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Daily Fitness Challenge: How quickly can you do 20 high burpees?


Today’s fitness challenge is high burpees – how fast can you do 20 reps?

Unlike chest-to-floor burpees which we tried last week, these burpees don’t require you to lower yourself into a full press-up. But that mean’s it’s all about speed.

How quickly can you bang out 20 of these heart-pumping moves?

Our daily challenges are perfect to try at home, at the gym or in the park. They are designed to get you moving every day.

Throughout this Staying Active summer series, fitness experts Elia and Amanda – both qualified instructors at Flykick – will be on hand to show you how to do each challenge and give you their top tips.

Check back every weekday to see what the next challenge is – you can even film your progress to make a record of how far you’ve come.

The aim is to be active every day for six weeks over summer. And today’s challenge is a tough one that will test your explosive strength and really work your core.

These daily challenges can be done on their own , or you can include them in larger workout – it’s totally up to you. As long as you’re moving, that’s what counts.

Woman in gym jumping in mid air
(Picture: Getty)

We know doing the same fitness routine every week can get really tedious, trying a new challenge every day will keep your fitness fresh and fun – and you might even learn some new moves.

How to do high burpees

Start with your feet shoulder-width apart.

Lower your body into a squat with your toes pointing forwards and you knees bent.

Put your hands on the floor just inside your feet, and slightly in front of them. Shift your weight into your hands.

Jump your feet back to land in a plank position. With the weight in your hands you should land softly – this should b a controlled movement.

Your body should form a straight line from your head to feet. Keep your stomach muscles engaged so that your spine doesn’t arch in this position.

Jump your feet back so that they land just outside of your hands.

Reach your arms over head and explosively jump up. You are aiming for elevation so really push into the floor.

Land softly and immediately lower into a squat for your next rep.

I am Team GB

Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.

Inspired by the achievements of Team GB athletes and the amazing efforts of local community heroes, Team GB has created ‘The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day’, which will take place on the 24thAugust.

Over the weekend, there will be hundreds of free and fun activities across the country, put on by an army of volunteers; the ‘I am Team GB Games Makers’.

To Join the Team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day sign up at: www.IAmTeamGB.com

Eat fish three times a week to cut your risk of bowel cancer, says research

lunch spread including fish
Eat up (Picture: Getty)

Eating three portions of fish each week could cut your risk of developing bowel cancer, suggests new research.

So you might was the load up on the salmon.

Experts from the University of Oxford and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) looked at the diets of 476,160 people through questionnaires.

The surveys included detail on people’s fish intake – including all sorts of fish; white, fatty, oily, and lean.

Researchers found that those who ate fish on a regular basis were 12% less likely to experience bowel cancer than people who ate less than one portion of fish a week.

If you’d like to get super specific, they found that the key amount of fish to cut your bowel cancer risk is 359.1g of fish each week. Crack out the scales.

Symptoms of bowel cancer:

  • Bleeding from your bottom and/or blood in your poo
  • A persistent and unexplained change in bowel habit
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Extreme tiredness for no obvious reason
  • A pain or lump in your tummy

All fish consumption was found to be a great thing, but oily fish in particular is linked to a lower risk of bowel cancer. People who ate 123.9g of oily fish, such as salmon and sardines, saw a 10% lower risk of bowel cancer. A typical portion of fish is around 100g, so even adding one portion of oily fish a week could be beneficial to your health.

It’s thought that this is because fatty and oily fish are an extremely rich source of long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (good fats, basically), which are believed to have a protective effect in the body and prevent inflammation.

The research was funded by the World Cancer Research Fund in order to strengthen its dietary advice to the public.

Lisa Wilde, director of research and external affairs at Bowel Cancer UK, said: ‘Making simple changes to your lifestyle can help stack the odds against bowel cancer.

‘Including wholegrains, fibre and fish in your diet, being of a healthy body weight, having regular physical activity, avoiding processed meats and limiting red meat, can all make a real difference.’

MORE: Daily Fitness Challenge: How quickly can you do 20 high burpees?

MORE: Six ways to help your elderly neighbours during the heatwave

Date-ercise is the speed dating fitness class that could help you find love

Couple in the gym doing planks and high-fiving each other
Stop swiping, start sweating (Picture: Getty)

You probably think that the gym is the last place you would want to find the love of your life.

You’re sweaty, wearing lycra, probably make-up free… but maybe this is just the time to find your next romance. Your heart is already racing, your blood is already pumping – sparks are bound to fly.

The latest craze for single fitness nuts is date-ercise. The speed dating fitness class that could help you work on your love life as well as your summer body. Your heart is a muscle after all.

So would you give it a try? Is breathless, sweaty speed dating the antidote to soulless swiping that we all need? Or is it your idea of hell?

‘Date-ercise is just like any other fitness class, with the twist that everyone is single and wanting to meet somebody,’ explains founder Keith Mcniven.

‘You can pace yourself on the various zones, but you will still be pushed physically.

Woman helping a man to stretch in the gym
Get your pulse racing – and not just because of the cardio (Picture: Getty)

‘The aim is for Date-ercise to be challenging but fun, and a great chance to find love with a like-minded person.

‘We also had some healthy drinks and snacks afterwards, once everybody had showered and changed, which was a great opportunity for people to chat further.’

So what do you actually do at a date-ercise session?

It’s pretty much like a HIIT class – with an extra helping of flirting.

After a quick warm-up, 14 guests bond over a series of exercises for 45 minutes in total.

Tailored for couples and led by an experienced personal trainer, participants complete 45 seconds of work at various stations – including battle ropes, exercise bikes and sledge pushing, and then you get 40 seconds to rest between the zones.

At the end of each circuit there is a one-minute resting period so you can talk to prospective lovers. If you’ve got any breath left.

Don’t worry – you don’t have to be a world-class athlete to take part. The class has been designed to be as inclusive as possible, with a mixture of exercises to suit all levels.

There are even plans to offer more advanced classes in future, as well as LGBT-specific classes and Friend-ercise – for people who are new to the area and want to expand their social circle or just on the hunt for a workout buddy.

‘In the last few years, there has been a fitness boom – with more people embracing a healthy lifestyle focused on well-being,’ explains Keith.

‘Similarly, we’re getting tired of constantly swiping on dating apps and going our for drinks to meet new people, but opting for engaging activities instead.

Happy couple sitting on treadmill at gym
Would you give it a try? (Picture: Getty)

‘Date-ercise aims to bridge that gap and bring together people who want a workout, but also the chance to find love and hang out with like-minded people.’

So if you prefer burpees and protein shakes to steak and red wine – this could be the perfect first date for you.

‘I didn’t expect a date where I was sweating so much to be successful,’ said one happy participant.

‘It’s the perfect balance between exercise and socializing.’

Another added; ‘finding something in common like fitness can really be a bonding experience.

‘The class was the perfect blend of an amazing workout and meeting new people.’

Originally offered as a one-off pop-up by Right Path Fitness, demand has been so high that the brand has decided to make it a monthly event and will be held at Right Path Fitness in Liverpool Street.

Tickets cost £25 per class and include a complimentary mocktail and some healthy snacks. Guests are also encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles to save on plastic – which we love.

So if you’re looking for love, put down your phone and pick up your trainers. Maybe a sweaty, visceral connection is what we need to create something meaningful.

I am Team GB

Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.

Inspired by the achievements of Team GB athletes and the amazing efforts of local community heroes, Team GB has created ‘The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day’, which will take place on the 24thAugust.

Over the weekend, there will be hundreds of free and fun activities across the country, put on by an army of volunteers; the ‘I am Team GB Games Makers’.

To Join the Team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day sign up at: www.IAmTeamGB.com

My Label and Me: I’m mixed-race and everyone has an opinion about me


Growing up in the 1990s in inner city Nottingham, my life was full of colour and my community was as equally Jamaican as it was white British.

Jamaican dancehall music blasted out of everyone’s house and no family was exclusively black or white.

I was the second generation of my immigrant Jamaican family. My mum’s family is white with generations working in factories and in the mines. I feel like I have had the best of all worlds.

And I’d like to talk about my experience as black Caribbean/white British – the box I tick when filling out official forms.

Where I grew up the term ‘mixed-race’ usually meant that your dad was black – mostly Jamaican descent – and your mum was white.

In my big Jamaican family, with over 20 first cousins (I’m not exaggerating), at lot of us are mixed-race. Through my school years I grew up with people whose families reflected my own. Feelings of sticking out or isolation were out of the question.

Leon McKenzie
In my big Jamaican family, with over 20 first cousins (I’m not exaggerating), at lot of us are mixed-race (Picture: Matthew Chattle/Metro.co.uk)

But ‘mixed-race’ isn’t the term I used to describe myself growing up. In fact, I would be referred to and refer to others as ‘half-caste.’ It wasn’t until I was introduced to John Aggard’s poem Half-Caste in year nine at school that me and my class realised what we had been calling each other was derogatory.

