shape of a suitcase and contains two packs from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

    Harry Potter Gryffindor Top Trumps Collector's Tin with two cards from The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Goblet of Fire
    The Harry potter Top Trumps Collector’s Tin is also on offer at Argos, where you can get two for £15 (Picture: Wilko)

    With the 20% discount, the tin costs £8 but it’s worth noting that it’s also available in Argos, where there’s currently a two for £15 offer – a great deal if there’s more than one Potter fan in your house.

    Some of the items are only available in-store, such as the Captain Marvel figure, discounted 20% and on sale for £8.

    Other sale items include the Nintendo Mario Kart, a gamer board where you can move around like Mario, his trusted companion Luigi and others, snapping up properties as you do. For kids aged eight and over.

    At 50% off, the game is a bargain at just £15.

    If you’re also planning the seasonal food shop, have a gander at Asda’s range or why not get yourself a Christmas hamper?

    After all, the season isn’t just for kids.

    MORE: Adah and Austin predicted to be popular baby names in 2020

    MORE: TK Maxx is selling boots that look like those little shoe covers you get at a swimming pool

    MORE: How often are children supposed to have a bath or shower?

    Wilko 50% toy saleWilko 50% toy sale

older | 1 | .... | 1838 | 1839 | (Page 1840) | 1841 | 1842 | .... | 1849 | newer