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One of the youngest people to be diagnosed with motor neurone disease is engaged


One of the youngest people to be diagnosed with motor neurone disease has just got engaged – to the man she fell for when he fundraised for a cure.

25-year-old Lucy Lintott is the youngest person in Scotland with MND. She was diagnosed in 2013 at the age of 19.

Doctors told her she might have just four years to live.

Lucy threw herself into fundraising for the charity MND Scotland, so far raising more than £200,000 to help find a cure for the disease.

She reconnected with her now-fiance Tommy Smith, 23, last year, when he did a sponsored head shave for the cause.

The pair – who admit they fancied each other at school – hit it off and earlier this month, Tommy got down on one knee to propose at the charity dinner and auction.

An emotional video of the proposal shows Tommy trick Lucy into posing for photos, before he gets down on one knee.

Lucy and Tommy, who only started dating around six months ago, now plan to wed in 2020 and are already busy looking for their dream venue.

Lucy, from Garmouth, Scotland, said: ‘I feel so much better when he is with me, he is ridiculously caring.

‘He makes me forget I have MND and he means the world to me.

‘I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him.’

Tommy added: ‘Our life has been perfect ever since we met. We couldn’t be more similar.

Lucy Lintott and her fiance Tommy Smith
The couple are very happy together (Picture: Lucy Lintott / SWNS)

‘I could never see myself with anyone else. What’s the point in waiting when you just know.

‘I asked her dad for permission an hour before I actually did it.

‘She told me if she ever got married she wants to have the most sparkly ring possible and I’ve made sure she gets one.

‘I see past her condition. To me it is just Lucy.

‘When you love someone as much as I love Lucy you just want to ensure they have a happy life.

‘I see her for the person she is. She’s amazing and is an inspiration.’

Lucy, who is the youngest of three children to mum, Lydia, 56, and dad, Robert, 55, started to feel symptoms of her disease in 2013.

She struggled to grip things with her hand and dropped a plate full of food in front of customers while waitressing.

After a visit to the doctors in August 2013, Lucy was referred to see a neurologist, who arranged for an MRI scan and blood test.

Specialists at Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital diagnosed Lucy with MND on November 19 2013.

MND is a rare disease, most common in people aged over 40, and develops when nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord progressively and spontaneously lose their function.

It gradually makes gripping, walking, talking and swallowing extremely difficult and eventually impossible.

The disease causes muscles to weaken, stiffen and waste, and will result in Lucy’s vital organs failing.

Lucy Lintott and her fiance Tommy Smith.
Lucy couldn’t believe the proposal (Picture: Lucy Lintott / SWNS)

Lucy said: ‘My body stopped letting me doing what I wanted it to.

‘I felt mentally able but I just stopped being able to do some things.

‘I sat in a room with my consultant and just explained my symptoms. I was diagnosed a week later.

‘They came into a room where I was with my parents. They said they’d ruled everything else out and knew what it was.

‘They said it was incurable. I burst into tears and zoned everything else out.

‘I was told I might only have three to four years but the doctor said they just don’t know.’

Since the diagnosis Lucy has raised more than £200,000 to help find a cure, and Tommy heard about her efforts and decided to run Tough Mudder for MND Scotland.

To raise more cash for the upcoming run, he organised a head shave and asked Lucy to do the honours with the clippers.

The pair grew closer in the weeks that followed, before eventually getting together late last year.

Lucy said: ‘I knew Tommy from school. We were friends for a while.

‘We started talking again at a charity head shave. Tommy and his friend were having their heads shaved to raise money for me.

‘It felt amazing to know he wanted to help me and we started talking after that. It just went on from there really.’

Tommy asked Lucy to marry him at another fundraising event in Stirling, Scotland, on 17 May.

Lucy Lintott and her fiance Tommy Smith
They’re so loved up! (Picture: Lucy Lintott / SWNS)

She announced the news on Twitter and the post has gained thousands of retweets and likes.

‘We were attending a charity event raising money for MND Scotland. I knew he wanted to propose but had no idea when he would do it’, said Lucy.
‘He said we should go outside to pose for photos but I had no idea we were being filmed.

‘He said “I’ve got a question for you, will you do me the pleasure of becoming my wife?”.

‘I said “no you’re not?” I was speechless, I couldn’t believe it and found it so surreal.

‘I nodded because I couldn’t talk. I felt happy, nervous and a bit sick.

‘I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with Tommy. My life would be unbearable without him.

‘Life without him is just unimaginable.

‘It crossed my mind that I may never get married when I was diagnosed.

‘He is my best friend and he just has to walk through the door to make me smile.’

People with the condition live with it for varying amounts of time after diagnosis and the speed of the disease’s progression varies between patients.

Lucy believes that like Stephen Hawking, she may go on to live a happy and fulfilled life for many years to come.

Lucy has outlived the initial prognosis of her doctors but since 2013, has developed slurred speech and can’t walk unaided.

‘My disease is progressing extremely slowly,’ she said.

‘I do now have weakness in all four of my joints and I use a wheelchair most of the time.

‘I feel extremely lucky in that sense. I felt like my world was crashing down when I first got the news.’

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ASOS is to stock Topshop and Topman as part of new Arcadia partnership

The logo of the British multinational fashion retailer of clothing, shoes, make-up and accessories TOPSHOP is seen in the Munich pedestrian zone. (Photo by Alexander Pohl/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Topshop will be on ASOS this summer (Picture: NurPhoto)

ASOS has announced that Topshop will soon be available to purchase on the website.

Both Topshop and Topman will be available after being announced by ASOS on Twitter.

The brand said: ‘BIG. NEWS. TOPSHOP & TOPMAN ARE COMING TO ASOS Keep your eyes peeled later this summer!’

People are excited because they can now apply all of the ASOS discounts and offers to the high street brand – especially the next day delivery option that ASOS offers for a one-off fee.

On Twitter, people were excited about the news.

This is also some welcome news for frustrated customers:

Sir Philip Green will plough £135m of investment into the business and will sell clothes from flagship Topshop brand on Asos for the first time.

The Daily Mail reported that Arcadia chief executive Ian Grabiner outlined details of recovery initiatives in an email to staff earlier this week.

One of those strategies is to spend £75m on refurbishing rundown stores and invest £60m into online operations improvements which includes the ASOS partnership.

Topshop and Topman shop in central business district of Swindon, England. (Photo by: Geography Photos/UIG via Getty Images)
The Arcadia group store wants to invest in more online trade (Picture: UniversalImagesGroup)

Sir Philip Green told the Daily Mail: ‘The young fashion market has been under ferocious attack and there are other issues including business rates.

‘But I am not blaming anyone. We have clearly got things wrong or done things wrong.

‘We have to repair the damage from the last couple of years.

‘We are ready to work even harder to achieve that. We have a wonderfully loyal staff, many of whom have been with us in excess of 10 years, and a fantastically loyal supply chain.

‘There remains a lot of value in these brands.’

Get to shopping.

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The Tenants Fees Act: how renters can protect themselves from landlords looking for loopholes

Houses to let
The declining number of properties available to rent is creating a problem for tenants that no amount of government tinkering can alleviate (Picture: Getty)

The Tenant Fees Act 2019 comes into effect on Saturday meaning that landlords and letting agents will no longer be able to charge additional fees for things like admin or credit checks.

However, rest assured, landlords and agents are likely to do their best to find ways to recoup any losses they incur.

This legislation may have been presented as a game-changer for Britain’s beleaguered renters but it could take up to a year for the dust to settle as the new rules filter through the complex web of our housing system.

Decades of insufficient levels of homebuilding, mounting pressure on landlords via tax changes and cuts to local authorities – and thus local planning departments – have made it easy for landlords and agents to call the shots, and for renters to feel the heat.

The declining number of properties available to rent is creating a problem for tenants that no amount of government tinkering can alleviate.

For a while, the new legislation means tenants or prospective tenants will no longer have to fork out money for most admin costs, but there is nothing to stop rents being increased.

