Articles on this Page
- 11/18/19--08:21: _You can have a booz...
- 11/18/19--09:52: _Why are people havi...
- 11/18/19--23:00: _The best books to h...
- 11/18/19--23:01: _Which debts should ...
- 11/18/19--23:59: _Young rugby star se...
- 11/19/19--00:37: _Woman horrified as ...
- 11/19/19--01:43: _International Men’s...
- 11/19/19--01:55: _What I Rent: Samant...
- 11/19/19--02:42: _Tanqueray gin is cr...
- 11/19/19--03:03: _AI-powered exercise...
- 11/19/19--03:36: _After helping you g...
- 11/19/19--04:07: _The internet wants ...
- 11/19/19--04:35: _Dog who can only us...
- 11/19/19--05:09: _Bride hitches a lif...
- 11/19/19--05:24: _Stop telling me I l...
- 11/19/19--06:25: _Doctors are warning...
- 11/19/19--06:49: _Nickelodeon’s new a...
- 11/19/19--07:26: _You can get free en...
- 11/19/19--09:04: _Mum becomes friends...
- 11/19/19--20:31: _How to stop your ca...
- 11/18/19--08:21: You can have a boozy Christmas with this festive wine stocking
- 11/18/19--09:52: Why are people having less sex?
- 11/18/19--23:00: The best books to help you get out of debt
- 11/18/19--23:01: Which debts should you pay off first?
- court fines
- Council Tax
- TV Licence
- Child maintenance
- gas and electricity bills
- Income Tax, National Insurance and VAT
- mortgage, rent and any loans secured against your home
- hire purchase agreements, if what you’re buying with them is essential.
- credit card debts
- hire purchase agreements
- unsecured bank and payday loans (loans that are not secured against your property)
- water bills
- loans from friends and family
- 11/19/19--00:37: Woman horrified as severe psoriasis destroys her tattoo
- To promote positive male role models; not just movie stars and sportsmen but everyday, working-class men who are living decent, honest lives.
- To celebrate men’s positive contributions to society, community, family, marriage, childcare, and to the environment.
- To focus on men’s health and wellbeing; social, emotional, physical and spiritual.
- To highlight discrimination against males; in areas of social services, social attitudes and expectations, and law.
- To improve gender relations and promote gender equality.
- To create a safer, better world; where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential.
- 11/19/19--03:03: AI-powered exercise bike promises to get you fit in just 40 seconds
- Using AI, the bike automates and personalises, with self-learning algorithms to optimise your workout – it’s like a having your own scientist calibrating every session.
- Audio and visual prompts guide you through each session, working all the time to give you the optimum workout, slowing you down if you’re working too hard and making you work harder to get you to your peak.
- A session on CAR.O.L rapidly depletes glycogen stores and burns fat – supercharging your workout.
- 11/19/19--05:24: Stop telling me I look like a man because I lift weights
- 11/19/19--06:25: Doctors are warning your duvet could be making you ill
- 11/19/19--20:31: How to stop your car windows from freezing
No Christmas would be complete without a stocking on the wall, and one company has brought back an adult-only product for 2019.
The piece in question: a stocking which dispenses booze.
Now that’s what we call a stocking filler.
Party Flasks is the company behind this genius invention, which is aptly named Santa’s Flask.
The product can hold up to 2.25 litres of your favourite festive tipple – which equates to around three bottles of wine.
Its features include a wide mouth (which makes it easy to fill), alongside a leak-proof spout – to prevent any wastage.
The opening is also wide enough to fit ice cubes inside – should your drink require it.
It’s reusable, too – so will come in handy for pleasing families and friends, year after year.
According to the website, the boozy treat is made from ‘BPA-free and FDA approved food grade plastic’ – so it’s lightweight and perfectly safe to drink from.
The imaginative product is being sold on gifting website CoolStuff, for £16.99 – a pretty reasonable price considering its reusable nature.
Stockings and booze are a Christmas match made in heaven, so it’s hardly a surprise that the product has received glowing five-star reviews on Amazon. Although, it is currently out of stock on the online marketplace.
One individual said: ‘Got this as a gift for my mother on her boat and she loved it. It gets used quite a lot and not just during the holidays. It’s a conversation piece for sure and gets a lot of laughs.’
While another added: ‘My son-in-love hinted strongly for this “stocking”, so I got it for him. It was a big hit. I will be putting his name on it and using it over and over again. Easy to fill, easy to clean.’
Another Amazon seller Fairly Odd Novelties is also offering a similar product for £9.95 – this one holds just under two litres of liquid.
Our advice is to stock up now, before the office Christmas party.
stocking which dispenses booze
With dating apps providing us with more opportunities to hook up with strangers than ever before, this might sound far-fetched, but research suggests that this trend is already developing.
A new study by Zaucey.com has just revealed that one in five Brits have sex three times a year or less, with most of us having sex every 75 days on average.
So people aren’t shagging as often as they used to – but why?
Tom Thurlow, founder of the sex toy brand Ricky.com, believes that we might be enjoying ourselves less with a partner, but that’s only because we’re busy ‘self-partnering’ (the new phrase for being single, coined by actress Emma Watson, in case you missed it).
‘Getting frisky under the covers with a partner might be on the decline but I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing or that we are getting less sex,’ he tells Metro.co.uk.
‘What is transforming is the way we view sex with many of us now experiencing better sexual satisfaction by ourselves.
‘Younger people especially are more empowered and embrace the topic of sex without the stigma that was around just a few years ago.
‘It’s this new normalisation which is giving people the confidence to learn more about their bodies; for example they may read a story on the internet about how to achieve an orgasm which then leads them to discover a new method that really helps them to climax, that might have been unsuccessful when they tried with their partner before.’
Ricky.com has also analysed sex toy purchases on its site and found that most returning customers opt for products that are better suited for solo play, such as rabbit vibrators or bullet vibrators (though you can absolutely use these with a partner, too).
Mark Vahrmeyer, a psychotherapist at Brighton & Hove Psychotherapy, echoes Tom’s thoughts, and adds that we’ve lost sight of ‘why’ we’re having sex, with the activity having evolved from being a fundamental part of life (procreation) to also existing for pleasure.
‘With the social and cultural revolution of the 60s, sex became empowering and something to be enjoyed.
‘Sex therefore shifted from procreation to connection and pleasure (though behind closed doors it was always about the former and to some extent the latter),’ he tells Metro.co.uk.
‘However, with the commodisation of sex though the rise of high-speed internet and free porn, sex has become something that increasingly people engage in alone.
‘Perhaps therefore millennials are not necessarily having less sex; they are having less sex with other people.’
Another explanation for why sex is in decline could be that we’re not able to form bonds with others, also courtesy of modern technology.
He says: ‘If sex becomes commoditised through “hook-up” apps and porn, then while it may seem more accessible, in reality, making sex happen with another person becomes anxiety-provoking.
