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Here’s what the UK’s ideal garden looks like

The UK's ideal garden
(Picture: myvouchercodes.co.uk/METROGRAB)

The Great British Garden is an amalgamation of our favourite backyard features.

A survey from MyVoucherCode has revealed what Brits would want their ideal garden to look like – within reasonable limits.

Sadly we’re not talking about waterfalls and an all-year-round ice skating rink.

Out of the 2,001 people surveyed, 45% said that a garden would be an important factor if they were buying a new home.

Britain is a nation of gardeners, from those tending window boxes on flat balconies to people getting their hands dirty on allotments.

The UK's ideal garden picture: myvouchercodes.co.uk METROGRAB https://www.myvouchercodes.co.uk/the-great-british-garden
This is what the perfect British garden would look like in spring. (Picture: myvouchercodes.co.uk/METROGRAB)

Gardens are places where we make memories, play as children and with children, laze in the sun, make snowmen, attend barbecues, promise ourselves we’ll ‘definitely’ plant something when the weather gets better and crash around in the shed looking for that one pair of secateurs.

So what would the perfect garden look like?

A real grass lawn (68%) came out on top over an artificial one (17%).

The majority of people (80%) want to encourage wildlife to their gardens, so a bird feeder and access to water were popular choices.

A stone path (68%) proved more popular than tarmac or gravel.

The UK's ideal garden picture: myvouchercodes.co.uk METROGRAB https://www.myvouchercodes.co.uk/the-great-british-garden
In summer, the Great British Garden would have a hot tub in it. We approve. (Picture: myvouchercodes.co.uk/METROGRAB)

Over half (51%) of the public want a designated space to grow their own fruit and vegetables, and 44% expressed interest in a greenhouse.

An optimistic 57% of people want their garden to get all day sun.

For seating, 56% chose a table and chairs, while 32% opted for a garden bench.

The UK's ideal garden picture: myvouchercodes.co.uk METROGRAB https://www.myvouchercodes.co.uk/the-great-british-garden
The perfect garden still gets covered in leaves in the autumn. (Picture: myvouchercodes.co.uk/METROGRAB)

A surprising 35% said they’d like an outdoor BBQ (we expected this number to be higher) and 22% were keen to have a pizza oven for outdoor cooking and gatherings with loved ones.

The classic garden shed proved popular, with 60% saying they wanted a shed to be their main garden storage space.

The UK's ideal garden picture: myvouchercodes.co.uk METROGRAB https://www.myvouchercodes.co.uk/the-great-british-garden
It’s a bit chilly to be using the treehouse in this weather. (Picture: myvouchercodes.co.uk/METROGRAB)

Whether these respondents have children or simply want to get in touch with their inner child, 38% of 25-34 year olds said their perfect garden would have a treehouse in it.

You can see a panorama of the UK’s dream garden below.

Do you agree with the results of the survey?

What would your ideal garden look like?

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Woman says vaping CBD oil has cured her severe eczema

(Picture: Caters News)

Cheryl Halliburton, 27, says inhaling CBD oil through a vape pen has been a ‘miracle cure’ for her severe eczema.

Cheryl has suffered with eczema flare-ups on her face and neck every few days for the last four years, ever since becoming pregnant with her daughter Alexis, now three.

She was regularly left with red, sore skin that cracked open and had weeping wounds. The pain and embarrassment caused by the condition made Cheryl unable to leave the house.

‘It really began when I fell pregnant with Alexis when I was around 23 years old,’ says Cheryl. ‘It started on my back and cleared up after a course of steroids but straight away it flared up on my face and neck and has been constant ever since.

‘It would flare up every couple of days depending on what I was eating and it would be an uncontrollable itch. No cream I put on it would soothe it, in fact, it would often make it worse.

‘I would feel like I wanted to rip my skin off.

Pic by Caters News - (Pictured: Cheryl Halliburton with bad Eczema) - A woman with such severe eczema that it left her hospitalised has found a miracle cure to soothe her skin after inhaling CBD oil through a vape pen.Cheryl Halliburton, 27, has suffered from severe eczema flare-ups on her face and neck every few days, after falling pregnant with her daughter Alexis, now three, around four years ago. The skin condition left Cheryl with red, sore skin, that cracked open, causing weeping wounds, and made her so ill and self-conscious she would be left unable to leave the house. At her wits end Cheryl decided to try CBD Oil, a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in cannabis, and found it had a remarkable effect on her skin after inhaling the natural remedy through a vape pen.SEE CATERS COPY
(Picture: Caters News Agency)

‘I felt like I couldn’t go on anymore as I was just not getting any answers from the doctors.

‘On bad days I wasn’t even able to take my daughter to nursery or would be unable to work or leave the house and a combination of antihistamine and painkillers would make me drowsy.’

Cheryl went to appointment after appointment trying to find a fix, but every cream, steroid tablet, or light treatment she tried didn’t offer any longterm help. Blood tests didn’t point to a cause of the eczema flare-ups either, so Cheryl was left unable to wear makeup or go on nights out with friends as she feared causing a reaction.

In August this year, Cheryl’s flare-ups became overwhelming, and she was rushed to hospital by her husband, Craig.

Pic by Caters News - (Pictured: Cheryl Halliburton with bad Eczema) - A woman with such severe eczema that it left her hospitalised has found a miracle cure to soothe her skin after inhaling CBD oil through a vape pen.Cheryl Halliburton, 27, has suffered from severe eczema flare-ups on her face and neck every few days, after falling pregnant with her daughter Alexis, now three, around four years ago. The skin condition left Cheryl with red, sore skin, that cracked open, causing weeping wounds, and made her so ill and self-conscious she would be left unable to leave the house. At her wits end Cheryl decided to try CBD Oil, a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in cannabis, and found it had a remarkable effect on her skin after inhaling the natural remedy through a vape pen.SEE CATERS COPY
(Picture: Caters News Agency)

‘I couldn’t move my face and neck and there were open wounds on my chest that were weeping,’ says Cheryl.

‘I was was cold and shaky and felt like I wanted to be sick, and was placed on a drip overnight to treat the infection that had gotten into my skin.

‘All my tests came back normal and doctors wanted to discharge me so I could be treated at home but I broke down to a nurse as I felt like I couldn’t go on.

‘It seemed there was never going to be an answer.’

It was then that Cheryl decided to try CBD oil. She found that inhaling the naturally occurring substance had an incredible effect on her skin.

Within two weeks her skin cleared and she hadn’t suffered any eczema flare-ups, even when eating foods that had previously appeared to trigger reactions.

Pic by Caters News - (Pictured: Cheryl Halliburton with the CBD oil) - A woman with such severe eczema that it left her hospitalised has found a miracle cure to soothe her skin after inhaling CBD oil through a vape pen.Cheryl Halliburton, 27, has suffered from severe eczema flare-ups on her face and neck every few days, after falling pregnant with her daughter Alexis, now three, around four years ago. The skin condition left Cheryl with red, sore skin, that cracked open, causing weeping wounds, and made her so ill and self-conscious she would be left unable to leave the house. At her wits end Cheryl decided to try CBD Oil, a naturally occurring cannabinoid found in cannabis, and found it had a remarkable effect on her skin after inhaling the natural remedy through a vape pen.SEE CATERS COPY
(Picture: Caters News Agency)

‘At first I tried the liquid form but found I hated the taste, but I discovered the vape shop was selling it when I walked past one day.

‘I’ve not looked back since.

‘I’ve been able to go shopping with my little girl, even go back to work. Alexis has noticed the difference as she always had to stay in the house with me.

‘I have been able to eat bread and other things I haven’t eat in a long time without flare-ups and even had a glass of wine.

‘I hope it continues to work so I can lead a normal life.’

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol – CBD for short – is one of the most common compounds found in cannabis and hemp leaves

It works by binding to cell receptors in the body that affect everyday functions such as sleep and appetite, as well as pain and mood regulation

CBD has been used to treat epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain

It is taken as oil that you drip under the tongue, but can also be consumed as gummies, or inhaled using a vape

It is not psychoactive, unlike the cannabis compound Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), so CBD does not produce the “high” associated with cannabis

CBD is legal to buy in the UK, but legal restrictions mean it is sold online as a food supplement, rather than a medicine

Research is ongoing, but more investment into clinical trials is needed to explore CBD’s full potential as a medicine.

Initial trials suggest CBD may be useful in helping people stop smoking, and even lessen withdrawal symptoms from painkiller addictions

CBD is used by sportsmen because of the effect it has on pain, inflammation and recovery

CBD is also being trialled for its use as a potential anti-cancer agent.

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Banning packed lunches may seem well meaning but not all parents can afford school meals

Girl (4-7) sitting and holding lunch box, mid section, close-up
(Picture: Getty)

Every summer, it seems, a celebrity chef or food writer picks up their proverbial beanbag and hurls it at the school packed lunch, noisily trying to knock it off its precarious perch.

