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My Label and Me: Bald


The first time anybody called me bald was when I was 17.

Me and some schoolfriends were on a rare, raucous, trip to London, super excited to be out of the countryside and in the big city, taking photos the whole time.

The trip felt like the beginning of a bigger, better, adulthood. But when we flicked through our pics back in the cheap hotel room, my friend called me bald.

I felt shaken by my friend’s surprise at the size of my forehead when the wind blew my floppy, mid-noughties fringe back. I can’t be bald, I thought to myself. I am young, I am free, my life has barely begun. Bald people are OLD, aren’t they? Bald people are basically dead, I thought.

I was wrong, and became ashamed.

For years I tried to hide how little hair grew on my head by growing the rest long, using an old man-style comb-over, daily, by my mid-20s. I knew it wasn’t a good look, but I also knew the hair wasn’t going to come back. I was balding.

My Label and Me. Scott Manly Hadley pictured.
Scott started balding at 17 (Picture: Richard Swingler for Metro.co.uk)

To be balding is to be rusting. There’s an inevitability to it: like dying ends with death, balding ends with baldness.

But balding isn’t like dying, it’s more like someone you love dying.

No, I didn’t want to accept the hair was going, and, yes, I’d have done anything to make it recover. I wanted as much time with it as possible.

But when something is dying, you cannot live like you used to, together, and you cannot stop hoping until it’s truly gone.

You cannot deal with grief while a loved one is dying. You cannot get over losing your hair until you’re bald. This was why I shaved my head.

It was sudden and it was a shock: the man in the mirror looked much more macho than I felt. To begin with, I didn’t like it, being bald, and the disinterest it inspired in my then-partner didn’t help with my diminished confidence.

I knew I couldn’t mope for forever, though, so I made myself an action plan.

My Label and Me. Scott Manly Hadley pictured.
Scott decided to shave his head, rather than wait to go bald (Picture: Richard Swingler for Metro.co.uk)

First off, I rebranded into an act called Solid Bald for my occasional live music performances, and after that I started exploring my identity as bald in non-fiction writing and poetry.

Bald is what I am – to deny it is foolish.

I chose to be bald – I could have been balding for another decade, but that wasn’t for me. I believe happiness comes from being in tune with who you are, not from wishing to be different.

I couldn’t choose to have hair, but I could choose to have none rather than not enough.

Sometimes being bald is associated with extreme versions of strong masculinity (i.e. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Vin Diesel, Right Said Fred), but it’s also seen as a sign of weakness, of frailty, of being old before your time.

But some people – like me – get bald before they get old, and manage to be bald but not forgotten. Maybe the hyper-masculinity that shaved heads are sometimes associated with is a direct response from men, feeling weak, deciding to act out strength to compensate for the loss of hair.

My Label and Me. Scott Manly Hadley pictured.
‘I couldn’t choose to have hair, but I could choose to have none rather than not enough’ (Picture: Richard Swingler for Metro.co.uk)

Because losing your hair isn’t something many people choose. It can happen as a side effect of disease, as a result of chemotherapy, but also through bad luck in an otherwise healthy body (i.e. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Vin Diesel, Right Said Fred).

Having your hair fall out isn’t pleasant, but it’s important to remember that there are much worse things that can happen to a person. There are more tragic labels to have.

Would I prefer to have hair? Until recently, I would have said yes.

But, over the past few years, I’ve learnt to understand myself very well, and have arrived at a point where I’m in a great relationship, my career is going in a good direction, I like where I live and I have great friends.

I don’t think I could have got all that if I’d still been hiding my hair loss under a baseball cap.

I’m bald to the bone, I’m happy with who I am now, and part of who I am is bald.


Labels is an exclusive series that hears from individuals who have been labelled – whether that be by society, a job title, or a diagnosis. Throughout the project, writers will share how having these words ascribed to them shaped their identity  positively or negatively  and what the label means to them.

If you would like to get involved please email jess.austin@metro.co.uk

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Science gives you permission to have sex with your ex

Why does your sex drive increase in the summer?
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Ah, the good old fashioned backslide.

The theory goes that if you have sex with an ex after a breakup, you’re instantly undoing all the hard work you’ve put in to get closure and move on, making breaking up even harder than it needs to be.

That’s why even if you may have intense urges to bone your ex, you squash them into a back cupboard of your brain. You don’t want to risk it.

But new research suggests that actually, you might want to go ahead and have sex with your ex. Not only will getting sex out of your system not have a negative impact on your ability to move on, but it might make you feel better in the short-term. Sweet.

The research, published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour, involved two studies: one that tracked 113 people as they tried to have sex with recent exes over a month, and a second that surveyed 459 people about how having sex with an ex affected their emotional status.

Researchers looked at day-to-day emotions, feelings of attachment for the participants’ exes, thoughts about the breakup, and how they felt about the breakup longterm.

And guess what they found? That having sex with an ex didn’t have negative repercussions in the short or long term.

On days when participants had sex with an ex, they were in a better mood that day and the next.

(Picture: Ella Byworth)

Over two months, having sex with an ex wasn’t found to hinder breakup recovery.

The researchers did notice that those who had sex with an ex reported a stronger emotional attachment to their ex-partner, but it’s not clear whether they felt that because they had sex, or that they were more likely to have sex if there remained a strong emotional bond.

‘Those who pursued sex with an ex throughout the study reported feeling more attached to their ex-partners than participants who had not pursued sex,’ say the researchers. ‘There was also a significant within-person association, suggesting that participants felt more emotionally attached to their ex-partner on days when they pursued sex with them than on days when they did not.’

‘It seems that this association reflects the fact that those having more trouble letting go of their ex-partner are those most likely to seek out sexual contact.’

But beyond that, researchers don’t see anything wrong with having sex with an ex. They suggest that if it boosts your mood and doesn’t put your breakup recovery in a grinding halt, you go ahead and bone to your heart’s content.

Just take a moment to reflect on why you’re so keen to get sexual with an ex. Are you hoping to get back together? Are you feeling lonely? Be honest with yourself before you proceed.

‘These findings suggest that for those experiencing a breakup, pursuing sex with an ex may actually have positive outcomes in terms of boosts to positive affect during an otherwise trying period of time,’ they write in the results section.

‘Sex with an ex happens regularly, but is typically disparaged as a hindrance to breakup recovery. The present research suggests that societal handwringing regarding trying to have sex with an ex may not be warranted.

‘Rather, sex with an ex is most eagerly pursued by those having difficulty moving on, suggesting that we should perhaps instead more critically evaluate people’s motivations behind pursuing sex with an ex.’

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Climate change is causing ecoanxiety and damaging our mental health – what can we do?


You should know by now that climate change is a very real, serious threat.

Scientists have warned that global sea levels could raise by 50 feet by 2300, in the next 17 years our earth could reach the ‘point of no return’ and we’re already seeing the devastating effects.

While we need to hammer home how serious this threat is, each headline is having a drastic impact on people’s mental health.

Reports of the looming threat of an environmental crisis are encouraging anxiety and depression and triggering underlying symptoms of mental illness. For some, ecoanxiety is taking over their lives.

Comedian Laura Lexx found that the decision to have a child brought up major fears about global warming and the planet her child would be born into. These fears transformed into obsessions, which soon became debilitating.

‘I got completely obsessed with the concept of global warming,’ Laura told Metro.co.uk’s mental health podcast, Mentally Yours.

‘I think because we’d started trying for a baby, I had started to think about that baby’s life once it was here.

‘I didn’t notice it for months and months, until I’d got to a point where every second of my waking day was consumed with thoughts about fossil fuels and the temperature and everything I did contributing to this bigger problem.’

Within months Laura’s fear of negatively affecting the environment was holding her back from living a healthy, happy life.

‘All I wanted to do was sit in bed with the lights off, not eat anything that needed to be refrigerated or came from an animal or had been brought to me in a lorry,’ she says.

‘I didn’t want to touch any of it in case I made the world worse.

‘I wanted to kill myself because I didn’t know how to get back to a life that had the things I knew in it.’

Because global warming is a huge, overwhelming problem, it makes sense that people will feel intense anxiety and depression in the face of it.

It’s especially difficult because we’re limited in what we can do on an individual level.

We might have given up plastic, gone vegan, and swapped to low-energy bulbs years ago, but if power players are continuing environmentally friendly practices, the planet is still on track for disaster.

That feeling of powerlessness, combined with a need to work hard and do everything we can, is the perfect breeding ground for the feelings of hopelessness that come with depression or the constant gnawing panic of anxiety and OCD.

The constant low-level knowledge of our environmental disaster is bad enough but with each new headline clarifying just how dire the situation is, mental health symptoms can pop up with new intensity.

‘News about global warming does make me feel anxious,’ says writer Vicky Chandler, who has health anxiety.

‘Those news stories that are like scientists warn there is no going back from global warming and the world will explode in 100 years.

