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Animal tests can kill both animals and humans – it’s time we stopped wasting lives

Tiny white mouse peeps out from a green gloved hand in a laboratory
There are limitations to the effectiveness of animal testing (Picture: Getty)

Given the intricacies of the human body – the trillions of individual cells, molecules and strands of DNA – it’s not surprising that we still have so much to learn about our reactions to new treatments and medications.

However, one thing we do know for sure is that mice are not men, rats are not women and dogs are not human infants.

Decades of research have shown us that animals respond very differently to pharmaceuticals, depending on their sex, age, health, reproductive status, breed or strain.

It is therefore very difficult to apply the results of animal studies to humans because, physiologically, we are so different.

But surprisingly, scientists and regulatory agencies continue to risk the health of human patients by relying on the results of animal experiments, sometimes with disastrous consequences – a fact highlighted just this week by the deaths of 11 babies in a clinical trial involving Viagra.

Sildenafil citrate, or Viagra, as it is commercially known, has been repeatedly force-fed or injected into dogs, rats, mice, rabbits and sheep in the past.

Pregnant animals were deliberately drugged to induce pre-eclampsia, and had their babies killed and dissected either before or shortly after birth.

Yet unlike in the human trials, the drug was consistently found not to cause embryonic, foetal or birth defects or infant mortality, despite daily doses given at concentrations much higher than the human therapeutic range.

Viagra is not the only drug known to have initially proved safe in animals and then later endangered human life.

(Picture: Getty)

In 2004, a new arthritis pain medication commercially known as Vioxx was withdrawn from the market after a reported 88,000 to 140,000 people experienced heart attacks.

Vioxx had previously been considered not just safe but also effective in tests on animals, including monkeys.

A 2016 clinical trial of an experimental drug in France, BIA 10-2474, led to the death of one man and serious brain damage in four others.

It had already been given to dogs, monkeys, rats and mice at doses of up to 400 times higher than that given to the human volunteers.

And the list goes on.

In fact, over 90% of drugs fails to reach market, even though the drugs have been successfully tested in animals.

The main causes of failure are a lack of effectiveness and safety problems that were not predicted by animal tests.

Compounding the problem is the fact that experiments using animals siphon economic and intellectual resources away from other, non-animal research that is relevant to human disease and could lead to cures and treatments.

According to a 2014 article in the BMJ (formerly, the British Medical Journal), ‘Several studies have shown that even the most promising findings from animal research often fail in human trials and are rarely adopted into clinical practice.

‘For example, one study found that fewer than 10% of highly promising basic science discoveries enter routine clinical use within 20 years….

‘[I]f research conducted on animals continues to be unable to reasonably predict what can be expected in humans, the public’s continuing endorsement and funding of preclinical animal research seems misplaced.’

A paradigm shift away from all research using animals is urgently needed so that scientists can efficiently develop human therapies and millions of animals can be spared immense suffering.

Reliable, economical, non-animal methods are readily available for a wide variety of testing applications, and many basic science and disease studies on animals, which don’t really apply to humans, can be replaced with new organ-on-a-chip technology, sophisticated computer simulations, three-dimensional cultures of human cells, epidemiological studies and other more modern methods.

Pain and suffering are a certainty with animal experiments, whereas the benefits to humans are speculative and uncertain at best. For this reason, they must stop.

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Shock research finds that good sex makes you happy

**ILLUSTRATION REQUEST** Reasons why I don’t like receiving oral sex (Almara Abgarian)
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

We’ve told you before about various different benefits of having sex. And now, according to George Kenyon university, there’s another one. 

Sex, according to this research, is capable of giving your life meaning. The research, which is published in Emotion, illustrates a correlation between sex and positive mental health.

Great news if it’s been a while since you got some.

The researchers asked 152 students to keep a diary for three weeks, documenting their mood, how meaningful their life felt, and any sex they had – including what the quality of sex had been.

No surprise to hear that most people reported feeling more positive, happier and like their life had more meaning after they had had sex.

The good news, if you sometimes have to take the tube at rush hour just to feel the touch of another human, is that the sample size is pretty small, and 152 people is more of an indicator than an absolute proof.

(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Interestingly, the researchers also found that while the quality of the sex (in terms of pleasure) was important, the level of intimacy wasn’t. Those who had gratifying but non intimate sex reported feeling great the next day.

Now, we’re not scientists, but doesn’t it sound like the science is saying that for a boost boost you should go out and have yourself some really great sex?

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10 questions everyone in a relationship needs to ask

(Picture: Getty/ Ella Byworth)

Press pause on Love Island for a minute and turn to your partner. Ignore their cries of ‘why have you just paused that?’. This is important.

There are 10 questions everyone in a relationship needs to ask of themselves and their partners to make sure their bond will last, new research from the University of Exeter argues.

Sadly, none of the questions are along the lines of ‘how do you take your tea?’, ‘will you make me fresh pasta every day?’ or ‘would you be up for waking me up every day by gently placing a kitten on my chest?’.

Instead they’re genuinely important questions based in judging compatibility and commitment based on evidence from couples, family lawyers, mediators and judges. Fine.

So, couples: Are you ready to ask those questions and deal with whatever fallout happens as a result? On we go…

10 critical questions to ask in a relationship

  • Are my partner and I a ‘good fit’?
  • Do we have a strong basis of friendship?
  • Do we want the same things in our relationship and out of life?
  • Are our expectations realistic?
  • Do we generally see the best in each other?
  • Do we both work at keeping our relationship vibrant?
  • Do we both feel we can discuss things freely and raise issues with each other?
  • Are we both committed to working through hard times?
  • When we face stressful circumstances would we pull together to get through it?
  • Do we each have supportive others around us?

You’ll notice that these questions seem like simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ ones, but they’re intended to start in-depth conversations.

Couples genuinely need to question if they feel they can raise issues with each other or whether they’re good friends – not just raise through the list choosing the ‘right’ answers.

Professor Anne Barlow, who led the research, said: ‘Of course every relationship is different, and it is important that couples build relationships that are meaningful to them, but we found thriving relationships share some fundamental qualities.

‘Mostly the couple have chosen a partner with whom they are a “good fit” and have ways of successfully navigating stressful times.

‘These 10 critical questions can help people as they decide if they are compatible with a person they are considering sharing their life with and flag the importance of dealing with issues when they arise as well as of nurturing the relationship over time.

metro illustrations
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Divorce lawyer Baroness Shackleton said: ‘Wearing my “professional hat” – as a divorce lawyer for over 40 years – more than 50% of the people consulting me about divorce have said they realised either before or very soon into their marriages, that they were fundamentally incompatible with their partners.

‘Wearing my “educational hat”, as a former school governor, I am acutely aware that whilst there is much school directed education on sex, drugs and alcohol, there is little or none in relation to the most important decision a person makes – namely with whom you settle down and have children.

‘Finally, wearing my “philanthropic hat” and seeing the untold grief children suffer when their parents separate, I felt it time to sponsor a project exploring just what makes a relationship successful and how best to maximise the chances of it succeeding, the idea being to present the resulting research in schools as an educational tool and pre-intervention measure.

‘If as a consequence of this, fundamentally incompatible partnerships are prevented, it will have been money well spent.’

To create the list of questions, the experts involved in the study interviewed 10 divorce lawyers and mediators and two judges to ask them about the key reasons relationships fail. They also interviewed 43 couples married for 10 years, or who had separated during that period, and 10 couples in same-sex and opposite-sex relationships who had been living together, married, or in a civil partnership for at least 15 years.

They found that the four common reasons for a relationship breakdown are incompatibility, unrealistic expectations, failure to deal with issues, and failure to nurture the relationship.

The 10 critical questions are designed to get you talking about those four common reasons and spotting a potential mismatch before it causes problems.