In the homogenous face of thousands of sandwich shops and perky chain stores, the packed lunch is a dying art; the sole preserve of the quirky, the specialised diets, and sticky-fingered schoolchildren with their blackened bananas and lost teaspoons.

First came Jamie Oliver, the well-intentioned and laddish demeanour papering over his disdain for ‘cheesy chips eaten out of Styrofoam containers in front of massive f***ing tellies’, and a gross stereotyping of the very working classes who prop up his multi-million pound fortune.

And now along comes Prue Leith with a storm in a lunchbox, dismissing parents as lazy and weak-willed, claiming that ‘very few’ of us can assemble a healthy lunch, and instead ‘give in’ to the ‘demands of our children’.

The stench of my school dining hall, a state primary that dips in and out of special measures, lingers in my nostrils two decades on; the smell of slowly decomposing half-eaten fruits, the acrid tang of day-old ham and souring yoghurt congealing in the corners of unwashed lunch bags.

We would dutifully place our lunches in large blue wheelie bins in the school hall, where they would sit for four hours, gently rotting, until the lunch bell rang.

Theft was disappointingly common. ‘Swapsies’ had to be conducted under the table, away from the beady eyes of the dinner ladies.

I would have a white bread ham sandwich, some sort of cake bar, a bag of crisps, and a bottle of juice that started to smell terrible before the first half term holiday was up. I was thin as a child, and PE lessons were 90 minutes long and three times a week.

When my son started primary school, I delighted in the nostalgia of making him a packed lunch.

It lasted an entire week of cucumbers cut into star shapes, bento-style boxes of crackers and cheese, tuna sandwiches, natural yoghurts blended with berries and beetroot (sorry, son!) and carefully poured back into tiny jars.

And then free school meals were made available to all children under seven years old, so I packed away the plastic Ziploc bags, put away the tiny Japanese kawaii sauce bottles, and let the school feed him pizza and chips instead.

Then as quickly as it came, the free school meals for all was whisked away again.

A selection of British coins in an open hand.
(Picture: Getty)

In England, if you are in receipt of Universal Credit, you can apply for free school meals for your child if your total household income is less than £7,400. In a single parent household, that’s £616 a month.

For context, the Members of Parliament who made this decision earn almost 11 times that amount as a basic wage, and can claim the costs of their meals from the taxpayer.

Taxes are generated not just through PAYE and income tax, but VAT on everyday items such as biscuits, beer, juice, fuel and more; the irony being that those on the thin end of the budget wedge are literally paying for not just their own meals, but the meals of the people who took them from their mouths in the first place.

Seeking to ‘ban’ school packed lunches may seem well meaning, but many families simply cannot afford to pay £11 a week, per child, for one meal a day.

I costed my typical ‘healthy’ packed lunch (below) at 77p a day, shoehorning in five portions of fruit and veg into the bargain.

Jack's 77p lunch

Prices at Asda and correct as of today’s date.

Wholemeal bread, 2 slices, 4p: 45p/22 slice loaf

Ham, a good handful, 13p: £1.29/400g

Cucumber slices, 5p: 50p each

100g natural yoghurt, 5p: 45p/500g

Frozen berries and beets smoothie mix, 35p: £1.75/450g

Salsa, 8p: 79p/300g

Carrots, 7p: 65p/1kg

By contrast, my son cheerily informs me that his school dinner generally consists of ‘chicken burgers or pizza, with peas or sweetcorn, and a cake’. If I had sent him to school with those in his lunchbox, I would have had a strongly worded letter sent home about ‘standards’.

The BBC reported this week that many families earning the so-called ‘national living wage’ are struggling to make ends meet.

Many of these families would not qualify for free school meals. They are in the financial hinterland – not deemed broke enough for benefits, but not earning enough to cover rising food and fuel costs, an outrageous property market, and the sheer expense of raising children.

And what of the parents who fall behind on school lunch payments? One school, the Michaela School, sits those pupils in solitary isolation, with bread and jam for lunch, and a side order of shame and disengagement.

A well-nourished child is a child able to learn, to focus, to participate and to grow. In stark contrast, St Helena School in Colchester offers a cashless catering system for pupils and teachers alike.

There is no ‘top table’ – teachers are encouraged to sit with their pupils – and the catering budget is partially funded by sub-letting the school halls and fields outside of teaching hours, to local community organisations.

The cashless system ensures complete confidentiality for pupils in receipt of free school meals, a stark contrast to the bread and jam and social castration of its peers.

Those of us with a platform to write and talk about food are duty-bound not to simply gush over royal icing on peak time television shows, but to use our considerable platforms to talk about the politics of food alongside it.

And the best place to start, from those fondant towers, is how to ensure that everyone has enough of it in the first place.

Jack Monroe’s new cookbook Cooking On A Bootstrap is out this week and includes budget-friendly healthy recipes for kids.

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A scientist debunks pickup artists’ top dating theories and techniques

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

Of all the manipulative ways to get someone into bed, pickup artistry has to be up at the top of the sleaziness scale.

The PUA community has boomed in recent years, with young incels (and the generally unlucky in love) retreating online to be given the ‘wisdom’ of those who claim to know how to meet women.

While many of us harbour a general distaste for this, the reason people still flock to read books like The Game is because they believe it works.

Professor Viren Swami from Anglia Ruskin University, a leading expert on the psychology of romantic attraction, knows better than the rest of us whether PUA theories are up to scratch. The short answer: They’re not.

He debunks their techniques for us.


Professor Swami takes exception to the idea that attraction can be boiled down to scientific theories.

In particular is the theory of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), which was popularised by ‘founding father’ of pickup artistry Ross Jeffries.

The general idea is that you’re supposed to anchor your actions to someone’s emotions. Then, when you do that action again, you can promote a response in the other person and they don’t even realise it.

Some people call it seduction hypnosis, as they believe you can tap into somebody’s subconscious and make them want to bang you. Gross.

Swami tells Metro.co.uk: Lots of men using these techniques believe they are exploiting a loophole in female psychology. With NLP, they believe they can “re-code” their romantic target to change her behaviour and trigger a woman’s “hard-wired attraction switches”.

‘But NLP has been debunked as a pseudo-science. At best it is false advertising and at worst the techniques can be harmful. Pickup artists are relying on bogus, armchair interpretations of psychology, biology and physiology.

‘NLP is not supported by the British Psychological Society and in 2012 clinical psychologist Stephen Briers concluded its “evidence base is virtually non-existent.”

‘Ultimately, you can’t fool someone into a relationship or a date – this is an unhealthy and bad mindset that can be damaging for both individuals. By miss-selling this idea, the PUA community is morally, ethically, and scientifically bankrupt.’

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

Gender divisions

One of the main tenets of pickup artistry is that men and women approach romance differently. Professor Swami says that as part of the philosophy, ‘women are presented as a different species and are seen as objects to be conquered through a strategic game of deception.’

However, Swami believes that  ‘men and women approach potential romantic situations in very similar ways. There are far fewer gender differences in attraction and relationship formation that we might like to believe.’

He believes that – although many of the men who follow PUA don’t realise it, ‘approaching the art of love as a war to be won means they are ultimately exerting a misogynistic desire to control women’s behaviour.’


Routines and ready-made scripts

If you’ve ever watched a PUA online, you’ll notice their methods are anything but natural. Many use things like magic tricks or scripted ‘plays’ to get women to notice them.

Swami tells Metro.co.uk, ‘There’s a range of famous PUA set pieces, with dubious names ranging from Strawberry Fields to The Cube Routine, which the so-called experts claim are tried and tested to guarantee success.

‘They offer a game plan which, pickup artists claim, teaches men to quickly establish trust with a woman in order to get her into bed.

‘These scripts or pre-tested routines mean men are missing out on truly listening in for valuable social clues meaning they will fail to build a natural connection, or genuine attraction.

‘Deception and manipulation are the key threads that run through these routines – and they offer no foundation for a healthy, equal and trusting relationship.’

Strawberry Fields, for example, involves asking a woman questions about an imaginary field and seeing how many strawberries she’d pick. When she gives you a number, you’re supposed to tell her that actually it represents how much sex she wants to have. You make fun of her off the back of it and she’ll apparently want to have sex.

I know, a real love story to tell the grandkids.

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

Cat theory

This theory was invented by Erik von Markovik, also known by his stage name Mystery.

Swami explains, ‘he stated women are like cats because they do not take orders, like shiny new things, can be tempted to chase you, and “rub against you and purr when they like you”.

‘These metaphors are common in the pickup artist world where men are urged to ‘train’ women by rewarding positive and punishing negative behaviour.’

Now, although cats are great, and get to chill out and sleep all day, it’s quite clear that women aren’t pets that can be trained.

