Articles on this Page
- 01/19/20--01:24: _Iranian refugee giv...
- 01/19/20--02:52: _You Don’t Look Sick...
- 01/19/20--02:57: _Twins kiss goodbye ...
- 01/19/20--03:18: _Transgender soldier...
- 01/19/20--04:29: _Dumpling the blind,...
- 01/19/20--04:40: _I got into housepla...
- 01/19/20--04:49: _Woman sells nude pi...
- 01/19/20--06:30: _400 dogs turn out t...
- 01/19/20--07:17: _What young women th...
- 01/19/20--07:37: _Remote Irish island...
- 01/19/20--07:57: _Couple early to Ed ...
- 01/19/20--09:21: _Service dog goes on...
- 01/20/20--00:47: _75-year-old woman c...
- 01/20/20--01:36: _Mum reveals simple ...
- 01/20/20--02:09: _Anvil is the latest...
- 01/20/20--02:19: _Veneers are all the...
- 01/20/20--02:25: _Man with rare skin ...
- 01/20/20--02:33: _Pret launches 15 ne...
- 01/20/20--03:31: _Mum of baby with po...
- 01/20/20--03:52: _Going to university...
- 01/20/20--03:56: _People are horrifie...
- 01/20/20--05:01: _Boy so scared of fo...
- 01/20/20--05:29: _Vegans tell us the ...
- 01/20/20--05:46: _Why it’s time to mu...
- 01/20/20--06:00: _Indian food lovers,...
- 01/20/20--06:09: _What does woke mean...
- 01/20/20--07:10: _Real-life Rapunzel ...
- 01/20/20--07:31: _Burns Night: five f...
- 01/20/20--08:08: _Vegan burgers are n...
- 01/20/20--08:48: _Man caught cheating...
- A circular red skin rash around a tick bite, which can appear up to three months after being bitten.
- A high temperature, or feeling hot and shivery
- Muscle and joint pain
- Tiredness and loss of energy
- pain and swelling in joints
- nerve problems – such as pain or numbness
- heart problems
- trouble with memory or concentration
- 01/19/20--09:21: Service dog goes on his first trip to Build-A-Bear and it’s adorable
- 01/20/20--00:47: 75-year-old woman celebrates fostering over 600 kids in 50 years
- 01/20/20--01:36: Mum reveals simple hack to make packing Aldi shopping much easier
- 01/20/20--02:09: Anvil is the latest Love Island sex position but what exactly is it?
- Porcelain Veneers – These are the most used form of veneers as they produce a natural result like normal teeth
- E-max veneers – These veneers are strong and can be made thinner and lighter but are more translucent
- Zirconia veneers – these are the strongest of all veneers. They are good for blocking out dark teeth underneath
- Lumineers – These are some of the thinnest veneers
- Contact lense veneers – Require no preparation at all but can only be used in some cases
- Composite veneers – A form of bonding that requires no tooth preparation but is not as strong as porcelain veneers
- 01/20/20--02:33: Pret launches 15 new vegan products
- Mozzarella, Pesto & Avo Salad Bowl, from £4.99
- Mexican Inspired Salad Bowl, from £4.50
- Spicy Egg Brioche, from £2.75
- Sweet Potato Falafel Mezze Salad Bowl, from £4.50 (VG)
- Chocolate, Almond Butter & Banana Smoothie, from £4.50 (VG)
- Avocado, Mango & Ginger Smoothie, from £3.99 (VG)
- Raspberry, Mango & Ginger Smoothie, from £4.50 (VG)
- Apricot & Pistachio Overnight Oats, from £3.25 (VG)
- Mexican Inspired Sweet Potato Wrap, from £3.50 (VG)
- Lightly Spiced Carrot & Coriander Soup, from £3.80 or £2.40 for side soup portion (VG)
- 01/20/20--05:29: Vegans tell us the things that were hardest to give up
- 01/20/20--06:00: Indian food lovers, Le Biryani perfume may soon be available to you
- 01/20/20--06:09: What does woke mean and what is a wokie?
- 01/20/20--07:10: Real-life Rapunzel teenager breaks own record with 6ft 2in long hair
- 01/20/20--08:08: Vegan burgers are now outselling normal burgers at LEON
When Koroush Valiseh was 16, he fled war-torn Iran with his family and found a home in West London.
But Koroush took with him his native love for weightlifting and wrestling – the Iranian national sport.
He settled into life in Ladbroke Grove but struggled to fit in.
He was handed £90 by a charity to help develop a skill that would make life adjusting to the UK a bit easier.
With the small sum, Koroush began training as a fitness instructor and sport became a huge part of his life.
Over the next 25 years, Koroush, now 41, has built a career in sport and he represented Great Britain at the 2003 World University Championships in Italy.
But seven years ago, he reached his goal of launching Westway Barbell Club – a weightlifting community that trains people from all walks of life and helps them reach their fitness goals – in a bid to help people like him.
Some of his clients include those fleeing conflict in Afghanistan who, with Karoush’s help, have gone onto compete at the Olympics.
Since the club started, hundreds of weightlifters have found like-minded fitness buddies but they’ve also built a community.
Westway Barbell Club is also am Inclusive Fitness Initiative (IFI) gym meaning they are equipped to support users with physical disabilities.
‘As a family, we had to make the decision between leaving and losing our lives,’ Koroush explained to MyLondon.
‘It was very difficult when we came to London but this community gave to me.
‘I knew I had to find people who experienced the pain that I have. I’ve trained students from Afghanistan who have lost everything. When you hear their pain it completely invalidates what I’ve been through.
‘That is what inspires me, to help better their lives in any way I can.’
The Westway Barbell Club also serves as a GP referral gym, which means they help people who need fitness support for health complications such as stroke and arthritis.
Koroush also hopes to invite at-risk youth from the Kensington community and invite them to take up the sport.
He added: ‘We want to give everyone in the community a home in this club.
‘We have students from all different backgrounds and challenges – refugees, people struggling with mental health, people who have overcome religious and cultural barriers.
‘We want the club to be accessible to everyone.’
You can find out more about the club via the Westway Barbell Facebook page.
Do you have an inspirational story you want to share? Get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Iranian refugee has started own weightlifting community in LondonIranian refugee has started own weightlifting community in LondonKoroush the Iranian refugee who fled war to come to London pictured with his weightlifting community Iranian refugee with his own weightlifting community in LondonIranian refugee has started own weightlifting community in London
Nicola Deeley, 22, Winsford, Cheshire, lives with fibrous dysplasia of the skull – a bone disorder in where scar-like tissue develops instead of normal bone.
It causes pain, misshapen bones and can lead to fractures.
The condition can occur in other parts of the body but when it is specifically in the skull, it can cause changes to the shape of the face or in some cases, hearing or vision loss. For Nicola, it also causes chronic migraines.
Research and development associate scientist Nicola started to notice something was wrong when she was 13.
For our You Don’t Look Sick series, Nicola tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I first started to complain of pain in my head and in my rib cage which was swollen.
‘It took three years of constant hospital appointments, being told I was imagining my symptoms and being advised to just get on with it until I was given a bone scan which revealed a large tumour in my skull, which had caused a severe vitamin D deficiency leading to swelling in my rib cage.
‘When I was 16, I had surgery to remove part of the tumour and conduct a biopsy, I received a phone call a few weeks after the surgery to be told I had fibrous dysplasia. I was later diagnosed with chronic daily migraines when I was 17, which are thought to be related to the tumour.
‘I was scared and I felt isolated, I had never heard of the disease and the doctors did not have any knowledge of it either.
‘As the illness only affects an estimated 1 in 30,000 people there is a lack of experience, support and treatment for the condition. It was very difficult to come to terms with knowing I will never get better and there is no cure.’
Now six years on from her diagnosis, Nicola is still impacted by her condition every day.
She adds: ‘I suffer with constant pain, I have tried a wide range of treatments including painkillers, preventative medications, nerve block injections and bisphosphonate IV treatment, however nothing has managed to ease the pain and I am continuing to try new treatments to hopefully find some relief.
‘Some days I suffer from hemiplegic migraines where the symptoms mimic a stroke and I have had to be admitted into hospital.
‘On occasion, I lose vision in my left eye and have to take ibuprofen to be able to see. I experience dizzy spells, light and sound sensitivity and extreme pain every day.
‘Even simple tasks like brushing my hair can leave me in tears from the pain.’
Although the condition is rare, Nicola has found support from online groups and she likes to interact with other people who understand what she is going through.
She adds: ‘I managed to find a Facebook support group for my condition which has been extremely helpful as I now have contact with people who share my experiences, it’s nice to have a level of support from people who can fully understand how I feel.’
For Nicola, people are not always understanding of her illness and how it affects her every day.
She says: ‘People often comment that I am “too young to be sick” or that I “don’t look sick” which I find really hard to deal with.
‘I find that the increased use of social media further fuels this view as generally only the best days are posted online and no one sees ‘behind the scenes’ and the worst days where I can’t get out of bed.
‘As I don’t look visibly disabled I feel that my illness is rarely noticed, which can cause problems when I need to sit down or can’t do as much as people expect of me.
‘I feel like people often assume that because I am young that I am fully able to do everything and shouldn’t be struggling.
‘I feel ashamed at times when I have to take painkillers when I am out as I feel that people are judging me for taking essential tablets.
‘I have been advised to get a blue badge by my doctor however I have not applied yet as I fear the judgment I would receive for parking in a disabled space when I do not look visibly ill.’
This year, Nicola is running, walking and hiking 2215km to raise funds for the Fibrous Dysplasia Foundation but also to raise awareness of the condition.
She is posting about her journey on Instagram along the way and she wants to show the reality of what it is like.
Nicola, like many other people with invisible illnesses, feels that more needs to be done to help people understand that not all disabilities are visible.
She says: ‘I feel there needs to be more education surrounding invisible illnesses so that the general public have a greater understanding.
‘I also feel there should be something recognisable for invisible illnesses that is known by everyone so that those affected can wear the symbol if they want and able-bodied individuals would recognise and offer assistance if needed, for example, offering seats on trains.’
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 email@example.com.
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.
Nikki DeeleyNikki DeeleyPhotograph by Peter Powell. 11 January 2020. This is Nikki Deeley who has a non-obvious illness and how it impacts on their live.Nicola Deeley in hospitalNikki Deeley
Three-year-old Fox Parkin was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia just after Christmas Day and has to receive lifesaving treatment.
The procedure meant Fox, from Plymouth, had to be separated from his twin Winter.
Before little Fox was wheeled away to face months of gruelling treatment – which includes having intravenous arsenic, a naturally occurring element which can be medically effective – he said goodbye to his beloved sister.
And the heartbreaking moment the youngsters said goodbye was captured in a photo by parents Holly and Tom.
Until now, Fox and Winter, who turned three on 3 January, were happy, healthy twins, who always bounced back quickly from childhood bugs, according to mum Holly.
But in October 2019, Fox developed tonsillitis – an inflammation of the tonsils, which can feel like a bad cold.
By Christmas day, Fox appeared to be better but when Holly noticed a rash on his leg, she thought it was meningitis.
Phoning 111, she arranged to go to Derriford Hospital, where doctors did not think he had meningitis but agreed that he was very unwell.
Before they could start Christmas dinner, the family were told to come back to hospital.
‘With how quickly they’d called, I knew it wasn’t going to be good,’ explained Holly.
Medics explained that Fox had an abnormally low blood cell count and would require a transfusion.
The parents stayed overnight at the hospital while they waited for the results of the blood test. The next day, a consultant spoke to the parents.
Holly explained: ‘I knew then it wasn’t good news when we were led into this side room with tissues and sofas, my heart sank.
‘Up until that moment we held on to the hope that doctors could be wrong, that Fox may not have what they said he did.
‘But the results showed that he had a form of leukaemia called APL. It’s very rare. The hospital told us they hadn’t seen a case themselves in years.’
After a night on the high dependency unit, he was transferred to Bristol Royal Hospital for Children for a bone marrow biopsy, to determine exactly what form of the disease he had.
According to cancer charity Bloodwise, APL can affect any age group but is less common in children under 10, and treatment, which begins immediately, is usually based on a combination of chemotherapy and other drugs.
Currently, Fox is in what is known as the induction phase of treatment, which aims to destroy as many cancerous cells as possible.
This will last for seven more weeks, after which he will move on to the consolidation phase when treatment is made stronger to stop the disease coming back.