The questions also point to what the researchers found were key attributes and skills for happy relationships that last.

Key attributes you need for a healthy relationship:

  • Taking things slow and choosing a partner carefully
  • Underlying friendship
  • Having realistic expectations
  • Seeing the best in each other
  • Working at the relationship
  • Having time together and apart. It’s important to have time to explore individual interests
  • Showing care in small acts of kindness
  • Being committed
  • Having open communication
  • Building a relationship that suits the individual couple
  • Adapting to change
  • Having a support network

Don’t panic if your relationship isn’t ticking every box – you’ll notice that working at it and talking things through are key. Express concerns, discuss differences, and see what adjustments you can make.

But if asking these questions fills you with a lingering dread that just won’t budge, and talking about the issues doesn’t help, it might be time to consider calling it quits.

The good news? At least you can then get that Love Island application in.

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10 of the best products to help you sleep during the hot weather

Close up of couple feet sleeping together on bedroom at early morning. Couple relaxing concept.
(Picture: Getty Images)

We all know sleep is a big part of being healthy, but getting decent shut-eye isn’t always easy.

Lack of sleep can spoil our mood, make us perform poorly at work and lead to premature aging. In short, sleep is vital for good health.

But thankfully as we’ve become a nation obsessed with the quantity and quality of our kip, there are some brilliant tried and tested products that will help you get the best kind of ZZZs.

We can’t guarantee they’ll cure you of insomnia, but the potions, lotions, nightwear and gadgets listed, are sure to help soothe you into a deep slumber.


1. This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray (Picture: Lookfantastic)

Who doesn’t love this trusty pillow spray?

The cult favourite from This Works has a dreamy and aromatherapeutic blend of lavender, vetivert and chamomile to help create a relaxing environment for the perfect nights sleep.

And if you want to really clock up some hours, you can get the This Works Scent Well Portable Diffuser from the same line of products.

This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, now £15.30 was £18.00, lookfantastic.com


2. Slip Silk Pillowcase

Slip Silk Pillowcase
Slip Silk Pillowcase (Picture: Lookfantastic)

Swapping your cotton pillowcase for a silk one is not only a seriously luxurious upgrade, it will prevent messy hair and those pesky sleep creases that age you overnight.

Slip is the gold standard when it comes bedding and nightwear and their best-selling Silk Pillowcase made from 100% silk, guarantees bed heads will be a thing of the past.

Slip Silk Pillowcase, £79.00, lookfantastic.com


3. Oliver Bonas Sleepy Eyes Eye Mask

Oliver Bonas Sleepy Eyes Eye Mask
Oliver Bonas Sleepy Eyes Eye Mask (Picture: Oliver Bonas)

If you struggle to nod off unless it’s pitch black in your room, then an eye mask is what you need.

Slip offer silk eye masks in a variety of colours that are gentle on the delicate skin around your eyes.

But if they’re too spenny, Oliver Bonas currently has a cute eye mask on sale that comes with a pink drawstring storage bag. So it’s ideal for a great night’s sleep and for travelling.

Oliver Bonas Sleepy Eyes Eye Mask, now £12.00 was £15, oliverbonas.com


4. Boots Pharmaceuticals Muffle Wax Earplugs

Boots Pharmaceuticals Muffle Wax Earplugs
Boots Pharmaceuticals Muffle Wax Earplugs (Picture: Boots)

Share a bed with a snorer, or have noisy neighbours?

These earplugs from Boots can provide a bit of peace and quite.

They’re soft and easy to shape, which makes them comfy to wear and sleep in. They can also be used when working, travelling, or swimming.

Boots Pharmaceuticals Muffle Wax Earplugs, £2.69, boots.com


5. GP Nutrition Calm Me 3 Day Booster

GP Nutrition Calm Me 3 Day Booster
GP Nutrition Calm Me 3 Day Booster (Picture: Harrods)

Walking through the vitamins and supplement aisle can be an overwhelming and rather confusing experience.

But thanks to Gabriella Peacock, nutritional therapist and founder of GP Nutrition, what you really should be taking to better your bod’ has never been easier.

GP Nutrition offers over eight bespoke supplement packs starting from £9.99. The drinkable options include Calm Me 3 Day Booster that promises to ‘helping to calm your mind, soothe your body, and aid a restful sleep – revitalising you from the inside out’.

The vegan, gluten and dairy free booster contains essential vitamins, including magnesium and vitamin C to increase daytime energy levels and reduce fatigue.

GP Nutrition Calm Me 3 Day Booster, £9.99, harrods.co.uk and gpnutrition.com


6. Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation)

Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation)
Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation) (Picture: Amazon)

In addition to controlling your heating, finding out the weather forecast and streaming your favourite music, Amazon’s Alexa can help you relax and fall asleep.

The smart speaker has the ability to play ambient noise (such as ocean or rain sounds) all night to block out disruptive background sounds and Amazon’s Alexa can also read from Kindle.

And in case you don’t want Alexa playing all night, you can set a sleep timer so that the audio shuts off after a given amount of time.

Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation), £49.99, amazon.co.uk


7. Casper Premium Memory Foam Rolled Mattress

Casper Premium Memory Foam Rolled Mattress
Casper Premium Memory Foam Rolled Mattress (Picture: Casper)

Arguably one of the best ways to get a good sleep is by investing in a supportive, quality, ultra-comfy mattress.

And Casper, probably the most well-known bed-in-a-box company, sells one of the most versatile memory foam mattresses on the market.

Vacuum packed in a box with prices starting at £350 for a single, any type of sleeper will be impressed, whether they sleep on their back, side, stomach, or a combination.

Casper also sells protectors, pillows and sheets and have a no-strings 100 day trial period to make sure you absolutely love your choice.

If it’s good enough for Leonardo DiCaprio…

Casper Premium Memory Foam Rolled Mattress, from £350.00, casper.com and amazon.co.uk


8. Lumie Bodyclock

Lumie Bodyclock
Lumie Bodyclock (Picture: Amazon)

If you’re not really a morning person, especially when the days get shorter and darker, light therapy can help.

You can use light therapy to tackle Seasonal Affective Disorder (and getting up for work) with Lumie’s best-selling Bodyclock.

The clinically proven alarm clock, has a gradual sunrise and sunset feature that helps wake you up and fall asleep and is incredibly easy to use.

And if need be, it also has a choice of wake up sounds, so you can switch off your startling iPhone alarm.

Lumie Bodyclock, £46.52, amazon.co.uk


9. Oh K! Sleep Mask

Oh K! Sleep Mask
Oh K! Sleep Mask (Picture: Beautybay)

Applied to freshly cleansed skin just before bed, Oh K! Sleep Mask indulges and nourishes your skin while you sleep.

The Korean overnight treatment isn’t costly, can be used up to six times and is packed with glycerin and hyaluronic acid, two skincare ingredients that help to moisturise and plump the skin.

Hello baby-soft, glowing skin come morning.

Oh K! Sleep Mask, £7.50, beautybay.com


10. Cotton Pyjamas

ASOS DESIGN Pocket Front Stripe Cotton Romper
ASOS DESIGN Pocket Front Stripe Cotton Romper (Picture: ASOS)

You’ll get the best kind of ZZZs in 100% cotton pyjamas.

Why? Because they’re breathable and will keep you from overheating, which is a must in the current climate.

Marks and Spencers, Debenhams and John Lewis all stock cotton nightwear. But we love this striped romper from ASOS with its cute cross back, front pocket design.

ASOS DESIGN Pocket Front Stripe Cotton Romper, £24.00, asos.com

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How you can take the kids out for free this summer (yes, really!)