Professor Swami continues, ‘this concept dehumanises women, presenting them as biological animals that are ruled by their genetic programming.

‘It assumes they lack any sort of personal agency and that all women will respond in the same way to seduction techniques when in reality, of course, sexual attraction is much more complex.’


A big part of the overriding PUA philosophy is ‘kinaesthetics’ – sometimes shortened to kino.

Kino escalation, for example, involves gradually increasing how much you’re touching a woman, pretending to know how to ‘palm read’ to touch her hand and going from there. One PUA site recommends escalating to ‘pull[ing] her close and say[ing] “I want to bite you”. Then giv[ing] her a little bite on the neck.’

According to Professor Swami, ‘they misuse scientific studies to make grand claims about human behaviour that are not backed up by evidence. Pickup artists say the actions are rooted in biological imperatives but show no awareness of the social and cultural constructs in which relationships are formed.

‘Worryingly, the routines often include an escalation of suggested kino or touching, which completely disregards consent. Men are encouraged to believe that ‘no’ is just ‘token’ resistance.’

Guys, please don’t touch people unless you have consent – and for goodness’ sake don’t randomly bite necks.

12 of the worst back-handed compliments that always infuriate (Harriet Noble)
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)


Negging – one of the core principles of PUA – is a way of employing backhanded compliments to make a woman vulnerable. Once they’re feeling vulnerable, apparently they’ll be more inclined to have sex.

An example from Professor Swami is ‘you’re actually pretty with makeup on – it makes your nose look smaller’.

He says: ‘Negging directly contradicts the idea of reciprocity which is an important pillar of social psychology and a key component of attraction.

‘Put simply, reciprocity means responding to a positive action with another positive action. We like people who like us. Through reciprocity it’s possible to build exchanges and thereby relationships which are built on a more solid foundation.’

There’s no way to build a relationship when your whole premise is knocking someone’s confidence.

Essentially, these techniques are – at best – not made for creating any real connection and – realistically – likely to get you a punch in the mouth.

Professor Swami will be speaking at the upcoming British Science Festival in Hull on 11-14 September. 

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100-year-old holiday photos uncovered in box at Essex car boot sale

Picture: Scott Pack 100-year-old holiday photos uncovered in box at Essex car boot sale
(Picture: Scott Pack)

It wasn’t quite what Greg Pack was expecting.

The 70-year-old is a dedicated hobbyist, always on the prowl for second-hand photos, boxes and other curios.

But a £4 purchase at a car boot sale in Chelmsford offered up a whole lot more than he’d bargained for.

The retired graphics artist opened his box to find a pile of dusty negatives, which were revealed on closer inspection as a treasure trove of century old holiday photos.

The spectacular discovery soon gained traction via Greg’s son Scott on Twitter.

‘It’s gone absolutely mad – Scott tells me there are now over 16 million hits on his posts,’ Greg told Metro.co.uk. ‘I am lost for words.’

Though the collection shows what looks like an entire family enjoying a seaside trip, it’s impossible to say with any degree of certainty what year they were taken in, or location they were taken at.

Picture: Scott Pack 100-year-old holiday photos uncovered in box at Essex car boot sale
(Picture: Scott Pack)

The swell of online well wishers and experts haven’t been able to shed light on the twin mysteries just yet.

‘I used to work in Graphic Reproduction and often developed my own prints, so I knew what I had in the box,’ says Greg.

‘I only expected to view them myself, but I held the glass negatives up to the sky and took a photo with my iPhone. I sent the results to my laptop and opened them in photoshop, before turning them into a positive image.

‘For the first time in around 100 years, you could see these peoples faces of these people. It was amazing.’

‘Thanks to Scott we are getting a mass of suggestions from around the world, dating the army uniform etc. So hopefully there’s much more information to come I am sure.’

If you think you may have further information about the photos Greg found, contact Scott on Twitter or send us an email at hey@metro.co.uk.

Here are all the pictures Greg found:

Picture: Scott Pack 100-year-old holiday photos uncovered in box at Essex car boot sale
(Picture: Scott Pack)
Picture: Scott Pack 100-year-old holiday photos uncovered in box at Essex car boot sale
(Picture: Scott Pack)
Picture: Scott Pack 100-year-old holiday photos uncovered in box at Essex car boot sale
(Picture: Scott Pack)
Picture: Scott Pack 100-year-old holiday photos uncovered in box at Essex car boot sale
(Picture: Scott Pack)
Picture: Scott Pack 100-year-old holiday photos uncovered in box at Essex car boot sale
(Picture: Scott Pack)
Picture: Scott Pack 100-year-old holiday photos uncovered in box at Essex car boot sale
(Picture: Scott Pack)

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The adorable snoot challenge is taking over the internet

Picture: @thackerybnx Snoot challenge
(Picture: @thackerybnx)

Dog owners around the world have been sharing videos of their canine companions completing the ‘snoot challenge’.

In case you haven’t heard of it, the snoot challenge is where owners make a shape with their hands and wait for their pup to run up and put their seriously boop-able nose through the hole.

You can hold your hands in a heart shape, or just make a circle between your finger and thumb.

The challenge works equally well on small dogs as well as big ones.

Let’s face it, what’s more precious than seeing an adorable snout pushing its way into your hands?

Bonus points if the snout is slightly damp and sniffing with anticipation for an edible reward.

If you want to try the snoot challenge, be prepared to train your pup to complete it.

Reward them with a treat that you offer through the hole in your fingers until they get used to putting their snout where you want them to.

Instagram Photo

Dogs who already know to touch their nose to your hand when commanded will probably find the challenge pretty easy, but this doesn’t mean that dogs who haven’t been trained to do this trick can’t learn the snoot challenge too.

Does it still count as the snoot challenge if you’re doing it with toast instead of your hands?

Instagram Photo

Not all pups have mastered the snoot challenge.

If your dog doesn’t want to snoot, don’t force them to. It’s absolutely not worth upsetting your four-legged friend for the sake of an internet challenge.

Instagram Photo

But if they’re keen to offer their snoot skills in exchange for a treat, by all means, go ahead!

Even cats are getting in on the act… sort of.

Instagram Photo

The fundamental difference between cats and dogs is that cats don’t care about pleasing humans.

Therefore, they will only snoot on their own terms.

If you want to give the snoot challenge a try, remember to video it even if your pup hasn’t completely perfected the trick.

Even the snoot fails are ridiculously cute.

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’90s vs now: You’ll never believe how technology has transformed in 20 years 


You only have to look in the mirror to see what a difference two decades has made.

And when it comes to technology, the difference between the ’90s and now would have been unfathomable back in the day. From sharing selfies with millions on social media to banking on our phones, the tech revolution of the last few years has changed the way we live forever.

So in the name of nostalgia, let’s go back to the future and see what leaps mankind has made over the last 20 years…



THEN: We went up town on Saturdays to buy CD singles to listen to on our portable players or recorded our own party playlists for our pals on tapes recorded from the radio.

NOW: We don’t even need to physically buy music anymore – we can stream, download or simply type an artist into YouTube and listen to what we want, when we want or ask Alexa to DJ at our kitchen dance-offs.


THEN: We listened to tape decks in our first Renault Clio, had to push the locks down before we closed the car door, used elbow grease to roll down our windows on hot days and poured over PAPER maps to find our destinations.

NOW: While we loved the freedom of being behind the wheel, car technology is roads ahead of where it was 20 years ago. Take the Renault Clio Iconic for example – today it is just as sleek and chic but thanks to incredible 17” alloys, on-board navigation and keyless entry this 90s icon is well equipped for a techy’s world.


THEN: We went wild for the first aerial-free phone, topped up our mobiles with credit from the local shop, played games of Snake and Space Invaders, felt a buzz when our mobiles came with vibration notifications and spent ages choosing the perfect ring tone.

Apple is about to slash the price of iPhone X, Ming the Merciless claims

NOW: We can’t put our phones down for a few minutes, spend hours scrolling through apps, use our phones to make calls, send texts, online bank and order food, take professional quality snaps and record wedding videos, answer any question in seconds with online data, stream songs and download albums and even find love after a session of swiping right.


THEN: We would watch TV altogether in the living room, flick between five terrestrial channels, record our favourite shows on video (don’t tape over mum’s Blind Date!), share Cable TV that would also change over in the next room and spend hours watching music channels for a glimpse at our fave band’s new video.

NOW: We can watch shows on our TVs, laptops, tablets and phones. We live pause programmes and fast-forward scenes, download episodes at the touch of a remote, wear 3-D glasses on the sofa and binge watch whole series we’ve never heard of before.


Dial up internet screengrab
Dial up internet screengrab

THEN: We battled the draining dial-up with its screeching and beeping, we would ask Jeeves random questions, we would instant message strangers in chat rooms, we would play Solitaire instead of doing homework, saved it to floppy disc when we finally did and learned about the world with CD-ROM encyclopedias.