After being struck down by a number of infections, the little boy’s immune system is virtually non-existent, meaning his parents must be very careful about who they allow to visit him in hospital – which, heartbreakingly, means he has been parted from Winter for the first time in his life.
Holly added: ‘She came up for their birthday on 3 January, but we want to keep things as normal as possible for her.
‘She knows her brother is in the big hospital to make him better, but I’m not sure she understands exactly what that means.
‘They’d never spent a night apart before this, so it’s been really hard.’
Because Holly and Tom are both self-employed, taking time off work to care for Fox has been difficult so they set up a GoFundMe page and were blown away when donations began to flood in.
Holly has now thanked the kind friends and strangers who have donated, as well as the charities Bloodwise and CLIC Sargent for providing support with accommodation and taxis to and from the hospital.
‘People have been so incredibly kind,’ added Holly. ‘We’ve been told that the first eight weeks are crucial, so we really need to be with Fox.
‘But having so much support around us is such a comfort.’
For more information on CLIC Sargent, visit their website to learn more about their work.
Do you have a story about your children you want to share? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRC_122633289PRC_122633289Little Fox and Winter Parkin kissing each other goodbye Little Fox who was diagnosed with leaukemia on Christmas pictured outside in a shirt and tieHolly and Tom
Transgender woman Andrea Halliley, 52, served in the military under the sex she was assigned at birth but kept her true identity hidden.
The parent-of-three came out as trans to her family when she retired from her career as an infantry soldier in February 2015, and later split from her wife.
Now living openly as a transgender woman in Crook, Durham, she likes to be known as Andi and works as a delivery driver.
But recently, she has also been signed up to work with a modelling agency.
Andi said: ‘When I first came out to my (now ex) wife, I told her I was a crossdresser – I had never heard of the term ‘transgender’ before.
‘My ex-wife did some research and told me about transgender people, and it was like a lightbulb moment, we both knew that’s what I really was.
‘We have split up since but on amicable terms, it’s just that she didn’t marry a woman and that’s fine.’
Andi joined the military in 1985 and served in the infantry for the next 30 years, rising to the rank of Colour Sergeant, touring in Bosnia, Northern Ireland and Iraq.
Despite forming close friendships with her military colleagues, nobody knew that she identified as a woman.
Andi had been aware that she identified as a female ever since she was little, but suppressed how she felt.
She explained: ‘The military is very macho, especially in the infantry. I think I was trying to prove I was macho as well, but it was very difficult living a secret life in such an overtly male environment.
‘It was difficult living with your own secret war inside your head.’
Feeling most like her true self when in women’s clothes, Andi would secretly buy female items from nearby shops and smuggle them into her room.
Despite her concerns with the infantry being a macho male environment, Andi says she was surprised and taken aback by how welcoming her former colleagues were.
She said: ‘Regardless of their reaction, I wasn’t going to hide who I am anymore, but it was nice to have that support and acceptance.’
Her modelling career began at an alternative burlesque show when she got chatting to a woman who suggested Andi audition for The Alternative Model of the Year Contest.
Andi entered the competition for the first time in 2017, and has made it to the catwalk final of the contest for the past three years in a row.
She fell in love with the modelling world and after taking part in multiple photoshoots, Andi was signed by the agency Rogue Model Management.
‘It is amazing to think how much my life has changed since leaving the army and embracing being transgender,’ she said.
‘Five years ago, I was wearing combats every day, pretending to be this big macho man all day before secretly hiding in my room wearing girly clothes in fear.
‘Now, I’m strutting down runways in feminine clothes and posing for cameras as a proud transgender woman.
‘I’m just so happy I finally decided to come out and show people the real me, and I’ll never hide that side of me ever again.’
Andi got a job as a delivery driver and is currently in the middle of the lengthy NHS process to be helped by a gender identity clinic.
Her GP referred her to the NHS gender identity service but she is still waiting for an appointment.
PRC_122634165PRC_122634165Transgender soldier who served in Iraq and Afghanistan now presenting as a modelBritish Army veteran Andrea Halliley, in black ensemble as a womanBritish Army veteran Andrea Halliley, modelling
Remember Dumpling? The overweight, blind labrador? Of course you do.
The adorable ten-year-old dog was desperately in need of a home after being dumped at a pound on the Gold Coast in Australia.
Dumpling is completely blind after having both of her eyes removed because they were causing her a lot of pain but that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t make a fab pet.
But rescuers at Labrador Rescue worried that the poor doggo wasn’t going to find a forever home and so wrote a plea on Facebook.
Since the post went viral, a whopping 63 applications from potential families came through.
And now, we are delighted to inform you, Dumpling has found her forever home with one Ingebrigtsen family.
Her new mum and dad Debbie and Craig Ingebrigtsen welcomed her with open arms.
‘She’s adorable, we’re really grateful that we’ve been given the opportunity to look after her and give her the wonderful life that she deserves,’ Debbie told 7News.
And Dumpling won’t be alone anymore either, she has a new labrador pal Bob who lives with the Ingebrigstens.
Debbie added: ‘Bob’s a good boy and loves other animals and people so I’m sure he will welcome Dumpling into our house’.
The Labrador Rescue group shared the good news with followers, saying: ‘Our little Dumpling has become a massive social media star, her story has been shared far and wide by our supporters, celebrities, news sites, it’s been overwhelming!
‘In great news for her she has a meet and greet today with a wonderful family and we hope it a perfect match!’
Before she was rehomed, Dumpling had lost an incredible 13 kilograms.
The golden labrador’s heartbreaking story touched a lot of souls after it went viral.
In the initial post, rescuers wrote: ”Unfortunately I was dumped at the pound at 10 years old, blind, overweight and alone.
‘As you can tell I have no eyes; I had to lose them as they were causing me a lot of pain.’
She continued: ‘I live with cats and another dog. I am good with them as long as they don’t get right in my face as it gives me a shock sometimes. All I do is bark at them. I won’t hurt anyone.
‘I don’t need much in life, just a nice warm home in which to enjoy my last few years.’
We’re so happy Dumpling finally has that.
dumplingdumplingDumpling the labrador with her new Labrador buddy Dumpling the labrador in her forever home Dumpling the labrador with her new forever family
My name is Stephanie, I’m 30 years old, and I’m a little bit obsessed with plants.
I know I’m not the only one. Whether it’s owning them, taking pictures of them, framing them or standing in front of a pretty shopfront for the ‘gram, I think it’s safe to say that our generation has gone a bit plant-crazy.
Even the recent increase in bursts of foliage-lined front doors and cafe-fronts popping up around London speaks to the power and influence that platforms such as Instagram can wield over our surroundings.
Admittedly, I never used to be green-fingered. In fact, I used to actively avoid anything botanical due to my terrible hayfever and general lack of interest in plant life.
My mother, on the other hand, is an absolute green-fingered fiend, and has a beautiful garden filled with the most exotic flowers and plants to prove it.
‘But Steph!’ she’d say, ‘It’s fun watching something you’ve worked so hard for, grow and flourish. At least they aren’t messy and don’t talk back.’ The shade of it all.
Despite my mum’s enthusiasm, I didn’t understand what the big deal was. I’d always seen gardening as a hobby for old people. But like your mum’s beige corduroy flares from the 70s, trends from the days of old eventually catch up to us.
My mind slowly began to change once I started using our garden as a photo backdrop for my fashion blog. I realised I was taking the framing of my photos more seriously, colour-coordinating with specific flowers, and making sure that the plants in my photos always looked healthy – which meant no brown leaves or wilting stems.
From here, I took up an interest in the different kinds of plants available, as well as their various uses and properties. Slowly, I realised that I quite enjoyed it.
I first bought an aloe vera as I thought it was a pretty basic, yet durable plant to get. After all, I told myself, ‘I have asthma, and this will clean the air! I’m not participating in a trend, I’m improving my health!’
Well, eight plants later, I have to admit that I’ve been completely sucked into the green rabbit hole. I have ferns, ZZ plants, snake plants, orchids, spider plants and money trees, and the list is ever-growing.
Like me, I think most people’s current plant obsessions began as purely an Instagram aesthetic thing. While scrolling down my feed over recent months, I’d see an increase in old-school bicycles adorned with baby’s breath bouquets, hotels with wisteria draped around the entrances, and east London cafes lined with mini palm trees.
I mean, there’s even a hashtag for it (#PlantsOfInstagram), and companies who carry out home deliveries of plants advertise heavily on the platform.
But there’s more to it than looks and trends. There’s something about looking after a plant and seeing it grow and thrive that makes me feel quite content and peaceful, almost like raising a family on The Sims, or, you know… raising a family in real life.
I suppose how I’m feeling isn’t really surprising. One leading theory claims that plants do indeed make us feel like grown-ups and for a generation that finds the traditional markers of adulthood – marriage, homeownership, children – to be delayed or otherwise out of reach, it’s comforting to come home to something that depends on you. Plants, although costly, are still cheaper than kids, TBH.
As someone who is single and childless and yet to own a home, I’d pretty much agree with this theory.
And plants also support our wellbeing. Some are excellent at improving the air quality around them (hello succulents and ferns!), and are generally said to be great at reducing stress (due to the calming effects of being in an aesthetically pleasant environment), while fulfilling our desire to nurture and interact with nature.
So, who cares if the current boom in plants started as an Instagram fad?
Plants have, and always will be, crucial to our survival as human beings, and having a little bit of nature in your home can never be a bad thing, really.
Potted Plants On Window Sill Against Sky In CityPotted Plants On Window Sill Against Sky In CityPotted plants
Michelle De Feo, 28, grew up in the countryside, surrounded by horses, dear and woodland.
When she started to get ill three years ago, she had no idea her outdoorsy lifestyle could have been the cause.
Two years ago, she was diagnosed with Lyme disease, a condition caused when an infected tick bites someone.
She started experiencing symptoms a year before when she struggled from dizziness and fatigue and she was also peeing large amounts of blood.
But after lots of tests, she was told she had the condition – but sadly there is not much treatment available on the NHS.
Instead, she found a specialist doctor in Washington, U.S, who she thinks can help but she needs to raise £7,000 to get there and have it.
To raise the money, Michelle has decided to sell nude photos on OnlyFans to suit different types of fetishes, including a selection of feet photos.
She says: ‘I know a lot of people doing it now – there are mums who are struggling to feed their kids doing it.
‘I have written on there that I’m raising money for private funds. Most people are really nice, but then they would be because they are paying.’
Michelle believes she got the condition when she was bitten by a tic at some point before her symptoms started in September 2016.
‘I didn’t know anything about it,’ she said.
‘I was always looking after horses out in shorts and always in the barn. We used to get deers come up to the door too, we never touched them though.
‘I just didn’t feel right at all. I was getting lethargic and feeling so tired and then I got a rash on my arm. I didn’t think anything of it until I got really bad. I felt like I had the flu and got really dozy.
‘Then I was peeing out blood and that’s when I went to the walk-in centre for help.’
She spent a year trying to find out what was wrong before they realised she had Lyme disease.
Lyme disease is known to be incredibly difficult to diagnose and can often show similar symptoms to other conditions.
For Michelle it took a whole year to find out that she actually had it in the first place.
She said: ‘I knew something was wrong. I was getting so tired and so dozy to the point that I couldn’t stand up. I would just be crying in the bathroom saying something isn’t right.
‘We went private and they did lots of tests and blood tests and, in the end, they tested for Lyme disease.
‘We went to the GP with forms and basically they said we can’t treat it. The NHS says there’s nothing we can do except give you pain killers.’
For a year after the diagnosis, Michelle was given medication, a strict diet and a large amount of vitamins to help.
‘It was really scary when I knew I had a diagnosis, my mental health was affected,” she explained.
‘It’s like you are grieving for your old life.’
After a year of treatment, Michelle came off her medication but she then relapsed, feeling exhausted, dizzy and peeing blood once again.
Michelle realised that she needed more treatment and after researching, she found a specialist in Washington.
She visited and decided she wanted to go there to have more treatment.
But as she is unable to work full-time because of her condition, she needed a flexible way to earn money.
She decided to start taking nudes to raise the funds, advertising what she is doing in a bid to hit her target sooner.
Michelle will take several nudes in one day when she is feeling well, and then upload them gradually.
‘I can’t take them every day due to my health. It takes up to three hours to get a good set, so not too long. I have had friends help take them for me.
‘I post all sorts of photos. I used to do a bit of modelling of lingerie topless. It’s all quite tasteful stuff.