So it’s likely that landlords – and agents who tend to charge landlords a percentage of the rent – will seek to protect their bottom line by hiking rents.

While there isn’t much you can do to prevent your landlord increasing your rent when you renew your tenancy, the best advice is to avoid giving your landlord or letting agent any reason that would allow them to legally demand money from you.

Tenants will still have to pay their landlord or letting agent for any ‘reasonably incurred’ costs during the tenancy. This may include replacing lost keys, a charge for breaking the tenancy early, or the cost of replacing a broken smoke alarm.

The cost has to be the tenant’s fault, so ensure you look after the property as well as you can.

Also, make sure you don’t end up getting blamed (and billed) for something that was damaged before you moved in — notify the landlord and agents of any damage or disrepair that they might be unaware of as soon as you move in.

If you do receive a bill that you believe might be illegal, don’t be afraid to challenge it.

Unsurprisingly, some letting agents are reportedly already testing out new money-making mechanisms to recover looming losses.

It may be an honest mistake, in which case the agent will then withdraw the fee demanded. If a tenant has already been charged an illegal fee, or they feel an agent or landlord is genuinely trying to rip them off, they should contact The Property Ombudsman.

Unsurprisingly, some letting agents are reportedly already testing out new money-making mechanisms to recover looming losses.

Some have launched optional ‘no-deposit schemes’ and while this means tenants don’t have to stump up hefty security deposits, the monthly cost does not protect tenants from future damage claims.

It is important to remember here that these are optional. Putting down £1,000 or more for a deposit can be painful, but may be better in the long run than leaving yourself open to any damage claims by the landlord or agency when you leave the property.

Other reports suggest some unscrupulous agencies have used pressure tactics to cash in while they still can, by instructing existing tenants to renew contracts early.

Should you feel pressured by an agency to sign a contract early, the new law states that any contract which begins after June 1 should not come with any fees on top of it — regardless of when it is signed.

Only time will tell how much of an impact the new law will have on rental prices.

Fortunately, such an impact is likely to take place over months, rather than the immediate few days after the law comes into effect.

There are, of course, very substantial benefits for renters in the new legislation – so it makes sense to know your new rights. Arming yourself with a good knowledge of the Tenant Fees Act 2019 will be vital if you find yourself confronted by pushy agents.

Disney World’s new supersized Mickey Mouse doughnut looks amazing

The new donut at Disney World
The donut looks incredible (Picture: Instagram)

Disney World Resort has just launched some new giant Mickey Mouse doughnuts that are so big they come in pizza boxes.

The Mickey Celebration Donuts come with icing and sprinkles.

There are three flavours to choose from: strawberry, vanilla or chocolate.

They’re shaped to look like Mickey Mouse’s head – and they’re absolutely enormous.

People have been sharing photos of the donuts to Instagram, and they’re making our mouths water.

Just look at how delicious they look



They’re also super pretty



This is definitely the most Instagrammable donut ever



We NEED one


So far, the reviews for the donuts have been brilliant.

Disney Food Blog wrote: ‘You can certainly see they’re pretty – but how do they taste? Pretty darn delicious! It’s a yeast donut with tasty frosting that tastes, well…like a donut! But a very good donut at that.

‘We saw plenty of families sharing them which we would certainly recommend because it’s so big!’

Other people on Instagram have also been raving about the donuts.

One said: ‘Just over hear [sic] living my best life eating giant Mickey donuts. Don’t worry 6 people split this but it was AMAZING! Disney food is the best!’

Another added: ‘I was beyond pumped to finally get my hands on one of these bad boys! No joke, it’s the equivalent of like 3 donuts in one, and it was pretty scrumptious. It’s basically a Joffrey’s donut in Mickey form, so you can’t really go wrong with it! Plus, if you have a dining plan, there are officially snack credit eligible!’

Okay, so all we need to do now is book tickets to Disney World and get our hands (yes, it’ll take two of them) on one of these donuts.

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For non-binary people like me, true love means loving myself first


Love, Or Something Like It

In Love, Or Something Like It, our new Metro.co.uk series, we’re on a quest to find true love.

Covering everything from mating, dating and procreating to lust and loss, we’ll be looking at what love is and how to find it in the present day.

For something that’s supposed to be beautiful, the search for love, for non-cis, non-binary people like myself, can often feel like a constant, uphill battle.

I identify as queer when it comes to sexuality and dating so I find a lot of different gender identities attractive.

Enter then the fact I enjoy wearing literally anything, and a palette of colours on my visage, dates can quickly turn into what essentially feels like a job interview. Questions like ‘what are you?’ and ‘so, do you dress like this everyday?’ aren’t really conventional first date ice-breakers over a bowl of olives.

Non-binary activist Jamie Windust
They don’t fancy me – they just appreciate my look (Picture: Jamie Windust)

Another common event is that people compliment my physical appearance (and I obviously then fall head over heels in love with them) but they don’t fancy me – they just appreciate my look. Kind of like when you see reduced pastries just after you’ve been out for dinner. You can appreciate the beauty in it, but you don’t necessarily want it.

It frustrates me. I want to be able to navigate dating in a way that’s fairly standard, and while this could be seen as an attempt to conform to a heterosexual narrative, I don’t think it’s too much to ask to be able to go on a fun, flirty and sufficiently affordable date.

It’s important to also recognise the ways many who find trans and gender diverse people attractive are first introduced to our elegance – through porn.

Pornography has continually been a source for fetishisation and objectification of trans bodies, and this presence means that a lot of cis men in particular see people like myself as something that’s purely for their sexual pleasure.

Many a time I’ve set off on a date, thinking that this must be the one, only to find that they’re actually just wanting to have a five minute drink, and then a tumble in the lane straight after.

I am often searching for validation due to the fact that the world doesn’t offer it to people like me.

If that’s what I was intending to do also then fine but, when it comes to finding true love, it’s so easy to feel like we aren’t worthy. And that hurts. For those of us who want romantic relationships, it can feel like we’re failing in a large part of our life.

Having that spark with someone who just gets you, and knows you, is truly warming. It’s almost like an unwritten code, and it’s reaffirming and relaxing to know that you don’t have to go through all the explanations of yourself and your identity. That’s incredibly important for me when it comes to love.

And this is where I stop feeling sorry for myself.

I’ve realised that if someone is going to come into my life, they need to at least match the energy that I’m putting out into the world, and let’s be honest, that energy level is high.

I have experienced true happiness and care for people who are within the LGBTQ+ community, and specifically the non-binary and trans communities.

There tends to be a more open dialogue and an unspoken awareness and empathy, an allyship that speaks volumes without having to ever be spoken. I used to think that a cis man showing the bare minimum level of allyship were amazing, when actually it’s not even the best that they can do.

Jamie Windust poses in a green top and pink dress
Yes, I want a relationship, but I know that I don’t need one (Picture: Matty Parks)

To fall truly in love, I need someone who has that level of awareness instilled in them without me having to tell them how to support me.

It also helps when they’re incredibly attractive, and their arms are literally the size of your neck, let’s be real.

One of my longest and first relationships was with someone who also identified as non-binary, and the instant connection there was something that I will never forget.

None of the awkward questions, but a chance to share our experiences with each other. It felt like we were helping each other feel more ourselves. They were also super sexy and hard a great jawline, so that also helped.

True love for me is also about cherishing my friendships and relationships with family as strongly as I feel about romantic ones. Taking that one, significant relationship off a pedestal helps me realise that romantic love is not as important I think it is, when I have so many amazing and strong connections with other people in my life.

Because for non-binary people like myself, worth is never defined by the romantic attraction that someone else has towards us.

I am often searching for validation due to the fact that the world doesn’t offer it to people like me. We can often find it in a partner, but it’s important to know that we are enough by ourselves.

Yes, I want a relationship, but I know that I don’t need one. The relationship that I have with myself, that non-conforming people have within their own communities, is so strong and powerful that I think treasuring that and focusing on my career, my life changing outfits and earth-shatteringly beautiful makeup, can make me feel content.