‘I get such fear over it. It makes me anxious thinking about not only what we do to our planet but quality of life as we age.’

I’ve noticed that worries about the environment are a trigger for my OCD symptoms, which usually focus on feelings of safety. While I used to worry about switches being left on because I feared they’d start a house fire (I still do, to be entirely honest), there’s now an extra cycle of panic that makes me feel solely responsible for the destruction of the planet.

Ecoanxiety Electricity power save eco money anxiety disorder mental health body mind Ph?be Lou Morson for Metro.co.uk Phebe
Worries about how much energy we’re using are keeping us up at night (Picture: Phébe Lou Morson for Metro.co.uk)

If I allow my symptoms to fester, I’ll soon feel obsessive guilt about everything I’m doing, from using the computer to work all day to buying products that are unavoidably in plastic.

One solution is to shut out the news but unfortunately we can’t just bury our heads and hope the situation resolves itself.

I do what I can to make my environmental impact as small as it can be but I don’t think my brain can handle deep-dives into statistics or making any dramatic life changes.

I can pretend nothing’s going on all I want, but every unseasonably warm day or life-threatening storm around the globe brings me back to reality. Then there’s the guilt of not thinking about the environment as much as I ‘should’ do.

On a societal level we cannot ignore global warming and the need to make change. But raising awareness of the reality is worsening our mental health, for some to the point that we can’t do anything positive for the world. So what should we do?

Linda Buzzell, a licensed therapist and an expert in ecotherapy, believes that the solution lies in coming together with a community.

‘Join with other people who share your concerns and work together to do what you can right where you live,’ Linda tells Metro.co.uk.

‘Don’t stew on the bad news in isolation. And spend more time out in nature, which is profoundly healing even in scary situations like this.’

Dr Craig Chalquist notes that it’s entirely normal to feel anxious after reading about the state of our environment. In fact, it’d be weird not to worry.

‘It’s the people who don’t seem bothered by environmental crisis who need therapy the most, to figure out why they are so numb and in denial,’ he tells us.

‘It will hurt when the numbness wears off.’

Both Craig and Linda have noticed a rise in patients experiencing anxiety and depression related to environmental news and both recommend that alongside taking positive action to help the world, it’s important to speak to a psychologist the moment your worries become overwhelming.

There are reports that climate change is causing PTSD, anxiety, and depression on a mass scale, not only from worrying headlines but the physical impact of our changing world.

‘The fallout from the increase in what used to be called “natural disasters” is huge and well studied,’ Linda says.

‘Trauma that can trigger older trauma, PTSD, anxiety, depression, addictive behaviors.

‘Unrelenting heat itself can raise levels of violence and suicide. Drought leads to wars and climate refugee situations.

‘Communities that are losing land to rising sea levels or losing their way of life (for example the Inuit in Arctic regions) find rising levels of stress, addictions, mental illnesses of all kinds.’

Craig adds: ‘Global warming inflicts a series of shocks on mental health, particularly on those directly affected: environmental refugees, for example.

A day in the life of my BPD brain (Beth Allan)
Every headline about another threat to our world adds to daily anxiety (Picture: Phébe Lou Morson for Metro.co.uk)

‘Many superstorms are now stronger because of more heat in the atmosphere, so in places hit by typhoons and hurricanes, much greater damage is inflicted, from loss of homes up to death of entire families and neighborhoods.

‘In the rest of us this creates helplessness, uncertainty, and anger, especially when government officials downplay global warming or dismiss it as a hoax or histrionics.

‘Our sense of self depends in part on the stability of the environments where we live; when we notice weird weather or fires outside of fire season, our capacity to be certain of anything suffers.’

Environmentalists and climate scientists are hit hard, feeling increasingly helpless as those in positions of power continue to deny or avoid the reality of our planet.

The knowledge that the world is in trouble paired with the despair of not being listened to is bound to disrupt a person’s mental wellbeing.

It’s crucial that environmental activists take care of themselves so they can continue to do work that could save us all. That means seeking therapy and support when worries become overwhelming.

For Jack*, who works in the media, a ‘sustainability audit’ is how he deals with ecoanxiety.

‘The best way to manage ecoanxiety tallies with one of the best ways to effect environmental change,’ Jack tells us.

‘What do I need? What don’t I need? How can I be more efficient but still be happy? Have I accepted certain limitations about myself and the world?

‘I can’t expect everyone to stop driving tomorrow just as much as I can’t expect myself to drop certain behaviour patterns instantaneously – but I can make a start.’

The conversation around global warming can’t focus on inspiring guilt and shaming those who need to use plastic straws or who occasionally forget their reusable bag.

It should instead focus on inspiring action and giving people ways to make a difference.

‘News about the effects of global warming can create huge anxiety, rage, and panic when unaccompanied by suggestions for how to get active and do something about this terrifying reality we now face,’ Craig says.

‘Such news also convinces young people who watch it that they have no future.

‘We now find ourselves in unprecedented worldwide peril, and psychological tools created to help individual distress are largely proving ineffective.

‘There is no cure for such an existential situation psychologically, but one of the best ways to cope is to join others who are making a real difference in the world.’

It’s not just what the news is but how it’s delivered that needs to be considered.

‘We need the facts, but we also need to be psychologically smart about how we help people process them,’ Linda says.

‘Blaming and shaming are not useful tactics.

‘Facts combined with encouragement, options and solutions (however tiny) work far better at creating the desired result: healthy people coming together to create positive change, locally and globally.’

Things you can do right now to help the environment:

  • Make your travel more environmentally friendly. Use public transport, ride a bike, swap to an electric car, and fly less
  • Reduce your plastic use. Buy unpackaged products where you can, invest in a reusable water bottle and use refill points rather than buying a fresh bottle when you’re thirsty, use a reusable bag for your shopping, and say no to plastic straws and cutlery.
  • Do a two-minute beach clean. If you live near the sea, clean up the beach for two minutes. Just those two minutes makes a difference
  • Get political. Vote for politicians who care about the environment and are enacting policy to make the world a better place
  • Use renewable energy. Choose a power supplier that uses renewable energy sources such as wind power – Scottish Power is now 100% wind energy
  • Choose energy efficient appliances
  • Reduce food waste. Only buy food you need, freeze where you can, and don’t chuck out produce because it’s hit the best before date
  • Question what you need. Our throwaway culture is a big part of our environmental crisis. Recycling is a great thing to do, but what’s better is not producing something in the first place. When you’re buying anything, question whether it’s something you’ll use for a long time. Does it fulfill a purpose? Does it bring you joy? If the answer to both questions is no, why are you buying it?
  • Cut out meat and fish. Veganism has been called the biggest way to reduce our impact on the planet.

Top illustration by Phebé Lou Morson. 

Need support? Contact the Samaritans

For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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Cult Beauty have revealed their best sellers of 2018

(Picture: Cult Beauty)

Since launching in 2008, Cult Beauty have stocked the most in-demand beauty brands – from Charlotte Tilbury to Coco & Eve, it’s become a go-to destination for browsing and buying the hottest releases.

Why is avocado not vegan?Eating avocados doesn't mean you've failed at being vegan

So if you’re up for expanding your beauty horizons, but unsure what to add to your bathroom cabinet next. Cult Beauty have just revealed their best sellers of 2018.

From sought after palettes to unsung heroes and vegan formulas, these are the products we’ve been buying.

Best-selling Palette

Desert Dusk Palette, £56, Huda Beauty

Huda Beauty’s Desert Dusk Palette makes experimenting with purple eyeshadow easier than ever.

Inspired by the beautiful deserts and sunsets of Dubai, the eyeshadow palette contains 18 shades, including a warm purple aptly named ‘Amethyst’, alongside some more standard neutrals.

The palette also contains four different finishes, from matte to a pure glitter, that when pressed onto the eyelids instantly takes your makeup game to the next level.

It’s gorgeous.

Best-selling Complexion

Airbrush Flawless Finish, £34, Charlotte Tilbury

Despite the limited shade range, Charlotte Tilbury’s Airbrush Flawless Finish is pricey, but worth the plunge if you’re on the hunt for a pressed finishing powder.

The rose wax and almond oil formulation works wonderfully for those who are dry-skinned, as it’s a little more nourishing than others and doesn’t settle into dry patches.

Its finish is silky, smooth and near-enough undetectable on the skin.

Best-selling Skincare

Luna Sleeping Night Oil, from £45, Sunday Riley

Retinol (aka Vitamin A) has been showing up here, there and everywhere, but what does it actually do?

It has been proven to not only reduce fine lines and wrinkles, but also to help prevent them forming, by increasing cell turnover and encouraging the production of collagen.

And Sunday Riley’s ‘Luna’ is a retinol-rich night-time treatment, that has been blended with blue tansy an anti-inflammatory that calms and soothes the skin.