NOW: We are greeted by a different Google logo every morning, can work from the beach from our laptops, are constantly asking for the WI-FI code wherever we go, look for jobs/love/houses online, shop for outfits while liking social media posts and have a nosy down any street in the world within seconds.

Helmut Lang books women in their eighties to front Women of Wales campaign


We all know that the fashion industry has pretty narrow requirements of the average model.

Flick through the pages of a magazine and you’ll see 20-year-old models who are thin, white, and able-bodied. It won’t make the average person feel represented.

When fashion brands do step up and offer some actual diversity, they’re worthy of applause – if only so we can loudly tell the fashion industry that yes, this is what we want.

Helmut Lang’s new campaign answers the call for diversity by hiring women in their 80s to front their Women of Wales campaign.

To launch the Helmut Lang Women's Fall 2018, the brand worked with photographer Alexandra Leese (@alexleese) and casting director and stylist Charlotte James (@_charlottejames_) to capture the collection on the women of Wales. The Helmut Lang Women's Fall 2018 collection is available now at www.helmutlang.com.
Margaret, 86 (Picture: Alexandra Leese for Helmut Lang)

To showcase the autumn/winter 2018 collection, the label photographed some brilliant women who just happen to be older than the standard model type, in Methyr Tydfil, Wales.

The women chosen are Margaret, 86, the grandmother of stylist Charlotte James, Dilys, 86, who has the world record for the oldest female skydiver, and Gillian, 78.

To launch the Helmut Lang Women's Fall 2018, the brand worked with photographer Alexandra Leese (@alexleese) and casting director and stylist Charlotte James (@_charlottejames_) to capture the collection on the women of Wales. The Helmut Lang Women's Fall 2018 collection is available now at www.helmutlang.com.
Dilys, 86, has the world record for the oldest female skydiver (Picture: Alexandra Leese for Helmut Lang)

They join a mother and son duo to model leather coats, suits, faux fur capes, and tracksuits.

On social media Helmut Lang has shared clips of the women talking about life in Wales and the lessons they’ve learned from ageing.

‘The bigger the pile of sh*t the bigger the jewel,’ says Dilys. ‘Find the jewel.

‘The one fact is we’re all born and we’re all going to die. When you’re young you don’t expect to get old and die.

‘I know that I’ve got to live life until the day I die. I’ve got to have a passion until the day I die.’

Forget Gigi and Kendall. These are the women we want fronting every fashion ad.

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Head to these places for the best value city breaks in Europe

Street scene, Vilnius, Lithuania
(Picture: Getty)

As painful as it is to say out loud, it can’t be denied. Summer’s drawing to a close.

With Autumn peeping round the corner, there’s only one remedy to stave off the post-sun blues: a European city break.

And it doesn’t have to rupture the piggy bank, not now that TravelSupermarket have published a guide to best value breaks on the continent.

At the top of the rankings is the Lithuanian capital city, Vilnius.

The average price of a weekend in the trendy, midsize city (including flights and accommodation) will only set you back around £99 from September 2018 to March 2019, according to TravelSupermarket’s data- a saving of 195% compared the far better known city break destination Dubrovnik, in Croatia.

Vilnius’s tourism chiefs have even turned its lack of notoriety into a selling point, dubbing it the G-spot of Europe: ‘Nobody knows where it is, but when you find it – it’s amazing’, runs the new tagline.

A hackney cab on the Main Square in Krakow (Cracow), Poland. Cloth Hall (Sukiennice) and the Town Hall in the background.
(Picture: Getty Images)

You won’t need to watch your pennies too closely even when you’re there, with a three course meal at an average restaurant costing £15.65, and a pint of local beer only £2.68.

Eastern European cities take pride of place in the list, with Bratislava in Slovakia running its Lithuanian cousin a close second place. Bratislava was also found to be almost half as cheap as a break to Budapest, at just over £103.

The best value city breaks:

  1. Vilnius, £99.09 per person
  2. Bratislava £103.84 per person
  3. Turin £141.10 per person
  4. Lyon £144.37 per person
  5. Krakow £146.32 per person
  6. Porto £148.26 per person
  7. Riga £149.69 per person
  8. Berlin £149.73 per person
  9. Sofia £150.98 per person
  10. Cologne £154.68 per person

Turin in Italy followed in third, with France’s Lyon in fourth.

Krakow in Poland took fifth place in the best value city break index – with further data revealing it the UK’s favorite short break spot, even ahead of Amsterdam for the first time.

TravelSupermarket reported a 221% spike in Krakow searches year on year, followed by a 102% increase in searches for Istanbul for an autumn/winter city break.

Makes even the idea of navigating Gatwick seem worth it.

Most expensive city breaks:

  1. Dubrovnik £292.66 per person
  2. Helsinki £289.72 per person
  3. Bruges £265.80 per person
  4. Malaga £264.27 per person
  5. Reykjavik £261.83 per person
  6. Ljubljana £257.61 per person
  7. Seville £257.44 per person
  8. Granada £242.39 per person
  9. Copenhagen £241.96 per person
  10. Florence £238.68 per person

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We do just 12 good deeds a month – and three because we want something in return

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

Doing good makes you feel good.

According to new research from Whitworths, the average person in Britain does just 12 good deeds each month, and three of them are in the hope of getting something in return.

The most common altruistic deeds were small gestures that some people might consider common politeness, rather that an act of genuine kindness.

They included holding the door open for someone else, taking in a neighbour’s parcel, letting out another driver at a junction, and putting the kettle on.

These acts are so small and manageable that it’s surprising that we only manage 12 every month.

Good deeds that involve more personal effort, such as checking in on someone who might be struggling, offering to babysit and helping someone carry their bags, also made it on to the list.

Out of the 2,000 adults polled, almost half said that if they weren’t so strapped for time, they’d do more to help others.

Those who do said that the ‘warm, fuzzy feeling’ that resulted lasted for more than a day.

Doing something nice for someone else is scientifically proven to generate feelings of happiness, wellbeing and purpose.

It promotes positive physiological changes in the brain, reduces stress and allows us to focus on issues outside of ourselves.

If you provide support or assistance to someone less fortunate than yourself, it helps put things in perspective.

You might start to see your own life in a different light, appreciating what you do have rather than focussing on what’s missing.

It actually helps make communities better places too, as people are more likely to be kind to others if they’ve received some kindness themselves.

Without going too far down the moral rabbit hole of whether good deeds are truly altruistic if you know they’re going to make you feel good in yourself, it’s sufficient to accept that acts of kindness are good for our mental health, our connections with others and our self-esteem.

The top 20 most common good deeds:

  1. Holding a door open for someone
  2. Taking in a neighbour’s parcel
  3. Asking a loved one about their day
  4. Letting someone have your seat on the train / bus
  5. Giving someone a lift
  6. Letting another driver out of a junction
  7. Helping someone carry their bags
  8. Checking on someone who seems upset, to find out why
  9. Donating to charity
  10. Making a colleague a cup of tea
  11. Buying someone a gift for no particular reason
  12. Saying sorry for something even if it wasn’t your fault
  13. Babysitting for a friend or family member
  14. Giving someone a cuddle if they look like they need it
  15. Sponsoring someone
  16. Teaching an older person how to use some technology
  17. Organising a family day out
  18. Paying for a family meal
  19. Offering to help with someone’s work
  20. Checking in on someone who is unwell

The study also found that people are significantly more likely to help people they know, with two thirds of those surveyed saying that they were most likely to do kind things for family and nearly half for friends.

Sadly, fewer than one in 10 said they’d help a stranger in need.

Matt, 32, helped someone he didn’t know recently.

He told Metro.co.uk: ‘I was walking to the tube and a elderly, drunk man was leaning on a railing by the post office. I’d seen him there drinking before.

‘His crutch was on the floor and people seemed to not notice. I walked past and he politely asked if i could help him out, so I picked it up and handed it to him.

‘It gave me a spring in my step to have helped someone but sad that no one else had bothered to help, even on such a ridiculously simple task. It seemed so obvious to me that it should be done.’

woman with hand on shoulder
Helping out someone in need can be its own reward. (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Perhaps strangers are less likely to be on the receiving end of kindness because people feel awkward or wary of interacting with others if they don’t know them.

Or maybe it’s because two fifths of us only do good deeds because we want something in return – and that return is less likely to come from a stranger.

Whitworths spokesperson Laura McIntosh said: ‘We lead busy lives, but it’s important to find the time to do good deeds for others and help people out.

‘That’s why we’re challenging the nation to give it a shot and do a good deed, whether giving up a seat on public transport, letting someone out in traffic or simply saying hello to a shop assistant.