Even once we started using ‘mixed-race’ instead, we found that like – with all labels – there are stereotypes and meanings attached. The most prominent in this case have been ‘exotic’, ‘mixed up’ and ‘confused.’

The ‘exotic’ has often meant that as a light skinned mixed-race man I can pass unidentified through the world. When I’m in Spain, I can be seen as Spanish. Turkey – Turkish. And one cab driver would not believe that I was anything other than Arab.

I can be read in many different ways although, no one reads me as white. Despite being ‘light skinned’, which comes from my black family, through generations of colonialism and slavery that gave us our ‘red-skin’.

Leon McKenzie
When I’m in Spain, I can be seen as Spanish. Turkey – Turkish (Picture: Matthew Chattle/Metro.co.uk)

However my broad Nottingham accent and my council estate education means that my lived reality is that of a working class British ‘brown’ person that, as a teenager, was stopped and searched on a regular basis.

One thing I am not, is ‘mixed up.’ I am aware of the stereotypes and I’ve met people who share the same ethnicity as me but have been raised solely by the white side of their family yet identify as black. The rapper Akala has also talked about his discomfort about his mother’s whiteness.

I guess the reason why other mixed-raced people feel this way might be because the way they’ve been treated by white society. Even if you are half black the majority of white people will subconsciously apply the ‘one-drop’ rule and see you as a black person.

Growing up close to both sides of my family, at a multi-ethic school, and living in an area where my experience was common, I enjoyed the dichotomy of cultures.

Leon McKenzie
It doesn’t matter how I see myself or want to be seen; everyone’s got an opinion of who I am (Picture: Matthew Chattle/Metro.co.uk)

I remember my mum banning my dad from watching any film where it was white vs black – particularly the film Zulu – because it filled him with vitriolic rage. He’d be bouncing around the living room and demanding that I pick a side.

Apparently being mixed race is now on trend – it seems like every company uses a mixed-raced-nuclear-family to try to sell me a holiday or a sofa.

Even the royal family have got in on the action, but will little Prince Archie be known as a ‘quarter-caste’ – a term also used in my childhood – or will his high birth position exonerate him of race completely?

My prediction is that he’ll explore his African-American roots, reject his royal blood, join the Hotep movement and be dubbed The Woke Prince.

Nevertheless, there is a serious point here about fetishism of the exotic. White girls would always remark about having children with black guys so that their kids would have lovely freckled brown skin and luscious curly hair – in turn they would also fetishise us for the same reason

It doesn’t matter how I see myself or want to be seen; everyone’s got an opinion of who I am. Whether black, white or a funny tinge (shout out to Angela Smith) I know my roots and will keep pushing for my idea of beige excellence.

You can follow Leon on Twitter at @Leonmckenzeh


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

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

MORE: My Label and Me: I’m HIV positive and that doesn’t make me ‘reckless’ or ‘risky’

MORE: My Label and Me: Being deaf is a gift, especially when the baby is crying at 4am

MORE: My Label and Me: I never imagined I’d still be a self-harmer at 40

How Couch to 5K training could change your life

Young woman breaks from a run with her hands on her knees
(Picture: Getty)

You will have probably heard of the Couch to 5K programme. You might even know someone who’s done it.

The Couch to 5K is the iconic training plan that takes you from zero, to being able to run a 5K by doing just three runs every week with incremental increases in distance.

The whole point is to make getting active accessible and ease you in to the world of running – even if you think you hate it.

So how does it actually work?

Luckily – the whole plan is available for free online – so you can copy it down or download it on to your phone to help you keep track of your progress.

Even if the very thought of a light jog gives you a stitch, don’t worry – it starts slow.

In the first week you start with a brisk walk, then alternate one minute of running and one-and-a-half minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes – we think we can just about handle that.

By week nine, the final week of the programme, you will be running non-stop for 30-minutes. Don’t think it’s possible? Thousands of success stories prove that it is.

A man and woman run up a slight incline against a blue wall
(Picture: Getty)

During her third pregnancy, coach and business mentor Anna Parker Naples suffered from symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) – a condition that can cause severe pelvic pain.

She ended up having to use a zimmer frame and was finally confined to a wheelchair.

Slowly, surely, Anna recovered. One year later, Anna completed the Couch to 5K and it was a huge part of her recovery.

‘The Couch to 5K was the final step in my recovery from being in a wheelchair,’ Anna tells Metro.co.uk.

‘In my third pregnancy I suffered horrendous symptoms and through this I had become wheelchair bound.

‘Although I had gone on a long journey to recovering and was back on my feet, I was fearful about being too far from home in case I had problems with my pelvis, so I never strayed farther than a 10-minute jog from my house.

‘One day I was listening to Tony Robbins’ Awaken The Giant Within audio book and he challenged listener’s to just do whatever they were scared of, so I downloaded the Couch to 5K app, and went for it!

‘Within weeks I was running further than I had in years. It gave me confidence and proof that I could do anything I put my mind to.’

The best thing about the Couch to 5K programme is that you can get started no matter what your base fitness is like. The progress is so gradual that you will barely notice that your running distances are increasing.

You can also repeat any of the training weeks until you feel physically ready to move on to the next week – nine weeks is just a guide, but you can take it at your own pace.

Anthony is really fit – he’s a personal trainer by trade – but running was always his Achilles heel. He hated it and was convinced he wasn’t any good.

He said it was one of his hardest ever challenges, but now he can run 5K easily and even completes 10K races.

‘I am a goal driven person as a personal trainer but one thing I’d never done before was a running challenge because I’ve always hated it and I’ve never been good at it,’ Anthony tells Metro.co.uk.

‘So I signed up to do the vertical run in tower 42 and downloaded the Couch to 5K to get me going.’

The Couch to 5K programme

Week 1

For your 3 runs in week 1, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then alternate 1 minute of running and 1-and-a-half minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Week 2

For your 3 runs in week 2, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then alternate 1-and-a-half minutes of running with 2 minutes of walking, for a total of 20 minutes.

Week 3

For your 3 runs in week 3, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 2 repetitions of 1-and-a-half minutes of running, 1-and-a-half minutes of walking, 3 minutes of running and 3 minutes of walking.

Week 4

For your 3 runs in week 4, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 3 minutes of running, 1-and-a-half minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running, 2-and-a-half minutes of walking, 3 minutes of running, 1-and-a-half minutes of walking and 5 minutes of running.

Week 5

There are 3 different runs this week:

Run 1: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking and 5 minutes of running.

Run 2: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 8 minutes of running, 5 minutes of walking and 8 minutes of running.

Run 3: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 20 minutes of running, with no walking.

Week 6

There are 3 different runs this week:

Run 1: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 5 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking, 8 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking and 5 minutes of running.

Run 2: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 10 minutes of running, 3 minutes of walking and 10 minutes of running.

Run 3: a brisk 5-minute walk, then 25 minutes of running with no walking.

Week 7

For your 3 runs in week 7, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 25 minutes of running.

Week 8

For your 3 runs in week 8, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 28 minutes of running.

Week 9

For your 3 runs in week 9, you will begin with a brisk 5-minute walk, then 30 minutes of running.

‘What I loved was I didn’t have to think about what I was doing. I just had to listen to the instructions on the app and complete the task and see my progress each week.

‘During that training I ended up running 10K, which shocked me, so I signed up to do the Vitality London 10,000 and raise money for Alzheimer’s research.

‘First though I had the vertical run, which I did it 9.33 mins when my target was 10 minutes, and weeks later completed the 10K in 1 hour, 5 mins.

‘I would never have started running without couch to 5K to guide me and get me going and proud that I can now run 5K easily, with no issues.’

Fitness Group Chatting Before City Run
(Picture: Getty)

Rest days are also really important in between your runs to allow your muscles to recover and to reduce your risk of injury.

If you’re in a bit of a rut with your fitness and want to get active – Couch to 5K could be just what you’ve been waiting for – it could change your life.

‘It completely changed everything,’ says Gemma Stowe.

‘I told myself I couldn’t run all my life. But I turned 40 this year and I am about to run my first 10K in a few weeks time.

‘I still listen to the Couch to 5K app as motivation. It is totally linked to how I feel about smashing my business goals too.’

Andrea always disliked running but she was desperate to change her mind. She set herself a new year’s resolution to run a 5K – and with the help of the programme, she smashed her target.

‘In January I joined a Couch to 5K running group,’ Andrea tells Metro.co.uk.

‘It helped knowing everyone in the group was in the same boat as me and couldn’t run for more than a minute without feeling like they were about to die.

‘We ran together twice a week and you’re were expected to run once a week without the group, so I buddied up with a woman I know from the school run.

‘I probably wouldn’t have made it without her support and we are now best of friends and still run together.

‘Our graduation was Parkrun in March and thereafter, we completed the 5-10K programme and I ran 10k at the end of April.

‘I still run with the group on weekends and quite honestly, if I had followed the app and tried it on my own, I would’ve dropped out. Running with a group works best for me and keeps me motivated.

‘I have two young children and my husband works away from home Monday-Friday, so exercising in the evenings isn’t an option. I also work from home and sit at my desk a lot of the day.