This blend is what makes this retinol treatment popular, as retinol typically causes dryness and irritation when overused.

Best-selling Mascara

Caution Extreme Lash Mascara, £25, Hourglass

This Hourglass Caution Extreme Lash Mascara is expensive, but exceptional.

It can transform the limpest of lashes, it doesn’t flake or smudge and it’s vegan.

Plus the packaging is luxurious, weighty and gold so you won’t feel short changed.

If you’re thinking of investing in a high-end mascara, you can’t go wrong with this one.

Best-selling Haircare

Don’t Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask, £30, Briogeo

As the name suggests, this hair mask will repair and condition your locks.

The at-home hair treatment from Briogeo smooths, detangles and makes even dry, damaged, chemically treated hair feel soft.

The popular treatment is packed with oils and is free from sulphates, parabens, phthalates, silicones, DEA and synthetic colour.

Not to mention its cruelty-free and vegan.

Best-selling Supplement

Thinning Hair Supplement, £26, Ouai

There’s no one-size-fits-all hair supplement, however they can help when specifically targeted.

Introducing Ouai’s Thinning Hair Supplement that contains powerful punch of biotin and silica to promote healthier hair. And vitamin C to help your body absorb iron, a mineral necessary for hair growth.

In short, if your hair is flat, losing volume and your daily volumising shampoo and conditioner don’t cut the mustard, this supplement from OUAI will give your locks a boost.

Best-selling Tool

Jade Face Roller, from £12, Yu Ling

There’s no denying this Jade Face Roller is a tad bougie. But don’t underestimate the power of ancient Chinese medicine and crystals.

Made from jade, the roller style-tool is used in addition to skincare to boost circulation and help drain the lymphatic system.

In short, the massaging of the skin, tones, cools, soothes, detoxes, brightens and eliminates puffiness.

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is reportedly a fan – no wonder her skin is eternally glowing.

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From plant-based ‘egg’ rice to petitions for vegan cheese at Papa John’s – a week in vegan news

You can now get avo ice cream at Waitrose. (Picture: Fravocado)

Avocado-gate aside, a load of positive things have been happening for the vegan community over the past week or so.

Tesco named vegan food as the UK’s fastest growing culinary trend of 2018.

While many might stomp their feet at their ethics being called a ‘trend’, it’s fair to say that it’s a huge step forwards for plant-based dining becoming more mainstream (and therefore the mainstream becoming more cruelty-free).

And Tesco isn’t the only supermarket who’s spent 2018 cashing in the green pound.

Over the summer, we all basked in the greatness that was Iceland’s new plant-based range of BBQ-friendly No Bull and No Chick products.

Oh, how we revelled at being able to chow down juicy burgers and meatballs like everyone else, rather than miserable vegetable kebabs.

How vastly improved life became when Halo Top brought our their vegan ice cream options.

Now that the autumn is well and truly here, there are even more new additions to the vegan highstreet to watch out for:


Instagram Photo

Anyone who’s been on Instagram this week will have seen photos of Waitrose stores around the UK with overflowing vegan aisles.

It announced last week that it was adding around 30 vegan food products to its meat-free section, and boy did it deliver.

We’re talking mac and greens. Pizza. Vegan fish cakes. Dairy-free mayo. Beet Wellington and Nut Roasts. Basically, Waitrose is the new cut-price Whole Foods and we are here for it.

Oh, and Waitrose has also started selling avocado Fravocado – the UK’s first avocado and coconut ice cream (£4.49).


Instagram Photo

The Love Veg range at Sainsbury’s seems to be expanding week on week, with more healthy ready-made meals and food items available.

Frys has also been launching new products in-store, dropping a ‘steak’ & ale pie last week. More is set to launch in November.


The new brownie from Wicked Kitchen (Picture: Tesco)

Wicked Kitchen has packed lunch and microwave suppers nailed. The only thing the range was missing was a good old pudding. Until now.

Yep, this week saw Wicked launch two desserts – a red velvet brownie and a Charred Pineapple Dream Cake. And more is set to follow in November and December, just in time for Christmas. That takes Wicked’s collection up to a grand total of 26 items so far…and it’s growing.

Other bits set to launch include: Pesto Lasagne (with basil-kale-mint pesto, white sauce, and pine nut topper), Filthy Fiery Fries (Texas-style roasted potato wedges with BBQ pulled mushrooms, jalapenos and cheeze), Big Bros Enchiladas (spiced beans and rice, roasted sweet potato, jalapeno cheeze, topped with spiced red sauce and roasted corn salsa), Packed Puff Pie (roasted cauliflower and oyster mushrooms in a brandy gravy and flaky pastry) and All The Rage Rolls (roasted kale, mushrooms and garlic wrapped in flaky pastry with seed topper).

Head of plant-based innovation, Derek Sarno, says that this whole range has been ‘a dream come true for us’.

‘When we launched Wicked Kitchen back in January, the response was just phenomenal. We’re excited to be able to announce the expansion of the range today.

‘At the start of the year, I said that veganism was going mainstream, and – as plant-based options are taking over the supermarket shelves – that belief is fast becoming a reality.’

A vegan GBK is finally on the menu

Mmmm jackfruit (Picture: GBK)

Away from the supermarkets for a moment, Gourmet Burger Kitchen has *finally* brought out a vegan burger – and it sounds pretty epic.

GBK’s ‘Jack-in-the-bun’ consists of a butternut squash and quinoa patty, beetroot mayo and Korean pulled jackfruit.

Jay James, Head of Marketing at GBK says: ‘We are always looking to revamp our menu and keep our burger offering exciting and fresh as we know that our customers like to try out new ingredients and taste experiences.

‘While Jack-in-the-bun was developed with our vegan burger-lovers in mind, we’re sure it will be popular among other customers who like to try out the latest food trends too.’

It’s £8.95.

Wagamama is launching a vegan ‘egg’ rice dish

Instagram Photo

Is your Chinese ruined by the lack of egg fried rice? If so, hang on to your soy sauce, because Wagamama has teamed up with the chef Avant Garde Vegan (AKA Gaz Oakley) to create a new eggy dish for its ‘Noodle Lab’.

It’ll feature BBQ glazed seitan, caramelized king oyster mushrooms and asparagus, sticky rice, edamame, spring onion, and carrot. It is topped with Oakley’s vegan egg made with miso-infused coconut and Sriracha Mayo.

Gaz told Plant Based News: ‘The dish we have created is mind-blowing and encapsulates my style and ethos.

‘I really believe this dish will spark non-vegan interest in vegan food, having the meaty element in the seitan and of course including my vegan egg – but most importantly it tastes phenomenal.

‘Over the past few year’s Wagamama has taken huge strides to enhance the vegan options and now has an extensive vegan menu. For it to go the extra mile and put the Avant-Gard’n on the menu is incredible for the scene.’

People are petitioning Papa Johns to hurry the hell up with their vegan cheese

Give the people what they want Goddamit (Picture: care2petitions)

With Pizza Express, Zizzi’s, Pizza Hut, Prezzo, and Domino’s all doing bits for the non-dairy eating community, you’d think that Papa Johns would have gotten the message already.

But no – we’re all still waiting for sweet vegan cheezus to turn a trick at Papa’s.

And people have grown so impatient that they’ve now begun a campaign to get the chain to launch a vegan cheese.

Led by animal rights organisation Animal Aid and Vegan Food UK, it says that Papa Johns is now the only major pizza chain in the UK to still not offer a vegan cheese option.

‘In recent times, the number of people adopting a plant-based, vegan diet or choosing to reduce their animal product consumption has skyrocketed,’ the campaign says.

‘ According to a study by Ipsos MORI, there are now more than 500,000 vegans in the UK. In addition, around 22 million people are thought to be reducetarians – in that they are actively reducing their animal product intake.

‘Pizza without cheese is just not the same. Therefore, we urge Papa John’s to introduce a vegan cheese alternative.’

The petition is just 600 signatures off its 8,000 goal. You can sign it here.

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Eating avocados doesn’t mean you’re failing at being vegan – this is just another way to try to catch us out

Why is avocado not vegan?
Devasting (Pictures: Getty/Shutterstock)

This week, plant-based millennials were hit with the devastating news that avocados might not actually be vegan.

Imagine the waves of horror and disgust that went ricocheting through every avo toast devotee and guac aficionado on learning that their weekly brunch habit was actually the result of shipping a load of bees from one place to another!

But some of us will have read the news less with an air of shock but rather total fatigue.

While it’s both interesting and kind of sad that we can’t grow certain delicious vegetables and fruits (butternut squash is another, sigh) without the use of bees, I couldn’t help but wonder to what purpose everyone was harping on about it.

Was it really for the benefit of vegans who are trying to live an ethical and environmentally-friendly life as possible?

Without sounding like a conspiracy theorist, very often it can feel like people want to catch vegans out.