‘There has evolved a segregation of romance from our daily lives where romance (or desire) is played out on screen and through apps where we can be and create what we want.
‘In the last 25 years, the seismic shifts in society fuelled by globalisation and technology have stripped away all social and cultural meaning from sex.
‘It is more accessible than ever before. But the paradox is that it is only more accessible in fantasy – the reality means experiencing vulnerability and connection with another human being, which in the absence of observed social rituals (dating, courting) makes sex something we desire in fantasy but fear in reality.’
Hayley, not her real name, has gotten freaky in the sack twice this year, mostly because she doesn’t enjoy one night stands and doesn’t ‘feel there’s enough of a connection’.
‘I haven’t been in a long-term relationship for a few years, and although I have a high sex drive (I do masturbate regularly), casual sex is rarely pleasurable for me,’ she says.
‘I find it hard to achieve orgasm with a partner and with most one night stands, I don’t feel there’s enough of a connection to feel confident and explain what I really want.
‘I had one incredible encounter this year where I saw someone I recognised from social media and I “slid into their DMs”.
‘We talked for weeks before we met up and I think that helped both of us to communicate our needs and desires. There was no awkwardness – the intimacy was natural and enjoyable. I wish I had more encounters like that.’
Hayley also tells us that she has friends who have gone through ‘sex droughts’, often due to mental health concerns, such as feeling tired, insecure or stressed.
With stress levels rising across the nation, many people are turning to antidepressants to cope with symptoms, and a common side effect of this type of medication (SSRIs or SNRIs) is experiencing a lowered sex drive, though it doesn’t happen to everyone.
The NHS prescribed a record number of antidepressants last year, according to the BMJ, so it stands to question whether this also plays a role in Brits having less sex.
Regardless of the reason, it’s important to note that there’s nothing wrong with not having sex.
If your body and mind is saying that it’s time for a break from getting freaky with others, that’s totally OK.
Don’t push yourself to do something that you don’t feel like, just because others in your social circle are having sex on a regular basis.
Then again, if you’re not having sex because you’re afraid of putting yourself out there and meeting someone, but want to, it might be worth looking into ways that you can help yourself along.
This could be anything from going to a speed dating night, taking part in a sexual education workshop, visiting a private sex club (you don’t have to have sex with anyone, but it might spur on your libido) or simply getting to know yourself better in bed.
If you believe your mental health is the reason for you declined interest in sex and it bothers you, chat to a medical professional to discuss what options are available (therapy, for instance).
Looking after your general well-being, making time for yourself and living a healthier life could also help.
In the meantime, while you’re not having sex, enjoy time with yourself.
Don’t worry, the sex will come (pun fully intended).
Being in debt can be stressful, scary and all-encompassing.
But no matter how daunting the numbers look, you don’t have to just sit back and accept your fate. The best thing to do is be proactive and arm yourself with knowledge.
The more you understand about your financial situation, the better placed you’ll be to deal with your debt, reduce the amount you owe and stop yourself from getting into more debt in the future.
One way to get on top of all the confusing figures is to throw yourself into reading. There are plenty of brilliant, accessible books out there that cover all kinds of debt and financial difficulties – and they could be the perfect starting point.
Here are some of our favourite recommendations to help you manage your debt:
Debt: The First 5000 Years
This international bestseller and award-winning study presents a sweeping history of debt, even showing that debt existed long before humanity even had money.
David Graeber, an anthropologist at the London School of Economics, and one of the organisers of Occupy Wall Street, argues that our current ideas about money are limited, if not completely wrong.
He says society has always been divided into debtors and creditors, and debt and forgiveness have been at the centre of political debate long before money existed. Graeber shows how we are still fighting these battles today.
While this may not provide practical advice for your personal money woes, it could help to give you a wider understanding of the global picture of money, wealth and debt.
How to Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt, and Live Prosperously
Well, the title of this one is promising.
Written by a recovered debtor, this book provides a step-by-step guide to getting out of debt once and for all.
Including how to recognise the warning signs of serious debt, how to design a realistic and painless payback schedule and how to identify your spending blind spots.
The only thing to remember is that it’s an American book – so some of the intricacies about the financial systems may not be relevant here, but most of the principals are universal.
The No Spend Year: How you can spend less and live more
This book follows personal finance journalist, Michelle McGagh as she challenges herself to not spend money for an entire year.
It sounds like an insurmountable task, but it could teach you invaluable lessons about how to save money and how to cut down on unnecessary spending.
In the book, Michelle finds creative ways to live, have a social life and travel for free. She also changes her relationship with money for the better.
The Meaningful Money Handbook
Written by personal finance expert Pete Matthew, this guide claims to provide you with everything you need to know and everything you need to do to build a secure financial future for yourself and your family.
That includes lessons on how to get out of debt as quickly as possible, techniques for good financial control, so you can avoid getting into debt again, and how to save and invest simply and efficiently.
The whole point of this book is to provide simplicity and clarity, so it cuts out a lot of the complicated jargon that you just don’t need to know.
The DIY Investor: How to get started in investing and plan for a financially secure future
Investing expert Andy Bell is unpicking the intimidating world of investing with his expert tips on how to get started, which could provide an opportunity to save money and get out of debt.
Andy explains how to build a long-term investment portfolio using a range of low-cost, tax-efficient strategies.
But it is important to remember that investing comes with risk, and isn’t always the right option for everyone – particularly if you already have significant debt.
Spare Change: How to Save More, Budget and be Happy with Your Finances
This handy guide by Iona Bain basically covers all your bases. It’s an accessible, easy-to-read guide that aims to help you build a more fulfilling relationship with money.
Bain helps readers explore their personal relationship with money, then create an action plan, tailored to their individual needs.
If you’re in debt, this book will look at compulsive spending and difficulties with creating a budget – to help improve your financial literacy.
Debt Advice Handbook
This is a seriously comprehensive guide to all things money in England and Wales.
Yes, it looks like a textbook from your uni days, and we can’t promise you loads of laughs, but we can promise you loads of useful information.
It covers topics like prioritising debts; preparing financial statements; negotiating with creditors; and choosing the most effective strategy.
Mrs Moneypenny’s Financial Advice for Independent Women
Legendary FT columnist, Mrs Moneypenny focuses on women in this funny and useful guide.
Moneypenny takes a critical look at the hurdles women face when it comes to financial independence, and offers sage advice on how to get over them.
With tips on increasing your income, cutting your bills, starting a business and saving a pension, she provides practical ways to think about your money and take control of your finances.
Books to help you with debt
When you get into debt, it can feel very overwhelming.
You might have a credit card to pay, a buy now, pay later deal on a sofa and a loan that is tied to your house. So which one should you tackle first?
