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Four-day LGBT+ event held in London to raise awareness towards what is still going wrong

LGBT+ and Aids activist Sarah Schulman is helping London with its liberation
(Picture: Sam Davis)

‘Help us, we’re dying’ was the main claim of Aids activists during the 1980s and 1990s. Many weren’t receiving the medication they needed, because it had to be approved by State institutions first.

In order to effect change and essentially survival, a group formed called ACT-UP, short for Aids Coalition To Unleash Power. The movement began in New York City, but many chapters in the UK followed.

AIDS activism has been one of the most successful social movements to date. New York-based historian Sarah Schulman has come to London to explain how we can learn from it for fighting current inequalities.

In part of a four-day event and in collaboration with the London Artists Projects and Queer Tours of London, the award-winning Aids historian and ACT-UP activist Sarah Schulman is hosting events across the city, at Rich Mix, SOAS, and the ICA. Their goal is to resurface a topic that has not at all disappeared and to harness the power of coalition politics and queer liberty.

Sarah says: ‘In the first five years of Aids, 40’000 people died and the government did absolutely nothing. That’s where the activism came in. I have been covering the topic since the beginning and now return with a book on the history of Aids activism.’

LGBT+ and Aids activist Sarah Schulman is helping London with its liberation
(Picture: Sam Davis)

Her book isn’t about nostalgia, she says, but about helping activists learn from it today.

‘Given how many different kinds of people are under attack at the moment, we need to work together,’ adds Sarah. ‘Let’s aim to elevate each other in our different circumstances and resistances, while retaining basic common values of justice.’

The opening night took place at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, where Schulman’s powerful documentary ‘United in Anger: A History of ACT-UP’ was screened, leaving spectators moved.

Much has changed since the early days of ACT-UP. Medication has become available and less people are dying from the disease, yet still: women are still not represented in medical trials, there is still a huge amount of stigma attached to Aids, and there is a great silence surrounding the topic.

Schulman believes it is important to take what has been learnt through activism in Aids and apply it to different topics – whether these are regarding fascism, gentrification or climate change – ‘I like to think of it as a big tent concept.’

Event calendar:

Four days of coalition politics and queer liberty:

2 May, 7pm – 9:30pm, SOAS: Let The Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York

Sarah Schulman reviews the roots of Aids activism in Feminism, Civil Rights, and Black Power, presenting ideas from her current work-in-progress Let The Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP, New York (out in 2020) which is the result of 188 interviews conducted over 18 years. Rejecting the whitening of Aids history, and examining the movements’ mistakes as well as victories, Schulman will share ideas and information with the hope of stimulating new approaches and attitudes to working together effectively for change.

3 May 6:40pm – 8:30pm, ICA: Which Way Forward? Sarah Schulman in Conversation with London’s Queer Communities – Panel Discussion + Q&A

Schulman is joined by artist and writer Travis Alabanza, performance artist and party promoter Lewis G. Burton, East End Sisters Uncut member Aviah Sarah Day, and co-founders of the Centre for Transnational Development and Collaboration (CTDC), Dr Nour Abu-Assab and Dr Nof Nasser Eddin, all of whom play a role in maintaining London’s queer social and political architecture, to discuss the future of the cultural and LGBTQ+ landscape in a gentrified London.

4 May, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, ICA: An exhibition by American artist and experimental writer Kathy Acker, accompanied by readings of Sarah Schulman and a discussion with Matias Viegener

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Anna Wintour’s dream Met Gala guests are Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton

Anna Wintour, the editor in chief of Vogue and the chair of the Met Gala
Anna Wintour is the chair of this Monday’s Met Gala (Picture: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)

If Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour could invite anyone to the Met Gala, it would be Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton – and they could leave their Harry and Will at home.

This Monday will see the biggest event on the fashion calendar; the Met Gala, which Anna Wintour chairs.

In preparation for the big night, Anna appeared on the Today show, and was asked who her dream guests for the event would be.

She replied: ‘I would love to have the Duchess of Sussex and Duchess of Cambridge together. ‘They could leave their husbands at home; it’s the two of them I want.’

We reckon that’s an excellent shout – we’d love to see how Meghan and Kate would interpret a tricky Met Gala theme while also sticking to royal protocol.

Anna also revealed in the interview that she’s ‘had some very strange requests’ from this year’s guests, including ‘unusual methods of transport’. Interesting.

She wouldn’t say much else though, as all the details are top secret.

atherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend day twelve of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 14, 2018 in London, England.
Anna Wintour says Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton would be her dream Met Gala attendees (Picture: Karwai Tang/WireImage )

Anna did confirm, however, that there is a ‘no selfie’ rule at the event. Kylie Jenner may have snuck in a group shot last year, but that won’t happen again.

‘I think there are other processes in place now to take care of that, but it’s not my department,’ said Anna.

Oh, and some other interesting tidbits, as opaque as they may be: the red carpet might not be red, there’ll be a lot of feathers, and Anna already has Met Gala themes prepared for the next three years.

What is the Met Gala?

The Met Gala, also known as the Costume Institute Gala, is a fundraising event held each year at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

It was first held in 1948 by publicist Eleanor Lambert, but has since been taken over by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour. Since Anna’s ruling, the event has become attended by all the celebs, who are all required to dress according to the theme of a new exhibition at the museum.

Since 1995 Anna has been running the event and selecting celebrity co-chairs, including Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Taylor Swift.

This year’s co-chairs are Lady Gaga, Alessandro Michele, Harry Styles, and Serena Williams.

rihanna at the 2018 met gala
Rihanna always nails the Met Gala theme (Picture: Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

When is the Met Gala?

The 2019 Met Gala will take place on 6 May at 7pm New York time (so midnight in the UK).

What is this year’s Met Gala theme?

As usual, it’s pretty complex and will require in-depth thinking from attendees.

The theme of the 2019 Met Gala is Camp: Notes on Fashion.

The new exhibition, curated by Andrew Bolton, centres around Susan Sontag’s essay from 1964, Notes on Camp. Camp is all about extravagance and being gloriously extra – so anyone who turns up in an LBD will be criminally ignoring the theme.

Anna Wintour described the theme as going ‘from sun kings to drag queens.’  Sounds fun.

Previous Met Gala themes have included Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination (2018), Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons (2017), Manus x Machina, Punk: Chaos to Couture (2016) and China: Through the Looking Glass (2015).

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If you’ve got a spare £65million you can get your own private island in the Bahamas

LEAVE IT all behind and jet off to your very own private island in the Bahamas for just over ??65m. Incredible images show the tropical island from above with the nine-bed main residence standing out among the lush greenery, sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Other stunning shots show inside the house which features four-poster beds, sleek bathrooms and spacious living areas as well an extensive decking area and large pool. Little Pipe Cay is located in the Bahamas and is currently listed by Knight Frank for ??65,118,500. Mediadrumimages / Knight Frank
Fancy moving to Little Pipe Cay in the Bahamas? (Picture: Mediadrumimages / Knight Frank)

So the bank holiday weekend is here, and it’s not quite as glorious as we’d hoped.

The weather is rubbish, for one thing.

But never fear, for you don’t have to waste away your weekend in the UK. You can just buy your very own private island in the Bahamas instead.

One thing, though: You’ll need £65 million. £65,118,500, to be exact.

Be right back, we’re off to rummage among the sofa cushions. There must be some spare change back there.

Little Pipe Cay is back on sale (it was previously on the market in 2018) through Knight Frank, open to anyone who has cash to spare and fancies their own place in the Bahamas.

LEAVE IT all behind and jet off to your very own private island in the Bahamas for just over ??65m. Incredible images show the tropical island from above with the nine-bed main residence standing out among the lush greenery, sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Other stunning shots show inside the house which features four-poster beds, sleek bathrooms and spacious living areas as well an extensive decking area and large pool. Little Pipe Cay is located in the Bahamas and is currently listed by Knight Frank for ??65,118,500. Mediadrumimages / Knight Frank
(Picture: Mediadrumimages / Knight Frank)

Along with lush greenery, sea, and sand, the island does have a house for you to stay in, so you won’t have to rough it on the beach.