‘Not only does it brighten their day, but it will also make you feel good too, so it’s a win-win for everyone!’

The research was commissioned as part of Whitworths’ Do Good Feel Good campaign.

Although 68% of those surveyed said that they think good deeds often go unnoticed by people around them, I’m sure all of us can recall an incident where someone has helped us when they didn’t have to.

Unexpected acts of kindness do stick in the memories of the recipient, and they also stay with the person who enacted them, creating a ‘kindness bank’.

The more we add to our personal kindness banks, the warmer and fuzzier we can feel when we access those memories.

If you can help someone out today, why not give it a try?

They will benefit, and you’ll feel good too.

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Oh look, someone’s created some horrifying nails that look like feet

feet nails
(Picture: Instagram/nail_sunny)

We’ve seen some truly wild nail art in our time on the internet.

But few have disturbed us as deeply as nail_sunny’s latest creation: nails that look like feet.

We can’t explain why they’re so unsettling (is it the tiny nails on the nails? The visuals of the nails strolling on the street barefoot? The unsettling curve of a teeny-tiny foot?), but we know that each time we look at pictures or watch video of the nails, we feel a deep discomfort in our stomach that won’t go away.

Naturally, such a horror show must be the creation of nail_sunny, the same evil mastermind who birthed nails that look like teeth and nails with tiny fingers growing out of them.

Instagram Photo

The artist creates the look by filing into a set of false nails to create toe grooves (shudder) and the curves of the underside of a foot (ew), painting them a pink-y fleshtone, then adding some red polish to the teeny tiny toenails.

The nails are then set with a UV lamp so the wearer can rock her feet nails for as long as possible.

Why would anyone do this? We truly do not know, other than a desire to hurt us, personally.

We apologise for the distress caused by bringing these nails to your attention.

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Every parent needs to see the mould hiding in this child’s lunchbox

?Mother shares shocking post revealing mould lurking in the sealed compartments of her kid's school lunchboxes? Grace Bollen
A mum opened up part of her children’s lunchboxes and found mould lurking within (Picture: Grace Bollen/Facebook)

Quick, snatch your child’s lunchbox from their bag (or grab your own lunchbox, if you’re one of those responsible types who brings lunch into work) and give it a deep clean.

A mum’s Facebook post shows that even if a lunchbox may look clean after a quick scrub, all kinds of horror can be lurking within.

She urges parents not to buy lunchboxes with sections that can’t be opened and properly cleaned, and warns that all parts of a lunchbox need to be cleaned to prevent mould.

‘So today, something in me prompted me to pry open the glue in the kids lunchboxes,’ wrote Grace. ‘This is what I found. I’m absolutely appalled. I feel awful that my children have been eating lunch out of these.

‘The children’s lunchboxes have been hand washed each night & left open to dry.

?Mother shares shocking post revealing mould lurking in the sealed compartments of her kid's school lunchboxes? Grace Bollen
The problem lies with parts that let in water but can’t be easily taken apart and cleaned (Picture: Grace Bollen/Facebook)

‘Blue lunchbox has been used for around 9months. Yellow for about 12months.

‘ADVICE: don’t buy any lunchboxes that you can’t clean ALL the parts.’

Grace says the lunchboxes in question are made by Stuck On You and Lunch Box Inc. Lunch Box Inc have said they’re working to rectify the problem and make sections of their lunchboxes watertight so mould can’t creep in.

Stuck On You hasn’t released a comment on the mouldy lunchboxes yet.

?Mother shares shocking post revealing mould lurking in the sealed compartments of her kid's school lunchboxes? Grace Bollen
Manufacturers of the green box say they’re working on rectifying the issue(Picture: Grace Bollen/Facebook)

This isn’t the first time parents have opened up kids’ products to find them covered with mould. Parents have been shocked to find mould in their children’s bath toys and sippy cups, both thanks to parts that can’t be reached to clean and allow water to seep in.

The lesson here is simple: Avoid products with any compartments that can’t be removed or taken apart so you can clean and dry every bit, especially if products will come into contact with liquids (as lingering damp creates the perfect conditions for mould).

Clean children’s items regularly and thoroughly, and make sure they’re completely dry before use.

It’s worth checking if your child’s lunchbox is dishwasher safe (many are), as this can help get rid of any germs following a scrub in the sink.

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Parents praise the Glow Dreaming lamp for sending crying babies to sleep in minutes

Mums say this is a miracle fix for getting babies to sleep
(Picture: Glow Dreaming)

Getting children to sleep can be a nightmare.

So when a mum finds something that does the trick, they’ll sing its praises from the rooftops so other parents can enjoy the benefits.

It happened with Lush’s Sleepy lotion and now the hype is bubbling around Glow Dreaming’s ‘miracle’ lamp.

Glow Dreaming is a product made in Melbourne that combines light therapy and aromatherapy. It’s made up of a lamp that emits a soothing glow of colour, a humidifier that releases relaxing scents, and a pink noise creator.

The creator, Cara, says she made Glow Dreaming after her daughter became scared of sleep, fearing that she would never wake up. Working with sound specialist Dr Stéphane Pigeon and researching a bunch of theories about sleep aids, Clara came up with a way to combine the power of sound, light, and scent to help babies, children, and adults drift into sleep.

It’s claimed the Glow Dreaming system uses the same technology NASA uses for its astronauts, using red spectrum light to stimulate the body’s production of melatonin, which tells the body it’s time for sleep.

Ultrasonic waves help to diffuse essential oils through the air, while sounds made up of frequencies heard in waterfalls, rain and thunder, called pink noise, play in the background.

The device also has a timer so you can make sure it’s not running all night.

Over on the Glow Dreaming Facebook page, overjoyed parents have been writing that the lamp is a ‘miracle’ cure for sending restless babies to sleep.

‘So Max has never had a solid block of sleep his whole 19 months of life,’ wrote one parent. ‘Waking every night at least 4 to 6 times.

‘But last night – after a week of using our new Glow Dreaming sleep aid, he slept from 10.30pm to 4am… 6.5 hours!! Then another sleep until 8.30am. YAAAASSSS. Lets hope this continues!!’

Instagram Photo

‘Night 2 & HOLY MOLY,’ wrote another. ‘My 7.5 month had to be rocked to sleep, for EVERY SLEEP, morning noon and night.

‘Since having my Glow Dreaming arrive, she’s been falling asleep, in her cot, ALL BY HERSELF. No crying it out, no fighting. For the first time in almost 8 months, I can put the baby to bed & I can I actually relax, probably should do something productive but the couch is too good!!

Oh, and the device can be used for adults, too, so it might not be a life-saver just for parents.

Glow Dreaming can be ordered online, but if you’re reluctant to dedicate the cash, you can try to recreate its effects.

The product combines different sleep aids into one package, which is handy, but you might already have the stuff you need hanging around. You’ll just need a lamp that emits gentle red spectrum light, a sound machine that can create pink noise (or you can look up clips on your phone on YouTube), and a humidifier that you can load up with soothing essential oils such as lavender.

Happy snoozing.

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What women ‘banned’ from your stadium want you to know about football


I adored football throughout primary school.

I still remember my favourite boots clanging along pavements on my way to matches (bad etiquette I know), the bandana that I wore on match days, and the day I realised being the only girl on the team wasn’t the norm.

I had just finished a match in defence, My dad and I were walking back to the car and I was feeling pretty pleased with myself; as my teammate’s dad loudly exclaimed that his son ‘played like a girl today’.

I remember feeling really small in that moment.

Luckily for me, out of nowhere my coach appeared and replied ‘well actually, Hannah was the best player on the pitch today’. But still, that cutting remark stuck with me.

What did my gender have to do with football?

Sadly, years later, sexism in still rife within the industry. This weekend news broke that, ahead of a football match between Lazio and Napoli, leaflets announcing a ban on ‘women, wives and girlfriends’ from a ‘sacred place’ within the stadium were distributed throughout Rome.

The leaflet, produced by a group of Lazio fans known as ‘Irriducibili’, referred to the area behind the northern goal posts that is widely considered to be the area for the most dedicated and hardcore supporters.

But the issue of sexism within football is far from isolated to an extremist group of fans, as a survey conducted in 2016 showed. The study, conducted by Women in Football, found that 61% of respondents had witnessed sexism within the football industry, and 90% believed that more could be done to increase the chances of females being able to break into the sport, and get opportunities once within it.

Part of the leaflet produced in Italy read: ‘whomever chooses the stadium as an alternative to a carefree and romantic day at Villa Borghese, go to different sections’.

Whether extremist fans like it or not, there are many many incredible and empowering women in football – not simply girlfriends of fans, but life-long supporters, world-class players and skilled experts. We spoke to some of them about their football experiences, and asked what they would like you to know about women in the industry.