There are two types – priority and non-priority debt. Everything might feel like a priority when you are missing payments but the distinction is that priority debts carry serious consequences for your basic standard of living.
Consequences of not paying a priority debt include being made homeless or things like your gas or electricity being cut off.
On the other hand, not paying a non-priority debts means something like a fine. This can seem hard but it does not affect your basic standard of life in the same way. Things like credit cards are non-priority debts.
Priority debts are always the ones you should pay first.
Types of priority debt
Priority debts include:
Andy Shaw, Debt Advice Coordinator at StepChange Debt Charity, said: ‘When you’re looking at paying back debts, it’s important you prioritise the most important ones.
‘However, this can be complicated if you don’t know how tell a priority bill from a non-priority debt.
‘It’s therefore key that you evaluate each of your debts and consider what the consequences could be.
‘StepChange’s website provides a handy list of priority debts and consequences that can act as a good starting point for this.
Types of non-priority debts
Non-priority debts include:
‘Of everything you pay out, it’s important that you pay your priority debts or bills in full each month.
‘If you find it difficult to keep up in any given month, it’s likely you would benefit from a free and comprehensive debt advice session.’
Once you have handled these priority debts (or if you only have non-priority debts), you can think about the best order to tackle the rest.
Paying off your highest interest debts first makes sense because they cost you the most money. If you can pay these, you have more money for your other debts.
Some debts charge you a penalty for overpaying so check if this if the case. If not, pay as much as you can without missing the minimum payments for other things.
Once you have managed this one, look at the next most expensive one and so on.
If you are struggling to pay your debts, you can get help and set up a debt management plan to slowly clear what you owe.
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.
A promising rugby player is ditching the rugby boots for sparkly heels as she takes part in the Miss England pageant.
Prashika Sapkota decided to enter the competition on a whim after watching this year’s Miss England final on TV, and she has now reached the semi-finals of the competition.
But the 17-year-old isn’t giving up her sporting dreams – she wants to do both. She currently plays rugby at county level, but would love a run out for England in the future.
The teenager, from Reading, has broken her nose twice playing the sport she loves, but she’s not about to let that hold her back and doesn’t think it’ll harm her chances in the pageant.
‘I started playing rugby in Year 8 at school during PE and our team became county champions in Year 9,’ says Prashika.
‘In the first game I played in the south England’s school tournament I got a concussion which wasn’t a good start.
‘When I broke my nose the first time I was in a lot of disbelief, having thought my friends weren’t being serious when they told me I had actually broken it.
‘Then I looked at myself and it became apparent.’
Prashika had to have rhinoplasty surgery after both accidents, but she’s hoping for better luck when the semi-finals of Miss England take place in June next year.
She says it was her mum who encouraged her to take part in the Miss England contest.
‘I didn’t even think about entering until she mentioned it,’ she explains. ‘I was surprised when I got through to the next heat because I don’t have any experience.
‘I didn’t think I’d get this far – it feels crazy.
‘Being in a male-dominated environment in my hobbies and studies makes me feel empowered as a woman.’
Prashika hopes to use her platform to spread a positive message about women in sport and show that it is possible to be interested in beauty pageants and playing rugby competitively.
‘I want to show that girls can go down the same route as me and still be interested in things like Miss England,’ she says.
‘It also shows that pageant queens aren’t just pretty, they are smart and they do a lot for charities.’
AC Miss England Rugby 1-d3b5
A woman has been left devastated after severe and quick-spreading psoriasis covered her entire body and turned the rose tattoo on her arm into an ‘unrecognisable, blurry mess.’
When Kelly O’Hanlon, 35, first noticed her scalp was itchy and flaky, she thought it was simply dandruff, so she started using a specialist shampoo.
But when that made little difference, she saw her GP and was diagnosed with psoriasis – an incurable condition which sees the skin become covered in crusty patches.
Over the next few years, Kelly – who has two children – tried all sorts of treatments, including topical creams and UVB light therapy, but nothing controlled the condition for long.
‘I went from having a patch of psoriasis the size of a 50p to my legs, arms, stomach and even face being covered in red, sore patches,’ says Kelly.
‘The tattoo on my arm, which I got in 2017 and have always loved, was particularly affected. One day it was there, and the next it had disappeared into a blurred, distorted mess.’
The initial patch on Kelly’s scalp began to get grow and get incredibly itchy, but Kelly admits she never expected the condition to spread as quickly as it did.
Over the next three months, Kelly’s symptoms worsened until her hairline and the skin behind her ears were also covered in crusty patches.
In September 2011, she was officially diagnosed with plaque psoriasis – the most common form of the condition – and given some prescription-strength coal tar shampoo.
For the next 18 months, she did her best to manage to condition.
‘No one could see it at that point, because it was only on my scalp and the surrounding areas,’ she explains. ‘But because I knew it was there, I was constantly checking on it – itching and scratching to see how flaky I was. I became fixated, which added to my stress and anxiety.’
After giving birth to Ethan in May 2013, Kelly’s psoriasis ‘exploded’ across her body.
‘I noticed a minute patch of dry skin on my baby bump towards the end of the pregnancy but I wasn’t too bothered,’ she says.
‘Fast forward to three months later though, and both my legs were covered in sheets of psoriasis.’
According to the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Alliance, between and 10 and 20 per cent of women find that their psoriasis gets worse during pregnancy.
Her doctor told her the outbreak was likely linked to hormonal changes. She was then prescribed steroid cream and referred for a 10-week course of light therapy.
‘I had to go religiously three times a week for short bursts of light therapy, but because my skin is so fair it started off with a very low dosage,’ she says.
‘By the time I’d finished, it had cleared up most of the psoriasis on my upper half, and my legs had improved a lot.’
Finally able to enjoy motherhood without feeling self-conscious, Kelly went five months without a flare-up – but her psoriasis returned in 2014.
‘The psoriasis came back with a vengeance and after initially trying light therapy again, I just thought the benefits weren’t worth it,’ she adds.
‘I had already undergone 30 sessions of light therapy and you’re only allowed so many in your life due to the risk of skin damage.
‘The whole process was a juggling act and it wasn’t giving me the results I wanted the second time around.’
Sadly, Kelly’s confidence was soon at rock bottom – not least because of the stares and comments she faced from strangers.
‘I took the children out swimming and I was in my costume – something which takes a lot of courage, even on a good day – and the child behind asked his mum what was wrong with my legs.
‘I realise children don’t understand the impact their words have, but I couldn’t help feeling torn up by it all.’
When Kelly fell pregnant for the second time last year, a dermatologist recommend she try Epaderm emollient ointment as an alternative to steroid cream, which she was worried about using as an expectant mother.
According to the NHS, whilst most topical cortisteroids are considered safe to use during pregnancy, particularly potent ones are not usually prescribed.
‘During the pregnancy, the hormones this time around seemed to have a positive effect on the psoriasis – my skin cleared up for a good few months,’ she says.