The nine-bedroom main residence has four-poster bed, massive living areas, and fancy bathrooms, as well as a large pool – you know, in case you get bored of swimming in the ocean.

‘A once in a lifetime incredible private island,’ states the listing. ‘Little Pipe Cay is a very rare, freehold, private island for sale in the most beautiful part of the Exumas island chain.

‘With raw natural beauty as a foundation, the current owners have, over the last 15 years, thoughtfully moulded and created the perfect private island home in one of the most naturally beautiful island chains in the world.

LEAVE IT all behind and jet off to your very own private island in the Bahamas for just over ??65m. Incredible images show the tropical island from above with the nine-bed main residence standing out among the lush greenery, sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Other stunning shots show inside the house which features four-poster beds, sleek bathrooms and spacious living areas as well an extensive decking area and large pool. Little Pipe Cay is located in the Bahamas and is currently listed by Knight Frank for ??65,118,500. Mediadrumimages / Knight Frank
(Picture: Mediadrumimages / Knight Frank)
LEAVE IT all behind and jet off to your very own private island in the Bahamas for just over ??65m. Incredible images show the tropical island from above with the nine-bed main residence standing out among the lush greenery, sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Other stunning shots show inside the house which features four-poster beds, sleek bathrooms and spacious living areas as well an extensive decking area and large pool. Little Pipe Cay is located in the Bahamas and is currently listed by Knight Frank for ??65,118,500. Mediadrumimages / Knight Frank
(Picture: Mediadrumimages / Knight Frank)

‘Little Pipe Cay is the crown jewel of the Exumas and one of the top private islands in the Bahamas, if not in the Caribbean.’

Alongside the main house there are other homes and cottages, which you could easily rent out for visitors.

‘All have incredible seascape views and some overlook or are on the edge of one of the pristine private beaches,’ says the listing. ‘There is scope to add further accommodation if needed.’

Well, it doesn’t hurt to have more houses, does it?

LEAVE IT all behind and jet off to your very own private island in the Bahamas for just over ??65m. Incredible images show the tropical island from above with the nine-bed main residence standing out among the lush greenery, sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Other stunning shots show inside the house which features four-poster beds, sleek bathrooms and spacious living areas as well an extensive decking area and large pool. Little Pipe Cay is located in the Bahamas and is currently listed by Knight Frank for ??65,118,500. Mediadrumimages / Knight Frank
(Picture: Mediadrumimages / Knight Frank)

And yacht owners can rest assured – there are ‘a number’ of suitable places to moor, with several hundred feet of dock frontage.

The island is accessed directly by sea plane from the private Odyssey Terminal on New Providence, adjoining the International Airport at Nassau, where there are 10 commercial flights a day from Miami.

Private planes or charters can also land at Staniel Cay close by, where a short, but beautiful boat ride connects to the island.

It’s just 270 miles from Miami and Palm Beach, so a reasonably easy weekend trip if that’s where you’re based.

If you’re keen to buy the island and have the money handy, you can put in an offer through Rightmove. Can you invite us out there when you do?

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All you need is a pool to nail the shelfie belfie pose

cara delahoyde and olivia buck do the shelfie belfie pose while on Olivia's hen do
(Picture: Instagram/cara_delahoyde)

Listen up, students, for it’s time for another installment of ‘poses people are doing on Instagram and how to do them’.

If you’ve made it thus far, we must assume you’ve already mastered the strandid, the bambi, and Barbie feet.

Now, after many hours of training, you’re ready to learn the wisdom of the shelfie belfie.

The shelfie belfie mashes together two portmanteaus we’re sure you’re already familiar with: the shelfie; a photo of your shelf – a shelf selfie, and the belfie; a butt selfie.

Before you get confused, we must say that the meaning of ‘selfie’ has morphed over the years, and now appears to mean any photo of yourself, regardless of whether or not you took it. This is important knowledge, as a literal take on a belfie would be rather tricky.

So, you understand the shelfie and the belfie. Now let’s stick them together. Rather than sitting on your bathroom shelves, the shelfie belfie requires that you perch on a shelf or ledge and have your picture taken from behind.


Sure, that ledge could be a step or a balcony, but your shelfie belfie shall be best when you use a pool. You’ll be wearing a swimsuit, for one, so you’ll show off your glorious bum cheeks, and you’ll also get to show everyone that you’re on holiday lounging by a pool while they’re stuck at their desk.

Success on Instagram is determined by hotness, nudity, and inspiring envy, so a poolside shelfie belfie is the magic formula.

So, how do you do it?

It really is quite simple. Get a patient friend to stand behind you as you sit on the side of a pool, dangling your legs in the water. Make sure you’re wearing some form of high cut swimwear to display your butt to its full potential. You may look out at an incredible view, turn to the side, or even contort yourself around so your face is part of the shot, too, but the main priority is your bum.

The ledge will do a marvellous job of holding your bum in place and making it look peachy. Genius.

Need further guidance? Just closely analyse the successful shelfie belfies below.










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Terrifying cliff jumps, sunrise mountain hikes and sea kayaking: An action-packed tour of New Zealand’s magical South Island


‘Welcome to the most beautiful place in the world,’ our guide says as we enter Fiordland National Park, in the southwest of New Zealand’s South Island.

I have to admit, the scenery is pretty magical. All 13 of us fall silent as we gawp out of the bus window at the craggy hills towering around us with the sun shimmering on the golden grassy valleys below.

I’m half way through a two-week tour of the South Island with Wild Kiwi, which offers small group tours for 18 to 35 year olds, and Fjordland National Park is just one of the many jaw-dropping places we’ve stopped at so far.

A sunny view of Milford Sound on New Zealand’s South Island (Picture: Sadie Whitelocks)

Other places which leave an impression include Abel Tasman National Park, where we spotted a colony of fur seals while kayaking in the sea, and Westland Tai Poutini National Park, home to world’s fastest retreating glacier, Franz Josef, and a quad biking course.

And then there’s Aoraki Mount Cook National Park, where we get up for a sunrise hike to sea New Zealand’s highest mountain glistening in the morning sun and stopped to meander around piercing blue lakes.

I also manage to hop on a helicopter tour while in Mount Cook, to get a bird’s eye view of the otherworldly landscape.

This is a pricey extra activity but well worth it.

Another spot that gets our cameras clicking is Castle Hill, which was used for the filming of the climactic battle scenes of the 2005 movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

We went sea kayaking while visiting Abel Tasman National Park (Picture: Sadie Whitelocks)

There are tracks weaving through giant limestone rock formations and we climb up and around the imposing boulders like excitable children.

Our second week sees us journey down to Queenstown, where we take a day-trip to Fiordland National Park to see one of New Zealand’s most celebrated natural wonders, Milford Sound.

Luckily the weather is on our side – this region is one of the world’s wettest spots with an average rainfall of 6,412mm each year – and we take a cruise through the fjord with the sun illuminating lofty peaks and awe-inspiring waterfalls as we go.

Taking the excitement up a notch, while we’re in Queenstown there’s a mix of adrenaline-pumping activities to choose from.

We got up before sunrise to get a clear view of New Zealand’s highest peak, Mount Cook (Picture: Sadie Whitelocks)

The quaint town prides itself on being the ‘adventure capital of the world’ and it is where the first commercial bungie jumping operation was founded in 1988 by Alan John ‘A.J.’ Hackett.

While there, I stupidly decide to tackle my fear of jumping from heights with a leap from the world’s highest cliff jump.

The Shotover Canyon Swing sees me run and jump off a platform perched 109 metres over the famous Shotover River and experience a 60 metre vertical freefall.