That is far more important than someone taking me for two-for-one cocktails, despite how handsome and ridiculous their cheekbones are.

If people have a problem with my gender identity or the way that I grace this earth, then that’s a clear sign that they’re not right for me. Non-binary is beautiful, and true love comes from knowing that first, all by yourself.

Last week in Love, Or Something Like It: Writing anonymously about my love life makes rejection easier to bear

Write for Love, Or Something Like It

Love, Or Something Like It is a brand new series for Metro.co.uk, published every Saturday. If you have a love story to share, email rosy.edwards@metro.co.uk

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Student left with chemical burn on her eye after using micellar water

Jade's eye was 'glued' shut the morning after she used the Garnier product
Jade’s eye was ‘glued’ shut the morning after she used the product (Picture: Kennedy News)

Student Jade Inglis says she needed a treatment used on acid attack victims after a Garnier product burnt her eyeball.

Jade removed her eye makeup before bed with Garnier’s micellar oil-infused cleansing water, and noticed nothing wrong before heading to sleep.

The next morning she woke up to find her right eye ‘glued’ shut with a sticky discharge.

Jade, 19, called 111 who told her to go to A&E.

Doctors determined Jade had a chemical burn on her eyeball, which showed up under the lens as a glowing green mark. It’s thought the burn was the result of the micellar water product.

Jade had to have her eye rinsed with a solution used on acid attack victims.

The student is now sharing photos of her injury to raise awareness of the risks of beauty products, even if they’re designed for sensitive areas.

Jade said: ‘It felt like sunburn in my eye, the pain was excruciating.

PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: JADE INGLIS??? EYE LOOKING SORE AND SWOLLEN AFTER USING THE GARNIER CLEANSER) A student claims she needed treatment used on acid attack victims after a Garnier cleansing product burnt her EYEBALL and left her with a green eye like comic book villain Poison Ivy. Jade Inglis was removing her eye make-up before bed with the beauty giant???s micellar oil-infused cleansing water earlier this month and noticed nothing untoward before going to sleep. But the following morning the 19-year-old says she was forced to peel open her right eyelid as it was ???glued??? shut with a sticky discharge. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266
Jade woke up with a sore and swollen right eye (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

‘When my eye turned green from the dye I looked like Poison Ivy from the Batman films, thankfully it faded away after a few hours.

‘I was terrified that I’d lose my sight when I heard I had a chemical abrasion on my eye – the first thing I was asked was whether it was permanent or not.

‘They took the pH level of my eye – the level in my right eye was higher than my left – then they used a solution on my eye that I was told was used on acid attack victims.

‘I had to lie there for 20 minutes with the tube inside my eye, it was horrific.

‘It was held in place with a little sucker that looked like a toilet plunger around my whole eye. It was so uncomfortable, I’ve never felt anything like it before.

PIC FROM Kennedy News and Media (PICTURED: JADE INGLIS, 19, WITH HER EYE HALF CLOSED AND SOME OF THE ORANGE DYE UNDERNEATH HER EYE) A student claims she needed treatment used on acid attack victims after a Garnier cleansing product burnt her EYEBALL and left her with a green eye like comic book villain Poison Ivy. Jade Inglis was removing her eye make-up before bed with the beauty giant???s micellar oil-infused cleansing water earlier this month and noticed nothing untoward before going to sleep. But the following morning the 19-year-old says she was forced to peel open her right eyelid as it was ???glued??? shut with a sticky discharge. SEE KENNEDY NEWS COPY - 0161 697 4266
Jade’s eye after it was checked at the hospital (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

‘They put an orange dye in my eye and then looked at my eye through an optician’s lens to see if there was any permanent damage.

‘They could see a really big abrasion on my pupil from the chemical burn, that’s the green in the photo, and said it would heal by itself.

Jade was given pain relief and antibiotics and sent home. But when there was no improvement two days later, she was forced to take another trip to A&E.

‘My eye was closed all day on Saturday as I was in so much pain and crying constantly,’ said Jade.

‘I’d already booked tickets up to Sheffield to visit my boyfriend on Sunday and I didn’t want to waste my money.

‘I wore sunglasses the whole journey as I was so self-conscious.’

The student said the pain was excruciating (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

At the hospital Jade was given more medication and reassured that there would be no lasting damage.

Jade is now calling on Garnier to stop selling the product, as she believes it poses a risk to other customers.

‘I’ve used other Garnier micellar waters before and not had a problem,’ she said.

‘I ran out of my normal one and saw that specific oil-infused one in the shop and thought I’d try it.

‘I religiously take my makeup off before bed so dripped the cleanser onto a cotton pad and wiped it around my face and eyes to get everything off.

‘I didn’t notice anything unusual when I put the product on my skin – it looked and felt fine.

‘As soon as I woke up the next day my right eye was glued shut with discharge, I could tell it was something different to just sleep in my eye.

Jade holding the product she believes caused the chemical burn in her eye (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

‘I went straight to the bathroom and tried to prise it open and wiped all the discharge away before contacting a friend and then 111.

‘It must have been that Garnier product because I’ve been using everything else for years.

‘The pain before the eyedrops was excruciating, I would be up all night crying with it. The doctors can’t do anything more with it, I’ve been told it will heal by itself.

‘If it can happen to me it can happen to anyone, I don’t want anyone else going through the pain that I have – it was horrific.

‘I’m not allergic to anything and as it’s only happened in one eye it’s clearly a chemical burn and not an allergic reaction. The bottle says it’s a product for face, eyes and lips.

‘I’ve been so self-conscious since it’s happened and been wearing sunglasses the whole time.

‘I’m still really scared to put makeup on – I haven’t dared to put anything near me.

‘I’d like Garnier to take it off the shelves, it specifically says it’s for eyes and it gave me a chemical burn.’

A Garnier spokesperson said: ‘Micellar Oil-Infused Cleansing Water, like all of the products in our Garnier range, undergoes rigorous testing to ensure it is safe to use, even on sensitive skin.

‘Our consumer advice team is currently in conversation with Jade to understand the facts around her specific experience.’

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Strong Women: ‘I have dedicated my life to martial arts and I have no regrets’


So many women are put off from sport and physical activity because they don’t look a certain way.

In fact, a study by Sport England found that 75% of women avoid being active due to a fear of judgement.

Strong Women is a weekly series that aims to normalise diversity in the world of sport and fitness and reaffirm the idea that women of any age, size, race and ability can be fit, strong and love their bodies.

By showcasing the wide range of different women who are achieving incredible things, we hope to empower and inspire underrepresented women.

Martine Niven is a Shaolin kung fu disciple – it is something she does full time and she has dedicated her life to the practice.

Martine Niven performing at Chinese New Year
Martine performing at Chinese New Year Celebrations in Southampton (Picture: Martine Niven)

Tell us about your relationship with martial arts

I became a Shaolin Kung Fu disciple in 2012 after training with my teacher, Shi Yan Ming 34th Shaolin Warrior from Shaolin Temple in China, for four years in the UK.

When I met my Kung Fu Master – ‘Shifu’ in Chinese, which means ‘a great master with expert and skillful knowledge’ – I hadn’t practiced martial arts for a while.

In my late teenage years and twenties, while most young people were out clubbing and getting careers and families I was inside the kung fu hall, sweating and training, constantly feeling the pain. My teachers expressed daily ‘no pain, no gain!’ – at that time it felt more like pain than gain.

I have no regrets from my path. I feel nothing but respect, great honour and privilege to have had the opportunity to train with many great masters, teachers and friends, who were so kind to me and had the patience and time to guide me on this path.

What does it actually mean to be a disciple?

Being a disciple means you have made a commitment to dedicate your life to the martial arts practice. You have made a commitment to master the skill and to share this knowledge with future generations.

I always felt there was something missing from the other marital arts that I had previously studied, this I realised later was the internal aspects which help to balance the body, mind and spirit.

I was introduced to practices like Meditation, Qi Gong and Tai Chi as well as continuing to practice the more external martial arts like san da (Chinese kickboxing), kung fu and weapons, this was a great balance.