‘Then after I gave birth in December, it all came back thicker than ever – my skin felt like it was on fire.
‘I just thought, “I can’t live like this.” It really was the worst it’s ever been.’
Kelly decided to start using Epaderm religiously, day and night – and within a matter of weeks, she said her skin was showing signs of improvement.
‘Now I use it morning and night, I even carry a little tube in my handbag,’ she says.
‘I don’t want it to come across like this cured my psoriasis, because it’s not something you can ever really cure, but it’s about finding what works for you.
‘Now, for the first time in a long time, I feel back in control, and I want to show others out there living with psoriasis that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.’
Psoriasis destroys tattoo
These include a shorter life expectancy and a high suicide rate.
Rather than being the opposite of International Women’s Day, International Men’s Day seeks to raise awareness about these important issues and more, and work against damaging gender stereotypes that harm us all.
What is International Men’s Day all about?
International Men’s Day was first marked in 1992 and has grown since then to be celebrated in over 70 countries all over the world.
There were six goals at the core of International Men’s Day at the time it was founded. They are:
The UK International Men’s Day website now states that the aim of the day is to focus on ‘how we can make a difference to men and boys, and, how we can give men and boys better life chances’ by addressing issues such as men’s health, the high male suicide rate, male victims of violence (including sexual violence), the challenges faced by fathers and male victims of sexual abuse, domestic abuse and rape.
The theme of the day is the same every year: ‘Making A Difference for Men and Boys’.
When is International Women’s Day?
On the flip side of the same coin is International Women’s Day, which takes place each year on 8 March.
In 2020, that will fall on a Sunday, and the theme will be Each for Equal.
It’s a day for marking the achievements of women all over the world and serves as a call to action for everyone to strive for gender equality.
International Men’s Day quotes and memes
‘A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things.’ – Barack Obama
‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’ – Martin Luther King Junior
‘Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all.’ – Bill Clinton
We take care of our dental health. We don’t take care of our mental health … I think the solution to making the world better is if we would just be healthy, mentally.’ – Howie Mandel
19 Nov is #InternationalMensDay I thought I would share these pictures again to highlight how important it is for men to talk,share and listen to each other. No longer is it weak to speak.These men have faced their own challenges and are encouraging you to do the same #timetotalk pic.twitter.com/eGYScfUAVt
— Glenn Haughton OBE MBA (@SEAC_Defence) November 17, 2019
— Keith Mills (@KeithMillsD7) November 19, 2019
— BurgerKingIndia (@burgerkingindia) November 18, 2019
Confident therapist leading group therapy session
Is the renting situation in London really as dismal as the occasional tweeted-out studio flat listing suggests?
Yes and no.
It is hideously expensive and a lot of places up for rent inspire only despair.
But despite that, many Londoners are making renting work for them and calling their overpriced one-bedroom flat a home.
What I Rent is our weekly series that looks at the reality of renting in the UK (and sometimes further afield). Each week we nose around someone’s rented property to see what they get for their money.
This week we’re with Samantha, 22, who works in finance recruitment, and her partner James, 24, who works in business development.
Samantha is originally from South Africa but moved to Canada and New Zealand before eventually settling in the UK, staying in Milton Keynes, Cambridge, then London. James was born in Chennai, India then moved to the UK when he was two, where he lived in Milton Keynes until he moved to London for university.
The couple moved to Walthamstow – along with their one-year-old cats, Mouse and Sprout – around a year and a half ago.
Hi Samantha! How much do you and James pay to live here?
Rent is around £1,600 between us (so £800 each), plus £50 a month in ‘pet rent’ for the cats.
It’s about £150 for council tax per month and £100 each for water and electricity per quarter. Wifi, hot water and heating are included in our rent. We also have other bits and pieces like TV streaming subscriptions, Spotify and about £30 a month in pet insurance.
And what do you get for what you pay?
We live in a one-bed flat with one bathroom. The kitchen and living room are open plan and lead onto a pretty spacious balcony.
How did you find the flat?
Last year we were looking for somewhere to live and came across a listing by Fizzy on Zoopla. It caught our eye because it was advertised as pet-friendly!
We moved here a few months ago, at the beginning of August.
Are you happy where you live?
Our flat is less than five minutes’ walk from Blackhorse Road station. We’re definitely very happy – there are a lot of perks to living where we do. The commute is really convenient for both of us – about 30 minutes to work on the Tube – and there’s always someone at reception to take deliveries while we’re not in.
The flats themselves are really modern and we’re able to do more decorating than we could in other rentals.
Sometimes Fizzy hosts social events for people living in the building, and it’s nice to actually know our neighbours. The biggest upside for us is that it’s pet friendly. We wouldn’t be able to have the cats in most other rental flats, which was a big motivator for us moving here in the first place.
Do you feel like you have enough space?
We definitely have more than enough space for just the two of us, along with Mouse and Sprout. The rooms themselves are quite spacious and it’s nice to have a bit of outdoor space for when the weather’s nice.
Although the flat isn’t huge we never feel cramped and everything is well laid out.
What’s living together like?
It’s been great – we lived in different cities for a couple of years at the beginning of our relationship and this is a definite improvement.
How have you made the flat feel like home?
We’ve been able to decorate a lot more here than we would be able to with other rentals. We spent last weekend painting a feature wall in the living room and otherwise are currently in the process of buying all of the furniture and other items that we need.
It’s nice that we can think of this as a long-term home, rather than worrying about moving somewhere else in a year’s time.
Are there any problems with the flat you’re putting up with?
None at all. Any minor issues have been dealt with very promptly.
Do you have plans to move again?
We have no plans to move in the near future – for the moment we want to focus on putting down roots in one place. The flat we have now works very well for us and hopefully should continue to do so, bar any big life changes.
Have you considered buying a place?
Buying a house or flat is definitely something we want to do in the medium to long-term, but it will take us at least a few years until we’re in the right place financially to do that.
Same. Let’s take a look around.
What I Rent is a weekly series that’s out every Tuesday at 10am. Check back next week to have a nose around another rented property.
How to get involved in What I Rent
What I Rent is Metro.co.uk's weekly series that takes you inside the places people are renting, to give us all a better sense of what's normal and how much we should be paying.
If you fancy taking part, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You'll need to have pictures taken of your kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom, plus a few photos of you in your room. Make sure you get permission for your housemates!
You'll also need to be okay with sharing how much you're paying for rent, as that's pretty important.
What I Rent Walthamstow
When a bar has a lengthy cocktail menu, it can be hard to choose what you want.
Either you go rogue and end up with something that’s really not to your taste or stick to an old favourite and never get to try anything new.
Well, good news. Gin brand, Tanqueray is taking over a townhouse to create a pop-up bar where they use all sorts of things to help you choose your drink.