I’m told off for swearing but to my amazement I conquer my worst nightmare.

I tackle my fear of jumping from heights with a Shotover Canyon Swing in Queenstown (Picture: Shotover Canyon Swing)

A little less scary but still great fun is a very steep hike up Queenstown Hill, which rewards us with magnificent views, and an hour-long high-speed boat tour which has me hurtling along the Shotover and Kawarau Rivers.

Along with it being the perfect base camp for adventurists, Queenstown is also extremely fun when it comes to its nightlife.

There are dozens of bars and restaurants packed into a small area and the people here – mainly tourists – certainly know how to party.

We wind up our two-week Wild Kiwi tour heading back to where we started, at an airport hostel in the city of Christchurch.

Here I decide to visit the Akaroa, where I go on a boat tour and am lucky to spot the endangered Hector’s dolphin.

In Franz Josef there is a challenging quad biking course for those who dare (Picture: Sadie Whitelocks)

If New Zealand has been on your radar for a while but you’re unsure how to tackle it – especially as a solo traveller – then I can’t recommend Wild Kiwi enough.

Along with action-packed itineraries, the company boasts a fleet of new Mercedes mini vans which are kitted out with USB charging points and WiFi so you can keep your friends, family and Instagram account up-to-date as you go.

Demonstrating the true power of nature in this part of the world – the outfall from the 2011 earthquake is still greatly evident in Christchurch – while I was visiting, there was very heavy rainfall which led to the main road and bridge running through Franz Josef being washed away.

I was impressed with how promptly and efficiently Wild Kiwi dealt with the natural disaster and our itinerary for the second week of the trip was rerouted.

This meant some long drive days, as we had to go back to where we started to get to our next port of call, but nevertheless, we didn’t miss out on too much.

A helicopter ride is a great way of soaking up the otherworldly scenery (Picture: Sadie Whitelocks)

On the accommodation front, we checked into various hostels and inns along the way.

By the end I was glad to be out of a bunk bed but the spots we stayed in were clean and kitted out with all of the necessary amenities, from laundry stations to hot showers.

One of my favourite places we stayed at was the motel at Mount Cook, which boasted spectacular views of the snowy peak from the restaurant and there were hotel-style rooms with en suites.

The Absoloot hostel in Queenstown was another favourite with exceedingly snuggly duvets, a great central location and a kitchen with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over Lake Wakatipu.

One thing to note on the Wild Kiwi tour is that the groups overlap, as the Big South tour can be broken in two and some people choose just to do one week.

A mirror-like lake on the Lewis Pass, which the Wild Kiwi tour travels through (Picture: Sadie Whitelocks)

When I joined, some people were on their final week and some were just joining like me but staying one week instead of the full duration. That can mean some groups can be a little cliquey but if you’re a sociable being, it should be easy to slot in.

I felt over the two weeks with Wild Kiwi I’d packed in so much stuff I didn’t know where to start.

I ventured back to the UK with my head stacked with wonderful memories and a squad of new friends.

Needless to say, the pages of my holiday book were left unturned.

What to pack for an epic New Zealand adventure

I visited New Zealand’s South Island in April at the end of the summer and the transition into autumn. Here are some of the essential items I packed which helped me navigate the changeable weather, with a mix of sunshine, rain and even frost!


Planning your own New Zealand adventure:

Wild Kiwi offers epic small group adventure tours for 18-35 year olds in New Zealand & Australia. The Big South trip starts from £1,284 (NZ$2,483) per person, which includes your tour, 13 nights accommodation, professional local guide, and breakfast every day. Optional activities are available at an additional cost. For more information, visit wildkiwi.com.

If staying on in Christchurch, take a day-trip to explore the area of Akaroa with Canterbury Trails. Recommended accommodation includes the Jucy Snooze hostel for those on a budget and The George for a more luxurious stay.

Regular flights with Air New Zealand run between London Heathrow and Christchurch, with transfers in Los Angeles and Auckland.

To use lounge facilities during extended stopovers, try PriorityPass.

(Top picture: Sadie Whitelocks)

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Ramadan fasting rules explained

Family at iftar during Ramadan
The dos and don’t at Ramadan (Picture: Getty)

Today marks the start of Ramadan 2019, and it’s a major day in the Islamic calendar.

Many people know that Ramadan involves fasting, but of course it isn’t simply thirty days of not eating at all, and involves a lot of timing and specifics.

On top of that, there are also some extra rules and things people avoid during this holy month, although not all Muslims follow the exact same routines.

Let’s take a look at the general fasting rules for Ramadan.

Ramadan fasting rules

During daylight hours, you must not eat or drink. Once the moon is in the sky, you may break the fast and eat and drink. This is known as Iftar.

If you intentionally do any of these things during daylight hours your fast will become invalid, and you should either make up the fast another day or give kaffarah, which is a compensation of 60 days worth of meals to the hungry.

You’re allowed to rinse your mouth and nose with water, and to shower, but swallowing water in an intentional way is considered to be breaking the fast.

An officer of Malaysia's Islamic authority work with a theodolite to perform "rukyah", the sighting of the new moon of Ramadan
When the moon is seen, the fast can be broken (Picture: Mohd Samsul Mohd Said/Getty Images)

There are a lot of variations on what some people feel keeps their fast valid. For example, some Muslims don’t use mouthwash during Ramadan, and there have also been questions about whether makeup is allowed.

Some also believe it’s okay to taste food as long as it isn’t swallowed, and that it’s best to break the fast with an odd number of dates to get the body ready for other food.

As a time of religious reflection and a way for people to find their social conscience, it’s never going to be a completely one-size-fits-all solution, and is down to the person’s own interpretation of their faith.

Is anyone exempt from fasting?

Those who are menstruating or bleeding after childbirth are exempt from fasting, but should make the days they missed up at a later date.

People who are ill, pregnant, in childbirth, travelling or are able to do much the same.

For those who are unable to make up the fast (due to permanent sickness, for example) they can pay fidyah, which is similar to kaffarah in that it helps pay for food for the needy, but also can be done on a daily basis rather than a full 60 days.

Apart from that, any person who is healthy and old enough to participate is expected to take part.

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My Odd Job: I get drunk onstage once a month


I have always enjoyed performing Shakespeare – I love how his plays deal with the extremes of human emotion.

And as you can imagine that only intensifies when you throw a drunk actor into the mix.

Acting in the Shit-faced Shakespeare show was my first job out of drama school and I now also produce and direct the show.

The premise is pretty simple: we perform all the Shakespeare plays you know and love, but one actor is always drunk.

We rehearse – sober – for around three weeks and create a slick production. That will be torn apart at the seams as soon once we get on stage. It’s an odd thought that the audience will never get to see the full version of what we rehearse.

Shitfaced Shakespeare actress Stacey Norris on stage at Leicester Square Theatre posing with alcoholic drink
Acting in the Shit-faced Shakespeare show was my first job out of drama school (Photo: Joe Newman)

On show days we arrive at the theatre at 3pm for a 7pm show.

If you are the designated drunk, your job is simple: drink steadily for four hours. We take turns based on a rota that’s done well in advance to prevent people getting drunk too regularly. On average, each actor drinks once a month (on stage that is) and when we do the intense festivals like the Edinburgh Fringe it is no more than once a week.

For the rest of the cast, your job is to create a fun atmosphere for the drunk; we play games, listen to music, dance, and spend a good amount of time mocking each other – it’s a fun four hours! We also need to get into costume and do make up. No one is allowed the help the drunk with this, it’s much funnier that way.

I admit, a group of people facilitating one person getting drunk sounds strange but performing Shit-faced Shakespeare has really calmed my nerves.

I have had to deal with all sorts of scenarios on and off stage, so I no longer fear things going wrong, I thrive on it.