‘Before starting running, I used to feel very down about not doing any exercise and feeling unhealthy. Now, I can pop out during the day for a run (I do this twice a week) and it has done wonders for my mental health and confidence.

‘It’s important for me to set a good example for my kids and to show them that exercise is good and fun.

‘My older son has joined me on a 5K Colour Run – we both had a great time together.’

I am Team GB

Toyota has teamed up with Team GB to re-launch the hugely successful participation campaign ‘I am Team GB’.

Inspired by the achievements of Team GB athletes and the amazing efforts of local community heroes, Team GB has created ‘The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day’, which will take place on the 24thAugust.

Over the weekend, there will be hundreds of free and fun activities across the country, put on by an army of volunteers; the ‘I am Team GB Games Makers’.

To Join the Team and be part of The Nation’s Biggest Sports Day sign up at: www.IAmTeamGB.com

Photos show exactly how much sunscreen you should be using

Most of us aren't applying enough sunscreen (Picture: The Hospital Group)
Most of us aren’t applying enough sunscreen (Picture: The Hospital Group)

Exactly how much sunscreen should you be applying today, what’s likely to be the hottest day of the year?

Spoiler: You’re probably not smearing on enough.

A recent study found that 67% of British people don’t use enough sun cream, with 44% using less than half of the recommended amount.

FYI, you’re supposed to use six teaspoons or more of sun cream for your entire body. That’s a bit tricky to visualise, so handily The Hospital Group has broken it down for us, creating images of the recommended amount of sunblock you should be using for each body part.

Here’s your guide to protecting your skin

Face and neck

amount of sunblock to apply to face and neck
You need half a teaspoon for your face and neck (Picture: The Hospital Group)

Loads of us forget to smother our face in sun cream, and when we do it’s rarely enough.

The British Association of Dermatologists recommends half a teaspoon of sunscreen for your face and neck. It might be handy to actually crack out a teaspoon so you can get a proper measure.



one teaspoon of sunscreen is recommended for your arms - so half on each
One teaspoon is recommended for your arms – so half on each (Picture: The Hospital Group)

Research found that 46% of Brits don’t apply enough sun cream to their arms (which we assumed was the easiest bit to cover, honestly).

The recommended amount is one teaspoon.



amount of sunscreen recommended for both legs
Squeeze two teaspoons worth of sun cream to cover both legs (Picture: The Hospital Group)

You need to rub in one teaspoon of sunscreen to each leg – so reserve two teaspoons’ worth for your pair of pins.


The front of your torso

one teaspoon of sunscreen is recommended for your arms - so half on each
You’ll need a full teaspoon of sunscreen for the front of your torso (Picture: The Hospital Group)

One teaspoon for your chest and tummy, please.


The back of your torso

one teaspoon of sunblock is recommended for your back
And another for your back (Picture: The Hospital Group)

And another teaspoon for your back and shoulders. Enlist the help of a pal* to get every bit covered.

*One you trust not to give you a rude sunburn tattoo.

There are areas of your body you’re probably not slathering with suncream whatsoever, so make sure to save another teaspoon or so for those often forgotten areas.

Yes, you do need to put sunscreen on the soles of your feet, your lips (you can get special sunblock lip balms if you suffer from dryness), your eyelids, and your hairline or parting.

Oh, and your bum needs a layer of sunscreen, too. Apparently 87% of Brits forget to cover this bit.

Bear in mind that the six teaspoons rule is the ‘bare minimum’ of what you need, and ‘more is better’ is a good rule.

Six tips for staying safe in the sun:

Lauren Mackenzie, Head of Medical Aesthetics for Transform and The Hospital Group, shares her tips for staying safe in the sun:

  1. Always apply sun cream when you’ll be in the sun: 23% of Brits never or rarely apply sun cream in the UK. This figure reaches 31% for males in the UK who appear to be less conscious when it comes to protecting their skin. That’s compared to 17% females who rarely or never apply sun cream in the UK.
  2. Don’t forget to wait 30 mins before venturing out: Wait half an hour after sun cream application before going in the sun or getting in the water. One in three Brits do not wait, which means their level of protection is much lower than they might realise
  3. You can burn on a cloudy day too: It doesn’t have to be bright sunshine for the sun’s rays to cause skin damage – yet the majority (41%) will only apply sun cream if it’s a sunny day in the UK.
  4. Reapply, reapply, reapply: 16% of Brits only apply sun cream a maximum of once per day when on a ‘sun holiday’ and one in five Brits apply sun cream just twice per day when on this type of holiday (21%). Only one in four Brits apply sun cream the recommended amount (at least every two hours) – one in four females do this versus one in six males.
  5. You can burn in the UK too: It might feel like summer never fully arrives here in the UK, however UV rays across the country can often be as high as other warmer countries such as Spain and the US.[5]
  6. Factor in the SPF: Almost half of Brits (44%) use sun cream that has SPF 25 or lower. 23% use the recommended SPF 30, which will protect your better when applied correctly. Always read the instructions for the specific brand of sun cream you choose, as application may vary slightly between brand, type, and SPF.

The British Association of Dermatologists says: ‘When using lotions, as the bare minimum you should to apply at least six full teaspoons (approximately 36 grams) to cover the body of an average adult, which is more than half a teaspoon of sunscreen to each arm and the face/neck (including ears), and just over one teaspoon to each leg, front of body and back of body.

‘This is the amount used when products are tested for their SPF (it equates to 2 mg /cm²). Applying less will reduce the protection to a higher degree than is proportionate – for example, only applying half the required amount can actually reduce the protection by as much as two-thirds.

‘The overall message in terms of sunscreen use is “more is better.”

‘It is also easy to forget to reapply sunscreen as often as necessary. Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going out in the sun to allow it to dry, and then again shortly after heading outdoors to cover any missed patches and to make sure you’re wearing a sufficient layer.

‘Reapply it at least every two hours, and immediately after swimming, perspiring and towel drying or if it has rubbed off.’

In short: smother yourself with suncream. No tan is worth serious skin damage.

MORE: Should you wear makeup during the heatwave?

MORE: Sweat-proof makeup tips for summer beauty routines

MORE: Woman who developed cystic acne in her 30s abandons heavy makeup and camera filters

How to holiday with your mates (and not hate each other)

A girl sticking her tongue out at her friend
Nobody wants to lose a friendship on holiday (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

So you want to go on a friend holiday. Amazing. Terrific life decision.

You might just have the actual time of your goddamn life, if you do it properly. A couple of years ago, my little gaggle of best friends and I went to a Greek island for 10 days, gorged on feta, paddled about in the turquoise water and staged endless photo shoots among the foliage.

It was pretty perfect, to be honest – but not all mate holidays can be. Sharing a place with your faves, clashing over what you’d like to do and getting up in each other’s personal space can be a shortcut to conflict (or, more likely, some serious passive aggression). Nobody wants to lose a friendship on holiday.

So! Let’s run through a few things you can do to keep the peace and have fun when you’re boarding a plane or a train or a car to somewhere glorious with your buddies.

Be organised (but not too organised)

Inevitably, one of you will go mad with the holiday organising: spreadsheets, itineraries, schedules. There’s one in every friendship group and if that’s you, learn to cool it a bit.

You want to be organised, sure, but you also need to preserve plenty of free time for spontaneity. Get all the essentials like transport and accommodation booked in to minimise stress or the possibility of being stranded.

Maybe have a look at local activities if you fancy it but you will absolutely, definitely cause tension if you martial your friends through a tightly organised lineup of pre-planned activities.

Some of the most wonderful holiday experiences happen when you’re wandering the streets of a city, getting lost, stumbling upon little cafes or wine bars or markets that you wouldn’t have found by Googling ‘things to do Zante’.

Trying to force everyone into a strict schedule of organised fun will not end well but if you absolutely need to, block out some ‘free time’ every day and pop it into your diary.

The Gran Canaria Walking Festival, A winter adventure.
There’s nothing worse than traipsing around, following someone else’s holiday plan, quietly raging (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Compromise on holiday activities

There are many different types of travellers, and I’m sure your friendship group is comprised of a few.

Some people love to get as lazy as possible on holiday, lying on the sand with a book and a cocktail. Others like to lace up their walking shoes and visit every gallery, museum and artefact the place has to offer.

If you have a clash of holidaying style, you’re going to have to learn to compromise. When you’re talking about what you want to do, try and get everyone’s preferences in – or split up.

You can trade activity time: ‘If we spend the morning by the beach, I’d love to drop by one art gallery this afternoon’. Or, you could take votes on what you’d like to do: ‘We’re going to head to the museum while you guys sunbathe, meet you back at the hotel for dinner’.

Be open about what you want to do because there’s nothing worse than traipsing around, following someone else’s holiday plan, quietly raging. Be gently assertive if there’s something you really don’t feel comfortable doing, and otherwise just try and keep everyone happy.