There are five rooms to choose from – from an elegant lounge bar to a secret bar, where they’ll analyse your senses to create personalised drinks.
The event will run from 6-15 December at Bloomsbury House in London.
Tickets cost £12 but they include two cocktails and access to the whole experience.
Guests will be greeted with a gin (Tanqueray of course) and tonic on arrival as they move through each of the rooms.
Magic Circle artists will also be performing illusions throughout so expect playing cards magically appearing in gin bottles and cocktail shakers disappearing in front of your eyes.
At The Lounge Bar, you can get classic G&Ts, gin-based classic cocktails like a Tom Collins and new recipes created by Jack Sotti, like a Townhouse Negroni and a Bloomsbury Sour.
For those looking for a relaxed vibe, there’s a library featuring a whole range of books about gin.
There’s also The Gifting Room, where you can create Christmas gifts like a bespoke gin Christmas cracker. There’s a calligrapher’s table where you can create customised labels, wax bottle seals and your own wrapping paper for the gin-lover in your life. This is the only bit of the experience open to non-ticket holders so if you miss out on a ticket, you can still take a look.
Things get a little more scientific with The Aura Room, where they apparently use facial recognition technology to read your aura and decide which cocktail is for you.
And the final room is The Secret Bar. A selection of lucky guests will be invited via a ringing telephone to take part. They will then be given a range of scented vials of Tanqueray No. Ten ingredients and gin experts will assess the reaction to create a unique cocktail based on the results. We’re not sure how accurate it can really be but it sounds like fun.
The whole event will raise money for The Felix Project, a charity that helps people experiencing food poverty in London.
Tickets are on sale now so grab one before they’re gone.
Tanqueray gin is creating a pop-up bar with personalised cocktail based on your senses
None of us have enough time. We’re always going on about it. How busy we are, how we don’t even have time to see our friends, or rest, let alone workout.
The good news is that workouts are getting shorter. Most of us now know that you can have a more efficient session with 20-minutes of HIIT than by plodding on the treadmill for an hour or more.
But what if it was possible to take it to the next level and get your daily fitness requirement done in less than a minute?
A new AI-powered exercise bike promises just that.
CAR.O.L (which stands for CARdiovascular Optimization Logic) is a stationary bike that boasts a 40-second workout which, they say, is clinically proven to give you the same cardio benefits of a 45-minute jog.
It sounds too good to be true. But they have science to back it up.
The American Council on Exercise did an independent trial on the CAR.O.L bike and found that the effects on the body of 2 x 20-second sprints, three times a week, are the same as the recommended 5 x 30 minutes of exercise a week, or a 45-minute jog.
We were still skeptical. Can you really push your aerobic fitness and build and tone your muscles in just 40-seconds of hard work? We went to try it out for ourselves.
The bikes are located on the fourth floor of Harvey Nichols, you can rock up in your work clothes, no need for kit of trainers – because you’re not going to break a sweat in 40 seconds.
But before we hopped on the bike, we were given an eye mask and headphones for 10-minutes of meditation on a reclining chair, to help us get in the zone. Which was nice.
Then it was ride time. The full workout actually takes nine minutes, but you’re only working hard for 40 seconds of that. You start with a two-minute warm up, sprint as hard as you physically can for 20 seconds, recover for three minutes, sprint for another 20 seconds, and then cool down for three minutes.
We were also given a full-body scan which measured everything about us from our height, weight and age to our muscle-mass composition – so the bike knows you inside out before you even start riding.
This means that when you hit your sprint, the resistance automatically adjusts to make sure you’re working at maximum intensity – and you don’t have to press any buttons or even think about it.
The more sessions you do, the more the bike learns about you, and the smarter your ride will become.
You’ve heard of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), but this is MIIT (Maximum Intensity Interval Training) – which means the intervals are even shorter, and even harder.
The point of this is to rapidly deplete your glycogen stores. To cope with the sudden demand for energy, your body will then burn large amounts of long-chain carbohydrates stored in the muscle – within 10 seconds.
This means you’re not only burning fat quickly, it also triggers molecular changes that signal to the body to improve your fitness, fat metabolism and remodel muscles. It means you’ll be better prepared to cope with similar stress in future.
How does the CAR.O.L bike work?
How does the CAR.O.L workout impact your body?
‘When you push your body to its maximum (during the the 2 x 20-second sprints), your body reacts like it’s being chased by a tiger,’ say the founders of CAR.O.L.
‘Your legs quickly use up all their glycogen stores, depleting all the energy from your legs to get you moving as fast as possible.
‘Because your body is in flight mode, it urgently starts looking for glycogen from the rest of your body so that you can keep moving, quickly burning fat stores causing your blood sugar and your blood pressure to drop too.
‘You get a full cardio workout in the fraction of the time of any other kind of exercise regime.’
The website states that glycogen depletion workouts like these cause sugar to shift from elsewhere in your body back into your thighs, to be stored as glycogen and reused. Insulin is needed to drive this sugar into muscle, and your muscles need to be sensitized to insulin to speed up this process.
‘After just four to eight weeks of workouts with CAR.O.L three times a week, your body’s insulin sensitivity will increase by 25-28%,’ reads the site.
‘If your muscles become more sensitive to insulin, you become better at burning fat for energy.’
What’s the verdict?
The idea of freeing up more time in our weekly schedules is obviously incredibly appealing.
And, from our experience of trying the mini sprints, we can imagine that the science is sound because it was surprisingly hard work. But having only had the one session, we would need to try it consistently to see if we actually get the results.
It’s incredibly convenient to be able to hop on in your normal clothes and hit your recommended fitness target in no time at all. No more lugging a heavy, sweaty gym bag to the office every day.
But, there is a niggling worry that this may be taking the concept of HIIT slightly too far.
For many of us, fitness is about so much more than physical or aesthetic results – it’s about mindfulness, reducing stress and stepping away from our hectic schedules.
If you relish your time in the gym – away from your phone and your emails and your social media – the idea of shaving that time down to next to nothing might not be what you want.
The good news though, is that the bike does have different settings – not just the 40-second MIIT workout. We also tried the ‘fat burn’ session which takes 10 minutes. It’s 30 sprints (eight seconds, with 12 seconds of recovery between), and this one will definitely get you sweating.
And of course, there’s the price, which is on the steep side. But this is Harvey Nichols after all, what did you expect?
One ‘intense’ or ‘energiser’ session costs £24. A ‘fat burner’ session costs £36. A ‘fitness test’ costs £55. The eight-week programme will set you back £1230.
If you have space at home, you can buy your own bike for £2,995, with an additional cost of £12 per month for the software.
Fitness class promises to get you fit in just 40 seconds
Marie Kondo made her name by advising people how to declutter. If it doesn’t ‘spark joy’, get rid of it.
But now she’s encouraging fans to buy items from her online store.
The author and TV star has created an online shop with 125 home and self-care products.