Let it be the summer of fun (Picture: Getty Images)

The summer holidays don’t all have to be exotic locations and long haul flights that put a dent in your wallet. There’s a whole host of activities right here in the UK that match up to the hot Instagram spots recycled each year.

Racing up and down the stairs after your six-year-old may give you quads Davina McCall would be proud of, but after six weeks your carpet won’t thank you. So why not take them out and get a change of scene?

Convincing your reluctant teen to put down their iPad (scary, I know) might be easier if you have these exciting days out in your arsenal especially if you mention skiing, snakes and watersports.

Here are 10 ways to entertain kids of all ages this summer – and if you snap up a Milkybar®, Smarties® or Rowntree’s® Kids Go Free promotional wrapper you can get your kids in for free with a full paying adult*.

1. Crocodiles of the World

Check out some of the most feared species (Picture: Getty Images)

You might want to snap this up. (Sorry, couldn’t resist). Boasting one of the biggest collections of crocodiles, alligators and caiman in Europe, this is the UK’s only crocodile zoo with 17 of the world’s 24 species.

For the super-brave, kids can get up close and personal with some of the snappy crocs homed at the Crocodiles of the World, as well as get a look at them from the underwater viewing tanks.

While it’s a thrilling opportunity for everyone to see some of the fiercest animals on the planet, it’s also a chance to learn about the different species and conservation plans.

To find out more about how your kids can get in for free click here.

2. Action Watersports

What’s better than watching Bond on your sofa? Pretending to be Bond on a jet-ski.

At this watersports centre, you can learn to jet-ski, flyboard – which will make you feel like Buzz Lightyear on water, or even become a pro on a stand-up paddle board favoured by the likes of the Kardashians and Katy Perry on its private lake.

This place proves you don’t have to be on the coast of California to get the perfect shot for that ‘gram. Kids of all ages can enjoy and the equipment is supplied – so don’t worry about hoiking any surf boards onto your car roof.

To find out more about how your kids can get in for free click here.

3. Dig: An archaeological adventure

Jorvik dig Credit: Jorvik dig
Let your kids discover their inner archaeologist (Picture: Jorvik dig)

Taking it back to the opening scenes of  Jurassic Park, kids can explore and become their very own Howard Carter (the guy who found Tutankhamen).

But don’t worry, it’s not the same as when they come in caked in dirt after a mud pie session as it’s ‘no mess soil’. So all of the fun, without the mess that you have to clear up.

In the indoor excavation pits, artefacts from York’s 2000-year history will be waiting to be discovered as well as an actual archaeologist on hand, to save you from the ‘What’s this?’ question.

To find out more about how your kids can get in for free click here.

4. Old Hall Farm – A vintage dairy and ice cream farm

Dial back the years by taking a visit to the Old Hall Farm. You’ll be transported to an era of shire horses, livestock and a steam driven dairy.

Set in the Lake District, the historic buildings provide a lovely backdrop while you enjoy a treat from the ice cream parlour.

To find out more about how your kids can get in for free click here.

5. Birr Castle

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Isifa Image Service/REX/Shutterstock (926977a) Birr Castle, County Offaly, Ireland Various
Stunning grounds at Birr Castle (Picture: Rex Features)

Windsor Castle isn’t the only castle you can visit, as families can enjoy Birr Castle Gardens and Science Centre too. Set in 50 hectares, this spot serves up a double-whammy – plenty of fun and activities for the family but also Instagram content for days to take advantage of all the waterfalls, lakes and stunning terraces in the castle.

In addition to wandering around the formal gardens, and Ireland’s Tallest Treehouse, you can also get the brain ticking by taking a peep at what was the world’s largest telescope for 75 years.

To find out more about how your kids can get in for free click here.

6. Chel-Ski

No, hitting the slopes isn’t just for the winter anymore as you can now nail the technique and not get a mouthful of snow for the trouble.

Described as ‘where London meets the mountains’, if you’re not hitting the slopes you can keep an eye on your loved one from the Alpine Bar.

Equipment is provided, so all you have to do is show up and work on your technique on the revolving astro turf mats. While you might not have to contend with sub-zero temperatures, they say you might get a little ‘damp’.

To find out more about how your kids can get in for free click here.

7. de Havilland Museum

de Havilland Aircraft Museum Credit: dehavillandmuseum.com Mosquito-B35-TA634
Who doesn’t want to see a Mosquito-B35-TA634? (Picture: de Havilland Aircraft Museum)

Ideal for those fascinated by aviation, Dehavilland Museum is the oldest aviation museum in the UK that centres on de Havilland Aircraft.

As a working museum, there’s a chance that you’ll be able to glimpse people restoring aircrafts. While you might not be able to take to the skies, you can try out a simulator that was used for pilot training and each budding trainee pilot can get a plot of their training flight authenticated by the de Havilland flight instructor. How cool is that?

To find out more about how your kids can get in for free click here.

8. Ace Adventure

Get your adrenalin pumping and get wet and wild at Ace Adventure.

All kids must be accompanied by an adult, so there’s no escaping the fun-you can go white water rafting, kayaking and canoeing.

Camping isn’t just for festivals, and you can set up sleep under canvas. BUT don’t worry you don’t have to roll out any mats as you can pitch up on a comfy mattress or even take it a step further with a bit of glamping in one of the Shepherd’s Huts that are home to their own wood burner. How fancy.

To find out more about how your kids can get in for free click here.

9. Awesome Walls

Race you to the top!

Fed up of the kids bouncing off the walls? Let the family burn off some energy at the various Awesome Walls Climbing Centres across the country.

Teaming a bit of puzzle-solving on your route to get to the top while getting physical, this activity tests skill and strength which will have everyone nicely tired-out by the end of the day. Last one to the top does the dishes!

Awesome Walls have locations in Liverpool, Sheffield, Stockport and Stoke.

To find out more about how your kids can get in for free click here.

10. Aquariums

As we encourage everyone to reduce the use of plastic, a day at the aquarium can help your family discover the wonders of the sea.

Blue Reef Aquarium in Tynemouth is home to a host of creatures. There’s clownfish made famous by Finding Nemo, huge cownose rays, and sea horse feeding time shows plus marmosets and cotton-top tamarins to mix in with their fishy friends. Monkey see, monkey do!

To find out more about how your kids can get in for free click here.


There are hundreds of family adventures waiting to be discovered, and with special Milkybar, Rowntree’s and Smarties promotional packs your kids could get in for free. . Find more information and the full list here. 


*One Pack = One child ticket free with the purchase of a full priced adult ticket or two child tickets for the price of one. (Child tickets range from £1–£47 as of 16.02.18. More venues may be available at a later date). UK, IoM, CI, ROI. 18+. Closes 30.04.19. Available at selected venues. Purchase necessary. Internet access required. Retain pack and code. Not all attractions may be available in the ROI, IoM, CI. See promotional packs for details. ‘Child’ age classification is set at the discretion of individual venues. Selected stores only, subject to availability.

Reg. Trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé S.A.

What does pengest mean?

(Picture: Rebecca Reid/Metro.co.uk)

If you have recently overhead a youth speaking and been confused by their language, it might have been because of their use of the word ‘pengest’. 

Pengest is a recent addition to the cultural lexicon (at least in comparison to words with more traditional Greek or Latin roots) meaning ‘the most peng’. Peng, as you are probably aware, is an expression of awe or joy at something which is outstanding in a positive way. It’s interchangeable, according to the Urban Dictionary with ‘nang’, ‘tasty’, ‘dank’ or ‘cotch’.

It’s pronounced ‘pehng-est’ (to rhyme with the man’s name, Hengist) and can be used in a variety of contexts where you wish to express your delight or approval. For instance, ‘that was the pengest foccacia I’ve ever eaten’ or ‘that was the pengest Hunt Ball we’ve had since the 1880s’.