‘I even post foot pictures and fetish stuff. I actually prefer doing fetish stuff because you can keep your clothes on.’
Now she is slowly gathering the funds and admits it has been difficult explaining what she is doing to her family.
Symptoms of Lyme disease
Some people with Lyme disease develop more severe symptoms months or years later.
This is more likely if treatment is delayed.
These more severe symptoms may include:
‘My dad found out and he was a little bit upset. He said he felt sad that I was doing it,’ she said.
‘My mum is alright with it. She said it’s kind of empowering if you are a woman in your situation.
‘I’m going to get judged and my dad gets upset and other family members do. But if you were in my situation you would do anything.’
Deep down, Michelle does worry about what she is doing sometimes.
‘I believe I shouldn’t be doing this, if I’m being honest,’ she explained.
‘But I think it goes to show how desperate we are to get our lives in order and get the right treatment.
‘I need to spread awareness as I can and I believe others with Lyme should tell their stories too.
‘I have a GoFundMe page because I can’t work 9-5, for obvious reasons, and I’m trying to get money because I’m still on supplements.’
Michelle knows that there is no cure, but she hopes that the best treatment will get her into remission, so she can start living her life again.
She has also been diagnosed with endometriosis, because of her Lyme disease. If her Lyme disease improves, it is thought that her endometriosis will too.
A spokesperson for NHS England and NHS Improvement in the East of England, said: ‘Lyme disease can sometimes be difficult to diagnose as symptoms, such as feeling hot and shivery, headaches, aching muscles or feeling sick, can also occur in other conditions.
‘If you have been bitten by a tick and feel unwell with flu-like symptoms or develop a circular red rash, you should visit your GP or call NHS 111.’
PRC_122630995PRC_122630995One of Michelle's underwear shots and Michelle in hospitalMichelle in hospital being treated for Lyme disease Michelle's underwear photos that she is selling for treatment for Lyme diseaseMichelle's underwear photos that she is selling for treatment for Lyme disease
Ashleigh Murray and Marley are best friends.
The pair have been together since he was a puppy and he has been by her side through the loss of her baby, the loss of her dad, the breakdown of a 10-year relationship and through PTSD.
But sadly, at just seven years old, Marley’s life is coming to an end.
The Cocker Spaniel has haemangiosarcoma, a very aggressive form of cancer.
He had surgery to remove his spleen and a tumour but the cancer has not reacted to treatment and now Ashleigh, from Belfast, Northern Ireland, has been told that he just has weeks left.
Ashleigh was left heartbroken by the news, as they share such a special connection.
Posting on Facebook, she said: ‘Someone once said to me that Marley was my owner in a past life and now I’m his.
‘I honestly believe this, I have never seen a person and their dog have such a connection like we do, he really is my soul dog.’
In a bid to make the most of the time he has left, Ashleigh wanted to spoil him with lots of toys and special dinners.
But the big event she wanted was a huge walk, inviting dog owners and their pups from across Northern Ireland to join them, making one of his final walkies one to remember.
Ashleigh launched Marleys Big Walk on Facebook and soon hundreds of people had promised to join them at Crawfordsburn Country Park in Bangor, Co. Down.
Ashleigh explained she chose the location because Marley loves it there: ‘This was one of his first walks and he still gets super excited about arriving.’
She decided to raise money for The Dogs Trust and although they were expecting a big crowd, Ashleigh and Marley were overwhelmed when over 350 people and around 400 dogs turned up to support them.
Together they walked around the park, playing, chatting and giving Marley a day to remember.
Local businesses donated treats for the pups and pizza for the owners.
Ashleigh added: ‘Never in our wildest puppy dog dreams did we ever think this amount of people would show up for a normal girl and her little doggy.
‘We are so humbled and honoured to have spent the day with so many fantastic people.’
Have you done something special for your pet’s final days? Let us know at email@example.com.
Marley's big walkMarley's big walkMarley's big walkSome of the hundreds of people on Marley's Big walkAshleigh and Marley on the walkAshleigh and MarleyThe whole group at Marley's Big Walk
Slogans like ‘girl power’ and ‘the future is female’ might be prevalent among clothing staples and accessories, but the adages have little effect on actual girls.
Young women in the UK are ‘fed up and frustrated’ with empty messages of female empowerment, according to research by charity Plan International UK.
The organisation teamed up with photographer Joyce Nicholls to chat with British girls about the things they think about on topics such as public safety, body image, social media and feminism.
They found that 60% of girls aged 14-21 feel boys are still treated better than them.
Among the 1,000 surveyed, 72% noticed differences in treatment in the media, 41% said they felt it at school and 22% at home.
Many also said that they feel unsafe in public, are held back by sexism in school, and aren’t being heard on issues like Brexit.
In an effort to truly empower girls, Plan International UK – which strives to advance children’s rights and equality for girls around the world – has published its findings.
CEO Rose Caldwell said: ‘The findings in this report should serve as a wake-up call for all politicians and decision makers.
‘If adolescent girls are feeling undervalued, unheard and under-represented in public life, we, as a society, are letting them down.
‘We simply cannot continue ignoring the fact that girls still feel excluded, marginalised and overlooked and we look forward to working with those in power to end the dangerous stereotypes that are holding girls back.’
These are what some of the girls had to say:
Pixie, 14, Scottish Highlands
‘I know a lot of guys who are 19, 20, and will be messaging 14, 15-year-old girls asking them for nudes. And I don’t feel like they can say no, like it’s something they have to do even though it’s not. Cat-calling of younger girls is seen as normal.
‘This whole idea of older men with younger girls, that’s seen as normal, even though it’s really not, it’s really creepy. They could try and do more to check people’s ages on dating apps because it is really dodgy having younger people on these apps.
‘A lot of the things that people say on these apps are really sexual and inappropriate, and if you’re exposing young kids to it, that’s really weird.’
Olamide, 17, London
‘We still are fighting against expectations of, for a girl specifically, getting married, having children… what if someone doesn’t want to have children? Like with climate change at the moment, I wouldn’t blame them!
‘Who wants to bring their child into this world? It’s always there. Like your dad saying “you should get married. You should have children. You should be the nice housewives. You should know how to cook. You should know how to clean”.
‘Why can’t my brother? You’re not getting married to someone for her to be your slave! They’re there to be your partner, not to work for you.’
Tanya, 21, Birmingham
‘Growing up as a black woman, it is quite hard to actually see someone who represents you in a higher position. So, I feel like some of the standards that we do see ourselves are a bit lower. Black women tend to have protective hairstyles such as braids or twists.
‘I know that not even just in school, even in professional businesses in the corporate world, that it is seen as messy and unprofessional.
‘But if you see a white woman, for example, who would go in with, say, her bun or something like that, it’s seen as completely normal, and it does cause that divide.’
Violet, 13, East Riding of Yorkshire
‘I won the Yorkshire championships – they’re national championships. I got silver in the Tri Nations, which was Scotland, Wales, and England, when I boxed for England with the England team. And then I went to Ireland and got a gold for the Monkstown Box Cup.
‘If I tell my teachers about boxing, they’re like, “Oh, do you do boxercise? Do you train once a week or something?” I have to explain that I box for England.
‘I do think the idea of there being girls and boy sports is still around, because boys generally play football at dinner time, and girls don’t do that. I really like boxing and [watching] rugby, but I also really like doing my hair, and make-up.’
Bláithín, 16, Derry
‘There’s a big misunderstanding of what a feminist is, because people just assume, “that’s like women need to be better than men, women are better than men in all aspects, men are nothing”, and it’s just not that. They are uneducated in what it is, and before they speak, they should maybe find out.
‘[My definition of feminism is] someone that stands up for the rights of everyone and wants everyone to have equal opportunities in life. Which they should.
‘That’s what I don’t get, because as humans, I think we should all support each other. Especially as girls, we should all support each other. So why wouldn’t you want the best for the people around you?’
Tayibah, 13, Birmingham
‘A lot of things have always been taboo. People haven’t been talking about sex, rape, periods, how your body grows. … I think it’s really important that we talk about these kinds of things because where else are we going to learn about it?
‘We have to have somewhere where we can talk about it, have our opinions and not be judged. I think that it should be talked about in multiple places; at school, at home, in the media.
‘In my school there’s a lot of boys who don’t really know how to treat girls. A lot of boys in my year talk about girls like an object. Like they talk about the way they [girls] look; if they’ve got a big bum or big features or stuff like that.’
Elsa, 16, Scottish Highlands
‘Everything has to follow with a brand; you have to create your own image and your own identity, which isn’t normally true at all. It’s like a whole aesthetic, which often isn’t your real personality. Speaking to and seeing someone in person is often incredibly different to how you expect them to be when you see them online.
‘In reality I don’t have a massive amount of followers, I have 500 and something, whereas girls we know have got 2,000. It seems so bizarre to want verification, or to be appreciated by people who don’t know you.
‘You want likes from people you’ve never met before that go to other schools and you’re never going to see in your life. You want them to like your pictures and you want them to approve it.’
Eliza, 17, Birmingham
‘I think we’re quite blessed to kind of be in a place where I feel like everyone’s accepted, in Liverpool, but obviously you do face some challenges. And I think being a young woman is a lot harder. Even I used to volunteer in the shop and I’d have men coming up to me going, “How much are you?”.’
Megan, 17, Inverness
‘The other thing with sex education was nobody ever talks about porn. We had [a speaker] come in to do the porn talk the other day. I remember I was actually quite amused watching the boys who were clearly porn watchers; they had no idea just how the industry exploited women.
‘And they were the ones that were asking all the questions. That’s where boys are getting their sex tips from. And then, it’s just so unrealistic.’
Hollie, 15, Merthyr Tydfil in Wales
‘I wouldn’t really walk around the streets on my own now because of the stories we hear, and people being harassed in the streets, and, you know, all the different alleys. It makes me feel ashamed to not be able to go out of my own house, into my own village on my own, because it’s that thought constantly in the back of your head – what’s going to happen if we go out?’
Rachel, 15, Ards and North Down
‘The biggest challenge I have being a girl here in Northern Ireland would be pay gaps. I’ve always said I want to be a dentist when I’m older, no compromise. And then I looked up statistics recently and it turns out that there is a giant pay gap this year alone despite the fact that the majority of people going into local universities are female for dentistry.
‘It makes me feel like no matter how hard I’m going to work, there could be a guy beside me, not working nearly as hard, he’s going to get the exact same rewards.
‘I think that girls should be told from a younger age to pursue interests like technology and maths, but equally that boys should be allowed to pursue and make art and music and drama.’
LONDONGIRLS-7-6249LONDONGIRLS-7-6249Young girls from Liverpool posing outside14-Year-old Pixie pictured in Scottish Highlands 17-Year-old Olamide from London21-YEAR-OLD TANYA FROM BIRMINGHAM13-YEAR-OLD VIOLET IN THE BOXING RINGBláithín, 16, from Derry pictured in school 13-year-old Tayibah from Birmingham pictured in her gardenElsa, 16, from the Scottish Highlands pictured outside 17-year-old Eliza from BirminghamTwo young girls from Inverness pictured outside 15-year-old Hollie pictured outside Young woman in her school lab
Are you a bit fed up of the daily grind? How does taking yourself off to a remote island to run a coffee shop with your best friend sound?
Well, if you’re interested, there’s a job opening on Great Blasket Island, off the south-west coast of Ireland.
You’ll get somewhere to live and all your food and some time to enjoy somewhere a little quieter.
The job runs from 1 April to October and you’ll be in charge of three guest cottages and the coffee shop on the island.
However, when we say remote, we really mean it. There’s no wi-fi, electricity or hot water and drinking water is limited.
The whole island is 6km long and technically no one lives there permanently but they do get some visitors who need somewhere to stay and eat.
The job is for a couple or two friends who are happy to move together.
If you are interested, you better be quick because an update on the island’s Instagram page, which was posted today, said that they have already received over 23,000 applications.
The post said: ‘We are beyond overwhelmed at the response for the job post for the Great Blasket Island coffee shop and accommodation.
‘Posting the advert last year, we were concerned we would not find ANYONE willing to leave their job, pack their bags and move to a wind swept island with no electricity OR hot water in the middle of the Atlantic, off the Dingle peninsula for 6 months of the year!
‘To date we have received over 23,000 applications. (If only we could get everyone who applied to stay for one night , we’d be fully booked for the next 30 years).