A day or two after the news broke, someone wrote on a vegan Facebook group: ‘You’re not vegan because you own a pair of leather shoes you’ve had for fifteen years. You’re not vegan because you like avocado.

‘You’re not vegan because you have meat eating pets. You’re not vegan because you accidentally ate cow butter. You’re not vegan because you have plastic bags. You’re not vegan because you drive. You’re not vegan because you’re not in a fucking solar powered bubble made out organic hemp living off naturally occurring stress signals from sentient plants.

‘F*ck off.’

Amen to that.

5 common myths about nutrition (and the truths) Ella Byworth
With so many rules about what makes a vegan, it’s a wonder any of us actually get to live our lives (Picture: Ella Byworth/ Metro.co.uk)

Things seem to have changed slightly; when the movement was smaller and more fringe, it used to be vegans turning on each other like PETA-stamped peacocks. Now, as education about the movement spreads, it’s people from outside the community who challenge vegans on their credentials.

Over 100 comments under that particular post were from members who had all been ‘avocado shamed’.

Harry is coming up to his one-year veganniversary. He tells Metro.co.uk that on the day ‘this relative non-story “broke”, a string of meat-eating friends approached me to quiz me on it’.

‘Each arrived with a smirk as if it was some sort of great scalp to trip up the vegan.

‘Trying not to let my eyes roll too far into the back of my head, I explained that veganism is not an exact science and that I could sleep easy knowing I was at least trying to make a bit of a difference.

‘It never ceases to amaze me how stories like this are heard by seemingly everyone on the planet, but tales of animal atrocity are conveniently brushed under the carpet.

‘Ultimately, they’re used as mechanisms for people to feel better about their own unethical life choices to instead criticise those trying to make a difference.’

Imagine getting to a point in your life where your only vice (for want of a better word) is eating the occasional avocado.

Sandy Toksvig told QI that avos are like honey – ‘they can’t exist without bees, and bees are used in, let’s call it an “unnatural way”.

‘Because they are so difficult to cultivate naturally, all of these crops rely on bees which are placed on the back of trucks and taken very long distances across the country.

Loads of vegetarians and vegans are accidentally eating meat
(Picture: Metro.co.uk)

‘It’s migratory beekeeping and it’s unnatural use of animals and there are lots of foods that fall foul of this. Broccoli is a good example. Cherries, cucumbers, lettuce. Lots and lots of vegan things are actually not strictly vegan.’

Were we to take this at face value, that’d leave us living off baked beans and tatties until we died of malnutrition.

Say you give up avocados. Then what?

You’ve already given up getting your dietary fats from dairy because you believe that animal milk should be for baby animals…so other than avos, you’re stuck with nuts.

Almonds have to be flown in from California where some claim that they’ve been partially responsible for severe droughts. Some oat-based creams and milks are made from crops fertilised with mashed up animal bones. Soybeans are responsible for huge amounts of deforestation in the Brazilian rainforests.

Can any of these actually then be classed as ‘vegan’, bearing in mind that they involved the killing of animals through drought, manure or deforestation?

Well, in the case of soy, the Union of Concerned Scientists say that 70-75% of the world’s soy ends up as feed for chickens, pigs, cows, and farmed fish. So I think us tofu eaters can rest easy in our beds with that one.

How far down the rabbit hole are you supposed to go?

Veganism isn’t about getting it 100% right 100% of the time – it’s a humble attempt to leave the planet as it was when we arrived. It’s about doing what you can to live cruelty-free. It’s easy to give up meat and dairy, not so easy to give up half of the fruit and veg available to us.

That’s not to say that it’s not worth thinking on how things like avocados are produced.

Knowing that bees are shipped from A to B to make our avo mousse might prompt some of us to eat fewer of the green things.

After all, there are other brunches available.

Equally, the current distaste for food shaming should work both ways. Don’t come at us for eating an avocado and we won’t come at you for eating the actual flesh of another sentient being.

MORE: Climate change is causing ecoanxiety and damaging our mental health – what can we do?

MORE: Vegetarians and vegans are accidentally eating animal products because of unclear labels

MORE: From plant-based ‘egg’ rice to petitions for vegan cheese at Papa John’s – a week in vegan news

Ketogenic diet may help prevent cognitive decline

A rainbow of colours and textures in this vibrant and healthy snack board of fruit, vegetables, dips, nuts and olives. Citrus fruits, grapes, tropical fruits and berries add colour to the spread. Hazelnuts,almonds, walnuts, kalamata olives and home made dips of hummus, beetroot and pumpkin are surrounded by salad sliced for a fun, healthy way to snack. Raw healthy food, ready for a party.
(Picture: Getty)

A keto diet is thought to help you maintain a healthy weight, but another possible benefit could be staving off mental decline.

The ketogenic diet is low-carb, rich in fat and provides a moderate amount of protein. New research suggests that eating like this could protect against the effects of an ageing brain.

Scientists at the University of Kentucky are analysing the evidence after conducting two studies on mice, looking at the potential benefits of the keto diet.

They concluded that the effects of a keto diet in mice ‘could potentially lead to neuroprotective effects.’

‘This is consistent with a human study that diet-induced weight loss improves functional brain responses during an episodic memory task,’ they continued.

Scientists think that the reason for the improved brain function may be due to the effects a keto diet has on neurovascular functioning – including blood flow to the brain.

In a separate study, the scientists found that the mice that had followed the keto regimen had improved blood flow to the brain, better bacterial balance in the gut, and a lower body weight.

All of these factors combined could lead to improved brain functioning, and suggest that diet could be used as a preventative factor for cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

‘Neurovascular integrity, including cerebral blood flow and blood-brain barrier function, plays a major role in cognitive ability,’ explains study author Ai-Ling Lin.

‘While diet modifications, the ketogenic diet, in particular, have demonstrated effectiveness in treating certain diseases, we chose to test healthy young mice, using diet as a potential preventative measure.

‘We were delighted to see that we might indeed be able to use diet to mitigate risk for Alzheimer’s disease.’

The researchers also worked on a study with mice of different ages. They again found that a restricted diet could improve neurovascular and metabolic functioning and, therefore, protect the brain.

MORE: How does vegan keto work?

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Iceland is selling three pizzas, two garlic bread baguettes and a bottle of Pepsi for £5

People sharing pizza
(Picture: Getty Images)

It’s almost the weekend and with the weather getting colder, a cosy night in sounds appealing.

But before you reach for the take-away menu, get yourself down to Iceland.

The supermarket is selling three pizzas, two garlic bread baguettes and a 1.5l bottle of Pepsi for just £5.

And with four different types of Dr. Oetker pizzas available, including mozzarella, pepperoni-salame, pollo and funghi, there’s hopefully something to suit your tastes.

There’s even three types of Pepsi to choose from – Pepsi Max, Diet Pepsi and Pepsi Max Cherry.

The deal launched yesterday and runs until 23 October, so perfect for a weekend movie night.

Close up of pepperoni pizza.
(Picture: Kristal O’Neal/Getty Images)

Usually the pizzas cost £2.50 each, with the garlic bread and Pepsi both costing £1 – meaning everything would normally come to £9.50.

With each of the pizza’s priced at £2.50 each, plus the garlic bread and bottle of Pepsi both usually setting you back £1 a pop, the bundle offer is worth a whopping £9.50 altogether.

You can pick up the deal online or in store.

MORE: Cheesy chips pizza is a favourite with customers

MORE: A bottomless halloumi brunch is coming to London

MORE: A pizzeria in Glasgow is serving up a deep fried Mars bar calzone

Your salt probably has plastic in it

(Picture: Getty)

Well, here’s some news that’s (almost) bad enough to put you off your fish and chips.

If you’re about to top said chips with salt, you’ll very likely be sprinkling them with tiny bits of plastic.

New research has found that over 90% of salt brands sold around the world are contaminated by plastics.

And don’t feel smug because your salt has the word ‘sea’ on it rather than plain white plastic – the highest levels of plastics were seen in sea salt.

The study found that only three out of 39 salt brands were free of plastics, with the rest all containing microplastics (plastics the size of a sesame seed or smaller).

The contamination happens because larger plastic rubbish in the ocean gets broken down into teeny tiny pieces thanks to warmth and friction, which are then present in the water. Sea salt is made through the evaporation of ocean water, which means that trace materials in the water are left behind in the grains – including those annoying bits of plastic.

We already know that plastic lingers in a lots of our natural resources. Microplastics have been found in seafood, in rivers, and in tap water.

But the recent study shows just how widespread the issue really is.

Here’s hoping that big companies take this seriously and take action to reduce their plastic use.

Mikyoung Kim, campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia, said: ‘It’s clear that there is no escape from this plastics crisis, especially as it continues to leak into our waterways and oceans,” said

‘We need to stop plastic pollution at its source. For the health of people and our environment, it’s incredibly important that corporations reduce their reliance on throwaway plastics immediately.’