Take care of your introverts

The basic difference between an extrovert and an introvert is the way they restore their energy. An extrovert replenishes their stores of energy by being around people, while an introvert needs alone time to stock up.

You are probably travelling with introverts, whether you know it or not. They will most likely find being in constant company quite draining. They love you! But they’re delicate and they need a little peace to recoup.

So, you might want to make sure that your introverted friends get time in the afternoon for a little nap or a little space to be on their own. Don’t take it personally and don’t be offended. Just gently allow your beloved introverts to rest and restore themselves when they need to, even if it means sitting out one of the planned activities.

Round of shouts with limes on them
Do not pressure anyone into spending or drinking more than they want to (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Don’t get all judgmental

You’re going to be spending more time than usual with your mates. Mealtimes, bedtimes, all times. So you’re bound to notice things you wouldn’t ordinarily see.

Try to be as loving and kind and patient as possible. Remember that you adore these people, but you cannot tell them how to live their lives. Maybe you wish your friend would eat a few more carbs, maybe you wish they wouldn’t snore. Maybe you’re not that keen on how much your mate drinks, maybe you wish they’d turn their work emails off.

If you’re really concerned by something you notice a friend doing, have a gentle chat with them some other time. Picking on someone’s habits while you’re all on holiday is only going to cause tension and conflict and probably hurt.

Everyone is different and they run their lives the way they want and the way they can. You cannot impose your standards or expectations on somebody else just because you’re spending all this time with them. Save it for a better time, or simply learn to live with it.

Be sensitive about money and alcohol

You are not all necessarily on the same budget – and talking about money can be seriously intense. So be mindful of suggesting expensive activities to do or restaurants to go to, in case it’s out of someone’s budget.

Do plenty of free and cheap things, so that everyone feels comfortable, and check before booking something that costs money.

The same sort of rule applies to alcohol consumption. People have different tolerances, so be cool about it if one of your friends needs to take it easy. Do not pressure anyone into spending or drinking more than they want to.

You do you, and give your mates permission to do them.

MORE: Here are the WhatsApp rules we all need to follow

MORE: How to balance time between your friends and new relationship

MORE: It’s perfectly fine not to have a ‘best friend’



Little girl tries to copy mum’s makeup look, ends up stained pink for days

Chloe covered her skin with shades from the Jeffree Star Jawbreaker palette
Hey, at least now we know those shadows are super pigmented (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

We’ve all had a makeup mishap. It’s how we learn to avoid bright coral blusher or applying liquid eyeliner with an unsteady hand.

In that sense, it’s great that Chloe Diach, five, has had such a drastic dodgy makeup job so early in life.

Plus it’s highly entertaining for us, so that’s a bonus.

Aspiring makeup artist Nicole Jackson, 32, was practising some looks on her eight-year-old daughter Leah last Thursday.

She didn’t notice that Leah’s little sister Chloe had decided to give herself a makeover in the meantime… until she emerged with black eyeshadow and green glitter all over her face.

Nicola cleaned it all off and assumed that was the end of it. It was not.

The next day Chloe dug into her mum’s £60 Jeffree Star Jawbreaker palette to paint the entirety of her face bright pink and orange.

Chloe covered her face in shades of pink and orange makeup
This is the second time Chloe’s given herself a dramatic makeup transformation (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

Nicola found Chloe with pink shadow applied all over face, with plenty of scribbles thrown in for good measure.

‘I was mortified,’ said Nicola. ‘She’d gone into my most expensive eye shadow palette and completely dug out the pink and orange and covered her face with them.

‘She couldn’t have gone for the boring shades, she had to go for my favourite ones. They’re pretty much completely ruined.

‘She’s obviously watched me doing my makeup one too many times because she’d even tried to do her eyebrows.

‘I think she’s seen me doing fancy dress makeup and she’s trying to copy it. She’s obviously very creative.

‘People have asked me why I’m not angry because it’s such an expensive palette but she’s too funny. Makeup is replaceable but these memories aren’t.

‘I would say I’ll never get a moment like this again but it has happened twice now.’

Chloe was left stained pink for days
Chloe was left with a tinge of pink for days (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

Chloe was pretty pleased with her handiwork, and headed straight to the park to show off her new look.

But it turned out this wasn’t a one-time transformation. Despite cleaning her face, Chloe ended up stained pink for the next few days.

Thankfully it cleared up just in time for the family holiday.

‘The amount of times I’ve used it and haven’t been able to get it off I was thinking ‘”we’re going away and Chloe’s going to be pink”,’ said Nicola.

‘She was slightly stained. She had a slight pink hue but luckily it did come off before our holiday.

‘After I posted about it, people were actually commenting about how it made them want to buy it. People worry that the colours aren’t that pigmented but they are and Chloe proved it.

‘Maybe it could be a new trend, the Chloe test for new makeup palettes?’

MORE: How to holiday with your mates (and not hate each other)

MORE: Photos show exactly how much sunscreen you should be using

How I Save: The 23-year-old editorial assistant in London earning £19.5k with £700 saved

How I Save: Hayley, the London-based editorial assistant earning £19.5k with £700 saved
Hayley is an editorial assistant living in London. She has £700 saved but she’s deep in her overdraft (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

How I Save is a weekly series that aims to take an honest look at how people spend and save their money – and why it can be so difficult to put away cash for the future.

Each week a different person tracks their spending for a week, noting down exactly what they spent and what they bought, and then we get them some expert advice for how they can save better (which, handily, we can all learn from too).

Money is still a taboo topic, despite it being something we all have to deal with.

Our collective discomfort around chatting about money means we’re not equipped with the financial knowhow to make the most of what we earn, and many struggle to ask for help when they need it.

We’re hoping that by sharing how people actually spend and save, we’ll open up that conversation.

Last week we spoke to a 30-year-old product development manager with £34,500 saved. That’s quite the contrast with this week’s saver; Hayley (not her real name), a 23-year-old editorial assistant living in London and earning £19.5k.

How Hayley saves:

I earn £19,500 a year and in my savings account right now I have £700.

I’ve just booked a weekend away over the summer which came out my savings, it cost £150. A girl needs a holiday…!

I don’t really know what I’m saving for specifically to be honest, but I want to have more of a safety net than I currently do. I’m also bearing in mind that I might want a car at some point or a house further down the line (although this seems impossible).

I’ve been considering getting a Help to Buy ISA to help me save more and give me more of a goal to work towards.

The main way I save is putting money in my account as and when I can, which isn’t very frequently, and I’d like to have a regular plan to help build it up.

I struggle with saving because I’m a bit of a spender, or I used to be. I blew through all my savings at uni and now I’ve moved out of home and into a rented flat it has hit me hard. I’m trying to cut down on unnecessary spending as much as I can, but I end up in my overdraft every month… Oops.

I left uni last summer with practically no money, and went straight into an extremely low paying internship. This covered my travel and allowed me to start paying back my savings in small installments.

Then I got my full-time job in September, and moved out of home in October. After paying for my deposit and first month’s rent in one go I’m now effectively £600 behind in my current account and I can’t seem to escape the dreaded overdraft.

I was £950 in my overdraft at the end of December, but last month I was ‘only’ -£750. This month I’m on track to be -£650.

I’m slowly clawing my way back, but it’s been slow going as I had some issues with tax etc that slowed me down.

I got a tax refund that went straight into my savings as I thought it would be a good idea to build my savings account up, but now I’m regretting that and am starting to think I should have kept it in my current account.

Overall, I feel like my finances are a mess, and I’m trying to pay back both my savings and my overdraft in a really haphazard manner.

Flying cash
Hayley struggles to stay out of her overdraft (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

How Hayley spends:

Monthly expenses:

  • £600 rent for a house-share
  • £100-£130 travel – my actual commute should be £92 a month, but I always seem to end up spending more like £140 due to trips on weekends, or going home for a visit etc
  • £10 phone bill
  • £17.99 gym membership
  • £5.99 Netflix
  • £7.99 Amazon Prime

A week of spending:

Monday: Stopped by Sainsbury’s on my way to work, got myself some breakfast and a pint of milk. £2.10 in total.

I topped up my Oyster card with £40 last Friday so I don’t need to worry about travel this week. I prep lunch every day and did a food shop on Sunday, so I’m good for food as well.

Was feeling a bit rubbish at work so treated myself to a rare early week Costa, £2.80.

Tuesday: Took out £10 cash. I try to use cash instead of paying for little purchases with my card as I feel like I have a better sense of how much I’m spending when I use cash. Paid £1.10 for a sausage roll at lunch with said cash, (I know I said I bring lunches to work, but I was super hungry)!

Wednesday: £1.55 in Co-Op – didn’t realise the self checkout was card only so couldn’t use my cash.

£4.30 in Costa. Normally I’d leave this until Friday to treat myself, but I felt super exhausted and was just having one of those days. Paid with my cash.

Thursday: I didn’t spend anything.

Friday: Had no food prepped for lunch so brought a baguette and doughnut from the bakery, £3.75 .