‘We had planned to email everyone back when our inbox was at 200( and were genuinely amazed it even reached 200). Again, a huge HUGE thank you to everyone who took time to apply & share or like the post, we can’t explain how much your interest means to us – So sorry if we haven’t got back to you yet, our inbox is chocca block.
‘Hopefully we will meet you all sometime over the next 30 years.’
To apply for the job, you need to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRC_122635384PRC_122635384Remote Irish island is recruiting for two friends to run a coffee shopRemote Irish island is recruiting for two friends to run a coffee shopRemote Irish island is recruiting for two friends to run a coffee shop
It’s not uncommon to go to a concert and end up buying knockoff band tees, merchandise, and whatever other memorabilia you can find.
A cat is probably not one of the things you can take away.
But when Tiffany McClure and her husband David from Iowa, U.S, went to see an Ed Sheeran concert in Chicago, they ended up taking home a beautiful ginger cat.
The couple was early to their dinner reservation before the gig and wandered the streets, walking past the Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society, an animal adoption fixture in downtown Chicago for over 100 years.
With large clear windows that revealed the dozens of kitties lounging around, it’s hard for anyone to not get enamoured by them.
‘We just intended to see some cats and then eat dinner,’ Tiffany explained to Metro.co.uk.
‘We walked into the Senior Cat Room, where all their cats over age ten were wandering around and when I say wandering, I mean sleeping. They’re cats.
‘Several cats opened their eyes to look us up and down in judgment (again—cats), and then this orange cat curled up in a bed got up, stretched, and waltzed up to my husband and demanded in no uncertain terms to be picked up.
‘So my husband scooped him up (he’s very obedient—my husband, not the cat), and the aforementioned cat wound himself around his neck and literally refused all efforts to remove himself.’
Coincidently, there was also a pet supply store across the road. So naturally, Tiffanny and David decided to adopt the 10-year-old cat, naming him Ferdinand.
The couple was then able to enjoy the concert, content with the knowledge that a cat could accompany them home.
Tiffany said: ‘We enjoyed dinner and Ed Sheeran, a ginger, in concert and departed Chicago for home with our own ginger in our car.
‘The cat spent the entire three-hour ride home shedding on my lap and meowing loudly at the cornfields.’
But Ferdinand was going to have to share his new mum and dad’s affection, for there was already a kitty at home, Princess Petunia Snowblossom Buttercup (a grey cat who is ‘a wee bit spoiled)
They also have a dog.Dancing On Ice's Kevin Kilbane caught 'tickling Brianne Delcourt's bum cheek'
Tiffany added: ‘The dog immediately decided to hide from the very scary cat who was yawning and the grey cat hissed at him and then promptly ignored him.
‘Ferdinand, now nicknamed Purty Ferdi, didn’t care. That’s when we learned he had two interests in life: eating and being held.’
Tiffany’s 13-year-old daughter Alyssa and Ferdinand are BFFs now and are inseparable from one other.
‘He will never ever sit beside her,’ explained Tiffany.
‘It has to be on her, or nothing. If she is absent (such as tonight when she had the unmitigated gall to go to a sleepover), he reluctantly will accept me as a poor substitute, as long as it is with the understanding that when the 13-year old teenage girl returns, I am nothing to him.’
The family now can’t imagine life without Ferdinand who loves bacon, sleeps folded up, and has even become quite the hit at church.
Tiffany now urges others to care for elderly cats who are just as cute and loving as kittens.
‘I’ve had several cats in my life from kittens on up. And Ferdi is my first senior adoption and I can tell you right now: I will never adopt a kitten again.
‘This is the most loving, laid back, purring, hilarious floof I’ve ever met—and multiple people who have met him have admitted to wanting to steal him (one actually had him in a coat pocket and tried to sneak out the door).’
Good thing they didn’t go through with it.
Do you have a special cat story you want to share? Please get in touch to tell us more by emailing email@example.com.
catcatGinger cat at homeDavid carrying Ferdinand the ginger catGinger cat at Sunday ServiceFerdinand the ginger cat Tiffany with Ferdinand in bedFerdinand being pampered Tiffanys daughter Alyssa with FerdinandTiffany and Alyssa
Meet Mushu – he’s a very good doggo.
He’s currently in training to be an assistance dog and is picking things up fast.
As a special treat, his trainer Kathryn Eland took him to Build-A-Bear and he got to choose his own special friend.
Kathryn, who is currently based in Santa Rosa, California, has been working with him since he was nine weeks old, through an organisation called Perfect Fit Canines in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Once he completes his training this summer, he will be placed with someone with a disability.
Kathryn is trying to train him for a whole range of scenarios and although he loved getting to pick up his own toy, it also means he’s ready to help his future owner pick things out when they go shopping.
Mushu picked out a cream coloured bear, which almost matched his own coat.
He carried it over to Build-A-Bear staff to be stuffed and then gave the heart that goes inside the bear a little kiss.
Mushu looked pretty concerned when his new friend was being filled with stuffing but he soon realises it’s ok.
Once the bear was ready, he proudly carried it out of the store.
A post on his dedicated Instagram account @service.dog.mushu said: ‘Picked out a special friend at the mall yesterday. I cuddled with him all night.
‘This is an example of something a service dog paired with a child with a disability could assist in to help bridge the social gap.’
Well done Mushu. You deserve that new friend.
Service dog Mushu goes to Build-a-bearService dog Mushu goes to Build-a-bearKathryn and Mushu
Linda Herring has made a huge impact on hundreds of children.
The 75-year-old started fostering over 50 years ago and in that time, she had looked after more than 600 kids.
When her local Department of Human Services threw a party to celebrate, there was barely space to stand because so many kids of all ages wanted to be there to show their appreciation.
Linda, from Johnson County, Iowa, decided to start fostering after she spoke to a friend at the time who was looking after two teenage girls.
She decided she wanted to care for younger children and those with medical needs.
Alongside her husband Bob, they took in kids from across the area and they were known for never turning a child away, no matter their age, gender or special needs.
Linda has five children and then went on to adopt three of the children she had fostered.
Her son Anthony, now 39, was placed with the family when he was six months old and was officially adopted when he was three years old.
He told CNN: ‘I appreciate being adopted even more today as a parent then I did when I was a child.
‘I’m forever grateful for the life I was given. She and Dad have both taught me that family isn’t determined by blood, it’s who you have in your life to love.’
The two other children that they adopted have severe medical and special needs.
The Board of Supervisors, Department of Human Services and a standing room only crowd recognized Linda Faye Herring last night for nearly five decades of serving as a foster parent to more than 600 children in #JohnsonCountyIA. pic.twitter.com/wGV4jqEBMj
— Johnson County, Iowa (@JohnsonCountyIA) January 10, 2020
She stopped fostering in October 2019 due to her own health concerns but it has carried on in her family. Four of her biological children have fostered, and three of them have adopted some of the kids they have fostered.
Three of her grandchildren have fostered children too.
Linda added: ‘I would just love (my foster kids) just like they were my own, probably more than I should,” Herring said.
‘I cried when the kids would leave my home, no matter how long they had been there. It was so hard for me to say goodbye to them. I always questioned, ‘Why do I keep doing this?’ because it was never easy to say goodbye to a child.
‘But I kept doing it because I had so much love to give to these children in need.’
To celebrate Linda’s years of caring for so many children, Johnson County Board of Supervisors honoured her with a resolution of appreciation.
What an amazing woman.
PRC_123070360PRC_123070360Linda at her party
Aldi is great for a discount but when you get to the till, you need to pack quickly.
The supermarket likes shoppers to pack their bags properly away from the till to get customers through faster.
But it can be hard to balance everything and pack in a way that your bread doesn’t end up squashed by your carton of milk.
But one mum has come up with a really simple hack to make it easier.
She bought two plastic tubs, half the size of the trolley and slides them in, packing her shopping as she goes.
She can then lift things out to scan them and repack them all easily.
It might seem like a really simple idea but we’re wondering why we haven’t tried it before.
Posting in the Aldi Mums Facebook group, she said: ‘I know there are the Aldi hanging bags for when we shop but I’ve been using these tubs for a couple of years now and love them.
‘They fit perfectly into the trolley and so easy to get in and out of the car.
‘If they’re a bit heavy I just put some of the goodies into the other while putting the first into the boot.’
She puts heavy items in the front tub so they come out first and then she can distribute them across each tub to make them easier to carry.
The woman added: ‘You’ll be surprised how much you can fit into them.’
People in the group loved the simple idea and the post had over 1,400 likes.
The square flexi tubs can be bought at lots of retailers for under £10. You can pick up these similar ones for £7.80 each.
Of course, you could use boxes or something else you already have but the flexible and sturdy nature of the tubs is perfect.
Do you have a good life hack? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRC_123075390PRC_123075390Aldi plastic tub shopping hack
Love Island contestants clearly have a wilder sex life than most of us.
If they’re not doing the Eagle, or the butter churner, they’re probably doing some other contortionist move that we can only hope to do on a special occasion (sorry babe, you’ll have to wait for your birthday).
The latest contestant to have us running to Google was Siânnise Fudge who revealed the Anvil is her favourite sex position.
That might be the least sexiest-sounding name but apparently it works for the 25-year-old in the bedroom.
Ahead of last night’s couple’s challenge, Siânnise opened up about her preferences as she got to know her partner Connor Durman.
As the duo covered every detail they could possibly learn about each other in 20 minutes, including their favourite foods and their mum’s name, Siânnise confessed all.
‘Favourite sex position?’ asked Connor. ‘The anvil,’ replied Siânnise, before going on to explain: ‘When the boy’s on top and then my legs are on his shoulder. I had to Google that.’
While the new friendship couple were in a bit of a rush to explain all, we have a bit more time to go into detail about the Anvil which isn’t as cryptic as it sounds.
It’s actually just a twist to the conventional missionary style.
As Siânnise briefly explained, it involves the man on top of the woman as her legs rest on his shoulders.
According to the Sex Position website, this move sees the woman lying on her back and pulling her legs to her breast, holding hips by the hands.
The man lies on top of his partner using his arms as support and placing them by her shoulder.
The male partner’s legs are slightly bent and moved apart as if he is on his knees. The woman puts her legs on the man’s neck and wraps them over the male partner’s neck.
It explains: ‘Thanks to this position you will be able to experience the full depth of your favourite taste.’
And to take the move one step further for your partner, we suggest you try rubbing his nipples to give him maximum pleasure.
While we ladies might love a bit of nipple play on ourselves, it is also an erogenous zone for men.
In fact, 52% of men reported that nipple stimulation caused or enhanced their sexual arousal, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health.
And in the Anvil position, the lady’s hands are close enough to his nipples to be able to stimulate both at the same time.
So, you’re welcome.
Now go forth and try it out, you crazy kids.
PRC_123104922PRC_123104922Siânnise on a background of anvilsAnvil sex position shown on cartoons
Love Island’s Connor dazzled (blinded) us all last week when he debuted his shiny set of teeth, purchased on the cheap from the shores of Thailand.
Since the 25-year-old showed off his dazzling set, Google searches for ‘Thailand teeth’, ‘veneers Thailand’ and ‘Thailand veneers price’ rocketed, up by 100%.
It’s no surprise when you consider that 71% of Brits under 30 think good teeth is the most attractive trait a person can have.
And he’s not alone in swapping out the old gnashers for a glistening row of pearly whites.
Every year, thousands of Britons fly to destinations including Hungary, Poland, Turkey and Bulgaria, and sometimes even as far-flung as Colombia or Thailand, to undergo cosmetic dental procedures such as porcelain and composite veneers.
But dental tourism can have its downsides, even if the prices are too good to resist.
And there’s a lot of misinformation floating around too. Recently, a tweet went viral after claiming you have to shave down your teeth to accommodate the veneers.
But as some pointed out, this is seldom the case. Different treatments require different methods and as technology has advanced, so too has cosmetic procedures.
So for your convenience and perhaps destination to brilliant fake teeth, we’ve spoken to the experts to find out the long-term risks of the procedure.
How many kinds of veneers are there?
Dr. Marques from the Dr. Richard Marques Dental Practice tells us there are:
Prices can vary for veneers, depending on which you choose. The most common is porcelain, which can range from £500-£1000 per tooth in the UK.
According to The Dental Guide, the cost of composite veneers can vary from £150- to £400 for a single tooth.
While composite veneers are substantially cheaper than porcelain, they are more likely to become stained and generally don’t last as long.