Martine with her master Shifu Shi Yan Ming
Martine with her master Shifu Shi Yan Ming (Picture: Martine Niven)

Later on in my thirties I went on to specialise in Traditional Shaolin kung fu. Sometimes the paths you take uncannily lead you  back to where you started.

Being a woman and training, you can be faced with a number of extra challenges. You are always carefully balancing your body’s needs, losing energy every month and then having to build it back up, the process of progression can take longer and for me personally has been extremely frustrating.

I have had to learn to be patient with myself and to accept what and who I am. Life is smoother when you’re not always fighting to be something else or trying to prove you are someone else.

It can take courage to follow a difficult path but the rewards can be greater in the end. It takes great strength of mind to choose to face yourself with acceptance and love.

How does martial arts help your mental health?

Your mind is an extremely important part of the martial arts development.

Having a positive mind effects everything you do. I learnt this the hard way and in my early training years I was very self-critical.

I would chastise myself daily for not achieving what I wanted, but I slowly realised this was unproductive and futile.

The process of martial arts is gradual, a difficult concept to accept in a world of rapid results and instant gratification.

Martine practicing her craft
(Picture: Martine Niven)

I see this a lot in my younger students when they don’t see instant results. They want to give up.

We live in interesting times with our youth. They face so many difficult challenges with social media pressures and many device distractions, they need something like martial arts and its underlying philosophies  more than ever.

This fast-paced lifestyle is not helpful for our self-development, it is short-lived, temporary and eventually unrewarding. It bypasses important life lessons and learnings.

Struggles and difficulties are important in life, to feel hardship can in some instances actually be a good thing.

The Chinese have a saying ‘to eat bitter’, which means at the time it is not pleasant, like a bitter taste in the mouth, but the bitter taste in Chinese medicine is said to help strengthen the heart.

So this is how we learn, grow and gain wisdom. If everything is fast and easy we are missing out on important realisations and deeper understandings.

Martial arts helps to gain deeper awareness of the body and mind to feel disharmony and then to have the knowledge and strength to make changes. Experiencing all of these benefits, how could I not want that for others?

What does training bring to your life?

When I first started learning martial arts, I loved how confident it made me feel. I felt strong and able to defend myself. I loved the culture and learning about the deep underlying philosophies. Everything was new and exciting.

Over the years, your awareness changes, your wisdom grows, you face more interesting challenges. You learn about yourself and others.

You hit many walls. And every time this happens your awareness deepens and the practice becomes you. You are not separate from it. It is you.

Through this you develop a great gratitude and compassion for yourself and others. The self-discovery is profound and life changing.

Martine trains in the snow with her master
‘The best way to see if you will like something is to be brave and try it’ (Picture: Martine Niven)

When I am training I lose all sense of self, any ideas of image, gender, ability, race, all seem to vanish.

I have no concept of these things, my focus and attention is solely on the movements I am trying to do. It is a combination of breathing, movement and intention. All time stands still and the body and mind come to a single focus point.

For that moment I am free, connected and peaceful.

The realisation is greatly rewarding. I spent many years trying to find the wise master to show me the way, but realised it is you who has to become the master of yourself.

Why should more women get involved in martial arts?

Working in schools and universities with young women, I have noticed there are many pressures and stresses that they find difficult to express and deal with.

What we teach is a way to help them to balance their lives. The underlying philosophies that come out of the training helps them to become more self-aware, confident, relaxed, centred and balanced.

They are slowly able to let go of stresses and strains of everyday life and be at ease with themselves and others.

Most people/women come to martial arts because they want to learn how to defend themselves and of course this is the main function, but through this practice you develop so many other skills, developing strength of body, mind and spirit.

What would you say to a woman who might be intimidated by the idea of fighting?

A lot of women feel put off because they may feel the classes are mainly attended by men, but this is not the case we have a great mix of students.

When looking for a class and teacher, do your research. Do not be fooled by appearances, finding a good teacher can be tricky.

Martine in Song Shan Mountains in China
Martine in the Song Shan Mountains in China (Picture: Martine Niven)

Some teachers are great for some people but not for others, it’s a personal experience, so be brave, try a class and if it doesn’t feel right go try out another until you find a place you feel comfortable.

I think a good teacher needs to be patient and tolerant, knowledgeable, humble, and kind hearted.

The best way to see if you will like something is to be brave and try it. It can be a bit intimidating and sometimes scary trying out something new but it builds great strength of character and it could be the start of an amazing journey.

The first time you practice it will feel awkward and a little uncomfortable. Don’t let that put you off and don’t be disheartened. Remember, every master started from where you are at, the beginning.

To acquire a good skill it takes time and hard work, it doesn’t always come easy. It might be strange to hear but that’s the joy of the journey.

Embrace yourself and your energy and let it flow through you and the practice. You may discover your hidden warrior and power within that you never knew you had. Who knows what you will learn about yourself.

You will have these skills for the rest of your life.

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Bride organises her wedding for just £1,320 so sick granddad can walk her down the aisle

Compilation of photos from Adele Byng's wedding to Thomas Byng including a photo of the groom and bride, one of her, her dad and granddad together and one of Adele standing in front of her cake
The wedding cost under £1,500 (Picture: Mercury Press)

Weddings are expensive and many couples save up for years after their engagement, before they officially tie the knot.

Adele Byng, however, didn’t have the luxury of waiting as she wanted her 77-year-old granddad David Hodge, who has Parkinson’s, to walk her down the aisle.

So, the 29-year-old decided to put together her wedding as quickly as possible – with a very small budget.

The mum-of-one, who works as a support worker, searched the internet for deals and freebies and ended up spending just £1,360 in total for her big day with now husband Thomas Byng, 31, who works in a charity shop.

To keep costs low, she bought her wedding dress on eBay for £45 and held the reception at a working men’s club for £150.

The biggest spend was at the registry office, where the couple shelled out £400.

A photo of Adele, her dad and her granddad posing together
Adele, her dad and her granddad David (Picture: Mercury Press)

‘Thomas and I had been engaged for a while and didn’t see the urgency in getting married,’ Adele said.

‘In 2017, it became clear my grandad’s mobility was going downhill rapidly.

‘I had always dreamed he would walk me down the aisle, so we decided to make the wedding a bit more DIY and keep it low cost so that my grandad could be a part of the day.

‘Everybody knew what the day meant to us. To have my grandad be able to walk me down the aisle absolutely made my day and there was a lot of tears from everyone.

‘We never planned to do a “budget” wedding, as the word is portrayed as cheap and some even said my wedding would be chavvy, but I can honestly say hand on heart it was amazing.

‘Everybody who came commented on how relaxed it was, and not having to adhere to timings meant everything was heartfelt.’

Adele's budget wedding costs

Registry office: £400

Reception at working men’s club: £150

Wedding dress: £45

Suits: £100

Bridesmaids dresses: £140

Favours: £35

Decorations: £70

Food for buffet: £130

Hair for four: £60

Make up £40

Flowers: £40

Gifts: £30

Cake: £120

Originally, Adele had planned to have a ‘nice medium budget wedding’, which could have cost ‘a few thousand’.

However, when granddad David was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2008 and saw his health deteriorate, Adele and Thomas decided to move up the date for their big day.

Adele gave herself 12 months to plan the wedding and the pair got hitched in August last year.

Adele Byng in her wedding dress with now husband Thomas in his suit on their big day
The pair got married in August, 2018 (Picture: Mercury Press)
A note on the table at the reception that says: 'If you use Instagram, help us capture our special day. Please tag your photos #itsabyngthing2018'
The wedding had its own Instagram hashtag (Picture: Mercury Press)

She asked a former school friend, who is now a makeup artist, to help out on the beauty side of things, while family and friends were asked to assist with food, photography and decorations in lieu of giving presents.

For the theme, the couple went with pastel, as to not be tied down by colour price differences.

Adele said:  ‘As we didn’t have a large income each month and I was only working part time in a supermarket, we knew we couldn’t do the stately home or lavish wedding we had originally dreamed of.