In a message on her KonMari website, she said that it ‘is a collection of my favourite things and items that spark joy for me.’
She added that once people declutter their lives, they should add ‘meaningful objects, people and experiences’ into their lives.
‘Meaningful objects’ in the range include a $52 (£40.21) tea scoop, $24 (£18.56) crumb brush, and a $42 (£32) specifically shaped to carry a bouquet of flowers.
You can also get $206 (£159) leather room shoes and a $115 (£88) linen kimono robe.
For $75 (£58), you can get a tuning fork and clear quartz crystal that apparently ‘creates pure tones that help to restore a sense of balance.’
Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Marie said it’s not about replacing the items you already have, but just about showing people what she likes to have in her own home.
She said: ‘What’s most important to me is that you surround yourself with items that spark joy.
‘If the bowl that you’re using currently sparks joy for you, I don’t encourage replacing it at all.’
The post on her website adds that her method isn’t about getting rid of things but realising what is and isn’t giving you joy.
Speaking about her collection, she added: ‘I hope these items spark joy for you – and for your loved ones! They make beautiful gifts for anyone seeking to establish new routines, elevate their everyday tasks or create a joyful home.
‘Just remember to complete your tidying and to use that experience to purchase mindfully. My intention is that you will cherish these items and use them for years to come.’
Picture the scene: You kneel before the Priest (not in a Fleabag way) and open your mouth to receive the body of Christ in the form of a little tasteless wafer.
You look up in reverence at the sacrifice made by Jesus to save us all from our sins.
But, what you’re looking up at isn’t Christ on the crucifix or a mere altar. No, you’re looking up at a stained glass window that appears to show a very different part of the body of Christ.
Twitter user Rosievix was at a service this Sunday and noticed this rather unfortunate effort at shading
In a tweet, they wrote: ‘What, exactly…, is Mary holding ??’ You’re asking us.
What, exactly…, is Mary holding ?? 😳 pic.twitter.com/U80EFKqBaJ
— Rosievix (@Rosievix) November 17, 2019
What the artist seemed to be getting at was some sort of imagining of The Pietà by Michaelangelo.
In this sculpture, the Virgin Mary is seen holding her son in her arms after he was crucified.
However, this artist – in an effort to show the darker shading in Jesus’ inner thigh – has accidentally made it look like he’s packing a Bratwurst in his robes.
There obviously wasn’t some sort of blasphemy checker in residence when the piece was installed in the currently-unidentified church. Commenters on the original tweet also seem similarly unbothered by the potential they may be smote for their impiety.
One commenter replied: ‘You can’t spell resurrection without… erm… urrection.’
Another said: ‘The second coming?’ which was countered with a suggestion that this depicted ‘The staff of life.’
What’s John the Baptist up to here! pic.twitter.com/YJKthp5AfO— Will Trotman (@wjtrotman) November 18, 2019
Further sacrilege took place when this other stained window – of Jesus and John the Baptist – was posted as a reply.
Basically, instead of passing around a collection bucket for a new roof, these places of worship are going to have to ask for donations to fix their NSFW windows.
That stands for Not Safe for Worship, if you didn’t know.
Gus was born with a congenital deformity that means he can’t use his front legs like most dogs.
But that hasn’t stopped the Carolina/Husky mix being a playful pup.
Most of the time, he gets around by jumping and with some help from his owner Melody Rezzonico, 27.
She bought him a wheelchair but it didn’t work when it got cold where they live in Laramie, Wyoming, U.S.
So instead she got a custom made prosthetic leg to hold his body and put it on a piece of plastic like a snowboard so he can race through the snow.
Melody said: ‘Seeing Gus run and be able to keep up with other dogs is the best feeling in the world.
‘Every time he puts his prosthetic legs on, he knows he’s going on an adventure and his face just lights up.
‘As a dog, Gus has no clue that he’s any different from the others.
‘He’s incredibly goofy, always wanting to wrestle, play tug of war, go on walks, beg for treats and belly rubs.
‘He has completely adapted to life with two legs.’
Gus was abandoned in South Dakota when he was four months old and Melody found him at a local shelter.
She decided to take him home and has worked with him to create ways he can be active as although she found he could ‘scoot’ around, he would often fall forward and hurt his chin.
Thanks to the prosthetic, Gus has climbed 14,000-foot mountains and been able to run through sand dunes.
2 legged snowboard dog
It’s important for a bride to make an entrance on her wedding day.
That might mean rocking up in a vintage car, a horse and carriage, or even making the groom sweat by arriving 30-minutes late.
But this bride took that concept to the next level after she hitched a ride to her wedding in a firetruck after her wedding limo got stuck in standstill traffic.
Julie Gorman, who lives in LA, almost missed her own nuptials after a car crash left her limo stuck in traffic and stranded her and her bridesmaids on the side of the road.
Los Angeles County firefighters from Station 69 were at the scene of a car accident that blocked both lanes of Topanga Canyon Boulevard when they spotted Julie and her maids by the road, holding up their dresses to keep them out of the mud.
Ever the life-savers, the firefighters, having finished their work at the crash, offered to give the women a ride to the wedding.
Julie and her bridesmaids jumped aboard the giant, red truck and were delighted to be given a Code 3 escort to the venue.
A few weeks after the ceremony, Julie sent the kind firefighters a photo of herself posing with them in front of their truck on her wedding day.
‘Thanks for saving our wedding, The Gormans,’ she wrote on the photo.
The Gorman’s wedding photographer Amy Van Vlear, posted on her Instagram Story an image of Geof and Julie holding hands at their venue after her arrival, followed by the group shot of the bride with the firefighters.
‘When the road to the venue was completely blocked off because of a car crash, these firefighters saved the day for Julie by driving her up the canyon to the venue in their fire truck!’ she wrote.
‘Julie and Geof sent them this photo after the fact, thanking them for what they did.
‘Can it get any cooler than this,’ Amy captioned an image of Julie and one of her bridesmaids.
Los Angeles County firefighters also posted some images on Instagram from the eventful encounter – one featuring Julie wearing her lace wedding gown and green wellington boots, while posing with the firefighters.
‘You never know what you’ll find working overtime in the county,’ read the post.
‘E69 was working on scene of a traffic accident… as they were clearing the scene they noticed the future Mrs Gorman with 2 of her bridesmaids walking along the side of the road holding up their dresses out of the mud.
‘Obviously curious the Captain asked if they could help.’
Modern day heroes.
Bride hitches a lift to her own wedding in a firetruck after her limo gets stuck in traffic
‘You look like a man.’ This was one of the first negative comments I received when showing off my new skills in the sport of Strongman.
It was far from the last.
‘You are female?’ accompanied by a vomit emoji. ‘Surprised your d*ck didn’t fall out’ and ‘gross’ became a common narrative on any social media post I made of my athletic achievements, always by strangers, and always without provocation.