You can expect composite veneers to last between 5-8 years with proper care.
There are two methods for the type of veneer you choose; preparation and no preparation veneers.
With traditional veneers, your dentist will remove a very small amount of enamel from the tooth or teeth that will be receiving the veneer.
Then, they take an impression of your slightly shaved tooth, so a veneer can be crafted for it.
It’ll take between two and four weeks to receive the veneer. In the meantime, if you’re worried about showing your teeth, you can get temp ones to suit your smile.
With no-preparation veneers, there is no removal or shaving your natural teeth required, and the veneers are fitted directly over your existing natural teeth.
But still, it can be painful or uncomfortable if your teeth are sensitive.
If you look through YouTube, you’ll be met with countless video diaries of the treatment, detailing the whole journey, whether at home or abroad.
While many sing the praises of the ‘quick and painless’ treatment (sometimes getting theirs sponsored or discounted in exchange for exposure), others have spoken out about how traumatic and even painful it can be.
YouTuber Aleasha Ajadi, who goes by Duchess of Fashion, did an hour-long vlog of her veneer placement, which almost left her in tears.
She tells Metro.co.uk how she was insecure about her ‘gummy smile’ and small teeth. When she got her porcelain veneers in Turkey, she had gum contouring which involved removing a small section of her gum line on her upper jaw to give her a ‘gum lift’.
‘Then I had to wait a few days for my gums to heal before moving to the next stage,’ she explained.
‘The worst part of the entire process was getting my teeth filed down, it was incredibly painful and water from the machine kept spraying on my face making it difficult for me to breathe.
‘At one point I even had a slight panic attack and the dentist had to stop the procedure. After that I was given temporary teeth to wear for a few days, then you come back to design your new teeth and the final stage is getting your new teeth fitted.’
Though the teeth filing was painful for her, Eleasha says the low cost was still worth the effort. However, she warned others that the procedures can be time-consuming and may require additional work, so not ideal if you’ve booked a short holiday.
Her advice to those looking to do it aborad are to take off enough time and also to take a loved one for moral support.
Despite the overwhelming amount of information, with both glowing recommendations and horror stories, the popularity of veneers endures.
21-year-old N Hussain tells Metro.co.uk how she wants fake teeth to stop her friends from poking fun at her natural teeth.
‘I want veneers cos my friends bully me 24/7, saying stuff like “please mind the gap” and “do you use rope to floss”.
‘I was planning to go to Istanbul but I found an alternative in London. The max I’m willing to pay is £2500.’
UK dentists don’t recommend flying abroad. Dr Alastair McGill, from New Town Dental Care, believes that dental tourism simply isn’t worth the risk to patients.
‘So-called ‘dental holidays’ are presented as a cheap and easy alternative, but if things go wrong, it can be anything but,’ Dr Alastair tells us.
‘It sounds too good to be true – discounted treatments, great teeth and a holiday in the sun to boot – and it often is.
‘We’ve had patients coming to us after getting treatment abroad because they now need to have repair work done, whether that’s replacing mismatched or poor-quality veneers or sometimes having to undergo reconstructive work, such is the level of damage inflicted.’
A combination of lower dental standards and rushed work can all contribute to a less than desirable result, according to Dr. Alastair and his colleagues.
Whilst there are undoubtedly skilled dentists abroad, their costs are likely to be similar to UK practices when you factor in the costs of travel and accommodation and return trips to fix them.
Dr. Alastair’s advice was echoed by another doctor Dr. Christopher Orr, owner of Advanced Dental Practice in central London, who says the fact that veneers are not a one-time procedure should deter millennials looking abroad.
He said: ‘Regardless of who does it, nothing lasts forever and veneers/crowns etc will need to be replaced several times over the person’s lifetime, so it makes sense not to do these things if there are more conservative alternatives available, especially in younger patients.’
Dr. Orr also warned that anyone who has had dental treatment abroad, such as veneers, crowns or implants, may not be eligible for treatment on the NHS if they have a problem.
‘Flying back to the country you had the original treatment may be difficult and/or expensive. And you may not be able to rely on the NHS to fix it either.’
So just be sure to explore all options before saying bye to your natural teeth.
Veneers are seriously in fashion for young peopleVeneers are seriously in fashion for young peopleConnor from Love IslandAleasha Ajadi with her new veneers
A man with an incredibly rare condition that makes his skin burn, says the pain feels as bad as ‘second-degree burns’.
Lee Barker, from Limehouse, London, has erythromelalgia – a condition that causes episodes of burning pain and redness in the feet, hands, arms, legs, ears and face.
‘The pain is so bad that it’s like I’m literally sitting in an oven,’ Lee tells Metro.co.uk.
‘It’s hard to describe how it makes you feel. All I can say is – imagine if your bare hands touched a hot stove or an oven or an open flame – how much that would hurt. It’s literally burning me.’
Lee developed the condition in 2013, but it took a long time for medical professionals to work out what was really going on.
‘I went to so many hospital appointments, at least 10,’ says Lee. ‘They thought it was a rash and gave me steroid cream. That never worked, and it actually made things worse as I found out at that time I was actually allergic to the cream.’
Lee is hoping to raise awareness of this illness, as he wants other people to recognise the painful and embarrassing symptoms in order to find relief earlier than he did.
‘It started with red dots and then one morning I woke up and my hands were just bright red. Then eventually this happened to my face and neck too.’
When the condition flares up, Lee gets so red that people think he is constantly blushing. Even simple things like taking a shower, or walking into a warm room can set the condition off.
‘It affects my daily life because I have to watch out for hot and cold temperatures,’ says Lee.
‘This could be just walking into a really hot or cold room. When I get very tired I feel burning pain, especially in my face.
‘Taking a shower daily is also a big problem because I have to make sure the water is at the right temperature.
‘If it’s hot or cold outside, it can trigger my condition and cause me to have a flare-up. If I eat spicy food I get a very bad burning flare-up. Even cooking food causes me pain because using a stove or oven or touching anything hot brings on a flare-up.’
Other symptoms of the condition include tiredness and extreme fatigue. Lee also has sleep apnoea and wears a CPAP machine to try to improve his sleep.
‘The pain is so bad that I have to put my hands under the cold tap,’ explains Lee. ‘It’s like my body, especially my hands, are literally on fire. They become swollen and bright red.
‘I get very bad symptoms daily, including nausea, dizziness, pins and needles, loss of feeling in the body and itching skin.’
Sadly, there is no known cure for erythromelalgia, but Lee takes 15 pills every morning and six pills every night to try to alleviate some of the symptoms.
‘Treatment also includes an infusion every three months. It takes five days, and six hours on each day,’ adds Lee. ‘The treatment thins the blood vessels is very painful and you do get side effects instantly – a severe headache, body aches, hot flushes, nausea and fatigue.’
Lee has to stay in a hotel next to the hospital each time he has an infusion treatment because it takes so long.
Before being diagnosed, Lee didn’t even know that erythromelalgia existed. But after researching the condition he made a self-referral to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead – and they have now been treating him for the last six years.
‘This is the only hospital that can deal with this kind of rare condition,’ says Lee. ‘People come from really far away to have treatment.’
Tests for the condition include dipping hands into a bucket of cold or warm water and then recording how quickly the hands and feet warm up.
Lee says it’s vital to raise awareness about this condition because so many people have no clue what could be causing their intense and painful symptoms.
‘I talk to doctors and to other people and they have never heard of this condition,’ says Lee. ‘When I go to have my treatment I have only once found someone with the same condition. The other patients have Raynauds with Scleroderma, which are common conditions linked to each other.’
‘The more we talk about it, the more people we will be able to help.
‘There are people suffering who don’t even know what the condition is. Like me, they may have been trying to get help but no one knows what it is, and then you end up waiting years to be diagnosed.
‘I took me around three years to be diagnosed. During that time I was left to suffer.’
Lee skin compLee skin compLee BarkerLee BarkerLee Barker
So far this month, Greggs once again had customers queuing up for a plant-based dish, this time in the shape of a steak bake, while KFC released its vegan burger nationwide and Nando’s decided it was time to give the people vegan PERinaise.
All in all, not a bad time to be vegan – and it’s just about to get even better.
Pret, which released a fruity vegan croissant at the start of the month, has announced new plant-based meals, launching in stores tomorrow (21 January). There’s just one catch; you can only get it in the chain’s Veggie Pret branches in London and Manchester.
Nevertheless, that’s still pretty great.
The menu will feature 19 recipes in total, 15 of which are vegan, and bowls are a big draw – with poké, smoothie and buddha bowls on offer.
As for the poké, you can choose from two options; the sashimi-style watermelon bowl with black rice, avocado, edamame beans, pickled cabbage, carrot and radish, with watermelon in place of tuna and a tamari and ginger dressing.
Or spice things up a notch and try the Marinated Tofu Poké Bowl with tofu marinted in tamari and ginger, as well as garlic and chilli pickled cucumber, mango and pickled cabbage.
On to the smoothies – such as the Cocoa, Nuts and Berries Bowl, which, as the name suggests, contains cocoa, cashews, raspberries, blueberries and caramelised pecans, in addition to banana, lemon, granola and almond butter.
For a more ‘green’ taste, try the Tropical Green Smoothie Bowl with mango, coconut, avocado, banana, spinach and ginger, dressed with mango, blueberries and pomegranate.
Talk about getting your five-a-day.
If breakfast dishes aren’t your thing (though admittedly smoothie bowls are tasty any time of the day), go for the buddha bowl with its base of brown rice and kale, mixed with roast sweet potatoes, smoked carrot ribbons, avocado, fresh pomegranate and chipotle chilli sauce for that extra kick.
A pinch of skin on almonds, a lemon wedge and a dollop of Pret’s hummus finished off the dish.
‘This launch is an opportunity for us to establish Veggie Pret’s menu, offering customers something different to what they have seen so far,’ said Hannah Dolan, Pret’s global head of food innovation.
‘We wanted to put a real focus on creating new vegan dishes, so looked at where we could use vegetables and fruits to deliver flavour, rather than mock meat or fish.’
In more good news, Pret is expanding its Veggie Pret branches with three more openings happening in 2020.
Like we said, it’s a good time to be (or go) vegan.
The new Veggie Pret menu - in full
Raspberry & Coconut Smoothie Bowl - Veggie Pret landscape-2f22Raspberry & Coconut Smoothie Bowl - Veggie Pret landscape-2f22Pret A Manger's new vegan smoothie bowl that's pink with crunchy bits and raspberries on a tropical backgroundPret's smoothie bowlPret's smoothie bowlPret's green bowlPret's Sashimi-style bowl
When Lacey-Dee Barret was born, she had a port-wine stain birthmark covering 90% of her body.
Her mum Sara Farrow, 27, from Lincoln, admitted that she hid Lacey-Dee from strangers for six weeks after she was born and also used filters in photos she posted online.
The marks on the baby were caused by the abnormal development of her blood vessels during pregnancy.
Sara was scared people would single out her daughter and wanted to protect her from harsh comments.
So for the first six weeks of her life, Sara covered the bright-coloured skin and hid her away from strangers.
And when she posted photos of Lacey-Dee on Instagram, Sara said she used filters to mask the colour of the skin.
She only changed her ways when she became worried Lacey-Dee would look back on her baby photos when she is older and asked her mum if she was embarrassed.
But even when she finally plucked up the courage, Sara claims strangers told her daughter looks ‘diseased’ and ‘contagious’.
Sara explained: ‘As her mum obviously I am not bothered about her appearance but I was scared about what other people would think.
‘When she was first born she was very red and looked bruised. I’ve had people say lots of things when we are out.
‘I was scared of what people would think of me as a mum. People have said she looks diseased and have asked what’s wrong with her face.
‘One person asked if she is she allergic to the washing powder I use and people think there is something really wrong with her.’
Lacey-Dee was born at Lincoln County Hospital in April and Sara said she realised something was different straight away.
She had darker patches on her chest and doctors thought she may have been bruised.
Within hours, the birthmark appeared in full on the surface of Lacey-Dee’s skin. She was then referred to specialists and diagnosed with port-wine stains in October.
Only three in every 1,000 babies are born with the condition which occurs during pregnancy, and usually only appears on one limb or area of the body.
Sara said she covered up as much of her daughter’s skin with baby blankets, long-sleeved clothing or hiding her away in her buggy.
She added: ‘I was most worried about her face and I’m scared for her future.