Went to Asda for birthday card, baking supplies and a bottle of wine. Got a couple of extra bits for the house as well, came to £24.97. This is on top of my weekly shop, and not something I’d normally spend each week.

Saturday: Decided to go home for the weekend, but parents covered the trains so no money spent apart from a few quid on the tubes on my Oyster card.

Sunday: Went and did my weekly food shop at Asda. Spent £28, and it should last me until at least next Sunday.

How Hayley can save better:

We spoke to the experts over at money tracking app Cleo to find out how Hayley can save better (and what we can learn from her spending).

Note: the advice featured is specific to one individual and doesn’t constitute financial advice, especially for a London budget. 

Hard truth time: you don’t have £700 in savings. You have £50.

But luckily with this logic, you also aren’t in your overdraft.

Bite the bullet and move your savings in to clear your overdraft. Like, now. Feel stress instantly dissipate.

Every single time you use your card, you can’t win because you’re spending in your overdraft. That can’t feel great. Set that back to zero and you can also immediately stop doing weird backward negative maths to track your money.

Where you’re going wrong:

So you only have £50. Say it with me: fifty pounds.

The good news is you’re gloriously underspending.

You’re so under budget that at this rate you’ll finish the month with + £276.15.

In two months you could have + £502.30.

I can’t even slightly roast your spending. You spent a minimal £83.70 this week. Yeah you had two luxe coffees, but as you’re at the start of your career, if that £4.60 Starbucks helps you smash a deadline then it’s ultimately worth it.

To increase how much you can save, you need to basically focus on up-skilling yourself and earning more.

Spending plan

This is after bills, travel and subscriptions.

Safe to Spend: £340 Monthly /£80 weekly / £11.50 daily

This is excluding work commute & groceries, so you’ve got a fair bit of fun money to work with. Scrimp during the week and your weekend travels are easily covered

Safe to Sit on: £50 Monthly

Not sure you’ve factored in all those fun things like council tax, water bills and that-awkward-month-you-mysteriously-pay-four-times-your-normal-amount-for-energy. Try to leave an extra £50 in your main account for not-fun surprises. If you don’t have to use it, this builds into a rental deposit.

Safe to Save: £200 monthly

Shove half into a long term ISA, and the other half into a fun fund. Increase this with every pay rise.


There’s no training on how to deal with your first full salary. There should be. You’re on track and you’ll just get stronger, Hayley.

For real though, stop frolicking in your overdraft.

How I Save is a weekly series about how people spend and save, out every Thursday. If you’d like to anonymously share how you spend and save – and get some expert advice on how to sort out your finances – get in touch by emailing ellen.scott@metro.co.uk.

MORE: How I Save: The 40-year-old business consultant in Croydon with £143,000 saved

MORE: How I Save: The 32-year-old freelancer earning £15k a year with £1,400 saved

MORE: How I Save: The 21-year-old marketing manager in Nottingham earning £22k with £4,500 saved

Bridezilla shamed for bridesmaid contract with extreme list of commands

Bridesmaid contract
(Picture: Getty)

Most people think the task of being a bridesmaid mostly involves walking down the aisle, planning a hen ‘do, and getting off with one of the groomsmen at the reception.

However, for some neurotic brides a lot more is required, and they want it in writing.

An anonymous bride posted to a Facebook group two potential wedding contracts that she wanted her bridesmaids to sign, with the stipulations she had in store garnering a whole lot of criticism.

On her post, the woman wrote: ‘I’ve read a lot of horror stories about brides having issues with their bridal party and I just want my planning and wedding day to go smoothly.’

She then detailed how she planned to have the signings ‘legitimised by a notary’ to avoid ‘pain and suffering’ among the bridal party.

Not only were the potential bridesmaids supposed to follow a long list of strict rules, but would be required to ‘pay’ if they failed to do so. Whether this is payment in money or bridezilla hissy fits is unclear.

Bridesmaid contract
(Picture: That’s It I’m Wedding Shaming)

Some of the wild demands made on the contracts include not getting pregnant before the wedding (so as not to incur an @$$ Whoopin [sic]) and sending in hair samples beforehand so the bride can check that no changes will be made in the run-up to the big day.

Her pals are also expected to stay the same weight they are currently, keep their hair and makeup fresh throughout the wedding, and be ‘positive at all times’. We’re exhausted just reading it, let alone being there.

Alcohol will be limited, as will any amorous activities, so they can forget enjoying the day. And it won’t just be emotionally taxing, as the original post details how those in the bridal party will be expected to spend at least $400 on her hen party, and $200 more on a present.

Bridesmaid contract
(Picture: That’s It I’m Wedding Shaming)

Although it wasn’t clear how many bridesmaids were planned, there’s a big potential to be even less come the wedding after they see what’s expected of them.

Oddly, however, one of the contracts had a clause at the end saying ‘all I want is your friendship and support’ and that her friends should call her out if they felt they were doing too much or being neglected.

Thousands of commenters on an online wedding shaming group had harsh words for the idea of contracts.

It’s certainly a funny way of going about friendship, but each to their own.

MORE: Should you keep windows open during the heatwave?

MORE: How I Save: The 23-year-old editorial assistant in London earning £19.5k with £700 saved

Disney launches range of matching clothes for you and your dog

Models and dogs wearing the Disney dog range
Twin with your dog in the new Oh My Disney dog range (Picture: Disney)

Disney is launching a range of clothes for your dog, and we need it all.

With the Oh My Disney dog range, you can wear patterns featuring some of Disney’s best canine, and your pet can match your outfit.

The range includes matching jumpers, jackets, jeans and accessories.

It includes references to Lady from Lady and the Tramp, 101 Dalmations and Bolt.

Dug from Pixar film Up is also featured across the range.

The collection even includes a journal set, travel mug and collar set for you and your furry friend.

You and your pooch can drink from a matching mug, which costs $14.95 (£11.98), and pet bowl set,which costs $19.95 (£15.99).

A dog with some of the items in the Disney dog range
There’s a matching mug and bowl (Picture: Disney)
A man with a dog in a Disney dog t-shirt
So cute (Picture: Disney)

Or you can wear a matching collar and bracelet set for $19.99 (£16.01). The collar has a tag that says ‘I love my human’ and the bracelet includes a tag that says ‘I love my dog’. Cute.

We also love the matching tie dye jumper for women and jersey top for dogs.

The human version says ‘I just met you and I love you’ on the back with glittery puffy ink and the matching dog version says ‘Squad’ with pictures of the whole Disney dog crew.

A woman wearing the disney dog dalmations jacket and hat, holding a dog
You too could be wearing dogs and holding a dog (Picture: Disney)
A woman with the Disney dog jumper, holding a dog
Don’t hide your feelings (Picture: Disney)

The dog top is available in sizes small to extra large so you can twin with your dog no matter what their size.

Disney posted the range on Instagram and people loved it.

The caption said: ‘Put your paws together for the Oh My Disney Disney Dogs Collection, designed to celebrate the Disney pets that are too good and pure for this world.’

A woman in Disney dog pyjamas with a dog toy and her dog
We all need matching collars and PJs (Picture: Disney)
Some of the items in the Disney dog range
Lots of dog-themed clothes and accessories (Picture: Disney)

One person commented: My lord! Best collection EVER!’

Another tagged their friend and said: ‘why don’t you have all of this?’

The range is being sold in the U.S. but the good news is that they ship to the U.K. but it does depend on the size of the shipment.

That means we just have to order it all in one go, right?

MORE: How I Save: The 23-year-old editorial assistant in London earning £19.5k with £700 saved

MORE: Bridezilla shamed for bridesmaid contract with extreme list of commands

Aldi is selling a trendy copper desk fan for £22.99

Aldi is selling a copper desk fan for £22.99
Full blast ahead (Picture: Aldi/Metro.co.uk)

Head to Aldi for your biggest hot weather need. We’re not talking about the floating wine glasses.

If you haven’t invested in a fan yet, you really should.

It’s extremely hot, if you hadn’t noticed, and trying to get anything done (including) sleeping without a blast of cool air is unbearable.

Thankfully it’s not too late (although today is the hottest of the week).

Aldi is still selling a pretty snazzy desk fan that you could use at work or propped on your bedside table at home.

It’s copper, so it looks pretty, and it’s £22.99, which is fairly affordable.

No, it’s not as cheap as those little handheld numbers you can pick up from the corner shop, but it looks nice enough that you wouldn’t mind keeping it on display in your home or office.

If you fancy the fan, we’d recommend getting it fast. It’s officially a trending item, meaning it’s sold in the hundreds, and your local Aldi might not have it in stock.

You can order it online if you don’t mind waiting for delivery, or find your nearest store and cross your sweaty fingers.

The key stats, if you’re interested: the fan weighs 2.9kg, is 12 inches across, and has three speed options. It has an ‘oscillating function’ – so, like any other fan, and an adjustable tilt so you can position it directly at your face.

It also comes in chrome, but we have no clue why you’d choose that over copper, which is far more stylish.

If you’d like to go all out, Aldi is also selling a matching big version of the fan for £32.99.