Some of the best people in football are women

(Picture: Anna Kessel)

‘I hope that this ban highlights the barriers for women in football around the world. Whether that’s Iranian women banned from football stadiums, or women in this country who are targeted for abuse at football matches because of their gender.

‘At the recent men’s World Cup we saw that when women in this industry are given the opportunity, they flourish.

‘From England psychologist Dr Pippa Grange, who helped to mastermind the team’s historic penalty shoot out, to TV commentary from Vicki Sparks and pioneering punditry from Eniola Aluko and Alex Scott; football is changing, and women are at the forefront.

‘Anyone who loves the game wants the best talent involved; denying 51% of the population is idiotic.’

Anna Kessel MBE, sports writer, campaigner and co-founder of Women in Football.


Women can be genuine fans

(Picture: Sheena Sethi)

‘Growing up with football matches in our garden, football on the TV and being taken to matches by my two brothers meant I was surrounded by the sport.

‘However, to have a good knowledge of football for a girl seemed to be a wild concept to people. I’ve often been tested on my player knowledge, the offside rule and other comments which would never be said to a male supporter.”

‘Girls can like all forms of sport too and be genuine fans, unsurprisingly. #COYS’

Sheena Sethi, 23, Financial Services, team: Tottenham Hotspur F.C.

If ‘I don’t look football’ then neither do you

(Picture: Sarah Newey)

‘Sport is brilliant not just because it is fun to play and entertaining to watch, but because it brings people together. Excluding half of the population from any given sport, therefore, is shortsighted and sexist.

‘Growing up, I went to the football with my Dad, brother and three male family friends, and at secondary school I played defence in the football team.

‘I knew the game, and was part of the group – around me in the stadium there were lots of women, as well as men, and we would all talk about the football unfolding in front of us. At many points, the women made better contributions than the men.

‘Yet people can often be surprised when I say I’m a football fan, when they find out I had a season ticket for 11 years, because I don’t look “football”.

‘Sometimes, people discard my contributions to discussions at a party or in the pub, then say the same thing five minutes later and get all the credit. It’s infuriating, but something women face in nearly every aspect of life. That doesn’t make it okay.

‘It was brilliant during the world cup to see more female pundits, like Eni Aluko and Alex Scott – despite the backlash, I thought it showed that we were, in fact, moving forwards, towards a more widespread understanding that women play and like football too.’

Sarah Newey, journalist, TEAM: Norwich City F.C.


Women can understand the offside rule

(Picture: Hannah Berry)

‘[There’s a] look of surprise on men’s faces when I say that I’m not only a football fan (hardcore Millwall, sadly not accepted into any Football Factory firm) but I have also played football at quite a high level.

‘The “call to ban women” reminds me of being led to the changing rooms for a football match against Exeter University and seeing a “Footballer’s Wives” sign hammered on the door.

‘This news story just adds to the frustration of the assumption that women are incapable of understanding the game in order to appreciate it, let alone play it.

‘If women can be mathematicians, scientists, Nobel Prize winners, why can they not understand the rules of football?

‘From my own experience of playing football for the University of Bristol it was clear that the women’s team was valued far less than the men’s, as we were stripped of complete funding for an entire year despite running in a higher league than all of the men’s teams.

Hannah Berry, trainee solicitor, team: Millwall F.C


We’ve probably watched more football than the average man

(Picture: Girlsontheball)

‘We’re all absorbing the same information when we sit down to watch a football game yet to some, because of our gender our analysis and opinions are deemed less worthy.

‘Together at Girl On The Ball we’ve probably watched more football than the average man. We’ve been to over 600 games (men and women) in the last 6 years and reported on over 550.

‘Yet we have to constantly prove our knowledge and understanding of the game. Somehow our vast experience is not enough simply because of our gender.

‘The logic behind the argument in itself is baffling, because there is no logic. It’s simply a sexist attitude. It’s time to move past these archaic beliefs.’

GirlsontheBall, online women’s football platform


These headlines make me want to attend every game

(Picture: Danielle Croucher)

‘The lack of promotion of female football games and the mind-numbing pay difference between the male and female players makes women feel out of place and second class in the game.

‘Despite this, these headlines make me want to attend every game, stand behind the goal and sing even louder to increase the visibility of female supporters.’

Danielle Croucher, 23, policy researcher, team: Brentford F.C.


It helps as a fan to know your club values women

(Picture: Sophie Barlow)

‘Being able to use Twitter as a a platform to communicate with other fans who on the whole value your opinions and have discussions really helped when I got to the age when I realised most people assumed I would have “dropped” football.

‘Everton as a club are trying to support the women that are involved in football as a sport, both as fans and the sport itself. They were the first premier league team to promote their new kit by the ladies team this summer. It has helped as a fan to know that they value women in the game as much as they do the men and want to encourage more involvement in the female game.’

Sophie Barlow, trainee biomedical scientist, team: Everton F.C.


Sit down and watch the bloody game

(Picture: Elena Holmes)

‘The FA banned women from playing football in 1921 even though, or perhaps because, games were proving hugely popular and one pulled in over 50,000 spectators. The ban stayed in effect until July 1971.

‘They have still not apologised for an act which stunted and held back the growth of the women’s game for decades, the aftereffects of which are still felt to this day, as women’s football struggles to stake its claim on the global stage next to a men’s game bloated with cash and the benefit of years of investment.

‘Women can like football in the the 21st century.

‘If you don’t feel on board with this argument, ask yourself why. Why do you want to prevent women and girls from enjoying a specific sport? Why must women miss out?

‘Having women in your stadium doesn’t spell the end of mankind and usher in an era of female domination. Sit down and watch the bloody game.

‘My girlfriend works for a top premier league team. A woman I know is the CEO of a global football charity. She gets asked if she’s a football fan.

‘I know many fantastic women who are also footballers and also football fans. They don’t ask for much, just to be allowed to play football when they want to and to be respected for their choice of hobby.’

Elena Holmes, technology PR, team: Sunderland F.C. 

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Scottish sex terms you all need to know

(Picture: Getty)

Scots is a beautiful language, whether used by Rabbie Burns or Renton emerging from the toilet in Trainspotting.

While it might not be considered a sexy way of speaking to some, no one can deny the raw power that comes from the Scottish accent.

Everything is in bold, underlined, and more passionate than many of the inflections of down south… And good sex definitely requires passion.

Spending my youth trying to get anyone – seriously, anyone – to finger me, I learned enough Scottish sex terms to star in an episode of Chewin’ The Fat.

It’s high time the rest of the UK learned them too.

Because there’s truly nothing like someone calling your delicate orchid-like genitalia a fud.


Another word for penis.

Sometimes has connotations of the aforementioned member being small in size, so watch out for tone when you hear this one.

‘He got his tadger stuck in his zip, the poor f***er.’


Can mean vagina, or be used as a derogatory term.

Certainly not the sexiest word when you’re getting down to it, but packs a punch when said in regular conversation.

‘Wait for the green man before crossing the road, ya daft fud.’

‘Let’s see your fud then, hen.’

Dead vagina syndrome
Fud staying firmly under wraps, thanks (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)


To be gantin on something is to be gagging for it, or want it very badly.

Can be used interchangeably with horny depending on how you say it.

‘I’ll tell ye one thing, he was clearly gantin oan it. Couldnae get ma troosers aff quick enough.’


Balls or testicles.

Variants include bawsack and bawbag.

‘His baws were knocking against us when we wir banging, it wis fair distracting.’


To masturbate. Commonly said in verb form as chugging.

‘I’m so lonely I’ve been chugging like it’s going out of fashion. Even cracked one out to Homes Under The Hammer yesterday.’


A Glaswegian term for an erection.

‘Hahahaha look at Ali, he’s got a right stauner oan dancing wae Helen.’

ILLUSTRATION REQUEST: XX women talk about what they like best about penises and why (Almara)
Stauner and a half right there (Picture: Phébe Lou Morson for Metro.co.uk)


Diddies are breasts, and we all know what riding is in a sexual sense.

In English, this is likely called a tit-wank.

‘Chloe gied Cammy a diddy-ride on Friday, but she wisnae happy when he finished on her freshly-done blowdry.’


Although gammy can also refer to something disgusting or gross (for example, if someone has a big scab on their knee, it could be called a ‘gammy leg’) it’s been known in some parts to also mean blowjob.

‘Andy, go and gie us a gammy? Sandra’s no been near me fir months and ah cannae handle this dry spell.’


Yet another word for penis.

Unfortunately for Scottish men called Robert, this might also be their nickname. See, the barman from Still Game.

‘His boaby looked like a baby’s airm haudin an apple.’

‘Awrite Boaby, how you doing? Pint of Tennents please.’


Gash is said in various parts of the UK, either to mean vulva or terrible.

It never has quite the same level of aplomb than when said in a Scottish accent, though.