MORE: Climate change is causing ecoanxiety and damaging our mental health – what can we do?

MORE: Eating avocados doesn’t mean you’re failing at being vegan – this is just another way to try to catch us out


Couple paralysed in separate accidents say their wheelchairs brought them together and gave them their son

(Picture: Jean Daly Lynn)
(Picture: Jean Daly Lynn/Metro.co.uk)

Jean Daly Lynn was just 17 when her life was turned upside down by a horse riding accident.

After breaking the T7 bone (the seventh of the thoracic bones in the mid-back), she was paralysed and became a wheelchair user.

But now Jean, 31, says that without her accident, she wouldn’t have her husband Stafford, 51, or her baby son Harrison.

Stafford was involved in a motorbike accident 21 years ago, where he fractured the T6 and T7 bones, and is also a wheelchair user.

Despite their injuries, the couple have always been determined to enjoy every moment of their lives – especially now they have 11-month-old Harrison.

‘Being in a wheelchair gave me Harrison and my husband. If my accident hadn’t happened, my life would have been totally different,’ Jean tells Metro.co.uk

‘I had been mucking out stables every day and stables were my life. Now I have a very different life and I couldn’t ask for a better life.

(Picture: Jean Daly Lynn)
(Picture: Jean Daly Lynn/Metro.co.uk)

‘I love my work, I love my family and I have been so lucky. I have had so many opportunities to do so many different things that I know wouldn’t have happened without this.’

Nine years ago, the couple met at a wheelchair tennis tournament and although they hit it off, it wasn’t until Stafford measured Jean for a wheelchair a few months later that they realised there was a real connection.

Initially though, Jean admits she was unsure about the relationship.

‘Him being a wheelchair user made me not want to go out with him at the beginning,’ she says.

‘I was thinking that other people would think we were only together because we are in wheelchairs, when actually it was the fact that we were two kindred spirits and we were meant to be together.

‘It didn’t take me long to get over that when I realised how much we liked eachother.’

The pair married almost three years ago on Lusty Beg island in Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland.

(Picture: Jean Daly Lynn)
(Picture: Jean Daly Lynn/Metro.co.uk)

Jean says: ‘It was the perfect day. It was in the middle of Storm Frank and we were really lucky because all the electric was going and the boat was broken.

‘We managed to get in to get married just before the rain set in and in all our pictures, it looks like the sunniest day ever. Luck was on our side.’

The couple knew that they wanted to have a child but their injuries meant they wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally and they turned to IVF.

‘I changed my diet and my lifestyle totally changed.We felt that if we were going to do it, we have to do as much as we can to make it successful,’ Jean says.

Sadly, they had one failed attempt but on their second try, Jean fell pregnant.

Nine months later, little Harrison was born on 6 November and Jean admits that the 11-month-old has turned their lives upside down.

‘I am loving every second of being a mum. It is everything I dreamed with. I’ve always wanted to be a mum but having an awesome child as well is really good.

(Picture: Jean Daly Lynn)
(Picture: Jean Daly Lynn/Metro.co.uk)

‘I never expected to have a baby so full of personality. He is just a joy. He laughs all day long,’ she says.

But Jean admits there are some adjustments that they have had to make as parents in a wheelchair.

‘The things that I struggle with most are the things that lots of mums struggle with. I go to mums’ groups and for coffee with other mums and we all talk about the same things – our baby not sleeping and things like what to do now he is crawling.

‘But we do have to do some things differently. We do have to plan how I do things.

‘It was things like lifting him on and off the ground – when he was little we used a sheet that we could lift and then a harness and now he can stand, we’ll get him to stand up so we can lift him.

‘We have just learned to evolve. It’s just about learning little ways to adapt.

Spinal cord injuries

If you have injured the spinal cord in your neck, you will have injured one of your cervical nerves (1-8). An injury like this would be referred to as C1 etc.

If you have injured the spinal cord in your back, you will have injured either thoracic nerves (1-12) or lumber nerves (1-5). A back injury would be referred to as T6, L1 etc.

‘He has always co-slept with us because it just makes more sense to have him with us rather than us having to get up during the night.

‘We have put legs on our cot, which means we can wheel our chairs underneath and it is much easier to get him in and out when he goes into the cot.

‘We did look at getting our pram adapted but in the end, we didn’t because it works perfectly. I push the pram with one hand and my chair with the other.’

Alongside being parents, Jean and Stafford have very busy and full lives.

Jean works for the Cedar Foundation, a charity that supports people living with disability, autism and brain injury, and is also studying for a PhD at Ulster University.

Stafford runs three businesses – a car sales business, a drone photography business and a wheelchair fitting business.

Jean says: ‘My husband says we have an enchanted life and we absolutely do. We work hard and we play hard and enjoy every moment.

‘I think we have a sense of appreciation because of what happened to us. We genuinely love everything we do.

‘We want to show other people that you can go out and do what you want. Just live your life and have fun.’

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Woman shares the itemised bill she received for attending a hen party

(Picture: Reddit)

Hen dos can get pretty pricey, pretty quickly, but would you expect to be charged for the plates?

That’s exactly what happened to one woman, who attended a hen do only to find she had been lumped with an extremely specific itemised bill.

It’s pretty normal practice to pay some money up front for a hen do. And you would expect that to cover the venue, any food, any activities – someone’s got to pay for the butlers in the buff.

But to be charged after the event puts a bit of a downer on the occasion, particularly if you’re being asked to pay your share for literally everything.

So I received an invoice from the bachelorette party circumventing_user
(Picture: circumventing_user)

The bill was split between the seven attendees of the party, and covered everything from gifts and vodka, to lemonade, water and plates.

Some Reddit users were confused by the bill, saying any event that only spends $22.66 (£17.26) on vodka doesn’t sound like much of a party.

‘The list goes on too. God forbid we get away without paying each 28 [cents] for paper napkins,’ said the angry party-goer.

She says that the bride had told them the hen do was BYOB, but then after everyone brought their own alcohol, they were also asked to stump up for the bride’s share.

And it wasn’t just the bill that left this woman disappointed, ‘The party wasn’t even fun,’ she explains.

‘She [the bride] was trying so hard to make it a picture perfect party and it seemed unnatural and more like a business transaction.’

So with the hen do a disaster, will this guest still be attending the wedding? You bet.

‘I’m going to eat the f*ck out of her wedding food to make up for it.’

MORE: Ariana Grande covers her ‘Pete’ tattoo with a plaster on her ring-free finger for stage performance

MORE: Can you be a feminist and still want a fairy tale wedding?

Christmas music on repeat could be bad for our mental health

(Picture: Getty)

If you’re really quiet, you can hear the sounds of Mariah Carey’s and Michael Buble’s careers defrosting. That can only mean one thing: Christmas is coming.

To some people, festive tunes are like Marmite; you either love it or hate it. But if you are tuning into jingle bells and top Christmas hits every day, it can be mentally draining.

If you’re always surrounded by festive tunes, as retail workers are, for example, it might have a detrimental effect on your mental health.

That’s because after a certain time, you’re trying hard not to hear what you’re hearing which can cause other problems to exacerbate.

‘People working in the shops at Christmas have to tune out Christmas music because if they don’t, it really does stop you from being able to focus on anything else,’ said clinical psychologist Linda Blair to Sky News.

‘You’re simply spending all of your energy trying not to hear what you’re hearing.’

While the psychological phenomenon, the exposure effect, makes you develop a liking to things after being exposed to them for a certain amount of time, the festive jingles of Christmas can have the opposite effect.

We can’t listen to them without associating the music with festivities that can come with a lot of stressful stuff such as money concerns, work life, family anxieties, and general mental health triggers.

But unfortunately, Christmas tracks aren’t going away any time soon.

As well as sounds, retailers use our sensations such as smell to promote sales (that’s why you’re met with cinnamon and pine fragrances when you walk into stores).

Research by Washington State University found that Christmas songs, coupled with scents, increase people’s awareness of being inside certain shops.

Retail worker Fiona, who worked in a large flagship store on the ever-busy Oxford Street during the festive period, told Metro.co.uk how the blaring music (plus bright lights and decor) gave her migraines.

‘We had constant Christmas music, plus songs that weren’t very well known on repeat every day and then on Saturdays a live DJ to do it all again,’ she explains.

‘You’d end up with songs stuck in your head for ages and it was just super annoying to shake it off.

‘Luckily I only did short shifts but longer ones on weekend and it just gives you a headache. I quit after a month.’

If you’re able to, listen to Christmas music in moderation, or try to have a word with the boss to see if they can dial it down a bit.

MORE: Climate change is causing ecoanxiety and damaging our mental health – what can we do?