MORE: Sleeping with a fan on might make you feel worse

MORE: Photos show exactly how much sunscreen you should be using

The 2019 Shed of the Year finalists are here – and they all look amazing

Some of the finalists in the shed of the year competition
Some of the finalists (Picture: PA)

A shed could be the perfect place to shelter from the sun in the heatwave, but yours is probably nothing like these.

The 21 finalists for the 13th annual Cuprinol Shed of the Year competition include a Shakespeare-themed haven, a playhouse that needed planning permission and a garden-based space hut.

They’re all hoping to be crowned the overall winner, who will receive £1,000, a plaque and £100 of Cuprinol products.

There’s three sheds in seven categories, all vying for your vote. The categories include pub/entertainment, cabin, unique, workshops, budget and unexpected.

The final category is the new nature’s haven award, which has been added this year for designers to show off sheds inspired by the shift towards unlandscaped gardens.

Last year’s winner was the Bee Eco Shed by George Smallwood, with beehives and a giant bug house on one wall.

Voting will close on 29 August at 11.59pm so support your favourite now.

Waterlooville by Susan Lowe

Shed of the Year finalist
A finalist in the workshop/studio category (Picture: PA)

Instant Karma by John Moore

Shed of the Year finalist
One of three finalists in the unique category (Picture: PA)

The Retro Retreat by Louise Mayoh

Shed of the Year finalist
The Retro Retreat is in the unexpected category (Picture: PA)

The Lorry Life by Tom Duckworth

Shed of the Year finalist
The Lorry Life is also a finalist in the unexpected category (Picture: PA)

Woody Willow by Tom Prior

Shed of the Year finalist
A finalist in the cabin/summerhouse category (Picture: PA)

My Shed by Christopher Atkin

Shed of the Year finalist
The simple My Shed is a finalist in the budget category (Picture: PA)

The Ark by Stuart Campbell

Shed of the Year finalist
The Ark is in the workshop category (Picture: PA)

Space Shed by Jon Spooner

Shed of the Year finalist
A finalist in the unique category (Picture: PA)

The Wagon by Jim and Becky Mills

Shed of the Year finalist
The Wagon is in theunexpected category (Picture:PA)

Vintage Tea Shed by Anne Hindle

Shed of the Year finalist
Another finalist in the budget category (Picture: PA)

Fisherman’s Rest by Kieran Gillingham

Shed of the Year finalist
This one’s in the pub/entertainment category (Picture:PA)

Tempest by David Stocks

Shed of the Year finalist
The Tempest is a finalist in the unexpected category (Picture: PA)

Hunters Bothy by Ian McMorran

Shed of the Year finalist
Another cabin/summerhouse (Picture: PA)

Shack Attack by Justin

Shed of the Year finalist
A finalist in the budget category (Picture:PA)

Hippy Hut by Dean Haden

Shed of the Year finalist
A finalist in the cabin/sumerhouse category (Picture: PA)

Artist in the Shed by Mary Price

Shed of the Year finalist
A finalist in the workshop category (Picture: PA)

Bux End by Chris Hield

Shed of the Year finalist
Bux End is in the nature’s haven category (Picture: readersheds.co.uk)

Allotment recycled pallet eco shed by Andrius

Shed of the Year finalist
This shed is in the nature’s haven category (Picture: readersheds.co.uk)

Shed of two halves by Andrew Mowl

Shed of the Year finalist
This one is in the pub/entertainment category (Picture: readersheds.co.uk)

The Reef Cavern by Chris Smith

Shed of the Year finalist
And another in the pub/entertainment category (Picture: readersheds.co.uk)

The Hut by Julian Wormald

Shed of the Year finalist
A finalist in the nature’s haven category (Picture: readersheds.co.uk)

MORE: How I Save: The 23-year-old editorial assistant in London earning £19.5k with £700 saved

MORE: Photos show exactly how much sunscreen you should be using

Masturbation suit lets people with disabilities fulfil their sexual needs

Masturbation suit for people with disabilities - Ripple
The Ripple could make a big difference to how disabled people are able to be sexually satisfied (Picture: Ripple)

One of the main goals of caring for a disabled person, is ensuring that that person’s independence, privacy, and dignity is intact as much as possible.

While meeting someone’s needs, there are always going to be moments where it’s difficult to give someone complete alone time, but thankfully, scientists and product designers are constantly innovating to improve the way we care for everybody.

This new suit, designed by Hsin-Jou Huang, Szu-Ying Lai and Chia-Ning Hsu from Taiwan, could be a game-changer for helping disabled people fulfil their sexual needs without assistant.

The Ripple suit is for people with up to severe levels of physical limitation, who already require a carer to help them complete most tasks.

It’s made up of three parts, with the first – a vest-type garment that goes over the torso and thighs – featuring a number of sensory factors.

At the start of the experience, air cushions will inflate to mimic touch in erogenous zones, with an attachment on the suit then stimulating the genitals (this will be different for those with penises or vaginas, with variations in whether vibration or pressure are used).

An eye mask keeps the user feeling comfortable and safe, and it even releases pheremones to boost that feeling.

The third part is wireless headphones, which block out outside noises (again to enhance the feeling of safety and privacy) and can play ASMR sounds to boost the experience.

Huang, Lai, and Hsu have really thought of everything with the Ripple suit, as cushions on the shoulders of it will warm up and inflate at the end of each session to ‘hug’ the user, reducing anxiety post-orgasm.

Masturbation suit for people with disabilities - Ripple
The velcro at the shoulders helps get the suit on and off (Picture: Ripple)

It’s a revolutionary product, as the only input needed from a carer is to assist with putting the suit on and taking it off again. The carer will also have a separate device that will alert them to anything unexpected or the end of a session.

The design trio responsible for its invention say: ‘Ripple provides the protection of privacy to the disabled and reduces the involvement of caregiver, which can raise the willingness to support the disabled to fulfil their sexual needs.

‘The kit aims to give the same amount of attention to the sexual rights of disabled people that is given to non-disabled people. Users can rely on Ripple to suffice their needs mentally and physically.’

Although Ripple is currently in the prototype stages, given the rise of femtech products, its inception shows just how far sexual aids for those with disabilities can go… And should.

MORE: Tinder introduces ‘Traveller Alert’ system to protect LGBT people in homophobic countries

MORE: The 2019 Shed of the Year finalists are here – and they all look amazing


Be warned: Your summer hookup could be using you for your air conditioning

couple in bed with the fan on full blast
Is your date a fansexual? (Picture: Getty/Metro.co.uk)

It’s summer! It’s hot and sticky! You can actually see people’s bodies without the usual layers of jumpers and duster jackets!

It’s the prime time for a fling, whether you’re on holiday or sticking around in the UK.

But be warned, sweet, naive daters, because your new situationship might not be due to reasons as innocent as summer horniness or a shared appreciation of old episodes of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.

If you are one of those blessed few with a proper room fan or – whisper it, so you don’t alert anyone to your obviously wealth – air conditioning, you might be getting used.

Yes, sweet summer daters, there are indeed individuals in this world who would continue a relationship (or whatever you call ‘regularly having sex with no labels’) purely for the sake of a chilled night’s sleep.

One woman guilty of such charges is Sophia (not her real name, as she is full of shame), a 28-year-old working in communications in London.

Sophia tells Metro.co.uk: ‘A few summers back I was seeing a guy I knew was bad for me. He was rude, arrogant, and treated me like sh*t. He also wasn’t great in bed. Don’t worry, he’s conceited enough that if he reads this he won’t guess I’m talking about him.

‘Anyway, I knew I should break things off, but every time I stayed at his I got the best night’s sleep. In the summer, a big part of that was that he had this big fan that went full blast all night.

copper fan spinning on a teal background
(Picture: Aldi/Metro.co.uk)

‘Obviously I tried getting a fan but I lived in a house-share with not much storage space, so I felt stupid buying something I would only need for a few days a year, and every time I went to a shop on my way home they were sold out. It was that summer when it was scorching.

‘So instead I just kept sleeping with the guy. I was tired and hot!’

When asked if she then ended things once the temperature dropped, Sophia’s answer was, of course, no.

‘Yeah, I then just kept sleeping with him because I’m stupid,’ she says. ‘Eventually I did end things! But for that summer it was definitely the fan set-up that kept me going back.’

Sophia isn’t alone in the shameful, sweaty slink into someone’s bed simply because it’s a touch chillier.

Amber (also not her real name) postponed a breakup because her then-boyfriend’s parents had an outdoor pool – and where better to spend a sweltering summer?

And when Fiona, then 19, was living in Paris, a ‘major reason’ she continued to see her ex was because his flat was so much cooler than hers.

‘I lived in a ‘chambre de bonne’, AKA a shoebox. I had to store my shoes in the shower and then shower at the gym, that’s how small it was.

‘My ex shared a beautiful apartment with his brother who was never there, so needless to say I spent the vast majority of my time in Paris at his apartment and very little time in my own. I loved him, but I especially loved his apartment.