‘But it got to the point where I didn’t want her to look back on baby photos and see I wasn’t confident enough or I was embarrassed.
‘I had to get brave for her sake as much as mine. I had to come to terms with it.
‘I’m worried for when she goes to school. I don’t want her to be called names or to be bullied.’
It comes with no other side effects and Sara said Lacey-Dee is otherwise a ‘very happy’ baby.
Sara said: ‘Regardless of the birthmark, it doesn’t change who she is.
‘We have seen so many dermatologists and they all said this is the most extensive case of Port Wine Stains they have seen.’
Lacey-Dee will meet with specialists next month to see if she is eligible for colour-corrective treatment.
PRC_123126367PRC_123126367Lacey-Dee Barrett at one week old. Lacey-Dee Barrett, 10 months. Lacey-Dee Barrett, 10 months, and mum Sara Farrow.
It’s completely normal for your weight to fluctuate, and loads of different things can cause your weight to change over time.
Illness, hormones, ageing, stress – all of these things can have an impact on how much you weigh. It’s also important to remember that weight doesn’t necessarily correlate with your health.
However, scientists have discovered that there are four specific life events that are most likely to make us put on a few pounds.
Academics at the University of Cambridge analysed dozens of studies – and found four crucial times that make weight gain more likely. They also found that these times are when exercise is likely to be at its lowest.
The life events that cause the most weight gain are; going to university, getting a job and becoming a parent.
The first six studies looked at weight gain in mothers compared with women who didn’t have children over the same time period.
A woman of average height who had no children gained around 7.5kg (16.5lb) over five-six years, while a mother of the same height put that on plus an extra 1.3kg (2.9lb).
The second set of 19 studies looked at the transition from secondary school into university or getting a job.
Nine studies found that leaving secondary school was associated with a decrease of 6.7 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous exercise for women – that jumped to 16.4 minutes a day for men.
The biggest drop in exercise levels was when people went to university, with overall levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity falling by 11.4 minutes per day.
Three studies also found people put on weight after leaving school, while others found decreases in physical activity on starting employment.
‘Over the age range of 15 to 35 people are gaining weight and we wanted to know whether there are particular life events that are contributing to this gain,’ says Dr Eleanor Winpenny, from the University of Cambridge.
‘If all these life transitions are contributing to small weight gains, overall that becomes a problem.
‘Parenthood is a time when lifestyles are changing. Of course, there are challenges with having a small child, but it’s also an opportunity for people to think about their own lifestyles and how they could be more healthy and active.
‘In school you are encouraged to do sport, and there are school food policies to encourage healthy eating, but then when you leave school, that changes. You move into a new environment.’
couple with childcouple with child
How far would you go to avoid eating sweet treats?
In an attempt not to give into temptation, one person decided to create a healthier, makeshift option of a well-known dessert.
The unique cheesecake recipe – if we can even call it that – was shared in a private Facebook group called ‘Slimming World Tasty Meal and treats’, which has over 23,000 members – one of whom shared the dish on Twitter, where it is now gathering attention for all the wrong reasons.
So, how does one make a healthy cheesecake? All you need is a bowl of Crunchy Nut cornflakes, topped with quark, spreadable cheese and white chocolate.
And it’s apparently not a hoax: ‘I thought this was a joke,’ the Twitter user who spotted the recipe captioned their tweet.
‘It is not a joke.’
And here we thought we’d left food monstrosities in 2019.
Unsurprisingly, people are ripping the unique dish to shreds, with some highlighting that it’s better to eat a small amount of what you like, than ‘shit’.
‘Another cracking example of how shit some “diet recipes” are,’ commented one person.
‘Just eat a small, ACTUAL cheesecake and have some fruit FFS. (I know you know this, I’m just really annoyed by stuff like this.)’
Someone else commented: ‘That’s horrific and no more a cheesecake than putting a babybel on top of a Jaffa cake.’
‘I have an urge to go to that group meeting and throw chairs,’ another person tweeted.
‘How dare they call that cheesecake!,’ wrote a user, who paired the tweet with an angry gif.
I thought this was a joke. It's not a joke. pic.twitter.com/NGbKr2qXdw
— Legs (@L3GSV) January 19, 2020
Someone else said it ‘ruined’ their morning, and many people commented with a simple ‘no’ ‘please no’ and ‘not tasty’.
Others expressed anger over Slimming World, but it’s worth noting that this is not an official Facebook group made by the company (nor was the recipe posted by them).
One person was inspired to join the group, sharing a photo of a pending member request – though they didn’t clarify if it’s to find out more about the monstrosity or get other nifty recipe suggestions.
Not everyone hated it, with one person appreciating the unusual take on a classic.
‘I would actually eat that,’ they tweeted.
‘I love Crunchy Nut Cornflakes.’
Be that as it may, we’re probably going to stick to the real deal. What do you think?
PRI_123114647PRI_123114647Crunchy Nut cornflakes with spreadable cheese on top
When he was two, Ethan Crowe almost choked on a biscuit.
Although he was fine, the incident left him terrified and he slowly became more and more frightened of food.
Eventually, the only thing Ethan, from Camberley, Surrey, could eat was Vegemite spread on bread.
Desperate mum Michele, 46, struggled for over a year to persuade her son, now seven, to vary his diet.
And when the teacher heard about people being hypnotised to beat their food phobias she decided to book an appointment with hypnotist Elaine Hodgins.
Initially, she wasn’t sure it would work but after a few sessions, Ethan was able to eat normally and he has now transformed his diet.
The-mum-of-three said: ‘He would eat Vegemite toast for breakfast and lunch and nothing else.
‘We had many, many dinner times where there was crying and shouting, trying to get Ethan to eat things he didn’t want to.
‘It was quite scary. If he touched certain foods at all with his tongue he would immediately choke and gag.
‘Sometimes he would be sick into his plate because he was gagging so much.
‘He’d only eat just a handful of foods. If he was sick or ill he couldn’t take any medicine so we had to hide it in food for him.’
Before he turned two, Ethan had been exploring eating new food but after the choking incident, his feelings around meal times completely changed.
She said: ‘We think it all started when he had a choking incident when he was small.
‘He was sat on his dad’s lap and began to choke on some biscuits.
‘It was quite traumatic. It took us a few goes to get the food dislodged as he was going bluer and bluer.
‘From that point, he started to choke on other food and refused to eat food at all.
‘It was quite scary and then we realised he was doing it out of a phobia.
Eventually, Ethan couldn’t touch anything other than a few safe foods: plain pasta, plain pizza, fish fingers and cubes of cheese, but at his worst point, he’d just eat only Vegemite and bread.
Michele sought the help of hypnotist Elaine Hodgins who treated Ethan using a specialist programme of children’s books, puppet lessons and drawing.
The idea was to place Ethan in a trance – as children are too young to be put into a hypnotic state – and then make suggestions to him about what food he was able to eat.
Michele said: ‘Ethan started behaving differently.
‘He’s a shy child and when Elaine started reading him stories he went into a different, dream-like state.
‘After each session, we had time in between and I’d cut pieces of food into small pieces and he would eat them.
‘Gradually, things have improved.
‘She’s made a massive difference to us. Ethan now eats most things.’
Elaine said: ‘Children with avoidant resistant food intolerant disorder like Ethan have a real phobia for eating anything they are unsure of and tend to stick with their safe foods which are usually white or beige foods.
‘Children, up to the age of around 9-years-old, live totally in their subconscious minds so I don’t need to do anything apart from telling them a little story or play a game with them to get them to trust me and then they open up and tell me what’s worrying them or making them fearful or anxious.
‘Once I know what it is that’s the root cause of the problem I can then treat it.
‘Ethan sat and listened to a little story I told him. Michele was convinced he wasn’t listening at all but I told her not to worry, that his subconscious mind would be taking in the important bits which would mean he would soon start eating.
‘Within a few sessions Ethan was beginning to try new foods and his fear had subsided.
‘I see many children like Ethan every day at my two clinics in London and Berkshire.
‘The biggest problem of course, with children who won’t eat, is the fact that they are not receiving all the necessary nutrients, vitamins and minerals which help them develop – some children have even been known to go blind due to lack of vitamin A in their diet so it is quite a serious problem.
‘Ethan is now a strong healthy seven-year-old who loves his food.’
Have you overcome an unusual phobia? Let us know at email@example.com.
KID EATS VEGEMITEKID EATS VEGEMITEPIC BY CATERS NEWS AGENCY (PICTURED- Ethan Crow, 7, and mum Michele Crow, 46, from Camberley, Surrey, spreads Vegemite) -A 7-year-old who became terrified of food after he nearly choked to death on a biscuit has had his phobia cured after being hypnotised. After over a year of only being able to eat vegemite concerned mum Michele Crow, 46, began to look for wonder cure for her troubled son Ethan. But when the teacher heard about people being hypnotised to beat their food phobias she decided to book an appointment with hypnotist Elaine Hodgins. Despite her initial scepticism, Michele, from Camberley, Surrey, says Ethans life has now been transformed and that hell eat almost anything. -SEE CATERS COPYPIC BY CATERS NEWS AGENCY (PICTURED- Ethan Crow, 7, from Camberley, Surrey, shows Vegemite is a firm favourite) -A 7-year-old who became terrified of food after he nearly choked to death on a biscuit has had his phobia cured after being hypnotised. After over a year of only being able to eat vegemite concerned mum Michele Crow, 46, began to look for wonder cure for her troubled son Ethan. But when the teacher heard about people being hypnotised to beat their food phobias she decided to book an appointment with hypnotist Elaine Hodgins. Despite her initial scepticism, Michele, from Camberley, Surrey, says Ethans life has now been transformed and that hell eat almost anything. -SEE CATERS COPY
Almost a quarter of all new UK food products launched last year were vegan. And 14% of all Brits are taking part in Veganuary this year.
Veganism has boomed over the last few years, and more people are ditching meat and dairy for health or environmental reasons.
But the transition isn’t always easy.
There are more vegan substitutes than ever before. From the iconic Greggs vegan sausage roll to new releases from KFC and entirely new menus from Pret and Costa. But there are some things that just can’t be replaced.
A new survey has found that eggs are the hardest thing for vegans to say goodbye to.
Which makes sense. They can be eaten at any time of the day, they’re a great source of protein, and there is a special kind of decadence evoked by splitting open a runny, orange yolk.
The survey, conducted by Chewsy, found that the versatile breakfast food was the toughest thing to give up, followed by chocolate, honey and avocado.
Which is understandable. They are all delicious things.
But with so many alternatives and substitutes available now, surely it’s easier than ever before to go completely plant-based? We asked vegans, new and old, to tell us what they missed the most and how they coped when they made the switch.
‘Three years vegan for me,’ says Davina.
‘At first, I found butter hard. Biscuits were my Achilles heel, but I held on. Thank goodness for Oreos!
The hardest things for vegans to give up
Brits would find the following five items hardest to give up:
2. Dark Chocolate
‘Milk and eggs are not hard to give up – but hard to avoid. They’re in everything! Now it’s the let’s-avoid-palm-oil game…’
Hayley says smoked salmon was the hardest thing for her to part with; ‘When I turned vegan, I would dream about it,’ she says.
But the smoked salmon alternative from V Bites has been a useful swap for fish-lovers.
‘I thought the hardest thing would be cheese, but it’s eggs for me too,’ says Tabby.
‘I make scrambled tofu using a bit of black salt to give it the egginess and turmeric to turn it yellow. For Spanish “omelette” I use gram flour mixed with water in place of egg and it works a charm.’
Emma is on her third consecutive Veganuary and says it’s the easiest stint so far: ‘Mainly because I’ve learnt how to cook and season properly without relying on the tastemakers I used to – cheese mainly.
‘I still get pangs for chocolate or eggs but it’s doable. Veggie Percy Pigs are a bit of a life-saver.’
Annie says that she doesn’t really miss anything anymore.
‘But it did take me a long time to kick my cheese, sushi and prawn habits,’ she says.
‘I used to love eating out with friends and love it less now. It’s unbelievable that you can still go to London restaurants that don’t have one single plant-based option.’
Annie says ackee – without the saltfish – can be a fantastic egg alternative: ‘good taste, good texture – no cholesterol, no saturated fat and not artificial,’ she explains.
For lots of people, it isn’t just the food products that have been hard to give up. Accessories, cleaning products and beauty products often use non-vegan ingredients too.