‘I joined groups on Facebook especially for weddings and brides, and I put out posts detailing what I was looking for so I could get recommendations and then find the best suitable price for us.

‘By using the recommendation tool on my own personal Facebook I managed to find my make-up artist in an old school friend who I hadn’t spoken to in years and had no idea she did make-up, meaning it didn’t cost much at all.

‘Websites like eBay, Amazon and Wish were my best friend while planning the wedding, getting the table decorations from them our bridesmaids dresses and even my own wedding dress.’

Adele standing in front of her wedding cake, which is pink, yellow and blue
The thrifty bride asked family and friends to help with the food and decorations (Picture: Mercury Press)

Adele is now encouraging other brides and grooms to have their own DIY weddings.

‘I would 100% recommend other couples to do it because it’s just all from the heart, and everyone said how relaxed and lovely the day and evening was compared to some at stately homes that they had been in, which can be quite constricted with time,’ she said.

But most importantly, having a budget wedding allowed Adele’s dear granddad – who she calls ‘grumpy gramps’ – to be there.

Adele said: ‘I always wanted my grandad to walk me down the aisle, along with my dad the other side, due to him being my primary dad figure growing up.

‘His nickname from me is “grumpy gramps” and I just adore him really.

‘He isn’t an overly affectionate man, hence the nickname, but he has a wicked sense of humour and is so thankful for all I do for him and my nan.

‘Making him such a central part of my wedding was just me paying back what they have done for me growing up.’

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Man’s horrifying masturbating incident will remind you to clean your Fleshlight

a spider making a web on a colourful background
Be warned, this story is horrifying (Picture: Getty)

We do love reading about other people’s terrible mistakes.

Today’s fail comes courtesy of Reddit’s TIFU, where a man has shared a story so horrifying that it almost puts us off the concept of masturbation entirely.

It will definitely make those with penises feel a little more tentative when they insert their dicks into things.

The man, who shared the story on a throwaway account, tells a tale of finding an old Fleshlight (that’s a masturbation sleeve designed to feel like a vagina, mouth, or anus, in case you’re not in the know) and joyfully putting his penis inside it… only to find something awful inside, waiting to greet his member.

He writes: ‘I bought a Fleshlight back in February of 2018, using it on and off again for about 3 months until I decided to box it up for good.

‘I had had enough of the joy the toy brought me, and had just started a relationship with my now lovely girlfriend.

‘Flash forward to yesterday, when I was looking through my old junk. I was bored and decided to do some (late) spring cleaning, when I came upon the box.

‘I smirked and opened up the box to see my prized possession, the Fleshlight.

‘I put it aside for today, when I decided to use it.

‘Out of lube, I went it dry, f*** up #1.

‘Once I reached as far in as my lil member would let me in it, I felt a tickling sensation.

‘Uneased I pulled out fast, giving my dick a rug burn type sensation.

‘To my surprise, and disgust, I was met with a spider on the tip of my dick.

‘Without thinking, I instantly flicked it off with my long ass fingernails, scraping the tip of my dick. In pain, I freaked out and let the spider get away.

‘Tl;dr: stuck my dick in a unused Fleshlight just to find a spider on my tip, hurting myself in the process of getting it off.’

So first he had to deal with the awful sensation of rug burn on his little pal, then the knowledge that a spider had touched it. Doesn’t that make you shudder?

Yes, you do need to clean your Fleshlight
Yes, you do need to clean your Fleshlight (Picture: Fleshlight)

It’s one of those stories like the ones about snakes coming out of toilets – it’ll haunt you every time you go through the same motion.

But this man’s mess-up is also an important reminder to take proper care of your sex toys – lest you find a spider on your genitals.

First off, masturbation sleeves of any sort are usually best used with lube, to avoid any uncomfortable friction or even – gulp – tears of the skin. Lube ’em up for far more pleasure and to avoid a friction burn.

Secondly, before using a Fleshlight, especially if it’s been a while since your last session, it’s worth giving it a clean. Give it a clean after use, too.

This isn’t just to clear out any spiders (as important as that consideration is). Ponder just how filthy the inside of a Fleshlight can get – it’s loaded with lube, any natural substances on your penis’s skin (sweat, for example), dust, and semen.

If you leave all that stuff inside, it’s hanging out in a warm, moist environment that allows bacteria to thrive.

Using a dirty Fleshlight can lead to all sorts of nasty consequences, including skin infections and yeast infections. Left untreated, bacteria can grow and travel into the man’s urethra, causing all sorts of pain and irritation.

So yes, you need to clean your Fleshlight. But how do you do it?

How to clean a Fleshlight

All Fleshlights have a removable sleeve inside, which makes cleaning it easy. Take out the sleeve then run some warm water right through it.

You don’t need to use soap (as long as you’re washing it soon after use), as this can degrade the material. Just hot water and a wipe down will do the trick, but if you want some extra cleanliness, Fleshlight makes their own antibacterial cleaning spray.

Once you’ve washed out your sleeve, leave it to dry, ideally by a fan or a window so it gets a good flow of air. Whatever you do, don’t use it or put it away while it’s still damp, as then you’re right back in the bacterial breeding ground situation.

Don’t put your fleshlight in the dishwasher or washing machine, or attempt to dry it with a hairdryer, as the high heat can degrade the silicone.

Once clean and dry, keep your fleshlight in a cool, dry place.

If you notice it feels a bit sticky or rough after washing, give it a sprinkle with the Fleshlight Renewer Powder to make it feel brand new again.

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Lush releases 13 new vegan makeup brushes

The brushes, which are vegan
The brushes are totally cruelty-free (Picture: Lush)

Lush has released a new collection of vegan makeup brushes, designed by their in-house makeup artist.

The brushes are made of 100% vegan materials: recycled aluminium, biodegradable sustainable sourced wood, a cellulose-based lacquer and vegan glue.

And they’re totally cruelty-free.

The brushes are very simple-looking, with a sleek design featuring black handles and a gold top.

There are 13 brushes in the set, with prices ranging from £7.50 to £32.

Lush’s head makeup artist Meg Edwards said, ‘We tried and tested an array of different brushes and synthetic fibres until we had a perfect collection. We’re confident the range of brushes will deliver professional results.

‘They’re easy to use and they have a luxurious, premium feel!’

The release comes after Lush opened its biggest store ever in Liverpool, with a spa, florist, hair lab and perfume library inside.

The store opened back in March at 34-35 Church Street, and features a hair lab, offering cutting services, a permanent florist selling locally sourced and seasonal bouquets and a perfume library with exclusive scents.

Handmade fresh products are made onsite and there’s a spa with six treatment rooms.

Treatments include the percussion massage, where you are massaged to the beats of music and a fresh facial, using Lush skincare products.

Also in the store is a party area and a coffee and tea kiosk if you need a break from shopping.

The new store, which is spread over three floors, is five times bigger than the previous Liverpool branch and apparently, it’s big enough to hold 9,000,000 bath bombs.

Sure, none of us need that many bath bombs – but it’s definitely the place to go if you’re in need of stocking up.

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Heartbreaking note asks for thief to return photos of dog’s last day alive

picture of heartbreaking sign asking for the return of photos of a dog
The victim didn’t care about the cash or camera, they just wanted the photos of their dog (Picture: Facebook/Getty)

Ready to have a little cry?

People are sharing a sign stuck to a lampost in Toronto, Ontario, that has a heartbreaking request for a robber.

The unknown writer says the man in their house robbed them, taking their cash and their DSLR camera – but they don’t care about that.

All they want back is the memory card from their camera, for an incredibly moving reason.

The sign reads: ‘To the man who was in my house and robbed me.

‘Keep the cash, and my DSLR, and whatever else you took.

‘But if you have the memory card from the camera, please, it has photos of my dog’s last day alive on it.

‘I cannot replace those photos. Please throw it on to the porch or put it in the mail slot. Or mail it.