It was beautifully cool. Mine didn’t have a fan, let alone air con. Plus, his flat wasn’t eight floors up (bearing in mind heat rises). The heat in our block of apartments seemingly rose and all travelled to my flat.

‘In march when I arrived it wasn’t a problem, but by the mid 30s of July in Paris it was unbearable.’

Over on Twitter you’ll find a load of people proudly proclaiming that they’d date or sleep with someone if the object of their non-affection had a way to reduce the unbearable heat.


Across the pond in the US, where air conditioning is more common, using people for their cooled homes is prevalent.

The impact of air con on sex and dating is even explored in Broad City, when Abbi simply can’t go on with Male Stacy (played by Seth Rogen) after the loss of the AC unit.

Is it wrong to continue to date someone for the summer in the hopes that you’ll be able to get some sweat-free sleep?

Honestly, we can’t answer that. It’s not illegal, but you might feel a little morally dubious. Investing in a proper standing fan for your own room, and getting some decent cooling sheets (then sticking them in the freezer), might be worth it to avoid the lingering guilt and annoyance of spending romantic time with someone you don’t actually like.

What we can do, however, is provide a very easy test to check if your summer fling is actually just a cool air chaser.

Ready? It’s pretty simple. Just suggest that you stay at theirs. If they have excuse after excuse, next time you’re together casually drop into conversation that your fan/air-conditioning/magically cool room isn’t working and you, too, are struggling in the heat. If they ghost, you have your answer.

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Woman calls out ‘hobosexual’ who tried to use her to have a place to stay

Jackie accused her potential date of using her for a place to stay
Jackie accused her potential date of using her for a place to stay (Picture: Kennedy News)

A woman has shamed her ‘hobosexual’ online dating match for trying to set up a date with her just so he had a place to crash.

FYI, a hobosexual is someone who dates or has sex with people so they have a place to sleep – Chad from season two of Insecure is a prime example.

Jackie Cameron, 38, encountered her first hobosexual when setting up a date with a man called Elliott, who implied she was a golddigger for rejecting him.

Jackie met Elliott on a 12-hour deep sea fishing boat trip, and they texted for the next few days.

Elliott offered to cook Jackie dinner, inviting himself over with the hope of having a place to stay for the night. He then revealed that he’d planned this ‘date’ because he had nowhere to sleep.

After realising he wasn’t joking, Jackie turned the man down on the basis that she couldn’t be responsible for taking care of him.

He responded: ‘Such is women. Gimme gimme.’

Jackie shared screenshots of the exchange online, where she was flooded with comments telling Jackie that she’d interacted with a hobosexual.

The man started by offering to cook Jackie dinner
The man started by offering to cook Jackie dinner (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

Jackie, from Bakersfield in California, US, said: ‘A lot of people have used the term ‘hobosexual’ which is apparently an urban term for a person who gets into a relationship to have a place to stay.

‘I think it’s pretty accurate. I think he absolutely would have been in a relationship with me to have a place to stay.

‘He was really nice and he was very charming on the boat. He was very sweet about everything and very well-mannered and spoken. He wasn’t pushy or aggressive but he was around.

‘If I sat down, he’d be around. But I’m glad I stayed firm, because someone else might have felt sorry for him and let him stay the night.

When he revealed he didn't have a place to stay, she turned him down
When he revealed he didn’t have a place to stay, she turned him down (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

‘It felt bad – it did knock my confidence for a bit. It felt like this guy was just hitting on me to have a place to stay and be comfortable.

‘But then I realised that’s more about him than me. He would have done it to anyone. This is literally just the way he lives his life.

‘I think if he had come around it would have been a tense situation. It’s probably the safest thing to have not let him ever come over. He doesn’t know where I live, thankfully.’

The messages first start with a flirty offer from Elliott of cooking Jackie dinner, but she politely declined as she was busy with a friend already.

Elliott then said: ‘Let me know if you change your mind. I’m looking for somewhere to sleep tonight.

‘I stay anywhere I can. I don’t like staying at my parents, I only stay there so I can give my daughter a good life and she isn’t around any creepers.

‘I don’t have anywhere to stay tonight, that’s why I offered to cook for you lol.

He responded suggesting women are 'gimme gimme' golddiggers
He responded suggesting women are ‘gimme gimme’ golddiggers (Picture: Kennedy News and Media)

‘I stayed at my friend’s house last night because she was out of town, but I think she comes back tonight and I don’t like to intrude. I’ll probably stay in a motel tonight.’

Jackie was initially sympathetic but decided that the man was not in a place to start a relationship, so called it off – telling him he was not ‘stable’ and she ‘couldn’t take care’ of him.

Jackie said: ‘So like I said before, I’m not looking for a [friends with benefits] thing and honestly you’re not stable so I don’t really see a relationship as being a possibility for us.

‘I appreciate your honesty but I can’t help take care of anyone. I’m sorry your in a tough situation [sic]. We can be friends and I know that isn’t much of what you’re looking for right now.’

When the man questioned why he wasn’t stable, Jackie said: ‘I mean, you don’t have anywhere to live and no job. I’m not trying to be a b****.
I’m just saying you’re not really in a place to pursue a relationship which is what I’m looking for.”

Elliott then said: ‘You have to have a house and a job to have a relationship? I guess I thought maybe you like me for me not what I could provide you.

‘Such is women. Gimme gimme. I guess I should have been more blunt, that’s my fault.

‘I’m the stay-at-home dad type…if that doesn’t vibe with you I totally get it. No worries.’

Jackie, who is a dog trainer, said: ‘I was really surprised getting these messages that he was saying this stuff. For a while I wondered if he was kidding. I was shocked at what he came out with.

‘When he told me he was the single dad type I blocked him from my phone straight away. I couldn’t handle it anymore.

‘I was trying to be nice to him because where I fish is an open party boat that is open to the public, so I figured I might run into him again.

I was trying to be nice so I wouldn’t have an issue on a 12-hour boat trip with some guy I rejected poorly.

‘But I was pretty floored by his responses – and also that he thought I was trying to get something from him.

‘I just wanted him to be able to match what I have going on in my life. Relationships are about complimenting each other and lifting each other up.

‘It’s about both having a good foundation and going on from there.’

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Feet swelling in the heatwave? Here’s how to soothe them

Woman massaging her feet
Swollen feet can be painful (Picture: Getty)

We’ve spent months longing for summer only for it to hit and for us all to realise it makes us a bit miserable.

You’re probably dehydrated, sweating, sunburnt and covered in insect bites.

So here’s something else to add to the list of heatwave problems – swollen feet.

Yes, the high temperatures means your feet get bigger and puffier.

According to Emma McConnachie, podiatrist from the College of Podiatry it’s all to do with the blood supply.

She explains: ‘As our bodies heat up there is an increased blood supply to the skin and this causes fluid to move out of our vessels and into the surrounding tissue.

‘The foot and ankle are the lowest point in the body and so fluid build ups will often be more obvious there. This will usually resolve as your body acclimatises to the heat.’

Woman massaging her feet
Massage your feet to move the fluid (Picture: Getty)

When this fluid builds up, you can suddenly find your favourite summer shoes no longer fit. Maybe you picked them up in the end of season sale when the weather was much cooler.

Shoes that don’t fit your newly swollen feet can cause other issues.

Emma says: ‘Make sure that your feet are not too big for your shoes in this weather.

‘In my own clinic we see an increase in ingrown toenails and corns between the toes in hot weather as feet have swollen inside shoes.’

But don’t fear, there are some things you can do to help.

Emma adds: ‘Make sure to drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.

‘Help your body move the fluid on by doing simple ankle exercises such as rotating your foot as if you were drawing circles with your big toes. Do this 10 times a few times throughout the day to help your body pump the fluid away.’

When you get home, lie down and elevate your feet to help the fluid drain away. You need to try to elevate them above your heart.

Massaging them can also help to move the fluid out of the area and reduce the swelling or try an epson salt bath to relax you and reduce inflammation. Don’t make it too hot in the warm weather so it’s nice and refreshing.

You can also try Amazon’s freezable slippers. You can pop them in the freezer to keep them cool and then wear them on your overheating feet.

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The art of ragequit – people share their bridge burning job resignations

Illustration of women talking and another woman in front looking at them
Feeling uncomfortable at work can build over time (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

We’ve all had bad days at work and in that moment, it can be tempting to think ‘what if I just quit right now?’

Telling your boss you are leaving in a heated situated, flouncing out of the office in a dramatic way is something most of us dream off.

Earlier this week, Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O’Mara’s staff member Gareth Arnold quit through a series of tweets, calling him ‘morally bankrupt’.

He told the MP to consider the tweets as his letter of resignation – it couldn’t have been more public. 

But before you run into your boss’ office to tell them exactly what you think, it’s important to consider what about what happens next – and how it could affect you as a future employee.

Giving up on your job might not leave you in the best place for the future, particularly if you want to stay in the same industry. 

There’s always the risk of ending up working with someone from your old job again in the future.