While the word peng has excited for at least a decade, it has been popularised by the YouTube stylings of one Elijah Quashie, who reviews fried chicken for a video series titled ‘The Pengest Munch’. 

Despite being only relatively new, the word pengest has been subject to a recent spike in interest (see Google trends graph below.)

As the graph demonstrates, the word peng has been in use since 2004 when the data began (and quite possibly before). However ht has experienced a recent upturn in interest.

So next time you’re forced to take a public bus and you hear a youth playing tinny music from their mobile phone, don’t shoot dirty looks at the back of their head but instead compliment them on having the ‘pengest’ taste in music.

Why not expand your vocabulary and use ‘pengest’ today? Your sales directer will be delighted to hear that you’ve got the pengest report imaginable and it’ll be on their desk by five.

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Woman’s attempt at removing her moustache goes horribly wrong

(Picture: Kennedy News)

Having an attempt at hair removal go horribly wrong is a rite of passage.

Maybe you shaved your eyebrow off before you discovered the use of tweezers (guilty). Perhaps you attempted to put Veet around your pubic area and experienced some unpleasant tingling.

So we should all have sympathy for Chantelle Murphy, a 26-year-old who tried using hair removal cream for the first time and did not have a wonderful experience.

We can laugh, sure, but we laugh because we relate.

Chantelle hadn’t used hair removal cream before, but decided to give it a go when she saw a pack of Nair Moisturising Hair Removal Cream for 99p.

She smothered it on her upper lip on a Sunday evening and waited for the magic to happen.

Instead her lip felt like it was burning, so she quickly scrubbed off – but not before it had left her with a massive red mark in the shape of a handlebar moustache. Lovely.

PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: CHANTELLE MURPHY WITH THE MOUSTACHE-SHAPED BURN THAT LEFT FRIENDS COMPARING HER TO 118 118 BLOKES AND YOSEMITE SAM) A beauty-loving mum was left with pals comparing her to the blokes off 118 118 ads or Looney Tunes' Yosemite Sam when hair removal cream burned a bright red moustache on her face. Chantelle Murphy, 26, was tempted to try hair removal cream for the first time after she spotted the Nair Moisturising Hair Removal Cream for the bargain price of 99p. Thinking it would be a time saver, the mum-of-two smothered the hair remover cream on her face on Sunday evening and waited for it to get to work. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 660 8596
(Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

Thankfully Chantelle was able to laugh instead of sobbing at what she’d done, and sent photos of her new look to her pals, who promptly compared her to the guys from the 118 118 ads and Yosemite Sam from the Looney Tunes.

‘It had to happen to me,’ said Chantelle. ‘Basically I’d never, ever tried any hair removal cream before. I just thought, oh, you know what, I’ll give it a go.

‘So I just went home to put it on. After two, three minutes at most I just felt it getting really warm.

‘I thought maybe this is normal because when you dye your hair sometimes you can feel the heat on your skin.

‘After another 30 seconds I thought I need to get it off. As I was wiping it off you could see the red appearing and it was getting worse and worse.

‘I was like I literally cannot go to work because I’ve got quite a professional job and I didn’t really want to go in looking like that.

‘It wasn’t just a little bit red, it was full on the shape I’d applied it to. Above my mouth was red.’

Nair Moisturising Hair Removal Cream **NO CREDIT**

Thankfully Chantelle was able to soothe the burn enough to disguise it with makeup the next day, but the experience has put her off trying hair removal cream again.

‘I think I will just stick to waxing from now on,’ she said. ‘The thing is, because the hair is quite fair, I don’t even know why I attempted to do it anyway. I just thought let’s do it.

‘But it’ll be waxing from now on. I used to do that once or twice a year, if that.

‘It has pretty much gone now but it is a bit itchy where the skin is peeling around it. While the skin is healing I’ve had to avoid wearing fake tan.

‘It was the first time I’d ever applied it before. I just wish I’d applied it to my legs first because if I’d had that sort of reaction on my legs I’d have been like “woah, no more now” and I could have hidden it.

‘But because it was on my face I couldn’t.

‘I thought it was funnier [on my face] anyway. It was something that could only happen to me.’

Alongside laughing at Chantelle’s misfortune, we should also use her story as an important lesson: Always, always do a patch test whenever you use a new product.

A spokesperson for Nair said: ‘As with any beauty product whether it be on the body or face use only as directed and stop using it if any sensitivity occurs.

‘As clearly stated on all our products, a test should always be carried out on a small part of the area to be treated before each use.’

It’s better to spend a little extra time testing a cream on your leg or arm than to have to spend ages trying to cover up a massive burn on your lip.

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Lush is launching brand new shower bombs

Lush is launching brand new shower bombs
(Picture: LUSH/metro.co.uk)

These fizzy beauties are going to be our morning pick-me-up.

On Sunday 29 July, ethical soap extraordinaires Lush will be launching #LushMoods, a group of new spa-inspired products that have been invented to ‘engage the senses and alter the state of mind’.

Included in the range: Shower bombs, which are essentially bath bombs for your shower. Smart.

If the new shower bombs alter how we feel about dragging ourselves into the shower in the morning, they’re definitely a worthy investment.

The Karma Shower Bomb (Picture: Lush)

#LushMoods consists of 13 new product inventions, including two new product categories – shower bombs and Atmospheres.

Shower bombs, as the name suggests, are fizzy creations that you can use in the shower, while Atmospheres are single-use shower gels wrapped in a layer of seaweed gel.

They are 100% biodegradable and need no packaging, a feature that’s in line with Lush’s strong focus on environmental protection and ethical practice.

Other products included in the #LushMoods launch include bath bombs, bubble bars and a solid mouthwash.

The Love Atmosphere (Picture: Lush)

Mark Constantine, Lush’s co-founder and managing director, says: ‘These new products aren’t medicines, they are to do with transforming your mood.

‘There’s this thing called Brief Strategic Therapy, where someone comes in in one state of mind and leaves in another. That’s the idea behind all of this.

‘You have one mood when you get in the bath and another when you leave. They’re single-use products – they’re a dose.’

The #LushMoods products will be available to buy exclusively online for one month only.

Each item is handmade using the highest quality essential oils and natural ingredients.

Of course, as it’s Lush, you can guarantee that every product is completely cruelty free.

If you want to grab one of these mood-boosting goodies, act fast because once they’re gone, they’re gone.

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Parents’ video shares risks of covering your baby’s pram with a cloth on a hot day


Two parent bloggers have created a video warning against trying to protect babies from the sun by covering their prams with a cloth.

Parents-of-two, JK and Charlie, shared a video to their Channel Mum YouTube channel, after carrying out a controlled test over two seven minute time spans.

The test saw a toy doll placed in a pram in direct sunlight in their back garden on a day when temperatures reached to 30 degrees.

Over a period of seven minutes, when left open and uncovered, the pram heated up from 23.3 degrees to 29.9 degrees – an increase of just over 6.5 degrees.

IT'S GETTING HOT IN HERE - Parent bloggers carry out test to highlight dangers of shielding babies in prams during heat wave SWNS
(Picture: SWNS)

The couple then placed a muslin cloth over the pram, to see how the heat would change.

Tested over the same amount of time, the pram heated up from 22.0 degrees to 35.1 degrees – heating up by a staggering 13 degrees.

The video was posted in hopes of making other parents aware of how dangerous it can be to place a cloth over a baby in a pram.

Mum Charlie said: ‘That is a good five degrees hotter with the muslin cloth on than without it – and we only did that for seven minutes.

‘If we had left that going for another 10 minutes, or 15 minutes, God knows how hot it would have got in there.’