MORE: Ketogenic diet may help prevent cognitive decline

MORE: Sainsbury’s and Asda launch a cheese-filled advent calendar

Woman becomes friends with the stranger who saved her life with CPR

METRO GRAB - taken from the Facebook of Lisa Manoy without permission Woman and the stranger she gave CPR to become friends on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1740998442623923&set=ecnf.100001413518780&type=3&theater Credit: Lisa Manoy
Lisa Manoy with her daughter Lindsay, both who helped a stranger at an Aldi store (Picture: Facebook/ Lisa Manoy)

Marianne LaPlante was shopping in a new Aldi store in New Jersey, U.S, when she felt light-headed.

Attempting to rest her head on the shopping cart, she fell and hit her head, bleeding profusely.

Thankfully, a former nurse, Lisa Manoy, stepped up to help. Lisa performed CPR and made sure the colour was restored back on Marianne’s face before the ambulance came to take her to hospital.

When Marianne regained consciousness she thanked the stranger who saved her life, not knowing who it was. By the powers of Facebook, the two managed to connect online.

Now, they talk on the phone every day and have plans to meet up.

I would like to thank the woman who resuscitated me at Aldi's yesterday afternoon. You have may well saved my life. …

Posted by Marianne LaPlante on Friday, October 12, 2018

Though she hasn’t practiced nursing for 15 years, Lisa did the best she could to help Marianne and calm her 94-year-old mother who was with her at the store opening.

‘Marianne, when I arrived, was convulsing severely. There was blood all around her head. An immense amount of blood. It was traumatic,’ Lisa told Yahoo.

‘A gentleman held her head for me and applied pressure to the back of her head where she hit it while I was checking her. All of a sudden, she just started to turn pale, and then a shade of blue. She stopped breathing on me.’

After Marianne was taken to hospital, Lisa didn’t think they’d meet again, but she spent the night worrying about her. She even called the hospital to see if she could find her but to no avail due to privacy policies.

Marianne thanked the stranger who saved her life by posting on Facebook: ‘I would like to thank the woman who resuscitated me at Aldi’s yesterday afternoon. You have may well saved my life. Also, thank you to the woman who held my 94-year-old mum and said prayers with her while waiting for the ambulance.

‘You may never see this post or know my gratitude but I will forever think of the woman who jumped into my life and made it possible for me to see a new day. There is still great good in this world.’

Shortly after, a New Jersey Facebook page shared the sweet message which was then seen by Lisa. She contacted Marianne and the two have hit it off.

They’ve even said I love you to each other.

MORE: Knowing I’m making a difference gets me through my job rescuing victims of modern slavery

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MORE: Iceland is selling three pizzas, two garlic bread baguettes and a bottle of Pepsi for £5

Bar Fox: A ‘hidden gem’ Art Deco rooftop bar in Leicester Square  

Hotel Indigo rooftop bar in Leicester Square (Picture Hotel Indigo)
Hotel Indigo rooftop bar in Leicester Square (Picture Hotel Indigo)

It’s Bar Fox’s life’s work to discover all the rooftop bars in London. Here’s the latest.

If you a) like your venues to yield for Instagram, and b) you love a rooftop bar, you will love Hotel Indigo.

It’s all 1920s Art Deco glamour: a sea of glass, marble and brass, teal leather and jewel-coloured velvet, with photogenic cocktails that live up to their looks.

Despite the fact it’s a 5-star hotel bang in the middle of Leicester Square, it’s actually a hidden gem (stay with us here).

The serene, immaculate bar is up on the 9th floor, turning the tourists below into ants, and there are floor-to-ceiling windows to drink in the view and a wrap-around balcony for al fresco cocktails.

room with a view (Picture: Hotel Indigo)
room with a view (Picture: Hotel Indigo)

It’s also the place to be if you want to sleb spot during red carpet film premieres.

In the summer, you can enjoy the light evenings and views for miles. In autumn, it starts to get cosier – then winter, the lights of the city and the Christmas lights for miles make this a fire festive choice.

Make a mental note to use it as a hideout for when you’re totally over Christmas shopping.

Here’s a mini-edit of the cocktail list. We recommend the Rose Tinted.

Rose Tinted – £13 Tanqueray 10 Gin, Triple Sec, Lemon, Peychaud’s and Prosecco.

Room With A View – £12 Bacardi Carta Blanca Rum, Strawberry Falernum, Lime and Soda.

Rooftop Highball – £14 Ketel One Vodka, Raspberry & Rooibos, Chambord, Absinthe, Lemon and Soda.

Red Carpet – £14 Courvoisier Cognac, Apricot, Lemon, Plum, Orgeat and Egg White.

Hotel Indigo, 1 Leicester Square, WC2H 7NA, ihg.com



Why not give us your own suggestions and reviews, or just say hi. Hit us up at hello@barfox.co.uk. Include pics, details and your twitter/facebook/insta post of your discovery – or just your name – and we’ll give you a link up or just a namecheck.

23 things you’re doing that are seriously annoying bartenders

What bartenders wish you'd stop doing
Stop this. (Picture: Dave Anderson/Metro.co.uk)

We all want to be likeable people.

We want to do the right thing, avoid embarrassment, and make other people’s lives easier.

The last thing we want to do is be annoying.

But sometimes we do that unknowingly. A lot of social etiquette isn’t said explicitly, leaving us doing things that are infuriating or out of place without our knowledge.

We reckon life would be much easier if we got that etiquette out in the open and found out exactly what things we’re doing that are irritating other people.

So we asked a bunch of bartenders what they wish customers would stop doing.

1. Waving money to try to get served

Kate, who worked in bars and pubs for around eight years, tells us she hates when people ‘stand at the bar with their money out in their hand, as if that would make you serve them before their queue place just because they have money.

‘Everyone has money, wait your turn.’

She’s not the only one.

Ex-bartender Hattie says she got really annoyed by people who already had their money out while waiting to be served, then look frustrated when you don’t immediately rush to serve them.

There’s a queuing system for fairness. Everyone at the bar has money and intends to use that money to buy a drink. Holding out a tenner as evidence of this won’t push you to the front of the line.

2. Commenting on their appearance

We get it, you’re just trying to make conversation. But if your best shot at banter is commenting on what someone’s wearing or how they look, it’s okay to just stay silent while the bartender pours your pint.

‘One said I looked like I’d just come out of a coffin because I had black hair,’ remembers Hattie. Not necessary, pal.

The same goes for sexualising bartenders. It’s unacceptable.

‘I have had men say they’ll only tip me if they can put it in my cleavage, men loudly and unashamedly rate me and my female colleagues and you just feel that often you become public property,’ says ex-bartender Elle. ‘Men also tell you to smile a lot. Especially at 3am. When you’ve been on shift since 7pm.’

3. Offering up advice on drinks

People working in bars and pubs do tend to know what they’re doing.

They really don’t need you to coach them on how to pour a pint, or question what type of rum belongs in a mojito. Leave your bartender to it.

4. Oddly specific drinks

Ask for the drink you’d like, sure, but dear lord, consider the time and effort someone has to spend making it.

Suzy, who has run bars and restaurants, has no time for an order of ‘a small coke with two small ice cubes and a thin wedge of lime cut today and today only.’

‘Don’t be a connoisseur drinking at a chain pub,’ adds Suzy. ‘I only have two dry whites, Miriam, you’ll pick one and like it.’

What bartenders wish you'd stop doing
(Picture: Shutterstock)

5. Being far too general about what you’d like to drink

Conversely, it’s very irritating to expect a bartender to choose the perfect drink for you, especially if they’re working in a rammed pub with a massive crowd of people clamouring for attention.

Katie, who works in a pub, says she hates it when someone ‘comes to the bar and asks for a beer… not what kind… not what size… then say “oh, I don’t know, what have you got”, make you recite the 20 beers you have then ask you for the cheapest.’

‘My weirdly irrational hate is when people say ‘surprise me’ when ordering,’ adds Elle. ‘Here’s a glass of water. It costs £20. Surprise.’

Bar staff member Jake agrees, saying what really irritates him is ‘when they ask “what’s good?”’

‘Well what do you like to drink? There’s a wealth of alcohol behind here. Guaranteed I suggest what I like and you screw your nose up. Start with an ingredient, like what’s a good vodka cocktail.’

6. Expecting free stuff

‘It’s my birthday, can I get some shots for free?’

No, Martin, you can’t. If bartenders give away free drinks willy-nilly they could very well get fired. Please pay up and stop putting other people’s jobs at risk.

That applies even if you know the bartender, you’re celebrating something, you’re a regular, or you’ve been waiting ages. Bars and pubs are places you go to pay for drinks. Accept it.

7. Questioning measures

Bartender Georgia gets irritated by customers who ask ‘are you sure that’s a double?’ when she’s just poured out the serving right in front of them. We don’t blame her.

If a bar is repeatedly short-changing you with the drinks, speak up, but don’t raise quibbles because the shot poured in your cup wasn’t filled right to the top.