Some of these scenarios include: drunks with working power drills onstage, having to play other people’s parts without knowing any of the lines, all of the characters being killed 10 minutes before the end of the play and audience members being dragged onstage. We’ve had fire extinguishers being used, actors crowd surfing, Romeo killing Juliet and marrying Lord Capulet, Romeo knocking the balcony over with Juliet aloft and actors setting off smoke machines… it all goes on!

Shitfaced Shakespeare actress Stacey Norris on stage at Leicester Square Theatre
Booze has different effects on different people. Some people think they are Laurence Olivier and others forget how to act completely (Photo: Joe Newman)

Other actors have anxiety dreams about this sort of thing – we live it. Shit-faced Shakespeare has made me ready for anything, improved my improvisation and taught me how truly be in the moment.

One of the most bizarre parts of the job is after the show and aptly named ‘water hour’. During this hour we diligently feed the drunk water in order to avoid a horrific hangover in the morning – and I can assure you the hangovers are the worst part of the job.

In fact one of the biggest misconceptions about what we do is that we aren’t really drunk. We are. Imagine you are down the pub with your friends drinking steadily for four hours… we get about that level of drunk.

Ideally, we want people drunk enough that they lose their inhibitions, play and cause problems for their sober cast mates.

The improvisation we do is rarely planned. If a drunk ever plans something to do in their drunk show, it usually fails.

It is much funnier to see a cheeky smile come across their face and the audience see them have the idea in the moment. And on the odd occasion when a drunk does plan something, they will never tell the sober cast because half the fun is landing your cast mates in it.

Shitfaced Shakespeare actress Stacey Norris on stage at Leicester Square Theatre posing with alcoholic drink
Being drunk onstage is incredibly liberating (Photo: Joe Newman)

Booze has different effects on different people. Some people think they are Laurence Olivier and others forget how to act completely.

As soon as you finish and leave the stage, the adrenaline starts to leave your system and you tend to forget everything that happened in the last hour. This is when it’s really important to be surrounded by cast mates who can recount moments and tell you how people responded. You need a thick skin to do this job; there have been some embarrassing moments but we mainly take it on the chin.

It makes us an incredibly close group of actors. When you are on that stage bearing your soul, you have to trust your cast mates to look after you.

I have been with the company for eight years and I can honestly say they are some of my best friends – I was recently chief bridesmaid at another Shit-faced actors wedding.

We get to travel a lot and I have been all over the UK, USA and Australia with the show. Travelling with friends and doing this crazy job together is something I consider a privilege.

I would eventually like to write my own show and I am in the process of developing an idea at the moment. Being drunk onstage is incredibly liberating and just a huge amount of fun so I hope we don’t stop any time soon!

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Horny Muslim women like me aren’t supposed to exist during Ramadan

Sadia Azmat poses in front of a white background
Muslim women are supposed to be bastions of culture, tradition, and responsibility, especially during Ramadan (Photo: Sadia Azmat)

It’s been 112 days since I’ve had sex (but who’s counting?) so the idea of more abstinence is a cinch.

It’s Ramadan, the month where Muslims not only fast our stomachs (during daylight hours) but when we Muslim women strive for modesty wherever it can be sought out.

The ‘modesty’ part is a bit of a problem for me. I’ve had sex during Ramadan (after Iftar, not during the fast which isn’t permitted) and it’s great.

Well it’s great all year round but there is a heightened sense of arousal given the increased awareness of primal urges through the hunger and thirst. If I had a choice, I’d give up a sandwich over semen.

But when I’m not observing fasting during the 30 days of Ramadan then society imposes upon me an almost involuntary fasting by holding me to a higher set of expectations than I do of myself.

Society expects me to be a ‘good girl’ and to lower my gaze around men. Muslim women are supposed to be bastions of culture, tradition, and responsibility, especially during Ramadan.

Muslim women like me – rounded, complicated, emotive and above all horny – aren’t even supposed to exist.

I was brought up with two options: have an arranged marriage or don’t. Except the latter wasn’t really a thing.

If you didn’t want to get married you’d be akin to a stray dog, a social outcast. It’s unspoken of in the community – incomprehensible. Rumours circulate amongst my relatives in India that, due to being unmarried, I’m either gay or suffering a terminal illness, most likely both.

It’s these repressive attitudes that have forced me to date in the dark (not literally, obviously).

And while dating inconspicuously can be a thrill for a while, being forced into secrecy from key support networks isn’t smart and can lead you into some questionable trysts, as well as suffering the consequences quite alone.

Sadia Azmat doing stand up comedy
How do you maintain your modesty when you’re trying to get into someone else’s modest regions? (Photo: Sadia Azmat)

Before I could even attempt dating, however, I had to get over this image that society had thrust upon me of being a saint and embrace the fact that actually I was closer to a sinner.

As I grew more confident and started talking to boys, I figured out what I liked and what I didn’t.

I also learnt that in my experience men prefer to chase than be chased. The few times I have made the first move didn’t even lead to a first date, and guys never ask me out. They either think I’m into a jihadi (our equivalent of a bad boy), that I’m already married, or frigid.

Wrong. I believe in sex before marriage – mainly because I believe in sex and not so much marriage.

The only guys left are the ones looking to ‘save’ me from some imaginary, oppressed plight they seem to have conjured me up suffering. Non-Muslim guys see dating me as a challenge, as though conquering me is akin to when the US invaded Iraq. I mean, I need some d*ck but I don’t need you to be one.

Ramadan is a reminder to me that a lot of Muslims like to be seen as ‘being Muslim’ and are concerned with keeping up appearances with other Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

This has led to the rise in Muslim dating apps like minder – but it’s basically brown Tinder, innit? In my opinion it’s no different to mainstream dating apps. I wonder if the people using Muslim-only apps want to feel like they’re doing the right thing when really they’re a little opposed by the conflict this raises with tradition.

I believe in sex before marriage – mainly because I believe in sex and not so much marriage.

Because how do you maintain your modesty when you’re trying to get into someone else’s modest regions? There’s no shame in it. Call a spade a spade.

I actually haven’t had very many sexual partners and have lost out on a whole host of experiences as a result. I don’t want to be that person looking back on my life, boasting that at least I never committed haraam. Our mistakes make us who we are – human.

The rate of divorce among my parents’ generation is low and they have been married for decades. Although you could always see cracks, problems were hidden to save face and avoid the shame of having to own up to being human and having hit a stumbling block.

Doing stand-up has been a great way for me to express exactly how I’m feeling about sex and dating and it’s shown people that Muslims are not ‘all the same’.

Because no matter how many layers of clothing I am wearing (or not), spirituality and faith is about what’s on the inside.

It’s not something for me to prove, nor something others can pass judgement on, however hard they may try.

I don’t think modesty is static, a specific point on a spectrum. For me, the best way to understand the relationship between my sexuality and my faith is to constantly re-evaluate what modesty means for me individually. Maybe, by being too modest through my early years, I’ve now gone too far the other way?

Or maybe the only way to realign is to let it all go.

Ladies this Ramadan, instead of living for others or towards everyone else’s expectations, just do you – the rest will follow.

Sadia will be performing with fellow Muslim comedians at Sex Standing Up Comedy’s MILF (M-is-for-Muslim) Edition. Follow her at on Twitter @sadia_azmats_

MORE: When is Ramadan 2019 and how long does it last?

MORE: Shab e Barat quotes, forgiveness messages, prayers and memes to celebrate

MORE: My Label and Me: I’m Muslim and you will not erase my humanity

You Don’t Look Sick: ‘I thought only old people got arthritis, until I was diagnosed at 28’


Welcome to You Don’t Look Sick – our weekly series about invisible illness and disability.

Each week we speak to someone with a hidden condition about what it is like dealing with pain and symptoms when, on the outside, it looks like they are healthy.