‘I’ve been vegan three years because of Veganuary,’ says Helen. ‘The hardest thing I found was cruelty-free and vegan make up.
Top reasons why people go vegan
Those that have participated in Veganuary, or trialled going vegan, gave the following six reasons as to why they did it:
1. To help save the planet (53%)
2. To help save animals (50%)
3. To ‘better’ my diet (32%)
4. To challenge myself (29%)
5. To lose weight (12%)
6. Because friends/family did (6%)
‘I used to love Max Factor and L’Oréal mascaras, luckily I’ve finally found decent vegan and cruelty-free ones.’
Another said shoes and handbags were tricky, as there was much less choice when you take out the leather options.
‘I’m a long term vegan (four and a half years now) and I found eggs take the longest to get used to not having,’ says Nat.
‘However, I found it a lot easier once I remembered what happens to baby male chicks; grim, but it helped me.
‘I don’t really miss anything else now – apart from Jaffa Cakes and Maltesers.’
So, it might be tough, and there are things you will miss, but if you can stick to your motivations – why is being vegan important to you – that is the most powerful way to kick your cravings.
how to fuel your body for an ultra marathonhow to fuel your body for an ultra marathonvegan illustrations
My grandfather’s favourite quote is: ‘Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.’ Clearly, my nonagenarian pop hasn’t spent much time on Tinder. I hope.
Because this advice doesn’t hold for dating apps. Most people I know wouldn’t swipe right for a purely pictorial profile – no words looks lazy at best, and unpleasantly narcissistic at worst (sorry Ronan Keating, but on Hinge or Bumble you really don’t say it best when you say nothing at all). Which means we must risk being thought of as fools.
Like most digital spaces, dating app profiles have become a fertile ground for cliches and repetitive, meaningless phrases. So cliched, in fact, that they only serve to put off most potential mates.
I recently returned to the apps after a hiatus of about two years and was sorry to see the same old phrases still being trundled out. I quickly grew so fed up of it all and begun swiping left to screenshot particularly awful answers for the amusement of my friends, that I decided to put it to Twitter: what words and phrases would you ‘mute’?
Gin, as an interest, is a top turn-off, apparently. Oh, you’re a gin enthusiast? What does that even mean? Why is it always gin? And why, when we do meet, you order an IPA? The Dry January version of this seems to be ‘tea fan’. As my friend so aptly put it, ‘If one lists an anonymous object as if it is a part of one’s personality, it says a lot about one’s personality.’
‘Just another whatever lost in London.’ Aussie, NZ, Irish and generic Northerner are the big culprits. If you’re just another anything, why would I waste a couple of hours in a mid-range pub hearing about your travel plans? Also, just to flag (to men in particular) the gym is not a ‘hobby’. Sport and exercise can be hobbies. Lifting weights can be one too – although a barrel-scraping one. But the gym is a place – a sweaty, unsexy one at that.
Then there’s those who post: ‘willing to lie about where we met’. What’s that all about? Most recent data suggests that online dating has largely replaced more traditional methods of meeting someone. An upfront willingness to lie doesn’t exactly bode well for your brand.
‘Sapiosexual.’ Seriously? What is the opposite of that – ‘I bang meatheads’? ‘The literate need not apply’? While you may say ‘sapiosexual’, we read ‘pretentious snob’. Ditto ‘homeowner’. Show me your bank balance, why don’t you?
I cannot read another one of those ‘fake reviews’ from your mum/friend/teacher. They’re not funny now and they never were. Also see: ‘trying to leave the single market before Brexit’. And, as for ‘looking for a partner in crime’? Cease and desist.
Then there are those descriptions that are so ubiquitous they’re completely meaningless. Oh, you like going out but also staying in? You enjoy food and holidays? You have friends? Please, tell me more about how you’re human.
A major turn off for most is using that space – where you should be selling yourself – to list what you don’t want. Girls writing: ‘If you’re under six foot, don’t bother.’ Most apps now require the men list their height, which means you have that information at your disposal. Secondly, if you are so shallow that you wouldn’t consider spending time with someone on the basis of height, best keep that one to yourself.
Height is, of course, a major point of contention. When men passive aggressively write, ‘I’m X height because apparently that matters’, clearly, they know it matters. They’ve just chosen to be a little b*tch about it.
Similarly, when men write ‘no drama’, I read, ‘dislikes opinions that differ from my own’. Looking for someone low maintenance or who doesn’t take themselves too seriously? Probably a flop in the bedroom.
It’s clear how these phrases develop and propagate, starting off quirky or entertaining but soon enough becoming chronically overused – but it’s not so clear why. Are they a verbal tick, embedded into our brains after too many hours online? Are they the web 2.0 version of the staid pick-up line? Maybe they mask a fear of honesty, or are the phrasal shorthand for, ‘I am normal, I am just like you’.
Sometimes they have their merits – the experts among us can read them like a code. ‘I want a lady in the streets, freak in the sheets’ = misogynist. ‘Work hard, play hard’ = w*nker. ‘Must be active’ = no fatties. And, sometimes, they can be helpful. The old ‘two truths and a lie’ ice-breaking game is a great olive branch for your opener.
Even with these insights into our collective sexual romantic psyche, many dating app cliches are now completely redundant. They don’t just put me off dating – they actively make me want to die alone.
And what does it all say about the culture of modern dating and disposable hook-ups, when you can bin someone for simply calling a dog a doggo? Apps leave so little space for nuance or subtlety, turning human interaction into a split-second yes-or-no dichotomy.
What would happen though, if people really told the truth? Not like, ‘I like to be the little spoon’, but ‘I fear emotional vulnerability however still crave intimacy’. ‘I love sex but hate small talk’. ‘I’ll cover my nervousness with garrulous blather’. ‘I’m skint so can we stay in’?
I suspect I’d end up as matchless as I did on Hinge, but I’m not sure I’m ready to find out.
In the meantime, it’s off the apps and back to real life once again, where foolishness might be more charming than alarming. After all, I’m still young. Have vibrator, will travel. Although don’t tell my grandad that.
KATE LEAVER: LEAN ON MEKATE LEAVER: LEAN ON MEAn image of a woman on a dating app
If you’ve ever tucked into delicious Indian food (by Indian we mean South Asian staples in general) and thought the only thing better than eating it is wearing it, then we have good news.
A digital artist based between Pakistan and London is in talks with the appropriate people to potentially launch a biryani perfume.
22-year-old Dignik (not his real name) worked on an edit of the flavoured rice inspired fragrance and sent it into the ether.
And the Photoshopped image quickly went viral on social media, being shared among Bollywood stars and politicians.
The artist, who aptly goes by the name My Curry is Popping on Twitter, says the perfume wouldn’t quite be available at your local Boots but works more like an exhibition piece.
You know, for biryani lovers?
‘I don’t know if I’d actually wear biryani perfume,’ Dignik admits to Metro.co.uk.
‘Thinking about it now, biryani is like fried onion, and then like spices and other fragrances! It’d be weird.’
Look fried onion isn’t the most desirable smell but who says you have to wear the smell on yourself?
Perhaps you’ve lured guests over with the promise of delightful Indian cuisine and you want them to salivate at the smell.
Why not spritz some Le Biryani and trick your diners into thinking it’s the food you’ve cooked?
Being the biryani stan Dignik is, he’s even added a hint of aloo (potato) to the imagined fragrance.
We asked him to explain exactly how the idea came to be.
He said: ‘My friend came to visit me and he got me Shan biryani masala cause I was craving that and we were just going back and forth that if I cook in my apartment the whole building will smell like biryani.
‘So it basically just stemmed from a box of Shan biryani.
‘It would be called Both Sides because in a Frank Ocean song he says “I see both sides like Chanel” – and I was basically shaping everything up to be like the iconic Chanel No5 bottle.
‘Aloo is there cause I prefer my biryani with aloo – I don’t know if there’s any other way!’
But is it actually in the prototype stage? Dignik explains: ‘I have been in talks with a few people myself in order to make the perfume! But just as an exhibition piece! If it works then I have to go hit up Armani!’
But we’re not sure we’d want to leave the house smelling of chicken and gravy.
Capture-66c8Capture-66c8Perfume bottle saying 'Le Biryani'Aunty repellent spray
Actor Laurence Fox has rifled many features recently after claiming on Question Time that being called a ‘white privileged man’ is racist.
His controversial comments continued when he revealed to The Delingpod podcast that he broke up with his ‘too woke’ girlfriend over her opposing views on the Gillette advert last year.
He explained: ‘I don’t know how we ended up together.
‘It was a very short relationship. We were walking down the road and she was talking about how good the Gillette advert was. I just looked at her and went, “Bye. Sorry, I can’t do this with you”.’
The Gillette advert – which addressed issues of toxic masculinity, bullying, sexual harassment and the objectification of women – was celebrated widely.
But Fox felt it was too much and claims to have broken up with his partner because of their opposing opinions.
In November last year, Fox also admitted he’s becoming ‘increasingly intolerant’ due to his views.
He said: ‘I say, “Can we just get on and not be mean to each other?” But I feel compelled to be mean to the wokies.’
But what exactly does wokies mean?
The word wokie has been floating around in the past decade – and prior to that – describing anyone aware of social injustices.
But in the last few years, terms such as social justice warrior and wokies have been used derogatorily to poke fun at those sensitive to these issues.
According to Urban Dictionary, a wokie is someone who wants kudos for performing wokeness – enlightenment.
It explains: ‘A wokie is an individual who is woke, someone that emits higher grace and does not shy away from sharing his or her insights on the topic, regardless of the actual possession of said knowledge.’
While wokie is more of an insult, woke originated with a racially political end by Black Americans which makes it difficult to unpick from race.
It became a watchword around 2009 for the Black Lives Matter Movement – a call to arms against the various racial injustices still occurring in the US and beyond.
Musician Erykah Badu is said to have brought the term alive in popular culture by singing ‘I stay woke’ in the 2008 track, Master Teacher.
Fox feels ‘wokies’ play the ‘race card’ too much.
Ironically, he claimed to be the victim of racism when he was called out for white privilege.
And yet he has lambasted minority groups which has been inferred by social media users as a thinly-veiled attempt at racism from his part.
He has since become a poster boy for ‘anti-wokeness’ claiming that those enlightened on subjects of race and social injustice are now ‘boring’.
Despite his unpopular take, Fox received support from fellow controversial speaker Piers Morgan.
Similarly, Morgan has also claimed to be a victim of racism following comments from people calling him ‘gammon’.
Since all the outrage, Fox has claimed he would be taking a break from Twitter yesterday.
He tweeted: ‘Right, super fun as all this has been, I’m going to take a day off from winding up the wonderful wokies. Have a lovely day everyone.’
He then resurfaced with various other tweets, one referring to himself as ‘Wokey McWokeface’.
PRI_121517624PRI_121517624BBC Question Time Laurence Fox grabsBBC Question Time Laurence Fox grabs
Nilanshi Patel is nicknamed Rapunzel by her friends and it’s pretty clear why.
The 17-year-old, from Modasa, India, holds the Guinness World Record for the longest hair on a teenager.
She’s just smashed a new record at 190cm (6ft 2in) – but she set the previous one too.
Her hair has grown 20cm since it was last measured in November 2018.
She started growing it at six-years-old after a bad hair cut meant she decided she didn’t want to touch it with scissors again.
She told AFP: ‘At six, I had a very bad experience at a local salon.
‘Since then I have been apprehensive about cutting my hair. My parents accepted my wishes and now my locks have become my lucky charm.’
Her mane is washed once a week and then takes about an hour to comb and half an hour to dry.
She usually wears it in a braid but does sometimes tie it in a bun to play table tennis.
And to keep it in top condition, she uses an oil made with a secret recipe, created by her mother Kaminibenat.
Her hair is longer than she is tall and she has to wear heels to keep it off the ground when she is wearing it down.
She’s not quite got the record for the longest hair in the world though.
That goes to Xie Qiuping in China, whos hair was 18ft 5in when it was measured on 8 May 2004.
She’s been growing it since 1973, when she was 13 so Nilanshi has a bit of catching up to do.
She hopes that someday she can scoop the overall record.