The sign reads: 'To the man who was in my house and robbed me. Keep the cash, and my DSLR, and whatever else you took'
Absolutely heartbreaking (Picture: Saoirse Morgan)

‘Please. She died a few days ago. I cannot lose those photos as well.’

Getting robbed is an awful experience, and the person shouldn’t have to put up with any of their possessions being taken, but it shows just how much they care about their dog that the only thing they want back is those photos.

A picture of the sign was shared on Facebook by Saoirse Morgan, who wrote: ‘This is simply heartbreaking. I hope this person does the right thing.’

The post was shared more than 21,000 times, and has received lots of comments from people hoping the robber will be kind and return the memory card.

Here’s hoping the thief sees the sign and does the right thing. No matter how desperately someone might need cash, surely they can understand the pain of losing a beloved pet.

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Is honey better for you than sugar?

Honey in a bowl
Is honey worth all the buzz? (Picture: Getty)

Sugar is the newest public enemy number one in the food industry, and there has been a marked increase in the number of people trying to cut down on it.

Some are simply looking to steer clear of refined sugars, instead going for substitutes like honey.

This natural, sweet liquid is created by bees and – although it isn’t vegan – can taste sweeter than sugar depending on the type.

Is it actually healthier for you than sugar, though? We take a look.

Honey benefits

The reason this nectar actually tastes sweeter than sugar is because it is. It’s made up of 40% fructose and 30% glucose, as well as water and some vitamins. This is a benefit in the sense that you need to use less to achieve the same effect.

It also has a lower GI value than sugar, so foes not raise your blood sugar as quickly.

Others feel that honey is healthier due to the fact is has been used as an antiseptic for years, and because its flavonoid content is considered to be antibacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergenic.

Teaspoon of sugar on a pink background
The white stuff gets a bad rap (Picture: Getty)

Honey disadvantages

Although it does have these benefits, honey if more calorific than sugar. Due to this, it makes sense for people to watch their intake if they’re being careful of calories.

Plus, although the GI value is lower, it will still affect your blood sugar, so won’t be too different to standard sugar for diabetics.

Honey could also be dangerous for children under a year, as it contains bacterial spores that can cause botulism in infants.

In general, if you’re planning on switching from sugar to honey, you should choose a raw variety that contains more enzymes and vitamins, and be sure to keep an eye on your intake.

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Bumble is looking for someone to go on dates for a year (and get paid for it)

Illustration of two hands intertwined and a heart against a purple and pinkish background
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Consider yourself a dating connoisseur?

If you’re currently single and up for a romantic adventure, this could be for you.

Bumble, the dating app where women have to message first in order for men to be able to contact them, is looking for a ‘Global Connector Bee’.

It’s essentially a fancy title that means you get to travel the world while looking for love.

The chosen candidate will be offered an all-expenses trip across Australia, Canada and the UK, where they will will use the app and connect with potential partners.

But it’s not all about romantic love; Bumble also has two additional features that allows people to make new friends or business contacts.

The Global Connector Bee is expected to share their journey through blogs and vlogs, as well as social media posts.

‘We are a global company on a mission to connect great people in a kind and empowering way,’ said Chelsea Maclin, Bumble’s vice president of marketing.

‘As our company and community of users continues to grow, it’s so important for us to advance our on-the-ground research about the global dating culture so we can optimize our product offerings for new communities and future generations.’

The role launched yesterday (31 May) and applications are open until 14 June, but you must be over 18 to apply.

But you have to apply through the app, so if you don’t have it, it’s time to download and familiarise yourself with Bumble.

Had your heart broken recently? This could be the ultimate way to get over your ex.

Worst comes to worst, you travel the world, make some new friends and go on lots of dates. We’re game.

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Boss shares the ‘coffee cup test’ he uses in every interview

Coffee cup test for hiring people
Make sure to take your coffee cup back to the kitchen (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

Oh great, another interview test that we now realise we’ve failed.

The boss of accounting software firm Xero Australia, Trent Innes, has shared the trick he uses to determine if someone should be hired.

It’s nothing to do with your CV or your experience – it’s all down to how you deal with a coffee cup.

Here’s how it works.

When someone comes in for an interview, Trent takes them on a walk down to the kitchen and makes sure they come away with a drink. After the interview is all done, Trent watches to see if the person offers or attempts to take the empty coffee cup back to the kitchen.

If they do, they’d be a good fit for the workplace. If they just leave their cup at the table and leave, they won’t get the job.

Anyone else now racking their brain to remember if they’ve ever left a used cup at an interview?

On the Venture Podcast with Lambros Photios, Trent said: ‘If you do come in and have an interview, as soon as you come in and you do meet me, I will always take you for a walk down to one of our kitchens and somehow you always end up walking away with a drink.

‘Then we take that back, have our interview, and one of the things I’m always looking for at the end of the interview is, does the person doing the interview want to take that empty cup back to the kitchen?

Trent Innes says he uses the coffee cup test in every interview
Trent Innes says he uses the coffee cup test in every interview (Picture: Twitter)

‘You can develop skills, you can gain knowledge and experience but it really does come down to attitude, and the attitude that we talk a lot about is the concept of “wash your own coffee cup”.’

‘So what I was trying to find was what was the lowest level task I could find that regardless of what you did inside the organisation was still super important that would actually really drive a culture of ownership.

‘If you come into the office one day inside Xero, you’ll see the kitchens are almost always clean and sparkling and it’s very much off that concept of wash your coffee cup.

‘It’s really just making sure that they’re actually going to fit into the culture inside Xero, and really take on everything that they should be doing.’

Trent said that the majority of people he interviews do offer to return their cup to the kitchen. He doesn’t make them do it, but just wants to see them offer.

Of course, now he’s revealed this publicly everyone who interviews at the company will jump to take their cup back to the kitchen.

But bear in mind that other employees might spot this hack too and start implementing it.

If you take the offer of a drink, whether it’s a coffee, a tea, or a water, offer to walk it back to the kitchen. That could be the difference that gets you the job.

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Adidas launches new trainers inspired by Toy Story 4

The new trainers Adidas is releasing
The trainers come in celebration of the new Toy Story movie (Picture: Adidas)

Adidas is releasing Toy Story themed trainers to celebrate the release of Toy Story 4.

The Toy Story 4 x Adidas UltraBOOST 19 are white trainers with Buzz Lightyear themed colours.

The white trainers include a green hue on the heel and purple panelling, and feature an orange detailing on the toe, with Three Stripe branding.

There’s also a black Toy Story 4 tongue tab and an image of Buzz Lightyear inside.

The buzz lightyear inspired trainers
They’re inspired by Buzz Lightyear (Picture: Adidas)

The trainers will be released on 21 June, alongside the the movie, as well as a children’s version of the trainers launching on 11 July.

In other Disney movie collaboration news, MAC Cosmetics has released an Aladdin themed makeup collection.

The beauty has launched a three-piece makeup collection which includes a nine-pan eye shadow palette with shades inspired by Princess Jasmine.

There's a picture of Buzz inside the shoe
They even feature a picture of Buzz inside (Picture: Adidas)

The launch coincided with the release of the new Aladdin movie, which came out last month.

According to MAC, the collection ‘highlights the self-determination and confidence’ as seen by Princess Jasmine.

It includes an eyeshadow palette featuring neutral metallics, shimmers and mattes, alongside a honey-toned bronzer which features a lamp debossed in the pressed powder – called Your Wish Is MY Command.

There’s also be a magenta lipstick, with all makeup items coming in gold and turquoise packaging.

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Life hacks to get you through a summer heatwave

Compilation of top, t-shirt, wine glass with red wine spilling onto the top and watermelon
Need tips on how to get rid of a stubborn stain? (Picture: Getty)

Summer has finally arrived, which means people will head outside to enjoy park hang outs, boozy brunches and BBQs.

As you do your best to cool down during hotter temperatures, you’ll probably slurp on some chilled beverages: wine, tasty ice lollies and iced lattes as you lounge on the grass.

While we love a summer session as much as the next person, we’re less happy about potentially ruining our new seasonal wardrobe with stains.