‘I think I’m in love with Eilidh, man. Never had a gash quite like it.’

‘This party is pure gash.’ 

people tell us the things people said during sex that instantly killed the mood
When he calls it your gash and you just can’t stay in the mood (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)


A beautiful, almost onomatopoeic way to talk about having sex. Direct, and to the point.

‘Wantin pumped thenight? Thir isnae much oan TV.’


Breast, jugs, mammary glands.

‘This dress really accentuates my chebs. Maybe Kerry will finally notice me.’


Can mean fingering, or be used as a catch-all term for any kind of penetration.

‘When Darren poked me last night, I had to tell him to trim his fingernails. It was sair.’


To sook is to suck. Present in plenty of sexual chats, as well as arguments.

A truly multi-use word, you can also call someone a sook if they’re being needy or a bit of a brown-noser.

‘Sook ma root Ian, yer way oot ae order there.’

‘All he wants to do all day is cuddle and listen to love songs. What a wee sook.’

‘When she sooked ma cock it wis like a choir ae angels began tae sing.’

Rhyming slang

As well as the more straightforward Scots words that refer to sexy times, some people use rhyming slang to make life even harder.

Words include Mantovani (or Manto) for fanny and Ian McLagan for shagging.

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All the damage you’re doing by holding in your pee at work

All the damage you're doing by holding in your pee at work
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Oh, the cleaners are in the toilets again. Guess you’ll wait.

Ah. Cool. Now all the cubicles are taken up by people changing their tampons and making phone calls*. You can’t really be bothered to hang around in here.

So you return to your desk, cross your legs, and hold tight. An hour later you’re so immersed in whatever you’re doing that you forget to return to a now-empty set of loos.

You’ve gone a whole morning without peeing. Oh dear.

You might hold in your wee quite regularly on the job, either because of the scenario above, the deep shame of leaving your desk for two minutes when the capitalist need for production marches on or because your job requires you to remain in one room or place without immediate access to a toilet for long periods of time.

Yes, it’s uncomfortable and inconvenient, but you put up with an hour of feeling like you could wet yourself so you get the incredible release of unleashing your fluids at the end of the day.

It feels harmless, but it’s not. Holding back when you feel the urge to urinate can cause all kinds of damage.

So, let’s talk about peeing.

‘The normal adult bladder should be able to hold around 500ml on average before you feel the strong desire to pass urine,’ explains Sachin Malde, consultant urological surgeon at LycaHealth.

‘During this time, the urinary sphincter muscle is closed, preventing urine leaking out.

‘Once the bladder is full, nerve messages pass from your bladder to your brain telling it that you need to pass urine. When socially convenient, the brain passes messages back to allow your sphincter muscle to open and your bladder to squeeze the urine out.’

(Illustration: Dave Anderson for Metro.co.uk)

When your bladder is full and you don’t allow yourself to go to the toilet, you confuse your body, refusing to allow its natural signalling system to do its thing.

That can cause a decline in your ability in knowing when you need to go, putting you at risk of wetting yourself as you tune out those important signals.

But beyond baffling your brain and bladder, the choice to hold it in rather than give in to your need to wee can cause longer term problems.

First off, the dreaded UTI.

‘Whether you are male or female, if you continually hold the urine in for long periods of time throughout the day it can lead to a number of longer-term problems,’ explains Sachin Malde.

‘Firstly, it allows bacteria within the bladder to multiply and therefore increases the chances of developing a urinary tract infection which can cause pain and bleeding.’

UTIs are more common in women, as a woman’s urethra tends to be shorter, allowing bacteria faster access to the bladder.

Left unreleased and untreated, that bacteria can build and make its way to the kidneys, which can then require hospital treatment.

Symptoms of a UTI:

  • A persistent need to urinate
  • Feeling the need to urinate frequently, but having little fluid come out when you do
  • Pain or burning when weeing
  • Blood in the urine
  • Urine that looks cloudy
  • Pain around your pelvis and tummy
  • Strong-smelling urine

As anyone who’s experienced a UTI will tell you, they’re not fun. If you’re holding in your pee because you feel you can’t leave your desk, a urinary tract infection is the last thing you want, as you’ll feel the need to wee almost constantly.

Holding in your pee can further damage your body because you’re squeezing your sphincter muscle shut, which it’s not designed to do for long periods of time.

‘This can prevent it from fully opening when you actually decide to pass urine,’ says Sachin.

‘This will stop you from being able to fully empty the bladder when you do pass urine, and again this urine build-up in the bladder can lead to infections.

‘In less common cases, holding on for too long can over-stretch the bladder, leading to complete retention of urine and, rarely, can cause kidney damage.’

This is called urinary retention, a condition that prevents you from fully emptying your bladder when you pee.

That might not sound awful, but having a lingering bit of urine in your bladder can trigger the sensation of needing to pee more frequently. So, again, by trying not to urinate, you risk needing to urinate more.

Regularly closing your sphincter for long periods of time can also overstretch the muscles, weakening them as a result. When you lose control of your sphincter muscles, you’re less able to control when you urinate… meaning you may leak urine before you have time to rush to the bathroom.

There’s one more risk of putting off your toilet time. It’s rare, but worth considering.

As SciShow recounts, a Danish astronomer and alchemist died thanks to his entire bladder bursting. Why? Because he had refused to leave a banquet to do a wee, believing it to be impolite. When he reached home, he found he couldn’t urinate at all, fell into delirium, and died.

As we mentioned, a bladder rupture is rare. Typically you’ll wet yourself before your bladder shows any chance of tearing or bursting. When bladders do burst, it’s usually because they had previous damage or a medical issue.

Urine-passing issues are rarely as dramatic as a bladder explosion, and Sachin warns that changes can occur so slowly that you don’t notice something’s going wrong until it’s too late.

That’s why it’s so crucial to go to your GP or a urologist the moment you have any weeing issues, and do what you can to look after your bladder yourself.

Yes, that does mean weeing when you feel the need.

Stop putting off that toilet trip, don’t hold in your wee until you’re ready to burst, and if you know you’re going to be in a meeting room or standing outside for a long period of time, schedule in bathroom time beforehand.

Refusing to move from your desk isn’t good for your body or your brain. You need regular breaks from focusing on work, whether that’s to stretch your legs or just give yourself some mental space.

Needing to wee isn’t weakness or a sign you’re not doing your job properly, it’s being a human. Stop holding back. Unleash your wee.

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Little girl dresses as her aunt’s assistance dog for Book Week

(Picture: Belle Higgins)

Four year old Charlotte ditched the standard princess costume for something more meaningful.

She attended her Sydney daycare’s Book Week dressed as Thadeus the assistance dog, to raise awareness about mental health and the importance of service animals.

Charlotte’s mother Belle Higgins shared a picture of her daughter in her Book Week outfit on Facebook, accompanied by a post that explained why Charlotte chose not to follow the crowd with her choice of costume.

Belle wrote: ‘My daughter wanted to go as a princess to book week.

‘She is four so naturally I could see why that was the best option in her little head to dress up like a princess for the day, but we challenged her to think about it and empowered her to think beyond the female stereotypes.

‘Instead she picked a book called Next Door’s Dog Has a Job, by Gina Dawson. It was given to her by her aunt who has an assistance dog.’

Charlotte’s auntie has Thadeus the White Swiss Shepherd to help with her mental health problems.

Charlotte wasn’t entirely happy about giving up her princess costume and she ‘cried her eyes out’ about not looking ‘pretty’ like all the other girls.

Ms Higgins decided to call her sister and ask if she would speak to Charlotte on the phone to settle her down.

She wrote: ‘Without a second thought my sister jumped in the car and drove an hour to meet us at the day care with her special dog Thaddeus, which I am so grateful for as I know some days just leaving the house is hard.

‘My sister put Thaddeus’ service vest on and took both of them into the classroom and read all the children the book.’

Adorable book week costume - Belle Higgins
Charlotte and Thadeus with the book Charlotte chose as her dress-up inspiration. (Picture: Belle Higgins)

Charlotte’s auntie helped the whole class of children understand that some dogs have important jobs and they might be helping someone who has issues that aren’t immediately obvious.

The teacher initially asked whether Belle’s sister was Thadeus’ trainer because she ‘doesn’t look sick’.

However, she was quickly set right.

Ms Higgins went on to write: ‘I had a few tears in my eyes when my sister stepped forward and proudly said “No, he is my assistance dog, he is here to help me, he goes everywhere with me and helps me everyday”.

‘I can’t tell you how proud I was of her.’

Charlotte’s costume helped to educate the children in her class about assistance dogs and their role in helping people with lots of different problems.

In Australia, specially trained dogs are provided to people with vision and hearing impairments, mobility issues, autism, epilepsy and mental health problems, among other conditions.