Women in athletics still face a daily battle against sexism and misogyny. Scrolling through the comments section on any social media post featuring a woman, one might find several hundred comments following the same line of abuse – strangers verbally attacking women in sports based on their appearance and how ‘attractive’ they deem them to be.
Strongman is the sport of ‘picking up heavy odd objects’. It’s not a beauty competition. The weights don’t care what I look like, the weights only care if I can lift them.
Regardless, endless comments on my appearance, my hair, my weight, my tattoos, my shoulders – even my ability to perform sexual acts (‘her hands would be too callused to give a good handy’) – are discussed at length by total strangers.
Social media platforms have removed decency and manners from human interaction and allow anonymous users to attack without fear of consequence or retaliation.
It’s doubtful a man would come up to me personally and spout this abuse – although once in a gym a man did tell me ‘lifting like that is why I won’t get a husband’. Little did he know I have been happily married for 13 years.
I created an Instagram account called You Look Like a Man (YLLAM) initially as a joke between me and a friend. I took all of these disgusting comments and placed the text over beautiful shots of nature to highlight their utter absurdity.
Incredibly the account grew to over 10,000 followers in the first three months and I realised this was a much bigger issue than even I knew.
Stories from all over the world poured into my inbox, with women sending in submissions and screenshots of the daily harassment they face for simply existing in the world of athletics.
Women are being told they can’t be good mums if they go to the gym. Women are being told that having visible muscle definition makes them undateable and unlovable.
Women are being told that lifting weights or competitive sports are ‘men’s things’ and that if they lift a lot they will become infertile.
Women are being told that their sole worth on this earth is to be attractive to men, and that everything they do should be pleasing to men’s eyes. Women are even being told to ‘smile more’ when they lift because men will find them more approachable.
Since YLLAM started fighting back against this abuse, I have been called an ‘angry feminist’, a ‘worthless c**t’ and one man messaged me to say, ‘I hope you get raped, again’.
Too often women have been told to sit down, be quiet, get ‘thicker skin’ and to ignore their abuser. This tactic does nothing but isolate the victim and make her feel like she is the one who has done something wrong.
Worse, reading these comments with no visible opposition gives the appearance that this is an acceptable way to speak to women.
This harassment of women in athletics has far-reaching consequences – it discourages women from staying active and fit, and says to them that the only type of physical exercise they should be engaged in is the type that is geared towards becoming smaller (i.e. weight loss driven results) instead of stronger.
Many women have heard ‘you don’t want to lift weights, you’ll look like a man – do some running or yoga instead so you get a lean, toned look.’
Some people believe that if a person places a photo of themselves online, they asked for or ‘deserve’ whatever feedback they get. I ask you, does that same standard hold true for a woman leaving her home and walking down the street?
Would these same men come up to a total stranger and stop her specifically to say, ‘I don’t find you attractive?’ Yet this is what is happening every single time a woman receives this unsolicited, hateful commentary on her social media.
The next time you see a photo or video of a woman who doesn’t meet your particular aesthetic preference, it’s OK to scroll by without comment.
Or, if someone is being harassed or attacked in their comments section, it’s also OK – and appreciated – to respond that those comments are unacceptable. Being kinder to people is free, and the world needs more of it.
Doctors are warning about ‘feather duvet lung’ after a man developed a sudden and severe reaction to his bedding.
Martin Taylor was left breathless, tired and unable to work within just a few months.
He had been previously healthy and initially doctors had no idea what was causing his symptoms.
The Scottish man had suddenly started to experience dizzy spells in late 2016 and he went to his doctor in November of that year.
But two months later, the 43-year-old still didn’t have a diagnosis – and he was getting much worse.
He wasn’t able to stand for more than a few minutes and he was so breathless, it took him 30 minutes to climb the stairs as he needed to sit down and rest every few steps.
He was referred to Dr Owen Dempsey, an expert in respiratory medicine at Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.
There, he was diagnosed with hypersensitivity pneumonitis – a severe allergic reaction in the lungs.
Tests showed that he was reacting to dust from bird feathers but the patient did not have any contact with birds and his only pets were a cat and a dog.
It was only on further investigation that they realised the cause might be his new duvet – he had switched from synthetic bedding to feather bedding just before his symptoms started.
He was prescribed steroids and switched his bedding and found that his breathing improved.
After 12 months, he was able to stop the steroids and now he says: ‘My oxygen saturation level nowadays is regularly 97%–98% which I understand to be normal for someone my age, and I have not had any dizzy turns since recovering.
‘It doesn’t affect me at all now and my life is pretty much as it was before.’
The condition was named ‘feather duvet lung’ and the doctors who treated him are warning medical professionals to be on the lookout for the condition.
Writing in a study published in the BMJ, they said that it’s important to ask about bedding if a patient has unexplained breathlessness as recognising the condition quickly could prevent irreversible scarring in the lung.
If you have changed your duvet and find that you aren’t reacting well, speak to your doctor and consider switching to another type.
Alternatives to feather duvets
If you think you are reacting to the feathers in your duvet, there are lots of synthetic options out there.
This duvet is synthetic but uses microfibre technology to create something that is still incredibly light and fluffy.
This duvet promises the soft luxurious feeling of a natural feather duvet but it has a synthetic hollowfibre filling, leaving you warm and cosy without too much weight.
A budget-friendly option, this one has a microfibre filling inside a 233 thread count cotton cover. It’s breathable and hypoallergenic.
This one is fully synthetic but still very soft. It’s a 13.5 tog duvet, which is great for winter but it can be separated into a 4.5 tog or 9 tog so it’s suitable for all seasons.
This duvet has been approved by Allergy UK to help those with asthmas and dust mite allergies. It’s filled with polyester and is suitable for machine washing and tumble drying.
Feather duvet lung
The last thing you’re probably thinking about right now is family days out during the Easter and Summer holidays.
You might still be a little excited to hear, however, that Nickelodeon are planning to bring an activity extravaganza to our shores over Easter next year – and there will be loads to do.
Nickelodeon’s Big Base Camp will be the first of its kind in London – an immersive experience based around all the greats of the channel.
Visitors will be able to meet characters from the likes of Paw Patrol and Spongebob Squarepants, as well as different activities for all ages of kids (or adults).
The 10-day event – at a new London venue called Magazine – will run from Saturday 4 April to Monday 13 April 2020, and will be split into two sections.
The Camp Studio Experience is one of these parts, and is specifically designed for kids aged 7 to 14. For this part, you’ll drop your little ones off, and they’ll be guided round the experience by a Nickelodeon Ambassador.
This will include a whole host of challenges you’ll have to complete as a team. Expect escape rooms, green screens, and a whole load of slime.
The second part is Bikini Bottom, where everyone from toddlers to grandparents can hang out and get a piece of the action.