Not to worry, the cleaning and laundry experts from Dr Beckmann have share some life hacks to help you get through any heatwave.


You’re sat in a pub garden, it’s crowded and someone accidentally knocks a glass of red wine on your carefully chosen (probably white) outfit.

Firstly, what are people doing drinking red in summer, but more importantly, what to do about your clothes?

There’s an old saying that white wine will help remove red wine stains. Before you reach for a chilled bottle of Chardonnay, well, don’t – because it’s not true.

Instead, flush the area with soda water.

Fruit juice

You’ve handed your child a nice box of fruit juice.

They squeeze it too hard and suddenly it sprays everywhere, including all over their new clothes.

Don’t fret, you can get rid of it.

The important thing is to keep the stain moist, before throwing it straight into the washing machine (on hot) or alternatively, if it’s a dark fruit, soak the stain in some vinegar.


Whether it’s from playing sport at the park or fumbling around with a lover and accidentally sliding off the picnic blanket, grass stains are pretty much inevitable.

Grass is particularly difficult to remove, but not impossible.

First, clear off any excess grass, mud or dirt but don’t rub the stain.

Pre-soak the stain with one part spirit vinegar and two parts warm water for half an hour, and then throw in the wash.


The avocado obsession is alive and well.

Millennials, as you order your umpteenth avo on toast during brunch and spill it on your top, don’t just it until the morning because it will be too late.

The stains are very difficult to remove, but work best if you rub gently with some liquid laundry detergent.

If you’re unlikely to be home until later in the evening, it’s worth asking one of the staff if they can help (as some restaurants have washing machines on site).


While pre-cut watermelons cost an arm and a leg in comparison to a whole one, there is an advantage – you usually get a fork to eat it with.

Comparatively, cutting up a whole watermelon and eating it with your hands is likely to end in more than a few stains as the juicy fruit dribbles down your chin.

‘The perfect sunny day snack but watermelon can leave a permanent stain if not treated quickly,’ said the cleaning experts at Dr Beckmann.

‘Blot the stained fabric with a damp cloth then prepare to wash the garment.

‘Use a detergent that contains a lot of enzymes to break apart the stain. If the stain remains do not dry the fabric, simply hand wash it in warm water and oxygen based bleach and allow to air dry.’

Egg yolk

Be careful when eating your morning egg and cress sandwich.

The easiest way to get rid of it is to scrape off any excess egg, then soak your clothes in cold water for around 30 minutes, before throwing it in the washing machine.

A hand holding an iced latte in front of greenery
Iced latte is a summer staple (Picture: Getty)

Iced coffee

Hot weather means iced everything, including coffee.

Unfortunately, it can be hell to get any spills out of clothes.

That is unless you carry wet wipes, which can help remove it.

But be careful not to use an oil-based wet wipe though, as that could create its own stain.

Ice lolly

Calippo, Solero, Twister – the choices are endless.

‘Natural juices can lift from simply soaking in water, however for artificial colourings squeeze a bit of lemon juice on – the acid can help break the colouring down,’ said the cleaning experts at Dr Beckmann.

Sun cream

Sun cream tends to blend with your sweat, and could drip onto fabric.

You’re generally OK with towels, but if it’s on your clothes, there isn’t very much you can do in terms of a household hack.

Instead, you’re best off investing in a stain remover.


Go forth and eat all the hot dogs and burgers your heart desires, but if you’re all about the condiments, proceed with caution.

Should you spill ketchup, get some washing up liquid, rub a little bit onto the stain and then rinse with cold water.

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‘Disgusting’ company offers female employees money to wear short skirts in the office

Illustration of two people, one blonde with short hair and wearing a shirt and suit jacket, the other a woman in a green/blue t-shirt with black hair
(Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Dress codes are fairly standard in office environments.

However, the requirement for employees to dress in specific clothing is rapidly disappearing in creative and tech sectors, as businesses take on a new approach in an effort to, among other things, promote gender equality (with women no longer being forced to wear painful heels or makeup).

Unfortunately, not all companies are following suit.

Russian firm Tatprof is one such business and has been shamed for offering female employees an incentive if they wear short skirts, as part of a new clothing policy.

The initiative is intended to ‘brighten up the office’, which consists mainly of men (550 male workers versus 149 female workers).

Any woman at Tatprof who wears a dress or skirt up until 30 June, which is ‘no longer than five centrimetres from the knee’, will be given an additional £1.21 per day. The women are also encouraged not to wear too much makeup and tie up their hair (though it’s not specified if this will also get them extra cash).

To claim the money, female employees are also required to provide photographic evidence of their outfit by sending a selfie to their boss.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, the policy – which has been dubbed a ‘femininity marathon’ – also includes a range of ‘femininity’ events to be held in June, such as a dumpling making competition.

‘We wanted to brighten up our work days… our team is 70% male,’ said a representative from Tatproof in an interview with Govorit Moskva radio.

‘These kinds of campaigns help us switch off, rest. This is a great way to unite the team.

‘Many women automatically wear trousers to work, which is why we hope that our campaign will raise our ladies’ awareness, allowing them to feel their femininity and charm when they make the choice of wearing a skirt or dress.’

Despite the backlash, over one third of the company’s female employees (60 women) have taken part in the ‘femininity marathon’.

Unsurprisingly, the idea was introduced by a man.

More specifically, according to Anastasia Kirillova who works in the department of corporate culture and internal communications, it was Tatproof’s CEO, Sergei Rachkov, who presented the policy as a way to boost morale.

‘He is very concerned about this issue – mixing gender roles and he really wants to maintain the female essence in every female employee of the company, so that young women do not have male haircuts, do not change into trousers, so that they engage themselves in handicraft, project all their warmth into raising children,’ she said.

People have not taken well to the new policy.

‘The 1950s are alive and well and living in Russia,’ said one.

Another said: ‘So #Tatprof is running a femininity contest for its employees in Russia, basically it seems so the bosses can gawk over the pictures.

‘Disgusting abuse of power & exploiting women.’

We couldn’t agree more.

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Mum who took daughter to GP for a dark mark in her mouth embarrassed to discover it’s just cardboard

Bella was rushed to the GP after mum Darian spotted a black mark in her mouth
Bella was rushed to the GP after mum Darian spotted a black mark in her mouth

We’ve all been there: panicking over a mysterious health issue that turns out to be nothing worth worrying about.

We think we’ve lost our mind because we can’t find our phone anywhere… then it was in our hand the entire time.

There’s a mark on our face that could be sun damage… or it’s a smear of chocolate from that ice cream we had earlier.

Be thankful, though, that your confusion didn’t lead to a situation quite as embarrassing as Darian Depreta’s.

Mum Darian was alarmed to see a dark mark suddenly appear on the roof of her daughter’s mouth. After it wouldn’t come off, she made an urgent doctor’s appointment and rushed little Bella to see the GP.

At first Darian was told that Bella must have a birthmark she hadn’t noticed, which the mum knew couldn’t be the case.

Darian panicked when she saw a dark spot in her daughters mouth
Darian panicked when she saw a dark spot in her daughter’s mouth

Two specialists were called when the nurse decided to take another look… at which point she discovered the mark wasn’t a birth mark or a disturbing growth, but a little piece of cardboard.

‘So I’m playing with Bella today and notice the roof of her mouth is black,’ wrote Darian on Facebook.

‘I try wiping it to see if it would come off, and it didn’t. I immediately call Chandler, my mom and best friend in a panic.

‘I make her a doctors appointment that was about 30 minutes from the time I noticed her mouth.

‘I get to the doctors and the Nurse Practitioner tried to wipe it, and said she had never seen anything like it.

After discovering the truth Darian laughed and cried
After discovering the truth Darian laughed and cried

‘She decides to consult with the doctors and they suggest maybe a birthmark. I INSISTED it was not because I always look in her mouth and clean it.

;I’m now being told that my daughter will be set up with two specialists. After insisting it wasn’t a birthmark on the roof of her mouth, the NP decided to take another look at this medical mystery.