IT'S GETTING HOT IN HERE - Parent bloggers carry out test to highlight dangers of shielding babies in prams during heat wave SWNS
(Picture: SWNS)

She added: ‘It’s a mistake that lots of parents make. We did it with our first baby, because we didn’t know any better.

‘But I think this really, really highlights why you should never put these over your pram.’

If you want to take your baby out in their pram but you’re worried about the heat, there are a few things you can do to make sure your child doesn’t get too hot.

You can clip on a fan to your stroller and keep them hydrated with water, and anything water-based such as watermelon and ice lollies.

You could also make a frozen water bottle sandwich – which entails filling a water bottle up, freezing it, wrapping it in a towel and placing one on each side of your baby for extra cooling.

Whatever you do, make sure you repeatedly check on your baby when taking them out and about –  if this heat is unbearable for us, it’s even harder for a baby.

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We hate to break this to you, but dogs might not like being patted on the head

Person petting a yellow Labrador Retriever
(Picture: Getty Images/First Light)

How do you pat your dog, your right hand man, your best friend in the world? On the head? Wrong! All wrong!

According to a pet expert, dogs are said to find the gesture ‘threatening’.

Now, every dog is different and you shouldn’t necessarily take this as a blanket rule. My dog will rub her head on my hand until I fuss it, but then, she also sometimes stands on two legs. What she does isn’t necessarily the standard. You need to figure out what your pet is comfortable with and what they enjoy.

Discussing just why dogs might not like being pet on the head, Sarah Bartlett from The Hound Helpers Ltd told The Mirror: ‘The wrong way to approach a dog is to walk up to them head on and just lean straight over them and go down and stroke them’.

Close-up of a golden retriever dog at the beach, being patted by his owner.
(Picture: Getty)

She said that this is because the action requires you to ‘go straight forward into them’ which isn’t ideal – you should be approaching from the side and then crouching down.

‘Keep your own bubble and their bubble, and it’s then the dog’s choice whether then encroach into your bubble,’ Bartlett advises.

She says you should test the waters by offering your hand to the dog and that if they then sniff your hand, you should give them a little scratch under the chin or ear. If the dog shows their belly, you can give them light scratches and strokes on it.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t universal, but probably not a bad rule to follow with strange dogs you run into on the street if you don’t want your hand snapping off.

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Why do we get brain freeze and how can you get rid of it?

(Picture: Moment RF/Getty; Metro.co.uk)

The weather is getting unbearably hot, which means more and more of us will be running out to the ice cream van when it comes around (just make sure you don’t find yourself eating a fake flake).

But one negative that comes from eating ice cream? The brain freeze.

That horrible, ice burning, aching sensation in your head that makes it feel as though the pain will never end.

But why do we get these headaches?

According to Medical News Today, Harvard Medical School scientists actually investigated this very question.

Brain freeze is also known as ice cream headache, cold stimulus headache, and sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia.

It’s thought to be caused by rapid constriction of the blood vessels in the roof of the mouth – however, it’s not just ice cream that can cause it, it’s anything seriously cold that enters your mouth.

(Picture: Getty)

Brain freeze is caused by the cooling of the capillaries of the sinuses, when something like an ice cream gets into your mouth. This results in a narrowing of the blood vessels.

Then, something as little as the air can act as a warm stimulant, which results in a widening of the blood vessels.

These rapid changes near the sensitive areas of the palate create the sensation of a brain freeze.

So, essentially, the proximity of very sensitive nerves and the extreme stimuli changes are what cause the nerves to react.

Luckily, brain freeze doesn’t actually last that long – but there are a few things to soothe it quickly in case you really can’t bear it.

This includes adding warmth around the mouth area by drinking some warm water, pushing the tongue to the roof of the mouth to help warm the area or covering your mouth and nose with your hands and breathing rapidly to increase the flow of warm air.

All of these cures help to prevent the rapid constriction and relieve the headache.

Of course, the only cure to ensure you never get a brain freeze headache again is to steer away from ice cream. But that sounds positively awful.

So, fellow ice cream lovers, go forth and enjoy your 99s – just make sure to keep your mouth warm afterwards.

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Primark is receiving loads of praise for choosing a model who was born with one arm

People are praising Primark for using an amputee model on their Instagram picture: PRIMARK INSTAGRAM METROGRAB REF: https://www.instagram.com/p/BlntZIuHRSL/?taken-by=primark MUST LINK BACK TO INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT AND EMBED IN ARTICLE
(Picture: Primark)

Primark has been praised by thousands online for choosing a model with a disability to model their clothes.

The fashion retailer recently shared an image of Kelly Knox, a model who was born missing her left arm, looking amazing in a leopard print skirt and yellow top.

The photo has been flooded with comments and has received more than 113,000 likes – making it one of Primark’s most liked Instagram photos.

Since the image was shared, people have been commenting to congratulate Primark on giving women with differences the chance to succeed in the modelling world.

One person wrote: ‘Well done Primark thank you for making the first step in using a disabled model and showing other brands not to be afraid. Big congratulations, the highest praise.’

(Picture: Primark)

Another said: ‘Damn slide me that HAT also thank you for some unprovoked/unpublicized diversity! Not just a PR stunt, I can tell. Much more than that. keep being awesome!!!’

Someone else wrote: ‘I think it’s great that Primark have beautiful models like this. We all deserve a chance at everything.’

After seeing how many people loved the Instagram post, we just had to talk to the model herself.

Kelly told Metro.co.uk that she was scouted for Primark through her agency, MILK.

She said: ‘I feel so lucky and grateful to be represented by a major agency who believes in me and my beauty.

‘Who believes in the power and strength of diversity and is passionate about challenging beauty ideals and breaking barriers in the industry.’

Kelly says she has been blown away by the reaction to the Instagram post on Primark’s account. She’s had so many people messaging her to tell her what an inspiration she is.

(Picture: Kelly Knox)

Kelly said: ‘The amount of DMs received is unreal. Messages from Paralympians, mums to children like me, young girls with low body confidence to aspiring models… this is exactly why I am doing this.

‘We all need role models, leaders and heroes to look up to, to enable us to dream that anything and everything is possible.
Beauty is not one dimensional.

‘It is time to stop aspiring to perfection.

‘It is time to support and empower each other, relishing in every so called flaw or imperfection.’

Kelly, who was born with her lower left arm missing, says she was ‘born into’ her body, and has never seen herself as ‘missing a bit’.

She explained: ‘From as early as I can remember, I knew I was more than a body.

‘That my soul holds all the beauty, power, wisdom and magic.’

(Picture: Getty)

According to Kelly, she wasn’t at all nervous to shoot with Primark. She was ‘excited, joyful, happy and proud’.

She tells us: ‘I have been doing this for ten years!

‘At the start of my modelling career, I remember seeing a video of a model saying “New York Fashion Week would rather burn down then see a disabled model on the runway”.

‘I had no idea people feared a body like mine so much.

‘Every time I felt like giving up or disempowered, her words echoed in my mind – I wanted to prove “disabled” people are beautiful, strong, creative, worthy, powerful and deserving of representation.

‘Anything other than full and equal access is oppression.

‘I am determined to change people’s perceptions about disablity – to shine my light onto the world.

(Picture: Kelly Knox/Models of Diversity)

‘I have worked hard – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually to get to this point.

‘It is only the beginning.’

Kelly is Primark’s first disabled model – a massive step to showing that diversity can and should make it into the modelling world.

On this success, Kelly said: ‘My Dad who passed away in 2013 would be going crazy right now – he was my biggest fan.

‘He had modelling photos of me all over his flat, including the toilet. I will say my life has changed when my diary is constantly full!

‘In this wonderfully diverse world we live in, the most modern and moral thing the media can do is to represent us all.

(Picture: Kelly Knox)

‘Diversity is the spice of life!

‘The pressure to be perfect is at an all time high.