Here, there’ll be a main stage with entertainment, as well as a ball pit and craft area. You can even order food from The Krusty Krab or one of the themed street food vans.
The Experience tickets are £28 plus a booking fee, and adult and junior tickets (without the Camp Studio Experience) are £14.25 plus booking fee.
No adult or junior tickets can be purchased without the purchase of at least one Experience ticket, and each Experience ticket allows you to buy one adult ticket and one junior. It’s all a bit confusing, but people don’t seem to mind as they’re already selling out some time slots.
However, if you don’t manage to get your hands on some, you could head down to your local The Works and see if they have any of these brilliant Nickelodeon slime advent calendars.
Nickelodeon\'s new attraction will have escape rooms and a slime room where you can get gunged
Fancy a day out? Well get yourself a lottery ticket, because it doesn’t just come with the chance of winning some money – it could help you save some too.
Next week, over 500 attractions will give you free entry or discounts with a lottery ticket or scratchcard to celebrate the National Lottery’s 25h birthday.
They’re all places that have been helped by National Lottery funding and the idea is to say thank you to all those who play the lottery and help to contribute £30 million to good causes every week.
Offers include free entry to the London Transport Museum, two for one entry to Kensington Palace and a free hot drink at the Science Museum (It’s already free to visit).
Outside the capital, the offer includes the Eden Project in Cornwall, Cardiff Castle, Murrayfield Stadium and the Giant’s Causeway on the north coast of Northern Ireland.
You can find all the attractions taking part in your area by entering your postcode online.
All you have to do to use the offer is pick up a ticket for Lotto, Euromillions, Thunderball, Hot Picks, Set for Life, Instant Win Games or a scratchcard and take it along to the attraction.
You don’t even have to go to a shop to pick one up – you can play online or via the National Lottery app and still use the deal.
And if you have an old ticket in your purse or in a drawer, (after you’ve checked it’s definitely not a winning one you’ve forgotten about) you can use it as the date on the ticket doesn’t matter for the deal.
The offer runs from 23 November until 1 December but some venues are only offering the deal on select days so check online before you visit.
Sounds like everyone is a winner.
It’s always an inconvenience when an online order doesn’t arrive, but for this mum, it sparked something wonderful.
Caoimhe McConway had ordered some baby-gros for her daughter Féah, and was miffed when they hadn’t come.
Instead of the parcel she expected, though, she did end up getting something in the post – a card and present from a kind stranger who’d spotted the parcel on the side of the road and decided to do something nice.
The package had been on some journey, falling off the delivery truck and ripping open, with the baby clothes Caoimhe expected strewn across a road in Kent.
A woman called Emily had seen this on her school run, and noted down Caoimhe’s Lisburn address, clearly knowing that she’d be missing the clothes for her new baby.
In the card, Emily told the story, and wrote: ‘I took a photo of your address, and wanted to send a few baby-gros for you, which I hope will fit your little one.
‘I would have collected them off the road but they were strewn everywhere and all dirty and oily. The road is a busy one too.
‘Congratulations on your new arrival – always such a precious time’.
Caoimhe told Metro.co.uk: ‘At first I thought it was the sender who sent me it, then read it and realised it was a complete stranger who happened to find the parcel. I just couldn’t believe a complete stranger would go to them lengths’.
The 28-year-old childcare assistant decided to use social media to find Emily, heartened at her random act of kindness.
After posting the story on Facebook, it racked up over 3,400 likes and 2,400 likes.
‘The online reaction has been crazy,’ said Caoimhe.
‘I didn’t expect my post to get the response it did.’
After just four hours, word had got round, and Caoimhe had a message from Emily’s sister (as Emily herself doesn’t use Facebook).
The pair have become friends, and it’s extremely adorable.
‘We exchanged numbers and have been in regular contact through WhatsApp,’ said Caoimhe.
‘Emily has three children and three bonus children as she calls them (step children) – including a wee baby herself at three months,’ she continued.
‘She seems to have her hands full enough and still manged to do this lovely gesture. I think it’s lovely that two complete strangers have became friends thorough this.’
As the holiday season approaches, it’s a great reminder that doing something that you might see as insignificant can really make someone’s day. Not only that, but you could come out of it with a brand new friend.
Mum searches for stranger who found broken parcel on the road and sent gifts for her baby daughter
Temperatures dipped to almost -10C in some parts of the country earlier this week, and many woke up to a frosty car this morning.
Winter hasn’t even officially kicked off yet, which means that this is only the start of the cold weather we can expect in the months ahead.
If you want to avoid spending your winter mornings scraping the windshield if your car, then you’re in the right place because we’ve got tips on how to de-ice your car and how to stop your windows freezing in the first place.
How to stop car windows from freezing
All you need to stop your windshield from freezing is an old towel, water and table salt.
Mix the salt with the water and soak the towel in the solution.
Place the wet towel on your windscreen so that it covers the window, and leave it on overnight.
When you wake up in the morning, your window should be ice-free.
How to de-ice your car
If a frosty window has taken you by surprise, then you can de-ice your car by using a saltwater solution and wiping or spraying it on the glass.
Make sure you avoid the metal parts of your car, as salt is corrosive.
Instead of salt, you can also use surgical spirit or any strong alcohol you’ve got lying around – in this case, the mixture should be two parts alcohol, one part water.
If your house is teetotal, white vinegar will also do the trick – the mixture should be three parts white vinegar and one part water.
Spraying this mixture on the glass the night before should also work as a way to stop the window from freezing up overnight in the first place.
If you decide to scrape the ice off your car, avoid using things like credit cards, as they could scratch the glass.
Don’t use hot water as the sharp temperature change could cause the glass to crack, and using a hairdryer to melt the ice on your window is dangerous as it could result in electrocution.
The AA recommends:
Get up at least 10 minutes early to give you time to prepare the car.
Don’t drive off like a tank-commander, with a tiny hole cleared in the windscreen. Clear all windows using a scraper and de-icer.
Use a cigarette lighter to warm a key for a frozen lock. Don’t breathe on the lock, as the moisture will condense and freeze.
Plan routes to favour major roads which are more likely to have been cleared and gritted.
Put safety before punctuality when the bad weather closes in. Allow extra time for winter journeys but be prepared for the inevitability of being late for work due to unexpected delay.
Why does my car freeze on the inside?
If your car is freezing on the inside, that could be a sign that there’s too much moisture in the air inside your car.
To stop this from happening, you can leave one of your windows open just a crack, provided you keep your car in a garage or similarly dry place.
You can also leave absorbent things such as rice pr cat litter in your car to soak up any excess moisture. Alternatively, you could buy a disposable dehumidifier.
How to stop screenwash freezing
There are screenwash brands you can use, such as Halfords -30 Concentrated Screenwash, which promise to not re-freeze on your screen when used neat.
Winter weather Jan 31st 2019