Word also gets around fast and other employers might hear that you didn’t leave on the best terms.

But quitting in such a way can also drive you to address the things you didn’t like in that role and find something that works for you – or even encourage you to start your own business.

Catherine Bunting walked out of her job five years ago, quitting on the spot and going on to set up her own business Hill & Jago.

She explains: ‘It had been building up. I was being asked to do things that were completely against my values.

‘Bullying was rife and people were being signed off with severe stress daily. I’d never seen so many people in tears in a corporate environment.

‘It was a profit orientated and anti-people environment, which went against what I believed in.’

Woman sitting at a work desk
Sometimes you have to stick to your values (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

She says things came to a head when her boss withdrew support and she decided to quit on the spot, telling her exactly what she thought.

She says: ‘My boss reacted with absolute rage. I don’t think they were used to anyone saying no.

‘The other employees were shocked but I think they admired me for standing my ground. It prompted others to leave.’

Although she had been thinking of leaving for a while, it wasn’t exactly as she planned and initially she didn’t have anywhere to go.

She turned to a notebook where she had been jotting down ideas about her dream business and from there, formed her recruitment firm Hill & Jago.

She says: ‘My old notes reminded me of want I really wanted to achieve. My husband was a great support. I felt that I couldn’t risk losing my integrity.  I’m a firm believer in the idea that you can get a new job but you can’t replace your own integrity. 

‘It made me really focus on what I want, rather than delivering for other people.’

Although leaving your job abruptly can be scary, Catherine says she has no regrets.

Woman sitting at a computer
Quitting does give you time to do what you’ve always wanted (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

‘We need to work somewhere where the culture is wrong for us at some point to truly understand what our own values are. I consider myself to be very professional, but when others aren’t you sometimes have to step out of your comfort zone, step up, and step out!’ she says.

Gina Battye quit her job abruptly after thinking about it for at least a year. When a colleague made a comment about her sexuality, she decided she’d had enough and handed in her resignation, the next day, explaining what she thought of the people she worked with.

She explains: ‘I didn’t intend to quit. Something triggered me and I made the decision right then to leave.

‘I had been running my own business outside of work for at least a year so I knew I had something to fall back on.

‘I was in a meeting with my manager when someone made a negative comment about my sexuality – totally inappropriate and not relevant to the discussion. 

‘It triggered me to think “what I am doing here, with these people, making judgements about my life?!”’

Unlike Catherine, she decided to work her notice period, even though things were a little uncomfortable.

‘No one really said anything when I handed in my notice,’ she says.

‘Most of my colleagues were off for the summer break and didn’t even say goodbye. 

Man and woman arguing with eachother
Try to stay calm in the heat of the moment (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

‘There was certainly a negative vibe with my senior leader and a few colleagues that I named in my exit interview.

‘I haven’t spoken to anyone since I left but I wish I had done it sooner to be honest.’

Since then, Gina has launched a successful LGBT+ and Inclusion training and consultancy business and also works as a LGBT+ & Authenticity Advisor for TV, film, theatre, radio, and she writes on LGBT issues for various publications.

So what should you do if you find yourself in that situation where your head is telling you just to walk out and never come back.

How diffuse an angry confrontation with your boss

Careers expert Karen Kwong explains: ‘If you do find yourself in a rage packed situation, no matter how much you’ve been provoked and goaded.  I would strongly suggest that you count from 1 to 10 and if that doesn’t work, do it again, and again and again until it does. 

‘Then excuse yourself or wait until the meeting is over and don’t say anything. Then take whatever remedial actions you need to restore your balance – a walk, exercise, cook, drink, whatever, until you KNOW that you can make good and good-for-you decisions.’

If you do decide the time has come to walk away from your job, doing it in a polite way is probably best – write a letter, sit down with your boss and work your notice.

It is in your contract and it’s best to try to stick to that if you can. It isn’t that long in the grand scheme of things.

Careers adviser Stephen Warnham, from Total Jobs, says: ‘If you feel you’ve been badly treated as an employee, or the job just hasn’t been up to scratch, it can be difficult to know exactly how much you should say. Keep it simple.

‘All you really need to do is tell your boss that you’re leaving and establish your last day of work.

Save your feelings for an exit interview – it can be an opportunity to talk about what you haven’t enjoyed without having to address your boss directly. Doing it there also gives you time to prepare calm and reasonsed responses rather than releasing all your anger in the heat of the moment.

Stephen adds: ‘Some people may feel that it’s their responsibility to point out which bits of a business don’t work upon their resignation. If you choose to do this, it’s essential to prepare your reasoning, so you communicate them in a measured, professional way. 

‘Try to keep emotions out of it, be constructive, and talk calmly about the factors that led to your resignation. Emphasise the positive where possible, but explain it’s just time to move on.

‘The main thing to remember is that what you say in this conversation will leave a lasting impression on your employer and could impact how you’re perceived as you move forward in your career.’

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Which of these is really an ice lolly?

The five lollies that were chosen to be the most popular by YouGov
The five lollies that were chosen to be the most popular by YouGov (Picture: Getty)

With the heatwave in full swing, you might want to cool down with an ice lolly.

But a bit of a debate has broken out about how we use the term.

After You Gov posted a poll result showing ‘the nation’s favourite ice lollies’, many people commented that some of them aren’t lollies at all.

The top choices were the Magnum, with 28%, the Fab, with 8%, the Solero, also with 8%, the Twister with 7% and the Feast with 6%.

Most people argued that anything creamy, like the Magnum and Feast, should be considered ice creams, while frozen icy fruit treats are lollies.

The Oxford English dictionary though does define an ice lolly as ‘a confection in the form of a piece of flavoured ice or ice cream on a stick’, so under that definition all five favourites fit.

The poll is actually from last year but YouGov reposted it on the hottest day of the year to stir up some debate.

Apparently it is mostly older people who prefer the Magnum, with only 12% of 18-24 year olds naming it as their favourite compared to 42% of those aged 65 or older.

Fabs and Twisters tend to be more popular with Brits under 50.

11%, of younger people picked a Fab as their favourite compared to 1% of those aged 65 or older.

11% of 18-24 year olds and 10% of 25-49 year olds, compared to 2% of those aged 50 plus.

Whether you call them all ice creams or ice lollies, just don’t stick it up your vagina.

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Kindness is the number one quality women want in a partner

illustration of a man kissing a woman on the head
Women of all sexual orientations considered kindness the most important trait in a potential partner (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

What do women look for in a partner?

Is it great sex? A sparkling sense of humour? The ability to put down the toilet seat without being reminded?

All of those things might play a part, but they’re not the top priority for most women.

Instead, the number one quality women want in a partner is kindness, according to a survey from Clue, MyONE Condoms, and Tanja Gerlach of the University of Göttingen.

The team surveyed 68,000 people of different sexual orientations and gender identities in 180 studies to find out what’s important when looking for a potential partner.

All over the world, in every demographic, the most common quality desired was kindness.

After kindness comes supportiveness, intelligence, education, and confidence – all of these are considered hugely important traits for a woman’s long-term partner.

Having an attractive body, attractive face, and financial security, were only seen as moderately important qualities, in comparison.

The emphasis on kindness makes sense.

When you’ve been navigating the world of dating for a while, you’ll realise that while a sense of humour and sexual chemistry are great, they mean nothing if someone is cruel, rude, or judgmental. We all want to be loved and treated kindly.

two women kissing while wearing rainbox flags
Women want a supportive partner (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

Dr Virginia J. Vitzthum, Kinsey Institute Senior Scientist, Clue Director of Scientific Research, and Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University, said: ‘Kindness is rather like gravity, essential but little noticed until it’s gone.

‘Given today’s emphasis on looks and wealth, it may surprise you that kindness is a top desirable trait across the world.

‘But kindness is key to the human capacity for forming the long-term social bonds so essential to our evolution. Without those bonds, and kindness to help us get through the inevitable rough patches, we wouldn’t have survived and flourished.’

So if you’re looking to form a relationship, maybe ditch the research into pickup artistry and your practice of negging. It’s cool to be kind.

The study also found that whether or not a partner wants children is pretty important when dating, too.

Again, this makes sense. You don’t want to get deep into a relationship only to find out one of you is desperate for a huge family while the other can think of nothing worse.

When asked about choosing a long-term mate, 46.1% of women of all sexual orientations said that a potential partner’s desire to parent is an important factor.

And if you do fancy focusing on the physical, women surveyed rated an attractive smile as far more important than rock-hard abs.

Oh, and having a massive penis isn’t necessarily a good thing. Heterosexual woman were more likely to desire an average-sized penis than a large one.

Short hair, large hands, an attractive back, muscular arms, and facial hair were the next physical features most frequently selected as desirable.

For women who identify as lesbian, gay, or homosexual, the most desirable physical features after an attractive smile were average breasts, average buttocks, an attractive back, and long hair.

So there you have it. If you’re a man looking to attract a mate, it’s worth prioritising kindness and supportiveness first. Once you’ve sorted that bit, a nice smile and great facial hair helps.

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