‘I believe showing the world beauty comes in all different shapes, sizes, colours, abilities, genders and ages, is very freeing for people – we owe it to ourselves to have the freedom to be ourselves as individuals, the freedom to feel beautiful.’

As a message for any other young women with differences wanting to get into the world of modelling, Kelly says: ‘It hasn’t been a clear, easy, straightforward, quick path for me.

‘This path requires stamina, resilience, courage, fearlessness, hard work, vulnerability, determination and tons of faith.

‘Believe in YOU. Know that everything and anything is possible. Miracles do happen and dreams do come true.

‘My secret is success is to NEVER GIVE UP.’

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Will the blood moon affect your mood?

Super blue blood full moon over cold night water.

When the blood-soaked orb of Abezethibou reveals its gory face tonight, the weak minds of humans will turn to dust… apparently.

Tonight, if you live anywhere except North America, you’ll be able to look up and see a ‘blood moon’ eclipse.

It’s set to be the longest eclipse of the 21st century, and astrophysicists say that it’s also the lengthiest eclipse that’s ever possible.

An eclipse occurs when the earth gets in the way of the sun and the moon, and tonight the moon will have a reddish tinge for one hour and 43 minutes.

That’s because the moon will pass into the shadow of the Earth, blocking the light from the sun and allowing more red wavelengths to reach the moon while the blue and violet wavelengths scatter and become less visible.

Some people however, believe that the lunar eclipse is more than an event that happens in space.

They think that the blood moon eclipse will affect their moods and their lives more generally.

Alison Ward, a life guidance mentor, says that she definitely feels affected by lunar events.

She told Metro.co.uk: ‘I am an empath and intuitive and feel the effects of the lunar eclipse deeply. I experience a desire to spend time alone where I walk, meditate and reflect.

‘It’s a time where the past often comes up dictating and allowing a deeper healing to take place.

‘I choose to embrace the time of the eclipse as it brings out your shadow side bringing it in to the light.’

Leah agrees, saying that the lunar eclipse will make her take stock of her relationships.

‘The lunar eclipse will definitely affect my sign as I’m an Aquarius and it’s occurring in Aquarius, the symbol that represents friendship and community.

‘It will cause me to be really retrospective and consider all of the friendships around me and reassess whether they are serving me or not.’

WHITTIER, CA - JANUARY 31: A so-called 'super blue blood moon' descends over downtown Los Angeles skyline January 31, 2018 seen from Whittier, California. The Super Blue Blood Moon is a rare 'lunar trifecta' event in which the Moon is at its closest to the Earth, appearing about 14 percent brighter than usual, and is simultaneously a 'blue moon', the second full moon in the same month, as well as a total lunar eclipse or 'blood moon'. Such a lunar event that hasn't been seen since 1866. (Photo by Nick Ut/Getty Images)
(Picture: Nick Ut/Getty Images)

The connection (real or imagined) between behaviour, moods and events and the lunar cycle is called the ‘lunar effect’.

Over the centuries, the phases of the moon have been linked to periods, motorcycle fatalities, epilepsy, politics, the stock market, mental illness, violent crime, birth rates, fertility, sleep and how much patients in surgery will bleed.

However, a 2008 study from the University of Oxford and the Ludwig Maximilian University concluded that there is little evidence for any intrinsic link between human behaviour and lunar cycles.

Dr Nick Davis, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Manchester Metropolitan University, told Metro.co.uk: ‘There’s no evidence that the phase of the moon can directly affect humans.

‘It’s possible that people who’ve heard that the lunar eclipse might influence their mood or behaviour might feel affected, because they have created a psychological expectation.

‘It’s not about physics, it’s about classic superstition. The state of the planet cannot affect our moods or brains directly.’

Scientists suggest that the only way your mood will be affected by tonight’s blood moon eclipse is if you believe it will be, and then experience some sort of psychological placebo effect.

It’s like thinking about fleas and then feeling a bit itchy.

In short: No need to panic about the blood moon messing with your mood. Chill out guys, it’s just the moon hiding behind the earth for a bit.

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You can now buy shell-less Skittles in Asda

(Picture: Instagram)

Sugar fanatics, rejoice: Shell-less Skittles have arrived in the UK.

Skittles Chewies are sending people into meltdown – with people on Instagram sharing images of the new sweets, along with seriously excited captions.

So, what exactly are Skittles Chewies?

Well, they’re Skittles without the shell – a gummier, less crunchy version of the popular fruity sweet.

Instagram Photo

Oh, and they come in all new flavours too – including orange, lemon, lime, blackcurrant and strawberry.

According to BetterRetailing, the flavours are less intense, and the texture is lighter than the original Skittles.

Instagram Photo

They’ll be available in both single and sharing bags.

Dan Newell, fruity confectionery portfolio director (what a job title) at Mars Wrigley Confectionery, said: ‘Having undertaken extensive research, we found that retailers and consumers alike were looking for something with an alternative texture that still retained the fruity flavours of our much-loved brands.

Instagram Photo

‘As such, the launch represents a huge sales opportunity for retailers to keep up-to-date with the latest trends in the fruit confectionery category.’

That’s PR-speak for ‘people like trying new things, so we’ve released a weird version of a sweet we know people usually like’.

Alongside the Skittles Chewies, Mars has also some released some miniature Starbursts.

The smaller versions of the sweets come unwrapped for ‘easier consumption’, and have already been proving pretty popular.

Instagram Photo

So far, sharing size bags of the shell-less Skittles and the Starbursts have been found in Asda – so get over there ASAP if you want to get your hands on some.

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What should you do if you and your partner have very different sex drives?

people tell us the things people said during sex that instantly killed the mood
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

When you get serious with another person, there are bound to be stumbling blocks.

Maybe one of you loves a drink and the other is teetoal, or one of you can’t live without burgers while the other is a staunch vegan. It could be a simple as one of you being a morning person. But inevitably, unless you’re actual soul-twins, there will be places where you don’t match.

Sometimes this can be a good thing. It teaches you to negotiate within the relationship and it challenges your world view. But what if the clash comes from the fact that one of you loves sex and could do it every day, and the other wants it a couple of times a month.

Is being on totally different wavelengths when it comes to sexual frequency an insurmountable issue? Or can you potentially work through it?

We spoke to Dr Becky Spelman, psychologist and sexpert for sextech company WeVibe about how to handle this tricky issue.

What are the signs that you and your partner have different sex drives?

If one party had a much higher sex drive that’s not necessarily to say it’ll be the end of the relationship – you could work through it with some strong communication.

Signs are if one person is looking for physical closeness and intimacy far more than the other touching/kissing trying to initiate and the other is pulling away, this can be very frustrating for both parties, if the other person needs sex more frequently and the other person is feeling rejected.

How should you talk to your partner about your concerns?

In relation to talking to your partner about these concerns you have to be as open as possible. Ask is there compromises we can come too? It takes people being quite mature to be able to work out issues with their sex lives. It takes a lot of commitment and a lot of dedication without getting too hot headed. It’s not necessarily to say it would be the end of relationship if one person does want sex more frequently.

I have worked with partners where one person needed sex a lot more frequently than the female and the female was so open minded and so open to talking about it, she understood it wasn’t her issue and she supported her partner in being able to satisfy his sexual needs without them having to have sex all the time.

For example you can use masturbation or sex toys, and it actually wasn’t a problem for them in the relationship at all they just accepted as a normal thing. They just needed to make sure that sexual needs were met for both of them and that the female felt no pressure to provide sex more than she was physically or mentally able to or wanted to.

What can you do to help bridge the gap?

Having honest and open communication all of the time and self-pleasure is a way of being able to meet your sex needs and still be faithful in the relationship.

Would an open relationship be a potential solve if you have dramatically different sex drives?