Staff have no reason to mess with your measures and give you less booze. Drop the suspicion.

8. Ordering one drink at a time

As in asking for a rum and coke, waiting for the bartender to fully complete that order, then asking for a beer, then waiting for that to be done before asking for a second beer.

While reeling off a 20-strong list of drinks isn’t wise either, you can trust that bartenders do have a decent memory.

‘When you order, make sure you tell us all drinks at once (yes, we can remember it),’ says ex-bartender Almara. ‘If you keep saying “oh and one more beer”, “oh and a shot of tequila”, you’re not just p*ssing us off – but also the people next to you who now have to wait longer, because of you.’

(Picture: Getty/Ella Byworth)

9. Or expecting someone to remember 17 drinks without writing them down

Let’s just be realistic about the abilities of the human mind, okay?

If you’ve got a massive order, warn your bartender before you start so they can write it down if needed. Don’t reel off a giant list of drinks then get peeved when someone misses out that one beer.

10. Ordering as a group but paying separately

You’re slowing the whole thing down, pals. Just accept the rounds system.

11. Having a go because you weren’t served first

Look, people working in bars and pubs are doing the best they can. They’re trying to serve customers as speedily as possible in the fairest way possible.

If you notice that someone who turned up after you gets served before you, you can trust that it’s not a personal slight (unless you’re waving your money around, in which case it’s revenge). The bartender is likely too overwhelmed with orders to be closely analysing who arrived when.

Don’t make things worse by kicking up a fuss and berating the bartender. They’re really not trying to screw you over. Wait patiently and you will get served. Kick off and you’ll only move yourself further down the list.

12. Getting to the front of the bar and not knowing what you want

You’ve spent ages waiting, huffing, puffing, and looking longingly back at your table the entire time… and you still haven’t managed to decide what you’d like to drink?

‘I think the number one thing that really winds me up is when people are waiting to be served for several minutes but then they get to the bar they don’t know what they want yet,’ says Elle.

‘You just had minutes to think – why are you wasting my time? These people are almost always the same people that will complain about the wait time.’

Prevent annoying your bartender by knowing what you want to drink when you approach the bar, please.

13. Being rubbish with money

Please put coins and cash in your bartender’s hand, not on a sticky, beer-soaked bar.

Please have the right amount ready.

Please don’t panic and have a meltdown because your order is £4.50 and you need to spend £5 to pay with a card.

It’s pretty simple. Just pay the money required for the drink.

Kate gets annoyed when customers ‘give you a weird amount of change AFTER you’ve already put “tenner” in on the till, and it’s too busy to do maths and they’ve basically only done it to not get an odd 7p. F*** off.’

(Picture: EyeEm/Getty)

14. Complaining about the prices

Shockingly enough, a double serving does cost more than a single shot. Beers in London are expensive.

Complaining won’t enable bar staff to magically change the cost of things.

15. Standing in the area that’s marked as a place where you won’t get served

Read. The. Sign.

You are not gaming the system by standing in the ‘no orders here’ section. Instead you are getting in the way when staff need to come out from the bar to clean up glasses.

If it’s been made clear that people standing in an area won’t be served, people standing in that area really will not be served. No exceptions. No getting away with it. Join the line like everyone else.

16. Spilling drinks

Everyone’s clumsy, but if you spill your drink the second it’s been ordered, you’re going to piss off the person behind the bar – especially if you don’t offer to clean it up or ask for a replacement drink on the house.

17. Clicking your fingers for attention

Bartenders are not dogs. P*ss off.

‘Do not whistle at us or shout,’ says Almara. ‘We know it’s a busy night, we’re fully aware that the bar queue is too long, but by being rude, you’re just making us less inclined to serve you first.’

18. Ordering one minute before closing time

Don’t pretend you didn’t hear the bell for last orders.

(Picture: Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images)

19. Ordering a mojito on a busy night

There are certain cocktails that take lots of time and effort to make.

You’re entitled to whatever drink you like, obviously, but don’t be surprised if you hear a gentle groan when you order a mojito midway through a pub’s biggest rush.

20. Ordering Guinness last

A fun thing about stout is that it settles after pouring and will need a top-up. Please, if you’re doing a big order, ask for the Guiness first so it can settle while the other drinks are being made.

Don’t make your bartender stand there feeling useless while you wait for your drink to settle.

21. Being dense when staff need to clean tables

Do not sit at the one table covered in rubbish – staff need to clear that one.

Kate is not a fan of people who ‘pick up their full drinks really defensively when you clear their table.

‘Thanks mate. I’m not an idiot.’

22. Asking for the ‘same again’ or your ‘usual’

Do you know how many people have been served while you’ve been here?

Do you really think that you made such an impression that the bartender will have noted down your order so they can blow you away with their knowledge next time?

It seems incredibly cool to have a ‘usual’, but here’s the thing: just like a nickname, it’s not cool if you ask for it yourself. To be a cool ‘the usual’ type of person you must wait for the bartender to say it first, as a question.

The one day you’re asked ‘same again?’ or ‘the usual?’ will feel so much sweeter than trying to force someone in customer service to remember your order for the rest of time.

23. Making generally pointless comments about bartenders, the bar, or the pub

Captain Obvious is not welcome at the bar.

Kate hates ‘the saddos who come in during the morning and then come back in the evening and go “oh! You still ere are ya!”’

Rachel feels her blood boil when people comment on how busy the bar she works in is… on a Saturday.

Again, you really don’t need to force conversation. It’s okay to be quiet and let people get on with their jobs.

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Deaf Rave allows people who can’t hear to go out clubbing


Music lover Troi Lee founded Deaf Rave in 2003, a quarterly event in London designed specifically for deaf clubbers.

Instead of listening to sound, deaf people can feel it – the beat, the vibrations, the bass.

Now in its 15th year, the event has allowed deaf people to enjoy a night out, meet other people, and experience music in a way that mainstream nightclubs don’t allow.

Able-bodied people as well as those hard of hearing can attend, which means a typical deaf rave involves up to 900 guests.

Troi Lee founded Deaf Rave in 2003, a series of music events and workshops in London designed specifically for deaf music fans. The event seeks to overcome the many challenges young deaf people face when listening to live music including the absence of signers, interpreters and induction loops. The film follows Troi as he gears up to host a Deaf Rave and help young deaf people defy the mainstream and create their own music scene.
(Picture: Mohamed Zaid)

‘I’ve always said that just because people are deaf, doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy music,’ founder Troi told Metro.co.uk.

‘You can literally feel the beat, on your feet, in your chest. In the vibration of the floor or speakers. So we crank the bass up and people get down to it.

‘We also have sign-song artists, deaf dancers and deaf DJs who perform, but who also lead workshops to teach people in the deaf community how to enjoy music to max.

Troi Lee founded Deaf Rave in 2003, a series of music events and workshops in London designed specifically for deaf music fans. The event seeks to overcome the many challenges young deaf people face when listening to live music including the absence of signers, interpreters and induction loops. The film follows Troi as he gears up to host a Deaf Rave and help young deaf people defy the mainstream and create their own music scene.
Troi Lee founded Deaf Rave in 2003 to make a nightlife space for deaf people (Picture: Abbie Trayler-Smith / Facebook)

‘There aren’t that many social events for deaf people.

‘We used to meet monthly in a pub, but I remember when we used to try and go to clubs, we’d get turned away at the door, literally for no other reason but because we were deaf.

‘People looked at us signing to each other, and decided that we weren’t welcome. It was humiliating and infuriating.’

Having worked as a DJ at house parties, Troi decided it was time to create an event specifically for deaf people, where there’d be no judgment or prejudice.

And so, Deaf Rave was born.

Troi Lee founded Deaf Rave in 2003, a series of music events and workshops in London designed specifically for deaf music fans. The event seeks to overcome the many challenges young deaf people face when listening to live music including the absence of signers, interpreters and induction loops. The film follows Troi as he gears up to host a Deaf Rave and help young deaf people defy the mainstream and create their own music scene.
The event seeks to overcome the many challenges young deaf people face when listening to live music including the absence of signers, interpreters and induction loops (Picture: Mohamed Zaid)

Deaf Rave’s events have proved just how much demand there is for inclusive spaces.

For their first event, they sold 700 tickets. People travelled from all over the country to come and enjoy a night out.

At the time promotion all word of mouth but now with Facebook they’ve been able to branch out, inviting guests from all over the world.

‘It’s important to have these spaces because deaf people are really marginalised in society, simply because there’s a lot of stuff that we’ve missed,’ added Troi.

‘Deaf Rave and the wider community around making music accessible to deaf people are essential because it gives us a space to feel like we belong, a space to learn new things, but also a space to just have good times together!’

You can see the work Deaf Rave do as part of a series of short films by Facebook called Beyond the Screen.