Emma Friddin, 31, from London, has rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

Both are autoimmune conditions. RA means the body to attacks the cells around the joints, causing pain, swelling and stiffness, while Crohn’s is an inflammation of parts of the digestive system.

Emma was diagnosed with Crohn’s in 2011 and has been living with the RA since 2015.

She says that one of the most difficult things about living with her conditions is that people only see what is on the outside.

She explains: ‘Often people tell me that “you look really well”. It is great to hear this because its fab to know that I do look well, but it can also be frustrating, because they only see what is on the surface, during that relatively short period of time they are with you.

‘They don’t see you exhausted the next day because you went out, and they don’t see you when your joints are bad and have limited mobility. Looks can be so deceiving.’

Emma Friddin, outside in a park
Emma Friddin (Picture: Steve Bainbridge for Metro.co.uk)

After her Crohn’s diagnosis eight years ago, Emma started to suffer with pain and swelling in her fingers in September 2015 and by January 2016, it started to prevent her from doing simple daily tasks, spreading to her knees, ankles and toes.

She went to see her GP but waited six months to see a rheumatologist, who then officially diagnosed her in summer 2016.

She explains: ‘I was shocked because it’s a condition I stereotypically associated with older people.

‘It was explained to me that Rheumatoid Arthritis is an auto-immune – before I heard this I always assumed that arthritis was caused by ‘wear and tear’.

‘This diagnosis made sense because I was diagnosed with Crohns disease in 2011, which is also an auto-immune condition. I was glad to finally get some answers and knew that there was a way I could feel better and get moving again (literally!).’

Now Emma uses medication to help manage her condition but during a flare, she suffers from severe pain.

What are the symptoms of RA?

The main symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis are:

  • joint pain
  • joint swelling, warmth and redness
  • stiffness, especially first thing in the morning or after sitting still for a long time.

Other symptoms can include:

  • tiredness and lack of energy – this can be known as fatigue
  • a poor appetite (not feeling hungry)
  • weight loss
  • a high temperature, or a fever
  • sweating
  • dry eyes – as a result of inflammation
  • chest pain – as a result of inflammation.

Versus Arthritis 

‘If I don’t take my medication and/or have a flare, my joints begin to get swollen, painful and immobile,’ she says.

‘For me, it starts with my fingers and wrists. My fingers get really swollen and I can’t bend them. It feels like they have been crushed, that they are really heavy and that they have lost the elastic inside and my movement is limited.

‘You actually don’t realise how much you use your fingers until you can’t use them. Even doing simple daily tasks that you usually don’t even think about, like pressing the button on your spray on deodorant, or squeezing your toothpaste out the tube becomes difficult and painful.

‘Washing up actually takes a lot of finger power as you need to hold the weight of the item whilst pushing against it.

‘As well as my fingers, my knees, ankles, toes are a ‘hotspot’ for me. When these flare this obviously impairs my walking and mobility.’

Emma on a good day
Emma says medication helps her control the condition (Picture: Emma Friddin)

Emma takes about eight different medications to keep herself well. Two of them are immune suppressants which she injects myself; one is a biologic and one is a chemotherapy agent.

Taking medication that suppresses her immune system helps to control her symptoms but does mean that she is much more vulnerable to infections.

‘ I always catch everything going around and that a simple cold can turn into an infection really quickly.

‘I have to be really careful who I socialise with and kindly tell my friends and family that I don’t want to see them if they are ill.

‘I still manage to catch everything going around though and tend to get lots of colds, which almost always turn into an infection.’

And although the medication helps, it does cause side effects.

Emma's medication
She takes medication, including injections to help suppress her immune system (Picture: Emma Friddin)

She adds: ‘I feel sick, tired and run down most of the time. Even on a good day where my joints are okay, I feel like I don’t have the stamina to do all the things I want to do because of the side effects of my medication.

‘It’s hard because the medication keeps you well, but then makes you feel rubbish in other ways too.’

With her condition being up and down, having an employer who is supportive is also important for managing her condition. She works full-time as Policy, Research and Insight Manager for Healthwatch Enfield.

‘A lot of my energy goes into my work. Thankfully they are really supportive and work with me to make sure I am able to continue working, by making adaptations like working from home and having the flexibility to go to all my hospital appointments.

‘I have voice activated software which I can use when I can’t type and my colleagues are really respectful and careful with infection control when one of them are unwell.

‘If I didn’t have such a supportive team, I wouldn’t be able to sustain a full time job and having a full time job is really important to me.’

Emma with friends
Emma (second from left) with friends (Picture: Emma Friddin)

Since her diagnosis, Emma says her social life has been impacted and it has changed the way she leads her life.

‘I see my friends and family as often as I can but sometimes it is difficult to keep up with a fully active social life, especially when it involves travelling long distances and late nights,’ she says.

‘I used to go clubbing a lot and used to be the life and soul of the party, but I stopped drinking alcohol when I was diagnosed with my conditions because it doesn’t mix very well with my medication and you realise there is no point making yourself feel rubbish with a hangover, when you feel rubbish anyway.

‘I often miss the person I used to be because I feel like my life has changed so much, but my friends always tell me that I am still the same person they have always known.

‘I always feel bad when I have to let my friends down when I am unwell. I feel guilty because I feel like a rubbish friend and also sad that I am missing out.

‘I am lucky that I have some fantastic friends from school and university that I have known a long time and understand my circumstances, but you can’t help feeling a bit gutted when you can’t do the things you want to do.’

Emma in New York
She says she doesn’t want her conditions to stop her living her life (Picture: Emma Friddin)

Despite living with RA, as well as Crohn’s, Emma doesn’t want her health to hold her back from living as normally as possible.

She says: ‘I have two long term conditions that will never go away, but it doesn’t mean I can’t have a happy and fulfilled life.

‘I try not to focus too much on my diagnoses because it doesn’t define me as a person.

Emma wearing a Versus Arthritis t-shirt
She has received support from charities (Picture: Emma Friddin)

‘I have never joined any support groups or met new people with arthritis, but I have engaged with charities such as Versus Arthritis and Crohn’s and Colitis UK who provide great information and support and remind you that you are not alone at all.

‘I get a lot of support from my doctors, family and friends. It’s difficult though because they can never fully understand what it’s like because they (thankfully) haven’t experienced what I contend with every day.

‘Most of the time there is nothing anyone can actually do or say, you just need someone to listen, make you laugh or keep you occupied. When you are feeling unwell, a simple message just to say hello can make the word of difference. It helps so much to know someone is thinking of you.

In my spare time I also swimming and crafting; but these are things I am only able to do when I am well. When I am unable to do the things I want to do, I get enjoyment out of reading, watching lots of good box sets and hanging out with my two dogs, Daisy and Lily.

‘They are both little bundles of joy and bring me so much love when I am feeling unwell. It’s frustrating not being able to do the things you want to do, but the glass is always half full, there is always a silver lining and every day is a new day.’

How to get involved with You Don't Look Sick

You Don’t Look Sick is Metro.co.uk’s weekly series that discusses invisible illness and disabilities.

If you have an invisible illness or disability and fancy taking part, please email youdontlooksick@metro.co.uk.

You’ll need to be happy to share pictures that show how your condition affects you, and have some time to have some pictures taken.

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Ramadan 2019: Memes and poems to celebrate the start of the holy Muslim month of fasting

Men in Dhaka celebrating Ramadan
Ramadan is getting underway across the world (Picture: Getty Images)

Ramadan 2019 officially begins today, with Muslims across the world fasting from sunrise until sunset.

The fast is broken each night with an Iftar ceremony, which sees people come together to eat, pray and study the Quran – while the Muslim community will also perform charitable acts during the festival.

If you’re observing the festival, then you can also look online for words of wisdom to inspire and encourage you as the fasting gets underway.

Here’s a selection of the best as social media marks the event with greetings and wise words.