Open relationships are very, very tricky. I do know people who have open relationships successfully but they are a minority. It’s difficult and would almost be impossible for someone to have an exclusive relationship and then spring it into an open relationship.

That drastic change in a relationship dynamic it is almost impossible to make that transition, although people often try it usually leads to the end of the relationship.

The only time that open relationships can be successful and satisfying is if both people go into it as an open relationship and have the agreement from the start.

There are lots of people who live their lives in that way and have an understanding and choose mostly to only do open relationships because that’s for them.

But to try and play around and start with an exclusive relationship and then change to an open relationship is a recipe for disaster and would cause a lot of emotional problems and trigger a lot of emotions for either one or both parties in the relationship.

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Mead is back with a new look and the ancient drink is not what you think it is

Is this what you thought mead looked like? (Picture: Gosnells)

Think of mead and some pretty vivid images can spring to mind, vivid but contrasting at the same time. Is it something drunk by Vikings from foaming tankards or is it a sweet wine supped by Shakespeare while he pondered his latest sonnet?

The base fact that it is an alcoholic drink made from honey is well known, but other than that it becomes a bit of a mystery to most. So was it swigged by the Norsemen or sipped by the Bard? Well, the answer is both.

Mead is simply alcohol made from fermented honey and water so it can take all sorts of forms and strengths. So simple is the honey fermentation process that mead is believed to have been around for over 10,000 years and there is no surprise that there have been a fair few variants in that time.

All sorts of cultures have done different things with mead and it has emerged as both a relatively low-alcohol beer-like drink to a super-sweet tipple that we would recognise as a dessert wine today. It has just depended on the trends of the time and place, do they want it still or fizzy, dry or sweet, strong or weak.

Mead in the 21st century (Picture: Gosnells)

It might not be as popular in today’s pubs of the UK as it was in the great halls of ninth century Scandinavia, but mead is very much still around in Britain. As it has done throughout its history, it has settled on a form that drinkers want from it, something that mead producers have discovered first hand.

Gosnells of London, one of the country’s biggest mead producers, have been testing the waters in the lake of UK mead drinkers and found out exactly what they want from their honey-based booze.

They had thought that the British booze brigade would have been after something similar to a craft beer and they produced their drink as such. In a brown, 33cl bottle that looked like any of the thousands of lagers and ales available nowadays.

But, as Tom Gosnell explains, this is not what people were after: ‘When we were selling our mead in the small bottles, people were still drinking it like a wine, not like a craft beer.

‘So we’ve acted accordingly and rebranded to suit what people are looking for, which is placing it alongside wines and Proseccos rather than beers and lagers.’

The result is a light, fresh, carbonated, summery drink, not a million miles away from prosecco but smoother with a subtle taste of the orange blossom honey they bring in from Andalucía. Served in a 75cl bottle that is a big upgrade in appearance from the smaller glassware.

The evolution of mead from craft beer style to the wine market (Picture: Phil Haigh)

The ever evolving ancient drink has reached this stage of its history and it is a pretty great stage to be at. As the summer heatwave rumbles on and you are looking for more ways to quench your thirst of an evening, this could just be the answer, and as it is down at 5.5%, you can sup away without worrying about the consequences of rifling through the Proseccos too quickly.

Whilst this incarnation of mead is the one the populace have demanded, there are other options on the table. If you’ve never had a mead cocktail then you should give it a whirl. Add it to a dark and stormy or mix it with gin and lemon juice, to ease yourself in, then you can get as inventive as you want from there.

Gosnells have also conjured up a few more creations that you’ll have to go down to their Peckham meadery to taste. Their gooseberry and tea flavour and their hibiscus offering give yet more twists on the ancient tipple.

With producers like the Lancaster Mead Company still playing on the viking image, and Cornish Mead Co. taking on a variety of flavours of fruit flavoured wine, there is an awful lot to choose from.

In a world of booze with a thousand new tastes and flavours available, it might just be that mead, the oldest of the lot, is the one that could win over a new generation of drinkers.

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Man’s launches appeal to reunite lost toy with its rightful owner

(Picture: Mitchell Rubin)

When I was around seven, I had a lilac Eeyore toy I dragged around with me everywhere.

I loved him: he was grumpy and tired, but he was soft and pastel, too – just like the miserable child who refused to be apart from him.

Then one day I sat down to eat a packaged sandwich on a bench in a shopping centre on holiday, carefully setting Eeyore down next to me, only to…walk away the second I was done.

I only realised after we left the shopping centre, and I was devastated. I cried. I begged to go back.

My parents refused. ‘We’ll buy another’ they said. ‘It’s not the same!’ I yelled, so convinced that my toy had some kind of soul another would not.

It had such a deep, irreversible effect on my psyche that I am still here, almost two decades later, welling up as I remember it in perfect detail.

But unlike my parents, Mitchell Rubin understands the deep psychological bond a child can have to its toys.

Hello Facebook World… I hope you can help me… You see, I was dropped this morning by my little friend and now I'm…

Posted by Mitchell Rubin on Tuesday, July 24, 2018

The US-based man posted a heartfelt plea from the perspective of one ‘Lost Kitty’ on Tuesday, begging to be reunited with its owner. It’s since gone viral, with thousands of people all over the world sharing the heartwarming plea to try to bring it home.

Rubin found the toy in Hartford Connecticut airport, writing a status so cutesy about the toy having ‘amnesia’ from its fall that were I not predisposed to have nothing but empathy for the child involved I might feel a little bit sick.

‘Hello Facebook World… I hope you can help me… You see, I was dropped this morning by my little friend and now I’m lost,’ wrote Rubin.

‘Because of the fall I have amnesia, so I don’t remember my name, my families name, or my little friends name… This nice guy Mitch found me at the Bradley International Airport in Hartford Connecticut this morning at 7:09am…

‘He said I was lying on the Departure side of the crosswalk that led from the parking garage to the American Airlines terminal… People were walking right over me…almost stepping on me and rolling their luggage over me, but nobody stopped to help me except for this nice guy…

‘I know my little buddy is probably missing me and is heartbroken… I’m very sad as well… So if anybody in the Facebook World recognizes me, please help me find my family…

‘If you don’t recognize me, please share me with your friends on Facebook and hopefully through your networking effort I will be able to be reunited with my family and my little friend… My new friend Mitch says I can stay with him until my family is found…’

So from the bottom of my heart: please reunite Lost Kitty with whoever was busy and sleepy enough to drop it after their flight. Thank you.

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Do cats sweat?

A beautiful calico cat stretches out in the stipes of sunlight on a warm bed.
(Picture: Catherine MacBride)

Cats sweat, but only a fraction of the amount that humans do.

Felines can only sweat in two places: on their paw pads and between their toes. The surface area of their paws is so small that sweating doesn’t do much to cool them down.

If you notice your cat leaving a trail of wet paw prints, that means that their sweat glands are working overtime to deal with heat, stress, anxiety or overexertion.

Cats have developed other strategies to keep cool in the heat, including being motivated to find shady spots, limiting the amount of moving around they do and lying on cold surfaces to maximize the area of their body that is touching a cool, tiled kitchen floor, for example.

Your cat will probably be washing themselves more in hot weather, a cooling strategy that works in a similar way to sweating. When a cat’s saliva evaporates off their fur, it lowers body temperature.

Cats can start panting if the heat gets too much for them, so if you notice this in your cat, give them a dish of cool water to drink from or drop some ice cubes in their water bowl.

You can also pat cats down with a flannel or cloth soaked in cold water.

Sam Watson, RSPCA cat welfare expert says: ‘Although cats usually like their environment to be a degree or two warmer than us, some of the hot temperatures we are experiencing at the moment will push them out of their comfort zone. If you have noticed your cat seems more lethargic than usual, and needs to cool down, there are some simple steps you can take to keep them cool.’