Teenager breaks own world record with hair that measures 6ft 2inTeenager breaks own world record with hair that measures 6ft 2inNilanshi Patel, 17, who has been awarded the 2019 Guinness World Record for the longest hair in the teenager category, 190 cm, poses for a picture with her mother Kaminibenat at Modasa town, some 110 Kms from Ahmedabad on January 19, 2020. - Patel has been awarded the 2019 Guinness World Record for the longest hair at 190 cm in the teenager category. In 2018 she bagged Guinness World Record in the same category at 170,5 cm. (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY / AFP) (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images)Nilanshi Patel, 17, poses for picture with the 2018 (L) and 2019 Guinness World Record certificates for the longest hair in the teenager category, at Modasa town, some 110 Kms from Ahmedabad on January 19, 2020. - Patel has been awarded the 2019 Guinness World Record for the longest hair at 190 cm in the teenager category. In 2018 she bagged Guinness World Record in the same category at 170,5 cm. (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY / AFP) (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images)Nilanshi Patel, 17, who has been awarded the 2019 Guinness World Record for the longest hair in the teenager category, 190 cm, poses for a picture with her mother Kaminibenat at Modasa town, some 110 Kms from Ahmedabad on January 19, 2020. - Patel has been awarded the 2019 Guinness World Record for the longest hair at 190 cm in the teenager category. In 2018 she bagged Guinness World Record in the same category at 170,5 cm. (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY / AFP) (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images)Nilanshi Patel, 17, who has been awarded the 2019 Guinness World Record for the longest hair in the teenager category, 190 cm, poses for a picture at Modasa town, some 110 Kms from Ahmedabad on January 19, 2020. - Patel has been awarded the 2019 Guinness World Record for the longest hair at 190 cm in the teenager category. In 2018 she bagged Guinness World Record in the same category at 170,5 cm. (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY / AFP) (Photo by SAM PANTHAKY/AFP via Getty Images)
Burns Night is coming up this weekend.
Fancy getting in on the fun? We’ve rounded up five of the best food-focused events in the city.
Whisky? Check. Scottish cuisine? Of course. Haggis? Aye.
Classic cuisine with a side of Scottish culture
Want to add a touch of culture to your evening?
For those who want more out of their evening than a glass of whiskey and haggis at the local pub (though we’re all for that, too), head to Tate Britain.
Back again for 2020, the museum will be hosting a night in celebration of the Bard of Ayrshire, with food, art and music on the menu.
Sip on a glass of Pol Roger champagne as you’re given a private tour of the country’s finest artworks, before settling in for a four-course meal at the Rex Whistler restaurant to the tune of bagpipes. The menu features everything from Cullen skink (smoked haddock soup) to ‘Haggis, Neeps & Tatties’ and three Scottish cheeses.
Other luxurious extras include a recital of Burns’ ‘An Ode to A Haggis’ poem, to be enjoyed with a glass of Glenfarclas 21-year-old Speyside Single Malt Whisky (probably the way Robert intended), as well as an optional wine pairing.
When and where: Saturday 25 January, Tate Britain Westminster
Price: From £79
Scottish sandwiches and single malt
For one night only, Hawksmoor will be treating its guests to a Scottish-inspired pop-ups that’s all about… sandwiches.
Sure, it’s not the conventional route to Burns Night celebrations, but we like an unusual take.
The steakhouse chain has teamed up with Visions Canteen and Craigellachie Single Malt Scotch to create a refined evening without the traditional fanfare – meaning no haggis, no kilts and no poetry.
Instead, you can dig into a range of sandwiches such as Fish Supper (fried cod, Sichuan potato noodles and XO mayo) and Mumbai Medley (Amchur potatoes, kachumber, tamarind chutney and raita).
There are also sides such as bacon fries (we like the sound of that), salt and vinegar chicharonnes – kind of like fried pork belly – served with pineapple ketchup, as well as mini Kilmarnock-style steak pies.
Guzzle it down with a glass of 13-year-old Craigellachie – because some traditions should not be messed with (or try the hipster-esque whisky cocktails, if you fancy – no judgement here).
When and where: Saturday 25 January, Hawksmoor Spitalfields
Price: Depends what you order, really.
Haggis-making, the Highlands and a dance
Scottish street food company-turned-franchise, Mac & Wild, is celebrating its roots by hosting a two-day shindig at its Spitalfields site.
From Ceilidh dancing and live music, to bone marrow whisky and Scottish grub – get the kilt on and let’s pretend we’re in the Highlands (or on the set of Outlander, maybe?)
The restaurant has joined forces with Copper Dog to supply a special cocktail menu and there’s also a small cabin where you can hide away to have a natter with mates before heading over to the haggis-making station.
Munch on Haggis pops, Dirty Haggis chips, the vegan Bloody Roots Burger, the Sustainable Burger or the Venison burger – a mouthwatering dream featuring a wild venison patty, molten cheese, haggis hash, mayo and crispy onion.
As Mac & Wild says, it’s a time of ‘hoolies and shenanigans aplenty’. We like the sound of that.
When and where: Friday 24 January and Saturday 25 January, Mac & Wild Spitalfields
Price: Tickets cost £10 (includes a complimentary cocktail)
Tag along to a Scottish house party (that isn’t really a house party)
Scots and Sassenachs looking for a low-key experience are in for a treat.
The Little Blue Door, essentially a bar in house party format, is hosting a Burns Night-themed bash with haggis pops (deep-fried) – supplied by Mac & Wild – and the Haggis Burger, a signature dish made by the housemates.
This dreamy concoctions is made with a haggis-filled patty, topped with smoked cheddar and whisky chilli sauce.
Like any good house party, there’ll also be a free house punch, as well as Balvenie and Glenfiddich whisky specials, lots of decorations, a bagpipe show and a DJ.
Throw on a pair of tartan trews or a kilt, and you’re golden. Slàinte Mhath!
When and where: Saturday 25 January, The Little Blue Door, Fulham
Price: The more drams, the more pounds
Do Burns Night on a boat
Don’t fancy sipping an Irn Bru or a glass of whisky in a cramped pub?
All aboard, as the Bateaux London transforms from your average sea voyage vessel into a ‘highlander’s dream’.
The two hour and 45-minute journey includes a five-course meal with everything from seared salmon to baked haggis with neeps and tatties in a thyme jus, raspberry cranachan trifle and a wee amuse-bouche.
comp-1579534167comp-1579534167Split image of Haggis on a plate and a burger with haggis for Burns NightHaggis on a plate, as well as a glass of whisky on a table at the Tate Britain restaurantThree people making haggisThe Little Blue Door Haggis burgerA boat on the Thames in front of Big Ben
It seems like everyone and their next-door neighbour has gone vegan this month – and high street chains are cashing in.
LEON has reported that sales of its vegan burgers have actually overtaken meat burgers for the first time.
The ‘naturally fast food’ chain has reported an over increase of 15.5% in year-on-year sales, and the percentage of vegan burger sales has jumped from 41.3% to 56.8% in 2020.
Whether people are dabbling with Veganuary, or making a long-term change, it can’t be denied that the plant-based lifestyle is going to be big news this year.
LEON has been ahead of the curve in that respect, serving vegetarian and vegan dishes since 2004. And the chain has just launched a new vegan option – the Chipotle & Avocado Burger.
Made with a vegan patty, smoky chipotle mayo, freshly smashed guacamole, the new vegan burger is already outperforming the predicted forecast by 57%.
The new burger is the second in the restaurant’s vegan line-up following the success of the original LOVe burger.
With such strong sales, vegan innovations are now replacing meat dishes, and it will be up to retailers and brands to keep up. Almost a quarter of all new food products launches last year were vegan in reflection of this shift.
Meat alternative products now make up almost 60% of total sales across LEON’s 75+ restaurants. In 2019, during Veganuary, vegan sales made up 44% of sales, while vegetarian options reached 10%.
Meat consumption as a whole is changing.
A LEON survey of 3,000 customers has revealed that 55% of people now eat less meat than they did a year ago, many stating that health and the environment were the main reasons for going meat-free.
‘Vegan and veggie dishes have always been on LEON’s menus, but we’re now starting to see the market catch up,’ says Erica Molyneaux, Head of Food at LEON.
‘Sales of our vegan burgers have really taken off, with more than half of our sales now in vegan and vegetarian dishes.
‘It’s always been important to offer food that tastes and does people good, and that includes our range of plant-based dishes – bold, full of flavour and that everyone can enjoy.’
Alongside the new vegan burger, LEON has also launched a new Chilli Con Carne made with British beef, black beans in a dark, rich tomato sauce, spices and brown rice.
AVO_BURGER-1-6-7e23AVO_BURGER-1-6-7e23LEON vegan burgerLEON vegan burger
Cheating is tricky business – because as the saying goes, the truth will out.
One man realised this while at a football match, as he stole a kiss from his date, not aware that the kiss cam was filming the precious moment between the pair.
But why is that awkward, you ask? Well, you see, the woman he kissed was not his girlfriend (and yes, he has one).
The hilarious clip was shared on Twitter, captioned: ‘When you kiss your side chick and realize your marriage is over cuz you’re on camera [sic]’.
It’s the nightmare scenario for any cheater; not only have you been caught, but the whole world is there to watch it.
And they are definitely watching – the clip has so far racked up more than 22.6million views, has over 284,000 likes and has been retweeted over 70,000 times.
But did he really cheat on someone? We did some digging to find out the truth.
When you kiss your side chick and realize your marriage is over cuz you're on camera 😂😂😂
— Roger Gonzalez (@RGonzalezCBS) January 19, 2020
The man in question, who has been identified as Deyvi Andrade, was at an event called Noche Amarilla 2020 in Ecuador, watching a football game between Barcelona SC and Delfin.
Since getting called out, he has taken to Facebook and Instagram to tell his story, but oddly appears to be blaming women (just, you know, in general) for the situation he’s gotten himself into.
The following messages have been translated from Spanish.
‘If it was a woman was in my place what would you do?,’ he writes.
‘Various videos have been circulating of unfaithful women but they haven’t been made fun of as much as me. I hope you never have to be in my position.’ (edited)
‘I’m going to defend my honour and my pride as a man until the end…
‘We all fail and we all repent, thank you to those who have invited me to church and if I go it is so I can heal my family.
‘No one is going to be able to damage my image, God is big and strong and these women who are criticising me, I know too have cheated but they still comment.’
He follows up with a confirmation of that the video has indeed wrecked his relationship.
‘You’ve already destroyed my relationship, what more do you want?,’ Deyvi adds.
‘I hope this doesn’t serve you in any way because you are only hurting a son of God.
‘You don’t know the psychological damage you have caused with your hatred directed at me. Everyone fails and we can forgive from our hearts. God give me strength!’
While the situation is undoubtedly sad for his partner (it’s unclear whether the pair are married or not), people just can’t get enough of the karma.
‘You can see the moment his heart drops out through his ring piece,’ tweeted one person.
Someone else commented: ‘He would have been wayyyyyy better off just rolling with it. 1. Less chance of wife seeing it since it wouldn’t go viral 2. Won’t piss off side chick. His reaction basically kills it for both women.’
‘There’s a good chance his wife isn’t interested in football and she won’t see it,’ offered another Twitter user (she did).
‘You can see the fear slowly overtaking him, that ice cold feeling through your veins,’ wrote someone else.
Even the rock band Nickelback joined in on the fun.
Update: We even got Nickelback chiming in. Can't get worse for this guy. pic.twitter.com/V6Gtc4EzYC— Roger Gonzalez (@RGonzalezCBS) January 19, 2020
50k people in that stadium and you still can't be low 😂😂😂
— Rome Ease (@big_romeee) January 19, 2020
Oh yeah definitely the retweets is the downfall of the marriage lmfao
— 💤Juan De Dios💤 (@elMonitogrande) January 19, 2020
Some people claimed that the video was ‘played in reverse’, to make it appear as if Deyvi was cheating but that was not the case, as he has now admitted to his adulterous ways.
‘I want to go back to living these moments by your side my lovely, I am really sorry and this is why I’ve come out in public to comment on this nonsense, so I can ask you to forgive me here on Instagram,’ he writes.
‘I’m so confused but I want to get you back #forgiveme #Iloveyou #comeback.’
Although he seems to have seen the error of his ways, pleading with his partner to take him back, an additional post reveals that she wasn’t all that forgiving.
‘Regardless, my relationship is over and I just have to continue. I regret what I did but I can’t beg for more forgiveness,’ he adds.
‘I will not fail again and I know I’m going to find a person who loves and accepts me.’
Safe to say, he’ll probably keep his affairs behind closed doors from now on.
Karma is a… well, you know.
Man caught on camera cheatingMan caught on camera cheatingMan caught cheating on camera in split shot from video clip