‘I point out it looks a little white on the side and she really gets in there trying to scrape it.


As you’d expect, Darian was pretty embarrassed.

‘I can never show my face in that office again,’ she said. ‘I cried/laughed for a solid 5 minutes straight.’

Darian explained that Bella is teething and so tries to chew on everything, and must have found a box to munch on. When she’d seen her chewing the box she took it away and checked her mouth for any small pieces, but just didn’t realise a bit had become stuck.

it turned out to be a tiny piece of cardboard
All that stress caused by a tiny piece of cardboard

Thankfully she was able to laugh at the whole embarrassing incident, and shared the story on Facebook, where it’s been shared over 11,000 times.

Parents commented to let Darian know she’s not alone in this sort of embarrassing mixup.

One wrote: ‘I was putting my daughter in the car a few years ago and she put her finger in the door handle where there was a red melted crayon and asked me “what was that?”

‘I completely freaked out like there was a hatchet wound on her finger that was gushing blood all over the door. My reaction was as dramatic as possible!’

Another mum commented: ‘Don’t feel bad! I insisted that Rush had a nasty cavity after I discovered a huge black spot back in his molar that I absolutely could not get out with anything I scraped it with. Turns out it was a strawberry seed.’

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Ben & Jerry’s really wants to launch CBD infused ice cream

The proposed CBD inflused ice cream
The brand wants CBD in foods to be legalised (Picture: Ben & Jerry’s)

Ben and Jerry’s wants to launch CBD infused ice cream, in hopes of jumping on the cannabis oil trend.

The ice cream company shared a photo of a mock-up of what could be a new ice cream tub some time in the future to their Instagram, writing: ‘Trend alert! CBD-infused ice cream is (maybe, hopefully) coming to a freezer near you!’

And, unsurprisingly, people went pretty wild for the idea.

One person commented: ‘Thank. You. For normalizing. Hemp and cannabis. The work you guys do is SO much more than just ice cream.’

Another said: ‘This is why you guys are the best ice cream company out there’.

Someone else added: ‘Ben and Jerry’s continuing to be the ice cream we didnt know we needed’.

Of course, Ben & Jerry’s is an American brand and currently the FDS prohibits adding CBD to food and beverages – but they recently had a hearing on the legalisation of CBD-infused foods, and Ben & Jerry’s submitted a comment to them supporting legalisation.


The brand is hoping that eventually, CBD-infused ice cream is something they’ll actually be able to roll out.

Ben & Jerry’s CEO Matthew McCarthy said: ‘We’re doing this for our fans.

‘We’ve listened and brought them everything from Non-Dairy indulgences to on-the-go portions with our Pint Slices. We aspire to love our fans more than they love us and we want to give them what they’re looking for in a Ben & Jerry’s way.’

On their website, the brand added: ‘Just chasing a trend isn’t quite enough for us. We want to use sustainably-sourced CBD from our home state of Vermont.

‘After all, values-led sourcing is an important part of our process when we churn up new ice cream innovations.

‘By using high-quality, sustainably-sourced ingredients, we support our linked prosperity model, ensuring that everyone involved with making our flavors — from the cocoa farmers to the Scoop Shop scoopers — is positively impacted.’

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Boy with dwarfism who doctors didn’t think would live two weeks celebrates his fifth birthday

Jude was born with a rare form of dwarfism and doctors didn't think he would live longer than a few weeks
Jude wasn’t expected make it past two weeks old (Picture: MDWfeatures / Hannah Peters)

Doctors didn’t think Jude Peters would make it to two weeks old.

This year he celebrated his fifth birthday.

During her pregnancy, Jude’s mum, Hannah Peters, was told that her son would have some form of skeletal dysplasia.

Two days after he was born Jude was diagnosed with rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata (RCDP), a rare developmental brain disorder and a form of dwarfism.

Hannah and her husband, Sully, were told to prepare for the worst. Jude wasn’t expected to live longer than a couple of weeks.

He underwent multiple surgeries and had to be fed through a tube.

But somehow, he continues to survive. He’s now five years old.

Hannah said: ‘When they diagnosed him, they told us we would only have a couple weeks with him.

Hannah pictured looking over Jude
Jude has a rare and terminal form of dwarfism called rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata (RCDP) (Picture: MDWfeatures / Hannah Peters)

‘He has defied the odds and has continued to be a fighter. Our miracle boy turned five on April 17th.

‘Jude was born with congenital cataracts in both eyes and had surgery at six and eight weeks to remove them. He is fully fed through his feeding tube that was surgically placed during the first month of his life.

‘He has spinal stenosis, kyphosis and a tethered cord. His joints are contracted which requires him to need a lot of therapy. He gets weekly in-home therapy and he loves it; it makes him feel comfortable.

‘Jude is wheelchair dependent, but regardless of all the medical challenges he has faced and still faces, Jude is filled with immense joy. He loves meeting new people and smiles every single day.’

What is RCDP?

Rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata (RCDP) is a form of dwarfism and a rare, terminal metabolic genetic disorder.

The main features of RCDP include skeletal abnormalities, distinctive facial features, intellectual disability and respiratory problems.

Statistics say that 60% of children with RCDP don’t make it to their first birthday and 30% don’t live to their second birthday.

RCDP is a form of dwarfism and while achondroplasia causes mainly skeletal abnormalities, this form affects children’s neurological system, respiratory system and digestive system as well as their skeletal deformities.

Despite the struggles he faces, Jude is a happy child who’s constantly smiling and loves meeting new people.

His parents have found support through an organisation called RhizoKids. They also share Jude’s story online on Facebook and Instagram.

Hannah pictured hugging her son in the hospital
He cannot walk or talk (Picture: MDWfeatures / Hannah Peters)

‘Rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata is a condition that impairs the normal development of many parts of the body,’ explains Hannah.

‘We were devastated when Jude was diagnosed with RCDP at two days old. However, we stand together with hope and faith and Jude has come such a long way.

‘We have shared Jude’s story since the very beginning; I started blogging when Jude was diagnosed in utero with skeletal dysplasia.

‘Awareness is very important for children with rare diseases and we work hard at raising awareness for Jude and his Rhizo brothers and sisters.

Jude smiling among his presents and balloons for his fifth birthday
Jude defied the odds and celebrated his fifth birthday in April (Picture: MDWfeatures / Hannah Peters)

‘The hardest part to cope with was hearing about the lifespan for RCDP kids and also knowing that Jude would never be able to walk, talk or eat.

‘Such a disability is heart-breaking for any parent; these past five years have had their ups and downs.

‘Overall, we have joy. Jude has learned to communicate and shows love in his own special and beautiful way.

‘Jude is a very loved little boy; we have been overwhelmed with the love, prayers and support from our friends, family, local press, community and online followers that we call Jude’s Tribe.

Sully pictured lovingly holding Jude
Sully with Jude (Picture: MDWfeatures / Hannah Peters)

‘We frequently hear that Jude’s story has inspired people and brought them joy and given them hope in their own situations. We feel blessed that Jude’s story has had such a positive impact. Our hope in sharing our story is that everyone can have joy like Jude.’

Jude’s parents will do whatever it takes to keep their child happy, despite all his health concerns.

His condition means he catches viruses very easily, along with affecting his neurological system, respiratory system and digestive system as well as their skeletal deformities.

Jude dressed as Buzz Lightyear from Disney's Toy Story
Sully and Hannah share Jude’s story online (Picture: MDWfeatures / Hannah Peters)

‘We hope that Jude will continue to live a happy life,’ says Hannah. ‘We work hard to keep him safe.

‘Many have affectionately referred to Jude as Brave Little Warrior since the very beginning.

‘We call our local community of supporters and social media followers Jude’s Tribe and Jude’s tribe is the best tribe.

‘There is always hope. Live one day at a time. Never take anything for granted. Always find the joy in everything.

‘Jude’s favourite thing is dancing. Always take the time to live in the moment and make time for dancing. Never give up.’

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