The RSPCA's tips for keeping you cat cool in hot weather:

  • Create shady spots in the garden using cardboard boxes and umbrellas
  • Put a fan on the floor on a low setting
  • Freeze a bottle of water, wrap it in a towel and place next to your cat’s bed or favourite spot
  • Provide your cat access to a ceramic or granite floor which will stay cool
  • Use a cooling mat but make sure to supervise your pet
  • Groom your cat to help them shed some of their fur
  • Make sure paler cats have pet-safe sun cream when sunbathing in the garden

‘Cats do not sweat as much as we do. In fact, they can only sweat on their paws and between their toes. This means they need to be able to make choices on where to spend their time, and this helps them regulate their temperature.

‘Therefore, it is very important that they have a range of places to spend time in the hot weather. They might choose to sunbathe, especially in the cooler parts of the day, but they will also want to find some cooler places to spend time.

‘Not only do cats need to drink more often in the hot weather but water evaporates faster so providing extra sources of water with them, with some ice cubes in to keep it cool is a good idea. Some cats also prefer to drink running water so providing a pet fountain could be a good investment.’

Your cat is likely to spend a lot of time lazing about when it’s hot outside.

‘Panting, restlessness, lots of grooming, red or purple gums, sweaty feet, lethargy, vomiting and staggering are among the signs that your cat is uncomfortable, and at risk of heat exhaustion. If you notice any of these, it’s very important to call your vet for advice.’

Some cats are more vulnerable to heat stroke than others.

Young kittens and elderly cats are particularly at risk, as are cats with any illness, including a cold.

Overweight cats will also find it more difficult to regulate their body temperatures.

Remember to keep your kitties as cool and comfortable as possible in the hot weather. Cats have their own ways of managing heat, but with temperatures in the 30s, they might need a little extra help.

MORE: How to spot and treat hay fever in pets

MORE: How to keep your cat cool in the summer

Should I keep my pet inside during a thunderstorm?

(Picture: Getty)

Short answer: yes, always.

With thunderstorms predicted for tonight and Saturday, pet owners should be clued up on how to take care of their furry companions.

Dogs aren’t fans of sudden, loud noises and they can become incredibly distressed during thunderstorms.

Always keep your dog inside during the storm, and avoid walks if you know that a storm is forecast to save being caught in it with your pup.

You can tell if a storm is stressing your dog because they will be shaking, pacing, yawning, whining, drinking more, barking excessively panting or a exhibiting a combination of these behaviours.

Dogs are very attuned to the moods of their humans, so don’t let a stressed dog feel that you are concerned about them and certainly don’t panic. Providing reassurance and keeping their environment calm is key.

Your pup might want to be comforted, so make sure you cuddle or stroke them if that’s helpful. It’s common for dogs to hide during thunderstorms, so don’t be alarmed if your dog seeks safety under your bed until the storm stops. If they look like they’ve found a safe place, don’t try to entice them out.

Some pet owners find that keeping the TV or radio on at a low level is helpful for muffling the sound of thunder, and it’s also a good idea to keep the curtains closed so your dog isn’t shocked by flashes of lightning.

In extreme cases, vets can prescribe medication for thunderstorm anxiety.

It might seem obvious, but don’t shout at your pet. It will only make them more frightened.

If your dog is being destructive (ripping up carpets or ruining furniture) this is just a symptom of their distress. Helping them calm down is the only way to get through it.

Cats tend to hide in thunderstorms rather than making lots of noise or destroying furniture.

Cats can be just as frightened as dogs during thunderstorms, but they don’t usually display fear in the same way.

Your feline companion will probably hide somewhere dark and quiet and wait until the storm has completely passed before resurfacing.

If your cat is out for the day or night and a thunderstorm starts, they might come to ask to be let in but they are also likely to find a safe hiding place wherever they are, such as under a bush.

Relaxing products like plug-ins and sprays can be helpful, as can buying an igloo-shaped cat bed as these feel more secure for kitties.

Caroline Reay, Blue Cross senior vet, said: ‘Storms can be stressful for your pet especially if they generally dislike loud, high pitched or sudden noises like fireworks.

‘There are a number of things you can do to help your pet during a storm, the main thing is to keep them indoors until it passes over.

‘Remain calm and act normally around your pet and allow them space to react to the storm – be that pacing around or letting them hide in a spot where they can feel safe. It’s also OK to soothe them if they come to you to seek comfort and reassurance.’

By keeping your pet’s environment as stress-free as possible, you should be able to help your dog or cat cope with the storm without any major mishaps.

You can find more advice from Blue Cross about dogs and thunderstorms here.

Where in the world are you most likely to get skin cancer?

(Picture: Getty)

According to a study by German dermatological advisors derma.plus, New Zealand ranks the highest for new cases of skin cancer worldwide by population, closely followed by Australia.

The UK comes in the top 10, with 460 new cases by population.

Sweden ranks number four on the list, but also offers the most efficient access to cancer treatments out of the 62 nations surveyed, due to a high national health spending score.

The study shows the largest number of new skin cancer cases by population, scaled from one to 10.

Top 10 countries with the most new cases of skin cancer each year per population:

The number listed is the skin cancer risk scale, rated from one to 10.

  1. New Zealand – 10
  2. Australia – 9.67
  3. Switzerland – 5.89
  4. Sweden – 5.79
  5. Norway – 5.71
  6. The Netherlands – 5.60
  7. Denmark – 5.57
  8. Slovenia – 5.19
  9. USA – 4.62
  10. UK – 4.60

Skin cancer has become much more common in Britain over recent years, something that health professionals believe can be attributed to the increased popularity of holidays abroad. Air fares and package deals have made it easier to hop over to sun-soaked spots in Spain, Greece and the Caribbean.

Soaking up the rays however, can lead to skin cancer if you’re not adequately protecting yourself with high-factor sun cream and avoiding direct sunlight in the hottest part of the day.

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun is the leading cause of skin cancer, but it has also been linked to using sun beds and sun lamps.

There are two types of skin cancer; melanoma and non-melanoma.

Non-melanoma skin cancer (Picture: NHS)
An example of non-melanoma skin cancer (Picture: NHS)

Non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common kind and it refers to a group of cancers that develop in the upper layers of the skin.

Every year, more than 100,000 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are diagnosed in the UK. These cancers are more common in the elderly and more likely to affect men than women.

You can spot non-melanoma skin cancers by looking out for new discoloured lumps or patches on the skin that don’t clear up after several weeks. They might persist for months or even years.

Cancerous lumps tend to be red and firm, and cancerous patches are

Non-melanoma skin cancer is usually found in places that are often exposed to the sun, like the face, hands, ears, back and shoulders.

Melanoma skin cancer (Picture: NHS)
Melanoma skin cancer is the more dangerous type. (Picture: NHS)

Melanoma skin cancer is less common, with 13,500 cases diagnosed in the UK each year.

The easiest sign to look out for is a new mole or a change in the appearance of an existing mole. It might change shape, or bleed, or be more than one colour. Cancerous moles can be really itchy and bigger than normal.

Melanoma kills over 2,000 people in Britain every year.

Consultant dermatologist Dr Anjali Mahto told Metro.co.uk: ‘Wearing regular broad spectrum sunscreen is essential to protect against sunburn and the future risk of skin cancer as well as prevent against premature skin ageing.

‘It should ideally be an SPF of 30-50 offering protection against both UVA and UVB radiation.’

The NHS has a visual guide for checking your moles that you can find here.

With the heatwave still looking like it will break records in the UK, it’s important to stay safe in the sun.

MORE: How to keep your cat cool in the summer

MORE: How you can help homeless people during a heatwave

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