Single dad, 25, insists homeschooling three children ‘is a joy’– but his day starts at 4.30am

Jack Stewart hanging out with his kids
Single father-of-three who juggles homeschooling his two older children while caring for a toddler insists it’s a joy (Picture: MDWfeatures/ Jack Stewart)

Jack Stewart, a stay-at-home dad, decided to homeschool his three children after his partner left.

The 25-year-old from Oxford homeschools all three of his children: Janna, six, Nahum, four, and two-year-old Amos. He wants to give them the same positive experience he had growing up, being taught by his own parents.

Believing that there’s a significant difference between the education mainstream schools and homeschooling offers, Jack thinks the latter allows children to think for themselves rather than just following rules.

To do the job, he is constantly training himself on different topics to make sure he can do the best job he possibly can as a father and teacher.

Janna, Nahum and Amos do a range of activities including reading, writing and numeracy, piano, bible study, and history.

And to make sure they don’t miss out on socialising, Jack sends them to other home-ed groups in the area for them to make friends.

Daddy teaching his children the importance of physical exercise.
Jack teaching his children the importance of physical exercise (Picture: MDWfeatures/ Jack Stewart)

He says that spending time with his children provides a unique experience that most fathers miss out on.

‘Being a powerfully loving force in their life as a full-time dad is an extraordinary opportunity that very few fathers take,’ said Jack.

‘Seeing them become happy and loving forces in the world is consummately rewarding.

Father is proud of his children
Jack is very proud of his children (Picture: MDWfeatures/ Jack Stewart)

‘Home-ed starts from the position of “who do you want to be in this world?” rather than “obey my rules because I am the authority”.

‘Most of the formal study happens at home, often using big actions or songs or crafts.’

Book club with the kids
As well as the standard lessons, Jack teaches them history, religion and music (Picture: MDWfeatures/ Jack Stewart)

Taking care of three young children by himself at the age of 25 is no easy feat and Jack admits he needs time to himself sometimes.

So he does that by waking up at 4:30 in the morning for some quiet, alone time.

Daddy losing at chess.
Sometimes it means losing at chess (Picture: MDWfeatures/ Jack Stewart)

The hardest thing about homeschooling for the family is that the youngest, Amos, can take up a lot of Jack’s time.

‘Amos is still quite clingy. He needs a lot of attention, which makes it a challenge to give Janna the intellectual appetite that she needs,’  he said. ‘But it is possible, with patience and hard work on my part.’

Single parent connecting with his child
To get some me-time, Jack has to wake up at 4:30 in the morning (Picture: MDWfeatures/ Jack Stewart)

Jack added that the children have total flexibility for their future. They will be prepared for and have access to obtain the recognised qualifications such as GCSEs.

The young dad believes that anyone who is considering teaching their children at home should do their own homework.

Children studying while daddy is learning how to be an even better teacher
Jack has to also study while the kids study to learn how to homeschool (Picture: MDWfeatures/ Jack Stewart)
Like father like son, or sons in this case, climbing a tree
They do lots of outdoor activities too (Picture: MDWfeatures/ Jack Stewart)

‘The most important thing to do is to find a local home-ed community to talk to. It really takes the pressure off and shines a light on what home-education looks like,’ he said.

‘It is notoriously difficult for full-time home-educators and single-parents to find time to themselves. I get up at 4:30 am to have some time to myself before the kids wake up.

‘However, spending time teaching and playing with my children is such a joy.’

MORE: Widowed single dad breaks down after finding an old email from late wife

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Woman hands out leaflet to her nosy family on holiday while she sneaks out for a date

Woman hands out leaflets to nosy family members
(Picture: Twitter/marybethbarone)

Anyone who’s ever tried to tell a family member about their dating life knows it’s a can of worms. Chances are, you’ll be met with a plethora of questions, so it pays to be prepared.

A New York comedian who knew exactly what questions her parents would ask her while she snuck off on a date during their family holiday decided to give them some reading material.

Mary Beth Barone was on a family trip to Pompano Beach, Florida, where she made plans to go on a date with a guy she previously met at a wedding.

But that meant Mary, 27, would have to explain every detail about the date to her family.

Instead, she made a leaflet answering all the FAQs that her relatives might have, such as where she met him, what he does and where they were going.

The move, which saw her deflecting the same questions each of her 30 family members on holiday had, saved her a bunch of time too.


woman hands out leaflets for nosy family members while she goes on date
(Picture: Twitter/marybethbarone)

The first page of the pamphlet read: ‘I’m going on a date while we’re on vacation, here’s everything you don’t actually need to know but will definitely ask’.

Just in case the message didn’t register, Mary reiterated saying: ‘I said I’m going on a date while we’re on a vacation, please remain calm,’ which was accompanied by an image of a tranquil blue ocean.

Subsequent pages detailed Mary’s date who is apparently 31, lives in Miami and works for Spotify.

The comedian only stuck to the basics, reassuring her family the date was only an hour away and she’d figure out the parking situation.

The last bit read: ‘More questions? Don’t.’


Leaflet begins with title 'I'm going on a date while we're on vacation, here's everything you don't actually need to know but will definitely ask'.
(Picture: Twitter/marybethbarone)

Mary uploaded pictures of the leaflet to Twitter where followers said they would be doing the same thing to deter probing questions from relatives in the future.

She also revealed that the date was ‘one of the best’ she had been on – but it ended with the man ghosting her.

Mary didn’t seem to mind too much though, as she knows she’s got a good system for any future dates.

Anyway, if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to make a leaflet of our own.

MORE: Woman gets brutal messages from man she went on one Tinder date with six months ago

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Wedding guest worries she’ll upstage the bride with her dress but everyone tells her it’s ‘horrible’

Wedding guest worries she'll upstage the bride with her dress but everyone tells her it's 'horrible'
(Picture: ChiChi, Getty)

The holy rule of a wedding is that you don’t upstage the bride, mostly by not wearing white or anything too extravagant to take the shine.

But one woman may have been unnecessarily worrying about committing a wedding faux pas.

The woman, posting on Mumsnet, revealed that she was apprehensive about upstaging the bride with her floral high-low hem dress by Chi Chi Curve.

She was convinced that her £68 attire was going to offend the bride who may accuse her of stealing the limelight.

But sadly for the poster, people reassured her that wasn’t going to happen as the dress is, er…’horrible’.

Users on Mumsnet didn’t hold back their thoughts, telling the woman she was not in danger of causing upset as it was ‘awful’.

Others disagreed though, saying it was lovely but wasn’t going to clash with a traditional wedding gown.

This is the dress she plans to wear
This is the dress she plans to wear (Picture: ChiChi)

‘I’ve asked a couple of people now, it’s about an inch off the floor at the back if I’m wearing flats which I intend to,’ wrote the poster.

‘Everyone I’ve asked (6 people) says it’s fine and I should definitely wear it but if I were the bride, I feel as though I’d think whoever wore it was trying to steal the limelight (although, you can never truly upstage a bride).

‘Is everyone else being unreasonable? [sic]’ she asked.

The post received more than 300 comments with people weighing in their opinions.

‘How on Earth would that compete with a wedding dress?’ asked one bewildered user.

Bride adjusting wedding dress at mirror
Erm, we don’t see the resemblance (Picture: Getty)

‘I suppose it depends what the bride looks like, but I’d be pretty gutted if that could upstage me! Not something I’d chose to wear myself,’ echoed another.

Similarly, another poster wrote: ‘It’s not a massive white meringue. It’s a floral dress. The vast majority of female guests will be wearing floral dresses.

‘I don’t see any concern or upstaging at all. In what possible way is it upstaging? There’s no nudity, it’s not white or black or PVC?’

One person could see what she meant when she worried about hogging the limelight.

They wrote: ‘It’s really lovely, but I wouldn’t wear it to a wedding. I think the skirt looks like you’re trying to upstage the bride or bridesmaids. That’s just my opinion but perhaps you’d feel uncomfortable wearing it.’