‘Disabilities can be diverse and invisible. Assistance dogs come in many shapes and sizes. Mind dogs help people in a variety of ways and are highly trained to assist their human companions.’

Belle encouraged readers to help others and not to give up on loved one who struggles with their mental health.

‘I believe that when “I” is replaced by “we”, illness becomes wellness. And talking about it is the first step to remove the stigma. Courage isn’t having the strength to go on, it’s going on when you don’t have the strength.

‘Did you know, four in every 16 young Aussies between 15-30 live with mental health issues every single day?

‘One in four of those are too embarrassed to discuss the problem with anyone and nearly half are afraid of what others would think of them.

Adorable book week costume - Belle Higgins
Our hearts are melting. (Picture: Belle Higgins)

‘It’s OK not to be OK and it’s important we reach out to our friends and family and encourage each other to talk about our mental health the same way in which we talk about our physical health because I believe they go hand-in-hand.’

Although her post was deleted from the group she’d originally posted it in, Ms Higgins is aware that her words have had an impact.

She said: ‘I’ve had many day care teachers contact me saying they are going to encourage children not to dress up just as prince and princesses.

‘I’ve had people who are struggling with mental health just thank me for helping them get though the day and a lot of people asking about assistance dogs.’

Little Charlotte’s costume, her mum’s post on Facebook and her auntie’s bravery in coming to read to the daycare class are all examples of how the conversation around difficult issues like mental health can be started in a positive way.

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Half of disabled people feel left out by society but driving makes me feel included

It’s not just that I miss the things I used to do, it’s the feeling of being excluded that is so hard to bear (Photo: Scope)

A spinal injury has an inimitable way of inviting its recipient to survey life through a different lens; it’s one I’ve looked through for nigh on 10 years.

One of the first things I noticed since breaking my vertebrae and pelvis was I had completely underestimated how dependent I was upon my body.

Now, without that capability, I marvel at the beauty of the human body’s movement in a way that most people don’t grasp – largely because it’s a recognition tinged with sadness and frustration.

Managing that frustration is one of the fundamental necessities of being disabled. For me, this done by reflecting upon how I am feeling and understanding my thought process.

For example, there are times that I find myself reminiscing about playing football or going raving in such a way that it stirs up an emotional response.

It’s okay to miss the things you love. But if you don’t know why you’re upset it can lead to a cycle of negative emotion, which isn’t healthy.

It’s not just that I miss the things I used to do, it’s the feeling of being excluded that is so hard to bear.

And I’m not alone in that. New research published by charity Scope shows half of disabled people feel excluded from society.

One place I no longer feel excluded is behind the wheel; because, for me, driving equals freedom.

When I first passed my test at 17 it changed my life and opened up a world of possibilities. So, when I found out that, as a paraplegic, driving a car was still something I could do, it was a goddamn revelation.

I can still remember the moment with great clarity.  I was sat on my bed in the Spinal Injury Unit at Stanmore when Sol, a volunteer from the Spinal Injury Association, rolled onto our ward.

He told me he lived far from the hospital and I asked how he was able to make the journey.  When he told me he’d come by car I assumed that someone else must’ve driven.

Sol informed me that he was the driver I looked at him and blurted out something like: ‘But your legs don’t work.’ He chuckled and replied with the words ‘hand controls.’

When Sol showed me how these worked, I was astonished. The set up was devilishly simple.

This was my first glimpse at independence in a disabled body and it filled me with a degree of optimism that had deserted me since being informed of my medical prognosis.

Driving affords people the freedom of movement, but cars afford people the freedom of expression. And while I am grateful to be able to drive where I want, I also want to be able to drive what I want. So, I do.

With the right support in place, there’s no reason why disabled people have to be shut out. Thanks to getting the right adaptations, I’m now the proud owner and driver of a beautiful, classic muscle car.

About three years ago I imported a 1966 Mustang convertible from Texas and had hand-controls fitted. I’m not sure how many ’66 Mustangs there are with hand-controls in the world, but there probably aren’t many.

I can tell you with absolute certainty that it is an exhilarating experience. Firstly, with its V8 engine, it sounds like a tractor. A loud tractor. It’s not for the faint-hearted.

Secondly, it’s huge. Bottom line, it’s impossible to ignore. But that’s a good thing, because the car itself is a thing of beauty.

The just don’t make ’em like they used to.

Of course, I realise that driving this car is somewhat ostentatious. But I don’t care. It was a choice I was able to make and I did it for a multitude of reasons.

Not least of all because when I drive I am equal to the driver next to me: we are both sitting down, we are both going where we want to go and we are both in control. It means that for a brief moment in my day, I am not disabled.

Taking that experience one step further was a way to inject aspiration back into my life. It was not a practical decision. It was an emotional one. One that brings me almost as much joy as it does to all the middle aged men I drive past.

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Lidl are launching £3.49 Wagyu beef burgers for National Burger Day

(Picture: Lidl)

Oh to live the life of a Wagyu cow.

Overlooking the fact they’ll eventually be killed for their meat, they live a very charmed life; wearing jackets when it’s cold and eating as much as they wish.

That’s why Wagyu beef is so expensive, because it’s reared to very specific standards. It’s sometimes called the caviar of the meat world, and typically can retail for up to £500 a kilo in Japan.

However, Lidl are bringing us it for a whole lot less in honour of National Burger Day today, launching their very own Wagyu burger for just £3.49 for two.

The Wagyu Beef Steak Burgers are part of Lidl’s Deluxe range which is the very best of its food and drink selection, and should bear the trademark marbling of fat that makes the meat so special.

This fat makes the meat melt in your mouth, and gives it a buttery texture.

They’re available from today but are limited edition, so if you’re keen to try them you better hot-hoof it to the supermarket quickly.

Joshua Smith, Head of Meat Buying at Lidl UK, said, ‘We decided to launch our Deluxe Wagyu Beef Steak Burgers on National Burger Day to give customers a delicious reason to celebrate.

‘We’re passionate about giving our customers the ingredients to create their own high-end foodie experiences from the comfort of their own homes.’

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Lovehoney sale is on now with 70% off – here’s our pick of what to buy

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

If there’s a time to buy a sex toy, it’s right now, when Lovehoney’s offering up to 70% off all the toys, lingerie, and accessories you fancy.

The online sex toy shop’s sale launched today with discounts on everything from the classic Rabbit vibrator to under-bed restraints.

All the discounts will run for the entire length of the sale as long as stocks last, and other products will be discounted over the course of the promotion, so just because something isn’t on offer now doesn’t mean it’ll be full-price in a week.

The sale will only run until 12 September, so it’s a wise idea to act fast.

Here’s what we’d recommend grabbing while you can.

1. Lovehoney Wild Weekend Mega Couples Sex Toy Kit (11 piece), WAS £69.99, NOW £34.99

(Picture: Lovehoney)

This one’s only 50% off for one week as a special promotion, so if you’re keen for couple’s toys, order before 29 August.

Inside there’s a G-spot vibrator, vibrating rabbit ears, a butt plug, a rabbit vibrator, a male stroker, anal beads, jiggle balls, a rabbit cock ring, and a three-piece cock ring set.

2. Entice Emilia Rechargeable Rabbit Vibrator, WAS £39.99, NOW £10

The perfect starter vibrator, a Rabbit style provides clitoral as well as vaginal stimulation. A rechargeable vibrator means you wont have to worry about running out to get batteries mid-masturbation.

3. Tracey Cox Supersex Remote Control Love Egg Vibrator, WAS £39.99, NOW £23.99

(Picture: Lovehoney)

This ones fun because you can hand your partner the remote and let them take control.

4. Bondage Boutique Bound to Pleasure Under Mattress Restraint, WAS £34.99, NOW £20.99

Sure, you can improvise restraints with a pair of tights and a tie, but fumbling around in your drawers does slightly ruin the mood.

Having a proper set of restraints will keep things going smoothly and make sure you’re comfortable.

5. Lovehoney Plus-Size Moonlight Black Crotchless Plunge Body, WAS £39.99, NOW £20

(Picture: Lovehoney)

Why bother wearing sexy lingerie if you have to take it off to actually, well, have sex?

Choose a body that’s crotchless for easy access.

6. Lovehoney Get Started Beginner’s Anal Kit (4 piece), WAS £34.99, NOW £24.49

The basics you need if you’re curious about anal play. Make sure to pick up some lube with your order.

7. Lovehoney All Tied Up Bondage Play Kit (8 piece), WAS £97.94, NOW £64.99

And if you fancy dipping your toe into the bondage pond, this set’s a good place to start, with a blindfold, wrist cuffs, ankle cuffs, under bed restraint straps, nipple sucksers, vibrating cock ring, finger ring, and a flogger all included.

8. Basics Clear Textured Stroker, WAS £9.99, NOW £3

For people with penises who want to try their first sex toy, this masturbation tool is a good place to start.

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