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Eating chocolate could boost men’s sex drives

(Picture: Getty)

Did you know chocolate might be an aphrodisiac?

Yep, chocolate contains chemicals such as tryptophan, a building block of serotonin, which is involved in sexual arousal.

Another chemical in chocolate is phenylethylamine, a stimulant related to amphetamine which is released in the brain when people fall in love. So all the good stuff, basically.

But, as well as (supposedly) increasing libido in people, chocolate may boost men’s performances in bed, says new research.

After being injected with a protein found in chocs, men reported being more turned on watching porn.

No, you’re doing it wrong, let the dude eat it (Picture: Getty)

Researchers from Imperial College London analysed the protein kisspeptin, named after the US chocolate manufacturer’s most famous product – Hershey’s Kisses.

They found that the sweet stuff alters activity in specific resting brain networks that are linked to less aversion to sex – and greater arousal.

Lead author Dr Alexander Comninos said: ‘Psychosexual problems, such as low sex drive, affect up to one in three people, and can have a devastating effect on a person’s, and a couple’s, wellbeing.

‘Our findings help unravel the many and complex roles of the hormone kisspeptin and how it orchestrates reproductive hormones as well as sexual and emotional function.

‘These findings open avenues for kisspeptin as a future treatment for these problems, although there is a lot of work still to be done.’

Chocolate penis, anyone? (Picture: Yurko Dyachyshyn/AFP/Getty)

Authors said the study’s results may help those with psychosexual and mood disorders which frequently occur together.

But the study was small, using 29 participants, so there’s a long way to go before results can be generalised.

The 29 participants were exposed to a number of themed pictures while inside an MRI scanner. These included sexual images such as porn and negative or neutral ones – like car crashes or a cup.

The researchers monitored their brain activity while they looked at them and during rest.

Volunteers did this procedure twice – once after receiving kisspeptin and the second time a placebo, without knowing which they received.

They were also asked to complete questionnaires each time to assess various behaviours such as sexual aversion.

This was done through scoring words such as ‘frigid’ and ‘unattractive’ – depending on how they felt at that moment.

The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight, concluded that kisspetin increases sex drive and reduces depression.

Whether you’re cautious about the results or not, a bit of chocolate can’t hurt.

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Man has an ingenious solution to beat the Irn Bru sugar tax problem


It’s a widely-known fact that Scotland is one of the few countries in the world where Coca Cola is not the best-selling soft drink.

That’s all because of Irn Bru; the rusty, sweet beverage, full of delicious girders.

Despite the nation’s love for it, people got a bit up in arms recently after AG Barr, who make the drink, changed the recipe to comply with the sugar tax.

A petition was made, stockpiling was done, but no-one could save the original recipe and the low-sugar version was introduced at the start of this year.

Of course there was a backlash, but Irn Bru could do nothing but stick to their guns.

Despite their protestations, Scots and expats still say they can taste a difference, and cans of the old formulations are on auction sites at about £40 a crate.

A new BBC Scotland video shows a new way that might just satiate the thirst for the sweet stuff without spending a fortune, though.

It features a man named Lee, who was devastated to see his beloved drink change, and decided to take action.

Here’s his solution:

So all you need is a SodaStream (or other unbranded carbonation device), some water, and a bit of cordial.

These cordials and syrups are relatively hard to come by, but can be purchased.

This Mr. Fitzpatrick’s one looks quite fancy and is a pricey £4.15 a bottle, but doesn’t have the dreaded aspartame that people seem to be avoiding.

Slush syrups – such as the Jak Products one Lee used and this Snowshock one – could be a more cost-effective option, and should give you ice-cream van nostalgia for your youth.

If an Irn Bru loyal like Lee is happy with this replacement it’s saying something, but a spokesperson for A.G. Barr says: ‘IRN-BRU’s still fizzin’ with the same secret recipe essence that’s mixed by Robin Barr, and it’s still made with sugar, just not as much as before. Still tastes great, nae hassle.’

They jury’s out.

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Bride who called off her wedding gives a stranger everything she had booked for the big day

Kolbie Sanders randomly chose another bride to give away her wedding arrangements to (Picture: Kolbie Sanders/Halie Hipsher/Facebook)

Kolbie Sanders, from Texas, U.S, decided to call off her wedding for personal reasons.

She wanted some good to come out of the situation, so she gave away most of the decorations and services that she’d booked for free – except for the venue, which she sold with a significant discount.

She announced the wedding giveaway in a Facbook post saying another couple can have all of it.

And because people can occassionally be extremely kind, a photographer, hair and makeup artists, bakers, and florist also offered their services for free.

Woman holds wedding giveaway after calling off her engagement (Picture: Kolbie Sanders/Facebook)
Kolbie said she she wanted some good to come out of calling off her own wedding (Picture: Kolbie Sanders/Facebook)

In the Facebook post, Kolbie wrote: ‘I’ve come to find tremendous peace in knowing that I did the right thing for the both of us. With that being said, now I want to do the right thing by others and let some good come out of this decision.

‘Any couple that wants to take this donation privately message me on and give me a little backstory of your relationship, your engagement, your love story in general and also add why this donation would help you.

‘Choosing someone will be hard so the more I know about your relationship, the better! This is for couples who can’t afford a fancy venue or for couples who are spending too much money on their kids to be able to afford a nice wedding.

‘This is for couples who love each other and will continue to choose each other for the rest of their lives.’

Kolbie gave a 24-hour limit for entrants to get in touch for the free service plus discounted venue price of $3,500 (£2,675).

‘I am overwhelmed with the responses I’ve received and amazing love stories I have read,’ she added.

Woman holds wedding giveaway after calling off her engagement (Picture: Kolbie Sanders/Facebook)
(Picture: Kolbie Sanders/Facebook)

The next day she randomly picked a person’s name out of a hat and gave it all away as promised.

The name she pulled out was Halie Hipsher, who was delighted with the prize. She and her sister started a Facebook Live video to tell everyone the news but then Kolbie was also able to tune in and share the screen..

‘Your generosity is beyond amazing, there is seriously no one like you,’ said Halie to Kolbie, who was excited to pass it all on.

Kolbie said a bunch of her own friends nominated Halie who has a seventh-month son and works in her dad’s business, alternating with her sister and sharing one paycheck.

She will be walking down the aisle this weekend, all thanks to Kolbie and a few other people’s kindness.

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Gourmet Burger Kitchen’s claims they sell ‘proper Indian’ food aren’t going down well


Gourmet Burget Kitchen’s new advert where they instigated a ‘curry war’ with Indian restaurants has not gone down well.

They told customers to try their ‘proper Indian’ burger which is supposed to outdo traditional curry houses.

In the video, a representative of GBK was filmed trying to deter customers from Asian establishments in a bid to get them to try GBK’s Ruby Murray burger.

People weren’t pleased with the promotional tactics which included wearing a large sandwich board and shouting through the megaphone outside local businesses.

The Ruby Murray burger includes spices, samosa aloo, mango chutney, cucumber raita, and poppadom (Picture: GBK)

The Ruby Murray burger is said to be ‘proper Indian’ as it includes food from the subcontinent such as spices, samosa aloo, mango chutney, cucumber raita, and poppadom, served in a sesame seed bun.

‘Your favourite curry is not authentic. Try a proper Indian’ wrote GBK on their Twitter page.

But people were cringing at the whole thing.

Amid calls for GBK to delete the video, one person wrote: ‘Probably want to take this one down, guys, nobody wants to buy anything from a company that is harassing and attempting to take business away from small business owners. Issue some apologies to those businesses, and try another direction in advertising.’

Others said the video was tone deaf and were shocked it was approved. ‘You seriously need to rethink your public relations and question how diverse your workforce is if you think this is an acceptable campaign. Shocking how this managed to get approved by anyone in your team!’

Whilst another said: ‘Were there any Indian people on the team, or in the room? This is just in poor taste. Aggressive cultural appropriation rather than cultural appreciation. Not a good look.’

One person also said it was orientalist (when western cultures imagine, emphasize, exaggerate and distort Asian and Arab cultures).

Gourmet Burger Kitchen was started by New Zealanders Adam Wills, Greg Driscoll, and Brandon Allen and is overseen by chef Peter Gordon, all of caucasian descent.

They started the chain of burger joints in London, 4,649 miles away from India.

They named it the Ruby Murray burger as curry came to be colloquially known as Ruby Murray thanks to traditional cockney rhyming slang. Ruby Murray was a popular singer from the 50s who was born in Belfast, Ireland, a mere 4,863 miles away from India.

The burger is associated with the curry because of its use of its seasoning and the use of traditional Indian starters and side dishes such as poppadom and mango chutney, plus sesame seed buns. It is not actually a curry.

Proper Indian stuff.

We’ve reached out to Gourmet Burger Kitchen for comment, and will update this article when we hear back.

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