Others urged her to wear it only if she was comfortable.

‘I think it is lovely and you could wear it. But, you should wear what you feel comfortable in. If you are going to worry all day, pick something else.’

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MORE: Bridesmaid devastated after bride uninvites her son to destination wedding

MORE: Woman asks for undercut design, gets ‘world’s worst haircut’

No one is impressed with man’s ‘how to be a good Muslim wife’ checklist

(Picture: Getty/Twitter)

There are no shortages of men with bad takes on the internet.

Adding himself to that list is writer Nabeel Azeez. The author wrote a list of ‘what makes good Muslim wife material’ and people have not agreed with it.

He listed a number of requirements including: ‘Don’t be a feminist, be a hijabi (wear a headscarf), be a virgin’ and ‘be thin’.

The list has been slammed as misogynistic with many saying it enforced gender stereotypes and encouraged the policing of women’s bodies and actions.

Though some parts of the list aligned with Islamic practices, like praying five times a day and being modest, many felt that the other demands were unnecessary and represented a personal choice for women which do not automatically equate to someone being a good wife.

Nabeel has since deleted his tweet but not before followers were able to screenshot it and berate the writer.

List includes things like 'Be a hijabi. Be a virgin. Be thin.'
The writer has since deleted the tweet (Picture: Twitter/https://twitter.com/Hajji_)

Islam teaches modesty for Muslim men and women but does not have add-ons about wives having to be thin, feminine, non-feminist and the like.

Many felt Nabeel’s list was completely arbitrary and put Muslim women’s worth on their outward appearance, virginity and servitude.

Others had a problem with his prescribing faith for Muslim women as many argued piety is a personal choice and women should not be expected to be pious to appease their husbands but rather do it for God.

Writer Leyal Khalife said: ‘This is not to say he’s not authorised to have an opinion, but a checklist based on a degrading rhetoric that treats women as servants to men is not an opinion.

‘It is a compilation of gender-role stereotypes wrapped up in machismo and misogyny.’

One person wrote their own alternative list, saying: ‘Be mindful of Allah (God), with some knowledge and understanding. Have good manners. Give good counsel when necessary. Have patience and empathy. Correct with kindness when required. Forgive mistakes but never tolerate abuse.’

Others joked that if this was the definitive list, then they would definitely not qualify as good Muslim wife material.


MORE: Horny Muslim women like me aren’t supposed to exist during Ramadan

MORE: Muslim women explain why it’s so hard for them to find a partner

MORE: Muslim men explain why it’s difficult to find a partner to marry

Teacher keeps a list of ‘Generation Z’ slang words and honestly, we stan

The high school teacher learned all the slang from his students (James Callahan/Twitter)

Are those pesky kids on the internet using slang you don’t understand? If you high-key have a hard time differentiating your IDGAF from your IRL, then don’t worry – you’re not alone.

James Callahan from Lowell High School in Massachusetts, U.S, is with you.

The sociology teacher has created his own dictionary of slang words and terms after struggling to understand his Generation Z students using phrases like ‘I’m dead’, ‘clap back’ and ‘finesse’.

He published his dictionary online to help the masses understand today’s terms so that you too can use youth vernacular that bangs.

Some of the words include ‘sis’ which James defines as ‘exclamation of disbelief’, ‘spill the tea’ which means gossip and ‘snack’ meaning a person who looks good.

Slang dictionary for generation Z with phrases like 'I'm dead' 'clap back', 'finesse' and more.
A lot of the words are American vernacular (James Callahan/Twitter)

‘I often overhear students in the hallways or my classrooms using words (or) slang terms in their personal conversations,’ the teacher told USA Today.

‘In order to understand them better, (and) make a connection with them on a personal level, I started asking them what certain words meant.

‘Language is so fluid, and every generation creates their own vocabulary bank of slang. The students created it, I am sort of just the archivist!’

‘The typical teacher-student dynamic involves a rigid power structure, but in my experience, I’ve found that students are more engaged and perform better if I am able to reach them where they are.’

Teacher's slang dictionary
You might want to bookmark the page (James Callahan/Twitter)

The list is forever expanding too. After James went back to school following the tweet blowing up, he learned what the word ‘bop’ and ‘jam’ meant, adding them to the list.

But he’s not just doing it for clout, the teacher put forward some initiatives to help the school buy new laptops, asking people benefiting from his dictionary to donate if they wanted to.

A legend, we stan.

You can take a look at the whole document here.

And soon, this could be you:

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May bank holiday opening times for Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Aldi

(Picture: Getty)

It was just a few weeks ago that many of us enjoyed the four-day Easter weekend, but another bank holiday is already here.

The May Day bank holiday means that many people across the UK are enjoying an extra day away from work.

It also means that some shops are likely to be closed or working with reduced hours on Monday, so you may need to plan ahead before setting off to your local supermarket.

Here is everything that you need to know about the bank holiday opening times for Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Lidl and Aldi.

Tesco opening times

Tesco Express supermarket store logo in London, England
(Photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)

The opening times for Tesco stores will vary for bank holiday monday as many Metro shops will be closing earlier than usual at around 8pm, while most Tesco Express shops are set to maintain their usual opening hours.

Most of the main Tesco stores are set to have similar opening times today, although some could be closing slightly earlier.

It is advised to check your local stores closing times by using the Tesco store locator.

Sainsbury’s opening times

COBHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 29: Sainsbury's at Cobham on March 29, 2006 in Surrey, England. Sainsbury's has posted better than expected sales increases for the fifth consecutive quarter. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
(Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Many of the main superstores for Sainsbury’s will be opening slightly later at 9am or 10am, and then closing early at 7pm or 8pm.

Most of the Sainsbury’s local stores will be running with their normal opening hours, which is usually 7am until 11pm.

These times can vary between shops, so it is worth using the Sainsbury’s Store Locator to find out the exact opening hours for the one near you.

Lidl opening times

CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 28: Lidl store sign seen on March 28, 2018 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. Lidl's first supermarket in the UK opened in 1994 - it now has over 700 stores in the UK.(Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Lidl supermarkets will be open on Monday 6 May with their usual weekday opening hours of 8am until 10pm.

You can find out the usual opening times for your local store by using the Lidl store finder.

Aldi opening times

CARDIFF, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 30: An Aldi shop sign seen on August 30, 2018 in Cardiff, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

All Aldi stores will be open on bank holiday Monday but many will be running with reduced opening hours.

Their supermarkets across the UK are set to open at 8am and then close at 8pm.

You can find out the normal opening times for your local store by using the Aldi store finder.

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Bank holiday opening times for Morrisons, Waitrose, Asda and Iceland

Morrisons, Iceland, Asda and Waitrose logos surrounding a shopping trolley in a shopping aisle
(Picture: Getty)

The UK is enjoying another long weekend as the May Day bank holiday sees many people get an extra day off work.

It comes just a few weeks after the sunny Easter weekend in April but this extended-weekend is much colder and wetter.

If you’re planning tho head to the shops this Monday to do some shopping then you may want to plan ahead, as many shops will have reduced opening hours for the bank holiday.

Here is everything that you need to know about the opening times for Morrisons, Waitrose, Asda and Iceland.


A shopper pushes her cart outside a Morrisons supermarket in Rochdale, Lancashire
(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Some Morrisons stores will be opening slightly later on bank holiday Monday at 8am, and then closing earlier at 7pm.

They will then return to their usual opening hours from Tuesday 7 May.

You can find out the exact opening times for your local store by using the Morrisons store finder.


Dark clouds reflected in glass surface of Waitrose store in Ipswich, Suffolk
(Photo by: Education Images/UIG via Getty Images)

Most Waitrose stores will have reduced opening hours on bank holiday Monday.

Many will be opening from 9am or 10am and then closing at 6pm, while others will be running from 8am-8pm or 10am-4pm depending on the area.

The variety in times means that it’s best to check you local store on the Waitrose branch finder to see when it will be open on the bank holiday.


Front entrance and sign at main entrance of an ASDA retail supermarket in Dorset
(Photo by: Loop Images/UIG via Getty Images)

Most Asda stores will be running with reduced opening hours on bank holiday Monday, but the petrol stations will continue to have their usual opening times.

Many stores will open later at 7.30am or 8am and then close at 8pm, before returning to their normal hours on Tuesday 7 May.

You can find out the exact opening hours for your local supermarket by using the Asda store locator.


People walking in front of an Iceland supermarket
(Picture: In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)

Most Iceland supermarkets will be running with their normal opening times on bank holiday Monday.

This means that most of the shops will be open from 7am or 8am and then close at 9pm or 10pm.

You can find out the exact opening hours for your local shop by using the Iceland store finder.

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Man asks how it’s possible to bleed from a period during the night if ‘the body shuts down’

Man asks how it's possible to bleed from a period during the night if 'the body shuts down'
He was definitely confused (Picture: Getty; Twitter/farahgamo)

Menstruation is still sadly a bit of a taboo. Some people are unnecessarily grossed out by it, but some men seem to be totally clueless about periods.

A woman recently discovered just how little one man knew about a woman’s monthly cycle.

When Twitter user Farah, from New Jersey, told a male friend she bled through the night, he was baffled.

He wondered how it was possible to bleed through the night as he seemed to think periods are more of a daytime thing.

‘I didn’t know it was possible to get it overnight’ he told her.

Farah, amused by the whole thing wrote back: ‘How would it only happen during the day? You think our uterus waits for us to wake up?’

The lost friend’s reply tickled a lot of users online as he wrote: ‘Cause the body shuts down during sleep?’

We have no words.

She told the man in question: ‘You’re 24 and you don’t know vaginas bleed?’

Farah doesn’t expect men to understand the ins and outs of periods, she told Metro.co.uk. But she expected that they at least have some basic knowledge of how the body works.

‘I didn’t expect it to gain traction it was just a funny conversation but still showed me how ignorant some guys are about women even at their big age,’ she explained to us.

‘Most people laughed with me while some insulted me saying I’m a b*tch and should’ve educated him.

‘But really if you’re 24 and have got no semblance of an idea how women’s menstrual cycles work that’s your conscious decision to be ignorant!’

Of course, women made jokes.

One woman wrote: ‘You mean to tell me that all this time I could’ve just slept all week and avoided this mess?’

Another quipped: ‘Yes. It is true. When we sleep, our breathing comes to a complete stop and our hearts stop beating.

‘Our soul is then transferred to the cloud where we have our dreams stored. Your body will know when it’s time to get up and will call your soul back. The human body is amazing.’

It really is amazing. Even when it shuts down at night.

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Tesco opening times for May bank holiday

Tesco Express supermarket store logo in London
Some Tesco stores will have reduced opening hours today (photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)

Many stores across the UK will be running with reduced opening hours today, which means shoppers will need to plan ahead if they want to head to a specific shop.

The May bank holiday has arrived a just couple of weeks after the sunny four-day Easter weekend that many of us enjoyed.

Most shops will be affected in the same way as before by either being closing completely or staying open for less time during the day.

Normal opening hours are set to resume from tomorrow, but if you want to get some of your shopping together today, then here is everything that you need to know.

What are the Tesco opening times?

Tesco’s main stores are set to have reduced hours on bank holiday Monday, and the exact times will vary depending on where you are.

Most of the larger stores will be closing a few hours earlier today, while many Metro shops will be closing earlier than usual at around 8pm.

If you were planning to visit a Tesco Express shop, the good news is that most of them are set to maintain their usual opening hours.

It is advised to check your local stores closing times by using the Tesco store locator.

3 day weather met office
(Picture: Met Office)

May bank holiday weather

The bad news is that the bank holiday weather isn’t quite as nice as it was during the Easter weekend.

There isn’t much rain expected throughout the day, except for in the most northern parts of England and in Scotland.

According to the Met Office, there is the possibility of a few showers and it is likely to remain cloudy across the UK.

Temperatures will also remain low at around 8-9 degrees, with a maximum of 12 degrees expected in the warmest areas.

MORE: What does the first May bank holiday celebrate and when is the next one in May?

MORE: Bank holiday opening times for Morrisons, Waitrose, Asda and Iceland

Woman had to learn to stand again after having a stroke at 22

Elizabeth Kay had to undergo major surgery after having a stroke
Elizabeth underwent major brain surgery (Picture: MEN Media)

A young woman was left partially paralysed and unable to walk or stand after suffering a stroke at home.

Elizabeth Kay, who was then 22, was busy moving into her new house with help from her dad when she developed a terrible headache.

As time went on, Elizabeth, who’s from Salford, started to feel even worse, until her legs gave out and she fell to the floor. It soon became apparent that she had had a stroke.

The terrifying ordeal left her completely paralysed on her left side.

‘The paramedics could see my face had dropped on one side and my speech was slurred. I just didn’t think it could happen at my age,’ explains Elizabeth.

‘I don’t remember anything at all about the first week in hospital. Although I could speak, my voice was different and I struggled to think of the right words,’ she added.

Elizabeth was taken straight to Salford Royal Hospital where she underwent an operation to remove the clot from her brain. She also needed a craniotomy, to reduce pressure by giving her brain room to swell.

‘My left side was completely paralysed. After intense physiotherapy I learnt how to stand and take a couple of steps,’ she says.

‘The movement in my arm didn’t come back for the first month; in fact, the doctors said there was a chance it may never return. Fortunately, I can now move my arm but my fingers and wrist can’t move properly.’

Elizabeth Kay had to undergo major surgery after having a stroke
Now Elizabeth wants to raise awareness about stroke recovery and the need for support (Picture: MEN Media)

Now, almost two years after her stroke, Elizabeth has spoken out about her experience to raise awareness, after the Stroke Association discovered that more than 14 million Brits do not know where in the body a stroke actually occurs.

A survey by the charity also found that while almost half of the adults in the UK know someone who has survived a stroke, most don’t know how to support them through their recovery.

‘I would say since my stroke, my family and I have learnt together. At first, I found it very hard, as my family wanted to pander to me and do everything for me, just because they love and care for me,’ says Elizabeth.

‘Now we’re in a better routine and they know to wait for me to ask for help. They don’t automatically do things.

Elizabeth Kay had to undergo major surgery after having a stroke
Elizabeth says her family know to wait until she asks for their help (Picture: MEN Media)

‘That’s the trickiest part, finding the right balance so that they are being loving and supportive without being overbearing and pushy.’

The charity has published its survey findings to mark the launch of its newest campaign, Rebuilding Lives, which aims to showcase the challenges faced by stroke survivors and those who support them with their recoveries.

The survey also revealed that one in ten people who knew a stroke survivor admitted to seeing them less after their stroke, while one in six said they spent less time with them because they perceived them to be ‘not the same person’ after a stoke.

More than eight in 10 people said they felt that having a greater understanding of what a stroke is would help them better support a survivor.

‘A stroke happens in the brain, the control centre for who we are and what we can do. The impact varies depending on which part of the brain is affected,’ explains Chris Larkin, director at the Stroke Association.

‘It could be anything from wiping out your speech and physical abilities, to affecting your emotions and personality. So, it’s a real challenge for everyone as they come to grips with this sudden and life-changing event.

‘These findings highlight the complexity of stroke and raise the desperate need among people to understand the impact of stroke in order to better support their loved ones.

‘There are more than 1.2 million stroke survivors living in the UK – many of whom are reliant on their friends and family, from help with daily living to understanding their emotional and mental health needs.

‘We’re urging those people who know someone who has had a stroke to help turn this around and fill this knowledge gap.’

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